Thadd Grimm was Atomic Opera’s tour manager on the Dio “Strange Highways” tour. This is his review of the Atomic Opera 20 Years Later Reunion Concert. It was forwarded in a text.
A friend asked how the show was last night so I thought a bit and told him.
Yeah it was really good. It was the best I have seen and heard those songs performed—and they were always performed perfectly before. The band was solid, tight and made it look effortless. Their vocal harmonies were more explosive and grabbing than ever. They performed some songs for the first time since they were recorded in the studio. Someone said that my favorite song (Rain Parade) is the number one AO song on Spotify.)
It was a great reunion too. Dane Sonnier (one of the original members of the Galactic Cowboys) opened with some awesome acoustic solo stuff. Dug Pinnick of Kings X was there showing his support, thrashing around in the heavy grooves at the front of the stage with the young and old, some who had never seen the band play before crowded at the front of the stage with long time seasoned supporters.
They were truly an atomic opera tonight and the best one I had ever heard. The drummer Mark Poindexter had not played drums at all in 20 years. He doesn’t even own a drum set. Jonathan’s brother Ethan set up his drums for him to play. He was amazing—pounding out those hypnotic grooves seemingly effortlessly but not without a powerful constant steady drive confidently commanding every beat, crash and rest. Jonathan was shredding those rhythms with precise and dedicated deliberate attack and Jonas was handily hammering out the strong deep overpowering bass foundation with the occasional epic cameo solo, while Frank was pouring his heart and soul into every melodic vocal delivery—each note dead on, and his leads were grabbing me taking me for a roller coaster ride of finely honed musical bliss—like Christmas every day in a place where all good things never come to an end.
I’ve always thought that going to an AO show was like going to a magic show and wondering how they do it. How do these 4 guys make this complex captivating melodic bliss appear? I still don’t know but it was the best magic show I’ve ever been to.
It was amazing.
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