One of the bands I was looking forward the most to see this day was Casablanca. Their debut album Apocalyptic Youth was one of my favourite albums from 2012 and I have wanted to see them live since the first time I heard that record. But when the band entered the stage, I immediately spotted that there was something wrong. Neither the band’s starter, guitarist Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper) or the other guitar player Erik Stenemo (Melody Club) were present. Apparently, Roxie was away with his cover band Lost Angels and Stenemo had other commitments when this festival gig was booked. My apologies to their temporary replacements for the fact that I just don’t have a clue who they are, even though both of them looked familiar. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed by the absence of Roxie and Stenemo – Roxie has this really cool rocker look and stage presence, with a lot of influences from people like Joe Perry, Jimmy Page and Keith Richards. But I must stress that the replacements did a very good job. The sun was shining, the sky was more or less cloud free and it was hot as in a sauna when Casablanca hit the stage this early afternoon. The absence of Roxie and Stenemo was obvious at first but in Anders Ljungh (Space Age Playboys), Casablanca has a charismatic frontman who has no problem taking over the show and behind him they have one of the world’s coolest drummers in Josephine Forsman, a woman who is not only tight as hell, but also very visual which means that she steals focus every now and then. Bass player, ex soccer player (AIK!!!!) Mats Rubarth holds the rhythm steady with a bit more laid back stage presence. Where Casablanca on record has a hard rock sound with a huge twist of power pop, they are way heavier live. They also have a contagious groove that are perfect at a festival like this, but I believe they would bring the roof down in a club environment. The band also has a new record on its way and they mixed some new stuff with killers like “Apocalyptic Youth”, “Deliberately Wasted” and the amazing “Love And Desperation” from their debut. It would be a lie to say that the crowd in front of Casablanca’s stage were huge, but the band treated it as such and it was clear that the audience really liked what they were served. As a live band, Casablanca is the real deal and I hope will be touring their new album heavily. This afternoon, they were great.
To read the review for Casablanca’s Apocalyptic Youth – click here >>>