Report and Photos by Thomas Schwarzkopf (Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Shakra – live in Berlin, 08.03.2013 @ K17
With their new album “Powerplay”, Shakra reached number one of the Swiss album charts. With this successful record in baggage, the band hits the road to rock the stages in Germany, Switzerland, France, Netherlands and Austria. The “Powerplay-Tour” started on March 8th, 2013 in Berlin and I was there!
I have to say, I saw this band already two years ago on their “Back On Track” – tour (for the first time ever). It was the same venue and the same support-act (the Swiss Hard Rock band Maxxwell), so I experienced one déjà-vu after another. Nevertheless some things have changed and were even better this time. It starts with the number of visitors. About 120 people attended the show last friday. Two years ago Shakra were just able to mobilize only 60 fans to attend their gig. So this time the audience was much better and the venue was filled quite well. There weren’t so many people, who just stood at the bar – most of the visitors were ready for a Rock’n’Roll-party.
At 9:00 pm Maxxwell entered the stage. They played a set, which was 45 minutes long. Musically this band fits perfect to the main act. Maxxwell play also typical Swiss Hard Rock. It was much fun to listen to them – Maxxwell definitely know how to animate people. Shouter Nobi has a very strong voice and he handled the high notes very well. Also the rest of the bandmates had obviously fun on stage. The band played a mixture of new songs and older ones from their two albums. I kept especially “Dogz On Dope” in my memory. Great energetic song. So all in all the performance of Maxxwell was satisfying and left the crowd hungry for more.
At 10:00 pm Shakra kicked off with “Life Is Now”. This was a perfect opener, the people were immediately on fire.With the following “The Mask” fell the last inhibitions. It’s one of my favorite tracks on “Powerplay” and it’s also on stage a fantastic rocker. My personal next highlight was “Stronger Than Ever”, taken from “Back On Track”. This one reminds me always at Gotthard, but it also sounds unmistakable like Shakra. The way Thom Blunier plays the lead guitar and Thomas Muster plays his rhythm guitar lead to a very unique style.
I was most excited about singer John Prakesh. Two years ago he was very cautious in animating the crowd and he has always looked a little frightened at the audience. At that time he couldn’t thrill me. But this guy has gone through some kind of transformation. John Prakesh has become a real limelight hog. He was always close to the audience and had a good self-confidence. Beside this he delivered a very strong vocal performance throughout the entire show. Great! He rocked! Especially he shines on the first ballad at this night: “Too Good To Be True”. This is an amazing song.
Shakra rocked on with “Chains Of Temptation” – an earworm from the “Fall”-record. The two guitarists also provided a very good job here. Speaking about Thom Blunier, I’m always fascinated how such a small, skinny man can belt out such big guitar solos. He hardly moves on stage. He just stands there with a tense face. A bit more moving would be great, although it was a small stage. Any way, he is a very good guitar player. Thomas Muster is the opposite of Thom. He seems to be the more aggressive guy. He is always shaking his head with an evil face … I haven’t see him smile till the end of the show. But Shakra wouldn’t be Shakra without him, because he is a really gifted songwriter and a real hard rocker.
Bass player Dominik seems to be a little shy. He is the youngest member of the band, but also a very talented musician. Drummer Roger Tanner delivered also a good performance, but you could barely see him, because of the small stage. Songs like “Back On Track”, “Rising High” or “Trapped” showed that the musicians harmonize very well, although Shakra had to change their line-up a lot in all those years. So in my opinion this line-up is their strongest to date and I hope they don’t need to change it in the future.
“Rising High” marks also the regular end of a very rockin’ set. Shakra only played two ballads this time. We didn’t have to wait very long for the first encore: “B True B You” brought out the best of the audience. With “Ashes To Ashes” the end of this show was near. It was a terrific end, because this song is one of my favorites of this band. Soundwise the show was also pretty good, could have been a bit better, because sometimes it was hard to hear Prakesh sing. But that was due to the local conditions. You don’t have the big concert feeling in such a small club. It is not comparable to larger halls – so it’s the same with the sound.
All in all Shakra delivered a very good Heavy Rock show. It was definitely fun to see and listen to them. Much more fun than 2 years ago! Maybe the setlist could have been a bit better (they didn’t play a song from their great album “Powerride” and I also missed “Save You From Yourself”), but that’s nagging on a high level. I can’t understand why these guys still play in such small venues. I really don’t get it. They have more success than ever and been playing for 20 years now, but the fanbase on their gigs is not growing enough. This is sad, because Shakra would deserve it to play in bigger venues. Maybe they get the chance as support act from Voodoo Circle on their forthcoming tour. I wish them all the best! If you haven’t seen Shakra so far, go and buy your ticket now and be ready for Hard Rock at its best!
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01. Life Is Now
02. The Mask
03. Love & Pain
04. Stronger Than Ever
05. Dream Of Mankind
06. The Other Side
07. Secret Hideaway
08. Too Good To Be True
09. Chains Of Temptation
10. My Life – My World
11. Dear Enemy
12. Don’t … Hangin’
13. Wonderful Life
15. Don’t Try To Call
16. Back On Track
17. Rising High
18. B True B You
19. Hands On The Trigger
20. Ashes To Ashes