Festival Review: Tons of Rock 2024 – Day 2

After an enjoyable previous day at Tons Of Rock Festival I started the day with a little swim in the hotel pool, which did wonders for my crunchy shoulders and sore lower back. To my fellow photographers – I highly recommend this for keeping the aches and pains of shooting a festival at bay!

The first band for me today was legendary German heavy metal singer Doro on the Vampire stage. She was a brilliant choice to open that stage for the day as she and her band were incredibly engaging and put on a really fun show packed with classic rock / heavy metal riffs and high energy. What a brilliant start to the day!

Igorrr (c) Katie Frost Photography

Next I headed to the Moonlight stage for Igorrr. I have heard a lot of good things about this band, and caught a bit of their set from outside the tent at last year’s ArcTanGent festival, so I was eager to see them properly. They are described as  black metal / baroque /  breakcore / trip hop, and I think that is a pretty fair description, though it is hard for me to describe their sound and performance other than genre-bending and unique. I loved the mixture of heavy black metal vocals with operatic singing and also more dancey beats. Hard to describe but definitely worth checking out. I am looking forward to seeing them again at Bloodstock Festival.

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For me it was then back to the Vampire stage for Swedish heavy metal band Katatonia (not to be confused with Catatonia!) who were a band I hadn’t seen before but I enjoyed what I saw of their show and they had a decent crowd who seemed really into their performance. Following Katatonia it was then time to take my first trip to the main stage of the day for another Swedish band – Opeth. For this performance (as well as their shows at Bloodstock, Rockstadt Extreme, and Wacken) the band opened up a “By Request” form for fans to vote for what songs they wanted to hear played, which I think is a nice idea. We were permitted to shoot 1 song from the stage. This time it was the first song of their set, so it was exciting to watch a band walk out onto the stage from just a few meters behind them. Unfortunately, as with Black Debbath the day before, it was so bright that it was hard to get decent shots from the stage, which wasn’t helped by lots of haze / smoke, but it was still a great experience.

After that it was back to the tent stage for American rock band Palaye Royale who I have heard a lot about but never seen live. They were really eclectic and singer Remington Leith was particularly engaging and full of energy. I didn’t see it, but apparently later on in their set he got into a dingy and sailed over the crowd of the tent. Up next for me were Mr Bungle who were another band I had heard a lot about, and also seen some great photos from previous festival performances, so I was looking forward to shooting their set. Something of a super-group, the band includes Mike Patton (Faith No More), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), and Scott Ian (Anthrax). They are described as an “experimental rock band” and I think that is pretty accurate but, like Igorrr, their music has to be seen in real life to be properly appreciated. Insane, but in a great way.

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Tsjuder (c) Katie Frost Photography

You can’t go to a Norwegian metal festival and not see some black metal, so I headed to the tent for Tsjuder. They had everything I was expecting – corpse paint, spiked gauntlets on their arms, and a lot of red light (hence the photos being in black and white). I love me a bit of black metal, so enjoyed their set a lot.

The Thursday headliner were Tool – a band I had of course heard of, but never seen live before and wasn’t overly familiar with the music of. It was a tricky shoot with all band members staying towards the back of the high stage, but singer Maynard James Keenan was dressed in a colourful mohawk and dark panda-eye make-up, which was fun to shoot, even though I had to  stand on my tippy toes to see him. After photographing our one permitted song, I dumped my gear in the press tent and went to find my friend to enjoy a beer and watch a bit of their set. She was a fan of the band so it was lovely to see her really enjoying it. For me there were a couple of tracks that stood out – “Intolerance” and “Schism” – and their smoke / laser / general visuals were far more effective from far away than from in the photopit. After a bit of Tool we grabbed our stuff and caught the bus back into town for another foot-soaking in the bath after a very hot day. 

All photos by Katie Frost Photography

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