If you start your summer with a festival, for me it was Sweden Rock, it’s not more than right to end the summer with one as well. That’s what I decided to do last weekend and went into the deep forests of Sweden to hear some great music. For the seventh year in a row, the small rock festival called ”Skogsröjet” opened its gates and with acts like Alice Cooper, Hardcore Superstar, Michael Monroe, L.A. Guns and more. It seemed like the perfect place to be, since I was in the mood for some Glam. (I really don’t know how to translate the Swedish name ”Skogsröjet” fairly, but something in between ”The Forest Party” and ”The Forest Rave” is pretty close, I think).
Day one started of with L.A. Guns, who unfortunately hit the stage at 6.45 p.m. Phil Lewis was in a great mood and the sound flawless. I really enjoyed the set, but at the same time I felt like it never got that "kick" to make it something extra. I mainly blame the audience, who didn’t really give the band the support they needed to fill the big stage. Can’t help but wonder if it would have been different if they had played two hours later.
Two hours later it was time for Alice Cooper. I’d never seen him before either, but my friend assured me that he always delivered live. After his show we both agreed on that the best thing with Alice Cooper is also the worst thing with Alice Cooper: you always know what you get. Yes, I got to hear all of the classic songs that I’ve been looking forward to hear live. Yes, the band was great and yes, Mr. Cooper did what he could to entertain us with the scenery, many changes of clothes and the so-called horror show. It was amazing but at the same time I left wondering if that was really it? Have you seen Alice Cooper live? What do you think of his performance? Did I just happen to catch him on bad evening when most of the show was just plain routine?
Day two started with Sister Sin, a band I haven’t listen to at all before. Although my friend and I always want to ”support the ladies” and with very few ladies at this festival we decided to go see a band with a least one woman. And we weren’t disappointed. Even though it’s not really the music I normally listen to, Sister Sin is great live. The singer Liv Jägrell’s voice is very strong and even though it was only 6:30 p.m., they probably had the biggest audience in front of the small stage during the whole festival. If you get the chance to see them live, take it.
My main focus this day was Michael Monroe and Hardcore Superstar, but since I’m writing for BBG! I thought I’d check out Reckless Love as well. Although they are not a band I like. There, I said it. To me the music is just to much pop and I have a hard time taking the singer Olli Herman seriously. Especially when I think of his time in Crashdïet, don’t even get me started on that… Anyway, I know they have a really big fanbase and the crowd seemed to really enjoy their set. And despite my feelings I have to admit that Olli tries hard to put on a great show, so I guess if you like Reckless Love you would enjoy to see them live.
Then it was FINALLY time for Michael Monroe, the show I’ve been waiting for whole summer. And did he deliver! The energy from the band is at 200 percent from the first tune and they just kept on going. Michael Monroe is funny to watch too, he’s out in the audience, he’s climbing the rig and my thoughts goes to Iggy Pop. Michael Monroe might just be the Iggy Pop of the Glam scene. That he nowadays has Swedish guitarist Dregen, from Backyard Babies, by his side also gets the crowd going. Definitely the greatest show of this festival, probably of the whole summer. Wanna know how it’s done, go see a Michael Monroe show.
I then can’t think of a better way to end the festival than with Hardcore Superstar. It’s almost ridiculous how great they are, especially live. There’s no better live band in Sweden, in my opinion. You always know that you will get a great show, but at the same time you don’t know what to expect at all. For example the setlist this time included some surprises, like their old hit ”Someone Special.” I didn’t think they played that one live anymore, but apparently so and the crowd went crazy. The singer Jocke Berg is one of my favourite frontmen and once again he proved why. It’s also obvious how much the fans love Hardcore Superstar and how much Hardcore Superstar loves their fans. The sing-a-long to ”Run To Your Mama” almost drowns the band playing and when they kick off their last song of this night, ”We Don’t Celebrate Sundays,” I don’t think anyone is standing still. This was the fourth time I saw the band within a year and I still can’t get enough. They finished by saying thanks to the festival, the crew, the crowd and finally they promised to be back next year – with a new album! Can’t wait!