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Truckfighters w/ Chief @ Cactus Club

Aug. 25, 2013

Aug. 26, 2013
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The Cactus Club was packed on Sunday night for a well-anticipated show by Swedish fuzz power masters Truckfighters. Following a solid performance from the local metal trio Chief, whose classic-sounding heavy metal suggested Van Halen minus the spandex shorts and puffy hair—unless you count guitarist/lead singer Chris Tishler’s prominent chest hair—the Örebro, Sweden, headliners dominated the stage in a high-energy show that thrilled the audience.

Opening with the rolling “Desert Cruiser,” Truckfighters’ shirtless wildman and guitarist Niklas “Dango” Källgren thrashed around the stage, pogoing and mugging at the audience, leading them in rounds of hollering and throwing up the horns. He had about 10 bands worth of energy wrapped inside him, a Viking warrior of rock. This might have all been just good showmanship, but fortunately he has the skills to back it up, along with the rest of Truckfighter.  Bassist/vocalist Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm also captivated the audience. Rounding out the trio was new drummer Andre “Poncho” Kvarnström.

“So, what songs do you want to hear?” Cedermalm asked the audience. Among the call of responses was the word “Swedish!”

“You want to hear some Swedish...songs?” Cedermalm asked. “These are all Swedish songs!” Swedish, desert rock, stoner fuzz—these are all descriptors for Truckfighters. In a recent  “fuzzomentary” about the band, titled Truckfighters, they are praised by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. They’ve also been compared to desert rock outfits Kyuss and Fu Manchu, but to put it in simplest terms: they rock. The band shook the Cactus Club with intense runaway freight trains and dreamy stoned riffs like 11-minute long “Last Curfew.”

The band’s high-energy performance continued as they played material well known to the audience as well as new tracks from their soon-to-be-released EP The Chairman. “What day of the week is it?” Källgren asked the crowd, then grimaced when he heard “Sunday” in response. “Let’s pretend it’s fucking Saturday, c’mon!” he yelled. The audience was already there.

After a solid hour, the air thick with the smell of sweat, Truckfighter ended the set when Källgren and Cedermalm jumped into the crowd, allowing fans to finger tap out a crescendo on their guitars, then jumped back onstage and waved a mic stand over the screaming audience. The howls continued, demanding the band return for an encore. They band returned to play “Gargarismo” and “Mexico.”

This was one of those great shows where the enthusiasm was palpable between the band and the fans. The audience won big time by getting a chance to see Truckfighters in an intimate venue like the Cactus Club. Truckfighters took away a clear message from Milwaukee, too: keep trucking, keep fighting and please come back. 


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