>> Sweden Rock Kick Off <<
Barotti, Strommen Norway 2004.
About half a year since Sweden Rock Festival 2004, it’s time to promote next year’s festival. And to do that, a kick off party has been arranged in Stockholm for some years already. A handful of bands are hired to give the rock-people a warm-up to next years festival (or should I say a re-warming from the latest festival?). The first bands and artists for the upcoming festival is also announced.
This time a similar kick off party was arranged in Norway too, as many norwegian inhabitants travel to their neighbors in the east for this great rock festival. All in all, the kick off party was a great happening with 5 different bands to please as many as possible, just like the main festival.
Kickin’ off this night was Led Zeppelin coverband Gentle Groove, and having seen them a couple of times before I kinda knew what to expect, or so I thought.....! Not that they have been bad the other times I have seen them but this time they left an even bigger and better impression on me than ever before! As a band they sounded tighter and better reheased than ever before, I dare to say that this band has “grown” the last couple of years.
Their singer is a Kim Salvesen is a Plant deadringer, and apart from Kingdom Come singer Lenny Wolf and Great White’s Jack Russell I must admit hand on heart that there’s no other singer that I have heard that this strongly resembles good ol’ Percy, and he’s Norwegian!?!
They have a real strong guitarplayer too also adding power and might to the sonical mix that grooving - pushin’ along like a freight-train. If I was only to point at one single little thing that could have been slightly better it’s the rhythm section. They did a good but not overwhelmingly great job, mostly due to the drummer that at times sometimes sounds a little off beat at times (and believe me I don’t expect the guy to be Bonzo.) But in the big picture this doesn’t mean a whole lot as I really feel that they have grown as musicans and as a band.
Lots of great music from a very good band, very entertaining indeed!
Then we got presented a few of the confirmed bands by the master of the ceremony, Jørn Lande. Next up on stage to rock the crowd was Midnight Train, a new norwegian hard rock/heavy metal band. Playing stuff from AOR to melodic power metal the band showed that they’re good at more than one style of rock music. Opening with a slightly uptempo straight rocker called “Bicycle Ride”, a very good catchy song from their newly released self-financed album ‘Ice People Calling’. Among the band’s own songs we got some cover songs like Journey’s “Separate Ways”, done very well, Accept’s”Metal Heart” and the instrumental Liquid Tension tune “By Accident” (which was dull played and could have been easily dropped from the set).
Midnight Train had a few small problems with the guitar tuning and the stage-sound, so it could have been a way more well-done gig. But I think they did good enough to promote themselves to those who didn’t know about them, me included.
This “up and coming” norwegian melodic power metal band, was next performing act after yet another handful of announcements for the 2005-festival. I’ve heard about Highland Glory, but never heard it until this night. And I must say I personally won’t bother to see them live again either. Boring band in my opinion. They started their gig with a plagiarism of Helloween’s “I Want Out” (done Gamma Ray-wise), and the singer was an annoying screaming dude. Closing their set was awful version of Kiss’ “Love Gun”. Nothing special to me, there’s too many melodic power metal bands out there and Highland Glory is like a tear in the ocean.
This wasn’t a fully fledged Jorn show, as his performance this night was more of a special guest charcter/slot - as well as being the nights presenter. His backingband was Gentle Groove minus singer Kim Salvesen, and it was obvious that they haven’t had the time to rehearse these songs with Jorn. Anyway they winged it – and made it through with at least some dignity. Kim Salvesen popped up on stage for a duet with Jorn on the Zeppelin-classic "Black Dog", for which Jorn mysteriously have forgotten the lyrics!?! Nevertheless it was great to finally see Norway’s best Hardrock/Heavy Metal singer live again, and hopefully it won’t be too long ‘till next time we’re graced with his divine voice on stage somewhere along these shores again
There isn’t one Hardrockin’ straight male that had his youth in the 80 that didn’t have wet dreams about the Metal Queen, and if they said they didn’t I would suspect that they would be lying! Along with Lita Ford, Doro was the one of the two female Icons of the 80’s Metalscene, so just forget about Joan Jett as she neither musically - nor visually could never measure up to the aforementioned.
This show was one packed with remembrance and nostalgia of a time that suddenly didn’t seem so distant, as the Metal Queen still proved to be as vital as ever. Doro and her American backingband pluss German Keyboarder/2’nd guitarplayer put on a show of the most convincing kind. I came to the gig with little or no hopes at all except hearing a bunch of classic Metalsongs, but she delivered all the goods. A dead-tight band impressed all the way, with former Britny Fox drummer Johnnie Dee being the best of them all – what a drummer!!
As I said earlier I expected som classics and I got exactly what I came for; I rule the ruins was the opener and the mood was set, and Doro pushed the show onwards with more classics like "Burning The Witches", "True As Steel", "Hellraiser", "Metal Tango", and "Earthshaker Rock". The biggest one of all her clasic hits is All we are, and for this performance Jorn help out on the chorus to the crowds and Doro’s amazement it would seem! She also found room for a couple of coversongs; Billy Idol’s "White Wedding" has become a favourite of her’s and it’s been in her liveset more or less since Doro recorded it, Judas Priest "Breaking The Law" is more of a surprise, but it did fit the band like glove! It’s been quite a few years since Doro has held concerts in Norway, please don’t let it be that long till next time The Queen of Metal Rocks our Northern shores as she came to surpass all my expectations – leaving us all wanting more” .
Well, this ends the night and now it’s time to look foreward to Sweden Rock Festival 2005 with the following bands confirmed so far:
Motley Crue (headliner), Accept (headline), Kansas, Motorhead, Blackfoot, Magnum, Nazareth, Saxon, Dio, HammerFall, Styx, Helix, Sonata Arctica, Vixen, Robin Trower, Shakra, Hellfueled, Symphorce, Satanic Slaughter, A.C.T., Thyrfing, Crystal Eyes, Morgana Lefay.
See you all in Sölvesborg in June!!!
2. Seperate Ways [Journey]
3. The Man I Won’t Believe In
4. By Acciden [Liquid Tension Experiment]
5. Metal Heart [Accept]
6. The Ride
7. Land Of The Lords
GENTLE GROOVE (highlights marked with *):
Rock And Roll
Good Times, Bad Times
Since I’ve Been Loving You
Whole Lotta Love
JORN (highlight marked with *) :
Stormbringer [Deep Purple]*
Black Dog [Led Zeppelin]
DORO (highlights marked with *):
I Rule The Ruins*
Always Live To Win
True As Steel
Burning The Witches*
Breaking The Law [Judas Priest]
All We Are
Love Me In Black
Reviews and pictures by:
Per Erik Jansen (Midnight Train, highland Glory)
Roar Kleven (Gentle Groove, Jorn, Doro)
Click Here For Pictures