The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Hardcore Superstar, Crashdiet LIVE Dark Decadance Tour 2011




By Aaron Delbono


I was first introduced to Hardcore Superstar & Crashdiet in 2008, and ever since had hoped to see them perform in the USA. This year I grew impatient and decided to celebrate my 40th birthday by going to THEM. I was lucky enough to catch not one, but two shows on the Dark Decadence Tour - the first at the Electric Ballroom in London, UK and the next at Trix in Antwerp, Belgium.




It was a short walk from our hotel to the venue (actually located in Camden - a funky, punky area that Evil & I took to right away) and the queue was half a block long. Fortunately it moved quickly and after securing my credentials we ventured inside. I wasn't expecting much more than a small club based on the entrance, but it turned out to be quite large - close to 1000 capacity & a big stage with ample room up front to shoot (first 3 songs only - typical).



Usually the first band up doesn't have much of a crowd, but when Crashdiet hit the stage with "Down with the Dust" from their latest release Generation Wild, the place was almost completely full and rocking! There was very little talk from vocalist Simon Cruz as it seemed the gig was a precursor to the Friday "club night" being held afterward. Unfortunately, Crashdiet’s set was all of 6 songs, clocked in at 25 minutes, and the other sets would be shortened as well.



(Down with the Dust, So Alive, Riot in Everyone, Native Nature, Breakin' the Chainz, Generation Wild)



This tour was advertised as a "co-headlining" affair with Hardcore Superstar & 69 Eyes alternating as headliners, but since 69 Eyes didn't perform the two nights previous, they are playing last not only tonight but tomorrow in Antwerpen (which I will get to shortly). This doesn't bother us in the least as neither of us are 69 Eyes fans...and its apparent quite a few others aren't either.



"Dance the Night Away" by Van Halen announces the arrival of Hardcore Superstar to the stage and I'm jacked. I haven't been this excited to shoot a band since Scorpions at Rock N America last July. A quick hello from vocalist Jocke Berg and HCSS tears into "Sadistic Girls" from 2010 release Split Your Lip, then asks everyone "who the FUCK are you?!?" during "Guestlist". Just like with Crashdiet, things are rushed along to fit in as much music as possible, which I am thankful for - I didn't fly 6,000 miles to hear witty stage banter. They slow things for quasi-ballad "Here Comes That Sick Bitch" before kicking us squarely in the mouth again with "Wild Boys". By this time, Evil & I had moved upstairs so she could see (how come all the tall guys stand RIGHT in front of her?!?) and get some video. Jocke then summoned a delicious young lady from the front row to join him & the band onstage to sing "Last Call of Alcohol" before finishing the 60 minute set with "We Don't Celebrate Sundays".



Hardcore’s sound & stage presence is top notch, and I’m quite happy to finally see two of my favorite bands, but something is missing and I can't quite put my finger on it. I hope they find whatever ‘it’ is on the trip to Antwerpen….


(Sadistic Girls, Guestlist, Situation, My Good Reputation, Dreamin' in a Casket, Here Comes That Sick Bitch, Wild Boys, Last Call, Moonshine, Someone Special, We Don't Celebrate Sundays)




By the time we left out hotel, I had a pretty good idea how to get to the club – except for which trolley stop to take. Luckily a group of leather-clad, long haired kids got on a few stops after we did, so I figured it was a safe bet just to follow them. Evil & I struck up a conversation after exiting the trolley talking about our trip and the next thing I knew, we were all sprinting across a divided highway and over a concrete barrier to get to the gig! Rock & roll baby!! Never a dull moment…



We survived and ventured up the stairs into a much smaller venue than the one in London – maybe 300 person capacity and a stage roughly 2 feet high. I can already tell its going to be a challenge for ME to see, let alone Evil. We barely entered the club and the lights went down….Crashdiet time!! I heard some rumors that the set times had been lengthened for tonight’s show from a Facebook page entitled “More Stagetime for Crashdiet at Dark Decadence Tour” (gotta love the fans & social networking) and it turned out to be true….40 minutes of sleazy bliss, enough time for three more songs than last night including the one I wanted most, “Queen Obscene/69 Shots”. I don’t know what it is about small, sweaty clubs – they just bring out the best in a band, and Crashdiet freaking KILLED it. This is a VERY good sign….



(Down with the Dust, So Alive, Riot in Everyone, Native Nature, Queen Obscene/69 Shots, Rebel, ????, Breakin' the Chainz, Generation Wild)


We staked out a spot stage left second row just behind some short females – not only so Evil could see, but I was shooting from the crowd and knew any advantage I could get now would pay off later (little did I know HOW well!). I wanted to get some killer shots – but with that said, I didn’t come all this way NOT to put the camera away and just rock out!



Every so often, all the forces of life and rock & roll come together to create a rare atmosphere for a gig….and that’s what I experienced on this night. When Hardcore Superstar hit the stage, I found the perfect balance of focus, intensity and passion for the music to not only capture some amazing images, but to immerse myself in the entire spectacle. Maybe it was just me, and I haven’t seen HCSS perform on a big festival stage (yet….hello Rock n America?!?!?), but like Crashdiet earlier, they were simply BETTER than last night. We all seemed to have found ‘it’ on the trip to Antwerpen…the band was simply AMAZING and the sold-out crowd loved it!!



With an extra 15 minutes (YES!!), it didn’t take long for the set to change from London – the title track to Split Your Lip and “Liberation” from Bad Sneakers and a Pina Colada followed openers “Sadistic Girls” & “Guestlist”. We were also treated to “Into Debauchery”, “Last Forever” and “Bag on your Head”. I hoped to hear “Simple Man” from their self-titled 2005 release, but how could I be disappointed? Hardcore was, as I like to say (credit Henry Rollins), “breaking the audience into little, tiny pieces”. It simply couldn’t get any better….until set-closer “Last Call for Alcohol” began and I somehow found my sweat-soaked ass onstage!! Jocke was asking for volunteers and inexplicably I was the only one jumping up & screaming (behind the short females…I told you it would pay off!) It was the ultimate experience for a live music fan – I was onstage with arguably my favorite band singing …OK, screaming…the chorus as loud as I possibly could. I performed admirably, but made a hasty exit and I was kicking myself afterward for not staying up there longer. We were then treated to a triple encore of “Moonshine”, “Someone Special” and of course “Sundays”, which I thoroughly enjoyed with reckless abandon (apologies to anyone I may have stepped on as I was jumping).



We didn’t even bother to hang around for The 69 Eyes. I was drenched in sweat, completely exhausted…and so jacked up on adrenaline we sat in the hotel lobby eating pizza (thank goodness for 24 hour restaurants), drinking free beer and basking in the afterglow of a truly orgasmic musical experience.



Got a cigarette?


(Sadistic Girls, Guestlist, Split Your Lip, Liberation, My Good Reputation, Wild Boys, Into Debauchery, Dreamin' in a Casket, Bully, Here Comes That Sick Bitch, Last Forever, Bag On Your Head, Last Call – Encores: Moonshine, Someone Special, We Don't Celebrate Sundays)