Sölvesborg, Sweden, June 10, 2011

Mr. Big

Mr. Big (live at Sweden Rock 2011)The biggest reunion in Melodic Rock in the recent years has been Mr. Big. Spending 2009 touring Japan and a small number of European venues, this winter saw them releasing their comeback album What If? to glorious reviews. Hitting the main stage in the melting sun on Friday, they did a huge impression. Their 20-year old classic “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” started if off, with electric drills and all. “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”, “Alive And Kickin'” and all the other hits followed. The band got 75 minutes and they spent it well, including “Addicted To That Rush” and “To Be With You”. And boy, did we appreciate to be with these gentlemen again. Their good chemistry was absolutely present, and they poured out 16 songs in 75 minutes. Pure joy.

Iced Earth

Seeing Iced Earth at Sweden Rock Festival this year was special. This was one of the last shows with Matt Barlow, and his performance was absolutely phenomenal. The setlist was filled with every chapter that has made Iced Earth a household name. “Burning Times”, “Declaration Day”, “Violate”, “The Hunter” and the blistering set closener “Iced Earth”. The band was in great form, but Barlow was out of this world. Time can only answer the future of Iced Earth, but this was a fantastic show to say goodbye to the fans with this line-up.


Helloween (live at Sweden Rock 2011)The german Power Metallers Helloween got to headline Sweden Rock Festival‘s “Rock Stage” on their first performance at the festival since 2004. Helloween is still a great live act loaded with energy and a 25 year old catalogue with plenty of great tracks to choose from. They always come back to Keeper Of The Seven Keys, and this time around the audience got treated with a great medley including songs from The Seven Keys‘ three chapters. Other favorites included, of course, “Future World”, “I Want Out” and “Dr. Stein” alongside more recent tracks like the setopener “Are You Metal?” and “Where The Sinners Go”. Seven years since their last performance on Sweden Rock Festival, this show was very welcomed and they didn’t disappoint.


Whitesnake (live at Sweden Rock 2011)The 2011-performance of Whitesnake at Sweden Rock Festival was their fourth since 2003. Headlining in 2003, 2006 and 2011, the band also played second to last on the 2008-festival. This time around, it was time to promote Forevermore and also bring out a few guests from former Whitesnake-lineups.

This tour is the first with their new rhythm section, with new drummer Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Lynch Mob, Slash’s Snakepit, Foreigner), keyboard player Brian Ruedy and bass player Michael Devin.

Whitesnake has always been a tight band, no matter who was in the line-up. This version also, which brought new songs to the audience as well as “Give Me All Your Love”, “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”. One of the guests was not surprisingly Bernie Marsden, who played alongside Coverdale since the beginning in 1977 up until finishing up the Saints & Sinners tour in 1983. Marsden joined the band for “Ain’t No Love…” and “Fool For Your Lovin'” and got later joined by Adrian Vandenberg from the successfull line-up of the “1987” and Slip Of The Tongue era.

Bringing out guests from the past must have been the festival’s demand of letting Coverdale headline for the third time in eight years, and the band itself didn’t offer anything extra in doing so. The shows setlist was in fact the same as they played in Oslo a few days before, and seeing Bernie Marsden playing “Still Of The Night” didn’t at all seem so appropriate.


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