Crashdiet don’t do anything in small doses. They have big hair, a big guitar noise and big energy on stage.
To kick things off there is smoke, lights and noise. Guitarist Martin Sweet and bassist Peter London stand within the cloud of dry ice created by two big barrels, backs to the crowd as they wait for their leader and general Simon Cruz to swagger onto the stage.
Cruz has the stage presence and charisma that is essential if you’re going to pull off a massive blue Mohawk and one big hoop earring. He patrols the stage like a drill sergeant , thrusting his guitar in out front as he lets fans scream the words back at him.
The wide range of people packing the Academy is a clear indication that the genre of Glam Metal is alive and kicking. There are old rockers, young metal heads and 20-somethings, all joined together in their mutual appreciation for this Swedish quartet.
Glam Metal carries with it plenty of stereotypes and, of course, one of them is that all three guitar players should come together, shoulder-to-shoulder in the ultimate show of metal fellowship. Something that Crashdiet are all too pleased to provide.
There is plenty to keep fans of their older work, as well as those newly recruited rockers, entertained as the band work their way through a back catalogue that includes the favourite as well as songs such as Anarchy from their latest album The Savage Playground.
One of the biggest songs of the night was Cocaine Cowboy, which showcased the variety of sound that Crashdiet are starting to bring into the music. The harmonica and guitar at the start are reminiscent of southern rock, while the malfunctioning microphone doesn’t even stop the flow of the song. Cruz doesn’t need to sing – the crowd does that for him.
And, of course, no metal concert would be complete without a stage dive, which Cruz gladly provides.
They might not win any prizes for longevity, but that doesn’t matter. Crashdiet are all about living in the here and now, not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow but focusing on the moment.