23.11.2023 @ Konzertfabrik Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
The Z7 Pratteln is hosting a Swedish trio on this evening. After almost 10 years in hiding, the Deathstars gentlemen are finally back with new music and old hits. They’ve brought along their colleagues Priest and Liv Sin, who I’m really looking forward to watching live. This is how fall ends nicely, with hopefully good music and a good atmosphere.
Liv Sin and her boys kick things off. No way to get bored watching them, because the petite lady really gets going on stage. She runs from one end to the other and hardly ever stands still. The band is dressed in red and black outfits to match each other. Liv Jagrell is already known to me because of her previous band Sister Sin, where I learned to really appreciate her unusual vocals. No high, delicate voice, no, this lady expresses rough raw energy and power; outside her music career she works as a personal / fitness trainer. With songs like “I am the Storm”, where Liv also growls, the Swedes take the audience by storm and convince fully with a great show. Definitely a band that I would like to see here more often.
During the changeover, a few more fans have arrived, but the bands still have to be satisfied with only around 400 people today. Yes, the Deathstars have attracted more people in the past. But now the show continues with the synt-wave trio Priest. The “gentlemen” in masks are barely visible on the dark stage, because, as always, there’s not much going on with the lights. Even though Z7’s own lighting technician makes every effort to conjure up a decent suitable light show, I think that Priest should invest into small laser/light effects or other decorative stage elements, but for this band, less is more. New songs like “Burning Love” or “Personal Jesus” are not to be missed and the audience is a bit divided: some totally like it, others rremain skeptical. But Priest make quite a good sound, can you expect anything else from former Ghost musicians? I don’t think so. And I have to say, singer Mercury puts on a good show and offers excellently dance moves to his own music.
The first two bands have done a great job, now let’s see what the somewhat rusty gentlemen from Deathstars have to offer. Like the fans, the guys have advanced in years, but Skinny still looks exactly the same. They start with “Night Electric Night” and continue with songs from the new album. The setlist is actually a very good mix of old classics and new songs, although it has to be mentioned that the audience is less excited about new stuff. Towards the end of Whiplasher’s show, you get the feeling that he’s totally wasted and I wonder, is it his old familiar show elemtent or is he actually on alcohol or drugs? It would be a shame if that was the case. Maybe so many shows are exhausting, but towards the end he staggers around and announcements are slurred. What a pity. Then the LGBTQ is big here too. Don’t get me wrong. Equal rights for everybody, acceptance and, above all, everyone can be who they want to be – perfectly okay and should be supported. Deathstars name it: “Love is for everyone”, guitarist Cat in female outfits on stage – totally okay. But I don’t know exactly how to react to the behavior on stage, the way (HE/SHE/IT) portrays a woman. Doll-like, tongue out, sometimes showing nipples, then adjusting the dress etc. Very distracting on stage and after a while it just seems ridiculous. Should I feel offended that us women are made look so ridiculous? Does Cat want to be such a woman? Can the band still be taken seriously like that? Well, I could start a debate about it, but I won’t and I hope that the whole thing isn’t taken too seriously; Cat, be what you want to be, but a little less on stage would be more.
In general, it seems that many dug up their Gothic outfits for the sake of nostalgia to see their heroes from back then again, but somehow no longer feel completely at home with this music. You get this impression from some people in the audience, who don’t listen too enthusiastically or even leave earlier. Somehow I can’t blame them. I’m also torn inside. The music is still good and so is the show, but the sparks don’t quite fly anymore. Do we blame the band for being in hiding for so long? Had they simply not been there long enough before? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that.
Nevertheless, it was nice to see them live again with their support acts, which helped to make it an all in all good evening .