Sweden Rock XXV Day 4 @ Sölvesborg (SE)

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'Sweden Rock Festival' - Day Four

MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST / DEMON / SABATON / MY DYING BRIDE / KING KOBRA / ANTHRAX / ERIC SARDINAS AND BIG MOTOR / DIRKSCHNEIDER / DEATH DTA / IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC / SYMPHONY X / THE ERIC BELL TRIO / STEVE VAI / LEGION OF THE DAMNED / FINNTROLL / THE HOOTERS / PEDALENS PÅGAR / THE WINERY DOGS / GUN / DAN BAIRD & HOMEMADE SIN / RAISED FIST / NITERAIN

Date: 11th June, 2016
Venue: Norje Havsbad
Ticket: n/a
Promoter: Sweden Rock Festival
Photos: Erika Wallberg


As the night was to be long the fourth and last day of the festival, I had decided to take it easy and not come in until it was time for my scheduled photo-shoots but I got second thoughts and went in early enough to see THE WINERY DOGS. I did this for two reasons; the musicians in the band are damn fantastic and I've heard so many positive words about them from people seeing them perform.

It's not often a bass player to own the stage the way Billy Sheean does. Here, he had a lot of space to fill but also with harder competition still he's been extraordinaire. He is both fun to watch and listen to. Both Richie Kotzen and Mike Portnoy are fantastic too and THE WINERY DOGS sounded just that, fantastic. It's fascinating that some bands can get so much life into their music and make the sound full with only three people. But I guess it's here true talent plays in.

The downside was that I wasn't familiar with the THE WINERY DOGS songs. A few got stuck on me though, like “Hot Streak” and “How Long”. Technically this should be too Funk-y and Blues-y for my taste, but again, when it sounds as good as THE WINERY DOGS it sure goes town anyway. The mellower “I'm No Angel” also stood out and came in as a very nice break. So the last day sure started off very nice, much better than I ever could have imagined. Plus, all good things I had heard about THE WINERY DOGS were true.

THE WINERY DOGS setlist:

01. Intro - “Atomic Dog” (George Clinton song)
02. “Oblivion”
03. “Captain Love”
04. “Hot Streak”
05. “How Long”
06. “Time Machine”
07. “Empire”
08. “The Other Side”
09. “I'm No Angel”
10. “Desire”
11. “Elevate”

THE WINERY DOGS

The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Winery Dogs @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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I don't know why I decided to see THE HOOTERS instead of FINNTROLL; I mean, the latter of the two is definitely closer to my taste. For sure, “All You Zombies” and “500 Miles” are very good songs and I have to give a lot of kudos to THE HOOTERS as they sounded fantastic. Everything played live and the guys on stage changed instruments, from guitar to mandolin and so on, so the sound was definitely full and very dynamic. So with this, I'm actually glad I stopped and watched a bit of THE HOOTERS, I guess the chances to see FINNTROLL again will come before I decide to see THE HOOTERS again also.

One band that struck me hard when seeing them live many years ago was LEGION OF THE DAMNED. I've been on the lookout to see them again but they've never crossed my path until this instance. So, even if I've never seen Steve Vai live either there was no doubt what to choose at this time of the afternoon.

And just as I remember them, LEGION OF THE DAMNED have a lot of energy and a furious drive in their music. They have the same attitude from a visual perspective also; in-your-face and extremely powerful. Perhaps it would have been even better on a club stage but I shouldn't complain, not at all. The only thing that felt a bit strange was the vocalist Maurice Swinkels was lurking behind guitarists Twan van Geel and Hein Willekens and bass player Harold Gielen. And with this, he became rather hard to catch on picture, that and tons of extremely long blonde hair of course.

Thunderous “Werewolf Corpse” sounded amazing and they sure managed to get the same flow live as on record. It was clear to me though that I've been listening the most to LEGION OF THE DAMNED's older records as I enjoyed “Cult Of The Dead” and “Son Of The Jackal” the most.

LEGION OF THE DAMNED setlist:

01. “Legion Of The Damned”
02. “Death's Head March”
03. “Werewolf Corpse”
04. “Into The Eye Of The Storm”
05. “Malevolent Rapture”
06. “Demonfist”
07. “Taste Of The Whip”
08. “Bleed For Me”
09. “Scourging The Crowned King”
10. “Killing For Recreation”
11. “Cult Of The Dead”
12. “Son Of The Jackal”

LEGION OF THE DAMNED

Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Legion Of The Damned @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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No rest for the wicked, so I was off to something completely different as ERIC BELL BAND or THE ERIC BELL TRIO and the THIN LIZZY guitarist who were to take over the Rockklassiker Tent Stage. It all felt very cozy and laid back. I didn't expect anything else since the things I've listened to from Eric's solo material is Bluesy. Again, nothing I appreciate on record but it sounded nice live and at least Eric looked like he was having a very good time, looking cheerful. I was perhaps wishing for some more THIN LIZZY songs than he actually played. If I remember correctly it was only “The Rocker” and then of course “Whiskey In The Jar” (for the second time on this festival) from his former bands’ repertoire. I got massively hooked on THIN LIZZY when I saw BLACK STAR RIDER's the last time, so the old records have been spinning a lot which mattered here as I wished for more LIZZY songs, but it was still very cool to see Eric play, since he's a very good guitarist. Both his attack and tone is fantastic, so it was great to watch him and his band.

THE ERIC BELL TRIO

The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) The Eric Bell Trio Band @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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One of the shows I was looking forward to the most at this year’s 'Sweden Rock Festival' was the SYMPHONY X set. They completely blew me away earlier this year playing in Copenhagen. What struck me then was that even if they are very technical and precise, it’s still 100% Rock 'n' Roll in their music - everything is so vibrant and groovy, still with musical perfection though. Also, their latest release “Underworld” was for me one of 2015's best releases.

Would it work as good on a massive festival stage? There was a massive crowd waiting for them to start playing at least, so it looked quite promising. Just like in the tour, SYMPHONY X played their “Underworld” album from start to finish. And for once, I didn't mind to see the same set one more time. And absolutely, it was as good as it was a few months prior to the festival - it all sounded fantastic. It is Russell Allen that is the major part of the show. The others mainly lurk in their corners of the stage. But as Russell does what he do so well, the only time I realized this was when shooting, meaning that there wasn't much variance in the pictures coming from the rest of the guys. “Charon” is one of my absolute favorite tracks from “Underworld”, so it is always a treat to get to hear it live. I love the melody and it sounded as fantastic as on record. “In My Darkest Hour” is another good one which also worked very well live. Some complained about the set though and screamed for some of the classic tracks. I'm still surprised that a rather extreme set as this one worked so well on a festival too. But ok, perhaps it's that you're either into SYMPHONY X or not at all, and judging by the crowd, they had a good following at the festival. And yes, a few more woke up when “Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)” was played but in general the support was great straight through the show. Like the last time, SYMPHONY X closed the set with “Legend”, the massive epic track which works perfect as an ending of a set. I waited the longest possible before leaving in order to be able to hear as much as possible of the song. But with a schedule to follow, I reluctantly walked over to the 4 Sound Stage for the next show.

SYMPHONY X setlist:

01. Intro - “Overture”
02. “Nevermore”
03. “Underworld”
04. “Kiss Of Fire”
05. “Without You”
06. “Charon”
07. “To Hell And Back”
08. “In My Darkest Hour”
09. “Run With The Devil”
10. “Swan Song”
11. “The Death Of Balance” / “Lacrymosa”
12. “Out Of The Ashes”
13. “Sea Of Lies”
14. “Set The World On Fire (The Lie Of Lies)”
15. “Legend”

SYMPHONY X

Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Symphony X @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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There was no chance I was going to miss DEATH DTA. I was away when they played in Sweden earlier and it felt really bad to miss that out. DEATH was a favorite band and Chuck Schuldiner passed away way too early. Say what you will, this is a tribute band but with such prominent members, it's still awesome to see it, even if no one can take Chuck's place. And this sounded amazing, as tight and precise as DEATH was with great musicality. Fantastic “The Philosopher” opened the set and sent shivers down my spine. The real old school stuff is of course very cool too, so both “Leprosy” and “Left To Die” went down really well. There was a bit of problem with the sound for DEATH DTA though as Bobby Koelble’s guitar was mixed rather low and disappeared behind the rest of the instruments, especially during the solos. But apart from that, it sounded amazing.

All of a sudden something else took overhand and drowned everything coming from the 4 Sound Stage as DIRKSCHNEIDER kicked off their show with a blast of pyros and sounds, so it was just to move much closer to the stage to not be in a direct hit from the Festival Stage. It worked out ok but the massive light show sort of stole some focus from DEATH DTA. Especially since the middle of the set held two covers, “Raining Blood” and “Black Magic” which SLAYER played both some days earlier. Good songs of course but DEATH have enough good ones to not have to mix it up with other covers.

On occasion, DEATH DTA stood out and all focus ended up on then instead, “Lack Of Comprehension” was one of those moments and then I'm quite sure the set featured another newer one, maybe from “Sound Of Perseverance” but my memory fails me here. There was no mistaking on “Zombie Ritual” and “Pull The Plug” though. And with that one, DEATH DTA's set came to an end. It's not the same as the real band of course but I think it's good that the music lives on. Also, I really enjoyed Steve Di Giorgio play and when he's hanging around with these guys, I certainly don't mind seeing it all again.

DEATH DTA

Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Death DTA @ Sweden Rock XXV @ Norje Havsbad, Sölvesborg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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Ok, it felt rather hard to miss the DIRKSCHNEIDER set, but again, since I saw that tour a few times during the spring, the choice to stay and watch DEATH DTA was still rather easy. Also, there was still a sufficient part left of the DIRKSCHNEIDER show when DEATH DTA ended, so it was a good deal.

As always, the DIRKSCHNEIDER band sounded amazing; they are very powerful and always deliver to the max. Watching it from afar didn't matter, the energy came though anyway without seeing the crazy faces Andrey and Kasperi does when not running around like crazy. That this would pack out the huge area in front of the Festival Stage was no wonder, ACCEPT always seem to go down well on festivals and with the reputation Mr. Dirkschneider and his crew has built nothing else than a full house is acceptable.

What struck me though was that the crowd was rather lazy here as well, not at all as much singing as expected from such a huge crowd - “Metal Heart” normally brings on a massive choir and if not that one, the intro in “Fast As A Shark” will. It wasn't bad but it definitely could have been more. The cheers and so between the songs were better though, so at least that was something. It still feels rather strange that DIRKSCHNEIDER didn't headline the Festival Stage, so I wonder: have SABATON really become that massive?

DIRKSCHNEIDER setlist:

01. “Starlight”
02. “Living For Tonite”
03. “London Leatherboys”
04. “Midnight Mover”
05. “Breaker”
06. “Princess Of The Dawn”
07. “Restless And Wild”
08. “Son Of A Bitch”
09. “Up To The Limit”
10. “Midnight Highway”
11. “Screaming For A Love-Bite”
12. “Flash Rockin' Man”
13. “Losers And Winners”
14. “Metal Heart”
15. “Fast As A Shark”
16. “Balls To The Wall”
17. “Burning”
18. Outro - “My Way” (Claude François taped song)

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