10.-12.6 2004 Sölvesborg
NOTE: Click on any pic to enlarge!
This year's Sweden Rock sold out with 20,000 tickets and with bands such as Europe, Judas Priest and Scorpions making their comeback it was sure to be quite a spectacle this year. Not to mention Heart, UFO, Monster Magnet and the rest on the bill were awesome too, gathering fans from all genres, young and old. This year Vanessa Warwick was the master of ceremonies again, as she was last year also, now together with Sweden's Peter Löfberg, a dj, air-guitar player, etc, hosting karaokes and other events. This year was as busy as last year for us, and making it more easy we decided to fly over this time through Copenhagen. Being more costly, it paid itself back in time and sleeping debts. We rented a car from Malmö and had over 100 kilometers driving left. There was a cd player in the car, but we didn't bring any cd's with us, 'cos we were going to buy them anyway from the festival. But we should've had some cd's for the road, the radio was blasting irritating disco beats and dead stuff. While listening to some humppa songs and other nasty stuff, we decided it was about time to find a gas station for better music. When leaving the station people stared in awe as our car continued its journey with the energy of Europe banging loud from the speakers. Keep your gas bills cheap, fill your car with heavy metal!
We arrived to the festival area early enough for whatever surprises might turn up, and this time the only thing that didn't work out was again the car pass like last year, eventhough I had asked for it. So again we left our car outside the backstage tent area, but we were prepaired for this, so we didn't curse as much as last year. Amazingly the festival area was already full at such early hours, but the first band started at 12.15, so being an early bird is just plus at festivals. The weather was a bit cloudy, though warm, but only small showers were promised, so we counted on that. The backstage tent area was really empty when we took our gear there, so when we decided to move next to a bee nest in the ground, you couldn't blame no one else for the catastrophies that would follow. Our neighbours were quite nice though, we managed to pull through the festival with only one sting, to yours truly. While setting up the tent our other neighbour, human this time, was eyeballing me with the suspicious looks "a blonde setting up a tent ?!", watching closely how I would manage in such a tough task. Well, goddamn, I had only taken the tent DOWN last year, so of course I was fighting with the numerous sticks and had no idea what the tent should actually look like. The battle went on for 15 minutes. And all the while our neighbour was keeping his calm, just sitting there and watching with only one expression on his face. I couldn't have done that, but good for him I must say, or else he would've found one of those sticks from some place nice. But jokes aside. The tent was mostly for sleeping, as we were running like mad around the place. At times our schedule was by the minute. We had more Finns as our neighbours and Canadians, and made friends with other Canadians as well, guys from a band called Southern Cross. They sound really descent power metal in the vein of Rhapsody and will be releasing their first album soon. Lost Horizon guitarist Wojtek Lisicki was also neighbouring us, who has joined the band again. I changed a few words with, but unfortunately didn't have time for any deeper conversations. Their show in Sweden was 40 minutes (short), which we unfortunately missed.
When the "Mission Tent" was accomplished, we headed out to Sweden Stage, where CRAZY LED OF MIKA JÄRVINEN was already playing. They had a full hour on stage, and their Led Zeppelin set gathered a whole lot of people to see them. Järvinen was right at home on this stage too, doing his usual climbing to the riggs and hanging in them. The crowd applauded him for the stunts and the show went on with his jokes in both english and swedish, then screaming something in finnish in between. Doing Led Zeppelin covers suits his voice really well, and his movements fall nowhere behind to those of Robert Plant. The band played a convincing and entertaining set. Lauri Porra (from Tunnelvision, etc) was on bass this time and on drums a finnish drum pro Anssi Nykänen. Both Lauri and Mika decided to go shirtless, so it was probably bonus for the female fans, while their male fans enjoyed the music. When the band plays their own songs, they're also worth seing and hearing. After Crazy Led we caught ASTRAL DOORS on Spendrups Stage for a few songs. Their sounds weren't the best, but the band's Dio/Black Sabbath-like music sounded otherwise quite good. They're one of those bands worth checking out if you like the bands mentioned above. Such early hours (14.10) didn't get much response from the people, but the band did their best. THE HAUNTED played after them at Sweden Stage and were as angry and energetic as before, so the crowd was having good time with them.
Next up on Rock Stage was TNT, the mighty Norwegians. They're one of those bands I never happened to see live, so I was curious to see if Tony Harnell still had his voice and how well Ronni Le Tekro could still play. And surely TNT ended up being one of the best bands in Sweden Rock this year, everything just clicked perfectly. In one hour they managed to do a whole bunch of great songs, their setlist was:"Invisible Noise", "As Far As The Eye Can See", "She Needs Me", "Downhill Racer", "Seven Seas" where Tony made the crowd sing along to the chorus, stating he could listen to this all day, "Caught Between The Tigers", "Intuition", band introduction, Tony praising Diesel Dahl for sticking with the band for 20 years, "Listen To Your Heart", "My Religion", "10.000 Lovers (In One)" and a good conclusion to the show with the catchy "Everyone's A Star". Now if I have to complain about something, it is definately "Indian Summer" and the ballad "Soldier Of The Light", which they didn't play. But you can't have it all and TNT definately brightened the cloudy Thursday with their positive attitude and show. Afterwards we met the band at the press conference, strangely the tent wasn't even full. The band kept smiling through the questions and signed cd's and posed afterwards for those journalists who were also fans. Of course I had to confess Tony being a fan of the band for 18 years or so, and in return he hugged me. Amazing things do happen. TNT, consisting in Sweden of Harnell, Diesel Dahl, Ronni Le Tekro and Dag Stokke and Sid Ringsby who weren't in the press conference, seemed to be really down to earth kinda guys, so it was pleasure talking with them.
TRADING FATE was playing on Rockklassiker-tent, which was so full you had to listen to them outside where the sounds were quite bad. The band seemed to have attitude, but somehow they couldn't get much action going. The guys are still fairly young, so watch out for them, who knows where they'll be in the future. DAD and ENTOMBED both had great shows, energetic with full sounds. DAD's bassist Jesper was dressed in funny clothes, looking like a Superman or the likes and and his huge two-string bass was a great addition to the outfit. They were one of those bands the crowd was waiting for, so the field was well covered and it was quite hard to see the band.
HELLOWEEN was a disappointment. Even that they were playing old classics like "Future World", "Eagle Fly Free" and "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" from Michael Kiske era, the songs didn't give any spark to the crowd when Andi Deris couldn't reach the same notes as Kiske. He was really fighting to get the high notes out and sounded like a singer going on stage with a terrible flu. The older songs like "Starlight" and "Murderer" from Hansen era worked better for Andi's darker voice and the band wasn't boring at all, though their sounds were quite terrible. They played in Finland the same weekend and the show was as poor as here, with a similar set. The fans were still enjoying them though. Their press conference didn't go all too well either, the press was asking annoying questions from Weikath, that is when someone was asking something. But Weikath answered the questions nicely and even joked a bit. The tent was really quiet, so the band left quickly, probably being disappointed at the quiet reception.
The last band of the day was JUDAS PRIEST, Rob Halford now back in the band after 12 years. A helluva motorcycle roar brought the band on stage after the endless intro. Rob Halford in his thousands of metal pins is the nightmare of airport's metal detector. But even that his jacket must've weighted tons, he graced every corner of the stage in the high tower-like sets built for them, so every fan could see him. Somehow their show seemed to be a bit lame eventhough the band was still as professional as before. The problem in Sweden Rock this year with bigger bands were the sounds, they somehow lost their edge in them. But still the Priest show was among the best, setlist being: "The Hellion", "Electric Eye", "Metal Gods", "Heading Out To The Highway", "The Ripper", "A Touch Of Evil", "The Sentinel", "Turbo Lover", "Victim Of Changes", "Diamonds And Rust", "Breaking The Law", "Beyond The Realms Of Death", "The Green Manalishi", "Painkiller", then encore: "Hell Bent For Leather", "Living After Midnight", "United" and "You've Got Another Thing Comin'". Most of the bands didn't have much speaks between the songs, but hardly no one forgot the band introduction, which is better to have at festivals, where the bands might not have their own fans present. As our schedule was so tight, we missed out most of the bands on Spendrups Stage, such as Lumsk, Debase, Paragon and Memory Garden on Thursday. Friday offered Persuader, Beseech, Grand Magus, Carnal Forge, Ritual, Brainstorm and Saturday Maryslim, Sun Caged, Pathos, Lost Horizon, Narnia, Hirax and Nifelheim. A whole bunch of good bands, but you couldn't see it all. Festival Stage was keeping us busy this year. After the bands had finished the party continued and we headed to check out the backstage bar. But as last year, this year it didn't offer much action either. Most of the bands left to their hotels and whatever after their shows, though some were even seen checking out some shows during the festival, like Mika Järvinen, and Pink Cream 69. And then some musicians who weren't playing at the festival were seen; Hammerfall guys, Nils Rue (Pagan's Mind), Janne Hurme (Human Temple), guys from Supreme Majesty and Nocturnal Rites. You just had to keep your eyes open if you wanted to meet someone. Or then you could catch some bands from the signing session tent, which were usually very full.
We woke up to a helluva heat, our tent had turned into a sauna. Only the whisk made of tree branches was missing so we could whip ourselves like the masokists we felt like living here, no sleep, gargling poison down our throats and turning deaf in this musical dreamland. Each morning as the clock struck 6 a.m, I was the one up first, having slept about four hours. The rest of the bunch had their Princess sleeps till at least 8 a.m. I was pulling my hair off not having such a gift. After checking out the dirty showers I tried to get some more sleep, but it's quite hard when there's always at least one noisy person around somewhere. There's not much help from the earplugs either and it's hard to use them when you still have to wake up to an alarm clock before the first band begins their set. The hard ground had once again played its tricks on me, my back and my neck were killing me and I could hardly move my upper body to any sides. So I did some yoga moves to get myself going and of course some guys passed by our tent and gave me crazy looks. Yoga and metal?! What in the hell?! I ain't that young anymore, even headbanging can lock up my neck quite well. So all you youngsters headbanging, this is your future. Ain't life grand! While checking out what we could find for breakfast, we noticed that you could hardly get food before 10 a.m. in the festival area. And I had been up for four hours already ! Good thing I hadn't thrown up though, 'cos my body needs food immediately as I open my eyes. Otherwise I look like a white ghost about to faint, whatever goes with the bloodsugar going down. Last year the press had a chance to eat backstage, but now Sweden Rock only offered breakfast for their own workers. Oh well, where do you need food anyway, you have all that booze and working under influence is much cooler too. But when the shops finally opened, the food wasn't the best either. Pizza, white bread, hamburgers, lemonade..and you should keep yourself going for hours with that sh*t ?! But I guess metalheads are happy with a booze bottle on their hands and come to think about it, human body can manage with plain water for weeks...so give us a water hose, we don't need nothing else. Gotta wonder who's the weakest link after all, since metalheads are true survivors !
CONEY HATCH and PINK CREAM 69 were both playing at 12 am, so I went to check out the first half from Coney. Not much crowd at these hours, mostly people in their forties who seemed to be really excited about the show and dancing all through it. The weather was looking quite bad, and started pouring later on, but only for a while. The band seemed to be on a good mood, this was their first show in Europe after all, eventhough the band has been together since the 80'ies. They hassled some in the beginning, then joking about being nervous, but the show went on in good spirit. The part of their setlist that I witnessed was: "Don't Say Make Me", "You Ain't Got Me", "No Sleep Tonight", "Stand Up", a song I couldn't catch here, "Hey Operator", "Victim Of Rock", "This Ain't Love", "He's A Champion", "Monkey Bars", a band introduction and "Girl From Last Nights Dream". Carl Dixon also appeared with April Wine the next day.
Most of the festival goers had gone to see PINK CREAM 69 and it was a long walk getting to the other side of the stage to front row. PC69 were among the best bands at the festival, their show had action and the sounds were pretty good again with a firm performance. David Readman fills the space of Andi Deris very well, and while doing old songs like "Welcome The Night" and "Keep Your Eye On The Twisted", it seemed like the line-up had always been like this, there were no missing links in this show and it showed in the huge crowd. David also got to sing his own stuff, like the hard kicking rocker "Shame" along with some strange medleycover: "So Lonely" from Police and "No Woman, No Cry" from Bob Marley. Missing the first half of their show I feel a bit disappointed, since they put up such a show.
Y & T began right after them, playing on the same stage as last year and just about the same time too, the sun was shining this time also, at least while I watched the band, so "Summertime Girls" was a good tune for this weather. This year the performance from the band was better than last year. The setlist had stayed somewhat the same. The whole setlist was: "From The Moon"-intro, "Open Fire", "Lipstick And Leather", "Eyes Of A Stranger", "Dirty Girl", "Mean Streak", the beautiful and unexpected instrumental "I'll Cry For You", "25 Hours A Day", "Wild If I Wanna", "I Make Believe", "Hurricane", "Summertime Girls", "Black Tiger", "I Believe In You" and the encore:"Rescue Me", "From The Moon" and "Forever". Like last year, the mood was great during the show, people were taking it easy and just sat on the grass sunbathing and enjoying the show, though the response could've been better for the band.
HAWKWIND continued the show on the same stage later on, and their psychedelic music brought curious people to see them. Songs such as "Assault And Battery", "The Golden Void", "Where Are They Now ?", "Psychedelic Warlords", "Wings", "Brainbox Pollution", "Spirit Of The Age", "Ejection", "Angela Android", "Hassan I Sahba" and "Earth Calling" were played. Even that the band was a three-piece, their show didn't lose anything to those bigger line-ups. Guests from Monster Magnet also appeared on stage; Dave Wyndorf and Phil Caivano and it was definately a welcomed thing for the fans, doing "The Right Stuff". Even Lemmy from Motörhead was on the rumours list to appear the stage, as he's an ex-member of the band. But no such luck for his fans. Hawkwind can also be seen in Finland in Ruisrock this summer, Monster Magnet playing the next day there.
OPETH, LAKE OF TEARS and TESTAMENT also played good shows, Testament was amazingly pompous and as "angry" as in their early years, Chuck Billy singing very powerfully and playing his mike like a guitar, together with Eric Peterson filling the front of the stage so the fans could get closer to them. The guitar solos were like a blast from the past, coming straight to your face with a clear, familiar sound. The band must've been very hot in their leather jackets and pants, it was a hot evening on Rock Stage. They seemed to be really pleased at the welcome they got in Sweden, this must've been one of the reasons why their show was worthwhile seing. Their set included such classics like "Practice What You Preach", "Sins Of Omission", "The Haunting", "Electric Crown", "Burnt Offerings" with Exodus' Steve Souza as guest, "Alone In The Dark", "Into The Pit", "Over The Wall" and "Disciples Of The Watch" along with bunch of other songs, so this was worth seing if you were an old Testament fan.
MONSTER MAGNET continued where Hawkwind left off, on the same stage two hours later and by now even the sleepiest fans were awake, the place was getting more and more full as the hours went by. Even in Dave Wyndorf's glassy look, staring at emptiness, he was still flying over the stage and was looking very fit. The other guys weren't just standing there either, so you got a glimpse of all of them. UFO started just before 10 pm and since it was dark already, they had a good light show. The band's line-up comprised with Vinnie Moore on guitar, Jason Bonham, Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond and Pete Way, all veteran musicians, so nothing less than great was expected from them. And their setlist was just that; "Mother Mary", "Let It Roll", "When Daylight Goes To Town", "I´m A Loser", "This Kids", "The Wild One", "Fighting Man", "Only You Can Rock Me", "Baby Blue", "Too Hot To Handle", "Love To Love", "Lights Out", "Rock Bottom", "Doctor Doctor" and "Shoot Shoot". Vinnie Moore was shining on stage with his guitar work and Phil Mogg's voice was very clear and good and the rest of the band gave a good show too.
SCORPIONS was the headliner of the day and as earlier, their sounds didn't convince to get everyone rocking. Their setlist was good though with a lot of old songs in it; "New Generation", "Love ´Em Or Leave ´Em", "Bad Boys Running Wild", "We´ll Burn The Sky", "The Zoo", "Deep And Dark", "Coast To Coast", "Lovedrive", "Through My Eyes", "Remember The Good Times", "Tease Me, Please Me", "Blackout", "Blood Too Hot", "Big City Nights", "Still Loving You", "Rock You Like A Hurricane", "Hit Between The Eyes", "When The Smoke Is Going Down". Some of the bands just had to include drum and guitar solos to their set and so did Scorpions, bass, drums, guitar, the whole package. The guys are still giving good shows for their fans and seems like they could still keep going for years.
As the first band on Saturday, we caught DANGER DANGER on Rock Stage at 12 am. With Ted Poley back in the band, this was a show a D2 fan should've seen. Not to mention it was among the best shows this year here, everything sounded brilliant, though backing tape was also used, but it was only the keys. The guys were fooling around the stage like in their earlier days, everyone having a good time and the feedback from the crowd was amazing too. While watching them play it seemed like a flashback viewing those old eighties videos, it all brought back great memories. "Boys Will Be Boys" was a good starter, followed by "Beat The Bullet", "Crazy Nites", "Under The Gun", "Goin', Goin', Gone", "Don't Blame It On Love", "Bang Bang", "Afraid Of Love", "Good Time", "Monkey Business", "Rock America", encore; "I Still Think About You" where Ted decided to go crowd surfing, still singing while the crowd was carrying him. But he was there only during the chorus. Before I could grab my camera, he was back on stage. Then it was time for the last song in their 75 minute set, "Naughty Naughty", which was one of the songs that sunk in the crowd best. Then it was time for goodbyes and bows to the crowd and the members (Ted Poley, Bruno Ravel, Steve West & Rob Marcello) hugging each other. It was obvious the show pleased both the band and the fans and they even got new fans through the show.
AXEL RUDI PELL began right after, and if you've seen their shows or the live dvd, this one didn't make much exception from them. Johnny Gioeli's trimmed looks made an impression to the female fans and the way he takes the stage also cries out excercising. He was running around and jumping and waving his hands in the air, going way nuts. And still he could sing perfectly. The rest of the band goes hand in hand with the wild stage presence too, keysman Ferdy Doernberg went nuts with his instrument, carrying it around the stage, then having a battle with Pell and his guitar and showing off to the fans, but all in good humour with a smile on his face. Bassist Volker Krawczak and drummer Mike Terrana were not standing silent either. Terrana had his drum solo and a keysolo was also heard. Axel Rudi Pell's guitar work also amazed, he was nailing everything down well and right on time, though he seemed a bit quiet mostly standing on the other side of the stage, compared to the other members who filled the show with action. The setlist: "Tear Down The Walls", "Nasty Reputation", "Strong As A Rock", "The Masquerade Ball" with the "Casbah" reggae part, short drumsolo, "Follow The Sign", "The Temple Of The King" (Rainbow cover version), "Carousel", short keyboardsolo, then drums joined in and later bass, which Krawczak turned around to the crowd to see with the word "applause". Then Pell joined in and "Carousel" continued. "Fool Fool" and "Call Her Princess" ended their show in Sweden and the band thanked with bows.
APRIL WINE offered their Canadian southern/hard rock and the years in the business showed. The show and the sounds were in good balance, but to their misfortune there weren't as much people listening to them as should've been. There weren't enough audience who remembered the band, but those who did were having a good time. If the younger crowd had only heard their hard rock tunes from the eighties and so on, there would've probably been more fans present.
We caught HEART at the press conference, and the tent was really full. When Ann and Nancy Wilson stepped in, a great applause were given to them. Craig Bartock and Ben Smith also joined in, but Mike Inez was late and never seen in the tent. The sisters answered the questions in calm manner, smiling a bit in between and joking. There were many guards with them, so when the meeting was over and people began grabbing their cd-covers, the guards said no and the band left quickly. What a disappointment. Everyone was organized so it wasn't like a disaster was about to happen. An hour later from the press the band went on stage and many fans' dreams came true in this show. Being a fan since '85 when they released their metal album I couldn't believe myself when they hit songs "These Dreams" and "Alone" and I noticed my face was getting wet ! Damn, who sold me such disfunctional eyes ?! I knew these songs were probably going to be in their set, as they've been for quite a while, but I thought I was tough enough to avoid such foolish thing like hysteria. Well, first time for everything and good thing it didn't get that bad, otherwise a show of a lifetime would've been ruined from my part. I shared these feelings with a friend and other dedicated Heart fans, who were all excited to see them live. The set Heart played wasn't exactly the most desired one, as it was more the softer side from Heart and lots of new songs, where the band goes back to their roots in the seventies; "Kick It Out", "Crazy On You", "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone", "Straight On", "Oldest Story In The World", "The Perfect Goodbye", "Love Alive", introducing a flute, "Dog & Butterfly", "Make Me", "These Dreams" starting with Nancy playing mandolin, "Alone", "Even It Up", "Vainglorious", "Wild Child", "Magic Man", "Barracuda" and when coming back for an encore, the last songs heard were from Led Zeppelin, "Black Dog" and "Misty Mountain Hop". Kind of strange picks, concidering people hardly have seen Heart live around here and then they come and play covers. But they did extremely well with those, Ann was moaning exactly what the song calls for and Nancy was doing great guitar work. The sisters were pleased to see all those people and joked about playing another show there the next day and the next. When they left the stage people stayed for more, but no screams were heard. "If Looks Could Kill" would've ended the show perfectly, but we were still really pleased at their amazing performance. Ann seemed kinda quiet though, but you couldn't miss Nancy kicking like you've seen her do on their videos.
CHILDREN OF BODOM was throwing its death metal curse to the audience on Sweden Stage 15 minutes after Heart and their set was as tight as any others from them. Their show was one of those that interested many, the field was totally covered with people wearing black. IN FLAMES played on the same stage after them and they lost nothing to COB, except maybe in the audience.
NIGHTWISH had the worst luck in Sweden Rock. Halfway through their set the sky bursted and everyone was totally wet in spite of having some covers on. But the band did great even through that, though again the sounds weren't exactly how they should've been, so it was hard to get in the right mood. Tarja also seemed to be holding back a little with her voice. But still the band seemed to be even more popular than Whitesnake here last year, people were really enjoying their show and screaming Nightwish and had flags and all. Somehow their popularity has grown into hysterical features and the band can hardly walk in peace anymore, depending on the country. Their set has stayed somewhat the same on their latest shows and probably will during their tour; "Dark Chest Of Wonders", "Planet Hell", "Wishmaster", "She Is My Sin", "Nemo", "The Phantom Of The Opera", "Higher Than Hope", Megadeth cover "Symphony Of Destruction", "Bless The Child", "Elvenpath", "Stargazers", "Sleeping Sun", "Over The Hills And Far Away", "Dead Boy's Poem", "Slaying The Dreamer" and "Wish I Had An Angel".
The most waited show this year must've been EUROPE. They were back together with the original line-up with John Norum in guitar. The band held a press conference which we couldn't catch and a fan club meeting earlier during the day, but I only caught them when they were done and climbed back to their car. The festival area was so full during their show, that first time this year people started climbing to whatever they could find to see at least a glimpse of the band. I hung on to something for a while also, not that I've never seen Europe before, but I've never seen John Norum with them, who is one of my guitar heroes. I hung in there for two minutes and left as a happier person. The setlist amazingly also included songs from their first albums, but the set begun with "Seven Doors Hotel", continuing with; "Wings Of Tomorrow", "Superstitious", "Time Has Come", "Ready Or Not", "Heart Of Stone", "King Will Return", "Scream Of Anger", "Sign Of The Times", a guitar solo and band introduction, and Tempest spoke swedish all through the set, "Stormwind", an acoustic version of "Carrie", which didn't do justice to the original one, lacking emotion. So yeah we were disappointed, this was one of the songs we were waiting to hear. "Open Your Heart" continued and it rocked after the lame "Carrie" version, then it was time for the drumsolo, which was way too long, but included some Motörhead and stuff in it. "Let The Good Times Rock" had Tempest wearing the Swedish flag on him like a sign of victory and then it was time for "Yesterdays News". Of course they were back for an encore; "Cherokee", "Rock The Night", which again rocked. The second encore had a new song "Start From The Dark" and this falls into the average category in Europe's material. Of course "The Final Countdown" ended the show. This time people didn't hear it twice like they've done in the past. The band has stated that "From The Dark" is the working title for their new album and the style will be more heavier than on their earlier albums. But "Start From The Dark" had no hint from that. The album sees it's release in September. ¨
Like it is in festivals, it's quite hard to find a clean toilet anywhere. So the only toilet that was worth using at the backstage was the one at the bar, most of the time they had toilet paper in them, but on the last evening someone smeared the other ones walls with faeces. True idiot that must've been. The toilets between Festival Stage and Rock Stage were quite dirty too and the locks didn't work. Going there was a show of acrobacy, also trying to keep yourself clean. Eww, the yacky side of festivals ! There was a nice surprise at the backstage showers/toilets also. If you wanted to take a shower, you only got ice cold water on you, but when you washed your hands, you got warm. Some bloody humour or a mistake perhaps ? As it rained so much during Nightwish, you could think the festival ground was all muddy. But no, you didn't get your clothes dirty unless you were crawling down there. There were some nice puddles one could've taken a dip into, but I left my bathing suite home and decided to go dirty till our hotel back in Copenhagen. Then there was the bee sting. Even after a week my thigh was still itching and swollen. It could've cost my life. First it was aching so badly that I could hardly walk. Well, I always wanted to be a mummy, walking stiff around places scaring the crap out of people. Battle wounds, right. The medic staff didn't do nothing for me, no medicine, no local cortisone cream or anything to sooth the pain out. Good thing was that I was sober when they told me to watch myself for any dizziness etc. Wonder what would have happened to some totally drunken person with these advices? So I guess better bring your own medicine, any kind, with you as the service is life-threatening. The bees kept swirling around our tents to their journeys and we had no meaning to harm them. After all, they were protecting their nest. And getting drunk from our booze...The last night wasn't any easier for sleeping in a tent, the rain had gotten everything wet and moist and it was cold as hell. But anyhow we slept better than other nights. We woke up quite early and the gear was packed really fast. We managed to get our car in this time so we didn't have to drag everything over. Once again my luggage had grown with one bag, over 30 cd's made me loads poorer this time and some t-shirts and metal clothes. This year there was a better selection with t's and you can find lots of rare stuff from the cd-selections. The prices can sometimes knock you off though, the highest price I saw this time was 80 euro's. For me, 30 is already a lot from a damn plastic disc, but probably one of those ended up in my bag, but at least they're original. But you have to be careful, you never know who tries to fool you.
Compared to last year, everything didn't go as smoothly as should've. And when you think about such price for a ticket, 150 euro's, I've never bumped into such madness during my 20 years in festivals. Sure it's understandable that it costs a lot to get bigger bands to perform, but thinking about the younger crowd they don't have the money. It saddens me where this world is going, milking everyone and thinking only about the business side, money and success. The whole world's gone crazy and who knows where we'll be in twenty years or so. Hopefully I'll be in the moon, come to think about it. Our next stop was Malmö, where we dropped off our car, and after that we headed to Copenhagen for a day. When we had dragged our bags for a while looking for our hotel without a map, we decided to take a taxi eventhough we knew our hotel is really near. The taxi drove about two blocks and there were were, only two minutes after. What a joke. Milking, I say. He could've at least pointed us the hotel, 'cos it was so near anyhow that we would've made it ourselves. Humans suck and I'm an alien. Once again disappointed for sure. Our hotel was located in the best part of Copenhagen, we could tattoo ourselves from toe to ear in every corner, invite prostitutes to our hotel and read dirty magazines in the lobby, have some thai-whatever and even get some drugs and get rid of our last money while walking down the streets...but heck, we knew our destination, had to go on a cheap budget. If someone had tried robbing us, he would've been left crying after us with only a few euro's in his hands. We finally got some better food from Hard Rock Cafe and checked out the madly raving local football fans in the near bar. We had an early wake again the next morning, so when we got a call from our Canadian friends who were also in Copenhagen asking us to go out with them, we had to say no. But we felt like roadkills anyhow. Finally got our showers and slept like a baby, only to be wakened by a trash car outside making noise for 20 minutes. What a relaxing vacation. But it's always nice to meet new people and we met a whole bunch again this year, Norweigan, Finnish, German, Canadian... So that's one of the best parts in festivals, along with the great bands you get to see.
Report by Satu Reunanen