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Review: Hellfest 2014 June 20th – 22nd (Clisson, France)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by Tickets There

Bq-gbMUIUAEU5NlHellfest 2014 may be over, but the ninth instalment of Europe’s fastest growing heavy metal festival won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Over the course of the weekend, more than 150,000 fans descended on the small town of Clisson in France to witness what can only be described as the greatest line-up any festival has ever managed to gather in a single year. From headliners to openers – every orifice of the metal world resonated with excitementand and there was no shortage of crowds for any band throughout the weekend.

IMG_9433On top of the incredible line-up, Hellfest organizers really enhanced the festival grounds for this year’s event. The market moved from the arena to the metal corner and developed into an actual miniature town in the form of Hellcity – with paved streets, actual footpaths, street lights and a massive number of new stalls and space. As well as that, greater seating areas were added allowing those of us with ‘walking difficulties’ more chances to relax when needed. The arena itself also got upgraded with a massive Ferris wheel added, paved paths, far more variety for food and more bars than you could shake a stick at. All in all an incredible set-up for just four days of festivities and a good sign of how quickly Hellfest is growing.

It wasn’t all glamorous however as Irish fans struggled in the extreme sun, dust and high temperatures to keep cool in black t-shirts, battlevests and corpse paint. But we survived and now it’s time to look back at just some of the highlights on and off the stage from Hellfest 2014.

Compact site means little walking between stages,

Compact site means little walking between stages,

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Hellfest 2014 Begins

DAY 01 – FRIDAY: There had been rumours that the scorching sun experienced on Thursday was due to continue for the entire weekend. On Friday morning festival goers found out that not only was the sun still here, it was actually hotter. Baking heat scorches the festival site with little opportunity to hide. Tents turn into saunas while main stages become roasting pits with thousands of black-clad metal maniacs enduring the punishing conditions to catch glimpses of the earlier bands.. and endure it they do.

Friday boasts one of the most popular line-ups of the whole weekend with Rob Zombie, Sepultura, Slayer, Death, Electric Wizard and Iron Maiden all on the bill. Powerman 5000 kick things in off epic style with a child chorus sing along that gets the crowd in a jolly mood before they crash in with their punishing electro-metal style. Irish rockers Therapy? provide a sharp contrast with catchy upbeat tunes that get the crowd hopping. All the major singles are included for a pretty decent set (except ‘Diane’).

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Rob Zombie @ Hellfest 2014

Rob Zombie is one of the major draws for the day and he doesn’t disappoint. Although he plays without his full stage show, Rob and co. deliver an incredibly strong set packed with classics such as ‘Dracula’, ‘Superbeast’, ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ and ‘Living Dead Girl’ before also throwing in some White Zombie classics and a cover of Diamond Head’s ‘Am I Evil’. He finishes up with White Zombie’s ‘Thunder Kiss ’65’ and blows the crowd away. An epic start and only a few bands in!

Terrible blurry photo taken b y myself. Sorry......

Iron Maiden @ Hellfest 2014 – Terrible blurry photo taken by myself. Sorry……

Sepultura keep things going as the heat starts to die off with a solid set of classics, but the real excitement was reserved for the legendary Iron Maiden who’s stage set-up captivates some fans’ attentions during the Brazilian’s set. By nine o’clock, the entire crowd has gathered in the arena for one of metal’s most beloved bands and they punish the hell out of us. Brining their ‘Made In England’ tour to France, Maiden deliver two solid hours of incredibleness. Wall to wall classic songs, a mouth watering stage show and their sound is just jaw dropping, Maiden may be getting older, but they can deliver a live show above almost all others.

‘Moonchild’, ‘Can I Play With Maddness’, ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Seventh Son..’ – it’s like a dream watching them. I should be clever and wordy here – but I can’t. Maiden are everything I’d ever hoped for and it only took twenty years, four shows and France to get it. Job done – happy in life now. Leaving the stage after an encore filled with ‘Aces High’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Sanctuary‘ – it’s almost hard to believe there was more to come.

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Slayer @ Hellfest 2014

Maiden, Therapy?, Death Angel, Powerman 5000, Rob Zombie and Sepultura. Not too shabby for one day – but add the next act onto that and you have heaven….or hell.

SLAYER are not a band to fuck around with and when they hit Mainstage 2 for their late night slot the crowd is there on time. Opening with ‘Hell Awaits’, Slayer perform a compact, but juicy set that both fulfils and delights attendees and leaves us gasping for more. ‘Antichrist’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Disciple’ – on and on they come and each one delivered with bone crushing force. Even their new tune, ‘Implode‘ sounds as strong as their older material. An excellent end to the day and time to relax with Sabaton and look forward to two more days.

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Hellcity at night – just part of Hellfest’s Metal Corner

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The Temple Stage after Gorgoroth

DAY 02 – SATURDAY: More heat, more music, more diversity. After a fairly solid lashing of proper heavy metal on Friday, Saturday is a mix of intensely heavy music and older classic rock. Well, any day you see Carcass, Deep Purple, Tsjuder and Aerosmith in the one place is always going to be a little strange. Add a previous night of drinking, no sleep and hotter than hell temperatures – you’ve got yourself the perfect cocktail of highly diverse chaos and incredible music.

Skid Row, Buckcherry and the excellent Lez Zeppelin are all fantastic bands to kick off the day – each one draws massive crowds (a shocking factor for me given the temptatures, but then again non-Irish people seem to cope quite well). Extreme followed with a lovely relaxing set of classics that filled the whole arena and set a nice, calming mood for the day. Gorguts and Tsjuder really changed the vibes with the latter crushing the Temple stage with fierce, violent black metal. God I missed Hellfest these last twelve months.

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Entrance to The Kingdom of Museadet

Over at the Valley stage, Clutch are delivering their brand of stoner funk metal with a packed crowd and savage sound. Clutch wouldn’t be my own cup of tea, but there’s no denying they have an incredible live sound and know how to handle their crowd. With Neil Fallon’s announcement that the band are heading back to the studio to record a new album soon, fans go insane and lap up a little taste of their new material before they finish with ‘Electric Worry’, ‘One Eye Dollar’ and ‘The Wolf Man Kindly Requests..’.

Over at MS1, Soulfy brace the heat to crush Sepultura’s performance from the previous day. Max Cavalera’s outfit may not be the most exciting metal band in history, but they’re solid and a couple of Sepultura covers help keep the momentum going. A quick visit to Brutal Truth ups the ante as they crush the altar but for this writer, the time had finally come to see one of heavy metal’s founding stones – the legendary Deep Purple.

Having never seen Deep Purple before, it was hard to know what to expect. They’re getting on in age terms but judging by their show they still have it. Seeing this kind of musicianship concentrated in one space is scarce and the obvious enjoyment from the band and the older crowd brings a sense of order and relaxation to Hellfest as the light starts to fade and night takes over the site. ‘Into The Fire’, ‘Strange Kind of Woman’, ‘Lazy’ and ‘Space Trukin’ are all delivered with restrained perfection. Of course the major cheers came for their biggest hit, ‘Smoke on the Water’ which woke the crowd up and left a great energy for the remainder of their set. As they finish, this writer bites his lower lip for missing Monster Magnet in the Valley, but Purple did not disappoint.

Aerosmith lighting up MS1 - My headliner pic curse continues.

Aerosmith lighting up MS1 – My headliner pic curse continues.

Then it was time for Saturday’s major draw – the mighty Aerosmith and their jaw dropping balls out two hour hard rock spectacle. Starting with a massive video introduction, the famous smith logo shot to the screen before Stephen Tyler grabs the crowds attention with a whistle as the band kick into ‘Back Into The Saddle’. They sound great, they look great and they blow Hellfest wide open with hit after hit after hit. There’s no holding back as they reach back and pull out all the stops from their career. ‘Eat The Rich’ (personal favourite), ‘Love in an Elevator’, ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ all fall out like it’s nothing and you could be forgiven for thinking their entire set is one long encore – designed to beat fans into submission. The set finishes with further dazzling displays of the bands tightness and incredibly strong back catalogue of singles before Stephen returns to the stage solo to play ‘Dream On’ in the middle of the crowd before the final track – ‘Sweet Emotion’ brings the show to a triumphant end. Incredible, absolutely incredible and there’s still more to go.

Carcass @ Hellfest 2014

In between the feel good rock ‘n’ roll of Aerosmith, a helping of Gorgoroth is needed. Only knowing them by reputation as an incredible live band means they have the task of convincing a potential new fan on an Aerosmith buzz to like them… and they do. They have a packed crowd and play a brilliant few tunes. It means missing a few Smith classics, but worth every minute. With both shows over, it’s time to devote myself to Carcass who own the Temple stage and force a lot of fans to wake up and ignore the fact that we were now going almost 36 hours without sleep. “Are you awake? Are you drunk? I’m fucking drunk” announces Jeff Walker to the crowd before offering us the chance to see Avenge Sevenfold instead. Err, no thanks man – grand here. Carcass play one of the most intense sets of the festival and ensured there will be no sleeping tonight either – back to the camp site for more Carcass and beers!

The arena at night - filled with light and fire

The arena at night – filled with light and fire

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The entertainment in VIP was not dissapointing

DAY 03 – SUNDAY: The final day comes and with it some rain in the early, early morning for those who …forgot to sleep. When the sun returns temperatures soar, meaning it’s time to put serious faces on and get in early because Crowbar except nothing but your uninterrupted attention.

Kirk Windstein has made headlines recently after kicking a fan in the face for attempting to stage dive at one of their shows. Whether you agree with bands allowing stage diving or not, it’s hard to hold it against the man as they plough through twenty five years of sludge metal. Ten albums later and Crowbar are savagely strong – even in this blazing sun. ‘Planets Collide’ is of course reserved for last but what a way to spend an hour on a sunny Sunday morning.

Fire displays at night. Well what did you expect? Taking pictures of hot people is weird with an iPhone and I don't condone it

Fire displays at night. Well what did you expect? Taking pictures of hot people is weird with a phone and I don’t condone it

Before going too much into the bands on Sunday, it has to be acknowledged at this point that Hellfest has to be home to some of earth’s most beautiful people. Add baking heat and those people get up close and personal with naked and that is a difficult thing to deal with when your girlfriend is hundreds of miles away. The heat, the tiredness, the lack of ….sustenance – the stakes rise.

Powerwolf have to be enjoyed from the comfort and shade of Museadet’s Kingdom. They sound great, but the shade won this round. Things manage to get back on track for the amazing Annihilator who up the temperature with their set – annihilating (pun intended) the crowds with a bruising set in the fiery heats of hell…fest. Having never seen them before – Annihilator quickly become one of the festival’s major highlights.

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Behemoth @ Hellfest 2014

Next up is another band I’ll be familiarizing myself with more and more over the coming months before their headline show in Dublin this December. Poland’s Behemoth are certainly full-f**king-on! With a show that rivals any band of the whole festival, they make mince meat of the crowd that gathers for their main stage 2 performance. Fire, full costumes and more fire hold up the theatrics end of an amazing hour of black metal. Thus far Behemoth have conquered all other black metal performances of the weekend and it’s comforting to know they’re just warming up the stage for Emperor who’ll be out in an hour.

After Behemoth’s performance, Soundgarden take the main stage and I don’t know whether it’s the fact that they’re not black metal or that the Misfits are on in the Warzone – but they seem very flat and dull. Chris Cornell’s voice is still incredibly strong but the music just seems extremely uninteresting and lifeless. Rather than hang around, it must instead be time to see a little punk this weekend.

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Jerry Only and Dez Cadena with The Misfits @ Hellfest 2014

The Misfits are now a Tickets There regular at Hellfest. Last year we were treated to a special Misfits set from DANZIG featuring Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein and this year Jerry Only’s version of the band pops up. Amusing, fun and sing along brilliance. A massive array of songs all culminating in the classic ‘Die, Die, Die My Darling’. Absolutely epic performance and far more than you might expect.

Unfortunately Hellfest offered so much I should take the time to list the bands that couldn’t be seen without missing full sets from any bands this weekend. Apologies to Death DTA, Enslaved, Electric Wizard, Phil Anselmo, Nile, Monster Magnet, Dark Angel, Soilwork, Flogging Molly and Paradise Lost – I would have loved to see you but choices must be made and it’s important to stick by those choices.

As the night draws to a close, it’s time to settle in with the reason a lot of this year’s hard-core fans came to Hellfest 2014 – the much revered EMPEROR.

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Emperor @ Hellfest 2014

Emperor are at Hellfest celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their debut album, In the Nightside Eclipse and they’re playing it in full. Kicking off with ‘Into the Infinity of Thoughts’, the band play every song meticulously – right through to ‘Inno a Satana‘ with Ihsahn stopping to speak with the crowd between each song. A little cooling down from fire hoses doesn’t hurt the mood either – thank God!

For a band that hasn’t worked together much over the past few years – they appear unstoppable tonight. Also their stage show provides a subtle backdrop to the intensely dark and frightening sound. No corpse paint or satanic / pagan props needed – job done. They finish up with the classics ‘Ancient Queen’ and ‘Wrath of Tyrant’ and scare the living sh*t out of the older fans gathered for Black Sabbath’s headlining performance on the neighbouring stage next.

Black Sabbath – I can hardly believe they’re written down as the next band on the list. This weekend has produced some of the greatest live experiences from some of heavy metal’s greatest names and BLACK F**KING SABBATH are coming on now. It’s 11pm – way past their bed time these days but as the opening notes of ‘War Pigs’ ring out it’s very obvious that Sabbath mean business.

Black Sabbath @ Hellfest 2014 - wouldn't be a headliner without a terrible photo

Black Sabbath @ Hellfest 2014 – wouldn’t be a headliner without a terrible photo

Sabbath play a short set but ram it with classics and stand out tracks from last year’s 13 album. ‘Into The Void’, ‘Snowblind’, ‘Age of Reason’, ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘N.I.B’. all bombard their way through the nigh time air as they rival Maiden for the sher mass of people in attendance to see them. Ozzy interacts with the crowd, joking and getting us off our “arses” for ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, ‘Rat Salad’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘God Is Dead?‘ before Heavy Metal’s godfathers finish their main set with ‘Children of the Grave’. They’re only off the stage a minute before Ozzy’s voice booms over the PA, encouraging fans to chant for more. Ozzy, we don’t need your help. We want lots more!

The size of the crowd gathered as far back as the main entrance to catch a glimpse of Sabbath

The size of the crowd gathered as far back as the main entrance to catch a glimpse of Sabbath

Sabbath return and tease the crowd with the intro of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ before launching into ‘Paranoid‘. Both would have been acceptable – but what a finish and what a band. Sabbath are a live force to be reckoned with.

Taking a break during Sabbath was never a goal I wanted to accomplish in life, but there was no missing 1349 a second time. Legging it to The Temple, the Norwegian black metal heavyweights could be found with an incredibly sizeable crowd (given who was playing two stages over).

1349 @ Hellfest 2014

1349 @ Hellfest 2014

After so many great black metal performances over the weekend, it’s hard to pick a winner – but 1349 are high up there and they manage all this after midnight on the fourth day of Hellfest (well, third with gigs) while Sabbath are playing a little down the way. Excellent show from an increasingly promising band. They’re also studio bound soon so expect to hear more over the coming months.

Sabbath and 1349 lead the way for the night’s final acts – Opeth and Tubonegro both manage to pack their stages despite the hour and the exhaustion felt by all. For this writer, Turbonegro have to be mostly enjoyed on the slow walk back to the campsite – much to my regret as they sounded incredible.

Another Hellfest comes to an end. An incredible weekend of music, fun, theatrics, surprises, beautiful people (excluding yours truly – I was sweaty), sun, food, drinking, partying, laughs and some of the greatest heavy metal names known to man. Hellfest assaulted the senses and left little of us to bring home. It’ll take some doing to recover but all eyes are already on 2015 and Hellfest’s tenth anniversary. Could they make it bigger? All will be revealed in time. Till then – thank you to all the staff, crew, bands and crowd for the craic. Yis were all fecking mighty!

TIME FOR TROLLY WARS!

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Happy New Year from Tickets There

Posted in Music, General Tickets There Blog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by Tickets There

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Bc-Y3hAIcAASH1vTickets There would like to wish all of our readers, commenters, followers and all the many amazing bands we love so much a very happy new year. 2013 was epically epic and 2014 is looking even stronger.

Before the first proper 2014 post (and yet another Tickets There reboot begins), I’d like to thank Psykosis, Warpath, Exzeltic, Overoth, Animator, Killface, Zombified, Dead Label, Gama Bomb, EHT Promotions, DME, Donnchadh from WMB Ireland, Dan and all the folks from Carnage, Slayer, Exodus, Death, Leonard Cohen, ASH, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, KISS, Slash, Reckless Love, Crashdiet, Twisted Sister, Helloween, Napalm Death, Whitesnake, Danzig, Testament, Metallica, Jameson, Guinness, Jägermeister, Buckfast, Trooper Beer, Fibber MaGee’s, Gypsy Rose, McKenna’s Dun Laoghaire, everyone at HELLFEST, The Academy, all the cool folks in the Odyssey (except A-hole security and Stalin like measures of control) and my girlfriend (co-conspirator) Dee for an amazing year of gig going, good times and drunken shenanigans.

Report: Hellfest 2013 June 21st – 23rd (Clisson, France)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by Tickets There

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20130619-194215.jpgWell, the hangovers have worn off, the body has stopped aching and the cure has been had. Hellfest 2013 is over and despite it only being two days since Tickets There’s triumphant return, it seems like a hell of a lot longer since I (yes I, too late for the split personality bullsh*t) was passed out on the street outside the terminal building in Nantes. Four nights and three days of heavy metal (and drink) fuelled mayhem in Clisson and already 2014 beckons. Before that though, we need to look back on some of this year’s highlights as witnessed between boozing sessions in the metal corner.

Friday was a packed day with Saxon, Testament, Twisted Sister,  Hellyeah, Helloween, Six Feet Under, Whitesnake and headliners Def Leppard all putting on excellent shows. Despite my thrill at seeing Saxon for the first time, my surprise at how amazing Helloween are and my sheer love for David Coverdale and co, the night was ruled by two bands – Twisted Sister and Def Leppard.

993592_10151728838263200_1860147127_nDee Snider and co put on a show that can only be described as perfect entertainment. In between jokes about the multiple DS wigs floating amongst the attendees and mass sing-alongs – the band rocked out hit after hit of cock rock excellence. The only thing that topped them was the highly anticipated performance from main stage closers an’ Sheffield’s finest, Def Leppard.

Leppard’s slot at the festival was special for two reasons. Number 1, Leppard were performing their Hysteria album in full for the first time ever in Europe. Second, guitarist Vivian Campbell was making his debut after announcing earlier this month that he has been receiving treatment for Cancer. In an unprecedented move, Leppard took the stage playing the tail end of The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, before lashing into their own set. Hellfesters from all genres were there to greet them and see one of the biggest bands in Rock. They kicked off with fan favourites, hits and rarely played cuts from their earlier albums including ‘Wasted’, ‘Good Morning Freedom’, ‘Foolin’, ‘Bringing On The Heartbreak’ without the usual acoustic intro, ‘Action’, ‘Lets Get Rocked’ and the iconic duelling guitar solo ‘Switch 625’. The band were on fire and the opening tunes served as the perfect intro for the most perfectly overly produced album of all time.

1011921_10151728838128200_81723133_nLittle can be said about Hysteria that hasn’t been written it before, but after 21 years of being a devoted Leppard fan I can honestly say the live show was one of the greatest moments of my gig going life. ‘Armageddon it’, ‘Gods of War’, ‘Don’t Shoot Shot Gun’, ‘Excitable’, ‘Love and Affection’ were all outstanding, but the king of their set was the incredible ‘Run Riot’, a song I have never heard live and one that has been a long standing champion on my favourite DL songs of all time list. After a brief interlude, the band returned and finished the night with the awesome ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Photograph‘. A phenomenal set from a band that just cannot be held back. Review? Nah – this is a fan’s tale.

By Saturday, things were starting to get a little hairy. Less acts were seen, more booze was had and the general festivities were getting bigger and bigger. ZZ Top, My Dying Bride, Red Fang, Down and KoRn were all witnessed and all (yes, Korn included) put on top performances. ZZ Top especially stood out with their southern blues rock n roll charm. Only one band could dethrone them, along with most bands playing this festival; the almighty KISS.

994165_10151728838718200_2021883397_nKISS are no strangers to Hellfest and previously headlined in 2010. As the familiar ‘Alright Clisson’ intro blared out over the PA, screams, arms and pints shot up and the band launched their Monster tour with ‘Psycho Circus’, the lead single from their 1998 comeback album of the same name. Greeting the crowd, Paul Stanley mocked that the band wouldn’t be growling – hellfest or no hellfest, because that’s ‘just not [their] style’. Knowing this was the final night of the band’s European summer tour, all the stops were expected to be pulled out and KISS didn’t disappoint. They delivered a hard paced set packed with their hits, tricks and sher awesomeness. ‘Shout It Out Loud’ had the crowd united in singing while ‘I Love It Loud’ bellowed through the audience with unmistakable force.

New single, ‘Hell or Hallelujah’, was enjoyed by all; including those who didn’t’ know it before ‘War Machine’ from 2009’s Sonic Boom and the classic ‘Deuce‘ bombarded their way in. After this it was time for Tommy and Eric to shine as Tommy took over the mic for the classic ‘Shock Me’ with Eric following with ‘Outta This World’. Gene took over again on ‘God of Thunder’ (not sang from the top of the lighting rig for sone reason) before ‘Lick It Up’, ‘Love Gun’ and ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ finished things off in classic over the top, fireworks fashion. As with any KISS show, there was so much happening it became hard to keep track off but with every song came the flying over the crowd, lifts, risers, smoke, explosions, fire breathing, confetti..etc, etc. it never gets old, it just gets better.

1010240_10151728837963200_636363376_nThe band returned for an encore consisting of ‘Detroit Rock City’ and ‘Black Diamond’, much to the crowds approval. KISS came, KISS saw, KISS destroyed Hellfest. Like Def Leppard on Friday, no matter what type of metal you were there to see – KISS blew you away. If they didn’t, you’re a sad sap who needs to leave your bedroom more often. Day 02 over – another resounding success.

Finally Day 3 came along and it felt just right. The sun was shining, the ‘Metal Corner’ was quiet – a good day for whiskey and rock ‘n’ roll; and what better way to start things off than Down playing a special set instead of the previously announced Clutch?. After that the likes of Lordi, Ghost (who suck live just as much as they did on their last album), Hypocrisy and Cradle of Filth, Danzig and Napalm Death fill out an evening of heavy, light and strange metal…well, light is a little misleading.

BNoiF2uCYAAlJ9PSunday was a day of surprises for TT. First of all, Danzig wasn’t just playing Danzig. On closer inspection of the t-shirt it turned out they were playing a surprise Misfits set with Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein joining them. Realizing this moments before they were due to take the stage was better than most birthday/Christmas presents can ever be. Danzig, Doyle and the guys sounded great and the pogo/mosh filled rendition of ‘Die, Die, Die My Darling’ was one of the true gems of Hellfest 2013.

Cradle of Filth provided the second surprise. Having not seen them since they played the Temple bar Music Centre way back in 2001, I wasn’t expecting the group to have seasoned too well. I was wrong as Dani Filth’s voice shredded through the Temple PA as crisp and powerful as ever. Indeed the entire band sounded amazing and even with the oddly out of place ‘Anywho’ comment from Dani, the band put on one of the best shows I managed to catch. The pentagram lighting rig above the stage only added to the atmosphere.

1013077_10151728838653200_334766648_nFinally, Napalm Death – a band I have read about, heard about and known for nearly 15 years, but strangely one I have never, ever tried to listen to expect for forced spins of ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’. What a show and what have I been doing all these years? They were incredible! One of the strongest, most bare fisted brutal acts of the entire weekend. I managed to get up good and close (my first and only attempt over the whole festival) and they were beyond reproach. Definitely the band I will be checking out more in the coming weeks and one I will never forgive myself for ignoring. Napalm Death – thank you!

I’m avoiding calling this a review because I just didn’t make the effort to see enough, record enough or stay sober enough for my opinion to carry any weight. However, that’s just how I wanted it. Hellfest blew me away and made me a life time attendee all in the one weekend. With it getting bigger and badder than ever every year – you can count me in as Johnny come lately but I ain’t never leaving. Bring on 2014, long live Hellfest and thank you to everyone who made it the best heavy metal experience of my life.