Danko Jones – headline act
European Tour 2022 – leg -2 –
The Headlines – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
A long-time favourite in Sweden, rock n’ roller Danko Jones was back on the live attack this past May (2022), the hard-hitting trio treating Malmo to a adrenaline-filled hard rock show. This latest tour was postponed several times but it was finally time for the Canadians trio to meet their fans, of courseat the best club in Sweden, Kulturbolaget.
On this tour, Danko Jones are also visiting Norway, Finland and Denmark, before carrying on to mainland Europe. The band is supporting both their latest studio album POWER TRIO (2021), a brand new five-track EP that was released in May 2022. On this stop, and throughout the first leg of the tour, Swedish act The Headlines is providing support, while Moon Shot takes over down in Europe.
The day of the show I was lucky enough to meet with the band. Danko Jones himself was wearing a face mask and claimed a safety distance of 1 meter. He also wouldn’t take pictures with me, although the rest of the band did. They explained that Jones was really scared of catching COVID-19 while on the road. I understand him, safety first!
Tickets were almost sold out, so when I arrived at the club about 30 minutes before doors opened, a line had already formed. As always when I arrive, I checked to see if there’s a photo pit and luckily there was. I also took a short look at the merch stand and saw that Danko Jones had brought a ton of different shirts.
The Headlines come from Malmo and are run by guitarist Jake Lundtofte, along with the singer Kerry Bomb who currently lives in Italy. In 2020 the band’s latest effort, WARPAINT, was released and after the release bass player Cim Dahlbom left the band. She was replaced by Sofie Ward to once again complete the band. If you’re interested in reading more about the band, check out the interview I did with Kerry Bomb in the Metal-Rules.com archives.
It was fun to finally see a proper tour again, not a one-off show and at 8 o’clock the lights went out, signaling that it was time for some punk rock n’ roll in the shape of The Headlines.
“In the End” kicked off the show and the crowd was given no time to breathe as “Blown to Bits”, from WARPAINT, followed instantly. The fans gave the band a warm welcome and as Kerry Bomb moved across the stage, I was really impressed by her presence and how cool she looks on stage. She’s definitely a role model for young girls who want to be a rock star. She thanked the audience saying it was really fun to be standing on stage at Kulturbolaget again. “Upstarts” followed which is a personal favorite of mine. The band consists of:
Kerry Bomb – lead vocals
Sofie Ward – bass
Jake Lundtofte – guitar, vocals
Peter Henriksson – guitar
Peter Rasmussen – drums
The only negative thing with The Headlines, as well as with Danko Jones, is that their songs are so short which meant that after only three songs it was suddenly time for me to get out of the photo pit.
There was no doubt the band was really happy to be on stage, even though during their touring hiatus they performed a few live streams to keep in touch with fans. This particular show was their 14th and final one on the Danko Jones tour. “High Heels” and “Spirits” continued the night and when it was time for Lundtofte to do his solo, he lay on the floor while playing. Bomb asked how the fans were doing saying, “This show might be their best one so far since it was their final one on this tour”. She introduced Ward on bass and then it was time for “Tough Love”. Bomb and Lundtofte shared lead vocals and completed each other perfectly. I was really impressed how tight and solid the band felt. Ward was really cool and it was nice to see how great she fit with the rest of the members. It looked like the guys and girls had a great time and their happiness rubbed off on the fans who all clapped their hands and sang along. The band’s music makes me happy and it’s time for the rest of the world to get to know The Headlines! They really deserve a lot of success and recognition because they are a kick ass live act and brings some really great music to the masses.
“Rebel” and “Punk Rock Radio” followed, during which Bomb and Lundtofte once again shared lead vocals, before letting the fans take over at the end of the song. She said, “After being on tour so long with another band, a kind of friendship evolves. The next song up is called “Blood Brothers and Sisters”. “Warpaint/Authority” followed that, and is yet another personal favorite song off of WARPAINT. The song is great on album but even edgier live and proved to be a favorite amongst the fans as well. The band did a number of songs taken from the new album, I counted to at least four. “No Control” and “From the Ashes” continued the show and Lundtofte and Bomb had the fans once again clapping their hands. That song ended the show but before the band walked off stage they took a picture with the crowd with their backs to the fans.
The show was brilliant to say the least; not many acts can match the type of energy, edge and fierceness that The Headlines bring live. Even though the band had toured hard and long, there were no signs of tiredness as they brought their absolute all to Malmo. Everyone on stage did their best and I wished for the show to last for another 40 minutes. If you’ve never heard The Headlines, make sure to check out WARPAINT as soon as possible.
In The End
Blown to Bits
Punk Rock Radio
Blood Brothers and Sisters
From the Ashes
A lot more people had turned up; by now the club was pretty jammed. The crew began to prepare the stage for Danko Jones although the trio didn’t have much beyond the most essential gear. Even though the band didn’t have much to prepare, it still took a while to get everything in order. Finally at 9.15 it was finally time for the show to start.
As the trio walked out on stage the fans cheered loudly. The first song out was “Saturday” which was followed straight away by “I Gotta Rock”. It was full speed ahead from the very start as the show continued with “I’m In a Band”. As is standard at Kulturbolaget, the sound was crystal clear but the lighting was not the best. Jones thanked the fans saying that Malmo is the bands favorite place to play in and that the band loves Kulturbolaget. The trio is:
Danko Jones – lead vocals, guitar
Johnny JC Calabrese – bass
Rich Knox – drums
“Since it’s a weekend, we opened the night with “Saturday”, “I Gotta Rock” and “I’m In a Band”. That pretty much sets the mood for tonight, huh?”, Jones said. “Now Malmo, I have a question for you. Do you “Kiss on the First Date”?. The song set the fans on fire and it was no doubt it was one they were waiting for.
Jones let the fans sing the song on their own and smiled when he saw the response. It started to get really hot inside the club and since the song is a personal favorite of mine my smile was as big as Jones’ when I heard it.
“Lipstick City” continued the show and thus far the band played only current songs except for “Kiss on the First Date”. I think it was great that they had the guts to focus more on the current material rather than letting the show become a greatest hit event. Jones said that when he was home doing nothing during the pandemic he visualized being at a jammed Kulturbolaget performing and finally the day was here. “Now I have forgotten what the next song is!”, and he took a look at the set list. “Well, here’s a song from our new album POWER TRIO in “Ship of Lies”. Calabrese had the fans clap their hands and they weren’t given any time to catch their breath until it was time for “Invisible”.
Danko Jones have never disappointed me live and this show was no exception. The band is an amazing live machine and not many other acts can compare with them when it comes to putting on a rock n’ roll show. The band is also one of few foreign acts that put on European tours these days.
The show continued with “Get To You”, also taken from the POWER TRIO album. Unfortunately it seemed like the majority of the fans hadn’t listened to the new album because they mostly just stood in place during the newer songs. However, I thought the new songs worked perfectly live and it was nice to hear a more updated set list than we’re used to when it comes to Danko Jones. “I think you know that the next song is about me”, Jones said and it was time for “I think Bad Thoughts”. That’s an older song that set the fans on fire. After, Jones took a sip of water saying, “Have you ever seen a singer that takes his first sip of water after 9 songs? Give it up for me!” The fans all chanted “Danko, Danko” and he smiled at what he heard.
“You Are My Woman” followed with Jones playing guitar alone during the first part of the song until the rest of the band joined in. It transitioned straight into “Flaunt It” as the show proceeded at a furious tempo. To be honest I had wished for a little more talking from Jones because he is a fun storyteller with an epic ego that one only can admire. When the fans heard “Full of Regret” they tore down the ceiling with their screams. The song is a classic from the 2010’s BELOW THE BELT. “Had Enough” followed, in which Jones wanted the fans to sing on their own. “We have been visiting Kulturbolaget for a long time. I think the first time we were here was back in 2000-2001 and we love this place. I love to see all the band posters on the walls and when friends ask me to go out on the town eating or have a beer I say no, I don’t have the time, I have to watch all of the posters on the walls. About 12 years ago I asked the staff why there weren’t any posters of us on the walls. Now we have 2 and no one other than us and Britney Spears have 2 posters up, and that’s OK I guess. Well how do I present the next song”, he said, “Well, J.C is going to start this next one and you have my name on your tickets and now it’s time for “Lovercall”. The song is a real old one taken from the epic BORN A LION album from 2002. “My Little RnR” followed straight away and that song ended the one hour show.
As I looked at my watch, I really hoped the band would come back for an encore because one hour is far too short of a set for a headline act. Sure enough, the band returned with Jones saying, “Many bands don’t do encores anymore but we like to play them. When I came to Malmo I didn’t know you guys had a soccer competition going down tomorrow”. The fans all started to shout “Malmo, Malmo”, and Jones looked surprised saying, “I want you to shout my name!”. When the fans started to chant “Danko, Danko”, he smiled his thanks and wished the city’s soccer team the best of luck.
He continued saying, “In 2020 we didn’t really know what we wanted to do with our time but we decided to do an album and here comes a song from it called “I Want Out”. After that song, “She’s Drugs” followed straight away and then Jones said he wanted to thank The Headlines for being an ass-kicking opening act during the tour. “The next song is one of the first ones I wrote. Here is “Rock Shit Hot”!”, he said and after having introduced the band, thanking The Headlines once more, he took off his guitar saying the band wanted to take a picture with the fans before they walked off the stage. Another 15 minutes had passed which made the show last for about 75 minutes total.
I was really blown away by the great set list that focused mostly on the more current songs. It’s nice to hear a band that has the courage to rely on their new material. Even though the band have toured quite heavily through Scandinavia before coming to Malmo, there were no sign of tiredness; the guys were as sweaty as the crowd when they said good-bye. The only negative thing was the short set list. I think if you’re a headline act you should perform for 90 minutes at least. I don’t understand the new trend of bands to cutting their sets down to 70-75 minutes. Besides that, the show was another jackpot brought to Malmo by Canada’s finest. Luckily the band returns in July/August to play festivals, which means I have the chance to see them again. It was the perfect way of saying goodbye to Kulturbolaget for me since this was the last show before the summer leave starts.