Eclipse (headline act)
Viva La Victouria European Tour 2019 leg 1
Junkyard Drive (support act)
12/11 – 2019
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The Swedish Eclipse is back with a tour and an album titled PARADIGM which was released at the beginning of October. First single out was “United” which was the theme song to the all female gaming tournament called LAN Party DreamHack Showdown CS/GO. At the time of the release of the album member Magnus Ulfstedt left the band which was really sad because he had been a part of the band on and off from 2000. The band suffered a few member losses the past year with the departure of drummer Robban Bäck and Magnus Ulfstedt. When singer Erik Mårtensson isn’t working with the band he sings and runs the project Nordic Union together with the Pretty Maids singer Ronnie Atkins, he’s also a part of the W.E.T. project which makes him a really busy man. Now Eclipse is out on tour and the tour began in Germany in October with stops in Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Austria to mention a few countries. The tour ended here in Malmö and with them on the road they had Junkyard Drive as support.
The door to Kulturbolaget opened at 7 and Junkyard Drive was scheduled to be on stage the hour after and Eclipse at 9.15. Junkyard Drive is a Danish act that released two albums, first one SIN AND TONIC came 2017 and BLACK COFFEE last year. The band comes from Roskilde and is signed to the Danish label Mighty Music.
A shorter line had formed in front of the doors but it went pretty fast to get inside and I headed straight towards the merch stand to check out the stuff. Eclipse didn’t have much left to sell, not the new album was available the only item left was a picture vinyl available in 7 copies for a huge amount of money. The band had sold out everything along the way which meant the Malmö fans wasn’t left with much to buy. Too bad!
First song out for the night was “Wasted Nights” a song that woke up the majority of the crowd. I heard that many Danish people were there to see the band and they supported the band from the start. “Pauline” and “Backseat Baby”followed straight away. As so often at Kulturbolaget the sound system was great but not the lighting and the band members at the side of the stage stood mostly in the dark. Junkyard Drive is:
Kris – lead vocals
Birk – guitar
Ben – guitar
Claus – drums
Sjus – bass
Kris had the fans sing along with him in the songs and urged them to clap their hands. He thanked the fans saying we are Junkyard Drive and we are from Denmark, here comes a song that made it big in Denmark in “Geordie”. The bands classical English blues/rock n roll worked pretty good and the members were all skilled at their instruments. Kris had an amazing and powerful voice however he needed to work on his stage presence a bit. Kris said the band had always dreamed to become rockstars and that they wrote a song about dreaming big in “Sweet Little Dreamer”. Kris asked if the audience liked rock n roll, here is “Sucker For Your Love” and I have to say the band was a positive surprise for me. Their music worked pretty well at Kulturbolaget and the crowd also seemed to like what they heard and saw. To my knowledge the band haven’t toured or performed in Sweden only in Denmark and the nervousness the band showed from time to time on stage maybe depended on the fact that it was their first time over here. Kris looked happy when he heard the crowd sing along in the song and the show continued with “Make Up Your Mind”.
Kris asked if the fans was ready to see Eclipse later on, great, we have one more song to play for you tonight and a big thanks to Eclipse for letting us be a part of this tour. See you all at the merch stand after the show, here is our last song in “Natural High”. At the end of the song members from the crew and Eclipse joined the band on stage starting to take the bands gear apart and drinking beer and had a good last time together. Junkyard Drive only laughed and cheered with the guys on stage and it was obvious everyone was having a good time. When the song was over almost all of the gear had been dismantled and the band smiled saying thank you to the crowd.
The 45 minutes was filled with some really great rock n roll music that really impressed me, I hadn’t seen the band before and it’s always nice to be positively surprised. The material and the singer was really great and so was the technical skills amongst the members but they have to work more on their stage presence, they seemed to be a bit nervous and mostly stood solid on their spots on stage. It was mainly Kris that moved around on stage and the band can’t totally rely on one person to run the show. Besides that it was a great show and I am intrigued to hear more from Junkyard Drive.
Setlist (not in order)
Sweet Little Dreamer
Sucker For Your Love
Make Up Your Mind
Time for a clean up on stage and Junkyard Drive took a picture of the band together with the crowd in the back. The crew put up a new backdrop and new amps for Eclipse and more people made their way closer to the stage. With over 100 000 sold albums, 30 millions streams and hundreds of shows across 4 continents Eclipse has been one of the most successful Swedish bands ever. The band has played together with Scorpions and Aerosmith and on all the major festivals and now it was time for the guys to end their tour at Kulturbolaget in Malmö.
“Viva La Victoria” opened the show and the fans gave the band a warm welcome, straight away followed “Mary Leigh” and “Blood Wants Blood”. Singer Mårtensson thanked the fans for the warm respond and fired off “The Storm” taken from the 2015 year album ARMAGEDDONIZE. Eclipse is made of:
Erik Mårtensson – lead vocals, guitar
Magnus Henriksson – guitar
Philip Cruzner – drums
Victor Cruzner – bass
Mårtensson said the band ended their tour here in Malmö this night and asked on English if the fans wanted to hear some more rock n roll. Here is “Vertigo” and had held out his micstand which was covered in scarves to the crowd. I know it’s Tuesday night he said but when you’re on tour it’s always Saturday, let’s pretend it’s Saturday night tonight, here comes my favorite from the MONUMENTUM album in “Jaded”. Mårtensson changed into an acoustical guitar and it was time for “Shelter Me” and both Cruzner’s walked off the stage leaving Henriksson and Mårtensson to perform the song together. In the middle of the song the both came back and the band ended the song. Mårtensson once again thanked for the support saying it was time for “The Downfall Of England” (as Mårtensson said, in reality the song is called “The Downfall Of Eden”).
Even though I’m not a hardcore fan of the band I really appreciated their craftsmanship and their musicality, all of the members are really great musicians and the songs felt actually pretty good. Mårtensson wanted the fans to scream like it was Saturday to the new song “When The Winter Ends”. The song ended with a guitar solo by Henriksson and everyone but Cruzner of drums left the stage and it was time for him to throw a solo, he did it accompanied to pre-recorded keyboardplay but he did it really great.
Again both of the Cruzner’s left the stage while Mprtensson said it was time to play the last song from the new album in “Take Me Home”, it was performed with only lead vocals and guitar and felt really strong. Mårtensson said that when he and Henriksson writes together it can take forever to get a song ready, we sit down and try to write but the inspiration sometimes takes a while to come to us, after days of writer’s block suddenly we realize how we want the song to be and it takes us 15 minutes to get a song ready. Here is a song that acted that way to us, “Battlegrounds”. He invited the fans to sing along with him and the fans loved the song, in the middle the rest of the band joined Mårtensson on stage and together they finished it.
“Black Rain” followed after which Mårtensson dabbled a bit with playing “Heaven And Hell” with Black Sabbath. Malmö are you ready for “Blood Enemies” which ended up being another sing along tune. “Stand On Your Feet” followed and Mårtensson said that if Christer Björkman calls don’t pick up the phone, we did and it wasn’t fun at all, however we wrote this song and that was fun, here is “Runaways”. (Christer Björkam is the Swedish CEO of the Swedish outtakes to the Eurovision Song Contest which the band entered a few years back). The fans sang along in the song which has to be one of the most known songs that Eclipse made. At the end of the song Junkyard Drive and the crew came out on stage singing and holding up signs which said Not Enough Cowbells hinting to the SNL skit. Eclipse laughed and smiled when the support act and crew came up and it was fun to see something different happen on stage. That song and appearance ended the show that by then only lasted for about 1h 20 minutes. A few signs and spilled beer remained on stage as the fans shouted for encores. It didn’t take long until the guys came back firing off “I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry”.
“Never Look Back” was the second encore and the fans sang along shouting and cheering for the band and you can think what you want about the band’s musicstyle etc but you can’t deny the fact that the band are extremely talented and Mårtensson have an amazing voice. He is a great entertainer and fun to look at on stage, he and the guys know how to handle a crowd.
I have been saying this on all the shows we done during the show but its true, without you all we are nothing Mårtensson said and pointed out at the fans. Thanks each and everyone of you for coming to the show tonight, it has been great fun to be performing here in Malmö, we have been out on the road for weeks together with Junkyard Drive and it has been crazy fun. I want you all to scream for me and the band! Thank you all, we love you. And with those words the band left the stage and closed 95 minutes of great music.
What a great show the Eclipse guys threw in Malmö, as mentioned before Mårtensson is a great showman and the rest of the band are also extremely talented. The newest member in the band, Victor Cruzner sometimes looked a little lost on stage but I guess it takes a while to find your spot in a new constellation. The set list felt solid and treated the fans with both older hits as well as more current pieces that sure have potential to become new hits. It was bold to incorporate 6 new songs to the set list but I guess the guys wanted to try some new material live. Overall this was another great music night at Kulturbolaget and I salute Eclipse and Junkyard Drive for making me curious on some new music I otherwise maybe wouldn’t have care to explore.
Even though this was the end of the tour for Eclipse two more shows remain in Spain and two more is Sweden at the end of December. And the band has already booked a few shows for 2020 in Finland, Sweden and Japan.