For once more the presence of Rockpages.gr in Hafan Y Mor on the coasts of North Wales had its peculiarities. This time it was a three-member delegation with whatever that entails, and there was also a Greek representation at the lineup of the festival. On arriving at the venue early on Friday evening, the first band we saw on stage was Vega.Α very good performance by the British with a very melodic rock with contemporary touches which seemed to satisfy the audience. Unfortunately “our” KingDragon had already finished their performance by the time we got to Pwllheli so we didn’t have the chance to see them. That was a pity…
Later on, “The Poodles” weighed down the program a little bit. It was a decent performance. Most of the Scandinavians’ famous songs were heard culminating with “Night Of Passion” which was the closing song of their fifty-minute performance. Luckily there was Jakob Samuel, the singer, otherwise the band lacked in stage performance.
Starz: Legendary Starz showed up at 21:05 on Hard Rock Hell Arena, although they are far from what we call AOR per se. They definitely added a ‘70s brush stroke in the festival which was totally ‘80s, even the original ones, or their re-birth.
Their spot in the bill wasn’t the best possible right after the glittery Poodles. Their raw rock’n’roll and their jamming attitude wasn’t getting along with the posing, but they had several die-hard fans on their side, as you could see from the t-shirts that were all over the place. However, the people in the arena didn’t seem to have a bad time with Starz, so don’t mind my bitchin’! What’s definitely worth mentioning is the fact that the band’s drummer, Joe X Dube, was recently subjected in heart surgery, but that didn’t affect his participation in the band. Starz played stuff from every one of their four albums, while the great thing is that Frontiers announced the release of a fifth album from Starz, which is going to be their first since 1978!
Detroit Girls, Tear It Down, (She’s Just a) Fallen Angel, Subway Terror, Pull The Plug, Violation, Cherry Baby, X-Ray Spex, Live Wire, Coliseum Rock, It’s A Riot
Dare: The fact that Dare was playing around the same time as Hardcore Superstar forced me to catch only three songs from the set of the British band. Those songs were cued from Dare’s latter era catalogue and bore strong Celtic influences. Nevertheless there seemed to be a genuine interest on the band from the fans and Darren Wharton was very cool on stage for 60 minutes.
Dare Setlist: Sea Of Roses, Storm Wind, Silent Thunder, Where Darkness Ends , Beneath The Shining Water, Emerald, Wings Of Fire, We Don’t Need A Reason, Abandon, Into The Fire, The Raindance, King Of Spades, Return The Heart.
Hardcore Superstar: With Sweet’s “Fox On The Run” coming loud and prouf from the PA the sleaze stage headliners jumped on stage like a bull in the arena. Only that in this bullfight they weren’t going to be the victim! Jocke Berg, and Vic Zino, those in the usually most important roles in any band, vocals and guitar never stopped banging in pleasure of the hungry for action audience. The show begun to look like an avalanche hitting the 500 people crowd that was watching. Despite the security’s concerns there were no crowd surfing, or even a moshpit, whereas if this show was happening in Greece things would have been rather different. Their set was a best of with classic older songs, as well as newer ones, as well as a hint of their forthcoming album, “HCSS”, which I honestly hope is better than their last one.
That was the first time I was watching them live, and from what I’ve seen mainly on YouTube, that’s how I was expecting them to be. Fully energized with loads of attitude, passion, and totally hyperactive. Generally, the fit frontman kind of style who was running all around the stage, was pretty common in the festival with Heat, Eclipse and Hardcore Superstar having the most enthusiastic frontmen. And they are all Sweds, a coincidence?
The crows was pretty responsive especially on the most popular songs like Wild Boys”, “Last Call For Alcohol”, “Moonshine”, “Dreamin’ In A Casket”, while they left “Above The Law” –the only really great song from “C’mon Take On Me”. With such a great opportunity of loads of bands hanging out at one another’s show they invited on stage Kerry Kelly from Night Ranger, as well as a couple of guys from Bonafide for “Last Call For Alcohol” true to the party vibe that was all over the sleaze stage.
In my opinion, Hardcore Superstar were one of the best acts in the festival, while with their amazing stage show, performance and playing justify that they are a great band to watch live…
HCSS: We Don’t Celebrate Sundays, My Good Reputation, Guestlist, Off With Their Heads Dreamin’ in a Casket, Wild Boys, Kick on the Upperclass, Touch The Sky, Last Call for Alcohol Encore:, Don’t Mean Shit, Moonshine, Above the Law
H.E.A.T: 5 minutes past midnight the lights were out and the headliners of the day, the Swedish sensation of H.E.A.T hit the stage causing simultaneously delirium amongst the gathered fans. It was plain obvious that the vast majority of the attendees was there especially for H.E.A.T. The band’s frontman, Erik Gronwall, was the outstanding figure as he took everyone by storm (including his own band members, if I may say so) with his mind blowing, energetic performance. It’s no wonder why
H.E.A.T is the #1 hard rock band nowadays. The show was heavily based on the latest record “Tearing DownThe Walls” and although there were some people that could have done with the…foot not stuck on the pedal throughout the 70-minute set, H.E.A.T justified the title of Friday’s headliners.
H.E.A.T Setlist: Point Of No Return, A Shot At Redemption, Better Off Alone, Heartbreaker, It’s All About Tonight, Inferno, The Wreckoning, Tearing Down The Walls, Mannequin Show, Late Night Lady, Beg Beg Beg, Downtown, Enemy In Me, Emergency, Breaking The Silence
After midnight Sister got up on stage as the final act of the day and they… took really good care of us with their almost extreme style. They were fantastic on stage with their make up, face paint, masks, uniforms and they literally stroke the weary crowd like thunder. That had its positives and negatives. Those who weren’t into them left, while those who liked them ordered another round of beers and regrouped!
The truth is that I’ve listened to their first album and read all the triumphant reviews and articles on Revolver, and I have to say that what I saw on the smaller stage of the festival really grabbed me by the neck and justified what I’ve been reading. I only regretted that I didn’t buy their second album which was available at the merchandise store (which was far from the stages I must admit!). I’d really love to see them again on a full set…but I guess that will be impossible in Greece!