PRIMAL FEAR - Breaking Rules In The Big Apple: Live!

April 29, 2016, 2 years ago

Mark Gromen

gallery heavy metal primal fear

Second night of a month long North American tour, their largest undertaking on these shores, to date, Stage 48 hosted the Metal Commandos who offered five songs off Rulebreaker, a handful of classics and a surprise or two during their 70 minutes onstage. Guitarist Alex Beyrodt is the first to stroll onstage, eventually joined by the rest of his bandmates, including the bearded Ralf Scheepers. The singer looks like a muscular version of Star Trek captain Jean Luc Picard. Apart from the beak/eyes close-up of the raven that adorns the new album cover, glaring down from the video screen behind the band, this is a no-frills, just plug in & play, metal show. "Final Embrace" kicks things off, lefty guitarist Tom Naumann (he of the blond, gelled Mohawk) sports a Cheshire grin, as Beyrodt lays down a fierce opening run.

Scheepers is in ripped, sleeveless shirt, allowing his bulging biceps and Primal Fear tattoo to be visible, while bassist/backing vocalist Matt Sinner remained in leather jacket (crucifix dangling from his neck) throughout. "In Metal We Trust" is bathed in a full spectrum of color, while "Angel In Black", an early fan favorite, adds a couple of extra hundred voices to the mix.

Sipping a glass of red wine beforehand, Sinner informed me that the guys were fighting jet lag. Doubtful that had anything to do with Naumann laying his head on the bassist's shoulder, during the red & yellow lit "Rulebreaker". Thunderous intro to "Sign Of Fear", the stage blue. With pulsating green streaks everywhere, as Scheepers' shrieks rival Halford's highest register. The crowd might not have been the biggest, but they screamed after each song. The ballad "The Sky Is Burning" calms things down, Matt & Tom on backing vocals. It's back to top gear speed and histrionics for "Nuclear Fire", white search lights cross the blue stage, as Scheepers falls to one knee and Naumann fingers some hammer-ons.

"Angel Of Mercy" adds some gold highlights to the omnipresent blue/white lighting. Scheepers rhythmically pumps his fist, in time to the music, as they segue directly into the mechanized, industrial leaning "The End is Near". Cannonading, drum triggers introduce "When Death Comes Knocking", fuchsia lights, with yellow streaks, begins the culminating greatest hits portion of the set. "Chainbreaker" is enveloped in wayward scanning lights, like a dozen grand opening beacons, streaming skyward in every direction. At one point all four non-drumming members are sandwiched together, side-by-side, at the front of the stage. The singer introduces each member of the band, prior to "Metal Is Forever", punctuated by the accented titular chorus, to open. Closing the proper set, in a swirl of red, blue and white, the stage recalls the cover of Tesla's Mechanical Resonance. 

Back for an encore, they (surprisingly!) opt for "Rollercoaster", off Seven Seals. Nice one, wow! The tour runs through May, with Luca Turilli's Rhapsody also part of the touring package. Check 'em out, when they come to town.

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