Whilst it may only be Thursday, the loyal hordes descended upon Catton Hall for what would prove to be a varied yet enjoyable evening. With this being the first year that Bloodstock has sold out, the level of anticipation and excitement amongst the crowd was electrifying.
First up and having the non enviable task of opening the entire weekend, Ramage Inc(7) were arguably the perfect choice. Having a sound that filled the entire tent and commanding stage presence, they gradually won the crowd over and by the end of their set the cheers were incredibly energetic. Unfortunately, feedback issues with the microphone made the soaring vocals of frontman Bryan Ramage not come across clearly. A real shame given that they make up a large amount of their music.
Gurt(6) were the next band to grace the stage and were determined to get the crowd grooving. With a sludgy vibe and the occasional “Wake the f**k up!”, the crowd slowly but surely got moving to them. However, like Ramage Inc, issues with the sound unfortunately hampered a lot of what the band were trying to do. Everything sounded overly distorted which whilst some may say a band like Gurt should have, it was bordering into the digital clipping region.
Marking their return to bloodstock armed with new masks, The Infernal Sea(7) were determined to let everyone know that they were back and that they were ‘bringing satan to the masses’. With the tried and tested formula of black metal/thrash, the masses that were there enjoyed them with chants of the band name and also chants of “one more song!” resonating throughout the tent even after the band had completely left the stage.
Wind Rose(6) then appeared and it almost seemed as though the singer wanted ‘everyone in the tent to be doing something’. This of course unfortunately resulted in the rubbing of some people the wrong way and left some people almost cringing at the over abundance of singalong choruses. Again, sound issues reared their head again with the snare overly dominating things this time. That having been said, the crowd that weren’t cringing were thoroughly enjoying themselves with several crowd surfers popping up.
Ending the ‘warm up’ nights proceedings were the Finnish heavy metal band Battle Beast(8). Upon appearing on the stage, an earth-shattering cheer rose up from the hordes that had gathered and no-sooner had the band started the crowd surfers appeared. Sadly, the sound issues which had been prevalent all evening came back again only this time with a lot of the sound cutting out. However, the crowd that was there paid the issues no heed and kept the crowd-surfers and cheers coming.
Whilst there were a few sound issues, these can be expected given it’s the first day and everything is being effectively live tested for the first time. Overall though, the first evening of the first ever sold-out bloodstock open air was a rip-roaring success and the eager masses are no doubt salivating over todays lineup of headliners Amon Amarth, Inqusition, Blind Guardian and many many more. Day tickets are still available for the festival so come on down and experience what will no doubt be a weekend to remember!