After twenty years of existence and ten years after their last trip to Australia, it was finally time for Adelaide to get a visit from Sweden’s Hardcore Superstar. They came close once, being announced as part of the 2014 Soundwave Festival line-up but after some disagreements about their time-slot, pulled out at the last minute, leaving Adelaide to miss out once again.
So finally, thanks to Silverback Touring, on this cold wintery Sunday night, Adelaide got their chance to see what all the fuss was about. These hard rock Swedes certainly have a reputation for putting on a killer live performance and the crowd who had gathered at Fowlers Live seemed very excited to finally get their chance to witness it.
Local rockers Laced in Lust were scheduled to open the night and play their last ever gig, but due to unforeseen circumstances, they weren’t able to make it so visiting Pirate-metal act Lagerstein managed to cover for them. Complete with prop pirate-ship steering wheel, songs about rum, and lots of drinking from beer bongs, their half-hour set was great fun and well received.
Next up were The Babes, another local rock act and no strangers to the Fowlers Live stage. They always look like they’re having a great time when they’re delivering their old-school rock anthems and that enthusiasm rubbed off on the crowd and provided a good warm-up for Hardcore Superstar tonight.
When the time came for the headliners to hit the stage, they hit it hard. Right from the opening track, their classic, Kick on the Upperclass, the band were a four-man bundle of energy. Frontman Jocke Berg, in particular, came out jumping and moving like a maniac and managed to keep it up for the entire set. From here the band cranked out new tune Electric Rider, from their upcoming album You Can’t Kill My Rock N Roll. This song and the couple of other new songs the band played seemed to go down just as well with the crowd as the classic songs that made up the rest of the set. As they made their way through their set of killer tunes including Dreamin’ in a Casket, Sadistic Girls and Wild Boys, the band played the intimate-sized venue like they were playing a stadium. Jocke constantly interacted with the fans in the front rows with high fives and handshakes, guitarist Vic Zino shredded on the guitar like a wild man and rhythm section Martin Sandvik (on bass) with Magnus Andreasson (behind the kit) kept it tight while looking like they were having a ball the whole time. There was only one moment in the set where the energy momentarily dropped and the band were given a chance to catch their breath. During Someone Special, an early hit, Jocke and Vic performed the song alone, in a stripped down version, which was one of the highlights of the night for me. After this, the energy levels of the set went right back up again. Other highlights were party anthem Last Call for Alcohol, complete with the band handing out trays of shots for the thirsty crowd (a tricky concept for an all-ages gig) and the last couple of songs played which were crowd-favourite We Don’t Celebrate Sundays and set-closer Above the Law, in which during the song, the crew started disassembling the stage gear as the band played on including taking away drum-stands and passing the bass drum over the heads of everyone in the crowd to the back of the room, leaving Magnus with very little kit to play by the end of the song and with Vic playing the last half of the song nice and high on top of a couple of stacked speaker cabinets.
It was a fun end to a really fun set. It may have been a cold Sunday night in Adelaide, but Hardcore Superstar definitely made it feel like a celebration at Fowlers Live on this occasion.
Review Contributed by Kym Robey