5th edition of a small festival with big names brought me to South of Norway, in Kvinesdal, up to an amazing location for a rock concert. The festival area is surrounded by green hills and behind the stage there is a lake (or a river, can't really see where it ends) where people can go for a bath. Water might be warmer than that at the showers. The security at the festival is the strictest I have ever seen. There are two check points on the way to the festival and they checkv roughly everyone who comes in, so you must wait at quite a queue sometimes. Then they do not allow mosh pits nor people to be lifted on others' shoulders. A really negative point is the fact that I only noticed a trailer with 5 toilets inside the camping area. It seemed to be enough for the first two days, but when weekend begins and more people show up, it's just mad. Other than that, good mood and lots of alcohol. One thing that I have never seen at other festivals: the camping spaces are numbered so you have to book it in advance and pay for it. There is room for more than one tent per place (one normal tent) and I saw quite a number of cars, mainly caravans, that were allowed in the camping. And in the normal parking, when you arrive to the festival, you can pay 50 Kr. to rent an ATV with a trailer to transport your stuff. Really helpful.
If you ever wonder how Rammstein music sounds with lyrics in Nynorsk (one of the two official Norwegian languages) then check out this band. They came on stage with their bodies painted and their show was quite impressive considering the ammount of pyro effects on the background and despite the not so good quality of the sound. Really fun to watch, especially when the singer went down from the stage and sung from the fences in front of the crowd, and probably even funnier if you understand the lyrics much better. But they translate them from original Rammstein so you might already know what it is about.
First band on the scene in the tent were the young Norwegian musicians, inspired by Metallica, Pantera, DIO etc. Some technical problems and a bit of stress on their faces but their first release is from 2008 so they have time to learn. They entertained the crowd with some covers such as Seek&Destroy by Metallica.
One of the best voices at the festival and from Norway, It was an impressive experience to hear the classic hard rock performed by him. I heard his various works with Ayreon, Avantasia, Russell Allen from Symphony X, but never his own project. So now I am looking forward to get the chance to hear more of it since the songs tend to easily get to you.
Another young band on the small scene in the tent, performing a rough death metal from their self sponsored unique album so far. But some of the crowd actually knew lyrics and their rhythm and you could see some head bangers in front.
I saw them at 3 different festivals and each time all I can say after the show is 'fuckin' awesome'. The energy that they have on stage just transmits to everyone in the crowd and makes it a totally sick concert. The rhythms of their songs appeal to many as they resemble AC/DC with bits of other famous bands. The vocalist hardly stays in one place for more than 5 seconds and even if he didn't get to climb the stage, he took a run through the crowd with his guitar, followed by his body guard. The kind of show that I'd see daily and not get bored of.
A nice surprise in the small tent - a band of 4 young girls, rocking the stage like crazy. Especially the guitarist dressed in a pink dress who kept jumping around all the time. Their music is a bland of rock, pop, punk but the girls are too fun to watch to actually end up remembering the music after the show. A bit of research tells me they have 3 albums out by now so I am going to give them a try afetrwards. But I bet they are a better memory as a live band.
I had to skip Saxon as it was raining like hell and I didn't manage to get away from the tent on that weather. But I came down for Megadeth, still on a shitty weather and unfortunately the concert wasn't the best one to lift up my mood. They play well and guitar solos sound good, nothing to complain there but they are so static that I just went and listened to them backstage. Still nice to hear their hits live again.
The name of the band means 'Nothing' in English. But it would be so wrong to say I saw nothing on the little stage. I saw a local band that is so loved by the crowd, hence it was really packed in front and you could hardly squeeze in. It was impressive to see all the hands up in the air and hear everyone around me singing along the rock'n'roll tunes. As far as I could tell they use one of the many norwegian dialects, thus making them even more loved by those who share the same 'language'.
A crazy day ended with a crazy show by the American heavy metal band. As it says on the festival's website, The Iron Men Of Rock & Roll continue to rock the planet just like they’ve always done -- looking like women, talking like men, and playing like mother-f**kers. The singer, Dee Snider, with his blond curly hair 'on fire', talked the crowd into screaming louder and louder and at the end everyone in the band just applauded and said 'Norway, you kicked Twister sister's ass'. They also told that Norway is the European country where they had the most shows, thus making the Norwegian pride go all the way up through the cloudy sky. As for the band's pride, they had to say that they have all the original members. Since they were so thrilled by the audience, the guitarist brought a small camera and was filming from the stage. Good show.
do make sure you check out the photos from the festival