Saxon:Call To Arms World Tour 2011 – European leg
Anvil – special guest
Crimes Of Passion – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmoe, Sweden
29/11 – 2011
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
CALL TO ARMS is the latest release from the NWOBHM legends Saxon and at the end of this year was it time for the Brits to honor the best rock & metal club in Malmoe a long awaited visit. Anvil joined Saxon as special guests on the tour and as support act tagged Crimes Of Passion along which is a band I’ve never heard before. The only act that was of interest for me was Saxon. I met up with Saxon earlier during the day and everyone was really nice and took the time to talk to the fans that waited and sign autographs for everyone. You can tell that the guys cares and loves their fans.
The audience was mixed but the majority of the people in the club consisted of middle-aged men that probably had been around since the birth of the band. The club opened at 7PM and Crimes Of Passion kicked off already at 7:30.
C.O.P’s music could best be described as boring English hard rock. I’m a huge fan of English hard rock but not executed in this kind of way. The band lacked energy and speed and the small crowd that had showed up early nodded their heads to the band at the best or ordered in another round of beer. 25 minutes went by pretty fast and soon was it time for the young band to say goodbye to Malmoe for this time.
Anvil was the next band on stage and by now had the club filled up with fans of both Anvil and Saxon. The new album from Anvil is called JUGGERNAUT OF JUSTICE and came in 2011. I saw the band play at Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium this year and I don’t count the show to one of the most memorable so my expectations on the Anvil show this night was quite low. The change of gear went really fast and soon was it time for Anvil to enter the stage.
Lips entered the stage last from the trio and kicked off the show with “March Of The Crabs”. The members in the trio are:
Rob Reiner – drums
Steve Lips Kudrow – lead vocals, guitar
Glenn Five – bass
Lips didn’t use the mic to talk into when he first came out instead he talked into the mic on his guitar which made him sound insane. It all sounded a lot better when he talkes to the real mic when he later on introduced the song “666” and said that it was really nice to be playing in Sweden. He looked really surprised and happy to be given such a warm welcome and great respond and thanked once again the fans for being there. Then followed the title track from the new album “Juggernaut Of Justice” as well as “Winged Assassins” and the crowd loved the band and their music.
The sound was great but the lights were not working well and the members played in darkness from time to time. The trio didn’t feel tight and the only member that actually can play was Reiner. Lips lead vocals wasn’t much to cheer for either but that is just my opinion. At the end of “Mothra” Lips went out on the ramp that reaches out to the fans in the middle of the stage and pulled out a dildo from one of his pockets and did a guitar solo with the dildo. The audience loved his prank….I was rather disappointed over the lame guitar solo. The same thing minus the dildo took place in the instrumental song “Swing Thing” and it was about here I started to loose interest in the show. And many like me walked over to the bar to order in something to drink in await of the headline act. Reiner threw a standard drum solo before it was time for the song with the clever title “Fucken Eh!”. “New Orleans Voodoo” and “Metal On Metal” ended the show and the part of the crowd that liked the band went crazy over the song. It felt like the major part of the audience had waited for exactly this particular tune. Lips encouraged everyone to sing a long in “Metal On Metal” and that ended the 50 minute long Anvil show. Maybe Anvil wasn’t the best choice as support act for Saxon. Lips seemed mostly confused on stage and to be honest are at least two of the members not that skilled on their instruments.
March Of The Crabs
Juggernaut Of Justice
Mothra – guitar solo
New Orleans Voodoo
Metal On Metal
Finally was it time for Saxon and a huge drum kit and backdrop was now put on stage and on each side of the drums was lines of amps placed. It took a while for the crew to prepare the stage but after 25 minutes was it time for the headline act to enter the stage at Kulturbolaget.
“Hammer Of The Gods” was the first song out and the happiness showed no boundaries amongst the fans when the band showed up. Byford was dressed in an army-looking jacket and not the long coat he usually wear but needless to say he looked really cool. As soon as the first song ended shouted Byford – Fill your head with heavy metal thunder and guess which song followed? Yes, “Heavy Metal Thunder” of course. The members was as always:
Biff Byford – lead vocals
Paul Quinn – guitar
Doug Scarratt – guitar
Nibbs Carter – bass
Nigel Glockler – drums
Byford seemed really happy with the huge respond the band got from the fans and the song “When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)” continued the show. The ones that moved around the most on stage was Byford, Quinn and Carter and Byford said it was fun to be back in Sweden amongst vikings and that it was time to travel back in time and play “Never Surrender”. “Chasing The Bullets” followed instantly and Byford said that this was going to be a hot night and that the temperature already had messed up his hair and then laughed. “Motorcycle Man” and “Back in 79” followed and the ecstatic fanbase backed up Saxon with cheers, applauds and screams throughout every song. Both light and sound worked perfect and that added another dimension to the music and to the show. Byford had the audience in the palm of his hand and hadn’t do much to get the fans to scream and go crazy. The classical “Solid Ball Of Rock” was fired off and in the middle of the song showed the rest of the band of their skills in a longer instrumental part. Quinn was really going hard this night and he seemed to have a lot of fun on his part of stage. He was really on fire this night. The fans sang the chorus in “I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)” and it was followed by the new song “Call To Arms”.
Byford thanked the fans for buying the bands albums and it’s because of the fans that the band are alive and can continue doing what they love. The new songs seemed to work just as great as the old classical ones amongst the fans and when “Rock The Nation” came went the fans even more crazy than before. Byford said that he hoped we liked the song and that it was a long time ago since they played it live. It was a nice surprise that they played that song because it was a really long time since I heard it live. In the middle of the song was it time for Glockler to prance om drums with a solo (that was kind of boring) but the audience thanked him with a warm applause. During the show Byford joked around on stage and it seemed like all of the members had a really good time this night. After the drum solo followed the great songs “Witchfinder General”, “Broken Heroes” and the classical “Power And The Glory”. It was only to lean back and listen to the golden earrings that made this band so famous and I didn’t have a dull moment during the entire show. This was surely Saxon at its best. Byford said that the band had planned to play for two hours and he said they loved to be performing in Sweden because the fans are so loud when you hear music you like. He also said that the show they did at Sweden Rock Festival this summer was one of the highlights for the band. When the fans heard the opening notes to “Denim And Leather” they raised the roof and sang the song together with Byford. The song that closed the ordinary set was the classical “Wheels Of Steel” and the audience went crazy again. There was no doubt that the crowd loved the show and when the band went off stage they screamed on the top of their lungs for encores.
Byford promised us two hours of music and the ordinary set closed after 90 minutes. Of course the veterans came out to treat the fans with more music and the first encore was the amazing “Crusader” and when the fans heard the intro to the song you can believe they screamed out loud. Byford let the fans sing the first verse of the song alone and when he heard the singing he looked really happy. Byford said that we ought to now about the next song because it hard the word Scandinavia in the lyrics. It was the great song “747 (Strangers In The Night)” that followed as the second encore and because the song is a personal favorite I really enjoyed hearing it again and that’s even though I’ve heard it live a million times before. As soon as the last note had silenced went the band once again of stage but was called back by the loyal fanbase that shouted for more. Carter was first out and he performed a bass solo that left more to wish for, luckily it was a short one. The second round of encores included “Strong Arm Of The Law” and “Princess Of The Night”. When Byford said that the band was heading to Gothenburg and Stockholm the crowd booed and that’s because there are some hostile feelings towards the other two big cities, why I don’t know. As soon as the last song was over went the band over to the edge of the stage and thanked the fans for their amazing support. Guitar picks and drums sticks were thrown out and altogether played Saxon for almost two hours just as Byford said they were going to. Not bad for a band were the general age is quite high. As soon as the band went off began the club crew to clean the stage.
This was an amazing show with no errors at all. When it comes to playing heavy metal music is Saxon definitely one of the best bands around and have been for quite a few years now. The set list felt solid with both more current songs as well as the older classics. It was really nice to hear that Saxon had dusted of “Broken Heroes” and “Rock The Nations”. There was no signs of remote tiredness in Byford’s vocals or the other guys. This was Saxon at its best. It was a genius move to bring Saxon to Kulturbolaget and I really hope that Saxon is going to return to Malmoe in the near future. This was the last show for me for 2011 and what an excellent way to end an excellent year at Kulturbolaget. The Saxon show was surely one of the best shows at Kulturbolaget during 2011.
Hammer Of The Gods
Heavy Metal Thunder
When Doomsday Comes
Chasing The Bullet
Back in 79
Solid Ball Of Rock
I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
Call To Arms
Rock The Nations
Power And The Glory
Denim And Leather
Wheels Of Steel
747 (Strangers In The Night)
Strong Arm Of The Law
Princess Of The Night
Thanks to head of press Kristian Kornhage and the boss of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass. Thanks for all the help and for the kindness during 2011.
Thanks to all the staff and security at Kulturbolaget for a nice 2011.
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