Sweden Rock Festival - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

After seeing Volbeat we literally had to wade through a sea of people, as H.E.A.T’s modern glam-rock had gathered an impressive crowd on the hill before the Zeppelin Stage (one has to wonder if they would have gotten a larger stage if they had won the Swedish Melodifestivalen (= Swedish qualifying contest for the Eurovision Song Contest)).

From beginning till end we were treated to some well-played retro music from a band which obviously loves what they’re doing, and so did the large bulk of the audience as well. In between songs leading man Ken Leckremo entertained us with small comments, although the changes were usually pretty quick from song to song.
We also got to hear some straight up guitar-wanking from Dave Dalone which ended in a duet with Leckremo as they both tried to outdo the other with high-pitched wails.
Leckremo also let us in the audience in on the fun as he used a fairly long time (too long if you ask me) on the traditional ‘left side against the right side’ shouting competition.

Something that at more than one time stole the attention from the show was the peculiar roadie H.E.A.T had brought along to the show. With his strange little hat with a propeller on top, he performed odd little dances and threw strange gifts for the audience from his place behind one of the speakers.
As I had witnessed on the tour they did with Edguy earlier this year, I knew H.E.A.T was a band up for some fun and games on stage, but this was just a bit too weird for me. Probably mostly because it stole the attention from what the guys were actually doing on centre stage.
Still, the boys in H.E.A.T themselves were also a lively bunch on stage, and among other things they were frequently using the light-filled staircase, which possibly had been stolen from the aforementioned song competition.

Songs that stood out for me in the set was 1000 Miles, which was written for and used in Melodifestivalen and also got a good response here, and Keep On Dreaming; but apart from these two most of the songs melted a bit into each other for me, as I’m not too familiar with their material.
In all, the show left me a bit disappointed. As I had been taken in a very positive way by them when I saw them with Edguy, I was sorry to see that some of that nerve had gotten lost this time around. Maybe it was the closeness of the smaller indoor venue that was lacking, or maybe the harsh competition of the other great bands at the festival, I don’t know. What I do know is that it didn’t lift me up with its positive mood this time as had had done then.

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