SWEDENROCK 2010

June 17th, 2010
by Marko Syrjala

 

SATURDAY

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FATES WARNING

Legendary LA prog metallers Fates Warning has gone several chnages thru years and reached a more cult following amongst the progressive metal fans. With the PARALLEL album line-up Fates Warning visited Swedenrock for the first time ever and performed on the main stage. The band’s solid and melodic prog metal got swallowed by the festival crowd very well. As this was a special gig with the Parallel line-up it was obvious the whole album was played thru and of course other songs such as “Through Different Eyes” off PERFECT SYMMETRY and even the newer material “Another Perfect Day” off FWX being the latest FW album by the way got played. Fates Warning just proved by being one of the greatest progressive metal bands, but unfortunately haven’t managed to get into the big league. 

According to the bassist Joe DiBiase , who left the band after the tour with Dream Theater in the mid of the 90’s, told he enjoys playing now and the future shall show.

Leave the Past Behind

Life In Still Water

Eye to Eye

The Eleventh Hour

Point of View

We Only Say Goodbye

Don’t Follow Me

Face the Fear

One Play

A Pleasant Shade of Gray Part III

Another Perfect Day

Through Different Eyes

Monument

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UNISONIC

A band called Unisonic doesn’t say anything for average music fans but the name Michael Kiske for sure does .The former Helloween singer from the bands golden era, KEEPER OF THE KEYS –albums and more, is finally back on stage. There’s no saying that Michael hasn’t done anything with the music business during the past seventeen years when he’s been off stage. He’s been involved with tons of different projects and albums including: Tobias Sammat’s Avantasia –albums, Revolution Renessance with Timo Tolkki, Supared, four KISKE albums and last but not least the Place Vendome –project which in a way was in a key role for Michael’s decision to return. Place Vendome –line up also includes current Unisonic members: bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) and drummer Kosta Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69). Unisonic line-up is completed with former Krokus and Asia guitarist Mandy Mayer. The show started with three Place Vendome tracks: “Cross the Line”, “I’ll Gone” and “Set Me Free”. It’s a fact that at first Michael seemed to be little confused on stage but it got better fast and what’s important his recognizable voice was still as good as ever. The rest of the band did a good performance and provided some great backing vocals as well. Unfortunately, which was already obvious before the show, audience didn’t seem to know Place Vendome material too well. It’s anyway such a small marginal project with not too much visibility, at least yet. Band did perform one brand new track  called “Souls Alive” written by Mandy. It was such a heavy song with some good melodies. In a way, it reminded some of his work with Krokus but it was still different material and really promising. After a couple of more Place Vendome tracks the band finally went into songs that most old Helloween fans were here waiting for. “Kids of the Century” and especially “A Little Time” proved for everybody that Michael can still easily nail that old material. It’s a pity that band haven’t had time to finish their new album before this show but anyway it’s great to see Michael back where he belongs, on stage.

3/5

Cross The Line

I’ll Be Gone

Set Me Free

Souls Alive

Sign Of The Times

Streets of Fire

The Setting Sun

My Guardian Angel

Kids of the Century

A Little Time

 

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POINT BLANK 

Point Blank last played at SRF in 2004, a welcome return for this Texas based southern rock band. The band recently released their comeback album FIGHT ON! In 2009, the first in 27 years.Original bassist Phillip Petty sadly passed away a couple of days prior to this gig but Rusty Burns, John O’Daniel and company still put on an excellent performance. Amongst many others “Mean to your queenie” were heard and also an cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway star“. Point Blank performed on the aptly renamed DIO Stage, normally named Zeppelin stage.

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WINGER

This was Winger’s first time at SRF and right away at the biggest festival stage and in the sunshine! The band performed a really rocking set including all the hits from the early 90’s, for example ”Seventeen’, ”Easy Come Easy Go” and ”Can’t Get Enuff”. Three new hard rocking songs from the new ’back-to-basics’ album KARMA were also heard. Winger are really skillful musicians, not the least heard and seen during their respective solos. 

Pull Me Under

Blind Revolution Mad

Easy Come Easy Go

Stone Cold Killer

Rainbow in the Rose

Deal With The Devil

Down Incognito

Guitar solo (John Roth)

Your Great Escape

Guitar Solo (Reb Beach)

You Are the Saint, I Am the Sinner

Drum Solo (Rod Morgenstein)

Headed for a Heartbreak

Can’t Get Enuff

Seventeen

Madalaine

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RAVEN

Raven is one of these 80’s metal bands that didn’t manage to raise to the upper league and remained to enjoy the cult following thru these bands. The band has experienced a rough time for example Mark Gallagher smashed his leg. Anyway Raven has returned and made a debut gig at Swedenrock. Due to the unexpected technical problems with the guitar, the beginning of the set suffered quite a bit. Despite the problems the three piece soldiered on. Band stormed the most essential Raven classic ones such as: "All For One", "Break the Chain" and "Rock Until You Drop". The Gallagher brothers gave the demonstration by crossing their instruments. Raven rocked and showed the old metal still lives and breathes well and above all never surrender.

2,5/5

Take Control

Live At The Inferno

All For One

Breaking You Down

Rock Until You Drop

Speed Of The Reflex / Mind Over Metal

Walk Through Fire

Crash, Bang, Wallop

On And On

Break The Chain

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NITZINGER

John Nitzinger played a electrifying set at SRF 2001 and now he finally returned.This time was very different because now John was here to play without his backing band and the show was going to be all acoustic. After some problems (by SRF) with getting his guitar to work  he played material from his whole career including songs from that classic?blue??album ONE FOOT IN HISTORY and the first self titled album from 1972. John once again let his charisma and persona come through and he put on a really good show.It was a really good idea turning the Rock Klassiker tent into an all ?unplugged? environment. The tent could perhaps be a little bit bigger next time so all (willing) people could fit in when some of the bigger artists play there?or then just in case of really bad weather?

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OPETH

Opeth is either adored or disliked. It is obvious that Opeth has a tremendous fanbase at the domestic soil as the area of the second party was totally packed when the progemasters entered the stage. Even though they band had the playing time quite enough, but the running time of each song is long eating most of time. Besides it is occasionally hard to figure out why Opeth is such popular as they are deadboring. Whatever as people seem to dig them and Opeth has deserved and gained all the success. Mikael Åkerbelt definitely loves speaking and communicating with the audience. Opeth definitely fits to smaller clubs than big open air festivals.

Windowpane

The Grand Conjuration

The Lotus Eater

The Drapery Falls

Advent

Demon of the Fall

Deliverance

Blackwater Park

 

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ANVIL

The Canadian cult metallers Anvil having great success in the wake of their DVD pulled a massive crowd to bang their heads. The frontman Lips was truly excited about having a chance to play at the European metal and rock festivals. The set was kicked off by the instrumental song “March of The Crabs” followed by the new and old songs. The frontman Lips appeared to be in an extreme good mood during the whole gig. Why not ?! The three piece lives their glorious years again. Besides the band had pulled tremendous large of audience. The Canadian three piece truly deserves to have second chance in their career. 

   

    March of the Crabs

    666

    School Love

    Winged Assassins

    This Is Thirteen

    Mothra

    Flying Blind

    Thumb Hang

    White Rhino

    Mad Dog

    Forged in Fire

    Metal on Metal 

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WATAIN

Watain’s set was advertised as a special Bathory set in advance. The stage was a full of different sizes of pyrostands and all kinds of pentagrams looking symbols. The Watain set had been divided to two different sections. The first one consisted of the material of Watains’s own and the second had been dedicated to Bathory. Watain’s own set featured the most recent single “Reaping Death” and of course the older ones such as “Sworn to the Dark”. As for the Bathory, after a break the father of the last Quorthon, Peter Boss Forsborg entered the stage with the torch in his hand and welcomed to the Bathory world. After the “Odens Ride Over Nordland” intro followed by “ A fine day to die” and from the other older Bathory albums. Frankly Watain did an outstanding performance and interpretation of those Bathory classics. Even though the set had been focused on the more brutal blackish stuff of Bathory, it would have been interesting and curious to hear how Watain would have done the Viking era of Bathory. But in general absolutely great tribute.

4/5

Malfeitor Play

      Sworn to the Dark

      I Am The Earth

      Wolves Curse

      Reaping Death

      Stellarvore

      On Horns Impaled

      A Fine Day to Die (Bathory cover)

      The Return of Darkness and Evil (Bathory cover)

      Reaper (Bathory cover)

      Enter the Eternal Fire (Bathory cover)

      Sacrifice (Bathory cover)

      Born For Burning (Bathory cover)

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WASP

WASP seems to have a neverending success amongst the Swedish hard rockers. When Blackie with the back-up bands got on the stage every corner on the field was totally blocked. However the gig was advertised to consist of the material off the first two albums. That definitely made one wonder how he could play some of those tunes as the lyrics of these particular songs are against his belief. The set was kicked off by “On Your Knees” and followed by “Torture Never Stops”. All in all the set mainly consisted of the material from  those albums mentioned earlier, but there was one new song from BABYLON and of course “Chainsaw Charlie”. The gig itself was a brutal lesson of real heavy metal with the killer sounds and raging performance. WASP is always a killer live as back in the day. WASP stands for Heavy Metal with the real meaning.

4,5/5


On Your Knees

The Torture Never Stops

L.O.V.E. Machine

Wild Child

The Last Command

Crazy

Hellion

Widowmaker

Sleeping (In The Fire)

Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue

Babylon’s Burning

The Idol

I Wanna Be Somebody

Blind In Texas
 

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STRATOVARIUS

While Guns And Roses was welcoming the audience to the jungle on the main stage, the finnish power metal combo Stratovarius was on the fourth stage. It is kinda ironic how the mighty power metal band has fallen from the hunting high to the hunting low as the band would have been on the second stage years earlier. They managed to pull less people than for example Anvil and Mayhem. Hmmm.. Obviously the timing was not that perfect for the band. The five piece went thru the most essential so called Strato classics such as: "Black Diamond", "Hunting High and Low" and "Speed OF Light". The current guitar wizard Matias Kupiainen definitely stepped in to fill large shoes left by Timo Tolkki, but in the live situation Kupiainen handled the playing of these older songs fine. All in all Stratovarius did quite a routine gig at Swedenrock offering no surprises.

3/5

Hunting High and Low

Speed of Light

The Kiss of Judas

Deep Unknown

Phoenix

Winter Skies

A Million Light Years Away

Forever

Visions (Southern Cross)

Eagleheart

S.O.S.

Paradise

Black Diamond

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GUNS’N ROSES

Axl Rose for sure is one of the most controversial and interesting persons in the world of rock history. After Guns ‘n Roses finally released its long awaited comeback album CHINESE DEMOCRACY last year, which was in the making for over 16 years, the band has now returned on tour with its renewed lineup. With Axl and keyboardist Dizzy Reed being the only members left from bands classic USE YOUR ILLUSION era, the current version now includes bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer, another keyboardist Chris Pitman and guitarists Ron “Bumblefoot” Thai , Richard Fortus and  DJ Ashba.


Axl and his (hired) guns are well known of having a habit to start their shows late, sometimes less and sometimes more, and Swedenrock -show wasn’t any exception here.  DJ Ashba opened up the show with the main riff of “Chinese Democracy” about 45 minutes later than originally announced (which was such an acceptable from this band who is sometimes delaying their shows for hours.) The whole band soon appeared on stage and the long awaited performance finally started with tons of explosives used. With Guns’n Roses it’s always a little mystery how Axl is doing “today” but today he did seem to have a good day. The vocals worked out really well and although everyone could now see  him getting older Axl was still running and dancing across the stage like in the old days. Axl was wearing same style clothing, including bandana and huge sunglasses, which he was famous for in the bands glory days and it was a good choice for sure. A string of APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION classics: “Welcome to the Jungle”, “It’s So Easy” and “Mr. Brownstone” worked out great, you can’t go wrong with such strong material as that, but unfortunately things went little down when band next headed into new album track “Sorry”. “Live and Let Die” did help a lot but another new track, slow and dragging “This I Love”, killed the atmosphere almost immediately. 


The same effect was repeated many times during the show. It must be admitted that although there are some really good material on CHINESESE DEMOCRACY, like “Street of Dreams and “Better”, those songs are still far from the quality of the early material on APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION. Also, for some strange reason, the band didn’t play much material from the USE YOUR ILLUSION albums. Altogether only four tracks were performed and that’s not much when you have 30 songs on those two excellent albums to choose from. But with the set list you can’t ever please everyone. Axl himself was even in surprisingly good shape in every way and there was nothing wrong with the current band either. Especially the bands latest addition DJ Ashba (Sixx A.M, ex-Beautiful Creatures) and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal presented some excellent playing while the rest of the guys stayed more on the background.

As a whole, the show was  impressive with some cool effects, pyro and explosives used. This current band incarnation might not be even close to the original version of Guns ‘n Roses but it did prove that there’s still plenty of life left within this band no matter if it’s just Axl and his hired Guns.

3,5/5

Chinese Democracy

Welcome To The Jungle

It’s So Easy

Mr. Brownstone

Sorry

Richard Fortus Guitar Solo

Live And Let Die

This I Love

Rocket Queen

Dizzy Reed Piano Solo

Street Of Dreams

You Could Be Mine

DJ Ashba Guitar Solo

Sweet Child O’ Mine

Axl Rose Piano Solo

November Rain

Bumblefoot Guitar Solo

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Nightrain

Madagascar

Better

Paradise City

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