On a rainy, doomy and gloomy Saturday afternoon, we headed a bit north of Stockholm (2 hours drive) to the city of Gävle, to see the Rock Out Festival. On our way, we sadly discovered that the headlining band of the night, H.E.A.T. would not play due to a sudden situation of illness among the band members, which was announced a bit earlier on the same day on the band’s Facebook profile. Of course this is not the best way to head to a rock (or any) gig, however, we continued our way, playing a lot of Treat and Eclipse songs (both old and new) in the car stereo, which helped us to cheer up and get a bit ‘warmed up’. We arrived at the venue, named ‘Gasklockorna’, which is part of a bigger industrial area, right in the outskirts of the city and by the water. A lot of gigs have taken place there, historically speaking, and it is also the home of the ‘Gefle Metal Festival’, with extreme metal bands, on a yearly basis.
To be honest, I knew about Treat and listened to their songs, but it was long time since I have been really into their albums and material. BIG mistake! The band plays fantastic all their songs and never really leaves any single piece of doubt on what they are capable for. And trust me, they KICK ASS! Of course, they are no strangers among them, as they have played many many years together; we are talking about a band, which started its career back in the ‘80s, with a pure hard rock sound and feeling, full of heavy riffs (Anders is such a capable guitarist with a lot of aces under his sleeves: solos, leads, rhythm guitars, you name it and he will do it!), solid and massive rhythm section, much convincing vocals (even though the years have passed, Robert Ernlund can absolutely deliver) and an overall really nice feeling of a very well balanced band. The venue was not completely packed, but a lot of people travelled from nearby cities to see them play, and TREAT did not disappoint them at all. To the contrary, they played a great gig and of course, the setlist included songs like ‘Conspiracy’, ‘World of Promises’, ‘Freudian Slip’, ‘Get you on the Run’, ‘Home of the Brave’ and others. This was the first time I saw Treat, and it will definitely be NOT the last.
Following one of the finest hard rock bands out there, it was time for another finest to play. Eclipse has ‘slipped out of my fingers’ a few times, so this time it was definitely about time for me to enjoy them from close in a perfect setting for a gig. The band opened up with ‘Roses on Your Grave’ and the audience was already frantic, cheering up. One song after another, the band was getting warmer and warmer, communicating with the audience, keeping close contact, being energetic and giving back the love they received from the audience. Erik is a fantastic performer by all means (I knew that he has been an excellent writer, guitar player, singer, etc. through all his work with Eclipse, W.E.T. and Nordic Union), but this time he proved why he is sooo good on what he is doing with his band. Brothers Philip and Victor Crusner were absolutely amazing, so energetic and passionate throughout the whole playlist of 21 (!!) songs, playing like there is no tomorrow, so professionally and enjoying every single moment of it. And, what can I say about Magnus Henriksson … one of the most capable guitarists around, he plays the guitar so really well! Since he has started playing with the band, he has marked the Eclipse sound with his trademark solos and leads, which I could experience live on the gig. Pure delight!
Playlist-wise, there was no one left unhappy or not satisfied: all the band’s hits, all the successful and significant songs from their discography were there! Emphasis, of course, was placed on their latest album ‘Wired’; however they played all my favorite tracks from their albums, at least since ‘Bleed and Scream’. It was definitely a night to remember, as they also gave it all they had and thanked the fans many times for making it there to see them (there were also some fans travelling from Japan who came as well!). Personal favorite moments were: “Bite the Bullet”, “Black Rain” “Bleed & Scream” and “Battlegrounds” (acoustic version).
Thank you Gävle, that was awesome!