Hardcore Superstar – headliner
You Can’t Kill My Rock n Roll World Tour 2017-18-19
Crazy Lixx – support act
The Last Band – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
19/12 – 2018
Live pictures and review by: Anders Sandvall
Swedish sleaze/metal legends Hardcore Superstar are out touring, which they’ve been doing for the entire past year, supporting their latest album YOU CAN’T KILL MY ROCK N ROLL. In my opinion that album is one of the best of 2018. A string of singles have been released from the album, starting with 2017’s “Have Mercy on Me”. We’ve also had “Bring the House Down”, “Electric Rider”, “Baboon”, “AD/HD” and “You Can’t Kill My Rock n’ Roll”. It was actually a little disappointing when I bought the album and saw that all of the singles were on the album. I had wished for a few less single releases, as for now 5 of the 12 songs are out as singles.
In March 2018 the band toured with Entombed AD and Mustasch, and also did a few festival shows over the summer. In June the guys headed to Australia, after which it was time to visit Finland in September and Japan in November, finally ending the year with five shows in Sweden. This tour package stopped in Malmo on a Wednesday. Since it was a week day, there wouldn’t be a night club after the show at the venue. Doors opened at 7 and The Last Band opened the night at 7.30, with the evening scheduled to end at 11. I met up with HCSS during the day and all of the guys were really nice and we had a great chat. I have been a fan of the band all the way since the release of their debut BAD SNEAKERS AND A PINA COLADA back in 1999 and have seen them on every tour they’ve done since then.
A line formed at least 30 minutes before the doors opened; since it was pretty cold we really couldn’t wait to enter the warmness of Kulturbolaget. As I said, in an ironic twist,the first band out would be The Last Band that plays a mix of hardcore/metal. The band’s done two European tours as support to Avatar and Fozzy/HCSS. Their third and most recent album is HISINGEN. Time moved quickly and and soon it was time for The Last Band to enter the Malmo stage.
The Last Band
The first song out was “The Hunt” and it was full speed ahead from the very start. All the members moved around on stage and especially singer Coffe brought the house down. “White Powder” followed after which Coffe wanted to see the crowd jump up and down. It was the fans standing in front of the stage that were the most enthusiastic ones, the ones at the back took it more easy. The Last Band is:
Coffe Blood – lead vocals
Alex Frid – guitar
Dennis Pumpkin – bass
Axel Karlsson – drums
Fredrik Eriksson – guitar
“Hisingen” followed instantly and the fans hardly had time to catch their breath between the songs. In the calmer midsection of the song one of the guitarists stood on one of the monitors playing while Coffe sat down to sing. Coffe said, “We are The Last Band from Hisingen, Gothenburg and it’s fun to be performing in Malmo for the first time. The previous song was the title track from our new album and we have been out touring Europe now and it wasn’t as nice as we thought. It’s good to be back in Sweden again. Let’s take a song in Swedish, here is “Snabbare Än Satan” (Faster than Satan)”. Even though the band tried to put on a good show for the fans, they were let down by poor lighting and sound. It seemed like something was missing in the mix because both bass and guitar got lost while the vocals were put too high up.
The band’s music continued with “I Got No Friends”, and Coffe said, “We are The Last Band because we are always the last ones out from the club, last out from the shows. Yeah we’re pretty much last out from everything. It’s a premier for us at Kulturbolaget and here comes “Still in it for the Drugs”. The people at the club seemed to like the music and the band. Me, on the other hand, started to get a bit tired of them and was pretty happy when the last songs “They Say” and “Muscle and Blood” ended the show.
Even though I didn’t care much for The Last Band, I think they have the potential to go really far in the future and believe they all are skilled musicians with a singer that really knows how to take on a crowd. They were a great warm up for HCSS. I can understand why the crowd liked the show but it wasn’t for me.
Snabbare Än Satan
I Got No Friends
Still in it for the Drugs
Muscle and Blood
Next band up on stage was Malmo based act Crazy Lixx which I have seen live a couple of times before. More people had arrived to the club and it started to get a bit crowded and warm. Crazy Lixx was founded by singer Danny Rexon and guitarist Vic Zino (now in HCSS) back in 2002. The debut album, LOUD MINORITY, was unleashed in 2007 by Swedish label Swedmetal Records. In 2009 Zino left and joined HCSS; the band’s gone through some member changes since then. Today the only two remaining original members in the band are Danny Rexon and drummer Joel Cirera. 2010’s NEW RELIGION was released by Frontiers Records, as was their latest effort, 2017’s RUFF JUSTICE. The band’s glam/sleaze music never appealed much to me but I guess they have many local fans that were there to support them.
The band made their entrance to the stage while the intro played and the first song out was “Wild Child”. The crowd gave the local band a warm welcome and the band seemed to be really happy. Singer Rexon had on sunglasses while looking out on the crowd. Even though the band is from Malmo, they don’t often perform in their hometown. “Hell Raising Woman” was the next song and while Rexon moved around on stage Lundgren and Olsson completed each other perfectly on guitar. The line up in the band is:
Danny Rexon – lead vocals
Joel Cirera – drums
Jens Sjöholm – bass
Chrisse Olsson – guitar
Jens Lundgren – guitar
Rexon thanked the crowd saying, “It’s nice to see that so many have come to the club tonight. It’s nice to be back here!” He walked over to the drums and fetched a hockey mask just like Jason Vorhees as they band fired off “XII”. The song is the first single from RUFF JUSTICE and is also featured in the game FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME. Crazy Lixx had both better sound and lighting than The Last Band, which improved their show a notch. Rexon once again thanked the crowd saying it was time for “Walk the Wire” and took off the mask. The band felt solid and tight and everybody seemed to be having fun on stage, however the band’s light glam/sleaze hard rock is nothing for me and I wasn’t impressed at all. My opinion doesn’t take away the fact the band members are skilled at what they do and deliver a show that the fans loved. “Blame it on Love” followed after which Rexon asked if the fans were ready for HCSS. “Actually we were done performing for this year, but then HCSS called and asked if we could open for them. Well, what could we say but YES! We have got one more song left to play for you. During HCSS’ show don’t forget that you all are “21 Til You Die”. The song was a crowd pleaser and the fans sang along. Rexon thanked the fans and as the band took off their instruments and took a picture with the crowd behind them, the show was over with both band and fans looking really happy.
The band actually felt more energetic and fired up when they performed at the Melodic Rock Fest earlier this year. The show tonight was good, but the band felt a little tired. When I looked at the clock I saw the band only played for 30 minutes; I thought they were going to have a little more time since they were special guests.
The guys didn’t entirely convince me to switch over to the Crazy Lixx camp, but I appreciate their musicianship and their ability to take on a crowd.
Hell Raising Women
Walk the Wire
Blame it on Love
21 ‘Til I Die
Now the temperature really started to get hot in the club. More people had now arrived and everyone was waiting to see HCSS. The band’s huge backdrop was put up behind the drums and on each side of the stage silver crosses hung. The back line looked pretty much like it did when the band visited Malmo earlier this year. The band is highly loved in Sweden and maybe especially in Malmo since guitarist Vic Zino comes from here. Since the release of their first album, the band’s had a string of successful releases and world tours, and I bet I wasn’t the only one eagerly awaiting the band. At 9.20 the pause music silenced and it was time for the band to enter the stage.
The show kicked off with “AD/HD” and singer Jocke Berg ran across the stage from side to side. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: it’s really hard to take live photos of Berg because he almost never stands still!. “Electric Rider” followed in which Berg said hello to the crowd and urged them to sing along with him. Members in the band are:
Jocke Berg – lead vocals
Martin Sandvik – bass
Vic Zino – guitar
Adde – drums
Already pretty early in the show the band fired off the classic “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays Anymore” a song that really lit up the crowd. Berg once again let the fans take care of the chorus and at the end of the song he jumped down into the photo pit, jumped up on the fence and dived straight out into the crowd. When he got back on stage he fired off the good old “Liberation”, a song taken from the BAD SNEAKERS…album. The band have done it acoustically before, but now it was electric and terrific. It was fun the band chose to dust it off. Berg let the fans take care of the chorus a few times until he was fully satisfied. Drummer Adde said it was nice to be back in Malmo again while Berg grabbed a beer taking a sip from it and said that the band’s new album is up for a Grammy nomination in Sweden. “Well it’s about time, now that we all are like 46 years old!” Adde shouted, “No, I’m only 45!”, and Berg answered, “Well yes, OK, we are all old anyways. Come on help us “Bring the House Down”. Even though I have seen the band since they started touring, I couldn’t help but be impressed by their live skills yet again. Despite the fact the guys have been out on tour for quite a long time, there were no signs of tiredness in the band and they treated the fans to a delightful show.
“Wild Boys” followed and needless to say the song sparked another round of energy into the already crazy crowd. Berg wanted to see the fans’ hands in the air waving from side to side. Adde stopped playing and jumped down on to the center of the stage while Berg took his position behind the drums. “Hello Malmo, how are you?” Adde shouted, “let’s see if our talented singer can finish off this song for you”. As Berg ended the song, the fans applauded his performance as drummer. “It’s always fun to be in Malmo”, he said, “I think the first time we visited the city it must have been back in 1998 together with Motorhead. And speaking of old, here comes “Someone Special”. The song is yet another classic pick taken from the first album which the band rarely performs live with full band, usually it’s done acoustically. I saw the band live together with Motorhead and it’s so fun to see how much the band have grown since then, today the guys are one of the top 5 live acts in the world.
By now, the temperature had gone up quite a notch and Berg said we had come to the more serious part of the evening, the one where the band was going to sing about alcohol. The fans knew which song that was going to come, and yes it was “Last Call for Alcohol”. As always Berg invited the fans to sing along with him. He also picked out two foreign fans from the crowd and invited them on stage. “He’s a singer in a band and he sings a lot better than me”, Berg said and pointed at the guy. The fan only shook his head and laughed. Adde stopped banging his drums and jumped down on to the floor, grabbed a bottle and started to pour shots to the band members and the two fans on stage. The crowd shouted “Jocke, Jocke” and Berg looked at them smiled and said “Malmo, you’re the best”. Berg shouted cheers to the crowd. As Adde ran back to his drums, Berg said “I’m on my, I Need it now”..and the fans answered “Last call for alcohol!” “My limitation, my only sin” Berg said and the fans once again shouted the song title. Then the song kicked off and the two fans, both the guy and the girl, danced around with the band and Berg handed the mic to the guy several times saying he could take over as singer in the band. Because of this, the song was extended and as it ended Berg asked if Malmo still was feeling alright. “It’s Wednesday today but it feels like it’s Saturday”, he continued, “Well, we have got a new album out and here comes the title track from that “You Can’t Kill My Rock n’ Roll”.
Three smoke machines went off with smoke reaching the roof. It got so smokey that it was hard to see the band. Personally, I think it’s fun that the band adds new songs into the set list instead of relying on older material. The show ended with that song and as the crowd realized that they immediately shouted for encores. Since the band had only been on stage for about 40 minutes, of course they came back firing off a few encores. First out was “Have Mercy on Me” in which Zino impressed big time on guitar. Berg stopped the song in the middle saying he had a story to tell about the crosses on stage. He said he hated crosses and when he was a kid he hit his stepfather in the head with his guitar. “I miss my guitar, but not my stepdad”. After that short story the song continued and Berg wanted everyone to clap their hands with him in “Dreamin’ in a Casket”. In my opinion the song is pretty boring and I could live without it being played, but since the band speed up the tempo I found it tolerable. “We always have a good time in Malmo”, Adde shouted. Berg took the mic saying he was going to stay at Kulturbolaget since it’s such a nice place. While he was talking Adde and Sandvik walked off the stage and only Zino and Berg remained. Berg said there was a hometown hero on stage this night in Zino and urged the fans to give a warm hand for him. The guys did a semi acoustic version of “Standing on the Verge” which the fans loved and participated in. Two crew members came in and changed the two smaller backdrops on stage to two new ones that showed the band name and Berg said it was time for “Moonshine”.
When the song was over Berg asked if the fans wanted to hear more which they of course wanted and from the PA system police sirens were heard. “Are you ready to fuck the law?”, Berg asked and the song “Above the Law” followed. The song is a personal favorite of mine and it was fun to hear everyone in the club sing along and participate. Berg stood in the middle of the stage showing his middle finger to the crowd which did the same back. At the end of the song Berg once again jumped down into the photo pit shouting “Sing for me Malmo!”
As the band made them ready for the last song, Berg thanked the fans saying the band loved every single fan and that it was because of them the guys were still around making music. The closing song was, fittingly, “Goodbye” which is also the closing song on the new album. It’s a really sad song; it made me feel like the band was saying goodbye forever since part of the lyrics go. “Goodbye to all of you. Nothing left to do. We gotta knock it off, it’s time for us to stop the show, from all of us to you goodbye to all of you”. The chorus makes you think huh? No, I don’t think the band is quitting but it was a sad song to leave us with.
Berg and the band once again thanked the fans for the support and left the stage. Altogether the band performed for 75 minutes, which in my opinion was too short, and I wanted to hear and see more. The show was brilliant in all kinds of ways. There were no sign of the guys being tired even though they have been out on the road for quite a while. The songs still remain as solid as ever and the over-excited fans also added extra fuel and energy to the show. Hardcore Superstar once again proved why they are one of the best live acts in the world. However, I missed a few of the older songs from their earlier albums as the band stuck mostly to songs from 2009’s HARDCORE SUPERSTAR and forward. It was also strange that the band didn’t do anything from one album previous, HCSS. Besides that, this was the perfect show to end 2018 and I’m really glad I got to see them again.
We Don’t Celebrate Sundays
Bring the House Down
Last Call For Alcohol
You Can’t Kill My Rock n Roll
Have Mercy On Me
Dreamin’ in a Casket
Standing on the Verge
Above the Law