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D.A.D., Lillasyster, Team Cans, Astral Doors, Bloodbound @ FM Mattsson Arena, FM Mattsson Arena (SWE)

in Saturday, 1 November 2008 at FM Mattsson Arena
by Erika Wallberg

Second day started off quite rough since the after-party kept going a little too long into Saturday. But since the party didn't restart until late in the afternoon that wasn't such a big deal and it's not so often party-opportunities like this one shows up.

BLOODBOUND opened the second day and they really surprised me. At 'RockWeekend' I thought about half their set was good, one little piece really good and the rest pretty plain and boring.

This afternoon I found myself adding one great judgment after another. Ok, they have two of the biggest stage monkeys in Sweden in this band. Urban Breed is a superb vocalist and a great frontman too. When it comes to storytelling between the songs I'm not so sure about his greatness though. Urban claimed he had a confession to make and no, it wasn't that he was gay. But if you are as any bass player, he continued, they will say the opposite. The joke didn't really get through to all and people started to look around to see how the people next to them were reacting; if it was a serious confession or not. The real confession was about Americas South and the winter temperature over there. They still had +12 and the only one freezing was Urban. No matter what his stories about clothes changes, temperatures in southern US and so one worked perfectly. Looking at the crowd I doubt they've had much to compare with because BLOODBOUND attracted a really young crowd in Mora. Giving Urban a good match in performance was bass player Johan Sohlberg who struted around on stage popping up like �Jack In The Box a little here and there. That's needed because both the Olsson (Tomas and Henrik) guitar players standed steadily on each flank of the stage most of the time. But the main thing about BLOODBOUND this night was that the quite boring Power Metal band was totally gone, this night they were a really good Heavy Metal band.  

I must say ASTRAL DOORS really surprised me this time. They've always sounded good but as I've written before they don't do much for me live.

Here in Mora though they stepped up to a whole new level. Patrik directed the crowd and got a really good response out of it, too. This is the way Metal shall be performed. Well played and right in your face. The thing that bothered me here though was the sound, it's been great all festival but now it took a few songs for it to get decent. The back-tracks were so loud it almost drowned the rest of the instruments.

Patrik introduced keyboard player Joakim Roberg and left the stage briefly. The keyboard solo had a lot of similarities with The Trojan Horse from ASTRAL DOORS first album but to my disappointment they didn't play that one. But apart from that the set-list featured most of my favorite songs with almost equal shares from each of ASTRAL DOORS albums. The good mixture of songs sure increased the live experience but Patrik managed to boost it a little more even. It's a matter of taste for sure but just as Ronnie James Dio, Patrik remodeled the vocal lines a little, made them feel more alive. It perhaps got a little too snappy and short on a few occasions but the music does feel more live with some small improvisations. I really hope they can find the same energy and intensity next time too because this is the way their music shall be. It was super and that I've never felt after and ASTRAL DOORS concert before.

TEAM CANS, what can that be? For fans of melodic Swedish Metal the CANS name should be really familiar and yes, it's all about Joacim Cans whose regular job is to sing with HAMMERFALL.

Just before the summer there was this event on TV where they picked a few characters, from various locations from the Swedish music scene and equipped them with a choir. Then they were battling each other every week in Swedish television until only one was standing. Joacim and his team pushed AC_DC, DEF LEPPARD, BON JOVI among others straight into the living-room of the mainstream citizens and rocked the socks of teenage girls, uncles, grandmothers, the devil himself and his auntie too. Good for publicity it was but has it something to do with metal?

Since TEAM CANS were competing for Mora of course they were a part of the bill of this year's Festival. My expectations about this were a half pathetic event streamlined to fit Swedish TV. And in some way it was, the songs were shortened down to two minutes apiece and all solos were excluded. The choir sang to pre-recorded music but it actually felt true and they showed a lot of spirit, it felt like it all came from their hearts. It was real people, it wasn't perfect but that's what made it so good. If it had been perfectly synched it would have lost some of its charm. Frankly, they guy who couldn't dance was hilarious. And it wasn't as pretty and sweet as I'd expected it to be either. I bet some tight up workaholic mom choked on her Friday wine when TEAM CANS hit the stage because most of the choir's outfits wasn't suitable for day time TV I tell you. One more thing that was really striking with this was the quality of the musical performance, Petra Kvanna has one of the strongest female voices I've ever heard. After performing all the songs they'd battled with, except the Ricky Martin one since Joacim's strong opinion was that Ricky doesn't belong on a rock-concert, he has never been on one and he wasn't this night either. Instead, since it was Halloween and all and the original meaning of this weekend is to honor your lost and buried ones Glory To The Brave was performed instead. The song sounded really mighty and fitted the moment perfectly. Hearts On Fire didn't work equally well though and I could have settled without it. And yes, TEAM CANS won the whole Choir Battle!

LILLASYSTER (Little Sister) has a really suitable name. Ok, now I guess rarely no one outside the borders of Sweden has ever heard of Swedish band LOK (Locomotive) since the export of music sang in our native language don't go that well in the export-market.

They smashed themselves into charts with Naken, Blostrad Och Skitsur and even if HardCore, Cross-Over, Half-Rap isn't really my thing LOK were great. LILLASYSTER are sort of the same musically but a smaller more timid version of LOK. I can understand why people like HARDCORE SUPERSTAR even if I don't appreciate them but how LILLASYSTER have made it to this level is out of my understanding. But to start with what was good. The rhythm-section did a great job, they played tight and groovy all the way through but the rest was just repetitive movement over and over again. The guitar-riffings were the same and not that well performed. The tempo in the songs were the same and the melodies, well, vocals sounded exactly the same from song to song. Martin Westerstrand had no variations in his voice what so ever, his half-bleating wasn't angry or emotional. Maybe I am getting too old for this but I absolutely don't understand what's good with LILLASYSTER.     

I must say I was surprised how many people actually came to 'Monsters Of Mora' for D.A.D.. The t-shirts were selling quickly and it almost looked like the venue had a dress-code where the mandatory item being a D.A.D. Shirt.

Sure, they're absolutely a world class act but lately they haven't made much of a buzz around themselves, at least not here in Sweden. Sure, one part of the crowd might have dug in to their old record collections and picked up these goodies of albums again. What about the other half then? How did they get into D.A.D.? Most of them probably saw the light of day around the years of No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims. This type of rock that D.A.D. are playing shouldn't appeal to me as much as it does. It is way too simple and straight forward really but when a band has this class, this way of putting on a show I definitely get caught in the moment.

As Scott Griffin from LA GUNS said, I like the bands that put a little extra into their stage show and do something not everyone can do. I absolutely agree with that. Bass player Stig Pedersen climbed around on everything on stage. The image of him balancing on the drumkit with the smoke, lights and his bat-outfit makes a mighty silhouette towards the backdrop.

Come on, sing along Jesper Binzer screamed and started to go bip, bip, bip and tried to get the crowd to follow. No one really got it but it all made sense a few seconds later. It was the introduction of Reconstrucdead from Helpyourselfish. That album was a real knock out when it was released and appealed to me a lot since it was a lot rawer than the albums before it and it absolutely has stood the test of time. These songs are still outstanding and the part of D.A.D. closest to my heart. Of course, the numbers of hits from already mentioned No Fuel… and Riskin' It All are all great too but it wasn't until 1995 I could really call me a fan of D.A.D.. The things to complain on here is that Jesper kept talking Danish between the songs and from time to time it was hard to understand. However, D.A.D. managed to convince me that they still got it and that they're absolutely one of the greatest live bands around.

So, two days at 'FM Mattsson Arena' passed by really quickly. Mostly highs and that's a good judgment seeing to that I wasn't too excited about the line up to start with. The worst thing about this was the lack of heat in the venue. Of course, a Hockey Arena has a lot of ice in it and since the crowd was quite small it was never heated up to a decent level. The absolutely highlight of the festival were BLAZE BAYLEY, he delivered the whole package. A great show to watch and high quality music and that's what it's all about. If you have the ability to boost a crowd and the songs to back it up with you don't need any extravagant stage props, just the music.

(photos by metal monster die Erika)






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