Summer Rock Festival
9-10-11/7 – 2009
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The annual Summer Rock Festival is held a couple of miles outside Malmoe in a small village by the name of Svedala. The festival is a three day event with the musical focus on pop music and other family friendly genres. The bands that have been booked are mainly Swedish acts. The festival usually also has a few harder names and the harder genre was this year represented by bands like Backyard Babies, Bullet and the Danish legends D.A.D. Backyard Babies and Bullet performed on Friday and D.A.D at Saturday. There are three stages of various size. They have names like M, L and XL. The biggest stage, XL, is an outdoor stage while the smaller ones is placed inside tents. The festival was, like other years, intimate and had a very nice atmosphere with both a few hardrockers as well as teeny-pop fans and families. The festival is the opposite to the the Roskilde Festival and Wacken Open Air that I also visited this year. The festival doesn’t have a camping area so this is a festival for people who likes to have a certain comfort.
It wasn’t hard at all to pick up my photo/press pass, everything went really smooth and easy. In await to see Backyard Babies I cruised around the festival area and took part of the easy listening music, people and alcohol that circled around me. Bullet performed on the smallest stage, the band have been visiting cities and towns all across Sweden this year and they have also been support act to Backyard Babies and to AC/DC when they were in Sweden. I have never been a fan of Bullet’s music and can’t honestly understand why they are so loved but that’s another story. However, in wait of the headline act I stayed to watch Bullet that played at the small tent stage M.
When the intro started the small tent was jammed with people and it seemed like the band has a really solid fan base in the Southern parts of Sweden. But if I thought that the guys had developed anything on stage I was wrong. It’s really hard to take these guys seriously and their mix/rip off of Judas Priest/AC/DC and Accept music only makes me nauseous. It feels like the band doesn’t have anything new or genuine present. They feel like a common tribute band. Their music feels old, boring, copied or stolen. And if I want to listen to this kind of music I rather put on an album by the original acts.
After Bullet it was time to head over to the XL outdoor stage to witness the brilliant Backyard Babies.
The band ran on to stage and as always the band included:
Nicke Borg – lead vocals, guitar
Dregen – guitar, vocals
Peder Carlsson – drums
Johan Blomquist – bass
The band is still touring on the strength of their last studio album BACKYARD BABIES which is the bands sixth studio album. The show kicked off with the first single from the album called “Fuck Off And Die” which is a brilliant opening song. Behind drummer Carlsson hung a huge backdrop with the bands now famous pirate logo on it. The Marshall amps had read lamps around them that glowed. The show moved quickly on with “Everybody Ready” where Borg and Dregen shared the lead vocals. After that Borg took the mic and said that it was nice to be back in Svedala again, Dregen said that they had played there two times before and then kicked off “Nomadic”. All the three front-men used their space brilliant and the crowd loved them all. Before the band came to Svedala they had done a show in Norway that didn’t go so well Borg said. Then he wanted us to jump when he said jump and introduced “Come Undone” and when he screamed jump did almost everyone in the audience jumped up in the air.
The people in the audience are really mixed, I could see everything from dads with their small children, teenagers, grandfathers and rockers. “Brand New Hate” followed and Dregen ran around like a whirlwind on stage like he always does. “Degenerated” and “U.F.O Romeo” continued the evening, unfortunatly aren’t the crowd isn’t so committed to the show. Sure were are a few brave fans that did their best to support the band in front of the stage otherwise I say that it was a medium-crowd. Borg thought it was time to slow down the tempo and introduced the slower song “Abandon” and in the first verse did the crowd helped out with the lyrics. In “Back On The Juice” Borg wanted all of the people on the festival to sing a long with him and most of the people below the stage shouted along with the music. After “Minus Celsius” it was time for Dregen to take over the mic on “Star War”. Dregen is an excellent singer and it’s fun to hear him taking a bigger part vocal wise on the new album.
When the band had played the last song of the set list the guys had been on stage for about 50 minutes. However the crowd wanted more and screamed for the band to come out again. “Look At You” kicked off the rows of encores and it was followed by “People Like People Like Us”. That song closed the show and by then Backyard Babies had played for 70 minutes and the lack of time made the band end their performance.
There was nothing wrong with the lighting or the sound but the audience was a bit lazy and I noticed that the band was a bit tired. After all, they had done a show the same day in Norway before they came to Svedala so I can understand if they were a bit tired. I also felt that the set list focused too much on the new album as well as the two previous albums, why don’t feature more songs from the debut album? It was an OK gig but not more. I know the guys can do better than this.
Fuck Off And Die
Brand New Hate
Back On The Juice
Saved By The Bell
Look At You
People Like People Like Us
The Backyard Babies show ended the Friday for me. I took the bus home and tried to prepare for the next day. When the legendary D.A.D was gonna perform in Svedala.