So as we head into the third and final day there seems to be a sense of excitement in the air as there are some really great acts to come across all stages. With that thought in mind, we head into AOR zone and first up for us is the biggest surprise of the weekend in the shape of Aussie rockers ‘The Radio Sun‘. Well you could be forgiven in thinking that just by looks alone these guys should probably be playing the Hammerfest stage just down the way. However, when these guys start playing, wow, you could just close your eyes and you were there right back in the mid eighties. ‘The Radio Sun‘ are one of the few acts that, when you hear them, you have to go out and buy their CD straight away (something I did in fact do this time). The performance was tight and the band worked the crowd like seasoned pros. For a band that I was quite sceptical about, I have to thank the HRH team for bringing them here and really opening my eyes and indeed ears to this great rock outfit. I look forward to their return in the near future. What a great way to kick off the final day.
Next up is ‘The Burning Crows‘ with their brand of high energy, rock n’ roll. They played hard, with style and delivered a very polished performance. The guys really looked like they were having fun up on the stage which emanated right to the heart of the crowd who were soon jumping and fully engaged in the final days proceedings. It’s a great reaction to get from the crowd when you’re on one of the earlier time slots.
‘Newman‘ were next up and one thing you can say is that there is never a shortage in classic material available to Steve and the boys as they rock their way through one hit after another. Steve’s voice was as always, in fine form even at the tender age of 50, as he happily explains to the vocal and receptive crowd. They deliver a set that’s finely polished and has a great vibe as you would expect.
Up next was L.A rockers ‘Talon‘. With all the ups and downs, including lost luggage, late flights etc.. Talon do not allow all the recent events turn into bad karma, they simply put on a performance of great rock and roll. With Michael O’Mara’s Vince Neil-esque vocals and lightning guitar playing of Jim Kee they soon have the crowd jumping.
Next up its ‘Marvel‘ and for me I could not understand why they were so high up the line up of the AOR stage. Perhaps may have been more suited to the Stoner or Youngblood stage although their appearance was a little gimmicky and I suppose if it gets noticed then why not? Marvel surely tried and could actually play and… if you can get around the outrageous outfits, may have been worthwhile to some. Unfortunately, for me not even their rendition of W.A.S.P.’s Love Machine dedicated to the later appearing Frankie Banali was enough. Maybe on one of the other stages as noted but not for the AOR stage.
Dan Reed Network
Up next is probably one of the acts of the weekend ‘Dan Reed Network‘. If there is one thing Dan has learned over the years, its how to work an audience and unsurprisingly, it’s not long before he has them eating from his hand. With their very own brand of funky melodic rock the crowd are soon singing along as Dan and the boys belt out hits like ‘Resurrect’, ‘Rainbow Child’, ‘Divided’ ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘Get To You’, all performed with a highly energised yet precise and solid manner.
Next is a bit of a fan boy moment for me i must admit after waiting many a year to see ‘Quiet Riot‘ and with the very untimely passing of lead singer Kevin Dubrow (R.I.P) just a few years ago the opportunity seemed to have passed, until drummer Frankie Banali decided to continue with Jizzy Pearl as vocalist. As the lights dimmed and I stood in the pit, I could feel goosebumps on my arms. It was like a dream come true and within moments of the band coming on stage, the crowd were anything but quiet as The Riot boys belted out ‘Sign Of The Times’, ‘ Party All Night’, ‘Condition Critical’ and ‘Slick Black Cadillac’.
Of course, all good things come to an end and before we knew it, the band were playing their encore, ‘Metal Health’, and ‘Bang Your Heads’. Although the moment was over all too soon the performance was well worth the wait with Jizzy handling the vocal duties with ease and at times you could just close your eyes and hear Kevin up there on stage playing with them.
The closing Act ‘Gilby Clarke‘was a blend of Guns meet Stones meet The Who meets Bob Dylan. The crowd were animated, pounding the floor with boots once more as Gilby axed his way through ‘Under The Gun’, ‘Motorcycle Cowboys’. The Stones classic ‘Its only rock and roll but I like it’ brought the biggest reception as the crowd went wild. The pace slowed down a little for the Dylan cover ‘Knockin’ On Heavens Door’ before firing on all cylinders again for yet another cover, this time The Who‘s ‘Wont Get Fooled Again’. Gilby finished up with another Stones cover ‘Dead Flowers’ before The Guns ‘n’ Roses hit ‘Its So Easy’.
As quickly as it had started then the show was over yet again for another year, as bands and fans alike departed to their dull and cold caravans to reminisce and gather their thoughts on what was a most excellent weekend spent with great music, great people and a great sense of joy in the knowledge that its only another year until we do it all over again.
Same great people, same venue, same great music with a whole new line up, which I for one know I cannot wait for.
See you all again next yr keep rockin’ \m/\m/.