Live | Praying Mantis – Picture – Velozza – Flexiforum Live – Kerkrade [NL]

25 May 2024

Flexiforum Live? This is a new concert venue to be put on the map in cooperation with the municipality of Kerkrade. If we include the performance of Robby Valentine from a year and a half ago, this is the second rock show that has been organized here and certainly not the last if it is up to the Flexiforum team and the municipality of Kerkrade. And yes, there are already some more shows in the starting blocks for this wonderful location!!

The Flexiforum is an auditorium and a somewhat unusual venue, not immediately what you would expect at a concert venue, but dammit, the potential this venue has to grow into an established name. Unfortunately, this second show, did not quite get through to the potential attendees, as there were now only about 100 and that is not much in a venue that could easily fit five times that number. Doesn’t take away from the fact, however, that the attendees got value for money. The bands went wild on the beautiful stage and the sound was superb.


Kicking off were the gentlemen who recently won the Limburg preliminary round of the Wacken Metal Battle. Velozza stands for an unadulterated portion of Speed Thrash metal! And that is brought with full devotion by these gentlemen, who are building a steady and good name for themselves.

The fact that there was not much of an audience, did not stop them to let the Flexiforum vibrate on its foundations. Velozza gave us a very pleasant business card. 


After a brief change over, the Picture veterans were allowed to show why they are still relevant anno 2024 and competing at the top of the Dutch Hard’n’Heavy scene. Led by vocalist Peter Strykes, we were provided with a ‘best of 45 years Picture’ set. And it’s fair to say that Picture played a surprisingly fun set of music for us. Backed by a top-notch sound and a bucket of energy, these gentlemen played the proverbial roof off. Drummer Laurens Bakker and bassist Rinus Vreugdenhil may be of advanced age, but they still rock like crazy and, more importantly, the fun in what they do just shines through. Even a new hip in Mr. Vreugdenhil didn’t stop him from climbing off the stage with his bass guitar and rocking the room with his fans.

Singer Peter Strykes [ex-Vandenberg, ex-1st Avenue] has managed to take good care of his voice over the years and sings the stars from heaven. When you see the quality of the band, it is actually a mystery why they attract so few people here, because in South America, for example, they have a super status and are very popular. With some regularity ‘our’ Picture is there in front of packed halls or at big festivals.

Picture certainly knows how to steal the hearts of visitors to the Flexiforum. 


  • Griffons Guard The Gold
  • Message From Hell
  • Blown Away
  • Line Off Life
  • Night Tiger
  • Diamond Dreamer
  • Eternal Dark
  • You’re All Alone
  • The Blade
  • Hangman
  • Bombers
  • Battle Plan
  • Heavy Metal Ears
  • Unemployed
  • Lady Lightning
  • Make You Burn


And then the evening is certainly not over yet, as today’s hybrid mix of Dutch (since 2013) and English musicians from Praying Mantis is still on the menu. 

Praying Mantis is also celebrating an anniversary today. No less than 50 years ago, the band was founded by the Troy brothers!!! And then you wonder, what to make of that, a couple of retired old dudes, who also want to make some music? No way, Praying Mantis is super vital and prolific in 2024. Armed with their strong recently released album ‘Defiance’ under their arms, they are on the road. And the band is going like a rocket, not only in their home country of England, but also in many places on this globe the band is held on hands. June 5 and 6, the gentlemen will also be rocking out in Japan again, and they will also be back at various festivals this year.

Not surprisingly because what the band offers musically is far above average!!! And they certainly do that not only on their studio records, no, live the band sounds perhaps even better than on the record. The Troy brothers, Tino on guitar and Chris on bass still have the holy fire burning within them and still manage to conjure light progressive/ melodic hard rock of the highest rank out of their pen. Together with guitarist Andy Burgess, vocalist John ‘Jaycee’ Cuijpers and drummer Hans in’t Zand, new gems are written in the studio and are solid as a rock live!!!


That John belongs to the top of the Dutch singers should by now be no secret and also Hans is nationally and internationally a popular musician, where people like to call when they need their drum spot filled for the studio or their tour. Their arrival in 2013 at Praying Mantis has given the band a major life injection and they prove that today in Kerkrade.

Praying Mantis is alive and kickin’ in 2024 and really doesn’t seem to have been founded in 1974. Tino is a whirlwind on stage and Chris, backed by Hans, manages to put down a super-tight rhythm section. Add to that the fact that the guitar duels and twin parts of Tino and Andy sound unparalleled and the polyphonic vocals are just top of the bill, then you are simply dealing with a top act! Period. And a bold foray with a song like ,,Standing Tall’’, with obvious disco influences, is certainly not shunned. Then it turns out that this song is a killer track live!!! Damn, how cool.

The fact that it’s not that crowded doesn’t seem to matter much at all, as Kerkrade is celebrating and the only losers are the people who hesitated and decided not to come. Praying Mantis does good business here and I can only recommend anyone who loves this type of music to visit this band live. So, I hope they can keep this fire going for quite a few more years.

ANYONE who was in the Flexiforum was able to enjoy a chilled drink, great music and a beautiful unique location. Let’s hope this will be a prelude to many more of these beautiful and unforgettable evenings in Kerkrade.


  • Praying Mantis
  • Panic In The Streets
  • Highway
  • Keep It Alive
  • Cry For The Nation
  • Dream On
  • Borderline
  • Defiance
  • Time Slipping Away
  • Standing Tall
  • Letting Go
  • Children Of The Earth



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