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Backyard Babies interview 

Backyard Babies
Submitted by Criss Sexx on 2018-04-01
Backyard Babies - Live at Manifesto Bar, São Paulo, Brazil, March 25th, 2018

I got to know about Backyard Babies when they released their "Making Enemies Is Good" album. They were news to me back then and I had never heard from them before. They were going to play a show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and some local newspapers published a picture of the band on which one of the band members was wearing a Mötley Crüe t-shirt. Then I thought "I have to check these guys out..."... I bought their "Total 13" and "Making Enemies Is Good" albums and I was blown away! They weren't exactly the type of band I would usually listen to due to their half punk rock / half glam rock sound... but it was undeniable that these guys had something special. I went to the Backyard Babies gig in this small and stinky club in Rio - even though the venue sucked, they kicked some serious ass, met them quickly and, needless to say, they had made one more loyal fan here! Later on, I made sure I had all of their albums, but I wondered if I would ever see them live again.

 

In early 2018, It was announced that Backyard Babies would play in Brazil, this time only one date, in São Paulo. I made sure I got an interview with singer Nicke Borg (link here - http://www.melodic.net/?page=interview&id=487 ) and I couldn't wait to catch them live one more time!

Criss Sexx

After the interview with Nicke (he was one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure to meet), and meeting the other guys in the band, I was even more excited to catch them live for the second time... After waiting for quite a few hours (I was unaware of the wait I would have to go through - there was even this grunge / Slipknot kind of opening act who I prefer not to comment on, who wasn’t even announced when the gig was...), Backyard Babies finally hit the stage. And I'll tell you what... they were a much, much better band live than the first time I saw them. I am only sorry I couldn’t take any decent pictures to illustrate this review, since the venue was kind of small... and packed!!!

 

They came onstage while this playback intro was being played, some kind of Swedish folk song, if I am right. I guess I will remember this scene forever - the four guys in Backyard Babies looked like four totally different personas - singer Nicke Borg, the biker, bassist Johan Blomqvist, the rockstar, drummer Peder Carlsson, with these long tresses looking like a character from a movie, and guitarist Dregen, the evil dwarf, wearing these pant suspenders and this beret (he looked freaking cool as always!). Well, Kiss surely has made their mark after all, LOL - and yes, that is surely a compliment.

 

Backyard Babies got started with "Made Me Madman", literally rocking the house down. The band was so full of energy that even when bassist Johan Blomqvist's bass guitar strap fell, and graciously put back by their roadie, nobody could feel any difference... The band sounded like a loud, furious bulldozer - and hell, that was an awesome start! "UFO Romeo" and "Dysfunctional Professional" came next and, since they seemed to have put a setlist to mean business, the crowd really went insane. If that wasn't enough, the songs which followed, "The Clash" and "Brand New Hate", off their most popular album in Brazil, "Making Enemies Is Good", were sung by every single soul who was there. Having watched them live more than 15 years ago, seeing that Backyard Babies have become way better musicians, but with the same energy and attitute, was quite worth the wait to see them again this second time around.

 

That was when singer Nicke Borg talked about their coming back to Brazil after so many years. Yes, he said that it had been around 15, 16 years ago. That's a very long time indeed. But no matter how long it took them to make it to Brazil again, they went on with their great set, now with the great song "Abandon", off their self-titled album. Nicke Borg said it was the first time they were playing that song differently, in an electric version. That sounded killer!!! I guess that's also worth repeating myself saying that the whole band - Nicke Borg (lead vocals and guitar), Dregen (lead guitar and vocals), Johan Blomqvist (bass) and Peder Carlsson (drums) have indeed become great musicians, not just the regular punk rock bando ne would expect, other than the awesome performers I had watched over a decade and a half ago.

 

For those who were not that familiar with more recent Backyard Babies material, the next song, "Highlights", also from the "Total 13" album, was another highlight - no puns intended. Such a great, classic song of the band just couldn't be out of the set. What came next was another classic, "A Song For The Outcast", from the great "Stockholm Syndrome" album (one of my personal favorite Dregen's guitar solos on this one). It was great seeing the band playing these hit songs in a row, since the crowd wouldn't stop singing along and rocking to the band's repertoire. That was a wonderful setlist for sure! "Heaven 2.9", also from the "Making Enemies Is Good" album,  was a nice surprise!!!

 

To be honest, what was missing then was something from their last album, "Four By Four". Whenever I go to a concert, I really like to check the new songs of bands live. I was feeling that they might not play anything from that album... and then they did the great "I'm On My Way To Save Your Rock 'N' Roll" to have my mouth shut. Well, all I can say is that this isn't only one of the best songs off the last album, but also that it kicked some serious ass live, just like any other Backyard Babies classic song!!! Talk about classics... "Painkiller" came next and one can guess how crazy it was... Nobody can ever deny the energy and the songwriting skills of this band. Backyard Babies has been around for around 30 years now and they've built a legacy of their own. "Star War", another song off the "Making Enemies" album, this time showing Dregen not only as a great guitarist of his style, but also as a very good, fun and charismatic lead singer... Classics, classics, classics... Need one more? We then had "Ghetto You", another hit song by the band. I don't think there was one single person at the venue that wasn't happy for spending their hard-earned Money to be there - witnessing Backyard Babies at this show was something really memorable. Another song from "Total 13", "Bombed (Out Of My Mind)" closed the first part of the set, leaving fans hungry for more.

 

As any other band, Backyard Babies wouldn't be done without a great encore for sure. To my surprise, there was another song off "Four By Four", its opening track, the fabulous "Th1rt3en Or Nothing". I consider it one of the best tunes Backyard Babies have ever recorded. Peder's drum work on it is something special, and the song itself... Well... Amazing! Then they did "Nomadic", another one from their self-titled album. Such a great one as well!

 

Needless to say people were expecting their two biggest songs, and Backyard Babies was not to disappoint their fans! The hit "Minus Celsius" sounded like a loud kick in the butt - well, that's what they do best, right? Again, It was hard not to be pleased! And then, of course, the 'grand finale'... The gentlemen in question did the classic "Look At You", which ended the party in such a great way. Predictable? Maybe... but who said Rock And Roll should be more than that, more than sheer fun?

 

They didn't play two of my favorite songs of theirs (well, that always happens to me, LOL), "Payback" and "Fuck Off And Die"... but if I said I was any disappointed because of their not playing them, I would be brutally unfair... That was an amazing show all the way!

 

Enjoying what Backyard Babies do or not, one thing is for sure: it's hard to find a band that can deliver such a great show like that. I guess the only thing that must be said (and repeated over and over) is that we all here in Brazil shouldn’t have to wait another 15 or 16 years to see this great band again... Hats off to one of the best Swedish Rock And Roll bands ever - Backyard Babies!!!

 

Here are some amateur videos from that night:

 

“Dysfunctional Professional” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1sIeW07Py0

 

"Highlights" -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyN_HS0LhDs

 

“Painkiller” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Taee5cumjHc

 

“Nomadic” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQA63DRx9v4

 

“Minus Celsius” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lFBsJzY-10

 

Setlist:

 

01 - "Intro"

02 - "Made Me Madman"

03 - "UFO Romeo"

04 - "Dysfunctional Professional"

05 - "The Clash"

06 - "Brand New Hate"

07 - "Abandon"

08 - "Highlights"

09 - "A Song For The Outcast"

10 - "Heaven 2.9"

11 - "I'm On My Way To Save Your Rock 'N' Roll"

12 - "Painkiller"

13 - "Star War"

13 - "Ghetto You"

14 - "Bombed (Out Of My Mind)"

ENCORE

15 - "Th1rt3en Or Nothing"

16 - "Nomadic"

17 - "Minus Celsius"

18 - "Look At You"


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