Rock City, Nottingham, England 21-23.10.2011

BANDS: Serpentine, Houston, Terry Brock, Jimi Jamison, Talon, Vega, Silent Rage, Jeff Paris, W.E.T., Strangeways, Steve Augeri, Newman, White Widdow, Alien, Kane Roberts, Mitch Malloy, Coney Hatch, Unruly Child.

The time of the yearly Robin Hood-crusade was here again. We're louzy crusaders though, we never rob anyone. The only robbers on these hoods are the bands, they steal our hearts. This year was a very special one, from the eighteen bands that visited the festival twelve were kinda newcomers. I'm saying kinda, because Terry Brock has been to Firefest with Strangeways before, but hasn't played a solo set here before, and W.E.T. guys have played here (most of them) in different bands too. Also many bands line-ups saw familiar guys in them, Brock playing with guys from Valentine, Jimi Jamison with H.E.A.T. guys and so on. But the most special ones everyone were waiting for were Jeff Paris, Kane Roberts and Unruly Child, the latter ones performing in the UK for the first time.

This year the whole festival was kept at Rock City, which was great, considering the soundproblems in the Trent Uni, although last year was better than before. Everything was within good reach from Rock City, the former Rig (now Black Cherry Lounge) especially, where signing sessions took place and the aftershow clubbing. The Black Cherry Lounge (BCL) saw quite a list of guest dj's this year on Friday night. After the four bands had played we continued to the BCL dance floor, and were treated with great music again played by guys from H.E.A.T., Jules (White Widdow), Terry Brock, Gerard Zappa and the guys from Valentine, Jesse from Silent Rage, Jimi Jamison and Steve Price.

This year there were bands from only five countries; USA, UK, Sweden, Australia and Canada. Reckless Love still remains the only Finnish band that has played Firefest, and after this years Firefest, they are performing in Rock City. But Finland is presented well here otherwise, this year there were at least eighteen Finns, twelve being in our gang, and the number keeps growing. Still Marcie Free (Unruly Child) forgot to ask if there were any Finns in Firefest this year. Oh well, we're such a small country in the big picture, like someone shat on the map at that spot, haha! Now if we could only have our pride and joy Brother Firetribe on Firefest stage someday. It might be even possible, since the guys are now working on new songs. Let's keep our fingers crossed for some liveshows.

FRIDAY 21.10

The UK-band SERPENTINE had the most dreadful slot to play as openers, but Rock City was pleasantly packed already before six o'clock. Shy-famed Tony Mills was replaced to a sympathetic young vocalist Matt Black, and he did a good job during the thirty minutes. Being good basic hardrock, they worked well as an opening band, but at this point the crowd was lazy on participating the rocking tunes. This year Rock City had better sounds and lighting than last year, so Serpentine were enjoyable both ways. Black seemed to fit in the band really well, and people gave him a good welcome too.

Serpentine (5:40-6:10)
Matt Black - Vocals
Christopher Gould - Guitar, Vocals
Gareth Vanstone - Bass, Vocals
Roy Millward - Drums
Gareth David Noon - Keyboards, Vocals

Setlist included: A Touch of Heaven, Whatever Heartache, Heartbreak Town, Cry

HOUSTON from Sweden, who released their debut album last year with great response, rocked us next for forty minutes, their singer Hampus Hank Erix walking on stage wearing a boxing robe, which has somewhat become his trademark. To our disappointment he was wearing other clothes underneath. Erix was really fired up on stage, and the guys performed in enthusiastic and uplifting manner, like a young band, or any band, should. The crowd kept growing, and the end of the set saw the band bringing a second singer on stage, their producer Ricky Delin. They did Touch's "Don't You Know What Love Is". Another sterdy and good melodic show, the band was enjoying themselves on stage and the party grew hotter by each performance.

Houston (6:30-7:10)
Hank Erix - Vocals
Freddie Allen - Drums
Michel Santunione - Guitar
Christopher Fabes Vetter - Guitar
Soufian Ma'Aoui - Bass
Jay Cutter - Keyboards

Setlist included: Under Your Skin, Pride, Hold On, I'm Alive, Truth Slips, She's A Mystery, Don't You Know What Love Is (Touch)

I've said it before and I say it again, there's something magical in TERRY BROCK (USA). I've seen him live a couple of times, and he has a magical touch in everything he does. I was really looking forward to seing his solo gig here, hearing the "Diamond Blue" material and other special songs he might do. As the man got on stage, nobody else couldn't grab my attention. Oh, wait, my buddies around me were a riot, so if you saw me laughing at the show blame it on them, two crazies they are. But there was nothing laughable at Brock, he was an absolute professional again, although suffering from cold someone said, and the relaxed guy we've come to known. His performance with Valentine was great, doing a few acoustics as well, and also songs from the album "Back To Eden". The highlights of the show were "Face In The Crowd", "Broken" and "Diamond Blue". Very classy performance again from the band. A surprising ending to his set was the Valentine-cover, "Soul Salvation". Fifty minutes isn't enough for this guy, so I wanna see him again somewhere at his own gig.

Terry Brock (7:30-8:20)
Terry Brock - Vocals, Guitar
Adam Holland - Guitar
Gerrard Zappa - Bass
Mike Morales - Drums
Craig Pullman - Keyboards

Setlist: Face In The Crowd, Another Chance, Forever Again (The Sign), I Wanna Love Someone, Diamond Blue, Broken, The Rain, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Coming Home, Soul Salvation (Valentine)

Another big star to hit the stage on Friday was JIMI JAMISON (USA), performing here the second time. Jimi is a God in the AOR and melodic rock scene, so the headlining slot on Friday was just perfect for the Survivor legend. The set included a few same songs from last year, with not much difference in the shows. Some thought this year was better than last year, some the other way round. It was a very enjoyable show once again, and Jimi had that punctual and firm spirit, that kept the audience in awe through the show. Tommy Denander, who's played in over 1800 albums (what a number!), showed his talent on the guitar. The same band was seen with Jeff Paris too, but they seemed to work better with Jimi. They've played with him quite a while now, so they've glued well together as a team.

Surprisingly they decided to go with the Rocky IV-themesong "Burning Heart" already in the beginning, and that was a good move, the crowd was warmed up from the start and their enthusiasm and singing was loud through the show. The end of the show was nuts, as the Firefest crew joined the band on the Baywatch-theme song "I'm Always Here", all wearing red shirts and carrying surfboards. Also Erix from Houston joined them. After such a wacky turnout we were still treated with another Survivor-hit "Eye Of The Tiger". It doesn't get much better than this. What a first day for Firefest!

Jimi Jamison (8:45-10:00)
Jimi Jamison - Vocals
Tommy Denander- Guitar
Jimmy Jay - Bass
Magnus Ulfstedt - Drums
Jona Tee - Keyboards

Setlist: Singer Not The Song, Burning Heart, First Night, Desperate Dreams, High On You, Chasing Euphoria (Kimball/Jamison), A Dream Too Far, Blood On Your Money (Cobra), I See You In Everyone, Oceans, Rebel Son, Didn't Know It Was Love, I'm Always Here, Eye Of The Tiger


12.50 is a really early start for the day, when you've been up partying till 3 am, but we managed to get up to see TALON (USA). This was their second round in Firefest, and seemed to be more mellower this time around. Everything else sounded alright, but Eric Ragno was merely a puppet on stage, the keyboards were mixed so low you couldn't hear them. Michael O'Mara took the duties of Shawn Pelata, who wasn't able to attend. O'Mara is a good singer, who has a very fresh sound with a cheerful presence. He didn't even seem too terrified, when he lost his mic in the crowd, just joked about it. It's his second time in the band, maybe this time he's here to stay.

Talon (12:50-1:30)
Michael O'Mara - Vocals
Jim Kee - Guitar
Kory Voxen - Guitar
Phil Keller - Bass
John Parker - Drums
Eric Ragno - Keyboards

Setlist: Crying To Me, Fire In Your Soul, Always Be My Baby, Paradise, What About Me, Walk Away, Mother Mary May I, Evil, Wrecking Ball

VEGA (UK) was a newcomer, so it was great to see them the first time. With their singer Nick Workman (Eden) they lifted the spirit after Talon with their more uptempo music. They proved to be a steady and classy livegroup, who know the importance of vocal harmonies. Vega was brilliant in that department, and lucky to have the keyboards back in the mix. Many rocking songs in the set, and of course their hit "Kiss Of Life" was cheered most at at the end.

Vega (1:50-2:30)
Nick Workman - Vocals
Tom Martin - Guitar
Nick Horne - Guitar
Rob Wylde - Bass
Dan Chantrey - Drums
James Martin - Keyboards

Setlist included: One Of A Kind, Another, Headlights, Heart Of Glass, Staring At The Sun, Stay With Me, Kiss Of Life

Sadly we weren't able to see the whole set from the 80's band SILENT RAGE (USA), but the four songs witnessed out of the fifty minute set were very inspiring hardrock. They´re a band that always somehow slipped past my attention, although 80's is what I've always lived for, but live they were a very tight unit, a powerful and convincing band. I need to see them somewhere with a full show. The few songs proved they were one of the best bands in FF this year. Nice job!

Silent Rage (2:50-3:40)
Jesse Damon - Vocals, Guitar
Mark Hawkins - Guitar, Vocals
E.J. Curse - Bass, Vocals
Rodney Pino - Drums, Vocals

Setlist: I'm On Fire, Don't Touch Me There, Unchained, Remember Me, Make It Or Break It, Sarina, Rich, Young, and Pretty, Whisky Woman, Can't Get Her Out Of My Head (ELO), Four Letter Word, Runnin' On Love, I Wanna Feel It Again, Still Alive, Rebel With A Cause

Some of the shows this year in Firefest were sadly small disappointments, and JEFF PARIS (USA) was one of them. I've been a fan of his since the 80's, so his show was one that I was really looking forward to. Fighting with some technical difficulties, and eventhough Paris himself seemed to be very happy on stage and such a sympathetic, smiling guy, the band with guys from H.E.A.T. and Tommy Denander, also seemed a bit spiritless. Paris was vocally alright, and his acoustic medley in the middle of the set to the lost loved ones was a good addition to the show. W.E.T. also performed a similar medley after Paris. We've lost many great musicians this year, and last year Firefest bands were paying tribute to Steve Lee (Gotthard). Everyone wants to pay their respects for these musicians, and the singalongs were again amazing for the medleys. It seems like a really bad curse for the melodic rock scene losing so many great musicians, and as I'm writing this, we've lost yet another one. Rest in peace, Shy-guitarist Steve Harris. Let's hope for a better new year.

As the Paris gig got around to "Stop Playing With My Heart", the band had to start over due to Paris forgetting the lyrics. He was laughing about it, and surely it was only due to his long break in performing. The second round went well, and the last part of the set was rocking. "Crying" was probably one of his most familiar songs for many, since it has been played by Vixen. Paris has done so many songs to so many musicians, and it's really sad that melodic rock still isn't big in music business. Another song from him (played by Mr. Big) was also heard tonight, "Lucky This Time". Although the one hour performance seemed a bit lifeless, I still wish to see Paris again. After all, it's only humane to have bad days. I'm glad I've finally seen Paris live.

Jeff Paris (4:00-5:00)
Jeff Paris - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Tommy Denander - Guitar
Jimmy Jay - Bass
Magnus Ulfstedt - Drums
Jona Tee - Keyboards

Setlist: Race To Paradise, Mystery Girl, Charmed Life, Lucky This Time, One Night Alone, Saturday Night, acoustic medley; I Saw Red (Warrant)/Rainbow In The Dark (Dio), Back On My Knees, Stop Playing With My Heart, Crying, I'm Better, I Can't Let Go, Wired Up

Jeff Scott Soto is one of the big names in melodic rock, so it was about time Firefest got him with W.E.T. (SE) in the lineup. Warrant was one out of two bands that cancelled, the other one was Farcry, so W.E.T. got their chance here. Most Firefest goers were excited to have them instead of Warrant, now that Jani Lane was no longer among us, and personally I was excited too. I've seen Warrant with Jani twice (amazing performer) and this was the first ever live performance from W.E.T., a collaboration between Robert Säll (Work Of Art), Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse) and Soto (Talisman). Having seen Soto with Talisman and on his sologig here I knew we were up to a fiery and pompous show, and this show did end up among the best in FF this year.

Soto was as energetic as always, also performing in the keys and guitar. Robert Säll (guitar) seemed to enjoy his time on stage, as did everyone. The band not only played the great W.E.T. songs, but surprised us with Work Of Art, Talisman and Eclipse songs, not to mention the medley with Gotthard/Dio/Warrant/Gary Moore/Y&T/Talisman they did while sitting down. Soto's guitar was out of tune for a while, but he just humorously went with it, and soon "Mysterious" turned into an electric version. It was evident, that W.E.T. should've been the headliners on Saturday. Not only did Soto give 100 percent for the show, but Säll proved to be a multi-instrumentalist, hopping from one instrument to another. Mårtensson is always nice to watch on stage, he seems like a guy that can handle everything, playing it cool and easy.

W.E.T. (5:20-6:25)
Jeff Scott Soto - Vocals
Magnus Henriksson - Guitar
Erik Mårtensson - Bass
Henrik Eriksson - Drums
Robert Säll - Keyboards

Setlist: Brothers In Arms, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Invincible, My Everything, To Mend A Broken Heart (Eclipse), One Day At A Time, If I Fall, I'll Be There, Comes Down Like Rain, The Great Fall (Work Of Art), acoustic tribute medley; Last In Line (Dio)/ Forever (Y&T)/Need To Believe (Gotthard)/Still Got The Blues (Gary Moore)/Heaven (Warrant), Mysterious (This Time It's Serious)(Talisman), One Love

After such a dynamic performance from W.E.T., STRANGEWAYS (USA, formed in 1984) were on a tough spot. The crowd obviously were here to see W.E.T., as Rock City suffered a crowdloss after them. Some came back when Strangeways started though, but there was only Steve Augeri left after them, and both had played FF before. Strangeways slowed the pace down a bit, this time playing with David Steward (bass), who was replaced by Warren Jolly last year. Also Terry Brock (vocals, guitar) had special audience, his sister enjoying her first FF. The song "Everytime You Cry" was dedicated to her, and the spotlight was on her this time.

The second day of performing wasn't good for Brock's vocals, he was clearly still suffering from cold. That's why he might've chosen to not speak as much as usual, but the songs spoke for themselves. Strangeways are a band that is right at home on stage, so they are a pleasure to see. Even with their 70-minute slot the time flew by fast. They performed the complete "Walk In The Fire" album, among with other tracks.

Strangeways (6:45-7:55)
Terry Brock - Vocals
Ian J. Stewart - Guitar, Vocals
David Stewart - Bass
Jim Drummond - Drums
Dave "Munch" Moore - Keyboards

Setlist: Where Are They Now, Danger In Your Eyes, Into The Night, Every Time You Cry, Love Lies Dying, Talk To Me, Living In The Danger Zone, Modern World, Walk In The Fire, After The Hurt Is Gone, Only A Fool, Where Do We Go From Here

STEVE AUGERI (USA), the vocalist of one Journey for eight years, also a member of Tyketto and Tall Stories for a while, was performing in Firefest for the second time, the last time was with Tall Stories in 2008. His band was Valentine, and they pulled off a great show. Augeri's voice was in good shape against all suspicions, and the setlist was filled with Journey hits. Augeri also played the guitar and they had a female singer as a guest. The crowd sang fantastically during "Faithfully", and was very much enjoying the gig. Augeri also played "Down By The Riverside" and "Rich Man's World" from his upcoming soloalbum. "Anyway You Want It" was the last song of the actual setlist, but the band, after receiving very loud screams from the crowd after leaving the stage, came back for two more songs. The last one was a second take on "Seperate Ways", which was a strange move, but the crowd enjoyed it again. I remember Europe doing "The Final Countdown" in Sweden Rock twice, but I've never really understood the point. Why not do another song instead? Great set anyways, and a great ending for Saturday.

Steve Augeri (8:25-10:00)
Steve Augeri - Vocals, Guitar
Adam Holland - Guitar
Gerrard Zappa - Bass
Mike Morales - Drums
Craig Pullman - Keyboards

Setlist: Jaime (Tyketto), Seperate Ways, Ask The Lonely, Higher Place, Lights, Kiss Me Softly (acoustic), Stone In Love, Down By The Riverside, Sister Of Mercy (Tall Stories), We Will Meet Again, Wheel In The Sky, Rich Man's World, Faithfully, Don't Stop Believing, Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', Anyway You Want It, All The Way, Seperate Ways

Soon after the evening ended in Rock City, we headed towards our hotel, the Premier Inn, where Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch) was going to perform acoustically alone. The restaurant was packed as we got in, so it was hard to see him. He seemed to enjoy performing to this intimate crowd, was very energetic and had a lot of stories to tell. The one hour set was filled with covers, and included at least "More Than A Feeling" (Boston) and "Can't Find My Way Home" (House Of Lords), also "Hey Operator" from Coney Hatch. As a performer Dixon shares many similarities with Jack Blades (Night Ranger), not only in gestures, but both are very inspiring and vivid persons, and performing is very natural for both of them. Dixon is definately in a job where he belongs to. This was a definate crowdpleaser, a very warmhearted, fully devoted one man show.

SUNDAY 23.10

They say the third time's a charm, but with NEWMAN (UK) it wasn't quite true. Having performed in Firefest for the second time last year under the live DVD-recording cameras, the stakes were much higher this time. A crowd and the band isn't the same without cameras around, so compared to last year the atmosphere was now flatter without the extra gimmicks, and there wasn't as much crowd response. Of course now they were the opening band for the day, whereas last year they were playing in the middle of the day with a crowd already warmed up by other bands. Newman still had a good professional show, and were fooling to some extent on stage, singer Steve Newman singing with a guitar pick on his forehead and him together with guitarist Shaun Bessant and bassist Dave Bartlett doing some cool poses. They also had Pete Fry from Farcry as a guest guitarist, and enjoyed performing with him. Live Newman sounds much more fresher, raunchier and updated than on the albums, the last one "Under Southern Skies" excluded, which has a more updated sound. Personally I enjoy them live much more than spinning their albums. Bessant pulled off some great guitar solos towards the end of the show, and Steve Newman showed he´s got player skills too. A good show from the boys again.

Newman (12:50-1:30)
Steve Newman - Vocals
Shaun Bessant - Guitar
Pete Fry - Guitar (Guest)
Dave Bartlett - Bass
Nic Lipscombe - Drums
Paul Boyle - Keyboards

Setlist included: Primitive Soul, Endless, Heaven Knows, Under Southern Skies, Stay With Me, If It's Love, Over And Over, One Step Closer

The next show was probably one of those that Firefest goers were also expecting a lot. WHITE WIDDOW (AU) was the first Australian band to perform FF, and their singer Jules Millis is an avid Firefest goer himself, that many have made friends with here. The set didn't start off too well, as Millis' vocals were mixed too low, but it was corrected fast. The band suffered other sound problems as well, so there wasn't enough justice to their upbeat, melody driven hardrock. The show ended up being mediocre soundwise, but the band still rocking like any good old rock band, having a good attitude and the right rockstar moves.

White Widdow (1:50-2:30)
Jules Millis - Vocals
Enzo Almanzi - Guitar
Trent Wilson - Bass
Jim Naish - Drums
Xavier Millis - Keyboards

Setlist: Tokyo Rain, Strangers In The Night, Cry Wolf, Do You Remember, Cross To Bare, Change Of Passion, Reckless Nights, Broken Hearts Won't Last Forever

ALIEN (SE), another giant in the AOR field, formed already in 1986 by guitarist Tony Borg and singer Jim Jidhed, were the biggest surprise of the festival. A band that performed here with the original lineup and their debut album, gave such a performance that none of us would've expected to see. The last time the band was on stage was about twenty years ago, so it's been a long time coming. I've always loved the voice of Jim Jidhed, he's constantly singing in all my players, so I was really looking forward to this show, and from the first notes he showed that he still owns one of the best voices in AOR. His performance was perfect, and it seemed like he didn't even have to work hard on that, just belting off the cleanest stuff you can ever hear. Especially the start lead to "Only One Woman" was amazing, and was responded by huge applause. The band being in such fine form they should've gotten a longer stagetime, playing the whole debut album, but at least we were still treated with a new song "Ready To Fly", which sounded like the great Alien we've come to known, a catchy midtempo rocker with beautiful vocals. Alien was definitely the highlight of the festival, and a band worth checking out somewhere, if you weren't here.

Alien (2:50-3:40)
Jim Jidhed - Vocals
Tony Borg - Guitar
Ken Sandin - Bass
Toby Tarrach - Drums
Jimmy Wandroph - Keyboards

Setlist: Brave New Love, Go Easy, Tears Don't Put Out The Fire, Dying By The Golden Rule, Only One Woman (The Marbles), Jamie Remember, Feel My Love, I've Been Waiting, encore: Touch My Fire, Ready To Fly

KANE ROBERTS (USA) must've been the biggest disappointment this year. His upbeat hardrock drew many to FF, but soon it was noted the performance was very flat. That was the second disappointment this year. Roberts seemed a bit under the weather in his sunglasses, and the sounds were just horrible. If you were somewhere in the front rows, you could at least enjoy the gig a bit soundwise, but from afar it was a disaster. Kane Roberts has since his Alice Cooper days been a great performer, who's very aware of the visual importance to a show, so on his part the expectations must've been really high for the crowd. He must've noticed the bad sounds himself, as he covered his ears with his hands during the show, maybe he didn't hear his own voice, which might've been a downer for him.

At least the band Talon, who played with Roberts, tried their best, and during "Dance Little Sister" Roberts brought two dancing girls on stage. Something extra for the malefans, and to spicen up the show a little. Also a good crowdpleaser was "Does Anybody Really Fall In Love", that turned into a loud singalong. The guitarists drew attention too with their stylish play. Three covers were a bit too much though in a one hour set, he could've done more of his own songs now that he was back on stage in the UK after 22 years. The last song played was a Kiss-cover, "Take It Off", which Roberts co-wrote together with Paul Stanley and Bob Ezrin, and it remained the last song. After the band left the stage the crowd had no desire to scream them back on. It was such a disappointment the gig went as it did, after all, everyone wanted Roberts to give a great ride with the great songs he has. Cool fact: Kane Roberts has also designed video games.

Kane Roberts (4:00-5:00)
Kane Roberts - Vocals, Guitar
Jim Kee - Guitar
Kory Voxen - Guitar
Phil Keller - Bass
John Parker - Drums
Eric Ragno - Keyboards

Setlist: Wild Nights, Twisted, Freedom (Alice Cooper), Does Anybody Really Fall In Love, I Want It Again (Rod Stewart), Dance Little Sister, Prince Of Darkness (Alice Cooper), Rebel Heart, Take It Off (Kiss)

Sadly we missed out on most of MITCH MALLOY's (USA) show, as we had to get a bite of something, but what we saw seemed even better than the last time Malloy was here in 2008. Malloy is a very rich performer, he possesses most of the characteristics of a great entertainer. He was once again very energetic, the voice was in great shape and he's just smiles all the way through. Malloy also got his crowd going easily, boy were they singing along loudly to each song! His band must've attracted people too, Portalupi, Del Vecchio and Percudani all play on the Lionville album. Half of the set was from Malloy's latest album "II". A great comeback to FF indeed. Cool fact: Malloy was briefly in Van Halen and did a demotape with them.

Mitch Malloy (5:20-6:25)
Mitch Malloy - Vocals, Guitar
Anna Portalupi - Bass
Mario Percudani - guitar
Alessandro Mori - Drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Keyboards, Vocals

Setlist: Mission Of Love, Falling To Pieces, Stranded In The Middle Of Nowhere, Our Love Will Never Die, I'm The One, Carry On, Over The Water, Love Song, Anything At All, All My Friends

A band that turned out to be very succesful in Firefest was CONEY HATCH (CA). It was their first appearance in the UK, which must explain something, but with the perfected to the max-show seen here, the success was no wonder. The band played with the original lineup, doing songs from all of their three albums. Apart from Dixon, who already did his solo acoustic gig on Friday night, vocals were also sung by bass player Andy Curran in "You Ain't Got Me", "Love Poison" and "Monkey Bars". The guys were like young rascals on stage, you couldn't tell what they were gonna pull out their sleeves next, the show was everything you could imagine a veteran band (formed already in 1980) could handle. It was wacky, warm, colourful, powerful, just pure profession to the core. They got one of the most noisiest singalongs in Firefest, and the participation from the crowd was very touching till the end.

Coney Hatch (6:45-7:55)
Carl Dixon - Vocals, Guitar
Steve Shelski - Guitar
Andy Curran - Vocals, Bass
Dave "Thumper" Ketchum - Drums

Setlist: We Got The Night, Don´t Say Make Me, You Ain´t Got Me, Stand Up, First Time For Everything, Love Poison, She's Gone, Wrong Side Of Town, To Feel The Feeling Again, Hey Operator, Girl From Last Night´s Dream, Fallen Angel, Fantasy, No Sleep Tonight, Devils Deck, Monkey Bars

UNRULY CHILD (USA) was another much awaited band, playing for the first time outside USA. They were the main band this year, and the crowd excitement grew stronger by the minute, while waiting for the curtain to fall down. As it fell down, the band greeted the noisy fans, but singer Marcie Free (ex-King Kobra) was still hiding somewhere. Finally after a moment she was there, accompanied with loud cheers on stage. She seemed very much taken by the great welcome, which was expected from a band, that has been very important to the melodic rock scene. Everyone was waiting to hear the classics from their self-titled debut album, and they delivered them, more concentrating on the latest album "World's Collide" though.

The band sounded perfect. The only downside was to notice, that Bruce Gowdy played playback. Two guitarists pointed this out to me, as I was too far to notice. I wonder why he chose to entertain us this way, but he must have his reasons. His playing seemed perfect though, with fingers sliding easily on the fret, and he seemed happy on stage. I enjoyed the show anyhow, and Free's vocals sounded as they were back in the 80's. It was a travel back in time, and the new songs brought more warmth to the unforgettable ending for Firefest. Free was all smiles through the show and had a very calm way of performing. The band hit some technical difficulties near the end, and Marcie decided to dance to some funkbits at the side of the stage, while the band did some drum and bass parts. The end of the show rocked more than the first half, where the debut album was covered more. It was a good liftup for the show. "When We Were Young" closed the heartwarming set from the new album in calmer manner. Unruly Child was a great closing for this years Firefest!

Unruly Child (8:25-10:00)
Marcie Michelle Free - Vocals
Bruce Gowdy - Guitar
Larry Antonino - Bass
Jay Schellen - Drums
Guy Allison - Keyboards

Setlist: Love Is Blind, Show Me The Money, Very First Time, Tell Another Lie, Neverland, When Worlds Collide, You Don't Understand, To Be Your Everything, bass and drum solos, Take Me Down Nasty, Lay Down Your Arms, Talk To Me, Who Cries Now, encore: On The Rise, When We Were Young

With another great weekend at Firefest behind, we're now looking forward to next years. What will the Firefest crew come up this time? Whatever it is, it will be a great year as usual. Believe me, we at Rockunited know this for a fact, read all our reports since Firefest day one here. The Firefest crew digs up bands from the past for us, and make magic happen. I bow down in respect for their hard work, there is no greater festival than Firefest around! Let's rock in 2012 again, friends!

The band line-up's are from and Firefest's own programme book. Setlists are either from my own notes, taken from each bands setlists on stage, or from hardcore fans.

Report by Satu Reunanen, satu [at]
Pictures by Kari Helenius, kari [at]
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