Live | Ronnie Romero (& Absolva) – Rockfabrik – Ubach Palenberg [DE]
7 January 2024
Under the moniker, Too Many Lies, Too Many Masters, singer Ronnie Romero is currently bombarding the European club circuit with his first solo tour.
The man has sung on so many records over the past decade that, despite his impressive vocal range and voice, there are some critical sounds in the music world. The so-called overkill of releases and bands he has attached his vocal skills to. Just to name a few, Lords of Black, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Elegant Weapons, CoreLeoni, The Ferryman, Micheal Schenker Group, Vandenberg and the list goes on and on.
Frankly, then, I didn’t know what to expect from this solo gig. Without expectations I went to the Rockfabrik, with the approach of I’ll let it happen.
SUPPORT BAND: ABSOLVA
But first it was the turn of UK-based Absolva. Since 2012, these men have been bombarding the world with their music. In my opinion, it can best be described as classic heavy metal in the vein of greats like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. What this band present on stage is certainly not innovative, but what these four guys do, they do with a hundred percent dedication and that is infectious. Songs like ,,Anthems To The Dead’’ and ,,Never A Good Day To Die’’ are performed with precision and the audience picks up on the band’s infectious enthusiasm.
Singer/guitarist Christopher Appleton, in particular, knows how to involve the audience in their show with his talking between songs, and he certainly does that well. In any case, Absolva turned out to be an act that managed to surprise me with their music and stage presentation.
And then it’s almost time for the evening’s main act. Ronnie Romero and his band take the stage a little later than scheduled. The first couple of sounds unveil that this is most definitely not a Romero original song, but the Dio classic ,,Stand Up And Shout’’. I personally found that a rather surprising choice to open the show with. But that could also be due to my expectation, in any case, Ronnie’s voice and range is perfectly suited for this cover. The songs that follow are from Ronnie’s latest solo album ‘Too Many Lies, Too Many Masters’ then, ,,Castaway The Moon’’, ,,I’ve Been Losing You’’ and ,,Chase The Shadows’’ are reviewed.
The band plays tight, the sound is good. Ronnie looks a little tired, which turns out to be the case. After all, the day before he had a spontaneous gig in Switzerland with Voodoo Circle. Since David Readman was ill. Of course, this trip created some extra logistical challenges. Anyway, he got there in time for this gig, just a bit more tired than usual.
After several songs from his latest own record, we are treated to ,,Ferryman’’ from the band of the same name that Ronnie is also a member of. And then we get to look forward to the Rainbow song ,,Stargazer”. The audience doesn’t seem to mind the covers and enjoys the recognizable classics. Ronnie is vocally strong, as always, and the band plays solid, but certainly not extremely brilliant.
With ,,Crossroad’’ and ,,Not Just A Nightmare’’ among others, a few more Romero originals follow. However, I must confess, that his own music manages to impress me less than the covers. But then again, these are timeless hits for a reason. And while we’re on the subject, we can also look forward to ,,Kill The King’’ by Rainbow and the Dio song ,,Rainbow In The Dark’’.
After a little over an hour, it’s done and the audience is hoping for some encores. And we get them, after the sound engineer, who was clearly not aware of the spontaneous acoustic guitar session that was going to take place fix some technical stuff. But after a good 10 minutes the Ovation guitars were connected and audible for the audience and the people present enjoyed a beautiful acoustic version of the Rainbow song ,,Catch The Rainbow’’.
After this interlude, the rest of the band re-entered the stage and we could look forward to two more songs. First of all ,,Smoke On The Water’’ is played and as a real finale of the evening we get to hear a fine version of ,,Burn’’. Yes, indeed two Deep Purple covers.
RONNIE ROMERO – A GOOD TRIBUTE ACT
The audience did not seem to dislike all the covers and vocally it was also a fine performance of Mr. Romero who I certainly appreciate as a singer. However, I expected to hear more of his own work on the man’s first solo tour. Therefore, I can’t shake the feeling that I was watching a good tribute act, whose singer has it quite in him to put down a nice Ronnie James Dio rendition.
Certainly not a bad performance, but honestly, there could have been more here. But at least it was entertaining on this Sunday night.
All photos by Raymond Helebrand