Primal Fear -- New York, NY -- September 12th, 2009
First of all - Holy fucking shit, this was a great show.
Primal Fear have been one of those bands I have liked for quite a few years now but figured there was no way I was ever going to actually see them without traveling a good bit, so when they announced this show, I knew right away it was one of those absolutely "can't miss" shows. Due to financial problems the trip came into jeopardy and we didn't buy our tickets until a few days ago, but still, there was excitement in the air. We left from Allentown, PA around 2pm, and made great time getting into the city despite the shitty rainy weather. We parked about a block away from where we thought the venue was but actually it was about 5 blocks further, but hey, I got some needed exercise. We got down to the venue around 4:30, just in time to see Ralf Scheepers walk by us and inside. I flipped him the horns and he did the same back, I didn't bother to stop him though. We were the first people there, and remained 3 of the only 10 or so people there until about 45 minutes before doors, when a small line formed. Doors opened around 7:10.
So, people slowly started to file in, and the first band, Martyrd went on around around 8. Not terrible, a bit of old school traditional/thrash worship (really big old Metallica tendancies), but it just sounded so juvenile, like you could tell it was a bunch of kids. After a 30 minute set, they gave way to Arctic Flame, who I've seen a few times and played with as well. Not bad, solid but not noteworthy traditional metal, relatively fun stuff, but I could've done without a 47-minute set. Fortunately it was only a short changeover before Primal Fear came on.
Following a solid PA intro and some anticipation, the band blasted into "Under the Radar", from which point they didn't dare look back. This show is nearly impossible to select highlights, considering nearly every song was absolutely fantastic. The band/venue had really good sound which added to experience, and all the band members have fantastic stage presence, especially hired-gun Alex Beyrodt of Silent Force. I can't say enough how I underestimated Ralf Scheepers as a live vocalist and front-man. I have never heard someone not only nail every high note and scream, but add them everywhere and just totally command them. Holy shit his voice just pierces the air. The duet version of "Fighting the Darkness" with Pamela Moore was really cool, and the dueling guitar solo between Henny and Alex was fantastic. If I really had to try to nail down highlights, I'd go with "Sign of Fear", "Nuclear Fire", 'Angel in Black", and "Final Embrace", but I should also give note to how cool "Hands of Time" was - seeing the band come out for the encore and just strip it down to a mostly acoustic song which just allowed the audience to participate and really gave everyone something remember. They said it was by far their favorite show of the dates in North America, which I can believe as it looked like they were having an absolute blast, and played their fucking asses off. At the end of the show Mat Sinner handed me his wristband and I was able to get a set list as well.
All in all an absolutely fantastic show, a possible contender for my all-time top 10, we'll see. Fortunately the band promised they'd be back next year, so we'll get another go and all the people who missed out can see what they missed.
01.Under the Radar
02.Battalions of Hate
05.16.6 (Six Times Dead)
06.Angel In Black
08.Sign of Fear
09.Fighting the Darkness
10.Riding the Eagle
12.Metal Is Forever
13.Hands of Time