Hardcore Superstar (Headliner)
Abrakadabra Tour Sweden – leg 1- 2021
Scumbag Millionaire – support act
Kulturbolaget – Malmo, Sweden
17/12 – 2021
Live review and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
After seeing my first live show in a long time earlier in December 2021 (Evergrey), it was time for another long-awaited concert with Hardcore Superstar at Kulturbolaget in Malmo, Sweden. The band has been out on a tour during November/December 2021 that contained 12 shows in Sweden. Like most other bands during the pandemic, HCSS worked on a new album and released the first taste last August with the single & video, “Catch Me If You Can”. The band have released a string of singles from the album titled ABRAKADABRA, the latest one is called “Weep When You Die”, with the album due to be released sometime during 2022.
HCSS are highly loved in Sweden and a few weeks before the show, the tickets sold out. As always, I was waiting outside the venue about 30 minutes before the doors opened and after showing my valid vaccination pass, I was let inside. The closer it came for show time, the more fans filled up the club. It was an almost euphoric feeling to enter the club again after two years away! Luckily there was a photo pit in front of the stage, which I was glad to see as HCSS tends to be a bit messy and wild to say the least. Unfortunately, the band didn’t bring much merch; I only saw a few new T-shirts and a lot of old ones at the stand. They were also quite expensive compared to buying them at the band’s web shop.
Only the most necessary equipment was on stage; instruments and gear, for support act Scumbag Millionaire. According to the band, their music is “high energy action punk”. The band come from Gothenburg, and are linked to Dutch label Suburban Records, which profiles in rock bands. Scumbag Millionaire released their debut album in 2018 and two years later put out POOR AND INFAMOUS.
At the stroke of 8 the band entered the stage and kicked off the night with “Gotta Move”, followed by “Inferno”, during which guitarist Max L. Rose (ed.: Ha!) had some difficulties with his guitar. The show moved on in a furious tempo as “Subterranean Twist” followed and it seemed like he still hadn’t manage to get a hold of the problems with his guitar. Singer Max Fiasko thanked the fans for being there saying, “We are Scumbag Millionaire from Gothenburg and it’s nice to be here tonight. Cheers! Here comes “(Don’t Say) I Didn’t Say So”. The bands is a four piece combo consisting of:
Max Fiasko – lead vocals
Dennis Maskinen Nilsson – bass
Max L. Rose – guitar
Adde – drums
It was fun to see so many people in the crowd this early into the night and as “Under the Spell” continued the show, the fans clapped their hands and screamed. In my opinion, the band’s music lies pretty close to the early The Hellacopters albums with their garage punk action rock ‘n’ roll music. On guitar, Rose reminded me a lot of how Dregen moves on stage and singer Fiasko had a lot in common with Nicke Andersson when it came to taking on a crowd. However the band managed to create their own style of music and I was really impressed with what they did on stage; all of the guys are really good musicians.
“Burn Baby Burn”, “Loner” and “Got No Brain” followed and the band let the music do the talking in favor of Fiasko. Sometimes it was hard to hear where one song ended and the next began. Fiasko asked if the fans were doing fine saying it was time to play a song the crowd maybe had heard before and asked if we liked Motörhead, “Well, here is “Shoot You In the Back””. The song taken from the classic Motörhead album ACE OF SPADES set the club on fire and the band did a pretty good version of the song.
“Double Down” and “No Speed, No Punk” continued on the show and as the last song “Go! Go! Go” ended the night, the fans thanked the band with huge applause. The last song ended with a really long outro, after which the band thanked the fans and the band walked off stage.
30 intense minutes were over and during that time the band played 11 songs, in other words it was intense, fast and high speed energy music on stage this night. Even though the band suffered some problems with the guitar at the beginning of the show the sound was great and the show didn’t lack anything because of that. I really enjoyed the show and the bands Hellacopters injected action punk rock. Maybe I liked the band’s music because I hadn’t heard them before this night and didn’t know they are so highly influenced by The Hellacopters. If the band focus more on finding their own niche and find their own sound, I think they can go really far.
Intro – Gotta Move
(Don’t Say) I Didn’t Say So
Under the Spell
Burn Baby Burn
Got No Brain
Shoot You In the Back (Motörhead cover)
No Speed, No Punk
Go! Go! Go!
HCSS’ gear was placed on stage, including two minor backdrops on each side portraying the band’s signature star. Besides that, nothing more extravagant was brought to light.
The band’s latest studio album is 2018’s YOU CAN’T KILL MY ROCK N ROLL, which means it’s been a while since the guys released a full length studio album. Throughout the years the band has maintained a stable lineup, with only one member change, being former guitarist Thomas Silver being replaced by Vic Zino from Crazy Lixx. It’s always fun to see HCSS live and I’ve never seen them do a bad gig, they always bring their ‘A’ game. At 9.15 it was finally time for the band to enter the stage and the intro music was heard.
The show opened with the first single from their last album, “Catch Me If You Can”, and the smoke machines on each side of the front monitors started to blast smoke. “Electric Rider” followed and both the fans as well as the band felt really glad to see each other again. The line up is still made of:
Jocke Berg – lead vocals
Martin Sandvik – bass
Vic Zino – guitar
Magnus “Adde” Andreasson – drums
Berg announced “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” and the fans shouted and clapped their hands as “Wild Boys” followed instantly. When I got out from the photo pit I saw that the club must have been almost sold out because it was jammed with people and was already feeling sweaty this early into the show. Berg said it was a long time since he had seen such a beautiful crowd and that it had been a long time since the band visited Malmo. The crowd sang along during “Wild Boys” and the song ended with Berg and Adde switching roles as Berg sat behind the drums and Adde took care of the front.
“Fuck COVID!”, Berg shouted and asked if we were as tired of the pandemic as he is. “In the next song I want everyone to light up their mobiles with your flashes”, he said and fired off “Weep When You Die”. He urged the crowd to give a hand for Zino on guitar during his solo part and he also had the fans scream at his command.
As always at Kulturbolaget, the sound system worked perfectly however they didn’t use the lighting to the fullest and, combined with all the smoke, it was hard to take pictures of the band. Berg said it was time head back to the year 2000 or maybe 2001 and the song “Liberation”. The entire club sang along with during the song; it was nice to hear such an old song. I really like the song and the band usually strips it down to an acoustic version but this time it was plugged in, which felt nice. At the end of the song Berg jumped down into the photo pit, coming closer to the fans who really appreciated having the singer so close. It felt great to once again be a part of a crowd watching live music together, it has been far too long since it last happened, and I think that everyone in the crowd felt the same.
The band was as tight as ever and seemed to be having just fun on stage. The guys worked perfectly as a unit, like a well-oiled live machine. Berg moved around like a whirlwind on stage, however he didn’t run around as much as he used to. The epic “My Good Reputation” followed and once again Berg left part of the chorus for the crowd to sing. “Dreamin’ In A Casket” followed which is a song I’m normally not too fond of but the band sped up the song and made it heavier which made it bearable.
By now the heat was reaching tropical temperature but that didn’t matter, all that mattered was that I was at a club witnessing a magical show with fellow HCSS fans. Berg said, “It’s been a heavy and hard couple of years for not only the band but for the entire industry but fuck that, we are glad to be here tonight and we have missed you all! The next song is dedicated to all our fans here is “Someone Special”.
The band did a great version of the old song which came out as a single back in 1998. The song became extended because Berg wanted the fans to raise their arms while singing along with him. Berg brought up a guy on stage saying, “this is Ian from Brixton UK who is a photographer and takes pics of all the rock stars.” Ian bowed to the crowd and left the stage as the band continued the show with “Dreams In Red”. The song is the second single out from the new album and it seemed like the fans really liked it.
“Moonshine” brought down the roof and it felt like this was the song many had been waiting to hear. It’s another personal favorite of mine and ended the show as the band thanked the fans while walking off stage. Of course it didn’t take long until police sirens blared through the PA and the smaller lights that surrounded the smaller backdrops started to blink as the band re-entered the stage to fire off “Above the Law”. Berg had the fans to show the middle finger when he sang “fuck the law”, which he always does. It’s nice to hear such an old song still remain intact in the set list; it’s taken from the bands ninth album C’MON TAKE ON ME from 2013.
Berg asked if it was time for alcohol and the crowd shouted “yes!”. Of course, the song “Last Call For Alcohol” followed and Berg once again let the fans take care of the chorus. Adde added that he always remembered Kulturbolaget as a sweaty club. Berg said that, “Even though the past years have been a mess, we can’t let the pandemic take away what we have created together and that we have to appreciate being together again, here is “You Can’t Kill My Rock n’ Roll”. It would have been the perfect ending to a perfect show if the fire alarm hadn’t gone off. Luckily there wasn’t any fire or danger but just a mishap but the show had to end in a very abrupt way. The clock now said 10.30 and the band spent about 80 minutes on stage. It was pure magic seeing HCSS live on stage again!
It was an odd way to end the show but other than that, it was a great show and the band was on fire. The long break had no impact on the guys, who once again showed why they are the undisputed kings of Swedish sleaze/metal music. Even though it was fun to hear the old classic “Liberation” and “Someone Special” the band maybe should have aired another of their classic songs, they sure have many to pick from. Otherwise I have nothing to make a add; I walked home pretty happy to once again have seen the best live act in Sweden on stage.
Thanks to all the staff and bookers at Kulturbolaget for making this a special night.
Don’t miss the brand new album ABRAKADABRA which is due to be released sometimes later this year.
Note: a few days after the show, the Swedish government added new restrictions which mean clubs can only take in a maximum of 500 sitting people, and you can only be 8 people in the same group. I guess that means no more shows yet again which feels really depressing. Hopefully the restrictions don’t last too long again.
This Worm’s For Ennio (intro)
Catch Me If You Can
We Don’t Celebrate Sundays
Weep When You Die
My Good Reputation
Dreamin In A Casket
Dreams In Red
Above The Law
Last Call For Alcohol
You Can’t Kill My Rock n Roll
Thanks to head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren from help with press/photo pass to the show.
Thanks to the new and old security and the people that work at Kulturbolaget for nice treatment when you are at the club.