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Reviews by Tommy/David/Mozzy/Hawk
Photos by David/Thomas

Wednesday - June 09

Band: Sator
Sweden Stage 16:15-17:15

~ By Hawk
The Swedish band Sator might be categorized as a punk band but since their brand of punk rock has touches of hard rock it wasn't as odd as it might seem to see their name on the bill. Since Sator is renowned for their energetic live performances it felt like they were the perfect band to get the party started on this festival. Personally I have witnessed the band live a couple of times and they always deliver with passion and heart. This time though that little extra something was missing and I can't really pinpoint why but maybe they have a lost a bit of their hunger through the years. A solid performance though and when they played some of their classics like I Wanna Go Home and I'd Rather Drink Than Talk the crowd really woke up.

6 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Band: Alestorm
Sweden Stage 18:30-19.30

~ By Tommy
Alestorm is in possession of a concept that you could build a nice show around, but unfortunately that was not the case here. It was a quite mediocre show despite the fact that the guys seemed to have a pretty good time themselves. I am not a big fan of of their albums in general even though they do indeed have some good hooks and choruses on their account. It was not much better live, and since the vocals were not on top either, it was a let down. Partially enjoyable but there are so many jolly "ho-ho-ho" parts that everything eventually melts together and loses its initial citch value.

4 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Band: Michael Monroe
Sweden Stage 21:00-22:15

~ By Mozzy
Of all the frontmen in the rock n´roll business, Michael Monroe is known as one of the most compelling, and he is truly in characteristic, highly energized, form tonight. Putting on an extravagant show, he bounces around, jumps down to greet the fans at the front, and climbs the stage rig, even hanging upside down - while singing - at one point. The Finn's bandmates, meanwhile, are most proficient at providing rock n roll entertainment themselves. The Wildhearts leader Ginger, assisting with slick guitar riffs and poses, and Sam Yaffa (New York Dolls, formerly of Hanoi Rocks) providing great bass lines, steal most of the limelight. Guitarist Steve Conte (New York Dolls) and Karl Rockfist on drums complete a very impressive crew assembled by Monroe.

As regards to the actual songs, though, it's apparent that Monroe's own material, old and new, does not quite compare to the brilliance of Hanoi Rocks - an comparison which is hard to avoid. The heat therefore rises when Hanoi tunes such as Boulevard Of Broken Dreams and Back To Mystery City appear, which is also quite natural since they are more known. All in all, however, it's an excellent dose of dirty, groovy rock n' roll which Monroe and band provide us with on the opening evening of the festival, also with a great sound. And in terms of showmanship, it's first class.

7 chalices of 10

Nothin's Alright
Hammesmith Palais
You're Next
Not Fakin' It
Another Night In The Sun
I Wanna Be Loved
The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Love Song
rickspringfielded For A Fall
Back To Mystery City
Malibu Beach Nightmare
Dead, Jail Or Rock 'n' Roll
Ain't Nothin' To Do
1970 (incl. Radar Love)

Band: The Quireboys
Dio Stage 22:30 – 23:45

~ By Mozzy
"We're The Quireboys and this is rock n´roll" singer Spike informs the spectators as the English six-piece take the stage. Indeed, there are not many bands that better epitomise the art of unfussy, feel-good, pub rock n´roll than The Quireboys, and tonight their formula is a winning one yet again. It is clear that the band have many devoted fans in Sweden, judging both by the number of people attending and the warm response. After a bit of a slow start, the atmosphere becomes marvellous, with loud singing and elated swinging of hips ever-present features in front of the Dio stage (named so as a tribute to our great fallen hero).

Surely, all those in the mood for a party get their fair share. Hey You, Sweet Mary Ann and Sex Party are just some of the splendid tunes performed with an irresistible groove by the players in the band. Known for liking a party himself, Spike actually claims that he's sober this very evening - while also asking the crowd to save some drinks for him. Regardless of the extent of truth in the vocalist's acknowledgment, he makes a more focused impression than is sometimes the case. His distinctive, raspy voice is as always an integral part of a rock n' roll show that is a real hit and a terrific starting signal to four days of rock n´roll festivities.

8 chalices of 10

Bite The Hand That Feeds
Have A Little
The Finer Stuff
Tramps And Thieves
There She Goes Again
Roses And Rings
I Love This Dirty Town
Whippin' Boy
Mona Lisa Smiled
Man On The Loose
Hey You
Sweet Mary Ann
7 O' Clock
I Don't Love You Anymore
Sex Party

Band: U.D.O.
Sweden Stage 00:00 - 02:00

~ By Tommy
I've said it before and I say it again: I don't see many ways that a U.D.O. concert can fail. This one was more or less as good and solid as any I have seen with them the past years. The sound at Sweden Stage was superb (as usual) and the whole show was like a kick in the face. There is not much else to say really, since they also ran the whole thing very much on routine. It's pure and primal heavy metal in its most noble form and you know what you are going to get and on a normal day, you always get it; first class entertainment. If they now only could remove the boring song Vendetta from the setlist it would be even better, since the concerts always die a tad bit there, but only there.

7,5 chalices of 10

The Bogeyman
Independence Day
The Bullet And The Bomb
Flash Rockin' Man
Princess Of The Dawn
Midnight Mover
Man And Machine
Animal House
Metal Heart
Balls To The Wall
Balls To The Wall (reprise)
I'm A Rebel
Fast As A Shark

To the top

Thursday - June 10

Band: Nazareth
Festival Stage 13:30 - 14:45

~ By Mozzy
The conditions for Nazareth´s performance are not the best. Starting at 1.30 PM, the gathering at the Festival stage seems somewhat weary, judging from the lukewarm response during the first couple of numbers. Furthermore, the weather leaves a lot to be desired, with recurring rain drops and a not so summer-like temperature. Also, the band seems rather out of place at the biggest stage, their traditional hard rock far better suited to a smaller setting. It does not help either that there is minimal movement onstage. Singer Dan McCafferty is for the most part firmly planted a few metres in front of the drum set, as are guitarist Jimmy Murrison and basist Pete Agnew. It seems almost like they are unaware of the fact that they are playing a large outdoor stage and not some club. Sure, the veteran rockers have cool charisma, but with such a big space on which to operate, they make a rather tired impression.

Musically, it is nonetheless enjoyable, with the Scots´ classic heavy rock warming the audience. McCafferty still has his characteristic voice intact, and shares some amusing anecdotes from the band´s early days. All the most loved tunes are, perhaps unwisely, saved ´til the end, when the atmosphere rises considerably. It would of course take a lot for a classic band like Nazareth to fail, but they would definitely have fared much better on one of the smaller stages. But someone has to play the early slots on the biggest stage, and Nazareth does a fine job.

6 chalices of 10

Turn On The Receiver
Miss Misery
Dream On
Bad Bad Boy
The Gathering
My White Bicycle
Shanghai´d in Shanghai
Hair Of The Dog
Love Hurts
This Flight Tonight

Band: Treat
Dio Stage 13:45-14:45

~ By Hawk
On Sweden Rock Festival 2008 the reunited Treat entered a small stage in a tent and the crowd went wild. A combination of nostalgia and a dedicated performance made this gig a success. This time they were given a slot on the Dio stage which granted a lot more people to witness the show. With a great new album under their wings they delivered a well balanced setlist of new and old goodies. The intensity of their previous gig at Sweden Rock Festival however got lost because of the open space in front of the stage but they really worked hard and made a great performance that seemed to please crowd. The fact that a few of my personal favourites were missing and the poor weather is holding down the grade just a tiny bit though.

7,5 chalices of 10

Setlist: (might be slightly incorrect)
The War Is Over
All In
Ready For The Taking
Paper Tiger
Changes/Rev It Up/Party All Over/Too Wild
We Own The Night
Sole Survivor
Get You On The Run
Skies Of Mongolia
World Of Promises

Band: Y&T
Sweden Stage 15:00-16:15

~ By David
Last time I saw Y&T on Sweden Rock, in 2004, they did not live up to the expectations from all the good words after the gig in 2003 (which I didn't see). Maybe they simply drowned on Festival Stage in the middle of the sun that time. Now, six years later, the intensity was there in a totally different way on the smaller Sweden Stage. Dave Meniketti seemed to be in a party mood.

I expected almost every other band on the festival to do a Dio tribute, but Y&T was actually the only band that I caught that did a full cover song, Rainbow In The Dark. Otherwise old and well tested numbers like Black Tiger and Mean Streak still worked best, while new ones like On With The Show, Shine On and I'm Comin' Home grew a few notches with a little live energy behind. Excellent selection from the otherwise boring Facemelter.

8 chalices of 10

Black Tiger
On With The Show
Lonely Side Of Town
Rainbow In The Dark (Dio cover)
Mean Streak
Shine On
I Believe In You
Open Fire
Eyes Of A Stranger
I'm Comin' Home
Dirty Girl
Rescue Me

Band: Pretty Maids
Festival Stage 16:30-18:00

~ By Mozzy
That Ratt were forced to cancel their european tour, including the appearance at Sweden Rock Festival, was a shame. Fortunately, disappointment soon turned into joy for many, as Pretty Maids were announced as Ratt´s replacement. Having a dedicated following in Sweden, the Danes were an ideal choice. Also, they just released a brilliant album, Pandemonium, which has renewed the affection for the band. It's apparent that the Danish veterans aim to grab the opportunity; the performance is energetic and singer Ronnie Atkins is particularly fired up, spurring on the audience and generously using the middle ramp. Fresh recruit Hal Patino on bass, an experienced player, fits in splendidly, being more mobile and engaging than his predecessor, Kenn Jackson.

Two tracks from the new effort open proceedings, the title track and I.N.V.U. These go down very well, and the first half of the performance mainly consists of newer material, with the surprising and nice exception of Queen Of Dreams from the first album. The second part of the set offers a string of cherished favourites, culminating with the true classics Future World and Red Hot And Heavy. It should be a triumph for Pretty Maids, but regrettably, the sound is far from perfect, with Ken Hammer's guitar struggling to make the desirable impact. This leaves an annoying feeling which is hard to shake off. Nevertheless, an excellent time is still had by the fans who have gathered, witnessing a great band with great songs. When the band visits Sweden next time, playing their own show under their own conditions, it should be marvellous.

7,5 chalices of 10

Wake Up To The Real World
Little Drops Of Heaven
Queen Of Dreams
Final Day Of Innocence
Walk Away
We Came To Rock
Back To Back
Please Don't Leave Me
Love Games
Future World
Red, Hot And Heavy

Band: Pendragon
Sweden Stage 18:15-19:45

~ By Hawk
The British prog rockers Pendragon is one of my biggest discoveries in recent time. When they were confirmed for this year's festival I literally screamed out loud. This was actually their first appearance on Swedish soil which made the gig a bit more special. When they entered the stage with the phenomenal opening track from the latest album Pure the number of people in the crowd were on an embarrassing level. The further Indigo went on however the crowd grew steadily as the case usual is on festivals. The first three tracks in the set list were taken from Pure and it was obvious to all of us how well these fantastic songs work live. Singer/guitarist Nick Barrett is in my opinion one of the best prog guitarists out there today. His Gilmouresque guitar work is melodic, emotional and gives me goose bumps all over. And with a great side kick such as Clive Nolan on the keyboards what could go wrong? I was almost moved to tears during highligts such as Not Of This World (15 minutes of prog rock heaven) and Master Of Illusion (their best composition ever). Absolutely brilliant!

9 chalices of 10

Freak Show
Not Of This World
Breaking The Spell
Master of Illusion
It`s Only me

Band: Jorn
Sweden Stage 21:45-23:15

~ By David
Jörn Lande is highly respected for his voice but has also become infamous for playing mostly covers with his solo band, in spite of several strong records in the catalogue. But either Sweden Rock has put in the contract that he should stick to his own material or he simply has listened to the complaints, because this hour and a half was committed almost entirely to original Jorn songs, with the exception of Thin Lizzy's Are You Ready.

I must say that I expected at least one Dio-related song, since Jörn Lande was the one holding an emotional speech to the memory of Ronnie James Dio earlier the same day. Not to mention that his next record will be a Dio tribute. But Jorn has a bunch of own, heavy and yet catchy material to chose from. Highlights were We Brought The Angels Down, Tungur Knivur and War Of The World (in which he actually read up a few lines from Man On The Silver Mountain). Jorn sang as usual as a viking and looked as usual as he had to take a shit on stage. A point off for all the boring solos in the middle of the set.

7 chalices of 10

Road Of The Cross
Shadow People
We Brought The Angels Down
Spirit Black
The Inner Road
Man Of The Dark
(Tore Moren Guitar solo)
Tungur Knivur
(Tor Erik Myhre Guitar solo)
Rock And Roll Angel
(drum solo)
Soul Of The Wind
Are You Ready (Thin Lizzy cover)
War Of The World/(Man On The Silver Mountain)

Band: Aerosmith
Festival Stage 23:30-02:00

~ By David
You must give the band credit for listening to their fans. The Swedish hard rock fans wanted more 70s songs - and they got it. For my part I think I prefer the hit oriented 80s and 90s material. Too bad the band wasn't really as harmonic and on their toes as the last time in 2007. I held up for about an hour, but then it all went downhill with solos and jams.

Steven Tyler sang impressively great, but Joe Perry seemed totally uninspired to do anything else than showing his skills in an almost arrogant way. The 'Guitar Hero Duel', with Perry playing 'against' the animated self from the famous video game was just a silly idea (to promote the Aerosmith version of the game?). Brad Withford on his side looked like he was going to die on the spot. Where was Dude, Looks Like A Lady? And why is Jaded still in the set?

7 chalices of 10

Love In An Elevator
Back In The Saddle
Walkin' The Dog
Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
Livin' On The Edge
Kings And Queens
(drum solo)
Lord Of The Thighs
(Joe Perry Guitar Hero duel)
Stop Messin' Around
I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
Sweet Emotion
Baby Please Don't Go
Draw The Line
Dream On
Walk This Way
Toys In The Attic

To the top

Friday - June 11

Band: Grave Digger
Rock Stage 12:00-13:15

~ By Tommy
This was the first time seeing Grave Digger for me, so on beforehand it was one of the festival's highlights, but alas it turned out to be a disappointment. Since they celebrate 30 years as a band this year, I completely understand that they want to play odd songs from their career but I think that they for the most part chose the wrong ones. The concert lost its momentum several times and the anticipated feeling never set in. The newly recruited guitarist Axel Ritt were doing ok, but he is a couple of steps behind Manni Schmidt, both when it comes to stage presence and pondus as well as guitar playing. Far from an optimal setlist, a small crowd due to the early playing time, a bit weak sound; all this contributed to the anticlimax. The gig was saved from being plain poor due to the fact that most, but not all, of the classic singalong pieces worked out good.

5 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Band: M.S.G.
Festival Stage 13:30-14:45

~ By Mozzy
Last time guitar legend Michael Schenker graced Sweden Rock with his presence - in 2006 - he was joined by lesser known names, among them Finnish singer Jari Kiura. The absence of more famous MSG figures, coupled with an obvious lack of commitment and spirit from Schenker himself, made it an average, rather forgettable showing. This time, gladly, there is a big contrast. With 2010 marking the 30th anniversary of the first MSG album, an extensive tour celebrating the event was embarked upon already in late 2009. The biggest news was the return of Gary Barden, esteemed vocalist on three of the first four studio albums. In addition, Chris Glen, the bassist who were present during the same era, is joining on the european leg (the line-up differs slightly in different parts of the world), as are former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade and Wayne Findlay on keyboards/guitar.

Barden remains in good shape vocal-wise, and leads the band with credit. A band who are clearly enjoying themselves, with powerful drumming from Slade and similarly spirited efforts from Glen and Findlay. As for Schenker, he is in a cheery mood and much more dynamic onstage; getting his act together offstage in recent years has certainly done him good, and it is great to see him on form again. And his playing is of course just wonderful to experience, his distinctive, clear sound and magnificent melodies and leads warming the hard rock souls of those defying the rainy afternoon. Song-wise, we are served a delicious set of MSG classics, provided with a good sound as well. To finish off the feast, Schenker and co, in standard fashion, treat the crowd to a couple of revered UFO anthems, which has everyone singing along.

8 chalices of 10

Armed And Ready
Cry For The Nations
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Ready To Rock
Ride On My Way
Into The Arena
Lost Horizons
Rock My Nights Away
On And On
Lights Out
Attack Of The Mad Axemen
Rock Bottom
Doctor Doctor

Band: D-A-D
Rock Stage 15:00-16:15

~ By David
The Danes know how to put on a rock show. A buffalo scull in the back, a lot of fire, a bassist with a lot of fun guitar models and a nice selection of classic rock songs. It is still Jihad and Sleeping My Day Away that works best with the crowd, but their last album Monster Philosophy is a huge step back in the game. I really missed the heavy Chainsaw from that one, which they played last summer at Wacken.

I also missed a bit of the glow and energy from that gig this time. It was more of a routine feeling over this one. Still great, of course. The encore with Laugh 'N' A ½ and Marlboro Man was almost an anticlimax though.

7 chalices of 10

True Believer
Beautiful Together
Point Of View
Everything Glows
Grow Or Pay
Riding With Sue
The Road Below Me
Isn't That Wild
Monster Philosophy
Bad Craziness
Sleeping My Day Away
Laugh 'N' A ½
Marlboro Man

Band: Rick Springfield
Festival Stage 16:30-18:00

~ By Hawk
This gig was a time travel back to my childhood since my brother was a fan of Rick Springfield and the album Living In Oz was frequently played in our house back in the days. It is said that Rick has reached the age of 61 but that can't be true. He looks not a day over 40 and few can compete with the energy of his performance on stage. When it was time for Human Touch he jumped out to the audience and walked through the crowd all the way to the sound tower where he climbed up and continued his singing. Quite impressive! Even if a few songs in the setlist were unnecessary (I mean, Wild Thing?! C'mon…) this was a great gig on the whole. It was not only pure nostalgia though since the tracks from his latest album Venus In Overdrive (2008) worked extremely well together with his classics. Another great thing is that a lot more power was added when performing the songs live. 61 years old you say? Nahhh, I don't think so…

7 chalices of 10

Mr. PC
I've Done Everything For You
Affair Of The Heart
Living In Oz
What's Victoria's Secret
Celebrate Youth
Venus In Overdrive
I'll Miss That Someday
Love Is Alright Tonite
Don't Talk To Strangers
Love Somebody
Human Touch
Jessie's Girl
Wild Thing

Band: Steel Panther
Sweden Stage 18:15-19:45

~ By Mozzy
That the appearance of spoof 80´s glam metallers Steel Panther was going to be something out of the ordinary was emphasised at the highly amusing press conference beforehand, where the band did their utmost to uphold their image as saviours of heavy metal and non-stop partying sex machines. Those who are familiar with Steel Panther know that the band´s music is complemented with massive doses of tongue-in-cheek humour, visible in the lyrics as well as in the appearance.

The dialogue between songs onstage is a big part of the concept. It is, to say the least, not of the modest kind, being most politically incorrect and preferably with sexual references of various types. Actually, some comments prompts even the most unblushing person to think: did he really say that? It could easily come across as quite over the top and monotonous at times, but overall the comedy parts of the show are simply hilarious. Also, the band members showcase a refreshing self-mocking side - and of course we have to remember that is not to be taken seriously. And the fact that the Swedish audience haven't experienced it before ensures that it's fresh - the whole thing could become rather repetitive if you witness it a couple of times. Thus, the dialogues go down a storm, with the crowd at Sweden Stage lapping up everything that is thrown at them, contributing to a glorious joyful atmosphere. In addition, the absolutely brilliant lyrics, equally offensive, play an effective role, with the crowd singing along passionately.

But what´s essentially makes this group so appealing, without which the whole thing would fall flat, is the quality of their music. Appearing on the scene with a bang, last year´s Feel The Steel was filled to the brim with memorable anthems. Though hardly original - and often with obvious references to famous songs - the 80´s-inspired tunes on the album were tremendous. In a live setting, the impact of tracks such as Asian Hooker, Party All Day (Fuck All Night) and Turn Out The Light, with their irresistible catchiness and party feel, is overwhelming. Also, the members definitely have some musical chops, most notably guitarist Satchel.

The encores are a superb finale to the performance. Death To All But Metal has fists pumping and hair flying in the name of metal, and Party All Day (Fuck All Night) has everyone rocking excitedly and celebrating the message of the title. Finally, in Steel Panther´s tradition of including cover versions of loved classics, a seriously ass-kicking version of Mötley Crue´s Kickstart My Heart turns the place into a huge, merry rock n´roll celebration. Simply put, this is an awesome show, an orgy of rock n´roll fun, and unquestionably a true highlight of the whole festival.

9 chalices of 10

Eyes of a Panther
Asian Hooker
Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
The Shocker
I Want It That Way
Guitar Solo
Community Property
Turn out the Lights
Girl from Oklahoma
Eatin' Ain't Cheatin'
Hell's on Fire
Death to all but Metal
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
Kickstart My Heart

Band: Magnum
Rock Stage 18:15-19:45

~ By Hawk
With their last two albums Magnum really has proven that they are hungry as ever and still knows how to write and record melodic and epic stuff like back in the days. The first half of the show was a negative surprise in that aspect since it was like a sleeping pill with focus on slow paced compositions performed without dedication and energy. In time for Les Morts Dansant the show finally took off and from then on it felt like a whole different band. Vigilante was, as always, the absolute highlight but I must say that the first encore Don't Wake The Lion (Too Old To Die Young) was a big surprise that pleased me enormously. Kingdom Of Madness finished the show in the best of ways but the uninspired first half left me a bit disappointed in the end. They can do so much better.

6 chalices of 10

Cry To Yourself
Take Me To The Edge
Brand New Morning
The Moonking
When We Were Younger
No One Knows His Name
Dragons Are Real
We All Run
Les Morts Dansant
All My Bridges
All England's Eyes
Don't Wake The Lion (Too Old To Die Young)
Kingdom Of Madness

Band: Cinderella
Festival Stage 20:00-21:30

~ By Hawk
This was one of the shows I looked forward to the most on this year's festival. I am a huge fan of Cinderella's first two albums (Heartbreak Station is also very good but a bit uneven). I was a bit uncertain what to expect though since Cinderella's main man Tom Keifer has had severe problems with his voice lately. It was said that he now is back in good old shape but this proved to be quite wrong. The band offered a brilliant setlist with all my personal faves such as Somebody Save Me, The Last Mile and Gypsy Road. However, the sound on the Festival Stage was as poor as always and it was painfully obvious that Tom hasn't fully recovered from his vocal problems. It got better and better though and when they slowed down a bit to perform ballads like Heartbreak Station and Coming Home it was actually brilliant (also regarding Tom's voice). It was great to finally get to see Cinderella perform all of their fantastic songs live even if the actual outcome was a bit disappointing.

6 chalices of 10

Second Wind
Push Push
Somebody Save Me
The Last Mile
Night Songs
Bad Seamstress Blues
Fallin' Apart At The Seams
Heartbreak Station
Coming Home
Shelter Me
Nobody's Fool
Gypsy Road
Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)
Shake Me

Band: Gary Moore
Festival Stage 23:30-02:00

~ By David
The sour old (Northern) Irishman was widely despised after the blues gig in 2001. I never really understood that, since it was quite clear that his repertoire consisted of blues and blues entirely back then. But this time he had announced a return to the old hard rock years and everything else seemed to be forgiven and forgotten. Even that he is fun as a sleeping cow on stage.

The songs are still great of course, with Over The Hills And Far Away, Thunder Rising, Blood Of Emeralds and Still Got The Blues in top. But it was embarrassing to see a headline act on this giant stage with no back drop, no additional show or any kind of movement going on. Gary Moore could as well had used the Rockklassiker Tent as far as his production goes. Not even a single smile. Why did he bother to do this at all?

5 chalices of 10

Intro: Dunluce (part 1)
Over The Hills And Far Away
Thunder Rising
Military Man
Days Of Heroes
Where Are You Now
So Far Away (intro)
Empty Rooms
Oh Wild One
Blood Of Emeralds
Out In The Fields
Still Got The Blues
Walking By Myself
Parisienne Walkways

Band: Behemoth
Dio Stage 00:00-01:30

~ By Tommy
Holy crap! I like Behemoth a lot and I had anticipated a good concert but that it should turn out this great I had not expected. It may be because it was the first time I saw them and that it was the "first time impact" that hit me, but they were completely merciless this night. Look up "well oiled machinery" in a dictionary and you will find Behemoth's name and picture next to it. They crushed us all in the audience and it was done with millimeter precision from start to finish: unbelievably tight and the poses were very well choreographed and nailed, without looking or feeling forced in any way. One of the absolute best concerts I have seen in my life and incredibly enough there would be one just as good the very next day...

9 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

To the top

Saturday - June 12

Band: Raven
Dio Stage 17:30-18:30

~ By Tommy
To be honest, Raven have a few riffs and a few choruses that are good but overall it's nothing to write home to mom about. And things definitely didn't improve from neither major technical problems (it took almost three whole songs for the vocals and the guitar to stabilize, they disappeared completely on and off and Mark Gallagher threw his guitar in the ground in pure frustration), nor the fact that the rest of the functioning gig had a sound under par, a lukewarm response from the crowd and an axeman who was not so steady on the solos to put it kindly. A quickly forgotten gig, and even if the band members seemed to have a good time, Raven was at this festival a band that you rather laughed at, instead of with.

3 chalices of 10

Take Control
Live At The Inferno
All For One
Breaking You Down
Rock Until You Drop
Speed Of The Reflex/Mind Over Metal
Walk Through Fire
Crash, Bang, Wallop
On And On
Break The Chain

Band: Saga
Sweden Stage 18:15-19:45

~ By Hawk
Saga has been one of my absolute favourite acts as long as I can remember. Taking that in consideration it's quite amazing that I never ever have witnessed one single show of the band during the years. When Saga was confirmed for Sweden Rock Festival 2010 I was however only mildly pleased since Saga's front man and ever so important vocalist Michael Sadler no longer is in their ranks. Therefore, my expectations were quite mellow before the show.

However, when Saga entered the stage the familiar sound of the Crichton brothers and keyboardist Jim Gilmour made me feel very good. I was also quite pleased with Sadler's replacement Rob Moratti since his vocals made the old songs justice even if he is no way near Sadler's capabilities as an entertainer. The setlist was partly fantastic with classics such as Wind Him Up, Humble Stance, On The Loose and Don't Be Late to name a few but I wasn't overwhelmed when they played songs from their latest album The Human Condition. Saga without Michael Sadler isn't Saga if you ask me. In that aspect I must say that this show was a minor success since it exceeded my expectations by far. Well done lads, but now it's time to reunite...

7,5 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Band: Anvil
Dio Stage 20:15-21:30

~ By Tommy
Even if Anvil's music does not earn more than at most five points in my book, the grade has to be higher than that. The entertainment value in this was high. The smiles and the joy in frontman Lips' eyes are as genuine as can be during their concerts. He's like a little kid, which he admitted himself on stage, having the privilege to do what he loves more than anything. And of course they have got a newfound boost from the aftermath of the recent and critically acclaimed documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil.

Lips was cracking one-liners, talking to the crowd through the microphones of his guitar, and was playing with a golden dildo. Quite juvenile and for many it would not work, but Lips gets away with it and the audience loved it as much as he did. There were, in my eyes and ears, a few songs that shouldn't have been included in the set since they were plain bad and temporarily killed the show, and the rest of the songs they have in their repertoire are more charming than actually good, but at the end of the day it was an enjoyable hour, mostly due to the pranks and the sheer joy and happiness floating in the air.

6 chalices of 10

March Of The Crabs
School Love
Winged Assassins
This Is Thirteen
Flying Blind
Thumb Hang
White Rhino
Mad Dog
Forged In Fire
Metal On Metal

Band: W.A.S.P.
Rock Stage 21:45-23:15

~ By Mozzy
When W.A.S.P. were booked for the festival it brought lots of excitement, not only because the Americans are a much-loved act in Sweden but also because it was announced that they would play a set consisting of songs from the first two albums only. Here was the chance, then, to hear some rarely played gems from two treasured albums, the self-titled debut and The Last Command. Opening the much-anticipated performance is On Your Knees - albeit not the whole song - which sets things off nicely. Then, The Torture Never Stops, which hasn't been played in 26 years says Blackie Lawless, is a rewarding inclusion before L.O.V.E. Machine builds up the momentum further. Wild Child as usual sends everyone into a bliss, and The Last Command is a great journey back in time.

Then, this wonderful W.A.S.P. nostalgia is interrupted by the song Crazy, from the latest album. While Babylon was a very good album, this comes as a bit of an annoyance, although Blackie stated at the preceding press conference that the original idea of a setlist had been reconsidered, because of the good reception Babylon got in Sweden. A bit strange nonetheless, especially when the band toured the record in Sweden last fall. Sure, we get more golden old ones, such as Hellion and Sleeping (In The Fire) in splendid versions, but then another new song, plus two from The Crimson Idol are played. While still enjoying fabulous numbers like Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The Rue Morgue) and The Idol, one cannot help but feel disappointed that this means we do not get to hear more rare tracks.

As for the stage performance, W.A.S.P. deliver the goods. Basist Mike Duda is his usual bundle of energy while Doug Blair is an excellent guitarist and fits in very well, being great onstage, but his never-ending solo becomes quite tiresome. Blackie, meanwhile, has a soulful voice to envy and radiates aujornity like few others. The audience singalong excess during I Wanna Be Somebody is rather tedious, however. Also, it somehow feels like if not a bit of a day on the office, like a far from exceptional display by W.A.S.P. While the massive crowd is certainly served with an entertaining show filled with favourite tunes, it just does not become the extraordinary, memorable occasion that was hoped for - and which was promised.

7,5 chalices of 10

On Your Knees
The Torture Never Stops
L.O.V.E. Machine
Wild Child
The Last Command
Sleeping (In The Fire)
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)
Babylon's Burning
The Idol
I Wanna Be Somebody
Blind In Texas

Band: Watain
Sweden Stage 21:45-23:15

~ By Tommy
Watain did a massive and impressive performance. This was visually the mightiest show I have seen in my life so far. The stage bathed in red light, there were plenty of lit candles, altars and huge burning tridents, and a vast amount of pyro and fire was present in almost every song. It really looked and felt like we were beholding the theme from hell being performed right from the midst of purgatory. The sound was very good, clear and fat, and musically it was flawless. As announced prior to the concert, Watain were to play half the set consisting of their own songs and make the second part a tribute to Bathory. After a (way too long and annoying) break, Quorthon's father came on stage, made a short speech, lit some torches and then the madness began.

The opening song A Fine Day To Die was immensely mighty but after that the concert changed a bit. The rest of the Bathory set consisted of fast songs with a more rock/punk touch, and it was tight, fast and impressive as hell, but the initial grand feeling that had been consistant up to this point faded a tiny bit. I don't know my Bathory like a running water, far from it, but I know there are more "moody" songs to choose from in order to fit the atmosphere they had already built up so perfectly. I would have wished for just one more slower and mighty song, but that is really the only complaint I have, if it's even a complaint per se. This was furious, well executed and very beautiful from first to the last second. A surprisingly small audience, though, but then again W.A.S.P. drew a record crowd at the same time.

9 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Band: Guns N' Roses
Festival Stage 00:18-02:34 (Axl time)

~ By David
Yes, Axl and his roses were 48 minutes late. Yes, his voice almost disappeared after half of the set. No, Slash isn't in the band anymore. No, not Duff McKagan either. Yes, Guns N' Roses has released a new album called Chinese Democracy from which they play a handful of songs. Still I was more than pleased with the night. I expected the band to be late so I was mentally prepared to stand bored, cold and with acing legs and back for about an hour or so. I didn't expect that Axl would sing like in the old days. And I really like Chinese Democracy. For me the highlights of the set were numbers like This I Love and Madagascar.

What I did not know was that the three guitarists would be that good musicians, full of character and act out that much on stage. They were all over the place - and it's a big stage. Bands like Judas Priest and Heaven & Hell have failed completely to reach out to the crowd from it, not to mention Gary Moore the night before. Also Axl himself, though a few kilos stronger, moved around as if he had fire in his ass. Guns N'Roses did another thing that no headline act on Sweden Rock had done before (maybe except for Scorpions 2007) - they played for more than two hours. Two hours and fifteen minutes to be specific. This in spite of the curfew at 02.00. That meant we got all the classics as well - and I think they did them fairly well. I will see Slash on Getaway Rock Festival anyway…

7 chalices of 10

Chinese Democracy
Welcome To The Jungle
It's So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
(Richard Fortus guitar solo (James Bond theme))
Live And Let Die
This I Love
Rocket Queen
(Dizzy Reed keyboard solo)
Street Of Dreams
You Could Be Mine
(DJ Ashba guitar solo)
Sweet Child O' Mine
Another Brick In The Wall (jam)
November Rain
(Ron Thal guitar solo (Pink Panther theme))
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
Paradise City

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Related links: www.swedenrock.com