SWEDEN ROCK 2013

July 12th, 2013
by Marko Syrjala

SWEDEN ROCK 2013

SATURDAY

TANKARD

The legendary German beer thrash patrol visited Sweden Rock fest for the second time as last time the four piece visited 2002. Gerre and company finally made a triumphant comeback to Sweden Rock on the fourth stage. Gerre was uber-relentless and out of his mind like an ADHD guy on the stage, running like a maniac. The German beer metallers made the audience so thirsty the field wasn’t even close to full or packed. Of course, this kind of b-rate beer thrash can be taken as funny humor aspect, but it is weird how Tankard has lasted 30 years by playing this sort of tongue-in-cheek thrash stuff!?

Tankard

Tankard

Tankard

Tankard

Tankard

Tankard

Tankard

Tankard

KREATOR

The Sweden Rock audience has never been that much into the thrash stuff, even though a couple of thousand thrash maniacs had crawled to bang their head off for Kreator. The set mostly consisted of newer material with the addition of songs picked up from PLEASURE TO KILL and ENDLESS PAIN, leaving the rest of the albums out. The newer material definitely sounded as thrashing and extreme aggressive as some other songs from the long career of Kreator. The nice new addition was “Under The Guillotine”. Mille’s inside fire and hatred keeps burning as passionate as always, even though the band has been thrashing nearly thirty years. Both Sami and Christian took care of their duties with no surprises involved.

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

Kreator

HEATHEN

The legendary Bay Area thrashers Heathen have struggled for years, facing both ups and downs. The most recent setback happened when the long time drummer Darren Winter left the band on the European tour. However, John Dette stepped in to take care of the drumming duties. Heathen managed to make it happen and played app 60-minute-set of the finest classics of Heathen. The five-piece delivered a nice solid performance under the red hot sun and in front of a lame lazy audience. Heathen sounded strong with the identified sounds of their own.

Dying Season
Control by Chaos
Open the Grave
Arrows of Agony
Mercy Is No Virtue
Fade Away
Hypnotized
No Stone Unturned
Goblin’s Blade
Death by Hanging

Heathen

Heathen

Heathen

Heathen

Heathen

Heathen

Heathen

Heathen

BLACK STAR RIDERS

The name Black Star Riders doesn’t say much to most of us, but the name Thin Lizzy for sure does. Black Star Riders is, therefore, a new super group which consists of the players, vocalist Ricky Warwick, bassist Marco Mendoza and guitarists Damon Johnson and Scott Gorham, from the latest incarnation of Thin Lizzy reinforced with drummer Jimmy DeGrasso. The band just released its critically acclaimed debut ALL HELLS BREAKIN LOOSE and this Sweden Rock show was going to be one of the first gigs ever at their history. It was obvious that most of the audience had not yet heard the new album and when the band kicked off with a new album title track it got a mixed reception from the crowd. Things soon changed when the band headed into classic “Jailbreak” followed by another Lizzy gem “Massacre”. The same pattern seemed to repeat the whole show through and it seemed that at times the band was a little frustrated with the situation. Maybe it was because people just didn’t know the new material, maybe it was because they don’t care about the new material, or maybe it was because they like more classic Lizzy material, but the fact is that new songs like “Bound for Glory” and “Key Judas” are just excellent hard rock song s and they sounded really good in the live situation regardless.  The set list was built half of Lizzy and half Black Star Riders material. If the band want the future to be more than just a Thin Lizzy tribute band, they should seriously think about how many Lizzy classics will be retained in the set and and believe more in their own material.

All Hell Breaks Loose
Jailbreak
Massacre
Bloodshot
Bound for Glory
Rosalie
Hey Judas
Emerald
Hoodoo Voodoo
Whiskey in the Jar
Kingdom of the Lost
Valley of the Stones
Cowboy Song
The Boys Are Back in Town

Ricky Warwick

Ricky Warwick

Scott Gorham

Scott Gorham

Marco Mendoza

Marco Mendoza

Damon Johnson

Damon Johnson

Jimmy DeGrasso

Jimmy DeGrasso

THE QUIREBOYS

With the exception of Saturday evening’s main artist Rush, British rockers The Quireboys was the only performer on the festival main stage. Instead of typical Quireboys show, this one was going be a stripped down acoustic set performed by Spike, guitarists Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin and pianist/keyboardist Keith Feir. The band opened up with rocking version of “Don’t Bite the Hand” followed by debut album A BIT OF YOUR FANCY classic “There She Goes Again”. Even though the show was the middle of the day there was a gratifyingly large audience following the show. Vocalist Spike was clearly excited about it although he now appeared with a broken leg he still tried to spin on stage with his own familiar style. Fortunately, he had a chair on stage and so bigger damage was spared. Nothing was played from the bands upcoming BEAUTIFUL CURSE album but of course the band played all the biggest hits including:  “Mona Lisa Smiled”, “I Don’t Love You Anymore” and “7 O’clock”.  Overall, this was a very relaxed and good-humored gig which got a smile on the corners of the mouth both for the band and the crowd.

Don’t Bite the Hand
There She Goes Again
Devil of a Man
Mona Lisa Smiled
Roses & Rings
Misled
Have a Drink on Me
Sweet Mary Ann
I Don’t Love You Anymore
7 O’Clock

Spike of Quireboys

Spike of Quireboys

Quireboys

Quireboys

Quireboys

Quireboys

Quireboys

Quireboys

 

ACCEPT

The German legends Accept returned from hiatus in 2009 with new singer Mark Tornillo who then replaced original screamer Udo Dirkscneider. Against all expectations, the band’s return has been hugely successful and to this day Accept might be more popular than ever. The German quintet opened the show with a pair of new tracks from their latest opus STALINGRAD followed by classic “Restless and Wild”. The band was in really good form right from the beginning. Their Teutonic metal just rolls irresistibly over everything in its path. It’s a lot of fun and interesting to follow Accept working hard on stage. Tornillo conducts the orchestra, Wolf Hoffman reveals his virtuoso guitar skills and the band as a whole is in almost unbelievably good form. The song material is really strong in its entirely and in contrast to many other bands, their recent material does not lose anything in comparison to older stuff.  Accept is currently the world’s best heavy metal band. Period.

Hung, Drawn and Quartered
Hellfire
Restless and Wild
Losers and Winners
Stalingrad
Breaker
Shadow Soldiers
Bucket Full of Hate
Bulletproof
Pandemic
Princess of the Dawn
Up to the Limit
Fast as a Shark
Metal Heart
Teutonic Terror
Balls to the Wall

Mark Tornillo

Mark Tornillo

Wolf Hoffmann

Wolf Hoffmann

Peter Baltes

Peter Baltes

Stefan Schwarfmann

Stefan Schwarfmann

Herman Frank and Wolf

Herman Frank and Wolf

Mark Tornillo

Mark Tornillo

Wolf Hoffmann

Wolf Hoffmann

Stefan Schwarfmann

Stefan Schwarfmann

Wolf and Peter

Wolf and Peter

Accept 2013

Accept 2013

RUSH

The Canadian long time progressive rock mongers have never ever been seen at festivals, playing at Sweden Rock was the first time ever. The whole stage was full of visual and surreal things connected to the band’s latest opus CLOCKWORK ANGELS. The set had been divided to three sections. Firstly, the keyboard driven songs from the 80’s releases, then the CLOCKWORK ANGELS material, and finally those big hits like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of the Radio”. The band’s musicians are all virtuosos and the show was visually very impressive but at some point it became inevitable to think whether Rush is the most appropriate option for the main act for this kind of festival?  The band has never been too “easy” to listen to and with the exception of the last section, the atmosphere was really lackluster at times. No, it is not the band’s fault if the majority of the public does not recognize the songs, but that was the major the feeling of this gig.

Subdivisions
The Big Money
Grand Designs
Limelight
The Analog Kid
Where’s My Thing?
Far Cry
Caravan
Clockwork Angels
The Anarchist
Carnies
Headlong Flight
The Garden
Red Sector A
YYZ
The Spirit of Radio
Tom Sawyer
2112 Part I: Overture
2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx
2112 Part VII: Grand Finale

Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee

Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson

Neil Peart

Neil Peart

Neil Peart

Neil Peart

Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee

Alex Lifeson

Alex Lifeson

Alef Lifeson

Alef Lifeson

Neil Peart

Neil Peart

Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee

Rush 2013

Rush 2013

VOMITORY

The long time Swedish death metallers Vomitory had announced about calling its quits after this summer. Therefore, witnessing the four piece for the very last time was mandatory for each death metal fan.  The Swedes hammered song by song incessantly, not slowing down any second. Sounds were turned to reach the brutal level of their deadly cuts, but in the long run, the deadly hammering was quite boring.

Vomitory

Vomitory

Vomitory

Vomitory

Vomitory

Vomitory

Vomitory

Vomitory

SKID ROW

It’s true that although Skid Row may have not released any memorable music since their heyday in early 90’s, but they have always been a great live act and this was no exception. The band has gone through numerous changes and the current line-up consists of three original members: bassist Rachel Bolan and guitarist duo Dave “Snake” Sabo and Scotti Hill, vocalist Johnny Solinger and the latest addition drummer Rob Hammersmith. The band opened the Sweden Rock show with a turbulent version of “Slave to the Grind” followed by “Big Guns”. The band played extremely well and the stage was full of action. The set list was built upon the first two Skid Row albums and indeed it was a pure “Best of Skid Row” which is always a smart thing to do on this type of festival gig. The band just released a brand new EP titled UNITED WORLD REBELLION CHAPTER ONE and tonight the band played “Kings of Demolition” and “Let’s Go”off that album. Both were a decent tracks but nothing special to be honest. It was also a bit surprising that Skid Row now played only one track, “New Generation”, from Solinger’s Skid Row debut album THICKSKIN. Tonight’s show proved that Skid Row now have a strong package together and it’s up to them if they can bring things back to a higher level where they once were. But before it happens, the band should again write more of those killer songs…

Slave to the Grind
Big Guns
Let’s Go
Piece of Me
18 and Life
New Generation
Makin’ a Mess
In a Darkened Room
Kings of Demolition
Psycho Therapy
I Remember You
Monkey Business
Get the Fuck Out
Youth Gone Wild

Johnny Solinger

Johnny Solinger

Dave Sabo

Dave Sabo

Rachel Bolan

Rachel Bolan

Scotti Hill

Scotti Hill

Skid Row 2013

Skid Row 2013

PARADISE LOST

Being the last band on the third stage after Rush and meanwhile Avantasia played on the second stage was definitely ungrateful place for any band. Even though the surrounding atmosphere is absolutely suitable for a band like Paradise Lost as playing in the dead dark Swedish night with great lights looked nice and a tremendous experience. But the audience was leaving the area, there were a handful of people watching Paradise Lost’s set. Nick Holmes’ reaction to those ones leaving the festival area was hilarious “where are you guys going – fuck off”. But despite the ungrateful playing slot, Lost sounded massive with a crystal clear and above all heavy sound. The set list had been built to cover a wide range of the Lost evergreens, picked up from various albums up to the newest one. Seriously, the new material definitely fit great along with the older tunes, but it is obvious the older songs got the most fanatical and biggest cheers. Paradise Lost is still a great band on stage, but how come people didn’t wanna remain to witness them? Pity the sadness so they say.

Soul Courageous
In This We Dwell
Pity the Sadness
As I Die
Tragic Idol
The Enemy
One Second
Enchantment
Fear of Impending Hell
Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
Say Just Words

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

AVANTASIA

Tobias Sammett’s Avantasia’s symphonic power metal is constantly gaining in popularity and the band was now the last band performing at the  festival. As the name of the band says, Avantasia is the brain child of Tobias Sammet. The man first started his ambitious project in 2000 and since then the band has released six full length albums including the latest MYSTERY OF TIME (2013). Avantasia’s albums are always interesting packages, a kind of conceptual mini opera, which always include a group of big-name special guests in different roles. And so does the current Avantasia tour line-up which looks just as impressive. Names like Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Ronnie Atkins, Amanda Somerville and Eric Martin are a guarantee of quality. The band opened up with a string of tracks from MYSTERY OF TIME. It was a remarkable that although Sammet was present on stage throughout the show but it was actually Ronnie Atkins who was the key performer and main vocalist during the first songs. Former Helloween vocalist Kiske did amazing work on Savior in “Shelter from the Rain”. That went to high and loud whereas Catley presented the very different Avantasia sound with Sammet on “The Great Mystery”. Martin got to shine on “Promised Land” and “Dying for and Angel” and Somerville did a great job with backing vocals for the entire show. Avantasia’s song material is really diverse from side to side and due to the number of the guests coming and leaving stage all the time, no one was bored during the band’s gig. As a whole, the Avantasia show was one of the strongest and most impressive performances this year at Sweden Rock and it was indeed a good way to end this year’s festival.

Spectres
Invoke the Machine
Black Orchid
Prelude
Reach Out for the Light
Avantasia
The Story Ain’t Over
The Great Mystery
Dying for an Angel
Promised Land
Farewell
Shelter from the Rain
The Scarecrow
Savior in the Clockwork
Twisted Mind
Lost in Space
Sign of the Cross / The Seven Angels

Tobias Sammet

Tobias Sammet

Tobias Sammet

Tobias Sammet

Ronnie Atkins

Ronnie Atkins

Avantasia

Avantasia

Avantasia

Avantasia

Tobias Sammett

Tobias Sammett

Avanatasia

Avanatasia

Ronnie Atkins

Ronnie Atkins

Felix Bohnke

Felix Bohnke

Avantasia

Avantasia

The official SWEDENROCK site

 

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