As the last day of the festival arrives, the line up is just as big and just as strong!
Opening the stage today is Monument with their British Heavy Metal. Storming on to the stage with more energy than any people should have at 10:45 on a Sunday Monday, they instantly started to work the crowd. Throughout their set they played as though they were having the best times of their lives and got the crowd to be the same. With their new album dropping and a tour on the horizon they are definitely ones to watch. With Everygrey taking to the stage next the crowd began to grow as more people enter the arena for the day. Their Progressive Metal sound fit the stage and the crowd took to them. Despite the dark lyrical themes these guys have a larger than life stage presence and if you were new to these guys you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on these themes. The band were clearly in awe 9f the crowd that had come out so early in the day to watch them and were vocal about it also.
As the afternoon comes round it’s time for Amaranthe. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties they were unable to take the stage on time however the mic was handed to bass player name who entertained the crowds. Once the band hit the stage they certainly delivered as they powered through a reduced set. Their digital sound blended with three vocalists went down a storm with the crowd as horns were raised throughout.
But now it was time for Fozzy to take the stage and the crowd was more than excited about this! With the chants of “Fozzy” and “Y2J” heard around the crowd they came out to a real buzz. Front man Chris Jericho was every bit what you would expect as he commanded the stage and more. Jericho certainly wasn’t afraid of his fans as he climbed down from the stage and over the barrier straight into the middle of the crowd. Along the way he borrowed photographers cameras and even took over the film crews camera showing he was having a great time performing today. This was truly a performance but on by this band today as they leapt around and gave the fans exactly what they wanted – a killer show!
Up next was the killer Jasta & Friends and this festival had been waiting for them. Jamey Jasta has seen success both with Hatebreed and on his own pulling in a plethora of metals finest names to create his own record. Today was no different with his performance as the one and only Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage joined him. Jasta himself was a bundle of energy as he worked both the stage and the crowd. While some may have not recognised his name on the list, they did once he hit the stage as the arena began to fill throughout the set. With Fear Factor’s very own Dino Cazares also joining him on stage it really was a stand out line up performing Jastas tracks today and with that comes the killer performance.
It was time to lighten the mood with some feel good music from Mr Big. Although not heaviest of bands on display this weekend they still got the party going. Right from the start the crowd was feeling this different sound and plenty knew all the words to their songs. The band themselves were on top form as they ran through all those well known tracks and seemed to be having a blast on stage. Paul Gilbert the lead guitarist even pulled out his signature trick by strumming his guitar using a drill! But that wasn’t his only stand out moment as he frequently played back and forth with bassist Billy Sheehan and they bounced off of each other. The technical skill both these guys have is beyond believe as they shred their instruments with what looks like such ease.
With only three bands left to hit this stage before the end of the festival, it was time for some Devildriver. Known for their massive circle pits it was about to get very messy once more. With driving songs and aggressive sounds it’s no wonder these guys have such mental crowds. On stage today they killed their performance as they got the crowd going and played with style. Masses of fans were hurling themselves over the crowd as this was the first time that a large amount of them were above the crowd at once. The band were able to work both the crowd and the stage to put on one hell of a show.
As At The Gates took over the stage next the crowds drew back in to see one of the biggest names in the metal world perform. Any band formed after 2000 will most likely cite these guys as an influence and today they’ve shown exactly why. At The Gates are absolute pros at what they do and have clearly been missed at the festival. As the pits opened and the body’s surfed the crowd, it was everything a metal show should be. The band played through a collection of tracks bringing in those from their more recent album To Drink From The Night Itself however I don’t think these fans would have entirely minded which ones they played as long as they did.
In another change of pace, it was time for our final headliners to take to this stage. While very different on their style of metal from the previous nights headliners Nightwish certainly pulled in a crowd. The symphonic metal band brought their A game for the night and it would be the first time to grace this stage with their new vocalist Floor Jansen. With an impressive full stage show including an ever changing back drop and plenty of pyro that was perfectly timed with the tracks it was certainly a sight. But it was difficult to pay attention to the back drop when the band were so captivating to watch. Jansen seemed perfectly at home performing on this stage as she sang and danced around throughout. Her vocals were strong and she powered through those high notes with expertise and talent. It was clear why she had been chosen to take the place of her predecessors Tarja Turunen and Anette Olzon as she took their songs and killed them. The rest of band looked just as happy to be playing as they took each track with the energy of playing for the first time and not simply going through the motions. As they played through their Decades set used to promote their latest album of the same name there was plenty of tracks to get this crowd singing along and especially “Nemo” which is without a doubt a fan favourite. As they closed the night with “. The Greatest Show On Earth (Chapters II and III)” the crowd could clearly be heard singing along and declaring “we were here” in what appeared to be such a perfect way to close this stage for the weekend.
Bloodstock this year saw a range of all types of metal from the heavy to the symphonic and let’s not forgot the pirate. Each year that passew seems to get bigger and better with this year being the best so far. The organisers have got the art of a festival down to a tee and the security were superb in making sure everyone had a safe time. It has been without a shadow of a doubt an absolutely outstanding weekend and we certainly can’t wait for the next one!
Review Emmie Ellis
Photography Mark Ellis / Shoot The Groove Photography