Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Review And Photos By Anders Sandvall

Sweden Rock Festival Day 1
Friday June 8, 2001

Sweden Rock festival is celebrating it's tenth year. That is impressive if you consider that the festival is concentrated on blues, hard rock, heavy metal and very old rock as Deep Purple.

The festival is situated in Norje camping which is very beautiful near the sea. From Malmö Sweden it takes one and a half hour by train or car. The festival is situated in Blekinge. The festival has 5 stages: Rockstage, festivalstage, rockclassic, Swedenstage and the demostage.

I was introduced to the band Tang by a friend from the record company Raw Power Records. I missed their show but I talked to them and they promised me an interview when they come back to Sweden his autumn.

The first day started with ULI JOHN ROTH. He was very boring I almost fell asleep. I was disappointed because he is a legend and played on 3 of the Scorpion-records. He is still a very good guitar player.

GLENN HUGHS
I haven't been a big fan of his before. I have seen him before. He has a strong voice but very boring sample of music.

U.D.O.
What to say. The fact that Accept has finished doesn´t matter because U.D.O. keeps German 80´s metal alive. U.D.O. has brought with him the colleague Stefan Kaufmann from Accept. He was a drummer in Accept but because of a neck wound he plays guitar now. U.D.O. mixes his own material with old Accept classics such as Metal Heart, Balls to the Wall and Restless and wild, one of the better shows so far.

 

W.A.S.P.
Before the concert Mr. Blackie Lawless held a press conference. Among other things he told us that the original member, Chris Holmes, no longer is a member of the band. Chris has decided to play the blues like Mr. B.B. King. The concert was splendid apart from the fact that the sound was the worst during the festival. They also played a song from their latest album Unholy Terror. I haven't heard it except but that song had a typical W.A.S.P. sound and feel. The feeling and routine was there because Stet, Mike and Blackie are so tight in their playing that it's scary. They have played together for a long timer.

For the second time the fence broke down and the concert had to stop and two people were injured and driven to hospital. The new guitar man was dull. No action at all. We miss Chris Holmes on the stage. He is a hero on stage. The concert focused on the band's greatest-hits with lots of old classics especially from the first record: "L.O.V.E. Machine", "Animal (Fuck like a beast)" and my 2 favorites, "The Idol" and "The Great Misconceptions of Me" from the best album in my opinion..

For the encore they played "I Wanna Be Somebody." As usual, the show was to short but good.

 

GARY MOORE
Mr. Moore was on top on Friday. I hoped for any old hard rock song's but instead it was blues the whole show through. He played his blues-classics: Still got the blues, Oh, pretty woman, To tired among others. Gary Moore´s band was very dull and without inspiration and the only person that moved on stage was Mr. Moore himself! I have never liked his blues and never listened to them but this concert was splendid and when I returned home I listened to the records and was excited. Blues is not so bad with Mr. Moore kicking ass. 

Setlist:
You Upset Me Baby
Cold Black Night
Stormy Monday
Walking By Myself
Pretty Woman
Picture Of The Moon
Since I Met You Baby
All Your Love
Still Got The Blues
How Many Lies
Too Tired
The Sky is Crying
Fire
Enough Of The Blues (Encore 1)

 

SUMMING UP THE FIRST DAY
Maybe a bit boring lineup for a ten-year anniversary but having grown-up in the 70s, and with the hard rock interest waking up in the 80s, this festival was an eldorado with old heroes from the 80´s like U.D.O. W.A.S.P. and Gary Moore. I demand the festival direction to analyze what happened when the fence brook so that there will never be a disaster as in Roskilde Denmark in 2000 when 9 youngsters died during the concert. The safety must strengthen even more at over festivals in Europe. As a whole, a nice first day.


Day 2

PRETTY MAIDS
They came at last to play on the Swedish ground. Many people in the audience had waited for this moment. As usual, they are splendid live. I saw them earlier this year at Pumpehuset in Copenhagen Denmark and their show was longer because they were headlining. Songs played were among others Tortured spirit, Wouldn't miss you and older ones such as Future world and one of my favorites - Please don't leave me. They also played  their first hit Red Hot And Heavy along with Walk Away and Live Until It Hurts. Ken on guitar is a real guitar hero. Ronnie's voice is one of the best in Scandinavia and his voice only grows every year. A very good 

Setlist:
Sin-decade
Rock the house
Wouldn't miss you
Tortured spirit
Rodeo
Destination paradise
Walk away
Live until it hurts
Drums
Queen of dreams
Please don't leave me
Back to back
Future world (encore)
Red hot and heavy (encore)

 

DOKKEN
Back For The Attack, Under Lock and Key and Beast From The East-live are classics today. Dokken hasn't been in Sweden for many years. I have never seen them play live before so I was looking forward to this very much. I have always liked the old 80´s records but after the real Dokken split up I had lost interest in them.

Erase The Slate from 1999 was a fresh injection and I like this one really. So it was time for Dokken to enter the stage: Mick Brown (drums), Don Dokken (vox), Mickey D (bass) and our own Swedish guitar hero number one John Norum(git).

What a concert it was, All the classics were played like: It's Not Love, Tooth and Nail, Breaking The Chains and When Heaven Comes Down. It was magic, only a pity they haven't come earlier. Because the show was a real hit. Dokken sings like a God. John Norum plays so that his fingers glow and I have never seen him in such good form before. Mick Brown played the drums like a mad man. It was great for an old fan from the 80´s like me. All the songs are still going strong but the new ones are weaker. I wanted the band to play longer but it was a good show. This was John Norums return to Dokken. Now he is an official member of the band again. Dokken must come back to Sweden...soon!

Setlist:
Erase the slate
Kiss of death
The hunter
Into the fire
Maddest hatter
To high to fly
Breaking the chains
Alone again
It's not love
Tooth and nail
In my dreams
When heaven comes down (encore)
Paris is burning (encore)

 

HELLOWEEN
I have never been a big Helloween-fan but the new record "The dark ride" is a gorgeous record comparing with what they have produced during the 90-ties. This concert was a greatest hits-concert. Old classics were played like Dr. Stein, Future World and Perfect Gentlemen. Songs from the new album were played like: Mirror, Mirror, The Dark Ride and the first songle form the newest album - If I Could Fly. Michael Weikath seemed more interested in smoking his cigarettes than  playing for us in the audience even if the singer tried to get us going. I saw them earlier this year in Malmö Sweden and they were the same. Maybe they were a little bit tired? Helloween knows better than this.

Setlist:
Power
Eagle Fly Free
The Dark Ride
Steel tormentor
Mr. Torture
Future World
I Want Out
Perfect gentlemen
If I could fly
Dr Stein
The Departed
Mirror Mirror
Escalation 666
I Live For Your Pain
How Many Tears (encore)

 

Dee Snider's SMF

A Twisted Sister's reunion has yet to occur so we have to settle with the second best - Dee Snider´s SMF. During 1998 Dee played a lot in Sweden. He played at Sweden Rock Festival in '98. I saw him three times on that tour, the first time at KB in Malmö. It was killer, what a show that was. Dee was the king among the oldies at the festival. Dee has gotten older with dignity and so has the old Twisted Sister songs. They are just as good today as in the eighties. He has a new record out from last year "Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down."  This CD contains a bunch of songs that Dee wrote for Twisted Sister, Desperado and Widow Maker that didn't make any of the records until now.

Dee Snider's SMF is always good on stage and from the new record he played his tribute to his friend Lemmy in Motörhead with the song "Hardcore" and "Isn't That time" also from the new one. He played the title-track from the first album with WidoMaker and it was a really good song. It was good that he played more then Twister Sister material. When Dee was in Sweden '98 he only played Twisted Sister songs which was a little bit boring. According to Sweden Rock, this was his only show is Europe this summer. This is wrong - Dee was booked for Wacken open air. For the rest, it was only to enjoy songs like Stay Hungry, I am I'm Me, Under The Blade, I Wanna Rock, SMF, The Kids Are Back. The best show at the festival was this one. As an extra bonus Dee brought the Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pedro with him. Dee is welcome to Sweden as often as he wants! Sweden loves Dee Fucking Snider and I think he loves it here in Sweden to.

This is heaven for an 80´s fan like me. I met Dee after the show and he signed a picture of me and him from '98. He signs it "Anders Once a SMF always a SMF", so true, so true...

Setlist:
What you don't know . . . . . . .
The kids are back
Stay hungry
Isn't that time
I Am I'm me
You can't stop rock´n roll
I believe in rock´n roll
Leader of the pack/Be cruel to your school
I wanna rock
Hardcore
Burn in hell
The widomaker
Under the blade
The price
S.M.F
We're not gonna take it
It's only rock ´n´ roll

 

CONCLUSION OF THE FESTIVAL
This festival will not go to history as one of the best festivals during the ten year career of Sweden Rock. However, I found it quite satisfactory.  The program was thin if we remember that it was the ten year anniversary. The shortcoming of the festival's program was compensated by brilliant shows by Pretty Maids, W.A.S.P., U.D.O, DOKKEN and the king of the festival - Dee fucking Snider's SMF.

The festival should evaluate what happened during HammerFall and W.A.S.P when the safety-fence broke down and it could have ended in a disaster. 

The lists of songs are in wrong order but I tried to get all of them in my text. Everyone who likes hard rock, heavy metal and blues ought to visit Sweden Rock Festival next year.

Thanks to Tony who handled the press and every volunteer who worked during the festival, all the bands that came and no-one cancelled their show. It was a calm festival. Maybe the visitors could have been numerous but with the actual program many rockers didn't come. 

It is said that there were 8000 people every day at the festival.

W.A.S.P.

 

GARY MOORE

 

PRETTY MAIDS

 

DOKKEN

 

HELLOWEEN

 

DEE SNIDER

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