Sweden Rock 2016 10-June, 2016

And here we are, babies. The beginning of the end. The first full show of Forty and Fuck It Farewell Tour. I almost hate starting the tour with Sweden Rock because it is such a well-run festival that almost every other festival pales in comparison. But alas, we begin.

I can almost guarantee that this will be the shortest road report ever, primarily because I never saw the show. No, really. Not one song. Now if you’d like a full report about the transport vehicles, catering tents, hospitality, security and how much straw can get absorbed into a muddy field…then we’re in business.

This is the curse of being on the crew. While most of crew gets to watch the show while they work, my responsibilities involve a lot of behind the scenes work: wardrobe, catering, transportation snd such, which essentially means that Twisted Sister is now background music while I load the van with their bags.

So wardrobe: Dee’s sporting some new duds–not one of Suzette’s designs but I liked it nevertheless. All silver, covered in spikes with S M F emblazoned across the bum.

Twisted took the stage and that is most of what I know. I highly encourage watching the youtube videos of The Price– dedicated to A.J., a sea of 60,000 swaying lights is just about as good as it gets.

My secret guest correspondent tells me that the 60,000 fans were quite loud– like most crowds, it took a song or two to warm them up, but the real shocker was the setlist, chock full of goodies, such that many may have been thrown off by the order–Burn In Hell given the third slot on the set, instead of a middle to closer. It seemed to me as though the crowd became more and more frenzied with each song–perhaps the only real stop to the momentum was Dee engaging in “fika” the Swedish term for “coffee break.”

After a rousing and apparently exhausting rendition of “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Dee took fika–a nice, casual coffee break–earning me the public title of “fika boy”. There was a slight danger to all of this–Animal does not like roadies on his part of the stage. And in case you’re wondering which part of the stage that is, it’s ALL of it. So as I turn around with 3/4 cup of Sweden’s finest hot grounds, I am faced with Mendoza, growling to me that I’m pretty sure sounded like “dead meat.” He chased me around a bit–which resulted in coffee spilling everywhere…which resulted in more chasing. It’s a jungle out there–the stage is a scary, dangerous place folks. Trip hazards, pyro, lights– but you add Mark “the Animal” Mendoza and it’s damn deadly. I may need to ask for hazard pay,

The three gems for me–Knife in the Back, I Am, I’m Me and Tear it Loose–all songs we never got to hear often enough in the past, played as good as you remember. At this point, it’s mostly background music for me as I load vans and carry pizzas–but there is nothing else I would rather do.

Plenty of pyro too–including a special finale complete with a montage of TS photos from over the years and fireworks raining down from everywhere. Sweden has always been good to Twisted Sister–and for their last show in Sweden, I can’t think of anywhere more perfect than Sweden Rock.

But alas, it was back to the hotel by 3 a.m., a morning flight, and on to the next show.
Farewell, Sweden. Takks for the memories.
There were a lot of “Takks” to go around–special props to Johnny the lighting engineer, without him the reunion may have never hit Europe at this level–and they brought the whole road crew out. Again, I turn around to see Animal salivating–and so I bobbed and weaved around in front of our biggest crew guy to ensure safe passage to and fro.

And so I leave you with this completely non-existent report on a show I didn’t see– 1 down on the farewell tour!


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