Primal Fear -- New York, NY -- May 20th, 2010
Whew, as usual - so much to report. My second time seeing Primal Fear (at this venue nonetheless!) and they didn't disappoint. The band were in fine form for their show - which unfortunately seemed too short. I found out later that they cut their first encore, which would've made for a naturally longer show - but still, great nonetheless. As usual, the full story/review:
We left from here (Allentown, PA - generally) a little late - didn't get on the highway until about 2:45 but made really good time getting to the general vicinity of the city - got stuck in tunnel traffic for way too long but that's pretty much par for the course. Once in Manhattan we had virtually no trouble whatsoever getting down to the Blender Theater. I'd say we arrived around 5pm on the nose. We had contacted the one local support band and were able to nab discounted tickets from their guitarist - saving a combined total of about $40 across all 3 tickets. In addition to that we had been in contact with their tour manager who was cool enough to hook us up with some sweet VIP passes - we got to get inside the venue at like 5:30 (Doors were at 7) - and watch Primal Fear's set-up and sound check. So in reality I got to see "Fighting the Darkness" twice and "Hands of Time" even though they didn't play it during the actual show.
Actual doors opened around 7 and we got down to the front (and center) and just waited it out. There were two support bands - local support DesDemon and tour support Havok. Neither were particularly my cup of tea but I thought both bands were good at what they did - and neither was much of a bother to stand through. Props to Havok for actually being somewhat authentic true classic thrash - at least from my perspective.
Primal Fear came on around 9:30, and as expected it was a ridiculously awesome and super-metal affair. The band teased the audience with a taped intro of "Under the Radar" before firing into their once-show-closer "Final Embrace". The next 80 minutes were fantastic - sound this time was a bit inferior to the previous time I had seen them, but it was opening night of the tour - technical glitches seemed almost inevitable. What's important is that the band put on a suburb performance. The audience wasn't too much of a bother - save for one really drunk asshole. Aside from that it was a great and very fun experience. The band dedicated "Fighting the Darkness" to the late, great Ronnie James Dio - which kind of put a new spin on the lyrics. The crowd broke out into 2 or 3 "DIO! DIO!" chants throughout the night, and I have to admit, everytime I threw the horns (which was a TON) I kinda thought about it - sad, but inspirational in a sense as well.
The band didn't change up their setlist as much as I had hoped, and the show could've been longer but overall I am not complaining. They still turned in a 10/10 performance that was worth every penny. Alex Beyrodt handed me a pick for yelling "Silent Force!" when they introduced him, which was fucking sweet. The band's encore was a rousing rendition of the Priest classic "Metal Gods" - complete with a guest appearance from Halford guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak. Though I have been pretty outspoken of my lack of interest in Priest, it was a fun end to a great show.
Six Times Dead
Angel in Black
Seven Seals (feat. Pamela Moore)
Sign of Fear
Fighting the Darkness (Dedicated to RJD) (feat. Pamela Moore)
Riding the Eagle
Running in the Dust
Band Jam / Introductions
Metal is Forever
Metal Gods (Judas Priest cover) (feat. "Metal" Mike Chlasciak)
The band's first encore was supposed to be "Hands of Time" (acoustic) and their classic "Chainbreaker" - but they apparently decided to cut them. I thought it was a curfew issue - but I can't be sure.
After the show we were lucky enough to get to hang out downstairs and meet the guys in the band - which varied as far as friendliness goes. Ralf Scheepers and Alex Beyrodt were the two nicest of the bunch - Alex and I talked about Silent Force, Voodoo Circle, and various US and European festivals. Probably one of the nicest dudes I've met as far as being talkative and friendly goes - he and Ralf did IDs for my radio show. Mat Sinner was kinda iffy, but I actually expected him to be moodier than he was. He was still cool enough to smile for pictures and sign a couple of booklets, but I wasn't going to tie him up. I also talked to Metal Mike a bit about Halford's upcoming US touring plans - he said that there may very well be some warm up shows and off-dates at smaller scale venues, but he can't promise anything. Good news indeed.
So - all in all another stupendous night of true metal from what I consider one of the best live bands on the planet. They have a full US tour ahead of them. If you're considering going - don't consider - GO!!!
Pictures to follow.