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Stratovarius Classic Guitar Rocks Fort Worth Texas
Timo Tolkki The Rail Club Live Photos by Andy Laudano

It was a special night at The Rail Club when legendary Finnish guitarist Timo Tolkki played a set of Stratovarius classics backed by local prog metalers, Infidel Rising. Recreating the material of Tolkki's former band, one of the top power metal acts in the world, was not an easy thing to do, but drummer Wayne Stokley (Lillian Axe), Rafael J. Quintana Rivera (guitar), Aaron Walton (keyboards) and Chris Herring (bass) proved they were more than up for the challenge. Vocalist Travis Wills had no easy task either, as Stratovarius' singer Timo Kotipelto is one of the best in the world, but Wills knocked it out of the park.

As for Tolkki himself, he put on the guitar master class that you would expect from someone of his caliber. Together they gave the crowd everything they could want and more. After opening with the classic "Hunting High and Low," the hits kept coming with "Eagleheart," "Paradise" and "4,000 Rainy Nights." Another highlight was when special guest, Brian Dixon of Judas Rising, joined the band to sing the beautiful ballad, "Forever."

A funny moment occurred when Wills was thanking the crowd for coming out to the show in the below 30 degree temperature, only for the Finnish Tolkki to add, "I'm not cold." Another happened when the band, led by Tolkki suddenly started playing Survivor's "Eye of The Tiger," which totally caught Wills off guard as he didn't know all the words.

This amazing show would come to a close with another Stratovarius classic, "Black Diamond." Dixon returned to the stage to trade verses with Wills. If you skipped this show due to the weather, know that you missed something truly special that you will likely never have the chance to see again.

Timo Tolkki
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Infidel Rising
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Author & Photographer: Andy Laudano
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