Testosterone Tour 2015 – Swedish tour
Santa Cruz – support act
28/11 – 2015
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Mustasch sure is a busy band, if the guys aren’t on tour they’re most likely in the studio recording albums. In September the band released the brand new album TESTOSTERONE and the first single back in August, titled “Be Like A Man”. The band also announced the departure of drummer Jejo Perkovic at the same time and new behind the drums is Robban Bäck (Ammunition, Eclipse, Sabaton). I have always loved Mustasch and think they are one of the best live acts around and they have never done a bad gig. I have followed the band from the release of their first album ABOVE ALL back in 2002; the latest album is their 8th so far. Besides albums the band have also released 2 Eps and 3 compilation discs. On TESTOSTERONE the band have featured a song called “Yara’s Song” which is dedicated to an 8 year old girl called Yara who was beaten to death by her relatives. The case brought some huge attention in Sweden and brought feelings as well as tears to the eyes of anyone who read about her tragic death. That song was the second single from the album and is also available as a video. I think it’s a great thing that Mustasch raise awareness and attention to important causes like that.
Yara’s Song Video
The band stopped by Malmo and Kulturbolaget on a Saturday which meant that the night club took over at 11:30pm and the show had to be over by then. Mustasch is really popular in Malmo and have always almost sold out Kulturbolaget and this night was no exception. The closer it got to the show the club announced that there were only a few tickets left. The doors opened as usual at 7pm and the support act was about to kick off their show one hour later. Me and my friend met the band during the day and all of them were as always nice and friendly and joked around. When I turned up to the club it was 20 minutes until the doors opened and a line had formed outside. As soon as came inside I looked to see if there was a photo pit because I know how crazy the fans act during a Mustasch concert. On stage stood nothing but mics and a smaller drum set that belonged to the support act. Mustasch’s fanbase consists of all kinds of people, both older and younger as well as girls and guys. And at 8:05pm it was time for the support act to open the night.
“Bonafide Heroes” was the first song out from the Finnish opening act. It was full speed ahead from the very start and the crowd gave the band warm applause when they turned up on stage. Archie thanked everyone for the support and said it was the first time the band performed in Malmo and thought it was fun to see that so many had made it to the club. “My Remedy” continued the show and the line-up is:
Archie – lead vocals, guitar
Johnny – guitar
Middy – bass
Taz – drums
Archie asked if the fans were ready for Mustasch and fired off “Let Them Burn” (don’t think he meant that personally to Mustasch though, ha ha). The commercial glam/sleaze music of Santa Cruz worked pretty well however it was a little too commercial for my taste. “Bye Bye Babylon” continued the show and unfortunately the sound system was pretty lousy and didn’t work in favor of the band. The same went for the lights as it was almost only lights at the front of the stage. Archie wanted the crowd to give a hand for drummer Taz and fired off “We Are The Ones To Fall” and both Archie and Johnny worked hard to get the crowd going. The fans at the front of the stage seemed to be hardcore fans because they sang a long and clapped their hands after each song. The rest of the people stood solid on their spot waiting for the show to be over so Mustasch could begin their performance. In “Wasted And Wounded” Archie got the fans to scream at his command and then asked if the crowd wanted to hear another song. “Aiming High” was the last song out and closed the 35 minute long show with Santa Cruz.
The band delivered an expected show, doing what they were supposed to but their commercial glam/sleaze music was nothing that stuck. The band seemed to have a good time on the stage and liked what they was doing which rubbed off on the crowd so I guess it was an OK show.
Let Them Burn Bye Bye Babylon
We Are The Ones To Fall
Wasted And Wounded
During the Santa Cruz show the club had gotten almost packed with people and everyone was now waiting for Mustasch to make their way on to the stage. On each side of the drums were placed Marshall amps on the amps stood spotlights. It took about 30 minutes to prepare the stage and people started to get anxious to see the band. There’s no doubt that Mustasch is loved in Malmo because they almost manage to sell out the club each time they come back here.
One by one the members walked on to the stage and the fans went crazy when they saw the band. The guys stood positioned with their backs against the crowd, the intro faded and the first song out was “Be Like A Man” which was followed by the excellent “Black City” and that song really woke up the fans. The fans sang the lyrics together with singer Gyllenhammar and he also let the crowd sing the chorus. He thanked the fans for the support and fired off “Testosterone”. Mustasch is.
Ralf Gyllenhammar – lead vocals, guitar
Mats “Stam” Johansson – bass
David Johannesson – guitar
Robert Bäck – drums (session member)
Gyllenhammar looked as cool as ever standing with one foot on the small box he has got in front of him on stage and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the very start. Even though the new album hasn’t been out for a long time the fans knew the songs and sang them together with Gyllenhammar; talk about dedicated fans! When he didn’t sing, Gyllenhammar moved around during the entire show and Johannesson was also the one who connected with the fans the most. From time to time he also stood on the box playing guitar. Gyllenhammar said it was nice to see everyone this night and he seemed to be really happy with the response the band got. “Breaking Up With Disaster” followed and the TV-screens that were placed behind the drums and on the side of the stage showed different patterns and colors while the band played. It looked really cool and added effect to the songs; someone obviously had put some thought into the backline.
As the fans jumped up and down and the atmosphere got more electric inside the club, the temperature began to reach the boiling point and it was really sweaty. In other words – it was as can be expected during a show with Mustasch. Gyllenhammar asked if we were ready for some rock but apparently Bäck had some problems with his drums; he hits the drums so hard that they moved, so the crew had to help him push them back. Gyllenhammar laughed and was in a good mood while the crew did their job and the song “Mine” was the next one out. Gyllehhammar said the band was going to come out amongst the fans and sign after the show but there weren’t going to be any selfies, it’s so hard with everyone that’s coming up to take selfies he said. The band is coming out to sign t-shirts or what ever but no selfies. OK, are you ready for “Down In Black” he said and the fans got even more ecstatic when they heard the classic tune.
Gyllenhammar and Johannesson changed places but when Gyllenhammar was going to sing he dropped the mic so they both had to switch places again. He took off his guitar and said that it was time for “Thank You For the Demon” and Gyllenhammar moved around even more when he didn’t play guitar. It time for an older song in “Angel’s Share”, it’s a great song and one of my personal favorite songs so I was glad to hear it. The song was written for the compilation album THE NEW SOUND OF THE TRUE WEST from 2001 which included re-recordings of older tunes. The fans continued to clap their hands after the song ended and Gyllenhammar seemed pleased. He said it was nice to see so many good looking people at the club and continued with another great classic pick in “Bring Me Everyone”. Gyllenhammar asked what the fans thought about the lights on the stage and said that it was specially made for the fans. The next song he said was about being friends and that we shouldn’t fight with each other and it was “Heresy Blasphemy”, he changed the lyrics from “Hey Satan here I stand” to Hey Malmo here I stand” which made the fans sing a long even louder. The song ended with a drum solo from Bäck as everyone but him went off the stage.
So was it time for some more hard rock in “Speed Metal” which was followed instantly by “Borderline”. Gyllenhammar urged the fans to clap their hands even more and at the end of the song he jumped down into the photo pit to come closer to the fans. He walked around greeting the fans while singing. Back up on stage he announced Johannesson’s favorite song in “Homophobic/Alcoholic”. Gyllenhammar said he thought the fans were really cool and asked which soccer team was the best (he is a dedicated fan to the Gothenburg team which isn’t popular in Malmo). He hadn’t anything bad to say about the soccer team in Malmo and said that he knew he was the best because he did it all by himself and “I Hunt Alone” followed. The song is taken from the ABOVE ALL album from 2002 and seemed to be a crowd pleaser since all of the fans sang along and clapped their hands. Gyllenhammar has a great stage persona and even though he might not be the most brilliant singer in the world, his presence sure makes up for that. All the members are solid musicians and are ridiculously strong together, a perfect team and Bäck really fits into the band, no doubt about that. The intro to the majestic “Double Nature” was heard and the fans went ballistic, it’s one of the band’s biggest hits and was one of the songs everyone had been waiting for. The song is taken from the album LATEST VERSION OF THE TRUTH from 2007 and is probably the song that made them big all across the Scandinavia and Europe. The song starts with a string part that obviously was on a backing track and when the fans heard the intro they all went mad. The song closed the show that lasted for 75 minutes and the band thanked the fans.
After a few minutes of shouting for encores the band returned and the fans clapped even louder when they saw the band again. Gyllenhammar said that the band is tough and they only likes hard rock music like the fans but that no one inside the club should be angry at someone else and that everyone should be friends at all times. The speech about being nice to each other ended with the very emotional “Yara’s Song” and I can’t but agree with Gyllenhammar. In these days of terrorism, wars, and commotion it’s important to take care of each other and show each other respect, no matter where we come from, what religion we have or what colour our skin is; we are all human beings.
As the song ended Gyllenhammar, Johannesson and Johansson all stood with their backs to the crowd and on the screens a single candle light was shown and they all looked at the ceiling. The crowd’s support was huge and Gyllenhammar said that no one should go through what poor Yara went through. He said that the next song was dedicated to all the rapists, child murderers and pedophiles – it was the very suiting “Parasite”. All of the members except for Gyllenhammar walked off the stage, he took off his guitar and sang “Dreamers” accompanied by music from the speakers. He sang half of the song after which he said good bye and left the stage.
“Dreamers” closed the show which was 85 minutes of total happiness. Once again Mustasch showed that they are one of the best live acts in the world and I was as ecstatic as the fans when I left the club. All of the guys did a great job and it was great fun to see new drummer Bäck in action, I think he’s going to fit perfectly into the rest of the line-up. It was an amazing night and I understand why Mustasch always manages to sell out Kulturbolaget. For some reason it doesn’t go as well in the rest of the world as in Scandinavia for the band, if you for some reason haven’t heard Mustasch make sure to check them out. You won’t regret it.
Be Like A Man
Breaking Up With Disaster
Down In Black
Thank You For The Demon
Bring Me Everyone
I Hunt Alone
Thanks to Totte Lundgren head at Kulturbolaget for help with press/photo pass to the show.
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.