Primal Fear, Circle Ii Circle and more at Sticky Fingers (2010)

Sticky Fingers (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Primal Fear, Circle Ii Circle, Marya Roxx
Mid-week concerts are a little bit tricky, you never know how big a crowd will […]
By Erika Walberg
October 6, 2010

Mid-week concerts are a little bit tricky, you never know how big a crowd will turn up. Unfortunately it seem way too important for common people to be able to drink while watching bands and having to get up early after a wet night and go to work isn't the most fun thing to do.

It didn't look very promising when MARYA ROXX entered the stage, there were a few people standing on a safe distance from the stage, the rest hanging out in the bar. It can't be too much fun for a band to play for an empty house but Marya and her band kicked it hard from the start. Her Avril Lavigne styled attitude perhaps didn't suit the PRIMAL FEAR crowd like a glove but people were at least looking at each other and nodding in an approving way. The relief with MARYA ROXX was that it wasn't about sex appeal, that's a very easy way to go when you have a little hot chick in the front but even if Marya used her looks the feeling was still all about the music. I couldn't but join in in the nodding motion, this was a pleasant start of this Wednesday concert. A little post-Grunge, filth-Rock with the drive that BLACK LABEL SOCIETY have on their fast songs. Unfortunately, the music tended to turn over to Punk sometimes on the faster tracks. Then what Marya lacked in vocal capacity, strength that is, she made up for in attitude. The choices made for the setlist was also quite interesting, apart from a few of their own songs they choose to cover Swedish cross over titans, CLAWFINGER. Not the most common type of song for a tiny girl to sing, but absolutely done with grace. To cover PHANTOM BLUE (R.I.P Michelle Meldrum) came as a huge surprise. They are a truly underrated band and a complete opposite to the first but one that also worked perfect for this outfit. All in all a good performance but I don't think this was the best place for this California bunch to be to get their name out.

MARYA ROXX setlist:

  1. "Payback Time"
  2. "Oh Yeah"
  3. "Nothing Going On" (CLAWFINGER)
  4. "Time to Run" (PHANTOM BLUE)
  5. "Boneyard"
  6. "Loverboy"
  7. "Rebel"

To be frank, the stage at Sticky Fingers isn't made for double backlines, that's for sure. Both MARYA ROXX and CIRCLE II CIRCLE had about a foot to play on in front of the drums and the areas on each side didn't allow much of a movement either. That combined with the absolute lack of lights pointing on the stage made the stage show for CIRCLE II CIRCLE's performance non-existent. It's a little bit of a shame that when this band made it to Sweden after almost a decade as a band they don't have a chance to show what they really can do. Zak Stevens did what he could and I must say I was really pleasantly surprised with his attitude towards the sparse crowded place. With an attitude like this he managed to lure the people away from the bar and out to the floor. For the ones who have followed Zak since his days in SAVATAGE are fully aware of his life after that band and that he's managed to create high quality US Metal with his new band. The thing though, CIRCLE II CIRCLE has never gotten any publicity up here in the north so most people were unaware of what was going on. Very unfortunate I think because they deserve more recognition than they've gotten over the years. Of course, parts of the crowd was only waiting for Zak to announce they were going back in time and do some SAVATAGE tunes and of course he did. The choices made were great!

"Taunting Cobras" was perhaps not the biggest surprise but I could have bet on Edge Of Thorns before Conversation Piece. Since the concert just about a week after CIRCLE II CIRCLE's 5th release, "Consequence Of Power" none of those songs really has settled for me. After the few spins the album spun at home prior to the concert it felt a little messy but the songs made a lot more sense live. The album has some to wish for when it comes to production so the sound was actually better live. Afterward it was easier to take in the album as well. Then even if I appreciated this performance it's not fair to judge by it, this band is capable of so much more than they had the chance to do here. I can't even express my disappointment when they announced they had to cut their set short this evening. No reason for that was given for this but I suppose it had to do something with the curfew. But on what we got, Zak sounded incredible. His vocal range is astonishing and I can't understand for my life why people look past this band as well as SAVATAGE. The biggest surprise of all though was guitarist Andrew Lee's behavior on stage. When I've seen then on previous occasions he has managed to show off his amazing skills as a guitar player but always looked a little frightened or even angry in his corner. Now he took the stage (oh well, his tiny corner of it) by storm, rocked and headbanged like hell. He looked like a rockstar, a real guitar hero!


  1. Intro
  2. "Consequense Of Power"
  3. "Take Back Yesterday"
  4. "Out Of Nowhere"
  5. "Revelations"
  6. "Blood Of An Angel"
  7. "Episodes Of Manic"
  8. "So Many Reasons"
  9. "Taunting Cobras" (SAVATAGE)
  10. "Conversation Piece" (SAVATAGE)

A bit after nine it was time for some real screaming. It's fascinating how someone can go on like Ralf Scheepers do for four weeks and still be able to talk, let alone sing. But damn he did! PRIMAL FEAR always sounds amazing live though but on previous occasions their live performance has been kind of dull. Ralf has done his moves but without any real devotion or almost no connection with the crowd. I didn't expect much more of this concert either; especially since a half full venue can be a turn off for a band. There was a bunch coming in during the end of CIRCLE II CIRCLE though so even if the floor was anything but packed there were at least not huge gaps between the heads anymore. But damn, I love to be proven wrong. It felt like a completely different band on stage this time, vibrant and excited they did all that was possible to get everyone at Sticky Fingers moving. Ralf seemed really happy despite the sparse crowd and really interacted with the crowd in a world class way. That was absolutely new for me with PRIMAL FEAR.

So, with this they climbed severely on the scale of favorite live bands. The absolutely strongest moment of the concert though was when bass player Matt Sinner asked the crowd to join in 10 silent seconds to honor Steve Lee from GOTTHARD who lost his life in a motorcycle accident the day prior to the concert. It's really mighty when all join in, when the place gets really silent. Even if it's just a small place it sent shivers down my spine. To follow it all up with amazingly strong "Fighting The Darkness" almost made me cry. It's amazing how great everything sounded. Ok, the sound is normally good in this venue but as crisp and clear as this I don't think I've ever experienced. The only think to bitch about is perhaps the drum solo. Sure, Randy Black is one of the best Metal Drummers at this day drum solos still feel like a bad excuse for the band to rest (yes, I begrudge the band the possibility to relax for a while)… But ok, Randy in action is nice and it actually was a quite nice drum solo. The concert lasted just under 90 minutes, an hour and a half that was over too fast. Everything sounded amazing and with the same prerequisites the new songs fitted right in to the set. Looking at the overall picture it was a perfect setup, all of it. PRIMAL FEAR played a few new ones, which sounded a lot more like the rest of their material live, especially the songs from "16.6" which has a very modern and stompy production. Absolutely the best PRIMAL FEAR concert I've ever seen.

PRIMAL FEAR setlist:

  1. Intro
  2. "Sign Of Fear"
  3. "Chainbreaker"
  4. "Rollercoaster"
  5. "Seven Seals"
  6. "Nuclear Fire"
  7. "Six Times Dead"
  8. Drum solo
  9. "Riding the Eagle"
  10. "Fighting the Darkness"
  11. "Jaws Of Death"
  12. "Final Embrace"
  13. "Metal Is Forever"
  14. "Angel In Black"
  15. "Running In The Dust"

(photos by Angel In Black Erika)




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