Bands: H.E.A.T. & Supercharger

Venue: 02 Academy, Newcastle 

Date: 17 May 2014



Much has been said about the Scandinavian rock scene and its dominance of many genres, here tonight we were treat to two sides of the Rock spectrum.  First up it was the Punk infused Hard Rock from Supercharger, the band led by frontman Mikkel Neperus delivered a set of hard hitting, no nonsense rock n' roll, with the majority of their set being taken from their third album 'Broken Hearts and Falls Apart'.

It was kick-ass rock set that was only interrupted by a technical failure mid set.

The set kicked off with 'Hold On Buddy' and from the off it was clear the band were here to have a good time.  They kept the party going like a support band should with the likes of ‘Supercharged’,  but the true reflection of the band came when the sound suddenly died and while the sound techs looked into things, the band didn’t leave the stage like some pre-Madonna rock stars would, they stayed on stage and chatted with the fans, even delving into the parentage of drummer Benjamin Funk.

With the sound sorted it was back to the high octane rock with the bluesy ‘Hung Over in Hamburg’ and the Backyard Babies influenced ‘Five Hours of Nothing’, after which Mikkel introduced the bands newest member Paul Di’anno guitarist Staffen Osertlind.

It was heads down all the way as the set closed in emphatic style with ‘Blood Red Lips’, with the icing on the cake being ‘Hell Motel’.  This was definitely how a Saturday night should be kicked off and the boys from Copenhagen set things up perfectly for the main event H.E.A.T.   

So the stage was set for Sweden’s hottest export H.E.A.T to hit the stage, and hit it they did as Glenn Frey’s 'The Heat Is On' faded out, Erik Gronwall, Eric Rivers, Jona Tee, Jimmy Jay and Crash kicked things into a high gear from the off, as they opened up the set with ‘Point Of No Return’, such an apt opener as from here on in the band totally ruled the stage.

The exuberant vocalist Gronwall really showed what a great frontman he is, really bringing the party on.  The whole venue erupted at this, absolutely invigorated by this frontman's antics on stage.

The set continued with the excellent ‘A Shot Of Redemption’, where the Newcastle crowd were in fine voice, joining in at every opportunity.

Then it was time for the band to visit the 'Address The Nation' album for ‘Better Off Alone’, keeping the rock n' roll party going, as Rivers got '1000 Miles' underway.  As live performances go, H.E.A.T. have to be one of the tightest outfits I’ve seen in a long time.  

It was back to 'Address The Nation' for the 'It's All About Tonight’, another apt song because tonight, it was all about the rock n' roll.  This is Hard Rock should be done and these crazy Swedes just kept on bringing out the big guns with ‘Inferno’ from the new album 'Tearing Down The Walls’.  By this time the crowd was going absolutely mental and I've never seen so many gentlemen of a certain age shall we say, shaking what their mama's gave them for all they were worth and with such wild abandon.  

'Inferno' was quickly followed by short intro 'The Wreckoning', which lead very nicely into the new albums title track ‘Tearing Down The Walls’.  Another song that gave the Newcastle choir an excellent opportunity to show off their pipes.  Now I know some bands can get a little tetchy with their fans if they catch them trying to video them on their phones, however it's great to see H.E.A.T. aren't one of them.  Not only did they happily mug it up for the phones and cameras pointed in their direction, but on at least 2 occasions that I saw, lead singer Gronwall actually took the phones off fans and did some close ups of the band while they were playing, as well as catching some audience participation on film before handing them back with a smile.  Oh yes, real men don't do hissy fits like little girls, they do thank you's to the people who put them up on the stage.

There was no time for idle chit chat as the rock kept on coming thick and fast, as the band ripped through the excellent ‘Mannequin Show’, with the crowd now in perfect harmony with Gronwall, even bringing in a cheeky little "HEY! HEY! HEY!" chant to proceedings.  I don’t know who was the more excited, the crowd or Gronwall, because the smile on his face would have put the Joker's to shame.  His energy on stage was just phenomenal and it was clear for all to see that this is a band who REALLY enjoy what the do (and they do it so well too).

The show continued and that’s was it was, a ROCK SHOW, with drummer Crash getting ‘Late Night Lady’ underway before the rest of the band joined the party once more, then it was back to 'Address The Nation' for 'In and Out Of Trouble’, before rounding off the set in style with ‘Beg Beg Beg’.

The band had hardly left the stage and the chants of "HEAT! HEAT! HEAT!" thundered out around run around the venue, and it wasn’t long before the band returned for a two song encore of ‘Emergency’, before rounding off one of the shows of the year with 'Danger Road’.

It’s a pity the band only had four shows in the UK this time round because if you missed them, you missed one of the finest rock acts around.  Let's hope it's not too long before they return to these shows, because next time round I'm sure they will be playing the larger of the two halls here at Newcastle, when word gets around just how good this band are live.

A special mention must also be made of the fact that the band were straight out after the show to meet and greet their fans at the merch stand, and whether you were buying anything or not, they welcomed you with open arms and a big smile.  Happily posing for photo's and signing anything that was put in front of them.  Now that's how a real band treats their fans.  Well done boys and hurry back!

Review by: Barry McMinn & Little Linda 





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