SWEDENROCK 2014 – Solvesborg Sweden

July 19th, 2014
by Arto Lehtinen

Sweden Rock 2014: THURSDAY

JAKE E LEE’S RED DRAGON CARTEL

Jake E. Lee’s return to the music scene was definitely one of the biggest news items in the metal / hard rock world last year. The former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist has been nowhere to be seen in over 20 years but now he’s back on track with Red Dragon Cartel. It was only two days ago when I witnessed the bands thunderous performance in Helsinki so it was now interesting to see how the band works in the open air, and even in broad daylight. Like in Helsinki, the show opened up with “Ultimate Sin” followed by a new album track “Deceived”. The band sounded really tight again, although it seems that some of the band members had a long night. Especially Jake, who looked really pale and tired but fortunately it did not affect his playing which was as solid as ever. The problems started during the third song “War Machine” when Jake’s guitar amp quit working and went completely mute. Later on, the same thing happened two times more and because of all those technical problems the gig was inevitably a little weak. However, the band did its best. Vocalist Darren Smith again did a great job, especially with Badlands tunes. The rhythm section was really solid and Jake amazingly did not lose his tembper in spite of all the problems. The band can only hope for a little better luck for the following shows.

The Ultimate Sin
Deceived
War Machine
High Wire
Shine On
Shout It Out
In a Dream
Rumblin’ Train
Sun Red Sun
Feeder
Bark at the Moon

Red Dragon Cartel

Red Dragon Cartel

Jake E. Lee

Jake E. Lee

Red Dragon Cartel

Red Dragon Cartel

Ronnie Mancuso

Ronnie Mancuso

Red Dragon Cartel

Red Dragon Cartel

Jake E. Lee

Jake E. Lee

CLOVEN HOOF

The long forgotten Cloven Hoof from the New Wave Of The British Heavy Metal features just the one original, sole member bassist Pay Wayne. The revamped line-up with young guys in the front looked a bit strange. Some of them weren’t even born when Cloven Hoof emerged for the first time. Even though the younger kids had a more IT worker dresscode, the band rocked in a solid way. However, Cloven Hoof lives up to its legacy and its torch has been carried by Pay Wayne with unstoppable metal force.

Cloven Hoof

Cloven Hoof

Cloven Hoof

Cloven Hoof

PRETTY MAIDS

Denmark’s most famous, and also one of the longest-running hard rock bands, is undoubtedly Pretty Maids.The band’s golden age was in the 80’s of course, but during the last few years they have managed to return very close to those times, both musically as well as in commercial terms. LOUDER THAN EVER is the title of Pretty Maids latest release and it includes half new songs but also re-recorded versions of the bands strongest songs which were originally released during the late 90’s – early 2000.  The band started their Sweden Rock show with their most recent full-length studio album MOTHER LAND with the song “The Mother of All Lies” which was followed by one of the new LOUDER THAN EVER new songs, “Nuclear Boomerang”. Vocalist Ronnie Atkins singing was just as painful looking as before, because it looks that the man really shouts out to the fullest, but it doesn’t matter as far as he sounds as good as he always does. Another original member, guitarist Ken Hammer, hasn’t changed much from the old days. Except, perhaps, in the sense that the man is now a couple of numbers, more bigger than before. Years are doing their tasks but most importantly, Hammer’s guitar playing is still great and he has a great attitude on stage. Today, the band’s visual character is without a doubt the bassist Rene Shades. The man brings much-needed action to the stage and his overall look is suitably peculiar from the other band members. As was to be expected, Pretty Maids largely focused on newer material on their set list. More than half of the set came from the band’s three newest albums. The 80’s era was present by only three FUTURE WORD, the two RED HOT AND HEAVY tracks and they also did John Sykes’ classic “Please Do not Leave Me” which was succesfully covered by the band in the 90’s. Overall, this Pretty Maids show was strong evidence that also the 80’s bands are able to regenerate if they really want to.

Mother of All Lies
Nuclear Boomerang
Final Day of Innocence
Red, Hot and Heavy
My Soul to Take
I.N.V.U.
I See Ghosts
Please Don’t Leave Me
Yellow Rain
Rodeo
Little Drops of Heaven
Back to Back
Future World

Ronnie Atkins

Ronnie Atkins

Ken Hammer

Ken Hammer

Pretty Maids

Pretty Maids

Rene Shades

Rene Shades

Ronnie Atkins

Ronnie Atkins

Allan

Allan

ROBIN BECK

The First time at Sweden Rock (pun intended). And even with a bottle of the right brand of Cola in tow. And one lucky fan got to take the bottle home.. Robin was in was in fine form this early afternoon serving hits from her breakthrough album TROUBLE OR NOTHIN’ coupled with newer songs like the title track from THE GREAT ESCAPE album released in 2011. Her backing band consisted of amongst others Swede Tommy Denander on guitar and husband James Christian (House of Lords) on bass.

If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)
Don’t Lose Any Sleep
Hold Back the Night
The One
Save Up All Your Tears
That All Depends (On What You Do Tonight)
The Great Escape
Tears in the Rain
Wrecking Ball
Catfight
Hide Your Heart
First Time
Follow You

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

Robin Beck

TRANSATLANTIC

This was Transatlantic’s first time at Sweden Rock, and also their first ever gig in Sweden. Transatlantic is, as the name states, a trans-Atlantic prog-supergroup consisting of Neal Morse on vocals and keyboards, Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) on guitar and vocals, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) on drums and Pete Trewavas (Marillion) on bass. We were of course treated with delicate and long prog-tunes taken from the four albums they have managed to put out in between the members other band-duties during the last 15 years. The set started with the excellent Into the Blue from the latest and just released KALEIDOSCOPE album. Swede Daniel Gildenlöw guested on vocals for quite a few songs.

Into the Blue
Overture
Rose Colored Glasses
Evermore
Is It Really Happening?
Dancing With Eternal Glory
All of the Above
Stranger in Your Soul

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

Transatlantic

TURISAS

The paganforest whatever-larping metal outfit Turisas have conquered many countries and festivals with their furious and fast performance and show. The Turilas squad offered one hour of pure fantasy larping metal for the Sweden Rock crowd. However, the frontman Matias Warlod Nyrgård spoke a bit too much whereas the band could have focused on playing. He got enthusiastic about about the Swedish beer and above all plastic bottles until some smartass found it amusing to throw a plastic bottle at the frontman. The material from VANGANRIAN WAY album sounds bombastic awesome, but Turisas 2014 is a major letdown unfortunately.

Turisas

Turisas

Turisas

Turisas

Turisas

Turisas

Turisas

Turisas

TESLA

The gig of the festival? Tesla has always been an amazing live band, as evidenced on REPLUGGED LIVE and that acoustic live album FIVE MAN ACOUSTICAL JAM. Tesla opened with “I Wanna Live” from the last studio album FOREVERMORE, the first with new guitarist Dave Rude. The new album SIMPLICITY has recently been released, from which the rather average track MP3 was played. The hits of course went down the best with Signs, Love Song and Modern Day Cowboy being the biggest sing-alongs.

I Wanna Live
Hang Tough
Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)
Mama’s Fool
Into the Now
MP3
The Way It Is
What You Give
Signs
Love Song
Gettin’ Better
Modern Day Cowboy
Little Suzi
Cumin’ Atcha Live

 Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

Tesla

 Tesla

Tesla

MASTERPLAN

Masterplan were back at Sweden Rock after a break of 11 (!) years. After several changes in singers (Jorn Lande being the original) Swede Rick Altzi is the new frontman. Finn Jari Kainulainen (ex-Stratovarius) is the new bass player, Martin Skoroupka the new drummer, and of course Roland Grapow on guitar and Axel Mackenrott on keyboards. The band wisely played songs from all of their 5 albums, including two from the new NOVUM INITIUM.

Enlighten Me
Spirit Never Die
Lost and Gone
Black Night of Magic
Crimson Rider
Back for My Life
Time to Be King
Keep Your Dream Alive
Crystal Night
Soulburn
Heroes
Crawling From Hell

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

Masterplan

ROB ZOMBIE

Rob Zombie made a debut visit a few years back at Sweden Rock and gained the attention and definitely new fans with an intensive fast and furious show. It wasn’t any surprise as Zombie returned to Sweden Rock. Zombie was in furious strike throughout the whole gig. Zombie ran with a maniacal passion all around the stage and encouraged the audience to go berserk. The setlist consisted of all the essential Zombie tunes even from the White Zombie days. However the odd Diamond Head cover “Am I Evil” was more than the real old school, but a real strange one. The old White Zombie songs are mandatory ones in the set. The soloparts such as John 5’s one with the guitar were kind of boring, but meanwhile Zombie jumped into the pit and incited the frontline go utterly ballistic. Cooper and Zombie teamed up for the short Schools Out cover. Rob Zombie was supposed to arrive at Finland, but it got cancelled. Therefore seeing Rob Zombie’s show at Sweden Rock was once again unforgettable.

 Meet the Creeper
        Superbeast
        Scum of the Earth
        Living Dead Girl
        Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
        Drum Solo
        More Human Than Human   (White Zombie song)
        Sick Bubble-Gum
        House of 1000 Corpses
        Trade in Your Guns for a Coffin
        Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)
        Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover)
           Thunder Kiss ’65 (White Zombie song)
               Guitar Solo
        School’s Out
        (Alice Cooper cover) (partial, with Thunder Kiss ’65 reprise)
        Encore:
        The Lords of Salem
        Encore 2:
        Dragula

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie

 

DARK ANGEL

The reunited Dark Angel arrived at Sweden Rock. The playing time was quite awkward for the band since playing as the last act after Alice Cooper on the third stage didn’t do any justice for the band’s performance because the audience started leaving the area and besides they had flown all the way from LA for this particular show. However, a couple of thousand arrived to witness the LA thrash legends with the Atomic Clock (Gene Hoglan) in action. The big boyz of thrash unleashed a neck ripping thrash assault for the next 70 minute. The band rampaged the audience by doing major songs from both DARKNESS DESCENDS and LEAVE SCARS albums and one from TIME DOES NOT HEAL and a couple of ones from WE HAVE ARRIVED. Dark Angel sounded merciless brutal and uncompromising. Young bands should take a lesson of how thrash is supposed to be played.

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

Dark Angel

ALICE COOPER

The ancestor of horror and terror rock Alice Cooper returned to Sweden Rock after a few year break and this time he was the headliner of Thursday evening. The gig began, as earlier on this tour, with the old Judy Collins cover of  “Hello Hooray” followed by one of Alice Cooper’s 80’s gems, “House of Fire”, and 70’s classic “No More Mr. Nice Guy”. Cooper’s gigs are always based on a lot of visual impact and so it went this time. Almost every track always has their own tricks and theatrical effects. During the show we saw a traditional guillotine, crazy nurses, cruel looking executioners dressed in black and all the other elements which Alice’s show is famous for. Especially cool was the Frankenstein character which staggered on stage during “Feed My Frankenstein”. As said, most of those effects have been seen several times already in previous tours, but now there was a new cool looking section where Alice played his tribute for some of his previously passed friends. It was impressive when there was a set of tombstones on stage with engraved with names such as Keith Moon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon. It was nothing short of an emotional moment when Cooper then held each. In particular, The Who’s “My Generation” sounded very good and at the same time brought a welcome change to the set list. But the set list was overall really well built this time. It now included selections from almost different phases of Cooper’s career and decades. Of course, the focus was on the 70’s material, but now there were also some rarely played 80’s material such as “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” and “House of Fire”. The 90’s were present; HEY STOOPID the album’s title track and “Feed My Frankenstein” and the newer era was represented by “Dirty Diamonds” and two of the most recent WELCOME 2 MY NIGHTMARE album tracks “Caffeine” and “I’ll Bite Your Face Off.” The gig got indeed a worthy ending when the younger generation shock rockers Rob Zombie and John 5 joined Alice’s band on stage and performed “School’s Out” together. It was once again great to see how good of a shape Cooper and his band are still in! The man himself is already over 60 years old but it does not really show up much on stage. He still is a very strong performer and his singing is as strong as ever. Although Cooper’s band is frequently changed, he always manages to pile up some great musicians and the band was once again nothing short of brilliant. Special mentions go to cruel looking bassist Chuck Garrick who was really funny character on stage and guitarist Orianthi who now did her last performance with the band. All in all, the Alice Cooper show was once again nothing but awesome.

Hello Hooray
House of Fire
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
I’ll Bite Your Face Off
Billion Dollar Babies
Caffeine
Department of Youth
Hey Stoopid
Dirty Diamonds
Welcome to My Nightmare
Go to Hell
He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)
Feed My Frankenstein
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Killer
I Love the Dead
Under the Bed
Break On Through (to the Other Side)
(The Doors cover)
Revolution
(The Beatles cover)
Foxy Lady
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
My Generation
(The Who cover)
I’m Eighteen
Poison
School’s Out

 

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper band 2013

Alice Cooper band 2013

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Posted in 2014, Concert Reviews, Heavy Metal | Comments (0)




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