Festival Review: Tons of Rock 2022 – Day 3

In the early hours of the morning there had been a shooting at a LGBTQ+ bar in central Oslo, which was a very somber start to the day. There was supposed to be a huge Pride march across the city, but this had been canceled by the police for safety reasons. Despite this, on our taxi up to the festival we drove past where the march was supposed to start and there were loads of people decked out in rainbows still intent on rightly celebrating Pride. Once at the festival I also noticed lots of people wearing rainbows and waving flags, which was really lovely. The security presence at the festival was noticeably stronger (featuring armed police), but everyone was extra kind to the security teams during bag searches to enter the festival, as the importance of keeping everyone safe was understood.

Wig Wam (c) Katie Frost

The first band I went to photograph were Wig Wam. Their glam metal set was a lot of fun, and they were great to photograph. Part-way through their set they held a minute’s silence for the victims of the shooting. Getting a whole festival site to be silent was quite a feat, but it happened and it was immensely powerful.

Next for me were Kampfar, upon recommendation from a friend. I wasn’t disappointed and really enjoyed their black metal inspired by Norwegian folklore and nature, as did the horde of fans packing out the Scream Stage.

Last time Turbonegro played Tons of Rock festival a few years ago I didn’t photograph them, but regretted it after I saw photos others had taken, so I had to go and check them out this time. The band were indeed brilliant fun and their combination of glam rock, punk rock, and hard rock was great to photograph. Their fans (dubbed Turbojugend) are very passionate and the band are hugely popular all over the world. I saw lots people wearing  the classic denim jackets with the Turbonegro logo and “Turbojugend” and their location stitched on the back.

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Within Temptation (c) Katie Frost

Orbit Culture were next in the Vampire Stage tent, and I really enjoyed their melodic death metal sound. Definitely a band I will check out again.

Shortly afterwards I headed back to the Main Stage for Within Temptation who had a very pleasing amount of pyro right from the very start. What we didn’t really need in that heat was fire, but it looked fantastic and really added a sense of drama to their set. Vocalist Sharon den Adel was great to watch, and the band had a huge crowd watching their set.

After another period of hiding from the sun in the press tent, I headed over to the Scream Stage for Abbath. Always an absolute delight to photograph, today was no exception. We currently have a cat staying with us at home who has very similar markings to Abbath, which added an extra level of joy to his performance for me personally.

Deep Purple (c) Katie Frost

Deep Purple were the “classic” band of the day, having been around for 50+ years. Whilst the band members certainly looked their age, their performance was amazing and sounded incredible. “Smoke On The Water” was a particular highlight for me, and their entire set got the crowd dancing and the photographers tapping their feet in the press tent.

The last band for me in the Vampire Stage were gothic doom metallers Paradise Lost from the UK. They seemed to have some slight technical issues at the start, but they carried on regardless and played a brilliant set that went down really well with the crowd. 

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As with Iron Maiden and Korn, on the previous days, I was not permitted to photograph the day’s headliner Five Finger Death Punch. I wasn’t as disappointed about this as the other two as I have photographed the band a couple of times before, plus I had to be up at 5:45am the next day to catch my flight back to the UK. My friend and I packed up our photography gear, grabbed some beers, and had a lovely sit-down watching Opeth who were playing the Scream Stage prior to 5FDP’s set on the Main Stage.

All in all it was another fantastic year at Tons of Rock, and really great to be back again after the past two years couldn’t go ahead due to the pandemic. Hopefully next year I will get to shoot the headliners, and I am eager to find out who will be playing. Early-bird tickets for Tons of Rock 2023 are already on-sale here.

Photos by Katie Frost Photography.

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