The Summer Rock Festival
16/7 – 2010
Europe – Headline -
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Guest Contributor: Ulrika Henriksson
Live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Svedala is a small town located a couple of miles outside Malmoe and the Summer Rock festival has been an annual festival there for several years now. However last year the Festival was held at Friluftsbadet. It’s not certain if the festival is going to be held next year because the town is going to build a school at the current location where the festival has been held through all these years. The festival started out already at Thursday but then it was only a warm-up for Friday and Saturdays events. The festival focuses on offering mainly Swedish acts on stage and the mix of different musical styles and genres are broad.
We did attend the festival onFriday because we were there to see the new up and coming hot rock’n'roll act Royal Republic as well as the old timers in Europe that closed Friday’s show. The festival is an intimate happening with a lot of families as well as teenagers and older people. The festival offers something for every taste. During the first day, Thursday, the festival broke the record with 2900 attending people. The festival has got 3 stages called XL L and M stage.
We focused on Friday and the two bands that appealed to us were Royal Republic and Europe. Royal Republic earlier this year releaseed their brilliant debut album WE ARE THE ROYALS that I really suggest you all to check out if you’re into bands like The Hives and Danko Jones. Europe released their latest album LAST LOOK AT EDEN a while ago and I don’t think I have to describe what kind of music Sweden’s once biggest hardrock band plays. We arrived a bit early to the festival in order to enjoy the atmosphere, take a look at the area and to enjoy a beer or two. There was no problem with getting our passes or to get into the area. The entire festival felt well organized and there were a lot of security to make sure the festival was run smooth. One thing that struck us when we came on to the festivalgrounds was the huge amount of people that were there. There was no doubt that this years festival broke the record of most people of all time. We read that Royal Republic was gonna play at the smallest M stage so we strolled over the the stage in time to see the band that was supposed to go on at 21.30.
The small tent was jammed with people waiting to see Royal Republic who didn’t show up as scheduled. It seemed like there was some kind of technical problem that delayed the band and after 15 minutes a woman came out and announced that the band was gonna go on stage as soon as the problem was solved. The impatient audience shouted for Royal Republic and after a delay of about 20 minutes the band come out on stage to meet the ecstatic audience.
There were so many that wanted to see the band that the space in the tent wasn’t enough so people stood outside the tent and looked in. Members of the band are:
Adam Grahn – lead vocals, guitar
Hannes Irengard – guitar
Jonas Almén – bass
Per Andersson – drums
Royal Republic didn’t waste any more time and did instantly kicked off the opening song which was “Walking Down The Line”. Both of us were hooked at once. The bands raw high fuelled injected rock’n'roll/punk sounded a lot rawer live than on album and it was only to surrender before Grahn and the rest of the band. Grahn thanked everyone for being patient and for having waited for the band and introduced the song “All Because Of You”. The speed was really intense and so was also the heat that had taken over the small tent. Grahn said that he was gonna something he normally doesn’t do and take off his shirt. Then followed excellent songs as “I Must Be Out Of My Mind” and “Cry Baby Cry”. Grahn is an brilliant singer and bandleader but also the rest of the members are worth mentioning. Irengard and Almén went berserk on stage and they were all backed up by the almighty and hard-hitting drummer Andersson. It has been quite a while since we last saw such an adrenaline high act as Royal Republic. It was easy to see that the band loved their fans and the audience as well as the fans and audience loved the band.
“Full Steam Spacemachine” was the name of the next song and it’s also the name of the band’s current single that is heavily played on the national radio channels in Sweden. Maybe it was a mistake of the festival to let the band play at the smallest stage because it got really messy in the front of stage and many wanted to crowdsurf which wasn’t aloud. If the band ever returns to Summer Rock Festival we have no doubt that they will be performing on the biggest stage where the lights are better. The small stage were really poorly lit and therefore there are not many pictures from the show. “President’s Daughter” followed and even though the album hasn’t been out for long almost everyone in the crowd sang a long in the song. Grahn announced that the next song was gonna be a brand new one that they had written on the road in Germany, it was called “Vicious” which pretty much summed up the entire state of the show that Royal Republic gave us. “010101” and “The Royal” followed. Grahn didn’t do much talking but that depended on the lack of time. “Underwear” the mega-hit “Tommy Gun” and “The End” closed the excellent show. Royal Republic was really tight and it was obvious that the guys have been doing a lot of live performances. The entire band was a fuel injected mean machine that delivered some great music. Royal Republic is gonna be the next big thing out of Sweden!
Walking Down The Line
All because Of You
I Must Be Out Of My Mind
Cry Baby Cry
Full Steam Spacemachine
Europe was about to start their show in just a few minutes so we did our best to go as fast as we could over the lawn to the biggest stage on the area. People had waited for a while in front of the big stage so there were a lot of fans and audience already on spot. Already on stage stood the drumkit and beside that on each side were two smaller backdrops placed with the band’s name on them.
The last time I saw them was on their Prisoners In Paradise Tour back in 1992 I think. I haven’t paid the band much attention ever since they kicked off their career in 2004 again and that’s because of the lousy albums they have released since then.
The tour kicked off in January here in Sweden before the guys headed over to Asia and back to Europe. The clock turned 22.40 and it was time for the band to go on stage.
Joey Tempest – lead vocals
John Norum – guitar
Ian Haugland- drums
Mic Michaeli – keyboards
John Leven – bass
The band came on stage accompanied by “Prelude” which is the first song of the new album. When the intro had faded out they kicked off the show with “Last Look At Eden”. The next song straight up was “Love Is Not The Enemy” and the audience seemed to be a bit reluctant towards the newer material. Tempest thanked the crowd for such a warm welcome and he said that he was amazed that 5 guys could be so welcomed. Tempest took on an acoustical guitar and played the intro to the old classic “Superstitious” and finally the audience sang a long and claped their hands. In the middle of the song Tempest invited everyone in the crowd to sing a long which most of us did. In the middle Tempest also squeezed in the Bob Marley song “No Woman No Cry”. Strange mix but it actually worked.
It’s a lie to say that Tempest ran around and used the entire stage as his living room but at least he walked around over it and tried to connect with the audience. The next song up was another old classic in “Scream Of Anger” and once again the audience went crazy. All lights were on Michaeli when he then played the intro to “Carrie” in which the crowd sang along with Tempest. The stage flooded in perfect and good looking lights during the entire show and the sound was also great.
It seemed like the band liked their time on stage but from time to time the show felt like another day at work for the guys. We lacked a little more commitment, more tempo and more energy. The only time the band seemed to be really enjoying themselves was when they played the old classical song and it was only then the crowd really came alive. “No Stone Unturned” and “Let The Good Times Rock”. Tempest thanked us for being there and said it was really great to be back in the southern parts of Sweden once again. Norum did a great solo in “Let The Good Times Rock” that proved that Norum still is a guitar wizard. “Seventh Sign” and the the more current “New Love In Town” followed as well as “Start From The Dark”. Tempest swinged his mic stand like David Coverdale while he walked around on stage trying to get the crowd a little more enthusiastic in the newer songs. There was nothing bad to say about the bands musicality this night. They felt tight and there is no doubt that they are really used to being on stage performing. The thing the show lacked was heart and soul from the members side. And to be totally honest didn’t the new songs do nothing at all for us or the audience that was there this evening, it was the old classical songs that the audience had come to hear.
When Tempest introduced “Cherokee” the big crowd exploded for the first time and everyone sang a long during the entire song. The song“Rock The Night” transcended into “Cherokee” and unfortunately Norum had problems with his guitar solo. The guitar sound vanished but he kept on playing until everything was adjusted. In the middle of the song Tempest sang a few lines of “Heaven And Hell” with Black Sabbath as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio and after that the band got back to “Cherokee”. Tempest thanked everyone for their support and said that “Cherokee” was their last song and that their time was up. A lot of people started to leave the area but we stood wondering and waiting for encores. And almost straight away the band came back on stage and kicked off the first encore which was “The Beast” which honestly felt like an unnecessary song because everyone was of course waiting for the bands biggest hit ever – “The Final Countdown”. And the song everyone had been waited for since the beginning of the show ended the encores. Tempest let the audience sing most of the song to create a party in front of the stage. The show lasted for about 70 minutes and even though it was nice to hear the old classical songs we couldn’t shake off the feeling that this was just another day at work for the band. It wouldn’t have hurt to play a few more older songs. We lacked “Seven Doors Hotel” on the set list for example that the band have played earlier this summer.
Last Look At Eden
Love Is Not The Enemy
Scream Of Anger
No Stone Unturned
Let The Good Times Rock
New Love In Town
Start From The Dark
Cherokee/Rock The Night medley
The Final Countdown
After that it was time to head home to Malmoe and another edition of the great Summer Rock Festival had ended, at least for us. It took a while to get out from the festival area and a few days later we read in the newspapers that the festival have had 6000 people visiting them during that Friday. I really hope that the festival return really soon because this is a really great and intimate happening. Altogether was all records broken this year with the 15.500 people that showed during the three days the festival was held.
The crew, security and staff should have a big thank you for all the hard work they have put into the arrangement.
Thanks to the festival general Markus Lindberg for help with press/photo-pass to the festival.
More info about the festival: www.sommarrock.nu
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=303708616354&v=info
More info about the bands here: