Bloodstock 2016: Saturday

Saturday morning and I wake up having gone to bed about 12:30 thus missing another night of bin jousting and general mayhem. It was on this morning I discovered the advantage of going to a festival for the full three days as opposed to only going for one day. When you only go for the one day, you feel pressured into seeing as much as you can as you want to get your money’s worth for the day. Therefore, you go from stage to stage absorbing all the acts as possible. When you go for three days, there’s not so much pressure to do so and that allows you to relax. So, I was up in the morning with my new Twisted Sister t-shirt on and taking my time over eating as the first act I really wanted to see wasn’t on stage until the early afternoon.

My new t-shirt

My new t-shirt

And the back

And the back

While I didn’t rush to get into the arena, when I finished the necessities, I didn’t really want to sit around doing nothing. So, I made my way to the arena to see what was what. Upon entry, my attention was turned to the Sophie Lancaster Stage where a band called The Raven Age was on. After a re-jog of my memory, I remember liking their brand of melodic metal. I only caught the last couple of songs from their set, but I liked what I heard and saw. Like Friday, I found another good way to start the day.

The Raven Age

The Raven Age

Leaving the Sophie Lancaster Stage following the departure of The Raven Age, I followed my ears to the main Ronnie James Dio Stage. There, I was treated to the thrash of Vallenfyre. I liked the anger and hunger these five guys showed while on stage. Although this wasn’t the band I was planning to see, I was glad that I caught some of their show.

Vallenfyre accosting the stage

Vallenfyre accosting the stage

With some time to kill, I thought I’d saunter back over the to Sophie Lancaster Stage. Upon it was a band called This is Turin. Another five piece thrash band and even more angry than the band I had just finished seeing. However, while I enjoyed what This is Turin had to offer on the day, they did not make me want to stay and miss any of the band I wanted to see on this Saturday. So, I had to say goodbye to them and head back to the main stage.

This is Turin

This is Turin

I had high expectation of Ackercoke after reading about them on Heavy Metal Overload. The sample track I heard from the post filled me with even more expectation. When they first hit the stage, I wasn’t sure about them. However, it didn’t take long before any potential feelings of disappointment rapidly vanished. Their ability to combine fantasy with power metal bordering on thrash soon captivated me and those who went to see them. Being the first band of the day who I saw in their entirety, the forty minutes they were on stage flew by, thanks to some great metal. Therefore, it’s left to me to say a big thank you to HMO for bringing Ackercoke to my attention.

Ackercoke on the offensive

Ackercoke on the offensive

More Ackercoke

More Ackercoke

At past Bloodstocks, when I ventured past the Jagermeister Stage, I would hear cover bands playing so I wouldn’t pay much attention to them. However, following the exit of Ackercoke, for some reason, I went over to the stage and what I heard was no cover band. Playing was a West Yorkshire band known as Pulverise. Now rap metal was something I could always take or leave but Pulverise has made me think again about the genre. This rap metal sounded very good and most of it was down to the small but very attractive blonde lead singer. This little dynamite had a voice that would put many male metal rappers to shame. Rarely have I heard such power in a voice and I have to say, I was very impressed.

This was the best shot I could get of Pulverise

This was the best shot I could get of Pulverise

Another reason why I hung around the Jagermeister Stage was that it was close to the main stage and I definitely wanted to see the band following Ackerocke. I had heard many things about Greek death metallers Rotting Christ and definitely wanted to check them out. It was the best decision I would make this day. The have honed their death/grind skills into a near art form and it definitely showed on the stage. Apart from the music, they also had a cool stage show, the best I had seen up to this point on the Saturday. Loved the pentogram displays.

Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ

More death!

More death!

For some reason, all the death metal from Rotting Christ made me hungry. So, I decided to take a dinner break and be back for the main events of the night. After a gourmet dinner consisting of tinned spaghetti bolognese with a tin of meatballs, I returned to the arena for the main events. Upon arrival, I managed to catch the last twenty minutes or so of Paradise Lost. Their version of doom metal was a great prelude of things to come for the rest of the evening.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

With the possible exception of Twisted Sister, Gojira might have been the band most of those in attendance at the festival were there to see. Fortunately, I managed to get close to the front before the tidal wave of people converged. Gojira came out to the delight of the thousands there to welcome them and they were determined that those who made the effort to see them were going away disappointed. Gojira hammered out their metal, both old and new, to the hungry masses who responded with a large mosh pit and crowd surfing. That’s where I made a personal sacrifice in getting close to them. During the carnage, my glasses were knocked off my face. I looked on the ground for them but some kind young lady picked them up. However, she thought they belonged to a crowd surfer who had just gone by so she threw them over into the security area. I had to wait until Gojira finished playing before I could get them back. Oh the sacrifices one has to make. It didn’t matter that I had to see them for the remainder of their time on stage with my limited vision. I could see them fine and best of all, I could hear them clearly and that’s what I wanted. When they finished to thunderous applause, I concluded they were even better than when I had seen them in 2010. When I got my specs back, the frames were pretty mangled but I managed to fix them so I could wear them.

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Jean Michel Baladie showing off. He did a crowd surf later on in the set.

Jean Michel Baladie showing off. He did a crowd surf later on in the set.

Joe Duplantier hammering out a solo

Joe Duplantier hammering out a solo

The sun has set enough for some cool lighting.

The sun has set enough for some cool lighting.

When Gojira left the stage, I was in a bit of befuddle as to what next. Originally, I wasn’t even going to check out Mastodon because I would rather have seen Acid Reign headline at the Sophie Lancaster tent. Earlier that day, I learned that Acid Reign weren’t going up until after Mastodon finished so I was content on seeing both. In the mean time, I did return to the Sophie Lancaster Stage anyway and caught the black metal of Swedish band, Shining. I found them very interesting to say the least. Like so many great European lead singers, Ghoul, does sing in very good English.

The Shining on stage

The Shining on stage

After the Shining, I was totally pumped on seeing Mastodon, as was the rest of my group, although I didn’t follow them to the front. Mastodon came out on stage with a pretty cool light show, unfortunately, their music did nothing for me. After twenty-five minutes of trying to get into them but being unable, I went back to the Sophie Lancaster Stage so I could get a good place for Acid Reign. In doing so, I got a bit of a treat as did all the men who were there. The Four Deejays of the Apocalypse were spinning some cool metal tunes with two very attractive young ladies dancing on the stage. It was certainly better than Mastodon. I would learn later that Teal, my stepson, was quite disappointed with Mastodon too.

Cool light show but nothing else

Cool light show but nothing else

More like it!

More like it!

I don’t think anyone knew what to expect when Acid Reign came out on stage late on Saturday night. When they did, they bashed those in attendance with a unique brand of speed metal. The only original member of the band on stage that night was lead singer Howard H Smith and he was every bit the show man. Darting around on stage, climbing up on amp stacks, he was full of energy more accustomed to a much younger man. All the while, his new band kept up with him very nicely. They even premiered their new single, “Plan of the Damned,” which reminds me, I need to carry out Smith’s request and get it. Of course, they played some of their material from the late 1980s too. During the set, Howard thanked Mastodon for being their support act. All I could think was, “He’s got that right.” Acid Reign closed the Saturday night out tremendously.

Acid Reign come out under the lights

Acid Reign come out under the lights

Orange jacket with matching shorts, an interesting choice of wardrobe for Howard H Smith

Orange jacket with matching shorts, an interesting choice of wardrobe for Howard H Smith

Howard addresses the crowd from the amp stack

Howard addresses the crowd from the amp stack

Cranking out a guitar solo

Cranking out a guitar solo

Howard changes his clothes for the finale

Howard changes his clothes for the finale

The night didn’t end with Acid Reign. The Four Deejays returned to play more metal only this time, there were ladies dancing with flaming batons. Cool, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of it. Still, it was a cool way to end the night.

Best I could do with the fire dancers

Best I could do with the fire dancers

Next post: Sunday

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 Responses to “Bloodstock 2016: Saturday”

  1. We saw the Raven Age open for Iron Maiden in Toronto back in April. I didn’t think they were too bad, and the crowd seemed into it well enough, but some folks afterwards said they thought they weren’t so hot. I dunno, maybe they were just in the way of Maiden for those folks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    GOJIRA!! Man, they are awesome live, and you’re lucky to have (I assume) heard some of the new songs live already! That new record is really really good.

    Sorry Mastodon didn’t do much for you on this occasion. I’ve seen them twice and both times they were rather awesome! Not sure what was up with their set on this occasion!

    We saw Gojira and Mastodon together in Toronto, and together they were awesome!!! Cool to see them still playing together.

    Lots of cool other bands you saw this day too. And man, you’ve gotta watch out for that HMO. He’s as bad as that Lego 1537 guy in making you wanna buy every damn record they mention. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well done! I call it a great day!

    Like

    • They did play a couple of tracks of the new Magma album, sounds awesome. I thought The Raven Age were all right. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed in Mastodon. My stepson was really looking forward to seeing them and came away disappointed. Yes, you do have to watch out for both of those guys. It was a great day with one more to go.

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      • That’s so weird about Mastodon. I dunno, maybe they’re just not for you! Both times I saw them, they were bloody brilliant (to me). Actually, the first time I saw them, Dillinger Escape Plan opened and, honestly, Mastodon was a nice switch of gears and a bit of a break. Those DEP guys are NUTS!

        \m/ ๐Ÿ™‚ \m/

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      • Maybe, I would give Mastodon another chance though. Maybe I caught them on a bad night. I have never heard Dillinger Escape Plan, may have to check them out.

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      • I think maybe what happens sometimes is that Mastodon is expected to be more like Gojira, all muscular and aggressive while still melodic as hell, natch. And Mastodon has those tracks, for sure, especially the earlier stuff. But they’re also capable of delving into the stoner desert rock metal vibe and taking off on extended jams, especially live (I’ve seen them do it), which may be disorienting for those expecting full-on metal all the time. I think they offer a great mix of the two, though. If you happen across their CDs, don’t hesitate. Lots of greatness!

        And DEP is very different again, actually putting the two together for that show we saw (with Red Fang opening the whole show) was a little strange. They’re off on a different tangent, very angular and jagged punk metal “mathcore” I think they call it. Lots of screaming, switching time signatures… Good fun, but exhausting live! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

      • Coming away from a concert exhausted means you had a great time! Sounds like a great line up though.

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  2. I haven’t seen Gojira live, but HMO made want to check out their music and it has been great. Looks like you had another great day!

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  3. Some good bands there. Mastodon’s latest album hasn’t really impressed me much and I’ve sorta drifted away from them a bit. A friend of mine saw them fairly recently and reported that they were a bit mnah. He wasn’t too impressed.

    I also reckon The Shining are a very interesting band. There’s some great footage of them on YouTube.

    Like

  4. Lots of great bands here, what a day! Glad you dug Akercocke, I’m looking forward to seeing them in October.

    Like

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