The last day of the festival offered two acts of interest for me. It was the Malmoe based band A.C.T (a band that I for some reason I haven’t heard live before) and one of Sweden’s biggest musical exports over the later years in The Sounds. A small drizzle began to pouring down when I arrived at 6 o clock but people didn’t seem to mind the weather. I came into the festival area about 30 minutes before A.C.T was about to kick off their show. A.C.T began their career, under a different name, back in 1994-95 and the debut came 1999 with the album TODAY’S REPORT. During that period had the band also recruited a new singer and drummer. Until today have the band released six albums and the latest one came this year and is titled CIRCUS PANDEMONIUM. A little more people had gathered to see A.C.T than who came to see Bard Barber yesterday and it was nice to see that people was supporting the local music scene.
The band kicked off their show as scheduled and didn’t seem to care about the slightly bad weather. I noticed the band got two keyboardplayer on stage and after the first song the lead singer thanked the people for coming to see the band and aid it was really nice to be back at the Summer Rock festival performing again. The band is:
Herman Saming – lead vocals
Jerry Sahlin – keyboards
Thomas Lejon – drums
Peter Asp – bass
Ola Andersson – guitar
Singer Saming was all over the stage trying to get the crowd pumped up and the band was really tight and solid together. A woman came now on stage doing back up vocals while Saming introduced the band. He said that the band had joined forces with two extra people this evening and it was one of the keyboards players and the choir girl he was talking about. Both of them had been helping out on the album and the band wanted them to also perform live with them during this show. The bands music is maybe best described as progressive rock/metal and a lot is happening musically in the songs. The band members are all really skilled musicians and it was nice to watching professionals at work. Even though Saming did his best to get the crowd going most part of the audience stood solid on their spot listening calmly to the music. However the most dedicated fans stood at the front of the stage clapping and supporting the band in every way possible.
It was a real treat to see drummer Lejon (Andromeda) up close in action. He is really skilled and technical and he was one of the reasons I really wanted to see the band live and it was he and singer Saming that impressed me the most. The music of A.C.T is something you maybe have to heard on album before you go and see them live because their music can be quite challenging and to get out the most from the music it’s best to have experienced in the peace and quiet of your own home first. While the band played their last song it was time for me to head over to the other stage and by then had A.C.T been playing for about 50 minutes. The show was excellent and it really made me eager to hear more from A.C.T. As I mentioned earlier was the drummer and the singers efforts worth a special mention and if you’re into progressive rock/metal music be sure to check out the music of A.C.T as soon as you can.
I headed over to the biggest stage to see The Sounds doing their thing shortly and by now had the rain started to fall a bit harder. In front of the big stage stood a huge amount of people all ready to see The Sounds live in action. The Sounds come from a small town in the south part of Sweden closely located to Malmoe called Helsingborg. Their debut album came 2002 called LIVING IN AMERICA and won a lot of prizes and awards. The band has got a bunch of well known fans like Dave Grohl and Quentin Tarantino and the band is probably bigger outside Sweden than they are at home. Maja Ivarsson who sings is the charismatic leader of the band and the music is a mix of indie rock and post punk. The band hasn’t been generous with albums and has only released four albums until now. The latest one came last year titled WEEKEND which they toured Europe with. Only a backdrop with the band members faces hung on stage when I came and I got ready to head into the pit as the clock turned closer and closer to play time.
All of the members walked out on stage and the show kicked off at 8.25 as scheduled. First song out was the hit “Tony The Beat” and the fans gave the band a warm welcome. “Shake Shake Shake” continued the show and singer Ivarsson walked around on stage and totally owned it. Members are:
Maja Ivarsson – lead vocals
Felix Rodriguez – guitar
Jesper Anderberg – guitar, keyboards
John Bengtsson – bass
Fredrik Blond – drums
Ivarsson thanked a lot for the warm respond from the fans and said it was really nice to be back in Svedala again. She said it was fun to see that so many fans had defied the rain to come and see the band and then she fired off another hit in “Something To Die For” taken from the album with the same name from 2011. “Dorchester Hotel” and the huge hit “Living In America” really got the crowd going and the band seemed to be having as fun on stage as the fans down on the grass had. The darkness had now started to set on the area and that made the lights on stage look even cooler. And just as yesterday worked the lights as well as the sound system perfect, this festival always have their gear together. Maybe it was a bit soon into the show to fire off one of the biggest hits but the audience didn’t seem to mind and the band has got some other pretty big hits to choose from besides “Living In America”.
The bands music went a little faster and became a bit edgier and heavy live compared to on album but that wasn’t a problem at all. In fact I appreciated the songs a lot more live. “The Best Of Me” and “Weekend” followed and Ivarsson used every single free space on stage to move around on while the rest of the band stood solid on their spot. It felt like this was Ivarsson one man show rather than a band effort but I guess since she is the singer she is the one the people look the most at. She totally owned the stage and she’s got an enormous stage presence. However this felt like another day at work for Ivarsson and it felt like she wanted to get the show over as soon as possible. She did invite the fans to sing a long with her in the songs but it felt like she lacked energy. She did urge the fans to clap their hands and jump up and down now and then but it didn’t feel like an honest attempt to make the fans have a good time but more like the a necessary thing to say.
“4 Songs And A Fight” and “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” continued the show and the rest of the band did a great job supporting Ivarsson in the front. She once again thanked the fans for staying and watching the band despite the rain and fired off “Painted By Numbers”. The rain had now increased but that hadn’t dragged the fans mood down and they clapped and cheered for their idols on stage. “Outlaw” followed and “Ego” was the last song for the show and Ivarsson said that the band really appreciated the support the fans had showed them this night. The fans wanted to hear more from The Sounds and shouted for encores and to their delight came the band soon back out and fired off “Seven Days A Week” which was a huge hit here in Sweden when it was released. All of the fans sang a long and it didn’t matter if the band played any of their classical songs or more current ones, the fans screamed and shouted happily either way. Ivarsson wanted the audience to help her and the band out in the next song which was “Rock N Roll”. Ivarsson reached out her mic to the fans who sang a long with her during the entire song. “Hope Your Happy Now” ended the show and it felt like the fans was really happy with the 65 minute long song.
It was an OK show but I’ve seen them do better and it felt like this was just another day at work for the band and it felt like they sometimes forgot that they’re nothing without the fans. They could have encouraged the crowd more and showed a little more gratification. The set list was good and they had a great mix of old classics as well as more current songs. The majority of the crowd seemed to be happy and that is what counts.
Set list (not in order and maybe I’ve missed one or two songs)
Tony the Beat
Shake Shake Shake
Something To Die For
Living In America
The Best Of Me
4 Songs And A Fight
No One Sleeps When I’m Awake
Painted By Numbers
Seven Days A Week
Rock N Roll
Hope You’re Happy Now
Well, that ended my part of the festival for this year and as always I had a really nice visit at Summer Rock Festival. The festival is perfect organized and includes bands for every kind of taste. It’s nice to have a festival so close to home and it’s perfect to only be able to take the bus for 20 minutes to get home to sleep. The size of the festival is perfect and you never have to wait in line to buy beer, food or to go to the toilet. Unfortunately haven’t the organizers written out how many visitors they had each day so I can’t mention any numbers. But it felt like there were the most people at the festival during Friday. I really hope to return to the festival next year and thank everyone for making the festival possible year after year. I really hope to be visiting the next year’s edition of the festival.
Thanks to the head of the Summer Rock Festival Markus Lindberg for help with press/photo pass to the festival.
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