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Stratovarius Review by Todd Matthy

How do you talk about a concert for a band your not familiar with? That’s the dilemma I faced at the Stratovarius concert last night. My familiarity with Stratovarius is brief. I’ve listened to them before (even played them on my college radio show) and liked their Dream Theater meets classical sound, but for some reason I never followed through on exploring them. In other words I like them but couldn’t name any of their songs or members of the band. So, imagine how I felt going to a concert at the Nokia Theatre, surrounded by Stratovarius fans, with only fleeting knowledge of the band? Guess what? They won me over.

The band performed what I’m assuming was a mix of old and new. But, to me it didn’t matter what era it was from. I was lost in the music. There was plenty of energy from front man Timo Kotipelto spread throughout the audience, with the crowd chanting the lyrics to his every command. I was impressed by the showmanship and musical precision the band had with every song. But, what really sold me was the way the band slowly sucked me until I became a hardcore fan.

At first I didn’t know what to think. I liked the sound and I liked the energy. Slowly though as the rock and classical fusion continued my ears started to perk up and my head started to bang. Just a little past the half way point, I was fully headbanging with the crowd and felt like a fan, responding to every cue from Timo despite my unfamiliarity with the material. This is the mark of a great band. A band who’s live show and music can take a non-fan and slowly bring them into the fold. That’s what happened to me last night and hope will happen to many more. Congratulations Stratovarius fan’s you have one more among you.

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