Saturday, June 23rd
As we learned yesterday, the VIP only opens at 10am, so there is no need to rush there earlier to grab a drink / food and then run to the stages to catch the first bands.
My day starts under the Altar stage with Hexecutor, opening the day in the tents, there are quite some people present already to catch their set and they won’t be disappointed! I’m not really a big fan or expert in the genre but this was nice to hear. Next up is Pensées Nocturnes, they get categorised under the name “black metal burlesque”, guess knowing the term “burlesque”, it gave me a different thought of what to come but I have to admit, this was great! Since I saw the sound check while waiting to shoot them, I already noticed what the show would be like. I feel a bit sad about that because the surprise was gone for me, which would have been quite a surprise (in a good way)! And it is nice to see a different approach on black metal for once. Not always the same ritual kind of thing, being covered in masks to hide your identity and be more “mysterious”. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with that and respect all bands doing so, but being unique is just way more interesting in my opinion.
Heading to the main stage for the rest of the day, sadly enough, but it is just impossible to cover so many stages at once! In the morning, you can still get through easily, the later it gets, the harder…
First band to shoot there is Eskimo Callboy, when it comes to music, my taste couldn’t be further away then this band. But one can’t deny they are super fun to shoot and looking at the audience, a lot of people showed up to see them and they are having a blast! Which is the most important no? Then we go on with L7, what can I say? I’m not a feminist but it is always nice to see women playing in a band and trust me, these know how to rock!
Sad news came in on the big screen announcing that Vinnie Paul had passed away… During the rest of the day, several bands would take the time to express their feelings about him passing away. Also somewhere in the evening / late night, Hellfest would dedicated a “minute of silence” to this by playing Pantera.
Tremonti, seeing him last year with Alter Bridge, I was curious to hear him sing. It sounded great and the audience seemed to enjoy it a lot too.With members Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) & Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory) we are at Powerflo. Was really curious to check this band out and man, what a performance! I was secretly hoping on a Cypress Hill song but only a Biohazard song passed. Something to really keep an eye on in the future.
Few years ago, I finally got to see Korn live, today Jonathan Davis is back with his solo project. Among the members there is a familiar face, namely Korn drummer Ray Luzier. Being a huge fan of drums & drumming, you sure have to keep an eye on this guy! It is a real pleasure to watch. I’m sure the fans were enjoying this performance.
And then the moment came I had to make the most difficult choice of the day, even the whole weekend. Kataklysm & Body Count playing around the same time. I had the luck and pleasure to see Kataklysm many times, and I’m sure I will still see them again this year, so I went to make sure to be able to shoot and watch the Body Count.
Sorry guys, I truly wanted to see you both, but at festivals as big as these, you need to make choices… I have no doubt Kataklysm tore down the place and gave security a lot of work with “as I slither”!
Body Count ft. Ice “motherfucking T bitch” as he likes to call himself was as crazy as the last time they played Hellfest. I remember their gig at the Warzone as it was just yesterday. Playing the Main stage this time, the size of the audience was way bigger then last time but yet as crazy! The band was giving a score to the audience but forgot the result if we managed to be crazier then the night before. For the song “cop killer” the guys from Powerflo joined them on stage. Body Count was certainly in the house!
But the party doesn’t end without a performance of Limp Bizkit. Fred being in shock about the passing away of Vinnie Paul and saying he wasn’t really up for this gig. I have to say it was the best Limp Bizkit gig I experienced so far. The intro was nothing less then “Purple rain” from Prince, which brought the audience to a certain level already. All their biggest hits passed by and the crowd went wild. Also a few covers passed by like Nirvana’s “Smells like teen spirit” and Rage Against the Machine “Killing in the name”, which Fred referred to as the band asked him “not to play that song so he did”. The crowd went crazy as did I. I think a fun moment was the fact that they started to sing the nation hymn from France “La Marseillaise”, which I only know the first few words from, so hearing a huge crowd sing it along, it felt kind of weird standing there clueless…
Wes Borland decided at some point to crowd surf in the audience while playing guitar. We all know he is quite a genius on guitar, but this shows he has a damn lot of talent.
The evening couldn’t have end better then with this concert.