I was thrilled and anxious being aware of the fact I was gonna anticipate to my very first rockabilly festival in Rock’n’Roll Nights vol 21 in Hyvinkää city. Every genre-knowing metalhead should be aware of the fact that heavy metal owns a lot to this blues based music style which has rocked through many generations by now. Also legendary artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis were true metal maniacs in their time and their pounding rhythms have inspired many bands and genres of hard rock. Like every successful form of music, also rockabilly has given birth to many sub-genres and talented artists. And it is still very popular despite not being part of the mainstream culture. Pretty much like heavy metal. Therefore I believe a true teddyboy can be as lonely as a metalhead wearing a S.O.D. t-shirt sitting in a park.
As I entered the “teddyzone” I immediately started to wonder the same thing when attendinga metal fest; where are these people during daytime? Where do they hide ‘cause it’s a rare occasion to see such cool outfits, high hairs, boots, pinup girls and even mohawks at your work or public places. It was awesome and mind blowing to see all the guys and gals dancing around the ballroom area in their unique rockabilly style. Some ladies of the ballroom even started an improvised dance act that grew and grew when more and more people joined the pack. I kept my safety distance obviously. My feet are not made for dancing. To be honest, I was also really unsure what to wear in a proper rockabilly event so I did what I do every time having troubles choosing my outfit. I wear Slayer. I was probably the only one with a blood splattering skull shirt amongst all the greasers but no one gave a damn. I didn’t get my ass kicked in the men’s room or anything like that. Rockabilly guys and betties seem to be really open minded and their main focus is to have a great time and to show off a bit. The parking lot outside had some amazing classic American cars. It was like being in exhibition.
The happening (or probably in this case ‘FATpening’ har, har…) was organized really well andbesides there were many other bands on stage, my main focus was to catch the one and only Fatboy. I’ve been following their career from few years back ever since I heard their heart crushing ballad “Last Train Home”. Last nail to the coffin to make me a closet-greaser was their faster and more rockin’ material throughout every album.
It was already really late night when Fatboy started but the place was packed and based on the chanting it was obvious many people came to witness these Swedish rock legends. People were expecting a great show and it was hard to squeeze myself to the front row.
Fatboy played with energy and showed no mercy on their four guitar attack. The crowd got what they wanted from true classics like “Overdrive”, “This Tear Will Never Leave My Eye” and “Bad News From The Pretty Red Lips” to some new material “Cold Cold War” and “I Dont Want To Get There” which was a really good opening song for the show. During the ballad “Last Train Home” I got something to my eye and I needed to use my blood dripping Slayer shirt as a napkin… (see the performance: http://youtu.be/3aINuq1qzRU)
Members of Fatboy have played together for ages and it became quite clear during the evening they know their sh*t. Fatboy’s material is not the easiest one to perform but they had no troubles whatsoever. Even the “Kerry King of rockabilly” Hannu Kiviaho threw his guitars around and shred like a maniac. The crowd cheered and chanted along. Singer in the white outfit Thomas Pareigis sounded so solid and note-perfect I started to wonder what would Elvis do in a Fatboy show? Thomas truly is a great frontman smiling and enjoying every note he hits during the show. The drummer Marcus Källström had no troubles pounding the rockin’ rhythms for the band. He’s had a long career with bands such as Sky High and didn’t miss a hit during the night. Also Alf Östlund gave his double bass some good ol’ slammin’ and slappin’. Guitarists Jan Lissnils and Joakim Lindahl supported and fulfilled the whole band and made every song to work like a charm.
As an encore they played four songs in a row and left the audience satisfied yet maybe even a bit hungry for more. I have no doubts everyone got what they wanted, especially the band as they left the stage while the crowd was still cheering and chanting. Excellent show I say!
I was really lucky and privileged to hang around in the aftershow party with the band. We talked and shared our views about music, rock, metal, culture (and some other stuff I really can’t remember anymore) and it was clear these rockers are true music lovers and still hold on to the values of good musicianship. And they have a great sense of humour! I highly recommend to check them out once you get a chance!
– Way Down Low
– I Dont Want To Get There
– Boom Boom Boom
– Cold Cold War
– Bare Moon
– Draggin The River
– Wayward One
– Move It!
– Just Another Tragedy
– This Tear Will Never Leave My Eye
– Last Train Home
– I Break
– Busy Bee
– What Would Elvis Do?
– Knee Deep In The Blues
– Cut Me Down
– Bad News From The Pretty Red Lips