Backyard Babies

Telia Parken, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

When Guns N’ Roses went about planning their new tour, it’s hard to see how they’d find a more fitting support than Swedish glam/sleaze rockers Backyard Babies.
My personal history with the band goes back to somewhere in the ‘Nineties, but I’ll also be the first to admit that they are not a band I’ve kept any form of track on. Well, now it was time to get updated.

“Copenhagen, it’s been a while since we were last here. I have to ask you, are you feeling alright?!”
- Niklas Roger ‘Nicke’ Borg (vocals/guitar)

Even though Guns N’ Roses came equipped with a very large stage production, there was apparently still room enough for Backyard Babies to bring their own stuff as well. Thus it was, that we were met with a crooked speaker rack with lights inside of it when we first looked upon the stage – the very same one seen in the video for Th1rte3n Or Nothing, the opener of the band’s latest album, Four By Four. Th1rte3n Or Nothing was also the song the band chose to open with this evening, after a short intro and a quick greeting from frontman Nicke Borg.
It wasn’t up to the decorations to make the show work however, this job fell upon the shoulders of the band. And the band did what it could to shoulder this assignment. Straight from the start, they proved to be lively on the stage, and neither Borg nor guitarist Andreas Tyrone ‘Dregen’ Svensson shied away from using the catwalk to get closer to the audience. In the second song, Dregen could be seen dancing on the catwalk for added effect, and later in the set, bassist Johan Blomqvist was down on his knees to add some extra feeling to his playing.

“Let’s see your hands Copenhagen!”
- Dregen (guitar)

Now, even though there were already quite a bit of people in Parken, it was still far, far from being filled, which it would eventually become since it was a sold-out show.
This wasn’t the big problem though, the big problem was that the main part of the audience was not here to mainly see Guns N’ Roses. They were here only to see Guns N’ Roses.
This gave the Swedish band a tough crowd to work with, but again, you have to hand it to them that they gave it a very fair shot. Eventually, as the crowd grew throughout the gig, so did the response. We never got above a few cheers between songs, and a handful of raised horns spread across the frontline, but I’m not sure more could be expected at a place and show like this. Well, after Borg asked for it, there was a good round of applause as well.

“Copenhagen! It’s not hard to figure out that we, Backyard Babies, are insanely happy to be here, with Biffy Clyro and Guns N’ fucking Roses!”
- Borg (vocals/guitar)

Backyard Babies got to play for about 30 minutes, and objectively speaking, I’d say they used them well.
Personally though, I’d say that in the 20-something years that have passed since last I saw them, not much has changed, something that didn’t really inspire me to check them out better than I have so far. They also seemed to have a problem getting their show across the edge of the stage, but that could just as easily be attributed to the more or less indifferent audience.

Setlist (incomplete):

Th1rte3n Or Nothing
Brand New Hate
Minus Celsius

Backyard Babies

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