Archive for concerts

Musical Memories of 2018

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2019 by 80smetalman

Because of all the sad memories of 2018 in the previous post, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to recap all the great moments in music I experienced in the said year. After all, I managed to get to both Download and Bloodstock this year as well as seeing Slayer’s farewell tour and discovering a few new artists to boot. So, I hope you will have a listen and reflect back on what a great year 2018 was musically.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip through the previous year. One thing I found a little disappointing was that I was at all the live concerts shown in the post and I haven’t been able to find me in any of the crowd shots, oh well. As we now progress to 2019, I do have a great idea for this year. Not only would it be amazing on a musical front but it could help strengthen goodwill between Israel and Lebanon. My idea is that Orphaned Land embark on a world tour with Slave to Sirens in support. I would move mountains to see that gig. Again, I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Next post: ZZ Top- Afterburner

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock-and-Roll-Children_pdf_free.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Metal New Year 2018! Some Big Decisions

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2017 by 80smetalman

Another year has come and gone and as we enter into 2018 tomorrow, I am faced with some choices for the coming year. Don’t panic, 80smetalman’s Blog will continue on until the very last relevant album of 1989 is posted about and as I’m only in 1984 at the moment, it’s safe to say that there are a few more years left in this engine. However, reflecting upon all the great musicians that have departed this world in the last two years and the passing of my mother in law three days ago, I have come to realize that I’m not exactly a spring chicken myself. Therefore, it’s time to slow down a little.

What I am really talking about is the physical side. Four of the past five years, I have gone to one of the major metal festivals in the UK and hopefully, have entertained you with my accounts of those. The fact that I’m turning 57 this year and family history isn’t on my side with health of the heart, I know that frolicking in the mud and living out of a tent for a few days isn’t something I should be doing much more down the line. That is why and enough of the morbid crap, I have decided to go out in a huge blaze of glory in 2018! I intend to go to both Download and Bloodstock this year and end my festival days on the ultimate high.

The lineups for both are ideal for my departure from the festival scene. Like me, Ozzy says he will be calling it a day after this tour. He will be headlining Download on the Sunday. He won’t be like when I saw him in 1986 when he had come out of his first spell in rehab but seeing him again will be brilliant! Plus, I’ve never seen Guns N Roses or Marilyn Manson before so that will also be brilliant. I only hope that Manson isn’t headlining the Zippo Stage on the Saturday evening when Guns N Roses are doing the same on the main stage. That would be a tough choice. Other bands playing include Black Veil Brides and Bullet for My Valentine, so there’s a lot to look forward to.

Bloodstock is just as good, especially on the Friday. I’ll get to see Suicidal Tendencies again although the stage layout will prevent me getting another high five from Mike Muir. Headlining that night is none other than Judas Priest! Also, I have been told that the festival will be keeping with the precedent set down in 2016 where the headliner of the Sophie Lancaster Stage goes on after the headliner of the Dio stage is finished. So, on the Friday, after getting blown away by Priest, I’ll hop over to the Sophie Stage and get rocked by Doro! On the other two days, Gojira is headlining on Saturday and Fozzy, Devil Driver and Mr Big all playing the Dio Stage on the Sunday. The lineups for both festivals aren’t complete so there may be more surprises in store. Whatever happens, I’ll be ending my festival days with a massive triumph!

Welcome Suicidal Tendencies

 

Fozzy begin

 

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Like me, I hope that all of you have great things to look forward to in 2018. Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment over the past seven years and I assure, there will more great things to come.

Happy New Year!

Next post: I’ll start 2018 out with one of my favourite 1984 albums, Dio: The Last in Line

 

 

 

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.

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