» Jerusalem 2004 07 24  
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Reviewed by David
Hagshult, Sweden

120 Min.



It's not easy being a fan of Jerusalem. The villages they play in just get smaller and smaller. This time it was in Hagshult, deep in the dark forests of Småland, Sweden. The village only God remembers… On top of that, the arena appears to be a barn. The stage is made of pallets, the audience sits in church benches and the "warm-up act" is a dull Free Church pastor. One could perhaps say that these conditions were not the best for a good rock concert. But in spite of all that, the barn starts to fill up with people. Jerusalem still has faithful fans that look up all these small places where the band apparently loves to play. And new generations are added continuously to those fans.

An then, when Introduktion rolls out - with surprisingly good sound, the smoke rises and the small lighting rig starts to work, it actually totally rocks! It is the "older" setting of Jerusalem that is out playing this summer. (It must be the only band I know that exists in two official settings at the same time. Both are of course led by singer and guitarist Ulf Christiansson, but with alternate bandmates.) Christiansson still has the best rock voice in Sweden! Klas Anderhell seems to have survived touring with the old pop/rock/dance-band Sven-Ingvars - the drumming is powerful! Then one can overlook that Dan Tibell is not the most exciting personality on stage behind his keyboards. The last member is not as usual Anders Mossberg, who apparently has other things to do. For some reason it is not the natural stand in from the other setting of the band, Peter Carlsohn, either. Instead it is the huge Norwegian Lewi Bergsrud who hammers the base this evening. He does it with great skill, although he is seen quite many times to be looking skeptically in his music-stand.

As usual it is disappointing that Jerusalem not seems to be content with playing any songs from their best record, Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent. But that almost doesn't matter when they have such an incredible treasure of other songs to chose from. Classics like Pass På, Moderne Man and Noa mix with fresh Rip My Heart Out from Ulf's latest solo album and some songs from the latest "real" Jerusalem album, Prophet (that actually is ten years old now…). Everything is remarkably tight, with the exception of some hesitations from the stand-in Bergsrud.

But a Jerusalem-concert is more than the music. The thought hits me that Ulf is the christian answer to Joey DeMaio. As soon as he starts talking, it is with heat and passion and there seems to be no end… Ulf is a radical man, who does not like to compromise with his faith. I guess he should have credit for that in some way, but I also think it threatens people. That is perhaps the reason why Jerusalem plays in a barn in the woods instead of at Sweden Rock Festival. It seems like they want it to stay that way, which is sad. Isn't it better to bring a positive message to a larger crowd, than to blame a bunch of mostly already believing people for not living enough for God?

But with all the preaching done, God's joy is again spread through pounding hard rock. It is probably the first time I literally have experienced the roof lifting during a concert. The tin roof bangs the rhythm to the heavy bass in Soldier. Perhaps the end of the concert was too soft, but "The Flower" gives me goose-flesh and moist eyes every time. I was expecting Ajöss Med Dig Värld as a perfect finale, but instead the seldom-played Jag Behöver Dig became the last song of the evening. An evening that I think left no one disappointed.


Pass På (Wake Up)
Moderne Man (Man Of The World)
Sorgsnas Parad (Mourner's Parade)
Krigsman (Warrior)
Pappa Vem Har Gjort (Daddy Who Has Made)
Rip My Heart Out
It's Mad
Ständig Förändring (Constantly Changing)
City On Fire
Jag Vill Ge Dig En Blomma (A Flower)
Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
Jag behöver dig (I Depend On You)

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