* February 15, 2014 *

Saturday,February 15th, 2014

De Meester, Almere, The Netherlands

Say Almere and I will respond to you: Meesterlijk Metaal! The place to be on a Saturday night! This is where the action is and tonight we will be blown away, like always, with COVERED IN BLACK, JACKAL and REBELSTAR. A very nice line-up, that I definitely wouldn’t miss out on tonight.

I didn’t know the band COVERED IN BLACK at all, but I would soon find out that I would relive my youth to the music of this tribute / cover band from Almere area. Their guitarist is really awesome and he plays with such an energy and gives you the idea that there are two guitarists on stage instead of one. COVERED IN BLACK consists of Dirk de Graaf on guitar, Marcelo Grevet on bass, John Fraanje on drums and Daniele Brusegan on vocals. They open with “The Mob Rules” of BLACK SABBATH and during this set, you will regularly hear songs from different DIO-fronted bands come by and this is one of them. An excellent tune to start your show! “Motorcycle Man” by SAXON has always been one of my favorite tracks and once again there is enough space for the guitar player to let his music do the talking. The public reacts enthusiastically to “Don’t Talk To Strangers” of DIO. Gone, but certainly not forgotten at all. The groove is good and after each song you’re already hoping to hear another personal favorite tune. A nice surprise is, when the band plays the first notes of “Cemetary Gates” by PANTERA. To me, the biggest surprise of their show tonight and it’s very nice to hear this classic again. Dimebag Darrell simply died much too soon and this is a very nice tribute to the man. After that it’s time for a RAINBOW song, taken from the DIO-era, called “Gates Of Babylon”. Nice thing is because all the songs are so familiar, you can sing along to them from the beginning to the end. Even “Fear Of The Dark” of IRON MAIDEN sounds great, which (at least in my eyes) isn’t exactly from the most interesting era of these classic metal heroes. I can’t help it, but even this song makes me move my head up and down to the rhythm. The band continues with HEAVEN AND HELL, which is the latest DIO based band tonight and the song “Bible Black”, which is a very good choice, if you’d ask my honest opinion. The band is blasting off at full steam now, but the best is saved for last: the METALLICA song “Creeping Death”. It’s really nice to hear all these great covers, played in a very decent way. COVERED IN BLACK is a ‘must see’ band and of course they also return for an encore here. IRON MAIDEN’s “Wasted Years” is a good choice and I’m glad that they don’t really go for a more obvious choice like “Run To The Hills” or something like that. Well done!

I did have a great time with COVERED IN BLACK, but the main reason why we ended up in Almere tonight, was the live show of JACKAL. The return of this heavy metal band was celebrated with a release of the extended version of their mini album “Cry Of The Jackal”, originally released in 1989. At the previous edition of this festival we already ran into the guitarplayer of the band (John Bouman, ex-STAINLESS), who was handing out flyers and I knew I just had to see this band. Unfortunately, we missed their CD presentation, which was only a few weeks before this gig. You can’t have it all and we were sure that we would be in for a real treat here. The four blood thirsty jackals, who would be performing tonight are Erwin Siereveld on vocal howls, John Bouman makes his guitar cry, Rick Waalewijn attacks his drum kit and Budnyy Vladnik claws the bass guitar. After the intro, they open with “Pain In The Ass” and for a moment my mouth drops open. What is this? Why isn’t this band world famous yet? Great vocals, howling guitars that constantly cry like a real blood thirsty jackal does and a stunning rhythm section, that keeps the flow going and this all is brought together with a crystal clear but heavy sound. This is the sound of JACKAL and it’s during “Deranged”, that I can slowly close my mouth again. Still the jackal guitar sound cries in my head. “Into The Night” is on next and the audience starts moving to the rhythm of the music. I’m still nailed to the ground from excitement at that moment. “Fading” gets me moving and JACKAL shows that they are a real rough diamond in a live situation. They show so much energy live, which is simply unbelievable. It’s also nice to hear, that the band scratched out their box of unreleased tracks. A lot of the songs are not on the “Cry Of The Jackal” re-release, which is a real treat for the fans tonight. A song like “Padded Walls” for example can’t be found on any of their demos, which makes it a really exclusive track tonight in a live setting. “Kiss My Ass” is on next and with “Necromancer” we have arrived at the more well-known JACKAL tracks. “Wasted Time” is new to me and one of the highlights of tonight’s show for me is the stunning version of “Pharaoh”. With a show like that, JACKAL easily reaches the cult status and this is freaking awesome! My mind is gone now and it’s getting better every minute. After “Immigrant Song”, they announce a special guest, which I have seen walking around during the evening. Arnold Kloek (AFTERDARK, CIRRHA NIVA) climbs the stage to help out JACKAL with “The Secret Remains”, which really turns back the clock many years. This is from the very early days of the band. I know, that Erwin has got a very good voice, but Arnold also knows to hit the notes very well. What a nice surprise and it’s good to see Arnold back on stage after seeing him with CIRRHA NIVA countless of times. Another highlight is “The Law”, which is a mighty kick ass rocker, that slowly directs us to the closing part of the show. But not before JACKAL has cranked out a powerful version of the JUDAS PRIEST classic “Hell Bent For Leather”. They easily get the roof up with songs like that. Erwin leaves the stage to get into the crowd and lets the people sing along to this classic. He even puts the mike under my nose and for one time, I give it my best shot. The atmosphere is marvelous and JACKAL are getting the real winners for me tonight because of all of this. They can be proud of themselves and I think they will, because JACKAL knocked me off my feet tonight. And the headliners are still yet to come... More rock and roll will fill De Meester tonight.

The move of Toine van der Linden from MARTYR to REBELSTAR was certainly one that knocked me off my feet. But I think, that it went pretty well for both bands. And REBELSTAR was about to throw down a cool party tonight full of rock and roll pleasure. I knew, that it wouldn’t please my metal heart as much as with JACKAL, but there’s a good place for rock and roll in my heart and REBELSTAR knows to pull all the right strings. REBELSTAR consists of Serge Naberman on vocals and guitar, Martijn Niggebrugge on guitar, Richard van Leeuwen on drums and Mr. Rock and Roll, Toine van der Linden on bass. With “Big Bam Boom”, they open tonight’s show and once you hear the groove you can’t stop tapping your feet along the rhythm of the music. This is what rock and roll is meant to be. With a whole lot of passion, that is. “Burning Sensation” is on next and REBELSTAR leaves no room for conversation. They step up the gas with no breaks. “Permanent Disaster” and “W.B.P.A.” continue the rock and roll train, which calls at one of my favorite stations (read: one of the highlights of tonight’s show) “Crucify Me”. Solid hard rock fills the room in Almere tonight and the fans love every moment of it. “Sick M.F.” is another highlight. Kick ass rock and roll poses and cool moves are the trademark of this ‘in your face’ rock band, that refuses to take no for an answer. They sound like a mix between VENGEANCE and SLEEZE BEEZ. And anyone who knows these two bands, will know that it’s party time everywhere they show up. “Shelter Me” and “Look But Don’t Touch” are on next. The catchy vibe of the songs urge you to sing along to them and people are dancing along to the beat of the steaming sound. “In It For The Money”, “Hell Yeah” and “Smoke, She Said” follow next. The party is complete and of course the stage will be invaded by a whole lot of heavy metal maniacs tonight. They catch their moment of fame and the band just loves it. They know that “Everyone’s A Star Tonight”, which has to be celebrated on stage of course. The party level is increasing every minute and when the band cranks out “Another Showdown”, we’ve arrived at the final part of this amazing rock show. The knock-out punch comes from an AC/DC cover. It always works with “Highway To Hell”, which leaves no room to move on stage anymore. REBELSTAR and the maniacs mix very well and this marriage stands for a rock party, that you can only dream about. And when you think, that this is the end of yet another version of Meesterlijk Metaal, you just don’t know REBELSTAR that well. There are still people standing and the guitars are plugged in one more time to make the party complete. “Ain’t Talking About Love” by the mighty VAN HALEN turns De Meester into one cozy, sweaty mess. I’m also tearing up my air guitar one more time. What a superb set closer, guys!! Mission accomplished for REBELSTAR and they can turn off their amps with a good feeling. You can still rock in Holland and prove has been given tonight in Almere. If you don’t believe my words, just take your agenda and mark May 10th in there. The next edition will be very special with SPEEDCHASER, ERAZER and NWOBHM legends JAMESON RAID. I bet, that you will find me there in the first ranks! My thanks go out to COVERED IN BLACK, JACKAL and REBELSTAR and of course to Hans Pendavingh and Jeroen Kroon for another magic metal night in Almere.

*Written by: Toine van Poorten/April 2014
*Photos by: Rita van Poorten/

The Mob Rules
Motorcycle Man
Don't Talk To Strangers
Cemetery Gates
Gates Of Babylon
Fear Of The Dark
Bible Black
Creeping Death
Wasted Years

Setlist JACKAL:
Pain In The Ass
Into The Night
Padded Walls
Kiss My Ass
Wasted Time
Immigrant Song
The Secret Remains
(The Law)
Hell Bent For Leather (JUDAS PRIEST cover)

Big, Bang, Boom
Burning Sensation
Crucify Me
Sick M.F.
Shelter Me
Look But Don't Touch
In It For The Money
Hell Yeah
Smoke, She Said
Everyone's A Star Tonight
Another Showdown
Highway To Hell (AC/DC cover)

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