Firefest Day 1
Posted by: GuitarheroAndy ()
Date: October 19, 2013 08:00PM

For what it's worth, my thoughts on day 1:

The place was rammed to the rafters! I have never seen so many people at Rock City!! Blimey! Great to see so many people having a great time. So, to the bands:

The Magnificent were, well...quite magnificent, actually! I arrived midway through their set and wished I'd seen it all, as, despite it being their first ever show, they were extremely tight and together and had a huge sound. The songs translated very well to the live environment and they were an excellent choice of opener!

Eden's Curse: This lot really do nothing for me. All mega-high-pitched 'screamy' vocals, hyper-shred solos, thunderous metal's not my cup of tea, although I know they are very popular with many of you, so please forgive me for my bad taste!! LOL!
However, I have to say that they did, after an iffy start due to poor sound, put on a great show. There is a huge amount of melody within the thunderous roar and, even though I'd never buy their product, I still really enjoyed their set - and I never thought I would, so well done lads! Oh...they brought on Issa for the last song. She sounded really great, but looked a bit out of place in such a 'metal' environment.

Work Of Art: One of my favourite acts of recent years, I was really looking forward to seeing them, so I ventured into the thick of the action (I'd watched The Magnificent and Eden's Curse from the back). Once again, they put on a great show. Perhaps not quite as good as last time, although that might simply be because I enjoyed them so much last year that they couldn't top it. Anyway, a reasonably strong set choice, although adding two new songs was a brave move - they were both bloody great tracks - really instant. One in particular had the most 'Toto-esque' keyboard part I have ever heard outside of Toto... Anyway, that brought the set momentum down, as did the inclusion of I think it was 'Lost Without Your Love' from the debut (sorry...mind still a bit hazy this morning) but you can't argue with the quality of tracks like 'The Great Fall', 'The Rain' and the monster set closer 'Why Do I'. Great show from a band who seem to be improving in the live environment!

W.E.T: I stayed 'in the pit' for W.E.T.and it was immediately clear how popular these guys are, as it was a bit squashed in there 5 from the front!!! Now, I love the debut, but the new album from these boys left me totally cold. But, as with Eden's Curse, there is something about the live environment that can bring stuff to life and I have to say that W.E.T were probably the band of the day for me. They hit the stage in a whirlwind of noise (f**k, were they loud!"!??!!) and motion and didn't let up for a moment, even during the slower stuff (Comes Down Like Rain...bloody song of the day for me) Oh, and Erik looks about 12!!! How can a man look that young??!! This was a masterclass in powerful melodic rock and Jeff Scott Soto was his usual self!! I'm still not convinced by some of the newer material outside of the live show environment, but this was how to play a Firefest set...Brilliant!!

Dare: I wouldn't have wanted to be Dare, following W.E.T. onstage, especially given Dare's more 'relaxed' musical style these days. In fact, I popped out for a snack and a sit down before dare came on, so missed set opener and only arrived midway through 'We Don't Need A Reason'!! Bloody hell! Dare playing that from Blood From Stone...has the world turned on its axis? Has hell frozen over?? Whatever the case, the song was pretty well received by the faithful. After that, it went downhill a bit for me, with material from beneath the Snoozing Water (or whatever it's called) and other more 'sedate' stuff that is great for Saturday night easy listening, but not so great for a festival like this. Still, lots of people lapped it up, so maybe I'm out of order.. Anyway, it all came back to form with a bunch of stuff from the classic debut (I'm sure Darren cocked up the lyrics to Abandon...anyone else notice this?) It was great to hear Vinny Burns' guitar work on these songs too. Overall, an enjoyable set but obviously a bit more low key than the mighty W.E.T had been!

Harem Scarem: Their debut album and Mood Swings are two albums I have always really enjoyed and it was with some trepidation that I awaited their arrival onstage...would they be great, or would they come across all arrogant and disinterested?? Luckily, I was not to be disappointed! The band seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Yes there was some silly banter up there and Harry isn't the most natural frontman, but hearing these songs live was a real treat! I have never been convinced by the post-Mood Swings stuff where it went all downtuned and heavy but even the few tracks of that ilk that they played sounded good. Pete Lesperance gave us a guitar masterclass throughout this set by recreating the very complex solos from Mood Swings note for note. The harmonies were impressive too, although I do suspect that they may have been 'enhanced'slightly in some of the more way-out harmony moments. It was great to see Darren Smith back on drums and it is actually his harmonies that give HS their signature sound as much as it is Harry's. Overall, they played what we wanted to hear and enjoyed themselves doing it, even if they are somewhat 'quirky'. Great end to a great day.

I'm at home recovering today then back on Sunday for Day 3!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2013 04:32AM by GuitarheroAndy.

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Firefest Day 11054 GuitarheroAndy 10/19/2013 08:00PM
Re: Firefest Day 1 558 movingpictures 10/19/2013 08:20PM
Re: Firefest Day 1 533 GuitarheroAndy 10/19/2013 08:38PM
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Re: Firefest Day 1 - Sound 538 Woody 10/19/2013 09:30PM
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