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Joe Lynn Turner, George Gakis & The Troublemakers (12)

Joe Lynn Turner, George Gakis and The Troublemakers // Kyttaro Live Stage, Athens, Greece // 13.04.2014

Apart from all the new and fresh bands that have visited us this year, this Sunday was time for a very well known rock star of the past to make his appearance on Greek grounds. I’m talking about Joe Lynn Turner, the (most notably) singer of Deep Purple (Slaves and masters)and Rainbow (Difficult to cure, Straight between the eyes, Bent out of shape and Finyl Vinyl) in not their most famous and successful eras, but still, once a singer of these huge bands.

George Gakis and the Troublemakers was the band that would kick start the night, a band with no lack of experience, as, since the 90’s have been releasing albums and performed as support group in numerous concerts of legendary hard rock bands here in Greece (you can track their history in George Gakis’s website).

Joe Lynn Turner, George Gakis & The Troublemakers (7)
It was mentioned that in their new album there is a song featuring the headliner of the night, among other artists featured in different tracks. Their love for classic, melodic, hard rock and the whole poser scene of the 80’s was apparent from the first notes and of course from their songs they played, since we had the chance to hear many covers such as “Cold sweat” by Thin Lizzy, “Gimme all your love” by Whitesnake, “Love in an elevator” by Aerosmith, “Have a nice day” by Bon Jovi and a cover of Rory Gallagher’s “Moonchild” featuring Barry Barnes on the guitar. They also played a couple of their own songs and in the end it seemed that many years of touring around Greece, a strong connection with the Greek crowd and a nice choice of cover songs did the trick to warm the already packed Kyttaro.

With no delays, Joe Lynn Turner got up on stage and delivered “Death driver alleyway” and he seemed in totally good spirits. The next two songs made the faces of the many middle aged attendants of the concert shine, since these songs were “I surrender” and “Perfect strangers”, two great hits of their youth. Entertaining us with precious stories of his life and his time with Richie Blackmore he went on with “Jealous lover”, “Can’t let you go” and “King of dreams”.

Joe Lynn Turner, George Gakis & The Troublemakers (18)

His dedication of “Man on the silver mountain” to the late Ronnie James Dio got the crowd cheering and applauding loudly, a reaction quite similar with the one when “Street of dreams” and “Highway star” were played. By this point, Joe Lynn Turner had not missed a note, performing beautifully all the songs, just as if he had not aged a day. Really clear and really ringing voice from the veteran of the stage and of course it is worth mentioning that the sound of all the band members was excellent.

With a small reference to the situation in Ukraine, Joe and the folks played “Can’t happen here” and “Stormbringer” and they ended their festive performance with 4 of the most recognizable songs in rock n roll history, “Burn”, “Black Knight”, “Long live rock n roll” and “Smoke on the water”.  By the end I was surrounded by happy faces, possibly full of memories of a distant time and thus came the end to a very melodic night.

Report: Axilleas Pantogios
Photos: Andreas Denwar