19.06.2019 Z7 Konzertfabrik, Pratteln, Switzerland
Quite a relaxed evening at Z7 with only 150 concert visitors, somehow people do not realize who is behind Deadland Ritual, or many have to choose between concert and festival tickets as they can only afford one of those.
After Felskinn frontman Andy Portmann audibly warmed up backstage, the Swiss band storms the stage presenting a new line-up. Three band members are engaged elsewhere: Cyril and Hef with Maxxwell, Flavio is touring with Krokus. Andy Portmann and Beat Schaub found replacement with Ronnie Wolf (drummer at Apperance of Nothing), Martin Rauber (Wolfpakk and Top4Tea guitarist) and Tom Graber (former Crystal Ball, also Top4Tea). Last time when I watched Felskinn warming up for Hollywood Vampires, it did not really kick off, but this time it’s a blast, the band has regained high level energy, which also inspires the audience. For me it’s also a little trip down memory lane as I have seen Rauber in a band Bad Image, and he still is fully dedicated to his guitar playing; also Tom Graber is well-known to me as a big Crystal Ball fan – both of them have hardly changed in 20 years. Andy Portmann leads as MC and delivers flawless and well-trained vocals. However, he should slow down his speeches that sound like fast-forward-mode. Felskinn truly fire up the crowd for the headliner.
Deadland Ritual are drummer Matt Sorum (Guns N’Roses), Bass player Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), guitarrist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Sänger Franky Perez (Apocalyptica). A real Supergroup indeed which covers songs by Black Sabbath, Billy Idol and also plays some of their own original songs. «Rebel Yell», «City of Night», «Symptom of the Universe”, they all deliver a brilliant performance, although Perez doesn’t have a properly dirty voice for «Rebel Yell» – still awesome, and the singer is an eye catcher. He plays with the microphone cable and moves a lot, being the center of the stage show. Hence he begins to sweat early and removes his shirt, revealing a set of tattoos. Maybe people wonder about this big BMW on his lower stomach – is he a fan of this car brand, or does it stand for «Blow my Whistle»…. who knows?
He also plays bongos during a songs and performs «War Pigs» partly directly from the crowd, but then after 12 Songs, two soli the show is over, no encore, which I still would have appreciated a lot for a ticket price of 65 CHF. Still a great show I would watch again any time. No idea why there was no bigger crowd for a super group like Deadland Ritual – people missed an appealing powerful concert evening (incl a great support act) and a good show.
PHOTO GALLERY HERE – photos Sandy Mahrer