at Alpen Rock House Zürich - 21.03.2004


review by  dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo  - all pics © by Stefan "Absolut_Evidence" Vogelaar

The public use of these fotos  is strictly prohibited without written permission






It's Heavy Rockin' evening again today! Our Swiss village, undisputed temple of Heavy/Rock , that we have visited in autumn and in winter, now shows a fine springtime aura, with balconies full of flowers. In the big rural fireplace gives warmth. Candles burn, romantic, on the tables. Everything is ready for  the Zürich -date of the co-headlined tour Axxis-Pink Cream 69 with the great support of Crystal Ball. Before the shows begins, we can already imagine how this formula is well combined: these bands are homogeneous though different and not clones. They integrate well each other offering varied  approaches to melodic Heavy/Rock /Power but without altering the global musical atmosphere.  Time  of equinox. Hell: let's enjoy Hellvetia!


At 20:00 Crystal Ball are presented by the energetic DJ: "one of the most loved Rock bands of Switzerland!" eh what Rock Band!! With Crystal Ball we are the threshold of Metal. Blessed be oh thou Hellvetia!  Among the general applauses of their audience  Mark  and band mates take the stage: they have the advantage of being at home! And they won't disappoint at all the crowd. They start off hard'n heavy  with Hellvetia, title track opener of their latest release, whose release party was celebrated right here. Yodeling, Alphorn's and mountain vibes of Hellvetia's intro act  obviously as  intro of the concert this evening too. T-shirt marked CH  for Mark Sweeney, who is not only the energetic front-man of Crystal Ball but also a true national  "flagship" for the new Swiss generation of Heavy/Rock. After the impact provided by  Hellvetia and having let understood how glad he is to find again in this tour his "Schweizer Deutsch" -language,  Mark announces then Forever and eternally, always taken from  the album Hellvetia. Vocals master well the melodies while the band in optimal synchrony plays resolute and mature. Crystal Ball grow in experience more and more, and this tour has enhanced a lot their abilities. Scott's solos are impeccable, while the compact  heavy rhythmic section is constructive.  Skilful  keyboards provided by Tom Graber who again manages  guitar and key's with no problems . Heavy proceeding and sweet melodies please the crowd massively. Among interaction with the pit and songs like Lay down the Law, My Life, Dance with the Devil , Private Visitor, the show flows with enthusiasm. It's around 20:34 that CB's  gig ends,  and Mark doesn't forget to present  with pride the members of his great band , to thank the audience that warmly supported, and to wish a good continuation with Axxis and Pink Cream 69. Though a bit short, it was however an ideal half hour of very good warm-up with involving Heavy/Rockin' songs that delivered a complete spectrum of fresh force. But who will be the next? It seems that Axxis will hit the stage as next band.


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The remarkable performance of Axxis develops mainly on these level: it's very varied and highly interactive supported by a good technique. Good technique that however we have already admired in Crystal Ball. The atmosphere in the village remains sparkling and resolute , and gets even funny cause frontman Bernhard Weiss has energy to sell and extroverted communicativeness,  full of irony.  Axxis are a very good Heavy/Power band, and their acoustic set presents quality, sympathy and emotion. Fact is that Axxis master the stage, this evening, starting off with the attractive Angel of Death from their latest album "Time Machine", and going on with tracks like Lost in the Darkness and Brother Moon. Another great point of force is their thunderous drumming. The considerable heaviness and determination of the instruments has penalized a bit Bernhard's vocals in the very beginning of the concert. But things went quickly better concerning the timbre of voice and microphone setting, so that all the ability of Bernhard Weiss can burst out more and more. Maybe Axxis were afraid of  the Swiss crowd... and it was wrong! Cause the audience is simply in rapture: seen this,  Bernhard has understood that Axxis are esteemed and the rest is history. Once the engine starts, ehi! try to stop it. The enthusiasm rises. The cadenced mid tempo of Brother Moon arouses an almost general sing along, while the faster, anthemic tracks are rewarded wit headbanging's and horns up. Oh this is a kind of  Power i can a least bear. The good mood is mixed with feelings, while Bernhard, now totally reassured and in full self confidence turns out as a dynamic  singer and king of entertainment,  that he knows however how to calibrate. To have fun doesn't mean for Axxis to degenerate or to lose concentration. The atmosphere created by the songs doesn't suffer at my eyes (and not only at mine) pathetic lows, like i have seen this winter wit another band of this style. 

Mighty and trusting the  great work done by the rhythmic section, Axxis  reach the moment of the acoustic set which delivers Fire & Ice and Touch the Rainbow. Absolutely cool is the interaction with a Spanish girl that is called from the audience to animate the acoustic moment with a tambourine together with the band.  The way Bernhard Weiss tries to utter some words in Spanish is totally funny. I must say it's a show in the show. Concerning the quality of the acoustic set in itself i can only say it is really awesome. It has definitively broken any remaining pockets of ice and the rest of the show is a wide road without obstacles. The encore is called and the show ends wit the village singing in choir Na na hey hey good -bye. Oh yes  for people like me this is  to be taken like a homeopathic medicine, in small doses, but it's good vibes!  22.15 the band greets the audience, very grateful for the warm approvals,  announcing Pink Cream 69. 


Angel of Death

Lost in the Darkness

Brother Moon

My little Princess

Little War

Battle of Power

Trash in Tibet

Acoustic Set : Fire & Ice, Touch the Rainbow

Wind in the Night

Little look back

Kingdom of the Night



Living in a World

Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Good-bye


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22.34 Pink Cream 69 are vigorously announced then lights are off and  a digital gloomy intro resounds . This band too is well received by the Alpen Rock House. Pink Cream 69 open with  Thunderdome, titletrack of their latest album, with pressing tones, but however they appear at once to be calm and very melodic: but this Melodic Rock is full of  tension and fascination cause the solidity of the Old School Rock  often surfaces. At the very beginning, vocals cannot be heard but microphone is set again properly and the velvety but resolute vocals of David Readman, that tries to communicate in German too, can cast a spell on the pit. Pink cream 69 show the typical calm of the strong ones, 

and  their British front- man doesn't need that much in order to get attention:  a note, a glance, a movement are  enough. He has that British ability to gain proselytes without use of brute force. But Pink Cream 69 can however  show their teeth when they want,  delivering aggressive tracks, so between romantic atmosphere and hammering riffs, they maintain the pit pulsing with no apparent effort. 













Lost in Illusion is announced together with a  "Come on!!" and the audience answers warmly. The  next challenge  "Are you ready to break the silence?!" is taken up and the song Break the Silence starts among rays of light dancing, speed up's and slow down's concerning vocals too, that become agile, following  the elasticity of the instruments, in particular  Koffler's guitar is very exact . The band is a generally  static  but  full of self consciousness and David readman towers the situation  without much shaking. The more Pink Cream play, the more  a general hand clapping is unleashed. At 23:06 starts a drum solo, lively underlined by the audience. From slow beats to very fast ones, drums snare and cymbals are launched with precision. It follows Seas of Madness where many Rock influences mix together. Catchiness and energy. During the acoustic version of One Step many  lighters makes their flames shine in the darkness: romantic moment and mesmerized applauses. Galloping's and harmonic balladesque motions alternate for the rest of the show through tracks like  That was Yesterday, The Spirit, Living my Life and the pushing Twisted, after which the band greets the crowd, well pleased. An unisonal   "ehi ehi ehi ehi  ehi " invites Pink Cream 69 to come back for the encore which begins with the catchy rhythmed,  Welcome . Melodic with temperament is Shame where Readman is supported by good backing vocals, and finally the Police enthralling reggae of song So Lonely, interpreted very well, and in an interactive way, spread in the air. With this audience so cooperative, elastic and enthusiast the evening still goes on to be a reciprocal pleasure. We are around 12:00 Time for  the last sing along in crescendo ...so lonely !



Like it

Hell's gone crazy

Lost in Illusion

Break the Silence


Carnaby Road (Drum solo)

Seas of Madness

One Step

That was Yesterday

The Spirit

Living my Life





So lonely

dalia di giacomo        
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