7-10 June, 2017

Cloudy, windy, rainy, sunny… The first day of Sweden Rock had everything except snow. On the top of everything, it had a well-selected line-up of the finest rock and metal music around the block. Here is what we saw.

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First band I saw was Art Nation, one of the fresh generation of hard rock music. I had heard comments that they… ehm… copy other bands of their kind (which copy older bands of their kind).

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 Nevertheless, they were uplifting and fun, and although the guitars were low and the vocals too high, I loved the rhythm section and their grooves.

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 Black Ingvars are Swedish classics. Apparently, they mix classic hits with their own lyrics, and everyone in the crowd knew every word of them! Became a big party when they covered Europe and AC/DC.

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When the fun from Black Ingvars was over, we saw Grand Magus change the mood with their well-delivered, heavy, stoner sound.

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Helix came with a hell of an energy on stage… all of them. Especially Brian Vollmer was something between Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop. Great songs too!

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Yep, that’s what I expected, and that’s what it was. Four guys sitting and playing their cellos. Occasionally they were standing and even looking at each other. Maybe I’m harsh…

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It was the first time I saw Hardline. Really enjoyable to watch and they seemed to have fun also. Johnny Gioeli also introduced us to his daughter. It was her birthday or so… in case you want to send him wishes next year.

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Doro Pesch has a stable quality. With Warlock, she was storming the stage. Naturally.

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 Ian Hunter was there for the lovers of the classic sound. A very enjoyable setlist, assisted by the perfect sound.

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I was in the dilemma between Alter Bridge and Fates Warning. I decided to go a little bit to both. Besides, Alter Bridge had a longer slot. They were a nice warm-up for Steel Panther, who were a warm-up for Aerosmith.

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Fates Warning. They deserved a larger stage. That 4Sound one is always depressing… or cozy. Depending on your mood. (But very good when it’s cold and windy).

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 It kind of becomes repetitive if you have seen them a couple times, but the girls seem to enjoy the chance to go on stage and take something off. Funny moment, after Satchel was saying one of their usual sexist jokes, he adds for the girls that were on stage, that they probably don’t speak any English, otherwise they would have beaten him by then.

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 What could I say about Aerosmith. Setlist? Awesome. Sound? Amazing. Choreography? Steven Tyler still got it. Moustache? Seems to be the fashion within the band. Age? We couldn’t say if Brad Whitford was not there dressed like Inspector Clouseau.

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Edguy ended the day (or rather started the next one). Their setlist had all the hits but the sound was designed for people who can’t hear the bass. We also heard stories about the 25 years of the band, and how they connect with Sweden.

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Gotthard have a few songs that you can never get tired listening. Anytime, anywhere… 

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Clutch was the stoner touch of the day. I tried to combine them with Metal Church who played at the same time. But I was actually anticipating the next band.

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Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul is Little Steven’s version of the E-Street band. All amazing musicians, crystal sound, ever-dancing backing vocals, percussion and horns that bring joy to the hearing center of the brain, and all the faces of Little Steven can do for more than one hour.

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Apart from bassist Juan Croucier looking like John Belushi, the main characteristic of this show was singer Stephen Pearcy walking around restlessly and waiting for their time slot to end (and singing of course, but you get the picture).

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Scorpions started their show a little more calmly than I expected. Meaning not with a BANG! But that changed very soon and any doubt if they still have it vanished. This band was on fire! And Mikkey Dee, what a suitable addition. Feels like he was always there.

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I never get tired listening and watching this band. Too bad they missed a couple of my favourites.

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 John Lawton with the Sweden Rock Symphony Orchestra. I have mixed feeling about this show, but how could I miss it. Look at some of the guests! John Lawton, with the same voice as ever.

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Tarja, an opera voice in the body of a rock performer. 

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 Joe Lynn Turner, with the same hair as ever.

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 Dan McCafferty from Nazareth.

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 Dare are cool. The photo proves it and the songs are equally rocky. But I wanted to see Rhapsody as well.

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 Rhapsody were not bad. They were just overperforming. Especially Luca Turilli was running around like on speed… Maybe because this show was part of the reunion farewell tour.

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Bluesy break from Rival Sons.

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 Saxon played for 1.5 hours. That is about half their regular show. You can’t fit everything in that…

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Treat singer, Robert Ernlund in the cozy 4Sound stage.

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What better way to end the day and the festival than with some fine blues rock. The man in charge, Australian Rob Tognoni.