Hultsfredsfestival – first day with Slash and The Conspirators.
text: Helena Torstensson
foto: Martina Törnemyr
The Hultsfredsfestival takes place in the Swedish small town Hultsfred and this year is it the 26th edition that is arranged here and the second year that FKP Scorpio arranges everything. This year’s festival became a success with around 17.000 sold tickets and the festival is coming closer to the goal of visitors as well as economical situation.
Thursday the 14th June is the first festival day and it started pretty calm, a lot of people seemed to be content walking around or sitting down enjoying the music. One thing that is different from last year, is that the security seems to be higher because we noticed that there were more policemen and security persons walking around the grounds.
Den Svenska Björnstammen (The Swedish Bear population in Swedish) is a Swedish band and art collaboration that consist of Dan Brännvall, Mattias Göransson, Kim Dahlberg, Ambjörn Göransson, Klas Isaksson, Peter Frisendahl and Åke Olofsson. This band sings in Swedish and their debut album ‘Classics‘ is released in 2010.
The band performed on the Blue stage, one of the two largest stages, they made a very energetic performance and got the crowd dancing around and clapping to the happy sounding music.
When they performed “Dansmusik” as the second song both band and crowd went wild.
The Gas Light Anthem is an American rock band; they released their first album ‘Sink Or Swim’ in May 2007. Band members: Brian Fallon as lead vocalist and guitar. Alex Rosamilia on guitar, backing vocals, Alex Levine on bass, guitar, backing vocals, Benny Horowith drums, percussion.
With the intro of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys “Gas Light Anthem” came onto the Green stage and delivered a pretty cool set list. I think the singer Brian Fallon could have interacted more with the audience and sometimes during the set, because it all felt a little weak. A lot of people were standing in front of the stage, but there were also a lot of people sitting down with a more laid back mood.
Blood Red Shoes is an alternative rock duo from Brighton, England formed in 2004 by Laura-May Carter on vocals and guitar and Steven Ansell on vocals and drums. Their debut album ‘Box of Secrets’ was released in 2008.
When we arrived to the White Stage there were a lot of people already there enjoying themselves to the good music.
I think Blood Red Shoes made a very good and special performance. I got the impression of them being some shy and the good response from the crowd seemed to make them very happy.
The set included a mix of songs from their two older albums and some from the latest one, like the song “Lost Kids” that I really liked. The way Steven Ansell drummed as well as sang was impressive to see and hear. He told the audience that they played at the Hultsfredsfestival four years ago at the same stage and I remember them and the good set they performed back then. The set ended with the song “I wish I Was Someone Better”.
Slash feat Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators is one of the eye-catchers of this festival edtion. Slash the famous guitarist from Guns ‘N Roses needs no further presentation. In 2010 he released his self titled debut album, it featured different vocalists like Ozzy and Myles Kennedy.
In 2011 he started the work on his second solo album; he collaborated with his touring band members Myles Kennedy (vocals & guitar), Todd Kerns (bass & vocals) and Brent Fitz (drums). ‘Apocalyptic Love‘ is released in May 2012.
The largest crowd so far today is gathered in front of the green stage, which is one of the two largest stages and waited for Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators to come. They began the set with “One Last Thrill” and it got the crowd moving.
“Ghost” is one of the songs that really impressed me during this set . I really enjoyed the feelings it awoke in the audience. After a cool “Back From Cali” Slash introduced that Todd Kerns would sing “Dr Alibi” and it is welcomed by shouts and applauds from the crowd.
This version of the song brought a lot of energy to both crowd and band. When the intro to “Sweet Child Of Mine” sets in people come running to the stage and it felt like the crowd multiplied instantly. I really enjoyed the way Myles sung and handled this song in his own way.
I was kind of looking forward to hear the brand new single “You’re A Lie” live and it is not disappointing when it came on towards the end of the set. Myles sang with a lot of feeling and the guitars created a powerful atmosphere. For the second time this evening people come rushing to the stage.
It is when “Paradise City” begins, you could tell that the audience loved this song and it all escalates in the chorus where the audience seems to impress the band. I would say that I like Myles version of this song much better than the original one.
During the set Slash got a lot of opportunity to show what a great guitarist he really is and during these solos Myles Kennedy and the rest of the band members stepped back a little.
A beautiful ending of a very dynamic start of 2012 edition of this Swedish festival!