A year has passed and now it’s June again, which equals Sweden Rock Festival. And just as sure as the sun will rise, me and my friends will head down to Sölvesborg, Blekinge to join the festivities once more. This year, a bunch of us decided that we would fly down from Stockholm instead of going by car and now when the festival is over, decision has been made: No more driving. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive, but I gladly pay a bit more for a 45 minute ride instead of 6 hours. Back at the festival, not that much has changed, only a few improvements had been made. The bar counters had been made longer and more personnel had been hired to minimize the cues and that, I must say, really worked out great. Last year, SRF opened 6 beers a second and their goal was to better that this year. But not so much in the VIP area. To hire bleach blonde chicks with huge racks as bartenders might me a cool idea, but I’d rather have experienced bartenders. People could be left hanging by the bar for ages without any of the girls taking any notice, while watching someone else coming right in and getting served right away. They were clueless of who hade been waiting the longest and the only time you got a real good service there was when you got served by some of the older staff. But that’s about the only complaint I have. Also, a water leak made sure that the whole of Norje (which is the place where SRF takes place) were out of water for half of the Friday. Nothing worked. The toilets, the showers… and it was a hot day as well. Luckily enough they fixed it pretty quickly.
The weather is something that could be a big issue at festivals. It sure is for me, anyway. Rain and cold temperatures has a tendency to ruin lots and lots for me, but luckily, the weather was really good for most parts. Friday and Saturday were hot as hell, just like I love it and even though it rained a little bit on both Wednesday and Thursday and it was a bit cloudy, at least it wasn’t cold. Still, the raining made sure I missed Queensrÿche who headlined the first day, one of two bands I wanted to see on the first day of the festival. The Wednesday is only a half day at SRF and therefore there aren’t as many bands playing as on the rest of the days. That really, really pissed me off, because I saw Queensrÿche in November 2013 and they were awesome, so I had looked forward to seeing them again. Here’s the deal; I don’t do rain! If it’s raining, then I’m not watching the gig, no matter who is playing. When it comes to the bands I had planned to watch but missed this year, another one was Electric Boys (who replaced Lynch Mob, that had cancelled) – that also pissed me off. But sunshine, good music and cold beer back at our cottage made me lose time completely. Bummer! I also missed Avatarium, but that wasn’t my fault. Just hours before Avatarium – who released one of last year’s best albums – I was told that they had cancelled, so I took my time showering and changing clothes instead. I later got to know that it was all a misunderstanding and that it was only bass player and founder Leif Edling (also in Candlemass) who was ill and had to cancel. But the band played with another bass player. Double bummer. To pour salt in my wounds, I was told that all of the bands that I missed were killer.
Some of the bigger names that won’t be reviewed here is because I’m just not that interested in them and since I’m the only reviewer here, I can’t really be bothered. Well, that sounds lazy, but it’s really no idea for me to review a band like Volbeat when I think that they’re crap. Not fair to either readers or the band. Billy Idol and Ted Nugent might not be crap, but I’m not a fan and I’m just not interested enough. Same with Transatlantic and Within Temptation. Both are good bands but their music isn’t “festival” enough for me. I listened to some songs by Within Temptation while I was eating and they sounded good, but I wasn’t paying enough attention for a review. Joe Bonamassa is another artist I might have watched, but to be frank, I find him quite boring and besides, he played at the same time as Q5 and I wanted to see Q5. I also couldn’t be bothered to catch U.D.O. who had replaced Megadeth. I have seen them a couple of times and in my book, Udo might be the real singer of Accept, but his solo band is pretty dull. I really can’t get excited even during the Accept songs. I prefer Accept with Mark Tornillo. Uriah Heep and Saga also got the boot from me as I have never found either interesting. It might look like a whole lot of bands that didn’t get any reviews here, but as I said, I’m alone in this and there will be a great deal of reviews anyway. Maybe I should try to find a guest reviewer for next year’s festival to get as many reviews as possible on this site. To sum things up, Sweden Rock Festival 2014 was the best in many years, much for the fact that there were so many great bookings – almost too many. See, one need time for beer drinking and socializing as well.
To end this, I want to thank all the great, funny and awesome friends that I got to meet and hang out with, laugh and drink with, headbang and misbehave with – you’re fantastic and you know who you are. But my special thanks goes out to the people I got to share the house with for four days – Hanna, Matzon, Tallee, Amanda, Björn, Anders, Patrik and Einar. And of course Carin and Niklas, who didn’t stay at our place, but we’re on their case about that all the time. I’m already looking forward to SRF 2015.
Click the links to get to the reviews: