4. Martin and Martin (and Magnus!)

Martin Axenrot, Martin Mendez, Magnus Johansen

Martin Axenrot (drums) and Martin Mendez (bass) from Opeth with Magnus Johansen on keyboards rehearsing before a concert with Jon Lord in the Nidaros Cathedral 2010

Quite a few of the pieces performed at the concert featured a rock band based rhythm section and modern keyboards in addition to the chamber orchestra and Jon Lord’s grand piano – and the occasional use of his trademark Hammond organ.
For this one concert, the rhythm section was a very special one: Bassist Martin Mendez and drummer Martin Axenrot from the Swedish prog-metal band Opeth – a band that is quite an institution by themselves by now. Indeed, I was told that several young girls were starstruck as they saw Martin Mendez relaxing outside the cathedral after one of the earlier rehearsals.

Fabulous musicians, both of them, they certainly helped assuring the classical/rock fusion numbers became really groovy.

Magnus Johansen on keyboards were added at the suggestion of Jon himself. Magnus is the son of Knut Morten Johansen, Joss amongst friends – the main man responsible for luring Jon Lord to play in Trondheim in the first place. Jon saw it fitting that Magnus got the chance to join him on stage for this concert. “I’ve known him since he was the size of my shoe”, he claimed during the concert.

I’m afraid I didn’t text my photos well enough back when I still remembered everything, so I’m not positively sure which number they were rehearsing here, but I think it was either The Telemann Experiment or Bourée. Quite possibly the latter.

Photographically speaking, it’s quite amazing how Magnus’ face seems to peep out through a dent in the column in the old cathedral.


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