We're two Sagafanatics from Stockholm, Sweden, that made the trip to Herning, Denmark by car (it's about 1400 km roundtrip, including a 3 hour ferryride). We had booked some tickets in ahead for the gig, but we knew nothing about the place, the size of it etc.
We had underestimated the time for the Denmark-part of the ride, so we entered the little community (approx. 30000 citizens?) about 20.30, the gig was announced to start 21.00. After some searching we found the place, and entered it about 20.50...perfect timing! (:
As we were walking around, trying to find the place, we saw some SAGA posters with a (for us) peculiar detail. Beneath the name, in brackets, was "Canada" written. After the gig we were told that this place "Fermaten" usually houses cover-bands. A couple of months earlier a band called "Oasis" had played at Fermaten, and lots of people had showed up thinking it was the "real" Oasis playing. So, to avoid letting people believe it was just another cover-band, they wrote Canada to state that it was the real thing happening.
I've seen Saga live 6-7 times I think, but I've never seen them play in a place this small, not even close. It's hard to estimate, but the "stage" must have been about 3 * 5 meters! You can guess they have had problems getting all the equipment on the stage, and still leave a spot for Sadler to move in, but all the usual stuff were there.
The stage was about 0,5 meter high, so we sat on chairs with our feet right on the stage, about 2-3 meters from Sadler and Ian.
The audience was counted 54 persons (4 of them arrived too late!!), we got that number confirmed afterwards by Nicole, Steve Negus' wife-to-be. I think the majority of the people were just local normally music-interested people, not "real" Sagafans. And there were us, and another guy that also took some pictures like we did.
The band came on at about 21.20. They ran the ususal G13 intro tape, and I think the setlist was about exactly the same as the one presented from Tilburg, and very similar to the one in Stockholm and Malmoe last fall.
I think the band, and especially Sadler, should have great credits for their way of handling the situation with such a small audience. His first words to the audience were "Wow, this is like playing in our living room!". But they are really professional musicians, they played as if there had been a 20000 people audience listening. Sadler said something about making the most of the evening, no matter how many were there etc., and the rest of the gig had that spirit. In the "break" they usually do in The Flyer, he thought we should get to know each other, so he stepped out on the floor (not a very large step) and introduced himself with us, and a couple of others (-:
They played almost flawlessly as usual, and I was especially impressed by their tightness in The Pitchman. It was quite funny in the encore, they went out in the back of the stage and one thought they had some room back there, but afterwards we found out they must actually had stepped out in the cold night a few minutes (-:
After the gig, we tried to get to chat with the band, and we even got in the room, but were kicked out by some local Danish manager. :-( Then we waited outside the room for about 45 minutes, and then the band and roadies dropped out in pairs/groups. We got a short chat with Ian, and he signed some albums. He said that his new album will be harder than the last, and he has replaced all the other musicians. It is about half-done and will probably be released early next year. We got the feeling that he wasn't really satisfied with album #1, and that #2 would be a whole lot better, in his own opinion.
Ian also apologized for the Stockholm gig -95...
Sadler said hello too, he is really a nice person. To the question concerning another album, Mr Sadler mumbled something like: 20:th anniversary...something special...interesting..., you'll see...
Jonatan Lindell and Fredrik Huss