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HELLFEST OPEN AIR 2023 - DAY 2


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OTHERS EXTREME



A look back at the second day of Hellfest 2023...
PHILX - 21.08.2023 -
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Let's face it, the line-up at the start of the day wasn't to my taste, so it's going to be a quiet day. Hellfest is a marathon, not a sprint, so take a rest when you can. On the program: Vreid, a trip to the Warzone to listen to the English bands, then a detour to the Main stages and a finish under the tents. Arriving at the site, no queue at the cathedral, we head straight to the Warzone for our first band Cockney Rejects.

Cockney Rejects

As soon as you hear the singer speak, you understand the name of the band with his pudding-cut accent. Nice sound, good spirit and atmosphere, nice start and the day is off to a good start.
 
Mosh pit evaluation: a good blue with a smile

Setlist :
Fighting in the Streets
Paper Tiger
We Are the Firm
I Love Being Me
I'm Not a Fool
East End
Headbanger
Join the Rejects
I Wanna Be a Star
The Rocker
Bad Man
War on the Terraces
Hate of the City
Police Car
Oi! Oi! Oi!


Belenos

PhilX: Caught up in a euphoric quest for images, here I am, surveying the tents to discover a number of bands, but above all, reviewing my sure values.

And so my day begins with a wonderful discovery, with the Bretons of Belenos, led by the one and only fixed member Loïc Cellier, who's been playing black vocals and 6-string for nearly 30 years.

Belenos @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Belenos @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

It's about time - I really must insist on this point - because, in addition to having been on the underground scene for so long, we're now presented with a truly prolific discography, our new ears wide open. The balance of riffs, dark melodies and well-mastered vocals (with those of Yohann and Sven on backing vocals) is pure happiness.

Belenos @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Belenos @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

The French vocals may surprise us enough to try and dig a little deeper into the lyrics, but the effort won't last, and we'll be paying more attention to the musicality and stage performance.

Belenos @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Belenos @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

An excellent appetizer for a day which, in our opinion, wasn't the best one yet!

More pictures in HD here.


Escape The Fate

Well, this is the first band I've heard of, and I've done myself a bit of violence to give the product another chance. Escape The Fate is not necessarily my great passion, so much so that the albums try to bring together genres that are far enough apart to appeal to us metalheads, because of the rather unconvincing juvenile pop inspirations.

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

I've got a lot of respect for these Yanks, who provide a clean score that ultimately fits in quite well for an early day in Clisson, where the young audience got up early to applaud them, and for the festival to cover the wide range of the metal landscape where they have their place and intend to keep it, I leave the photographers' pit telling myself that these youngsters have more than enough to break through, if they decided to lean into a genre and assume it to the end.

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Escape The Fate @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

More pictures in HD here.

Setlist :

Gorgeous Nightmare
Lightning Strike
Ungrateful
H8 MY SELF
Low
Broken Heart
This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II)


AcoD

Second discovery of the day already (in 3 bands!) and not the least, that of AcoD.

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Perhaps it was the stage performance of Fred, the frontman who seems to truly open his guts in his interpretation, staring his audience in the eyes with his own that are filled with multiple emotions.

Perhaps it was the mid-tempo of these tracks, sublimated by the symphonic orchestration that emanates from them, or the melancholy riffs and melodies of the minor keys that touched me the most...

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

In any case, I was touched by these frenchies who knew how to conquer the crowd. The audience chanted along with the band quite regularly during this short set, like a 5th member in their own right, which was bound to leave its mark on everyone who came to applaud them.

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

AcoD @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

More pictures in HD here.


British Lion

Steve Harris was in France, but not just to accompany Iron Maiden... He was also there for British Lion, a band that has enabled him to perform on smaller stages since 2012.

Ironically, while the audience at this time of day is certainly more disparate than at 8pm, it's still on a Main Stage that his band will be playing...

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

And the audience turned out in force to see Steve Harris at the top of his form, at ease and really enjoying playing with his bandmates.

Having never heard of this fairly traditional hard rock outfit, I was immediately surprised by Richard Taylor's vocal quality: powerful yet in tune, it's a treat.

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

The whole set is very professional, and the musicians' admittedly advanced age in no way detracts from their energy, as does Grahame Leslie, who is also very generous with his audience, whom he seeks out with his eyes.

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

British Lion @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

It's not here that the audience will be moshing the most, very attentive and especially coming to approach the star bassist, but who will nevertheless not sulk a certain musical pleasure filled with excellent hard work.

More pictures in HD here.


Akiavel

I'd heard about French band Akiavel's stage performance and regretted not having had the chance to capture them before, but fortunately this new edition of Hellfest allowed me to do so!

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Obviously, our first breath was taken away by the stage performance of Auré, the remarkable, indeed, absolutely excellent frontwoman, perfectly portraying a truly possessed character with an evil smile that never leaves her side, except to use her bewitching charm.

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

While the frontwoman and her musicians take care of the image part to perfection, there's no getting away from the musical part, without which the audience wouldn't have packed into the tent in such numbers! Divided between their first two (excellent) albums (I also enjoyed listening to the studio versions) 'V' and 'Væ Victis', the setlist hit the nail on the head, ending with Sepultura's excellent 'Roots Bloody Roots'.

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Akiavel @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

In short, a discovery that would have deserved to have been made much earlier, but which I leave satisfied with the desire to see more at a longer concert!

Setlist :
The Witness
Bind Torture Kill 

My Lazy Doll
Kind of Requiem
Zombie
Pentagram Tattoo
Cold 

Roots Bloody Roots (Sepultura)

More pictures in HD here.


Nothing More

Nothing More
is definitely a band I adore for many reasons: powerful, rich tracks, Jonny Hawkins' voice, capable of soaring high while retaining an interesting raspy edge, a slightly forced but quite singular tremolo, and powerful live performances. 

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Every time I see them on stage, I tell myself that they're bound to get crowds moving at festivals, and for their first Hellfest program, I finally had the opportunity to check them out!

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

An impeccable setlist featuring perfectly mastered and effective live singles from their excellent "The Stories We Tell Ourselves", with a rather touching moment on 'Jenny', which deals with the sickly schizophrenia of the vocalist's sister.

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Nothing More @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Perfectly calibrated for a festival, this flawless performance is sure to lead to the band's return to a better time slot and more resources to allow them to express themselves freely, as close as possible to their art.

Setlist : 
SPIRITS
Do You Really Want It?
Tired of Winning
Jenny
Let 'em Burn
Go to War
Don't Stop
Ocean Floor
This Is the Time (Ballast)

More pictures in HD here.


Elegant Weapons

In the "Band with..." series, I'd like the supergroup Elegant Weapons with Richie Faulkner of Judas Priest, Ronnie Romero of Rainbow, Christopher Williams of Accept and Dave Rimmer of Uriah Heep - the latter two replacing Scott Travis of Judas Priest and Rex Brown of Pantera, who recorded their debut album last year - for a Heavy Metal alliance to say the least...

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Needless to say, Faulkner is the showman: swinging his blond hair behind his smoked glasses with the ease of a great guitarist of his generation, he navigates the stage he knows too well.

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

As usual, Ronnie Romero hasn't surrounded himself with amateurs, having performed with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker and Adrian Vandenberg, and it's easy to see that you need vocal power and a timbre to match the clean saturation of a virtuoso 6-string.

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Elegant Weapons @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Despite the very recent formation of this umpteenth supergroup, the professionalism is there for all to see, and the few tracks from their only album resonate loudly and effectively. Even if the audience doesn't seem to have mastered them, the reactions were quickly positive...
 
More pictures in HD here.

Setlist :


Dead Man Walking
Blind Leading the Blind
Horns for a Halo
Downfall Rising
Dirty Pig
Bitter Pill


Skid Row

Skid Row is one of those bands that left a definitive mark on a generation in the 80s, and despite the big hits like '18 and Life' and 'Youth Gone Wild' that marked the American band's glory years, Sebastian Bach's absence is more noticeable than expected.

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

It's not that the young Erik Grönwall, who arrived last year after a well-ordered career as the ideal son-in-law, isn't up to the job, it's just that he's not the iconic Bach...

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

It's still a pleasure to see the battered faces of Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill, who command respect in the pure tradition of the band, smiling and grateful, like a group that has emerged from the twilight of oblivion after too many years' absence.

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Skid Row @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023


Setlist :

Slave to the Grind
Big Guns
18 and Life
Piece of Me
Livin' on a Chain Gang
Monkey Business
I Remember You
The Gang's All Here
Youth Gone Wild

More pictures in HD here.


Vreid

A nice surprise, audience and band working well together, a powerful sound without being too brutal, the day continued to be nice.

Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023


Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023


Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Vreid @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023


Setlist :

Into the Mountains
Shadows of Aurora
Sólverv
The Morning Red
Lifehunger
Flammen
One Hundred Years
Pitch Black

More pictures in HD here.


Motionless in White

And here I am, once again, faced with the great dilemma inherent in this type of band / musical style / something else I haven't yet identified...

I can't say that I didn't like the performance of Chris and his bandmates, who were dressed in costumes that were, to say the least, questionable and already seen, giving them a rather heterogeneous general look. No, I was even surprised to find their performance so edgy.

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023


Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Motionless in White @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

More pictures in HD here.

Setlist :

Disguise
Sign of Life
Scoring the End of the World
Thoughts & Prayers
Voices
Slaughterhouse
Masterpiece
Cyberhex
Reincarnate
Another Life
Eternally Yours

1349

Here's a band that seems to me to be the antithesis of its predecessor: even if the imagery is inseparable from its performances, which are as solemn and sombre as ever, the authenticity here is indisputable...

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Quite faithful to what I'd seen of their previous Hellfest appearance in 2014, the Norwegians have completely revamped their setlist, armed with their latest opus 'The Infernal Pathway' though released in 2019.

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Always impeccable on stage, both raw and deep, dark and deeply rooted in black culture, the Norwegians play a perfect score, without embellishment, going straight to the essentials.

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

1349 @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Setlist :

Sculptor of Flesh
Slaves
Through Eyes of Stone
Cauldron
Striding the Chasm
Stand Tall in Fire
I Am Abomination
Golem
Atomic Chapel
Dødskamp
Abyssos AntithesisLife
Eternally Yours

More pictures in HD here.


Papa Roach

I listened to Papa Roach 15 years ago and went to see them in concert, which I remember fondly. On the other hand, their latest albums didn't seem very good to me, with a change in style towards the mawkish, so it was more out of spite than anything else that I went to see them.

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

And I was right! Frankly, it was a great performance from them, with a good mix of old school and new stuff, a choice of fast, dynamic songs, and good resonance with the crowd. The drummer from Blink came to play the percussionist, which surprised me at the time, but I understood afterwards.

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Papa Roach @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Mush pit rating: a good, busy red. It soon became a mad scramble, heavy crowd pressure and almost smiling anarchy. Jacobi asked them to move back to clear the front of the pit, but at the same time he launched the wall-of-death contests...

Setlist :

Kill the Noise
Getting Away With Murder
Help
Blood Brothers / Dead Cell
Broken Home
Firestarter (The Prodigy)
...To Be Loved
Lullaby (The Cure) (Instrumental)
Scars
No Apologies
Still D.R.E. (Dr. Dre)
Between Angels and Insects
Born for Greatness (avec JP "Rook" Cappelletty)
Last Resort

More pictures in HD here.


Def Leppard

The only real headliner of the day for me, this will be my last concert before recharging my biological batteries and photo-boxes to properly cover the rest of this physically and mentally demanding festival. Def Leppard is a band I've been listening to since around 93, when the great days of "Pyromania" and "Hysteria", released in 83 and 87 respectively, were already long gone...

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Having been lucky enough to cover the press conference earlier in the day with Joe Elliott and Phil Collen, I was eager to see these greats perform at Hellfest again, despite a more than disappointing last appearance in 2019.

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

The slap in the face was even greater when the English began their set. The right vocals, the musicians' performance, everything came together for a Dantesque show in which all the songs from the great era and the more recent ones found their place.

The Phil Collen/Vivian Campbell duet works like a charm, and there's an air of complicity and benevolence about the band that is unanimously appreciated in the now opaque pit.

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

Def Leppard @ Hellfest 2023, Clisson | 16/06/2023

The same goes for Rick's rhythmic duo (Savage and Allen), who lay the foundations for both classic and modern heavy metal. The "old-timers" put on a fine show of strength and got everyone on the same wavelength, under the watchful eye and impeccable vocals of Joe Elliott at the top of his game. A feast for the eyes and ears.

More pictures in HD here.

Setlist :


Take What You Want
Let's Get Rocked
Animal
Foolin'
Armageddon It
Kick
Love Bites
Promises
This Guitar
When Love and Hate Collide
Rocket
Bringin' On the Heartbreak
Switch 625
Hysteria
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock of Ages
Photograph
 
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