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Reviewed by Tobbe
Special guest: Ugly Kid Joe + Dead City Ruins
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Bryggarsalen
Date: November 16th 2013
Dead City Ruins set length: 29 minutes
Ugly Kid Joe set length: 60 minutes
Skid Row set length: 69 minutes

About 250-300 people showed up to see this touring package of American early nineties giants Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe, supported by Australian heavy rockers Dead City Ruins. A change of venues was announced a few weeks earlier from a venue located about 20 miles north of Stockholm to a place located in the inner city and by that ticket sales boosted, although to a modest number. Yet enough to fill a fair share of the room with a capacity of close to 400. Bryggarsalen is a venue where the lights never really turn out and all bands said from the 2 feet stage that is was a pleasure to finally see the faces of its audience.

Dead City Ruins did a good job up on stage and the gig became better and better the longer they played. The highly unconventional vocalist made distinct impressions and I will check out this band as soon as I get my hands on any material released. Ugly Kid Joe was never something that I gave direct attention back in the day. The band played what I reckon would be their greatest hits as well as songs off their latest EP Stairway To Hell, which I in fact found fairly good when I listened to it a few times earlier this year. The performance was nevertheless rather enjoyable and with eccentric frontman Whit Crane in the driver's seat, Ugly Kid Joe took care of business.

Skid Row

With Skid Row's performance at Sweden Rock Festival this past June in mind, where the band felt uninspired and fatigue, I wasn't convinced that this would be a memorable night. I was dead fucking wrong. This turned out to be a blast, where intensity, entertainment and killer songs were solid pillars with inspiration on a high level, from the punk metal opener Let's Go and all the way to the last tones of Youth Gone Wild.

Awesome guitar player Scotti Hill was back to basics again with a varied, stunning play and his natural loony behavior. Bassplayer Rachel Bolan's grooves hit hard together with Rob Hammersmith's drums. Snake Sabo was rocking harder than ever with his guitar play and Johnny Solinger fulfilled his duties behind the mic. An inevitable subject always comes to light when this band is mentioned and I think it's a damn shame that a lot of people still believe that Skid Row was lost to infinity in the aftermath of Sebastian Bach's departure. Solinger might not set the highest tones, nor is he the full blown perfect killer vocalist that his predecessor once was, but has people forgot to check out Bach's live vocal efforts this day?

Skid Row's live music is much heavier than it was on the band's debut. The songs have improved and this is one band whose ballads I love. 18 & Life, where Solinger left the stage for the entire song to blend with his crowd, I Remember You and In A Darkened Room are all killers. Slave To The Grind, Kings Of Demolition and Riot Act all crushed. This list could be as long as the setlist, except for Psycho Love, which actually isn't that great. I've got to mention Monkey Business as well. I've hated the extended version of it that they always play live and to now just hear it from start to finish was a privilege as I rate that song as one of my all-time favorites.

I think Skid Row define the essence of a live band. Intense with a distinct bunch of killer songs, although the venue was the smallest they have played in a while. We weren't even given an encore since there simply was no place for the band to hang out to await the crowd's cheering. All bands even had to walk straight through the crowd to head for the locker rooms.

Since this was close to a double headlining show, we unfortunately got a shortened set and although I loved this performance to every inch, I therefore can't hand out more than 8 chalices to an awesome Saturday night. Or was it Sunday? Perhaps we should ask Solinger as he thanked the crowd for coming out on this Sunday night, before being corrected by Bolan and having a good laugh about his mishap.

Performance: 8 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: Monkey Business, Slave To The Grind and the band's intensity.
: Psycho Love

See also: interview with Dave "Snake" Sabo the same night

Let's Go
Big Guns
Makin' A Mess
Piece Of Me
18 & Life
Thick Is The Skin
Riot Act
In A Darkened Room
Kings Of Demolition
Psycho Therapy
I Remember You
Psycho Love
Monkey Business
Slave To The Grind
Youth Gone Wild

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