Sunday night and the Underworld was sold out for Teutonic rock. Releasing their debut over two decades ago, openers Mad Max finally played their first London date and delivered crunching melodic rock somewhere between Def Leppard and Scorpions. Fronted by MSG’s Michael Voss, they had a neat, crystal clear sound, and songs such as Fallen From Grace and Loved Loaded packed a punch. Guitarist Axel Rudi Pell makes no attempt to hide his influences, Ritchie Blackmore leading the way on opener Ghost In The Black.
Used to playing larger stages, one of the biggest drum kits since Cozy Powell’s day was deployed, so that keyboardist Fredy Doernberg was in the photographer’s pit! Star of the night was singer Johnny Gioeli, with his wide vocal range. Mystica segued into Deep Purple’s Mistreated, and the title track from the new album, Circle Of The Oath, and Carousel, were majestic epics featuring exquisite fretwork. A raging-thunder drum solo from Mike Terrana closed with the bang of a gong, Pell and his band rocking through a great set of neo-classical rock, proving that there really is gold at the end of the Rainbow.