WEDNESDAY 8:TH Mick Box's 64th birthday SWEDEN STAGE ZEPPELIN STAGE ROCKKLASSIKER STAGE 15.30-16.10 Seventribe 16.15-17.15 Rhino Bucket 17.15-18.15 Mason Ruffner 17.15-18.00 The Dead and Living (unplugged) 18.30-19.30 Crashdiet 19.45-20.45 Black Veil Brides 19.30-20.00 Bob Log III (unplugged) 21.00-22.15 Five Horse Johnson 22.30-23.45 Necronaut 22.30-23.00 Roffe Wikström (unplugged) 24.00-02.00 Hardcore Superstar THURSDAY 9:TH Jon Lord's 70th birthday FESTIVAL STAGE ROCK STAGE SWEDEN / ZEPPELIN / TENT STAGE 12.00-13.15 Duff McKagans Loaded 12.50-13.30 Summoned Tide Tent 13.30-14.45 Buckcherry 13.45-14.45 Dan Reed Band Zeppelin 15.00-16.15 Joan Jett 15.50-16.30 Dawn of Silence Tent 16.30-18.00 Queensryche 16.00-17.00 FM Zeppelin 18.15-19.45 Accept 19.15-19.55 Frantic Amber Tent 20.00-21.30 The Cult 20.15-21.30 Gwar Zeppelin 21.45-23.15 Saxon 21.45-22.25 Absorbing the Pain Tent 23.30-02.00 Judas Priest 24.00-01.30 The Damned Zeppelin FRIDAY 10:TH FESTIVAL STAGE ROCK STAGE SWEDEN / ZEPPELIN / TENT STAGE 12.00-13.15 Steelheart 11.30-12.15 Houston Zeppelin 13.30-14.45 Mr Big 12.15-13.15 Agent Steel Sweden 15.00-16.15 Iced Earth 15.00-16.15 Evergrey Sweden 16.30-18.00 Down 15.15-16.15 Alien (unplugged) Tent 18.15-19.45 Mustasch 17.30-18.30 Electric Wizard Zeppelin 20.00-21.30 Rob Zombie 18.15-19.45 Stryper Sweden 21.45-23.15 Helloween 21.45-23.15 Overkill Sweden 23.30-02.00 Whitesnake 24.00-01.30 Ghost Zeppelin SATURDAY 11:TH FESTIVAL STAGE ROCK STAGE SWEDEN / ZEPPELIN / TENT STAGE 12.00-13.15 Lee Aaron 11.30-12.15 Raubtier Zeppelin 13.30-14.45 The Hooters 13.45-14.45 Fläsket Brinner Zeppelin 15.00-16.15 Spock's Beard 15.15-16.00 Clas Yngström (unplugged) Tent 16.30-18.00 Styx 16.00-17.00 Angel Witch Zeppelin 18.00-19.30 Kansas 18.15-19.15 Rhapsody of Fire Sweden 19.30-21.00 Black Label Society 20.15-21.30 Walter Trout Zeppelin 21.15-22.45 Thin Lizzy 21.15-22.45 Hawkwind Sweden 23.00-02.00 Ozzy Osbourne For bands in red I saw the complete show with, for bands in green I only saw parts of shows. Bands in black I didn't see at all. WEDNESDAYCrashdïet's debut "Rest in Sleaze" (2005) put the New Wave of Sleaze on the Swedish media-map. Some time later tragedy struck when vocalist Dave Lepard committed suicide. And his replacement Olliver Twisted turned out to be wrong for the band and exited following the second album "The Unattractive Revolution" (2007). However, Crashdïet refused to give up. They found sensational front man Simon Cruz and released last year's "Generation Wild" - a knock-out comeback and a big success on the band's home turf. Crashdïet will now return to SRF with renewed vigor, as one of Sweden's hottest bands once more.
Official HomepageMeet the band that came out of nowhere and swept the USA off its feet! Black Veil Brides from Cincinnati blend modern metal with traditional punk and glam, while wearing make-up in classic Kiss/Mötley Crüe-fashion. The video for their first single "Knives and Pens", a poignant study of teenage isolation, became a huge success and YouTube-classic (is that a word?). The summer of 2010 saw Black Veil Brides' debut album "We Stitch These Wounds" explode on Billboard, and now it's time for Europe and Sweden to get acquainted with the "most rock'n'roll band out there". At least that's what singer Andy Six calls his Black Veil Brides.
Black Veil Brides(US)
Official HomepageOnce they were regarded as a glam band, actually somewhat suspicious for "real" metalheads. Today Hardcore Superstar is one of the most successful and respected bands on the Swedish metal hard-rock scene. The turning-point was the band's eponymous, eventually classic album from 2005. It was succeded by three more highly successful albums, most recently last year's "Split Your Lip". The band who descibes their music as a synergy between thrash and sleaze is also a standing favorite of the SRF-crowd's. In other words, prepare for a crowd gone wild when Hardcore Superstar will play last on wednesday june 8 and when classics like "We Don't Celebrate Sundays", "Dreamin' in a Casket" and "Wild Boys" join forces with fresh faves as "Sadistic Girls" in one great party-mix.
Official Homepage THURSDAYSummoned Tide are an unsigned band from Robertsfors. They play melodic metal and are influenced by classic metal and hard rock such as Uriah Heep, (early) Helloween, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and Europe. The band members, 22 and 23 years old today, got together in 2004 with a line-up that still holds together. During the past year the band has played live 20 times, with a victory in the regional finals of the Rockkarusellen contest standing out as a highlight. The band has performed at festivals both abroad and in Sweden, and with a gig at the House Of Metal festival in Umeå fresh in their minds we will surely be greeted by a psyched band on the Rocklassiker Stage.
Official HomepageIn the late 80s, Dan Reed Network was one of the Swedish audience's favorite bands. Hits like "Get to You" and "Rainbow Child" displayed a mixture of melodic hard rock, funk and sensuous latin rhythms that was previously unheard of. The band folded in 1993, since main man Dan Reed found that they were not relevant on the more political 90s-scene. After years of struggling with his personal demons, followed by eye-opening journeys to India and Israel, Dan finally found inspiration to write new music. The year 2010 saw him performing on SRF's acoustic stage as well as releasing "Coming Up for Air", his mellow and eclectic solo album. In 2011 the time has come for Dan Reed to do some serious rocking again - to the delight of his many loyal Swedish fans.
Dan Reed Band(US)
Official HomepageJoan Jett entered rock history in 1975 when she co-founded The Runaways - the world's first successful all-female rock band. The Runaways folded in 1979 and Joan, the band's frontwoman and guitarist, started a solo career and then a new band, The Blackhearts. The cognoscenti predicted a colossal fiasco, but had to eat crow big time when Joan Jett and the Blackheart's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" became a monumental hit in 1982. Over the years, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have released a total of 12 studio albums in their own right, crammed with raw garage-rock in a Hard Rock package. Apart from the above mentioned super hit, "Bad Reputation", "Crimson and Clover", "Do You Wanna Touch", "Light of Day", and "I Hate Myself for Loving You" also rank among her most revered numbers. This is actually the first time the iconic rock 'n' roll heroine visits SRF - could it be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts(US)
Official HomepageDawn Of Silence from Finspång were founded in 2001 and play melodic heavy metal. The band has released two albums, and the latest one, "Wicked saint or righteous sinner", saw the light of day in February 2010. A few months ago the bands vocalist/guitar player Patrik Johansson (Bloodbound) decided to let go of the guitar to focus on his singing. This led to the recruiting of Jesper Johansson (Sins IV Ages, ex-Morifade) as a new guitar player. The band has graced the stages frequently during the last few years, but they wanted to send the message that with the new line-up in place, they've "taken it to a whole new level". They now have a great chance to prove this to be true...
Dawn of Silence(S)
Official HomepageBritain's pride and joy on the AOR scene of the 80s. FM conquered every fan of melodic rock with their debut "Indiscreet" (1986) and its successor "Tough It Out" (1989). Songs like "Frozen Heart", "That Girl" and "Bad Girl" have definitely earned the name of classics. Like so many of their peers, FM found the AOR-hostile climate of the 90s too grim to endure, and the band dissolved in 1995. Twelve years later, FM found the time had come to reunite, and the delight of their fans was hardly diminished when the band's excellent comeback album "Metropolis" arrived last year. Now FM also make their SRF-debut - with lauded singer Steve Overland at the frontline as always.
Rating: 4 Highlight: Only The Strong Survive Official HomepageAccording to many, they are the seminal pioneers of prog metal. Seattle's Queensrÿche got a minor break even with their first eponymous EP, and have since released eleven full-length album, with a twelfth one in the way. The band always distinguished themselves with their both intricate and accessible tunes, clever lyrics and Geoff Tate's impressive vocal performances. Many still associate Queensrÿche primarily with such albums as "Operation: Mindcrime" (1988) and "Empire" (1990), but rather than copying their own recipe for success the band has continued to evolve, never releasing the same record twice. This is one reason for the devotion that characterizes Queensrÿche-fans. Another one is the band's perennial qualities as a live-act, making them eternal favorites not least with the SRF-crowd.
Rating: 3+ Highlight: The Lady Wore Black They ended with Empire after an 80 minute set and no encore. After the show I met the band for the first time since 1995 at Virgin Marble Arch in London. Even Scott came up and gave me a hug. Geoff's sister has gotten remarried so she is not called Wikstrom anymore. I congratulated Eddie since he turned 50 earlier this year. I told Michael to say hello to his sister for me, she has two daughters now. Official HomepageThe legends who put German heavy metal as opposed to hard rock on the world map. Accept released their modest debut in 1979 and broke through in 1981 with the "Breaker"-album and a praised tour with Judas Priest. Subsequent releases like "Restless and Wild" (1982) and "Balls of the Wall" (1983) officially elevated Accept to the echelons of metal. Essential factors were the ultra-heavy sound, the classically inspired guitar playing and, not least, Udo Dirkschneider, equally original as a singer and a front man. In 1987, Udo left Accept to create U.D.O. He returned to Accept in 1992-96, after which the band dissolved. 2005 saw a temporary comeback, including an appearance at SRF, but Udo was adamant that if Accept wanted to make a full-scale comeback, they would have to do it without him. This they did. In 2010, Accept released their first album with their new American vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT Quick), "Blood of the Nations". The record was a great success, and Accept now return to SRF as a band in triumph.
Rating: 3+ Highlights: Fast As A Shark Met Stoffe during Accept, talked mostly about Rush and Queensryche. Official HomepageLast year Frantic Amber played on the Alarm Stage and this year they're hitting the Rockklassiker Stage. Frantic Amber are a quintet with members from four different countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Japan) who play straightforward melodic death metal spiced with clean vocals. The concept was created in 2008 by Mary, who was looking to form an all-female band with a lot of energy and attitude on stage. Since the line-up solified in 2010 the band has shot a video for the song "Wrath of judgement" and released an ep with the same name. This led the girls from the scenes of the rock clubs in Stockholm to a one week long tour in Russia, including a co-headline gig at Russia's largest festival for metal bands with female vocalists, Zheleznye Devy, also known as "Iron Maiden".
Official HomepageTo the alternative rockers, they are the post-punk band with the hit "She Sells Sanctuary". To the headbangers, they are the creators of some of the rawest and toughest albums in traditional hard rock in the late 80s, "Electric" (1987) and "Sonic Temple" (1989). The Cult is equally legendary in both camps. The duo of Ian Astbury (vocals) and Billy Duffy (guitar) have been the undisputed leaders of the band since its formation in 1983, and Astbury's Jim Morrison-like vocals are a defining characteristic of their sound. For a while, the vocalist was actually a member of a revived The Doors. However, in 2007 Astbury declared that he would once more focus full-time on his own musical heritage with The Cult. And in 2011 the wait will finally be over - the band behind such songs as "Fire Woman", "Love Removal Machine" and "Lil' Devil" debuts at SRF.
Official HomepageLethal monsters from outer space, frozen inside Antarctica for millions of years and defrosted in the 80s due to the hairspray fumes from hair metal fans? Or "only" a band from Virginia with a stageshow even crazier than the music? Either way, Gwar have released twelve albums since 1988, most recently last year's "Bloody pit of horror". Their sound has varied, with influences from punk, Frank Zappa-like experimentation and, obviously, brutal metal. The latter ingredient dominates the Gwar sound of today. Other important components of the Gwar concept is the mixture of explicite genitals-related humor (beware of fluid-spraying from the stage) and, indeed, political commentaries. Plus "murders" of objectional individuals - don't be surprised if you see someone like Mr. Lordi get "executed" on stage during Gwar's SRF debut. An experience you won't easily forget!
Official HomepageAbsorbing The Pain come from the deep dark forests of Örnsköldsvik in the north of Sweden. The band has its roots roots in acts such as Barophobia (with Tomas and Mårten from Meshuggah), Boozman Simplex and Naked Rain. They released their uncompromising second album, "Songs of hate with love" earlier this spring, with the band recording, producing and mixing it all on their own. Thanks to their genuine feeling for heavy riffs and strong melodies, fans of Black Label Society, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden will have a hard time just walking by casually when Absorbing The Pain hit the stage.
Absorbing the Pain(S) Örnsköldsvik
Official HomepageWhat can be said about Saxon that hasn't been said countless times? Not only are they one of the biggest, most classic bands from the perennial New Wave of British Heavy Metal - they are also one of the bands the audience at SRF never get tired of seeing. Saxon debuted in 1979 and made eternal heavy metal history the following year with the two album classics "Wheels of Steel" and "Strong Arm of the Law". Rarely, or never, had heavy metal riffing and traditional rock grooving mated so convincingly. To many, the two albums remain the jewels in Saxon's crown. A crown that, on the other hand, contains few items that are not jewels. The band's later outputs, most recently "Into the Labyrinth" (2009), also overflow with masterful tunes. But you already knew all that. Like you also knew just how deadly Biff Byford & Co always are on stage. Especially when they bring the dear old giant eagle with them on stage. Like they will in 2011. As an extra bonus for their fans at Sweden Rock, Biff and the boys will play the entire "Denim & Leather" album at this year festival!
Setlist: ? Heavy Metal Thunder Motorcycle Man new Never Surrender (DL) Fire in the Sky (DL) "We haven't played those two songs for 29 years And the Bands Played On (DL) Call To Arms Rock'n'Roll Gypsy new the eagle came up over the stage Play It Loud (DL) Denim and Leather (DL) Princess of the Night (DL) 747 (Strangers In The Night) Crusader Strong Arm Of The Law Wheels Of Steel They were supposed to play the whole Denim And Leather album but I never heard: Out of Control, Rough and Ready and Midnight Rider. Rating: 4 Highlights: Denim and Leather, Princess of the Night Official HomepageLast show ever in Sweden! It's time to say goodbye. Judas Priest, one of the most important hard-rock bands in history, whose obliterating sound and quintessential look has defined heavy metal for over 30 years, will be no more after one final grandiose world tour in 2011. Yes, that's right - "The Epitaph Tour" will be the very last time that the world will see the ultimate heavy metal experience on stage, and SRF will be Judas Priest's final Swedish performance. Once again, and then nevermore, singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis will bombard us with all the classics that have made the name Judas Priest synonymous with heavy metal. And obviously, YOU must be there. You, the fan of many years, who will salute countless fantastic moments. You, young newcomer, who will use your last and only chance to experience what no metal fan after you will ever get to see. All of you gather for one final fantastic evening with the unparalleled godfathers of heavy metal - one that we all will remember forever. Will there be even one dry eye afterwards?
Rob actually surprised me in a positive way with being quite good, at least best of the headliners for the latest couple of years. Rating: 4 Highlight: Starbreaker One videoclip: Starbreaker 49 sek Official Homepage FRIDAYThe duo Freddie Allen and Hank Erix made what Classic Rock Magazine appointed the finest AOR album of 2010, the eponymous debut by Houston. The guys' role models are bands like Journey, Foreigner, Boston and Survivor - classic, melodic FM-rock of the early 80s' model. The single "Hold On" have graced the Swedish and Finnish airwaves, and now the British isles have also taken notice of Houston. To summarize, these young men from Stockholm are quickly becoming a new sensation - HEAT has got competition for the throne of Swedish AOR.
Setlist: (11.30-12.13) Intro (from Rocky, 2 min) One Chance Chasing the Dream She's a Mystery Truth Slips Misery Under Your Skin Hold On 1000 Songs Pride They played all the songs from the debut album except: I'm Alive, Give Me Back My Heart and Now Rating: 4 (They would have gotten a 5 rating if the vocals had been better, sadly I think it was the mix that brought it down, not the singer) Highlights: Misery and Hold On Official HomepageDo you recall the wonder singer who dubbed Mark Wahlberg's vocal parts in the movie "Rock Star" (2001)? Thats right - Miljenko Matijevic, the Croatian-American main man of Steelheart from Connecticut. The band was acclaimed as one of the finest in early 90s' hair metal. The two first albums "Steelheart" (1990) and "Tangled in Reins" (1992) overflow with classics like "Angel Eyes", "Steelheart" and the killer ballad "She's Gone". Steelheart dissolved in 1992 after Miljenko getting severely injured on stage by a falling lighting rig. An attempted comeback in 1996 proved abortive, but ten years later Miljenko revived Steelheart for real and released the Led Zeppelin-influenced "Good 2B Alive" in 2008. Now the band makes their Swedish debut - beware of glass-shattering high notes when Miljenko opens his mouth!
Rating: 3+ Good voice, they did a Led Zeppelin cover and a song (Die Young) from the Rock Star movie. Official HomepageCall it melodic speed metal, call it US-power metal - but whatever you call it you wouldn't deny the brilliance of Agent Steel's first three releases: "Skeptics Apocalypse" (1985), "Mad Locust Rising EP" (1985) and "Unstoppable Force" (1987). The hurricane riffs, the killer melodies, the sci-fi lyrics and the grandiose falsetto vocals of John Cyriis formed a unique union. Many were aggrieved when a frustrated John declared the band split up in 1988. Eleven years later Agent Steel reformed withou their eccentric original singer. Well, the fans thought, it was good but not as good as it used to be. But now John Cyriis has returned to Agent Steel, which makes the bands SRF debut an event that no fan of top notch 80s metal can afford to miss.
Rating: 2+ Just walked by and heard some songs while checking out CD's in the tent next to the stage. Official HomepageOne of the few melodic hard-rock bands to thrive in the "alternative" 90s was Mr Big. The acclaimed super-group consisted of four highly respected, brilliant musicians - Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums). The ingenious music was quite similar to Van Halen's, and songs like "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind", "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy" and, of course, ballad/mega-hit "To Be With You" became classics. Fans were overjoyed when Mr Big reunited in 2009 after a seven year split. The band promptly demonstrated that they were still an exceptional live-act, and this January will see the release of their comeback album "What If". Mr Big are back, and they're on fire - now their SRF-debut is coming up as well.
Setlist: (13.29-14.47) Intro (I Believe In You) Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy Take Cover Green-Tinted Sixties Mind Undertow (new) Alive And Kickin' American Beauty (new) Just Take My Heart "Haven't done that in a long time" Merciless gtr solo Still Ain't Enough For Me (new) Road To Ruin Price You Gotta Pay with sing-a-long + bass/gtr duel Colorado Bulldog Around The World (new) As Far As I Can See (new) Addicted To That Rush presentation To Be With You "You don't know me, you just know me as the guy who wants to be with you" Rating: 5 (They would have gotten 5+ if they had played Take A Walk) Highlights: Merciless Two videoclips: Just Take My Heart 47 sek Addicted To That Rush 113 sek Official HomepageOne of the most influential names on the Swedish metal scene is Gothenburg's Evergrey. The band debuted in 1998 and their melodic, dark, political and technical metal increased its fanbase with every new release. Albums like "In Search of Truth" (2001), "Recreation Day" (2003) and "Monday Morning Apocalypse" (2006) are all modern metal classics. In May 2010, fans were shocked to find out that Evergrey had lost three of their five members. Obviously, the band's future looked bleak. Thankfully, singer/guitarist/band leader Tom S Englund and keyboard player Rikard Zander held their ground. Another strong line-up has made another strong album, called "Glorious Collision". Evergrey are back with a vengeance, making their return to SRF an event to look forward to for any and all metal fans.
Rating: 3+ Highlights: Hollow (the opening song) One videoclip: Hollow 76 sek Official HomepageOne of the inarguably most important bands from the great 90s-renaissance of melodic metal is returning to SRF - this time with their classic vocalist Matt Barlow. Iced Earth debuted in 1991 and have never budged from their ambition to create grandiose, melodic music in the finest traditions of heavy metal and thrash metal. Albums like "Burnt Offerings" (1995), "Dark Saga" (1996) and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (1998) made them new favorites with the European headbangers' society. In 2003, Matt Barlow relinquished his place at guitarist/band leader Jon Schaffer's side, to be replaced by Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-Judas Priest). The latter delivered superbly, but still the fans could not be anything but ecstatic when Matt Barlow returned in 2007. And now, the time is finally here for Iced Earth featuring Matt Barlow to play SRF for the first time ever. Sadly it will also be the last time, since Matt has decided to leave the band once more following this year's performances. Definitely an event that no true heavy metal-fan should miss.
Official HomepageOne of the most important releases in Swedish AOR-history is Alien's eponymous debut from 1988. The album is mainly associated with the hit ballad "Only One Woman" and also with harder hitting classics like "Tears Don't Put Out the Fire", "Go Easy" and "I've Been Waiting". Over the years Alien have achieved cult-status and both old and new fans were overjoyed last year when the band reunited in its classic original line-up, featuring guitarist Tony Borg and singer Jim Jidhed. They have already proven themselves in the electrified format - now the time has come for Alien to demonstrate their acoustic abilities.
Official Homepage Saw Down for 5 minutes while walking towards Electric WizardElectric Wizard is one of the most revered and influential doom metal-acts of our time. They're also a band that loves flipping the bird at everybody, themselves included. Since their 1995 debut they have released a total of seven albums packed with drug-romanticism, hedonism, occult symbolism and good old-fashioned horror-motifs. Releases like "Come My Fanatics..." (1997) and "Dopethrone" (2000) have been pronounced classics, though their immediate successors got a slightly more tepid response. However, the band's previous album "Witchcult Today" (2007) re-ignited the fire. Its successor is the brand new "Black Masses", and this summer will see the debut at SRF for Jus Oborn & Co. Great news for any doom metal-fan!
Rating: 4 Really good band, with a lot of cool riffs, but could do with a little more diversity. Official HomepageThe titans of Christian metal! In the 80s, California's Stryper ranked among the greatest in melodic metal. Albums like "To Hell With the Devil" (1986) sold millions of copies and songs like "Free", "Honestly" and "Always There For You" became smash hits on MTV. Consequently, many of Stryper's fellow Christians claim that the band were not "true" believers. This frustrated the quartet, who gradually switched styles and eventually dissolved. However, history redeemed Stryper's legacy, and the band reunited permanently in 2003. Their music and lyrics are once more reminiscent of the golden age, and currently Stryper's third album since the reunion, the cover release "The Covering", is pending release. Many have yearned for the band to come to SRF, and now they finally will - in their classic original line-up featuring brothers Michael and Robert Sweet. Michael has also joined Boston as their new singer.
Setlist: (18.15-19.23) Sing-Along Song Murder By Pride Loud 'N' Clear Over The Mountain Ozzy cover, Randy Rhoades tribute, Michael not guitar, Oz spoke The Rock That Makes Me Roll Reach Out Calling On You Free ? Breaking The Law Judas Priest cover Heaven And Hell Black Sabbath cover, Ronnie James Dio tribute Surrender All For One, One For All ? Encore: (19.24-19.37) To Hell With The Devil Soldiers Under Command prayer Three covers, of which two was quite good, but still, Stryper doesn't need to play covers. If any they should have played some Boston covers, in that case. All three songs are on their new cover album The Covering, but on that album is Carry On Wayward Son as well, pity they didn't play that instead. Would have been nice to meet them again, since it was 25 years since last time, but I didn't. Rating: 3+ Highlights: Over The Mountain (I guess, since it was quite a surprise) One videoclip: Heaven And Hell 70 sek Official Homepage Saw Rob Zombie for 5 minutes before walking outNew York may not have spawned as many classic Thrash Metal acts as the Bay Area, but Anthrax and Overkill both rank among the most legendary bands of the genre. The latter act has produced such classic albums as "Feel the fire" (1985), "Taking over" (1987) and "Years of decay" (1989), characterized by the combination of punk-inspired aggression and melodies comparable to modern day Power Metal. Overkill's fifteenth and latest album "Ironbound" stays true to those roots, albeit being rawer still. Singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist DD Verni are as always at the helm, and as always we're in for a first class performance from this brilliant live act on their return to SRF.
Official HomepageArguably Germany's most influential heavy metal-band ever and progenitors of the colossal musical movement known today as power metal. Helloween has had a devoted audience in Sweden ever since their eponymous debut EP of 1985, and their popularity sky-rocketed in 1987-88 with the release(s) of "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 & 2". After that the band entered a period of musical confusion and line-up changes. Fortunately, the situation stabilized in 1994, when the original vocalist and highly gifted song-writer Andi Deris (ex-Pink Cream 69) joined the ranks. The subsequent albums "Master of the Rings" (1994), "Time of the Oath" (1996) and "Better Than Raw" (1998) re-established Helloween as one of the great contemporary heavy metal bands. They have successfully defended their position to date with such releases as "Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy" (2005) and the brand new "7 Sinners". And now, one of the Swedish audience's favorite bands will also be returning to SRF.
Official HomepageEven in the early 80s Whitesnake were successful in Europe, and lead singer David Coverdale had of course been triumphant in Deep Purple earlier still. Then Whitesnake released "1987" and were promoted to international superstars. The album became one of the 80s' most successful with its powerful hybrid of blues rock and aggressive so called hair metal. Hits like "Still of the Night" and "Here I Go Again" made rock history and audiences flocked to attend the grandiose live performances. For the better part of the 90s, Whitesnake was on hiatus, only to reform in 2002 to thunderous acclaim from overjoyed fans. Each of the band's SRF-performances has been a tremendous success, and when they now return, on popular demand, they also have a special surprise in store. We're not just thinking of the coming album, the successor of the hit-record "Good to Be Bad" (2007). No, we're mostly referring to certain very special guest performers. We won't reveal who - let's just say that any fan of Whitesnake will be very thrilled to see them. If you are one of them, you definitely do not want to miss this concert.
Official HomepageThe most secretive band in Sweden! Ghost have not, and will not, disclosed the names of their members. This knowledge would only distract the public from what is really important - the fact that Ghost was created to accompany the end of the world. Using music brought to them by a non-worldly entity of demonical origin, according to the band. Their debut "Opus Eponymous" overflows with both diabolical and seductive sounds reminiscent of both the 70s' Black Widow and Coven, the 80s' Angel Witch, Demon and Mercyful Fate, and the present time's The Devil's Blood. A fascinating sound, and Ghost on stage at SRF promises to be a fascinating experience.
Official Homepage SATURDAY"Sweden's Rammstein" is what Raubtier ("Predator" in German) has been labeled since their debut single "Kamphund" (Fight dog) became a hit in February 2009. Obviously this was inevitable for an industrial metal band with lyrics in their native language, but Raubtier does have its own atmosphere, the product of their upbringing in the rugged North of Sweden and singer/guitarist Pär Hulkoff's military background. After two years and as many albums - last year's "Det finns bara krig" (There is only war) and this year's "Skriet från vildmarken" (Call of the wild) - Raubtier is already en established force on the Swedish rock scene. Now they take their powerful to SRF for the first time.
Official HomepageOnly show in Scandinavia The original "Metal Queen"! This monicker was also the name of Lee Aaron's 1984 breakthrough album, the title track of which in turn being her most classic song. The singer, whose birthname is Karen Greening, released seven hardrock-albums between 1982-94. The earliest ones - like "Metal Queen" - have a certified heavy metal-edge, whereas the later ones - like the bestseller "Bodyrock" (1989) - are slightly more melodic.In later years, Lee Aaron's career had revolved around singing jazz and blues, but after a decade, she missed performing hard rock. Now, in 2011, with a brand new show that includes all her rock hits, Lee Aaron will take the stage at SRF - her first ever concert on Swedish soil.. A bona fide sensation for all fans of genuine 80s metal!
Lee Aaron(CAN) Photos by Patrik Wikstrom
Setlist: (12.04-13.22) Powerline Concrete & Ice Hands On Baby Go Round (1994) Handcuffed to a fence in Mississippi (2004) Sweet Talk Some Girls Do Odds Of Love (1994) Barely Holdin' On Whatcha Do To My Body Metal Queen Do I Move You (2004) Bad Boyfriend (new) After the opening song Lee said that they had lost all their guitars on the way over to Europe, but they had borrowed other ones. After Sweet Talk Lee said they were going to play Odds Of Love, but her bassplayer pointed out they were not. "Have no idea what I'm talking about. Thanks for applauding my screw-up" Rating: 4+ (I missed Lady Of The Darkest Night, and some song from her debut, which I have on picturedisc even) Highlights: To meet her backstage, and being at the very front for her pressconference. Photos by Patrik Wikstrom Lee's favorite of her own albums is the fifth, Bodyrock, she said at the press conference. Three videoclips: Barely Holding On 35 sek Metal Queen 37 sek presentation 91 sek Official HomepageArguably the most important spearheading act in the great progressive rock renaissance of the late 90s. Spock's Beard from Los Angeles debuted in 1995, making a whole new generation aware of the heritage of bands like Genesis and Gentle Giant. In 2002, after six albums, frontman and then bandleader Neal Morse decided to leave Spock's Beard and go solo. Many were pleasantly surprised to find that Spock's Beard passed this test with flying colors. The band has since released four more albums, most recently "X" in 2010, their new incarnation displaying a tougher guitar sound more reminiscent of full-fledged hard rock. To all who have yearned to see one of the most important bands in contemporary prog rock at SRF, the waiting is finally over.
Half the band from Spock's Beard joined me on the side of the stage to watch Kansas, and they loved it. They even went up to some of the members in Kansas afterwards and thanked them for a great show. Official HomepageClas Yngström is a Swedish legend, the singer/guitarist in blues-rock veterans Sky High. Cecilia Ringkvist is a vocalist renowned from the party band Happy Happies - well-known from numerous cruise-ship voyages across the Baltic Sea - and the blues-cover band Blue Thrill. Together they are CC Goes To Woodstock, an acoustic duo out to draw attention mainly to all the fantastic artists who appeared at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969. Anticipate emotional interpretations of the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Canned Heat and not least Cecilia's personal favorite Janis Joplin!
Clas YngströmCC goes to Woodstock (S)
Just saw Clas and Cecilia for a few songs. (the beginning and the last song) Wanted to meet Clas this time since I missed him in Örnsköldsvik in April, but I never did. When I met Clas in 1998 he told me to say hello to Ross Valory in Journey, and I met Ross and the rest of Journey just a few weeks after on their reunion tour 1998, but since then I have never gotten the chance to give Clas back the hello from Ross. Cecilia had a great voice, but the timing was horrible for me since Kansas was just on their way in from Kristianstad where they had stayed for a few hours of sleep at hotel Christan IV after their early morning arrival to the airport in Copenhagen. Actually Billy called me from the hotel when he woke up to tell me when they were coming. Official HomepageOne of the prime cult-bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal will finally debut at SRF! Angel Witch, led by singer/guitarist Kevin Heybourne, released their eponymous debut in 1980. The album was a historical landmark in ominous, diabolical and mystical heavy metal. Shortly thereafter, line-up problems led to the break-up of Angel Witch. However, Kevin Heybourne has revived his "baby" on a(n ir)regular basis, to tour and record the occasional new album. In our time, the computer game "Brütal Legend", featuring Angel Witch's signature song "Angel Witch", has contributed to a whole new generation discovering the band. Now these new fans can cheer along with the old ones as songs like "Angel Witch", "Angel of Death" and "Sorcerers" echo over the domains of SRF.
I first heard Angel Witch on the compilation album "Metal for Muthas", the song was "Baphomet". I was hooked. Setlist: (16.00-16.55) Gorgon Confused Sorcerers White Witch Atlantis The Night Is Calling "This one's never been on any album and never will be, but we do this live anyway." Dr. Phibes ? At this point I went over to see Styx for a while, I'm not sure what they played but ? I guess Rendezvous With The Blade (from their third album), Angel Of Death and Baphomet. Angel Witch I had the Dr. Phibes/Loser vinyl single with me in case I would meet Kevin, but I never did, sadly. Rating: 4 Highlights: Atlantis and Angel Witch, but mainly seeing Angel Witch for the first time ever... Official Homepage, FacebookDo you remember the song Cartman in "South Park" compulsively must finish if someone starts singing it? That's right - "Come sail away", the big hit off Styx' breakthrough album "The Grand Illusion" (1977). The Chicago band that debuted in 1972 reached tremendous success with their grandiose blend of progressive rock, showtune arrangements and FM-rock. They peaked commercially with the mega-seller album "Paradise Theatre" (1981) and the hits "The Best of Times" and "Too Much Time On My Hands". The number of Styx hits is impressive: "Lady", "Renegade", "Blue Collar Man" and "Babe", to name but a few. In the 80s internal ruptures caused the band's implosion, but in later years they have reinvogorated themselves with two of the three main men of the golden age at the helm: guitarists/vocalists Tommy Shaw (also known from Damn Yankees) and James Young. What more should be said about Styx of today? Oh yes - they are a fabulous live band.
Setlist: (16.30-17.55) The Grand Illusion Too Much Time On My Hands Lady I Am The Walrus Lorelei I don't like Lorelei, and went back to Angel Witch just in time to hear the song Angel Witch Suite Madame Blue ? Here I talked with Steve Walsh and missed a few songs Queen Of Spades Fooling Yourself ? Blue Collar Man Rating: 4 Highlights: Suite Madame Blue and Lady, but sadly I never got the chance to focus on Styx, since Angel Witch was playing and Kansas and Lee Aaron was backstage Official Homepage1997 was the year melodic metal exploded in Europe. Debutants included HammerFall, Nightwish, and not least Rhapsody. The Italians' first progeny "Legendary Tales" was a hybrid of grandiose, double-bass-packed Power Metal and even more grandiose Hollywood filmscore music that was totally unprecedented. Later albums like "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" (1998) and "Power of the Dragonflame" (2002) confirmed Rhapsody's status as one of the world's biggest Power Metal bands. 2006 saw them change their name to Rhapsody Of Fire for copyright reasons, but the music and the serene fantasy themes remained the same. With "The Cold Embrace of Fear" the band have arrived at their ninth full-length album, and in 2011 they make their highly anticipated return to the live scene. Including SRF, like so many of you have been yearning for so long.
Rhapsody of Fire(Ita)
Official HomepageKansas (guess what state they're from?) were pioneers in bringing symphonic rock and hard rock together. To this day, few others have done it as good. The band debuted in 1974 and got their big break in 1976 with the album "Leftoverture" and hit single "Carry On Wayward Son". A multitude of classic songs followed suit: "Dust in the Wind", "Point of Know Return" et al. The music of Kansas, with its great musicianship combined with intricate but still contagious melodies, has influenced countless progressive hard-rock acts. And it should preferably be enjoyed live - an environment where Kansas still excel.
Kansas(US) Photos by Patrik Wikstrom
2011 saw the return of Kansas to Sweden Rock Festival. Kansas arrived around 3.30 pm, just before Angel Witch and Styx was going on stage, so I had problems deciding what to do. And then Lee Aaron was still around backstage as well, which made it even harder. I went out to see most of Angel Witch show, and then I saw Styx a little while before seeing the rest of their show from the Rock stage where Kansas was going to play later. I talked mostly with Billy Greer, Steve Walsh, David Ragsdale and David Manion (Keyboards for 7K). And of course drum roadie Eric Holmquist and tourmanager David Green. Some sad news from Steve, I asked him about news of any new solo album, but he answered, "No, I'm done". On the other hand Billys Seventh Key project is coming along, but slowly.... David Manion said that he might put some keyboards on the Seventh Key album, but also that he might do some work with John Elefante soon. When I told Steve Walsh that I was going to miss John Sykes at the Thin Lizzy show, he said that John Sykes had asked Steve at one time to join Blue Murder, but it never happened, although Steve thought Sykes was great. Setlist: Magnum Opus Musicatto Belexes talk "What a beautiful afternoon to rock'n'roll. Welcome to Kansas" Point Of Know Return Song For America (Billy vocals) On The Other Side Hold On / Peaceful & Warm Dust In The Wind The Wall Cheyenne Anthem (Billy vocals) Miracles Out Of Nowhere (Billy vocals) Icarus - Borne On Wings Of Steel Portrait (He Knew) Encore: Fight Fire With Fire Carry On Wayward Son The highlight was Miracles Out Of Nowhere, with Billy on vocals. Great show, not one of the best Kansas shows I've seen but much better than 2005. Sadly they didn't play almost anything from Freaks of Nature or Somewhere To Elsewhere. My iPhone battery died during the show so I almost didn't get any photos at all. After the show I met half of Spock's Beard that was uplifted by the great performance of Kansas. I also met Lee Aaron, her guitarist, and Marco Mendoza and Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy. Marco remembered our meeting at McDonalds in Nacka, when I had my youngest son Vilmer with me: Rating: 4 (They would get 5 if they play at least 2 songs from Freaks of Nature) Official Homepage / My KANSAS pageHeavy metal with a Southern groove. That was the concept when former Ozzy Osbourne-guitarist Zakk Wylde formed Black Label Society in 1998, and that's how it still looks today. To date the massive - in both senses of the word - guitar-hero/frontman and cohorts have released eight studio albums, including such successes as "Mafia" (2005) and last year's "Order of the Black". As we all know, American and European metalheads have different preferences, but in this case both sides agree: Black Label Society is one of the finest American metal bands today. Even if Zakk himself has given up beer, he can still count on countless beerdrinkers to give a warm reception to him, his trusted associates Nick Catanese (guitar) and John DeServio (bass), and newly appointed drummer Johnny Kelly (ex-Type O Negative). Did we mention that the band will play just before Ozzy Osbourne on june 11?
Black Label Society(US)
Rating: 3 Highlights: Crazy Horse (the opening song) Official HomepageThe titans of space rock, the progenitors of stoner rock, and one of the prime cult bands of all time. Hawkwind are also known as the main role models of Monster Magnet, and for having influenced Sex Pistols as well as Ministry. Plus, obviously, as the band where Lemmy was a member long enough to sing on their biggest hit "Silver Machine" (1972). After over 40 years, guitarist Dave Brock and cohorts are still very much active both on stage and in the studio. And few can rival Hawkwind when it comes to creating a psychedelic atmosphere. Just ask their many fans, some of the most fanatical in rock!
Official HomepageThin Lizzy was one of the prime hard-rock bands of the 70s. During the years with legendary vocalist/bassist Phil Lynott at the helm, i.e. 1969-83, the band produced innumerable classic tracks like "Whisky in the Jar", "Boys Are Back In Town", "Jailbreak", "Don't Believe a Word" and "Cold Sweat". Songs with a unique combination of groove, melody and ingenuity. No reunion was ever made before Lynott's passing in 1986, but ten years later the surviving members of Thin Lizzy's final line-up decided to start playing the classics again, under the old monicker. The line-up changed several times, and in 2009 Thin Lizzy seemed to face permanent dissolution. But no. May 2010 marked the band's official return in its strongest incarnation for a very long time. Namely former Thin Lizzy-members Scott Gorham (guitar), Brian Downey (drums), Darren Wharton (keyboards) and Marco Mendoza (bass), along with guitarist Viv Campbell (Def Leppard, ex-Dio) and singer Ricky Warwick (ex-The Almighty). Saying that Thin Lizzy are welcome back to SRF would be an understatement, the legend is back with a vengeance!
Thin Lizzy(Irl/UK/US) Thin Lizzy drums and guitars
Vivian Campbell played his last show with Thin Lizzy on May 28, and then rejoined Def Leppard. Setlist: Are You Ready Waiting For An Alibi Jailbreak Do Anything You Want To Don't Believe A Word Dancing In The Moonlight Massacre Still In Love With You (with Darren joining on vocals) Whiskey In The Jar Emerald Sha La La / drum solo Cowboy Song The Boys Are Back In Town Encore: Killer On The Loose Rosalie - dedicated to Philo Black Rose Rating: 3+ (they didn't play one single song from Thunder & Lightning, disappointing, not even Cold Sweat) Highlight: Emerald Official HomepageThere are famous artists, there are legendary ones - and there is Ozzy Osbourne. Not only is "the Prince of Darkness" one of hard rock's most iconic characters, he has also remained at the very top of his career for longer than any of his peers. It began for real on Friday the 13th of February 1970, with the release of Black Sabbath's eponymous debut - the Big bang in heavy music history. Until 1978 the band would release another seven albums featuring Ozzy's uniquely scornful voice over ominous Doomsday riffs, in countless immortal tracks like "Paranoid" "Iron man" and "Sabbath bloody sabbath". 1980 saw the arrival of the singer's solo debut "Blizzard of Ozz", another landmark release establishing the characteristic Ozzy sound with tough riffs combined with strong melodies. In the following years Ozzy's status has grown to Olympic proportions. Events like the reunion of the original Black Sabbath and the controversial reality show "The Osbournes" have been commercial triumphs. However, his prime achievements remain the albums themselves. In 2010, "Scream" materialized as Ozzy's tenth studio release, featuring the single "Let me hear you scream". The latter is the newest addition to an array of classic songs including "Crazy train", "Mr. Crowley", "Bark at the moon" and "No more tears". To name but a few. It is this heavy metal titan that in 2011 makes his very first appearance at SRF. Which will be his only Swedish appearance of the year, nonetheless.
Ozzy said in a magazine interview that he would love to play longer concerts, up to 2-3 hours, and play other Black Sabbath songs than the usual. They only played 60 minutes (incl guitar and drum solo) the shortest set ever by a headliner, and the Sabbath songs were Iron Man, Fairies Wear Boots and Paranoid as usual. What a disappointment. Zakk Wylde didn't even show up as special guest, as everyone thought. Marco Mendoza went to the festival stage to talk with Tommy Clufetos since they played with Ted Nugent together earlier, Ted Nugent had even phoned Marco this spring about the summer shows but Marco was doing this tour with Thin Lizzy. Ted had then mentioned that he was then bringing back Derek St. Holmes instead. Setlist: I Don't Know Suicide Solution Mr. Crowley Goodbye To Romance "Can you believe it's fuckin 30 years ago" Bark At The Moon Road To Nowhere Shot In The Dark gtr solo / Black Sabbath jam / drum solo Iron Man Fairies Wear Boots I Don't Want To Change The World Crazy Train Encore: (even though Ozzy never went off stage, he just shouted "One more song") Mama, I'm Coming Home Paranoid Rating: 3- Highlights: I Don't Know, Mr. Crowley Official Homepage © 2011 Patrik WikströmBack To Main Music Menu