Archive for Sweden Rock Festival

Sweden Rock Festival 2015 – Saturday

Posted in Concerts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 6, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, it was time for the last day, and for the first time this festival I was up rather early. Seriously, I woke up already at 9.30. And I woke up to sweet sound of rain dropping down on my tent. It was nice – it wasn’t too warm, and not too cold, it was the perfect temperature for cuddling all to myself underneath the thick blanket. Loved it. Eventually I had to drag myself up – I had planned to catch Frantic Amber at 11.30, and since I already missed out on Delain, I figured I’d actually try and get out. And I was in the midst of finish both my breakfast and make up (yes, I do it on the same time since I’m a very slow eater) Paula called me up and demanded me to come see her, like, now. Which was good, because it was about 15 minutes ’til Frantic Amber would start.

I got out, said hello goodbye to my campmates (hadn’t seen them the entire day yesterday) and then headed off to the area. I didn’t find Paula immediately, so I called her up and gladly, she found me, haha.

FRANTIC AMBER

Conveniently enough, 4Sound Stage is located right across the entrance, so we got in right in time for them to start. Frantic Amber is, much like Rock Godess, a band I’m not all too familiar with more than a couple of songs, but I really like what I’m hearing, and the band delivered like there was no tomorrow! And the outfits! They all had their individual clothing – but at least one piece was army patterned. And I LOVE how they didn’t have the same clothes, but on the same time were connected, you know?

Aside that, they also brought the sun, gladly. Well, what can I say, it was a good gig, a perfect start on the day.

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After Frantic, Paula headed over to see Mustach and I did one last dash for Mailmetalorder. Last day and all you know, so I went and picked up a Dream Evil album (United) and an One Man Army and the Undead Quartet album (the name fails me when I write this) and met up with Paula for Hardcore Superstar

HARDCORE SUPERSTAR

It might have been raining in the morning, but by the time HCSS was entering the stage it was burning hot. They played the big stage – Festival Stage and we got decent spots somewhere in the middle. A bit away, but not too faraway. Pretty perfect. They opened up the gig with “Need No Company” and the success was a fact. I do believe HCSS is really, REALLY one of those bands who much like Sabaton, has a bigger fanbase than you might give them credit for.

And here we go again, with frontmen. Like I told you yesterday, Erik Grönwall is really one of a kind. Someone who’s not too far behind is Jocke Berg. Even though he may not be a duracell-rabbit on speed, he still has exactly what it takes to front a band, and he really gets the crowd going.

It was a rather short set, only about an hour long and filled with both new tracks and old goodies. And yes, no need to fear – we did dance jenka to “Last Call for Alcohol”, though I had to do it on one leg.

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After HCSS we dashed to foodcourt to pick up some food and sat down at the stage Eluveitie were about to play in a couple of hours. We spent a long time talking and catching up and eating and exchanging CD’s. I had brought her a The Lounge Kittens EP and she’d gotten me a Katy Perry single (Hot N Cold). Dashed over the court to say hello to Hansi and drop off a Monsterman DVD and he joined us back.

He was also the one who told us Eluveitie had changed playtime, and wasn’t going on stage until 22.30 later that night, both to our dismay and also a little joy. Paula headed off to her boyfriend and his friends camp, and I headed back to mine to do some last minute packing. Seriously, the less I had to carry the following day, the better.

After this, it was time to get over to the back-in-business Rockklassiker tent to catch me some circus.

AVATAR

So, a lot of people were surprised when they learned I liked Avatar, and Avatar is probably the first “scream” band I ever liked, but seriously, how can you not? Circus and metal, all together. It’s perfect.

However, this is a band that, in my opinion, should play late at night. It just doesn’t cut it with them playing at like 18, they do it best in darkness. BUT, nevertheless – rather Avatar daytime than no Avatar.

They began right on time, as all the bands have so far, and opened up with “Hail The Apocalypse” and… I’m gonna go there again.

Erik Grönwall is amazing, but do you know who else is AMAZING? Johannes Eckerström. The frontman of Avatar. He is absolutely INSANE. I’m not sure if he IS, or if it’s a part of his character, but he is really the only one I can think of, as of now, who can even COMPETE with Erik when it comes to fronting a band. Man, he’s intense! I love intense frontmen. Who really go for it you know? Still remember how he almost hit me and Maria in the head with his stick the first time I saw them live (funny enough, they were support for no other than Hardcore Superstar)

Despite being a REALLY short set, it was amazing. It was that last finishing touch I needed on this festival to feel really content. Ahh. I love it. So so much.

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After Avatar, I did a few last runs to Hot Shot picking up “Back Through Time” and “Captain Morgans Revenge” (Alestorm). I can’t understand, now afterwards, why I didn’t go for “Sunset on the Golden Age” as well while I were at it, but some questions are just supposed to be left unanswered.

Leaving all the stuff in car, doing one last run with luggage, I met up with Paula and her boyfriend for what would become the last gig of the night – Eluveitie.

ELUVEITIE

So, they had to delay their show a few hours due to problems on the airport. Problems that involved them not having a bassplayer and their proper gear. But seemingly, this didn’t stop them from continuing on the show. That’s what’s amazing with metal and rockbands all in all – they don’t like minor, or major, things stop them.

I must admit, I didn’t stay the entire show as the tiredness got the best of me, but I saw the majority of it, and it was really good. A good ending of a good festival.

eluveitie

I got back to my tent and dashed to bed earlier than ever before this year. Which was good, since I was set to get up at 4am.

// Sara

Sweden Rock Festival 2015 – Friday

Posted in Concerts with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, even though it was a wee bit earlier than previous night, it was still fairly late for my liking. So I got up around noon, or something like that and started out with a slow breakfast and slow preparations for Alestorm. Seriously, some days I’m really fast, some days I’m really slow. Not sure why.

Went down around 1pm in order to check out some shopping tents, and also did I round in the 4sound tent to check out various guitars. I love all these little exhibitions Sweden Rock have all over their festival area. It’s like an amusement park – there is always something to do.

ALESTORM

So, around 2 or a little after I headed over to Sweden Stage to catch the first show of the day – Alestorm. They opened up spot on time with “Walk The Plank”, and the audience was well-recieving. It makes me glad when the audience is great to the band. They continued with “The Sunk’n Norwegian” and the show was pretty much a fact.

Like I’ve said previously, I’ll keep it rather short. But it was an energetic set, despite the heat (where did that come from?!) and good audience response kicked off this first day pretty perfectly. However, the backdrop still sticks needles in my eyes…

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ROCK GODESS

Directly after Alestorm, seeing I had gotten rather hungry, I head over to one of the food trucks to pick up some quick food before running over to 4Sound stage to catch Rock Godess live. I’m not too familiar with this band from before, but the little I had heard I liked, so I figured it’d be fun to catch them.

And I don’t regret I did! They delivered a good set with good energy, perfect lunchdate, if I may say so.

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After Rock Godess I had my first major break during the day, and with that I headed over to MailMetalOrder to pick up “.5: The Gray Chapter” on vinyl (double) as well as Korpiklaani’s new “Noita” and then heading over to Rock Stage where one of the highlights for me this year would soon enter: DOKKEN

DOKKEN

It’s interesting. About a year ago I waited at this exact spot for another group of big heroes of mine to play, TNT, with Tony Harnell. Why is it that most of the most important concerts in my life, happens to be at Sweden Rock? Is it because Sweden Rock is legendary? Probably. It was almost like a deja vu feeling, you know, standing there waiting for a band (or in TNT’s case, a line up) you’d thought you’d never see, and yet, here we are.

The band entered the stage and fired off the gig with “Kiss of Death” and continued on with “The Hunter”. After here, is where THAT happened.

Don started to talk a lot on stage and the drummer started to play slowly. For a split second, I actually thought they were gonna play my personal favorite, which is “Dream Warriors”. But I shoved the thought away – Why would they EVER actually play this song live? Bahahaha. Since I’m so wrapped up in my own thoughts I don’t really listen to what Don is saying. I heard him saying something about nightmares, but then he said two words that caught my attention.

Elm. Street.

You see, “Dream Warriors” is one of the many songs of the soundtrack to “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors” and because of this, I figured they’d never play it.

But then he announced, that the next song was indeed “Dream Warriors”. And this, my friends, is what cause a CD enthusiast like me to drop my newely purchased .5 and Noita to the  ground with a big gasp. And wide eyes. Like… what. On. Earth. Just. Happened.

BEST MOMENT OF THE DAY, I’m telling you.

They continued on with a fresh set and a lot of… bad jokes if you ask me, but the gig was decent! But seriously, Dream Warriors… can’t get over it.

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After Dokken I had yet another break in which I took the oppurtunity to get some of my stuff down to the car to make it easier for me once I was on my way home. The next gig of the day for me wasn’t until 22.15, when Mötley Crüe would enter the stage, so I had quite some time. Of course, this wasn’t the only thing I did. I spent some time at Hot Shot’s as well. Where else?

MÖTLEY CRÜE

But sooner than later it was time for the guys in Mötley to take over the festival, and the stage setting was pretty massive, for being Mötley, I have to say. What especially caught my eye was Nikki’s microphone, which hung from the roof of the stage down in this big steel work with a Shout at the Devil kind of star on it.

They opened up the whole gig with one of my own personal favorites – “Saints of Los Angeles” which set off a good start… and then it kinda fell. Counting roughly on my hands, I’ve seen Mötley Crüe live about four times before, making this my fifth time. In 2007, they were really good. 2009 and 2010, they were decent. In 2012 they were horrible. Like, maybe it’s because I stood far away munching on popcorns due to my cold, but seriously… Vince didn’t sing half of the words or anything, but the band was pretty good. It can’t be worse, can it?

Apparently I was wrong. Apparently, it could be worse. I didn’t get any vibes from this, any energy whatsoever, and there were occasions I barely recognized the songs at first because they were literally all over the place. I don’t mean to sit here and dog and talk shit about Mötley, I know I have a lot of people who loves them, and so do I, but seriously… It’s like the Lordi gig in Brighton. Now I know what a bad gig are. Difference is just that Mr L actually sang.

But yeah, I guess I should give them some kudos for going on stage and all. At least they are doing more, and better, than I am at the moment. But to give some creds – Love the setlist. It was perfect. And the pyro show was mindblowing. Especially the last piece where a big piece of fireworks went on a line straight over the audience. Loved it, and it helped keeping warm in the night. Thank you!

And I will see you again, in November. No worries. Not abandoning you now.

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H.E.A.T

Towards the end of Mötley I started slowly moving backwards, as I wanted to have some good spots for H.E.A.T, partly for the show and the band, and partly because I had to warm up. Got there right in time for it to start, and they opened the set strongly with “Point of no Return”.

And here’s the deal ladies and gentlemen. You can say what you want about Alestorm, about Sabaton, Mötley Crüe, Toto, HammerFall or even Dokken. But no one, comes close to be a frontman like Erik Grönwall. Ones first instinct is to ask what drugs he’s on, but on the same time, I could totally see him really being like this.

But what I’m meaning to say is that Erik, never, ever fails to entertain. I have yet to see a gig where he is bad. I doubt it will ever happen. He’s the kind of frontman that gets the crowd going without any effort, he’s the kind of frontman who makes a duracell rabbit look slow. He’s the kind of frontman who makes like laugh, like when he was going to do a sing a long in “Beg Beg Beg” and instead belts out our Midsummer-drinking song (Helan Går). I’m glad I’m seeing these boys on Midsummer, will be PERFECT.

So what can I say. This was the perfect pick up after Mötley’s low-energy gig and I just want to say that I love H.E.A.T with all my heart. I know that wasn’t the case about seven years ago, but amends have been made.

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And them ending with my favorite song off “Tearing Down The Walls”, “Laughing at Tomorrow” made it just perfect.

And around 3 am, later than normal again, I knocked out in the tent, preparing for the last day of the festival.

// Sara

Sweden Rock Festival 2015: Thursday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, because of various mishaps like with my knee, I got to bed extremely late. Around 6-7 in the morning. For all of you partypeople, this may not seem late, but to me it is, since I had been up since 7 the day before. But some things, like cleaning an open wound full of stones and filth, is something you have to do. Which is bad for me, because I cannot deal with my own blood. I can fix other people easily, but get dizzy and nauseous by my own blood and wounds.

My plan was to catch Delain in the morning, but had to give it up because of the knee. I need a certain amount of sleep to function, or more, to function without having my brain whining about too little sleep. I can’t enjoy things properly if I’m tired, you see.

So, I stayed in the tent a bit longer and once I was up and running, or well, not running, no running on this little leg, I first hit the pharmacy store for proper sterile compresses and proper cleaning fluids and bigger bandaids, and I was back in the tent to keep clean and disinfect the wound, and in all honesty, aside Delain my first band for the day was Toto at 19, so I had plenty of time.

When all was done with the wound I hit the streets and dashed immediatley for the festivalarea. Not because I was late, not because I had a band I wanted to see… but because I had to get to the one place I’ve been waiting the entire YEAR to visit….

Hot Shot Records.

I can honestly say that is my number one favorite record store in the entire world. I could fucking pay to go to SRF only to visit that store, I shit you not.  So finally, after a year of waiting, I was in the little piece of heaven on Earth. The biggest mistake on my part though, was that I had forgotten the long list of rare bands and CD’s I was looking for, but it didn’t matter. In my desperate tries to find and Delain CD’s I stumbled upon a very familiar name.

Dionysus.

My heart started to beat a little faster. The album I had found was NOT “Anima Mundi” which was the album that was on my list, but I picked it out anyway. I kept on looking through the Dionysus albums, but “Anima Mundi” was nowhere to be found. Damn. Well, Dionysus is good anyway so I might as well take their other albums.

Then I noticed, that “Fairytales and Reality” was a little bigger, I figured it was some limited super duper deluxe including a DVD version, and you know, why not? Why not get the best? But then I noticed it wasn’t a super deluxe edition, it was actually just a bundle of two Dionysus albums. And when I turned it over about 90° to check what the other CD was…. my heart practically stopped, and my eyes teared up.

“Fairytales and Reality” was bundled with no other album than my long lost friend, “Anima Mundi”.

I am not, under any circumstances exaggerating when I say I literally teared up when I finally found the album I’ve been looking for for so long, that I’ve longed so much to have. Oh god. The relief. Seriously, I can’t even properly explain the relief.

When most of the shock had laid down, I looked through some other sections and stumbled upon a few Nostradameus albums, which I remembered I was looking for. Same here as with Dionysus, I first found and album I was not looking for, but hey, I like the band so who cares? Gladly, I managed to find “Words of Nostradameus” as well after a bit of looking. So. Three Dionysus albums and two Nostradameus albums later I left Hot Shots for the first time this year in favor of getting something to eat before Toto. And I took the opportunity to catch the last few songs of Slash while eating, nice company.

TOTO

I went down to the parkinglot (and did not get lost this time!) to drop off my newely bought CDs and made it back LITERALLY on the SECOND that Toto’s intro started. Talking about making it just in time, huh? I got pretty good spots on the side of the stage, so I’m more pleased than ever.

They opened the show with “Running out of Time” and was well recieved by the audience. The continued on with “I’ll supply the Love” and the show was on.

Since these entries will cover an entire day of concerts, I’ll keep all the reviews pretty short. But what I can say is that the set was close to perfect. And it’s not really all about the band on stage, but also the atmosphere. You can say what you want about pits with headbanging and jumping around and stuff like that, but nothing beats the calmness and the epicness of witnessing a band like this, in the sunset. I’m talking about “Africa” in the freaking sunset. By that time, the knee and the broken fridge was all forgotten and it was all worth it.

That’s the effect music should have on you. Thank you Toto, for the most epic first gig of the festival.

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HAMMERFALL

Right after Toto, I headed over the Rock Stage which is opposite side of Festival to catch up with the templars in HammerFall. I had spots pretty far in the back, but that’s what you get. I’ve come to notice I’m ALWAYS in the back when it comes to festivals. Why is that.

Anyway, they started off on time with “Hector’s Hymn” and continued down the same setlist, more or less, they had had throughout World Wide (r)Evolution tour, to my dismay if I may add. It’s really the same old story – same songs over and over, just changed the opener to “Hectors Hymn” and replaced “One More Time” with “Bushido”. Aside that, all the same old goodies are there – “Bloodbound”, “Any Means Necessary” (I do love this one though) and so on. But what can you expect from a festival gig?

But aside this, they were really good. Good energy on stage, despite having the sun straight in their eyes.

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DEF LEPARD

So, from Rockstage, back to Festival stage. When it was time for Def Lepard to hit the stage, the darkness had started to lay its cover over the festival, which was absolutely perfect considering their massive light show. They opened the whole set with “Rock! Rock! (’til you drop)” and continued on with “Animal” and “Let it Go”. They were planned to have  a greatest hits set of the night, but I must admit… I was almost to mesmerized by the lightshow to think too much about the setlist.

It was like a big crossover between Katy Perry’s Prism tour and Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster Ball. The lights from Katy, and the stage set from Lady Gaga. Different road signs and various animation on big screens accompanied with well designed lights made this show a delight, not only musically but also visually.

Thanks you, Def Lepard!

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MICHAEL MONROE

After Lepard it was run time deluxe. Or no running, like I said, but fast walking over to Sweden Stage which on the other side is a bit further away from Festival stage. While passing Rock stage I asked myself if I shouldn’t see Ghost instead. They were about to start 15 minutes after Michael, so I figured I could see how I felt about it once Michael got on stage. I’ve seen Michael Monroe, and Hanoi Rocks for that matter, quite a few times, as recent as last year, but I’ve never seen Ghost. And since my platypus in crime wasn’t there, I figured I could perhaps go see them for her.

Sadly, for Ghost, once Michael Monroe hit the stage I kinda forgot all about it. Michael… he has this certain kind of energy that is just so contagious it almost makes you wonder what he’s on, and I assume he’s like me, high on life.

The set was as good as a Michael Monroe show always is. High energy, good tunes, well played and all that. And of course yes, the mister was climbing high in the stagebuildnings this time as well. He really did this already in the Hanoi Rocks days.

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But. I can’t deny, that I kept looking over my shoulder to see the distant lights of Ghost. And still pondering. Should I stay or should I go? My love for Michael kept me there for quite the time, but as it got closer and closer to the end, I dashed in the middle of the last song in favour of catching Ghosts last song, to at least snap some pictures of Papa Emeritus III, which I had planned to have printed for my platypus.

GHOST

I made it pretty much in time for “Monstrance Clock” to begin, and I realized I knew the lyrics. And why did I know the lyrics? Because this is the same song Lordi kept playing when setting up their stage during Tour Force One. Who would have thought! It was a good ending, thanks for that Ghouls and Papa.

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With all of this being said, I hit the tent and hit the bed immediatley. Never before have I had to stay up this long at Sweden Rock. What just happened.

// Sara