Greenleaf - image by Sebastian Dammark

Greenleaf – The Ritz, Manchester (10th December 2015) – LIVE REVIEW

This Greenleaf article was written by Steven Loftin, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse. Header image by Sebastian Dammark.

Doing something for fifteen years is hard for anyone, let alone being in a band. Swedish hard-rockers Greenleaf have done just that – well, sort of. They were considered a side project by creators Tommi Holappa and Bengt Bäcke back in late 1999, but they’ve now found it becoming a full time project after numerous lineup changes. On this particular occasion, they’re touring after having released 2014’s ‘Trails & Passes,’ and in preparation of 2016’s ‘Rise Above The Meadow.’

Supporting American rockers Clutch on a European tour, this is the perfect way for Greenleaf to promote themselves as well as get a feel for where they should truly play when they come back as headliners for the eventual 2016 album tour.

At a sold out gig, being the first act on is always strange territory. You’re either going to have a bigger crowd than you’re used to, or a fairly empty room. When Greenleaf took to the stage, the rom was less than a quarter full, by the time they ended, it was almost three quarters full and growing. They put on a truly incredible performance, as all artists should, be there two people or two thousand people. Lead singer Arvid Jonsson made sure to hold the growing crowd captive until the band had had their way with them. It was everything you could want from a hard rock show.

Opening with a track off the upcoming seventh record, and taking us on a ferocious tour de force through their discography, the stand out tracks came from ‘Trails and Passes’. Any band that goes through as many lineup changes as Greenleaf have will always mean that there are some differences between tracks from their different periods. Different people bring different qualities, and Arvid certainly has brought his mark. He controls everything going on around him, not in an egotistical sense, in a more natural, predatory sense; almost as if the music behind him is the soundtrack for the hunt of his prey.

With the band now a full time endeavor for all involved, 2016 should be a prospect laden year, and so it should be; dues have been paid and now it’s time for Greenleaf to come to the forefront and lead the way for many more great European hard rock bands to come through.