Bloodstock Open Air // The Ronnie James Dio Stage // Sunday August 13th // Pt.3

Hitting the stage next is Sepultura bringing the heavy. With their pioneering style of thrash metal that takes influences from everything from death metal to hardcore and punk, these guys have pulled an incredibly packed crowd. With wave after wave of crowd surfers and a front row of ferocious headbangers, it’s an excited crowd to see this performance. As Derrick Green provides the deep growling and sometimes guttural tones to the vocals, he also leads by example in his own headbanging. Andreas Kisser, who has already graced the stage once today, however, expresses his concerns that the crowd aren’t going hard enough and spurs them on before going back to shredding and providing those insane solos we know. The band perform hits spanning their entire career as a band and the thousands of pounding fists in the air is a clear sign that the crowd approves of this. Even as the sky darkens, neither the band nor the crowd show any signs of slowing down as reinforcements are brought to catch the continuing waves of crowd surfers. There’s no doubt that Sepultura knows how to excite its fans and put on an incredible show.

After Helloween had to pull out of playing today, at incredibly short notice, Bloodstock has secured KK’s Priest to fill the penultimate spot of the day. With the band’s introduction complete, they take to the stage standing on their own platforms to start the show with “Hellfire Thunderbolts”. The front of the stage explodes with sparks and fireballs for an impressive opening. At several points, bassist Tony Newton comes up to the very front of the stage and there’s some concern that he might just get caught by the pyro going off. He does remain safe thankfully and the band continue with more of their own music with “One More Shot at Glory” when the pyro continues both at the front and back of the stage. The set is a good mix of KK’s Priest originals as well as Judas Priest classics including “The Ripper”, “Burn in Hell” and “Metal Meltdown”. KK himself is in great form as he completely slays all those classic solos and holds a steady presence on the stage. It’s clear throughout the performance though that while it’s his name on the band, the whole group are a tight knit band and perform as a complete unit. As you might expect the largest reception to the songs on the set tonight are for the Priest classics, especially “Breaking the Law”, however the band’s own material also goes down a storm. Vocalist Tim Owens performs every song with passion and holds his own. Judas Priest are a well loved Bloodstock favourite but tonight KK’s Priest absolutely killed it.

It’s finally that time for the last band of the weekend on the main stage and it’s the almighty Megadeth!! With everyone from the fans to the festival directors gathered to watch there’s an air of excitement in the atmosphere. When the band hits the stage, there’s a cheer as a sea of hands raise in the sky. They kick things off with “Hangar 18” and the chants of ‘Megadeath’ can be heard loud and clear. The crowd surfers quickly begin to make their way over the barrier as the driving bass riffs of “Wake Up Dead” sound out. By the time the wailing solos of “In My Darkest Hour” ring out, the crowd are well and truly enthralled by the band’s performance. Dave Mustain holds the arena captive with his demeanour on stage and even singles out the inflatable unicorn which has been hovering high over the middle of the crowd. For each and every song played tonight, these fans have been singing loud and clear in unison with Mustain. The whole performance is one the band have down to a fine art and the setlist had been curated in such a way that all the fan favourites are included from “Angry Again” to “We’ll be Back”. Of course the highlight for many will be hearing and seeing the classic that is “Symphony of Destruction” live. Each solo, riff and beat is played to perfection and it’s as tight a set as any band can hope to achieve. The visuals on stage compliment the music and lift the whole performance without being a distraction. Closing with “Unholy Wars…The Punishment Due”, from start to finish, Megadeth have been just that – MEGA!! In terms of a final band for the main stage, Bloodstock have once again put together the very best and ended the weekend with an almighty bang!

It’s always bittersweet walking away from the stage at the end of the night. We’ve had an incredible few days of some of the best metal bands in the industry but we also need to rest now and prepare ourselves for next year. Once again a huge thank you to everyone at Bloodstock for giving us an unforgettable weekend, we’ve loved every second of it!!!

A BIG thank you to both Kirsten & Michelle for having us and of course all the BOA crew for their hospitality. #totesemotes


Photography: Mark Ellis 

Review: Emmie Ellis