Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Tyrol, KB (SE)

QUEENSRŸCHE / FULLFORCE / CIVIL WAR

Date: 05th-06th-08th, November 2013
Venue: Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (05th Nov) - Tyrol, Stockholm (06th Nov) - KB, Malmö (08th Nov)
Ticket: 380SEK (£40/$53)
Promoter: Danger Music & Media, Triffid Production
Photos: Erika Wallberg


Apart from being QUEENSRŸCHE headlining shows, the three gigs had something else in common; the crowd was very sparse when the opening acts hit the stage. FULLFORCE opened the shows in Gothenburg and Malmö, featuring Stefan Elmgren, (ex-HAMMERFALL), Anders Johansson (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, HAMMERFALL), Michael Andersson (CLOUDSCAPE) and a few more rather name knowing musicians. And even if they had a rather tough crowd to work with, especially in Gothenburg, they did a very good job waking everybody up. Michael is of course a really good vocalist but from a performance perspective, he hasn’t really impressed me when I’ve seen CLOUDSCAPE. This time everything felt very natural and he was really charismatic without overdoing it. He managed, after putting a lot of effort into it, get the crowd started and in the end, even if the floor still rather open most everyone there was in with FULLFORCE and did scream, clap hands when Michael asked for it.

I find it a bit strange though that a band with musicians of this caliber has been kept a secret, at least from me, since I haven’t heard much about Stefan Elmgren since the days of FULLSTRIKE. Last year's second album “Next Level” was released and “Awesomeness” from that album opened the show. Next was “Open Your Eyes” (which amusingly had been titled “Open Your Ass” on the setlist) from the first album, “One”, a really catchy track and the one that got most stuck on me. Another high point of the show was “Broken Dreams” from “Next Level”.

But I must say I was rather impressed by FULLFORCE; the easy going laid back attitude really worked and they seemed to have a lot of fun. And when a band has fun they are fun to watch as well. To compare the two shows, the one in Malmö was the better one, mainly because the crowd was bigger and FULLFORCE got better response at KB, but on both occasions they sure did a very good job getting everyone going.

FULLFORCE setlist:

01. “Awesomeness”
02. “Open Your Eyes”
03. “Break It, Crack It, Destroy It”
04. “Broken Dreams”
05. “Walls Of Secrets”
06. “Whispers”
07. “Heart And Soul”

FULLFORCE

Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Fullforce @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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In Stockholm another band of well-known musicians opened for QUEENSRŸCHE. 4/6’s of SABATON became CIVIL WAR a while back. And to add more rockstar quality to the fold, Nils Patrick Johansson (ASTRAL DOORS, LION’S SHARE and more) took on the microphone. And it’s not wrong to say that these guys created a rather special sound and dynamic with SABATON which they brought to CIVIL WAR as well. The massive wall of guitars backed up by Heavy bass rhythms and keyboards has a lot of resemblances with SABATON. And with all right I would say! It didn’t come across as much SABATON on CIVIL WAR’s debut album “The Killer Angels” though. The thing that differ CIVIL WAR from SABATON is Patick’s voice and if I had to choose between him and Joakim Brodén (SABATON), well, not many Swedish singers can match Patrick. Still, the band gave a bit of a split impression, Patrick in a black coat, sunglasses and boots while guitarist Oskar Montelius choose to hit the stage in a shirt with a pink anime print on... But of course, image isn’t everything. Still, this has become a very odd mix of SABATON and RAINBOW. Patrick’s voice has a lot of Ronnie James Dio in it and with CIVIL WAR’s heavy riffs, though odd, the match is perfect.

Heavy track “King Of The Sun” opened the show and “First To Fight” followed, just as it is on the record. Also third track “Saint Patrick’s Day” showed up as number three. Patrick told that he usually call it “Nils Patrick’s Day” instead, since that is his full name. CIVIL WAR also had to struggle, just as FULLFORCE, to get the crowd going. Just as in Gothenburg and also later Malmö, the floor was rather empty when they started playing. I can’t get it why aren’t people more interested in seeing the opening bands? Especially when they are as good as both CIVIL WAR and FULLFORCE! Patrick too, just as Michael Andersson, is a very charismatic frontman but he seemed a bit disappointed with the crowd in Stockholm. He had his (or they, CIVIL WAR had their) following in the front row but apart from that, the crowd was rather hard to please.

The thing though with CIVIL WAR is that most everything felt and sounded the same. It didn’t really matter if it is a mid-tempo track or a fast one, the feeling was the same and that’s a bit of a shame because the difference between the tracks almost was erased. But again, CIVIL WAR did a good job warming the crowd up which had grown quite a lot as CIVIL WAR ended their set with “Rome Is Falling”. And yes, they managed to heat up Tyrol with their set.

CIVIL WAR setlist:

01. Intro
02. “King Of The Sun”
03. “First To Fight”
04. “Saint Patricks Day”
05. “Gettysburg”
06. “Brother Judas”
07. “Sons Of Avalon”
08. “I Will Rule The Universe”
09. “Rome Is Falling”
10. Outro

CIVIL WAR

Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Civil War @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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I can fairly say I’ve never been a QUEENSRŸCHE fan. I did like “Operation Mindcrime” but preferred other records released at the same time. It was the opposite with my friends though and I got rather fed up with the whole thing. When “Queensrÿche” was released earlier this year, I had my expectations pushed very high, mainly because of Todd La Torre’s fantastic performance at ‘Keep It True Festival’ in 2011, that time with CRIMSON GLORY. I wasn’t disappointed with the album one bit first listening to it but damn, it grew for each spin.

And then of course, I was really thrilled to get to see this live as well! Arriving for the show in Gothenburg, as mentioned, the hall was rather empty. Also, words were flying around whether this lineup of QUEENSRŸCHE was ok or not, i.e. if the band really could exist without Geoff Tate on vocals. At least, the ones who made it, which on all places became at least a decent crowd, had the same opinion. It sure worked well without Geoff Tate on vocals, and even further, Todd La Torre sounded better than Geoff for the last decade at least. And what a setlist they served; the ‘Return To History tour sure is a good way of proving that this version of QUEENSRŸCHE is a force to be reckoned with. I mean, how can one not be moved when the setlist starts with “Queen Of The Reich”, “Speak” and “Walk In The Shadows”? Also, to get 6 out of 9 tracks from the “The Warning” album is just amazing. “En Force”, “Child Of Fire” and “Warning” at the first half of the concert. Then it was amazing having “Road To Madness” and the super-cool track “NM 156” in the middle.

For me, the absolute highest point of this show was the new tracks; Todd really sounds like Geoff Tate occasionally. Just as it was with CRIMSON GLORY, when he hit the Midnight” button and sounded freakishly much as Midnight, he did the same thing here and sounded more Geoff Tate than he actually has over the last few years. Anyway, the first bundle of tracks from 2013’s self-titled “Queensrÿche” album was “Where Dreams Go To Die” followed by “A World Without”, no party tracks perhaps but that intensity and effusion QUEENSRŸCHE do so good in slow tracks really is featured here. And to get that straight to your face from the PA speakers was amazing. Here Todd’s real voice could come to life. Now, this is still very much the same as Geoff Tate but with a bit different character. In Stockholm, I think it was in “A World Without”, Todd lost the clean voice and made one of those Midnight screams. Not according to the record perhaps, but it sent shivers down my spine at least.

In general the sound was really good. In Malmö however it started out rather weak and dry. The whole thing appeared a bit stale for the first few songs. And it took all the way to the guitar duel between Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren before “The Needle Lies” to sort it out fully. In the beginning Todd also seemed to work really hard to get to the right notes, something that didn’t happen at all in Gothenburg or Stockholm. Approximately 1½ hour after “Queen Of The Reich” kicked off the last few notes of “Empire” faded out and everyone in the venues in all three cities was just looking around with huge smiles on their faces, myself included. I actually never thought I would be that struck by QUEENSRŸCHE. Of course, it was a fantastic set and a super-performance by a band that seemed to have a really good time on stage. And yes, the impression was shared. I talked to a few friends after the show in Gothenburg (or at least tried to) and all of us were really loss for words, just smiling like crazy. Sometimes it can feel a bit much seeing three shows by one band within a week. But here, I was charged going to Gothenburg but looked forward to it even more the next day in Stockholm. And then again, since QUEENSRŸCHE delivered an equally good show at Tyrol I could hardly wait until the Malmö show.

After a short break the band was back. Even if the venues weren’t sold out, the ones making to the shows did their best to support QUEENSRŸCHE, so everywhere people were screaming their lungs out. The encores featured “Jet City Woman” and “Take Hold Of The Flame” as the absolute last number. And if someone (doubtfully) wasn’t convinced by Todd’s talent by now this last track sure should have convinced the last skeptic. I mean, the screams in “Take Hold Of The Flame” are rather crazy and to nail those perfectly after singing for 1h 45 minutes is just amazing. So after this slight overdose of the finest of American Metal, I guess I have to state myself a QUEENSRŸCHE fan as well! And if someone still doubts that QUEENSRŸCHE can continue without Geoff Tate, seriously listen to the new record and a few clips on YouTube because QUEENSRŸCHE has never sounded better than they did now, at least not the times I’ve seen them play live.

QUEENSRŸCHE setlist:

01. “Queen Of The Reich”
02. “Speak”
03. “Walk In The Shadows”
04. “The Whisper”
05. “En Force”
06. “Child Of Fire”
07. “Warning”
08. X2
09. “Where Dreams Go To Die”
10. Midnight Lullaby
11. “A World Without”
12. Guitar Solo Duel
13. “The Needle Lies”
14. “Roads To Madness”
15. “NM 156”
16. “Fallout”
17. “My Empty Room”
18. “Eyes Of A Stranger”
19. “Empire”
20. “Jet City Woman”
21. “Take Hold Of The Flame”

QUEENSRŸCHE (Gothenburg show)

Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Trädgår’n, Gothenburg (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

QUEENSRŸCHE (Stockholm show)

Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)
Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg) Queensrÿche @ Tyrol, Stockholm (SE) (Photos By Erika Wallberg)

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