Thursday, 21 June 2018

AVATAR Announce UK Tour With Halestorm


Citizens! The King returns to the UK this fall with Halestorm! The King know that this island hasn't had enough of “Avatar Country” this year, and His Majesty is committed to make things right! Glorious times lie ahead!

AVATAR with Halestorm:
22.09.18 (UK) Sheffield - O2 Academy Sheffield *SOLD OUT!*
23.09.18 (UK) Glasgow - O2 Academy Glasgow
24.09.18 (UK) Birmingham - O2 Academy Birmingham
26.09.18 (UK) Manchester - O2 Apollo Manchester
28.09.18 (UK) London - O2 Academy Brixton
29.09.18 (UK) Bristol - O2 Academy Bristol *SOLD OUT!*

AVATAR have already played prestigious festivals such as Rock am Ring/Rock im Park (DE), FortaRock (NL) as well as Download Festival UK and France. The King and his elite backing orchestra will be gracing the following festivals with their presence:

22.06.18 (BE) Dessel - Graspop Metal Meeting
06.07.18 (NO) Kvinesdal - Norway Rock Festival
07.07.18 (SE) Knislinge - Helgeafestivalen
14.07.18 (CZ) Vizovice - Masters of Rock

CLICK HERE FOR ALL TOUR DATES: http://avatarmetal.com/tour/
AVATAR released their seventh and most Royal full length “Avatar Country” earlier this year via Century Media Records and Entertainment One (USA, Canada, Mexico).

You can watch their royal broadcasts below.
'A Statue Of the King': https://youtu.be/FrvmURFvacc
'The King Wants You': https://youtu.be/b_cHOXYkC3U
'The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country': https://youtu.be/zfqdCXz8Yww

AVATAR is:
Johannes Eckerström - Vocals
John Alfredsson - Drums
Henrik Sandelin - Bass
The King - Guitars
Tim Öhrström - Guitars

AVATAR online:

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY DEBUTS "TRAMPLED DOWN BELOW" MUSIC VIDEO


Black Label Society, led by American guitar icon Zakk Wylde, has released another new music video today, this time for the single "Trampled Down Below." The video was directed by Dan Sturgess and filmed at the world famous Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington, London during the band's tour there earlier this year. 

Watch the official video clip here: 

Black Label Society recently soared into the charts with their new record via Spinefarm Records, Grimmest Hits. The album landed at #4 on the US Billboard Current Charts, the highest charting LP since Order Of The Black released back in 2009. Grimmest Hits also saw the band hit career high chart positions in Germany (#21), Switzerland (#25) and Australia (#30), with Japan recording the best position (#31) since BLS’s debut album in 1998. In-between then and now, Zakk Wylde released Book of Shadows II, the long awaited follow up from his 1996 solo debut of the same name. 

Grimmest Hits is available to buy or stream to here.

Wylde will stay on the road beyond the Black Label Society dates in 2018 reunited with Ozzy Osbourne on the "No More Tours 2." The tour will take place this spring/summer with dates in Mexico, South America and Europe. Zakk Wylde can be relied upon to wield his guitar like a Viking weapon, bashing out thick riffage and squeezing out expressive squeals as if the glory of his Berserker brotherhood depends upon every single note, which of course, it does.

Track List
1. Trampled Down Below
2. Seasons Of Falter
3. The Betrayal
4. All That Once Shined
5. The Only Words
6. Room Of Nightmares
7. A Love Unreal
8. Disbelief
9. The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away
10. Illusions Of Peace
11. Bury Your Sorrow
12. Nothing Left To Say

Now ten studio albums deep, with solo records, Ozzy shows, and Zakk Sabbath tours all kicking ass simultaneously, Black Label Society rides ever forward, fist held high.

Black Label Society is:
Zakk Wylde – Vocals/Guitar
John DeServio – Bass
Dario Lorina – Guitar
Jeff Fabb – Drums.

ENSLAVED announce tour with High On Fire; nominated for Prog award!


Norwegian black metal avant-gardists Enslaved are proud to announce a co-headline UK/EU tour with Californian sludge-tinged riff masters High On Fire, who are fronted by Matt Pike also of Sleep. The string of dates set for this autumn will run from late September through to mid-October, and are set to include 14 shows across 7 countries. Two of the UK show dates - Milton Keynes 06/10 and Leeds 07/10 – will be Enslaved headline shows.

Enslaved front-man/bassist Grutle commented: "Salute dear friends and foes! We are happy to announce some more tour dates for you – we are going to share stage with legends in High On Fire! I can guarantee you that this will be a tour for the books, so get ready for some excessive indulgence in heavy music madness!"

"Cometh the conquerors, to break all beliefs!" added High On Fire frontman Matt Pike.

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow, Thursday 21st June at 09.00am local time

Enslaved + High On Fire 2018 Tour
30/09 – U Bazyla, Poznan, PL
01/10 – Proxima, Warsaw, PL
02/10 – UT Connewitz, Leipzig, DE
03/10 – Kulturfabrik, Esch-sur-Alzette, LU
04/10 – Mezz Jupiler Zaal, Breda, NL
16/10 – La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris, FR

Enslaved are also honoured to share the news that Prog Magazine UK has nominated them for an award - International Band/Artist of the Year!

Go vote for Enslaved in the Prog Awards here: www.loudersound.com/prog2018

Prog Magazine UK is the world's leading progressive rock magazine, on sale every five weeks. The magazine was launched in early 2009, covering artists both past, present and upcoming with the aim of spreading the message of prog message far and wide. Their annual Progressive Music Awards was established in 2012.

Never faltering, Norway‘s iconic Enslaved continue to exist as one of the most dependable components in our scene's indestructible backbone. Possessing the reputation as one of the most riveting live acts around, they never fail to offer us talent of the highest calibre, always doing justice to their signature black/progressive sound. Enslaved was formed in 1991 by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson releasing their first demo ’Yggdrasill‘ in the summer of 1992, their legendary mini-album ’Hordanes Land‘ coming out in 1993 with debut full length ’Vikingligr Veldi‘ arriving in the spring of 1994.

Their distinguished release ’In Times‘ was released in March 2015 to global critical acclaim. A tour-de-force of hypnotic prog intensity and scabrous, blackened pomp, it exuded an air of completion and finality that led perfectly into 2016‘s extravagant celebrations, as Enslavedmarked their 25th anniversary with some truly life-changing shows that explored all shadows and hidden corners in the band‘s colossal catalogue.

Two years later, they released the universally praised 'E': a typically bold and fearless statement from this most inventive of modern metal bands and a thrilling sideways step that harnessed the spirit of old and set it loose in a whirlwind of stormy imagination. Universally praised, it duly earned Enslaved their fifth Norwegian Grammy win.

Since the release of 'E', Enslaved have been dedicated to spreading their gospel of musical fearlessness around the world. They once again conquered Europe and North America during late 2017 and early 2018, and will be performing at festivals throughout the summer, including appearances at CopenHell, Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Beyond The Gates and Psycho Las Vegas. Determined to keep everyone happy, they will also be hitting Australia and Japan for a handful of dates in the autumn, with further plans to explore more of the planet in the very near future.

Enslaved are:
Ivar Bjørnson (guitar)
Grutle Kjellson (vocal & bass)
Iver Sandoy (drums)
Hakon Vinje (keyboard & vocal) 
Ice Dale (solo guitar)

More info:

KORPIKLAANI discuss musical development in new trailer



Finnish Folk Metal Superstars KORPIKLAANI recently announced the release of their new studio album entitled Kulkija ('Wanderer') on September 7th, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. After unveiling the first single 'Kotikonnut' a few days ago, the band are pleased to present the first album trailer, in which they discuss their musical development over the years.

Watch here: 
https://youtu.be/DzDeQBDiJpg

Listen to the first single, 'Kotikonnut', taken from the band's forthcoming album Kulkija ('Wanderer'): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzsUWvKsgqQ


With 14 tracks and a total running time of over 71 minutes, Kulkija is the group's longest album to date. Working with producer Janne Saksa for the first time, the album was recorded at Petrax Studio (Hollola, FIN) and mixed at Sound Supreme Studios (Hämeenlinna, FIN). Mastering duties were handled by renowned engineer Svante Forsbäck (RAMMSTEIN etc.).
The cover was designed by Jan Yrlund (BATTLE BEAST, MANOWAR etc.).

Founding member Jonne commented:
"We've never been as satisfied with a final result as we are with Kulkija. We tried to keep it very natural. Like the wanderer, this album is a journey, one that makes you feel good."

Accordionist Sami added:
"Kulkija isn't just a collection of songs, it's a "real" album with a unique atmosphere guiding the listeners through a long journey. All songs were well prepared in advance and nothing needed to be arranged in the studio. Tuomas [fiddle] & I had lots of space to develop and play the folk arrangements."

Pre-orders available soon!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

AMORPHIS + SOILWORK Announce 2019 Co-Headline Tour With Jinjer And NTO!


Finnish melancholic progressive metallers AMORPHIS released their enormously successful new album Queen Of Time, on May 18th, 2018 through Nuclear Blast. To present their new hymns live on stage, the band is pleased to announce that they will join forces with visionary Swedish metallers SOILWORK for a European co-headline run in early 2019. The band is currently working hard on the follow-up to 2015's hit album The Ride Majestic (Nuclear Blast). The trek will mark SOILWORK's first tour in support of their new record. As if this package wasn't great enough, these headliners will be supported by Ukrainian modern metal outfit JINJER plus German melodic death/doom metallers NAILED TO OBSCURITY, who are working on their Nuclear Blast debut.

AMORPHIS guitarist Esa Holopainen commented, 
"We can't wait to hit the European roads and take the AMORPHIS live production to the next level with the »Queen Of Time« tour. We are really happy to bring the mighty SOILWORK, JINJER and NAILED TO OBSCURITY to this tour as well. Get your tickets now, it's gonna be a blast from the past!"

Added SOILWORK vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid, 
"We are very excited about touring with AMORPHIS, as the first tour for our upcoming album. AMORPHIS have been my favorite Finnish band since I was a teenager, when »Tales From The Thousand Lakes« was my daily soundtrack. Both of the bands' unique take on metal, will create an epic cocktail, as we roll through Europe on tour together. It's about time, I can't wait!"

JINJER stated
"We are absolutely thrilled and honored to tour alongside two metal giants such as AMORPHIS and SOILWORK, it's almost too good to be true! We'll be bringing our A game and playing some new material as well. Europe, get ready because 2019 is going to get loud!"

NAILED TO OBSCURITY guitarist Jan-Ole Lamberti said, 
"We can't wait to get back on the road again and we are very excited to be a part of this killer tour package. We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces at cities and venues that we've already played in the past, but also to meeting lots of new people at places and even countries we haven't been to yet. This is going to be great!"

AMORPHIS + SOILWORK
w/ JINJER, NAILED TO OBSCURITY
11.01. D Oberhausen - Turbinenhalle 2
12.01. NL Nijmegen - Doornroosje
13.01. D Hamburg - Markthalle
14.01. DK Copenhagen - Amager Bio
15.01. S Stockholm - Fryshuset
16.01. N Oslo - Rockefeller Music Hall
18.01. D Hanover - Capitol
19.01. D Leipzig - Hellraiser
20.01. PL Krakow - Klub Kwadrat
23.01. BG Sofia - Universiada Hall
25.01. H Budapest - Barba Negra Music Club
26.01. A Vienna - Arena
27.01. CZ Zlín - Masters of Rock Café
28.01. SK Bratislava - Majestic Music Club
29.01. D Berlin - Kesselhaus
30.01. D Munich - Backstage (Werk)
01.02. D Geiselwind - MusicHall
02.02. D Cologne - Essigfabrik
03.02. B Antwerp - Trix Muziekcentrum
06.02. F Paris - Cabaret Sauvage
07.02. F Toulouse - Le Bikini
08.02. E Madrid - Mon
09.02. E Barcelona - Salamandra
10.02. F Lyon - Le Transbordeur
12.02. I Trezzo sull'Adda (MI) - Live Music Club
13.02. D Wiesbaden - Schlachthof
14.02. D Saarbrücken - Garage
15.02. D Stuttgart - LKA Longhorn
16.02. CH Pratteln - Z7

More AMORPHIS dates:
23.06. D St. Goarshausen - RockFels
24.06. F Clisson - Hellfest
05.07. D Ballenstedt - Rockharz Open Air
06.07. FIN Lohja - Rantajamit
12.07. D Balingen - Bang Your Head!!!
13.07. CZ Vizovice - Masters of Rock
15.07. FIN Joensuu - Ilosaarirock
20.07. FIN Laukaa - John Smith Rock Festival
27.07. FIN Kuopio - RockCock
28.07. FIN Oulu - Qstock
03.08. D Wacken - Wacken Open Air
10.08. B Kortrijk - Alcatraz Metal Festival
11.08. E Villena - Leyendas del Rock
18.08. FIN Hämeenlinna - Tuuloksen Kapakanmäki (w/ support)

w/ DARK TRANQUILLITY, MOONSPELL, OMNIUM GATHERUM
07.09. USA New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre
08.09. CDN Montréal, QC - Théâtre Corona
09.09. CDN Québec City, QC - Impérial de Québec
10.09. CDN Toronto, ON - The Opera House
11.09. USA Ft. Wayne, IN - Piere's Entertainment Center
12.09. USA Detroit, MI - Harpos Concert Theatre
13.09. USA Joliet, IL - The Forge
14.09. USA Minneapolis, MN - The Cabooze
15.09. CDN Winnipeg, MB - The Park Theatre
17.09. CDN Edmonton, AB - The Starlite Room
18.09. CDN Calgary, AB - Dickens
19.09. CDN Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
20.09. USA Seattle, WA - El Corazon
22.09. USA Berkeley, CA - UC Theatre
23.09. USA Anaheim, CA - City National Grove
24.09. USA West Hollywood, CA - Whiskey a Go Go
25.09. USA San Diego, CA - Brick by Brick

More NAILED TO OBSCURITY dates:
29.06. D Manslagt - Let the Bad Times Roll Open Air
30.06. D Gardelegen - Metal Frenzy
07.07. D Nordheim - Sunstorm Festival
11.08. UK Derby - Bloodstock Open Air 

26.09. USA Phoenix, AZ - The Pressroom
27.09. USA Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
28.09. USA Salt Lake City, UT - Liquid Joe's
29.09. USA Denver, CO - Herman’s Hideaway
01.10. USA Dallas, TX - Trees
02.10. USA San Antonio, TX - The Rock Box
03.10. USA Houston, TX - Scout Bar
05.10. USA Tampa, FL - The Orpheum
06.10. USA Lake Park, FL - Kelsey Theater
07.10. USA Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
09.10. USA Louisville, KY - Diamond Pub & Billiards
10.10. USA Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall
11.10. USA Baltimore, MD - Soundstage
12.10. USA Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre
13.10. USA Worcester, MA - The Palladium
14.10. USA Clifton Park, NY - Upstate Concert Hall

»Queen Of Time Tour 2018«
02.11. FIN Leppävirta - Vesileppis Areena*
03.11. FIN Joensuu - Unholy Winterfest**
09.11. FIN Turku - Logomo***
10.11. FIN Helsinki - Black Box***
16.11. FIN Rauha - Saimaa Arena****
17.11. FIN Tampere - Pakkahuone
23.11. FIN Seinäjoki - Rytmikorjaamo
24.11. FIN Oulu - Areena
01.12. FIN Hämeenlinna - Aulanko Areena
07.12. FIN Vaasa - WS Arena
08.12. FIN Pori - Isomäki Areena****
*w/ STRATOVARIUS, BLOCKBUSTER
**w/ CHILDREN OF BODOM, STRATOVARIUS, LOST SOCIETY
***w/ MYRKUR
****w/ TURMION KÄTILÖT

The Darkness “Live at Hammersmith” CD Review


The Darkness stormed the UK charts way back in 2003 with their absolute gem of an album `Permission To Land’, an album that holds something very dear to this writers heart. It was practically the first album I bought with my own money, so to hear it from a live perspective gives a warm fuzzy feeling somewhere ha-ha. 

Anyway, the band itself realistically and quite unfortunately, peaked here. From 2006, they pretty much disbanded when Justin Hawkins went his own way, until 2011 when rumblings of a reunion were about to occur. They were not wrong. 

Forward to 2018, 7 years after the reunion, comes a live album. Recorded at the world famous Hammersmith, you get 19 songs of pure Darkness balls out fun. The album commences with `Open Fire’ and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from The Darkness. It’s ballsy and extremely high octane, it’s not one that holds the nostalgic value but it’s exactly what you need to open a high energy rock live album. 

Now as soon as the 2nd track kicks in, that’s when it starts pulling at the heart strings with `Love Is a Feeling’. A track that back in the heady days of 2003 was absolute smash hit and such a great song to finally hear live. If you remember the video for the song, yep an actual video that was probably on MTV, it’s a pure rock anthem; you can mentally see all the lighters held aloft in the darkness of Hammersmith. 

Songs from ‘Permission to Land’ are the really heavy hitters on `Live at Hammersmith’. From the aforementioned `Love Is Only a Feeling’ to the gut wrenchingly amusing `Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman’, and not to go without mentioning `I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ just pulls at the nostalgia heart strings. Play it loud, actually wait, play it very fucking loud. It’s fun and uplifting. Even though it’s a hot June morning, hearing their infamous Christmas song `Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)’, it’s actually refreshing. 

Going through the album, it’s a perfect representation of what The Darkness was, is and will probably be for many years to come. Yes the tracks from ‘Permission To Land’ really do hit the mark more than the rest, it still shows just what The Darkness brought to the Rock community; the wider music scene as a whole back in 2003 and that’s all out rock extravaganza. Full of fun, loud crunching guitars and high pitched vocals from Justin, whether it’s 2003 or 2018, The Darkness show off their credentials as rock n roll royalty. 

9/10 – 2003 or 2018 The Darkness are still the kings of high octane British Rock n Roll. 

Stand out tracks: 
`Love Is Only A Feeling’, `Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman’ and `I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ 

Track Listing: 
1. Open Fire 
2. Love Is Only A Feeling 
3. Southern Trains 
4. Black Shuck 
5. One Way Ticket 
6. Givin’ Up 
7. All The Pretty Girls 
8. Barbarian 
9. Buccaneers of Hispaniola 
10. Friday Night 
11. Makin’ Out 
12. Every Inch Of You 
13. Solid Gold 
14. Stuck In A Rut 
15. Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman 
16. Growing On Me 
17. Japanese Prisoner of Love 
18. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) 
19. I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Monday, 18 June 2018

Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - Announce New Album "Living The Dream" Out On September 21st


SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS
ANNOUNCE
‘LIVING THE DREAM’
NEW ALBUM TO BE RELEASED ON THE 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018
THROUGH SNAKEPIT/ROADRUNNER RECORDS

GROUP ANNOUNCE U.S. HEADLINING TOUR STARTING THURSDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2018 IN LOS ANGELES
ONSALE FRIDAY 22ND JUNE (here)

SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS have announced today, 18thJune they’ll release their new album entitled LIVING THE DREAM on the 21st September via SLASH’s own label Snakepit Recordsin partnership with Roadrunner Records. LIVING THE DREAM is SLASH’s fourth solo album, and third with his band featuring MYLES KENNEDY (Vocals), BRENT FITZ (Drums), TODD KERNS (Bass & Vocals) and FRANK SIDORIS (Guitar & Vocals). A pre-order for the new album will begin on the 25th July. 

For LIVING THE DREAM, SLASH and his band re-teamed with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Alter Bridge, Iggy Pop, Incubus); the group are currently putting the finishing touches on the powerful 12 song collection.The band’s previous albums World On Fire and Apocalyptic Love, debuted in the Top Ten on 12 charts globally, spawned three #1 hit singles at U.S. Rock Radio and earned worldwide praise garnering SLASH some of the best critical acclaim of his career. World On Fire was tagged by Guitar World as “another bold and unapologetically riffy statement” and “a varied, immersive and incredibly hard rocking effort”(December 2014). Rolling Stone described Apocalyptic Love-- the band’s debut album--as “filled with head bangers and plenty of fancy fretwork” and Revolver declared it “a collection of lean, high-octane rock-and-roll tunes built to be blasted out of open-top sports cars, or more suitably, open-air stadiums”(May 2012). 

The group have announced they’ll kick off a U.S. headlining tour beginning the 13th September 2018 in Los Angeles. Citi is the official credit card of the “Living The Dream” tour, as such Citi card members will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, 19th June at 10am local time to Thursday 21st June at 10pm. For complete details, visit: citiprivatepass.com. SLASH fanclub presales will begin on the 19th June at 10:00am local time, with general onsales starting Friday 22nd June at 10:00am. Each ticket purchased online to a headlining show will include a digital copy of LIVING THE DREAM (out 21/09/18); all tickets are available at: http://www.slashonline.com. The full itinerary (see below), encompasses three festival appearances: Sunday 16 September at KAABOO Festival, Friday 28 September at Louder Than Life Festival and Sunday 14 October at Aftershock Festival.

Following are SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS USA tour dates:

DATE CITY VENUE TICKETS
Thu-Sep-13-18 Los Angeles, CA Whisky A Go Go 9/13 Tickets
Sat-Sep-15-18 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren 9/15 Tickets
*Sun-Sep-16-18 Del Mar, CA KAABOO Music Festival 9/16 Tickets
Tue-Sep-18-18 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot 9/18 Tickets
Wed-Sep-19-18 Denver, CO Fillmore Auditorium 9/19 Tickets
Fri-Sep-21-18 Tulsa, OK Paradise Cove Margaritaville 9/21 Tickets
Sat-Sep-22-18 Thackerville, OK (Dallas) WinStar World Casino 9/22 Tickets
Mon-Sep-24-18 Austin, TX Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater 9/24 Tickets
Wed-Sep-26-18 Houston, TX House of Blues 9/26 Tickets
Fri-Sep-28-18 Louisville, KY Louder Than Life Festival 9/28 Tickets
Sat-Sep-29-18 New Buffalo, MI Four Winds Casino Resort 9/29 Tickets
Mon-Oct-01-18 Montclair, NJ Wellmont Theater 10/1 Tickets
Tue-Oct-02-18 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore Silver Spring 10/2 Tickets
Thu-Oct-04-18 Rama, ON Casino Rama 10/4 Tickets
*Fri-Oct-05-18 New York, NY Pier 17 @ South Street Seaport 10/5 Tickets
Sat-Oct-06-18 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun - Wolf's Den 10/6 Tickets
Tue-Oct-09-18 Huntington, NY The Paramount 10/9 Tickets
Wed-Oct-10-18 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory 10/10 Tickets
Thu-Oct-11-18 Boston, MA House of Blues 10/11 Tickets
Sun-Oct-14-18 Sacramento, CA Aftershock Festival 10/14 Tickets

*Indicates date is already on-sale.

For more information on SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS, visit:

Stone Free Festival Saturday 16th June 2018


A celebration of all things rock! No truer statement sums up the Stone Free Festival. 

If you aren’t aware of this festival, it is after all relatively new. Since 2016, the likes of Alice Cooper and Ritchie Blackmore’s Deep Purple have topped the bill. 

So 2018 had to be special, right? 

The O2 itself was fully immersed by Stone Free, many parts taken over by various stages and a huge Vinyl collectors fair. This alone was like an all encompassing art gallery, with vinyls of all colour and style on offer for the smorgasbord of rock n rollers coming into the mighty dome. 

So throughout The O2 as previously mentioned, there were a variety of small stages set up to show off not just the biggest that the rock world has to offer, but also a chance for some younger or heavier articles from our world. You could also sit in the luxury of a plush cinema to watch the iconic cult classic `Wayne’s World`, all as part of your ticket price! 

Headlining at the Indigo rooms, located on the side of The O2, the venue heralded probably the heaviest of bands that would appear at The O2 for the whole weekend, Orange Goblin. A band that having just released their newest album `The Wolf Bites Back’, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase a heavier brand of Metal that fans of tonight’s main stage headliner may not be too familiar with. Definitely, on tonight’s efforts, a band that needs to be seen by more people. This also highlighted the effectiveness of the scheduling over the weekend, in simple terms; those who arrived early could sample the many bands and activities that were on show. 

Right let’s get onto tonight’s heavy hitters, opening the main stage is `Buckcherry’. Unfortunately, this writer wasn’t able to check out their high octane rock n roll as the queue to get into the venue was being held up by the rigours of security checks, annoying but very necessary. 

Up next, and they certainly shouldn’t need any introduction, is the mighty `Megadeth’. Heralded as one of the Big 4 of Thrash Metal, Megadeth showcase tonight just why they have lasted for such a long time. They power through so many hits and even a couple of rare gems make the set-list. Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson are both in fine fettle and being flanked by younger gentleman, songs like `Symphony of Destruction’ and `Peace Sells’ are only a taste of what Megadeth have brought to table for so many years. Technically inspired metal with superb song writing and topical lyrics that appear to be relevant in any age. 

Megadeth Photo Credit: Nathan Kerridge-Porter

If you’ve seen this lot before you will know just how good they are live, Germany’s premier rock band `Scorpions’. Formed way back in 1965, the Hanover outfit are not exactly young men but boy can they show the whipper snappers a thing or two. The show itself is a pure extravaganza, with a smorgasbord of highly lit TV screens that showcase important concepts from the band’s massive back catalogue that they picked out for the heaving O2 audience. Pure and simple, Scorpions are showmen. With a rising Mikkey Dee during his drum solo, and Rudolph Schenker with a smoking guitar is the perfect demonstration of what Scorpions bring to the table; sheer entertainment. 

The band has so many hits, even those who came to the show not really knowing the might of the Hanover heavy weights may know some of the songs; they are simply that much a part of pop culture. 

`Rock You like a Hurricane’ is a perfect example of a song that was written for the 1984 album `Love At First Sting’, and they still kick serious ass playing a song that I’m sure you’d be sick of playing for 30 years. Yet they play like it’s the first time, and for some in the audience it may well be their first. 

Scorpions Photo Credit: Nathan Kerridge-Porter

So Stone Free Festival at least on Saturday was a resounding success, although even for Scorpions the entirety of The O2 wasn’t utilized. However, due to the amazing opportunities for up and coming bands plus the vinyl fairs that are on show, The O2 is the perfect venue to house the Stone Free Festival. Yes Wembley Arena might have been sold out, but the experience you get by making it a mini festival under a tent the size of The O2 is great for those who don’t want to camp outside, and certainly do not want to deal with the English weather. 

9/10 – A Classic Rock festival for the age, keep it up! 

Stone Free Festival online: