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Bang Your Head Day One @ Volksbank Arena, Balingen

in Friday, 16 July 2010 at Volksbank Arena
by Erika Walberg, Maria Kallinikou

The concerts on Friday started way too early and we got to the festival area just in time to catch the last few minutes of THE NEW BLACK. Their groove and modern Metal sounded really good and I regret a bit I didn’t drag myself out of bed earlier. Hopefully this wasn’t the last chance to see them.

Erika : Next band to hit the stage was Swedish ENFORCER. I’ve seen these guys several times prior to the ‘Bang Your Head’ festival and they’re always a joy to watch. It was a bit unusual to see them on this huge stage though. Ok, Sandbacka Bryggeri is extremely small but even counting that out, this stage was so much bigger than any place I’ve seen then before so, the downside with it was that the hysteric energy doesn’t get out on a stage like this. Maybe it’s just me that needs to get used to see them on places like this but for me it wasn’t the same feeling around this band as it uses to. I’m not saying it was bad, not at all. ENFORCER is a really good live band no matter what it was just a new experience to see them on a bi stage. It was also the first time to see them after the release of their second album “Diamonds” which perhaps is a little bit more mature than the debut but the songs sure still had a lot of energy anyway. I think the turn off here is more in my head than anything the band did just because I’m used to see them at much smaller places. They did well, absolutely but it wasn’t the same smack in the face as they have been before.

 ENFORCER  setlist:

  1. “Midnight Vice”
  2. “Mistress from Hell”
  3. “On The Loose”
  4. “Katana”
  5. “Roll The Dice”
  6. “Diamonds”
  7. “Scream of the Savage”
  8. “Walk With Me”
  9. “Take Me to Hell”
  10. “Evil Attacker”
Maria : I entered the festival area, half an hour before GRAND MAGUS hit the stage. There were two groups of people. Those who were still trying to wake up and those who were already drunk! The good thing was that there were enough people in front of the stage. “King Slayer” made the start. The sound was decent, despite the heat the Swedish band delivered the 50’ set. Although the whole festival was dedicated to Ronnie James Dio. I do not recall them playing a cover song.

 GRAND MAGUS  setlist:
  1. “Kingslayer”
  2. “Like The Oar Strikes The Water”
  3. “Silver Into Steel”
  4. “At Midnight They’ll Get Wise”
  5. “Wolf’s Return”
  6. “I, The Jury”
  7. “Hammer Of The North”
  8. “Iron Will”
  9. “The Shadow Knows”
Maria : It was the second time that I watched FORBIDDEN at this festival. The US-thrashers held their standards and gave us almost an hour of pure energy and endless headbanging. Under the burning sun, I can definitely say that everybody was awakened after their set. Around 12:40, “Infinite” brought panic in the first rows. Their choice of song to honor the memory of Dio was, in my opinion, absolutely great. “Children Of The Sea” … nothing more to say. They ended with “Chalice Of Blood”. After that I needed a beer…

 FORBIDDEN  setlist:
  1. “Infinite”
  2. “R.I.P”
  3. “Step By Step”
  4. “Through The Eyes Of Glass”
  5. “Adapt Or Die”
  6. “Children Of The Sea”
  7. “Chalice Of Blood”
Erika: Another Swedish band on the bill was war freaks SABATON. They were too with a brand new record in the bag, “Coat Of Arms”. SABATON normally put on a huge show when they play and this was no exception. I think all photographers jumped at least 2 feet when the first pyro was set off. According to tradition SABATON kept the good show going for the whole show. They are fun to watch and the stomp rhythms songs works perfect for fist waving and sing along. The fun thing with this concert was the front line, normally the crowd is very mixed and since the age-average is higher than on many other Metal festivals but for SABATON, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many really young people at the same time at this festival ever. It seems cool that younger fans can find their own bands but it also shows that SABATON don’t really reach all they way. Even if I like them, they’re best in smaller dozes because the songs tend to be very similar to each other. But it was a fun afternoon hour and it’s impossible to not sing a long to “Panzer Battalion”, “Cliffs Of Gallipoli” and “Primo Victoria”.

 SABATON  setlist:
  1. “Ghost Division”
  2. “Panzer Battalion”
  3. “Coat of Arms”
  4. “Saboteurs”
  5. “Cliffs Of Gallipoli”
  6. “The Price Of A Mile”
  7. "Screaming Eagles”
  8. “The Art Of War”
  9. “Primo Victoria”
  10. “Metal Machine”  / “Metal Crüe”
Maria: All the way from Japan, LOUDNESS took over the stage. Full of energy, they started with “Crazy Nights”, while the burning sun was torturing us. Despite the fact that I was a bit exhausted, I kinda saved some energy, and watched the show from afar together with a cold beer. The sound was crystal clear and everyone there had a good time.

 LOUDNESS  setlist:
  1. “Crazy Nights”
  2. “Crazy Doctor”
  3. “Esper”
  4. “Heavy Chains”
  5. “In The Mirror”
  6. “Let It Go”
  7. “S.D.I”
  8. “Loudness”
Maria: Lets start with this: Lips was restless!!! Frankly I do not know how many ANVIL fans were there, but for sure, their recent DVD, did the trick. Before they even start with “March Of The Crabs” Lips came in front and talked to us with a little help from his guitar picks instead of the microphone. That’s what I like in metal. It is not only, perfection and technique. It is also the ability (because it is an ability) of seeing things and laugh at them, doing things which serious adults would never do. In the middle of the set he played the ‘dildo’ solo… just hilarious! No need to mention that the interaction with the crowd was amazing. This hour just flew by. “Metal On Metal” was the last track… what else!

 ANVIL  setlist:
  1. “March Of The Crabs”
  2. “666”
  3. “School Love”
  4. “Winged Assasins”
  5. “This Is Thirteen”
  6. “Mothra”
  7. “Heaven And Hell”
  8. “Thumb Hang”
  9. “White Rhino”
  10. “Metal On Metal”
Erika: One of the absolute highlights for me on the bill was JON OLIVA’S PAIN. The latest release “Festival” is a supreme killer record and I was really looking forward to see these songs live. What’s a little unfortunate though is that the majority of the set is SAVATAGE songs. Of course, that is where Jon Oliva comes from and what people expect them to play but after more than half a decade and four full length albums I think the JON OLIVA’S PAIN songs should work equally well as SAVATAGE in a live set. Jon was in an excellent mood this Friday evening and that always enhances the experience even a little more. I love that everything feels very spontaneous, no really rehearsed movements on stage just a lot of action and Jon’s signature expressions with the crazy face, horns and so on. Here I started to realize what the other bands lacked, even if they rocked hard both musically and visually it all felt very comfortable. Even if JOP didn’t do much more it was a complete different feeling to watch it. It was such a pleasure to just stand there and getting sucked into the music and just let all the feelings flow. That is just how it shall be all the time. When a band can deliver with such passion and devotion, they don’t have to be your favorite band to cause these feelings. But when you have experienced it, nothing really can beat it. The last couple of years Jon’s voice has just gotten stronger and better for each record and live it really comes to life. Amazing and dark tune “Death Rides A Black Horse” really showed Jon can control both soft and hard and title track of “Festival” got even more creepy live. A lot of the bands were paying tributes to Ronnie James Dio as the entire Festival was dedicated to his memory. That JOP would play “Rainbow In The Dark” came as a huge surprise but what a version. There’s no way Jon could copy Dio but as the amazing singer he is he did an amazing job putting a lot of his own trademarks in there still preserving the feeling in the song. An amazing concert from an amazing band!

 JON OLIVA’S PAIN  setlist:
  1. “Lies”
  2. “Chance”
  3. “Jesus Saves”
  4. “Sirens”
  5. “The Dungeons Are Calling”
  6. “Death Rides a Black Horse”
  7. “Edge of Thorns”
  8. “Gutter Ballet”
  9. “Believe”
  10. “Festival”
  11. “Rainbow in the Dark”
  12. “Hall of the Mountain King”
Erika  : The thing I started to realize when Doro Pesch was half way through her set is that even if I thought that this festival had a killer line up nothing really blew me away. All bands did great, played good sets and put on great performances. DORO was no exception, not compared to the other bands, not compared to what she uses to do. But of course, Doro did another great concert. Nothing over the ordinary though, a few WARLOCK songs, a few of her own and a few covers. I don’t really get the point to cover “Breaking The Law” more than that of course everyone on the Festival can and sings a long to it, compared to “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” which suites Doro’s voice a lot better than the first one. It is always nice to see Doro play though; she has a lot of energy and really seems to love what she’s doing. That always makes me feel good and love the music a little more. The WARLOCK songs strike a little harder, especially “Für Immer” where the little woman’s huge voice really can live out. The goose bumps appeared even if the sun still was really warm at this time of the afternoon. At these times it’s really amazing just how great and strong her voice really is.

 DORO  setlist:
  1. “You're My Family”
  2. “I Rule the Ruins”
  3. “Earthshaker Rock”
  4. “Running from the Devil”
  5. “Burning the Witches”
  6. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”
  7. “Für Immer”
  8. “Burn It Up”
  9. “Celebrate”
  10. “Metal Racer”
  11. “Always Live To Win”
  12. “Breaking the Law”
  13. “All We Are”
Maria : Why did KROKUS have to support HAMMERFALL? Why did DORO have to support HAMMERFALL? I do not get it. Music business is weird. The hard rock band from Switzerland opened with “Long Stick Goes Boom” and gave us a helluva time! All classics paraded… “Tokyo Nights”, “Screaming In The Night”, “Easy Rocker”. Perfect delivering, great stage appearance, everything was there. They dedicated “Fire” to Ronnie James Dio. In their set were also the covers “American Woman” and “Born To Be Wild”. WHY??? They could have played two other songs which would be theirs! Anyway! At the end, they played just the chorus of “Long Live Rock And Roll”.

 KROKUS  setlist:
  1. “Long Stick Goes Boom”
  2. “American Woman”
  3. “Rock n’ Roll Handshake”
  4. “Tokyo Nights”
  5. “Fire”
  6. “Burning Bones”
  7. “Screaming In The Night”
  8. “Easy Rocker”
  9. “Bedside Radio”
  10. “Heatstroke”
  11. “Hoodoo Woman”
  12. “Born To Be Wild”
  13. “Long Live Rock’n’Roll”
Erika: I absolutely don’t get it why HAMMERFALL headlines a festival like that. Sure, they did a great achievement for the Heavy Metal scene when they pushed out “Glory To The Brave” in the latter part of the 90’s when the era of no style (Grunge) or lack & lace (industry-pop-Metal) reigned. With that album they got people to admit they still loved Classic Metal, and of course, that album is really good. “Legacy Of King” was actually quite ok too but not a worthy follow up. Then it has just gone down wards.

I really do want to like them but since the music don’t stick with the standards anymore and with the recent year’s departure of several members and their replacements it’s hard since it don’t feel as believable as it did in the beginning. I don’t doubt that Joachim Cans and Oscar Dronjak is in it for life but the rest of the band… It feels more like they’re doing another day at work really. And when music feels more like business than something from the heart, it’s a real turn off. The good thing with HAMMERFALL is that they are fun to watch, Joacim and Oscar both loves to show off and if it hadn’t been for them it wouldn’t have been anything. There’s no doubt they had a successful plan to manage huge stages, stage props, moving from side to side if the stage, connecting with the crowd. And sure, the tunes are easy enough to learn right off and sing a long to. So I suppose they fill the shoes of a headline band fair enough and put a happy ending to the first day. The crowd seemed to be right there with them as well, cheering and brawling out “The Dragon Lies Bleeding”, “Renegade”, “Blood Bound”, “Heading The Call”, “Let The Hammer Fall”, “Hearts On Fire” and so on, an ending of the night just as it should be. HAMMERFALL’s Dio-tribute “Man On The Silver Mountain” sounded as terrible as it always does, Joacim doesn’t really live up to the Dio-standard when it comes to voice, not even with a little help from DARK TRANQUILLITY’s Mikael Stanne. No matter what, the party mood was still on top and most of the night still to go.

 HAMMERFALL  setlist:
  1. “Punish And Enslave”
  2. “The Dragon Lies Bleeding”
  3. “Crimson Thunder”
  4. “Hallowed Be My Name”
  5. “Renegade”
  6. “Last Man Standing”
  7. “Blood Bound”
  8. “Heeding The Call”
  9. “Rebel Inside”
  10. “Any Means Necessary”
  11. “Stronger Than All”
  12. “Riders Of The Storm”
  13. “Secrets”
  14. “Let The Hammer Fall”
  15. “Man On The Silver Mountain”
  16. “Hearts On Fire”
Erika : After the headlining gig at the main stage it was time for the finale for the second stage. To play at the end of the night indoors suited DARK TRANQUILLITY perfect as they are dependent on a cool light show to enhance their performance. In broad daylight, even if they look pretty cool and sound amazing most of the times the bands expression is almost dead without the lights. With that small effect DARK TRANQUILLITY becomes a completely different band. Oh well, treat at least. I can’t claim it’s the most thrilling experience to be inside the Volksbank Arena though after the sun has been frying it all day, it was awfully sweaty and the oxygen drained air struck like a concrete wall entering the building. To my surprise I stayed for the main part of DARK TRANQUILLITY anyway and that must mean they did something right. With a whole bunch of great records in the baggage they can pick a set list which holds for over an hour. With the lights, the amazing sound and Mikael Stanne’s frantic way of entertain (and the beer coming in little too frequent) this became one of the best DARK TRANQUILLITY shows I’ve ever seen. They too managed to trigger all those massive feelings in me like JOP did. “Focus Shift” and “The Wonders At Your Feet” never gets boring but again the highlight was Misery’s Crown was the absolute highlight.

  1. “At The Point Of Ignition
  2. “The Fatalist
  3. “Focus Shift
  4. “The Wonders At Your Feet
  5. “Final Resistance”
  6. “Misery's Crown”
  7. “Punish My Heaven”
  8. “Iridium”
  9. “Shadow In Our Blood”
  10. “The Lesser Faith”
  11. “Dream Oblivion”
  12. “Lethe Play”
  13. “Lost To Apathy”
  14. “There In”
  15. “The Grandest Accusation”
  16. “Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)”
(photos by Hoodoo Woman Erika)












Ticket Price: 65€ (festival ticket)


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Edited 27 February 2020

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