The summer was really hot in Europe and Sweden was no exception to that, I can’t remember when the summer was as warm as this year, the weekend previous this festival I was at Wacken Open Air in Germany and came home with a solid sunburn. This day I headed down to the Rock Stage to see The Parity Complex perform, I hadn’t heard or seen the band prior this night so I didn’t really know what to expect. I only knew that the band is signed to the Malmo based label Dead End Exit Records but that’s about it. The band comes from a smaller town in Sweden called Skövde and was formed back in 2016, last year the band released their debut album that got 600 000 hits on Spotify so far. The info sheet describes the band as a one that delivers new spectra of fresh and alternative sound that mixes ambient electronica with dark beat and heavy rock. The band was scheduled to begin at 6.30 and as always the Rock Stage was positioned right across the Malmo train central.
I was at the premises about 30 minutes before the band was going on stage and it was pretty calm when I arrived. Across the bar tables and benches was placed and a little further down the tent with the stage stood. Since it’s prohibited in Sweden to take out your alcoholic beverage outside the stated area you had to keep within the Rock Stage area if you wanted to have a beer or so.
The Parity Complex
Nothing but the bands gear was placed on stage as the members walked out and met the crowd. The band ran through two songs after which singer Wennström thanked the crowd saying – we are The Parity Complex and it’s fun to be here playing for you all. The members all stood solid on their spots during the show and it was only Wennström that moved around a bit. The bands line up consists of:
Johanna Wennström – lead vocals
Linus Holmström – guitar
Dennis Hansson – guitar, synth
Axel Carlsson – bass, synth
Felix Blomquist – drums, sampling
I wasn’t impressed by the bands performance and to be honest I didn’t care much for their music. To me they played melodic rock paired with some gothic influences and to me their music wasn’t alternative metal at all. It felt like the band needs some more live-experience because their live appearance needed some improvement. The lights and the sound system worked well but that couldn’t save the performance and unfortunately there were quite few in the audience that watched the show. The show lasted for 45 minutes and to me the show was nothing that lasted in my mind. The band is young and has the future ahead of them and I hope they use the time to improve their stage show as well as their material a notch.
Already before the festival began Rock Stage suffered from a cancellation when The Darts couldn’t make it. They were replaced by The OhNos but since there weren’t any other band that caught my attention that Friday night I decided to head home.
New day and new bands to see, sadly the Stockholm based band Metalite was forced to cancel their show and was replaced by the local The Guilt. Since I was looking forward to see Metalite I was a bit disappointed to hear wasn’t coming. As the soon was shining down from a blue sky I headed down to the Rock Stage well in time to see the band. The first band out this afternoon/evening was Captain Black Beard from Stockholm and their music is described as melodic rock that flirts with 80’s classical hardrock. The band has toured in USA and has been opening to the legendary Swedish act Sator. When I walked into the area I saw that the band already had done their soundcheck and that their gear was placed on stage. When it was about 15 minutes until the show was about to start people began to position in front of the stage and finally the clock had turned 6.30 and it was time for the first act on Rock Stage this Saturday night.
Captain Black Beard
The show stared off right away and the singer thanked for the applauds saying it was the first time she was in Malmo playing, here is “All the Pain”. It was quite clear the band was used to take on a crowd because they all stage experience and knew how to take on a crowd. It felt like the band was really appreciated by the fans because many clapped and cheered when they came out on stage. The members are:
Christian Ek – guitar
Robert Majd – bass
Vinnie Strömberg – drums
Erik Pettersson – keyboards
Linnéa Vikström – lead vocals
Vikström had the fans to shout hey hey for her and urged everyone to clap their hands for the band. The band actually impressed me and I was positively surprised by how well they connected with the fans. So was it time for a song from the new album in “Struck By Lightning” after which Vikström said it was her first time performing live with the guys in the band, here comes “Music Man” in which she again had the audience shout with her. She also urged the crowd to sing along with her in the chorus and thanked for the support. It was then time to slow down the tempo a bit and sing a song with a love theme and a ballad that sounded like something like a 70’s hardrock/rock tune followed. She introduced the band and after that the band ran through “Don’t Turn Your Back On Love” during which the bass player climbed on to the speaker at the edge of the stage in order to come closer to the fans. Before it was time to play the last song Vikström thanked the crowd saying it had been awesome performing for everyone.
The 45 minutes went by pretty fast and to be honest I really enjoyed what I just saw. It’s not easy to impress me but Captain Black Beard managed to do just that. The songs felt solid as well as the band did and so when I got home I had to do some research about the band and it turned out the guys did their live debut back in 2009 and the self titled debut came out in 2011. In April this year the band released their latest studio album titled STRUCK BY LIGHTNING which is their third album so far. The band also changed singer and Vikström replaces former singer Sakaria Björklund and Liv Hansson.
After Captain Black Beard it was time for The Guilt that replaced Metalite that cancelled their show. The Guilt released its debut album in May last year and put electropunk on the agenda. It says in the bio that the band is inspired by bands like Kiss, The Kills, PJ Harvey and Disfear and the wide range of influences made me a bit curious to see what the duo’s music was going to sound like. As the crew prepared the stage for The Guilt people outside took something to drink and sat down talking to friends in wait for the show to start. A steady flow of people came and went at the bar and when the clock turned 8 it was time for the show to start.
“It’s Not me It’s You” marked the beginning of the show and the crowd woke up at once. Even though there were only two members in the duo the soundpicture sounded like it was a full band on stage so I guess the band had a lot pre-recorded music and samples inserted on stage. Both members ran around on stage and it was really hard to get descent pictures of them, it was especially hard to get singer Emma in action. She said she had been out running earlier this day so she felt a little tired, well that was nothing that showed. Do you like to dance she asked and fired off the next song. The Guilt is:
Emma – lead vocals
Tobias – instruments, vocals
The duo kept up the furious speed on stage and I got almost tired only by looking at them, they seemed to be having a great time up there and the good atmosphere rubbed off on the crowd. “Hate Hate Hate” followed and “Stick To Your Guns” followed immediately. It’s a little difficult to describe what kind of music the duo plays but maybe electropunk/alternative punk with electronic influences maybe, either which I was impressed by their effort on stage and even though this kind of music normally doesn’t appeal to me I was intrigued by their live show. Tobias thanked for the support saying the band had replaced Metalite, however you get more dance for your money with us. “I Just Know” followed and Emma showed proof of how great vocals she inhabit.
Just as Captain Black Bear impressed me The Guilt was a pleasant surprise and you don’t joke around with the duos raw energy and vitality. “Enemy” followed after which Emma said the band got the call from the organizers to replace Metalite at 11 o clock the same day, remember we are The Guilt from Malmo please by our album over there she said and pointed to the merch stand. This song we shot a video to “Anomalys”. There aren’t enough songs about ovaries Emma said, well lucky for you we made one, here is “Ovaries”, at the end of the song she threw herself down on the floor and finished off the song laying down. The crowd cheered and clapped their hands and the duo seemed to be really popular here in Malmo. We doesn’t like the patriarchy and therefore we made a song about it which is called “The Enemy” and it comes here, and I hope you got some dancing left in your hips for this song Emma said.
Since I hadn’t heard the band before it was a bit hard to figure out the songs but I think “Nobody Likes Juice” (?) followed and Emma thanked for the applaud saying this is much better than playing at the local pub at home. Thank you for coming to our show, our last song for tonight is “Spasm”. And with that the show ended, again it was a bit hard to figure out the song titles and I think the band also tried out some new songs on the crowd so bear with me if I got some of the song titles wrong.
“Dancing Queen” by Abba accompanied the duo off stage and that ended the 40 minutes explosive show. The duo was a pleasant surprise that I’m definitely are going to check out more. Emma was an amazing front woman and both members gave their all on stage. The only problem I have was that the band is a duo and I’m not a huge fan of samplings etc in live shows. I rather watch a band that plays all the instruments live rather than have the majority of the music on backtrack. Besides that The Guilt left nothing more to wish for and the explosive and furious show ended my stay at the Rock Stage on Saturday.
Just as previous days this day didn’t include much hardrock entertainment but I decided to go and check out a band called Hedda Hatar at that performed at Rock Stage. The past few years the festival haven’t booked that many interesting harder acts in my opinion and I think they have forgotten their own motto – that the festival should be for everybody, well it hasn’t been much for fans of harder music the later years.
Well I arrived to the Rock Stage about 20 minutes before the band was about to start and I saw that a few more people was sitting at the tables across the bar waiting for the band to go on. The band consists of four 19 year old women and their sound has been compared with early Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and later acts like Arctic Monkeys. All of the material is written by the band who wants to contribute to create a more equal music industry. The band recently released the two singles “Noc!” and “Tupé Or No Tupé” and since I hadn’t heard the band before I was eager to see what they were going to sound like.
The band ran through the first song after which singer Hansén thanked for the applauds saying we are Hedda Hatar and we comes from Lund (a town situated a few miles outside Malmo), next song is called “She”. To me the bands music had nothing to do with Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin but more with indie rock music. Band members are:
Aimée Hansén – lead vocals
Julia Harlenbäck Frithiof – guitar
Ingrid Lundquist – bass
Julia Jarl – drums
The only one in the band that moved around slightly was the singer which did a few dance move besides her mic and neither of the members did much effort to connect with the crowd. It was so time to play Hanséns favorite song in “Behave Yourself”, you’re looking wonderful tonight Malmo, it’s fun being here she said and fired off the song.
To be honest both the show as well as the music felt a bit boring and it was pretty obvious the band wasn’t use to perform live yet. Hansén said that the band was selling merch and that the band was going to be at the merch stand after the show. Now it’s time for our most sad song in “Time For The Heavy Hearted” (I think the title is that but I’m not sure).
“I Am Not Nice” followed and the longer we got into the show the more I understood I wasn’t going to become a fan of the bands music. Hansén once again thanked the crowd saying the band had one more song to play after which it was time to say good bye. Don’t forget we are available on facebook if you want to come in contact with us she said and fired off one of the singles which they band wrote as a joke to Donald Trump and it was the single “Tupé Or Not Tupé”. The small crowd that probably mainly consisted of friends and family clapped their hands and since the band had time for one more song they did a cover of the AC/DC song “Highway To Hell”. That cover was actually quite good and probably the highlight for me during the show. The girls thanked the audience and their 30 minutes in the spotlight was over at Rock Stage this time.
To me the show was, as I wrote above, not much to see at least not for me and my taste. Maybe the band won a few fans over and if so I congratulate them. They need to gain some more live experience and evolve as a live band a lot more before I’m going to see them live again. And with that band the Sunday was over for me, since there weren’t any other bands that appealed to me during the coming days of the festival I didn’t pay it any visit until Wednesday. No big bands that in the hardrock/metal or harder rock genre performed during those days, on Rockstage only smaller local acts performed which I hadn’t heard before or cared for, after all I did attend shows with bands I hadn’t heard before during the week. And I had other things to do than to go to the festival as well.