It was a warm and sunny Saturday evening when Squealer were scheduled to play at Bochum's Matrix (formerly Rockpalast). Not the best day for a show, coz many will stay somewhere outside to enjoy the warm evening.
About 80 metal fans showed up to see the package. When Duke entered the stage at 20:00 many of the people gathered in front of the stage. But who are Duke? Do anybody remember Scanner? The last singer of Scanner Haridon Lee founded a new band Duke! Duke is five-piece which plays melodic power metal. The band hadn't recorded anything yet, but the metal fans seems to like their catchy songs like Wild Horse, CDU, Letter To A.J. and Friends. Between the songs Lee talked to the people and he called them friends. In the beginning drummer Anja was pretty nervous, but soon she cooled down and her drumming built a decent playground for the band. I never heard any song of Duke, so I can't compare, but I think they did a pretty good job tonight! And the audience seemed to think the same and shouted for more. So they played Friends again, but now the German version. Good show, especially because it was their very first show! Well done!
After a few minutes the second band Gallows Pole entered the stage. Another band I never heard of... The quartet played also melodic power metal, but their songs are not as catchy and less people stayed in front of the stage. Due to the fact that they have a bass-playing singer the show was visually not as good as Duke. Gallows Pole offered a decent show, but personally I preferred Duke's show.
The final break and than Squealer ran on stage to and started with End Of The World from their current album Made For Eternity. Singer Henner got a kind of back-up singer for the clear sung parts. The band from the South of Germany offered speedy tunes as well as mid-tempo ones. The band seemed to fight technical problems and until the end of the show the problems haven't been solved. Bassist Michael Kaspar was always in motion and did his part of the stage show very well beside taking part of building the rhythmic basis with drum legend Mike Terrana. Again Mike Terrana use the time off Rage to work with different bands. No need to talk about his drumming, coz his name is a trademark for powerful, high quality drumming!
During songs like Free Your Mind (which had nothing to do with the En Vogue song), Nothing To Believe and Don't Fear Your Life the guitarists Michael Schiel and Lars Döring showed thrashy riffing and melodic, emotional solo parts. A quite good performance from Squealer, but why did they just play about 45 minutes? They played almost new material, but why do they chose the more untypical songs? Why not their cover version of People Are People? Many questions which I'll try to get answered later....
One thing I want to mention about this show, the tickets cost 22,- DM and 1,- DM of every sold ticket was donated to Chuck Schuldinger to cover his costs of the operation! Great idea and why things like that rarely happen? At all it was interesting to see a few young bands, even if just about 80 fans showed up. So, support the underground and visit concerts of young and unknown bands!