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Getaway Rock Festival - Day Three @ Gavle (SWE)

in Saturday, 10 July 2010 at Gasklockorna (Gasometers)
by Erika Walberg

The last day of the festival started off about the same as the first one. The bands started to play too early for my schedule and I arrived to the festival just as they closed the photo pit for THE CROWN. They sure was a nice start of the day, it’s good to have a real hard shake to wake up. The good thing about THE CROWN is that they do have very good songs, they’re the type of Death Metal which makes you happy (well, at least it makes me happy). The Gothenburg sound at its best really, still Old School but with the cool vocal lines. Ok, Johan Lindstrand isn’t in the band anymore but Jonas Stålhammar did a good job filling his shoes and that is not the easiest task to take on. On the other hand, THE CROWN can be better both musically and visually. They were standing a bit still on the huge Monster stage. The sound was good but the musical performance could have been better for sure.After a few songs I decided to check out local boys in REBEL COLLECTIVE, a quite new outfit that features Robin “Benan” Engström who’s more known for being a drummer in Bollnäs Metal heroes MORGANA LEFAY and Kristoffer Elemyr who also plays with UNDIVINE. What can I say, if you take MOTÖRHEAD and mix it with KORN and put some adrenaline and speed in it you get REBEL COLLECTIVE. I really liked the raw Rock’N’Roll feeling they had over it all but the NU Metal/Aggro parts isn’t really my cup of tea. No the less, this sounded really promising and it’s good to see that the Metal scene starts to come alive in Gävle again. With a little bit of luck this band can absolutely be something because they’re that good even if they don’t fit my taste 100%.

Then again, since REBEL COLLECTIVE started to play about the same time as THE CROWN I only saw the few last songs of them and then it was time to go back out in the sun again to watch the last parts of THE CROWN. The sound on ‘Getaway’ has been surprisingly good throughout the Festival, no matter what the music was. That is one thing the organizers should have a big raise for, all bands I saw had a really good sound, on all stages and no matter what type of music it was.Next band on my schedule was Gothenburger’s ENGEL. I’ve heard both good and bad about this band so my own expectations were a bit diverge when they started playing. Their album “Threnody” sounds really decent, perhaps not the album of the year on my list but still a very respectable album. The start of the show was so cool when they tossed the trusses up in the stage roof with the ENGEL symbol in red and black on them. That is a really easy thing to do to enhance the show. Also, that vocalist Magnus "Mangan" Klavborn has his microphone attached to a baseball bat raises the impression a bit. And I admit I thought ENGEL was very amusing to watch for the mere part of their show, they had the attitude and determination (or perhaps even talent) to fill the stage, and did it a lot better than many other bands. Musically it was still the same as the album, totally ok but there’s something missing for them to reach all the way. It can be that that they now played in the middle of the bill on the third day of the Festival in extremely bright sunlight and that ENGEL’s music is a bit outside my favorite area. Still I found it interesting enough to put it on the list of bands I need to see again and then hopefully they’ll have the light show to support them also.

The last couple of years the women in the Metal Scene have increased in number both on and off stage. Perhaps it was more in the Gothic Metal, female fronted genre than real Rock ’n’ Roll through. CRUCIFIED BARBARA is a good example when it comes to female in Rock. I think they get more than they deserve. If this would have been a boy band they would never play high up on the bills on the major Festivals. On the other hand, they have an awesome attitude on and off stage and they’ve been working really hard on their music, working hard playing everywhere. This time I enjoyed seeing them a lot more than I use to though. There’s no doubt they can work the big stages, all of them moves easily with their instruments. What they do actually sounds very good and I found myself singing along to “Play Me Hard”, you know that “Come on, come on, come on and play me hard”. It’s a little boring though that they play on sex and party most of the time. Of course, that sells and thinking about the way they look and dress, it should be normal. I think CRUCIFIED BARBARA would gain a lot to do more serious lyrics as well, at least judging by myself. Still, this was the best CRUCIFIED BARBARA gig I’ve seen so they must do something right.

Then it was time for something completely different when THE HAUNTED hit the Bandit Stage. I know Peter Dolving is the original voice for THE HAUNTED and he’s damn good, don’t get me wrong there, he has a lot more energy on stage than Marco and he moves around like a passerine flying from side to side but I’ve seen them way more times with Marco Aro so that is the real line up for me. Even if it sounds just as great with Dolving I still haven’t really gotten used to having him in the front. It can also have to do with that the albums haven’t been as convincing in the later half of their discography as the first. More “Dead Eye” than “Revolver” of course because the latter on is one of the best Thrash albums ever. There’s always a special feeling when you’re going to see a band you really like and the hairs on my arms stood straight up when the first notes of the intro “Dark Intentions” blasted from the stage. Then, when it changed over into “Bury Your Dead” I wanted to scream and headbang but no such behavior is allowed in the photo pit. Its times like these it is a real pain to work. “99” didn’t really slow anything down, very much the opposite and it’s good to see that bands can get live classics even from newer albums. THE HAUNTED is always a joy to watch but after seeing them several times they’ve become a little like MOTÖRHEAD. You know what you get and you know it will be good no matter what.

After a few songs I decided to check out a part of new thrash Metal titans ZOMBIEKRIG in the Gasometer, again like all the other times in there I managed to see the last 1½ song or so. I don’t know if it was the sound that didn’t do them justice really or if they didn’t manage to deliver their songs the right way because what I’ve heard from them sounded interesting, this was absolutely more of a Hard Core sound than Thrash. Ok, the Swedish lyrics can absolutely have something to do with the music being drawn more towards the Punk. Still it’s a shame to have to run away from THE HAUNTED to see this. It was the same when CRUCIFIED BARBARA played, then CRAZY LIXX played in the Gasometer. Both these clashes were criticized by everyone I talked to but apart from that the schedule worked well. But one can not but wonder why they placed as similar bands as these were at the same time, could have been easy to just switch ZOMBIEKRIG with CRAZY LIXX and it would have been easier to chose.Back out in the sun for the last part of THE HAUNTED. I decided it was time to cool off a bit and took a place in the beer tent. It was easy to enjoy the last couple of songs fro there, “No Compromise” and “Moronic Colossus” are two groovy bastards which always places you in a good mood. A little too good perhaps because I’m sure they played a few more ones in the end but the party in the tent took over. That was so great with the Festival, that you actually could sit in the beer tent and watch the bands, if you managed to keep the focus on the stage that is. Still perfect planning of the layout I say.

Thomas Gabriel Fisher or Tom G Warrior as he’s more know as and for being in CELTIC FROST took on the Monster stage with TRIPTYKON after THE HAUNTED. Even if these bands partly have the same fans they’re miles apart. I was a fan of CELTIC FROST back in the days but I’m not as found of their new sound, the one they applied with “Monotheist”. Well, it’s the same old sound but everything played on half pace. TRIPTYKON is about the same, perhaps everything taken yet another step towards evil en weird. Sure, it doesn’t get more evil what this band is and it’s cool for a while. At least for me, I need to be in the right mood to appreciate this type of music, a sunny afternoon after THE HAUNTED wasn’t really the right place. This is a band that would have suited very well in the dark Gasometer. The extreme doomy music doesn’t allow a lot of movement and headbanging, that’s just not suitable. The opener seemed endless almost, “Procreation (Of The Wicked)”, great for the photos but to boost a party, naah. The band did alright, as much as they can really and Tom gets away with just being himself for a while but I think this would have been so much cooler in the dark. Then, it would be much easier to just get sucked into the music and hang on. Now, in the bright sunlight, with the beer tent right behind (with shade) this band didn’t get justice what so ever.

Looking at the running order we all giggled a little about EUROPE being placed right in between all the brutal bands. Even if the style differed between the bands the other days also but come on, having EUROPE right in the middle of CANNIBAL CORPSE, VADER, MAYHEM and THE HAUNTED that’s at least a little funny. I must come clean and say I start to see the greatness about EUROPE, perhaps not the songs that made it into the hit lists but they do have a lot of great songs. “Scream Of Anger” is amazing still today but unfortunately they didn’t play my favorite, “Seven Doors Hotel” this night. Especially in Sweden I think everyone has some memories to this band because it was equally fun to watch the crowd as the band. Leaving the photo pit people were dancing like crazy to “Superstitious”. And then there was these ordinary +50 couple, waking side by side singing “Cherokee” and then some young Death Metal guy fist-waving to “Rock The Night”. Then of course everyone at the entire festival knew the words to “The Final Countdown”. Really cool to see and for the last parts of the show, the beer tent was the best place to be. From there all craziness was visible.EUROPE released “Last Look At Eden” last year and there were very different reactions to the album from the fans, some loved it and some said it wasn’t EUROPE at all. I have to agree with the latter, this band shall be kind of light weight Melodic Hard Rock. Many of the new songs, even if they’re decent songs they’re too dark and heavy for this band. Grunge died ages ago and no one wants that back again. No matter what, with our without the highlighted permed hair Joey Tempest still is an amazing singer and a frontman of high rank. He’s rather better now than he was in the 80’s as his voice has gained a little more depth. The teenage idol is long gone even if his moves are all the same as back in the days. Sometimes that gets a little disturbing, overplayed somehow and a little hard to believe. But why shouldn’t he be able to have his signature moves when so many other has been doing the same things for ages. The rest of the band, especially guitar player John Norum seemed to have a much better time now compared to ‘Rockweekend’ some years ago. All of that increased the impression of the live show too. Even if I don’t support their new sound they really did an awesome concert and seeing this there’s no question why they made it straight back to headlining position after the several year break they had.

Another band that perhaps shouldn’t play in the broad daylight is MAYHEM. And if TRIPTYKON was weird, this was a true freak show. I admit to not really get the true Norwegian Black Metal scene with the church burnings, homicides and all other craziness. I don’t support that at all but I do think they’ve created some amazing music over the years. And just to see Attila Csihar walk out on stage in his robe, just slowly glide over the stage staring stint on the front line of the crowd with the upside down crucifix dangling in a chain. I can’t think of any similar situation when they started playing. The first few seconds, before all senses had the time to adjust to the music it sounded more like an amplified and very compressed helicopter, like “fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp”rather than anything else. The blast-beats were smashing through the speakers and out over the crowd. It’s fascinating that it can sound homogeneous even if the music is as fast as this was. It sure is impressive that they get it all together and can keep going for about an hour. I’ve never really appreciated the extreme Black Metal bands but I must say, when it sounds like MAYHEM with extraordinary performance from Hellhammer, Necrobutcher and the rest no one can deny it. The thing with this scene though, it should be in a certain way and as far away from commercial bullshit as possible still a lot of Black Metal bands are the most amusing ones to watch live. No I say it, I don’t get it but that doesn’t mean I can appreciate a good live show.

After MAYHEM it was time for a short pit-stop at the beer tent to catch up a little with new and old friends and have a chance to hear their opinion about the festival. I don’t think anyone had anything negative to say about it, besides the two clashes with THE HAUNTED/ZOMBIEKRIG and CRUCUFIED BARBARA/CRAZY LIXX, that sure is a good grade for a first time festival. One thing I couldn’t understand though was why the hell they placed VADER in the Gasometer. When I made it over there the queue was 50 meters long and 3 meters wide, sound check was still going on and when that was over the people forced them selves in like a horde of bulldozers. I barely made it in before the security shut down the entrance, the place was full. I must say I was a little surprised, this really showed that the really brutal bands draw the biggest crowds apart from the headliners.

The air inside the Gasometer was non existent, it was a pure mixture of dust and sweat, thick as pea soup or something like that. Really unbearable to be in but that didn’t seem to matter for the crowd, within a tenth of a second after the show started the people started moving, headbanging and raise hell. VADER started hard and just increased intensity through the songs I saw. There’s no doubt about it, VADER is one of the best live acts when it comes to the Death Metal genre. They are rock solid, extremely heavy and just perfect. Unfortunately, the air made me sick and I had to leave after just a few songs and I felt just as sick doing that. It’s not fun to go away from an amazing concert. But at least I made one guy still waiting in the line to get inside happy because for each person leaving the security let another in so the band didn’t suffer any losses in crowd number by us leaving.

Last man out on stage of the first edition of ‘Getaway Rock Festival’ was Slash. I changed my opinion about him after seeing a report on Headbangers Ball where he talked about coming off the GUNS ’N’ ROSES tour, packing the major part of his equipment into the rehearse room and the rest in a small van and hit the road straight away with SLASHE’S SNAKEPIT. The only thing that really mattered was to get to play. For that, he deserves respect but also because he’s an amazing guitar player. His last album featured a lot of different singers, on tour Myles Kennedy from ALTER BRIDGE handled the vocal duties. There were questions during the press conference if Lemmy or some of the others would show up. Slash’s answer was that he’d love for Lemmy to guest but during the busy festival period there wasn’t a chance for that. Of course it was a great concert, everything sounded perfect, looked great but for some reason it was a turn off. For me it was almost a little too perfect, it wasn’t filthy enough and frankly, the show was Slash and Myles, the rest of the bands did their job but nothing more. The setlist was nothing to complain about though, he has a lot to choose from and with a singer like this guy who pulls off everything even the most delicate to the Axl type bleating they could do anything from the catalogue. I think the set was ok, perhaps a little too many GUNS ’N’ ROSES tracks instead of SLASH originals (either it’s from the SNAKEPIT or SLASH era). Still though, the VELVET REVOLVER material like “Sucker Blues Train”, “Dirty Little Thing” and “Slither” went down best for me, those tracks worked perfectly with Myles on vocals. No matter what I feel about Slash’s former band or what he does now it was a great closer of the festival. Again the crowd was amazing and went totally nuts over “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” just as they did on the previous nights.

SLASH setlist:
  1. "Ghost"
  2. "Mean Bone"
  3. "Nightrain"
  4. "Rocket Queen"
  5. "Back From Cali"
  6. "Sucker Train Blues"
  7. "Civil War"
  8. "Dirty Little Thing"
  9. "By The Sword"
  10. "Nothing To Say"
  11. "Sweet Child O' Mine"
  12. "Rise Today"
  13. "Slither"
  14. "Paradise City"
All in all ‘Getaway Rock Festival’ was one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. Well organized, everything structured. They had a great supply of food and drinks, no waiting in lines for anything. And to take in consideration this was the first year for the festival, there’s not words enough to express the admiration for the organizers. Even if it was meticulous planning or beginners luck doesn’t really matter, they deserve every credits for a job well done as they can get. The location was perfect, a great line up of bands, perfect sound almost all the time and close to everything, no mud since the ground was mainly asphalt. And of course the really nice weather made it even a little better. Next year, rain or shine, I’ll be there!

(photos by hellhammer Erika)










Ticket Price: 73€ (One Day), 150€ (Three Days)


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Edited 24 September 2020

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