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Rockweeked Day 2 @ Kilafors, (SWE)

in Friday, 10 July 2009 at Kilafors, (SWE)
by Erika Wallberg

Friday started of rainy too and since me and my gang commuted between Kilafors and Gavle we decided to have a lie-in and skip the first few hours of the festival also, I didn't wanted to challenge my camera the same way again. It actually stopped raining on the way to the festival and the weather had been better up north so at least the ground hadn't been more rain soaked. Still it was very hard to drive on and off the parking lot so the farmers had a lot of work to do with their tractors.

Local Punk legends PURE MANIA were the first band to hit the stage after arrival to the festival Area. They pissed of the mainstream and gained a few new friends of the underground when doing a RAMONES influenced version of Swedish mega music export ROXETTE's the look back in the early 90's. And PURE MANIA is the type of Punk that still works even 20 years later. Ok, they're probably more Rock than Punk and you're never too old to Rock 'N' Roll, right? And this is probably one reason it still works so well, Punk 20 years later will not give a very good impression, there's no way middle aged men can be as furious as they were. But when it's mixed with Rock it absolutely works. It's always fun to see bands you've grown up with but nostalgia or not, PURE MANIA did a great job. It sounded good, just as filthy as Rock must be to be good. As long as the band is having fun on stage and that is reflected in the music these re-unions are fun to watch. PURE MANIA was absolutely fun to watch but I'm not sure the ones who didn't know them back in the days would say the same.
One small stop in the Bar after PURE MANIA served the most bizarre show of the festival. Bollnas locals KORP played when we got there. It's always fun when bands do that little extra to give a good show. But when one out of four goes all the way it sort of turn to parody. And perhaps this was more for fun than a real gig. The musical direction was a little weird too, mix primitive Black Metal with Iggy Pop and place Glen Danzig at the microphone. It wasn't bad at all really, it sounded ok, especially with the bizarre expression and the sort of party friendly music. Far from best of the festival but still a quite nice surprise in the early afternoon and as a change it's nice to see a band having fun with their gig.

The real reason though we took place in the beer tent was ISOLE. The Gavle based doomsters was one of the main attractions for me. So? There's nothing wrong with being a little local patriotic from time to time. It hasn't so much to do with patriotism as the fact that ISOLE is a great band though and it's great to see local boys play away from home. Really, ISOLE's latest release "Silent Ruins" sure is an amazing piece of epic Doom and they deserve all credits they get. There's something really special to see bands you've seen for ages on real stages, with a real crowd, lights and everything. Doom is perhaps not first music that comes to mind when it's supposed to be a party. But played the right way it works as good as any other style. ISOLE do everything right, they have the drive despite the heavy tunes, they have the intensity and they're heavy as hell without losing the musicality. Of course they stuck with their standard and put on a great performance. One of the best gigs of the festival, absolutely.

PARADISE LOST had picked a very nice goodie bag for 'Rockweekend', a best of from past years. The hits even perhaps! It was absolutely horrible to hang in the photo pit during "Hallowed Land", that's a song I've been longing to hear live again for a very long time. When they actually play it, I'm stuck with a camera. Well, it could have been a lot worse, a lot of people actually missed them since there was a last minute change in the running order and GEMINI FIVE were put on PARADISE LOST original slot. The ones who got the information thought it was perfectly clear and well done but of course it's hard to reach everyone at a big festival. PARADISE LOST have been really good the last times I've seen them but the setlists have been a little odd to say the least. Almost nothing at all from the classics like "Icon" and "Draconian Times" but who am I to complain? I want bands to do things like that. But now, what the hell have happened with the band? In the beginning of the 90's PARADISE LOST was a really great live act, unfortunately that faded the more the Metal was excluded from the music. They managed to restore the live reputation when the Metal was back in the music again but this was not PARADISE LOST standard. Such a tired live act is not common at this level. I can understand the boredom in playing what people want to hear but if they felt it was this boring it absolutely would have been better to stick what they normally do. Songs like "Pity The Sadness", "Embers Fire", "Say Just Words" and "As I Die" should live by themselves but even those felt tired. I really hope this was just a onetime thing because this is not how they've been live lately.

MUSTASCH was also on the bill in 2008, then with local boy Bollnas Martin on guitars. That lineup didn't hold for long though and since from a few months before 'Rockweekend' SPARZANZA guitarist David Johannesson have been handling the lead 6-strings. Ralf Gyllenhammar, or Riff-Raffe or Daddy as he called himself was really quiet to start with. The MUSTASCH concerts have been a mixture of Rock and stand up comedy the last years and his mouth is normally busier than a cashier at a super sale. It only took a few songs and everything was back to normal again. Sure it's fun to listen too but the speeches between the songs can't take overhand over the music, at least not on a music festival. Well, it didn't this time, it was just enough talking and joking between the songs. Before they started playing whisperings throughout the festival visitors were telling about a surprise. In the middle of the set, during "6:36" and "I Lied" a big crane swung over the audience with a huge net filled with something swinging threatening over the field. It appeared to be blow up balls, the ones you play with on the beach, with Jack Daniels-prints all over them. I can easily say a lot of people missed the moving crane looked a little bit surprised when the balls started bouncing. MUSTASCH was good as usual, they're that type of music that goes perfectly with sun and beer. Yes, the sun was actually shining all day and the ground started to dry up a little. They hey spread over the ground helped a lot and it was really nice to be able to walk unhindered at festival Area. I get a little annoyed with myself from time to time and dismiss MUSTASCH as a party band only. That's far from the truth, even if they're not one of my favorite bands all their records have been really good straight through. And "Down In Black" or "I Hunt Alone" wasn't just one time luck, for each and every record they've released there's been at least one more song that will be classified as a must in the live set for years to come, "Double Nature" and "Black City" for example.

MUSTASCH setlist:
  1. "Dogwash"
  2. "Down in Black"
  3. "Bring Me Everyone"
  4. "Teenage Pacifier"
  5. "Accident Blackspot"
  6. "Falling Down"
  7. "I Hunt Alone"
  8. "6:36"
  9. "I Lied"
  10. "Black City"
  11. "Parasite"
  12. "Monday Warrior"
  13. "Double Nature"
It sure is something special with that little lady. Angela Gossow possesses a stage presence none of her colleagues can reach. Sure, it's not that many tiny, blond female growlers out there to compare with but there's utmost few of the other sex that holds her standard. She sure is an extraordinaire front of a band. I do prefer ARCH ENEMY live though, their albums are good but the songs works much better with the whole show to it. Guitar brothers Chris and Mike Amott could work a little harder though because especially Chris got very invisible behind Sharlee D'Angelo and Angela. Mike is harder to miss due to his extremely red hair. But Sharlee and Angela is really enough for the whole show together with the music of course. Musicians that spread that type of joy shall get credit for that and they both are totally amazing to watch. The cool thing with ARCH ENEMY for example is that Death Metal really works for the mainstream too. At least these more melodic bands but still, who would have thought that about 10 years ago? For good and bad I say, bands tend to get boring when they're accepted by the mainstream. ARCH ENEMY though, they were on their way towards that with "Anthems Of Rebellion" but latest release "Rise Of The Tyrants" is far from that again. Then only one reason remains, a great live act will always succeed and reach the crowds even if the music still is extreme, and perhaps that the Amott-brothers are extremely talented guitarists.

It sort of felt like the 'Rockweekend'-crew had gone for a quite safe line-up this time. W.A.S.P. always delivers, ARCH ENEMY, MUSTASCH, D-A-D do too and who is steadier than the godfather of German Heavy Metal Udo Dirkschneider? Ok, safe can be boring but with these bands it's bound to be a good festival. U.D.O. never disappoints the crowd and this was no exception. The band is a very fine ensemble of musicians and never fails. And who could complain about some classic Metal tunes in the early evening? ACCEPT classics as "Metal Heart", "Midnight Highway" and "Princess Of The Dawn" will cheer up even the saddest and they are bound to boost the already frantic party. Even if most people gets happier when U.D.O. plays the ACCEPT classics, U.D.O. as the band sure have created classics of their own in the same quality, songs that are bound to be classics too. It's a little unfortunate that these albums are looked past and for this event even excluded from the set. Almost 50/50 split between U.D.O. and ACCEPT songs in the set is absolutely too few U.D.O. songs. But of course, no matter what songs U.D.O. choose to play it will be great at least. It's amazing to see these bands tour after tour, do sort of the same things, equally good one time after another and still feel a little unsatisfied afterwards. The sets could always have been a little longer, they could always have squeezed in a few more songs.

U.D.O. setlist:
  1. "Metal Heart"
  2. "Midnight Highway"
  3. "They Want War"
  4. "24/7" "Vendetta"
  5. "Princess of the Dawn"
  6. "Living For Tonight"
  7. "Man and Machine"
  8. "Animal House"
  9. "Thunderball"
  10. "Holy"
  11. "Balls to the Wall"
  12. "I'm a Rebel"
Too old to Rock 'N' Roll? Nope, as long as you love it you can't fail. CHICKENFOOT is an all star lineup with stage monkey Sammy Hagar in the front. Michael Anthony (ex-VAN HALEN), Joe Satriani and Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) how can that fail? Well, it can't! It's amazing to see that people who've been in the business for its ups and downs, been through the soap-operas of megastar behavior, done the tours, had the billboard top placements still can find the inspiration to start up something new. Project or band doesn't matter but ok, they got the fast lane to the headline spots of course but for that it doesn't have to be good. I don't think I've ever seen a band enjoying their time on stage as much as CHICKENFOOT did. It's really amazing to see a bunch in this class having so much fun. Chad runs away from the drums between songs, chatting with the crowd and bugging his bandmates. The others were just laughing trying to get the next song started, that's quite hard without the drummer though. That Sammy Hagar is one hell of a stage character is a fact. I personally think he didn't get credit for his years with VAN HALEN, I absolutely prefer him over diamond Dave. And now, together with Mr. Anthony they even got Joe rocking. Of course, a band like this will draw a crowd but there's also sort of a gamble to put them last on the bill. It's not 100% sure that the festival visitors are that up to date with the music scene that they've taken the time to know this band. The area wasn't empty, far from it but it's not an exaggeration to say that MUSTASCH or ARCH ENEMY had as big a crowd as CHICKENFOOT. Still they absolutely deserve to be the Headliners. More bands should absolutely take a look at this concept and learn from it. At lot of bands out there must learn to have fun when they play. But also musically CHICKENFOOT have created a really good album, perhaps just a simple Rock 'N' Roll album but when you do it with the heart in the right place it will kick ass.
  1. "Avenida Revolution"
  2. "Soap on a Rope"
  3. "Sexy Thing"
  4. "Oh Yeah!"
  5. "Down the Drain"
  6. "Learning to Fall"
  7. "Get it Up"
  8. "Turning Left"
  9. "Future in the Past"
  10. "Highway Star"
Then it was time to call it a night again. It felt pointless to stay and watch SATOR play. Sure, they're a really good band too but not as good as they could have given CHICKENFOOT a match. It doesn't feel a hundred percent fair to put a band on the bill after the headliner but I'm sure SATOR did what they do best, play Punk 'N' Roll and kept the party going for the rest of the night.

(photos by “Princess Of The Dawn” Erika)







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Edited 03 April 2020

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