Archive for the Heavy Metal and the 1980s Category

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Styrper- The Yellow and Black Attack

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2017 by 80smetalman

On one occasion in 1984, I resisted the temptation of the devil. Sometime in late August, TCN Hot Rock premiered a Christian heavy metal band on its radio programme. The deejay stated that the band they were playing called themselves ‘headbangers for the Lord’ and that very much intrigued me. So, on that particular Sunday morning, personal history was made as this was my introduction to the now very famous Christian heavy metal band Stryper.

I can’t remember which one of the six songs from their debut EP, “The Yellow and Black Attack” was played on that morning but what I do remember was that I very much liked what I heard. To me, Stryper could hold their own with their secular counter parts in every way. This album has everything a metalhead could ask for. Some crunching power riffs that come through straight away on the opening track and continue all the way to the end. All the vocals on the album were truly amazing and I had a lot of praise for the singer, I didn’t know his name at the time. Of course there was a tight rhythm section but in most cases for me, especially back then was how good the lead guitar was. Well, I don’t think anyone could debate me if I say that Oz Fox belongs up there among his great guitar peers. The best thing about “The Yellow and Black Attack” is that you get all of those ingredients on each one of the six songs on it.

One thing I have stated over the past three decades was that with many heavy metal bands, they start out hungry for success and that raw hunger is expressed on their initial demo or even the debut album, some beyond that. That hunger is definitely there on this album. They might have been singing and playing their hearts out here and the result was that the music could be capable of turning stones into bread.

The problem Stryper had with both Christian and secular audiences was that no one knew how to take Christian heavy metal. Christians had always branded metal Satanic and some thought that the fusion of Christianity and heavy metal to be sacrilege. As for the heathen, many were put off by the threat of Jesus lyrics. One critic referred to them as “Quiet Riot singing Jesus music.” That’s more of an insult for Stryper than to Quiet Riot. Stryper doesn’t sound like them at all to me. True, Stryper proudly sing about their love for their Saviour but having listened to this band so many times in three decades, I have never found myself wanting to go back to the fold.

Personal note: I was a Born Again Christian during my teenage years of the 1970s but all it did for me was mess my head up more than any drugs or music ever could. However, I don’t begrudge anyone who has spiritual beliefs and if they want, I would happily listen to Stryper with them.

Track Listing:

  1. Loud ‘N’ Clear
  2. From Wrong to Right
  3. You Know What to Do
  4. Co’mon Rock
  5. You Won’t Be Lonely
  6. Loving You

Stryper

Michael Sweet- lead vocals, guitar

Oz Fox- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tim Gaines- bass, backing vocals, keyboards

Robert Sweet- drums

They didn’t know it back then but Stryper laid down the foundations that built the bridge between the gulf of Christianity and heavy metal with this, their debut EP, “The Yellow and Black Attack.” From here, Stryper would go onto bigger and better things and whether or not you were a Christian or heathen, their music would touch the metal souls of many metalheads.

Next post: Chicago 17

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507042433&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Daniel Band- Run From the Darkness

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

Satan had come upon me during the summer of 1984 because the Daniel Band had lots of airplay on the Sunday morning radio show, TCN Hot Rock. I remember liking what they played but for some reason, I never explored them further. That’s why I say Satan had corrupted me because if I had explored the Daniel Band more, I would have discovered a long time ago what a great album “Run From the Darkness” is.

A little background on them, they were formed in 1979 in Toronto Canada. Their first album, “On Rock,” offered a more progressive sound. However, with this, their second album, they went full blown heavy metal. They even wore dog collars and spandex when they went on tour for this album. Plain and simple, upon listening to “Run From the Darkness,” I will second the motion that this was a heavy metal album. The first three tracks are definitely metal in your face, although I think the title track was the intended single. The third track, “Walk on the Water” is my favourite track on the album. The power chords are like Judas Priest and the harmonies in the chorus remind me of KISS in their heyday. Not a bad combination me thinks. They have also been compared to AC/DC, Boston and their fellow countrymen, April Wine. What’s not to like?

The metal doesn’t end with the first three tracks. Tracks four and five keep things ticking over very nicely. The latter is given the fan treatment at the beginning giving it that recorded live feel but “Sixteen” cooks regardless. In fact, the album doesn’t slow down to the latter end of the album. “Live Connection” is almost thrash. Even the keyboard on “Wall” just complements the hard rocking sound of the song. After “Wall” is the ballad, “It’s Over” and that’s a very tidy power ballad. As is the track after, “My Children.” This starts like a piano ballad and then the guitars come in and could flatten the walls of Jericho. The closing track, “In the Sky” takes things out in a typical metal way.

Let me once and for all dispel the myth about Christian Rock. I have listened to “Run From the Darkness” five times in the last week and not once did I find myself wanting to put my beer down and start reading my bible. Anyone who does that is just as liable to sacrifice a chicken to Satan after listening to Deicide. There are no in your face Jesus lyrics on here and even if there were, this album is good enough to where they could be singing about doing terrible things to dogs with a fork and I’d still enjoy the music from it. Added bonus is that lead guitarist Tony Rossi can hold his own with many of his non- Christian counterparts. Hey, the main can wail!

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Give Up
  2. Run From the Darkness
  3. Walk on the Water
  4. Never Gonna Die
  5. Sixteen
  6. Live Connection
  7. Let’s Get Ready
  8. Wall
  9. It’s Over
  10. My Children
  11. In the Sky

Tony Rossi- lead guitar, vocals

Don McCabe- bass, lead vocals

Bill Findlay- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Matt Del Duca- drums

Have I converted? In regards to the Daniel Band, the answer is yes. If anyone out there still thinks that Christian Rock musicians are second rate, then have a listen to “Run From the Darkness.” This album, Christian or not, simply kicks ass.

Next post: Kerry Livgren AD- Time Line

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506111961&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rise of Christian Rock

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2017 by 80smetalman

Normally, I don’t write three posts in a week unless in exceptional circumstances which this is. Nothing major, I’m just going to be in Blackpool for the weekend and working a lot next week so I won’t be able to post again until next Friday. However, this doesn’t excuse any of you from your homework assignment from the last post. Only kidding.

1984 was the golden year of heavy metal but it also saw a huge rise in the interest in what has become known as ‘Christian Rock.’ With the onslaught of accusations of rock music being Satanic, Christian youth needed something they could listen to without their beliefs being affected. What emerged was a large number of bands and artists who were Born Again Christians and wanted to use music to spread their word and entertain the flock. I remember back in 1984 a lot of bands of this nature coming on the scene. In fact, early Sunday mornings, my local radio station had a four hour slot called TCN Hot Rock, where they would play music from Christian groups. When I did listen to it, I immediately dismissed the false belief that Christian bands were second rate musicians who were only using religion as a gimmick because they weren’t good enough to make it mainstream. Really, some people actually thought that. No these people could really wail and the music was very good and to shoot down another myth, not all the songs were in your face about Jesus.

You’d be surprised how many bands there are who are considered Christian Rock, even some of those who were popular among us heathens. Did you know that three of the four members of U2 were Born Again Christians? Adam Clayton is the only non believer in the band. Needless to say, their music got a lot of air play on TCN. As did another band who I featured here not too long ago, The Alarm. Other artists also came onto my radar thanks to this radio programme, including former Kansas star, Kerry Livgren. I’ll be featuring his album two posts from now. There was Mylon LeFevre, (no relation), Petra, the Daniel Band and it was here that I got my introduction to some heavy metal band called Styper. You might have heard of them.

The Alarm

U2

I remember one song getting a lot of airplay on TCN Hot Rock during the summer of 1984 so I thought, I would share it with you. It’s by Steve Taylor and it’s called “We Don’t Need No Color Code.” The song actually is a rant against a supposedly Christian College in the South who was accused of racist practices.

Like with everything to do with religion, the concept of Christian Rock is great. Like I said on other blogs, I can listen to Stryper and Mercyful Fate in the same sitting. There are some pretty amazing musicians who are Born Again Christians and I think that’s cool. However, like with everything else, people mess it up and make it look bad. The rise of Christian Rock gave rise to the arrogance in the attitudes of those who listened to it. Some would take this to extremes and if you’ve read “Rock And Roll Children,” (shameless plug), you’ll know what I mean.

Next post: Originally, I was going to put a song by the Daniel Band on this post but when I listened to their 1984 album, “Rush Out of the Darkness,” I was so impressed that I’m going to make it my next post.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505466016&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triumphs and Other Happenings in 1984

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

Evidence that heavy metal had truly established itself in 1984 can be sited with the 1984 Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park, in England. This was the first and probably only Donington to feature seven artists and you can only look at the poster here, see which bands played on draw your own conclusions as to whether or not it was a kick ass day. I wasn’t there but I know people who were and they can confirm it. The only negative comment I heard about the day was that Motley Crue had bottles thrown at them for making too many comments about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Something an opening band should probably not do. Anyway, to see Ozzy, Van Halen and AD/DC all on one stage must have been mind blowing.

I must apologize for Youtube not having any individual songs recorded from this memorable day.

Cyndi Lauper

You are probably asking yourself, “What is she doing here on an 80smetalman’s post?” Well, some misguided individuals thought that Cyndi Lauper had replaced Joan Jett or Pat Benatar as the Queen of Rock in 1984. Nonsense, I say. I will never recognize Cyndi Lauper as such and will go to my grave stating that fact. Yes, I liked “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” the very first time I heard it but afterwards, I wanted to take an Uzi to the television every time the video came on MTV. The only song from of hers I nearly liked since was “Money Changes Everything” and a few years later, grew to like “I Drove All Night” a little.

So, why is she here you ask. Back when I posted about my weekend at Download, where I went to see wrestling, I mentioned that the Rock and Wrestling Connection began in 1984 and it began with Cyndi. At the time, wrestling manager, Captain Lou Albano, claimed she managed Cyndi Lauper on wrestling shows. Cyndi refuted that claim and without going into great details, she made a challenge to Captain Lou that she could manage a wrestler better than him. So, while Lou took Women’s World Champion The Fabulous Moolah under his wing, Cyndi managed challenger Wendi Richter. I’ll leave  you to watch the video to see who won but the Rock and Wrestling Connection started here.

There was a tragedy too in 1984 but that happened at the very end of the year, so I’m saving it for the end of the 1984 tour. So here, let us reflect on the happy times with all the great heavy metal and some wrestling too.

Next post: My Underrated Band

To Buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505042182&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: REO Speedwagon- Wheels Are Turnin’

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2017 by 80smetalman

With the explosion of heavy metal onto commercial airwaves in 1984, it is not surprising that there would be casualties left in its wake. For me, my love for the music of REO Speedwagon would come to an end in this year. In my eyes and ears, their 1984 album, “Wheels Are Turnin’,” was a sell out and I came to the conclusion that the band had abandoned their more hard rock roots and had become a top forty band. The exact phrase I used at the time was “They went from being good and settled for being popular.” Thinking back, was my assessment of them and this album accurate? It is now, thirty years on, that I am revisiting “Wheels Are Turnin'” with a fresh set of ears and a much more open mind.

My very first impression at the time was that they had stayed true to their roots with their first single, “I Do’ Wanna Know.” This lively track is classic REO Speedwagon as I had always known them. It’s a fast hard track where lead guitarist Gary Richrath and keyboardist Neil Doughty show their musical talents off. In fact, if I were to compile a list of my favourite REO songs, “I Do’ Wanna Know” would most certainly be in the top five. Unfortunately for me, came their second single, their ultra successful mega hit, “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” While I have come to appreciate this song more in my mellowing old age, in 1984, I thought that the band where just trying to recapture the success they had with a previous successful song, “Keep on Loving You” from the “Hi Infidelity” album. At the time, that was a big turnoff for me.

The two singles after that were even bigger turnoffs to me. “One Lonely Night” didn’t fire me up in any way nor did “Live Every Moment.” It was here that I went off REO Speedwagon and found myself content to listen to their earlier classics, especially my all time favourite of theirs, “Nine Lives.” As I write this, I am feeling a little bit like a hypocrite. I have said on countless posts of albums that I don’t judge them by their singles, so why did I here? I think the reason was that on so many of their albums, including my fave, the singles from them were some of my favourite songs. I know that sounds a bit weak and that’s why I am asking if anyone knows where I time machine is located so I can got back to 1984 and tell my 23 year old self to give the “Wheels Are Turnin'” album a chance.

Unlike those other albums, some of the best tracks aren’t the singles, “I Do’ Wanna Know” being the exception. That will always be the best track on the album for me. However, with some of the other songs, they do go back more to their harder rock roots. “Thru the Window” and “Gotta Feel More” are great examples of this as is the title track at the end. However, on these songs and even the singles, the guitar talents of Gary Richrath aren’t ignored as he does wail on many of them. “Gotta Feel More” is probably Gary at his best on this album.

Gary Richrath

Track Listing:

  1. I Do’ Wanna Know
  2. One Lonely Night
  3. Thru the Window
  4. Rock N’ Roll Star
  5. Live Every Moment
  6. Can’t Fight This Feeling
  7. Gotta Feel More
  8. Break This Spell
  9. Wheels Are Turnin’

REO Speedwagon

Kevin Cronin- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Gary Richrath- lead guitar

Neil Doughty- keyboards

Bruce Hall- bass, backing vocals

Alan Gratzer- drums, percussion, backing vocals

So the big question here is did REO Speedwagon sell out with the “Wheels Are Turnin'” album? My answer is possibly. They did have four singles from this album and only one of them I truly liked. However, there is plenty of evidence on the album to show that they hadn’t fully turned away from their harder past. My conclusion is that while I enjoy this album more in my older age, it still doesn’t match up to classics like “Nine Lives,” “Hi Infidelity,” “You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish” or “Good Trouble.” For me, those are the greatest REO albums of all time.

Next post: Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1984

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1504429543&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download 2017: Sunday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

I wonder if anyone obliged them.

Sunday, the final day of Download., we all thought we better make the best of it. Most of the bands I wanted to see this day were playing on the main stage so I didn’t have to travel very far, especially with the headache of packing and loading the car. Everyone in my group all wanted to catch the day’s opener on the main stage, Fozzy. I had seen them at Bloodstock in 2013 and was very eager to see them again and when they came out on stage, they were determined to impress. Lead singer Chris Jerico, now with darker hair, still was the main attraction to this band. Like when I saw him at Bloodstock, he has a stage presence that singers with greater vocal talent don’t. However, he did give his band a little more of the limelight this time around. After all, he does have a good band behind him and I have to say that they seemed to have better material this time around. Check out the new song, “Judas.” A great start to the final day.

Fozzy begin

Jerico goes to the front

With the rest of the band behind him

Chris came my way

The rest of my group returned to camp but I stayed because I very much wanted to see the second band of the day, Orange Goblin. I have some of you bloggers to thank for that, I’m looking at Stone and HMO specifically, because what I have read about them made that decision for me. I have been told that while their music was good, they lacked stage presence, however, I saw no evidence of that when they hit the stage. True, singer Ben Ward is not the showman that Chris Jerico is but he sings well and can get the audience motivated behind the band. I thought they had some good stuff with their combination of doom metal and stoner rock. Will definitely be listening to these guys more and I’m serious about that.

Orange Goblin do have the presence

Ben Ward serenading the Sunday morning crowd

After being wowed by Fozzy and Orange Goblin, it was time to head back to camp, finish packing and load up the car. We managed to do this but because one of the assistants sent us to the wrong car park, we were late in getting back so when only caught the last twenty minutes of Devil Driver on the Zippo Stage. Still, twenty minutes of hard core thrash from Devil Driver is miles better than none at all.

The closest I could get to Devil Driver

After Devil Driver, I headed back to the main stage to see the remaining four bands on the night. The first of these were Australian hard rock band, Airbourne. Remember what I said about Northlane are evidence that not all Australian bands are influenced by AC/DC?  Well, forget about that in this case because the AC/DC influence came through the minute Airbourne was out on stage. The other thing I noticed straight away was that lead singer/lead guitarist, Joel O’Keeffe was the main attraction in the band. Like, Devin Townsend and another artist I would see later on in the day, O’Keeffe was good at both. However, he wouldn’t be so great without the rest of the band behind him. Most of the songs they played were from the “Breaking Out of Hell” album but that’s not a bad thing. I did like the song “It’s All For Rock and Roll, so it’s another album on my to get list. Airbourne warmed things up nicely in preparation for the rest of the evening.

Joel O’Keeffe going straight to the front

O’Keeffe belts out a guitar solo with rhythm section in support

The album cover alone is worth getting the album.

O’Keeffe leading the finish

After Airbourne, I was totally pumped for the next band, Steel Panther, and my feelings were justified. Steel Panther were the unsung heroes on the day. I loved them start to finish and let me put to rest any doubts about their ability, these guys can play, they proved that the second they stepped out on stage with “Eyes of the Panther.” Sure, there is a lot of humour in their songs and I was quite surprised they played, “Thar She Blows” live but whoever said that there can’t be humour in metal? I laughed and rocked out at the same time to the Tiger Woods song. In addition to the great metal, there was some great banter with the crowd and between the band themselves. Bassist Lexxi was the butt of most of the jokes, with constant insinuations he was gay but it was also said that lead singer Mike Starr was 72 years old. If that’s true, then all the power to him I say. Besides I believe them when they say the reason all the other bands hate them was because they sleep with all their girlfriends. I only had to wait halfway through the set to hear the famous “Death to All But Metal” and they played “Fuck All Night, Party All Day” straight after. The biggest surprise was when they played “17 Girls in a Row.” While playing it, they invited ladies up from the crowd on stage and before you knew it, there was a wall of young women across the entire stage and four deep. Most of the ladies seemed content with taking selfies with the band and giving them kisses, not that they minded. Once the girls were back off stage, they ended with what’s for me, the best song possible, “Community Property.” You bet people sang along to that one. So, after seeing them, anyone who insists Steel Panther are a joke band can come see me and I’ll show them my US Marine Corps training.

Feel the Steel

Michael Starr sings while Satchel hammers a solo

Starr and Lexxi come my way

The ladies answer the invite to come on stage

Ladies on stage

I only became familiar with Alter Bridge a week before I went to Download but after hearing their mix on Youtube, I made up my mind to go and see them. Myles Kennedy was already known to me on account of his work with Slash so that made me more determined to see them. He is a great singer but what I never knew was that he can play a guitar a bit as well. He really wailed away on quite a few of the songs so I was doubly impressed. While I can remember specific song titles, I can say that the songs I heard were absolutely brilliant. I think that after seeing them onstage, they are quickly becoming a favourite with me.

Welcome Alter Bridge

Myles came my way to play a solo

Don’t forget, there are three other great musicians in Alter Bridge

We all know Myles is a great singer too

More great guitar work

They played on til the end

Now common sense says that I should have stayed put after Alter Bridge so I would have a spot for headliners, Aerosmith. However, who says I have any sense? What did I do? I went over to the Zippo Stage to catch twenty minutes of headliners Slayer. Sure, I have seen them twice recently but who in their right mind would pass up any chance to see Slayer? I didn’t and don’t regret it.

Slaaaayyyeeeerrrrrr!

I did manage to get back well before the main event and managed to jockey into the best place possible to see the band that helped me through high school. Aerosmith came out to all the royal fanfare a band of their magnitude deserved. While I knew that their set would be a ‘greatest hits’ one, neither I or any of the tens of thousands there to see them cared. The hits came straight away, their was “Crying,” “Love in an Elevator,” “Living on the Edge” and “Jaime’s Got a Gun” for starters. It was common knowledge that the last song was about domestic abuse but I was a little surprised at Steve’s revelation that he got the idea for it while he was in rehab. Sometime in the middle of the set, guitarist Joe Perry was allowed to sing lead on a couple of songs, the first one was a blues number and the second one, Brad Whitford played a guitar solo. I always suspected Brad was capable of such things. After all, he’s been a brilliant rhythm guitarist for over forty years! After Joe’s spot, Aerosmith went back to the hits starting with the film classic, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” It was here that Steve Tyler introduced guest keyboards player Buck Johnson. Believe me, he went well with the band. Tom Hamilton played a bass solo but there was no surprise which song was to come after when Steve introduced him as Mr Sweet Emotion. This was the icebreaker for more of their 70s and 80s stuff. There was “Dude Looks Like a Lady” and of course “Dream On,” which the band left the stage. No fooling they would come out for encores and the audience was treated to a song I can’t remember before “Walk This Way.” The night ended with confetti and great fanfare. Now, there are rumours that this would be Aerosmith’s last tour. If so, they went out on an absolute high.

Aerosmith ended a night and a weekend of great metal! I went home feeling very satisfied and fulfilled. Download was great but I will not enter into any debate as to which is better between Download and Bloodstock. Both offer me everything I look for in metal. One thing, I must do in the future is to save my pennies so I can go to both festivals in the same year.

Steve and Joe in the front

Aerosmith rocks!

They rock some more

Cool lights

Tom’s bass solo

More Steve and Joe

A great end to the night!

Rock and Roll Children is still available on Amazon.

Next post: Honeymoon Suite

Download 2017: Saturday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by 80smetalman

I forgot I took this picture of System of a Down the previous night.

Saturday mornings at festivals for me are always a time of moving in slow motion for me. I slept in and took my time getting going. When, I finally got going, I discovered there were no bands playing on the main stage at the time of my entry. However, my ears caught hold of some cool sounds coming out of the Avalanche Stage, so I thought I’d better go and check it out. I discovered what was making those wonderful sounds, it was the band, Greywind.

On all four of my trips to Bloodstock, I came across a band who I never heard of but impressed holy hell out of me. I thought it would be nice to keep up that tradition at Download. Greywind kept that tradition going for me. The band was tight but their best asset is their fiery red haired lead singer, Steph O’Sullivan. Let me just say that this band was awesome and the lead singer has an amazing voice along with a good stage presence. Their debut album “Afterthoughts” was released in the beginning of the year and let me tell you, I’m going to get it.

Greywind making their mark

After Greywind, I did something controversial on the afternoon. Some people might think it was that but I don’t. I didn’t go see any bands! Instead, I attended an NXT Wrestling event. For those who aren’t familiar with it, NXT is the farm team, reserves, second division (put in which term applies best to your sporting interests) of the WWE.  There were two events on each of the three days at Download. The one I went to had six matches on the card including tag team champions, Authors of Pain. I enjoyed it immensely but the best part was before the wrestling started, some chap got down on one knee in front of the crowd and proposed to his girlfriend. I thought it was sweet.

No Way Jose beat Wolfgang in the opening bout.

Ember Moon defeated Billie Bey in the first women’s match.

Although you wouldn’t have though so in this photo

Another misleading photo. Lars Sullivan ( I wonder if his parents were Metallica fans,) would defeat Trent Seven.

Ruby Riot and Aaliyah square off in the second women’s match.

Ruby Riot would eventually get the win.

Moores and Sabitelli battle Authors of Pain for the Tag Team Title

Authors of Pain did hold onto their belts.

Cien Andamadama and Alleister Black meet in the Main Event. Alleister Black would win this one.

Nice flying move though

I had a great time watching the wrestling. After all, now that I’m in 1984, that year began the origins of the rock and wrestling connection. More on that at a later time.

Heading back to the main stage, I was fortunate enough to catch the end of Pierce the Veil, I liked what I heard and lead singer, Vic Fuentes, tried to get two mosh pits going simultaneously. The ended things with their best known song, “Kings of Pain.”

Fuentes out in front

And here’s the rest of the band.

After feeding my face, I ventured back to the Avalanche Stage in the hopes of discovering another band. Every Time I Die was on stage and I am convinced that their loud, angry tones scared their record producer into signing them. They made two bands, who I never heard of who impressed me. Actually, Northlane and Motionless in White from the previous day makes it four.

Every Time I Die frightening children

When ETID finished, I went back to the main stage to catch some of A Day to Remember. I happened to stand among some true ADTR fans who sang along to every song they played. I have heard of this band before but have only heard snippets previously. I liked what I heard on this day.

They are under there somewhere

And they appear

Some A Day to Remember fans singing along

Lead singer Jeremy McKinnon goes out in front.

When A Day to Remember left, I immediately beat feet over to the Zippo Stage for the rest of the night. The first band out was the Devin Townsend Project. I had seen Devin at Bloodstock in 2010 and he was good but he was even better this time around. For one, he didn’t have any equipment malfunctions so there was no delay in starting the show. He just completely wailed on his guitar the entire time. Two songs that really stood out for me were “Sugar Crush” and “Dead Head,” the latter of which could sum up his entire performance. It had a melodic start before going more power metal along with some great guitar soloing and his interaction with the audience was superb. I also like how he can change his voice during a song, from traditional to almost thrash metal to fit the song. Before he left, he said he was amazed at the fact that he was 45 and could still make a living out of playing metal.

DTP takes the stage

Devin plays a guitar solo

Belting out another guitar solo.

Devin Townsend paved the way for the final act of the night, Rob Zombie. Before he made his entrance, there were test screens on the stage. This led me to wonder where all this might lead. That was answered when he came out in his silver suit with cowboy hat and fringes. Those screens showed old films and TV shows while his band played. At one time, the screens displayed large red letters, “Get High” when he sang that song. When he saw someone with a blow up doll, he told them they must be desperate. Rob joined in when he threw two blow up aliens into the crowd and instructed the audience to let them crowd surf to the back. He also expressed ‘concern’ over the fact that alien abductions aren’t talked about by politicians. It was an amazing show, attended by many because I was near the front and packed in like a sardine. Had great effects and light show as well. When the show ended, I wasn’t the only one who thought Rob should have headlined the main stage instead of Biffy Clyro.

What would these screens reveal?

Cool colour display

And there was fire

Best shot of Rob I could get.

Biffy had already finished so I couldn’t have watched them if I wanted to. I’m sure the eight people who did see them enjoyed the show. I went back to my campsite fully drained and in need of refreshment.