The weekend presented us with a triumphant line-up of bands with performances to match across every stage and every day. Despite a few downpours, nothing killed the glory that Bloodstock and its attendees felt for the entire weekend. Here’s a glimpse into the action you missed or a simply a look back on the greatness you may have seen yourself!
Friday saw some monstrous sets including that of Bleed From Within. Despite it being the Glaswegians first appearance at Bloodstock their performance was nothing short of fantastic. With a lively and songful crowd to keep spirits lifted in the Sophie tent, the hour long set flew by and seemed to leave the band stunned at the reception they received.
Another set that truly delivered was that of Suicidal Tendencies. Yes, they may have been moved into the Sophie Lancaster tent due to some issues and complications but that didn’t stop the crowd from turning up. The tent was over run with people wanting to see the thrash skate rockers, myself included in the swarm. Mike Muir supplied his usual spodratic dance moves and stage sprints and the audience provided heaps of energy.
Judas Priest, Friday’s headliners, gave Bloodstock nothing short of a performance that really showed what made them the band they are. With a set that included songs from all over the vast discography, none of it seemed out of place, whether it be from Sin After Sin or Firepower, the set was well performed and enjoyed by the masses.
Now, undoubtedly, the highlight of Saturday and maybe even the weekend as a whole was Gojira’s headline set. They gave a performance that really showed that they deserved that slot and they shouldn’t ever be underestimated. As a band that’s been on the go for over 20 years, they pulled out some old songs for the fans that really knew them. From the pyrotechnics to the skill of the band, everything was brilliant and left everyone grinning once the hour and a half set was over.
However, before them, we saw Power Trip take to the stage in the hot afternoon sun and give us a taste of pure anger infused thrash metal. Strong with attitude and angst, the crowd lapped it up. Even if their Breakfast Club reference didn’t land with the entire audience, I for one, am definitely not going to forget about them any time soon.
Saturday also presented us with the Australian progressive metallers, Voyager, who despite not having the biggest of crowds, delivered a set you should be sorry about missing. Their set pumped out masses of energy that the crowd sent straight back to them. With the rain slowing down for a little while outside the Sophie tent, the crowd within erupted into confused elation as they pulled out a metalfied version of Darude’s Sandstorm – the smiles on faces from those on and off were unforgettable.
Sunday morning started off with Doomsday Outlaw for myself, a band I’d never heard of before but will now not ever forget. From the unexpected vocals that came from the lead singer, Phil Poole, down to his very entertaining dance moves, the set was alive with energy. The band exuded strength and pure joy just to be on that stage and the audience felt it too.
Young Kiwi metallers, Alien Weaponry, pulled in an insanely large crowd on the Sunday afternoon. It almost felt like the entire festival was trying to catch a glimpse of the trio as the Sophie tent was almost bursting at its seams. Their 30 minute set was over in no time and as it ended chants and demands of more came loud from the crowd. The teens promised to be back soon as they looked amazed by the massive turnout.
Nightwish’s appearance as the closing headliners also made a mark on the festival. Celebrating their time together as a band and performing an array of their greatest hits, the crowd simply loved it. No part of the set fell short and proved Nightwish worthy of their continuous climb in success and popularity as they’ve soared through their festival ranks.
And to top off my Sunday was Mr. Big. Although they seemed out of place on the Main stage lineup amongst Devildriver and At The Gates, they certainly gave an enjoyable set that really seemed to celebrate Mr Big and talent each of its members held. From their iconic cover of Wild World by Cat Stevens, that had nearly everyone singing along, to some shameless shredding from Paul Gilbert, they made the most of their set.
In all, Bloodstock 2018 gave us all something to remember for years to come, as it does every year. Rain or shine, it remains unforgettable as we all look forward to what 2019 has in store for us. See you then.
Photography by Philip Goddard
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