Saturday dawns bright and brings with it the promised of yet more great bands, beer and festivities. There were so many bands on this day I wanted to camp by both stages and just watch everything. But, short of cloning myself and creating a psychic link with said clone, this was not going to happen. Neither would it with more interviews to do.
I did run about between then stages and see as much as I could, but managed to catch really only a few sets. The first of the day was Bonafide. I had tried to watch their acoustic set the day before as well as grab a coffee in the Starbucks that was serving (no pun intended) as the acoustic venue. But it was just too damn popular and there were people by the open door waiting to get in. Given that I was not missing today’s set, and the next time they play neither should you. In fact if you’re reading this you may very well be a Hard Rock Hellion and so be familiar with this band. I have a lot of time for Bonafide and am happy any day of the week to watch them. There was quite a lot to see as well and with the addition of fire eaters to the stage it was really quite some show. The venue was rammed, with people singing along very happily. Watching them on stage and the audiences’ reaction you can tell this is one band that is really in the hearts of the HRH set (which is certainly not a bad place to be.) The set was being filmed for a DVD so if you were there, watch out for it and then watch out for yourself!
Though I was enjoying the set I did run over to Stage 2 to catch a bit of Tytan. There was definitely a smaller crowd at this time, but looking about me I could see that everyone who was there was there to watch this band, and I could see why. I moved my way towards the front and was moving my head with the music before I knew it. I enjoyed the power vocals and the stage lighting made it feel like you were watching them on the much bigger stage.
The next band I managed to catch a while later was Jettblack who had Jon on vocals throughout for this set. How do I know I enjoyed this set? Aside from the obvious memories, I have no notes at all; a clear sign I got caught up in it all. Which was even better as this was the first full set I had managed to catch the whole festival. I love the older style rock and metal influences in the songs; it translates well onto the stage and is just fun to watch – especially with a good crowd around you, which was the case for this set. With good songs, banter and cheering, what else could you want? Definitely another band added to the ‘must see again’ list – oh, did somebody say April 2013?
After this I wandered off to conduct more interviews but kept my post-gig happiness with me. Then came the moment later on that I had been waiting for since the announcement some time previously. Yes….it was indeed time for Ugly Kid Joe to take to the stage. Despite me being just a tad bouncily excited about seeing Ugly Kid Joe, I was only familiar with a couple of their songs and was a bit worried those two may be the highlight only. They were indeed the highlight, and yet they also weren’t. By this I mean that everything about this set was a highlight for me. I may not have known the songs but I tried to sing along and despite not knowing the words I felt like I knew the songs like old friends. I was a bit bouncy and generally very overly excited about everything. This was a party spirit and what party would be complete without a couple of covers, this night in the form of ‘Cats In The Cradle’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’! But let me tell you, this was nothing compared to the lunacy many, including myself, presented when ‘Everything about you’ began. Welcome to singing en mass Hard Rock Hell and thank you Ugly Kid Joe.
I left Stage 1 with that great post gig feeling where you know you’re going to keep smiling for some time to come. It may have been late in the day, ok morning, but who has time for sleep when there are still bands to be seen? So heading across the way to Stage 2 I joined the rest of the night birds for IAMI. Yet another band who engages well with the crowd. So well they allow themselves to be encouraged when the audience chant ‘down in one’ with their beer. This again was a good choice regarding the set time as it was a good loud way to end the night. There was some jumping and dancing and before I knew it their 50 minute set had come to an end. Surely not?! Alas, sadly yes, and not just because that signalled the end of the night but also because you could easily watch this band for longer. However, venues must close, some sleep must be had and more bands to watch upon the morrow.
Photo credits: Sean Larkin and David Farrell.