Getaway Rock Festival
Review & live pics by: Anders Sandvall
Guest contributor: Ulrika Henriksson
The second edition of the Getaway Rock Festival in Gavle Sweden took place during a few sunny days at the beginning of July. Bands that performed included Alice Cooper, Hammerfall, Monster Magnet, Kreator, Bullet For My Valentine, Danzig and Ghost. This year I had some help with covering the festival and together we wrote and had opinions about most of the bands. Read on and enjoy.
The second edition of Getaway Rock Festival took place under the, mostly, hot sun at the beginning of July in the town of Gavle which is situated in the middle of Sweden about 200 kilometres north of Stockholm. The festival was unfortunately struck by a setback when Hellyeah cancelled their entire European tour at the beginning of 2011. However, the festival jammed with other great acts like Monster Magnet, Sonata Arctica, Agnostic Front, Accept, Kreator, Bullet, Evergrey, Alice Cooper, Danzig, Entombed, Immortal and the re-united The Darkness to mention just a few. The festival was, as last year, situated at a huge old industrial area called Gasklockorna and it took us about 15 minutes to walk from the central station to the festival area. There were no signs telling us where to go but because I (Anders) attended the festival last year knew where to go.
But we met a lot of people that asked for the way to the festival. The road security didn’t seem to know a lot either because when I asked where we should go and get our press passes they hadn’t a clue, the standard answer from a lot of security and staff all through the festival was “ ask someone else”. Once we got to the press house there were no problems getting our passes and we began the walk towards the camping ground to put up the tents. There were a few tents that was up when we arrived and it was only for us to walk in and put our tent up. It took about 10 minutes to head over to the festival ground from the camping area. It was prohibited to bring in glasses both into the camping and to the festival area. The camping ground wasn’t divided and there were tents everywhere and buses, trailers and motorcycles in the middle of everything. Just like last year, there were only 5 taps of water to last for the entire camping and because of the hot weather was there queue to the taps from time to time, especially during the mornings. In the middle of the camp grounds there was a tent where breakfast and lighter food was sold. You could also charge you cellphone and hang out in the tent. About 300 meters away showers were available for those who wanted to feel fresh for a few minutes. It was possible to purchase a one-day-ticket at well as a camping ticket that lasted for only day so if you only wanted to attend the festival one day to see your favourite band play that particular day.
The first day of the festival began with blazing sun and the temperature inside the tent had reached boiling point when we woke up. After doing the morning routines it was only to wait for the supermarket to open and it felt really convenient to have a supermarket situated just a few kilometres away from the camping. More and more people arrived during the early hours of Thursday and while we ate breakfast we took a look at the schedule and decided what bands we were going to cover. Just like last year the bands play as early as 11:30 am but it was mostly the smaller acts that began that early. We decided to take a look at Evergrey that actually began as early as 13.15 pm. We arrived a little early in order to check out the stages and the merchandise stands. The stages were three just like last year. The two biggest ones was the Monster Energy stage and Bandit Stage, the smaller one was situated inside one of the warehouse buildings and there were mostly extreme metal bands that played inside the house. But for some reasons had the organisers put Ghost on the small stage and you could believe that the line ran extremely long outside the house when it was time for Ghost to go on stage. Several of the people that had waited for hours didn’t come in and were really pissed off. When we entered the area we first met a few food stands that offered Thai food, wild boar kebab, fish & chips, pancakes, hamburgers and so on. The few merchandise stands was also placed just in front of the entrance and offered the usual t-shirts, jewellery, patches and albums. To be honest the food wasn’t the best and was really expensive, neither were the merchandise stands much to brag about. The huge beer tent from last year was removed and instead there was a beer-bar located inside one of the houses.
We walked towards the Monster Energy stage where Evergrey was about to perform and a lot of things have happened in the Evergrey camp since the last time we saw them. The only remaining original members are now Tom S Englund and keyboard player Rikard Zander. The bands new album is called GLORIOUS COLLISION and Evergrey is one of the biggest progressive metal bands in the world at the moment. We joined the pretty small crowd that stood and waited for the band to come on stage. It felt a little weird to be enjoying the atmospheric and dark music of Evergrey under a burning sun though.
The hardcore fans welcomed the band with warm hands while the rest of the crowd felt a little more reluctant. As soon as the intro had faded out kicked the song “Leave It Behind Us” off and Englund stood solid with his foot on one monitor looking cool. The line-up of today is:
Tom S Englund – lead vocals, guitar
Rikard Zander – keyboards
Marcus Jidell – guitar
Hannes Von Dahl – drums
John Niemann – bass
The show continued instantly with “Solitude Within” and “As I Lie Here Bleeding”. The song “Wrong” taken from the new album GLORIOUS COLLISION followed and it felt like Englund was in a good mood this day. All of the members stood solid on their spot during the show and for everyone who has seen the band before you know that’s their standard pose. Englund thanked the fans for being there and said that the day after were they going to play at the Sonisphere festival in France but now it was time for the band to continue the show with playing “Blinded” and the brilliant “The Masterplan”.
The songs from GLORIOUS COLLISION were not as loved as the old ones; but on the other hand the album had not been out for long when Evergrey stood on the Gavle stage. “Broken Wings” and “A Touch Of Blessing” ended the short show that lasted for about 45 minutes. The show was short but kind of great and Evergrey once again showed why they are one of the best bands in their genre. Englund sang amazingly and the band felt solid as a rock. The main question though was why the organisers had put Evergrey as the first major act on the middle of the day.
Leave It Behind Us
As I Lie Here Bleeding
A Touch Of Blessing
While parts of the audience moved over to the Bandit stage we decided to get something to eat. Corrosion Of Conformity was the next band up on Monster Energy Stage and while we waited we sat down in the shadows in the VIP bar that was situated behind the Monster Energy Stage. If we’d say it was a lot of people on the festival area we’d be lying but on the other hand it was Thursday and many people were probably still at work at this time of day. We moved over to the stage when it was about 30 minutes left and a small but brave crowd stood already there and waiting. Most people sat outside the beer house watching the bands and drinking cold beer. You could see the stages from each side of the house and a fence was the only thing that narrowed the sight a bit.
Even though the crowd was tiny could you hear them miles away when C.O.C entered the stage. The only thing the band had on stage was a huge backdrop with their name on and some amps. Songs played included “Loss For Words”, “Consumed”, “Your Tomorrow” and “The Doom”. The line-up was:
Mike Dean – lead vocals, bass
Reed Mullin – drums
Woody Weatherman – guitar
The band seemed to be having a good time on stage and said that it was fun to be back in Sweden again. Mullin said that he was going to see Ghost and Entombed play later and that brought down some major applauds from the crowd. Songs that then followed were “The Money Changers”, “Vote With A Bullet”, Holier”, “Positive Outlook”, “Rat City” and Prayer”. We have never been a fan of the bands energetic mix of stoner/cross over thrash/sludge metal but it was really fun to see the positive crowd and to actually experience an iconic band in action. It didn’t convince us but it seemed like the fans and the band had a good time.
There were about 15 minutes in between the bands on both the open air stages during the three days which was great because then we had time to see everything we wanted and nothing collided with each other on these stages but there was worse when it came to the small stage at Gasklockan. There were a lot of bands that played there that collided with the two open air stages. Many of the people that had seen C.O.C. ran over to the other stage to inhale some Finish battle metal music because Turisas played. We chose to walk around on the area to get something to drink and to check out the merchandise stands. The only thing that was sold there was Alice Cooper merchandise and a shirt with Cooper went for about 300sek (9 SEK is about 1 USD). It was a bit strange that they only sold Cooper merchandise at that time. We saw a little bit of the Turisas show but we began to laugh when we saw the band dressed in animal skins and with faces painted with blood or something. It felt like more people now had turned up to the festival but it was hard to estimate how many there were. However, we walked over to the Monster Energy stage where Dave Wyndorf and band were about to kick off their show.
“Nod Scene” and “Tractor” kicked off the Monster Magnet show and the band was as always led by the very charismatic Dave Wyndorf. It definitely felt like the bands was longed for by the audience and I think that the applauds and cheers that welcomed the band was the biggest one so far on the first day of the festival. On stage were:
Dave Wyndorf – lead vocals, guitar
Phil Caivano -guitar
Jim Baglino – bass
Bob Pantella – drums
Garrett Sweeny – guitar
“Dopes To Infinity” continued the show and even though the band got a warm welcome it seemed like Wyndrof didn’t want to be on stage this afternoon. As soon as he had sung his parts in the songs he turned his back to the audience and faced the drummer almost all of the time. The new track “Hallucination Bomb” came and it was followed by “Dig That Hole”. Wyndorf’s voice sounded brilliant and he sang a like a god. Caivano and the newest member Sweeny backed up Wyndorf and those two did a great job during the entire show.
The crowd pleasers “Monolithic Baby” and “Look To Your Orb For The Warning” followed and Wyndorf thanked us for being so nice and giving the band such a warm welcome. As usual, the songs were jammed with really long instrumental parts that dragged out the songs into oblivion and even though the songs and the band are great, it became a little boring in the long run to listen to the infinite guitar parts. When Wyndorf announced that the next song was going to be “Powertrip” the crowd went ecstatic and sang a long during the entire song. Wyndorf mostly stood solid either with his back to the audience or with his foot on the monitor while singing during the show. Needless to say the audience also sang along to the last song “Space Lord”. Wyndorf looked really happy with the response he got from the audience but as soon as the song ended he took of his guitar and walked of stage with the rest of his band. The show lasted for one hour and to be honest we would not of minded hearing and seeing more of the legendary Dave Wyndorf and his Monster Magnet.
Dopes To Infinity
Dig That Hole
The Right Stuff
Look To Your Orb For The Warning
We thought that the set list was great and felt that it represented the band and their music well. Sweeny did a great job and we didn’t miss the old guitarist Ed Mundell at all. The only bad thing was that the show was too short. It was also pretty obvious that Wyndorf maybe had been in a different place this particular night and not on a stage in Gavle. He took command during the last three tracks but then it was too late. After the show it was time for us to go to the VIP to have something to drink and to rest our feet for a while. It takes it toll to stand on asphalt for several hours! We thought it was a great idea to take a break instead of watching Papa Roach on the Bandit Rock Stage. After Papa Roach had ended their show it was time for us to once again head over to the Monster Energy Stage to see Bullet For My Valentine. There were no large TV-screens besides the stages this year but the area was shaped so that you could see the two large stages no matter where you were standing. The line was long outside Gasklockan where people was waiting to get in to see Graveyard.
Anders had already seen them twice this year and Ulrika saw them at Copenhell Festival earlier this summer and we were exited to see if the guys could repeat the great previous shows. The band had the same backline as they on the previous shows and the same podiums were also put on stage as before. On each side stood a wall of amps and when the clock struck 8 the band came on stage.
As soon as the four guys arrived on stage, the fans screamed. It was no surprise that the fans were mostly really young people approximately in their late teens and mostly girls. The band began the show with the excellent song “Your Betrayal” just like they did on Copenhell. The combo consists of:
Matt Tuck – lead vocals, guitar
Michael Thomas – drums
Jay James – bass
Padge – guitar
The podiums were mostly used by Tuck and Padge while Tuck stood in the middle singing and headbanging. The next song was the equally great “Pleasure And Pain”. “Waking The Demon” continued and the crowd sang along to that song as well. The band has a very loyal and solid fanbase and Tuck thanked everyone for being there supporting BFMV. All of the three frontmen ran around on stage and did their best to get the crowd going. They all headbanged throughout the entire show. The guys felt like really solid unit together and seemed to be having a great time on stage. Tuck wanted the audience to form a circle pit during “The Last Fight” and the crowd did as Tuck said.
The song “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” taken from the bands debut album THE POISON followed as well as “Say Goodnight”. Tuck said that he wanted another circle pit in the next song but first he wanted the audience to scream with him. He shouted Scream Aim and the crowd shouted Fire back to him and that was also the title of the song the band kicked off. We was surprised by the fact that Tuck didn’t talk much in between the songs and with all the touring he should be feeling pretty comfortable on stage by now. He said pretty much the same things this day as he said back in Copenhagen at Copenhell Festival earlier this year. Something that really impressed us was James’s approach on stage. It felt like he really had grown and he added a lot of power and strength to the music with his lead vocals that suits perfect along with Tuck’s voice. As soon as the song had ended the band walked off stage and 40 minutes of BFMV was over. The fans wanted to hear more so the band came out shortly after and said that they were about to do a song that they normally don’t do. When the fans heard the first notes of the Metallica cover “Creeping Death” they break all the boundary’s and went nuts. The last song for the show was “Alone” and when it was over the entire show was also over.
Pleasure And Pain
Waking The Demon
The Last Fight
4 Words (To Choke Upon)
Scream Aim Fire
Hand Of Blood
Tear’s Don’t Fall
This particular show felt a lot more put together and solid compared to the ones they threw in Copenhagen. The band has become a solid force and the audience seemed to be loving the band. The guys connected more with the audience this time and the music sounded a lot heavier live compared to how it sounds on album.
By now was it time for us to head over to the Bandit Stage to see Dr Midnight And The Mercy Cult that we also saw at the beginning of the summer at Copenhell Festival. DMATMC is led by the former Turbonegro singer Hank Von Helvete who recently portrayed the Swedish folksinger Cornelis Wreesvijk in a movie that came out last year and his band members has been performing with Marilyn Manson, Shotgun Messiah, Satyricon, Celtic Frost, The Kovenant and Extol to mention a few. This super band was formed in 2009 and their debut album I DECLARE TREASON came at the beginning of June this year. Not much folks had gathered at the front of the stage and about 9.15 was it time for the band to kick off their show.
All of the members entered the stage while the intro ran and the small crowd did their best to give the band a warm welcome. Band members are:
Hank Von Helvete – lead vocals
Tim Skold – bass
Anders Odden – guitar
David Husvik – drums
Audun Stengel – guitar
The show began with the songs “Sign My Name” and “Victorius”. Helvete said that there are a lot of people that ask him if he is Dr Midnight and he said that he’s not. Dr Midnight is something big that comes out from space and that no one knows who he is. Helvete talked a lot in between the songs and to be honest a lot of the things he said was mumbo jumbo. It was strange to hear him saying these stuff on English at Copenhell Festival but it was even more odd to hear it in Swedish.
“I Declare Treason”, “Ok (We’re Just About To Die” and “Don’t Waste It” was played and Helvete asked if Gavle was ready for some rock’n'roll and fired off “Bleed Idiot Bleed”. Most of the people stood and watched the band and not many sang a long with the lyrics. A few hardcore fans stood positioned in front of the fans during the entire time but the rest of the crowd felt really reluctant towards the band. Helvete told us a long story about a great witch called the “Whore” before he launched the song “The Whore In the West”. The band had 60 minutes to play on but only used about 45 of them.
The show was OK but I guess a lot of the people got confused by the stories Helvete told. Even though the band members are skilled musicians that are great at what they do we think that the music works better on album.
The sun had set and it was now pretty dark at the festival and it was the perfect time and mood for the evening’s headline act. He was about to perform on the Monster Energy Stage and a lot of people had already gathered in front of the stage when we arrived. There was an ocean of people that reached all the way to the back of the area where the mixing table was placed. The headline act on Thursday was Alice Cooper and he was awaited by many of the people that we talked to. Cooper is out on the No More Mr Nice Guy European Tour 2011 and when the clock turned 10.30 was it time for the curtain to drop and for Gavle to take part of the chock-rockers show.
While the intro played did the fans scream and shout in await to see their idol on stage and when the curtain dropped began the band to play the first song for the night which was “Black Widow”. Coopers band consist of:
Tommy Henriksen – guitar
Chuck Garric – bass
Glen Sobel – drums
Damon Johnson – guitar
Steve Hunter – guitar
And so came Cooper out on a huge pedestal-like-thing where he sang the first verse. When he waved with his arms spider legs came out from under the arms while he slowly walked down the stairs from the pedestal to the stage. “Brutal Planet” followed instantly and Cooper walked around on stage during the entire show with a whip and a cane. When the next song “I’m 18” kicked off the crowd went crazy and everyone sang a long to the familiar lyrics. The stage was jammed with things, a smaller podium stood at the front of the stage and a lots of smaller backdrops hung at the back of the stage. On each side of the drums were two ramps placed that you could walk up and down on. There was also puppets hanging on stage and once again exploded the audience when they heard “Under My Wheels”. Cooper had a change of clothes and then he came out and fired of another great classic tune in “Billion Dollar Babies”. He brought along a sword that had a lot of Alice money on it and in the middle of the song he threw out all of the money into the audience. Henriksen, Johnson and Garric all ran around on stage and helped Cooper getting the audience going the only one who stood solid on his spot was Hunter but he was forgiven. “No More Mr Nice Guy” and “Hey Stoopid” followed shortly and at the end of “Hey Stoopid” disappeared Cooper from stage and the band finished the song on their own. Cooper soon returned on stage with his snake around his neck in the song “Is It My Body”. “Halo Of Flies” followed instantly before it was time for Cooper to once again disappear and it was time for the band to show their skills in various solos.
When Cooper came back he showed his back to the crowd where it said NEW SONG on his coat and then he threw it of and showed his back again where it said “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” which was the title of the new song he was about to play. It was a solid song that felt really Cooper-ish. “Muscle Of Love” then followed and Cooper played on maracas. The show continued with the slow and boring ballad “Only Women Bleed” it was a show stopper but it was fun to see Cooper dance around with a life size doll at the end of the song. In the next song “Cold Ethyl” came a paparazzi out on stage (which was a part of the show) trying to take pictures of Cooper and the band but he had to run out pretty fast. “Feed My Frankenstein” followed and Cooper built a monster while the song passed and at the end of the song came a huge monster out on stage and walked around.
“Clones (We’re All) the mega hit “Poison” and “Wicked Young Man” continued the show and it was nice to hear that Cooper’s voice was intact and that he sounded as good as always. In the middle of “Wicked Young Man” returned the paparazzi on stage and Cooper got his vengeance and killed the guy with a huge sword. In “Killer” came the thing that everyone has been waited for. Two executioners came out and with them a huge guillotine and it was time for Cooper to be beheaded. One of the hangman held up Coopers dead head and while he did that played the band “I Love The Dead” with Garric on lead vocals. When the song was over was also the ordinary part of the show over and the band walked off stage. The audience wanted more and more and didn’t stop clap and cheer for Cooper to come out and sing more. After a few minutes we could hear the intro to “School’s Out” and in came Ryan Roxie who has played with Cooper for many years and now live in Sweden. The song turned into with sing a long by the audience “Another Brick In the Wall” before it was time to go back to “Schools Out” and then ended the song. Huge balloons rained down on the audience and in the last song “Elected” came Cooper out dressed in a silver-suit with a hat on holding the Swedish flag while golden confetti poured down on us. It was an amazing encore and the enthusiastic crowd didn’t want the show to end. That was the end to a great two-hour show with one of the most legendary men in the hardrock history. Cooper didn’t do any talking in between the songs and the songs simply followed each other. Cooper was stiff when he moved around on stage and it was obvious that the legend is over 60 years old by now. The set list was great and both the lighting and sound worked perfect. The band felt tight and it seemed like everyone had a great time on stage.
The Black Widow
Under My Wheels
Billion Dollar Babies
No More Mr Nice Guy
Is It My Body
Halo Of Flies
I’ll Bite Your Face Off
Muscle Of Love
Only Women Bleed
Feed My Frankenstein
Clones (We’re All)
Wicked Young Man
Killer /I Love The Dead
School’s Out/Another Brick In The Wall/School’s Out
This ended the first day of the festival and we headed back to the camping area to catch some sleep and something to eat and get ready for the next day. We wonder how the organisers thought when they decided to put acts like Graveyard, Ghost and Marduk at the small inside-stage?
Read about the second day of the festival on the next page…