6-8.6 2003 Sölvesborg

NOTE: Click on any pic to enlarge!

Missing out last year's Sweden Rock was a huge disappointment, so this year it was decided that our gang is going no matter what.

This years line-up was amazing with Queensr˙che, Whitesnake, Angra, Kamelot, Masterplan, Uriah Heep, Talisman, Dragonforce and so forth, so there was a lot of excitement in the air. But there were also a few things troubling our minds since this was the first time on the festival. How do the swedes manage to run a festival compared to our experiences in Wacken Open Air in Germany and all the finnish ones ? Of course Scandinavians are usually really organized so we weren't too scared really.

Our trip began on the fifth of June, our car packed with five persons and travel gear sticking out above our heads, between our legs, everywhere. Our car wasn't the biggest size and we had to sit like that for about 1800 kilometers ! That's the distance we travelled from Helsinki to Turku (then ferry to Stockholm) and off to Sölvesborg and back the same way. But we were all experienced travelers and when you've got good music banging into your ear, good company and beautiful sceneries along the way, a few hours go by really fast. The only thing bothering in our car was the middle backseat. After sitting there for two hours you didn't feel your butt anymore, so we had to change places every two hours. The ferry trip from Turku to Stockholm went quiet smooth, we slept through most of it, because the night before we went out to see a Nightwish show in Helsinki and didn't sleep at all that night. We arrived to Sweden on the same day in the evening and got more company. Now there were eight of us in two cars. After driving for hours and stopping along the way we couldn't help but notice how bad the english was here. That was strange concidering Sweden is more international than Finland. And the more we got closer to the region of Skåne, the worse it got. But finns are lucky to understand swedish, so you could communicate with that too. But when you're in Skåne, along comes the local accent of course, yippee !

We found a place to sleep the next night in a farm near the festival area. Didn't really sleep much, only about three hours, 'cos we arrived to the farm a bit late (thanks to an ancient map, hah) and we had to go and arrange the passes early enough. But when we arrived to the festival area, we could hardly get our car inside and couldn't get our passes until 11 a.m. The first band was starting at 11.15, so that was the first thing not working well enough. The second surprise was that we couldn't get a car pass and had to drag all our camera, tent etc gear from our car to the backstage tent area. Now this made our work a bit hard. We couldn't leave any valuable at the tents, so we had to run between our car and our tent to change gear etc. Later on I met another RockUnited member BATsy from Poland and somehow he had managed to get his car to the backstage area without a car pass and park it right next to his tent...well, we didn't let that spoil the mood. Though when you've got about 15 minutes between bands to go to the car and change the battery to your camera and you can only photograph the first three songs, it does make you curse a little.


CAUGHT IN ACTION: Burning Point, Twinball, Squealer, Spearfish, Crystal Eyes, Finntroll, Syron Vanes, Dragonforce

MISSED IN ACTION: Dumper, Tankard, Sky High, Demon, Tad Morose


While putting up our tents we heard the fellow finns BURNING POINT play their set and managed to see a few songs. Their show wasn't the best they've had, they were singing out of tune and the crowd were booing and laughing at them. The sounds weren't the best either. This was the Spendrups Stage and most bands had difficulties on that stage. We felt sorry for BP since they are a great band, but this was not their day. SQUEALER, CRYSTAL EYES and SYRON VANES only caught our attention for a few songs. Never hearing them before their music sounded too plain with not much to cling to.

I waited anxiously to see DRAGONFORCE live for the first time and of course with my luck the show was a total catastrophy. Their drummer had left a few days earlier and was replaced with a fan for this show. The band came on stage and rehearsed for a while going through the beginning of "Valley Of The Damned" over and over again. During the whole show the drummer was playing in different beat than the rest of the band, but he sure was fast. He didn't have any symbals in his kit and the drums were a bit different from your average drummer anyhows. The show was 40 minutes and it was a pain to listen. The guitar amps went dead in turns and the mic was cutting off and whatever you can think of. But even with all this happening the band still went on with the show, Herman Li showing off his playing skills that are unbelievable and ZP Theart taking the stage like a real rock star (or a rock cowboy if you will...just look at the picture) and Sam, Adrian and Vadim doing their best. If this had happened to me, I would've probably smashed my guitar right there, but Dragonforce is truly a crowd friendly band and one that has guts, nerves and showmanship. One of the songs I would've wanted to hear live was "Starfire". A lot of the crowd took off during the show, but the band must've gotten energy from the rest of the people, who seemed to be real fans of the band. There were a lot of screaming and singing along to the songs and hands in the air, even with the total disaster. Afterwards I spoke with Herman and he didn't want to talk about the show. Who would really. The band partied at their tents till the next morning and I could hardly sleep from the noise. I had a few laughs at their jokes though while trying to catch the damn sandman and some of the jokes were quite strange...or what would you say about this funny statement "A wooden leg doesn't make a table"...hmmm, wonder where that came from or was it my hearing, but that has been haunting me ever since.


TWINBALL played for an hour and sounded and looked really professional and tight. They were a nice surprise for a first experience to their music, which is simple hard rock. A bit in the vein of Thin Lizzy especially the vocals and the guitar and earlier they actually played Thin Lizzy covers. That's what probably caught my attention when I read about them earlier. The guys didn't look that much of a rockers on stage with their outfits, white shirts and scottish styled pants, but they convinced us with their show. Their setlist: "Freak Of Nature", "Ruler Of The Spinning Wheel", "Broken Soul", "Inner Light", "Don't Pay The Ferryman", "Know Your Enemy", "Tears Of Guilt", "My Bleeding Evil", "Twinball".

SPEARFISH's most interesting influences mentioned were Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Rush, so this was a band that had to be checked out. This yet another swedish band continued with the good show that Twinball took off with, a little bit of playing with fire and their drummer playing with only his other side showing to the crowd. The songs played were "Living Proof", "Running Late", "Blind Circus", "Two To Tango", "Mercury Blues","Joystick", "Making Memories", "Win Or Lose", "What Do You Got?" and the show ended with three special songs with a guest star, Svenne Hedlund of an old swedish band called The Hep Stars from the 60'ies, which had Benny Andersson from Abba as a member too. Those last songs were "Farmer John","Cadillac" and "I Natt Jag Drömde". Well, we didn't stay to listen to the last song till the end, as it was too softie for us (for a far more older crowd than what the festival was meant for) and in swedish, but the swedish crowd were having fun and singing along. Even the guys in Dimmu Borgir t's and so forth.

After Spearfish the Sweden Stage was taken by a finnish band, FINNTROLL. Never been into that troll metal and I'm not a huge fan of growling vocals anymore either and when it's sung in swedish, well..I have to say I was curious though. Can't recall ever seeing the band play live, so we stayed for a few songs. And boy did the guys take the crowd ! It was a helluva troll metal party with the fans going nuts, they were singing along to the songs and even dressing up as trolls ! Finntroll gathered a lot of curious people to see them too, but most of the crowd must've been real fans, as there was so much action going on everywhere.

That was Friday for us, though we did catch Tad Morose and Demon sounds to our tents and they did sound good over there. DEMON'S set was: "Have We Been Here Before", "One Helluva Night", "Spaced Out Monkey", "Streetwise Cowboy", "Wonderland", "Fever In The City", "Writings On The Wall", "Blackheath", "The Plague", "Remembrance Day", "Intro:Full Moon", "Night Of The Demon", "Into The Nightmare", "Sign Of A Madman", "Father Of Time", "Don´t Break The Circle" and "Life On The Wire". Good, basic metal.


CAUGHT IN ACTION: A couple doing it in the women's toilet, The Spiderman, Angra, Kamelot, Jethro Tull, Queensr˙che, Krokus, Whitesnake, Motörhead, Sonata Arctica, Peer Günt, Pagan's Mind, Stormwind

MISSED IN ACTION: A few friends, our money, make-up, hair-do and memory (well, tried at least), Budgie, Paul Dianno & Killers, Arch Nemesis, Platitude, A.C.T., Darkane, Danko Jones, Ignition

Festivals are great, but you always miss out a few shows. Ignition and Platitude would've been interesting to see, but you can't stretch yourself everywhere. After about three hours of sleep I was (always) among the first ones to wake up in the morning, at about six a.m. Still six hours to go till the first band of the day, Angra, hits the stage. How boring ! And you can't even start drinking when your working, another boooring ! So I started cleaning myself from all the dirt from the day before in our hellish tent with the sun warming up places real good. Didn't want to go to the showers, they were in a terrible state, the floors flooding from what looked like someone had a bad diarrhea. The toilets and the showers were never cleaned at least in the backstage the whole time, which is one thing that works in Wacken, Germany, pretty well. And elsewhere the situation wasn't much better, a few toilets were so flooded that the piles of crap were starting to look like Mount Everest, which I didn't want to conquer ! We've got pictures to prove that, but I'm sure you don't want to see them. And I'm wondering why those were taken anyway !


Before ANGRA hit the stage I managed to do a quick interview with the singer Edu. Too bad he was in such a rush. He had only slept five hours the night before and that must've affected his performance, it wasn't as good as the year before in Wacken. The rest of the band seemed like a bit tired too, they didn't have as much energy on stage as in Wacken. But still this was a good show. Brazilians are such passionate people and even when Angra was looking tired, they were smiling and giving their best. They even performed their brazilian influenced drum show and the crowd loved it. All the songs played hit just the right spot for a good wake-up (not all songs included): "Nova Era", "Millenium Sun", "Acid Rain", "Angel's Cry", "Heroes Of Sand", "Unholy Wars", "Rebirth", "Nothing To Say" and "Carry On". The show was an hour and fifteen minutes, but as usual time flies when you're having fun.

KROKUS was next with an hour and a half show and this old band was very good, in fit and a lot of people came to see the show. The place was packed and many were really into it. Of course Krokus played lots of hits and the setlist was: "Screaming In The Night", "Long Stick Goes Boom", "Easy Rocker","Tokyo Nights", "Mad World", "Fire", "Bad Boys,Rag Dolls", "Down The Drain", "Stayed Awake All Night", "Rock City", "Rock'n'roll Tonight", "Backseat Rock'n'roll", "Heatstrokes", "Rock The Block", "Eat The Rich", "Bedside Radio" and their usual cover of "American Woman". A quiz for you: how many "rock"-words can you find here ?

MOTÖRHEAD was the last band on this stage that night and also played an hour and a half. The fans were quite obsessed, going to the front row in a wheelchair and many crying and just going crazy. The bands performance didn't have anything new in it, Lemmy singing to his mic with his head held back and his voice as raw as always and the band sounding as powerful as always. The setlist was good with a lot of old classic tunes: "We Are Motörhead", "No Class", "Shoot You In The Back", "Civil War", "God Save The Queen", "Metropolis", "Doctor Rock", "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.", "Brave New World", "Over Your Shoulder", "Over The Top", "Damage Case", "Sacrifice", "Orgasmatron", "Going To Brazil", "Killed By Death", "Iron Fist", "Bomber", "Ace Of Spades" and "Overkill" and a drumsolo somewhere in the middle.


The only bands we saw from this stage on Saturday were the finnish SONATA ARCTICA and PEER GÜNT. Both bands played an energetic show, though Sonata had a little confusion on stage like Jani not singing the backing vocals, Henkka playing his own stuff, but that didn't bother them. The place was packed with people and it was hit after hit: (not complite setlist) "Abandoned, Pleased, Brainwashed, Exploited", "Kingdom For A Heart", "Full Moon", "Replica", "Last Drop Falls", "UnOpened" with a slow beginning, "Victoria's Secret", "Champagne Bath", "Broken", "My Land" and "The Cage". The band was having fun on stage too, Tony started singing the tune from the "Knight Rider" and the fans had to sing it after him. It was freaking nuts ! And after the show the band did their "We need some vodka" sing-along and it was clear that this band was from Finland...They should sing "kossu" instead of "vodka" though.

PEER GÜNT played a great show with all their hits, somewhere along these lines: "Smalltown Maniacs", "Fat Girls", "Troubled Child", "Fuck The Jazz", "Red Chevy" and in between the songs they had interesting speaks like for "Train Train": "The next song takes us to the railway station" and these speaks were both in english and swedish. The guys were having a great time and those people who didn't know the band might've wondered about all the action on stage. The rest of the songs were: "Street 69", "I Take Your Money And Honey", "Ya Walk Alone", "Dying Ducks In The Thunderstorm", "Years On The Road", "Bad Boys Are Here", "Let Her In", "T-bone Steak And A Bottle Of Beer", "Backseat", "I Don't Wanna Be A Rock'n'Roll Star", "Bartender". The band's tourbus was a real joke, advertising finnish fertilizer all over it. Chicken shit's the name of the game, but thankfully the smell wasn't following.


Had some time to check out PAGAN'S MIND and they sounded ok, though I've never heard the band before. Their singer Nils K. Rue looked like a twin brother of James LaBrie and the guys actually are Dream Theater fans and that showed in their music too. Rue took the stage well, he even had the LaBrie-like moves.

STORMWIND was also in the category of "ok", didn't catch any familiar tune during the first songs and had to leave in time for Queensr˙che.


KAMELOT came on stage with familiar clothes seen before on their latest "Epica" album. The first song was "Center Of The Universe" and a maiden on a white dress appeared on stage singing the female vocals behind Khan. Next was "Until Kingdom Come" and "The Edge Of Paradise" and every fan was in ecstasy. "The Spell" was next and in the beginning of the show Khan's mic was breaking up occasionally, but this was happening to a lot of the bands especially on the Festival Stage, even for the bigger bands like Whitesnake and Queensr˙che. Kamelot's show was very good, they were one of the best bands performing that day and at the whole festival, if you didn't count the small problems they were having that is. "Nights Of Arabia" brought the female singer on stage in a harem dress and the duet between Khan and her worked out great. The rest of the show was packed with great songs too: "Fall From Grace", the Queensr˙che-like "Wander", in which Kamelot has all the elegance and emotion 'R˙che has lost years ago, "Wings Of Despair", "Lost & Damned", "Forever", "Karma", "Farewell". Khan often kneeled down towards the front row and their guitarist Thomas Youngblood wasn't that shy showing himself either. In the end of the show the fans got their drumsticks and guitarpicks.

QUEENSR˙CHE was after Kamelot, but it was still over five hours of waiting. While waiting we saw other bands and when it was Queensr˙che time, many of us could hardly stand still. I was floating above everyone from ecstasy. Queensr˙che, I can't believe it ! Now I can make up a mistake and I'm finally seeing the band live ! All the rumours of Geoff Tate losing his voice and Chris DeGarmo joining the band made the wait even more anxious and curious. The band hit the stage with "Open" and "My Global Mind" and I wasn't impressed. Most of their stuff after "Empire" is crap, so I waited in fear what the show was going to be about. The mic kept breaking up during this show also. Geoff Tate had gained weight and him and Rockenfield had no hair and Wilton had cut it down short. DeGarmo didn't join the band for this show. It was like watching a cover band. But after the first two songs the sun started shining for us. It was "Nm 156" next from "The Warning" album, but that was the only song played from it. Nope, no "Take Hold Of The Flame" or "The Warning" was heard. Not even a beep of them. But "Screaming In Digital" came next and it was like a rollercoaster ride, after that it was time for newer songs again, "I Am I" and "Damaged" and then again great old hits "Empire" and "The Needle Lies". Geoff didn't speak much and sang better than I had expected, I was pretty pleased and the band was also good. But Geoff was the only one who actually moved on stage, so the show itself was simple and boring. But I was happy anyhows. Next songs were "The Right Side Of My Mind", "Breakdown", "Sacred Ground" and "Jet City Woman" and somewhere in the end of the show during the older songs I had to call my friend to let her listen to the band too, after all this was one of her favourite bands also and she never saw them live either. The rest of the show was pure "Operation:Mindcrime": "Intro:I Remember Now", "Anarchy X", "Revolution Calling", "Speak", "Spreading The Disease" (Inc:Electric Requiem), "The Mission" and "Eyes Of A Stranger". This was the best part of the show, but unfortunately the band didn't play my faves, "Breaking The Silence" and "I Don't Believe In Love". Buaah! But it was a good show, somewhere around an hour and a half. Wonder why they totally forgot "Rage For Order" album, it has it's moments. JETHRO TULL was between Kamelot and Queensr˙che. Our photographer Kari was the only one who saw a bit of the show. It sounded good though, the familiar sounds from Ian Anderson's flute were heard from far away.

WHITESNAKE...it had been too long since I last saw this band and as Whitesnake was the last band to play on Saturday the tension from waiting had grown into enormous amounts. Even when the place started getting quite full I could watch the band from the other side not too far away. Sweden Rock didn't sell that much tickets this year eventhough it still was sold out, so that was good. I still would've wanted to be in the first row, but I'm just too old to get myself mangled voluntarily. It was really dark at 23.30, so all the lights and the guys were showing really well from the stage. The one hour and 45 minutes started with "Bad Boys" with Coverdale screaming from his lungs "Are you ready ?!!" and who knows how many fainted at that point from seing this huge rock star in front of them, but even for me it was hard to stay cool 'cos I love the band a lot. Coverdale still has the attraction and the great charisma with funny or considerate english-type speaks between songs. Or perhaps not always considerate, as he said at one point: "If you get cold look for a nice pair of tits". The set continued with "Slide It In", "Slow an' Easy", "Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues" (say what you will but I also love the bluesy Whitesnake), "Love Ain't No Stranger", "Is This Love", guitarsolo by Doug Aldrich (and there were too many solos on this gig and way too long), the band jamming, "Crying In The Rain", again a solo, now from Tommy Aldridge, "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" (almost made a few people cry), "Fool For Your Loving", "Give Me All Your Love ", "Here I Go Again", "Soldier Of Fortune" (a Deep Purple song, Coverdale singing alone) and "Still Of The Night" and this hit the jackpot, everyone went nuts. Coverdale's voice was in good shape, though he couldn't reach the highest notes as well as before and his voice was really crunchy. He introduced most of the songs by screaming "Heeeere's a song for you" and you couldn't miss out him saying "Indeed". Reb Beach didn't play as well as he could've, but he and the rest of the band really seemed inspired by the crowd and were having fun. Even that the gig was quite long, the long solos took too much room from the songs they could've played instead. And Coverdale sure knows he's a rock star, the whole backstage was cleared before the band arrived. Even the guys from Queensr˙che had to leave. That's one point off from you Dave ! He did say he'll meet the press later on at the backstage bar, but of course that was a joke. Those guys weren't seen there, though Coverdale kept a press conference at the same time while Queensr˙che were playing. The only glimpse I managed to get from the band was Reb Beach walking past me. But it was an unforgettable night with 13 hits.


CAUGHT IN ACTION: Masterplan, Uriah Heep, Y&T, Yes, Twisted Sister, Talisman, Wishbone Ash, Axenstar, The Storyteller, Fairyland

MISSED IN ACTION: Rob Tognoni, Sepultura, Blind Guardian, Slow Train, Anthrax, Chrome Shift, The Provenance, Falconer, Mörk Gryning


The morning started nicely with MASTERPLAN and the sun was shining right into our eyes. Many had burned their faces from the day before, though at one point it rained really hard. Sunday was looking nice though and Masterplan had good sounds and Jorn Lande's voice was good too. The first song was "Spirit Never Die" and then already their hit "Enlighten Me". The keyboardist Axel Mackenrott was not seen to those who were standing in front of the speakers and fortunately for them Axel kept running across the stage during the show when he was free from playing. The other songs were: "Heroes", "Soulburn", "Kind Hearted Light", "When Love Comes Close", a medley: The Chance/Sunset Station (Jorn Lande)/The Departed-The Sun Is Going Down, "Bleeding Eyes", "Sail On", "Crawling From Hell" and maybe one more song. Their bassist had a custom made piranha bass, which looked really funny, awful and huge. Later at night we found Jorn Lande at the backstage bar and I had to get a photo of us together, he's been my favourite singers for years. I was supposed to interview him at the festival, but when I finally met him it was so late (about 1 am) that I didn't want to bother him at that hour. He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and I felt like a little girl again, eeek !

When we had time we went to check out all the stuff that was on sale here. There were plenty of cd's, dvd's, lp's of all genres, clothes, jewelry, whatever you can think of. The food wasn't too great at least for vegetarians, but we almost dropped our eyes when we found a Thai booth that sold our favourite thai pancakes and sandwiches that we've grown to love during our years of travelling to the country. You can't find those in Finland and they're really tasty. And there were lots of girly t-shirts for those who hate the baggy xxl-t's that are made these days for the ever-fattening people. I finally got two t's I've been searching for years, Rhapsody and Whitesnake. They even sold Masterplan and what not, but I only saw them on some girls...dammit. I must've been too late to get those. Of course the girly t's are more expensive than normal ones, but the quality is better too. There were lots of bootlegs too, but most of them are crap. I did drool after a few though. There was action in one of the tents too, bands signing autographs and a metal disco later on every night and Ian Haughland's (ex-Europe) band playing. Missed out most of those, because it was always so crowded and didn't look to tempting to enter.

URIAH HEEP was the last band on Rock Stage and they had a really great show. Seemed like they were even better than when I saw them about ten years ago. Strangely they started with "Easy Livin'" and other great songs heard were "Shadows of Grief", "Seven Stars", "Other Side Of Midnight", "Between 2 Worlds", "I hear Voices", "The Wizard", "July Morning", "Gypsy", "Sunrise", "The Magician's Birthday", guitarsolo and Mick Box goes wild, playing his guitar behind his back and whatever, he's still going strong, "Look At Yourself", "Bird of Prey" and this is where I heard a duo behind me imitating the vocals, me cursing "stop making noise I wanna hear the band !" and noticed it was my boyfriend who hates those vocal harmonies in this song and our friend. Well, they were having fun but I think there's nothing to make fun about Bernie Shaw's voice, he definately has improved along the years. Somewhere during the show I had to sit down, my feet were really dead from standing for three days. The last songs were "Stealin'" and "Lady In Black" and a birthday cake was thrown into the crowd somewhere near the end of the set for celebration of Trevor Bolder's birthday on June 9th.

The SPENDRUPS STAGE was on thin ice on Sunday, all the bands there sounded quite average. FAIRYLAND is somewhat in the vein of Rhapsody, only having a female vocalist. They might be a good band, but being very tired nothing impressed much. THE STORYTELLER and AXENSTAR went quite through too, though Axenstar had some similarities with Sonata Arctica.


Y & T was the first band we caught from this stage that day and they started with "Mean Streak". The band's sounds were good and Dave´s voice sounded the same as on the albums. "Eyes Of A Stranger" was next and the rest of the set was good with songs such as "Dirty Girl", "Rescue me","Black Tiger","Summertime Girls", "Game Playing Woman", "I Believe In You", "Barroom Boogie", "Winds Of Change", "Hurricane", "25 Hours A Day", "Hell Or High Water" and "Forever". Their drummer Leonard Haze was sailing with his playing, so that bothered quite a bit.

YES played for an hour and a half like Y & T, but we didn't stay to watch the whole show through. Their singer Jon Anderson could've easily won a price in a dressing contest, it was such a terrible outfit ! Not being too familiar with the band's songs they sounded quite monotonic, though still good. Their setlist was: "Firebird Suite", "Siberian Khatru", "Magnification", "Don't Kill The Whale", "We Have Heaven", "South Side Of The Sky", "And You And I", "Clap" (Steve Howe's solo), "Heart Of The Sunrise", "Six Wives" excerpt (Rick Wakeman's solo), "Long Distance Runaround", "The Fish/Whitefish", "Awaken", "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper".

TWISTED SISTER was the main band of the whole festival and they sure had lights ! When they started it was really dark already, so there was a great lightshow and you got great pictures. The guys were dressed up like in the old days and the show included lots of speaks from Dee Snider, who cursed the weather (it rained real hard at one point) and mother earth and was in great fit. Their set: "What You Don´t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)", "Like A Knife In The Back", "Stay Hungry","Destroyer", "Be Chrool To Your Scuel", "Under The Blade", "You Can´t Stop Rock 'n' Roll", "I Am (I´m Me)", "The Fire Still Burns", "Ride To Live (Live To Ride)", "Shoot´Em Down", "We´re Not Gonna Take It", "The Price", "I Believe In Rock 'n' Roll", "Burn In Hell", "I Wanna Rock", "Come Out And Play", "S.M.F".


offered us only Talisman for the day, though we heard WISHBONE ASH to our tents and they sounded good with their southern bluesy stuff. TALISMAN started with "Break Your Chains" and the band was in great shape and energetic. Jeff Scott Soto is one of the greatest performers in their genre and his jumping and running makes a great effect on the crowd and a great backup to their powerful hard rock. Soto is still in great fit and sings well. They were very popular at Sweden Rock, which is their homeland, and since their set was full of their up-tempo tunes, it was a big party. I would've wanted to hear their ballads too, but the set was good like this too (two songs might be missing): "Colour My XCT", "Skin On Skin", "Tears In The Sky", the cover song from Seal "Crazy", "Break It Down", "Mysterious" and after this Soto phoned up his 15-year old son in the USA to wish him happy birthday and got the crowd to sing him the greetings too, which was the nicest things a father could surprise a son with. Then followed "Standin' On Fire", "I'll Be Waiting", some crowd shouting with Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name" and Europe's "Final Countdown" and "Outta My Way". Even when their set was over an hour long it didn't seem like it.

Vanessa Warwick of MTV's Headbanger's Ball-fame visited the festival and introduced bands on stage together with Ian Haughland. She hasn't changed much from the good old days, though she looked thinner than before and her hair was shorter too, though again blonde. She kept a press conference too, of course not matching our schedule.

The last night was the only one when we got to sleep well, except for the terrible rain that had started during the Twisted Sister show. The next morning we woke up to a terrible wind that almost blew our tents away, but dried them well from the rain. It was a sad moment once again, saying goodbye to friends. On our way back we stopped to eat at the CrapDonald's and another place, but our stay in Mc was unforgettable. The alarm bells went off when we got in and they were screaming during our whole stay there. What an enjoyable meal ! When we managed to travel through Stockholm and find our terminal it was packed with finns, who were mostly our friends. The ferry trip back seemed to turn out fun too. When we had taken a shower (say; wash your hair four times...) and eaten, we checked the disco and there were only a few people dancing like dead corpses. Since the ferry was packed with metal fans who we're bored about the wrong music in the disco and nothing to do, we thought we'd fill it quickly if we'd get the right music there. So our friend was brave enough to ask the dj to play metal and he did ! The rest of the night actually and the place started getting quite full. So it pays to be brave (ooh, don't go asking about metal, he'll eat your heart out !). The metal crowd was more into partying than the disco people before us. So much so, that the disco was supposed to close at 3 am, but the music kept playing till over 4 am and the bar was open till then too. Bands such as Queensr˙che, Wasp, Asia and Whitesnake were played, which you hardly hear in a normal club IF they play metal. So our party continued at the ferry and sleep was again out of the question.

And I can't help but say: Heja Sverige och tack för det lustiga tiden. Kanske vi ses igen i framtiden, eftersom SWEDEN verkligen ROCKS !

Festival Report by Satu Reunanen,

Pictures by Kari Helenius,
(c)2003 RockUnited.Com