Hardcore Superstar – Headline
The Cemetery Tour Is Coming Your Way! – Swedish leg 2015 –
Grand Theft Culture – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo Sweden
19/12 – 2015
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Hardcore Superstar is still out touring on the HCSS album from April 2015. The album’s first single, “Glue”, was released in October 2014. The band did extensive festival shows during the summer of 2015 and in October 2015 they teamed up for a co-headline tour with Michael Monroe in Europe. Sadly the tour didn’t come to Scandinavia – too bad, because I really wanted to see this cool tour package. The guys chose to end the year with a shorter tour through Sweden with 10 shows from the north to the south of Sweden.
This show was the second to last and the band threw a pre-party together with the Shock store (who sell rock merch, boots, clothes etc) at the store in Malmo. One only had to mail the store to get on the guest list, but you had to be +18 to get in because the store treated the guests to a few alcoholic beverages including gifts. The pre-party was held between 5.30-7.30pm and included the band doing an in-store acoustic set. The main show, that was almost sold out, was held at Kulturbolaget who had outdone themselves by bringing so much harder and heavier music to the people during the fall/winter. Even though the band performs in Malmo about two times per year, they always manage to almost sell out the place.
I attended the Shock event, and as I got inside the store the first people inside was given a goodiebag. The store also had a 25% discount on their items. Beer was sold and shots of Jägermeister were handed out. The organizers said they had been throwing these kinds of parties in Gothenburg and were now trying out how it would go in Malmo. It was possible to win a ticket to the show, and it soon became pretty hot inside the store since there were a lot of people here to to shop and see the band. Vic Zino and Jocke Berg came out and sat down and did two acoustic songs. No mics were used and when Zino started to play Berg laughed and said he was now so old that he couldn’t hear Zino play. “Standing On the Verge” and “Run To Your Mama” were played after which the two thanked the people in the store for coming listening to them. Both Zino and Berg stayed a while to sign autographs and took pictures with fans after which it was time to draw the winner for the tickets. For some reason, the band sold vinyls and CD’s but not the new album. However, fans were happy and it was a fun thing to do.
I headed straight to the club from the store and since it took a while to walk I came to the club at 7.30 and I could walk straight into the place, the place was semi-full with people and that probably depended on the fact that the pre-party wasn’t over yet. The venue started to fill up with people and when the clock turned 8 the music silenced and it was time for the support act to open the night.
Grand Theft Culture
The members entered the stage to applause and ran through two songs after which the singer/guitarist thanked fans for the support and said the band was here to play some music for us. The band consisted of four guys with one of them on samplers. The bands singer/guitarist had a kaftan on and the band gave me strange vibes with their odd mix of progressive/funk/metal music. One song featured no vocals but only sampling and I found it all very different – and not in a good way.
“Down The Line” taken from the bands’ new EP continued the night and the singer appeared to have heavy Conny Bloom complex because he moved just like Bloom on stage. He tried to get the crowd to sing a long with him but it didn’t turn out well. I thought the bands music was weird and with strange music, poor songs and poor vocals.
However, the band seemed to have a solid fanbase that supported them from in front of the stage. The singer said it was time to play a song by their biggest influence – Jimmy Hendrix – and “Foxy Lady” followed. He walked amongst the crowd and played, and it turned out to be an extra long version of the song. The singer asked what the time was and if they could play one more song and they chose to do “Spinning” which also is the new single. But the band decided to do another song really quick and “Killing In the Name” ended the show. The old Rage Against The Machine song woke up the crowd that kicked and screamed, the band let the crowd sing the line “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” and that song marked the end of the bands performance.
The lasting impression for me of Grand Theft Culture was – weird! The band’s music didn’t appeal to me at all and it was obvious that Conny Bloom and Electric Boys are one of their big influences. The 40min long show was cleaned away by the crew and they started to bring out the headliners gear, it pretty much looked as usual – with a backdrop portraying the band name behind the drums and smaller drops beside the drums. The club was now almost jammed with people that waited for HCSS to go on and soon it was time for the kings of sleaze metal to enter the stage.
Fans screamed as soon as they heard the intro music and the band came out, got ready and fired off “Sadistic Girls” with Berg running and jumping around like a maniac. It’s not often Berg stands still and it’s really hard to take a descent shot of him live in action. Berg asked how the fans was doing and wanted them to scream even louder in “Guestlist”. He invited everyone to sing a long with him in the chorus and “Touch The Sky” followed instantly. The line-up is:
Jocke Berg – lead vocals
Martin Sandvik – bass
Adde – drums
Vic Zino – guitar
The lights and sound was great and luckily the smoke machine was moderate. Berg once again asked if the fans were doing fine and said he wanted us to give a warm hello to the Malmo based guitarist Zino. Zino looked a bit shy on stage as the crowd shouted his name and clapped their hands for him. “Medicate Me” followed and the temperature had risen several degrees since the show started. Berg took a glass and said cheers to the crowd, “nice that you all could come here tonight” he continued. “Malmo we love you” he said and the next song up was “Bully”. The band once again totally impressed me and I never cease to be amazed by these talented guys. They sure are a skilled band and not many other acts are able to deliver such solid performances that HCSS usually do. Berg is a brilliant frontman but he’s nothing without the rest of the band backing him up and they all work like a team with the common goal to entertain their fans.
Berg took off his leather jacket and asked if any of us in the club had attended the Shock pre-party and said they had a great time there. We are in Malmo and Zino is from Malmo he said, but the audience silenced him when they screamed “Vic, Vic…” from the top of their lungs. Berg looked really happy and Zino took on an acoustic guitar and it was time for the passionate ballad “Standing On the Verge” and the fans sang the song together with the Berg. Berg said he wanted to see some lights in the air and urged the fans to hold up their lighters or mobiles to ass some feeling to the song. The song started out acoustic but became electric as Adde and Sandvik joined in and it made the song a bit different than it use to be, it all ended with Berg changing the words to “Malmo my friend” and the fans seemed to be really happy with this version of the song. Berg and Adde talked to each other and Berg asked Adde if he really had to hit his drums so hard, apparently Adde had been hitting so hard that the skin on his bass drum was broken and the crew had to change it.
In “Wild Boys” Berg had the crowd to sway their arms and wave their hands and the crowd was now on fire. The fans added extra energy to the band and they gave 110% which made the show feel really intense. The fans were given no chance to catch their breath and it was instantly time for “Dreamin In A Casket” which isn’t a favorite of mine and to be honest I have no idea why the band insists to put it on the set list, however the song felt pretty solid backed up by the huge support from the fans. Berg said he thought the crowd was looking awesome and it was time for “Into Debauchery” and Berg didn’t have to sing the chorus alone, the fans took care of that.
Berg said that the first time the band performed at Kulturbolaget was back in 1998 as support act to Motörhead and Zino was there to see the show, little did he know he several years later was going to join HCSS. Berg said the band loves to come to Malmo and Kulturbolaget and perform and the next song up followed and it was “Here Comes That Sick Bitch”. The ballad taken from the 2010 album SPLIT YOUR LIP made the fans explode and they once again sang the song together with Berg. He said he didn’t really know why, but being in Malmo feels like being home and that it would have been fun to end the tour here, but it didn’t turn out that way this time. He wanted to thank everyone that was in the club this night for supporting the band and fan support meant the world to the band.
In “Don’t Mean Shit” Berg jumped into the photopit to come closer to the fans and had them all shout “hey hey” for him, that song ended the show and the sweat soaked band thanked the fans and went off the stage. I took a look at the time and to my surprise the show had only lasted for 50 minutes. After a few minutes of shouting for encores the band re-entered the stage and the smaller backdrops on the stage now showed the bands Star logo. Berg said it was time for the band to play one of its best songs in “Run To Your Mama” which also was the first encore. It was only Berg and Zino who did that song, the rest of the band joined in the second encore “Hateful” and the lights shifted to green and it looked really nice with all the green lights. To the fans delight Berg once again jumped down into the pit to come closer to the fans.
Let’s talk about booze he said and fired off “Moonshine” and in the middle of the song he wanted the fans to scream for him. After the song he asked if the fans had enough or if they wanted to hear more, of course the fans wanted to hear more and Berg said it was time to do a song about that was not about lemonade or milk but about alcohol, and as everyone had expected it was time for “Last Call For Alcohol”. As usual Berg paused the song in the middle and a roadie came up on stage carrying a tray of shots and handed it out to the members. A roadie took over Adde’s drums and which had come down on the stage to join the rest of the band as they were taking a picture together with the fans. Another roadie had taken over the bass as the picture was taken and the members all laughed and joked with each other when the picture was taken. When the picture was a fact the band went back to their instrument and Berg said since it was Sunday tomorrow the most suitable song was “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” but right as the song was about to start Adde asked if the band wasn’t going to finish the previous song first, well of course said the rest of the members and finished “Last Call For Alcohol” and laughed. That what’s happens when you get too excited Berg said and ended the song properly. Well, tomorrow we’re all hungover and “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” is the best soundtrack to that Berg said and the song made the fans go crazy and I saw a few fans that started to crowd surf.
Berg asked if the fans could bare to listen to one more song, which everyone of course did. So it was time for the absolute last song with “Above The Law”. During the song, a roadie came up and started to take down the drums and when the song was over Adde didn’t have anything left to play on and that ended the song. the band thanked the ecstatic fanbase for the huge support and the good time, sleep well Malmo was the last words from the band as they left the stage.
The show was 90 minutes of pure fun and joy and I don’t think the band or the fans had anything bad to say about the night. The band put on a brilliant show but that was expected, not many bands are better in a live situation than Hardcore Superstar, they sure know how to take on a crowd and even on a bad day they are better than most acts around. The only minor thing I have to complain about is the fact that the guys didn’t play any song from the four first albums. They only played tunes from the 2005 album HARDCORE SUPERSTAR and forward, some older pieces wouldn’t have hurt, but that’s mine opinion. This amazing show ended the concert year 2015 for me and I can’t think of a better way of ending the year (well a better way would have been if Iron Maiden did a show in my living room, but that didn’t happen this year either ha ha). The band is going out on tour with Michael Monroe in USA 2016 so if you have chance to see HCSS live in action take it!
Touch The Sky
Standing On the Verge
Dreamin In A Casket
Here Comes That Sick Bitch
Don’t Mean Shit
Run To Your Mama
Last Call For Alcohol
We Don’t Celebrate Sundays
Above The Law
Thanks to the head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass to the show, also thanks to the staff at Kulturbolaget for nice treatment, thanks all for a great 2015!
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.