>The morning after the night before, and there were some very hungover faces walking through the campsite and the odd couple who looked like they hadn’t gone to bed yet. They probably hadn’t either. Still, Day 2 of Hellfest was upon us, the sun was shining again and there were 53 bands on offer for people to enjoy. So, who did PlanetMosh go and see? Let’s find out…
>First on the agenda were Hark (7), a Welsh three piece who opened for Monster Magnet last summer. They attracted a decent-sized crowd to the Valley and their own brand of heavy rock didn’t disappoint the early morning punters. In contrast, hardcore group Stinky Bollocks (6)walked out to about 50 people, but they wasted no time in kicking up the first circle pits of the day in great fashion. Back at the Valley, Acid King (7) may have taken us into the evening with fifty minutes of well-executed stoner metal, but it’s Clutch (9) who got the place shaking and bouncing with a force akin to a well-aimed petrol bomb. Opening with The Mob Goes Wild and blasting through another eleven songs, it was clear to see why the tent was spilling out into the main arena. The Temple stage was also rammed for Eluveitie (9) who are fast becoming one of the best bands to come out of the folk metal genre. Still touring 2012’s ‘Helvetios’ album, the octet could not have been on better form, and Inis Mona was majestic in every way.
Over on the Main Stages, Of Mice and Men (8) proved why they’ve garnered so much attention from mainstream radio in the UK recently – Austin Carlisle is also developing into a great frontman. All-female tribute Lez Zeppelin (6), on the other hand, got off on the wrong foot with their version of Immigrant Song and, despite a rousing Dazed and Confused, never really picked up from there. Leaving Whole Lotta Love out of the setlist was a criminal move as well. Miss May I (7) pick things up a bit further, particularly during Hero With No Name and Buckcherry (7) continued the ‘Bands-playing-better-at-Hellfest-at-Download’ trend by keeping the momentum going. It was sadly all lost when We Came As Romans (3) appeared though, with many who had never heard of them before wondering whether they had just had an off day or were genuinely that bad.
It clearly pissed Dagoba (9) off too because they came out in full force and brought the energy back up to fever pitch, including getting a Wall of Death stretching from the barrier far past the sound tower. But even they couldn’t match the brilliance of Status Quo (10) who, whilst probably being the least heavy band on the bill are easily one of the best to play all weekend. It was no nonsense from the off: out on stage and straight into Caroline, the same formula they’ve used for years. From In the Army Nowcausing a huge sing-a-long to the majesty of Whatever You Want, Quo are sublime in every aspect. It showed even more when fellow veterans Deep Purple (6) took to the stage: Ian GIllan’s voice hasn’t faired well in his older years and he just can’t hit the notes he used to. Couple that with his regular absence from the stage and it didn’t matter that we got musically-perfect renditions of Smoke On the Water,Hush and Black Night – with Gillan’s notes in the state they were it paled into insignificance.
And now, to Saturday night headliners Aerosmith (9). Given that I saw them at Download less than a week before I thought I knew what to expect. The minute they kicked into Back in the Saddle I was proved wrong – three changes to the set from Donington and it completely freshened things up (take note, Iron Maiden). We still got all the big hits – Love in an Elevator, I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, Cryin’, Walk This Way, but also Rats in the Cellar and Oh Yeah as well. How the band kept their cool when Stephen Tyler was on the form of his life and draping his arms all over them is anyone’s guess as well – they’re remained as tight as a nut and delivered a spectacle of class and fluidity. But if anyone could match them, it was Avenged Sevenfold (9). The Orange County quintet looked a little tired, but that was probably more due to them coming on at one in the morning more than anything else, and they took everyone into Sunday with lots of fire, lots of pyrotechnics and the assertion, once again, that they are ready to headline festivals across the world.
Back in the Saddle
Train Kept A-Rollin’ (Tiny Bradshaw cover)
Eat the Rich
Love in an Elevator
Livin’ on the Edge
Freedom Fighter (Joe Perry on lead vocals)
Same Old Song and Dance
Rats in the Cellar
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
No More No More
Come Together (Beatles cover)
Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
Walk This Way