ROCK THE BOAT FESTIVAL 2006 (Live) – Day 2

April 29, 2006

Photo: Per Olav Heimstad

For the second year in a row, Scandinavian Rock/Metal enthusiasts had the chance to cultivate their passion for music for a whole weekend on the open sea, on board one of Stena Line’s cruise ships between Oslo (Norway) and Fredrikshavn (Denmark).

The Friday to Saturday bill was a real treat for Metal lovers, as Entombed, Edguy, Thunderbolt, Paul Di’Anno, Kreator, and more were to be found aboard (for more information, please read the review from Part 1 of this event).

On the festival’s second day, Glenn Hughes, of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fame, was the evening’s headliner. Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns ‘N’ Roses) and Enuff Z’Nuff on the bill sure sold a few tickets too.


However, it was Doug Doppler who opened the ball the Saturday evening. Doppler, from America, has been supporting Gilby Clarke this spring on his European tour. The man entered the stage with no band, just his guitar. The backing music was brought on a tape, which might surprise a few, but still it did not take him long to put his instrumental guitar virtuous skills in the center of the attention. In a finger-running Satriani kind of style, he performed his melodic compositions heartfelt and with an ever-returning smile on his face. A charming and skillful appearance.


Yet, at this point, not a whole lot of people had shown up in at the concert deck. This was a shame for everybody who missed out on the next act, Swedish Freak Kitchen. Freak Kitchen had some fans onboard before their gig, but had definitely gained a few more before their last song was played. The band delivered a hard-packed set, rich on variety as a number of Hard Rock/Metal references were blown out of the speakers.


Enuff Z’Nuff has not spoiled their European fans with a whole lot of concerts over the past years. At this event, their Scandinavian fans only had to travel across the tiny segment of the sea between Norway/Denmark (Skagerrak), and not the Atlantic Ocean to catch the band alive. Chip Z’Nuff had only put together a three piece for the occasion: himself on the bass duties, Johnny Monaco played the guitar and handled the lead vocals, and Eric Donner played the drums in an utterly talented fashion.

In other words, no Donnie Vie in sight. Even though Vie of course was missed, Enuff Z’Nuff still put on a great and very welcomed show. Between the opener “Heaven and Hell” from the Strength album, and the last song, “New Thing,” from their self-titled debut, a string of classic Enuff Z’Nuff compositions were greatly performed. “One Step Closer To You,” “We’re All Right,” “Day By Day,” “Mary Anne Lost Her Baby,” “Goodbye,” “Baby Loves You,” and the Beatles cover “A Day In A Life” were definitely among the evening’s highlights.


Gilby Clarke, of Guns ‘N’ Roses fame, was the next act out. After an hour of Enuff Z’Nuff’s nice and pleasant Pop/Melodic Hard Rock-oriented sound, Gilby’s raw and edgy guitar and vocal sound was a relief for those who for a while might thought the boat was getting a bit too little rocked. The vast majority of Clarke’s material was his own, and not as familiar to the crowd as the songs he used to perform with Axl Rose & co. Still, Gilby was wise and kind enough to include reminders of his stadium past. “Knockin’ On Heaven’ Door” was therefore a smart choice –- after all a Bob Dylan cover -– but a song Guns ‘N’ Roses once recorded and made a mega-hit for a new generation. “It’s Only Rock And Roll” (by The Rolling Stones) made another fine cover song moment. However, the most approved number was (of course) “Sweet Child Of Mine,” which put a big smile on everybody’s face.

Don’t forget to check out Metal Express Radio’s streaming audio interview with Clark at this location.


Glenn Hughes knew that this was not the right night for a whole lot of his own solo material. Facing such a mixed audience as this one, he kept it safe by mainly concentrating his set on the classic Deep Purple Mark III compositions he once took part in writing … and none in the audience seemed to complain. What can you say? “Burn,” “Might Just Take Your Life,” “Sail Away,” “Mistreated,” “You Fool No One,” “Gettin’ Tighter,” and “You Keep On Moving” — there is not one single weak track among these. The performance and arrangements were satisfactory. “Sail Away” and “You Fool No One” were pure joy. “Mistreated” might have seen better days, but “Getting’ Tighter” was funkier than ever.

Hughes still lives up to the name “The Voice Of Rock.” His register as a singer is huge, and his bass playing skills have not deteriorated at all. Long time Hughes guitarist JJ Marsh is still the right man for the job –- not the least proved by his performance of the only two of Hughes’ solo numbers on the set list. “Soul Mover” and “Orion,” taken from last year’s Soul Mover album, fit the set surprisingly fine, and did not bring a message of a faded old rocker who is no longer capable of writing some serious kickass Rock.

“Stormbringer” was planned as an extra, but at this point, the audience was too exhausted and happy from hours of Rock and drinks to ask for more.

Metal Express Radio will soon air a Rockumentary by Glenn Hughes, where he will take you along his musical journey from his early days in Trapeze in the late 60’s, via Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, to his present époque as a solo artist.


Sunday came, and there were still three bands left to play before the boat returned to the Oslo harbour. First one out, at 1:15 pm, were Fan Heller, a Swedish Van Halen tribute band. They were great, but not a whole lot of people were awake enough to get to see them. The frontman was a stunning Diamond David (a la the 80’s) copy, and he of the rest of the band sure knew how to pay respect to the eternal classics of Van Halen’s Lee Roth area.


Next act out was the Oslo Glam Rockers Trashcan Darlings, one of the most entertaining bands on Rock the Boat this year. But, as said, most of the audience was still in bed. However, with frontmen like guitar player Chris Doll and vocalist Strange?Gentle on stage, it’s impossible not to stir up some action! Hits like “Electric Vampire” and “Me Punk, You Fuck!” sounded great — sad that too many missed them.

DUST AND BONES w/Eric Donner of Enuff Z’Nuff

The Guns ‘N’ Roses band Dust And Bones was the last ones out. Former G’N’R drummer Steven Adler was originally booked to take part in the band (under his band name Adler’s Appetite), but he never got out of the States. Enuff Z’Nuff’s young drummer, Eric Donner, therefore, quite spontaneously, replaced Adler on the drum stool, and did an absolutely stunning job. At this point, the hall was quite crowded, and the immortal songs of Guns ‘N’ Roses put a really fine end to one of the year’s most rocking boat trips.


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