Vasby Rock Festival 2015 at Vilundaparken Upplands Vasby, Sweden

October 4th, 2015
by Anders Sandvall

 

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Saturday

Contrary to my pretty tired friends I woke up pretty early the next day and Saturday turned out to be really sunny just like the day before. Bandwise Saturday was more appealing to us than Friday had been and just like yesterday began the festival really early at noon. I had wished to see Nubian Rose and Dalton but since my friends woke up around noon we decided to focus on getting to the festival at 4. I took a look at the program and saw that Jaded Heart which is kind of big in their genre had been given the very strange and early playtime at 1.30-2.15, but my friends wanted to see Tygers Of Pan Tang which were scheduled to play at 5 so we weren’t in a hurry. When we came the station we just missed the train and had to wait for the next one, that mishap made us a little late and when we came to Vasby it was only 30 minutes left for the meet and greet with Magnum which one of my friends wanted to attend so we all got in a cab to get there a little faster. Not much people were at the festival this early and it wasn’t crowded at all. Just as the previous day there were a lot of bands that hosted meet and greets. Some of the bands were Dalton, Jaded Heart, Eclipse and Tygers Of Pan Tang.

I don’t think that Tygers Of Pan Tang need no further introduction. They’re one of the NWOBHM bands that didn’t made it all the way to success and got run by by bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon. Maybe the band is most known for being the home for John Sykes for a short period of time between 1980-82. The only remaining original member in the band today is guitarist Rob Weir the rest of the guys are new and joined the band from 2000 and forward. My expectations on the band weren’t too high but I wanted to check out what the Tygers Of Pan Tang of 2015 sounds like. A backdrop with a tiger on it and the band name hung on stage when we got there and a small crowd was about to form.

Tygers Of Pan Tang

First song on for the afternoon was “Gangland” and “Love Don’t Stay” followed instantly, Meille thanked the crowd and “Rock Candy” was the next tune up. The band seemed to have a lot of fun together on stage and Weir rand around using all of the space on the stage as his playground. He posed for the photographers in the pit and smiled. Meille said it was the third time the band performed in Sweden and that he thought it was really nice here. “She” and “Paris By Air” followed and Meille did a great job as singer and frontman, he used the entire stage and he and Weir were the ones that put on the show. Line up in the band is:

Robb Weir – guitar
Jacopo Meille – lead vocals
Craig Ellis – drums
Gavin Gray – bass
Micky Crystal – guitar

“Euthanasia” and “Killers” continued and the band delivered pretty much what I had expected. A solid show of standard heavy metal/hardrock music a la England and even though their music didn’t appeal to me it was fun to see that the guys had so much fun together. Meille thanked for the applause and asked if the fans was ready to hear more, he said that the next song was about him and fired off “Rock N Roll Man”. The song began with a long guitar solo by Weir and in the middle of the song it was time for the fans to sing a long with Meille. He said that the German crowd the day before had done a great job singing with the band and it was now up to Sweden to outdo Germany. The fans did their best but to be honest was it a pretty sore attempt. I don’t think that they managed to sing louder than the crowd in Germany. The next song, Meille said, was about everyone who loves rock n roll because rock n roll is the only thing that “Keeping Me Alive”. Again, the music didn’t bring me to my knees but it was fun to see how glad the band was to be on stage performing for the fans. “Insanity” was about all the crazy people that live in this world and it was followed by “Suzie Smiled”.

vasby_rock_tygers_of_pan_tang_2015_1vasby_rock_tygers_of_pan_tang_2015_2vasby_rock_tygers_of_pan_tang_2015_3vasby_rock_tygers_of_pan_tang_2015_4Meille said it was hard to focus because it was so many good looking ladies in the crowd, he laughed and the band fired of the very proper song “Don’t Touch Me There”. It was again time for Weir to show off on guitar and the fans gave him a warm reception when he was done. It was Meille and Weir that was the life of the show, the rest of the band members didn’t do much but simply play. Meille asked if the crowd recognized the guitar riff to the next song “Hellbound” and the fans all screamed on the top of their lungs. “Love Potion No9” followed instantly and that song ended the show. Meille thanked so much for the support and said that the fans shouldn’t forget that the band held a meet and greet a little later and that everyone should come by and said hi to the band.

The 60 minute long show was pretty much what could be expected of Tygers Of Pan Tang. It was a nice afternoon with some good old 80’s heavy metal/hardrock, it didn’t impress me but the band won a lot by having such a good time on stage. I do understand though why they got ran over back in the 80’s by other more successful bands because none of their songs felt strong enough to conquer a stadium.

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Set list
Gangland
Love Don’t Stay
Rock Candy
She
Paris By Air
Euthanasia
Killers
Rock n Roll Man
Keeping Me Alive
Insanity
Suzie Smiled
Don’t Touch Me There
Hellbound
Love Potion No 9

So was it time to wonder off to the other side of the stage and take a look at the Swedish act Eclipse. I was again surprised off how few people that showed up during the day/afternoon, was everybody still asleep at home?

Eclipse has been around for quite a while and was founded back in 1999 by Erik Martensson and Anders Berlin. The bands debut came 2001 called THE TRUTH AND A LITTLE MORE and featured guests appearances by Kee Marcello (ex- Europe, ex- Easy Action), Mats Olausson (ex- Yngwie Malmsteen etc) and the Swedish eurodisco queen Pandora. The band plays melodic hardrock that borders to AOR and their latest album ARMAGEDDONIZE and is the fifth album, new on bass is Magnus Ulfstedt which previously played drums in the band between 2001- 2006. The most recent member is drummer Robban Back (ex- Sabaton). The Erik Martensson is also a member of the W.E.T as well as a part of Age Sten Nilsen Ammunition where Robban Back also is involved.

Eclipse

The members arrived on the stage during the intro music and the first song the band fired off was “I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry” and the fans at the front of the stage really liked what they heard and saw. Martensson walked around on the entire stage using every inch of space to connect with the fans. Martensson seemed to like being the front man and it fits him perfect to be one. “Stand On Your Feet” and Martensson waved around with his micstand which had scarves tied around it. Eclipse is:

Erik Martensson – lead vocals, guitar
Magnus Henriksson – guitar
Robban Back – drums
Magnus Ulfstedt – bass

“Wake Me Up” followed right away and the band felt solid as a union and the members are all skilled musicians. Martensson’s vocal is not to be joked around with and the band impressed me over all. “The Storm” continued the show and the fans did their best to show the band their appreciation and waved their hands and sang along in some songs. Martensson asked if the fans were doing fine and then he changed language to English and said that there were fans from other countries there and said it was time for “Battlegrounds”. Besides the hardcore fans that stood at the front of the stage the rest of the crowd was pretty reluctant and only clapped their hands after the songs and didn’t support the band much. It’s not often during a hardrock concert an audience only claps their hands and stays put on its place, it’s usually the opposite with happy people jumping up and down singing on the top of their lungs, but this didn’t happen during the two days of Vasby Rock. Sure occasionally during certain gigs the fans loosened up a bit but those moments could be counted on one hand. On the other hand was the middle age about 40-50 during each concert so it might could have something to do with that.

vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_1vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_2vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_3vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_4The band sure got energy that lasted during the entire show and they kept the momentum up, Martensson said it was a blast playing at Vasby Rock and thanked all the people that worked at the festival. He put on an acoustical guitar and after he had tuned it a guitar duel was on between Martensson and Henriksson after which it was time for the song “Breakdown”. “Wide Open” followed and then all of the members but Henriksson and it were time for him to do a shorter lead part. “Blood Enemies” was the next song that followed and Martensson wanted the fans to sing together with him. It didn’t go so well and it was the fans at the front that did the singing. Martensson thanked for the support and asked if the fans had woken up now. “Ain’t Dead Yet” continued the show and the band mainly stuck to songs from the new album ARMAGEDDONIZE. While the intro to “Bleed And Scream” was played Martensson fired up the crowd by screaming hey, hey and he thanked for the applause after the song. Martensson said that Lemmy usually say that Motorhead has got the best drummer in the world, well that’s not true, they have got the second best, we have the best drummer in the world in Robban Back! Then he introduced the rest of the band and fired off “Breaking My Heart Again” and Martensson wanted the fans to scream for him.

vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_5vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_6vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_7vasby_rock_eclipse_2015_8“Breaking My Heart” was the closing song and the members took off their instruments and thanked the crowd and urged them to scream once more for the band. Outro music came from the speakers and the band got a banner with a Swedish flag on it and took pictures with the crowd after which they went off the stage. By now the clock was 7 and 60 minutes of Eclipse had come to an end.

I was really impressed by the performance and even though the bands music genre maybe isn’t my favorite one Eclipse sure made the music interesting.
The set list felt strong, however I had wished for more older songs, and the band showed how proper melodic hardrock/AOR ought to be played. I salute Eclipse!

Setlist
I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry
Stand On Your Feet
Wake Me Up
The Storm
Battlegrounds
Breakdown
Wide Open
Blood Enemies
Ain’t Dead Yet
Bleed And Scream
Breaking My Heart Again

Heaven And Earth was the first band of the day that had 90 minutes to play for and was about to hit it off on the other stage but I decided to hook up with my friends and we took a look at the metal market which was a joke. There weren’t many vendors there and the ones there didn’t offer anything special. Maybe the festival hadn’t sold enough festival tickets because a limited amount of one day tickets were released, by judging of the amount of people at the festival the one day tickets didn’t do much use. The next band up for me was Magnum but before then I decided to rest a bit and hang out with my friends who I located at the bar.

vasby_rock_the_area_2015_4The festival was really well organized when it came to security, volunteers and medical staff. During the two days I couldn’t see any arguments or any fights, everyone looked happy while drinking beer chatting with friends. The atmosphere was welcoming and it felt like everyone was there to have a good time with friends while listening to music. There were no lines or queues to the bar or to the food and you could move around without being pushed or shoved. The sound system on the stages worked perfect and the area was clean and there were trashcans everywhere to throw your garbage in. Since most of the people at the festival liked to have a smoke with their beer it would have been nice if the organizers had equipped the tables with more ashtrays but that was just a minor thing.

WASP was scheduled to perform for 120 minutes but everyone who has seen the band before knows that Blackie and company usually only plays for 70-75 minutes including encores. I was eager to see if the band really was going to use their 120 minutes this time. The band was scheduled to begin at 00 and end at 02.00 according to the info and the bar closed at 01.00 but when the festival closed was nowhere to be found.

vasby_rock_the_area_2015_5Magnum doesn’t need no further introduction I think but the band of today has got two original members left from the start in singer Bob Catley and the lead guitarist Tony Clarkin. The latest album came 2014 titled ESCAPE FROM THE SHADOW GARDEN and the band was put to rest in 1995 and then re-united in 2001.

It felt like a little more people joined the festival; maybe it was the ones who had bought one day tickets that had arrived. The stage contained nothing more but gears and additional lights that were positioned at the back of the stage. The fan that was used by Vasby Rock Allstars still stood at the front of the stage but besides that nothing extra was put there. Again, the stage was so high it was really hard to see anything until the artists stood right at the edge of it when I was in the pit.

Magnum

The band entered the stage at 8.30 and I couldn’t see them but I heard from the crowd that they made their appearance. The first song out for the night was “Live Til’ You Die” and when the intro was done singer Catley joined his friends. The band waited for applause and then they kicked off “Black Skies” and “Freedom Day”. Stanway and James stood so far back on the stage I couldn’t see them but Catley walked around and as always he used gestures with his right hand to manifest the music and the feeling. “Dance Of The Black Tattoo” followed and the line-up in the band looks like:

Bob Catley – lead vocals
Tony Clarkin – guitar
Mark Stanway – keyboards
Al Barrow – bass
Harry James – drums

Clarkin and Barrow mostly stood positioned on the side while Catley walked around while singing. The audience had now woken up and it felt like Magnum was the band that most people had been waiting for at the festival. When the song ended fans shouted Magnum, Magnum and Catley looked really pleased with the support. “Blood Red Laughter” followed and Catley wanted everyone in the crowd to clap their hands during the song. Besides Catley’s walks nothing more happened on the stage and the band sure let the music do the talking. Catley asked if the fans was doing fine and said it was time to play “Unwritten Sacrifice”.

vasby_rock_magnum_2015_1vasby_rock_magnum_2015_2vasby_rock_magnum_2015_3Catley walked off the stage and it was so time for Barrow to throw a bass solo before it was time for Clarkin to show his skills on guitar. “How Far Jerusalem” continued the warm summer night show and “Les Morts Dansant” was the next song on the set list. The band was tight and there were no doubt they knew what they were doing but such an experience can also be boring to watch. I had wished for the band to be a little more experimental and show a little more happiness on stage. The show became pretty static with its flawless executed music and vocals. The fans seemed to be really pleased with the show and cheered when Catley said it was time for “Falling For The Big Plan” and he let the fans sing with him. “All Englands Eyes” seemed to be a crowd pleaser and even though I found the show a bit boring I was impressed by the knowledge and experience this band represents. They are a piece of music history!

vasby_rock_magnum_2015_4vasby_rock_magnum_2015_5vasby_rock_magnum_2015_6vasby_rock_magnum_2015_7Catley seemed to be really happy with the warm respond the band got from the fans and “Vigilante” woke up the few fans and the crowd seemed to be having a great time together with the band. God Bless you all Catley said and then “Kingdom Of Madness” followed and that song closed the show and the band walked out of the stage. The band shortly arrived back and Catley said that they weren’t supposed to play anything more but they decided to give the crowd one more song and “Sacred Hour” followed.

vasby_rock_magnum_2015_8vasby_rock_magnum_2015_9vasby_rock_magnum_2015_10vasby_rock_magnum_2015_11vasby_rock_magnum_2015_12That song ended 80 minutes of Magnum music and the band sure gave the crowd and fans what they had waited for. It felt like Magnum was the highlight for many visitors at the festival and everyone was really happy with what they just had seen. In my taste was the show a bit boring but I don’t think I was the main target person for their music either. The fans loved it and that’s what counts, and Magnum was the perfect band for this kind of festival.

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Set list
Live Til’ You Die
Black Skies
Freedom Day
Dance Of The Black Tattoo
Blood Red Laughter
Unwritten Sacrifice
How Far Jerusalem
Les Morts Dansant
Falling For The Big Plan
All England’s Eyes
Vigilante
Kingdom Of Madness
Encore
Sacred Hour

A longer pause than expected followed for me because Magnum had 90 minutes to play for but their show ended after 80 so I had plenty of time to head over to the next stage. It was now dark but still warm and I met up with my friends to see what they were doing. The next artist on my schedule to see was Michael Schenker and his Temple of Rock. He is a living legend who has played with bands like UFO, MSG and McAuley Schenker Group. His new act is called Temple Of Rock and the new album SPIRIT ON A MISSION was unleashed in March this year. The first single out from the album was “Vigilante Man” and came in January and got great reviews. I saw this act a few years ago and wasn’t impressed at all so mr. Schenker had a lot to proof and I was curious to see what he was going to do this night. When I got over to the stage I saw a backdrop with the band name on it and a lot of Marshall speakers positioned and just like Magnum is Temple Of Rock the perfect band for the audience at Vasby Rock with the middle age of 40-50 years. Smoke rolled in over the stage and it was time for another legend to conquer Swedish ground.

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Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock

First out on stage was an already playing Michael Schenker and the rest of the band followed him. The amazing “Doctor Doctor” set the tone for the night and what a great way of open a show. Schenker was in a brilliant mood and smiled when he walked over to the edge of the stage to come closer to the fans. I was early in to the photo pit and had the entire pit to myself from the beginning and the rest of the photographers arrived into the middle of the song. The audience all sang along in the song and the amazing beginning of the show continued with “Live And Let Live”. The line up in Temple Of Rock is:

Michael Schenker – guitar
Doogie White – lead vocals
Herman Rarebell – drums
Francis Buchholz – bass
Wayne Findlay – keyboards, guitar

When the crowd heard the first notes of “Lights Out” everyone went crazy and it was nice to see at least one crowd go mental during this festival. White did an amazing job on vocals and as co-frontman with Schenker and changed London to Vasby and the fans screamed with joy and sang a long with him. What brilliant two songs to open the show with!

vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_1vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_2vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_3White moved around the entire time so it was hard to get proper pictures of him, he thanked for the massive support and said it was really fun to be in Vasby and Sweden. “Where The Wild Winds Blow” continued the show and when I got into the crowd from the pit I noticed that there were a lot more people in the crowd than during the others bands shows. “Natural Thing” made the fans go mental once again and White got the fans to clap their hands from the start. “Victim Of Illusion” continued the show and the entire band worked really hard together and they all completed each other perfect. White wanted the fans to give a warm hello to keyboardplayer Findlay and he kicked off “Lovedrive” and Schenker gave away the guitar solo to Findlay. When it was time for the longer guitar parts in each song White went off the stage and took a few minutes to breathe. White introduced Schenker to the audience and they gave him a huge applause and Schenker thanked by bowing to the fans. White said that the band included one mean German and one nice German, let’s introduce the mean one first and that was Buchholz on bass. The nice one was drummer Rarebell and he stood up facing the cheers from the fans. The strictly instrumental Scorpions piece “Coast To Coast” followed and the members stood all in the middle of the stage while playing the song. “Vigilante Man” followed in the warm summer night and White said that something he had hard to understand people and people had a hard time understand him, which made him feel like a “Vigilante Man”. He also said that the band was about to play another hit from the new album in the song “Savior Machine” in which White sang like a god. What a voice that man has, its ridiculous how good he can sing. In the rock no roll song “Shoot Shoot” White encouraged the fans to sing the chorus and they all did as he said, it didn’t go so well but at least he tried. He said it was nice to see that people still was able to stand on two feet after two days of rock.

vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_4vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_5vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_6vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_7vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_8vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_9vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_10The next song was a piece the band wrote to the second album and White said that everyone understands the universal language of rock. It was a song that was written as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio, Jon Lord and all the great ones who have passed away and that has meant so much to the members in Temple Of Rock he said. “Before The Devil Knows Your Dead” was the name of the song and when the song was over White looked up to the sky and said Thanks Ronnie for everything you gave us, the fans all cheered and clapped their hands. White said he thought that the Swedish fans was going to like the next song which was a song about beer – “Lord Of The Lost And Lonely” and after that was it time for a song that many fans had been waiting for. It was the massive Scorpions anthem “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and to say that the audience was happy was an understatement. Rarebell took the mic in the middle of the song and said Here I am and the crowd answered with Rock you like a hurricane. When the sing a long part of the song was over the song continued and this version was a little longer than the original song. “Rock Bottom” ended the show and White once again had the audience singing with him and he went off the stage in the middle of the song because then it was time for Schenker to fire off a solo. During the entire show all of the members worked really hard to get the crowd going and no one stood still for a longer period of time.

When the last note had faded out the band had been on stage for about 80 minutes but the fans wanted to hear more and the band returned and White thanked for the support. The first encore out was the epic Scorpions tune “Holiday” where White let the crowd sing the chorus. In the middle of the song they changed to “Blackout” and the fans seemed to be really happy to hear another Scorpions classic. That song ended the show and the band thanked again for the amazing support and the guys had by then treated the fans with 90 minutes of magical music.

vasby_rock_michael_schenker_2015_11This show was by far the best one yet of the ones I had seen during the two days of the festival. White is an amazing singer and an equally brilliant front man and he is perfect fronting Temple Of Rock together with Michael Schenker. The rest of the band was flawless and it was clear to see that everyone had a really good time together. Schenker was as amazing as ever on guitar and he was really happy and laughed several times, I’m sure he had as good of a show as the fans had. The only negative thing was that the band according to the program had 10 more minutes to play for and I had wished to hear one more song.

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Set list
Intro
Doctor Doctor
Live And Let Die
Lights Out
Where The Wild Winds Blow
Natural Thing
Victim Illusion
Lovedrive
Coast To Coast
Vigilante Man
Savior Machine
Shoot Shoot
Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
Lord Of the Lost And Lonely
Rock You Like A Hurricane
Rock Bottom
Encores
Holiday
Blackout

The festival promised to announce a few of the acts for next years festival before the night was over and I presumed that they were going to do that before it was time for the last act WASP took over the area. Most of the people at the festival strolled towards the stage and I have to say again that I’ve almost never been to a more calm and peaceful festival. No fights just happy faces, all cred to the organizers. It was also a long time ago since I last visited such a clean festival, there were a lot of trashcans and people actually threw the trash into them. A clean festival is much more fun to visit than dirty one.

Drummer Mike Dupke announced his departure from WASP a while ago just before the band was heading out and filling in his spot is the Swedish drummer Patrik Johansson. It was back in 2009 the latest album from the band was released and it has taken Blackie until now to release a new one. The new album is called GOLGOTHA and is due to be released at the beginning of October so it’s not a day too soon we’re able to hear some new music from WASP and the new album is released in Europe by the smaller label Napalm Records. I saw the band live last year at Wacken Open Air in Germany and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Everyone who has seen the band live during the later years knows that they play pretty much the same songs on each tour which is a bit boring.

vasby_rock_wasp_2015_1vasby_rock_wasp_2015_2The backdrop portrayed the band logo and how many years the band has been active and we were let into the photo pit well before the show was about start. A few minutes later came the organizers and Zinny Zan out on stage, he took the mic and said the festival wanted to thank everyone who’s been visiting as well as everyone that had worked for them. He also wanted to thank the city of Upplands Vasby for letting the festival come back year after year and said that the next years version of the festival is going to be held at the 22-23/7 and the first confirmed bands were Battle Beast from Finland, Dare from England and Hardcore Superstar. After that the guys went off the stage and a few minutes later the intro music to the last headline act of the festival could be heard in the speakers.

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W.A.S.P.

As soon as the band showed up, the audience screamed and the first song out was “On Your Knees” and it was Duda who sang all the choir parts and not Lawless. The audience was ecstatic for the get go and the mood lasted throughout the entire show. Half of the song was played and then the band switched and kicked off “The Torture Never Stops” and a medley of the two songs was played. When Lawless didn’t sing he walked around on stage looking at the fans and he and the band was covered in smoke that hovered on to the stage. “The Real Me” which is a cover followed, the WASP of today consists of:

Blackie Lawless – lead vocals, guitar
Doug Blair – guitar
Mike Duda – bass
Patrik Johansson – session drummer

From my point of view in the photo pit, I couldn’t see the drummer and I could hardly see what was going on which was really frustrating. The stage was too high up for the photographers to see what was going on.

Lawless asked if Sweden was ready for another song and the fans all shouted yes, he asked once again and got the same respond even louder and said – All I need is my “L.O.V.E. Machine” which was a crowd pleaser and the fans sang a long with Lawless during the entire song. The sound system worked perfect as it did during most of the shows but the lights left some of the members in the dark from time to time. Duda stood on the left of the stage, Lawless of course in the middle and Blair to the right. When I got out into the crowd from the pit I saw that it was the fans at the front of the stage that headbanged and jumped around the most, the people at the back stood politely still and clapped their hands. The song ended and it all got silence, Lawless walked to the edge of the stage and played an intro on his guitar, the audience heard right away which song it was and screamed out loud. He did that once more and fired of “Wild Child”, the backdrop changed and out came a new one portraying the cover of the album HEADLESS CHILDREN.

vasby_rock_wasp_2015_3vasby_rock_wasp_2015_4vasby_rock_wasp_2015_5All of the members at the front used the stage and ran and walked across it. Duda took some of the parts in the song while Lawless played guitar. The lights shined the least at the left and the right of the stage and partially there were a really lot of smoke that just circulated around the band because it wasn’t any wind at all that could blow it away. “Sleeping (In The Fire)” followed and straight after came “Hellion” which changed in the middle to “I Don’t Need No Doctor” and those two songs became the second medley of the night. “Take Me Up” continued the show and the track is taken from the 2007 year album DOMINATOR. Until now the band only played old classical tunes and Lawless didn’t talk much in between the songs. The excellent “Headless Children” was the next song up and the classical tunes came one after each other. Lawless thanked the fans for the support and said that the band released an album in 1992 which is considered as a landmark for many of the fans, it’s an album about a boy and the title track is the song “The Idol” and of course was he talking about THE CRIMSON IDOL and the stage was filled with even more smoke as the song kicked off and Blair delivered a long lead guitar part in the middle.

I moved over to the other side of the crowd and saw that many of the people already was heading out from the festival even though the show wasn’t over, strange. “I Wanna Be Somebody” woke almost up the crowd in the back and the madness was a fact amongst the fans in front of the stage. It was the song that the fans had been waiting for and the screams roared from almost every fans throat when the song kicked off. As always did Lawless let the fans sing most of the song and he divided the crowd into two sections that sung against each other. Lawless said Good Night and the band left the stage and that closed the ordinary set of the show that lasted for about 60 minutes.

vasby_rock_wasp_2015_6vasby_rock_wasp_2015_7The fans screamed and shouted for more music and it only took a few minutes until the band re-entered the stage and the first encore was “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)” which was a crowd pleaser and made the fans really happy. Lawless said that the next song was taken from the DOMINATOR album and the song was “Heaven’s Hung In Black”. Finally a semi-new song amongst all the olden goldies but I guess that how Lawless wants it. Lawless is a really professional frontman and he and the rest of the band worked really great together and delivered a strong show. Lawless said that the final song for the night was “Blind In Texas” and after that everyone was free to leave. The song was as always brilliant but I miss the Chris Holmes part –Dude, Let’s party, in the middle. For some reason they left that sentence out. Lawless said good night and the show was over and the fans had to be satisfied with 75 minutes of WASP, the band couldn’t even last for 120 minutes as the program promised.

vasby_rock_wasp_2015_8vasby_rock_wasp_2015_9vasby_rock_wasp_2015_10What can be said about WASP then, well it was pretty much as I expected their show to be. A bit short with the focus on older material, I think a headline act should play for at least 90 minutes and was a bit disappointed. The set list included the same songs that Lawless usually plays these days and he hadn’t snuck in any surprise song this time either. Why he doesn’t play any songs from STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH or THE NEON GOD pt 2 – THE DEMISE I don’t know. Those albums are sadly forgotten, it was nice to hear two songs from BABYLON but why didn’t the band play any song from the coming new album GOLGATHA? As you may have understood I missed a lot of songs and think the show was just another day at work for Lawless and company. Sure, he is a skilled frontman that knows how to take on a crowd but after so many years in the business he also should know that the fans want’s to hear some un-usual songs from time to time just to build the anticipation. The show was better than the ones I have seen with the band previous year but it wasn’t great, it was OK but nothing more and why didn’t he introduce the Swedish drummer? He did not talk much at all between the song this time.

vasby_rock_wasp_2015_11

Set list
Intro
On Your Knees/The Torture Never Stops
The Real Me
L.O.V.E Machine
Wild Child
Sleeping (In The Fire)
Take Me Up
The Headless Children
The Idol
I Wanna Be Somebody
Encores
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)”
Heaven’s Hung In Black
Blind In Texas

WASP was the last show out at the festival and it was time for me and my friends to head back to the city. And after having trouble with getting a cab (it was some kind of strange taxi queue that didn’t work at all) we finally grabbed a cab to the train station and waited for the train to get us back to Stockholm.

High-lights of the day were the great weather, Eclipse, Michael Schenkers Temple Of Rock.

The downlows were Tygers Of Pan Tang, the quite boring W.A.S.P show and the trouble to get a taxi.

The conclusion of the two days in Vasby was that the festival was nice and perfect organized with a lot of security, great volunteers and medical staff. It looked like it was a couple of hundred visitors at the festival area each and the amount increased during Saturday night when the bigger bands performed. Maybe a thousand people to count it generously which is not much if you think of the fact that the area can inhabit 5000 people. The festival haven’t published any numbers on how many visitors there were yet and the figues above is only my personal estimation. I do think that the festival need to decide if they’re going to focus if they want to be an melodic hardrock/AOR festival or a mixed heavy metal festival because I don’t think they can continue this way next year. The main focus this year was on melodic hardrock/AOR not metal bands at all as it has been the years before. The festival needs to have some proper headline bands and I don’t think that for example H.E.A.T is a band that can headline at all.

They need to make up their minds in order to get more visitors, heavy metal lovers wants to hear more straight up metal music and AOR freaks wants to have more melodic rock/AOR music. They also need to book bigger bands and why kick off the festival already at noon when people aren’t awake yet. It’s better to start a little later and have fewer but bigger bands.The lights on the stages wasn’t good at all and especiallly when it got dark it wasn’t fun to see bands also standing in the dark on stage. The Vasby Rock Stage was way too high so when you where in the photopit it was hard to see the whole stage. It would also be preferable to make the program more exact, like actually write when the bands begins and ends. Many bands like WASP played too short of time and the schedule wasn’t updated, it’s a joke to write that WASP are going to play for 120 minutes when everyone knows that they play for only a maximum of 75 minutes.

vasby_rock_logo_2015_10A suggestion is also to maybe arrange shuttle busses that take you from Stockholm straight to the festival and that leaves when the festival is over, now people went before the shows were over just in order to get in time to the buses and the trains that left before the festival closed. That was just a few pointers from a visitor like me; otherwise it was a nice intimate festival with a great and friendly atmosphere. If you’re into melodic hardrock or AOR and not metal in nay kind of way you should definitely check out Vasby Rock Festival.

vasby_rock_logo_2015_4

Thanks to Sebastian, head of press at Vasby Rock Festival for press/photo-pass

www.vasbyrockfestival.se

 

More info about the festival here
www.vasbyrockfestival.se
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/vasbyrockfestival
Instagram Page
www.instagram.com/vasbyrockofficial
Twitter Page
www.twitter.com/vasbyrock?ref_src=twsrc

vasby_rock_logo_2015_12

 

More info about the band.

Day 1
www.astraldoors.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/Astral-Doors-18447721729/timeline
Label
www.metalville.de
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/Metalville

www.ammunition.no

www.agestennilsen.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/ammunitionmusic
Label
www.aorheaven.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/aorheaven

www.germusica.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/germusica

www.heatsweden.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/heatsweden
Twitter Page
www.twitter.com/heatsweden
Label
www.gain.se
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/GainMusicEntertainment?fref=ts
Instagram Page
www.instagram.com/gainmusicentertainment
Youtube Page
www.youtube.com/user/GAINMUSICVIDEOS

www.dangerdanger.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/DangerDangerFB
Label
www.frontiers.it
Facerbook Page
www.facebook.com/frontiersmusicsrl
Twitter Page
www.twitter.com/frontiersmusic1

www.playgroundmusic.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/playgroundmusicsweden

Day 2

www.tygersofpantang.com/official
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/tygersofpantangofficial
Label
www.rocksectorrecords.bigcartel.com

www.eclipsemania.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/EclipseSweden
Label
www.frontiers.it
Facerbook Page
www.facebook.com/frontiersmusicsrl
Twitter Page
www.twitter.com/frontiersmusic1

www.playgroundmusic.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/playgroundmusicsweden

www.magnumonline.co.uk
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/magnumbandpage/timeline
Youtube Page
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL632A4CD3C61CF26A
Label
www.spv.de
Facebook Page
www.de-de.facebook.com/spvhannover
Youtube Page
www.youtube.com/user/spv
www.michaelschenkerhimself.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks
Label
www.in-akustik.de
www.facebook.com/inakustik

www.playgroundmusic.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/playgroundmusicsweden

www.waspnation.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/W.A.S.P.Nation
Twitter Page
www.twitter.com/WASPOfficial
Label
www.shop.napalmrecords.com
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

www.border.se
Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/BorderMusicSweden?ref=hl

 

 

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