Imperial State Electric
Bombus – co- headline
Weekend Warriors Scandinavian Tour 2016
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
8/10 – 2016
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
At the end of September the brand new Imperial State Electric album ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT was released. The band works fast as their previous studio album, HONK MACHINE, came out last year (2015) and since 2010 the band has released 5 albums, 2 EP’s, and a bunch of singles. The Swedish metal legend Nicke Andersson (Entombed, The Hellacopters, Death Breath, The Solution etc) sure is a productive man. Now the band is out on a joint headline tour together with another Swedish act, Bombus. Bombus’ first album was unleashed in 2010 and after the band inked a deal with the German label Century Media, the follow up THE POET AND THE PARROT came in 2013. At the beginning of this year the band unveiled their brand new disc, REPEAT UNTIL DEATH. As the tour name hints, the tour only takes place during weekends and contains only 8 shows. The show in Malmo took place at Kulturbolaget on a Saturday. The doors opened at 7 and Bombus, who was the first headline act out, was going to kick off the night at 8. Since the night club starts at about 11.30, the two shows were going to be over by then. This show was the first one for me this fall and I came to the club a bit past 7, as always it went really smooth to get in and I got my pass at the door. After checking out the merch stand it was already a bit past 8 and it was time for the night to start.
“Let Her Die” was the first Bombus song out for the night and the band got a warm welcome from the fans. “Rust” followed and all three front men moved around connecting with the crowd. The lead singing was shared by Berglund and Säker and the two complimented each other perfectly. Berglund said thanks for the applause and it was time for a golden oldie in “Biblical”, taken from the band’s debut album BOMBUS (2010). The band’s heavy metal/hard rock worked great at Kulturbolaget this night. “Raised By Pigs” followed and it was full speed ahead from the start.
The crowd felt a bit laid back which was strange when the music of Bombus could wake up the dead. Asp threw a shorter drum solo that led into the song “Enter The Night”. Rather than talking in between the songs, the band let the music do the talking and after having introduced the band Berglund announced the last song for the night in “Into The Fire”.
Berglund then thanked the fans for the support and said it had been nice to perform in Malmo.
Bombus sounded better than I remembered and they delivered a rock solid show with a lots of tempo and energy, too bad though that the crowd was so slow and laid back. The band could have also done a little more talking in between the songs to lighten the mood but overall the show was good and so was the set list.
Let Her Die
Masters The Reality
Horde Of Flies
Repeat Until Death
Raised By Pigs
Enter The Night
Into The Fire
After the 50 minute show, the crew started to prepare the stage for next band, and the main reason I was here – Imperial State Electric. As a huge fan of Nicke Andersson I was eager to see and hear the new songs live. Since ISE didn’t have much besides mics and gear on stage, the change went pretty fast and already at 9.35 the house music turned off and the band went on stage.
Imperial State Electric
Andersson opened by saying “We’re Imperial State Electric, lets go!” First song out was “Lord Knows I Know that It Ain’t Right” and that intense song went straight into the new brilliant cut “Empire Of Fire”, taken from the brand new album. “Guard Down” continued the high octane show and it was pretty clear already that the songs sound a lot heavier and edgier live compared to the album. The rock n’ roll combo is made of:
Nicke Andersson – lead vocals, guitar
Dolph de Borst – bass, vocals
Tobias Egge – guitar, vocals
Tomas Eriksson – drums
Andersson thanked the fans and said it was nice to be performing in Malmo again. The next song was taken from the album HONK MACHINE and it was “Anywhere Loud”. The band was, as always, crazy tight and complete each other perfectly. Just like Bombus, all of the front men sing and it’s nice to hear the vocals vary. The excellent “Redemption’s Gone” followed after which it was time for a song Andersson said the band normally doesn’t play live in “Break It Down”. Eriksson asked if the crowd was doing fine and said that if the past songs didn’t make us want to dance, the next one was going to and that we’ve all got a new chance to show our dance moves in “More Than Enough Of Your Love”. Behind the speakers, smoke blew up in the roof as the song proceeded and it felt like the crowd woke up when they heard the older songs.
So was it time for Egge to sing and Andersson said Egge wrote the song about his old job, which Anderson thinks it was, “Just Let Me Know” followed and Egge did a great job, he has a great voice that suits the music of ISE perfectly. Andersson asked if the crowd was ready for the boo-hoo train and naturally the song that followed was the new “Get Off the Boo-Hoo Train”. “It Ain’t What You Think” followed and in “No Sleepin” it was de Borsts’ turn to air his throat. “All Over My Head” followed instantly as Andersson looked at de Borst and said it was time for him to play some bass. That turned out to be “Over and Over Again”, which was just another great song from the excellent new album. The guitar duel between Egge and Andersson included the patented nice looking poses that Andersson began with in The Hellacopters. Andersson said we might know the next song up in “Sheltered In the Sand”. The song woke up the majority of the crowd, who sang along to it. Both new as well as older songs were included in the set list, which was amazing, I didn’t miss any of my personal favorite songs at all. “Deja Vu” was the next song up after which de Borst lent his bass to Egge and Borst said “Are you ready?” Thomas and Tobias all said yes and Borst said “Are you ready Malmö?”, the audience clapped their hands and the band fired off “Reptile Brain”. de Borst again proved what an amazing singer and charismatic stage person he is. de Borst used the entire stage and was everywhere at the same time. That song ended the regular part of the show, lasting for 65 intense minutes.
Since I stood at the front of the stage I saw the set list and there were no more songs on it, so it would be fun to see what encores the band had in store. Shortly Eriksson showed up again and fired off a shorter drum solo after which the rest of the band turned up and Andersson said “Let Me Throw My Life Away” was going to be the first encore. Contrary to the beginning of the show when the audience was a little slow, they were now at the top of their game and shouted and screamed along with the song. Andersson tipped his guitar pedals so a roadie came up and fixed it right when Andersson walked out on the front of the stage.
The next encore was a cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”, which the band executed almost better than the original. All three front men sang each part, and after a little conference amongst the members they decided to throw “A Holiday From My Vacation” as the third encore and the fourth was the Steppenwolf song “Born To Be Wild”. The lack of time started to show and the last song out for the night was their own “Throwing Stones”, which featured Egge on lead guitar. Andersson wanted us to give a warm hand for Egge. A long guitar duel ended the extended version of the song and the band thanked the fans and walked off the stage.
Altogether the intense show lasted for about 90 minutes and the clock had now struck 11 so it was time for the club to transform to a night club. Imperial State Electric treated the fans to another great show and it’s really hard to beat this band in a live situation. They are all hard working, skilled, and experienced musicians that know how to take on a crowd in the best possible way. The music is heavier live than on album and it’s fun that all three guys in the front share the lead vocals. The legendary Nicke Andersson and crew once again impressed me, but I hadn’t expected anything else.
Lord Knows I Know That It Ain’t Right
Empire of Fire
Break It Down
More Than Enough Of Your Love
Just Let Me Know
Get Off That Boo Hoo Train
It Ain’t What You Think
All Over My Head
Over And Over Again
Sheltered In The Sand
Let Me Throw My Life Away
A Holiday From My Vacation
Born to Be Wild
Thanks to head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass to the show.