Warrior Soul, Stonewall Noise Orchestra @ Debaser Slussen, Stockholm (SWE)
WARRIOR SOUL, STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA
in Tuesday, 15 April 2008 at Debaser Slussen
by Erika Wallberg
If you've been waiting to see a band for years and years, your expectations on the whole thing rises to levels out of reach for even the most well oiled live machine. You will most likely be disappointed. Or not?
Opening for WARRIOR SOUL was STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA, sort of plain garage band. Or perhaps it was just hard to set a style visually, since all of them looked pretty ordinary. Then they started playing and show off a nice groove ala CATHEDRAL and that caught my interest. But to their disadvantage it was too easy to pick a new band for every song, it was just too easy to refer to the third song as the SHEAVY-song, fourth as the MUSTASCH-song and so on. Of course, steal with pride and it was absolutely nice songs! But since the style varied a little too much with every song, it was impossible to set this band's identity. Although the last song for the evening, the WARRIOR SOUL-influenced one was truly amazing, with that suggestive feel and a mellow part in the middle, raised the rate for STONEWALL NOISE ORCHESTRA this evening.
Could WARRIOR SOUL live up to my expectations then? I worshiped this band from the first second I heard them. Headbangers Ball showed the video for The Loosers sometime in 1990 and I was hooked. My opportunity to see them live came in 1995, first at 'Dynamo Open Air' and I couldn't believe it, it sounded absolutely terrible. I gave them one more chance and saw the spectacle at Markthalle in Hamburg a few days later. That was even worse. The dynamic, dark, cool band was replaced by Fraggle Rock on LSD. So, this Tuesday night was all about mood swings between hope and anxiety before they finally started playing.
The main part of the concert was from the first three albums, absolutely in my taste. Even if both Chill Pill and Space Age Playboys are decent Rock albums, I still prefer the three first ones. Kory's voice sounded a little bit sore at the start but halfway through the first song every thing was as it's supposed to be. Then, kicking off Love Destruction, all my doubts was gone! This was going to be awesome. Kory Clarke is one hell of a frontman. He has looks, presence, charisma and character. Downtown, We Cry Out and Charlie's Out Of Prison still rocks and really heat up the crowd. A lot of people have waited for this moment apparently and looking around me, half the audience probably found out about this band the same way, at the same time as I did. But there's also a new generation discovering WARRIOR SOUL, the other half of the audience can absolutely relate to the anger and frustration Kory wrote about two decades ago.
It's sad, when you think about it, to see a band like this, with all talent, the songs and drive to not get even one percent of the recognition they deserve. Perhaps the whole scene would have been different if WARRIOR SOUL had made it to the top of the lists instead of GUNS 'N' ROSES? I mean, WARRIOR SOUL have a lot of opinions about society while GUNS and the others mostly sang about love lost.
On the other hand, how does Kory feel today about the old lyrics and his attitude towards the world? A lot happens in 18 years, both in the world and with you. Can he still commit to the lyrics? He sure as hell convinces me at least.
This is just as sweaty, mean and filthy as Rock should be and the stage at Debaser Slussen is as intimate as you can feel the heat of off the musicians. It is so close it almost gets little embarrassing. I'm being just inches away from my teenage idol! I could never in my life have imagined this in the early 90's when my worship of this band was at it is peak.
WARRIOR SOUL is releasing a new album this summer and I hope they'll make it back to Stockholm again some day. Because this is absolutely something I want to see again and next time I don't need to worry about them disappointing me. I know they'll kick ass!
(photos by Erika Wallberg)