The night kicked off with 2 cards of 25, a London based Hard rock band. It’s certainly an unusual name which presumably has some meaning, but ignoring the name, what you have here is a very good hard rock band. Singer Diego Gutierrez has a good voice, and is helped particularly on the higher parts by a female backing singer. The band all look to be having a great time on stage and they do an excellent job of warming the crowd up, and their cover of the Guns’n’Roses hit “It’s so easy” certainly went down well.
Next up was Agent, which is where the night went wrong. They’re a Prog rock band and a pretty good one, but just didn’t fit in with the other bands on the bill – one prog rock band alongside three rock bands meant they didn’t seem suitable. They did sound good though and went down well, but despite starting on time they overran and protested when they got cut off by the sound engineer. It’s a shame this show decided to add a fourth band (there were only 3 bands on the rest of the tour) – which even if things had run to time means less time for the other bands and more risk of problems.
As a result of the overrun by Agent, the next band, Outloud, went on stage knowing they had a shorter than planned set, so had to cut out several songs which was a real shame as they were head and shoulders above Agent musically. When they take to the stage they tell the crowd they’ll keep talking to a minimum and straight away they’re into the first song, and damn they’re good – very very good in fact. In case you haven’t listened to Outloud before, they’re the side-project of Firewind Keyboard/guitar player Bob Katsionis. Chandler Mogel does a great job on vocals as they race through the set. A particular highlight of the set has to be a superb cover of the OMD classic “Enola Gay” with the keyboards replaced by guitar riffs. It’s all over far too soon due to their shortened set, but what they managed to play was superb – I hope they come back for another UK tour before too long.
Finally it was tonight’s headliner – Monument. This hard working British heavy metal band are steadily building themselves a solid fanbase, so it’s no surprise that it’s pretty much sold out tonight. I’ve seen the band play live several times including at Bloodstock last year, and they never disappoint, in part because they’re a really tight band musically and partly because they have a superb frontman in the form of Peter Ellis who has a voice that does remind people of Bruce Dickinson (and no doubt leads to the band being compared to Iron Maiden when they don’t sound particularly similar). What can I say? It’s a superb set in front of a great crowd that are clearly loving it.
A great night – three great bands on one bill. Had they stuck to the three it would have been perfect as they’d each have have had more time. Monument are always good, I definitely want to see more of Outloud, and I’d certainly be happy to hear more from 2 cards of 25.