|It was that time of year again. Sweden called, and I did go... Unfortunately we had not been granted a photo pit pass this year so it made my job of taking photos that much harder. Pictures of some bands are missing because I was too far from the stage.
Wednesday - The arrival
On the way to the festival site I hooked up with fellow staffer Nina, Mads and Thomas (Grandma) in Copenhagen and we got the train to Sölvesborg. In Sölvesborg we met a lone German guy, Dennis (King Kung) who we hooked up with for the rest of the festival. Michael and Borg (The cy-borg) would be driving in the next day with more supplies. After a quick pitstop at the local liquorstore we got to the camping site, set up the tents and I sat down in the grass and opened a Newcastle Brown Ale. The summer festival season had officially begun!
This year we camped with all the Scottish guys and girl, who some might remember from my reports from the two previous years. They proved to be excellent neighbors and only on occasion were they roaring drunk. The biggest let down of the day was that the fabulous chicken wings vendor from last year was nowhere to be seen. Amazingly the first guy I met at the camping ground was Martin, the Swede I met at the Earthshaker Festival last year. Unfortunately I never managed to find the other Swedes...
We partied through the night helped by my battery-driven 4-watt speakers and when they were dead we invaded our other neighbors' camp where they were playing Manowar. The highlight of the evening was Thomas who got a bit inebriated and started singing King Diamond in a voice that was even worse than mine. It did not help that he fell asleep sitting in the grass and woke every 5 minutes only to speak loudly to no one, in that far out King Diamond voice. He was put to bed later in the night and from that moment on he was only known as Grandma.
Around noon I got caught up in the many cd shops outside the festival area and I only caught half of a From Behind song as I passed through the stage area towards the Rock stage where Cathedral was playing. I caught a couple of their doomy heavyrock songs which sounded ok. I was checking out the festival area and taking in the atmosphere. The sun was shining from a blue sky and it was already extremely hot. Perfect weather which lasted the whole festival.
I grabbed a beer and some popcorn and went over to the Zeppelin stage to catch the first part of Bullet while I waited for Doro to go on. Sitting down in the shade underneath the leaves of a big tree I enjoyed a couple of the band's songs and was pleasantly surprised. Playing a kind of AC/DC meets Accept, their songs were catchy, straight forward and powerful. Like a guy with a big cowboy hat next to me said "This is for us old guys". A song I believe was called "Heart like a lady" and "Heading for the top" convinced me to stay a bit longer.
Unfortunately Doro's show had just started and the sound from the festival stage proceeded to destroy Bullet's sound, prompting me to move closer to the stage. At the same time my cell phone rang and it turned out to Borg who had just arrived with Michael. So instead I had to head back to the camp and take care of some things. We arrived back at the festival area half an hour later to catch the last part of Doro's show. She was playing "Rise from the ashes" as I found a spot with a view of the stage. Doro's voice was extremely powerful and she proved this while singing the title track from "Fight". A nice diversion was the cover version of "Breaking the law" which has a slow and somewhat unfortunate beginning, but makes up for it with a powerful ending section. As the band started playing the anthem "All We Are" Michael and I decided to move on back to the camp for a quick beer.
Half an hour later I went back to the festival area to catch the crazy guys of Dragonforce. Due to a huge crowd at the entrance I got there one song late, just as the band started on "Fury of the Storm". It was quite chaotic on stage with everyone except the drummer running around or jumping up and down. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the keyboard player who had the funniest way of jumping up and down in one place while playing. The mood on the stage was a fun one with the band members making fun of each other and themselves. The band stuck to the latest album "Inhuman Rampage" for the first part of the show. Lead singer ZP Theart referred to the other show they had played at Sweden Rock in 2003 where they had a drummer that didn't even know the music and said that this time they were going to do it right.
It was a very enjoyable show, but the band looked like most of them were half drunk, stumbling around the stage on occasion. Especially Sam sometimes looked like he was going to trip and fall over but amazingly he kept it together. Naturally the beer holders on the microphones were in place, but due to the heat I believe one of them actually had a bottle of water in it.
The band blazed through their fast paced song with energy and a ton of fast guitar solos. There was also room for a keyboard solo which did not work for me. It lacked the spark the rest of the show had.
Herman Li was especially impressive as he played the ultra fast solos with great skill. Sam Totman did his best to try and catch up and together they did some nice switching around and their technical skills were impressive. The show ended with my favorite "Valley of the damned" where everyone went crazy. Dragonforce pulled off a very enjoyable concert where the emphasis was on having a great time and rocking out.
After this hour of fun I headed over to the Zeppelin stage to relax under a tree and check out House of Shakira. What I heard sounded great. I especially remember "In Your Head" as being very melodic. Since a lot of bands I wanted to check out were overlapping I had to leave in the middle of "Hey Lord" to check out Porcupine Tree who were playing at the Rock Stage. At this point, after being in the hot sun for most of the day, technical prog rock was not exactly what I needed the most, but Porcupine Tree really sounded awesome. Very tight and extremely technical music. But the long instrumental passages kind of took their toll on me. "Don't Hate Me" was a very mellow song that sounded great but another long instrumental passage followed and as I was just about to fall asleep I had to move on and get some food. They are definitely a band I will have to check out later. They just didn't fit into my mood this day.
I managed to get back to the camp for a few beers and in the good company I managed to miss out on both Journey and Raise Hell, which was a bit sad since I had planned to catch them both. Time flies at Sweden Rock.
Before Nevermore took the stage I wanted to check out if Hardcore Superstar were as good as people were saying. A lot of other people apparently felt the same as the Rock Klassiker tent was filled to the max and people had already begun crowding outside. I got a place in the back where I could just make out the stage. That was until the people in front of me started climbing on to the tables to get a better view. That was extremely frustrating for all the people at the back since we now couldn't see a thing. Lots of shouting and throwing things at them didn't help and as the concert started I heard some pretty amazing music but I was staring into a wall of asses. As if some higher power had heard our calls the table right in front of me gave in to the weight of the people standing on it and collapsed. Everyone ended up in a big pile on the grass. It was of course impossible to not laugh out loud as this happened. A minute later another table collapsed and now I began to make out part of the stage.
About this time I decided to move to the Sweden Stage for the Nevermore concert since I wanted to get a good spot to take photographs. I got there 10 minutes early and started chatting with one of the security guards behind the fence. As he saw my camera he asked why I wasn't on the other side with the other photographers. I told him that we hadn't been granted a photo pit pass and that was just too bad. He talked to some other guards and I talked to them and then suddenly one of the guards runs behind the stage as if to look for something. Smoke starts pouring on to the stage and Nevermore appears and opens the show with "River Dragon Has Come". Warrel Dane is wearing this hat which makes me think if he has shaved off all his hair. I take the first picture and then notice one of the guards is motioning to me to get over to him. He is holding this yellow security shirt and offers me to get into the pit with the other photographers. "Excellent!" thinks I, and run into the pit, pull on the shirt and start taking pictures.
Nevermore played as a four piece tonight as Steve Smyth was hospitalized. They still pulled off an incredibly powerful show with Jeff Loomis handling all guitar duties with great skill and lots of shredding. He was absolutely impressive. Warrel Dane was in great shape as well, running around the stage and edging the audience on while his voice ripped through the cool night air. The whole band functioned as a tightly knit unit. "This Sacrament" was potent enough to blow the show wide open and the heaviness seemed to have no end when the band continued with "The Seven Tongues of God". It was time to leave the photo pit, so I got off the shirt and high fived the cool guard on the way out.
Warrel Dane was encouraging mosh pits at the beginning of the show and it must have worked since he was smiling soon after. The band seemed in good spirits and the audience was very much into the music. We even got some synchronized clapping going. My only problem with the show was the sound of the drums which took up too much room in the sound, but that may be because of my position in the crowd. "Dead Heart In A Dead World" had a very cool vocal beginning. After this song Warrel wanted to say a few words, but the band was apparently eager to play as they started on "Enemies of Reality" and surprised Warrel, which looked rather funny. "The Heart Collector" was next and everybody were singing along at this point. "Narcosynthesis" was a major highlight and amped up the show even further and "Born" ended the show on the ultimate high note. The song was extremely powerful live.
All in all it was a superb show filled with aggression and energy. I've never been to a bad Nevermore show and this one only confirmed their position as one of the best live bands I have experienced.
The River Dragon has come
Seven Tongues of Gods
Dead Heart in a Dead World
Enemies of Reality
The Heart collector
A song from This Godless Endeavour
Inside Four Walls
I was rather wasted at this point, but I went back to the Rock Klassiker tent to meet the others as we were going to catch the headliner of the night, Deep Purple. They were ok, but I was too tired to really enjoy the show. After a few songs Nina and I decided to head back to the camp to hold an after party.
I woke up was surprisingly fresh. Today bands I wanted to see were playing from 11:50am till 02:00am in the night so I had a long way to go. After a walk to Borg's car to pick up supplies I sat down in my newly aquired chair (with built-in cup holder) and started to make sure I wouldn't dehydrate during the day. Close to noon I headed for the Zeppelin stage where the Swedish band Cloudscape were playing. They turned out to be a great wake up call. A very tight band, a good sound and an awesome singer were the main ingredients in their melodic prog metal. The powerful opener "Will we remain" made me move out from under the tree where I was sitting and head to the front of the stage where I enjoyed the rest of the show. "Under Fire" and a great scream ended a show that was far too short.
Cloudscape was an awesome beginning to the day. They were so good that I missed out on most of Arch Enemy's show. As I was moving closer to the Rock stage I saw the huge crowd gathered there and I heard the growls of Angela Gossow rip through the air. I decided to stay at the back, went to get some water at the nearby bar and sat down in the grass to enjoy the show. It certainly was powerful but I wasn't quite able to gather the energy to get up. "We will rise" ended the show on a powerful note. I arose and headed over to meet Nina as we had decided to go crazy at the Gamma Ray concert together.
We got a pretty good spot in the front rows on the left side of the stage and soon after the band came running on to the stage, happy as always. As soon as Kai Hansen started singing "Garden of the Sinner" I was pleasantly surprised by the power and control in his voice. He sounded pretty damn fantastic today, much much better than the last times I'd seen the band perform. The first highlight came with the frantic "Man on a Mission" which the band ripped through at ultra high speed while we experienced the power of the G force by headbanging wildly along to the rythm. "No World Order", "Carry On" and the monster track "Armageddon" were next.
"Armageddon" was the highlight of those three. Powerful would be the short description of this performance. All the different parts held together extremely well and the song was the equivalent of 8 minutes in power metal heaven. "Heavy Metal Universe", including a mercifully short sing-a-long was a nice breather to me before the band moved some way back in time with a mighty rendition of the Helloween classic "Ride the Sky". We were then treated to a great Helloween medley which included "Future World" and "I Want Out". Everyone were singing along by now. The show ended with a medley from the brilliant "Land of the Free". As the opening notes of "Rebellion in Dreamland" were played a huge smile spread across my face. A brilliant song that was intertwined with the title track from the same album. Suddenly the show was over and it was time to move on.
A very good show.
Garden of the Sinner
Man on a Mission
No World Order
Heavy Metal Universe
Ride The Sky
Future World / I Want Out
Rebellion in Dreamland / Land of the Free
Queensrÿche was next and I hooked up with Mads who was just as excited as I to see the band again. We got a good place in the front part of the crowd just as the introduction to Operation: Mindcrime started flowing from the speakers. "Revolution Calling" opened the show with a blast. The sound was a little off at first but it improved through the show. The emphasis was on the two Mindcrime albums and the first part of the show concentrated on Part I. Following "Revolution Calling" the band played:
Spreading the Disease
Suite Sister Mary
The Needle Lies
Breaking the silence
I Don't believe in love
Geoff Tate was in great shape today and his voice held up very well. Of course he wasn't able to hit the ultra high notes, but that was not to be expected. He is clearly the center of the band and he acts out the songs with much energy and enthusiasm. A lot of props were used through the show to give it a slight theatrical feel. Pamela Moore performed live on several songs. First she entered the stage during "Spreading the disease" where she and Geoff sang a duet which worked very well. Of course she stayed on for "Suite Sister Mary". She was a great addition to the show.
"The Needle Lies" was great to hear and very powerful live. "Breaking the Silence" turned out to be nice surprise. Before the show Mads and I had talked about how the band could omit this song if they had to loose one from the Mindcrime I album, but when I heard it I had to pull back my statement. Great song that works splendid live! "I don't believe in Love" is always a fantastic experience, but standing in the baking sun for so long had already started taking its toll on me and I was unable to manage even a minor jump.
As the show moved closer to the end of Operation: Mindcrime I and the beginning of Part II loomed ahead I got a little anxious as to how the new songs would work live since they have not yet gotten under my skin. I was pleasantly surprised. The new songs worked very well live and proved an interesting evolution. The audience was more quiet during this part of the show. The songs we got from Mindcrime Part II were:
One foot in hell
Signs say go
If I could change it all
Especially "I'm American" and "The Hands" held together well in a live situation. Geoff Tate did the best he could, acting out most of the songs in a way that kept my attention to the show. During "Murderer" a chair was put on the stage and "Dr X" was tied to it while being beaten by Tate. At the end Geoff asked "What now?" and we told him... He shot the guy who was then dragged off stage as Tate and Pamela Moore sung a duet on "If I could change it all". Moving towards the end of the show "Eyes of a stranger" ended the story with Tate strapped in a straight jacket. It was interesting how the song actually fits very well at the end of Operation: Mindcrime II. The second part of the show gave me a feeling that I was missing out on something and that I had probably judged the Mindcrime II album too soon and I decided to rediscover it when I got home.
Queensrÿche came back and performed two songs of the Empire album, namely "Jet City Woman" and the title track. I thought that "Jet City Woman" seriously lacked some guitar but other than that it was great to hear the song. The cool spoken part of "Empire" was also changed a little and worked quite well. A great show was over but I had no time to relax. Kamelot were playing 15 minutes later at the Rock stage so I ran for the front rows to get a good photo spot.
Spreading the Disease
Suite Sister Mary
The Needle Lies
Breaking the silence
I Don't believe in love
One foot in hell
Signs say go
If I could change it all
Jet City Woman
To put it shortly: Kamelot blew away the previous bands I had seen at the festival. I was really tired at this point and had decided to go to the back once I'd gotten some pictures. But the band proved to be so filled with energy and vigor that it transferred to the audience and I just couldn't tear myself away from the stage, so I stayed at the front and sang along, headbanged and jumped with the other fans there. "When the Lights go down" opened the show with a swift blast of speed. Waves of heat pulsated from the stage as huge pyros shot from the stage floor during the whole song and I was pretty amazed how the band could seem so unaffected in that intense heat.
Kahn was in a great mood and his voice was strong and never faltered. A personal highlight included the highly melodic "Center of the Universe" which I devoured with much enthusiasm. The guy in front of me must have noticed my loud singing along as he turned around and smiled as we went into a synchronized banging of heads.
After "The Spell" and "Moonlight" Thomas Youngblood stepped to the front of the stage and began a guitar solo with a strangely familiar melody. I think I was the last of the audience to discover that he was in fact setting the stage for my favorite Kamelot song, "Forever". So imagine the smile that spread on my face as I recognized it and began singing along on the chorus with the rest of the audience. As soon as the opening section of the song erupted I forgot any kind of fatigue that almost made me go to the back of the crowd. In the middle of the song Kahn started a sing a long in which everyone participated. It nicely segued back into the ending section of "Forever".
Kahn began introducing the band members and it was at this point I discovered that the band had two extra choir girls at the far right side of the stage. Since I was also at the far right side I hadn't seen them, but through the show I had been wondering where that choir had come from. After the band introduction we got a splendid version of "The Haunting" (with choir). Thomas' wife also stepped on stage for several songs in two different outfits and she did a great job as well. The title track from "The Black Halo" was very powerful and amazingly the show kept getting better as the band followed it by "Karma"! A brilliant song that works great live. As if that wasn't enough the band surprisingly continued with the 9 minute "Memento Mori" from the new album. Another song that slayed live.
After a quick drum solo the band ended the show with "Farewell", or so I thought. After much cheering they returned to play "March of Mephisto". Thomas Youngblood took over Shagrath's vocals and it worked very well. The pyros went crazy through this song and though I was all to the right in the second row I still felt the blasts of heat coming from the stage. It was no wonder the whole band looked completely soaked after they ended the song. They looked tired but extremely happy to have played such a great show. All in all a fantastic show that made me use up all my energy reserves.
When the lights go down
Edge of Paradise
Center of the Universe
The black halo
March of Mephisto
I was pretty tired by now and had just one hour before Vanden Plas would begin their show. So I got my dinner from the recently discovered Fish and Chips stand and headed for the camp for a quick beer. Soon I was back at the Zeppelin stage just in time to see Vanden Plas play. They weren't too lucky with their show since they were plagued by several sound problems. For a part of the show there was no guitar in the left speaker. Andy's microphone stopped working in the middle of a song and he had to grab the one from Stephan's mike stand. Then the tech guy came in and switched microphones while he was singing and this looked pretty interesting, especially as the tech guy almost lost his pants on his way out. Don't know what was going on there. Still, the band played an impressive show. The title track of "Far Off Grace" and "Silently" from the new album "Christ.0" sounded amazing. I was still hungry so I grabbed a burger and sat down under a tree to enjoy the concert. "Scarlet Flower Fields" was the absolute highlight for me. We got a really wonderful performance of this powerful song and at the end Andy dedicated the song to his father in heaven. I had to leave in the middle of "Postcards to God" as Evergrey were about to take the Sweden stage.
I got a pretty good spot at the front to the left and just had time to give the guards there a big thumbs up before the show got underway. Lots of smoke started pouring on to the stage as the band appeared. "Blinded" was a strong opener and I started rocking along right away. The band seemed in good form and especially Tom's voice was in great shape. "More than ever" continued down the heavy path the show was taking and I was doing all I could to play air guitar, headbang and take photos at the same time. If my description of this show seems to lack some details then it was because this extremely beautiful long haired blond girl suddenly was standing next to me singing and headbanging along. She took some of my attention for a while as we sang along to "Rulers of the mind" and "Mark of the Triangle".
At the end of the show I was getting really hot and I had to take off my Ayreon long sleeve sweater. When I looked around again the hot girl was gone, probably lying fainted somewhere as she was running from the smell. Anyway, I proceeded to spend the last of my energy reserves as the band came back and played a fantastic version of "A touch of blessing". This song came off extremely powerful live, the guitar melody line leading up to the chorus was perhaps the best moment of the entire festival. I can't believe how powerful this part sounded tonight. "Masterplan", including a sing-a-long, was of course the last song of the evening. A perfect ending to a great great show.
More Than Ever
? (A new song?)
Rulers of the mind
Mark of the Triangle
When the Walls Come Down
A Touch of Blessing
After the show I met Nina and we went to check out the headliner of the evening Def Leppard. I caught a great version of "Hysteria", but then the band started playing cover songs and we decided to check out the backstage bar which was known to have that most excellent drink, JD and Coke... Unfortunately they only had this generic whisky and the prices were as high as those pyros from the Kamelot show. We had 1½ a drink before we decided to leave and head back to the camp with a major box of popcorn. There we partied for about an hour before I had to go to bed and sleep to be ready for the next day. This day had taken its toll.
When I woke up I was surprisingly fresh, cocked and loaded for another day. We had a small party with the Scotsmen before we headed down to the festival area. First band of the day was MSG who I went to see in the company of Michael and the Borg. I was not too impressed with their singer and it was a just ok show. Being a big fan of cows (the ultimate animal) I of course had to buy the new Gotthard t-shirt which portrays two cows who are very friendly to each other. Afterwards Michael and I wanted to check out Molly Hatchet, so we decided that he went to the camp to load up with beers and then meet me in the Rock Klassiker tent 10 minutes later. Inexplicably we managed to not meet and I was left high and dry watching the football game for 20 minutes which, was probably the saddest part of the day. I caught a bit of Firewind while eating and then caught one song of Molly Hatchet including a very cool guitar / keyboard battle and then I went back to the camp for a quick beer before the highlight of the day, Edguy took the stage.
I headed back to the stage with Nina just before they were about to go on and amazingly we got a great spot right at the front on the far right side of the stage. "Catch of the Century" and "Sacrifice" opened the show and it was apparent that the band was in a great mood this day (as always). "Babylon" really got the show underway and Nina and I had a great time at the front row headbanging and singing along. Tobias made a funny introduction to "Fucking with fire (Hair Force One)" and it was an ok live song. In general the songs from the new album were the low point of the otherwise brilliant show. The ballad "Save Me" was slightly boring live and "The Asylum" didn't match the power of many of the other songs. But the fact that I don't know them as well as the older ones may have something to say in this.
The crowd really got going as "Tears of a Mandrake" was played and the sing-a-long was luckily over pretty fast. Nina and I were having a great time at the front during this one. Tobias did his best David Coverdale impersonation as the band kicked into a powerful live version of "Lavatory Love Machine". Tobias talked about how the German press agreed that Edguy had wimped out on Metal on their latest albums but we all agreed with Tobias when he cried that "This is a metal show!"
"Mysteria" proved that these guys still have what it takes and my old favorite "Vain Glory Opera" got the whole place bouncing. Other highlights included Tobias walking on to the stage with a big hat covering his nether regions, apparently it was hanging there all by itself... After playing with the audience a little he removed the hat and revealed a giant banana. Maybe as if to underline his potent new power the band went into "Superheroes".
"King of Fools" continued the fun part of the show and we were all jumping again. Another personal highlight was "Out of Control" which has proven to be long lasting and always powerful. For the chorus Tobias ran over to our side of the stage and seemed to sing right at me. I of course answered by screaming the lyrics back in his face but as my voice was completely busted by this point my glorious singing came out more like a kind of silly high-pitched whine.
Tobias announced that they had one song left but they were really in a hurry so if we could please just imagine the usual encore ritual they would do it really quick. So the band rushed off stage for a second and then came running back with big smiles on their faces and without hesitating the beginning of "Avantasia" burst from the speakers and the audience roared with joy. Great ending to an excellent show.
Catch of the Century
Fucking with fire (Hair Fore One)
Tears of a Mandrake
Lavatory Love Machine
Vain Glory Opera
King of fools
Out of control
When I got back to the camp I found the area beneath my tent, where I usually store my beers to keep them cold, completely empty. It was as if a big beer vacuum cleaner had sucked everything from under my tent into oblivion. I met Dennis in the camp and we talked for a while before Alice Cooper was close to starting his theater of the wicked. We headed down to check out Alice, and I lost Dennis along the way. I made it through half of Alice Cooper's show before I caved in and headed for the bar to sit down. What I heard sounded good, but I just didn't have the energy to get really into the show. I hung out in the backstage bar for a short while before heading back to catch Whitesnake. Halfway through their show I almost fell asleep standing up so I decided to call it a day and head back to the camp. Also a good show, but my energy was just spent at this point and I knew I had another chance to see them at Wacken Open Air later in the year.
Back at the camp the Scotsmen were partying wildly. They still had two days left at the camping grounds before their plane left so they had decided to stay up all night and drink. I crashed in my tent...
I ended up sleeping the night away in passages of 20 minutes and then waking up with a start as something loud happened outside. My clearest memories include the Scottish version of Doro's "All We Are", which consisted of singing the chorus over and over again for 15 minutes straight, while marching around the camping ground. Later in the night I awoke to the sound of several Scotsmen preparing to invade my tent to look for beers since they were all out. I didn't have the heart to call out that I had drunk them all because they sounded so full of hope. The argument I heard went something like this:
Scotsman: "We're all out of beers!"
Andrew: "Steen has beers! Wooo!"
Another Scotsman: "Let's go check out his tent, it's right over here"
Andrew: "Come ooooon!!"
I was preparing for the attack by making "the crane" in my sleeping bag, when I heard Stuart say "Hey, let Steen sleep man" and it seemed to cool down the others. I fell asleep again... In the morning I woke up to the sound of an excited Andrew telling Nina about the greatest trick he had learned during the night. I then remember hearing something that sounded like someone gnawing on metal and Nina saying "Wow!". Later I discovered that Andrew had in fact learned to use his teeth as a can opener and he was using this newfound skill on any beer cans unlucky enough to be in the close vicinity. When I went outside I saw beer cans without tops scattered around their camp. You can see an example of this greatest of skills right here.
It was time to pack up and head for home. The Scotsmen were out of beer, so Borg offered to give them some of his, which were in the trunk of his car. Only problem was that the car was a couple of miles away. Andrew decided he wanted to come along and pick up the beers. Then he fell over and looked like he had fallen asleep instantly in the grass. I thought the night of non-sleepness had caught up with him, but two minutes later he was standing on his feet again, albeit rather wobbly, with a big smile on his face, ready to go and get some beers. He then displayed what I would call true viking spirit as he walked with us to the car, carrying half my luggage in one hand and a big beer in the other (I had found it while packing). It was a 20 minute trek to the car and when we got there Andrew looked rather zombie-like. Borg pulls out two cases of beer and we head for home while Andrew has to take the long walk back to camp. I remember thinking that if he made it back there alive with all the beers, then it would be a miracle. Amazingly he did.
5 hours later I was home taking a much needed shower, left only with the memory of a great great festival. Sweden Rock once again proved to be a paradise for music lovers of all kinds.
|Click pictures for a bigger version
The crowd at Dragonforce
The Scottish invaders
All pictures taken by Steen
Written By Steen
Online: Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2012 - Added the old article to the site
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Andrew
Cheers for the beers! They are still being drunk!
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Stuart
Fantastic festival review as always Steen. Sorry about constantly waking you up but thats the price you pay for wanting to get some sleep on the last night of the festival :) Also it wasnt just a scottish version of All We Are that you heard. We had formed a truly multinational group with Scots,Irish,Welsh,English,American,Polish and even some Swedes. I actually think that had the night lasted longer we could have got the whole campsite singing Doro!
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Steen
Thanks! Yeah, I think I'm getting old... Sleeping on the last night of a festival tsk tsk... It's a big bad... But you know, I knew I couldn't possibly top last year, so I might as well try to get some sleep :)
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Craig
What Andrew fails to mention is that he somehow turned the 40 minute round trip for beer into a 2 hour odyssey! I guess that's what spending the wee hours of the morning on a beech learning to open cans with your teeth will do to you. Great report as usual Steen, see you next year!
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Andrew
Ha ah! I think part of my brain was still fried from the first night to be honest (which I still have no memory of). I also forgot to mention that it was an awesome review Steen. Well, I did tell you, but not here were other people can see it. So here goes... AWESOME REVIEW MR STEEN! See you next year and ROCK ON!
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Stian
Kamelot was the highlight for me, great songs, great show!! Youngblood, Khan and band were rocking! Second had to be Evergrey. Stian
Friday, June 23, 2006 - Dennis the Menace
First of all i wanna through out a big THANK YOU for makin this festival and the whole trip to Sweden an adventiure I´ll never forget in my entire unworthy life. Partying with all of you was an honour and all my expectations got fullfilled. Refering to both,you extrafuckincrazy armada of metallocos and all the excellent bands I was lucky to catch up. The weather of course played its role and to the obvious question all of my buddies back home asked- "Na, wie war`s?"- I only had to reply one word: "Perfect!" It was the decisive incident that I bumped into Mats, Nina, Grandma and Steen in Sölvesborg where my whole journey was directed on that particular path I was lookin`for. In Steen`s words let`s call it the "Path of Steel" and from one moment to the other I was able to break out of the loneliness of the long distance german runner. I`ve been travelling to festivals for over 15 years now and seen all kind of bands, met so many different people and if I had to present you a ranking, the Swedenrock-Event would definitely make it in the TopThree. I also changed my mind about going to Wacken this year. I`ll be there- just look for the hat, or better send me a message so we probably can hook up again.(I have to go `cause, shame on me, I missed Whitesnake; no more energy after the Edguy-/Cooper-Party) So far so good for my first few words on this impressive side. My respect. Excellent lay-out, well-informed articles and foremost without any doubt professional pictures. Greetings to all of you, including my Scottish friends, and a loud "K.F.D.".This was historical for me! And by the way, Grandma, after three games it looks like the German team is not playing that bad or what? Cheers Dennis.
Saturday, June 24, 2006 - Steen
Hey Dennis! Good to hear from you. Send me a mail so we can hook up at Wacken. I believe you owe me a beer! :) Then we shall party again!
Saturday, June 24, 2006 - Darrell of BHS Northwest
your review of Kamelot, fuckin rocks, fills me with great hope that the Seattle show is going to be great.
Saturday, June 24, 2006 - Veronica
Great review... and awesome photos!! Expecially the Kamelot ones (I'm a HUGE fan of 'em...). It was awesome to read they did well; I just can't wait to hear 'em live!!
Sunday, June 25, 2006 - Herrn EdKai
On the last day I was also totally beaten because of the terrific Alice Cooper party that lasted all day. I DID manage to see Whitesnake, but all around the site the buzz was about the "all day Alice Cooper party"
Sunday, June 25, 2006 - españa
acogonante bestial impresionante de pelotas the best
Monday, June 26, 2006 - roman krhounek from Canada
hey man i was there too what a great festival kamelot was by far the greatest my forhed was so burned from the sun i thought i was going to die when kamelot came out with the pyro doro and nevermore were amazing too i must of seen you i did the same thing from coppenhagen to solvesbourgh and i was in the front for nevermore all the best roman from canada
Monday, June 26, 2006 - Patrik-Cloudscape
Thank you for the great review of our show!! It looks like we made a few new fans at Sweden Rock Festival this year. We were pleased to see that so many people had choosen to see us considering the early hour, and we also had some tough names to compete against (Arch Enemy and Victory. Greetings from Cloudscape (Patrik,guitarplayer)
Monday, June 26, 2006 - Dennis the Menace
We used to play a rarely stoopid, but in the end highly interesting game that at last lead us to the original metaltalk that you only can have on events like Swedenrock when everybody is boozed up to the bone. So we used to list up our favourite drummers, Eddies, Van Halen songs, fairytales, tennisplayers, german writers, pets, beers, etc. and sometimes we really laughed off our asses (Cher! Gerri Halliwell! Bros.! Redcap: Grandma, why do you have such a huge nose?)So here are my 11 favourite Swedenrock moments: 1. Grandma waking up. Welcome Home! 2. 20000 sick motherfuckers screaming "I wanna be somebody, be somebody soon!" 3. "Man on a Mission" over and over again and then live. 4. Andrew and his trick on Sunday 5. Ligt-laser show to "Perfect Strangers". 6. Fuckin´with fire... fire...fire. 7. Putting on a figure-four-leglock on a swiss guy at five o`clock in the morning. 8. Eric Singer playing the drum intro of "Billion Dollar Babies". 9. Armwrestling with the singer of Gehennah (It`s still aching). 10.Having coffee with Mads and Nina in the middle of the night after the shopping tour (Very Glamrock indeed!). 11. Buying the "Crimson Idol"-shirt after 14 years. Stay solid!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - Jenzen
Couldn`t agree more with the Kamelot review. The concert was a brilliant performance, and I honestly was in tears hwen they left stage
Thursday, June 29, 2006 - Luca
Monday, July 3, 2006 - Äolus
If anybody mentions, the questionmark in the Gamma Ray setlist was "Blood Religion" from the latest album. Gamma Ray ruled!
Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - Steen
Thanks for the info. I have updated the Gamma Ray setlist.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - mat
My god, you missed Def Leppard playing "Wasted" at the end. That song along with the first three: Let it Go, Rock Rock (till you drop) and Saturday Night (High ´n´dry) just totally blew all other bands at the festival away!!!
Sunday, July 16, 2006 - john wesley
esse album ficou madeira cara!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, July 23, 2006 - Rafael Robson Silva
Sunday, July 23, 2006 - email@example.com
god save KAMELOT.....
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - Steveysteve
Good review man, one of the most descriptive and informative I've read of the best festival I have ever been to. You got some great pictures there as well man and impressed with the fact you managed to keep such detailed set lists. Also was a truely multicultural rendition of "All we are" (me being one of the welshmen in question).
Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - Steen
Thanks man! Some great memories are buried in this report. I'm looking forward to next year :)
Tuesday, January 2, 2007 - Laura
Hi! I`m from Monterrey Mexico I want to great you `cause you take excellent pictures, I love them! And I love Edguy, really really a lot Well, I saw them at Monterrey Metal Fest III last November. They do an excellent show. There where another groups like U.D.O, Cathedral, Blind guardian, Ovituary ... I been there around 9 hours, but it was excellent. And this article is excellent too. Tanks for taking that pictures =D
Tuesday, January 2, 2007 - Steen
Hey Laura! Great to hear you enjoyed the report and pictures. I fought hard to get them :) All the best, Steen (Patiently awaiting the next batch of summer festivals)
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - Oswald the Magnificent
This review was a great help, im doing a report on german Metal Bands. some pictures and quotes from the edguy, and vanden plas reviews will definitly be used Thanks for The help, Oswald the Magnificent
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - Steen
Cool, you're welcome.