Saxon, Dirty Passion at Mejeriet (2010)

Mejeriet (Lund, Sweden)

Saxon, Dirty Passion
It's quite fascinating how a band can entice still when I've seen them over thirty […]
By Erika Wallberg
March 26, 2010

It's quite fascinating how a band can entice still when I've seen them over thirty times already. I sure as hell was as excited to see SAXON this time, even more maybe than 5-10 years back. There's a good reason for that. But first, the openers of the evening, DIRTY PASSION. The things I've seen about them didn't really tickle my senses, all these new hair-spray bands that try to be bad boys have gotten tiring the last couple of years. I admit I should have done my homework better though but I guess it's never too late to learn. DIRTY PASSION is absolutely more NWOBHM, the little softer kind though. DEF LEPPARD feels like a good reference, the era when they started getting soft but still played Rock 'N' Roll. They did really alright getting the crowd started but they had a hard job.

Not many of the old SAXON fans paid any attention to them really. The bar was more crowded than the venue. The thing with them though, even if everything sounded good, good melodies in the songs and nice hit potential in the music, easy to sing a long to all songs were too much the same and everything was in the same laid back tempo. I don't really mind mid tempo Metal but to keep peoples interest for a little more than half an hour you need to have something sticking out. Still DIRTY PASSION was fairly interesting so they should be worth checking out.

DIRTY PASSION setlist:

  1. "Liar"
  2. "Baby's Got No Say"
  3. "D.O.A"
  4. "Killing My Dreams"
  5. "Rockin' In The Night"
  6. "Self-Destructive"
  7. "I'm To Blame"
  8. "Stand Up"
  9. "2 Young 2 Die"

That SAXON would do another great concert there was no doubt about that. Unfortunately, their high quality has spoiled the crowd. Everyone counts on yet another excellent performance. The crowd could absolutely have done more to support them, could have been louder. It seems a little bit like the Swedish crowds have gotten lazy the last couple of years. At Klubben it's understandable that people doesn't have the energy to scream after over two hours of SAXON live experience ("Killing Ground" and "Lionheart"-tours) but here, there was still oxygen left in the venue they absolutely should have been louder. SAXON did what they normally do, rocked the hell out of the place. I've never seen them even being the least out of shape and it's really amazing how they can find the inspiration and energy to come back year after year. I mean, they don't have the same privilege of comfort as IRON MAIDEN still they've been around as long as they have. SAXON is also one of the few bands that have managed to stick to their roots over the years but still produce amazing albums that never felt old. Even their more confused period at the end of the 80's holds really high class and then, from mid 90's they've put out album after album that's absolutely top notch. Just take "Witchfinder General", it feels like you've been overran by a steamroller when they play that song live and it's the same with "20 000 Feet". And then, the complete opposite, super heavy, "The Eagle Has Landed". Even if they didn't bring the little birdie this time the heat from the lights could almost be felt during that song, that's how good everything sounded. The eagle is one of the coolest stage props in the Metal world and it's a little bit of a shame they can't use it every night. Not that SAXON needs any special effects to deliver an amazing show.

This concert was a little bit odd though, Nibbs Carter had to sit out the tour and Yenz Leonhardt (KINGDOME COME, LACRIMOSA etc) filled his spot. I must say he did a really good job but even if Nibbs is just a bass player it was very strange to see SAXON without him. He has a very special way of playing and his stage presence is something else, his side of the stage felt sort of empty this time. The only thing to complain about with this concert is that it felt like SAXON was in a hurry to get going to the next gig. Mainly because the time of the gig was changed but also since a normal ending includes a soaking Biff who walks from corner to corner of the stage, smiling and nagging the crowd who has no reason being tired according to the singer at least. And of course with the security giving him the evil eye and point to the watches and shaking their heads when Biff announces yet another song.

In the end SAXON normally is forced off stage a bit after curfew. Now we had to settle for about 100 minutes, a lot more than most other bands give for a headline show, still less than an ordinary SAXON concert but again they delivered a great show with a lot of the expected classic songs, a few new ones and some really special treats, the "Warrior" / "Battle Cry" / "Sixth Form Girls" / "Man And Machine" -medley was very nice. That's another thing that makes it worth going out to see SAXON time after time. Sure, they will put on a great performance and there's always some small surprise added to the show each time.

SAXON setlist:

  1. "Battalions Of Steel"
  2. "Heavy Metal Thunder"
  3. "Live To Rock"
  4. "Motorcycle Man"
  5. "Requiem"
  6. "Witchfinder General"
  7. "Metalhead"
  8. "The Eagle Has Landed"
  9. "Warrior" / "Battle Cry" / "Sixth Form Girls" / "Man And Machine" / "Battle Cry"
  10. "To Hell And Back Again"
  11. "Strong Arm Of The Law"
  12. "Broken Heroes"
  13. "20 000 Feet"
  14. "747 (Strangers In The Night)"
  15. "Princess Of The Night"
  16. Doug Solo
  17. "Wheels Of Steel"
  18. "Crusader"
  19. "Denim And Leather"

(photos by 'denim and leather' Erika)

DIRTY PASSION

SAXON

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