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Thursday 8th July - Saturday 10th July 2010
Moheds Flygfält in Söderhamn, Sweden
Sepultura performing at Rockweekend, 9th July 2010
Photograph copyright © 2010 Annika Argerich - www.metal-discovery.com
Reviews by Ritchie LaRoux; Photography by Annika Argerich
Brazilian Death Metallers Sepultura was the first band that demanded attention this second day of festival. Sepultura used to be huge in Sweden; some years ago almost every young metal fan wore Sepultura shirts, patches etc. With only one original member still in the band (Paulo Xisto), the Cavalera Conspiracy did a gig at Getaway Festival this same weekend, it seemed that most fans of Sepultura had chosen Getaway. Unfortunately, there was no bigger crowd this sunny afternoon at Rock weekend - 1,200 people at the most. Nevertheless, the band was full of energy as they entered the stage with full throttle. Derrick Green especially had a good time on stage; he pulled no punches throughout the gig and proudly spoke the two Swedish words he had learned. “Visa Pattarna” (= "Show your tits"). In addition to Derrick and Xisto, the band consists of Andreas Kisser, guitar, & Jean Dolabella, drums. Dolabella and Xisto delivered tight and aggressive samba rhythmic metal, in a convincing way. It was a shame that there was a smaller crowd than this outfit still deserves. Mixing their set with new material and the classics like ‘Arise’, ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Dead Embryonic Cells’, ‘Septic Schizo’ and ‘Territory’, the Brazilians made a damn good show and kicked ass in a major way this day, and got a great response from the ones who came. Encore was ‘Roots Bloody Roots’, and there was a good deal of ‘samba banging’ going on...Un, dos...un, dos, tres...
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This is a recreation of the classic Rainbow, featuring Joe Lynn Turner, Paul Morris, Greg Smith and Bobby Rondinelli with Jürgen Blackmore, Ritchie Blackmore's son, on guitar. Their setlist consists of Rainbow songs as the band came to be live again after many requests that Rainbow should reunite. I was very uncertain what this act could really bring to an audience that, in my mind, would have very small interest in this. Sometimes it is very pleasing to be wrong! Thousands of people came, and as the opening song of the evening, ‘Tarot Woman’, sounded over the festival area, I looked around and became aware of the fact that this was one of the highlights for the general Rockweekend audience. Turner´s voice was excellent and the steady backbone of the ensemble performed by Mr.Rondinelli and Greg Smith added candy to my musical ear. Now, about the son... Jurgen that is. After a while I could establish that he has his own style, but closely resembles his father in appearance. He has many of the same stage mannerisms but, nevertheless, he is more of a shredder than his father. The set was nicely composed and classics such as ‘All Night Long’, ‘Eyes of the World’, ‘Kill The King’, blend perfectly with later compositions such as ‘Ariel’. Half-way through the set, Joe talked about Ronnie and how they all miss him, promising to continue playing his songs forever and ever. And the audience chanted “Dio” as they had done before, and would do again during Rockweekend. ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ had us thousands singing together and my throat soon became dry as a funeral drum. The set continued with ‘I Surrender’ and ‘Stone Cold’ among others and the concluding song ‘Spotlight Kid’ finished this great and emotional experience with Over The Rainbow. Unfortunately, I never saw them this spring when they came to Sweden on tour. That will never happen again!
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After the fantastic Over The Rainbow gig, I walked in haste to catch Lion’s Share. I had heard from friends that the smaller stages were a disaster and, as I approached the area, I agreed with my friends. The two stages consisted of two smaller lorry wagons standing as one unit, only to be separated by a thin wall. I could easily see that the stages were smaller than our standard size living room. On one of the stages, the lads from Sweden’s Lion’s Share did their sound check and I could not help thinking about the horrible conditions for a band so well known. They should easily be on main stage. Fortunately, they are a four member unit with no keyboard player (my band Veritate that consists of 6 members which includes a big drum kit and often 2 keyboard stands would have big problems fitting into that claustrophobic environment). Furthermore, there were many people who tried to squeeze themselves into a position to even get a glance of the Swedish metallers who opened the set with ‘Judas Must Die’. The sound was quite decent and the vocals of frontman Patrik Johansson was fantastic. What a voice this guy has, and the guitars of Lars Chriss are very well performed. The guys did a superb job considering the conditions on this night. I felt so sorry for them, and furious with the ones responsible for this ridiculous idea of a stage, a stage for any band in all honesty. The poor lights were a shame, and I’m convinced that the surprisingly good sound, was a result of the band’s own gear and routine of doing it themselves. Been there, and done that so many times myself - I could tell that this was the case. Simply put, this was a fantastic gig from a very potent band in front of a thousand people and more, greatly performed on a terrible excuse for a stage. In the end of the set, Lion’s Share did a tribute to Ronnie with a superb cover of ‘We Rock’ and I hope...correction, I demand, that Lion’s Share gets a spot at the main stage for next year. They most certainly deserve it, and definitely so, judging from the responsive crowd. The second day of festival was over, my company and I once more walked our way to the car in slow pace, and even if we all were very satisfied with everything, I could not help thinking of how sad I was that Ronnie is
no longer with us.
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Ever been to a Twisted gig? Then you know that it will be special. This Friday night was no exception. The expectations were high and as the intro of ‘Come Out and Play’ sounded through the speakers, the crowd went nuts in front of the stage. In seconds everybody knew why they were there. Twisted Fucking Sister! I am sure that most people that were there got the same feeling I got - this will be fantastic. As Dee started to sing, you could feel it and see it in peoples eyes - simply put, this was awesome. I don’t know how else to describe it. I’ve seen them many times before but I immediately got carried away into screaming and shouting to the chorus. I love it - Dee’s fantastic energy gets the crowd going, and it sends shivers down my spine, and the band onstage was looking genuinely overwhelmed by the reception they got. The songs just kept coming - ‘Come Out and Play’, ‘The Kids are Back’, ‘Stay Hungry’, ‘Captain Howdy’, ‘You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll’, ‘The Fire Still Burns’, ‘We're Not Gonna Take It’ (with 3-4 encores!). After one hour of pure happiness there came a moment of serious and emotional words from Dee, about the tragic loss of Ronnie, and the 7-8,000 people chanted “Dio” along with Dee for quite some time and dedicated to R.J.D - ‘Long Live Rock 'n' Roll’ (Rainbow) and all of us sang along. The only thing that disturbs me is that Jay Jay isn't putting much dedication into his playing; he isn't playing his solos the way that they should be played. It isn't too much to demand that you do this, due to their nature of simplicity. And the more often than before heard rumour, that Twisted aren't going to be around for much longer pops into my head - and it saddens me to see that Jay Jay, based on this night's performance, already has his mind on other things. This was, however, the second best gig I’ve seen with them. Wacken 2003 and 60,000 people have to stand out as my favourite experience with them. It’s not fair to them or the crowd at Rockweekend to compare this to the mighty Wacken. ‘The Price’ and ‘I Wanna Rock’ followed and people’s satisfaction was apparent. The encore was ‘Burn in Hell’ and an extended version of ‘S.M.F.’ (Swedish Motherfucker!?). This was nothing less than a manifestation of Kick Ass Rock n' Roll in the best possible way.
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