The main focus for me (Anders) on Friday was to see Colorstone and Backyard Babies who are out on their reunion tour. I turned up to the festival around 5.30 and had no problems fetching the media pass. After having walked down the lane into the area we faced the grass field where the largest stage was placed. Across it there was a tent where food and alcohol was sold and since it’s forbidden in Sweden to sell alcohol in public spaces, there were picket fences around that area with chairs and tables where people could sit and drink. It’s not allowed to walk around on the festival with alcohol outside the restricted areas. Near the largest stage, a tent was placed with the smaller stage inside. It was also possible to purchase food and drinks beside that tent.
Colorstone was about to perform in the tent so I made my way there early in order to check out the premises. Colorstone released their debut album INTO THE GARDEN back in 2012 and the follow up STEAM in 2014. The band is probably most known in the southern parts of Sweden where they have toured quite a lot. The band is currently recording their new album and the first song out is the single “Pictures Still The Same”. I’ve seen the band before and think that classic rock is a fair description of the band’s music. When I arrived the band was about to do their sound check. On stage their gear was framed by a backdrop with the band’s name on it.
Two songs were played after which singer Dahlstrom thanked the crowd for being there and said it was nice to be playing at the festival. Not many people had made their way to the tent and it was only half full with people. The next song was about how tense the situation in the world is at the moment and was called “Ourselves To Blame”. Dahlstrom tried hard to get the crowd going but didn’t succeed. Colorstone is:
John Dahlstrom – lead vocals
Fredrik Bergengren – guitar
Samir Dounas – bass
Olle Nilsson – drums
Tommy Falk – keyboard, hammond organ
All the members are really skilled musicians and they all did their best to deliver a solid performance; it was the crowd that was too lame. Besides the hardcore Colorstone fans, not many contributed to raise the temperature inside the tent. The sound system worked perfectly but not the lights which normally aren’t too great at this stage. The band’s classic rock worked quite well and the crowd clapped their hands politely when Dahlstrom announced “Don’t Dream About It”. The smoke hung heavy over the stage and the members, making it hard to take pictures. The band tried a sing a long with the crowd but that didn’t sound too good to be honest, maybe the crowd was too small or too sober. “Breakdown” followed and then it was time for the aforementioned new song called “Pictures Still the Same”. The last song for the night is available on YouTube and it’s called “Remember Me”, ending the show at 35 minutes with Colorstone.
The members thanked the fans and believe it or not, the crowd shouted for encores and the band returned. Dahlstrom said that there are so many bad things happening in the world at the moment, for example the horrible terror attacks in Nice, Brussels, and Paris, just to mention a few. These are things that cannot be allowed to happen, are the people “Out Of Love” Dahlstrom asked and kicked off the song. That song ended the show and added 10 minutes to the original playing time.
The band did a good job on stage and kept the fire up despite the partially non-existent support from the sleepy crowd. Even though it’s hard to say something about songs you haven’t heard beforeing I thought the new ones sounded really promising and I’m looking forward to hear them on album. The band has potential to go far in the future and especially singer Dahlstrom and guitarist Bergengren are worth an extra mention as the biggest stars in the band.
Dark clouds hung over the festival and the rain wasn’t far away. On the big stage it was time for the legendary Swedish act Electric Banana Band who started out back in the 70’s as a kid TV show with the two lead stars Trazan and Banarne. I was waiting for Backyard Babies who were going to end the night. No one was happier than me when the band plucked up their instruments, reunited and released the album FOUR BY FOUR which is in every way a monumental comeback album.
The band was on hold for 5 years and when they announced they was heading out on a Scandinavian tour I was really happy. However I was pretty disappointed when I saw the band live and thought the show lacked energy, vitality and the guys felt uninspired. After that disappointing show at Kulturbolaget, it felt like the band had a lot to prove with their show this night. Not many people attended the festival this second night, at least it felt like that, and it seemed like I saw more security and working staff than visitors. I took a look at the stage where the band’s backdrop hung behind the drums and two smaller podiums were placed at the front of the stage on each side. The backline was the same as when they toured Scandinavia earlier this year. They had brought a ton of merchandise including t-shirts, albums, vinyl, Nicke Borg and his solo act and Dregens solo albums and a lot more (I think it’s questionable to sell their own solo stuff on a tour with the band but that’s only my opinon). Everything was highly overpriced and I didn’t lay my hands on anything they sold. The stage was really high and it was really hard to see the entire stage from standing in the photo pit. We down there couldn’t see the artists until they stood at the edge of the stage. At about 10.45 we were let into the pit and the intro to “Welcome To The Jungle” blasted out a few minutes to 11 and that was the start of the show.
The stage lit up, filled with smoke, and the second intro, which was the intro to the BB song “Thirteen Or Nothing” came on and the band showed up. Both Dregen and Borg used the podiums to stand on during the show. Something was wrong with Dregen’s guitar and his technician was called out to fix it. “Dysfunctional Professional” and “Made Me Madman” followed. Borg thanked the fans and fired off “The Clash” and as usual the line-up of the band was:
Nicke Borg – lead vocals, guitar
Dregen – guitar, vocals
Johan Blomquist – bass
Peder Carlsson – drums
Dregen asked if the band was pumped and ready for “Brand New Hate” which is one of the their biggest hits. The tempo of the song was much slower than on album and it felt like the band members were doing the show on autopilot. They did what they had to but nothing more, lacking the furious energy, we-don’t-give-a-shit attitude, and madness that made the band one of the best live acts back in the day. What happened? The only one who moved around with energy was Dregen and he should have credit for saving the show. As an old hardcore fan of the band I stood and wondered what had happened to my old heroes. The guys didn’t manage to make the old classic songs feel up to date and as edgy as before and Borg’s voice wasn’t on point.
Borg said the band had performed at the festival three times before and it was always fun to be in Svedala. He told the crowd to hold up their cellphones with the flash on and bring some atmosphere to “Bloody Tears”. Dregen asked if the crowd could hear his guitar which they screamed they could and the next song “Highlights” was a fact. Dregen had the audience scream “hey hey hey” a few times until he was satisfied and the song was instantly followed by “A Song For the Outcast”. Borg said we all should check out the merch stands because the band had brought with them as much as they could sell, (he didn’t say the merch was really overpriced)
“I’m On My Way to Save Rock n’ Roll” followed and next up was the old hit “Making Enemies Is Good”. Dregen wanted everyone to clap their hands and counted in the band in German for “Star War”. This one was sung by Dregen and not Borg. Dregen’s got a good voice and it’s too bad he doesn’t take on more lead vocals. If Dregen was a whirlwind the other two, Borg and Blomquist, took it easier. Blomquist stood solid as if he was glued to the floor. “Nomadic” continued the night and I walked over to the other side of the crowd to see if they were more active than on the side I stood on, but no. Besides the hardcore fans standing at the front of the stage, there wasn’t much action going on. When we got to the middle of the show people start leaving the area and making their way home. When Borg thanked the fans and ended the show only 45 minutes had passed and I was surprised at how short the band’s set was. Of course the fans wanted to hear encores and the guys re-entered the stage and fired off “Abandon” as the first extra song. Dregen thanked everyone for the support and “Minus Celsius” was next. Borg and Dregen jumped on to the podiums while smoke came up beneath them. This song seemed to be the one the crowd had been waiting for and it really woke them up. The show had come to an end and Dregen took a look at his watch saying that the band had time for one more song and it was the amazing “Look at You”. That song is a personal favorite of mine and I was really happy when I heard it. The fast version of the song ended the show as the clock had struck a few minutes past 12 when the guys left the stage, which meant the show altogether lasted for 60 minutes. It was way too short to say the least; why didn’t the band get 75 min. as the head line bands had on the festival previous years?
Well I would lie if I said that I loved the show. As I wrote earlier, I thought the guys lacked energy and tempo; it seemed like they didn’t have as much fun as they did back in the day. I missed the punky attitude and the air of lawlessness that used to surround the band. Maybe they’re too old and settled to recall how it was back then. These was not the best moments I’ve experienced together with Backyard Babies.
It was really hard to take proper pics of the band because the lights came mainly from behind the drums, and the heavy amount of smoke that covered the stage and the members. Whoever was in charge of that should think about doing a better job next year. The smoke problem lingered on from last year.
The festival also needs to get proper lights at both stages as for now, most lights were placed behind the drums which made it hard to take pics. It’s hard to do your job when the stage is covered in smoke, there are no lights and the stage is too high up.
Welcome To The Jungle – intro
Thirteen Or Nothing
Made Me Madman
Brand New Hate
A Song For The Outcast
I’m On My Way To Save Rock n Roll
Look At You
Once on the bus home, I thought that it seemed like the once very popular Summer Rock Festival is now mostly a local happening. Previous years, it was really hard to get on the bus because there were so many people heading back to Malmo at the same time, this night it was only me and the few others on the bus heading back.
Read more on the next page.