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Firefest X Festival @ Rock City, Nottingham, England

HAREM SCAREM / HARDLINE / LEGENDS / Dare / Shooting Star / JSRG / W.E.T / H.E.A.T. / Baton Rouge / Wort Of Art / Treat / Alien / Eden's Curse / Heavens Edge / Prophet / Von Groove / Brighton Rock / Alien The Magnificent / Nation / Eclipse
in Friday, 18 October 2013 at Rock City
by YngwieViking

After a few retarded planes and some English traffic jam hassles, I’m finally back and ready to make the complete analysis for the Firefest Festival’s 10th anniversary show. I had a real blast. The Swedish contingent was the absolute best and the swedes ruled the whole fest, seconded by the Canadians who were also pretty awesome.


THE MAGNIFICENT hailing from Norway and Finland isn’t a real band more a project for LEVERAGE band leader Torsti Spoof, but despite a lack of live experience were very interesting and promising, in particular the CIRCUS MAXIMUS singer Mr. Michael Eriksen who performed a flawless set – A good start.

EDEN’S CURSE. They were a little disappointing as their new singer wasn’t really in the best of forms, the songs are good and the players more than ok, but it seems that the band needs to recover again to reach their past brilliance, the worst moment was the dull Issa's guesting singing-duo in “Angels & Demons” pathetic & truly out-of-place.

WORK OF ART. This is more of studio oriented act, had to prove that their last year’s performance at Firefest wasn’t a fluke, and yes, the songs and the new confidence were a hitting bull’s eye once again, Lars Safsund (LIONVILLE) is a very capable singer.

W.E.T. After some high profile albums, W.E.T. seems to work in a full blow, the Erik Marteensson / J.S.S. (ex-TALISMAN / RISING FORCE / JOURNEY) duo is efficient, and the set list was superb, a very good show.

DARE started at 19:25, Darren Wharton (ex-THIN LIZZY) and his boys were playing a very professional show, but even with Vinny Burns back in the band, their sound is still very laid down : Best moment as always was in the rendition of the famous duet “Abandon” & “Into The Fire” from their debut album.

HAREM SCAREM, fully reunited, were playing the full “Mood Swings” set list plus some extra titles and the Canadians were at the top of their game. Harry Hess / Pete Lesperance / Darren Smith are holding a true magic and reached the climax with the fans, so I will give the maximum note, can’t wait to see the band headlining the Heat Festival  in Germany November 3rd.


NATION, reunited, it was one of my most expected band of the whole week-end, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Melodic Swedish Metal at its best, a golden award for both Johnny Öhlin (ex-DIONYSUS) & Nobby Noberg (SAINT DEAMON) respectively, Guitar and Bass players of the day.

VON GROOVE: Those experienced musicians from Canada were one of the very best surprise of the Firefest X, with a fine choice of song and a very dynamic Michael Shotton fronting perfectly the band, with Brighton Rock drummer as guest behind the kit.

HEAVENS EDGE, freshly reformed those ex-MTV stalwarts from USA were so so, like a mix bag of emotion between nostalgia and frustration, a few fun songs but the singer was and is still very average.

TREAT, their farewell tour once again, the band of Swedish veterans showed how to Rock a venue with a brilliant selection of songs and a perfect bunch of players.

H.E.A.T. Easily the most consensual show, they were the biggest triumphal success of the entire event. It was my first H.E.A.T. show without Kenny Lockremo, and I must say that the new singer is exceptional and the new format of the band with only a single guitar player is a chance to see Eric Rivers rising up high, they had blown away the whole Firefest’s audience.

SHOOTING STAR’s set was emotional and quite far from the energetic performance of VON GROOVE / TREAT / H.E.A.T. but still interesting.

HARDLINE: leader Johnny Gioeli (Axel Rudi Pell) is a very good singer and legendary Josh Ramos (ex-LE MANS) is still a fine player but I believe that the band wasn’t ready to headline such a great day, a good set nothing more.


ECLIPSE from Stockholm Sweden , they were back early in the morning, after the great W.E.T. show, Erik Marteensson showed again how talented he really is, the band is perfectly tight and the bunch of tracks played were spot on.

BRIGHTON ROCK. The Hair Metal heroes from Canada, a real thrilling time for me, as I’m a big fan since 1987, it was my first BRIGHTON ROCK concert ever, and even if Gerry McGhee isn’t always perfect in pitch, his voice and vocal power is still there, well done.

PROPHET. All the way from New Jersey the band who once released the famous “Circle Of The Moon” lineup were reunited, the musical side was perfect, Russell Aacara / Scott Metaxas / Dave Di Pietro were playing / singing great, the only disappointment was the visual side.

ALIEN. The Swedish veterans played another faultless show with a great Jim Jided particularly in good shape vocally speaking.

BATON ROUGE. Truly awful and I feel really sorry to say that Kelly Keeling (ex-MSG / JOHN NORUM / BLUE MURDER) was probably high on something as he was the only responsible of such disaster.

JSRG aka Janet Shane Roxi and Gina aka the ex-VIXEN remaining members were pretty boring. Sorry Ladies.

LEGENDS were very surprising in quality and quantity, guitar wiz Tommy Denander was unbelievable as always, and Eric Martin (MR. BIG / AVANTASIA) / Bobby Kimball (ex-TOTO) / Bob Catley (MAGNUM) and Graham Bonnet (ex-RAINBOW / MSG / IMPELLITTERI) were perfect both in the singing performance and on their attitude.

It was a superb festivals, thanks and congratulations to Kieran & all the Firefest crew. Another years packed with greatness, I’ll be back.

My Firefest X Top 10:


Ticket Price: 160 GBP


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Edited 30 September 2022

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