Thursday – June 4th……
It was hotter than hell – the absolute opposite of the rainy night we had endured the night before. I got there early, cause I was meeting up with Pontus Norgren, the guitarist of Talisman, to hand over his custom jacket from our own Swedish rock’n’roll designer Svanlund, who couldn’t make it to the festival himself. Pontus needed the jacket for his gig the next day.
There was nobody anywhere, it was almost two hours before any bands were due on stage. Walked with Pontus chit-chatting to the VIP-area where he went his way and I went to the press tent. That tent is my favorite place at Sweden Rock sometimes. I can get away from the noise, stress and drunk, annoying people, I can rest for a while. I can eat without being pushed and shoved. I can work and charge my camera batteries, cellphones, laptop…. It’s just my favorite place when everything else gets “too much”. :D
Anyway, an hour later, after getting breakfast at one of the many stands without dealing with long lines, I walked back to the Rock Stage and Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel. There’s been so much talk about these guys, and after all… IT’S JAKE E LEE…! :)
The band was on stage sound checking and some of the technical problems they had then, haunted Jake throughout his whole set. I felt bad for him, he had to cut the show in the middle of a song three or four times. He took it pretty well though, if he was annoyed he didn’t let it get the best of him. I can think of a few people who would have stormed off the stage for a lot less. Kudos to Jake and his band for handling the (bad) situation like real pros.
I went straight to the 4Sound-tent after the show to get in line for the Jake E Lee signing session. That place is another one of my favorites. Since they don’t announce the signings anywhere else but on a sign outside the tent, there aren’t that many people (there are, for some of the artists, but not like the “official” signing sessions a few steps further down).
I did manage to catch a bit of Pretty Maids gig at the Festival stage. One of the best live acts around, I had to at least try to see a bit of their set. Great performance – as always!
Was first in line for the Jake-signing but let another guy cut in cause he was definitely a bigger fan than me. He had a bunch of albums that he wanted signed. Jake showed up right on time, smiling. I briefly said “Bad luck with the gear today huh?“. He looked up, laughed and said: “Oh, you SAW that?”. Well yeah – me and a few thousand others. ;)
After the signing I ran off to the next gig I didn’t want to miss – Robin Beck. I love female rock’n’roll voices, and she’s g ot one of the best, for sure. There was a sound check going on there as well when I got there, and I could tell that she definitely still had her voice intact…!
I think that her show was the one I have most pics and videos from, she was brilliant! :)
Unfortunately. that’s pretty much where my festival-day ended. I think I just walked around the area, talked to some friends and colleagues at the VIP area and then went home. It was just in the nick of time too because just after Robin finished, the rain was pissing down – and I mean REALLY bad.
I was soaked by the time I got to my car. I had to leave early, eventhough it was absolutely KILLING me, cause I SO much wanted to see Rob Zombie. That would have been the highlight of the festival for me, but I had an interview with Rob Halford of Judas Priest that had to take place that evening so… It was an unusually short day for me. Luckily, there was more action the next day!