Previously posted on Metal Shock Finland: Review: Bloodstock Open Air 2013; First Day, Friday August 9th
So to Saturday! Up at a half-decent time despite a distinct lack of sleep as we had yet more interviews today, we were happy to see the sun yet again, AND faces that looked more ravaged by lack of sleep and overindulgence than ours! After a quick coffee-break we were once again set up over by the AVE SATANAS hearse; between interviews we did get chance to pop over to the now famous DELI KATE van in the main Arena for sustenance…..a bonus of that was that we managed to catch the end of the one and only Simon Hall’s BEHOLDER on the R.J.D stage. With Simon on vocals, the ok yes still slightly sparse crowd at that point, were totally appreciative of one of the UK’s most prized underground metal acts. For fans of traditional progressive thrash metal these guys simply are a ‘must see’! Then it was over to the L’arpie/R.A.C.P.A UK stall at the Rock Society tent to finally pick up my James Hetfield L’arpie …
I cannot really pass comment on 3 INCHES OF BLOOD as we were interviewing/filming again by this point, BUT did hear many friends comment on how good/brutal they were. The next ‘unmissable’ band on stage for me were HELL and as always their elaborate stage set takes time to prepare but with the pulpit/pipe organs in place, and strategically placed gargoyles, a rather demonic looking David Bower dressed, as always, all in black with customary red contacts and crown of thorns immediately gets the large gathering (or should that be congregation) onside. The entire set was a joy for me as I was gutted to have missed them play in Derby in February of this year, it was also well-received by the fans, especially when they launched into ‘Welcome To Hell’…having known David, Andy, Kev, Tony and Tim for some time now and I still never tire of seeing them whip (oh yes please excuse the intentional pun but the red WHIP did make it’s appearance again) a daytime crowd into such a frenzy, aided ably by fabulous pyrotechnics and David’s insane cackle of..
“Can anyone smell burning?? That’s your souls that is!!”
I REALLY wanted to see GOJIRA as they are a current favourite of mine, but with interview commitments it was not to be. Formed in 1996 in Southwest France extreme metal band GOJIRA are finally gaining more well-deserved recognition. I was told afterwards that following KATAKLYSM’S set there was a problem with the barrier down the front and therefore a delay. I was also assured though that front man and vocalist Joe Duplantier soon got the crowd onside, it was a shame that some of their stage equipment had been left behind due to a customs problem but from what I heard this did not detract in the slightest from their performance. How I wish I had been at the front to witness such greats as ‘The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe’ and ‘Backbone’ but never mind, I WILL catch them next time…
SABATON were up next and I simply adore these Swedish heavy metallers with their unique brand of historical metal….so pleased they get a large crowd, all singing and chanting as one from the very beginning when the full version of ‘The Final Countdown‘ is played as their introduction! Starting off with ‘Ghost Division’, which then leads into ‘Carolus Rex’ they are totally on form, and on a lighter note they had been instructed to ‘please do not swear between songs’. Full Marks then to front man/vocalist Joakim Broden who retorted with…
“I have a very limited English vocabulary…..this will really fuck me up!!” \m/
The set also included such rousing numbers as ‘Attero Dominatus,’ ‘The Art of War’ and ‘Primo Victoria’…simply awesome. The highlight of the whole set, and probably the day though was when the camera transmitting to the large screen picked out two young boys in the audience, these are the boys of good friend and fellow Metal Shock Finland writer, David Pearce, in addition to this they were invited to meet SABATON and rewarded with priceless merchandise, such as their wristbands and Joakim’s sunglasses….surely a Bloodstock these two young metalheads of the future will not forget in a hurry!
AVANTASIA were up next, but alas much as I wanted to see German Tobias Sammet & Co, by this point my two broken/crippled feet were screaming with pain and I had to retreat back to camp for pain killers and a fabulous sit down! Apparently I missed guest appearances from the likes of Michael Kiske (Helloween), Eric Martin (Mr. Big), and Bob Catley (Magnum) I did also however, which slightly pleases me, hear whisperings from fans that GOJIRA may well have made a better support act, as I was not there I could not possibly comment….;)
Just prior to Saturday headline act LAMB OF GOD coming onstage its ‘that time of year’ again as next years first headliner, Norwegian black metal supremo’s EMPEROR are announced and the waiting crowd go wild!!
At that point American legends LAMB OF GOD burst onstage with the immortal words…“ get your hands in the air motherfuckers!!”
Never one to hold back Randy Blythe and Co. had stage presence and sheer power going for them and were well received by the majority of the huge crowd that had by then gathered at the R.J.D. stage. There was of course the obligatory reference to the, thankfully now closed, court case relating to the young fan’s death when he fell from the stage; this was quite an opportune moment to be fair as it was at that point that there were yet more barrier issues and there had to be a break while it was fixed. The guys then burst back with ‘Set to Fail’ and had just started ‘Ruin’ when the unthinkable happened and the barriers broke yet again! Despite all this, LAMB OF GOD were doing a fine performance but for whatever reason yet again they were not doing it for me personally, and myself and a few others wandered off yet again to the Sophie stage.
Stand up comic, all round funny guy and metalhead ANDREW O’NEILL was closing the night over at the Sophie stage and he WAS really funny…..shame then that I kept missing the punch lines due to his microphone not being terribly clear, or was it his broad accent – or even a mixture of both! Or maybe I was just exhausted by this point – and so to bed……….OK I LIED, party night number 2 coming up!!
To be continued!!