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Reviewed by David
Special guest: Modest Attraction
City: Halmstad
Venue: Gullbrannafestivalen
Date: 02 July 2004
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Special guest setlength: --


Modest Attraction

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
Cheap Talk
Fruit of Rejection
Everyone's a Star
Healing Touch
15 Years



22.30 - 00.00

Petra 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.

"Sight Unseen" and "This Means War" certainly have the potential, but… 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
Right Place
Perfect World
Test of Time
Sight Unseen/It Is Finished/This Means War
The Noice We Make
I Waited for the Lord on High
Amazing Grace
Judas' Kiss
Rose-Colored Stained Glass Windows
Beyond Belief
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)

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