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2nd August 2015


Savatage and Trans Siberian Orchestra made Heavy Metal history at Wacken on Thursday night when they pulled off a never-before-attempted performance.

Wacken has a unique set up as the two main stages are situated next to each other, side by side and following a 40-minute Savatage set and a 40-minute TSO set, members of both bands, across both of the festival's main stages, performed a perfectly coordinated set.

This was an incredibly ambitious feat both musically and logistically and the bands pulled it off without a hitch with Al Pitrelli leading TSO on the True Metal Stage and Jon Oliva heading Savatage on the Black Stage.

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Two bands hitting the stages at the same time was completely unprecedented and as you can see from the fan videos below, was quite a spectacular. You will also notice in the raw videos that professional camera crews are prominent so let's hope this show is released on a full DVD.

This was Savatage's first show in over a decade as well as being TSO's first European festival show and the only live appearances of both bands in Europe in 2015.

Prior to the festival, the bands issued this joint statement: "All of us in Trans Siberian Orchestra and Savatage cannot believe the luck that has given us the opportunity to take a break from recording the new (TSO) album 'Letters From The Labyrinth', so that we can meet up in Wacken, Germany and together, look back at how we got here, as well as forward to possibly catch a glimpse of what might be. This is a once in a lifetime show for Savatage and TSO that we hope you will never forget."

Savatage hit the stage at 9.45pm for their long awaited comeback. The band consisted of Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Johnny Lee Middleton, Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, Zak Stevens, Bill Hudson, plus several backing musicians including TSO's Vitalij Kuprij.

As the Savatage set came to a close, guitarist Pitrelli raced to the other stage to join TSO for a fierce performance including songs from 'Letters From The Labyrinth'. For TSO's first set, the band consisted of John O.Reilly and Jeff Plate (drums), David Z and Middleton (bass), Angus Clark and Caffery (guitars), Mee Eun Kim and Derek Wieland (keyboards), Asha Mevlana and Roddy Chong (strings). Vocal duties were handled by Jeff Scott Soto, Kayla Reeves and Andrew Ross, with the group bolstered at times with dancers, background vocalists and more.

At 11.00pm the crowd were left astonished as all band members took to their respective stages and began an hour-long simultaneous performance playing the same songs concurrently.

The set contained such songs as Savatage's 'Turns To Me', a rousing version of 'Believe' with a duet featuring Oliva and Robin Borneman along with TSO favorites including 'A Last Illusion', 'Requiem', 'Beethoven' and 'King Rurick' from TSO's forthcoming release.

It was a sight to behold and MetalTalk's Mark Taylor and John Oakley witnessed the whole thing, including an incredible pyrotechnic display estimated to have cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once our boys are back in England, we'll be following up this article with their take on this incredible experience.

After the show, Asha Mevlana commented: "One of the coolest nights of my life... am already missing my TSO/Savatage family. What a rush playing for all these people."

TSO founder and leader Paul O'Neill gave a very candid interview before the show which is well worth a watch...

And here's a selection of some of the concert footage that has appeared online so far. There's nothing of true professional quality as yet but hopefully Paul O'Neill is working on that DVD right now...


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