Summer Rock Festival
11-13/7 – 2008
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Guest Contributor: Ulrika Henriksson
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The Summer Rock Festival or in Swedish it is Sommar Rock Festivalen is an annual festival held in a town just outside Malmoe called Svedala. The festival turns to all categories of ages. Both younger and older well as families are welcome and there are many artists that appeal to every kind of musical taste and genre. The festival only includes Swedish acts and this year was Sahara Hotnights, Magnus Uggla, Calaisa, Amanda Jenssen and Mustasch amongst many others booked to perform. It’s a very intimate and cozy festival that spans from Thursday to Saturday. The festival area includes three stages, the M, L and XL stage. We visited all stages when we were waiting for the bands to play.
We started out with covering the Swedish lounge metal trio Hellsongs at L stage. The band consists of:
Harriet Ohlsson – lead vocals
Johan Bringhed – keyboard
Kalle Karlsson – guitar, vocals
The band has re-arranged some of the most well known classical hardrock and metal tunes to almost acoustical versions with Ohlsson on vocals. The band has so far released one EP and one studio album and the band have been out on tours on in both Europe and Scandinavia.
At the stroke of 6 o’clock the trio kicked off their show with “Paranoid” before they continued on with “Seek and Destroy”. Believe it or not those songs fit really well in this calm and slow disguise, and both Ohlsson and Karlsson are two charismatic front figures that encouraged the crowd to sing along and snap their fingers in some of the songs. Next up was the Judas Priest classical pick “Breaking The Law”. Unfortunately the band played for quite few people but that didn’t seem to mind the band at all. It looked like the trio had a great time on stage and that they seemed to love what they do. Hellsongs performed in front of their back drop, that was the only thing they had on stage and during the Iron Maiden song “Running Free” the band encouraged us to sing along with them. In the middle of the song they told us to shout LOUNGE METAL which the few people did. Karlsson introduced the next song by saying that this one is probably the heaviest song ever done by Hellsongs. And it was the brilliant Slayer song “Seasons In The Abyss” which sounded different but great in this shape. It’s unusual but fun to hear your favorite hardrock and metal songs in a slow and acoustical shape sung by a woman. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was dedicated to everyone who fights the bad elements in society like racism, sexism and so on and despite the song is a real football chorus song it was a really relaxed and laid back atmosphere in the tent.
The set ended with “Symphony Of Destruction” and the AC/DC piece “Thunderstruck”. But the crowd wanted more and Hellsongs came back to do “Run To The Hills” before it was time to really thank the audience. 40 minutes had then flown away and it was time for us to head over to the other stage.
Seek And Destroy
Breaking The Law
Seasons In the Abyss
We’re Not Gone Take It
Symphony Of Destruction
Run To The hills
We have seen Hellsongs a few times before and they have always impressed. Its fun to hear the good old songs in another shape and form and it’s obvious that the band loves the songs as much as we do. This was another great show by the only lounge metal act in Sweden – Hellsongs; remember where you read about the band first.
When we sat and waited for Mustasch to go on the main stage XL we couldn’t but be astounded by the large number of security and volunteers that walked around in the area and that made it possible to arrange a festival in such a small town as Svedala. We also watched the Mustasch crew try to rig the equipment. To do it in private they had hung up a huge curtain in front of the stage. Well the curtain blew here and there because of the wind and we were able to see everything that was going on behind the curtain.
The band walked on stage to the sound of their Eurovision Song Contest tune. Changes have been made in the bands long solid line-up, the original guitarist Hannes Hansson has left he band in the middle of this tour and was this evening replaced by the Finnish Kristian Laimaa. But he isn’t a steady member and during the Swedish tour the band have had a few different guitarists. The bands core is now the original members:
Ralf Gyllenhammar – lead vocals, guitar
Mats “Dojan” Hansson – drums
Mats “Stam” Johansson – bass
It’s always a great time when the metal band Mustasch is on stage and the band has never let us down during all the times we have seen them live. The band is really huge in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe and they are still touring on their latest studio album THE LATEST VERSION OF THE TRUTH that was awarded with a Grammy in Sweden for the best metal/hardock album last year.
When the intro had faded out it was time to kick off the show once and for all and the band opened with the amazing track “In The Night” and as always was the band tight, heavy and fun to watch. Especially Gyllenhammar is a fun guy to see live and you never know what’s gonna happened when he is on stage. Before the next song came on Gyllenhammar wondered if Svedala knew that the band is sponsored by a famous whiskey brand- Jack Daniels. As always he sipped on the JD bottle through the gig. “Down In Black” and “Accident Black Spot” came on next but before the third song was ended anyone who was in the photo pit was thrown out of the pit for no obvious reason. Well, Kristian Laimaa was introduced and the crowd welcomed him with open arms. When I wandered across the lawn I noticed how many people that had shown up to see Mustasch. This band is clearly loved by many.
“Falling Down” was drawn out a bit, everyone besides Stam went off stage and he played a bass solo. Gyllenhammar asked how many of us had bought the latest album, and then he asked how many of us had downloaded the album. He said that it didn’t matter whether we had bought it or not as long as we came to the shows. Then he took another sip from the JD bottle and kicked off the excellent “Bring Me Everyone”. Gyllenhammar did a joke about the band was gonna get poor if we didn’t bought the albums that ended up with the crowd throwing up coins to him. He got 25 SEK from the audience before the slightly slow “Wizard” was played. It’s worth mentioning once again that Gyllenhammar is the perfect front-man, he ran around, joked with the crowd, jumped and shouted on stage, he’s part genius and part crazy.
Gyllenhammar invited everyone to jump around with him in “I Hunt Alone” before “Parasite” was fired off. He also dedicated the last song for the evening to every hard worker in Sweden that goes to work everyday and slaves even though it might not be the thing you want to do. “Monday Warrior” was dedicated to them.
But that wasn’t the end. The band returned to the stage and Gyllenhammar said that even though their time was up they simply had to play their huge radio hit “Double Nature”. That was the perfect song to end a show with. It’s one of the best songs on the album for sure. The audience had by then reached the boiling point and after about one hour was the show over. Mustasch did once again prove that they are one of the best live acts in Sweden today. There are not many that can do a show of Mustasch caliber. The only negative thing with the show was the dreadful sound. The guy that was in charge of the sound must have been either asleep or totally def. it was a great show by one of the best bands in Sweden and we did agree that this was one of the shows that we are gonna remember for a long time.
In The Night
Down In Black
Accident Black Spot
Bring Me Everyone
I Hunt Alone
This year’s version of the Summer Rock Festival was a nice one but for the next year I hope that can add little harder acts. Otherwise it was, as always, a friendly festival and its fun to visit a closer and smaller festival compared to the ones I usually attend (Roskilde and Wacken). The great thing about this festival is that they focus on bringing in artists that fits all ages. Both your grandmother and your kids can have fun on Summer Rock Festival. 11700 people did visit this year’s festival and that must be considered as a success. Keep up the good work Summer Rock Festival; hope to see you again next year.
Many thanks to the head of the Summer Rock Festival Markus Lindberg for press/photo pass to the Festival and thanks to all the nice security and volunteers at the festival.
More info about the festival.
More info about Hellsongs
More info about Mustasch