Archive for the Concerts Category

Cardiff Slayed!

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2018 by 80smetalman

Nearly 24 hours later, I am home and nearly recovered from the events of the previous night. Last night, I, along with my two sons, one of my future daughters in law and my stepson amassed in Cardiff to see Slayer at the Motorpoint Arena. This is supposed to be Slayer’s farewell tour and they brought a few friends with them to celebrate what might be the final time they play in Cardiff. However, first I’m going to show you boring family photos to show that I’m passing the metal tradition onto future generations.

My grandson Alex. Note the onesy he’s wearing.

Grandfather and grandson

Starting left and going clockwise: Me, my stepson Teal, my younger son Will, his fiancee Ela and my eldest Jake. A true metal family!

There was confusion on the day, my tickets said doors opened at 6, so we thought there was time to get a bite to eat before the show. One can’t headbang on an empty stomach! We went for a meal at a restaurant across the road called the Smoke Haus and with bellies full, returned to the arena. It turns out that my tickets were wrong, though it didn’t prevent us from getting in. The arena opened at 5:30 and the first band went on at six and as a result, we missed the first band. If the first band had been Testament, like I thought it would be, I wouldn’t have been a happy camper. While not fortunate, the first band was Obituary and while I would have liked to have seen them, I’m not as upset at missing them as I would have been if it had been Testament.

It did seem strange to me that Anthrax would have opened the festivities on the evening. Not long after, I knew it wasn’t the case. Anyhow, this being the sixth time seeing Anthrax, I must report that this wasn’t their best. Technically, they were all right. They played many of their best known songs, opening with “Caught in a Mosh” plus “Anti-Social” and Indians,” although like Bloodstock 2013, didn’t play anything from the “Spreading the Disease” album. Joey Belladonna was the good front man he usually is and Ela wanted to have his hair. Likewise, Scott Ian got the crowd going as well. Unfortunately, their set was marred by poor sound quality. Charlie’s drums seemed to overshadow everything else and this was the way all through the forty-five minutes they were on stage. Will was disappointed because he was really looking forward to them. My verdict: While I still headbanged away to Anthrax and enjoyed them, I would also agree that the sound engineer should be fired.

Anthrax on stage

This was the best pic of them

Under the red lights

I have very little experience, practically none, of the next band up, Lamb of God. Views on them have been contradictory. Will doesn’t think much of them while Teal loves them. Observing Lamb of God from a neutral stance, they won me over by the time they had left the stage. I will be listening to more of them in the future. The only songs I remember were “Ghost Walking” and “Curse of the Blackened Sun.” While I won’t say that Randy Blythe is the best vocalist in the world, he’s not, he is brilliant at working the crowd and getting them going. Something he did with great effect in Cardiff. Furthermore, I was also impressed with lead guitarist Mark Morton. Lamb of God had better sound than Anthrax so I retracted my personal complaint that they should have been out first. Besides, they did a great job of getting the crowd worked up for the main event.

Lamb of God

This picture told me I needed to get closer to the stage

See what I mean?

Might be the best shot of them

A good shot of bassist John Campbell with Mark Morton emerging from behind the amp to belt out a solo.

Lamb of God nearing the end

Everyone in the Motorpoint Arena knew that whatever else happened, this night belonged to Slayer. They were the band everyone was there to see and they let everyone know it. From their opening with the wall of flames to their hour and forty minutes of non stop thrash as only they can do to their grand finale, Slayer was on top form. I have to admit, their performance is still whirling around in my head. Maybe I should have waited a couple of days before posting but nah, I had to write about it now.

Some interesting highlights, some guy next to me shouted for them to play something they all knew right after they had played “Mandatory Suicide.” I thought all Slayer fans and even non ones knew that song. My eldest, Jake, risked his life going into a mosh pit. A Slayer mosh pit is not one for beginners! And this was the first time he had ever gone into one. I’m afraid Jake learned the hard way, coming away a little dazed after taking an elbow to the temple. Besides, he made the mistake of removing his shirt and hoodie before going in and ended up losing both of them.

In the mean time, Slayer continued to threaten to blow the roof of the arena as they manically went about the stage creating mayhem and history at the same time. Tom Araya’s vocals were spot on while Kerry King and Gary Holt traded solos back and forth all evening long. When asked after, Will put Holt on the same level as the late Jeff Hanneman. So between the showmanship, the thrash and the flames shooting through the air at the back of the stage, as well as the backdrop changing to a different Slayer album cover every few songs, there was a great deal of unpredictability on the evening and that evening ended way too soon. I did love them coming out to the encore with “South of Heaven.” The only disappointment was at the end. While they thoroughly and deservedly basked in the adulation of the audience, there was no mention of this being their farewell tour. Yes, they did praise the audience throughout but I thought they would have said something at the end. Just a minor point though, the rest was a great night of metal history.

Wall of flames to commence Slayer’s appearance

Slayer appear!

King made his way over to my side of the stage

A shot of the stage with Tom with his back to the audience

Gary plays the solo

Watch out for the flames

Kerry playing at centre stage

Coming down to the finale

Next post: Stevie Ray Vaughan- Soul to Soul

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Slayer- Hell Awaits

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2018 by 80smetalman

As 1985 progressed, I found myself moving away from mainstream music and delving into heavy metal bands who weren’t likely to be played on the radio. It was here where I cut my teeth on bands such as Venom and Slayer. In the case of the latter, it was their second album, “Hell Awaits” which gave me an eye opening experience into more hardcore and thrash metal. Once my eyes were opened, I have never looked back.

The first thing I remember when a friend first spun “Hell Awaits” for me was that it took a while for the album to get started it. The opening title track has a rather long intro, I mean it takes about three minutes before the song truly gets going and on my first listen, I thought it was going to be one of those instrumental intros many albums have before the rest of the album kicks in. However, that is the trick because all of a sudden, Slayer take the tempo way up and the shattering vocals of Tom Araya come through. The title track sets the tone for the rest of the album.

One thing I have found difficult over the years is to pick a favourite track. Every time I think I might have found one, some aspect from another track washes it out. All seven tracks have the in your face vocals from Tom while at the same time, he and Dave Lombardo combine to make a crunching rhythm section further aided by whichever guitarist is not playing the solo at the time. Each track features the guitar solo trade off of Hanneman and King although their best effort is probably on the track, “At Dawn They Sleep.” Saying that, next time I listen to this album, I’ll find that one of the other tracks might have them doing it better. “Hell Awaits” is that kind of album. Seven songs that concuss your brain into jelly but at the same time, feature quality musicianship. If I had to pick a favourite track, it would have to be “Necrophiliac.” Not because of any differential in the music but simply it was one that the religious right in America loved to attack and got all hot and bothered about.  One thing I’ve wondered about was, is “Hardening of the Arteries” a song telling people not to eat too much pork?”

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Awaits
  2. Kill Again
  3. At Dawn They Sleep
  4. Praise of Death
  5. Necrophiliac
  6. Crypts of Eternity
  7. Hardening of the Arteries

Slayer

Tom Araya- lead vocals, bass

Kerry King- guitar

Jeff Hanneman- guitar

Dave Lombardo- drums

It’s common knowledge that Slayer are in the midst of their farewell tour. This coming Monday, it will be my turn to see them as they are coming to Cardiff. I’m going with Teal, my two actual sons and my younger son’s fiance. It’s going to be a great family affair and listening to “Hell Awaits” has definitely got me psyched for it.

Next post: Report from Slayer, Anthrax, Lamb of God and Testament in Cardiff

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://e-pdfwebinar.ml/share/free-ebooks-in-english-rock-and-roll-children-epub-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Bruce Dickinson An Autobiography

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2018 by 80smetalman

Welcome to my second ever book review. The first one was three years ago so I figured it was time I do another. Okay, it’s because I write more than I read but this particular book definitely needs a comment or three on. My total reaction to “Bruce Dickinson, An Autobiography” was, “I wish I could write like that.” Bruce has a distinct writing style that definitely entertains as well as it informs. When recounting his life, he doesn’t do the normal David Copperfield crap with dates and list of his life’s events. Instead he gives those accounts through his own eyes in a very amusing way which at times while reading it made me wonder if I should pack up writing.

Iron Maiden

Naturally, I read the book to hear about his life with the great Iron Maiden and yes, there are some wild accounts there. However, his life before and outside of Maiden was just as intense. Reading about his childhood, his father was a bit of a Delboy Trotter, (a character from the famous British sit-com “Only Fools and Horses), in the sense that he was always acquiring and running different businesses, often at the same time. At one point, he owned a hotel but sold used cars from the front of it. I point this out because I think Bruce’s childhood experiences contributed to his eccentricity.

Bruce Dickinson

How he became a pilot was also a very good and interesting read. He started on a twin engine plane and by the end, he was piloting huge passenger jets. Then there is how he started his brand of beer, “The Trooper.” However, the part that I found most interesting was during his solo career. His account of his concert in war torn Sarajevo and all what he and his band had to go through, the check points, the fear of getting fired on, to be able to perform was absolutely mind blowing. Talk about guts but then it was those guts that helped him beat cancer very recently. How he describes what he went through while battling this disease is harrowing and it’s only right that he gets full marks for overcoming it.

Bruce Dickinson’s autobiography is a cracking read from start to finish. He keeps the reader entertained while at the same time giving them insight into his wild and wonderful life. Plus there are a few surprises along the way as long as events that I didn’t know about but not surprised about. I bow to the superior writer here.

Reading the autobiography has further convinced me that Bruce Dickinson deserves a knighthood. Therefore, I call on all British readers to clink the link and sign the petition.

https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

On a different note, though I have retired from festivals, I will still go for single days. This year, it looks as if I must go to Bloodstock on the Sunday because Queensryche are headlining and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider is also on the bill for that day.

Next post: Starship- Knee Deep in the Hoopla

I don’t feel worth to post a link to Rock and Roll Children for this post.

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Dire Straits- Brothers in Arms

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

The arrival of “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits in the summer of 1985 brought many different reactions to people. Back then, I couldn’t help but laugh at teens who thought they were the brand new sensation of the 1980s. More than one of these was completely dumbfounded when I told them that Dire Straits had been on the go since 1978 and had four prior albums. Old time followers though, upon hearing this album accused the band of abandoning their original sound and going too new wave. Some even went onto say that Dire Straits had sold out. I never thought that though I realize now that particular label got banded around too much.

“Money for Nothing” was the first big single from “Brothers in Arms” and it seemed to be on every time I switched on MTV. It also got lots of radio airplay and that was one piece of evidence used by hardcore followers to insist the band sold out. Further evidence was the fact that Sting sang accompanying vocals on the song. If you want to know my thoughts, (and you do want to know my thoughts), I never thought this song was a sell out. Furthermore, I thought Sting did a damn good job on the vocals and I have always loved the fuzz guitar throughout the song. Okay, it didn’t dislodge “Sultans of Swing” off my top spot for my favourite Dire Straits songs, it didn’t even make the top three, but it is a good song.

In fact, “Money for Nothing,” isn’t even my favourite song on this album! That honour goes to the next song on the album, “Walk of Life.” Sure, there’s a heavy keyboard sound on it but it wasn’t done in that choppy synth pop style. Got to give full marks to Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher on it, they play it very well. Plus the song just has a vibe that grabs me and has me nodding along to the melody. Maybe also the American sports themed video on MTV might have had some influence on me too.

Unfortunately, after the those two songs and a cool opener, “So Far Away” is a more traditional sounding Dire Straits song for me, the album goes a little downhill on the next couple of songs. While the sax playing of Michael Brecker on “Your Latest Trick” is very good, it doesn’t redeem the song to a point where I can say, “Hey, this is good.” Nor do things improve with the next track, “Why Worry.” Both of these songs could be put on an album called, “Dire Straits Does Elevator Music” for that’s what they remind of.

Fortunately, the album improves to more familiar Dire Straits territory after that. While there are still elements of elevator music on “Ride Across the River,” at least Mark Knopfler let’s his guitar do some singing on it and I do like the jungle rhythms in the background. Then for a complete change, there is a country music sounding acoustic guitar intro on “The Man’s Too Strong” before going into more Dire Straits sounding guitar rock. This track will have you saying, “This is more like it” and my vote for hidden gem on the album. However, it does get some stiff competition for that honour from the next track, “One World.” More of the old Dire Straits here and again, Mr Knopfler isn’t afraid to let loose on the guitar. Those two songs all lead to the end which is carried out very somberly but nicely by the title track.

Track Listing:

  1. So Far Away
  2. Money For Nothing
  3. Walk of Life
  4. Your Latest Trick
  5. Why Worry
  6. Ride Across the River
  7. The Man’s Too Strong
  8. One World
  9. Brothers in Arms

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler- lead guitar, lead vocals

Alan Clark- keyboards

Omar Hakim- drums

John Illsley- bass, backing vocals

Guy Fletcher- keyboards, backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Sting- vocals on “Money for Nothing”

Michael Brecker- saxophone on “Your Latest Trick”

Randy Brecker- trumpet

Malcolm Duncan- saxophone

Jimmy Maelen- percussion

Mike Mainieri- vibraphone, keyboards

David Plews- trumpet

Jack Sonni- guitar synthesizer on “The Man’s Too Strong”

It was on the tour for this album when I finally got to see Dire Straits live. It was a good show but and they played “Sultans of Swing”  as well as several songs from this album. There was a good mix of old and new followers there too. However, my big hang up about that evening was they didn’t play my number two and three DS songs, “Skateaway” and “Industrial Disease.” You can’t have everything I suppose. Still, no matter which side of the fence you sit on for “Brothers in Arms,” I have to say that it’s not a bad album.

Next post: The Power Station

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537988591&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock: Farewell

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2018 by 80smetalman

A place to get your air mattresses inflated. I didn’t have one.

At previous Bloodstock Festivals, I always had to leave on the Sunday night due to work commitments. Because I wanted to see so many bands on the Sunday, I made sure I sorted things out so I could sleep Sunday night and leave Monday morning. Monday mornings seem to be an anti-climax at Bloodstock and probably most other weekend festivals. Although, I could hear people partying away on the Sunday night, the campsite seemed deathly quiet when I woke up at 7:15 on Monday morning. Most of the tents were still up although I could see that some had packed up and left in the middle of the night. Therefore, I got Teal and Joe up with no problem, my offer of a MacDonald’s breakfast was good incentive, and we took down the tent, packed and joined the slow but steady procession of people leaving the grounds. There was no conversation, it seemed everyone, like us, was focused on leaving. The whole process only took an hour.

I was totally serious when I said Bloodstock 2018 would be my last ever three day festival unless of course I win the lottery and then I’ll rent a mobile home and go glamping at Bloodstock and Download. The thing is that I’m getting too old to be laying on a piece of ground for an entire weekend. I also felt my age in other ways. After standing to see a couple of bands, I definitely needed to sit down as I felt the aches and pains. While you’re never too old to rock, I have to admit that I’m getting too old for all the other bits that go with it. However, it’s not just me getting old, many of the bands I grew up with and rocked out to are calling it a day as well. Twisted Sister has retired and supposedly so has Ozzy and though Judas Priest claim they will be back, will they be the same without Tipton and Downing bending the six strings? That remains to be seen.

One thing I can say that if this was my last festival, I’m going out on an absolute high. Bloodstock 2018 was fantastic, don’t ask me if it was the best because all of them were that good. At 2018, I got to see personal favourites Suicidal Tendencies, Judas Priest and Doro, all of which put on a magnificent show. On top of that, I got to see Mr Big, a band whose material I have plenty of but never saw live. They proved to doubters that they did belong at Bloodstock. Also, after seeing Gojira twice as a non- headliner, I saw them take their rightful place at the top of Saturday’s lineup and they made the most of it. What I can say what was great about this year’s Bloodstock was that I got to see many bands I had heard little or nothing about and get totally blown away by them! Feed The Rhino and Orden Ogan definitely come to mind here and now that I know more of them, I am delving more into Amaranthe and Nightwitch.

Feed The Rhino welcome everybody to Bloodstock

Levermann and Kersting leading from the front.

Amaranthe won me over

Of all the bands, there are two which I have a special place with me on account of where they’re from, Orphaned Land and Underside. Orphaned Land, from Israel, explained that with all the hatred in the Middle East at the moment, there seems to be a unified hatred for heavy metal there. I have touched on this in past posts, especially with the band Confess who faced long term prison time in Iran for playing the music they loved so much. On the other hand, not all Middle Eastern nations are like Iran as the lovely Lilas Mayassi from Slave to Sirens pointed out to me. Lebanon is a liberal and tolerant country. Furthermore, Underside are from Nepal and they thanked me on Facebook for the kind words I wrote about them. It fills my heart to see that heavy metal is even making its way into small mountain countries. What we as metalheads need to do is to embrace these metal artists coming out of such regions and give them the ear they so desperately seek. Only this way can metal establish world dominance.

Orphaned Land come out under the lights.

Underside finally emerge

Some final observations from the historic weekend was that I noticed and forgive me if I’m not being politically correct here, that there were more persons of colour attending the festival. The New Yorker who was into At The Gates was African American.  I’m not just talking about those of Afro-Caribbean origin, there were also people of other races there too. This is good because it has been a concern of mine ever since I read Laina Dawes book, “What Are You Doing Here?” In order for metal to progress, we must kick racism and sexism out of it. That reminds me, it turns out that Underside’s  great female bassist whose playing totally rocked, isn’t officially a part of the band. It would be great for them to take her on full time.

Thank you for letting an old man rant but I hope the wisdom of my years shows through here. I will take memories of Bloodstock to my grave with me because it is a great metal festival and I enjoyed each and every one I’ve been to.

I finally got a song from Underside for you, enjoy!

Next post: Los Lobos- How Will the Wolf Survive

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535371510&sr=1-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2018: Sunday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2018 by 80smetalman

Final full day at Bloodstock and I was prepared for a long one. Five of the final six bands on the Ronnie James Dio Stage were on my ‘must see’ list. That gave me some time to not have to wolf down breakfast and chill before I headed to the arena for a final day of metal. However, that was cut short when Teal suggested I make it six of the last seven bands when he recommended I see Amaranthe. Oh well, one more band wouldn’t hurt so I went with him and Joe to the arena.

That six of seven could have become seven of eight, at least I wished so because when I got to the Dio Stage, the band Evergrey was finishing up. This was yet another band whom I only caught the last few minutes of and wished I had seen more of them. Maybe it’s mellowing with age but I’m getting more into prog-metal bands and these guys from Sweden are definitely worth checking out. Shame I can’t say more.

Evergrey on stage

So far at Bloodstock, Teal had been two for two when recommending bands I should see, Kamelot on Friday and Alestorm on Saturday. No surprises that on Sunday, he was three for three when I saw the second consecutive Swedish band, Amaranthe, although they did have some technical difficulties before they came out on stage. Not to worry, while those difficulties were being sorted, bassist Johan Andreassen entertained the crowd with a bit of improv. I can’t remember anything he said, damn my Swiss cheese memory, but he had me and the rest of the crowd rolling on the ground in laughter. When the rest of the band emerged, the most obvious sight was that they had three singers. Two males, one described as clean vocals, that was Nils Molin and the unclean male vocals of Henrik Eglund Wilhemsson along with the vocals of Elize Ryd. The best thing is that this combination totally worked. Each singer would come in with their style of vocals at the appropriate part in the song and take it in an unexpected direction. Of course, the other reason it worked was the musical efforts of guitar, bass and drums. The end result was forty minutes of good power metal and another band not known to me who impressed me a hell of a lot.

Johan Andreassen doing his improv

Elize and Henrik on the vocals

Amaranthe won me over

Having seen Fozzy twice before I had already regarded Chris Jerico as a good metal singer. Third time is the charm and if I had any doubt in my mind about him, those doubts were obliterated on this particular Sunday. He even came out on stage in a really cool looking long coat. His vocals, if anything, were even better and he still knows how to work a crowd. His band was as good as ever, especially when they played my all time favourite Fozzy song, “Drinkin’ With Jesus.” Really love that song and I have made a promise to myself to listen to more Fozzy.

Chris in his coat

A shot of the entire band

I thought I’d get the guitar and bass in.

Chris engaging the crowd

Got more good shots of Fozzy

I thought he was going to attempt a flying drop kick here.

Since I didn’t want to go back to the campsite but my 57 year old frame didn’t want to stand, I went over to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to have a little sit down at the back. Shortly after, the next band started to get ready to go on stage but they too had some technical difficulties. This time, the bass player didn’t do improv. Instead, she treated the crowd to a brilliant bass solo, she could play! The band took the stage and played some really cool thrash/death metal. I learned they were from Nepal and it’s great to see such a good band coming out from that part of the world. I hope more people will check them out. Unfortunately, someone from either WordPress or Youtube is being a prick and not letting me paste any of their songs here.

Bass player shredding away

Underside finally emerge

Underside show that you can rock in Nepal.

The universal big question asked by many of the 18,000 who attended Bloodstock in 2018 was whether Mr Big was the type of band to play at this Festival. For me, that question was answered in the affirmative on the very first song, it being my vote for their hidden gem, “Daddy, Lover, Brother and Little Boy.” I have always loved that song and that set the stage for the rest of their set. Sure, they played most of their classics, “Green Tinted Sixties Mind” was the fourth song and not long after, “To Be With You” which Eric Martin brought out an acoustic guitar to play along to. He did the same with the cover of the Cat Stevens classic, “Wild World.” On top of that, Paul Gilbert totally impressed me with his guitar work on the songs and when he was left to play a solo. Eric also explained to the crowd that they had been on a European tour and Bloodstock was their last stop. Their final songs were more metal leaning, one of the being “Take Cover.” However, when they left the stage, they proved to everyone that Mr Big belonged at Bloodstock! Even if they didn’t play my other favourite Mr Big song, “The Whole World’s Gonna Know.”

Welcome Mr Big

Paul plays a solo

Paul continues to wail

Here’s a shot of Billy Sheehan

Eric on the acoustic guitar

Billy and Paul jamming together. Mr Big were certainly the most photogenic band at Bloodstock.

Some might think this might be going from one extreme to the other. Going from the melodic metal sounds of Mr Big to the death metal of Devil Driver. That didn’t bother me nor the many others who came to see them. It was metal mayhem to say the least. I can’t really say much about their time on stage. I went close to the front with Teal and Joe and therefore, spent the entire time on the edges of mosh pits and passing crowd surfers to the front. That kind of ruins your concentration a bit. What I did hear from Devil Driver, I totally liked and still had a fantastic time during their set.

Devil Driver

The mayhem spoiled this shot a little.

The best shot of them

I don’t remember anything about them but I got a shot of Servers on the New Blood Stage

At Bloodstock 2016, I took HMO’s advice and went to see a band he recommended on his blog called Ackercoke. So, when he posted about At the Gates a few months ago, I knew I had to see them. He’s now two for two in my book because At the Gates were brilliant. Three Swedish bands took the Dio Stage on this day and all three impressed me. For me, they were a natural progression after the more progressive sound of Evergrey to the sometimes more harder one of Amaranthe to At The Gates’s death metal although, they did go melodic at times. I always have liked that style so these guys fit in well. During their set, I met a man from New York who had come to Bloodstock just to see them. Apparently, they hardly ever go to the States. The band needs to rectify that! All I can say when they left was “Thank you HMO for showing me another great band.”

At The Gates

Singer Thomas Lindberg engaging the crowd

Thomas turned his back on me here.

Headlining the Sunday was the Finnish band Nightwish. I had heard many great things about this band and I further liked what I had heard from them so I was expecting good things. I wasn’t disappointed. A huge clock at the back of the stage counted down the final minute to their appearance and they came out just as it hit zero. From then on it was pure magic, whether it was the vocals of Floor Jansen, the guitar work of Emppu Vuorinen or the keyboards of Tuomas Holopainen. What impressed me even more was Troy Donockley who played guitar, Bouzouki and an assortment of woodwind instruments and all very well. I now have a full appreciation of what is called Gothic metal. The hour and a half went by too fast and the show ended with a spoken word bit but I can’t say who was speaking or what was said but it added greatly to the atmosphere of the show. The band did come back and I was hoping for one more song but they just took more bows. Can’t complain though.

The clock counts down

Good shot of Tuomas Holopainen on keys

I tried to get the band but a bunch of lights got in the way

Flash!

The last shot before they left the stage.

Tired and hungry, I went back to the tent to feed, drink my last beer and get some sleep. Next morning would be time to tear down, pack up and go. However, I left completely fulfilled having seen some great bands not only this day but the entire weekend. However, Scandinavia did win the Sunday.

Next post: Bloodstock, My final thoughts.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1535059396&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2018: The Friday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

Even having a crap night’s sleep the previous evening didn’t dent my enthusiasm for the first full day at Bloodstock. We started with a hardy bbq breakfast because we couldn’t have one the evening before on account of the waiting to get in and the brief rain. Therefore, we had it in the morning. After a breakfast of champions like that, which was washed down with beer, we decided to head for the arena.

Keeping with my established tradition, I made it a point to be present for the very first band out on the Ronnie James Dio Stage. That band happened be British punk band Feed The Rhino. If there is a textbook on how the opening band of a festival should act, then Feed The Rhino followed it to the letter. They exploded on stage at 300 mph with a song that grabs you by the throat and makes you listen to it nor did any of that energy dissipate after the first song. However, some purists may argue that the band broke protocol by organizing a mosh pit and then a wall of death. Whoever said opening bands weren’t allowed to do that? Especially when the lead singer, Lee Tobin, did a little crowd surf towards the wall. It was amazing and when they left, which was too soon, Feed The Rhino had set the mood not just for the day but for the entire weekend!

Feed The Rhino welcome everybody to Bloodstock

Lee Tobin carried by the crowd

In spite of the fact that I had seen and heard three bands I had never heard of previously who totally blew me away, I still went to the New Blood Stage to seek out more. Playing at my arrival was the band Garshkott. While they weren’t bad, their sound was in the vein of Feed The Rhino and Bloodshot Dawn, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were ever signed, in my mind, they didn’t measure up to the two bands I have just mentioned. Then again, those two bands set the bar astronomically high.

Garshkott giving it their all

Heading back to the RJD Stage, I thought I should see Onslaught. I had seen them at my first Bloodstock in 2010 but I didn’t remember anything about them. Seeing them again, I remember why I didn’t remember them, there’s really nothing about them to remember. While their music was okay and I have since discovered from Youtube that their recorded material sounds pretty good, they just didn’t do anything for me when I’ve seen them live.

Onslaught coming out to play

Another shot of them

The uneventfulness of Onslaught meant that when the rains came down in the final minutes of their set, I fled for cover. The closest was the New Blood Stage. Providing the entertainment in my new found refuge was Democratus. They weren’t thrash but good solid metal. The singer did a great job in getting those in the tent to sing along. He would sing out, “Is this what you call?” and the audience, me included, would shout back, “Democracy!” Very relevant at the moment and I thought they were pretty good. If I was a scout, I would have signed them before the previous unsigned band on the day.

Democratus

Still raining down in buckets outside, I decided to stay in the New Blood Tent to remain dry. It turned out to be the will of the metal gods because coming on stage next was Vulgore. Of the three unsigned bands I had seen so far, these guys were the best. Their music was loud and brash but the guitarist could shred a little too. Still, their music is not for the faint hearted. They announced they have an EP coming out titled “Bliss.” I might have to hunt this one down.

The guitarist from Vulgore

More Vulgore

Vulgore made the rain stop, so after their departure, I headed outside. On the Dio Stage at the time was Memoriam. I only caught the last two songs from their set but they sounded all right. Plus, I noticed that the lead singer’s hair probably made many ladies jealous.

Memoriam, but this photo doesn’t show the singer’s hair properly.

Still looking for the music, I headed for the Sophie Lancaster Stage where I was treated to the doom metal sounds of Godthrymm. This trio was doom metal in the true sense of the word, even more than Black Sabbath. Most of the songs were about death. I remember one lyric, “Oh God, you lost your only son,” I think that explains a lot. Guitarist hammered out some good solos and he shared the lead vocal duties with the bassist. Godthrymm proved a great change of pace on the day.

Godthrymm playing doom

I’m not sure what this picture was. I think it was this person dressed up going through the crowd during Godthrymm

After a brief but necessary break, I returned to the Ronnie James Dio Stage for the first band I truly wanted to see. Before that band came out, I caught the last few minutes of Swedish death metal band Bloodbath. They sounded okay and I was amused at the shirtless guitar player whose torso was covered in fake blood.

Bloodbath, not sure if you can see the guitarist covered in blood

Then came the big bombshell. It was announced that Suicidal Tendencies were running late and wouldn’t be up next. They were re-scheduled to play at the Sophie Lancaster Stage two hours later. I had caught up with Teal and Joe and we decided to get some dinner. I kind of regret this in hindsight because swapping places with ST was the all female death metal Japanese band Love Bites. I heard they were really good and I’m liking what I’m hearing thus far. Oh well, I’ll put a song of theirs in tribute.

Returning from our late afternoon bbq, I followed Teal’s suggestion that I go with him to check out prog metal band, Kamelot. Full marks to his wisdom here because I thoroughly enjoyed them. I was duly impressed with the guitar work of Thomas Youngblood but I won’t take anything away from the rest of this band, they’re that good. They brought a female singer on for a few songs as well which made them more diverse. Let’s say I was very impressed.

Kamelot

A better shot of them

Thomas Youngblood jamming

I tried to get the female singer in this one

Instead of Kamelot following Suicidal Tendencies, we had Suicidal Tendencies following Kamelot. Which way around didn’t matter as we joined the throng heading for the Sophie Lancaster Stage. There was talk that the sheer weight of numbers in ST fans would knock the Sophie Tent off its foundations. Suicidal Tendencies exploded onto the stage with “Don’t Bring Me Down.” Almost immediately, Mike Muir had the crowd in his hand with everyone singing the chorus. The band darted around stage and Mike did his little dance. It seemed that the opening song might go for the entire set because every time it sounded like it would end, the band would pick it up again. When the song did end, the audience was screaming their appreciation. Afterwards, they played songs “I Shot the Devil,” The War in My Head” and “Subliminal.” When they played the “Skater’s Song,” Mike announced that the band had been inducted into the Skater’s Hall of Fame. A young boy was brought up to play drums along side of Dave Lombardo for one song and they also let a man in a wheelchair onto the stage. ST are definitely a class act! In between songs, Mike talked about not letting things get you down. His advice was to “Get up, stand up for yourself and you will be the person you want to be.” Great words of wisdom. When they left, the crowd was on a major high and it was also announced that it had been the largest crowd the Sophie Lancaster Stage ever had. They were phenomenal and like Teal converting me to Kamelot, I converted him to ST. It didn’t even matter that they didn’t play my two favourite songs again nor the fact that they pretty much played the same set they had at Download last year.

The crowd heading to the Sophie Stage to see Suicidal Tendencies

ST comes on stage

Guitarist Dean Pleasants can still jam.

Another shot of Dean

Mike leading the charge

After feeding my face some more, we all headed back to the Ronnie James Dio Stage for the main even, Judas Priest. They had a massive stage set up with what looked like cacti which lit up on the wall behind. When the band came out, Rob Halford looked like a bent over old man but he quickly straightened up when they started playing. They opened with “Fire Power” and played two more songs from the album. It was the fourth song that was the big thrill for me when they revealed their all time hidden gem, “The Ripper.” I think I was the only one in the crowd who went absolutely nuts at it. Both Teal and some young lady in front of me both stated, “You’re excited about this song.” Next, they revealed that it was the 40th anniversary of their “Stained Glass” album where they played “Saints in Hell” as a tribute. Other Priest greats included “Turbo Lover” and “Freewheel Burning.” While Rob was the great show man he has always been for more than four decades, I was impressed with guitarists Richie Faulkner. He seems to have learned from his mentors and if the band was to continue, he is more than capable to carry them on. Scott Travis was pretty cool too and I loved how he and Richie traded solos. Things seemed to end with an extended version of “You Got Another Thing Comin'” and “Painkiller,” both drawing large cheers from the crowd. But Judas Priest weren’t done. Obviously, there would be an encore and that’s when they sprung a surprise. Glenn Tipton came out to play with them for the four encore songs. He did look a little frail and Rob kept coming over to him but he stayed the course. He even played a solo on the closing song, “Living After Midnight” which followed on from “Breaking the Law.” When the mighty Priest did leave, it was to much adulation and a brief but cool fireworks display.

Blasted light show kept me from getting decent pictures of Priest

See again!

A little better

Even taking a photo of the big screen didn’t work.

I kept trying though

Teal and Joe called it a night but I had one more act to watch. As soon as Judas Priest was finished, I high tailed it over to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to catch Doro. My timing was perfect because as I entered the tent, she was performing one of my favourites, “I Rule the Ruins.” That wasn’t the only one she treated me to, a few songs later, I got to hear “East Meets West,” where she brought out a former guitarist Tommy Bowen. Therefore, for the rest of her show, she had a three guitar attack behind her. Sounded real good when she played “Burning the Witches.” Doro engaged the audience really well throughout and while her light show was nothing like Priest, it was still pretty cool. “All We Are” got the crowd really going and it carried on until she left the stage. When she came back out, Doro asked the audience what song they would like. I was too far away so she couldn’t hear me calling out for “I’ll Make It On My Own,” so she said, since nobody came forth with a song, she’d pick one, which she did. A second song was asked for and she picked one from a young lady in the front and that’s how the night ended, with loads of bows and “thank yous” before leaving. It was a great way to end the first day!

Doro on the Sophie Stage

Better pics with Doro

Tommy Bowen on guitar

Doro mesmerizes the crowd

Note: You may have noticed that I haven’t posted songs from every band I saw. I thought to do it with the ones I had never heard of before and now you have.

Next post: Saturday

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: http://mediahubb.net/14510967/rock-and-roll-children.html

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2018- The Thursday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

Thursday August 9, 2018 and I’m off to Bloodstock with my stepson Teal and his friend Joe. The ride up their went very smooth, especially when you have Axl Rudi Pell and Ozzy providing the in flight entertainment. However, as I got closer to the festival ground, I began looking for the huge yellow sign that had been there for my past trips to Bloodstock, it wasn’t there. I only noticed it when we got to the junction of the A38 and that meant I went too far. So, I turned around and fortunately, there were signs a plenty in the opposite direction. So we arrived at the festival.

Second hitch, actually two here: the first was when I grabbed the bag of canned foods, I could not find my little stove with heat tabs pack. The second was after we loaded all of our stuff onto our little wagon, we discovered it had a dodgy wheel. That made the walk to the main gate a bit more fraught. We did get there with little problem but then we had to wait two hours before we finally got up to the gate. This was because it was the largest Bloodstock crowd ever and searches were supposed to be more thorough. At least mine was because the security thoroughly searched my bag and then asked about cooking when I saw the cans. His logic was that I wasn’t going to eat my food cold. I told him about the heat tabs and he let me through after that. Meanwhile, Teal and Joe, despite having most of the kit on the wagon was waved through without fuss. Figures I get the anal security guard.

Our adventure wasn’t over, before we got to our chosen campsite, the second front wheel on the wagon fell off making it useless. Joe and I took some stuff and went to find a spot to pitch the tent while Teal guarded the rest. We found a spot, which I stayed with the stuff to stake my claim while Joe went back to get Teal and the rest of our stuff. When they got to me, it was decided the space I had chosen wasn’t big enough for our tent, so I went on another scouting mission. It took three minutes for me to find a nice large spot and we collected all the stuff and set up camp.

Having been in the military, I can pitch a two-person tent with ease. A six person tent is a different story, especially with only three people. Fortunately, a kind lady named Emma lent a hand and we got the tent up in no time. She had been going to all the festivals since 2003 and was a dob hand at putting up tents. We thanked her with a couple of cans of cider. The irony is that we never saw her for the rest of the weekend so I can only conclude that Emma was an angel sent by the heavy metal gods in our time of need.

Once settled, I discovered that I had forgotten a load of stuff. Paper plates, plastic cutlery, a tin opener  and I did leave the little stove at home. That meant I had to buy that stuff and with festival prices, that was one expense I didn’t need. Plus on top of that, we missed Fire Red Empress who played the Sophie Lancaster Stage early that evening. Still, even with the bad start, we were determined it wasn’t going to spoil the weekend.

A place to get your air mattresses inflated. I didn’t have one.

Camp having been set up, I went looking for the metal. I found it in the Sophie Lancaster Stage in the form of Bloodshot Dawn. For me, this was a great way to start things, a loud aggressive thrash metal band with a great rhythm section and a lead guitarist who could really shred. The lead singer had a voice suited for thrash although not quite suited to the band’s more melodic parts in songs but there were very few of those. One song that really stood out was “The Quantum Apocalypse.” They had me quickly forgetting about all the little hassles earlier.

My first shot of Bloodshot Dawn

Bloodshot Dawn under the lights

Some would call this a contrast but following Bloodshot Dawn was the Russian folk-metal band, Arkona. They were very theatrical in their approach and lead singer Maria ‘Masha Scream’ Arkhipova has a voice that can do it all. Her voice carries very beautifully in the more folk parts but when the band thrashes out more, it is as good as any male thrash metal vocalist. Further proof, not that it’s needed, that heavy metal sounds great in whatever language it’s sung in. Saying that, Arkova had one more unique attraction in the form of Vladimir ‘Volk’ Reshetnikov who plays the flute and bagpipes. I’ve never seen anyone who could shred those instruments but he certainly can. They deserved their headlining slot.

Maria under the lights

Arkova is there somewhere

Vlad on the flute

Full of adrenaline from both Bloodshot Dawn and Arkova, I decided to head to the Lemmy Bar and have a lemmy. They only raised the price by £1 from two years ago but full marks to the bar staff. It was the best JD and coke I ever tasted. Upon my return to the campsite, I finally got to witness the Bloodstock sport of bin jousting. I couldn’t see much because of the crowd but I got the general gist of it. Unfortunately, security stepped in and stopped it, bloody health and safety again. However, I did hear some Bloodstock veterans saying that bin jousting had become too serious with younger participants really wanting violence so maybe stopping it wasn’t such a bad thing. I returned to the camp site ready for a brilliant weekend.

Next post: Friday

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534274553&sr=1-1&keywords=rock+and+roll+children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Warlock- Hellbound

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2018 by 80smetalman

Keeping with 80smetalman tradition, I am posting an album from an artist I’m about to see live in the imminent future. Tomorrow, I shall be heading to Bloodstock and on Friday, I fully intend to see Doro Pesch headlining the Sophie Lancaster Stage that night. Now, some might call this cheating but Doro didn’t have an album out in 1985. Back then, she was with her band Warlock and it’s their second album, “Hellbound,” that gets the posting this time.

This was another album I listened to following the event. My first experience of Warlock came when I saw them open the Donington Festival in 1986. Even then, I thought there was something about this band and more so about the lead singer. Therefore, it was a no brainer that I check out the works of this band and for me, their output on vinyl, (actually it was cassette,) matched what they had shown me on stage on that historic day in August of 1986.

“Hellbound” starts very fast paced, in fact, I was convinced they were more speed metal when I first heard the opening and third tracks on the album. Both of those songs just get stuck into ripping your eardrums to pieces and the track in between, “All Night,” while not as fast is still a ferocious tune to head bang away to. I’ve always thought it surprising that it was released as a single because it trendies would consider it too metal for mainstream radio. Still, I like the song.

With the fourth track, “Wrathchild,” the pace is set for the rest of the album. It’s more like the second track beginning with a great guitar solo. It’s killer, not losing any of the edge set by the first three tracks. It definitely gets a vote for hidden gem on the album and if I had anything to say, that one would have been the single, especially with the cool guitar soloing throughout the song. “Down and Out” is ideal for heavy metal purists because it is pure metal. Some more great soloing begins “Out of Control” and that grabs you by the ears and makes you enjoy the rest of the song, which is why it too can be called a hidden gem. “Time to Die” goes more back in the speed direction but with this song, that’s only natural. Normally, a song called “Shout It Out” opens an album and it could have on “Hellbound,” but it sounds just as good in the eighth position. That leads to the closer which lures you into a false security by pretending it’s a power ballad but not long in, the mask comes off and it blows you away. Still a great song to end the album on.

There is absolutely no argument in my mind that the main reason for why this album is so good is the vocal talents of Doro. She has always had a great singing voice and here’s where it started. However, I must also sing the praises of her guitarists who both play very well on the album. They go a long way in making her sound that much better and makes this album great.

Track Listing:

  1. Hellbound
  2. All Night
  3. Earthshaker Rock
  4. Wrathchild
  5. Down and Out
  6. Out of Control
  7. Time to Die
  8. Shout it Out
  9. Catch My Heart

Warlock

Doro Pesch- lead vocals

Rudy Graf- guitar

Peter Szigeti- guitar

Frank Rittel- bass

Michael Eurich- drums

The big question is, Will Doro play any songs from “Hellbound” when she ascends the stage at Bloodstock? I hope so and I’ll be particularly over the moon if she plays “Wrathchild.” But if she doesn’t, this is still a great album to headbang away to.

Next post: Bloodstock- The Thursday

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533755796&sr=1-11&keywords=rock+and+roll+children

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download 2018- The Sunday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2018 by 80smetalman

I’m surprised nobody pulled me up on my little error about the next post. Here I am saying I’m going to post about a Bryan Adams album when I’m going to the Download Festival on Sunday. Well, I went and returned and am ready to share all my experiences of this historical day with all of you. Before I do, I’d like to mention something that happened as I was walking into the festival. I happened to ask one of the security staff if there had been any fatalities or drunken brawls. The security person stated, “No, that doesn’t happen at Download, it’s a friendly festival.” That makes my point which some of you mentioned in my post about the backlash. Everyone thinks awful things happen at metal concerts when indeed, it’s the non-metal festivals these things happen at. Anyway, enough of that, here’s Sunday Download.

First band up on the day was British hard rock band, Inglorious. They would have been my choice for band whom I never heard of who really impressed me had I not listened to them on Youtube mix. I was really impressed with what I had heard on Youtube and therefore had high hopes for them when they hit the stage. I wasn’t disappointed, they won me over straight away. Lead singer  Nathan James really connected with the crowd and has a great range with his voice. I loved it when he got the crowd to chant “Fuck Gene Simmons” before the second song. I don’t know what issue the band has with Gene but it must make an interesting story. The guitar work of Swedish born Andreas Eriksson was also very impressive. When they left the stage after a half hour of great hard rock, my thought was that if Inglorious don’t make it to the summit of the rock and roll mountain, then there is no justice in the world. I urge all of you to have a listen to them.

Inglorious open the day

Drew Lowe, Colin Parkinson and Phil Beaver make a great rhythm section

Nathan James singing his heart out to the crowd

While I heard of the second band on the day, Cradle of Filth, I must I never really listened to them. My most noted experience is their excellent rendition of the Twisted Sister classic, “The Fire Still Burns” on the “Twisted Forever” album. I have also heard several versions of how they were booed off the stage at Bloodstock in 2009. The reason for that, I’ve been told, was that the Bloodstock crowd considered them too popular for Bloodstock although alternative reasons had been put forward. Therefore, I had no impressions or expectations of them beforehand.

They hit the Download stage in full frenzy. They had the hunger that many support bands I have seen over the years possess. It seems they were out to assault the ear drums from the first moment and they succeeded. I also liked their make up, it did remind me of something out of a zombie B-movie but it worked well. While I can’t say that I’ve been converted to the Cradle cause and intend to buy their entire discography, I won’t, I did think they were pretty good and kept things going quite well.

Cradle of Filth- out to frighten young children

I thought this was a good shot of them

Guitars and bass do that 80s rocking back and forth close together thing.

Inglorious wasn’t the only band I listened to on Youtube in the days before Download. I also listened to some Hatebreed. They didn’t impress me as much as the first band did so they weren’t on my ‘must see’ list. After Cradle of Filth, I decided to take a walk and ended up heading over to the Avalanche Stage. It was here that I discovered the band I truly had never heard of before but really impressed me, Puppy. They’re a three piece band with the guitarist taking on the vocal responsibilities. His vocals are good and he has a good on stage rapport with the bassist but really impressed me was their power. While not thrash, they could collectively hit the right power chords and they really did impress me. Furthermore, they must have impressed a lot more people because at the end of their set, the guitarist remarked that he didn’t expect that many people there to see them. I think that’s a sign of things to come for this band. One I urge you to check out as well.

Puppy- Sorry, this was the best shot I could get of the band under all of those lights.

Puppy proved a good warm up to one of the bands I was dying to see. After eating an overpriced burger and watching the first bout of the NXT Wrestling, I headed over to the Zippo Stage to see the band I’ve been wanting to see for 32 years, Kreator. I managed to get almost to the front so I was in a great position to see them when they came out. Kreator hit the stage running at about 250 mph with “Phantom Antichrist” and didn’t look back. They might have only been on stage 30 minutes but they didn’t stop from start to finish treating the audience to “Hail to the Hordes,” Hordes of Chaos,” which Mille referred to the crowd as and “Suicide Terrorist” and ended with my all time favourite “Pleasure to Kill.” Two things surprised me on what I saw. One was that most of the shredding was done by Sami Yli Sirnio. Don’t get me wrong, Sami can smoke the six string but I’ve always thought that Mille Petrozza was just as capable. Saying that, it worked for them. The other thing was that Mille does know how to work a crowd and get them participating, he’s a much better front man than I expected. Like I said, the band gave their all because when they left, Mille looked like he needed to use a different underarm deodorant and drummer Ventor was drenched in sweat. Thirty-two years and it was well worth the wait.

Mille leads Kreator onto the stage

Mille supports while Sami shreds.

Still buzzing by Kreator’s performance, I returned to the main stage in time to catch the final couple of songs of In This Moment. Lead by lead singer Maria Brink, the band backed up what looked to be an interesting theatrical stage show. Because I got there at the end, I couldn’t get what the story was about but it looked like a woman who looked like Maria was acting like Maria’s slave while she sang but while it would have been interesting to see the entire show, I don’t regret giving it up for Kreator.

In This Moment performing their theatrics.

Rejoining my stepson Teal who had remained at the main stage, he did say that In This Moment’s show was quite good and he thought Hatebreed were pretty good as well and they paid tribute to Kreator. That was cool but we both awaited the appearance of Black Veil Brides. These were on my “I have to check out” list so I made it a point to see them. I wanted to see if they were really Motley Crue for the twenty-teens. They weren’t they were better and I must say that I was very impressed with their often melodic, sometimes power metal. Of course, they played the song they’re known best for, “Fallen Angels” and I sang the chorus along with everyone else in the crowd. “Faithless” was played very brilliantly too and I found myself harmonizing the “Whoa-oh” along with the crowd. When they left the stage, they had definitely made a believer out of me and Teal because he wasn’t too keen to see them at first, he said he didn’t regret it after.

Black Veil Brides make their appearance

Bassist Ashley Purdy comes to my side of the stage

Andy , Jinx and Jake in action

Andy comes our way.

Guitarists rocking out on centre stage.

Shinedown was another band I had only heard on Youtube just a few days before Download and as a result, which was also down to my not wanting to lose my place for Marilyn and Ozzy, I remained in place to see them. A wise decision this turned out to be. Shinedown were another band I had no familiarity with but really impressed me on the day. I’m probably way out of the ball park on this but they reminded me of classic 1970s hard rock. Their hour on stage went by too fast, playing a combination of old material and some from their latest album. Brent Smith is a good vocalist and showman as any of them and the band behind him played very well. I was quite impressed when bassist Eric Bass (no that’s not a pun) played acoustic guitar. For some reason, it’s what I remember most about them, probably because the song played to it was good.

Shinedown begin

Playing in the smoke

A good shot of Eric Bass

As the evening progressed, the excitement mounted for the top two acts on the card. Marilyn Manson came out first, stating that he hates the daylight but that couldn’t be helped. He had the crowd eating out of his hand from the outset and all the things I heard about his kick ass live shows were true. I was personally pleased when he performed my personal favourite of his, “This is the New Hit” but the day had been going like that. He sang many other of his best hits as well and what surprised me a little was that while he performed his version of 80s synth pop song, “Sweet Dreams,” he didn’t do “Tainted Love,” not that it bothered me. He did have several background and costume changes as well. Starting with the upside down black and white flag with the crosses, then a picture of himself and following that, the upside down cathedral. His final costume choice was bold because it was a large frilly black coat and it was still quite hot outside. While his show was top rate, I was a little disappointed about the end because he exited the stage without any thank you or acknowledgement of the crowd.

Marilyn commands the stage

Manson comes to the centre of the stage but too many hands got in the way.

Cool lights and Marilyn’s guitarist and drummer

Marilyn singing without a shirt on

I used the large screen to get this shot of him.

Finally, the main event: Ozzy Osbourne came to the stage. Before he came out, however, he called out from backstage, “I can’t fucking hear you!” two times before he came out and only when the audience was good and loud. Once he did, it was Ozzy mayhem from beginning to end. While he wasn’t doing acrobatics on stage, he still moved around fairly well for someone approaching 70. It was no surprise he began the show with “Bark at the Moon,” he did that when I saw him 32 years earlier. It was the second song that got me going, probably my all time Ozzy favourite, “Mr Crowley.” If that wasn’t enough of a surprise, instead of “Iron Man” he sang my all time favourite Black Sabbath song, “War Pigs.” So, you can imagine my euphoria after that. It was after that classic that Zak Wylde dazzled with his guitar skills. The funny thing was that during his solo, he started playing the opening riffs to “Perry Mason” and I thought that would be the next song. Unfortunately not, but it wasn’t a disappointment. Instead, Tommy Clufetos went into a massive drum solo, thus further wowing the crowd. When Ozzy returned, there were more of the classics, “Road to Nowhere,” “Dreamer” and I was a little surprised when he played “Shot in the Dark,” It was overdubbed with keyboards but it still sounded okay. In all cases, he got the crowd fully involved and there was plenty of shouting and hand waving along to his songs to be had. When he left the first time, no one was surprised to see him come back quickly and when he did, he treated the crowd to “Mama I’m Coming Home” and of course, “Paranoid.” However, when he left for good after all the good byes and fanfare, I realized his show was twenty minutes shorter than what it was billed for. Yes, he could have done a few more classics, but he went out on a major high.

Ozzy’s stage

Ozzy’s kick ass show

I regret that there’s only two photos of Ozzy’s piece of history. That was because my memory card was full. Nevertheless, he ended what was a glorious Sunday at Download.

I did take videos of Kreator and Ozzy but stupid WordPress won’t let me upload them here. They won’t even let me paste a link to it on Facebook.

Next post: Bryan Adams- Reckless

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