The Sweden Rock Chronicles 2018 by Anton Stenlund, part 2


Two stupid brothers

Like the previous day, thursday started out with a nice breakfast, a snigelkott and a fisk-shot. But now the festival had started for real, so we planned a great deal to see more bands this day. On top of the schedule was Battle Beast, who played as early as 12 o’clock. We met up with Olof to see the show, but ended up seeing only a couple of songs. Even though the concert was nice, the warmth of the sun and the thirst for beer took a hold of me and soon we headed down to the ocean.

Sara had never taken a bath at the festival before, so it was nice to introduce her to such a wonderful tradition. The air was really hot as I, Sara, Olof and Mark went down to the sea to get our bodies cooled off. As we walked down, we also bought ice-creams in the local store. Once again; eden.

Among the green trees, the blue sky and the yellow sun, summer was upon us, and eventually, we reached the open sea. The beach was crowded with people, and just by looking at the muddy water you could see how many people had been there earlier this day. Some jerk played terrible pop music at loud volyme in the distance, but we managed to ignore it and walked out into the sea.

It was quite cold, but also really wonderful. Unfortunately, it never got deep enough for us to be able to really swim in it, but we washed off our bodies with delight and drank a couple of beers. By the time we were finished, the alcohol started to kick in. I ate some lingonberry pancakes at the classic swedish meal-stand, which tasted great, but I spilled a lot of lingonberries all over my favourite t-shirt Sara bought me some month earlier. How typical.

Back at Rockerdise we ran into Gustav, my old friend from Växjö and the other half of Turborock. I noticed him sitting in the shade at a camp and walked up and said hello. He seemed happy to see me.

“Why weren’t you at Muskelrock? We missed you!” he cried out.

“Oh, well…” I said. “You know, you can’t get away every year. You have to pay and get time off for both these two festivals in the same two weeks. Sometimes you make it, and sometimes you don’t.”

“Okay. But it was still sad. I thought a lot of times “Where’s Stenlund?”. You’re a part of the Muskelrock-experience!”

He almost made me sad that I wasn’t there, and immediately I got a great urge to visit Muskelrock again. I asked Gustav about Turborock.

“When will you release a new number of Muskelrock?”

“You mean Turborock?”


“Yes… When will you release a new Turborock!”

“We just did!”

“What?! Why haven’t you sent me anyone?”

“I have one in the tent you can get if you want!”

“You bet your ass I do!”

Unfortunately, Gustavs tent was a little to far away, so we put the buying of Turborock at hold for the next time we were to see each other on the festival. To be continued!

Sara and I walked into the festival area to check out the last songs of Nazareth and their new singer. Since they played at Sweden Stage, we figured we’d buy beer in the bar parked on top of the hill by the stage. This was the first and last time I did that during the festival. It just wasn’t worth the wait and the price. And then I got drunk in the hot weather. It confused me, and the rest of the afternoon is, well… fuzzy.

Of course I didn’t MISS Glenn Hughes, that wonderful singer with that spectacular voice, playing his great Deep Purple setlist, I just don’t remember all that much of his concert. Me and Sara checked out the concert, hanged out with some friends and then I… sort of… fell asleep. It’s embarrassing, I know, but that was the way it turned out for one of the most awaited concerts of the festival. Well, you always miss one of them, it seems.

It was Gabriel that carried me through the rest of the evening, as Sara wanted to go on partying in the camp. We hung out in the festival area, taking a look at Anette Olzon’s new band The Dark Element (since I never saw her during her briliant time in Nightwish) before it was time for the next highlight: Helloween.

The big thing about Helloween this time around was of course the fact that both classic vocalist Michael Kiske and classic vocalist/guitarist Kai Hansen joined the band on stage, making this a grand reunion where the band was able to play the Hansen-, Kiske and Deris-songs all with the original voices. When this concert was announced, the festival promised an extra long set so that the band could play their entire setlist. This of course made me really happy, especially since I missed the concert in Gothenburg last winter, where the band apparently played for 150 minutes. Unfortunately, the festival screwed it up somehow, and the set ended up just being a 90 minute set, so my expectations were somewhat lowered. And on top of that, rap legend Ice-Ts metal band Body Count got on at the exact same time on Sweden Stage, which I also didn’t wanna miss.

But then the concert began, and oh was I impressed! The band was really on top of their game, and Michael Kiskes voice did sound really, really good. His clear voice sliced through the air and made the whole experience just absolutely wonderful. I was still a little confused and tired, but tried to sober myself up to really enjoy the great show. We managed to sneak away for a little while to check out Body Count, if not for the music just to see Ice-T performing on Sweden Rock Festival. But the visit was short as hell, and we just turned back to Helloween as soon as we got there, and their show kept on impressing me. By the time they ended their eternal masterpiece How Many Tears I was absolutely bewildered. It was among the absolute best shows of the festival, and according to those who saw the whole 150 minute-show in Gothenburg, this show was the still superior one. Hell yeah!

After the Helloween-concert it was of course time for the big one. The number of the beast. The Iron Maiden. I called Sara to meet up with her, but the phonelines went down. Me and Gabriel instead went and got ourselves decent spots in the gigantic ocean of people. It was crowded. Really crowded! Throughout the entire festival from here on there was always people everywhere, especially in the path between the festival area and the camping, and – of course – in the toilet areas.

Now the toilet areas were a problem themselves. As soon as the festival announced that they would have more toilets but less toilet areas, I knew there was gonna be trouble. Centralization is always a bad idea for everyone who doesn’t make money out of it, and so it was this time. I missed the times there was toilets by every stage and you didn’t have to walk a long way through a thick crowd to get to do your needs. And having the handwash and the waterpost at the same place feels very… unhygienic.

Anyway, we eventually got a hold of Sara, and found out she wasn’t even on the grounds. We decided to meet by the big wreath where people get married by the entrance. It was just ten minutes before the show was about to start, so we ran and ran to get there in good time. Now, of course, we bumbed into a lot of people along the way. Sabina and Billy, my old friends from Växjö who made their first visit to the festival in years, was of course among them. Sabina had written to me earlier on the festival, really wanting to meet me, and I felt a little bad about not having met them yes. So of course I had to run into them at this precise moment when there was no time to hang out! Instead of having the lovely reunion all four of us wanted, I quickly said hello, I hugged them, said it was lovely to see them, decided I definately was gonna call them the next day and explained we just had to keep on running. And keep on running we did, until we ended up at the top of the hill, looking down upon the incredibly large crowd of people. But by the big wreath there was no one. Oh god. Had she got tired of waiting or hadn’t she come yet? There was only five minutes till the start of the show, and how were we supposed to know?

“I can’t wait up here, I gotta see the show!” Gabriel claimed. I couldn’t blame him. I called Sara on the phone but couldn’t get across. So we ran back down the hill to get a good spot for the show, hoping that Sara would reach us on the phone lines that would probably work as soon as the show started. And started it did, just as we got ourselves a decent spot.

Aces High. Now isn’t that a cocky way to open a show, a song Bruce Dickinson had a hard time pulling off live already in 1985, when the song was their current hit single. And how he pulled it off! From beginning to the end, this show was very much Dickinsons way of saying “fuck you, I’m the best show man in the universe!” His energy was astonishing, his voice was on top of its game, and he was everywhere on that stage. He was just the very best! Some people complained about the airplane on stage, saying it was too much Motörhead, but I didn’t have that problem. Especially seeing how we shall never see Motörhead live again I guess we can all live with that.

We soon made contact with Sara, and met up by the American Burger-tent, which unfortunately turned out to have a twin nearby called “American Toast” which confused the hell out of us. But in the end, she reached us and we could all enjoy the wonderful show together. It continued with timeless classics Where Eagles Dare and 2 Minutes to Midnight (I can never get enough of singing that darn tune!), and then it was time for the first surprise: The Clansman. Even Gabriel, who hates the Virtual XI album, thought it was a great number. Bruce carried the tune greatly, and I just love how he didn’t give a damn that it’s picked from a flop album made in the 90’s with another vocalist. It’s a great song, and so he sang it with all his might. Astonishing.

After coping the for me poorly awaited The Trooper it was time for the next smash surprise. And it was Revelations. I can’t tell you the happiness that ran through my bones as I heard the opening chords to one of my all time favourite Iron Maiden tunes, it was unbelievable. There I stood, and even though I got to hear the song already at my very first Iron Maiden show 13 years ago, it felt just like the very first time. I sang along to every single word, jumped, screamed, played air guitar and wept a few tears inside. I was, once again, in heaven.

The surprises went on with more recent tunes, such as For The Greater Good of God from 2006 and The Wicker Man from 2000. In the latter one, I just picked up my phone and dialed my sister, whom I know love the Brave New World album and gave her the chance to listen to the show. She has always so much wanted to see Maiden live, but has never got around to doing it. This way, she at least could hear it.

The Sign of the Cross, another Blaze Bayley-era masterpiece reloaded by Dickinsons power, was the next deep cut. What a masterpiece! And then Flight of Icarus, my god, and then of course, the obvious classics Fear of the Dark (called my sister again), The Number of the Beast and Iron Maiden, before the band left the stage.

Encore? Of course. They opened with The Evil That Men Do, where Eddie finally appeared on stage, and then we were all to sing along to Hallowed Be Thy Name (this must be one of the top 50 songs ever written!) and I once again reached my phone into the air for my sister to hear. And then of course, the closing act, which was quite obvious. Oh yes, but it doesn’t matter how many times you hear the song, Run to the Hills is always gonna be Run to the Hills, and Run to the Hills is after all a great, great fucking song, and singing along to it is just about the most bewildering thing you can do.

As the band left stage, I thought about what I’ve just seen and wondered. Now I’ve seen a lot of Maiden shows in my time, and this was something extra. It might just have been the very best show I’ve ever seen them perform. I was absolutely captivated. The energy, the setlist, and above all, the Bruce Dickinson. It just felt like I could conclude right there that I’ve seen the best show of the entire festival already. Sara and Gabriel was bewildered too, both whom has never been near as much a fan as I. Sara had never really liked the band before, but now she was very impressed. We could all agree on this, the show was magical.

Gabriel rushed off to take a look at H.e.a.t., whilst we decided to meet up with Olof, who was somewhere nearby. Once again we had troubles with the phone lines, but eventually he found his way to the American Burger stand, where I thought “what the hell, if we’re gonna wait by the hamburger stand all day I might as well buy one”. 90 kr for a burger without fries might seem expensive, and it was, seeing how I was still a little hungry afterwards. At least the hamburger consisted of real meat and not any disgusting McDonalds-sludge.

We walked on towards Sweden Stage to take a look at H.e.a.t., who were energized as usual, mixing thier good old AOR-tunes with tunes from their new, not that much acclaimed album Into the Great Unknown. We watched most of the show standing in line to the toast-stand, since both Sara and Olof wanted one. Seeing how I didn’t reckon my hunger cured by the burger, I thought “what the hell” and took a toast as well.

By the time we ate, the band blew away the unbelievably catchy 2010 single Beg Beg Beg, and we all sang along to it. As nice as that was, and how energized the band might have been, we decided to leave the festival area. It was once again time to charge the batteries for yet another day of great, great bands. Nothing could top Iron Maiden, but I wouldn’t hold that against them. I was very much looking forward towards the future!



Mårten drinking beer and being cool

We woke up to the usual routine. Had some bread, some snigelkott, a shot and a beer… But I was soon to find out that last part didn’t work out as I’d planned. I felt worn out this morning, and really didn’t feel like having a beer. I tried, and it just didn’t go down. I decided to just drink water instead, in wait for the thirst for alcohol to return.

This day I said to myself I was definately gonna see Sabina and Billy, so I called them up. They were heading towards our neighborhood to go into the festival area, so it was a perfect opportunity to go meet them. Sara and Mårten tagged along and we all met and sat down on the seats outside the store by the Rockerdise entrance.

“It’s been a long time!” I said, happy to see them.

“Oh yes, we haven’t been here since… Six years?” Billy said.

“Not since the children were born.” Sabina said.

We talked old memories, about living in Camp Fesk and about the current headliners.

“First of all: How good was Iron Maiden last night?”

“Really good!” they replied bewildered. And they were right.

Sara and I had decided we really wanted to go see Vixen, so we talked the whole bunch into go seeing them. Soon enough, we found ourselves in the festival area, enjoying some of Vixens classic stuff like Love is a Killer and Love Made Me. It was cool to see them, they felt energized and Janet Gardners voice really worked. Towards the end, the band got off stage.

“All right, I guess it’s over now” Sabina claimed.

“No” I said. “There’s gonna be one more song. And I know exactly which one.”

Sure enough the band returned to the stage to tear off Edge of a Broken Heart, their number one hit song. They may not have had the biggest crowd of the festival (bands playing at noon usually doesn’t) but it was definately a devoted crowd, who loved to hear these hits again.

After the show, I decided it was time to meet up with Thomas and Amalia. These old friends were somewhere in the crowd, so I called them up and met them by the merchandise stand. Sabina and Billy went on to go get some food, so we said goodbye and headed to the merchandise stand. Thomas and Amalia appeared smiling, notably enjoyed by the show.

“Vixen was really good!” Thomas said. “They had a lot of energy and a great contact with the audience!”

“Yes, it was great!” Sara replied.

“It’s also gonna be intresting to see Roxy Petrucci doing a double feature” Thomas added, nodding towards the stage, pointing out that the drummer of Vixen also was to play drums in Madam X later this afternoon.

After this, we got hungry, parted from Thomas and Amalia and moved on to get something to eat. I decided to eat the “kroppkakor” (old time swedish meal) Mårten tried the day before, and I didn’t have to regret it. I got a little worried when they poured cream next to the melted butter and lingonberries, but in the end the meal tasted beautiful! We sat down, enjoying the tunes of Pretty Maids as we all ate our food. Pretty Maids seemed to be in a good mood, and it was a nice soundtrack to our nice meal.

Sara went back to the camp whilst me and Mårten went to check out Focus. Having missed a little too much of the thursday bands, I really didn’t want to miss too many bands today, especially since I couldn’t drink that much beer anyway.

Once we got to the Focus-concert they were blowing away a big jam session. It was absolutely crazy and strange as hell, but still very enjoyable. I think the rumble turned out to be their massive track Eruption, or maybe it was just plain craziness. After that, they played the song that made me shriek the loudest: Sylvia. It doesn’t matter it’s an instrumental one, I still sang at the top of my lungs! And of course, we also got to hear what I guess 90% of the crowd had come for: Hocus Pocus. Now, Focus have made a lot of great songs throughout the years, but this song really stands out. Among their most played songs on Spotify, about the first four tracks are different versions of this song. Still, it’s a great song. The band blew the audience away in euphoria, and Thjis van Leer made them all joddle and play air flute. It was just great and it felt like time had stood still since 1972. But the absolutely best part of the show was still Sylvia, according to me.

In the audience there was a lot of familiar faces. At first, I saw Olof and Mark walking thorugh the crowd and then my dear old Växjö friends Rantis and Mia. I got to see the show surrounded by good firends, the weather was great and once the show was finished, I felt really happy. That wonderful Sweden Rock -feeling was upon me to 100%. Eden.

Back at the camp, it was time to rehydrate myself after standing in the heat for so long. Sara gave me a resorb and it really made my body feel better. I then thought that maybe it’s time for a beer, but no, it still didn’t feel right. My stomach just said no.

After we had taken it cool in the shade for quite some time, we went of to check out Madam X. Now, how can you not love Madam X? These maniacs rocked the world back in 1984 with their wonderfully crazed out party rock anthems and weird hair styles and clothes, but unfortunally disapeared all too soon. That is until recent years, when the band has reunited and made new crazed out party rock anthems with titles such as “Another 80’s Rock Song”.

At the hot area in front of Sweden Stage, Sara and I enjoyed the sheer energy of this crazy band, and they played really well, and made the audience roar. Bret Kaiser kept the audience screaming, Roxy Petrucci was just as energized behind the drums as she had been with Vixen, her sister Maxine was all over the place and bass player Godzilla was nuts as always. Overall, Madam X showed the audience they still throw a great party, rocking away great old songs like Come One Come All, Stand Up and Fight and towards the end of course High in High School. It was a great show, and a great time.

It was now time for The Darkness. This was one of Saras favourite bands in teenage years, so seeing them with her was of course something to look forward to. We found some great spots in front of Festival Stage and chilled out in the sun. The Darkness walked onto the stage and performed a couple of new songs and a great deal of classics, which are the ones I take interest in, escpecially seeing how the One Way Ticket-album to me is an underrated classic. Seeing Growing On Me, Black Shuck, One Way Ticket and Givin’ Up on top of each other was the highlight of a nice show. I really enjoyed it, although it gave us all thirst for more resorb.

On the way back to camp, we passed by Dark Funeral, who was performing some sort of black metal magic in the blazing sun and summer heat. I was a little tempted to watch them, but no, I wanted a rehydration.

After another resorb I thought about trying another beer but by this time I didn’t see the point anymore. I just took it cool in the shade and waited for the next concert, which was gonna be Uriah Heep. Now of course, we never seemed to get away. Although I really wanted to see this concert, we got stuck in our camp as long as we possibly could without missing the concert completely. Eventually, I just had to go see the damn band, and Sara came with me.

As we came into the concert, the band was in the middle of performing The Magicians Birthday. You know, the crazy stuff in the middle stretched out to forever. Still, the show was really cool. The band is old now, a bunch of old wankers who still sound as great as… well at least 30 years ago. Amongst their many hits, the band suddenly announced that they were to perform a lesser known song from their catalogue they wanted to highlight. The song turned out to be one of those songs I would really like to hear, Between Two Worlds (1998). I wish more bands would take such chances!

Towards the end there was the classic encore; July Morning always gives the goosebumps and Lady In Black is among the most spellbinding singalong-songs of all time. When it was getting near the end and you knew it was only Easy Livin’ left, Sara and I decided we should check out the end of Turbonegro. On the way out we passed Thomas and Amalia once again and said hello before we moved further on through the crowd, humming the words of Uriah Heeps number one hit song.

As we got in front of Rock Stage, the place was swarming with people, and they all seemed to be engaged in some sort of singalong to I Got Erection. The band was really energized, and my doubts about the concerts quality since the departure of classic vocalist Hank von Helvete was quickly removed as I laid my eyes on the new guy Tony Sylvester, who just owned the stage, playing with the audience like a couple of puppets. We only saw the last song of the concert, but as we left the area, both me and Sara felt convinced we had missed one of the best concerts of the festival.

After this, it was really time to cool off. There wasn’t any concert I really wanted to see until Heavy Load, so I decided to go take a swim with some of my camping buddies. Sara didn’t feel like it, but I felt I had to chill down my brain, which felt completely drained and fried by the solar heat. I somewhat regretted missing out the Pestilence-concert, but what the hell, you can’t have it all.

Swimming was nice, and I felt I got a little closer to my camping buddies. But time was running out on me and soon I realized I had to get back soon before I missed to much of the Heavy Load-gig.

Running back to Rockerdise, I of course ran into a lot of friends, as you always do when you are in a hurry. Among them was Gustav, on his way into the concert.

“I gotta have the new Turborock!” I shouted to him.

“You’re gonna get it! Catch me when I’m at my tent!”

“I will!”

I ran into the Rockerdise Camp and put on some warmer clothes. It was now, finally, time to go see Heavy Load. I was late, and felt stupid for missing the beginning of the show. Before I left the camp I took a look across the Småland Warriors-camp, and it was in the exact condition you’d expect a true metal warrior-camp to be in at the time of a Heavy Load-concert:



I was proud of my fellow warriors!

As I walked to the concert I met Axel and a couple of other Småland Warriors.

“Hey! Why aren’t you at the Heavy Load-concert?!” Axel shouted towards me.

“Why aren’t YOU on the Heavy Load-concert”

“We don’t have any tickets! We wanna check out the show, but there’s no good spot!”

“Ah, I see. I almost thought you guys were willing to miss the show…”

“No way! This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to this festival!”

I showed the guys the picture I’d taken of their camp and they felt proud.

“That’s the absolute right spirit! Everyone goes to see the Heavy Load-concert, even the guys without any tickets!”

I left the guys laughing and walked into the festival area to check out the show. There I found two of my Malmö-friends, Niklas and Alina, who seemed happy to see me and whom of course had seen the whole thing since the beginning. They wondered why Sara wasn’t with me, so we took a picture of us in front of the stage and sent to Sara, who was now getting all the more tempted to come into the area. Unfortunally, she didn’t get there in time before I was parted from Niklas and Alina.

Now, Niklas and Alina had of course attended the very first Heavy Load-reunion show at Keep it True in Germany a couple of months earlier. As true as it gets, I guess, but the way they and a lot of other people who had seen that concert, the band felt more comfortable this time, being in Sweden, having performed one concert already and being able to talk swedish to the audience. Apart from the drum solo I came right in time to witness, Heavy Load really impressed me. Although I like the band, I didn’t expect them to be all that vital. Instead I kind of thought they would feel… old. But as it turned out, the band was really happy. For a band which members hadn’t performed a concert since the mid 80’s they were not all as retracted as you’d expect. They had great communication with the audience, played their instruments with great joy and seemed really happy to just be there together. And then the show itself! The band has a great deal of hits, no doubt about it, and they are also famous for their image, and they filled the stage with fireworks and all that cool stuff, backing the majestic songs really quite beautifully. As they closed the show with Heavy Metal Angels (which I later heard also was played as opening song), I was really impressed. A great show from a band I didn’t expect to impress me that much.

Now off to the next possible surprise. Was Ozzy gonna impress me? I had seen him on the festival before, when he squeled himself through a great as always-setlist in 2011, but I wondered if he could even top that. Well, the strange thing about Ozzy is that even though he might seem absolute bonkers, he has made a lot of great, great songs, and he plays them whenever he goes on tour, and that is really something that keeps his shows going all the way through.

As the show was about to kick off, I ran into Rantis, who stood in a good spot in order to watch the show. I decided to see it all along with him and instructed Sara to meet me at the usual hamburger-stand. Once she was there, I picked her up and returned to Rantis, who seemed really happy to see her for the first time. At the same time, Ozzy had kicked of his show with the alarming opening act Bark at the Moon. A great song and a great opener. And then Mr Crowley, an eternal masterpiece. And then I Don’t Know… I turned to Rantis:

“Man, it’s easy to forget how many great songs this man has really made!”

“Definately. He has got stuck with that stupid The Osbornes-image, but his albums is as good as ever.”

But there was yet another thing that came unexpected with the show. Rantis pointed it out.

“His voice sounds really good.”

“Yeah, you’re right. It really does!”

“Ozzy has his good days and bad days and it is a gamble when it is going to work. This time it really does.”

Indeed it did! But with that said, the show wasn’t free of problems. Ozzy still howled the same routine words as he always does on stage. It was the classic “I can’t fucking hear you!”, “Louder!” and “Let’s go fucking crazy!” followed by the usual “this is a song called…” Also, the screens didn’t just show us the camera pictures of the band playing, the material was all drained in some sort of filter that made it look like the band was on fire whilst playing. It seemed a little dorky, and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I guess it was supposed to be cool, but myself just wanted to see the bands playing as they look naturally.

Once Ozzy reached No More Tears in the setlist, Rantis lowered his expecations.

“His voice is not gonna hold up for this”

I couldn’t argue with that, but still, Ozzy kept on surprising me and he actually managed to pull the song off. I turned to Rantis once again:

“I guess he has lowered the key a couple of times.”

“Probably. But it still sounds good.”

That it sure did, and it didn’t get any worse when the next song turned out to be Road to Nowhere. Suddenly, it was 2004 all over again. The memories boiled up inside and my emotions took over as I sang along to every single word of this beautiful tune. As it was all over, I explained to Sara.

“I bought the No More Tears-album in 2004, at the low point of my life, at the same time as I first went to this festival. It is still the album I’ve listened to most times in my entire life, and Road to Nowhere was my favourite track of the album. I fell in love with a girl, and Road to Nowhere was the soundtrack to all of that. There are so many memories in this song… It’s close to unexplainable how much it means to me!”

After this, Zakk Wylde took over the show. As many of you may know, Wylde was the teenage sensation that got a part in Ozzys band in the late 80’s, co-wrote most of the mastepiece No More Tears, and later went on to become a superstar in his own right with his band Black Label Society. But as his muscles and beard grew, you may argue his guitarplaying became less and less innovative, and he got stuck in his usual shredding routine. I can on many levels agree with that, especially seeing how the Black Label Society concert at Sweden Rock 2011 having the longest and most boring guitarsolo I’ve ever witnessed, and now this shredding took over the Ozzy show as well.

Seeing how Ozzy can’t pull off an entire concert anymore, it didn’t come as a surprise that they give a big solo-number halfway through out the concert. Zakk started jacking off his guitar and it all turned into a big yawn. Eventually, he turned it all into a medley consisting of a bunch of classics such as Perry Mason and other songs Ozzy didn’t seem to have time to sing as whole. At least that something more than just wanking. But then came the drum solo…

Okay, towards the end Ozzy returned to what he does best: His old songs. And sure enough, the classic encore by the end was highly enjoyable, and when he sang Mama I’m Coming Home for the millionth time, I once again turned into a thirteen-year-old. Here I called my mother so that she could hear the song on the phone, and she was bewildered as well. She said it was just like a flashback to the days of driving through Växjö together in my school days. And it sure was!

After the show, we parted from Rantis, who turned to Sara.

“It was very nice to finally meet you! You’ve got to come to Växjö sometime and have a couple of beers with us!”

“I’d like to very much!” Sara replied, and then Rantis walked back to his camp.

By this time, we had learned to avoid the massive queue after the headliner left the stage. But still, if we had to choose between choking in the crowd or stand and listen to the Meshuggah-concert across the field, it was quite obvious what I’d choose, so off we went to choke!

The after party was gonna be at Loke and Veronikas trailer, so we packed up a few beers, a bottle of vodka, coca cola and our CD-player. Loke wasn’t too happy with Ozzys show. Or rather, Zakk Wyldes show.

“Zakk Wylde completely ruined the show. His stupid solo made me angry, he played the most clichéed solo I’ve ever seen. And that stupid medley. He actually tricked me into thinking I was gonna hear Perry Mason live. But oh no, he just played the riff and the solo and then went on with his stupid solo act! Fucking worthless! There was no way the show was gonna recover from that, and it didn’t! Completely ruined!”

Sara was somewhat hungry, and as we walked into the trailer park she decided to buy some french fries. Loke and Veronika ordered some food too, so I backed down with my CD-player, blasting my newly bought (and autographed!) Doro-album whilst waiting for their food. It was nice… for about ten minutes. Then I got sick of standing and waiting, so I sat down on a bench… for about five minutes. Then I got sick of sitting on a bench waiting, so I sat on the ground… for about one minute, then I just got sick of waiting overall and couldn’t understand what could possibly take so long, and had no place left to sit anyway without getting sick and tired of sitting. The Doro album reched its end and as I changed CDs I just couldn’t understand that I had actually listened to an entire album whilst waiting for this damn food to get ready.

Then at last, they came back.

“The lady behind the counter didn’t know how to cook french fries.”

No fucking shit!

We hung out by the trailer for quite some time, drinking beers and vodka, listening to Magnum and having a good time. This was the first time of the day I could really drink, so it felt nice. The air was chill, and the mood was nice in the dark. The only downside was that the batteries ran down in the CD-player and we lost our music towards the end.

Eventually, we went home and got to bed. The sky was getting brighter, and it felt like it had been a long, long day, and we had been done a lot of things. Probably the most fulfilled day of the entire festival if you ask me. It was just wonderful!

The Sweden Rock Chronicles 2018 by Anton Stenlund, part 2

July 13, 2018

Thursday: Two stupid brothers Like the previous day, thursday started out with a nice breakfast, a snigelkott and a fisk-shot. But now the festival had started for real, so we planned a great deal to see more bands this day. On top of the schedule was Battle Beast, who played as early as 12 o’clock. We met up with Olof to see the show, but ended up seeing only a couple of songs. Even though the concert was nice, the warmth of the sun and the thirst for beer took a hold of me and soon we headed down to the ocean. Sara had never taken a bath at the festival before, so it was nice to introduce her to such a wonderful tradition. The air was really hot as I, Sara, Olof and Mark went down to the sea to get our bodies cooled off. As we walked down, we also bought ice-creams in the local store. Once again; eden. Among the green trees, the blue sky and the yellow sun, summer was upon us, and eventually, we reached the open sea. The beach was crowded with people, and just by looking at the muddy water you could see…

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