|» Skogsröjet 2011||
Skogsröjet is a small two day metal festival taking place right outside the village of Rejmyre, located 180 kilometres (110 miles) southwest of Stockholm, Sweden. 3500 people showed up the first day and close to 5000 on day two, making this experience a huge contrast for me, considering I was at Wacken Open Air one weekend earlier. Like I have mentioned in other festival reviews though, I somehow like these small sites without overcrowded areas or lines to beer or food stands.
Reviews and photos by Tobbe
Most people on this festival showed up to see Sweden's own hillbillies Bullet. A band with a fan base increasing for every gig played and every record released. I saw them live this spring and was more than satisfied with their performance then.
Tonight, I got to see them for the first time playing a full length set and I will have to say that Bullet is best in small doses. Since they live and breathe metal out to their fingertips, the show repeats itself a dozen times during these 75 minutes. Unfortunately they had also decided to include a ten minute long guitar duel in their set, making me yawn for the first time this evening. The songs they play are a bit too similar to each other and they probably need to change the tempo more often to make this into something special.
Performance: 4 chalices
(sorry, no setlist)
The last couple of years it seems like this band have lost some of their touch. The albums haven't been as good as they used to be. With somewhat weak production as well, you don't want to listen to them over and over again. The live shows have been kind of predicable with just five men doing their jobs.
However, tonight they showed some of that old and hungry spirit again. They started this show with the title track from their latest release, Rev-Raptor and continued with another title track, Dominator, making this a slow start though. Five minutes later they played the single from Rev-Raptor called Leatherhead. A song which I don't understand at all and I probably will have a hard time finding a more boring song in their entire discography.
Then, a song like The Bullet And The Bomb and couple of old Accept-songs
suddenly turned this gig into something worth staying for. From this moment
hit by hit struck us down on the ground. People started to enjoy the show
to the full, with fists in the air and with loud singing. I even saw Stefan
Kaufmann smiling several times, which is something I never seen him do
on stage before. All of the guys did good jobs and when they are in the
right mood, they do all these fantastic songs justice.
Performance: 6,5 chalices
Band: Electric Boys
When Electric Boys reunited a couple of years ago, I thought that they were going to face a new dawn. Somehow there was no big hype though and the excitement of the reunion slowly faded away. They released a new album this spring, but it has gone by unnoticed to most heavy rockers.
This afternoon gig started a bit slow. A couple of good songs were played early in the set, but the audience were lame and even with hard work from the band, it's hard to do a great show when the response isn't there. Lead singer Conny has a kind of distant style, but in fact he's in full control. This band seemed to enjoy every minute up there and they were all doing good jobs.
Halfway through the set, this performance took a turn with Rags To Raches
and Angel In An Armoured Suit. Suddenly the crowd was on their feet as
these songs were played, making the last thirty minutes into something
totally different. To make this work for a full hour though, I think they
will have to rearrange the songs a bit and give them some more heaviness
and speed., because it gets too groovy and too funky for a metal crowd.
chalices of 10
Denmark's own D-A-D was up next. Through the years they have changed their sound several times, so you never know what to expect from this quartet. A new album is coming out this fall, but unfortunately we didn't get any songs from it tonight.
We however got a load of newer songs as well as some old hits from No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims and Riskin' It All. The show's opener was up-tempo song, Evil Twin. A good start to an even better show. Right from the start it was full speed ahead. Lead singer, Jesper, was in his best mood and showed us how a frontman should act. Most hits were played at the end of the show, but when this band is on stage, the choice of songs somehow don't feel important, because this band always have something going on. All from Stigge's custom made basses to the tilting of Laust's drum podium.
We got an extended version of Sleeping My Day Away and even if the bridge
was five minutes long, it never got boring. As professionals for over
twenty years they know exactly what to do to get the crowd going. They
finished this show with three straight songs from Riskin' It All to end
this show with a bang and that somehow sums it up.
Performance: 7,5 chalices
Band: Hardcore Superstar
Hardcore Superstar signed some kind of multi year contract with the festival a couple of years ago, so once again they are playing for this audience who never seem to grow tired of this band.
The band enters the stage during Van Halen's Dance The Night Away and greets the crowd for a couple of minutes before they start this show with Sadistic Girls. One of their most aggressive songs and a great opener. Lead singer Jocke Berg is not standing still for one second and this continues throughout the whole show. Guitarist Vic Zino had a great time on stage tonight, getting more and more drunk from one song to the other. He pulled it off with grace though and the people down on the ground were satisfied with his efforts.
Tonight we get a load of songs from their latest release, Split Your Lip. Some of them, like Bully and the title track should however be cut off the setlist, since they are in fact not good enough. During Last Call For Alcohol, Jocke invites half a dozen boys and girls from the front row to sing the choruses, which at least made their day.
Tonight's performance won't go down in history as one of their greatest,
even if they were one hundred percent focused to give everything they
got. After seeing them earlier this summer at Sweden Rock Festival, when
they played the entire self titled album, I just can't help looking back
on that performance with the insight of which songs are their best.
Performance: 6 chalices
Blackie Lawless and his boys have visited Sweden many times the last couple of years, so a lot of people have a fresh memory of what W.A.S.P.s live shows has to offer. Usually a way too short set without any surprises at all, yet good.
Tonight Saturday night's headliners opens up with the same old story and much to my surprise the show turns to the better when two songs off their latest release are played. Crazy and Babylon's Burning are two great songs and are well received by the crowd. We of course get The Idol with an extended solo as well and guitarist Doug Blair is turning that great solo into something even greater. Bassist Mike Duda is as always on top of his game and his constant movement on stage has a visual effect that's hard to beat. A good right hand to Blackie, who seems younger than ten years ago, singing choruses which used to be recorded and he sometimes also run around on stage.
We get most of their well known songs and three newer ones for this full
ninety minute performance. I'm also impressed of Blackie's guts to play
a newer song second but last, when he deep down inside knows that people
on festivals mostly come for the old hits.
Performance: 7,5 chalices
The closing words
These festivals out in the middle of nowhere draw
attention to a lot of people that see this as an event and not as a metal
festival, making this into some kind of metal festival/family meeting
with more kids and strollers than on daycare. On one hand it's good that
the festival sells more tickets and probably will expand to next year,
but on the other hand we get audiences that are pretty lame. Also the
poor stage lighting was evident and has to better next year.
Related links: www.skogsrojet.se