Jeff Lynne's ELO, 2016 review: Oberhausen, Germany


Perfect blend of light and sound
Jeff Lynne's ELO delivered a gigantic show in the König Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen.
Report from 05.05.2016 in Oberhausen, König Pilsener Arena
By Erik Winkes, published on 05.06.2016

After eternally long years of absence, Jeff Lynne returns to the stage and presents itself and the sound of ELO in a perfect blend. Each song is celebrated with a private photo, video concept and arrangement and frenetically celebrated by the audience.

To kick off the memorable concert evening is the English band "The Feeling" playing as an opener. The soft-rockers from London proves quickly that they also can inspire in such a large arena.

Especially singer Dan Gillespie Sells shows that he has a great voice. In "Never Be Lonely" he holds a tone forever long and then leaves the audience to sing the chorus. With the crack of guitar sound and bell-clear voice "The Feeling" are a great match.

The appearance of Jeff Lynne's ELO is opened by a video animation of space. This should prove to be a hallmark of the show: Each song is as unique as a planet of its own. Every song gets a perfectly matched mix of video sequences, grandiose pop melodies and a specially tuned out lighting concept. So shine the songs of "The Electric Light Orchestra" in a new light. They played mainly the songs from the 1970s, with a particular focus on the albums "a new world record" of 1976 and "Out Of The Blue" of 1977.

The band around Jeff Lynne, who plays one of the guitars himself (Jeff Lynne repeatedly changes the guitar!), is the front of an electric guitarist (Milton McDonald), a second guitarist (Mike Stevens), and a bass player (Lee Pomeroy). In between is a pianist (Richard Tandy) and on each sides plays a keyboardist (Bernie Smith & Marcus Burne). Rear left of the drums (Donavan Hepburn) are a background singer (Melanie Lewis McDonald) and a backing vocalist (Iain Hornal). Rights sit three elegantly dressed ladies, two with chellos (Amy Langley & Jess Cox) and a violinist (Rosie Langley). Through these many components that set all different emphases, result in fantastic mixtures.

The opening song "Tightrope" with its painted under the Starflight intro transforms the passenger directly in an enthusiastic standing room zone. With "Evil Woman" it breaks then the spectators on the seat ranks at the side of the seats. It quickly becomes clear which songs are the highlights of the audience. Especially the faster, more rocking songs like "Turn To Stone" make for great excitement. The completely bathed in red light stage lights a fire and the whole room goes with.

With "Showdown" wich is short and a little slower, but no less awesome. Now ignite the perfect combination of strings and guitar sound, the hallmark of "The Electric Light Orchestra". the song is crowned by a spectacular guitar solo at the end. One of the few songs from the 1980s, "All Over The World" from the 1980 released album "Xanadu". The audience claps to the rhythm and celebrating the song with frenetic applause.

"When I Was a Boy" is a real cuddly ballad. In the past, fans would have brought out their lighters, today smartphones are unsheathed -. However, significantly less than usual You can tell that a lot of older viewers are in the hall who want to experience a trip in their youth. It's the only song of the night from the current album "Alone In The Universe".

The next classic "Livin 'Thing" will be opened by the violinist. She is now in front Spotlight and plays a solo intro. Again, there is a fantastic blend of light and sound, from which the public can be infected. With "Strange Magic" there are sounds for dreaming. Rear shines the moon on the video wall. Front Jeff Lynne plays on the acoustic guitar and singing alternately with the background singer.

It remains difficult to pick a single highlight out from all these great songs, but "Rockaria!" is definitely one of them, driven rock sound from the fast up-tempo the seat ranks jump high and the whole audience clapping in rhythm. Rear sings the background vocals almost operatic as a contrast to the thunderous rock sound of the guitars, which are again blown up properly for spectacular finale at the end.

The "10538 Overture", however, is almost normal, as well as "Secret Messages", each with a short solo of electric guitar and the keyboard. The wild flow of energy, which is ignited by the animation on the stage floor, is the perfect booster for "Shine A Little Love". Fast falls a bit out of the ordinary "Wild West Hero". Rear run pictures of lone prairie with mountains and desert. For this, the band plays as if at any moment the lone cowboy might appear through the prairie with his ride. The interplay of all components is an impressive work of art.

The flamboyant tones from the keyboardist simulate sounds of a phone and add sound as "Telephone Line". It is the prelude to the next highlight "Turn To Stone". Again the ranks already jump up the intro and celebrate the fast rock number frenetically. Strings, guitars and keyboards alternate permanently in their presence and emphasis on and so result in continually new combinations. The perfect harmony of all sound groups. At the end of firing Jeff Lynne and his side guitarist center stage with the acoustic guitar the song to a grand final high.

Now nobody remains seated. For "Don't Bring Me Down" the hall clapping with the rhythm of the band in the high-speed pace. Even "Sweet Talkin 'Woman" is celebrated standing. For "Mr. Blue Sky" Jeff Lynne changes to black electric guitar and rocking the hall, while the back once again shines the background singer. This is the end of the main block. The whole band comes forward and share a Groupselfie the raging hall is shot in the background.

Nothing is more characteristic of Beethoven as these four tones. The violinist true tones and it follows a long encore still "Roll Over Beethoven". Rear the disk rotates as once on the Wurlitzer, while the hall rages and screams. It is the last outburst and the moment is gilded with this cracking, rocking up-tempo song. A dignified, approximately six-minute finale of a concert evening.

Much to criticize there is not this evening. Clear the German fans had an equally long setlist as in some performances in England desired, in which Jeff Lynne's ELO have often played two more songs. But ultimately, the impression remains of a grandiose show on the many fans had to wait decades. A large, unique concert evening, a real experience.


Introduction Theme
Evil Woman
All Over the World
When I Was a Boy
Livin' Thing
Strange Magic
10538 Overture
Secret Messages
Shine a Little Love
(followed by Introduction of the Band)
Wild West Hero
Telephone Line
Turn to Stone
Don't Bring Me Down
Sweet Talkin' Woman
Mr. Blue Sky
Roll Over Beethoven
(Chuck Berry cover)