Swedenrock 2015 – Sölvesborg Sweden

July 11th, 2015
by Arto Lehtinen

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Sweden Rock 2015

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN, MARKO SYRJALA AND PATRICK CLEMENT

The Finnish Metal-Rules.com commando team made their annual road trip to Sweden Rock. Metal-Rules.com has covered Sweden Rock since 2001. The  2015 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Over 70 bands offered one hell of an experience for the attendees during the four day festival. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years always being sold out. This year wasn’t an exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The  weather was tremendous, despite being quite windy and cold on the opening day. But we were there for bands, not for having some beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!


WEDNESDAY

HELL

The British old school heavy metal outfit led by Andy Sneap took to the fourth stage. As a matter of fact, the British occult trad metallers visited Sweden Rock a few years back and played on the third stage. Being on the fourth stage gave a more close-to-the-audience feeling. Their catchy old school metal riffs, with a modern day approach, sounded spell bounding and tight. The front man, David Bower, deserves props for his passionate stage performance and is the ultimate front man for Hell. He truly has the theatrical background, therefore it is obvious way for him to liven up to the music of Hell by bringing interesting aspects to the show. His clear and dominating way to articulate with a strong English accent easily led one to fantasize of the ancient English theatrical world. The gig was a pure show from the beginning to the end with self whipping and eye capturing contact to the audience. The set consisted of songs picked up from the last two albums, for obvious reasons. BUT, because of the strong wind blast, the sounds were quite dis-harmonic and went up into the strong winds.

Gehennae Incendiis
The Age of Nefarious
The Oppressors
Blasphemy and the Master
Darkhangel
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Quest
Land of the Living Dead
End Ov Days
On Earth as It Is in Hell
The Devil’s Deadly Weapon

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QUIREBOYS

The Quireboys are once again at Sweden Rock. They have become a popular household name at the festival. No less evident by singer Spike with ”Free House” (including Simon Kirke, Mark Stanway and Luke Morley) performing again at the festival the next day as a tribute to Frankie Miller and Andy Fraser. The Quireboys setlist is really well thought-out, a perfect mix of good-time rockers and sentimental ballads and blues. Songs from their first album A BIT OF WHAT YOU FANCY (1990) dominate, and rightfully so. Also late career greats such as ”Beautiful Curse” and ”Mona Lisa Smiled” get a great response.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Roses & Rings
Tramps and Thieves
There She Goes Again
Whippin’ Boy
I Don’t Love You Anymore
Sweet Mary Ann
Mona Lisa Smiled
Hey You
Beautiful Curse
7 O’Clock
Sex Party

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EVERGREY

The Swedish progressive metallers Evergrey led by Tom Englund have been guided through years and line up change after change. However, Englund has kept the band going and presented the hard and heavy sounding Evergrey at Sweden Rock. Evergrey enjoys a loyal following in their home country as the whole field was quite packed when the four piece hammered down all in all 14 songs. As stated already, the outfit sounded surprising heavy and even unexpectedly brutal. Obviously, Englund was on a mission to prove Evergrey hasn’t lost an inch and become tighter and harder.

Broken Wings / As I Lie Here Bleeding
Barricades
Blinded
Recreation Day
Hymns for the Broken
Missing You
These Scars
Wasted Years

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D-A-D

Danish D-A-D is a familiar visitor to Sweden Rock. This time the band played a gig on a smaller stage than usual due to the fact that their gig was already on the first day of the festival. This show was also special because the band’s bassist, Stig Pedersen, was on sick leave and was not able to perform. The D.A.D. gig began with EVERYTHING GLOWS album track “Evil Twin” and was followed by the old classic “Rock ‘n’ Radar” from the band’s best-selling album RISK’ IT ALL. I’ve never seen a bad show from D-A-D and this was no exception. The set list was built brilliantly because now there songs from seven D-A-D albums. The Binzer brothers were both in good shape and drummer Laust Sonne’s drum kit was well worth to see. A fill-in bassist, whose name I do not remember, handled his job well but Stig’s incredible charisma and live presence was sorely missed. Nevertheless, this was once again an excellent gig!

Evil Twin
Rock ‘n’ Rock Radar
Everything Glows
Helpyourselfish
A New Age Moving In
Something Good
Grow or Pay
Reconstrucdead
Monster Philosophy
I Want What She’s Got
I Won’t Cut My Hair
Jihad
Bad Craziness
Sleeping My Day Away
Laugh ‘n’ a ½

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Sweden Rock 2015 – THURSDAY

 

(Steve Grimmett’s ) GRIM REAPER

Grim Reaper, led by Steve Grimmett, had their golden years in the 80’s, but due to the awful management Grim Reaper was forced to call its quits. However, Grimmett has resurrected the band and added the name of his own as an addition to Grim Reaper. The set consisted of the songs picked up from those three albums released in the mid 80’s. Grimmett himself sounded good, and the young backup musicians did good work. In this case, the original guitarist Nick Bowcott had temporarily returned to the Grim Reaper ranks.

Rock You to Hell
Night of the Vampire
Fear No Evil
Wrath of the Ripper
All Hell Let Loose
Never Coming Back
Lay It on the Line
Let the Thunder Roar
Final Scream
Matter of Time
Rock Me ’till I Die
Don’t Talk to Strangers
See You in Hell

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CHILDREN OF BODOM

Children Of Bodom went through a line-up change during the spring when long time axeman Roope Latvala was dismissed and was replaced by the keyboardist Janne Wirman’s brother Antti Wirman. The change could have been expected to give a boost to the live performance for COB. Instead, the new recruited guitarist focused on his playing, avoiding not making any mistakes, and mostly was in the same spot while playing. Of course, it is truly understandable as these songs are not that simple to play and needs full time attention. However, in general, the COB guys need a serious kick to their stage appearance as thoughts of being hungry and passionate have both decreased tremendously. It felt that the Sweden Rock show was just like another mandatory day at the office.

Hate Me!
Needled 24/7
Silent Night, Bodom Night
Are You Dead Yet?
Scream for Silence
Hate Crew Deathroll
Everytime I Die
Halo of Blood
Sixpounder
Angels Don’t Kill
Lake Bodom
Downfall
In Your Face

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SLASH FEAT. MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS

It is a little strange that former Guns’n Roses guitarist Slash, is just now performing for the first time at Sweden Rock, as he has, in recent years, released many great albums and he tours frequently in Europe. But better late than never. Slash’s 90-minute gig began energetically with “You Lie”, followed by Guns’n Roses classic “Nightrain” and the latest WORLD OF FIRE album hit “Avalon”. Overall, the whole show was really strong. Vocalist Myles Kennedy is a good performer and his voice seems to fit almost any song at any time. The band’s rhythm section, which consists of drummer Brent Fitz, bassist Todd Kerns, and rhythm guitarist Frank Sidoris, played a very tight and high energy show. And then there is Slash himself. It looks and sounds like the man has not really changed at all since the golden 80’s. Slash’s playing is close to perfection, and his stage persona is iconic. The band’s set list is built with skill. There were seven tracks taken from Slash’s latest three albums, four Guns’n Roses classics, and also Velvet Revolver was present with “Slither”. The set list was a good mix of songs from Slash’s entire career. If you ask what was the highlight of the show from the audience, they will certainly say either “Sweet Child O Mine” or “Paradise City”, but I could respond that the highlight of the show was the new album track “Wicked Stone”.

You’re a Lie
Nightrain
Avalon
Back from Cali
Wicked Stone
You Could Be Mine
Bent to Fly
World on Fire
Anastasia
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Slither
Paradise City

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AIRBOURNE

The Australian hard rock tornado Airbourne is always a brutal rocking band on stage. There was no exception as far as the Sweden Rock gig was concerned. The four piece kicked the set off with “Ready To Rock. These guys don’t know what resting on laurels is all about. The was severe head banging and uncontrolled running on the stage. The singer climbed up to the construction of the stage to play a guitar solo. Airbourne is a tireless rock machine rolling over and never stops. Airbourne’s high energy and hyperactive gig should be experienced in a small smoky club environment to feel the unstoppable force of the true Australian rockers.

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TOTO

Legendary Toto played Sweden Rock for the first time ever this year. The band has just released their new album XIV (2015) after a lengthy hiatus in studio albums, the last one being FALLING IN BETWEEN from 2006.The core members of TOTO are Joseph Williams on vocals, Steve Lukather on guitars and vocals, David Paich on keyboards and vocals and Steve Porcaro on keyboards and vocals. David Hungate has rejoined the band on bass. Shannon Forrest performs as the band’s drummer. Toto drew a large crowd and put on a professional show with each member and backing vocalist having a turn at being the main vocalist. Three songs from the new album were played; opening track ”Running out of time”, single ”Orphan” and personal favorite, the epic ”Great Expectations”. The evergreens ”Rosanna” and ”Africa” served as the grand finale.

Running out of Time
I’ll Supply the Love
Never Enough
Stranger in Town
Hold the Line
On the Run / Goodbye Eleanore
Pamela
The Road Goes On
Caught in the Balance
Without Your Love
Little Wing
Orphan
Great Expectations
Rosanna
Africa

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EXODUS

Exodus has been in a fabulous turbulence during the past last years – Zetro in, Dukes out, then a new brutal thrashterpiece, and of course Gary Holt has to sail between Exodus and Slayer. Because of the ongoing hectic schedule of Slayer, Holt was absent and replaced by Heathen axeman Kragen Lum. Exodus at Sweden Rock was brutal, to say it simply. Even though Holt was absent, the band turned out to be in a well rehearsed strike. The return of Zetro definitely rescued Exodus from a massive downward slide. His role as front man for Exodus is a pure thrashing fury and kept demanding the Swedish crowd go utterly berserk. The set list covered the long career of Exodus pretty damn well, skipping the 90’s albums and a couple of ones from the Dukes era. The songs off from BONDED BY BLOOD and BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT played the important roles on the set. Exodus had a fiery approach to thrash the shit out of every one for sure.

Black 13
Blood In, Blood Out
Iconoclasm
Children of a Worthless God
Piranha
Salt the Wound
Pleasures of the Flesh
Body Harvest
Metal Command
The Last Act of Defiance
Blacklist
A Lesson in Violence
Bonded by Blood
War Is My Shepherd
The Toxic Waltz
Strike of the Beast

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BLOODBATH

Nick Holmes joining Bloodbath was definitely a piece of unexpected news. It was widely believed Holmes would have abandoned his death metal roots years ago, but joining Bloodbath proved it all wrong. The heavily blood covered guys on the stage in wake of Nick Holmes with some kind of monk cape and of course the upside down hanging crucifix looked kind of amusing. Instead, Bloodbath strongly relies on old school death metal brutality. It was doubtful that Holmes’ skills to growl in the death metal way were intact, but his growling sounded splendid and brutal. It sounded as though he has not lost an inch in the guttural growling since the early 90’s. Bloodbath relied on the old school death metal approach and even borrowed the concluding riff of Entombed’s Left Hand Path. It is obvious that the die-hard death metal fans must have a good eargasm over Bloodbath.

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DEF LEPPARD

British rockers Def Leppard were headlining Sweden Rock for the third time. The last time the band was here in 2009, and the band had then just released its latest studio album, SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE. The band has not released new material since that, so this time the theme of the tour is to play the classics and best-known hits. And that kind of theme is of course suitable for a festival such as Sweden Rock. The classic “Rock Rock Till You Drop” opened the show and is followed by “Animal”, one of the many hits from HYSTERIA. Vocalist Joe Elliott and shirtless guitarist Phil Collen were the band’s showmen while the rest of the band stayed a little more in the background. It was great to see that Vivian Campbell, who had suffered serious health problems in recent years, was now back in the band. The man was visibly happy to be back on stage. The set list consisted mostly of the band’s’ 80s material without surprises. The only newer tracks were “Promises” and “Paper Sun,” both of which can be found on the 1999 EUPHORIA album. The Def Leppard show was good and entertaining but at the same time it was just a routine gig. The band is set to release a new studio album in the autumn. Hopefully the band will then return to Scandinavia and show us that they are more than a nostalgia band.

Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
Animal
Let It Go
Foolin’
Promises
Paper Sun
Love Bites
Armageddon It
Bass Solo
Rock On
Two Steps Behind
Rocket
Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
Switch 625
Hysteria
Let’s Get Rocked
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock of Ages
Photograph

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GHOST

Ghost seem to divide the metal and rock crowd to different camps – you either like or dislike them. The Swedish masked six piece have been absent from the limelight during the past year as they’ve been working on their third opus. The band had re-created and evolved both the visual thing and masks of each member to remove the old skin for good. The weirdest change was the transformation of from Papa Emeritus II to Papa Emeritus III. Despite the change, obviously the man behind the mask has remained the same. Ghost’s theatrical performance under the splendid stage lights gave an enjoyable show to worship. Despite Ghost sports in the occult theme, the eccentric sense of humor can be pointed in the speeches of Papa Emeritus III as his sarcastic and funny comments were truly funny. Ghost has also rehearsed their stage performance, as the band moved more than ever before. Ghost is ready to conquer the world again.

   Genesis
        From the Pinnacle to the Pit
        Ritual
        Prime Mover
        Majesty
        Con Clavi Con Dio
        Death Knell
        Cirice
        Stand by Him
        Elizabeth
        Satan Prayer
        Year Zero
        Absolution
        Encore:
        If You Have Ghosts
        Monstrance Clock

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MICHAEL MONROE

Finland’s most famous hard rocker, Michael Monroe, has been a familiar sight at Sweden Rock in recent years. If I count correctly, the man appeared here first with his former band Hanoi Rocks two times, and this was now his second appearance as a solo artist here. Monroe’s playing time certainly was not the best, because at the same time on the next stage played the popular Swedish band Ghost. The matter was not helped by the fact that Monroe was the last performer of the evening. Nevertheless, there was quite a lot of audience when the band started their show with “’78”. The show was once again a familiar energetic and the band played, as usual, Michael’s solo career best songs, a couple of covers, some Demolition 23 and a few Hanoi Rocks classics. The show was overall very good but it did not contain any surprises, which was a small disappointment. Monroe’s new album “Blackout States” will be released in October. Hopefully the band will make a decent renovating in their set list when the next tour starts.

’78
TNT Diet
Horns and Halos
Same Shit Different Day
Trick of the Wrist
Man With No Eyes
Ballad of the Lower East Side
Got Blood?
Stained Glass Heart
Hammersmith Palais
Modern Day Miracle
Endangered Species
Soul Surrender
Malibu Beach Nightmare
Oriental Beat
Up Around the Bend
Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll
Nothin’s Alright

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Sweden Rock 2015 – FRIDAY

HATEBREED / ALESTORM

Hatebreed enjoys massive success and following all around so placing them to play on the second stage was obvious. For some reason, Hatebreed didn’t draw that huge crowd as it was expected. Even though Jamie Jasta jumped like a Duracell bunny, the crowd didn’t outbreak in chaos. Instead, the happy pirate beer metal outfit Alestorm managed to draw an incredible huge crowd around the third stage. Alestorm’s simple and happy songs with easy riffs are easy to be adopted by the audience under the red hot sun.

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ROCK GODDESS

This reunion was one of the more unexpected ones to ever happen. Rock Goddess rocked in the early 80’s and vanished from the map without leaving any bigger traces. Until now, surprise surprise, the British female trio returned from the underworld back to the limelight. To be honest, all kinds of reunions have been witnessed over these years, this reunion fits along with other ones more than well. The trio rocked hard under the hot burning sun. The laid-back old school hard rock sounded “nice” by the trio. The set had the essential Rock Goddess songs from the three albums released in the early 80’s. Nice gig, nice weather, nice laid-back and relaxed hard rock.

Satisfied Then Crucified
God Be With You
Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right
This Time
You’ve Got Fire
To Be Betrayed
Flying To See You
Take Your Love Away
Make My Night
Drive Me Away
This is the Day
Unfinished Business
Back to You
Heavy Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll
My Angel
Love is a Bitch

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DOKKEN

Dokken made a triumphant return to Sweden Rock – 2001 was the last time the band performed at the festival. Dokken still consists of Don Dokken on vocals, Mick Brown on drums and Jon Levin on guitar with new addition Mark Boals on bass and background vocals. The set kicks off with perfect opener ”Kiss of Death” and what follows is a complete greatest hits set, that means absolutely no fillers – but also sadly no new songs from their latest album, the excellent BROKEN BONES (2012). The more obscure songs of course features in Dokken’s normal set, tonight they play for little over an hour.The weather is at its best at this moment and just about everybody in the audience sings along to the songs. Don is in fine form and enjoying the show – he also mentions this more than once ”This is a really good rock show!”.

Kiss of Death
The Hunter
Dream Warriors
Breaking the Chains
Alone Again
Too High to Fly
Guitar Solo
Paris Is Burning
It’s Not Love
/ All Right Now
Just Got Lucky
Into the Fire
In My Dreams
Tooth and Nail

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WOLF

The trad metal outfit Wolf have traveled a long journey guided by the only original member left, Niklas Stålvind. The Swedish trad metal patrol’s solid metal was hammered down to the crowd with a loud and powerful grip. Wolf have done plenty of ass kicking and play extremely good metal great for real head banging throughout years. The songs sounded equally brilliant and superb and the current Wolf line-up appeared to be strong. The set consisted of the material from the latest output DEVIL SEED and the rest of tunes had been picked from RAVENOUS, THE BLACK FLAME, BLACK WINGS. Wolf stands for pure heavy metal with fantastic songs.

 
Overture in C Shark
Shark Attack
The Bite
Skeleton Woman
My Demon
Voodoo
Hail Caesar
Evil Star
Skull Crusher
Children Of The Black Flame
Venom
Speed On 

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BACKYARD BABIES

Backyard Babies were on hiatus for about 7 years and during that period each member of the band evolved and focused on different music projects. Backyard Babies returned from a long break to deliver pure hard rock with obvious punk elements. Guitarist, Dregen, livened up with ultimate rock passion. Some die hard backyard babies fan criticized the show afterwards, claiming it to be rather boring. However, the Swedish rockers did sound good and offered a wide range of songs picked up from several albums, apart from the first one. Of course the new song called “Th1rte3n or Nothing” was played as well. It sounded like another BB tune for sure. Backyard Babies rocked and well. Obviously the long break was required and it is sure the band will be getting better and better after this comeback gig.

    Th1rte3n or Nothing
        Highlights
        The Clash
        Powderhead
        U.F.O. Romeo
        Brand New Hate
        Dysfunctional Professional
        Abandon
        People Like People Like People Like Us
        Made Me Madman
        Ghetto You
        Roads
        Star War
        A Song for the Outcast
        Heaven 2.9
        Nomadic
        Bombed (Out of My Mind)
        Look at You
        Encore:
        Saved by the Bell
        Minus Celsius

 

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EXTREME

Extreme made their comeback a few years ago with latest album SAUDADES DE ROCK (2008) and have been touring on and off around the world, now for the first time since the ’90’s also in Scandinavia. This occasion is celebrated by big slot festival performances, amongst others at Sweden Rock. And what a return! It seems no time has passed since we last saw Extreme live. Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt still sounds and even looks the same! The energy is definitely in place – their joy of playing and performing really shows. This tour is in celebration of their 25-year old hit record PORNOGRAFFITTI so that makes up half of the songs in the setlist, including the monster sing-along ”More than words” and ”Get the funk out”. A much welcomed return – the next obvious step for Extreme is to make a new album. Something to look forward to.

Decadence Dance
Li’l Jack Horny
Comfortably Dumb
Rest in Peace
It(‘s a Monster)
Kid Ego
Play with Me
Midnight Express
More than Words
Cupid’s Dead
Take Us Alive
Am I Ever Gonna Change
He-Man Woman Hater
/ Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee
Hole Hearted
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Get the Funk Out

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MOTHER’S FINEST

Mother’s Finest returns to Sweden Rock – and they still play no ballads! A fan in the audience jokingly even made a wish-sign for them to play one… What we do get is the most ”danceable” band at this festival – their style of music being (pioneering) funk rock, having been around since the early ’70’s.They kick off with ”Angels”, the opening song of the new album GOODY 2 SHOES AND THE FILTHY BEASTS (2015). In fact half of the set is made up of new songs, and they go down with the audience just as well as the old favorites, including highlights ”Baby Love” and ”Mickey’s Monkey”.

Angels
Burning Love
Truth’ll Set You Free
Can’t Fight the Feeling
Cling To The Cross
Niggizz Can’t Sang Rock & Roll
The Wall
Shut Up
She Ready
Baby Love
Mickey’s Monkey
Guitar Solo
Piece of the Rock
My Badd

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MARDUK

The Swedish black metal squad Marduk have remained loyal to the true roots of all evilness since their formation in the early 90’s. Marduk’s gig at the tent stage called Rockklassiker sounded a bit of odd as well as funny. The four piece could have easily put the panzerdivision assault on the third stage. At the same time, Motley Crue were doing Girls Girls Girls, Marduk delivered the brutal grotesque and barbaric black metal. For some reason, the sounds weren’t justified for Marduk, the drums rolled all over and so did Mortuu’s growling, leaving the guitar to the blackest corner of all unholy evilness. That ruined the good gig. However the band’s straightforward aggression was as expected as it could be.

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The Blond Beast
Slay the Nazarene
The Levelling Dust
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Wartheland
Cloven Hoof
Burn My Coffin
Into Utter Madness
Womb of Perishableness
Warschau
The Black…

MOTLEY CRUE

Motley Crue is arguably one of the most important hard rock bands in history. The band’s’ classic 80s albums TOO FAST FOR LOVE, SHOUT AT THE DEVIL and DR.FEELGOOD are amongst the best in its genre and the band’s cheesy stage show including naughty ladies and special effects has served as a role model for countless bands. When the band made its long-awaited return in 2004, everything was great. The band played excellent gigs, they were hungry, and the band came along on stage. They appeared in Sweden Rock in 2005, and that show was absolutely great. This time, Motley Crue had the honor to be the headliner of the festival. The band is now in midst of their farewell tour that should come to an end on New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles. In advance of this gig was advertised to be the last band’s appearance in Scandinavia. And partly because of that there was a huge crowd following the bands performance. The Crue started the “last” gig in Sweden with SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES album title song and it was followed by “Wild Side” and “Primal Scream”. Maybe Motley Crue tried its best, but it is true that this show never went anywhere. Unfortunately, nothing is eternal. Motley Crue in 2015, is tired, reluctant, and it does not even bother to try to hide the background tapes and pre-recorded songs in use. Vocalist Vince Neil’s performance can be described with words classless or very weak. Also, bassist Nikki Sixx was lackluster on stage. All the honor for guitarist Mick Mars, who, despite the major health problems in general can play at all. Mars’s playing was still very tight, and the same can be said of the drummer Tommy Lee who is still a high class drummer. Unfortunately, the Sweden Rock did not see Lee’s famous roller coaster drum solo. With the exception of pyro, which was used a lot, there was not much show elements used. After witnessing the previous Crue shows this felt like a stripped down version of those shows. The set list was almost the same as it has been for many years. No any surprises or changes. Of course the band played all of its biggest hit songs but it just wasn’t enough to save this gig. It certainly didn’t help that the band did not play their full playtime. The gig lasted only 75 minutes, when they supposed to do a full 90 minute set. All in all, the band’s performance was weak. If you compare this performance to other headliners, Judas Priest and Def Leppard, it was like from different planet.  Sometimes it’s better to just quit, and this band should have been done years ago.

Saints of Los Angeles
Wild Side
Primal Scream
Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
Looks That Kill
On With the Show
Too Fast for Love
Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room
Mutherfucker of the Year
Anarchy in the U.K.
T.N.T. (Terror ‘N Tinseltown)
Dr. Feelgood
Shout at the Devil
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Guitar Solo
Live Wire
Too Young to Fall in Love
Girls, Girls, Girls
Kickstart My Heart
Home Sweet Home

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Sweden Rock 2015 – SATURDAY 

HARDCORE SUPERSTAR

The Swedish band Hardcore Superstar has gradually risen in their genre to become a leading band. It clearly showed at Sweden Rock when the main stage was full packed a long before the band started the show. The bands energetic singer Jocke Berg kicked off the show with “Need No Company” and from then onwards the show was real hard rock extravaganza until the end. It is true that the band has not published a full good album in a long time, but fortunately all of them include some great songs. And these pieces together will get together really good set list. Hardcore Superstar was definitely one of the festivals liveliest and best performers.

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EXCITER 

Exciter made their debut appearance at Sweden Rock a few years back with the entire different line-up with the only surviving original member left. Exciter went through the line-up turmoil leading to the return of the classic three piece line-up back. That was cheered by thousands of old school metal fans when Exciter kicked their set off at 1 am. The band pounded the true classic Exciter songs off from the first three albums with the intensive long live and aloud. Despite some technical problems the Canadian metal trio did an awesome set pleasing the die hard fans. Beehler is definitely one of hell of a charismatic drummer/singer with the a strong way to communicate with the audience. Exciter offered a real timecapsule to the ancient times of the early 80’s with the classic songs of their own.

Stand Up and Fight
Heavy Metal Maniac
Iron Dogs
Victims of Sacrifice
Delivering to the Master
Violence & Force
Blackwitch
Pounding Metal
Guitar Solo
Beyond the Gates of Doom
I Am the Beast
Long Live the Loud
Encore:
Evil Sinner

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NUCLEAR ASSAULT

The legendary thrash outfit out of New York, Nuclear Assault, got re-activated and has an EP entitled POUNDER out. As a result of this, the four piece got booked by several European festivals. The New York thrashers hit Sweden Rock as an one off gig and will be continuing the summer festival Final Assault tour a bit later. Nuclear Assault could be expected to come out with plenty of songs from the 80’s era. Obviously the new material off from the most recent Ep was part of the set. However, all the 90’s era had been skipped. An old thrash band like Nuclear Assault would work better in a club as opposed to an open air festival which doesn’t give the justified atmosphere for these classic songs. The NA guys seemed to be having fun on the stage as the humor was definitely there.

Rise from the Ashes
Brainwashed
F#
New Song
Critical Mass
Game Over
Butt Fuck
Justice
Pounder
Sin
Betrayal
Stranded in Hell
Analogue Man In A Digital World
Died in Your Arms
Price of Freedom
Wake Up
When Freedom Dies
Torture Tactics
My America / Hang the Pope / Lesbians
Trail of Tears
Technology

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RIOT V

The American metal band Riot has experienced a lot of setbacks during its existence. Members have come and gone, and, of course, the single biggest tragedy was when the band’s founder member Mark Reale died in 2012. In spite of everything, the band has been able to continue and released a pretty decent album UNLEASH THE FIRE last year. The band’s lineup now includes long-term members, guitarist Mike Flyntz and bassist Don Van Stavern, and they are complemented by vocalist Todd Michael Hall, guitarist Nick Lee and drummer Frank Gilchriest who played in the band already in 2003-2007. The band’s gig started great with one of the band’s most famous songs, “Narita” followed by new album track “Ride Hard Live Free”. Riot, or Riot V as their official name is now, played all the major Riot classics and three new songs. Hall turned out to be quite a valid a singer and he sang well both new and old material. Flyntz has taken Reale’s place as a solo guitarist in the band and he handled the job in style. The show as a whole was very good and the band itself is a great example of never giving up, ever. Shine On!

Narita
Ride Hard Live Free
Fight or Fall
Outlaw
Metal Warrior
Sign of the Crimson Storm
Black Leather and Glittering Steel
Angel Eyes
Johnny’s Back
Bloodstreets
Take Me Back
Flight of the Warrior
Road Racin’
Warrior
Swords and Tequila
Thundersteel

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ACE FREHLEY

Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley made a successful comeback with last year’s SPACE INVADER album. The album is the man’s most successful album in a long time. In addition, Frehley has been getting a lot of headlines due to the  Hall of Fame reward and more. Frehley played Sweden Rock last time in 2009, and his band has reinvented itself since then a lot. The drummer Scot Coogan is the only one remaining from the old line-up. New members are now bassist Chris Wyse and guitarist Richie Scarlet, who has played with Frehley before on many occasions. The familiar “Fractured Mirror” intro was played from the speakers before the band started the show with one of the most famous Frehley’s songs “Rocket Ride” which, of course, was well received. It was nice to note when the band next played the new album single, “Gimme a Feelin”, it was also familiar to the crowd. The band were in good shape. Frehley’s playing was tight, he seemed to feel at home on stage and his classic smoking guitar solo during “Shock Me” was just great. Richie Scarlet is a good addition to the band. He brings a much-needed energy to the stage, and his singing was absolutely brilliant on “Break Out” and “2 Young to Die”. Wyse showed himself to be, not only an excellent bass player, also a good singer on “Strangeways”. Scot Coogan was not any worse. His singing on KISS’s “Love Gun” sounded a lot better than the current Paul Stanley vocals. All in all, the band was convincing and the set list was a good mix of Frehley’s own material and KISS classics. This was easily one of the best performances on the festival. Ace is back and told you so!

Rocket Ride
Gimme a Feelin’
Toys
Parasite
Love Gun
Breakout
Snowblind
Bass Solo
Strange Ways
New York Groove
2 Young 2 Die
Shock Me
Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
Cold Gin
Rip It Out
Deuce

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FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

Five Finger Death Punch made a debut visit to Sweden Rock a few years ago and made the stone dead security busy by encouraging the audience go utter berserk. The same kind of chaotic feeling didn’t show up even though FFDP did a solid show. Especially the frontman Ivan Moodie’s tough man image was funny to watch. However the man has a golden heart when asking a bunch of underage kids to get on the stage to have fun and enjoy some sort of being star. FFDP is kind of modern-day hard rock with the tough boy image and lyrics filled up with a number of F words. However FFDP knowns how to arrange a good and hot show by taking the audience to the action. Moody’s way of communication with the audience is one important task for sure. If the one happens to dig the modern-day metal, FFDP could be considered for that.

Under and Over It
Burn It Down
Hard to See
Lift Me Up
Bad Company
No One Gets Left Behind
Burn MF
Remember Everything
Coming Down
Never Enough
Mama Said Knock You Out
(LL Cool J cover)
Here to Die
The Bleeding

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TONY CAREY

Former Rainbow keyboard player Tony Carey is now performing for the first time in Sweden Rock. Over the years he has released a huge amount of albums, the most famous is probably the mid-80th century published in Planet P Project. As was predictable, Carey’s own solo material attracted not much emotions. But when Tony Carey’s Rainbow Project band’s vocalist Age Sten Nilsen appeared on stage and the band headed into “Tarot Woman” followed by “Run with the Wolf” and “Stargazer”, the whole gig got a whole new twist. With these great tunes you simply cannot go wrong.

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LUCIFER’S FRIEND

One of the most surprising and welcomed comebacks this year has to be the return of Lucifer’s Friend. The gig at Sweden Rock was only the band’s second after reforming, the first gig was at a club in at Hamburg – their hometown. The band consists of John Lawton on vocals, Peter Hesslein on guitars, Dieter Horns on bass, Jogi Wichmann on keyboards and Stephan Eggert on drums.This spring also saw the release of AWAKENING (2015) – a best of compilation with four brand new tracks. The focus of the setlist had been set on songs from their first 5 albums, originally released between ’70 and ’76, and the new tracks from AWAKENING. The Sweden Rock gig was also filmed for a possible future live CD/ DVD release. All in all a fine (very late) evening of atmospheric and soulful bluesy rock.

Intro – Wakeup Call
Pray
Fire and Rain
In The Time Of Job
Keep Going
Hey Driver
Dirty Old Town
Riding High
Moonshine Rider
Did You Ever
Burning Ships
Fugitive
Ride The Sky
Highflying Lady

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JUDAS PRIEST

Judas Priest’s latest opus REDEEMER OF SOULS is a fine slice of pure heavy metal. Tthe band embarked on another festival tour crisscrossing Europe in support of this album. Sweden Rock was one of the stops where Judas Priest headlined the last day of the fest. Judging by the previous appearances of Judas Priest at Sweden Rock, the band has sounded and looked like an old washed tired and bored musicians in a need of the permanent retirement. But as far as this show at Sweden Rock is concerned, they sounded tremendously splendid with razor sharp playing and above all Halford’s voice was in terrific form! His singing in the high register sounded better than ever for years. Obviously Halford’s back surgery must have been an important factor to the improved performance. Ian Hill seems to have kept his spot on the stage during the last 40 years. The man doesn’t move any inch. Whereas the KK Downing lookalike Richie Faulker, seems to be getting an explosive adrenaline burst about being on the stage as he moves and rages like a heavy metal monster. Although Tipton has a few years to go till his 70’s, but his passion and his elegant performance crowned the whole brilliant Sweden Rock show. Yes Priest proved to be back for sure.

Dragonaut
Metal Gods
Devil’s Child
Victim of Changes
Halls of Valhalla
Love Bites
March of the Damned
Turbo Lover
Redeemer of Souls
Beyond the Realms of Death
Jawbreaker
Breaking the Law
Hell Bent for Leather

Encore:
The Hellion
Electric Eye
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Painkiller
Living After Midnight

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Posted in 2015 | Comments (0)




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