You know you are addicted and love rock n’ roll when you’re willing to sacrifice so much. You forget to eat and sleep because a band must be seen and heard. This year’s Sweden Rock Festival certainly was the best in many years. The vibes were truly amazing as usual. All these happy people, here, for exactly the same reason… To embrace ROCK and all that comes with it.
So here we go! Same procedure as every year… first things first. Off to the accreditation booth to pick up the backstage passes and photo-vest given to a few lucky people from the press. That would be me! This year I am working for Borås Newspaper, together with writer Catalina, and website e-tainmentnews.com. So expectations are high to take a few good photos for publishing. I hope you do enjoy some of them here. Ok, so no time to mess around. Schedule for the first day was Crashdïet and Hardcore Superstar. Not until the end of the show did I notice a picture of my big mouth nicely portrayed on the drummer of Hardcore Superstar, Adde’s, bass drum. he, he, he, cool! Made the show even better ; )
The rest of the festival days went on in the same spirit. Tempo got more intense as more bands were playing. My schedule was carefully adjusted to the following: Work, backstage & festival socializing, beer drinking and long quick cross walks between the three major stages to make it to the press pit in front of the stage to shoot some photos and enjoy the concert. So wonderful to meet friends from all over the world. Musicians, reporters, photographers, film teams, managers, groupies… fabulous rockers all around you. This is truly one of the highlights of the year.
So who did the best performance? Well let me put it like this; I had the highest expectations for Rob Zombie. A band I like a lot and whom I never seen live before. After a lame and boring press conference where Rob Zombie stated that he
knew nothing of Sweden and the swedish music business because he only lives in his own little bubble, I started to worry about how interesting the show was going to be. He arrived two hours late for the press conference. Did not bother to apologize and just seemed uninspired and eager to leave. Which he did after 10 minutes. Not one interesting word from the man who is alleged to be a “thinking mans dude”…
Mr Zombie @ the press conference
Anyway! All forgotten and forgiven, as ROB ZOMBIE did the BEST performance of Sweden Rock this year. I was enthusiastic and excited through the whole show. The visual aspect was totally crazy and amazing. Meticulously planned to every detail on stage. I mean what band comes up with the idea of even choreographing the poses on the microphone stands that were formed as skeletons. Ingenious thinking from every button on their fabulous outfits on stage to the make up on face and body. Even the simple backdrop portraying classic photos from the horror movies King Kong, Frankenstein and The Werewolf was eye-catching and appreciated. Sound and lightning? Perfect, even in daylight!
How about the music you ask? There is not a lot of bands you can shake your booty and headbang to at the same time. Tight and heavy one minute and sensually groovy with phrygian scales the next. Yes, of course this feeds my needs for oriental affection as well. There is nothing better than the combination of these two genres. Expectedly, that is why Rainbow’s “Gates of Babylon” and Rob Zombie’s ” Living Dead Girl” are two of my favorite songs. It is all about the “phrygian” scales. I was told this from an old boyfriend, Yngwie Malmsteen, he ought to know.
Photos: Tallee Savage
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I saw more and I liked more. The festivals headliners, Ozzy came in second place as a favorite act. I have seen him before and expected no less from him. On the second song he decided to make a prank with all the photographers and people in the first row. He came out with a big fire extinguisher and squirted us with foam. I had been warned about this so I turned away, rescuing my beautiful camera in a second. Ozzy continued to jump like a frog and eager not to let anyone get away… the staff on stage were an easy target.
Standing there close to the stage enjoying this classic icon, a very unprofessional thought passed through my mind. How I would rather go on a date with Ozzy, than David Coverdale, ha ha ha, an impossible thought 20 years ago. But after all he is the “Prince of Darkness” ; )
Ozzy delivered, as he should, being one of the most influential rock musicians of all time. It was Magic… pure Magic.
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Gus G (to the right) following the long tradition of excellent and beautiful guitar players such as Randy Rhoads, Jake E Lee and Zakk Wylde.
Audience, barking at the moon!
Joan Jett rockin’ the crowd with songs like “Do you want to Touch me”, ” I hate Myself for Loving you” & “Cherry Bomb”. Awesome party songs. Gorgeous lady, flirty as hell ; )
I’d like to dedicate these pictures to my friends Carin and Kattis who weren’t able to see the concert this time around.
I remember the first time I saw Queensrÿche back in 1983 in L.A. I was blown away by this bands music and Geoff Tate’s vocals. The concept seemed so perfect and the music was something new. After that I have seen them live quite a few times in the 80’s and 90’s. To hear songs from the epic albums like the debut EP, “The Warning”, “Rage For Order”, “Operation Mindcrime”, “Empire” and so on was such a fantastic trip to Heavy Metal Heaven. They were untouchable! It could seem hard to reach to that level now again… perhaps. The new recordings don’t tickle the same nerve anymore and the show was unfortunately mediocre. Geoff Tate’s voice sounded tired and he had problems striking the high notes like he always used to. Maybe they had a bad day. But I for one will not forget or lose the respect I have for this band. I will see them again!
This was Part ONE of this fabulous festival… there will be a Part two and three aswell : )
Any feedback on this? Were you there? I´d like to hear your opinion.