I blame myself for not having followed the work of Skid Row in so long but let’s face it: I was expecting so much more. I knew already that the tunes post-Bach are not comparable to classic hits like I Remember You or even Slave To The Grind but I thought I wouldn’t hear much difference in their live performance from the album I played so many times when I was a teenager- and yet I did. I possibly shouldn’t be so harsh on a band that doesn’t have the following they used to. We are talking about a hard rock band from a grunge era, so already born in a difficult historical time for the genre. Still, They could have played harder, and in general, as many bands decide to do, create another project without disturbing the memory of such an important band of the late ’80s and early ’90s.
All considered the show was enjoyable and the supporting bands tried their best to entertain the public- I have to say, not all of them succeeded.
The first ensemble on stage, Vega, were very active and positive but their sound was nothing original or different from an old Bon Jovi record and absolutely not at the same level. They played well though, the crowd was responding to their every shout and the tunes were danceable.
As the second supporter, Swedish H.E.A.T. took the stage in a moment when a lot more people walked through the door of O2 Ritz. Again, not the most creative pieces but it’s undeniable that they put on a good show, even considering big technical difficulties with the keyboards that had to be pull apart and assembled again. The main source of fun was the singer Erik Grönwall who was impossible to stop from moving, flirting with the public and spit everywhere on the stage. Particularly disturbing was his try of spitting in the air and catch his own saliva with his hand as the exit notes played.
However, the most entertaining, catchy and overall memorable band of the night was without doubt Backyard Babies. Another fellow Swedish creation, their hard rock was clear and direct. All the members seemed to have a great time onstage and, especially guitarist Dregen, maintained an open conversation with the adoring fans throughout the whole performance. The musical group has a big following and it was notable how a lot of people moved upto to the stage as soon as they approached. I fell in love with this band.
Skid Row have been on my bucket list since I was 18 and I’m glad I had the chance to watch them once, but the night can be considered a success because of Backyard Babies. Their energy, memorable riffs, the song Highlights still pulsing in my head is the proof that hard rock is not dead, sometimes it’s just hidden far away but if you keep your ear open and ready, it’s gonna find you when you least expect.