THUNDERMOTHER ROCK THE LIVE STREAM!
Date: April 24, 2020
Venue: Studio Gröndahl (live stream via Black Box)
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
I really hope that I won’t be doing concert reviews of these live stream shows in the near future but for now, these live stream concerts are better than nothing at all and a neat way to check out some bands in a “live” setting that I would normally not get to see. As luck would have it — mostly bad luck really — there were not one, but two live stream concerts that I really wanted to check out that ended up overlapping each other. The first one that I was aware of was from Norway’s Suicide Bombers who were going to be doing a live streamed concert on April 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST. I was well aware of that live stream show since I interviewed Suicide Bombers‘ frontman Chris Damien Doll in the lead up to that event. I also knew that the Suicide Bombers‘ show would be a free one (people could donate if they wanted to) and that the live stream footage would be available for viewing afterwards.
Eventually, I also became aware that Sweden’s Thundermother were going to be doing a live stream show but alas, it was taking place on the same day as Suicide Bombers‘ live stream but starting a little earlier at 2:00 pm EST instead. Thundermother were kind of following the model set by Eclipse in that they were going to be playing at Studio Gröndahl in Stockholm, Sweden and the event would be broadcasted through the website Black Box. There was also an 8 Euro charge, which I had no problem paying. Later on, the Suicide Bombers announced that Nötorious were going to “open” for them an hour earlier so I unfortunately had to make a choice and elected to catch Thundermother‘s performance over the Norwegian glam rockers’ opening set. There was really no hesitation in picking Thundermother since all three of their albums — Rock ‘N’ Roll Disaster (2014), Road Fever (2015) and Thundermother (2018) — are fantastic and with their last one finishing at #6 on the Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2018.
Just like Eclipse‘s live streamed concert a few weeks ago, the live stream started with the Thundermother band members in a dressing room. Unfortunately, the sound was not working so there was a flurry of messages on the Black Box website about that issue. It took a little while for the issue to be rectified but by the time that the four Thundermother ladies made their way to the “stage”, the sound issue had been fixed. I must be really hungry for some live music because I got goose bumps by the time that Thundermother launched into their opening track “Give Me Some Lights.” The Thundermother ladies consisting of band founder / lead guitarist Filippa Nässil, lead vocalist Guernica Mancini, drummer Emlee Johansson and new bassist Majsan Lindberg had the same type of set up as Eclipse facing each other in kind of a circle while the camera crew usually provided video footage of one member at a time. I actually like this format better than seeing the traditional concert set up where all the band members are facing the audience.
The live stream concert really seemed to pick up when Thundermother launched into their amazing song “Revival.” Towards the end of the song, Mancini noted that this was when she would get audience participation to sing the song but this time around, she would be relying on her bandmates. Mancini‘s mannerisms throughout the broadcast really reminded me a lot of Diemonds lead vocalist Priya Panda. Mancini’s voice is to die for and I believe that Nässil mentioned during the “question and answer” session (after the main set) that she thought that the singer’s voice was better than the ones from Sebastian Bach and Ronnie James Dio. While I am not sure that I would go that far, there is no question that Mancini is one of the top female lead vocalists out there. Nässil seemed to get a few extended solos on a couple of songs such as “Hellevator” and I am still in wonder of how Thundermother went from two guitarists to one (Nässil) after the band line-up went through a major overhaul prior to the third self-titled album.
I don’t remember seeing that much of Johansson but she did make a positive impression on me when she played one of Nässil‘s guitars during the “question and answer” session (after the main set) and played a good chunk of an Iron Maiden song (I believe it was “Be Quick Or Be Dead” if I recall correctly). What struck me about new bassist Majsan Lindberg was her killer smile throughout the show and her story of how she almost passed out due to the heat at Thundermother‘s first show opening for Rose Tattoo earlier this year. I really enjoyed all of the songs played by Thundermother and even their one and only ballad “Fire In The Rain.” It was fun getting to hear Mancini sing some of the Clare Cunningham era Thundermother songs such as the Mötorhead influenced “Deal With The Devil” and the Thundermother “classic” (as per Nässil) “Shoot To Kill.” As expected, Mancini seemingly sang those songs with ease and made them hers. Not surprisingly, the setlist was heavy on Thundermother‘s last self-titled album with six tracks played from that record, two from the debut Rock ‘N’ Roll Disaster, three from their sophomore album Road Fever, one unreleased song (“Hellevator”) and two new songs (“Rock N’ Roll Heaven” and “Driving In Style”).
As Thundermother‘s set progressed, I realized that it was going to overlap into the Suicide Bombers‘ live stream so I started to go back and forth between Thundermother‘s “question and answer” session after their main set and Suicide Bombers‘ concert. Given that I didn’t know whether the video footage for Thundermother‘s live stream would be available at a later date, I ended up watching most of the “question and answer” session. I was surprised to hear that Mancini had lived for one year in California, which she described the experience as “difficult” since she had a hard time landing a job. She recalled when she was working, I believe, as an extra for the new Melrose Place television show. Eventually, the Studio Gröndahl host started pushing for one more song to be played. I was surprised to hear Nässil reply with an emphatic “no” but eventually she relented and the Thundermother band members tore through a great rendition of the song “It’s Just A Tease.”
Overall, I really enjoyed Thundermother‘s live streamed concert and hope that we get one more next month. It seemed that the Thundermother ladies were up to it! I was also surprised how I had accepted in my mind that the current version of Thundermother was “the” version of the band. Initially, I thought that I might have a hard time accepting the new line-up given that I really liked the band’s first two studio albums but the group’s third album, which includes Mancini and Johansson is ever better. In addition, I have a feeling that Thundermother‘s upcoming new album Heat Wave, which will be released on July 31, 2020 may be their best one yet based on the new songs that I have heard so far.
Thundermother’s setlist on April 24, 2020:
01. Give Me Some Lights
05. Racing On Mainstreet
07. Fire In The Rain
08. Rip Your Heart Out
09. Deal With The Devil
10. Rock N’ Roll Heaven
11. Shoot To Kill
12. Driving In Style
13. We Fight For Rock ‘N’ Roll
14. It’s Just A Tease