Sweden Rock Festival - 2010

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It wasn’t necessarily a fun choice, deciding whether or not I should watch Epica on the Sweden Stage, or Unisonic on the Rock stage. Admittedly, I don’t know either of the bands very well, but still had a wish to see both.

What made the final decision was the Kiske factor, also the very reason for me wanting to see Unisonic in the first place; the vocalist and occasional guitarist of Unisonic was none other than Michael Kiske of past Helloween fame, if someone was in doubt… There was simply not a chance in hell I would pass up a chance at seeing him live, not with my long background as a Helloween fan, and especially since I have never done so before.
Although, powers outside my force made me fear that it was not to be; very shortly before the band was set to go on stage, a great storm blew in over the festival grounds and knocked the top of the sound tower for the stage clean of! I must give a big hand to the festival crew who were very quick to secure the area and starting to dismantle and secure what was left of the tower, but as this was a very large undertaking the time seemed to drag out forever and I feared that the show might be cancelled to keep the rest of the schedule intact…

Luckily, this was not the case.
After hard work on the festivals side, and a little bit of beer drinking on my own part, Unisonic were finally set to go on and they did so to a loud chant of the name Kiske. Even with a band of celebrity musicians around him, there was no denying who people had come to see and, more importantly, hear.
The other members of this band were mostly people whom he had worked with before; from Pink Cream 69 and Place Vendome came Dennis Ward (bass) and Kostas Zafiriou (drums), and finally there was the ex-guitarist of Krokus and Asia – Armand ‘Mandy’ Meyer.

With a set of mainly Place Vendome songs, a single Unisonic original (Souls Alive), and an ending with two classic Helloween tracks Kiske had rich opportunity to let us know just how extremely good he still sounds. My god, it was almost as though nothing had changed in all those years he’s been absent from the metal stage!
There was also a cover of a cover; Set Me Free covered by the Place Vendome version of their cover of the original song by the Christian rock band Casting Crowns.
Personally, I have never heard Place Vendome, so most of the music was completely new to me, and therefore I lacked a really good connection to it, but there was no denying the quality of the musicians. If I had to point my finger at something, it would be a wish for a somewhat more lively performance; even though Kiske did some things, like sit on the edge of the stage and speak to the audience, I would have liked to see a bit more life in the overall activity on stage. But then again, the man hasn’t performed live in some 17 years, so who can blame him for not having all the moves down yet? I’m sure that, given time, this will grow even further.
Kiske also gave a short apology about the setlist, saying that they wouldn’t mind playing only Unisonic material, but as the band was so new, they simply didn’t have enough songs yet. I didn’t mind, I got to see two Helloween songs performed by the best vocalist they have ever had (this is all in my opinion of course), and this was pure bliss for me.

After the show, the whole band came out and took a bow, which for me is the proper way to end a concert, after which they left with a promise to meet up later in the Meet & Greet booth and to the background noise of people calling out for more.


Cross The Line (Place Vendome cover)
I Will Be Gone (Place Vendome cover)
Set Me Free (Casting Crowns cover)
Souls Alive
Sign Of The Times (Place Vendome cover)
Streets Of Fire (Place Vendome cover)
The Setting Sun (Place Vendome cover)
My Guardian Angel (Place Vendome cover)
Kids Of The Century (Helloween cover)
A Little Time (Helloween cover)

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