Malmo Festival 2014 with The Sounds, Imperial State Electric, Graveyard, Watain, Heavy Tiger, Tiger Bell

Spread the metal:

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Monday

On Monday it was time for Imperial State Electric, Graveyard and Watain to conquer Malmo and the stage for all three bands was Posthusplatsen. Besides the stage there was a beer tent and if you were going to drink alcohol that was where you were going to be to drink it. First out was Imperial State Electric and they had been given 60 minutes to play for. There were one hour breaks in between each of the bands when nothing happened which felt a bit lame. Many of the people also left the place in between the band and took a stroll up to the city while waiting for the bands. Why not put two stages so the band could begin when the next left off and in that way keep the people and the interest focused on Posthusplatsen. I arrived to the area about one hour before it all kicked off and once I got there a huge rain weather swept in over the festival and made everything and everyone soaking wet. Due to the rain not many people stood in front of the stage waiting for the band to go on but I could see many fans waiting under roofs taking shelter from the rain.

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Imperial State Electric is led by no other than the legendary Nicke Andersson (ex- Entombed, ex- The Hellacopters etc) and the debut album came 2010. The latest excellent studio album came 2013 titled REPTILE BRAIN MUSIC and the music is best described as 70’s garage rock n roll. Nothing besides gear, amps and a backdrop was showed on stage and unfortunately was the mics placed a long way back on stage which made it hard for photographers to take pics of the band. People started to gather when it was about 20 minutes left until the show started and a few minutes later the rain ended and a sun showed up above the roofs.

Imperial State Electric

“Emptiness Into The Void” marked the beginning of the show and the small crowd gave the guys a warm welcome. Andersson thanked the fans and bass player De Borst said that it was because of the band the sun came out and it was time for the fans to enjoy the excellent song “Uh Huh”. Andersson took a zip of something liquid and then fired off “Apologize”. Andersson said it was nice to see so many faces and that the rain hadn’t scared too many away, then he introduced “Deride And Conquer” and the great show continued. The band consists of:

Nicke Andersson – lead vocals, guitar
Dolph De Borst – bass, vocals
Tobias Egge – guitar, vocals
Tomas Eriksson – drums

Andersson was as always cool on stage while delivering his trademark guitar poses. Andersson once again thanked the crowd for supporting the band and continued the show with “Redemption Song”. The sound system worked perfect but on the other hand was the chief of the sound the well known Fred Estby and that man is a genius. There weren’t any party going on amongst the fans, instead everyone in the crowd stood mostly solid on their spot waving their hands and clapping after each song. But I guess the weather and the early hour on a Monday didn’t invite to any party mood. Next song up on the list was “Down In The Bunker” taken from the new album which was followed by “Faustian Bargains”. Some of the songs were extended by really long guitar solos by either Andersson or Egge and they both are great on guitar but it got a bit boring after a while. “Can’t Seem To Shake It Off My Mind” followed and Andersson is a force of nature on stage and his lead vocals had gotten better and better during the years.

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I’ve seen the band many times over the past year and I’m always impressed by their stage presence and the guys really prove how great rock n roll ought to be played. De Borst asked if the crowd was feeling good and said that it was nice that the rain had stopped. Andersson said that the band had written a song the fans called “Stay The Night” which was the song that followed and it was sung by Egge who has a really great voice. The entire stage filled up with smoke as it was time for the band to fire off the Ba Ba Thomas song “Why Don’t You Leave It Alone” where all of the members sang their own solo part. All of the members sang really well and it was a nice way of making something extra for the fans.

Another song taken from the REPTILE BRAIN MUSIC album in “More Than Enough Of Your Love” followed and it was just another great song from a great live act and I couldn’t but once again being astound by how skilled these guys are in a live situation. One of the bands big hit followed in “Sheltered In The Sand” and so was it time for De Borst to take over the mic in the brilliant song “Reptile Brain” and I know from before that De Borst is a great singer and he didn’t disappoint me this time either. De Borst left over the bass to Egge and totally dominated the stage during the song. Only one song remained to be played after that and it was “Throwing Stones” and as soon as the song was over left the band the stage and their hour on stage was over.

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This show was nothing but a show off in how great rock n roll music should be played and even though I love seeing the band on any stage I do prefer to see them in a small and sweaty club rather than on a big stage during daylight. Don’t get me wrong, the guys did a great show but their music suits better to be played in a club than on a festival. There’s no band that play power rock n roll like Imperial State Electric and Nicke Andersson is still the undisputed king of edgy rock n roll and everything he touches turns to gold. I have followed his career since the very beginning and he is one of the most talented musicians that have walked this earth. But that’s just my humble opinion.

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Set list
Emptiness Into The Void
Oh Huh
Déjà vu
Apologize
Deride And Conquer
Redemption’s Gone
Down In The Bunker
Faustian Bargains
Cant’ Seem To Shake It Off My Mind
Stay The Night
Why Don’t You Leave it Alone
More Than Enough of Your Love
Sheltered In The Sand
Reptile Brain
Throwing Stones

The space in front of the stage emptied pretty fast and people headed up into the city to kill some time before it was time for Graveyard to take on Malmoe. Graveyard released its debut album 2007 but the big breakthrough came 2011 with the highly acclaimed album HISINGEN BLUES. 2012 followed LIGHTS OUT and to call the bands music hardrock is totally wrong. In my opinion plays Graveyard 70’s rock with some psychedelic influences but the band has become medias darlings and can’t do anything wrong. When it was 20 minutes left to the show I headed back to the area and by then the band stood in front of a deserted ground doing soundcheck. Nothing but amps and other gear was put on stage and a black backdrop hide the crew that was building the stage for Watain. About 10 minutes before it was time to kick off the show started people arrive and at 8 o clock was it time for Graveyard to hit the stage.

Graveyard

“Blue Soul” marked the beginning of the show and the band got a warm welcome from the many fans that had come to see their favorite band live in action. As always when it comes to a live show with Graveyard was everything very calm. The members stood solid on their spot during the show and singer Nilsson either looked down on the floor or closed his eyes when he sang. “Seven Seven” followed after which Nilsson said it was nice to be playing at the festival. The band consists of:

Joakim Nilsson – lead vocals, guitar
Jonatan Larocca-Ramm – guitar
Rikard Edlund – bass
Axel Sjöborg – drums

“Goliath” and “Slow Motion” followed and nothing much happened on the stage. If you go and see a Graveyard show be prepared to only enjoy the music and not the stage show. “Countdown” and “Uncomfortably Numb” continued the show and at least the band had some great sound. The great sound system was for me the highlight of the show and then you can guess what I thought of the rest. Well, the sound system and the guest appearance that was coming up later in the show. Before the guest appearance I had to listen to “The Siren” and “Hisingen Blues” and then singer Nilsson said it was time for the band to welcome a true rock legend up on stage in Nicke Andersson. Together they fired off one of the big hits from The Hellacopters era in “Gotta Get Some Action Now” with Andersson on lead vocals. And as soon as the fans heard the intro they all woke up and finally something happened amongst the fans as well as on stage. Andersson totally ran over Nilsson and showed how a rock singer should act. Andersson also took care of the lead guitar part and walked to the edge of the stage and invited the audience to a good time. Andersson thanked the band afterwards and the fans thanked Andersson with a huge applaud while he walked off. That ended the show and Nilsson thanked the fans for supporting the band.

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55 minutes went by really slow and the show didn’t wake up until the last song when Andersson joined forces with them. Otherwise was the show a carbon copy of every other Graveyard show I’ve seen where nothing happened on stage, an anonymous lead singer and a band that doesn’t seem to have a good time on stage. Maybe Graveyard should stick to be making albums and not live shows.

The clock was not close to 9 and Watain was scheduled to enter the stage one hour later. It’s a scandal that during one week the festival only offers 1 metal act! Its’ really sad that this festival can’t offer bands for all kinds of tastes even though they say they have something for everyone.

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The darkness had now set over the festival and it was the perfect circumstance to fully enjoy the music and atmosphere of Watain later on. On stage grew a huge backline up the closer we got to the show. The drum kit was placed on a podium and behind them hung a backdrop. The dominating color was of course black and it gave the feeling of us being in a black church. More and more people arrived the closer it got for the show to start and it was clear that Watain was about to lure the biggest crowd this evening. The band is a black metal act from Uppsala Sweden and was formed in 1998.

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The debut album from 2000 titled RABID DEATH CURSE went really well and the band have until today released 5 albums as well as numerous of demos, EP’s and live albums. The band consists of two guys and two live session members. I have seen Watain live before and they always delivers an extra ordinary live experience so I was quite eager to see what they was going to do this time. We were let into the pit about 10 minutes before the show and were told not to stand in the middle of the stage because it was flammable. The fans were roaring for the band to show up and finally turned the clock 10 and it was time for the black metal masters to give the fans what they had come for.

Watain

The members all came out while the intro music was played and positioned on stage. The stage was lite up by flames and it burned on each side of the drums and on the stage floor. Singer Danielsson walked over to the side of the stage and picked up a skull from some kind of animal and held it above his head. That marked the start of the show along with “De Profundis”. The audience went crazy right from the start and screamed on the top of their lungs. If it wasn’t for the fire and flames the stage would have been almost pitch black and it was really hard to get some descent picks of the band because of that. The line-up in the band is:

Erik Danielsson – lead vocals
Håkan Jonsson – drums
Pelle Forsberg – guitar
Davido “Set Teitan” Totaro – guitar (session member)
Alvaro “A” Lillo – bass (session member)

All of the members moved around on stage a lot and Danielsson said that now Malmoe is the party over, and it was time for “Black Flames March”. The band was tight and it was easy to see that these guys are used to be on stage performing live. Danielsson is very charismatic as frontman and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the very start. The show moved on with “Melfeitor” and in the middle of the song a white spot light shined down on Danielsson’s face while he made a lot of poses. We in the pit were told that it now was time to leave the pit, why I don’t know. “Outlaw” followed and the bands black metal music worked really well in the darkness and the grim wind that blew at us from the ocean. The audience seemed to me mesmerized by the music and the stage show and I guess that was exactly what Danielsson and the band wanted them to be. “Reaping Death” continued the show and Danielsson walked around with a torch in flames and all the fire and the darkness around made the show really spectacular.

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“Stellavore” followed and Danielsson again held a skull over his head and the fans seemed to love every minute of this theatrical hour. Some of the songs transcended into each other which made it hard to hear when one song ended and the other one began however the last song for the night was the long awaited “The Wild Hunt” and as soon as the song ended went the band off the stage and the show was over. The fans screamed for encores but the outro was played in the speakers and that meant that the show was over.

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This was an amazing show where especially the stage show is worth to be mentioned one more time. It looked really awesome with all the fires and flames and skulls and it sure added atmosphere to the music. The music was fast, raw, brutal and mean which is just how Watain’s music ought to sound and be like. This hour was a treat for all fans of black metal music.

Set list
Intro
De Profundis
Black Flames March
Melfeitor
Outlaw
Reaping Death
Stellavore
The Wild Hunt
Outro

The clock was now 11 and it was time for me to head home and end this partially rainy and windy day. The best act this night was Imperial State Electric. Graveyard was already forgotten when I went home. But Malmoefestivalen why only book one solid metal band to the festival?

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