Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE)

DOKKEN / ART NATION

Date: 27th October, 2015
Venue: Sticky Fingers
Tickets: 300SEK (€30/$33)
Promoter:Triffid & Danger Concerts
Photos: Erika Wallberg


I’m actually kind of surprised that basically all shows I’ve been at Sticky Fingers lately have gotten quite some attendances. Of course, the bands have been very good but since there are many concerts during the Fall and this event was on a Tuesday my hopes for a good crowd weren’t too high.

Ok, it wasn’t until ART NATION started playing the floor filled up but that’s fine, as long as people show up. Lately, I’ve been bad at doing my homework regarding the opening acts and this was no exception with ART NATION. I’ve seen the name but that’s all; I haven’t heard a note prior to this show. A bit of a shame actually because they sounded very good. I’m not all familiar to this style of music so the comparisons I can make are some parts of PHENOMENA (the massive melodic project band managed by Mel Galley and others) and perhaps STEELHEART. So yes, we’re talking about very nice melodic Rock. The art part I’m not sure of. Even if I wasn’t familiar with the music ART NATION had a following supporting them, some in the front rows and some in the back, common was that people knew everything or basically nothing about ART NATION it seemed.

What I really enjoyed with ART NATION was their musical performance; it all sounded very clean and tidy but there was still a groove to the music, it felt alive and the oomph was there. Arty bands tend to be very sterile and forget about the Rock ’n’ Roll in the music so I was happy when this wasn’t the case for ART NATION.

The songs though didn’t get stuck the way I’d expected; vocalist Alexander Strandell has a very good voice and his performance was energetic. Of course, “I Want Out” sat its mark, but perhaps more because of the HELLOWEEN track with the same name, a good song by ART NATION too though. But the one that made the most impression was closer of the set; “Don’t Wait For Salvation” was the catchiest and now people started waking up also. ART NATION absolutely did a very good job entertaining us that Tuesday evening; still the music is a bit too soft for my taste.

ART NATION setlist:

01. “Need You To Understand”
02. “I Want Out”
03. “Start A Fire”
04. “3000 Beats”
05. “Number One”
06. “Wage War Against The World”
07. “Don’t Wait For Salvation”

ART NATION

Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Art Nation @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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It’s actually quite rare these days that I can say this is the first time I see a band - at least one who carries a history like DOKKEN. So it was with great anticipation I was looking forward to this show. The strange thing though, I thought I’d a good knowledge about this band, and had at least all their '80s albums in my collection. To my surprise, this wasn’t the case at all, it was rather sparse number of records when I checked and started to dig into the catalogue prior to the show. With this it became an even bigger surprise when I recognized and knew (pretty well also) most of the songs played during the night. It sure is an odd equation, but perhaps I have the rest on tape in some drawer at home.

The fun thing with the crowd this night was that the front row consisted of men at 40+ or very young glamsters. Ok, the whole crowd can be summarized like that if adding women at the same age standing a bit more towards the back. I actually expected a mix as it was for Sebastian Bach and SKIDROW last year. Ok, the crowds were diverse between the shows but now it was completely different again. The bands I kind of put under the same label, American pretty boys who actually released very good Heavy Metal albums (compared to a lot of other garbage coming from the MTV generation). Fun to see and I’m really happy the atmosphere was as good as it was. Of course, the band had to do with this too.

The first real crazy scream came as Don Dokken introduced “Dream Warriors” as the band’s contribution to Horror Movies. Fists started to fly and the guys in the front were screaming their lungs out. From here it was only upwards, “Breaking The Chains” and perhaps especially “The Hunter” and “Kiss Of Death” generated great response. Don perhaps don’t have all the highest notes in him but he still pulled off the songs in a very good way and when there’s backup vocals as bassist Chris McCarvill and drummer Mick Brown it doesn’t really matter. Everything sounded very good and that’s the most important.

I admit I lost track of DOKKEN in the '90s and that’s shame on me. The songs played which came out after “Back For The Attack” sounded awesome. I really liked “Too High To Fly”; good song and such an impressive guitar solo by Jon Levin. I love his attitude in playing and the solo was both cocky old school but still full of fines. Amazing!

Glancing around the venue I spotted Mikkey Dee (MOTÖRHEAD) on the balcony and immediately started wondering if he’d do a guest appearance since he is a part of the DOKKEN history. Mick was pointing at Mikkey on a few occasions, so my hopes grew. Mick sure did a fantastic job behind the kit but it’s always great to see Mikkey play since he’s one of my favorite drummers.

Something seemed messed up with the setlist though; might have had some to do with Rum and Coke, which was insinuating on a few occasions during the set. After a little riff from Jon “In My Dreams” kicked off, didn’t get that together at all, but a little later in the set Don showed Jon the setlist pointing at songs forward and back. I was a bit surprised that “In My Dreams” was a part of the main set actually, thought that would be the kick off of the encores. Of course, a song like that boosted the chants to get DOKKEN back on stage later on. For sure, they have more hits of the same caliber for the encores.

Mikkey actually came out for the last track of the evening “Paris Is Burning”, a fantastic track which became a mixture of chaos and the most fun and greatest moment of the show. Mick almost torn the stage apart trying to get his microphone away from the drums, then he almost knocked Don off stage making an obscene gesture. It was hilarious and even if the energy had been very good throughout the show, it was taken to another level with this setting. Mick is crazy, that’s for sure but he’s damn fun to watch and I’m happy he got as much space as he got. He was teasing Don on a few occasions during the show also.

So, it all sure was a great evening, such a surprise that DOKKEN floored me completely. It was fun, it was Rock ’n’ Roll, not perfect but it don’t have to be when it’s such a feel good moment.

DOKKEN setlist:

01. “Without Warning”
02. “Empire”
03. “Into The Fire”
04. “Dream Warriors”
05. “Sunless Days”
06. “Breaking The Chains”
07. “The Hunter”
08. “Kiss Of Death”
09. “Alone Again”
10. “Too High To Fly”
11. “Maddest Hatter”
12. “It's Not Love” (incl. Snippet Of “All Right Now”)
13. “In My Dreams”
14. “Tooth And Nail”
15. “This Fire”
16. “When Heaven Comes Down”
17. “Paris Is Burning”

DOKKEN

Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Dokken @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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