Hey dear friends! Last night Monsters Of Rock took place here in Solna, Sweden, at Friends Arena. With Black Sabbath as the main act, and three opening ones, starting with the Swedish band Bombus, continuing with the Rival Sons, then Volbeat and finally the mighty Sabbath, in their last show ever in Sweden, on the 9th of July 2016.
I have been trying for more than three months to get photo access to this festival, and shoot only the Rival Sons, because I tend to know how hard it can be for bloggers and photographers to get access to this kind of events in case you want to shoot such big bands like Sabbath.
Unfortunately my request was turned down, even if I wanted to shoot only one band from the first three. And as a consequence to that, I want to apologize for the quality of the photographs. They are really dim, and bad quality, because we were standing far from the stage and they were taken with i Phone 6s. But I decided to upload a few anyway to let you have a taste of what went down at the last show of the biggest metal band, here in Stockholm.
Starting off with Bombus a few minutes after five in the evening yesterday, while they took off a scene in a not-completely-full yet arena. Bombus is a hard rock Swedish band, that released their last record back in Ferbuary 2016. Now, maybe this was a bit intended but maybe not, their sound reminded me a lot of The Foo Fighters. I could let that one go, but then when I watched their looks, they completely reminded me of Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. I find a lot of resemblance in their vocals, and their playing. If you have been a Foo Fighters supporter like myself, you definitely know what I am talking about. I have never seen them perform live nor I knew about their work. I checked out recently because as many of you might already know, I research a lot, explore a lot and seek a lot before I finally choose to write about any band in this blog.
Here is a taste of Bombus, and like I said before, excuse me for the bad quality.
Going on with the Rival Sons, and as you may already know, they are a band that I have been writing for, for almost two years now. This is exactly why I wanted to get at least photo access to shoot them playing for the first three songs, but sadly was not able to do so. I am not really sure that I know how things work with the bands or the managers approving your photo access to their show, if it depends on them or on anybody else, but the funny thing is that a little while before they hit the stage, we found out that backstage and photo access was indeed given to more than one Swedish photographers to shoot both backstage, on stage and in front of the scene. I am not going to hide my feelings over this and will let you know that I got extremely sad when I found out about it. Oddly enough the Sons are the reason why we chose to attend Monsters of Rock last night, and they were the main and only reason why we wanted to work there yesterday. Just like we did for the past two years in their performances in Sweden. I have been trying to find a reason, a cause, why my request was turned down, by I don’t even really know who, but unfortunately I have not found any so that I can share it with you. The only thing that can roll in my head is that my work and my blog are completely freelanced and independent, meaning that I do not have any big record labels standing behind me to cover my name or my back, nor any big newspapers, other music journalists or promoting companies. All the work, the texts, the articles, the photographs and the editing of the pictures is done by me and only. I sometimes take advice from the people that follow me in the shows, to hear their opinion about the different band performances, but at the end of the day everything that is posted on this blog is created and shared by me. Simply because I dedicate my time, my money and my energy to the thing that I love most in life and have been doing so for more than four years now.
You know, a lot of times I have attended rock shows and was willing to see the anticipation and the excitement on people’s faces just like it was and still is written in my own, to feel like you are able to breathe and let yourself be free again, feel that liberation running through your blood and in your veins as soon as some guitar riffs like Scott Holiday’s fill in the room. But sometimes, all I see around me is people who are already drunk, don’t really know the band (any band that is about to perform), and are there just to “have fun” and “let loose”. I have never been in a show just “to have fun”. And last night when the Sons hit the stage, and the sound of Scott’s guitar almost blew my brain out, was a moment when I not almost cried but remembered in my head like a flashing light why I am here, what I am trying to do here, with music, with management, with my work, with everything that I want to be one day. Now if this is something that a lot of music related people such as managers, promoters, deal makers or whatever cannot understand or respect and feel free to turn down any request that is made by hard work and dedication, then I feel really bad for them. Because I can most certainly say that they once were really young, really rebellious and really youthful just like me, but I am sure that somebody believed in them and gave them their so-wanted-chance to work and be near live music. A request and chance that most of the time is impossible to get.
I can now understand after all these years and also respect that things in a show are also about making business, which means that the approach and the expectations from the business music side are more practical, realistic and cynical, but I also believe and know that if most of these people wouldn’t be burning for music just like I am, they wouldn’t be there in the first place.
The Son’s set started off with “Electric Man”, and went on with slightly little differences compared with last year, as this time on the current tour, they include three songs from their new record, “Hollow Bones”, “Tied Up” and “Fade out”.
“Hollow Bones” is the also the name of their latest record that was released on the 10th of June 2016.
The reason why I really wanted the chance to shoot the Sons, is because I find their music really different than anything you might see or hear out there. The words that in my opinion describe it the most are authenticity and realness. A lot of people might tell you or you might read it somewhere “This is rock and roll” or “That is rock and roll” but truth be told, regarding my personal perspective, I didn’t really know what Rock n’ Roll is in our time, until I listened to the Rival Sons. Since then, I believe that I have tasted a bit of what classic, pure, beautiful, raw Rock n’ Roll really is. This is exactly why I choose to write and express my opinion on their work and why I have not missed any of their performances in Sweden since 2014.
I truly hope and wish for them to be back here soon so that I can hopefully get appropriate access and shoot like I did for the past couple of years. As this blog is mainly dedicated to my favorite artists/bands and with the Sons being one of them, I would gladly dedicate any new professionally made posts here in the future.
Here is a link of their performance last year in Gothenburg, Sweden, in case you want to find out more about them and check out professional quality photos.
And also a couple of pictures from their performance last night, taken with i Phone 6s.
The last opening act for Monsters Of Rock and Black Sabbath in Stockholm, were Volbeat. Now Volbeat is a band that I have never seen live before, yet they somehow were always there in my playlists since I moved to Sweden. I am now able to say that in case you wonder whether you want to see them live or not, take my advice and buy a ticket because they are absolutely worth it.
Their set was longer than all of the other opening acts, meaning about one and a half hour long making every minute worth the show. Their lead singer Micheal Poulsen is an amazing vocalist, as he sat there and sang non stop for more than one hour, making it completely worth it for us not to be able to take our eyes off from the stage. His voice is the kind of voice that will make you want to turn the radio louder and want to keep the band’s name in mind and save it on your Spotify playlist. Playing mostly somewhere between hard rock and alternative metal, Volbeat is a band that I will definitely check out again. Luckily enough they will be back in town again, on the 22th of October, in Ericsson Globe and I will try my best to be there.
Here is a couple of pictures from Volbeat last night, where you can mostly see the band playing through the big screen.
The last and main act on this big day last night was the mighty Sabbath. Now Black Sabbath is a band that I feel very uncomfortable writing about, simply because I feel too young, too inexperienced and too amateur as a music blogger to review a name and performance such as theirs. Honestly, they are not a band of my generation, and I am not really sure if they even were of my mom’s one. So if they are a band of your own generation and you have seen them live in the 70s, 80s or 90s, feel free to share your opinion on the comment section below. I am really looking forward to read anything that you might have to say.
Here is a couple of pictures where you can see Sabbath playing on the big screen.
I hope that you enjoy reading this review about Monsters of Rock with Bombus, Rival Sons, Volbeat and Black Sabbath, as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you choose to share it, I thank you for it. 🙂
Have a great beginning of the week dear friends, with lots of music and positivity!