The Priest is back…and this time it’s Sweden’s turn. One of the greatest metal bands of all times and pioneers for the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal are headlining the festival again! What a treat! There are only two original members left who were there at the start back in 1969. Bass player Ian Hill and singer Rob Halford who left the band in 1992 to return in 2003. KK Downing left some years ago to be replaced by the young Richie Faulkner once playing in the band of Lauren Harris. Glenn Tipton is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and only plays about three songs live at the end of the set if he’s up to it. What a shame. Producer and guitarplayer for Hell Andy Sneap is filling his spot. Today’s set opens up with Firepower from their latest album carrying the same name. Then they take the train down memory lane and serve dinner upon a silver platter. We get to witness fabulous renditions of Grinder, Sinner, The Ripper, Bloodstone, Saints In Hell, Turbo Lover, Night Comes Down, Freewheel Burning, Yo’ve Got Another Thing Coming, Hell Bent For Leather and Painkiller with another new song Lightning Strike in between. The encores…well what to say about the encores…they are like the best dessert buffet you’ve ever tasted with Rising From Ruins as the new one followed by Metal Gods, Breaking The what…Breaking The What…Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight all with Tipton on guitar. The Priest really is back and back to stay!!!

Tarja is one of the hardest working girls in the metal business. She was born Tarja Soile Susanna Turunen-Cabuli but is professionally known as Tarja Turunen. She used to be the lead vocalist for a band called Nightwish which she started together with Tuomas Holopainen and Emppu Vuorinen back in 1996. She was fired from the band in 2005 and launched what turned out to be a very successful solo career. Typical for Tarja is her vocal range up to three octaves. Today she’s giving us an overview of this solo career without referring to that other band. Playing a splendid mix from The Shadow Self, Colours In The Dark, My Winter Storm, The Brightest Void and What Lies Beneath leaving no stone unturned. Alongside that we get to hear covers from the late Gary Moore with Over The Hill And Far Away which sounds so different and from Muse touching Supremacy. What a lady, what a voice and what a response from the many TT fans. See ya next time!

ARW is like the perfect Yes coverband featuring former Yes members at one moment in time Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. Their collaboration started somewhere in 2010 and they concentrated on their first ever world tour An Evening Of Yes Music And More in 2016 and now they are at the Sweden Rock Festival to perform Yes tunes their way. They open with Cinema and it seems the trio is here to play some well known stuff if you can call Yes tunes well known. Carrying on with Hold On and South Side Of The Sky many people seem to recognise these songs. It’s all easy listening until Trevor Rabin breaks into Owner Of A Lonely Heart to stir things up a bit and start some movement in the crowd. Roundabout seems to be the inevitable encore for ARW and for the other Yes touring the world. Which of the two sounds better or more original everyone has to make out for themselves. Go out and watch both bands play the same songs live and enrich yourself with great renditions performed in different ways!

Gothic metal from Milan Italy, that’s what Lacuna Coil stands for. Formed in 1994 the band changed their name two times. They were known as Sleep Of Right and Ethereal. Musically they are known for the fantastic contrast of male and female vocals in the melodic up tempo songs. Today they are promoting their latest which is a live album called The 119th Show Live In London. Impossible to play all songs from that album but they are serving up a nice selection such as Our Truth from Karmacode, My Demons and Delirium from the album with that same title, End Of Time from the Dark Adrenaline release and the Depeche Mode cover Enjoy The Silence amongst many other fan favourites. The perfect balance between the voice of Cristina Scabbia and male grunter Andrea Ferro lifts their music up and comes across playing live as well. The space before the stage is packed and it deserves to be because Lacuna Coil is playing a live set feeded by some very high standards. Maybe next time they could fill a spot on the festival stage!

This is another all girl British rock band who did see the light of day way back in 1978 right at the beginning of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. To this day they are the only female band still playing after more than fourty years. They hit commercial success with their first three albums but couldn’t make it happen after that. Their focus went to performing live. Despite many changes in the band’s line-up all original members who are still alive namely Kim McAuliffe (guitar and lead vocals), Enid Williams (bass) and Denise Dufort 5drums) are playing in the band today. Jackie Chambers playing fantastic lead guitar joined the band in 2000. The Sweden Rock setlist is like putting a dime in the jukebox. Performing nine songs from their debut 1980 album Demolition and the follow up Hit And Run shows how important this release was and is for the band. Great versions from C’mon Let’s Go, Future Flash, Hit And Run, Kick It Down, The Hunter, Watch Your Step and Yeah Right. Lost for words, truly! Only point of critisism is The Gun cover Race With The Devil, didn’t sound right…but who cares?

Steelheart is back at the Sweden Rock festival. This still is the band fronted Milijenko Matijevic the Croatian American vocalist also known as Mike. Starting out as Red Alert he gathered some famous musicians in the band. 1990 sees the release of the first self-titled album. It was the second release Tangled In Reins bringing them some fame and fortune. Many line-up changes later Steelheart is playing the Sweden Rock Festival and the fans are loving it. Strangely enough their second and most successful album is ignored completely. We get four songs from Steelheart including Everybody Loves Eileen, Gimmie Gimmie, Like Never Before and She’s Gone blended in with four songs from Wait and Through Worlds Of Stardust but why start with two Steel Dragon tunes. They have enough material to chose from. I guess Milijenko Matijevic is calling the shots and the rest of the band are just hired guns.

Who doesn’t know the legendary Slade. They are that little English band from Wolverhampton best known for their world wide hit Cum On Feel The Noize! Starting out in the seventies during the glamrock era they seem to have been a great influence to bands like Kiss, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Twisted Sister and many other great bands. Original members Dave Hill and Don Powell are still in the band to this day joined by John Berry on bass in 2003 and Mal McNulty on guitar in 2005. Having a huge back catalogue to select from needless to say the band is playing tunes from a wide range of releases. Amongst the ones to remember are Mama We’re All Crazy Now, My Oh My, Lock Up Your Daughters and the Little Richard cover Tutti Frutti. Very entertaining but not a show to remember!

Pain is yet another musical project coming from the mind of Peter Tägtgren. This is the man responsible for the vocals and guitar parts in his main band Hypocrisy. Being involved in many other projects like Lock Up, The Abyss, War and Bloodbath this multi-instrumentalist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer finds the time for this adventure called Pain for which he’s the only official band member. It’s their first ever appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival and a large crowd is gathering to see what they have got installed. Today’s set is an all you can eat buffet featuring tracks from nearly every Pain release with the exception of Dancing With The Dead and the self-titled debut album. The man is in total control and can’t be faulted for any mistakes. Even The Beatles cover Eleanor Rigby sounds great without downsizing this great track. Come again please…no matter what the project is!

Circus Maximus is a Norwegian band formed back in the year 2000. They produce progressive metal. To this day they released only four albums and one live album. Today’s setlist at Sweden Rock consist of tracks from the last three studio albums, ignoring the first called The 1st Chapter completely. With three tracks from Isolate (the second), four from Nine (the third) and three tunes from Havoc (the last one) it’s a well mixed balance of material and shows what Circus Maximus stands for. The progressive rock influenced by pop, death and heavy metal comes across as very melodic and seems to entertain their progressive audience.

This Southern rock band was named after the famous Western legend Doc Holliday. This man was a dentist but mostly known as a gunfighter and gambler and a close friend to that other legend Wyatt Earp. Releasing their sefl-titled debut album back in 1981 they never enjoy the fame and fortune as their blood brothers from for instance Lynyrd Skynyrd or Molly Hatchet.They have written some nice sounding southern tunes like Ain’t No Fool, Southern Man, A Good Woman Is Hard To Find and Keep On Running and that’s what they serve the Swedish Southern rockers today. Nice and enjoyable but not in any way memorable!