Joe Lynn Turner
Tokyo "O East", Shibuya-ku, Tokyo May 30, 2007
It was a memorable evening May 30th as Joe Lynn Turner began his 2007 World Tour in Japan in support of his Frontiers Records release of SECOND HAND LIFE. Released in this country on April 4th through the Yamaha Corporation, Japanese fans were once again treated by the electrifying stage presence of Turner as well as his back-up band which included guitarist Akira Kajiyama and musicians from the Japanese band Gerard. Kajiyama in particular, has been part of at least two of Joe"s solo efforts including HOLY MAN and SLAM, but more recently Joe returned the favor and the result of that collaboration was the Kajiyama solo release of FIRE WITHOUT FLAME with Joe on vocals.
The venue is located in the heart of Shibuya-ku, a prefecture (suburb) in Tokyo, Japan, situated about 12 minutes from the local train station in that city. Called Tokyo "O- East," patrons were allowed entry into the venue according to their designated ticket number. So just before the doors opened (promptly at 1800 hours (6 p.m. local time), each patron was lined up accordingly in two lines based on those numbers listed on their ticket.
Then shortly after bags were checked and you purchased a mandatory drink ticket at a cost of 500 yen (approx. $4.25 American), it was off to front of the stage and establishing a place for the concert that was to start promptly at 1900 hours (7 p.m. local time). Even though the concert was standing room only, at least on the lower level, the area was sectioned off by special railings on the floor (they were removed after the show), so that concert goers could still be comfortable wherever they decided to stand for the show. Then, once the lower portion of the venue was filled to its capacity, the balcony level filled as well.
So it was on this night that saw "AT LEAST" one thousand enthusiastic fans or more who were going to be treated to not only the presence of JLT, but what could be considered an historic night of rock'n'roll for Rainbow fans as well. Historic because Turner was to be on the same stage with another former lead singer of Rainbow - "his brother" - as Turner so eloquently called him - in the artist of Graham Bonnet, who was the second lead singer for Rainbow when he was replaced by Joe in November 1980. Bonnet and his band performed under the name of "Alcatrazz featuring Graham Bonnet."
With the release of SECOND HAND LIFE, Japanese fans had ample amount of time to learn the words to the new album and sing along if they so desired. And SING they did. In fact, Joe several times during the show thanked his audience and complimented "What great singers we all were." But we knew who we wanted to hear sing and that was the guy that was thanking us from on top of that stage.
Turner began his set with "Your Love Is Life" from the new album and also sprinkled in versions of "Stroke of Midnight" and "Blood Red Sky." His set was clocked at one hour and seven minutes including the encore, but on this night, Joe was the first act in the double bill (editor's note: JLT and Bonnet rotated positions throughout this tour).
What was even more special was the duet that the both of them did at the end of the show, singing "Long Live Rock n' Roll," the song written and sang by the first lead singer of Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio. So, as Turner and Bonnet continue this leg of the tour through June 7th ending in Yokohama, I hope the rotation between Turner and Bonnet will alternate to allow an extended set of each artist.
There was a quite an hilarious moment during this partake of this song by both artists because Graham had to quickly grab a lyric sheet from the floor in order to get through this particular track. I guess he hadn't sang it as often as Joe did. Yet, Joe just put his arm around him and quipped, "You know Ronnie James Dio wrote this track Graham, if he had been here [to sing it as well], then maybe we could have [quite] the party here."
So in essence, this American from the state of Arizona, was able to fulfill a lifelong dream to share this experience with the Japanese fans. I am not done yet. I still have another night to go. But what I will say is that this experience would not have been realized if it hadn't been for the "shout out" (on Joe's official website) by the most gracious and kind host - JLT's Japanese President of his fan club," Kaoru Hoshino.
Once there, she went out of her way to guide me to the concert venue by way of their complicated transit system in order to take part in this once in a lifetime memorable experience. Kaoru told me that I was the first American fan to do this for which I am proud and honored to do so. But to me, it was the love of the music, especially for JLT's music that led me to taking this trip to Japan. And I can't thank enough, Joe Lynn Turner, who with his music, I could sing all the songs I have came to know and love with my newfound friends just 16 hours away in the beautiful country of Japan.
Set List for May 30, 2007 at Tokyo "O East", Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
1) "Your Love Is Life"
2) "Devil"s Door
3) "Death Alley Driver"
4) "I Surrender"
5) "Street of Dreams"
6) "One Day Away"
7) "Stroke of Midnight"
8) "Blood Red Sky"
10) "Can"t Let You Go"
11) "Can"t Happen Here"
12) "Spotlight Kid"(Encore)
13) "Long Live Rock n"Roll" (Duet with Graham Bonnet)
Review from Japan by US fan Julie E.B. Mills
Tokyo "O East", Shibuya-ku, Tokyo May 30, 2007
After Joe Lynn Turner finished his performance, it took about 15 to 20 minutes to get Alcatrazz on stage. But then the show started; Howie Simon on guitar, Glen Sobel on drums, and Tim Luce on bass came on stage. It started with "Eyes Of The World". Graham Bonnet with sunglasses came on stage and inmediately the fan rushes to the front of the stage! It's great to hear "Eyes Of The World" live again in Japan after 27 years. Opening the mouth largely, the blood vessel and looking at Graham singing, it does my feeling keeps thrilling. Among those there were moved to tears truly. First day with Graham had the full set of approximately 90 minutes.
Some surprises in the set like "Stand In Line", the song from Impellitteri and "Big Foot". But the fans loved it. The set ends with "All Night Long" and Graham let all the Japanese fans sing with him. The encores are ofcourse "Since You've Been Gone" and "Lost In Hollywood". The show ends in a duet with Joe Lynn Turner. They do "Long Live Rock'N'Roll". The complete show is over after 3 hours at 22.00 hours. This was a night to remember!
1. Eyes Of The World
2. Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live
3. God Blessed Video
4. Stand In Line
5. Guitar Solo ~ Big Foot
6. Jet To Jet
7. Sons And Lovers
8. Kree Nakoorie
9. Hiroshima Mon Amour
10. Kree Nakoorie (REPRISE)
11. Will You Be Home Tonight
12. Island In The Sun
13. Desert Song (Incl. Drums Solo)
14. All Night Long
15. Since You've Been Gone
16. Lost In Hollywood
17. Long Live Rock'N'Roll (With JOE LYNN TURNER)
Howie Simon checks in from the road
Howie Simon checks in from the Japanese Alcatrazz / Joe Lynn Turner tour, with the following update: "I guess not even a car accident can stop us! I got T Boned by an 18 year old idiot who decided to run a stop sign and plow directly into the driver side of my car the afternoon of our warm up show in LA at Paladinos. I went to the hospital after soundcheck and luckily no broken bones were found. My back is sore and I will have to buy a new car, but the show went on as planned!
It was a great crowd and everybody seemed to enjoy it. Graham hasn't sung alot of those songs since the 1980's and quite a few people were freaking out about re-living their childhood. Now we have finished both the Tokyo shows and I am sitting in my hotel in Osaka writing this a couple hours before we play. The 2 gigs were both sold out and the audience was AMAZING. I actually saw some girls crying during the set. The 1st night I was a little nervous, especially wondering if the fans were going to accept me after having Yngwie and Steve Vai playing under this band name. But after the 1st song that fear went away instantly as the people were going apeshit. Graham felt sore the next morning and went to a doctor to find out he has tonsillitis.
So he skipped soundcheck and Joe Lynn Turner jammed with us which was amazing. I handed him my guitar and took the mic from him to sing a Bad Company tune. I hope there are some photos of this somewhere. It was awesome. Joe is one of the nicest people I've ever met and man can that guy tell stories! His live performances sound just like the CD...he is effortless.
The 2nd show Graham was real worried the illness would make his voice give out. But amazingly enough he went out and just slayed... he is singing as good as I've ever heard him live. And yes he is wearing the famous suits! Tonight at Club Quattro is sold out and we are expecting it to be off the hook since the venue is quite smaller than in Tokyo. More soon and pics to follow!
Howie Simon, guitarist Alcatrazz featuring Graham Bonnet [source:melodicrock.com]