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Home Show Reviews Ebreichsdorf - 24 January 2009

Ebreichsdorf - 24 January 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Magna Racino

On stage at The Magna Racino

The 'Vegas' of Austria comes to mind when you first catch a glimpse of The Magna Racino making it the perfect venue for the final 'sellout' dinner show of this magnificant Austrian tour for The TCB Band, Dennis Jale, The Sweet Inspirations, The Jam Gang and Manfred Chromy.

Situated in Ebreichsdorf, Magna Racino is home to Europe's most modern racing arena. A grand white mansion style building standing elegantly and proudly amidst the greenery boasting facilities for congress events, numerous casinos and gambling facilities, entertainment venues for elegant dining, cabaret, musical concerts from jazz, classical, folk, opera, pop and good old rock n roll.

On entering The Magna Racino the first thing to greet us when we walked through the foyer was 'wall to wall' small TV screens showing footage from both TTWII and The Aloha Concert. There was an abundance of Elvis Presley memorabilia and an amazing crystal chandelier the size of a new moon that would for sure have given Charlie Pride something to really holler about, shining over a selection of buffet food, with a chef in complete attire waiting to serve you. Over to the right looking over the balcony there were numerous palm trees draped in snow drop lights with about a hundred and fifty one armed bandits firing away. On the other side of this little gambling oasis, numerous tables were set out displaying more Elvis memorabilia and more screens of Elvis Presley delights.

On stage - Magna Racino

Downstairs, no kidding, the floor area really did bring to mind a scene from inside of 'The International Hotel' with just one or two things missing, the Colonel and the popcorn! There were dinner tables set for the dinner show in front of a horseshoe shaped stage with instruments left standing from the rehearsals earlier. The stage had a horseshoe shaped bar in front of it. Above the stage a massive screen for those sat in the upper level to be able to see the show in its full entirety. Again another huge crystal chandelier catching every ones eye. I tell you, you couldn't have picked a better setting or venue for this dinner show and what was going to be a sensational ending to this tour.


Following dinner and the 'intro', the lights dimmed and the towering notes of a recorded Space Odyssey 2001 began. You could just about recognise the silhouettes of each of The TCB Band, The Sweet Inspirations and The Jam Gang as they walked on stage amidst the dimness. The audience had already started to cheer and heat up on the first note of the chilling 'strains' which only got louder on the stage filling. Then it was wham when Paul Leim's sticks came crashing down kick starting C.C. Rider,  triggering flashing stage lights and signaling the over head screen to be switched on, followed by James hot and ready to go with his guitar licks blending nicely with Goran (GoGo) also on lead guitar and Jerry moving that bass in the corner. In came the mighty sound of The Sweet Inspirations freeing their amazing voices accompanied by the additional vocals of The Jam Gang Gospel Singers. A good strong brass section strengthened the number along with Glen D and Walter Chmela rocking away on keyboards. We were only two minutes in to the show and already the entire place was fired up bringing Dennis Jale on stage full of energy and ready to rock and roll adding his vocals to C.C. Rider. This was followed by Paul counting in on his drumsticks to Proud Mary and an absolutely amazing You Gave Me A Mountain, giving us great angle shots of these amazing musicians and singers on stage from the screen, powerful vocals from Dennis and The Sweet Inspirations and a mighty ending from Paul on drums.

The TCB Band, Dennis Jale, The Sweet Inspirations & The Jam Gang

Glen D had his turn next and knocked out a cracking intro to Lloyd Prices' Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Lawdy indeed, sounding sensational along with James' solo. The cameras were alternating between both players on the large screen sharing with us some real serious rocking facial expressions. The audiences were clapping their hands in the air while Dennis jumped from one end of the stage to the other belting out the vocals along with The Sweets and The Jam Gang Gospel Singers. No sooner had the audience quietened down from their rapturous applause and it was straight in to Promised Land with Dennis giving it all he had and the entire stage of musicians and singers sounding sensational, finishing with an amazing ending from Paul on drums and again rapturous applause from the audience. They were here to have a good time and that's exactly what was happening. The TCB Band still performed today the way they did almost forty years ago. Makes you wish you could have had a  turn of witnessing it all way back with Elvis. He wanted the best, he got the best and they still are the best today. A nice touch followed next with a very welcomed quiet moment too when we were treated to You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and I'll Remember You. The audience were captivated with the beautiful harmonies from The Sweets and backing singers and the brass section adding that extra special feel to both numbers. Jerry and James were both sitting down whilst playing and GoGo alternated between lead and rhythm guitar, sitting along side of Jerry just strumming away nicely. He just loves his moment on stage between these two ace players. Glen D took us back to The Aloha Concert with his always great to hear piano intro to I'll Remember You. Only minutes earlier we had the audience clapping and going wild now they were sitting quietly just swaying side to side and waving lighted sparklers in the air.

I'll Remember You & You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

Sparklers extinguished, it was time for that crazy 'acrobatic' upright bass player next. The mood of the audience determines where Manfred Chromy's bass ends up! At one point he had it lurking over Glen D's head! He can certainly cause a stir with his monkey business and superb wacky playing. This part had a bit of a twist to it as James let GoGo lead into MysteryTrain instead of him but rest assured you could still pick up on James' famous slipping and sliding guitar licks. Dennis was still sounding good and strong as he paced the stage encouraging the audience on. That's Alright was the second of this medley with James, Manfred and GoGo joining forces, belting out some tremendous solos. Another treat from The Aloha Concert was I'm So Lonesome with nice vocals from Dennis and GoGo back on rhythm guitar. The medley was finished off with Mean Woman Blues with James and GoGo dueling on lead guitars and Manfred throttling that loyal upright bass. What a tremendous contribution from the guys in the brass section and Glen D with Chmela rocking the number from start to finish. Yeah!

The TCB Band, Dennis Jale & Manfred Chromy

On Jerry's return to the stage after Manfred's exit, he resumed his position next to GoGo and after donning that famous Lakland Signature Bass and sharing that infectious smile with us, Glen D led the way in to Always On My Mind. The first part of the show ended with another sensational medley of Hound Dog, (you know the nice slow tranquil version with the explosive middle, described as a 'tender love song' by Elvis in TTWII), Jailhouse Rock, Whole Lotta Shakin, Long Tall Sally and Roll Over Beethoven. Wow! What a knockout scene and sound that was. Everyone on the stage, in the audience, behind the cameras, security etc were in their element. Not only that, Dennis by now was actually walking across the top of the bar in front of the stage with his arms in the air clapping with the audience! If all of this wasn't enough we got to hear everyone on stage perform a solo.

GoGo, Jerry, Paul, Dennis and James

The final part of the show began with a 'summons' from Paul on drums leading the rest of the musicians into Sweet Inspiration and bringing us the sensational Sweet Inspirations. It was now time for these soulful backing singers to front the stage and whip up a storm and that's just what they did with The Jam Gang Gospel singers joining in too. They sounded sensational and brought the house down as they always do. A little 'jam session' brought Dennis back on stage rearing right in to Blue Suede Shoes with James knocking out a superb solo. The audience was clapping, shouting, singing and showed no sign of wanting to go home tonight. It was hard to believe the show was winding down. It was still as energetic and exciting as it was when it started. That was more obvious when James hit the cords for the totally laid back and tantilising Steam Roller Blues, another great from The Aloha Concert, the number boosted with Jerry and James' solos and Glen D's noticeable genius on keyboards. Looking in the corner The Sweets and Jam Gang Gospel Singers were having great fun adding their own touches. Still in 'chill' mode, we had Glen D on the screen as he free flowed some gentle tinkling on the ivories for Bridge Over Troubled Water. It's always a treat to hear this, going from something so quiet yet ending so powerfully. Paul and The Sweet Inspirations eased in next followed by Dennis adding confident and meaningful vocals. Eventually everyone was adding their contribution to the number. It was sensational. When things quietened in the audience Dennis slowly turned his head over to his right at Jerry, stood aside and gave the signal for that Southern swampy classic Polk Salad Annie. Jerry went head on in to it and gave us his hot and funky bass solos.

Dennis and The TCB Band

A few words from Dennis came next introducing some gospel music to the show. After all, no show would be complete without it! Time for The Sweet Inspirations again. We had a beautiful, smooth intro made up from GoGo, Jerry, James, Paul and Glen D, who were then joined by the amazing sound of Portia with Why Me Lord, followed by Myrna and Estelle. Dennis stood aside letting the girls take the lead before stepping forward and contributing a powerful chorus with them. By this time The Jam Gang had come on board along with the brass section and keyboards. Just amazing. You found yourself sitting there feeling as if you had a surge of energy running through you. Needless to say, another standing ovation at the end of it all. Then it was right in to American Trilogy next with James on lead followed by Dennis, Paul and Glen D. The audience once again, happy to wave lighted sparklers. With each musicians' addition to the number, the stronger it was sounding ending with a tremendous finish from Paul on drums and the brass section.

Winding down

The show ended with Burning Love, In The Ghetto,The Wonder Of You  and a tremendous 'make a beeline for the stage' Suspicious Minds, with everyone participating with the chorus and last but not least Can't Help Falling In Love. Well that was it, a perfect ending to a perfect tour. Hmmmm, you got to be kidding! Here we had an audience to their feet shouting and pleading for more. The whole cast were taking their bows ready for the off but nope, they resumed their positions on stage and ended up playing just for the joy of it when James started knocking out Suzi Q with Dennis adding the vocals. The audience amazed they were even getting some more, were clapping, shouting, whistling the lot. Glen D then cranked up Can't Help Falling In Love and played it again. Again they took their bows with The Sweet Inspirations receiving a bouquet of flowers each. That was it for sure and what a great ending to a perfect show.... Again!

This entire tour was a phenomenal success from start to finish. Special thanks go to Barbara, Werner, Robert and every one else involved with the organising, hard work, professionalism, politeness and the wonderful way they treated the fans both on and off stage, especially at the Meet and Greets.

Thanks to Dennis...  a true 'pro' and always a gent on and off stage. Thanks to The TCB Band, The Sweet Inspirations, Manfred Chromy and The Jam Gang for a superb tour. We look forward to next year.

Last but not least thanks also to our very good friends Dennis Skopaz and Franco Rapillo from who travelled from Milan to catch this show. Good to catch up again.

Taking a bow

Source: Published by Rover




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