SWEDENROCK 2011

August 1st, 2011
by Arto Lehtinen


Sweden Rock 2011: FRIDAY 

STEELHEART

Steelheart also made their debut at Sweden Rock this year at the rather early hour of 12 am. That didn’t stop the band at all from putting on a great, high energy performance. A large crowd got to see singer Miljenko Matijevic, guitarist Chris Risola and the guys tear through old classics like ‘Everybody loves Eileen’ and ‘Like never before’ coupled with newer songs like ‘LOL’ and the newest single ‘Black dog’ (Led Zeppelin cover). The songs taken from the ‘Rock Star’ movie (Stand Up , "We All Die Young" and opening number "Blood Pollution" were very well received by the audience.

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AGENT STEEL

Agents Of Steel – The Masters Of Metal after all made it to the Sweden Rock fest with the original singer John Cyriis. The band was well-rehearsed in the first place, but no rehearsals ever took place with Cyriis. He came on the stage and nailed all the tracks perfectly. His voice is still as strong and great as in the 80’s. The five piece did an absolutely outstanding set consisting of the material from the first albums and the EP where John Cyriis featured. Guitarists Juan Garcia and Bernie Versailles are the essential core of the sound of Agent Steel. Even though years have passed since the last album recorded with the original band the songs definitely did still sound very vital and above all catchy and timeless.

The Day at Guyana

Unstoppable Force

Never Surrender

Traveler

Children of the Sun

Rager

Mad Locust Rising

Nothin’ Left

Agents of Steel

Bleed For the Godz

Guilty as Charged

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FM

Recently reformed U.K. AOR-heroes FM made their long awaited debut at Sweden Rock this year by playing Friday early evening before rushing back to the U.K. to play Download festival – and to a great response! The band opened with ‘Wildside’ the rocking opening track from the critically acclaimed new album METROPOLIS. A string of hits followed including ‘Face to face’,’Only the strong survive’ and ‘Burning my heart down’ before closing with the Marvin Gaye cover ‘I heard it through the grapewine’ – the place (amongst many others) for singer Steve Overland to really shine.

Wildside

I Belong to the Night

Face to Face

That Girl

Don’t Stop

Only the Strong Survive

All Or Nothing

Guitar solo

Over You

Burning My Heart Down 

Bad Luck

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

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ICED EARTH 

The Iced Earth fans were shocked by the announcement of the departure of the voice of the band, Matt Barlow – once again. However, Iced Earth announced a new guy for the mic, but decided to ake  Barlow out for the European summer festival tour. The tour stopped by Sweden Rock where the five piece metallers unleashed the utter metal maelstrom. The band has a bunch of great songs and they’re an excellent live band still. Matt Barlow’s voice is a real trademark of Iced Earth and their soundworld. Barlow’s charisma was still intact even though the long hair days are long gone. It’s going to be a lot of hard work for Jon Schaffer to to fill Barlow’s shoes but he has managed to make it work before. We’ll see how Stu Block from Into Eternity will do soon enough!


1776

Burning Times

Declaration Day

Vengeance Is Mine

Violate

Last December

Travel in Stygian

I Died for You

Jack

The Hunter

Prophecy

Birth Of The Wicked

The Coming Curse

Iced Earth

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MR. BIG

The recently reformed ‘supergroup’ Mr. Big made their debut at Sweden Rock this year- and right away at the biggest Festival stage. The band was really well received by the audience and played during the early afternoon and in the sunshine – which didn’t hurt at all. All members seemed to enjoy doing this gig very much, even singer Eric Martin who broke his right arm a few weeks prior to the gig.. Almost all the band’s greatest hits were featured in the set and all together five new numbers were played from the new album WHAT IF… to a rousing response.

Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy

Take Cover

Green-Tinted Sixties Mind

Undertow

Alive And Kickin’

American Beauty

Just Take My Heart

Merciless

Guitar Solo

Still Ain’t Enough for Me

Road To Ruin

Price You Gotta Pay

Colorado Bulldog

Around The World

As Far As I Can See

Bass Solo

Addicted To That Rush

To Be With You 

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ALIEN

Alien – Sweden’s own AOR cult-band from Gothenburg, recently made their comeback to the music scene with all original members and this June at Sweden Rock ‘Rockklassiker stage’ – a stage that was supposed to be a larger- than-last-year tent-stage for acoustic acts… However Alien played a fully electrical set, and what a set it was! Consisting naturally almost solely of tracks from their debut album of the same name from 1988 it was sing-along from beginning to end – the highlight being their biggest hit ‘Only One Woman’.

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DOWN

Everyone is supposed to be aware of the history of Down and those who are involved. Rex Brown is now out of Down and instead there’s Patrick Bruders (Crowbar) to took over his bass duties. Down’s show was based on Phil Alselmo’s tough guy image and his weird sense of humor. Occasionally it felt like the whole gig was one hell of a funny stand up comedian show but well… there were of course a few songs played as well. The Southern and Stoner rock elements do belong to Down’s sounds creating the catchy and weedy riffs. There’s no need to rely on doing any cover songs from the members past bands. Besides Anselmo both Pepper Keenan and Kirk Windstein were having fun on the stage enjoying the Swedish not that good beer and relaxed atmosphere. In a good way, there is something really primal in Down, and that’s what makes them very unique band. For sure Down today found many new followers. Excellent!

Hail the Leaf

Lysergik Funeral Procession

Lifer

The Path

Losing All

New Orleans is a Dying Whore

Pillars of Eternity

Ghosts Along the Mississippi

Swan Song

Temptation’s Wings

N.O.D.

Eyes of the South

Stone the Crow

Bury Me in Smoke

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STRYPER

Another long-awaited debut at Sweden Rock, Stryper took the crowd by storm right from the beginning opening with old favourite  ‘Sing-along song’ and continuing with the recent ‘Murder by pride’. All in all three cover songs were heard from their new cover album ‘The Gathering’. Stryper consists of all original members, now that bassist Tim Gaines is back – Oz Fox on guitar, Michael Sweet on vocals and guitar and Robert Sweet on drums. Being a christian band, lots of bibles were thrown into the audience by the members of the band, something that doesn’t happen at every show anymore. After finishing off their set with ‘Soldiers under command’ the band launched into a prayer, as seen at every Stryper show.

Sing-Along Song

Murder by Pride

Loud ‘n’ Clear

Over the Mountain

The Rock That Makes Me Roll

Reach Out

Calling on You

Free

More Than a Man

Breaking the Law

Heaven and Hell

Surrender

All for One

The Way

Abyss

To Hell With the Devil

Soldiers Under Command

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ROB ZOMBIE

Rob Zombie’s latest visit up in Sweden must have happened back in 1995 with his old band White Zombie. Zombie’s stage show and image differed quite well compared to other artists and bands at Swedenrock. Zombie and his backing band had put a lot of effort into the custom and the way how they looked on the stage. Rob Zombie appeared to be a real relentless front man and he was moving and swinging like a maniac. Guitarist John 5 and bassist Piggy D didn’t remain on the background as their input into the show was restless and wild. The set was a real godspeed for all the Zombie fans. It contained a few obligatory White Zombie tunes such as “More Humans Than Humans” and of course a pocket of great tunes by Zombie himself such as “Dragula” and “Mars Needs Women”. For some reason band didn’t play their latest hit “Sick Bubble Gum” but all in all the Zombie show was definitely welcomed stimulant at Swedenrock and one of the strongest and most interesting performances on the whole festival history. 

What Lurks on Channel X?

Superbeast

Scum of the Earth

Living Dead Girl

More Human Than Human

Demonoid Phenomenon

Mars Needs Women

House of 1000 Corpses

Drum Solo

Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)

Demon Speeding

Super-Charger Heaven

Thunder Kiss ’65 @Song

Dragula

Pussy Liquor

Lords of Salem

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ACCEPT

German metal legends Accept returned to Sweden Rock after a six-year break and a lot of things have changed since then. The band’s original lead singer Udo Dirkschneider decided not to continue with the band after 2005 and after being on “hiatus” for five years Accept finally returned to action with new vocalist Mark Tornillo and the album BLOOD OF THE NATIONS in 2010. The album has been a phenomenal success everywhere and it was voted to album of the year in over 30 medias around the world. The current line-up of Accept consist of Tornillo, founding members guitarist Wolf Hoffman and bassist Peter Baltes and drummer Stefan Schwarfmann who’s been playing with the band since the early 90’s. The second guitarist slot belongs to Herman Frank who did play on the classic BALLS TO THE WALL album. Unfortunately Frank couldn’t now perform with the band because some weeks ago he accidentally fell on stage and hurt his back so the band was now performing as a four piece unit. The set opened up with a string of BLOOD OF THE NATION tracks. New Accept classics “Teutonic Terror” and “Bucket Full of Hate” worked out extremely well. Even though the band was forced to play with one guitarist it worked like an oiled engine and left all the doubters quiet. “Starlight” and “Breaker” were great blasts from the past and proved how well Tornillo handled the older stuff in a live situation. The man is a true discovery, a great performer and a way more versatile vocalist than his predecessor. The originals, Baltes and Hoffmann, were as energetic and bombastic performers as ever and they both really gave everything. Actually a true “heavy metal accident” almost came into reality when stage floor piece suddenly collapsed off under Baltes, but fortunately the man survived the incident with a fright. All in all, this was easily one of the strongest performances at Sweden Rock. Accept was in top form and the set list included a great mix of  BLOOD OF THE NATIONS material, old standards and some rarely played gems like “Bulletproof” and “Losers and Winners”. The Teutons are truly back with a vengeance!

Teutonic Terror

Bucket Full of Hate

Starlight

Breaker

New World Comin’

Restless and Wild

Metal Heart

Bulletproof

Losers and Winners

Princess of the Dawn

Up to the Limit

No Shelter

Fast as a Shark

Pandemic

Balls to the Wall

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ELECTRIC WIZARD 


The stoner and doom metal has been getting bigger and bigger within the past few years. Several doom and stoner bands are doing sold out shows. The British doom stoner rockers’ doomy set being was total mindblowing heavy and the strong bass sounds were dominating. As a matter of fact Electric Wizard would be sounding more perfect in smoky clubs than at an open door festival where the catmosphere definitely suffers. Electric Wizard has reached success during the past few years, however the band has paved the path for success of the Stoner bands.

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SAXON

The NWOBHM legends Saxon returned once again in Sweden. The band is still doing strong after its 35 years career and they just have released the 19’TH Saxon studio album titled CALL TO ARMS. After a long intro part band headed into stage and opened up with new album opening track “Hammer of the Gods” followed by classics “Heavy Metal Thunder” and “Never Surrender”. Saxon seem to enjoy such big following in Sweden because they easily had one of the biggest crowd in Rock stage during the whole festival and that was, of course, a great thing for Biff Byford and the co. because band was about to film the show for future DVD release. The stage did look great with all those blue lights and a huge Saxon bag drop behind. The bands legendary mascot “The Eagle” was also used in various songs and it did look marvelous in the darkening night. What did made this show really special was that band was going to play the DENIM AND LEATHER album in it’s entirely and that’s what they also did. It was great to hear classics like “Fire in the Sky” and “Midnight Rider” played live for the first time since the 80’s. “Rock’n Roll Gypsy” from INNOCENCE IS NO EXCUSE was a pleasant surprise as well while the rest of the set consisted of new material and live standards.  There’s still plenty of life left in Saxon and is going to be great show to watch later on from the DVD for sure.

Hammer of the Gods

Heavy Metal Thunder

Motorcycle Man

Back in ’79

Never Surrender

Fire in the Sky

Midnight Rider

And the Bands Played On

Call to Arms

Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsy

The Eagle Has Landed

Play It Loud

Rough & Ready

Out of Control

Denim and Leather

Princess of the Night

747 (Strangers in the Night)

Crusader

Bass Solo

Strong Arm of the Law

Guitar Solo

Wheels of Steel 

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OVERKILL

The N.Y. thrash veterans do not slow down even though charismatic frontman Bobby Blitz Ellsworth is over 50, but hey, age is just a number. Overkill always puts 110 % energy and rage into their shows, and so also at Sweden Rock. The N.Y. thrashers truly shred on stage with full volume roaring. Blitz has always been in an extremely sharp shape and full of energy and passion. He jokingly claimed to feel like a 49 year old guy in front of the enthusiastic audience. Overkill pulled a real ass kicking show at Sweden Rock.

 

The Green and Black

E.vil N.ever D.ies

Rotten to the Core

Give a Little

Bring Me the Night

Hello from the Gutter

Ironbound

Death Rider

The Beast Within

In Union We Stand

Skullkrusher

Old School

Elimination

Fuck You

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GHOST

It is amazing to see how quickly the soulless group of Ghost has got catapulted to the heights of the fast growing success. It wasn’t any unexpected surprise that the field was overly crowded despite Whitesnake was headlining the main stage at the same time. The heavily Blue Oyster Cult influenced hardish rock were well received by the crowd. There was no communication between the band and the audience – instead the music with the magical grip literally transferred the audience into trance of the occultism world of Ghost. The set featured essential Ghost tunes of the highly acclaimed debut album. If and when these guys play their magic cards right, they might become even bigger in the future.

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HELLOWEEN

Helloween has been a guaranteed visitor at Sweden Rock and have always got a  strong and massive supportive crowd following their show. The power metal legends at the second stage unleashed the powerful metal maelstrom by kicking the set off with new 7 SINNERS album track “Are You Metal”. The set was mostly based on the songs picked up from the KEEPER era. Therefore the five piece didn’t offer any unexpected surprises. By playing such classic songs “Eagle Fly Free”, “March of Time” “Future World” and “I Want Out” are the most essential songs for festival events. Helloween sounded vital and the catchy melodic riffs spell bounded the audience. All in all this was good and solid performance from the power metal veterans.

Are You Metal?

Eagle Fly Free

March of Time

Guitar Solo

Where the Sinners Go

Drum Solo

I’m Alive

Keeper of the Seven Keys / The King for a 1000 Years / Halloween

Steel Tormentor

Future World

I Want Out

Dr. Stein

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WHITESNAKE

Sweden Rock was one of the main stops on the tour for FOREVERMORE – the new Whitesnake album. There was also some very special guests promised for tonight’s headlining show. More on that later though. The show started out great with ‘Best years’, the opening track from the last album GOOD TO BE BAD and went straight into crowd pleaser ‘Give me all your love’ from 1987. Four songs were played from the new album, ‘Steal Your Heart Away’ being the strongest. During the middle of the set guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach performed a guitar duel – quite fun to watch but probably not of everybody’s taste, lasting over 20 minutes..? After that one new song and straight into new drummer Brian Tichy’s drum solo.. For the remainder of the set we got to see classic Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden join in as a guest  – the first in a very long time! Another ex- guitarist, Adrian Vandenberg, joined in for the finale of ‘Here I go again’ and ‘Still of the Night’. All in all this was one of the better of all the Whitesnake performances seen at Sweden Rock in the last 8 years.

Best Years

Give Me All Your Love

Love Ain’t No Stranger

Is This Love

Steal Your Heart Away

Forevermore

Love Will Set You Free

Guitar Solos

My Evil Ways

Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City

Fool For Your Loving

Still Of The Night

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