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Jeff Wayne - The War of the Worlds
As a young child my father introduced me to Jeff Wayne’s musical version of the War of the Worlds. When you are a young kid this was the creepiest music ever heard. Fast forward to current times with updated technics Jeff Wayne is touring again with an orchestra and band to show how timeless this musical was back in the days. In these times of war there still isn’t a war going on with other worlds. Nobody knows what happens in the future but for now we again can enjoy the musical version of one the greatest soundtracks every made.

Based on the science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells it first appeared in serialized form in 1897. More than one hundred years later the story is still ahead of time! Before the show you can see people in the crowd through the eyes of the alien spider on the screen. Connected to the ceiling is one of the famous Martians from the story and with tribal ethnic ambient music the entering crowd is warmed up.
In 2012 Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds - The New Generation came to live and just as on that album the role of journalist is done by Liam Neeson (known from the movie Schindler’s List). On a screen his speaking talent is doing a great job. After the introduction there is of course directly “The Eve of the War”. When the orchestra is starting the bombastic tunes are hair rising. Admirable is also Jeff Wayne’s enthusiasm how he’s directing the orchestra and band on both sides. You feel something is in the air and the story on the screen is told as if it was London 1899 when the Martians came to earth.

I won’t sum up every song and event happened because that also can be seen on DVD. In the first half the computer animation of the Martians combined with the 19th Century crowd is giving the same feeling when you had the gatefold LP in your hands and reading the story. One disappointment is the evil alien creatures that could have been from a computer game. It’s totally ruining the great atmosphere of the musical. 
Luckily they don’t appear that often. What’s great are the eerie and creepy musical details woven into the song and connecting the song and narrative parts. A special detail in the first part is the harp sound that totally gives that eerie feeling the Martians are on the way and in the front two old guys on bass and solo guitar are showing us the best of Progressive Rock.

I would never assume to say this but Gary Barlow (known from Take That) is doing an awesome job with his raspy vocals. His voice matches with the panicking crowd on the screen. The highlight is the Martian on the ceiling that comes alive and is spewing fire and laser light through the venue.

After the break the narrative story and the singing in the musical is the most important ingredient. Of course as a Metalhead this part is less interesting except for the burning church in the beginning of part two. The link with Black Metal is easily made when the priest with the cross is talking about the Devil causing all the trouble. Later the survivors on Earth start up to make a new life and the typical happy end is in the air. Not before the Martian on the ceiling comes back alive once again to spit fire.

It’s great to see the live version of a musical double album finally on stage that made such an impact when you were a young child. How special the event was for the first time I don’t feel the urge to see it once again if there will be a comeback after this Final Arena tour.