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Circle Ii Circle, Manticora, The Prowlers @ Z7, Pratteln (CH)

in Friday, 8 May 2009 at Z7
by Maria Kallinikou

There were always funny coincidences that were keeping me from watching this band live, but this time no matter the cosmic interferences I had to see CIRCLE II CIRCLE, I had to see Zak Stevens performing live, as I did not get the chance of seeing him with SAVATAGE. Perfect. Friday night, with a mellow, sunny, rainy Swiss weather I went to Pratteln. There were around 350 people in the venue.  The first band was THE PROWLERS; an Italian Metal band with lots of Progressive elements. They have released two full length albums and on-stage they had a good appearance.
The sound was ok, apart from the fact that the guitars were a bit low, I do not know if it was by accident because the soul of the band is the bassist! They played for about 40 minutes, and it was a good opening band. Then it was time for MANTICORA to rule the stage. Quite honestly this band was the one with the best stage appearance of the night. Lars couldn't stay still not even for a second, he was running around the stage having a good interaction with the crowd, while the musicians gave the best of their performance. Apart from their latest album, their set list included tracks from the Hyperion and Black Circus albums.

CIRCLE II CIRCLE appeared at 22:00 and they delivered almost two hours of great tunes. Most of the set list was covered with songs from the last album Delusions Of Grandeur but also played, naturally, the hits from the previous three albums like Revelations, Heal You, Messiah. This time the bassist took over the role of the keyboard player as well. The sound arrangements were quite good but Mr. Stevens' stage appearance was not that satisfactory. It seemed that he's kinda stiff on stage and didn't approach much the crowd in the first half hour. I was praying for the photographers to go away, as he was posing only for the shots while the rest of the time he was mostly paying attention to his band mates. A group of fans can clap and scream during the whole set, but if it doesn't get any stimuli from the band then it just ends becoming boring.
So Many Reasons was the last song on the list and after a minute the band returned for the encore. Quite a surprise, If I Go Away, only with keyboards and Zak's voice. But there was a thought twisting in my mind and almost made me laugh. Zak, having four amazing albums with SAVATAGE, chose to start the encore with a track from Streets, a SAVATAGE album that he didn't participate. The next one was Watching In Silence from the first same titled album and then he delivered three SAVATAGE songs from the first three Stevens -era albums. It was just great for us and finally we got to sing along apart from clapping hands. Whatever happened on stage, I cannot dispute that Zak Stevens -still in concert- has a great voice, although I will forget his stage act, and his musicians did a great job.


01. Fatal Warning
02. Dead Of Dawn
03. Forever
04. Waiting
05. Sea Of White
06. Heal You
07. Into The Wind
08. Chase The Lies
09. Soulbreaker
10. Messiah
11. Revelations
12. So Many Reasons


13. If I Go Away
14. Watching In Silence
15. Nothing Going On
16. Taunting Cobras
17. Edge Of Thorns

(photos by Maria)




Ticket Price: 25€


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