Another year, another Sweden Rock Festival. And just as sure as soccer players whine every time another player touches them, I was there.
This year, some changes had been made – Some for the better, some for worse. On the good side the facilities had increased, as they do every year. A great move, as there were practically no cues outside the toilets, also, they had filled the swamp like area that bordered the festival area with lots of gravel and sand which made room for extra food stands and merch stands. It also makes for less crowding. And speaking of food stands, the choice of food is lots broader now than ever. You can pretty much get whatever you like at the festival now. Good job.
The old Rockklassiker tent is now a separate stage without the tent. The tent was there for a reason, though. If you are a smaller act you definitively benefit from the tent. A small crowd in front of pretty big stage looks and feels pretty empty. So keep the new stage, but bring back the tent, please. Another downer was the the big lines outside the entrance. You now had to be searched twice before getting into the festival – very unnecessary. Also, the VIP area had been moved down to the Festival Stage. No biggie. Just sayin’.
So after a couple of years with really crappy weather, last year was a lot better and in 2012 we got at least three days of good weather out of four. As usual, the first day didn’t bring much to the table, music wise, except for HEAT and Dynazty. However, things improved the day after.
But of course there were a couple of clashes. I would have loved to catch the latest hype, Rival Sons, in action but they played at the same time, just in between Night Ranger and Steel Panther, so I missed them. Sebastian Bach apparently did a killer gig, but I was busy watching Dimmu Borgir. Friday completely rained away. I had planned to watch both Axel Rudi Pell and Michael Schenker, but nothing in this world could make me stand in the pouring rain watching bands. Luckily, the rain faded just in time for Gotthard. I had also planned to watch Katatonia, who begun to play half an hour after Twisted Sister went on. But for reasons I don’t have a clue of, I forgot about that gig completely. Must have something to do with age……or beer…
Saturday and the last day of the festival gave us fantastic weather. Sunny, hot and a blue sky. I had thought about watching the reunited Norwegian AOR act Return, but I had a too comfy time outside my house lying in the sun, drinking beer and listening to music with my friends, so I couldn’t really be bothered. After watching Electric Boys play a killer gig I thought I’d check out Bad Company. I was never a big fan, but I always liked a lot of their songs and Paul Rodgers is still a brilliant singer. However, I got tired after just four songs. Not bad, but they sounded old and the music never hit me at all. Next up was the clash between Slaughter and Symphony X, two bands I really like, so I though I’d make it 50/50 there. Slaughter were a major disappointment. First of all, the sound was not all that good, second, Mark Slaughter came on stage looking bored and jaded and I just couldn’t feel it, besides, he was very overweight with a big beer belly. I guess Vince Neil didn’t eat all the pies after all. Moving onwards to Symphony X after just three songs, I saw a band that I guess performed well, but the sound was so horrible it was unlistenable. So no reviews on those bands!
Overall I had a really good time this year, as always, despite the fact that I was very unhappy with the bookings at first. Lots of reruns and a bunch of more or less uninteresting bands. Still, most performances I watched were very good and I think that, bands aside, almost everything surrounding the festival area is improving year after year. Now, on to the reviews.
Check out the reviews: