H.E.A.T. – Zeppelin Stage (8/10)
I have seen H.E.A.T. a couple of times before and I always thought they were an alright band, both live and on record, but for some reason their AOR never really stuck with me. Again, neither live or on record. But this time was different altogether. First, this was the first time I got to see them with their new singer, the winner of Swedish Idol, Erik Grönwall. Second, their new album Address The Nation is a brilliant disc and easily their best album to date. But former singer Kenny Leckremo was popular among their fans so Erik had some pretty big shoes to fill here. But it was clear from the opener ” Breaking The Silence” that he wasn’t gonna sell himself cheap.
To be honest, Erik impressed me. One of the things I really liked with the H.E.A.T. of old was Leckremos star quality as a singer, frontman and performer, but I have to say that Grönwall is ahead of him on all of the above. Grönwall took the stage like he owned it and the way he acted on stage was completely faultless. He had clearly learnt a thing or two about taking a stage when he did the Idol thing. Also, as a singer I think Erik beats Kenny. The rest of the band are all great musicians and feels really tight as a unit and the boys played a great set that featured a lot of the new album, a good thing in my book, but also older stuff like their minor hit songs ”Beg Beg Beg” and their Eurovision song ”1000 Miles”.
One of the best things with getting to play on the first day of Sweden Rock is that there aren’t that many acts playing which gives you a bigger crowd when you’re a pretty small band. On the negative side, all of the sound equipment hasn’t been properly checked yet and in HEAT’s case, the sound wasn’t bad as such, but unfortunately a bit too thin, and a bit too low.
Unfortunately we have idiots in this country that have decided that you can’t go over 100 dB which more or less means that you
can easily talk to somebody next to you without raising your voice at all. But nevertheless, HEAT gave a great performance and are starting more and more to look and sound like a world class rock act. Watching HEAT was a great way to start my festival.
DYNAZTY – Rockklassiker Stage (6/10)
The Rocklassiker Stage used to be a big tent, so why this was changed to a real stage, I don’t know. But after this show, I’m not too sure that that was such a brilliant idea. I have witnessed smaller acts rock that tent to the ground and had they played another outdoor stage, I’m not too sure the would have gone down so well. Anyway, the third band to ever play that stage, just after In Solitude and Bourbon Boys were Swedish Eurovision contenders Dynazty.
When you play on a stage that is used for the first time, things are bound to wrong. For Dynazty it was the sound. Which must have felt real hard on the guys, because otherwise the guys played a killer set. They’re too good musicians not to. To watch lead guitarist Love Magnusson play is pure joy. He plays fast and hard, but still very melodic and soulful with lots of feel. It probably won’t take long before he gets noticed for real!
Back to the gig. It’s a shame that the sound destroyed their set a bit because the guys are out touring their new, brilliant CD Sultans Of Sin that seems to sell well enough and they certainly didn’t benefit from sounding like they played in a can. What people who never had heard them before were saying after the gig, I can only guess. Song wise, they played both their Eurovison songs, the cover of ”This Is My Life” and ”Land Of Broken Dreams”, the latter a bit unnecessary at SRF. Nobody would have complained had it been left off the set here. It probably works like a charm when being played for the average guy.
Besides them they mixed songs from all their three albums and we got killers like ”Throne Of China”, ”Bring The Thunder”, ”Sultans Of Sin” and ”Raise Your Hands”, a song that really should be a hit. Nothing wrong with the performance and their choice of songs were excellent, but a pity on the sound. Had the sound been just a little bit better, another point would have showed up in the rating.