The sold-out Sweden Rock Cruise took place on October 8 and 9.
During this 24-hour trip from Stockholm (Sweden) to Åbo (Finland) and back, six gigs were scheduled.
FREAK KITCHEN (Sweden), EXCITER (Canada), CRASHDIET (Sweden), U.D.O. (Germany), NECROPHOBIC (Sweden) and FREEDOM CALL (Germany) were on the bill. About 2000 rock fans boarded the 200-m long Silja Galaxy on Thursday evening. Around 8 PM (45 mn. late), the ship left Stockholm and the party began...
First band to play was FREAK KITCHEN. The Swedish trio, formed in 1992, is energetic, pretty good and original on stage, It´s a shame that the lighting was poor and did not emphasize their funny faces. Anyway, the show was appreciated by the audience. Singer and guitarist Mattias IA Eklundh had a lot to tell in-between songs. Unfortunately, I couldn't get what he said due to my poor Swedish, but one thing is for sure: he made the audience laugh. "Land of the Freaks", the seventh album from the band has just been released other countries release dates will follow soon..
More about FREAK KITCHEN: www.freakkitchen.com/
Freak Kitchen Photos
Then came EXCITER. Often described as "speed metal pioneers", the Canada-based band offered the enthusiastic audience a very energetic and visual show. Frontman Kenny "Metal Mouth" Winter was remarkable, loud and restless. They had a stand-in drummer (unfortunately I didn´t catch his name), as Rik Charron was back in Canada as a matter of urgency due to family matters. Head bangers fully appreciated the four thrashers’ nonstop assault, full of savage riffs.
Many rock fans were waiting for CRASHDIET with a particular interest. It was the first gig with their new singer: Simon Cruz. The alchemy between the guys was clear, but the show turned out to be a little messy. One could feel Cruz was pretty nervous, and probably a bit more focused on his attitude than his singing. But he seems to be already popular and the audience cheered him warmly. No doubt he will improve in the course of time. The numerous fans among many girls sang along with all the band's hits. CRASHDIET also played two new songs: "Caught In Despair" and "Bound To Fall".
CRASHDIET set list :
- Caught in Despair
- Breakin' the Chainz
- Queen Obscene
- Knokk 'em Down
- In the Raw
- Like a Sin
- Bound to Fall
- Out of Line
- It's a Miracle
- Falling Rain
- Riot in Everyone
Around 1.15 AM a bunch of devoted fans gathered to welcome U.D.O., fronted indeed by Udo Dirkschneider (ex-ACCEPT). The metal veterans delivered a true rock performance, full of energy and talent. The interaction between the band and the massive audience was impressive. The lighting was nice, and in my opinion this gig was the best one of the cruise.
U.D.O. set list :
- Metal Heart
- Midnight Highway
- They Want War
- Bullet and the Bomb
- Princess of the Dawn
- Living for Tonite
- Man and Machine
- Animal House
- Balls to the Wall
- Fast as a Shark
After this outstanding gig, rock DJs kept the fire burning through the night...
On day two, the audience was smaller. I guess many were mending their hangovers in their cabins on the lower decks. But in the beginning of the afternoon the fans of NECROPHOBIC showed and proved they enjoyed the gig. The Swedish death metal act formed in 1989, made the most of their evil aura. They delivered a visually-elaborated show based on a gloomy atmosphere. They stuck to their own style: dark melodies and demonic riffs played very loud.
And finally, FREEDOM CALL took the stage around 3.30 PM. The German power metal squad, formed in 1998, played well and seemed to have a lot of fun on stage. They shared their liveliness with the audience, and their catchy and melodic songs sounded like anthems. Their new album "Legend of the Shadowking" will be released soon.
Besides the gigs, all the people I saw and talked to on the boat had a good time. No incident was reported, the organization and the security team were perfect. The next Sweden Rock Cruise will occur in April 2010. No doubt it will be sold out again!