Friday night the German heavy metal band Primal Fear came to Louisville, Kentucky’s Phoenix Hill Tavern for a great night of metal & mayhem. This date has been on Primal Fear’s schedule for a few months, and I have been anxiously awaiting to see them play live for my very first time. Prior to the show I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Primal Fear’s guitarist Henny Wolter. I will post this on Hard Rock Hideout at a later time.
Denver, Colorado thrashers Havok opened up the show for Primal Fear. This three-piece act dished out classic thrash metal that reminded me of early Metallica & Slayer. They were far better than I expected them to be. Havok did a pretty good job warming up the crowd for Primal Fear. Check them out on myspace.
I was disappointed by the small crowd that turned out for Primal Fear in Louisville, but on this night there were several shows in town, including Fear Factory, which made it tough for Primal Fear to draw a large crowd. A quick look at the license plates in the parking lot, and you could see that fans drove in from all over the United States to catch this show. Even though the audience wasn’t huge, you would have never known it. It sounded like 1,000 people were in the Phoenix Hill Tavern. Everyone was feeding off of the band’s energy, and they were feeding off the crowd.
I knew that Primal Fear was going to be good live, but they far exceed my expectations. Ralf Scheepers is still singing at the top of his game. His range and screams have not diminished in the least. I was totally impressed not only by his vocal performance, but by the whole band in general. During the show, Henny Wolter & Alex Beyrodt did a dueling guitar solo. Alex Beyrodt’s style greatly differs from Henny Wolters, but they are both impressive players, and when they play in unison it is complete metal perfection.
Mat Sinner and Randy Black round out what is one of the best rhythm sections in heavy metal today. Mat does a fine job singing back up to Ralf Scheepers, and Randy Black is an absolute beast on the drum kit.
The set list included the songs: “Six Times Dead (16.6)”, “Riding the Eagle”, “Killbound”, “Fighting the Darkness”, “Running In the Dust”, “Nuclear Fire”, “Seven Seals”, “Battalions of Hate”, “Metal is Forever”.
The unofficial sixth member of Primal Fear, Pamela Moore (Queensryche, Solna) came out and sang on the songs “Seven Seals’, and “Fighting the Darkness”. Ralf Scheepers and Pamela Moore’s voices are completely different, and you would not think their voices would work together. When Pamela sang with Ralf on “Fighting the Darkness” it gave me goose bumps. It was absolutely incredible. Ralf Scheepers dedicated the song to the late, great Ronnie James Dio. It was a fitting tribute indeed.
The band closed out their set with their classic song, “Metal is Forever”. Check it out in the clip below.
After the show, I caught up with Alex Beyrodt, who shared with me that work has begun on the follow-up CD to Voodoo Circle. David Readman recently sent Alex 4 new songs. He is hoping to have the CD completed, and released in November. Alex told me a really cool Ronnie James Dio story that was too good not to share. A few years ago, Sinner opened up for DIO on their European tour. A few years later in 2006, Alex was at the NAMM convention. As he walked up and down the aisles of the convention, he noticed a huge line of fans waiting in line for autographs. He saw that it was Ronnie James Dio and Craig Goldy signing autographs at a table. Ronnie saw Alex out of the corner of his eye, and stopped in the middle of his signing session to walk over and talk to Alex, just to see how he was doing, and talk about their tour together. Alex didn’t expect Ronnie to remember him, and Ronnie took the time out of a busy signing session to talk to him. To me, this is just one more example of how great of a person Ronnie James Dio was.
All of the guys from Primal Fear made a point to come out after the show, and spend some time with their fans. Everyone was great, and the unplanned meet & greet afterwards made a great night of rock, a completely amazing experience.
Primal Fear doesn’t play in the United States very often, so you truly need to catch them live while they are here.
Primal Fear has the following dates left on their tour. Don’t miss them if they come near you!
01st Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
03rd Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
04th Portland, OR @ Peter’s Room
05th San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
06th Santa Ana, Ca @ Galaxy Theatre
08th West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
09th Mesa, AZ @ U.B.’s
10th Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
12th Houston, TX @ Meridian
13th Austin, TX @ Emo’s