Swedenrock 2006

August 5th, 2006
by Marko Syrjala

SATURDAY

 

After missing some of the earliest acts like the names of Anvil and Crucified Barbara it was time for Michael Schenker, the man of Scorpions, UFO, MSG and solo fame. Now with Finnish singer Jari Tiura on the microphone and an album called "Tales of Rock ‘n’ Roll" newly released, things are looking good for Michael. As a surprise guest ex-MSG singer Leif Sundin takes on the lead vocals for a bit, which was a nice extra. With an excellent selection from Michael’s career spanning 25 years, regardless of the rather early show time the audience seemed very receptive to Michael’s virtuous display. In addition to the MSG repertoire, such U.F.O classics as "Lights Out", "Let It Roll" and "Doctor Doctor" were also featured, naturally. Band and especially Michael really seemed to enjoy being on stage and because Michael even smiled on stage which doesn’t happen too often. Coincidently next in turn on the main stage after MSG was The Sensational Alex Harvey Group, also very good, featuring various ex-MSG members (Chris Glenn & Ted McKenna) 

 

 

 

1. Intro:

2. Assault Attack

3. Ready To Rock

4. Let It Roll (Ufo)

5. Dust To Dust

6. Love Trade

7. Shadow Lady

8. Angel Of Avalon (Guest On Lead Vocals:Leif Sundin)

9. Lights Out (Ufo)

10. Into The Arena

(Inc:Bass-Solo:Rev(Inc:Eleanor Rigby(Beatles)),Drumsolo:Pete,Guitarsolo:Michael)

11. But I Want More

12. Too Hot To Handle (Ufo)

13. On And On

14. Only You Can Rock Me (Ufo)

15. Armed And Ready

16. Attack Of The Mad Axeman

17. Doctor Doctor (Ufo) (Guest On Duet Vocals:Leif Sundin)

 

 SODOM

I had been looking forward to seeing Sodom again after witnessing them back in Helsinki sharing the stage with their countrymen Destruction and Kreator a few years back. Their gig was absolutely brutal and savage, but above all damn great. The Swedenrock set of the German thrash trio led by Tom Angelripper was kicked off with the opening song "Blood On The Lips" off from the new album and continued by another song off from the album. But basically then the whole setlist was entirely built to cover a bunch of stuff from their 90�s releases. Quite logical to expect that as Angelripper himself had listed YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE, in several interviews, as one of his personal fave albums in the Sodom discography. But seeing from a longtime fan�s point of view, the 90�s stuff ain�t the most attractive, nor so called cult classic Sodom stuff. Of course "Remember The Fallen", "In The Sign Of Evil" were the mandatory ones together with "Ausgebombts". Despite Tom Angelripper has always been a die-hard Motorhead fan since his teen years, but is it necessary to conclude the set by Motorhead�s "Aces Of Spades". Where was "Nuclear Winter" ? However the German thrashers did an utter outbreak of evil show in the front of thousands of people screaming Sodom. The band is definitely thrashing brutal as hell, but something was lost and quite badly. The whole trio sounded like some noisy punk band and didn�t give the impression of being a real thrash band image.

 

ONSLAUGHT

Now it was time for Metal Forces when the reunited Bristish thrashers got the stage to let there be death. After quite boring set by Sodom, Onslaught was a perfect example of how the real old school thrash stuff should and has to sound. The frontman Sy Keeler still has his recognizable brutal voice style. Onslaught gave us utter murderous thrash till death from the beginning to the end. It felt like the guys were just back from a short break and just wiped all the dust off from their shoulders as the overall attitude and sounds were admirable. It’s kinda hard to start describing without obvious praising, but Onslaught was in extreme fine and vicious strike during the whole app. 45 minute set. The set for natural reasons consisted of a plenty of killer old stuff like "Metal Forces, Let There Be Death, and a new song "Destroyer Of The World". Can�t wait for their new album!

 

EDGUY

The German metal assault continued when Edguy hit the stage, Well, Tobias Sammatt jumped all around the stage like a young kangaroo and the whole German power pentad appeared to be in a good mood. To be honest, Edguy was Edguy giving the guaranteed and safe delivery of their wellknown songs picked up from each album of theirs. No big surprise from them however.

 

 

The original "Redneck of Rock�Roll", Ted Nugent, returned to Swedenrock after a few years break. Well, he looked and sounded very much the same as in 2003. He did mostly the same song�s, classics like "Cat Scratch Fewer" and "Great White Buffalo" but also one brand new track called "Still Raising Hell" which sounded very promising indeed. Ted had now a brand new backing band which consisted of bassist Barry Sparks and drummer Mick Brown who both play also in Dokken. Actually, nothing new there but why should everything change? Ted is not an easy person to like for everybody. He�s a patriaotic American and a political person. He�s a well known hunter and lately he�s been on headlines more because of other reasons than his musical deeds but he certainly has something that many of today�s artist are completely missing , the attitude.

 

1. Intro:

2. Stormtroopin’

3. Wango Tango

4. Snakeskin Cowboys

5. Free For All

6. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

7. Klstrphkme

8. Rawdogs & Warhogs

9. Soul Man (Sam & Dave)

10. Hey Baby #

11. Dog Eat Dog

12. Still Raising Hell (New)

13. Motorcity Madhouse (Inc:Baby Please Don’t Go(Joe Williams))

14. Cat Scratch Fever

15. Stranglehold

16. Great White Buffalo

 

"If you’ve seen one Alice Cooper show, you’ve seen them all." commented one reporter at the press conference. I’d have to partly agree. I have to say that, Alice never really left anyone who knows what to expect down. Alice�s career has already lasted more than thirty years and that�s easy to realize when you hear his set list. For obvious reasons most of the material comes off from his 70�s production but unlike many other artists who have such a long and comprehensive career, Alice does play songs from a very wide selection of his albums. "Poison" is representing his very successful late 80�s while "Feed My Frankestein" and "Lost in America" are from the 90�s. In brief, his set consisted of one hit song after another, classic after classic with a few token songs from the latest 2005 release "Dirty Diamonds" inserted here and there, great! Also we have to remember that when we are talking about Alice Cooper there�s always more than just the music, there�s always a show. Originally it was him who pioneered a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock the people. In the 70�s Alice created a stage show that featured electric chairs, hanging, guillotines, fake blood, huge constrictors and more. Of course times have changed, the stage show is now smaller and Alice�s not probably shocking as many people anymore, but it was still great to see some his old tricks like the guillotine one.Alice Cooper, a man on his late 50�s, is still on great shape and he can still put out a great show. His ever changing backing band, which now consisted of bassist Chuck Carrick, guitarists Damon Johnson and Keri Kelli and drummer Eric Singer, was once again excellent. They all are true professionals and excellent performers on stage. Especially Singer was phenomenal behind his drum kit.

After seeing this show I have to comment that instead of playing on the second stage, Alice and the boys should definitely have been one of the headliners on this festival!!!

 

 

 

 



1. Intro:Phantom Of The Opera (Overture)

2. Department Of Youth

3. No More Mr. Nice Guy

4. Dirty Diamonds

5. Billion Dollar Babies

6. Be My Lover

7. Lost In America

8. I Never Cry (Acoustic)

9. Woman Of Mass Distraction

10. I’m Eighteen

11. You Drive Me Nervous

12. Is It My Body

13. Go To Hell

14. The Black Widow (Instrumental)

15. Drumsolo:Eric Singer

16. Feed My Frankenstein

17. Medley:"The Piece"

A. Welcome To My Nightmare

B. The Awakening

C. Steven

D. Only Women Bleed

E. Steven

F. Ballad Of Dwight Fry

G. Killer

H. I Love The Dead (Band Only)

18. School’s Out

19. Poison

20. I Wish I Were Born In Beverly Hills

21. Under My Wheels

 

OBITUARY

It could be said Obituary was a real headliner of the third stage by being the last band, but above all the best one compared to all the other bands having been on the stage during these three days. "The Redneck Stomp" started the hour set of blasting death metal and followed by "On The Floor". "Insane". The guitarist, Trevor Peres and drummer Donald Tardy both look like some kind of rednecks having escaped from some swampland of southern states. Man if those beards of the guys will be let to grown more, sooner or later ZZ-Top�s throne of beard has been usurpered. But seriously Obituary was rough, brutal and insane, the five-piece still know to set one hell of awesome memorable death metal to younger generation who thanked and even arranged a desperate looking moshpit. It was utter hard to believe eyes that a legion of hyper active security guys went to stop the small mosh pit. Obviously the security people thought the kids are supposed to act like on some Europe gig. What a stupid. John Tardy�s voice was still in the wellknown slowly we rot striked, having lost any inch since the Xecutioner demodays. Allen West looked quite calmed down person rather staying more in the background whereas Frank Watkins kept moving more or less all around the stage. And Trevor with his armpikes. Obituary was in the extreme vicious and lethal strike during the whole set. "Threating Skies" or "Find The Rise" or any other song picked from any Obituary album sounded absolutely nihilistic great.

CELTIC FROST

Now it was time to see forefathers of several death/black metal bands, like Obituary. Namely Celtic Frost was instead the headliner of the Swedenrock stage. The Swiss Celtic Frost were forced to cancel their first outdoor festival appearance at the Rock Hard Festival in the very last minute as Tom G Warrior�s kidneys problems managed to cause a real pandemounic trip to hospital. Therefore that caused a speculation about a possible cancellation of Swedenrock, but however they arrived as T.G Warrior said "Three days ago I was in hospital, but I came here to give My Inner Sanctum". "Procreation Of The Wicked" started the 90 minute set and followed by a whole bunch of immortal classic Celtic Frost tunes picked up from the 80�s releases. For obvious reasons both the two last albums before the break-up had been skipped up. The outlook of the Swiss band was utter dismal, by relying on having evil looking corpsepaints on their faces and above all Martin Ain had dressed up to some eccentric catholic monk cape. Whereas Warrior himself kept the funny looking skicap which got thrown away in the middle of the set. Even though Celtic Frost have been in headlines of several magazines and received a wide range of all kinds of hype, but for some reason the area was definitely not packed at all. Obviously Alice Cooper�s show must have pulled a huge crowd. However, the stage had been decorated with the wellknown hetagram marks and the coverart of TO MEGA THERION was hanging on the background of the stage. When the night got darker in the Swedish landscape, all the lights and all the backdrops started looking and getting more their deserved place. The Swiss legends delivered a plenty of killer and awesome songs as stated above, but for some reason "Morbid Tales" had been skipped. However to sum up the CF set by describing it "Dismal, heavy and depressive" and it damn well was.

1. Totengott (Intro)

2. Procreation (Of the Wicked)

3. Ground

4. Dethroned Emperor

5. The Usurper

6. Jewel Throne

7. Ain Elohim

8. Necromantical Screams

9. Dawn of Meggido

10. Mesmerized

11. Sorrows of the Moon

12. Return to the Eve

13. Visions of Mortality

14. Into the Cryps of Rays

15. Progeny

16. Inner Sanctum

17. Circle of the Tyrants

18. Synagoga Satanae

 

Finally it was time of the very last band on this festival. Former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale formed Whitesnake around 1976. Band had some line-up changes in the beginning but starting from the release of "Lovehunter" at 1979 band found the correct combination which included Coverdale, Neil Murray, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody and former Purple colleagues Ian Paice and Jon Lord. Together they recorded four studio albums and two live recordings before band all of sudden took almost two year break in 1982."Slide It In" was released at 1984 at it became their biggest success so far. It even went to platinum in U.S while the older records were fairly popular only in Europe and Japan. "Slide It In" also introduced some "new snakes" when guitarist John Sykes and Cozy Powell joined on the family. After the tour band took another extended break and after three years they released an eponymous album "1987" which was even better than its predecessor. Songs like: "Is This Love", "Still of the Night" and re-recorded version of old classic "Here I Go Again" created an enormous international success and album was selling over six million copies in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately Coverdale and Sykes, who wrote most of the material of "1987", decided to separate their ways soon after the release of the album. Within the release of next album "Slip of the Tongue" Coverdale once again assembled a completely new version of the band which now included an "all star" line-up: Steve Vai, Adrian Vandenberg, Tommy Aldridge, Don Airey and Rudy Sarzo. Although the record still went platinum, it was a considerable disappointment after the across-the-board success of "1987" and band disbanded again at after the following tour. In 1997 Whitesnake resurrected once again and they released new album "Restless Heart" but it wasn�t too big commercial success.

The following tour was called "Farewell tour" and Coverdale announced that he was soon going to retire from the whole music business and that�s what he did for a while after the release of solo album "Into the Light" at 2000. But as we all know, things might change. The continuous rumors about possible Whitesnake re-union started once again and they finally turned into reality at 2003. The band, now consisting of Coverdale, Doug Aldrich, Reb Beach, Timothy Drury, Marco Mendoza and Tommy Aldridge announced a world tour which turned out to be a huge worldwide success. Later on the same year Whitesnake performed on Swedenrock Festival as a headliner with such names like Twisted Sister, Queensryche, Yes and Mot�rhead. That was three years ago and they are here again. A very few things have changed in Whitesnake camp on the past years which is quite rare if you know something about their history. Besides doing several tours they recently released a new live DVD called "Live�In the Still of the Night".

Show started off with the rendition of old Deep Purple classic "Burn". David proved right from the beginning that he still has very impressive, strong voice that will send shivers down your spine.Speaking of Deep Purple a little bit, not only does David have the vocal part down but it also must be said that Ian Gillan should definitely look in Mr. Coverdale’s direction for dress tips�"Slide It In" was the second song and great addition on the set list and it sounded brilliant and so was "Love Ain�t No Stranger". Actually there is not much to say about the rest of the show. There is no doubt that band is playing some of its best material. It�s also a fact that current band is a group of top musicians, professionals who are very capable of playing stuff from any period of Whitesnake or from David’s other bands. David himself is still top form, both physically and vocally wise but there�s still one problem. If you have seen this band before or you have seen the DVD you will know how the rest is going. Same songs in order, same comments between the songs, almost identical drum and guitar solos and everything else� The most pleasant moment happened when band did a medley of some less frequently Whitesnake songs: "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues", "Lovehunter" and "Slow�n Easy". While the set list is otherwise almost identical to what was released on new DVD (and that DVD is similar what they�ve done on almost every show on last three years) this was something really refreshing. In brief, something have to change !

Despite little critics here it can be honestly stated that Whitesnake was worth of being a headliner and the closer of this year festival. Hopefully band will release a brand new studio album on next year as planned and we are going to see them again on the road with bag full of new tricks. Way to go !! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it would be a good place and time to express both thanks and and of course share a little bit criticism seen from our point of view as well in order to conclude the article. As usual all kinds of things happened at the Swedenrock, for example the lost wallet of one of us. Even the local cops were quite confused and unaware what to do. However the wallet got found, but the most amazing thing was that none of credit cards was stolen nor all the money. That perfectly describes how loyal and honest the audience of the Swedenrock definitely is. And above all the metal and rock people seem to be extreme honest as other person�s money ain�t stolen at all.

 

The whole festival is extreme well organized as usual. The atmosphere and being in the festival is more than fantastic and enjoyable for sure. Everything worked well timed without any problems. As usual the whole festival was damn success in every aspect in terms of huge crowds, app 22000 visitors each day. It is sure these 22.000 visitors are eager to enter the festival again in 2007.. Adj� och vi ses igen on n�sta �ren!!

 

 

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