TEN YEARS AFTER 2007 -  "40th Anniversary Tour"
  20. Januar - Kaue Gelsenkirchen,    21. Januar - Zollhaus Leer


This started off as an extraordinary event as our good friend Reinhard offered to drive us door to door to this concert, in exchange buying all of us advance tickets.
We left the house at 6:00 and made it to the venue at 8:15, our friend Anita from Berlin was waiting for us at the door, and we were immediately escorted upstairs to the backstage area. Brigitte and Reinhard took to the concert floor to check out the action in the venue's main area. I stayed with the band as we watched some interesting music dvd's together and discussed different artists.
As Ric entered I made my exit to let the band get ready.
Outside the room I met Chicks daughter Amelia and her husband Gianni, the last time we were together was in Osnabruck, Germany a few years ago, so the whole event started off with close friends and a family gathering feeling. Positive vibrations for everyone.

The set list was pretty much the same as the night before and the audience energy was just as high, strong and damn powerful. There was an opening band who were good and loud, and Ten Years After hit the stage right on time. In the past the members would follow each other out in single file order, but now there is a pre-recorded music introduction and the members walk on stage from different directions and assume their respective playing positions. It's all very professional looking and the audience really shows respect for the band in no uncertain terms. Not just applause because it's the legendary Ten Years After but it's now reached an even higher level in the form of respect and admiration for the entire quartet.

Everyone is on their feet and giving up a massive dose of volume and generous bravo with all the clapping, whistles and cheering that you'd expect, but it's the duration and heightened excitement level that became so obvious.
As I look around everyone is getting into the music and every eye was focused upon the stage, watching these four sages hard at work and weaving their hour and a half of brilliant magic.

It's no longer "Joe who?" It's "lets go see Ten Years After and say hello to Joe, Leo, Chick and Ric after the show". The audience has understandably come to know TYA - NOW, and the consensus is overwhelming, that roughly two thirds of the audience have seen TYA live on stage in the last three years and the rest in attendance are there from the word of mouth of others or the incentive from the new TYA recordings that they've had access to. The band is now familiar to them once again, they're accepted and welcomed by these fans!
How do we know that's the reality of the situation? The body language of the fans says quite a lot, their focused attention to the stage is another, their long applause and loud excitement rings true - and most of all, we listen to the fans, before, during and after the show. In German and in English, this is what the fans are communicating to us:
"I wanted to learn to play guitar, take lessons and become an accomplished player, but after seeing Joe play tonight I think I'll hang up my guitar and put my playing ambitions on hold for a few more years". From Ralf Langenscheid he states the following: "I took my son with me and now he is a huge fan of Joe and now tries to imitate the high energy and technique that Joe displays", at home he now "tortures" his guitar relentlessly.

The "NOW" in Ten Years After means progressive straight ahead rock and roll, fresh and modern. It represents a band satisfying themselves and their fans in unison.

The overall consensus from the members of the audience, during these two back to back concerts that we've attended voice the same opinion and comments repeatedly - Leo Lyons is the star of the show where frantic high energy bass playing is concerned. At sixty something he's a balls to the wall rocker, and make no mistake about it - it ain't no showbiz fluff folks, the man pours his heart and soul out in every performance.

The night before, while I was busy writing down each and every song of their set, Leo stepped up to the microphone an announced in front of the entire audience "Hey Dave it's spelled "H-O-B-B-I-T" and later on during the introduction to "I'd Love To Change The World" he said "what year was that Dave" 1971 Mr. Lyons - such good fun. Then Leo put is foot on the monitor right in front of me and I pretended to polish it for him - pass the water bottles, hand out the towels and shine the boots, all in an evenings work!

I'd also like to add my personal feelings as I was watching Leo on stage.
I remember a few years ago now sitting backstage with Leo and the band in Twist, Germany and I respectfully asked / confronted him with the following question - that went something like this:
Leo, you've been a huge star with a legendary track record (Woodstock - Isle Of Wight - Texas International Pop Festival ) and now here you are in Twist, Joe's second gig and you're starting all over again….I have no doubt that you have what it takes to make it as that's been proven-and this is where I to choke up in the asking - but I just needed to know and hear it from him) … Leo, are you really committed to do this all over again? To start from scratch, from point zero? To fight your way back, to recover and repair the tarnished reputation that Ten Years After had become over the years due to the passage of time and involuntary neglect?
His answer was kind and direct, yes he answered whatever it takes we'll get through it and we'll see what happens from there, this is just a stepping stone and we'll do the best we can.
So, as I'm sitting on the sidelines and I feel immense pride just watching him. From the Blues Garage backing up Carvin Jones to Twist (twice) endless touring again and now here in Gelsenkirchen - the man is in his glory. Having known the adversity he has seen and had to overcome along with the constant behind the scenes mayhem, the man has shown endless class and valour under battle conditions!
"A plank of wood with strings" is how he describes his bass guitar, it's a special tool that has served him very well over all these years, but now it's also used as a weapon to slay the nay-sayers, the non-believers and the pun dents who tried to stand in his way.
So why so emotional on my part? The man is happy and doing things his way now.
Because to me Leo Lyons is like the Gandhi of rock and roll - a weeping willow tree blowing in the wind, taking adversity and disappointment, turning it around and making something positive out of it. Inaction is sometimes the right action to take. Wait and see sometimes is better than reacting, and taking baby steps gets you further in the long run.

Leo has been an excellent mentor and I am very grateful.

Ric did an excellent job on his Hobbit solo as usual and the audience loved it all.
Joe was in good form on every number, he covers all the bases with top notch style and quality. He never looks bored, tired, uninspired or lackadaisical. This my friends is Ten Years After as it should be, alive and well in spirit, healthy in heart and soul and eager to play in front of an appreciative audience.

Chick, is  Chick - the most underrated keyboard player, overlooked talent and always the quietest member of the band - then or now. While spending time with his daughter Amelia, she told me how her father never cesses to amaze and inspire her, as she herself plays piano. Watching him perform on stage is always an event to treasure and behold. As she and her husband Gianni took positions in front of the stage, with Brigitte and Anita, I was sitting stage left with two men sitting in wheelchairs and watching Chick from the side-lines. 

God Bless You Mr. Churchill.


After The Concert:
The band members were swamped with autograph request, on posters, albums, ladies legs, people's backs and cd covers. Our little tribe re-grouped and compared notes and had a quick drink. Got a chance to talk to Leo who was waiting by the back door for a ride back to the hotel, we discussed Woodstock, he said it was just another gig and they had no idea that it would be as big as it was…don't drink the water, no food to be had and after the rain the entire stage was puddles of water and electric sparks were ramped and steam was rising from the bodies in the audience.
I ask him what he thought of playing before half a million people, his reply was he just played like any other gig……but after the gig the band and everyone else were trapped there…..and once back to his hotel room - there was no room to go to, seems someone gave his room away.

Back to this concert:
Ric was taking care of business as usual.
Joe was still meeting and greeting the fans and Chick was visiting with Amelia and her husband. Chick the proud grandparent of four grand-children, just to give you a reality check and put it into perspective for you.
Leo's son Tom and sound engineer, driver and confidant extraordinaire Wolfie were running around like cats on a hot tin roof to get everything done and in order.
There may be more equipment to handle these days, but all hands were on deck. They all packed moved and loaded everything up post-haste. How quick you may ask - forty five minutes, from the end of the concert to the truck driving off into the heart of the darkness.

In Conclusion:
Both audiences in Melle and Gelsenkirchen were loud and over exuberant. The familiarity factor, with the material and the band is now on a phenomenal level. Joe's leadership of the band is now second nature.

Keep Rocking On Ten Years After!!!













Wir bedanken uns bei Anita Ranisch und Reinhard Pieper:

"Thank you for everything that words can't explain"