The Struts at Sweden Rock Festival
At 13:00 I saw a glimpse of The Struts before heading over to Halestorm that started 13:15
Good vocals, frontman and music with some Queen, Stones and Def Leppard influences.
"Strutter" would been a perfect cover song or intro song for the band.
Would have stayed longer if not Lzzy’s sensational vocals drew me to Halestorm.
Halestorm performed a crowdpleasing set on the Sweden Rock Festival main stage
"Apocalyptic" opened the set, the Grammy Award winning “Love Bites (So Do I)” came next, Lzzy Hale’s stunning vocals have truly become iconic and it shows in "I´m the Fire". Halestorm is well known for their near non-stop touring, often performing as many as 250 shows a year and it shows their stage presence and delivery is top notch.The show wasn’t all about Lzzy. Her brother, Arejay, treated us to one fine drum solos that incorporated snippets of KISS, AC/DC and G´NR. Halestorm closed the set with I Miss The Misery much to the delight of the crowd.
(Halestorm was conceived when Arejay, on the drums, and older sister Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hale, vocals, began writing and performing at the early age of 10 and 13. With dad, Roger, on bass, they released an EP, Mess With the Time Man, in 1999).
Sixx A.M. is Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue fame, DJ Ashba guitarist of Chinese Democracy-era Guns N’ Roses, and vocalist/producer James Michael. The set opened with “This is Gonna Hurt” and introduced a pair of female backing vocalists on the stage. “Rise” had the crowd pumping fists and chanting along. Throughout the set, Michael, Sixx, and Ashba all rotated positions on stage, They closed with their hit the heart-wrenchingly autobiographical “Life is Beautiful” the fans took over and chanted the chorus in unison.
Slayer launched into a furious "Repentless" and the mosh pit opened.
-'The final swing is not a drill/It's how many people I can kill, "War Ensemble"
Despite losses, Slayer fire on all cylinders both in the recording studio and on stage as Exodus guitar legend Gary Holt and drummer Paul Bostaph have been capable of holding their own on and finding their own niches within the band.
I've waited for you to come, I've been here all alone
Now that you've arrived please stay a while
I promise I wont keep you long, I'll keep you FOREVER!!!
"Dead Skin Mask" (about Ed Gein, an American murderer and body snatcher)
Slayer steamrolled the audience with a climactic end the three-punch of "South of Heaven," “Reign in Blood” and “Angel of Death,"
Intro tape starts Megadeth "Prince of Darkness" Megadeth hits the futuristic stage with "Hangar 18" (Hangar harbouring alien life forms at Area 51) "Wake Up Dead" before a truly "In My (Darkest Hour')" in the Megadeth catalog. A staggering "The Treath Is Real" sets up a fantastic "She-Wolf"
"Post American World" Hello Me,Meet The Real Me! starts "Sweating Bullets", "Poisonous Shadows" follows, "Trust" goes into "A Tout Le Monde" it´s a "Fatal Illusion" and one of the best Megadeth songs of all time the title track from the latest album "Dystopia" gets the crowd wild.
Vic Rattlehead sneaks up on new Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro
The live set ends with a tripple thrash treat that sends the audience into a total frenzy.
Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells, Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
Massive inverted crosses, illuminated Baphomet symbol, drum riser decorated with iron gates.
“Out From the Asylum” was piped out, fans erupted as “Welcome Home” and shrieks of “Grandmaaaaaaa!” filled Sweden Rock Festival, Grandma, made her traditional ghoulish onstage appearance in a wheelchair, pounding a cane. The magicial “Sleepless Night” took over and it´s always time for “Halloween” and a super heavy chugging version of “Eye of the Witch” hit the crowd.
King proclaimed - time for some Mercyful Fate! The crowd roared and the band played “Melissa” and “Come to the Sabbath,” Backdrops swapped reflecting certain parts of the set list, varying from King to a demon to a church.
“Funeral” poured out from the speakers, “Abigail”s coffin was brought onstage “one through each arm, hand and knee and let the last of the seven be drawn through her mouth so that she may never rise and cause evil again...”King´s "Abigail" told the story of Jonathan Le’Fay and Miriam Natias, who move into an ancestral mansion and a ghost of a stillborn child takes demonic possession of its new mother Miriam. illustrating the gothic horror tale were an actress portraying Miriam as the band performed “Funeral,” a chugging “Arrival,” “A Mansion in Darkness” and a haunting “The Family Ghost,” the beautiful acoustic intro of “The 7th Day of July 1777” echoed out over Sweden Rock Festival followed by the riveting “Omens,” “The Possession” and “Abigail.”
King and band took bows, no encore. The show ended with the ringing notes of “Black Horsemen,
Lita Ford opened hard and fast with the classic "Gotta Let Go"
"The Bitch Is Back" and the autobiographical "Living Like A Runaway" mixed with standards, "Hungry" and "Back To The Cave." Lita paid tribute to her good friend Lemmy (on the Lemmy Stage) with the song "Can't Catch Me," which the late Motorhead frontman co-wrote.The Runaways' classic "Cherry Bomb" (featured in The Guardians of the Galaxy movie) Lita closed with her mega solo hits "Close My Eyes Forever" (a powerballad duet with Ozzy) her lead guitarist filled in for the Ozzy part, it got the whole audience to sing along and sent shivers done their and the bands spines,the catchy "Kiss Me Deadly" ended the set.
Twisted Sister kicked off their farwell show with What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You) and a stomping "The Kids are Back" before the fantastic "Burn In Hell" with an accompanying full fire display. "Destroyer" performed with a fiery enthusiasm "Like A Knife In The Back" the 80′s rock anthem “I Wanna Rock” rallied the crowd
“The Price” (dedicated to fallen drummer AJ Pero) manages to entrance the crowd.
Guitarist Jay Jay givin TV programmes like "American Idol" a well deserved bashing and showing how well Twisted Sister could create such a united front with the fans and the band went into "The Fire Still Burns"
Dee Snider, an excellent frontman, singer and sometimes exceptionally funny person.
After the sing along to "We´re Not Gonna Take" took Dee a swedish " fika" (coffee break with cookie). A highly unnecessary ten-minute version of the Stones’ “It’s Only Rock n’ Roll was performed? Why? TS could have played the amazing songs "Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant)", "Stay Hungry" and "Love Is For Suckers" instead.
(On the Come Out And Play album Dee Snider is clicking bottles together saying "Twisted Sister, come out and play" several times in the beginning on the title track a reference to the 1979 cult classic movie The Warriors, when the main villain, Luther, chants "Warriors, come out to play" while clicking bottles together as well.) At Sweden Rock Festival it was the audience turn to chant Twisted Sister "Come Out And Play". "Tear It Loose" was played and would make their tour manager happy according to Dee and then the perennial show closer “S.M.F."
Symphony X played a set entirety devoted to latest album Underworld.
"Overture"/"Nevermore" with its high dynamic tempo was perfect for getting the crowd going into the titletrack and "Kiss of Fire". "Without You" shows another side of the band.
Symphony X played through the entirety of their latest album "Underworld" (not in the right track order of the album). Doing this some bands is essentially sacrificing their better songs for album-fillers. That was the case here, would rather heard some the better Symphony X songs than fillers from the Underworld album. Don´t get me wrong "Underworld" is a good album but not so good that you can play it back to back live and leave out fantastic songs like "Inferno (Unleash the Fire),"Of Sins and Shadows", "Smoke and Mirrors" e.t.c.
DEATH DTA (live tribute to Chuck Schuldiner by the former musicians of DEATH)
Gene Holgan, Steve DiGiorgio, Bobby Koelble and Max Phelps took the stage that may be the final DTA show EVER. If not 'ever', than at least for a very long while.Opening with "The Philosopher" going into "Leprosy/Left To Die" is truly a "Living Monstrosity" of greatness. A vigorous "Suicide Machine" ,"Overactive Imagination" and "Trapped in a Corner" shows why Death´s music is truly mesmerizing. Slayers "Raining Blood/Black Magic stunned the audience.Max vocal delivery is eerily similar to Chuck’s and Koeble´s guitar shreds and the rythm section of DiGiorgio/Hoglan incredible, tight and full of feeling.
Gene "The Atomic Clock" Hoglan in his office
A transcendental "Lack of Comprehension" and a dynamic "Crystal Mountain" (probably one of the best metal songs of all time).We Death fans in the front row chanted "Pull the Plug" and a bone crushing juggernaut version of the legendary track closed the show!
Caught some Dirkschneider live after the Death DTA set
New York thrash metal band Anthrax started with "You Gotta Believe" followed by Anthraxs cover version of Joe Jacksons "Got The Time" (that have been used to wake up the Mars Science Laboratory rover, nicknamed Curiosity, since it touched down on the Red Planet's surface) Anthrax hammered through classics as “Caught in a Mosh”, “Indians”, and “Medusa”.They also performed the killer songs "Fight `Em ´Til You Can´t and “Evil Twin” the song "What Doesn't Die" would have been the perfect ending of the show.
The intro kicked in Sabatons version of Status Quo -"In The Army Now" echoed out over Sweden Rock Festival. Sabaton stormed on stage with "Ghost Division" and "Far From the Fame" took over before the "Uprising" followed by "White Death" ( about Simo Häyhä, an extremely skilled Finnish sniper during the Winter War.) Bassist Per Sundström grasps the microphone and says seventeen years ago when he visited the festival for the first time he gave a Sabaton demo to a festival employee and told him one day Sabaton is going to headline the festival the employee didn´t believe him...
After "Resist and Bite" it was time for Sabaton to sing songs from the album Carolus Rex in Swedish (the swedish language brings the songs to an even higher dimension) "Lion From The North" (Gustav II Adolf regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms.His most notable military victory was the Battle of Breitenfeld "Gott Mit Uns" ("God With Us").
The mighty "Carolus Rex" got the whole festival on their feet and to sing along.
"The Caroleans Prayer"(Caroleans were the soldiers of the Swedish kings Charles XI and Charles XII whose notable tactics differed from that of the western europe through a greater reliance upon pikes, bayonets, and the spirit of the offensive.) "A Lifetime of War" (The misery caused by the "Thirty Year War) "Swedish Pagans" (Vikings)
"Soldier of 3 Armies"(Larry Thorne, was a Finnish Army captain who led an infantry company against the Soviet Union in the Finnish Winter and Continuation Wars and moved to the United States after World War II. He fought under three flags: Finnish, German (when he again fought the Soviets in World War II), and American (where he was known as Larry Thorne) when he served in U.S. Army Special Forces in the Vietnam War.It was Larry Thorne who was the model for John Wayne's character in the movie "The Green Berets")
Footnote: all images with the name of the blog are taken by me under the influence in the audience with a bad camera.