Download Festival, Iron Maiden, Janes Addiction, Halestorm, Delain, Shinedown, Donington park 12-6-16

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Back in 2012 i vowed i’d never go back there again until they improved the set up for the punters. Awful memories of the car getting stuck GOING IN on first day, rivers of MUD & generally a crap festival.I’m only going Sunday, mainly because Maiden are headlining & being a British band, they STILL wont do a proper UK tour – bunch of cunts! There’s a couple more decent bands & i’m also really looking forward to meeting friends there 😉

I realy shoulda listened to myself hey ? It was as crap as 2012, if not worse ! The day started early with Andy picking me up & driving us to our “usual” hotel in Nottingham. There we met Ady & went off to the gig in his car. I’d got the disabled parking permit, so, that was a bonus as we get to park on the hard standing surface instead of the rivers of mud. As i’d arranged this a bit late, it seems they’d cocked up & didn’t send something to get me in on the disabled entry though. First stupid thing : The portacabin for disabled tix etc was all muddy in front of it. An easy example of how they could improve things for the punters : How about some tracking or pallets placed in front of it? After some discussion, eventually a guy came to see us & after i complained, he took us to the disabled entrance,thus jumping the massive queue 😉 Good chap.
The festival site was an absolute mess! Talk about rivers of mud ! I’d hate to think what crap was in there & it’s really not the best place for me to be,due to my immune system dropping right now. But i am rock n roll & i’m doing this mofo !
I didn’t take hardly any photos/videos, due to the crap weather…
First band we saw was ” Monster Truck ” on the main stage. Good old school, kinda southern rock n roll. We stayed there to watch Amon Amarth. They had some nice fire breathing dragons onstage, & we were asked to raise our horns 😉 First time seeing them for me & i doubt i’d go out my way to see them again. Musically good,entertaining yes, but vocals meh !
We then went to the other stage to watch Delain. Finally the weather got a little better & could use camera. I was surprised how it wasn’t very busy. But they did a nice little gig.DSC07243

We then made our way back to the mainstage for Halestorm. Whilst there i met Tina & her friend Carol. Tina seemed very impressed with Halestorm, especially Lzzys great vocals 🙂 Tina DownloadDSC07248
As the lads are not into Brent Smiths over talking, we decided to move to the other stage (We all like Shinedowns music, but, Brent just goes on too much between songs…”Look to your left…shake the hand off that person..blah blah lol). They went to watch Breaking Benjamin, whilst i waited around to meet Tess. Stood near the “Big Download Dog” (a photo opportunity similar to the Harry Potter thing down London, except, you didn’t have to pay here lol) i could watch a bit of Shinedown on the screens. Totally thought of the lads when Brent did his preaching 😉 With Ghost having cancelled earlier, there were really only two bands i really wanted to see : Janes Addiction & Maiden.The weather was still rubbish & walking through the mud was a PITA. Once Tess arrived,we decided to make our way over to the Encore stage & get a coffee before Janes. Totally random, we bumped into Matt & Vicki Wright ! Was great to see them again. We then all carried on in the direction of Encore stage. Myself & Tess nipped to get a coffee before Janes Addiction. Now i love Janes, have done for many years, but sometimes the “same” show gets a bit much. Today however, was different as i was watching it with a fellow Janes lover who totally gets them 🙂
Starting with the usual “Up The Beach” we float into Janes world. Perry is still the Pimp Daddy, in his great old style clothes.

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Then it’s the familiar “Stop” quickly followed by “Ain’t No Right”.Cannot help but shake my ass to this stuff ! Bloody love it.
Tess is beaming as classic after classic is played. During “Mountain Song” the world was exposed to my crappy vocals 😉
Next they play the only really modern song of there’s ” Just Because”. To think this came out in 2003….how quickly time flys.
Next it’s the monumental ” Three Days “. This is one of my all time fave songs by any band. I just love how the bass starts things off & the song ebbs & flows. It’s just amazing

Next it’s the song that everyone knows by Janes Addiction ” Been Caught Stealin “. After “Ocean Size”, there’s a shock when they cover Bowies ” Rebel Rebel “. I really dunno if it worked on not tbh.

Finally we get “Ted Just Admit It”. During which, we had the
suspension girls flying above the band. Why does it not surprise me that Tess said she wants to do that ? 😉 DSC07267DSC07270
The encore is the usual ” Jane Says”. Cracks me up how “comfy” Navarro looks 🙂

DSC07272So that was that. Easily my highlight of Download 2016.
Said my goodbyes to Tess,then me & Andy wandered off to see Maiden.
Maiden is a band i’ve followed for many years. Back in the day, i followed tours around the UK. I’m lucky to have seen a bunch of shows from the real “glory years”. In fact, they are in 2nd spot for the band i’ve seen the most. Strangely, it’s a certain German band that currently hold to top spot… So anyway, as soon as you hear UFOs “Doctor Doctor”, you know it’s time. First song was “If Eternity Should Fail “. Took them that song & “Speed Of Light” before it sounded any good. Particularly thought the Nickos drums sounded very tinny. But they got it better for “Children Of The Damned”. An old chestnut. It was a nice moment when Bruce dedicated “Tears Of A Clown” to the late Robin Williams. Was great to hear the classics “The Trooper” & “Powerslave”. Brought back so many memories of the ’80s for me. I think we stayed untill encore time. It had been a long day & it really was taking its toll, so myself & Andy decided to leave early & wait for Ady at the car.

My highlights of the day were Janes Addiction & finally meeting Tess properly. So nice to have a real good chat etc. It was a good craic 🙂
So, once again, i say to myself i won’t go to Download again….& this time i mean it ! The money grabbing bastards !

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Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown, Halestorm, Highly Suspect, Capital FM arena, Nottingham 29-1-16

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Yet again, the arena has new sponsors. It’s now called “Motorpoint Arena”. Over the years it has been the arena, Capital Fm arena, Trent FM arena. It’s hard getting used to it being called Motorpoint arena as the Sheffield arena used to be Motorpoint arena! So there’s a little confusion for me when i see Motorpoint arena on tweets . I digress….My first stop in Nottingham was the Tourist Information place, to buy some tickets for Rock City gigs. Since the closing of the box office at Rock City (a very poor idea as it now costs so much more ordering through the post) they’ve started stocking a few tix here. Again, seems pretty stupid that RC /Alt-tickets don’t really advertise they do this… I managed to get in the arena only a few minutes after doors (no real queuing) &started off about 6 or 7 rows from the front in the centre. Then, bizarrely, i got a phone call from my doctors! Eventually i put it to the back of my mind & was set for the first act of the night, “Highly Suspect”. Whilst they went down reasonably with the crowd, myself, i just couldn’t get into them. It was just a bit “meh..” lol Next it’s the band i bought todays ticket for ; Halestorm.

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Interesting they opened with “Sick Individual”. I’d never have expected that.

They’ve all got new hair cuts since the last time i saw them (well, except Josh i think 😉 ) & everyone still has that fire on stage. I cannot really say much about tonight except they were great as ever & of course i wanted them to play longer 🙂

Shinedown is a band i love. They have some fantastic songs. But nowadays i always have a problem with Bretts “preaching”. It’s obviously all very genuine, but, i just wish he wouldn’t go on yapping so much. Also, the last few shows i’ve seen, he does the same lines about saying hello to you neighbour next to you. Time to change that i think.

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I’m still unsure how much of the show is live & how much is off tapes, but it’s quality. Don’t get me wrong, i LOVED their set.

Black Stone Cherry told the story of how they started in “The Basement” at Rock City & then they moved upstairs to the main room. Now, they’re in the arena. No mean feet. They’re such a quality act that their rise is totally understandable.

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Lzzy joined them for “Peace Is Free “. Apparently, tonight there were also a couple of live debuts of songs. It was very nice to see at the end of their show, they jammed “Ace Of Spades “. So much love for Lemmy. They were a great way to finish a fantastic night out. Wish it could be like this always.

 

P.S. The only downside was afterwards it was pissing it down for the majority of my journey home…but it kept me awake 😉

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Halestorm, @ koko, London 18-8-15

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A Wild Evening With Halestorm

First a little rant : It was inevitable that Halestorm would get bigger/more popular. With each tour ive noticed it.
The problem now is that if you want to get on that front row,you’ve pretty much got to pay the extra & do the VIP Meet & Greet. Compared to other bands, their VIP ticket pricing is very good,but, it’s still expensive. After the previous Glasgow gig, i doubted i’d do VIP again. Then they announced the special “An Evening With Halestorm” shows 😉 Yup, this is special, i’ve got to get either front row or front row of balcony. This will be the last time….famous last words 😛
When we first arrived at Koko, there were about 10 people there. So beer & food time it was! When we got back, the numbers had swelled slightly & pretty much all were familiar faces.During soundcheck, we heard them play “(I Cant Get No) Satisfaction”. So lets hope they add it into the set..(Yesterday in Liverpool they covered the Beatles “Hard Days Night”, so the Stones in London would have been apt). The M& G went well, the band told me the cakes i gave them in Glasgow had lasted seconds. There were a few in the venue before us & we had to decide either front row at the side (poor angle, in front of pa) or balcony. We went for the later. Security was surprised we went up there, but, he agreed, where we were *originally* stood (left side), it’s one of the best vantage points in the venue.As things got busier, it turned out they needed more room for disabled spaces…so they moved us to the other side! (& in turn, even that position was made smaller). But as Arejay said, as the band walked by returning to backstage, “You’ve got the best seats in the house there!” He was pretty much correct. If you get that front row, you have to do everything in your power to save it for yourself/friends ;-0 DSC04668DSC04670

 

Eventually the main punters were let in & we soon had Jim & Diana behind us, shortly followed by Rob & Kristina. With no support act, it seemed to take forever for Halestorm to take to the stage.
The first 5 songs were acoustic. First up was ” Mz. Hyde”. I loved the totally different vibe how it realy had a “swing” to it. Kristina was quick to say that tonight was already way better than Liverpool, due to the great crowd (& company 😉 ) Was really strange to be hearing “Heres To Us” so early in the show.Damn the crowd was really loud .

A short break & they were back to play all of “Into The Wildlife” album. The crowd was pretty quick picking up the scream parts of..erm “Scream” 😉

I was quite amazed how damn heavy “Sick Individual” sounded compared to the album,especially the starting jam part. In our prime position, the sound was just full on in your face & great 🙂 3 more hard rockers then the tempo is brought down with “Dear Daughter”, which was just beautiful. I’m still unsure about “New Modern Love”, especially in the live setting, but praise be we had “Mayhem” to turn things back up to 10 🙂 Everything seemed to flow on stage, but, i felt the audience got quieter as the show went along. It was certainly nothing like at the start…
The UK has been very lucky with the amount of live debuts we’ve had on each tour they do here. Tonight was no exception as they debuted “Jump the Gun”. It was quite hilarious when Joe had the line “Babe I think I love you”, especially when we got the explaination of how many takes it took in the studio . Obviously, Arejay & his big sticks made an appearance, shortly followed by the old classics “Love Bites” & “It’s Not You”. This was the only time tonight i missed being downstairs on the front row as you just gotta jump around to those & it just felt a little strange on the balcony.I missed the old dynamic (in more ways than one). I loved “Unapologetic”, there was a great vibe to that.

Finally another couple of classics “Freak like Me ” & “I Miss The Misery”. Damnit Freak is another you just have to jump too!  After those, Joe & Lzzy seemed to have a bit of a conversation, then everyone bowed & off they went. I was rather disapointed we didn’t get no Satisfaction (pun also intended) but overall it was a great night out. I’d hoped to see my mate Kevin who had last minute come over from the States.(He didn’t have a ticket as the show sold out in 8 hours. Luckily, the Freaks network is pretty good..i asked Lucy if she could find a ticket & sure enough she came up trumps).Well i didn’t see him in the gig, but, managed to find him outside afterwards. Had a little chat before we set off on our journey back to Boston. Oh yes, ya cannot beat those 2am Maccy Ds stops…

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Halestorm, Nothing More, Wilson @ Barrowlands, Glasgow, Scotland 6-3-15

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Myself & Cat flew up for this one. We met Kristina in Glasgow & went for drinks etc 🙂 Wasn’t a very nice day (was pissing it down afterwards). At the M&G i gave the band a box of cakes which had various Halestorm related photos on them. They seemed to like them. Detroit was quick to make sure she got the one with her on it 🙂 Once inside, we managed to get Kristina down the front with us. Another great gig. I’ve finally been to Barrowlands after all these years ! Afterwards we ended up at the Cathouse & who should also turn up but Halestorm & the guys from Wilson. So we were drinking with them. Overall a great day/night…just a shame about the end of night stuff between the girls 🙁

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Halestorm, @ Lido, Berlin 22-4-14

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We were meant to meet & stay with a good friend, Marc, in Berlin. However, last minute he had to go on a business trip. Well, Marc is such a nice guy, he booked us into a hotel for 2 nights,but, not any old hotel, it was Radisson Blu !DSC0012510290211_4092091158591_710058027_o[1]

 

So we had a nice day doing typical touristy things around Berlin before gig day 😉 On the day, we met some online friends, Andy, Laura & Giana. It’s always cool meeting people on the travels.Went for a beer with Andy & then found out they’d opened doors early, which was annoying as me & Kristina like to be on front row if possible. Oh well,where there’s a will, there’s a way….having seen this tour already, i knew that Ben from Smoking Hearts sticks the mic out to try get someone to sing. Well, yours truly got jumping around a bit & when it was time, get in there ! Result = 2nd row for myself & first row Kristina (though the girl next to her didn’t seem too happy haha)

 

Another great show. I love tiny venues like this one. DSC00208DSC00210

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Halestorm ,@ Melkweg, Amsterdam 20-4-14

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On the 19th flew over to Amsterdam where i’d arranged to meet Kristina. Off to a bad start, as her phone died & took a while to find each other. Quickly showed her around the important places of Amsterdam 😉 then we took a train to meet Michel & Rob in Rotterdam. Drinks were drunk. The following day, myself & Kristina left for the Dam & the others would join us later. I met a great American guy here Kevin here. He had an extra VIP Meet n Greet, which he kindly offered to me! Thanks so much mate, you rock ! I then gave my ticket to Kristina,so she could pass on to Michel/Rob as they were gonna get tix off touts. It worked out ok, me & Kevin got Kristina on the front row. Another killer gig. Had txts from Rob about meeting later only for them to bail as Michel had got himself propper pissed & Rob had to take him home!

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