The masses awoke to what would prove to be a rather varied day, not only weather wise but also musically. Whilst there was some rain that did appear today, this did nothing to deter the hordes that had gathered to witness today’s happenings.
Having the non-enviable task of opening the Ronnie James Dio for the weekend, Forever Still brought some nice, gentle melodic opening music to the main stage with a decent audience in attendance. Over in the Sophie tent Iron Rat brought some heavier groove to a half full-tent… and if you know how big the tent is, that’s not bad at all! The band had definitely brought fans with them judging by chants of “Yorkshire! Yorkshire!” at the end.
Over on the New Blood tent, K-Lacura smashed the New Blood Stage with some pummelling rhythms coupled with the occasional rap-y breakdown. Coming back to the main stage, Chelsea Grin got a big pit going on but to a large extent it was filled with a handful of “hardcore dancers”. Admittedly you might want to ‘throw down’ to the music, but this is a metal festival.
Back at the Sophie and Endeavour had some obvious long term fans in the audience as they took our eardrums to “destination f***ed”. Atmospheric and heavy, Thuum played to a very full New Blood tent while Whitechapel laid waste to the main stage. Their three guitar line-up caused a sea of heads thrashing back and forth and never ending wave of crowd surfers.
Over in the New Blood tent, Blood Thread caused many a huge mosh pit with their brand of death metal. The front man’s energetic performance resonated with the crowd which when coupled with the heavy sound, allowed for a fun and enjoyable show. Cutting across to the Jager tent, Electric Mother had the tiny tent rammed from the moment they struck the first chord up until the end of the last sustained note.
Despite a technical difficulty, Decapitated brought a massive crowd to the main stage with their no-nonsense brand of death metal. Bringing songs from recently released Anticult, as well as the classics, they arguably delivered one of the most energetic performances of the day. The impending arrival of Testament on the main stage later on however cost Enslavement some audience numbers, which is a shame. Those who remained, though, were treated to a grinding treat and definitely seemed to enjoy the songs played – including some from the forthcoming album.
Testament certainly kept the security happy with a constant flow of crowd surfers including your Editor-in-Chief and News Editor. Plenty of new and old material from another band that thankfully seem nowhere near calling it a day. Following on from them, Blind Guardian‘s legendary brand of power metal went down a storm as well. With a great sound and massive crowd which reciprocated the band’s onstage energy, it certainly made for an awesome show.
Hanowar certainly lived up to our expectations by being silly, loud and lots of fun. Hard rockers Lionize, pumped out a couple of great, bluesy rock numbers to the masses that had gathered to watch their first ever Bloodstock performance and certainly seemed to go down well from the smiles on people’s faces.
The headliners of the night Amon Amarth then exploded onto stage with a sea of pyro and ‘pursuing vikings’ to boot. The quintet proved to be worthy main stage headliners with their theatrical show consisting of world-conquering melodic death metal, impressive set pieces and intense pyrotechnics. With the amount of people wearing the band’s t-shirts in attendance, it’s safe to say that the band had the audience eating out of their hands and were loving every minute. The final official band of the night, Inquisition closed Friday night’s proceedings in the Sophie tent with their intense black metal. The cold sound of the two-man band made for a mesmerising performance as heads and bodies swayed to their morbid din marking a successful end to the evening.
Cutting across to the VIP bar, Darth Elvis and the Imperials provided post-headliner entertainment with a rather humorous performance. The band fronted by an Elvis impersonator in a black hooded robe with his backing band of Stormtroopers brought the comedy with their parody versions of Elvis hits and other classic songs which provided the perfect soundtrack to the VIPs wanting to continue the party.
Overall, the first day of the first ever sold-out Bloodstock Open Air was again a great success and the eager masses are no doubt salivating over today’s line-up of headliners Ghost, Macabre, Kreator and many, many more. To quote one of the kids in the minibus on the way back, “Ghost in the car were my favourite band!” If that’s not an incentive to come along tomorrow, then we don’t know what is!