Rival Sons create magic at Trädgår’n


Our guest writer Anders Larsson is a really big fan of Rival Sons. Here is his story about the band's gig at the Trädgårdsföreningen in Gothenburg yesterday.

I have had the amazing opportunity to be invited by Rockbladet  as a guest writer. That is that Fredrik Blid who have reported from most previous Rival Sons events should get a night off and just rock out!

I will try to provide as objective picture of the event which just goes to you who read this really get a nuanced and objective description of what it was … .not! This will be an extremely subjective description of my personal experiences and feelings, objectivity is for someone else to write about.

After seeing them at the Rambli’n Man Fair earlier this year is it with a rising buzz in the body I sit on the train to Gothenburg. The train is full of people to the Way Out West Festival. But what is that to the experience of the energy and to be part of the response the crowd in Gothenburg have shown Rival Sons through the years. This is documented in excellent way by Backstage Productions (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj5t9Lqa9W79UPtbCa1yQIw) on Youtube, even as bonus tracks on the latest album Great Western Valkyrie in the iTunes pre-order edition. The version of Torture from 2012, which also is on Youtube is a rooster skin experience of rank and the clip from Pustervik in Gothenburg 2014 give us a hope that it can become a DVD. The gig at Trädgår'n is sold out long ago which is understandable since it is the only gig Rival Sons is doing as a headlie in Sweden. They do a couple of more gigs in Norway before they quit The Thousand Mile Tour at Malmöfestivalen the 17th of August (http://malmofestivalen.se/program/event/3102). There it is a great opportunity to see them when it's free! ("Praise God, here comes the tax refund"). In late October  the band is returning as a support act for Deep Purple but unfortunately they do no gigs In Scandinavia. Personally, it feels as if the DP could be support to the RS. 

It is the seventh time (five times within a year), I get to experience the ecstasy Rival Sons delivers and it's still just as nervous. The next best with RS is the community that is spread on the interest groups that are online. The warmth and love that is shared globally which is in addition to all the other groups I've been in, amazing! Often creates pre-gig meets which made that I also had the privilege to meet other fans from all over Scandinavia and for Ramblin 'Man Fair, also from England and Scotland.

Gothenburg meets up with brilliant sunshine and the throng of people. In addition to the concert at Trädgårdsföreningen and Way Out West, the city has staged a Cultural Festival – Gothenburg is packed with people!

Rival Sons Fans Scandinavia had arranged a pre-gig at Grindstugan where a gang met up, I met  with a dozen there both some old but most with new Sons & Daughters. We the Rival Sons & Daughters compares the numbers of gig we’d seen, which was best, the oddest thing, and what one has accumulated. A feast for nerds and I just love it.

At about quarter to seven we start walking towards Trägår'n (the venue)  and my goal is to stand at the frontrow, again! Once we get there we see that there are some people in front of the door to the concert hall where we stand. The doors open and we take off … but what the f**k, you should have a stamp on our arm…? Then we have to hurry to the gate and show the ticket to get a stamp, we almost scared the girl at the gate to death . 30 seconds later, we are inside and in front of the fence, puh! The place is right in front of Mr. Fuzz Lord (Scott Holiday) himself. This means that I do not have the supervision of Dave and Todd as I had wished. But they delivered all night!
Gravel Tones is support act here in Gothenburg and I had not heard before. The Gravetones starts just after 20 o’clock. Some of the other people there said that they would be unbelievably good live. I will not deny that they did what they could. Jimmy O (guitar), one can only compare with the way Keith Moon would have looked like if he played the guitar, Mikey Sorbello (drums) pounded skins so the wood whirled, I think he broke at least 4 sticks during the 30 minutes they played. I still have to admit that after a few songs I could not resist the frenzy they convey of only two men. It also seemed that the enery of the audience started to rise. A great tribute to Jimmy and Mikey, who came to sign their albums after the show.

When Gravel Tones had finished and the instruments been removed, the atmosphere began to thicken.  Not only because it was sold out, and hot. You could also feel the expectation from the audience. Where I stood the evening's focus was to give everything for the band in front of the stage.

Shortly after 21 starts the music from The Good, Bad and the Ugly started to play and the roar of the crowd made me go through the roof it seemed that even the band was taken aback. It appeared that Rival Sons were tagged for this show and the will to jam in some songs really showed it. When Scotts riff starts Electric Man, it was like someone hit a switch; everyone sang, jumped and gave everything. They continued with Good Luck, one of my favorites from the last album.  They push on with Secret, which feels black and dark on the album Great Western Valkyrie with Jay's distorted vocal, feels more positive live. It must be that the band can’t curb their energy on stage. Throughout the concert, it feels as though everyone in the audience know the lyrics, everybody sings in everything from Pressure & Time To Manifest Destiny Pt. 1 (incredibly jam) and Torture. The latter is always easy to see when it's time for when Scott puts on his little red.  The power in the response from the crowd is overwhelming and lifts the ceiling at Trägårn. The Torturechant never stops and will come back in principle in each every gap between songs as an tribute to the band from the fans. Jay directs us to lower our voices so about 1200 people whispering the chant it’s pure magic! After the song  Jay give the audience in Gothenburg cred as it was during the band's first gig here that the chant first emerged.  And when they hear the crowds do it wherever in the world they play Torture it reminds them of Gothenburg .

Jay introduces Where I've Been to us as a song to all of us who have hurt someone sometime. The song is one long pleasure, it's hard not to just close your eyes and swing away. I totally love it and have done ever since I heard it performed acoustically by Jay and Scott in the little record store Sound Pollution in Old Town in Stockholm at Record Store Day 2014. Rich And The Poor, what to say, the singalong reaches new heights, and now it feels as if we and the band starts to become one.

Face Of Light (Jay dedicates this to his son) becomes a hymn with a extended jam  or was it just an amazing solo by Scott. As you can see I'm just a jumble of impressions and expressions. If no previously have their eyes opened Open My Eyes will, and the singalong is uncompromising. Somewhere in the end Mikey get to show off in an impressive drum solo where he looses himself on his new drum set. I have Jay and Scott in front of me during the solo where Jay has a towel over his head while he chitchats with Scott. Both smiling and nodding toward Mike and it looks like they say "let the kid play."

The band seems to be more focused and energetic tonight than when I saw them at Ramblin' Man Fair (yes, I know that one should not compare gigs at festivals with club gigs). They end the main set with Keep On Swinging, I have written that the roof has been lifted but now it flew out into space. Everyone gives everything and we are a single RS-porridge. We boil in front of the stage, the band boil at the stage and the stew that Trädgår'n has become is steaming hot and spiced with chili. I think that once they quit, they do it a little early and that their set today feels a bit unnecessary short (as a fan you want so much more). But it does not matter when the crowd raise their voice and the guys come back and give us a looong version of Get What's Coming, they seem to be in excellent jamming mood tonight. Afterwards, we are still standing empty in energy but high on the experience.  What I heard in the wings was that the feeling was mutual. Rival sons had given everything they had. A special thanks to Todd who came out after a while and had a chitchat, he is a fun dude.

As I sit on the train home and make my summary of the evening is that it was magic when band and crowd could raise each other to new heights. Thanks to you all Rival Sons & Daughters  I had the privilege to meet and experience this with. It makes me feel both touched and happy.

In front of the Stage! Note acting my age!

TEXT: Anders Larsson (bongosson@gmail.com)
PHOTO: Cathrin Linné (cathrin.linne@rockbladet.se)
DATE: 2015-08-13
ARENA: Trädgårdsföreningen, Gothenburg
BESTRich And The Poor
WORST: Too short set.




Electric Man
Good Luck
Pressure and Time  
Manifest Destiny, Part 1
Face Of Light/SacredTounge 
Rich and the Poor 
Where I've Been 
Open My Eyes
Keep On Swinging 
Get What's Coming 


Jay Buchanan – Vocals
Scott Holiday – Guitar
Mike Miley – Drums
David Beste – Bass 

2009 – Before the Fire
2011 – Pressure & Time
2011 – Rival Sons (EP)
2012 – Head Down
2014 – Great Western Valkyrie

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