Saga + A.C.T. 29 July 1999
KP, Malmö, Norway

By Mattias Norén

At Thursday the 29:th of July, Saga had their second gig of three on a short Scandinavian tour. KB must be one of the best venues of Sweden and I think it holds about 700 persons.

The Swedish support band A.C.T are becoming more and more well known on the Scandinavian progressive rock scene, and I think their debut album that will be released soon will make them a big name both in Europe and Japan. Their quite simple and song orientated music, with influences such as It bites and early Saga, worked perfect as a start of the evening. The band had a few channels less to work with, so unfortunately they had to play with only two microphones. Too bad since all the guys in the band have great voices. Because of this the sound did not reach the same level that we are used to. The band played six songs, four from the forthcoming album (and one from it's Japanese version) and also one brand new song called She male. This song worked brilliant live and I certainly hope that it will end up on an upcoming album. 

After a short break the intro from Without you filled the venue. Saga entered the stage and opened with the classic song You're not alone. The audience was ecstatic and they had all rights to be. The sound and the performance were brilliant - and this was only the start! After The Flyer and Framed followed, in my opinion, the highlight of the night.
A song that I actually don't rank among my favourites on the album, but live it was incredible. I'm talking about Compromise from Silent knight.

After that it was enough the hear the drums from Don't be late to get the audience if possible even more enthusiastic. Obviously still a huge favourite. After this great song the whole band except Jim Gilmour left the stage, which by the way was nice designed in the Images at twilight style. Gilmour played a new instrumental song and he did it good. This guy is king of the keyboard. Then we got to hear Images, this time with Jim on vocals instead of Michael Sadler. After this it was time for the classic live song A brief case, where Sadler picked up a small box filled whit electric drums and together with Steve Negus made the venue shake. Almost surprising that there wasn't an electrical collapse since the sweat of Sadler must have filled the box.

The most interesting part of the evening was when the band played two brand new songs from the forthcoming album Full Circle. Remember when (chapter 9) was good, but especially the second one called The one promised a good future for the band. Can't wait till I get that CD in my hands. Or even better, in my CD player :-)

The last four songs were the heavy start of the album Generation 13, No stranger, Humble stance and Careful where you step

After the band had been called back on stage again, Negus presented us a drum solo I don't even have the words to describe. He was in a brilliant playing mood this night, just like the rest of the band. Just when I thought he was playing as fast as a man possibly can, he simply turned his cap backwards and started to play even faster. It was a great show ladies and gentlemen. Not only for your ears, but also for your eyes and your soul.

After On the loose and The pitchman the band left for good and a wonderful night came to its end.
Michael Sadler only doesn't have a great voice, he is great on stage and have the magic to entertain and communicate with the audience in a magnificent way. The Chrichton brothers are brilliant on their instruments but they can't entertain in the same way as Sadler, Negus and Gilmour. At least not this night.

Saga played almost only songs from the four first albums. Can this mean that they finally have found their way back to their roots again? You can only hope so after their terrible last album. 
Thanks for a great show!

Setlist ACT:

Waltzing with mother nature
Grandpa phone home
She male
Abandoned world
Cat eyes

Setlist Saga:

Intro - Without You
You're Not Alone
The Flyer
Wind Him Up
Don't Be Late
Piano Solo
A Brief Case
Remember When
The One
Generation 13 Theme #2
No Stranger
Humble Stance
Careful Where You Step

Drum Solo
On The Loose
The Pitchman



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