After very few minutes of rain falling from a clear sky, we packed our cameras to go and catch some shots at the opening concert, Anvil, which, surprisingly enough, managed to wake up quite some crowd. Or maybe they just got there on Saturday morning, so they didn't have to wake up from a night in the camping. It felt like a normal continuity of Gary Moore's performance form the previous night, since they came on stage with songs from their 30+ career and even made fun saying that their bassist, Glenn Gyorffy (aka G5) is still called 'the new guy' even if he had been with the band for 14 years now.
Really time to shake up your hangover and tiredness with the Californians and their melodic death metal. Unfortunately, they told us that some of their stuff got lost and the bassist was sick so they had some reasons to be pissed. But the anger was quite useful for the quality of music and intensity of the show. And another misfortune is the fact that at Norway Rock the crowd is not allowed to do moshpits. Hence, the singer Dez Fafara stopped singing, looked at the crowd and asked "You're not allowed to move down there? What the fuck metal festival is this?" and received a really loud set of applause for this. And actually I think this helped a little for the rest of the day, since I saw the people a bit more active at the later concerts.
Except the backing vocalist of Kamelot, I don't think I saw any other female vocals on the main stage. Therefore Epica was a really nice change in the landscape and to the delight of the guys gathered in front of the stage, Simone Simons did a sexy show, having her hair all up in the air by standing most of the time next to a ventilator placed in front of the stage. And she's got a pretty hair color, making a nice contrast when headbanging along the guitarists. She saw the people with Epica tshirts in front of the stage and thanked them for their support. Right after the show we witnessed a proposal on the main stage and there came even more excitement for the fans as afterwards Epica came out for a signing session.
One of those bands sponsored by Duracell, the Swedes from Falun keep playing their military themed power metal, dressed up in their military clothes, at the same intensity I saw at each of their show. The pyro effects were a bit wasted, given the daylight, but cool nevertheless. The fans seem to have already had learned the new album as they were singing along both the older songs and the recently released ones.
U.D.O. & Bullet for my Valentine
With all the respect for the old Accept singer and his voice, I was not able to stand and watch the concert for more than the first two songs. And for a star with his name, it was quite a pleasure to hear we would be allowed to take photos at all times during the concert. And I also had to go and take an interview during the concert, but I can say that despite his very affected face expression and age, the German musician sang fantastic. Afterwards I went for a break during the concert of Bullet for my Valentine so there's no comments from my side on their performance.
Probably most of the people currently watch this band just because of Shagrath's and Lex Icon's presences and maybe also Athera's. But they are working on building a big name for themselves and their only two albums so far contain enough cool songs to allow a super cool playlist. Shagrath was missing as he was shooting a Dimmu video in Germany, but we got the chance to meet the guitarist who is due to replace him on his absence. We were informed that Chrome Division will have a new album out early next year and other than that, there were only booze, broads and beelzebubs on stage. In leather clothes and white shows.
He had to switch places with Motörhead, so he was no longer the main headliner of the day. But I am pretty sure many counted the ex Skid Row's frontman as the main attraction after his show. A hypnotizing presence, wearing a white tshirt with a Marvel character, Mighty Thor, on it; a presence that just sets you in the right mood for a live show after the first few minutes and especially after a song like 'Back in the saddle'. The most impressive moment of the concert and of the festival (if we don't count the marriage proposal) was when he told us that he found out it was DIO's birthday and he started to sing happy birthday DIO accompanied by every single voice in the audience. I have this filmed and I am so looking forward to finish with photos and reviews to start sorting the videos as well. Plus, during some of the following songs and especially the DIO cover at the end, he was switching words or improvising a lot to either mention DIO's name or Norway and Kvinesdal. The cherry on the cake for the audience was when he admitted he's got Norwegian ancestors from Elverum and agreed that he loves Norway but likes tits best.
They seem very loved in Norway as I think it was the band whose name I saw on most patches or flags in the camping. I ended up almost in front of the stage and up in the air for few times, so from this point of view it was the best experience at the whole festival. Other than that, they were Motörhead and they played their rock’n'fucking’roll for one hour, including an awesome drum solo. They got a little help from Sebastian Bach though, who came with his camera on stage to film the crowd and then sang a song along with the band. I might be wrong, but I think the song was Born To Raise Hell.
Norway Rock is not a big size festival yet, but it has some of the nicest crowd I have ever seen. I haven't gotten so many hugs and cheers and smiles from total strangers in my entire life. At the end of it, I was left with a very good impression seeing how people cleaned after themselves. Most of the camping places had a big garbage bag on them where people just threw all the trash, hence not leaving much of a trouble for those who clean afterwards. It might also be explained by the fact that you have to order a certain camping place in advance, and since they have your name associated with a place number, they could send you a fine if it's dirty or so. I so hope to get back there the next years.
In the end, don't forget to check out the photo gallery of the festival with photos taken by me and my colleague, Ståle Trøan Malkenes here: