Kiss is on the road with their End Of The Road Tour. That’s right Kiss is currently rocking the globe for what is announced as their last ever tour…we’ll see. Fact is they are headlining the third day at this year’s Sweden Rock Festival. A band who doesn’t need an introduction anymore and they really don’t. They gather several generations of fans around the globe to what is called Kiss Army and today is no exception. Hitting of with Detroit Rock City from Destroyer says it all. Pyro’s, fire blasts, elevators and oh yes some good rocking music is the perfect start to one perfect show. Kiss seems to be the rock and roll greatest hits jukebox playing live. Still they deliver the goods and that’s what counts. It’s a party from start to finish and what a party it is but what you hear and what you see is hardly a surprise. Everything you see and hear has been done before. Still to witness Shout It Out Loud, Deuce, Say Yeah, I Love It LOud, Heaven’s On Fire, War Machine with Gene spewing fire, Lick It Up, Calling Dr. Love, 100000 Years including Eric Singer drum solo, Cold Gin with the Tommy Thayer solo spot, God Of Thunder with the Simmons bass solo, Psycho Circus, the less known Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll, Love Gun with Stanley flying over the crowd and I Was Made For Loving You with Stanley singing from the small stage and Black Diamond is truly a privilige. Okay Paul Stanley can’t really sing anymore but that really doesn’t matter. On with the show that’s what counts. Encores we get with Beth beautifully sung by Eric Singer playing the piano, Crazy Crazy Nights and and Rock And Roll All Nite and the hottest band is gone…forever…or are they gonna stretch this farewell tour for years and years to come? We’ll see!
Closing down the Rock Stage on this third festival day is no one less than Dream Theater. Founded somewhere in the mid eighties by three Berklee College of Music students they are today one of the most successful progressive metalbands around. With their latest album Distance Over Time under their belt they are hitting the road once again. Opening track from that release Untethered Angel says it all. They truly are the king of kings in their genre, no doubt about it. Even when founding member and drummer Mike Portnoy left or had to leave DT stood their ground and made excellent music without the bearded beast. As I Am from Train Of Thought sounds like Dream Theater has always sounded and is therefor higly recognizable. Fall Into The Light is another one from the newest release followed by the beautiful Peruvian Skies from the acclaimed Falling Into Infinity. Ending of with Dance Of Eternity from Metropolis part 2: Scenes From A Memory, Lie from Awake and Pale Blue Dot again from the new one captures DT at their best. Great prog music where old and new allign and stand together. One word: sublime!
Alternative American metal band Disturbed started out somewhere in 1997. The year 2000 they released their debut album The Sickness and this release gave them the break through they deserved. The first gig they did was at the famous Ozzfest back in 2001. Since their debut they released ten albums and today they present the hungry Swedish and international fans a mixture of songs from almost every release including two somewhat odd covers. First one is The Land Of Confusion by the late Genesis sounding really well and that can’t be said for Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds Of Silence. All by all Disturbed is performing a solid sounding set but sometimes noticably on automatic pilot.
That little ol’ band from Texas is playing the Sweden Rock festival again but this time the’re not headlining and that is weird for a band with their status. Still they get to perform seventeen songs from their back catalogue and enjoy themselves onstage. From opening track Got Me Under Pressure followed by the Sam & Dave cover I Thank You, the bluesy Waitin’ For The Bus, Jesus Left Chicago, the ultimate hit Gimmie All Your Lovin’, Pearl Necklace, I’m Bad I’m Nationwide, I Gotsta Get Paid over My Head’s in Mississippi, Sixteen Tons, Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers, Just Got Paid, Sharp Dressed Man and Legs it’s a wonderful trip down memory lane. Encores in the form of La Grange, Tush and the Elvis Presley hit Jailhouse Rock just top it all of. The cherry on the pie…that’s what it is. ZZ Top never lets you down and this time they serve us right again. We all secretly hope that little ol’ band from Texas will be around for the next fifty years!
Guitar extravaganza Uli Jon Roth is playing the Sweden stage today. Many Scorpions and Electric Sun fans are gathering around the small stage to see one of the greatest ever guitar players doing his thing. Roth still looks like he’s coming out of the sixties but the sounds he produces from his sky guitar match the year 2019. I seriously don’t think there’s another guitar axeman who evolved that much as the great Uli Roth. Today and for the last few years now he is surrounded by a young band lifting his music higher than it already was. Only five songs on the setlist today but stretching it out to nearly one hour of angel like sounds reaching both your ears. Setlist FM learns us that Uli is playing five cover songs but if they would do their homework the are about to discover he has written four of those five songs and he covered only one namely Don’t Tell The Wind to honor his brother who passed away earlier. Enolay Gay was written for his band Electric Sun and the other three lengthy songs come from his Scorpions past. A great performance by a great performer. What more is there to say?
Next up are German Rockers from Axel Rudi Pell. Well only Pell is German, keyboard player Ferdy Doernberg is from English German descent, bass moster Volker is from Polish origin, drum legend Bobby Rondinelli is American as is vocal supreme Johnny Gioeli but who cares. The have been invited several times to the festival and they always deliver and this time is no exception. Johnny sings with a passion not many singers own, Pell still plays like his idol Blackmore but with adding his own twist, Rondinelli and Volker provide a solid rhythm and Doernberg fills the holes with some great key playing. Highlights are Mystica, The Masquerade Ball and encore Rock The Nation.
Easy Action sees the light of day back in 1981 but was reformed in 1982 by former Europe guitar slinger Kee Marcello into a glam metal band. They released only two albums so there’s no surprise what will be played today at Sweden Rock. Nine songs from the 1986 album added with another four from Kee himself. All tracks performed with the Marcello touch but the band seems to be lacking something to make it sound magical. I don’t believe Easy Action has a great future ahead as this sounds like a one of gig.
Magnum was founded in Birmingham back in 1972. Yes that’s right they are that old and still around. Singer Bob Catley is in his seventies but still sounds like a seveteen year old. They are still writing, recording and performing live around the world. Today they take a stop in Sweden. Performing nine songs from six different albums shows they can look back on a successful career. It’ s impossible to make a selection from all albums but what they present today is some of their best work over the yaers. Tracks like All England’s Eyes and How Far Jerusalem from On A Storyteller’s Night sound like heave as do Don’t Wake The Lion and Wild Swans from the 1988 album Wings Of Heaven. Catley sings like an angel and while it’s still early he manages to get the crowd on his side.
The Night Flight Orchestra formed in 2007 by Soilwork members Strid and Andersson and soon joined by ex members of Spiritual Beggars, Mean Streak and Kadwatha have released four albums now. Due to their own schedules it’s difficult to perform as much as they would want but today they are at Sweden Rock, a place they call home. All dressed up in white, including some ‘lovely’ background singers they are performing songs from all four releases but with the emphasis on the latest release Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough with six songs. It must be said that these songs sound the best and the most complete. It seems they have evolded over the years and it brings out the best. Excellent show, well done!