Reviewed by David
Special guest: Modest Attraction
Date: 02 July 2004
Headline setlength: --
Special guest setlength: --
20.30 - 21.15
First I took the opportunity to see Modest Attraction, a
heavy metal band started in the 90s by Christian Rivel (Liljegren), now
singer in Narnia. Their music is inspired by classical hard rock from
the 70s, like Deep Purple and Sweet.
Following a suspect dance act by two girls in pyjamas, Modest enters
the main stage "Skeppet" at Gullbrannafestivalen. It is easy
to see that the band love to be playing together again, after almost seven
years on a break. Rivel is a charismatic front man on stage and keeps
himself and the crowd moving. Brother Simeon Liljegren is almost as energetic
with his hammering base. One characteristic of the band is the "evil"
voice of drummer Mick Nordström. A good concert, and a perfect warm
up for the main act of the evening.
Burn on the Flame
Fruit of Rejection
Everyone's a Star
22.30 - 00.00
are the pioneers of christian hard rock. Through the years they have released
a load of melodic, chorus-strong and well-produced records (and sold over
7 million of them). They are easy recognizable through the characteristic
voice of John Schlitt - who would probably had been world famous, if the
band had been slightly less christian
As with most bands that started
in the 70s and got their career peak in the 80s, the fans want them to
return to their "harder" roots and skip the exploration of pop
music that were like a plague in the 90s. (Compare with bands like Aerosmith,
Scorpions and Def Leppard.) Petra is so far one of the few bands that
have been really successful to please these fans. Their latest release
"Jekyll & Hyde" is an impressive turn to riff oriented,
almost aggressive, metal. Even harder than they ever were in the old days.
On the top of that, founder, guitarist and main songwriter, Bob Hartman,
is back in the band. Therefore it was with great expectations I went to
see them at Gullbranna - for the first time in ten years!
The crowd had to wait outside the concert hall, while the band held a
seemingly perfectionist soundcheck that almost equaled a repetition. We
got to hear almost all the songs in the setlist from the new record -
through the doors. Was this really necessary? When they finally opened
the doors, the crowd squeezed in through a combination of excitement and
panic. Anyway, Petra started up with "All About Who You Know"
from Jekyll & Hyde. I was not totally pleased with this, since it
is one of the weaker tracks on that (otherwise brilliant) album. It is
not the adrenaline rush that a good concert needs to kick off. A couple
of other heavy new songs were delivered with competence and routine. But
I was still waiting for the real take-off.
Unseen" and "This Means War" certainly have the potential,
delivered in a medley? Why? It is no doubt however, that Petra
and Bob Hartman enjoys to rock again. And the new members fill their places
with dignity and great enthusiasm. The absence of a keyboard player makes
the music edgier than ever. There are no real ballads in the set either,
but perhaps too many softer mid-tempo songs gathered in the middle of
the concert. I was actually catching myself yawning sometimes at that
point. But no one can resist the classic riff of "Judas' Kiss"
or the sing-along of "Beyond Belief". Unfortunately, Schlitts
phenomenal vocals are too low in the mix. But when the take-off is nearer
than ever with "He came
" it is time for the band to leave
stage for the usual encore-procedure. They return (of course) and deliver
two more hot rocking songs from Jekyll &Hyde.
At the second encore the crowd spontaneously starts singing "God
Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You". John Schlitt apologizes that this cover
is not included in the set, but leads the chorus for a while. The finale
is set to be "Dance" - and that is a perfect choice! Almost
everybody in the crowd does just that - dances. A mighty sight! Accompanied
by the bass, the crowd keeps singing "God Gave
" as the
band leave stage for the last time this evening. The finish is great,
but I missed some great songs from my favorite album, "Wake up-call".
Overall, the enthusiasm of the crowd during this concert was brilliant.
Almost everyone, from 5 to 55 years of age, seemed to know most of the
songs. The hall allows 2500 persons and it was, as far as I could see,
crowded to that limit. A great concert, but I think the band has potential
to do even better! I guess I am hard to please after an incredible summer
with Metallica, Judas Priest, Europe, Alice Cooper and more.
All About Who You Know
Test of Time
Sight Unseen/It Is Finished/This Means War
The Noice We Make
I Waited for the Lord on High
Rose-Colored Stained Glass Windows
Lord, I Lift Your Name on High
He Came, He Saw, He Conquered
Jekyll & Hyde
(God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You)
(God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You)