Starmus: Brian May + Tangerine Dream Review
SONIC UNIVERSE CONCERT: 24/6/2011 a cosmic experience with Brian May and Tangerine Dream
As soon as we approached the Magma Centre in Tenerife we immediately realised this would be a unique and incredible experience. Tangerine Dream and Brian were sound checking and when they played "Marmontel Riding On A Clef" and "Loved By The Sun" it was such a blissful moment to hear the familiar and particular "Red Special" sound which stood out so well. We were already blown away, but then they rehearsed "We Will Rock You"! It was quite clear we were heading towards something epic: a cosmic journey through the music of Edgar Froese's Tangerine Dream and Dr May.
The venue was packed full, there was a wide heterogeneous audience with Tangerine Dream and Queen fans as well as scientists, cosmonauts AND students coming from different parts of the world to pay their final tribute to the Starmus Festival organized by the genial astrophysicist Dr Garik Israelian. When we entered the hall we perceived a magic atmosphere. It was one of those moments in life when you understand you're part of an event which will go down in history.
The show in itself was a real blast, over 2 hours of excellent music and strong emotions plus some great moments on stage. Among the highlights there was the song dedicated to the Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov and the short speech he made; Brian trading solos with the Tangerine Dream guitarist Bernhard Beibl, a fantastic version of "Last Horizon" with Hoshiko Yamane on violin, the amazing flute playing of Linda Spa duetting with Brian on "Sally's Garden" plus some intense improvising between Edgar and Brian, perfectly in tune with each other and greatly supported by the whole band.
"Brighton Rock" delivered a big thrill in the audience but the final climax that made everyone jump on their feet was reached with "We Will Rock You" with the audience and Brian on vocals, Iris Camaa on drums, Thorsten Quaeschning on percussion and Edgar and Linda clapping hands.
The concert in the end seemed to be too short, those two hours ran so quickly. At the end of the day one can only hope this won't be a one-off event. The show was so cool, fascinating and experimental that it would be great to see Brian and Tangerine Dream working together again one day.
Review by Elias Vecchio, with thanks to Raffa Rolla.
Elias with Tangerine Dream's Edgar Froese.