Exclusive | Primal Fear Summer Festival Run – This week Switzerland!

by Dutch bassist Alex Jansen

Short trip this time, leaving on a Saturday morning and back Sunday afternoon. Made enough memories in this short time to make it last a long time.

Load in at Stuttgart 8 am, most of the Primal Fear party are there. We are traveling with a van this time. Bodo is the driver and a long time friend and bike builder. Patrick will do backline and in Switzerland we will meet up with Aaron and Cedric. 


We left Stuttgart in perfect summer weather and during the 3 hour ride the weather changed from beautiful to rain and even more rain. We first checked in at the hotel so that we don’t have to do this tonight and we wont be in a hurry after our show. When we arrive at the festival it is muddy as hell. When I say muddy I mean muddy… Most of the gear is already at the festival, they provide me my trusty Ashdown amps and cabs

First step is chartering though. The catering area looks nice, our dressing container looks great too and has a heater which we need as it is kinda cold. We share our garden with Black Stone Cherry, it has been a while since I saw them. Great catching up with my friend Jonathan Taylor. After we had a lunch we hear the intro of Shakra. Shakra is a Swiss band and I have known them for quite a while. Tom Naumann and I even played with their lead singer Mark Fox in his solo band for the album and tour of ‘Lucifer’. That has been a while and we haven’t really seen Mark since then. We watch a bit of their show and then check with Cedric and Patrick for our gear and make the settings on the amps and stuff. 


Slowly it is getting time to get ready and we change and walk to the stage, it is all muddy and there is a walkway to keep our shoes clean. The sky is still cloudy and it still rains. Nicely just before our show the rain stops. The intro rolls and we are off. Great sound on stage, great vibe and the audience picks that up immediately. We have a Swiss guy telling us he will provide pyrotechnics, he did that before the show, we said he can go crazy. Well he does. I always like it when there is pyro.

I can assure you that the flames are bringing some more heat on stage. The show is over in the blink of an eye. At festivals we mostly play one hour and that set is pretty powerful, which makes time go faster of course. Great seeing some familiar faces in the crowd, of course Michael Kasuba. First one at the barrier, he always visits almost all Rock Meets Classic shows and you can’t count how many Iron Maiden shows he has seen. 

Just before the last two songs we see Eleonora from Tarja waving next to the guitar world. We had a great tour together in April and it is great to see her again.


After the show we take a short break and have diner. We then go to the stage and catch a bit of Black Stone Cherry. Great seeing them doing their thing, absolute great live band. As we sit in our garden again, Tarja shows up and it is great to see her. It is a warm reunion and we have great laughs. They are about to start their show and we first go on stage to watch it. After two songs we go to the audience side and watch the show from there. Fabulous show!

We are back in our garden again and then I get a message from Eleanora that they are at catering and if I want to join them, which I do so we have a bit time to catch up. We make some pics with Tarja and talk about Rock Meets Classic. In the background we hear Tom Morello play Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine. 


Then it is time for the headliner and that is the mighty Bruce Dickinson, you might know him from a band called Iron Maiden. I can list up what he does next to singing but I won’t as it is too much to write down. I have met Bruce a few times. In my memories he was a bit taller but he is not. He stands next to us waiting for his show to start. His show is absolutely fantastic. I love a lot of his solo stuff. His band is great and so the time flies and it is like a lesson in performing what we get here. 

We are watching with Tom Morello, Tarja and Bruce Dickinson’s wife and the show is over before we know it. After that we still sit a bit in our garden and then it is time to call it a day. 

We are on our way home now, dropping off Michael at the airport in Basel and then we go to Stuttgart. Next up? Barcelona Rock Fest, so I guess in two weeks there is something to read again. I have to add that during the writing of this blog, Tom Naumann threats to climb over his seat… we all know that is never going to happen… I wont tell you why.

Cheers Alex.

All photos provided by Alex Jansen



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