For Metal Maidens, it’s a nice opportunity to see a NERVOSA show. The all-female thrash band from Brazil tours through Europe, playing at a few festivals and doing a few club shows. The Little Devil in Tilburg may be the coziest club in the scene and we decided to go there to catch a glimpse of these Brazilian thrashers. We arrived a bit too late to see DESOLATOR. So we entered the club about halfway the set of CRISIX. These Spanish thrashers sure know to throw a nice party there. I don’t know, if you have any idea how small the Little Devil is? They don’t call it Little Devil for nothing. Anyway, these crazy Spanish moshers invite their crowd to play a game of football there, while playing their fast party thrash. Fans of bands like SUICIDAL TENDENCIES or ANTHRAX will definitely have the time of their life. When they crank out the ANTHRAX cover “I’m The Man” in a very convincing way, the crowd goes nutz and this part can be seen as the highlight of a very funny but convincing show.
NERVOSA is a totally different story. These ladies are destined to become huge and that’s why they’re more serious and working hard to gain a large fan base over here in Europe. A big deal of their album is being played live. And although I don’t have a correct set list of tonight’s show, I sure recognized songs like “Wake Up And Fight”, “Nasty Injury”, “Justice Be Done” and of course the bone hard “Death” and the autobiographical “Into Moshpit”. A bit later on in the set the crowd is moving along and although you impossibly aren’t able to create a moshpit in a small club like that, the front rows are going crazy and move around real wild. In the back of the stage Pitchu Ferraz is molesting her drum kit, while in the front line Prika Amaral cranks out one solo after another. She sometimes sounds like a female version of Jeff Hanneman, but this wild lady is alive and kicking it out loud. The biggest eye-catcher of the band however remains the woman who can look mean, naughty, sexy and all-destroying in one time and that’s bassplayer Fernanda Lira. She screams her lungs out and knows to growl real loud. She is a mean front lady, who knows how to play with her audience. She plays samba thrash like no one can, while she sometimes shakes her hips, but mostly bangs her head. At the end of the show, the sweat is dripping off the wall and the temperature in the Little Devil has risen a few degrees to high above the boiling point. If you weren’t a real NERVOSA fan before the show, you will change your mind for sure. No wonder, that my wife came outside the venue with a new teeshirt for her collection. We hope to see them back soon. If you like to check out more information about these Brazilian thrash ladies, I suggest to read the interview, that Metal Maidens did with these three ladies in 2014. There will be nothing left to ask for, I guess. At last, we have finally seen the band in a live situation. I bet, this will happen a few times more, if it’s up to us.
Text by: Toine van Poorten
Photo by: Rita van Poorten
HELL was the main reason to visit the Into The Grave festival in Leeuwarden in 2012. This year’s line-up was nice with MEGADETH as headliners, but the diverse line-up of CityRock was just more interesting for us this time. So we packed our bags to go to Leeuwarden again, but this time we would attend CityRock instead of Into The Grave. THE DIRTY DENIMS, THE DEAF, XANDRIA, VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS and WITHIN TEMPTATION on one bill is a good reason to travel to the very northern part of our country, where they still have some record stores. The first band was about to hit the stage at about four o’clock, so we had enough time to check in at our guest house and visit the center of town. In no time we drove from Leerdam Rock City to Leeuwarden Rock City, ready to visit CityRock. THE DIRTY DENIMS is a four piece band, in which the two sexes get an equal share in the line-up. A female bass player and a female guitar player, keyboard player and singer are accompanied by a male drummer and guitar player. The band has already released a few hit singles in Holland, of which “24-7-365” is the most well-known. If you mix THE DONNAS, JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS and AC/DC, then you’ll come quite close to the sound of this band. Dirty rock ‘n’ roll with a touch of melody. This is not the case with openers “Black Cross”, “Going Out” and Dirty Job” though. The first one is the denim version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. While in “Going Out”, Mirjam Sieben takes out a megaphone to scream it out a little bit louder with the right dose of distortion. “Make Up Your Mind” is followed by a cover of THE ROMANTICS in “What I Like About You”, a song that fits very well with the rest of their material. “24-7-365” is another point of recognition. The public likes good loud rock songs like that and with “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” the band hits the last notes of their set. But they feel like this simply can’t be the end and that’s why they crank out just one more with “Famous”. The band is not only very cool to listen to, they are also very active on and off the stage. They don’t see the stage as a border, because they climb off stage and before you know it, they are standing right behind your back with their guitars. And their bass player Ashley Seleski even took the time to pose for a picture or two. What a great, enthusiastic performance! They sing, that they want to be famous and with an attitude like that, they could be right. Next to Mirjam and Ashley, the band consists of Thomas Spauwen on drums and vocals and Jeroen Teunis on guitar and vocals. A great opener of CityRock. Only five minutes later, you could buy CD’s and t-shirts and have a picture moment with Mirjam at the right corner of the photo pit. How rock and roll can you be? It doesn’t get any purer than this, I guess. THE DEAF is on next and this band is well-known as the solo project of Spike of DIRECT. It sounds louder than DIRECT and it rocks a bit more. Besides Spike, the band consists of Mau on keyboards, Kit Carrera on drums and Miss Fuzz on fuzzy bass sounds and vocals. The band just wants to rock and they don’t care if they make mistakes, because that’s part of the deal. Spike is definitely having a good time. A few drinks before the gig must have helped him to make some spontaneous jokes and sometimes I even get the idea, that he wasn’t taking the whole gig too seriously. After four songs, he even shouted to play one more song before going home again. Well, I can imagine that he doesn’t care too much about a few more fans or less. Songs like “Bad Moon Rise” or “I’m Alive” will rock your world, but at the end they even crank out a track that doesn’t even have a title. In my opinion it’s also just a spontaneous jam between the four band members. I won’t say that they play bad, because this band plays rock with a capitol R, but I think that they didn’t make any more friends over here in Leeuwarden than they already did. Spike and the rest of the band had some sort of a meet and greet at the right side of the stage with some of their fans and that’s completely rock and roll to me. We found the perfect spot to have our dinner. The cafe was right outside the festival ground and sitting very close to the stage you could hear all the bands, while having your meal. So our evening dinner was next with XANDRIA in the background. Diane van Giersbergen and her guys have a good live reputation and we hoped to see a few songs of their show after dinner. Their bombastic music will certainly appeal to a lot of people, who came to see the headliners, WITHIN TEMPTATION. XANDRIA is no copycat of course, but there is some resemblance to the old material of this band. Because of that, it’s easy to add a big name like DELAIN and NIGHTWISH to the list of influences of this very talented band. One thing is for sure. When Diane starts to sing, you can hear that we’re dealing with a great singer here, who easily knows to impress me, even without seeing her. I didn’t catch any titles, but I guess I heard “Nightfall” as opener, “Blood On My Hands” and “Sacrificium”. The audience reacts warm to the enthusiastic performance and when the band announces “Stardust”, we enter the festival grounds again. Wow, my mouth falls open with surprise . Diane not only surprises me with her good looks and a nice dress, but I’m very impressed by her great vocal performance. I feel a bit ashamed that we didn’t see their whole performance, when I hear them announcing the very last song, which is called “Valentine”. Next time, I think I will have to skip another band. XANDRIA is just one step away from becoming one of the leading acts in the gothic, progressive metal scene. During the day, the weather would change from sunny to cloudy with rain. We wished that it wouldn’t happen during the next act, because VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS are the main reason why we came over to Leeuwarden in the first place. That was worth the try, but Pluvius decided to do his work during this set. It didn’t change the good feeling that we got during their performance. The band really did a good job tonight, although they were forced to stop their show because of technical difficulties again. The band opened with “Line Of Fire” and being dedicated fans, who’ve seen quite a few shows of the band already, you could tell that they are getting closer to each other each show. The big stage definitely gives you a very positive vibe as a band. And when you look into the audience and you see fans as far as your eyes can reach, than this sight will surely make you grow. “Steal Away”, “Leave This Town” and “Feel It” follow each other up with only short breaks in between. The rain starts to pour down seriously during “Close To You”, which includes a drum part by Mart in the back. The band thanks the audience for their kindness to stay and watch their show in the pouring rain. The WHITESNAKE song “Judgement Day” is on next and for those people, who don’t know the band that well, it’s a nice point of recognition. And if this didn’t do the trick, the VANDENBERG cover “Burning Heart” definitely will. The lyrics for this song are shouted out loud word for word. This is what we want to hear! The fans are in ecstasy and with “Good Thing” and “Lust And Lies”, the band starts rocking it out loud again. “Good Thing” doesn’t really do justice to the title of the song, because it’s here that the guitar of Adrian plays tricks and some roadies have to deal with these unforeseen problems. “Here I Go Again” brings the band back on the right track. Every fan is focused and even the rain has almost stopped, when the band starts to play their final song of tonight, which is called “Nothing Touches (Rock And Roll)”. The band gives it the full hundred percent one more time. It marks the end of a good show, despite the very bad weather. It’s a shame, that the band didn’t do a meet and greet for their fans and they didn’t bring any merchandise this time. The band left rapidly after the last notes, probably preparing themselves for the next successful live show somewhere on the road. WITHIN TEMPTATION are the last band of tonight, here at CityRock. This is probably the very first time in all these years, that we have actually seen the band live on stage. They are quite huge in Holland, but they’ve also played all over the world until now. The band is like a well-oiled machine and they could easily copy and paste their show for every occasion. However, the use of firework and video performances makes this a lot more difficult. But there will be phases in the show that they can play on the automatic pilot, if they would want to. “Let Us Burn” opens with a lot of firework, loud guitar riffs and of course Sharon being the biggest eye-catcher. In “Paradise (What About Us)” the band already uses the big screen behind them, on which they show the video clip and use the sound from the clip for this duet with Tarja Turunen. You could opt for a live singer instead, but who (besides Floor Jansen) would be able to replace Tarja? This is a good option, but it looks a bit weird, when you’re not used to it, like us. “Faster”, “Iron” and “Fire And Ice” continue the show, of course with more firework. Not only coming from burners, but also from the instruments of the band members. They really know to impress the crowd and sometimes it’s hard for Sharon to sing louder than the band plays. “In The Middle Of The Night”, “Our Solemn Hour” and “Angels” are on next and we see that the show is a fast summing up of songs with only a very short break inbetween. Sometimes, a short introduction follows and then they go on to the next song. “Dangerous” and “And We Run” are next and after that, there is an introduction before “See Who I Am” starts. It’s one of the few breaks, in which Sharon gets the time to put on another dress or do something to her wardrobe. It’s all for the benefit of the show. The fans get to see several different dresses, which will keep them focused, if the music doesn’t do the trick. But there’s enough to enjoy, especially in the second half of the set, which contains a lot of hits. “Stand My Ground” starts off, followed by “The Cross” and “Covered By Roses”. It’s good, that WITHIN TEMPTATION was chosen to be the headliners today. The band knows to please every rock fan, because they also have some hit singles in their set. Give me the name of a fan, that didn’t sing along to the intro of “Mother Earth”? You won’t find one here. The party is complete and a view over the festival side gives you a good idea of the success of WITHIN TEMPTATION and that is huge. “What Have You Done” is being shown with the original video clip, this time with LIFE OF AGONY vocalist Keith Caputo. Well, at least she was a man back then and she was still called Keith. It must be the late hour, but it’s too difficult to explain it here in short. Keith is now called Mia and it would have been nice to refresh the video clip for this make over maybe. When the first notes of “Ice Queen” start off, the band likes to thank the organization and their fans for their hospitality. One more time the band blasts at full force and by then we think it’s a good idea to search for the exit of the festival ground. City Rock 2014 was perfect, if you like pure rock and roll. Tomorrow the metal heads will take the stage and everything will turn black here for MEGADETH and their friends. This was a totally different experience, but it was one, that we liked a lot.
Text and photos by: Toine van Poorten