First headliner for this year’s Sweden Rock Festival are the Black Star Riders, formerly known as Thin Lizzy performing on the Sweden Stage near the entry. The Rock and Festval Stage open tomorrow to welcome the really big guns. Coming out on stage twenty minutes to midnight the god of rain decided to open the heavenly gates and it pours througout most of the concert. Altough they are considered a supergroup, the boys are performing a lot of new songs from their latest Heavy Fire. BSR rock hard and mix their three albums with songs from each one of them combined with but two Thin Lizzy classics. The spirit of the old Thin Lizzy is everywhere. Ricky Warwick is a splendid frontman backed up by the guitar duo Daman Johnson and only original Lizzy member Scott Gorham, bass player Robbie Crane and former Black label Society drummer Chad Szeliga.
German rockers Grave Digger have the honor to close the 4 Sound Stage and they did a splendid job. Rain pours and wind is blowing from every possible direction but they don’t seem to mind. The more recent songs fit like a glove in their set like they have always been there. This is a perfect example of old school metal but truth must be said. Chris Boltendahl still owns a great voice but sometimes one hears the grey haired frontman isn’t getting any younger. From opening song Healed By Metal until send off Heavy Metal Breakdown Grave Digger proves to be worth a greater success than they achieved. Why it never happened? Nobody knows!
The veterans from Canadian band Helix can’t be seen that much playing live in Europe. As a matter of fact they flew in espescially for the Sweden Rock gig. They are not the most active band aroundbut they managed to produce thirteen studio albums since the mid seventies. Frontman Brian Vollmer is the only remaining original member. Tunes from the past like opener Long Way To Heaven, follow up Wild In The Streets, Deep Cuts The Knife and Heavy Metal Love are going down pretty well since it’s been some years the band played Sweden. Newer songs take the flow out of the concert and the band looks somewhat fatigued. All by all they deliver a decent set. Hope we get to see them again but are all of us prepared to wait another ten years?
Many Scandinavian bands play the Sweden Rock Festival and Swedish band Grand Magus. They present a mix of blues, hardrock, heavy metal and doom. Influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Judas Priest they showcase a unique sound. The three piece band is fronted by Janne JB Christoffersson, lead guitarist and vocalist for the band. Great player but as a vocalist he’s somewhat restricted. Live they sound great but there’s not much movement and this gives a laid back impression.