So we’re finally semi recovered after 11 hours sleep and I can reflect on the last week of absolutely craziness.
Holy shit. The mission we found ourselves on was challenging to say the least. 14 hours of flying with Taag (upgraded planes, yay!), a stop over in Luanda and finally landing in Lisbon on Tuesday morning. We spent the 8 hours waiting for the bus, walking around to explore some sceneries and shopping around.
The bus ride to Viveiro, where the fest was held, was a gruelling 11 hours. With no sleep already from flying and another night on the bus, by the time we arrived at 5am in Viveiro, we were on our last.
But fate decided to give us another punch in the face because the glamping only opened at 12pm. We explored the Marina and WE ACTUALLY found a clean shower and bathrooms which belongs to the Scuba diving school. Wide open. No one in sight. Just there. The silver lining we were looking for. We cleaned up and waiting even more for the damn glamping to open. This is also when we met our fellow Guatemalan friends and walked around like zombies trying to find coffee. The bus trip back was shorter for us as we hopped off at Porto.
The fucking glamping where we had to pay an Additional 25 Euro p/p to shit and shower. People were pissed. Ready to riot. But you couldn’t access your tent before you paid and we had to suck it up. Swak move. The tent was ok, pretty basic with a double mattress, linen and shit pillows but this was our home for the next 4 nights and any type of sleep was a luxury at this stage. What I can tell is that we woke up the Saturday morning, after a wee bit of drizzle through the night, to a tent that had a leak and some wet clothes.
The toilet and shower facilities was NOT enough, wasn’t cleaned often enough and was just downright disgusting, I’ll spare you the grim details. And this was already on day 2 of the fest. The showers were flooded (haha we joked that we needed high heels and not slops to shower) and was prison like. Oh and there were very specific opening hours for the showers which didn’t include the Sunday morning. For the premium we paid, we expected way more.
The grounds were within walking distance from the camping which were great. The bar facilities was never too crowded as they worked on a token system and the food was varied enough to satisfy your drunken junk food cravings. We got VIP/Pandemonium tickets which was well worth it due to the toilets, chill area and elevated viewing point of the main stage. In general the fest undercatered for toilets tho. The urinals were overflowing at one point and the smell of pissed everywhere was a bit off putting.
I swear with every festival we attend in Europe, the music and show of the bands just keep on getting bigger and better.
Wednesday evening was the warm up party. We managed to catch their local heroes, SOZIEDAD ALKOHOLIKA. A mixture of crossover punk and thrash metal, this band was the perfect choice to lift spirits and get you ready for a helluva party. SEPULTURA played and I lost my shit completely as they played some new tracks of their latest album and some old classic. This band is a beast live, and every time I see them live it’s even more intense.
Thursday brought the big guns. We watched French Death Metallers BENIGHTED while standing in the queue for the ST signing. I was in absolute fan-girl mode when meeting Dave Lombardo. He was such a damn nice guy! To add to the party vibe, AIRBORNE started playing straight after and that’s when I really felt like were actually at a European Festival again. They raised our energy levels and we had quick look at COMEBACK KID, a good warm up for the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES show. ST was brilliant, Mike Muir being the crazy front man that he is and Lombardo just being the perfect fit for them. They played a killer set with my favourite being “Trip at the Brain” of course.
Next up was the main reason I went: ANTHRAX. It was all I hoped it to be and even more with my spot basically right up front. Joey Belladonna is a phenomenal front man, up there with the likes of Bruce Dickinson. Their set was mind blowing, starting off with older hits like Caught in a Mosh, Madhouse and Got the Time. I totally teared up when they started playing Anti-Social and the whole crowd sang along. Perfection.
The party didn’t stop there as Dropkick Murphys was next. We were hoping for a mor eupbeat set than the last time we saw them and it was definitely an improvement! They of course played State of Massachusetts and closed off with Shipping up to Boston. To finish he evening at 2am was Korpiklaani, which to my disappointment was just not sounding that great. The mix lacked a lot of bass and we decided to rather retreat to our tent for the evening.
Friday (The Shredder Day!) started off with some Grindcore by TEETHING, followed by LEGACY OF BRUTALITY whose sound is reminiscent of bands like Malevolent Creation and Monstrosity.
ANNIHILATOR blasted onto the main stage and Jeff Waters just seemed so nice, Canadians LOL! I loved their set with songs like Welcome to your Death, Second to None and Phantasmagoria. Great to see such a shred god with so much humility.
Next up was WARBRINGER with their new wave of thrash opening with a few songs of their brilliant new album “Woe to the Vanquished”. Their lead guitarists compliment each other’s playing beautifully and they were definitely one of the tightest bands we saw at the festival.
Talking about tight. Enter LOST SOCIETY. Oh my fucking god. I’ve been a fan of this band for a long time and I was so amped when I saw them on this bill. They were the fastest and most accurate band I’ve ever seen in my life. Their energy while playing a million notes at a time seemed other worldly. Their set broke my neck but left me feeling so damn happy.
The main headliners for the fest was RAMMSTEIN. We missed them back home in 2011 but damn the wait until now was worth it! I’ve never seen so much fire and debauchery on stage. At one stage their keyboardist was dragged by its ball gag by Lindemann to some kind of bath tub upon which Lindemann got onto one of the lights and moved to the roof of the stage, pouring fire into the tub! The keyboardist appeared in a glitter suit afterward and played the rest of their while being on a damn treadmill. They played all their hits and the crowd was massive! This was their only show in the Western Europe region this year I think and it was damn impressive.
NAPALM DEATH played straight after on the Chaos Stage and I’m not sure if it was just the lack of energy or sound but once again the last band of the evening was a disappointment. They sounded messy and I was truly disappointed.
Saturday was the last day of the fest and was filled with Sludge, Progressive and Power Metal goodness. Unfortunately Krisiun had cancelled due to flights being delayed by flooding in Madrid, so Arch Enemy was first up on the menu for today. Got to admit, I absolutely love the music but new-ish vocalist, Alissa, just doesn’t do it for me much. I felt that the focus was more on her than the brilliant musicianship of their guitarists who deserves to be in the limelight, at least when they are playing the leads!
Next up, I became a MASTODON convert. I must have listened to the wrong songs before because damn what I witness live was truly great. It’s one of those bands where you just close your eyes and let you body move naturally to the groove of the music.
Some punk with RANCID was up next and had us jumping around for a while until we moved onto some booty shakin’ rock n roll with ORANGE GOBLIN.
Then for the very first time of my life I witnessed a band having a circle pit and mosh during their intro. AGNOSTIC FRONT wasn’t even on stage yet and their crowd went ballistic. They went crazy on stage. We literally moshed to the front for this band and boy it got fucking rough, so I rough I had to exit after getting a shoe to the side of the head. The Spanish love fun music, they live speed and punk. Definitely my kind of people.
A quick look at Mayhem for some black metal entertainment (not my cup of tea at all) and we headed to the elevated Pandemonium area to watch SABATON. That stage set up was so damn cool and I envied the drummer’s tank/throne set up. He sure as hell deserve it tho and he was definitely the drummer of the fest for me with his style and flare.
Closing off the festival for us was OBITUARY and it was definitely one of my biggest highlights. The first time I saw them was in 2012 without a lead guitarist and it was such a treat seeing them with a full line up, playing songs from their new album and classics such as Slowly We Rot.
In closing, we had helluva party and heard some awesome music. This fest is definitely for people that enjoy the fun side of music!