Review: Creye – Straight To The Top

Creye - ep
Record Info Rating: 9,5/10
Label: Self released Reviewed by: Kimpan
Producer: Erik Wiss
Release date: March 10, 2017
Line-up: Alexander Strandell (vo), Andreas Gullstrand (g), Joel Rönning (keyb), Gustaf Örsta (b), Arvid Filipsson (dr)

Back in August of 2016 I had the privilege of reviewing the debut single Never Too Late of Swedish newcomers Creye on behalf of Planet AOR. Since then, the band have been working firmly in the studio on new songs and the result is a three song EP that besides the previously mentioned Never Too Late also features a cover of the Robert Tepper classic No Easy Way Out and a brand new track called Straight To The Top.

While the band’s debut single didn’t blew me away, I still gave it a cautiously optimistic 7,5/10 rating stating that there was potential for greater things with this band. With the new release I certainly feel that potential has been realized and the only question now is: when will we have a full length album from this band?

Straight To The Top is the new original song and also the first track of the EP. It’s a great song, what I would almost call perfectly executed melodic rock, with just the right guitar/keyboard balance and a flawless chorus. It kinda reminds me of H.E.A.T which at least partly could be due to the fact that singer Alexander Strandell sounds like a deadringer for Erik Grönwall in certain parts. Great stuff nevertheless.

Never Too Late is up next and is, as mentioned earlier, the band’s first single that was also previously reviewed on Planet AOR. Despite my slight criticism in that review of the chorus being a bit weak the song has actually grown on me since then and maybe I will give it a bit higher rating today. Good AOR, no doubt about it.

I must say that I was very impressed by the band’s remake of No Easy Way Out, the last song of the three song EP. The band has obviously worked very hard at getting the 80’s retro sound right and the cover stays pretty close to the original. Maybe they should “do a Houston” and record an album full of classic AOR covers cause judging by the performance on this track I think they would probably outdo the Houston guys there!

In summary, I will certainly keep my eye on this band in the year to come. Another act to add to the evergrowing list of quality Swedish AOR and melodic rock bands.

Review: Palace – Master Of The Universe

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Record Info

Label: Frontiers
Producer: Daniel Flores and Michael Palace
Release date: August 26, 2016
Line-up: Michael Palace (vo, g), Rick Digorio (g), Soufian Ma’Aoui (b), Marcus Johansson (dr)

Rating: 9.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Palace is a new Swedish melodic rock band that was formed by lead singer and guitarist Michael Palace (ex-Big Time). Palace previously worked with the Frontiers label as a songwriter and guitarist on different projects such as First Signal and Cry Of Dawn, a collaboration that eventually led to Michael himself being offered a record deal with Frontiers by label chief Serafino Perugino. The band was then hand picked by Palace from the Stockholm area musician circuit.

Clearly a one-of-a-kind talent, the 24 year old multi-instrumentalist and songwriter reportedly single-handedly wrote these 11 tracks in just a couple of weeks time, a feat which by any standards must be seen as a major accomplishment not least considering the quality of the material at hand. I haven’t heard genuine retro AOR done this well since H.E.A.T´s 2010 platter “Freedom Rock” – which is saying a lot, since there has been a wealth of excellent AOR albums released in between those years.

For those familiar with Palace´s previous band Big Time (which also featured Palace guitarist Rick Digorio), the quality of this album will certainly not come as a surprise, as the band’s 3 song 2012 e.p was pretty much flawless melodic rock, highlighted by the fantastic AOR anthem Julia. (a song I would very much like to see re-recorded on a future Palace album). It was already evident from that point that these guys would go on to even greater things, and this new album is certainly a testament to that.

The strength of “Master Of The Universe” definitely lies in it’s consistency, with just about every song featuring an instantly likeable chorus or hook that just screams to be replayed. Even after having lived with the album for over 3 months I still find myself humming along to these tunes, surely a sign of a great and memorable album.

Highlights include the Danger Road-esque anthemic AOR rocker Master Of The Universe, the catchy and atmospheric Cool Runnin’, the supreme and powerful ballad Rules of The Game and the melodic mid tempo masterpiece Part Of Me, a song that would give 80’s Whitesnake a run for their money. Another hightpoint is the keyboard heavy and very H.E.A.T.-sounding No Exit, with great keyboard and guitar arrangements all over. Young, Wild, Free has more of a Scandi flavour to it, a bit like Da Vinci, while Matter In Hand is another killer AOR cut with a chorus to die for.

While you could certainly put the label “melodic hard rock” on most of the material here it still never gets too heavy, which is an important point from an AOR perspective. Personally I would suggest that “ballsy AOR” is a more appropriate term because of the strong pop melodies and widely use of keys, but whatever the case, the most important thing is still the songs and here Palace deliver in spades, no doubt about it.

The band have a gig at the Frontiers Rock Festival lined up in April of next year and from there on who knows what will happen. Personally I would love to see a quick follow up album, preferably with an even more pure AOR sound, which I’m sure would turn out equally if not even more fantastic. Whatever the case, “Master Of The Universe” is certainly one of the most promising debuts in a long time and an essential purchase for every melodic rocker out there.

Review: Miss Behaviour – Ghost Play

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Record Info

Label: AOR Heaven
Producer: Patrik Magnusson
Release date: September 2, 2016
Line-up: Sebastian Roos (vo), Niclas Lindblom (b), Erik Heikne (g), Henrik Sproge (keyb), Magnus Jacobson (dr)

Rating: 9/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

When I think about it, I am often amazed at how many quality bands my beloved home country, with it’s mere 9 million inhabitants, always has and still continues to produce within the AOR and melodic rock field. Norrköping’s Miss Behaviour is certainly no exception, currently active with their forth studio album Ghost Play, an album that already has been receiving rave reviews across the net.

I was quite ecstatic about their last release Double Agent, which received an impressive 9/10 rating from yours truly here on these very pages. Definitely one of the best AOR albums of 2014, it solidified the band’s status as one of the top bands in the genre from Sweden. Having listened to Ghost Play for weeks now, it is clear that the band just keep getting better with each album and if they continue like this, I see them going nowhere but up.

While 2011´s Last Woman Standing and Double Agent to a large extent  were close to what I would call pure AOR albums, the band has definitely rocked things up on the new album, going for a more melodic hard rock/metal sound, something which actually suits the band surprisingly well. Think Pretty Maids cirka Jump The Gun (1990) and you get a good idea of the kind of “melodic metal meets AOR”-sound the band have gone for on this release. I also hear traces of Europe, latter-day Treat and even Yngwie Malmsteen here and if you’re a fan of any of those bands this is really a must have.

My favorites are the fantastic opener and first single Friendly Fire, the Europe-meets-Treat rocker All Eyes On You and the wonderful and excellent title track, all showcasing different sides of the band but with strong, intelligent songwriting and great musicianship as common denominators. Another mega track is the keyboard-driven melodic hard rock monster Savage Heart, once again sounding like something straight out of Pretty Maids classic Jump The Gun album.

To summarize, I won’t hide the fact that I’m an AOR’ster at heart and perhaps would have prefered something more pink ‘n’ fluffy from these guys, especially since I know they do that stuff so well. Ghost Play however is still a great album, and a very worthy follow-up to Double Agent, that with it’s melodic metal pretensions will probably appeal to a wider audience and perhaps also win the band some new fans from outside of the AOR community. If you love big melodic rock with a lot of keys or any of the aforementioned bands then I urge you to pick up a copy of Ghost Play a.s.a.p.

Review: Creye – Never Too Late (single)

creye

Record Info

Label: Self-released
Producer: Andreas Gullstrand
Release date: September 2, 2016
Line-up: Alexander Strandell (vo), Andreas Gullstrand (g), Linus Abrahmson (b), Erik Wiss (keyb), Carl Tudén (dr)

Rating: 7.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Creye (pronounced “Cry”) is the brainchild of Swedish guitarist Andreas Gullstrand (Grand Slam) and was formed in late 2015 with the expressed ambition of “creating a new super group of young, talented musicians” doing AOR with an “80’s retro wave” touch. Featuring Alexander Strandell (Diamond Dawn, Art Nation) on vocals, the band has recently recorded their first single “Never Too Late” which Planet AOR has gotten an exclusive listening on. The plan is to land a record deal for an eventual full length album release in 2017.

While Creye certainly doesn’t offer anything new, “Never Too Late” is a pleasant exercise in radio friendly AOR, following the typical Swedish formula of bands like Houston, H.E.A.T., Wigelius and Care Of Night. Being a fan of all those bands, I certainly find a lot to like in Creye´s sound and there is without a doubt potential for greater things here. In Alexander Strandell the band has a class vocalist, with a voice perfectly suited for the style – a good and important resource if you wanna make it in the (AOR) business.

While the song as a whole is really good, my only criticism would be that the chorus could have been stronger. After a strong verse and pre-chorus it sort of falls a bit short when the chorus hits. Although by no means average, it could perhaps be something for the band to polish before the album recording.

All in all, though, a promising and fresh new band to look out for.

Review: Fury – s/t

Record Info

Label: Adrenaline/Steelheart Records
Producer: Felix Cavaliere
Release date: Out now
Line-up: Robbie LaBlanc (vo, g), Brian LaBlanc (b, g, keyb), Nick Moroch (g), Jeff Bova (keyb), Steve Gaspar (keyb), Nick Mangini (dr)

Rating: 8.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Most of our readers will be familiar with the name Robbie LaBlanc. Undoubtely one of the more underrated AOR singers out there, the american has been involved in many projects and bands over the years, perhaps most notably the excellent Find Me (with two albums out on Frontiers) and Blanc Faces, together with his brother Brian LaBlanc.

In the mid 80’s, the two brothers had another band called Fury, that released one album on the tiny “New York Music Company” label in 1985. Previously only available on vinyl, the album now finally gets it first official CD release as part of Primo Bonali‘s new “LOST US JEWELS” series. Having known and been a fan of this album for well over 10 years, I can only thank him and the fine folks at Steelheart Records for picking it up and giving it a well deserved digital remastering treatment.

As for the music, Fury´s one and only album can only be described as classic AOR at it’s very best, chock full of melodic, hookladen anthems, steeped in the finest 80’s tradition. Both Keep On Dreamin’ and In Her Arms had videos that received some airplay on MTV, and are two of the definitive highlights here, although stuff like Fast Girl, She Don’t Know and Sorry To Say are also essential AOR listening. Comparisations to similar acts of the day could be made to everyone from I-Ten and Preview to Beau Coup and Franke & The Knockouts, while a group like Bricklin is probably a good reference point for some of the album´s poppier material.

Robbie LaBlanc really shines throughout the album and as much as I love his stuff with Find Me and Blanc Faces, I believe Fury could very well be his definitive work. At least that’s what the 80’s fanatic in me wants to say.

Whatever the case, Fury´s self titled is still a must have in every self respecting AOR fan’s collection and should be on the top of your to-buy list. Strictly limited to 500 copies, my advice is to go and grab yourself a copy before they run out.

Review: United Nations – 2014

un2014

Record Info

Label: Steelheart Records
Producer: Paul Hulme
Release date: February 24, 2014
Line-up: Lee Small (vo), Peter Hankey (b), Neil Fred Thomas (g), Chris Stonier (keyb), Chris Mooney (dr)

Rating: 7.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

2014 has not only been a great year for AOR so far, it is also the title of U.K based rockers United Nations second full length album – a release that seems to have slipped somewhat under the radar in the vast sea of AOR releases this year. Being the AOR buff that I am, I was of course familiar with their 1985 output The First Move, one of those obscure small-label gems from back in the day, and I was both surprised and excited when I read that the band had re-united to re-record the album and play a few live dates in the U.K.

Released on the Italy based Steelheart Records all the way back in February, 2014 is an album encompassing newly recorded versions of some of the best cuts from The First Move, a few songs originally scheduled for a 1987 album release plus a brand new track called I’ll Be Your Man. Replacing original singer Paul McCafferty is the well known Lee Small, who among other things sung on the excellent self-titled Shy album back in 2011.

The First Move is an album I’ve played quite a lot over the years, so hearing up to date versions of these tracks is really intresting for me personally. The band had some outstanding material, as exemplified in tracks like The Night That Lasts Forever, The First Move and Shock to the System, and fans of classic keyboard-driven AOR with pomp touches will find much to enjoy here. Surprisingly enough, I’m almost more excited over the songs meant for the never released follow-up album which are some of the stand out songs here and truth be told deserved a better destiny.  Too Much Information, Shock to the System and Looks That Kill are really excellent songs and just imagining these with a big budget 1987 production makes you realize what a great album that could have been, unfortunately it was not to be.

One of the weaker aspects of 2014 is the production which sounds kind of thin and lacking a bit of punch, dragging down the overall score a bit. I’m also not totally convinced by Lee Small’s performance here, being the great singer he is, but that’s probably more due to the fact that I’m used to hearing the songs sung by another singer, with Small very much adding his personal touch to these songs and singing them a bit differently than from the originals.

Other than that, 2014 is a winner in most areas and a welcome return from one of U.K AOR´s best kept secrets. New material is apparently in the works and judging by the new track I’ll Be Your Man, also a very good song, a new album could certainly be something to look forward to.

Review: Miss Behaviour – Double Agent

mb_doubleagent

Record Info

Label: AOR Heaven
Producer: Heikne/Sproge/Roos
Release date: Out now
Line-up: Sebastian Roos (vo), Niclas Lindblom (b), Erik Heikne (g), Henrik Sproge (keyb), Magnus Jacobson (dr)

Rating: 9/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Double Agent is Miss Behaviour’s third full-length record, but the history of the band actually go back as far as 2003, when founding members Henrik Sproge (keyboards) and Erik Heikne (guitars) were both studying Music Management in Kalmar, Sweden. The debut CD Heart Of Midwinter was released in 2006, while follow-up Last Woman Standing saw the light in 2011. Even though the latter didn’t do much for me personally, it was pretty well received in the AOR community on the whole and gained the band some attention abroad. This new CD, however, is a whole different beast altogether and I suspect even those who raved over L.W.S will agree it is a step up from that one. A big step, I would say.

If you should compare these guys to anyone, the closest reference would probably be a band like H.E.A.T, or bands of that ilk. Melodic, well-written songs firmly placed in the classic 80’s AOR sound but with a slight modern edge. This is in my opinion how AOR should be made in 2014 and it’s releases like this that really show why Sweden is at the forefront of melodic rock right now.

What I like the most about Double Agent is how well the songs flow into one another, usually a sign of a great album. H.E.A.T fans will be all over tracks like opener On With the Show, Love Reflector or the excellent Don’t Let It End, the latter which was written by guitarist Erik Heikne who also puts in some impressive axework throughout the album. Elsewhere, Dancing With Danger and Midnight Runner is more superlative AOR, on par with anything from the 80’s, but the track that really steals the show for me has to be the title track. Unquestionably one of the AOR tracks of the year, this uptempo gem contains enough hooks, melody and keys to melt even the most hardened AOR fan’s heart in an instant.

If Last Woman Standing didn’t win me over then Double Agent certainly has, and I am certain that this release will sit at the top of most AOR listeners “best of 2014” lists at the end of the year. There are so many highlights on this album, I can’t even name them all! All I have to say is, hats off to the band for keeping the AOR flame burning and providing us with this great music. To you others, well you know what to do. Buy buy buy 🙂

Review: Seven – 7

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Record Info

Label: Escape Music
Producer: Lars Chriss
Release date: Out now
Line-up: Mick Devine (vo), Pat Davey (b), Keith McFarlane (g), Simon LeFevre (keyb), Austin Lane (dr)

Rating: 9.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Here’s another band to be resurrected from the deep past of forgotten and obscured AOR bands. We’re talking of Seven, the South African-British cult AOR act that only ever released two singles back in the day before disbanding and falling into obscurity. In a way, the Seven story is very much similar to that of British collegues United Nations, who 29 years after their sole album The First Move decided to re-unite and re-record the album, releasing it under the name 2014. Of course,  Seven never had an album in the first place, but contrary to United Nations they were on a major label (Polydor) and on the verge of a wider breakthrough. They had the looks, the hooks and the sounds to make it big but unfortunately by 1990 their brand of melodic keyboard-laden AOR was quickly going out of fashion and the band found themselves dropped. It is only through the initiative of Khalil Turk of Escape Music that the band was put back together and now 24 years later the debut Seven album is finally released!

As implied above, this is an album entirely made up of re-recorded ‘old’ material that has been given a modern boost in form of an updated production. When compared to some of the old recordings the guitar sound has definitely been beefed up, giving the songs more of that modern melodic rock feel contrary to the pure AOR sounds of the early singles and demos. I personally prefer the latter, but with material this good these are really secondary issues and I think these songs works well in a little heavier setting as well.

7 has by some people been called “the greatest AOR album in 15 years” and while I perhaps wouldn’t go that far it’s definitely top drawer AOR and a must have for any fan of the genre. It encapsulates pretty much everything that made U.K. AOR and bands like FM, Strangeways and Shy so great: big keys, unforgettable choruses and a voice to die for. (I still can’t get over the fact that singer Mick Devine originally started out in the band as a drummer!). There’s also American influences: opener Shoot To Thrill is probably the best song Foreigner never wrote. What a way to start an album! Elsewhere, stuff like Strangers, Still and Thru The Night are all compulsory listening for every AOR fan and without question some of the best songs released in the genre this year. Had this stuff been released in 1984 instead of 2014 it would have skyrocketed the charts. But the song perhaps best defining the Seven sound has to be Inside Love, one of the band’s singles and a track which could almost serve as a blueprint for the perfect AOR song, with brilliant hooklines and those heavenly keys everywhere. Mick Devine’s voice hasn’t aged one day which becomes well evident if you play the old and new version back to back.

So there you have it. The boys have really done a great job here, re-recording these old tunes to produce what will certainly be one of the most essential AOR purchases of the year 2014. According to Devine, there could even possibly be new music and live shows in the pipeline as well. I certainly wouldn’t say no to that! But for now, just buy the album, sit back and enjoy the excellence.

Review: Steel Panther – All You Can Eat

Steel-Panther-All-You-Can-Eat-cover

Record Info

Label: Open
Producer: Jay Ruston and Steel Panther
Release date: Out now
Line-up: Michael Starr (vo), Lexxi Foxx (b), Satchel (g), Stix Zadinia (dr)

Rating: 9.5/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

3 years on since the 2011 release Balls Out and everyone’s favorite (?) parody glam metal band Steel Panther is back with another album filled to the brim with 80’s inspired metal and obscene humour. Whether you love or hate them, at least one can’t deny that they’ve found their niche in the metal scene and seem to be growing in popularity all the time. I’ll readily admit that I’m a fan, but that’s when I discovered that behind all the gimmicks was actually a great band with some really decent songs. The debut was good, Balls Out even better – and in All You Can Eat we have yet another excellent hard rock platter that might, just might, be their best one yet. (although it’s a close race with Balls Out).

Stylewise, not much has changed since the last album as All You Can Eat is pretty much a continuation of where Balls Out left off. While the debut was more of a pastiche of various 80’s hard rock and metal bands, the last two records has seen the band develope more of an own sound. The music is of course still very much rooted in 80’s hair metal but without the songs necessarily being carbon copies of well known hits, like some of the songs off the debut were.

There’s no question that the band’s lyrics are a turn off for many hard rock aficionados and I have no problem with that. Musically however they are as good, or even better, than many of their peers, with Michael Starr‘s outstanding vocals and Satchel‘s Warren DeMartini style guitar anthics perhaps the most protuding components. The fat and crystal clear production is another high point, making for a really pleasant listening experience.

Of the 12 tracks on show there’s not one that I would call a filler and this is really an album that you can play from start to finish without reaching for the skip button. The band really has a knack for writing catchy choruses that keeps you coming back for more and these songs still frequent my mp3 player even after I’ve lived with the album for over 2 months. My top picks would have to be opener Pussywhipped, the party anthem (duh) Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World and the Scorpions-like Ten Strikes You’re Out which are all blistering hard rock, although I would also give a mention to stuff like The Burden Of Being Wonderful and You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk which shows the band at their more melodic, and if you will, “serious” side. On the other hand, the lyrics in Bukkake Tears are as wrong as can be, but seen from a purely musical perspective it’s the band at their absolute best and really, textbook melodic rock.

In summary, the band has recorded another killer album here and certainly one that will earn a high place on my personal “best of 2014” list. Retro melodic glam metal doesn’t get much better than this in 2014 and if you don’t mind the OTT lyrics I guarantee All You Can Eat won’t dissapoint.

Live Review: H.E.A.T – Sticky Fingers 20140418

HEAT_StickyWe arrived at Sticky Fingers at about 7 P.M. H.E.A.T where scheduled to hit the stage at around 9.30 P.M. so there was plenty of time to catch a few drinks and just hang. For reasons just mentioned I didn’t pay too much attention to Osukaru, who took the stage not long after our arrival, playing just a few songs. (2 newer ones and 3 from Salvation, my collegue Mathias informs me).

Oz Osukaru
Oz Osukaru

I did catch Art Nation (new band of former Diamond Dawn singer Alexander Strandell), who delivered a good energetic set of mostly Diamond Dawn material but also one new song. I must say that this guy has got a really good melodic rock voice and it will be intresting to hear the upcoming debut album from these guys.

Alexander Strandell - Art Nation
Alexander Strandell – Art Nation

I had heard of The Last Band but didn’t really now anything about their music. Needless to say these guys and their brand of (to these ears) unmelodic “sleazish” rock were not my cup of tea at all and as the show went on I felt I was not the only one in the venue just waiting for H.E.A.T to hit the stage.

You always have high expectations when going to a H.E.A.T show, and for good reason. They already had a reputation as a brilliant live act back in the Kenny days, but with Erik Grönwall at the mic they also got a frontman with the charisma and energy that some felt Kenny sometimes lacked. I still hold Leckremo as the better singer of the two, but I have to say that Grönwall’s hyper active stage antics makes up for what he lacks in the vocal department. That’s not to say he isn’t a great vocalist though, and livewise his voice has gotten better and better each time I’ve seem him. With two brilliant records with the band under his belt you can tell that he really has started to find his place in the band now, and his whole stage apperance reeks with the kind of attitude and self confidence reminiscent of a great frontman.

Erik Grönwall
Erik Grönwall

As expected, the band opened up with Point Of No Return, the first song off the new record. If you thought this melodic hard rock anthem was a good start on record, it was even better live.  A Shot At Redemption quickly followed suit and had most people sing along, another song really custom made to be played live. By now the place was packed, and by the third track Better Off Alone I wouldn’t hesitate to say that the place was cooking. I think they’ve played this track on every gig since the release of Address The Nation.
The obligatory 1000 Miles followed after that and personally I’m not a huge fan of this song but I guess they have to play it since it was a big hit and won the band many new fans. Then we had It’s All About Tonight and Inferno (off the new record), two quite heavy songs by H.E.A.T standards and for the same reason really suitable in a live setting, these songs got the audience going even more.
The pace was slowed down a bit when Erik picked up the acoustic guitar for Tearing Down The Walls, the semi ballad and likewise title track from the new album. I think this song went down really well live, the audience seemed to love it and once again Grönwall put in a really good vocal performance.
To my delight we also got to hear the excellent Mannequin Show , in my opinion one of the best tracks off the new album. Much has been made of it’s supposed similarities to the Britney hit, personally I couldn’t care either way as it’s still brilliant melodic rock – rip off or not. Then we had the old live favorite Late Night Lady which is always a crowd pleaser, I could be wrong but I think this song has probably been played at every H.E.A.T gig since the debut.
Following this was In And Out Of Trouble, one of the band’s best pure AOR numbers and another crowd pleaser, while Beg Beg Beg marked the first, and sadly last song from Freedom Rock to be played this evening. The pace was once again slowed down with Downtown, while Emergency and Enemy In Me marked the 7th respectively 8th track to be played off the new record.
The band finished the set with the amazing Breaking The Silence off the last record and for the encore they chose Living On The Run, another song from Address The Nation. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t play any more extra numbers but I guess 16 songs is pretty standard for a live show if you think about it.

Eric Rivers
Eric Rivers

All in all a fantastic gig and of the 7 times I’ve seen them so far I think this has got to be one of the best, if not the best. The sound was great and the band seemed happier and tighter than ever, I can’t imagine anyone in the audience leaving the venue dissapointed. What is also worth noting is not once did I miss the precence of Dave Dalone on the stage, I mean I don’t think any H.E.A.T fan were happy to seem him leave, but it’s not like the band would stand or fall on him. Something which I’ve think they’ve proven now beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are times throughout when I do think the band would have benefited from the fuller sound 2 guitars provides, but this is really a minor point and besides it gives Jona Tee´s keyboards a chance to shine even more as he provides some of Dave´s parts on the keys instead.
The only other (minor) complaint would be the lack of Freedom Rock songs in the set list, I especially missed Danger Road which is one of the band’s best songs and an earlier live favorite. I would rather have seen this or another “oldie” in substitute of Downtown or perhaps one of the new songs, but as I said this is really a minor complaint on an otherwise flawless set of songs.
If you get a chance to catch the band live then don’t think twice as I wouldn’t hesitate one second to say they are better than ever.

Erik Grönwall
Erik Grönwall

Setlist:

Point Of No Return
A Shot At Redemption
Better Off Alone
1000 Miles
It’s All About Tonight
Inferno
The Wreckoning (Intro)
Tearing Down The Walls
Mannequin Show
Late Night Lady
In And Out Of Trouble
Beg Beg Beg
Downtown
Emergency
Enemy In Me
Breaking The Silence

Encore:
Living On The Run

Rating: 9.5/10