Uploaded to Aural Innovations: September 2005
I was lucky enough to get to be a special guest with WE and travel up to the North of Norway for two pretty cool festivals. Sjonstock is held in a pretty remote place. We had to fly 1½ hours from Oslo to Bodø (pronounced Bu-dah) and then pack all the stuff in a bus and drive 3½ hours to Moi- Rana and the hotel, then in a smaller bus and drive 45 minutes along the fjord out into the wilderness. Suddenly, after nothing for miles, there were a few thousand people all partying like mad. The Hoovers were a semi-local three piece band and they only attracted a few people and played basic hard rock and roll. They had a couple of more heavy numbers. WE was next and the place started to fill up but not nearly as many people as when TNT played at 11. The sky was totally amazing when WE played with the clouds changing all the time over the mountains. Anyway, WE played the standard set they have been sticking to for half a year now but damn it rocks! They opened up with Lucid into Lightyears Ahead. Thomas is a master at working the audience and just pulls the people into the ROCK. The set sticks heavily to the new CD Smugglers (Sulphur Roast Stomp, Wroom, Cosmic Biker R&R, and Catch Electrique). The band really rocked out with Cherry Red by the Groundhogs. The end of the show was great with the long Smugglers and Freak Capital of the Universe. The band came back for an encore and played their hit, Carefree. Great set.
The Supersuckers were the only international band on this day (tomorrow the 5,6,7 8's (Japan) and 22 PistePirkko (Finland) were playing along with Madragada, Kurt Nielsen and a few other Norwegian bands). The Supersuckers are a long running US indie rock band. I had never heard them but damn they are a great band. High energy rock and roll with two jamming guitars and an ass kicking drummer! The crowd really seemed to like them a lot. They were really surprised as was I at just how light it is at this time of night up here. Supersuckers kicked out the jams for about and hour and I hung out with them a bit. Next up was TNT, the only 80's heavy metal band who is making a comeback these days in Norway. I missed them at Sweden Rock Festival last year. Wow… this was a blow back to 80's metal for sure. The guitar player was a ripper and totally played some cool stuff. And the American singer, he could really belt it out and had a great voice. I did not know any of the songs but the crowd really loved it. I left with the Supersuckers to go back to the hotel as the next ride would not be for 2 hours and it was 12:45 now and we had to leave for Tromsø at 8 for the 3½ hr drive to Bodø. Therefore, I did not see Ralph Meyers. It was a great little festival in a special place and the people got totally wild late at night. Thomas from WE was even signing tits!
For more information you can visit the Sjonstock Festival web site at: http://www.sjonstock.no.
Reviewed by Scott Heller