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Getaway Rock Festival 2013

When the train reached Gävle, Sweden for this year's Getaway Rock Festival, the weather prospects looked bleak, and as expected, the rain soon started and persisted for the whole first festival day. Although the sun came out on the second day, the rain made a late, forceful comeback on Saturday evening. The weather is not something you can do anything about, of course, and a real festival-goer and music lover won't let that stand in the way of having great fun.

As for the festival itself, the organisers of Getaway continued on the successful path of past years. The success even reached new heights, with an attendance record being set, with a total of 13500 ticket-buyers. The layout of the festival site was altered a bit, as there were now three stages; two main ones and one indoors for the smallest bands. This worked great, although one complaint can be raised concerning the Red Stage, where the passage towards the stage was too narrow for a very large crowd, like when Lamb Of God performed.

In any case, it was not really a major concern, especially for a well-raised audience like the metal community's. The other main change this year was that you were now allowed to bring your drink outside the designated bar area and carry it everywhere. This was obviously very appreciated by thirsty visitors (that's not to say us writers like to have a couple of drinks, ahem...) Otherwise, the overall organisation was excellent as always. Something which must also be mentioned is the stage sound, which was overall terrific, especially at the Green Stage.

The most important part of a festival, however, is of course the music. This year's line-up was very impressive and probably the strongest when it comes to Sweden's metal festivals. Looking at the headliners, System Of A Down was a long-awaited and celebrated booking, the biggest so far at Getaway. In Flames are hugely popular at home soil, of course, and living legends Deep Purple attracted the older rockers. Add very prominent names like Testament, Lamb Of God and Within Temptation, plus a long list of other popular bands, and one can understand more people than ever attended.

Below are reviews of the bands I saw in full (unfortunately, In Flames is missing as the coldness from the constant rain meant I just gave in after a few songs and left for the hotel. Shame on me…)

|Thursday| - |Friday| - |Saturday|

Reviews by Mozzy

Thursday - August 08

Band: Ceremonial Oath
Green Stage 14.30 - 15.30

When Witchcraft had to cancel their appearance at Getaway, Ceremonial Oath were chosen to replace them. While many lamented the cancellation of Witchcraft, there were also cheers among death metal fans as they were given the chance to witness a true cult name of the Swedish scene. The band's status has also risen through the years thanks to the members' careers after Ceremonial Oath disbanded in 1995: Oscar Dronjak had big success in Hammerfall, Jesper Strömblad in In Flames, and Anders Iwers in Tiamat. Now reunited for selected shows, the quartet - also consisting Markus Norberg (ex- Cemetery) on drums - play all tracks but one from the debut album The Book Of Truth, delivering a fine chunk of old school death metal that is aggressive as well as melodic.

It is clear the members are having fun being back onstage, exchanging many smiles, Dronjak indeed proclaiming that "we are here because it's so fun to play death metal". Dronjak also demonstrates that he possesses a brutal growl which is actually quite impressive. The crowd is quite small, but the response is good and met with appreciation by the band. While there are understandably a couple of mistakes, this is a cool display of unfussy death metal, complete with two big inverted crosses onstage. It is rounded off by a cover of Submit To Death by early cult death metallers Grotesque, and funnily enough their drummer Tomas Eriksson is in the crowd, as Dronjak informs us.

Performance: 6 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: The old school death metal feel, which was quite a fitting kick-off to the day
: There are not that many memorable songs

The Invocator
For I Have Sinned/The Praise
Only Evil Prevails
Lords Of Twilight
Ceremonial Oath
The Lost Name Of God
The Book Of Truth
Submit To Death

Band: Katatonia
Red Stage 15.30 - 16.30

With a grey sky and rain drizzling down, the setting is quite appropriate when Katatonia take the stage. "At least it's not sunny" frontman Jonas Renkse fittingly quips as the band present their gloomy, melancholic music. But while they are predominantly dark in character, there is also an embracing, warm atmosphere in Katatonia's songs, plus an awesome feel for melody and hooks. The third song of the set, the beautiful My Twin, is a perfect example and one of the highlights today. Almost two-thirds of the set consists of tunes from the two latest, praised albums. Lethean from Dead End Kings and The Longest Year from Night Is The New Day appear mid-set and are other highlights.

Visually, the band put on a dedicated performance, though Renkse as usual hides his face behind his long, black locks. He is aided by good backing vocals, and the band is tight and heavy. An epic Forsaker plus a crushing Leaders round off a formidable display by Katatonia. While the rain may fit their music, their performance still generates warmth, beauty and enjoyment, which is evidence of the band's greatness and that they really deserve their increasing popularity.

Performance: 8 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: My Twin
: To be honest, it was indeed wet and chilly standing in the crowd…

Day And Then The Shade
My Twin
Burn The Remembrance
Soil's Song
The Racing Heart
The Longest Year
Dead Letters

Band: Gamma Ray
Green Stage 18.00 - 19.00

When it's time for Gamma Ray to begin, there is a persistent rain. To make matters worse, technical problems onstage mean that the Germans go on twenty minutes late. Kai Hansen and cohorts finally run onto the stage displaying a cheerful mood nonetheless, and the opening with Anywhere In The Galaxy and Men, Martians And Machines is splendid in all its bombastic heavy/power metal glory. But then, although the fans seem to enjoy themselves, the choice of songs is questionable, and because there is now only 40 minutes playing time, some favourites have to be removed from the set.

The sound also leaves a lot to be desired. It is very loud and quite hard to make out some parts, like during the fast-paced Rise, which becomes a bit of a blur at times. The mid-paced Empathy from the same album is on the other hand brilliant. As usual, Hansen is full of smiles and enthusiasm, although his inimitable voice is perhaps not flawless tonight. And why he has suddenly chosen to dye parts of his hair in blue is anyone's guess. Helloween classic Future World predictably takes things home and generates loud singing and cheers from the crowd.

Although we get to enjoy some quality Gamma Ray who despite the setbacks perform professionally, this has to be considered quite a disappointing concert of theirs that will not hold a permanent place in ones memory. Hansen repeatedly says sorry for the cut set, and rest assured the Germans will try and make up for this for the Swedish fans, who will welcome them back.

Performance: 6 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 6 chalices of 10
: Empathy
: The waiting and consequently shortened set

Anywhere In The Galaxy
Men, Martians and Machines
The Spirit
Dethrone Tyranny
Master Of Confusion
Future World

Band: Iced Earth
Green Stage 19.45 - 20.45

When the loved vocalist Matt Barlow left Iced Earth for the second time in 2011, the rather unknown Stu Block became his replacement, impressing on Dystopia, released later the same year. Reported to be a great frontman too, I haven't had the chance until now to watch the new incarnation of Iced Earth, but it does not take long to realise the reports were accurate. Not holding back the slightest, Block demonstrates a very powerful, awesome voice and all-round ability complete with jaw-dropping Halford-esque screams. He is also very dynamic onstage; working hard, headbanging wildly and having excellent stage presence and command of the audience.

A big part of the Iced Earth sound is the aggressive guitar-riffing, and that is a dominant feature tonight as well. Band leader Jon Schaffer and his six-string colleague Troy Seele pound out an absolutely massive wall of rhythm guitar, and with a stage sound that is terrific, the end result is metal to the bone indeed. The setlist includes material from Dystopia as well as older favourites, whom Block interprets with the honour. Apart from the heavy metal bombardment we are treated to, the two mellower gems I Died For You and Watching Over Me are true highlights, with the latter generating a great, emotional atmosphere. This is a very convincing show by Iced Earth that gets a warm reception from the crowd, and if there ever were any doubts after Barlow's exit, those are surely gone by now.

Performance: 8 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 8 chalices of 10
: Stu Block
: A couple of the newer songs cannot compete with the old ones

Dark Saga
Pure Evil
Burning Times
I Died For You
A Question Of Heaven
In Sacred Flames
Boiling Point
Watching Over Me
Iced Earth

Band: Testament
Green Stage 21.30 - 22.30

Seeing thrash masters Testament again was no doubt one of the most awaited moments prior to the festival. Unfortunately, by now the constant rain plus the resulting wetness and chilliness, had brought a somewhat jaded feeling. But when the Bay Area legends appear onstage and the awesome riff to Rise Up kicks in, the excitement is back. The first half of the 10-song set consists of tracks from the latest two, brilliant records, and True American Hate gets an especially strong response with the crowd joining in the chorus. Then it's time for a couple of classics from the 80´s, which get the moshpit going.

The sound is initially not great, but it soon allows the thrash machine that is Testament to operate in full power. Chuck Billy demonstrates his thunderous voice while being an imposing and cool frontman, and his fellow musicians prove their skills. That said, tonight leans more towards a very solid job done rather than a top-notch performance. These gentlemen are obviously so vastly experienced and competent that a pleasurable show is always guaranteed, but that special Testament experience does not quite happen tonight. The rain does not help the atmosphere, and because they just go onstage 10 minutes late, we miss out on a couple of songs which creates some feelings of dissatisfaction. As a whole, though, it's great to see Testament again and enjoy their ass-kicking thrash anthems.

Performance: 7 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: The New Order
: The show whistles by far too quickly

Rise Up
More Than Meets The Eye
Native Blood
True American Hate
Dark Roots Of Earth
The Preacher
Into The Pit
The New Order
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness

Band: Lamb Of God
Red Stage 22.30 - 23.30

Aside from seeing a big act such as Lamb Of God at Getaway, the Americans' appearance is also special because of events occurring over the last year. Singer Randy Blythe was on trial in the Czech Republic for manslaughter following the death of a fan who fell off the stage. With Blythe finally fully acquitted as late as June this year, this is Lamb Of God's first concert in Sweden since. Apart from commenting that there were "some small difficulties" lately, and telling the crowd to help out if someone falls, Blythe does not touch the subject at all, instead laying all his energy into tonight's performance. As usual, one is impressed by the quintet's professionalism and efficiency onstage.

There is a huge crowd in front of the Red Stage, and the atmosphere is high from the start, with the band and audience feeding off each other. The band deliver their metal in an uncompromising manner and there is little time to catch your breath. The vicious riffs and crushing groove creates some serious mosh pits and there is loud vocal participation.

Blythe is running around onstage like a man obsessed, and his dynamic, passionate effort is infectious indeed. The concluding trio of songs - Laid To Rest, Redneck and Black Label - is devastating as usual, with intense pit action going on. Lamb Of God receive a very warm reception at Getaway, and it is well-deserved. Even though this gig does not really reach the highest level, it is an excellent display that rounds off the first day's activities at the Red Stage.

Performance: 7,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: The last three songs
: That extra spark is not really there

Ghost Walking
Walk With Me In Hell
Set to Fail
Now You've Got Something To Die For
The Passing
In Your Words
Laid To Rest
Black Label

To the top

Friday - August 09

Band: Hatebreed
Green Stage 18.45 - 19.45

With the weather gods now becoming more merciful, the sun is shining, bringing a more cheerful atmosphere at the site. As Hatebreed walk onstage, there is a crowd clearly pumped up to join in the Americans' energetic, praised live show. The band take no prisoners, unleashing their mix of hardcore and metal that comprises some awesome groove as well as catchy hooks.

After all the relentless touring, this is a well-oiled unit with a sound that is ferociously heavy, well exemplified in third number Doomsayer. The next song, Defeatist, sees a circle-pit forming with the crowd going apeshit. During Live For This, Rob Dukes from Exodus provides back-up vocals before it's time for a cover of Slayer's Ghost Of War. Dedicated to Jeff Hannemann, the pit is intense. Singer Jamey Jasta then fittingly dedicates As Diehard As They Come to the crowd, whose support is strong even way at the back.

Jasta, also giving tributes to a couple of Swedish bands, is indeed a frontman that knows how to build an excellent connection with the audience, and it comes across very natural. Being totally at ease onstage, he has a genuine passion for his craft that transcends brilliantly. While Hatebreed's mix of hardcore and metal is certainly aggressive, there is a positive, life-affirming nature to it. The band, while putting in an intense effort, also has a down-to-earth attitude and has a strong bond with their audience.

By the time Destroy Everything rounds off the festivities, with a huge pit giving their all, an absolutely awesome, joyful atmosphere has been reached, with a true sense of camaraderie. It is heart-warming to see, and everyone leaves with a smile on their face. It is indeed proof that Hatebreed are not your ordinary hardcore/metal band, but an awesome one which they demonstrate once again at Getaway.

Performance: 8 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 8 chalices of 10
: The energy onstage as well as below it
: The odd average song

(sorry, no setlist)

Band: Exodus
Red Stage 19.45 - 20.45

Exodus' last appearance at Getaway Rock, in 2010, was a memorable display. Unfortunately, one quickly senses that this will not be a repeat. With the first four songs taken from the last two albums, things do not really take off. Although these are good songs, the response is rather indifferent. Although they are doing a solid job, the band's spirit does not seem to be on top, and the sound is not good either, with one guitar absent from the mix.

With Gary Holt on duty with Slayer, Kragen Lum from Heathen is filling in, and although he performs well, there is no doubt that Holt is sorely missed. Last year at Sweden Rock, Rick Hunolt filled in and although Holt was missed then too, Hunolt brought an infectious enthusiasm plus authenticity to the Exodus name, being an original member. Singer Rob Dukes, meanwhile, makes the awkward mistake to thanking the Stockholm audience instead of the one in Gävle, where the gig is taking place. This is repeated a couple of times before information gets through and an ashamed Dukes apologises to the crowd.

During the second part of the set, it gets better, with the classics from the 80's unfolded. The fact that Fabulous Disaster remains in the set is very cool indeed, and the other gems sure get the action going in the pit. It is entertaining to watch, and during Strike Of The Beast the fans clash in a wall of death. We are of course treated to quality thrash metal by Exodus, but this performance is miles away from the Californians' last Getaway appearance, actually a rather average one.

There can be no doubt that the absence of Gary Holt and his stage presence is a big dilemma, and it will be interesting to see how the situation with Slayer and Holt develops.

Performance: 5,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 6 chalices of 10
: Fabulous Disaster
: The average start of the show

The Ballad Of Leonard and Charles
Beyond The Pale
Children Of A Worthless God
A Lesson In Violence
Bonded By Blood
Fabulous Disaster
The Toxic Waltz
Strike Of The Beast

Band: System Of A Down
Green Stage 23.15 - 00.40

That System Of A Down -the biggest band to play at Getaway so far - was announced as one the headliners was a big happening. As expected, the crowd is massive and packed as sardines, with people pushing their way through to try and get a better spot. The opening with Aerials sets the tone brilliantly, and brick-heavy versions of Suite-Pee and Prison Songs then make the place explode with energy. People are letting loose, dancing, moshing, singing along and are in a happy mood. As one SOAD favourite after another follow, the celebratory atmosphere is constant.

One of the appealing characteristics with System Of A Down is their remarkable ability to mix brutal parts with more subtle moments. Also creating an effective, dynamic contrast towards the aggressive material, Lost In Hollywood and Lonely Day are performed in beautiful, touching versions. Darion Malakian are singing them soulfully, and they are among the true highlights tonight.

The great music aside, the show is impressive as a whole. The stage is simple but stylish, with an all-white backdrop and a very cool light show. The sound is awesome, with a massive volume and impact, especially regarding the sharp guitar sound. As for the band members, they put in a devoted effort and sound tight as a unit. As usual, it is vocalist Serj Tankian and guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian who steal the limelight. Tankian displays dynamic frontman skills and his unique vocal delivery impresses, while Malakian is also exciting to watch with his eccentric demeanour.

System Of A Down is certainly a inimitable band when it comes to the lyrics and the members' characteristics, but tonight the music truly speaks for itself. This band is equipped with an impressive arsenal of ridiculously catchy tunes which have been embraced by a wide audience. It's telling that the first notes of near every song are greeted with loud cheers from an ecstatic crowd. The vocal participation from the audience is passionate and impressive throughout.

The 90 minutes whistle by without any dips, and the finish with Toxicity and Sugar is just outstanding. This is simply a triumphant, amazing show by System Of A Down. It is without a doubt one of the top, top gigs I've seen in recent years.

Performance: 10 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 9 chalices of 10
: The endless stream of great tunes
: Some kids pushing and shoving at the start, or maybe I'm just getting old…

Prison Song
Soldier Side - Intro
Deer Dance
Lost In Hollywood
Chop Suey!
Lonely Day
Holy Mountains

Band: Gojira
Red Stage 00.45 - 02.00

There are a very large number of people waiting for Gojira at the Red Stage at this late hour, which is somewhat astounding. Although the band has received much praise in the media in recent years after their two latest, outstanding records, their music cannot be described as accessible to a wider audience. It can rather be called a progressive, technical variant of death metal. While it is apparent Gojira have lots of fans in Sweden, many are certainly here thanks to their reputation as a live band. Whatever the case, everyone shall leave this gig mightily impressed.

When witnessing the French quartet onstage, there is no wonder they have gained a great reputation. The dedication that is put into the performance is just marvellous, and singer/guitarist Joe Duplantier, guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie are very active onstage. Duplantier and Labadie, especially, are headbanging and throwing themselves around onstage with strong intensity. This is all the more impressive considering the intricacy and power of their music. Likewise, drummer Mario Duplantier is a beast behind the drums, playing complicated parts with an astonishing ferocity. It is no wonder he is often mentioned as one of the leading sticksmen of today.

The set is comprised of selections from all of the group's albums, and to say that it sounds tight is an understatement. These guys have used their talents to gel together as one unstoppable force, and their sound is just murderous. Though the music is for he most part colossally heavy and aggressive, it is also warm and inviting. The compositions are often dark, complex and technical but have a hypnotic, absorbing and invigorating character.

The encore Gift Of Guilt, delivered in an amazing version, is a prime example. While playing like possessed, the band also have a grounded, humble attitude which connects with the crowd. Joe Duplantier, catching his breath in between songs after his powerful, commanding singing, expresses much appreciation towards the response. Quite simply, Gojira is a unique band and brilliant at what they do. Therefore, it is great to see this many people showing up, and judging by the warm, loud applause the Frenchmen get at the end, their performance goes down a storm.

With visitors weary by now and the lack of more accessible material means that that special atmosphere among the crowd does not appear fully, but the phenomenal performance by the band itself is most memorable. Together with System Of A Down, Gojira are indisputably the best band of the festival.

Performance: 9,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 8 chalices of 10
: The band members' remarkable dedication and skill onstage
: The playing time reaches just 75 minutes

The Axe
Flying Whales
L'Enfant Sauvage
Toxic Garbage Island
The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe
Wisdom Comes
The Gift Of Guilt

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Saturday - August 10

Band: Entombed
Red Stage 15.45 - 16.45

Seeing Entombed during the festival season has been a recurring event for quite some years now. As the Swedish death metal stalwarts haven't released a record since 2007, virtually all of their activities have consisted of touring. Not that one should complain, though. Even if it's perhaps not a rather exciting happening at the moment, seeing Entombed live always equals having a good time. Anything less is impossible when being served a selection of the group's finest material. Just have a look at the setlist listed below, a delicious smorgasbord of Entombed tunes.

The guys deliver the tunes with solid, spirited playing and are most comfortable when it comes to performing in front of a crowd. Singer L-G Petrov has a totally brilliant knack of bonding with the audience, really generating the feeling that he is everyone's metal brother. "Thanks buddy", the jovial frontman addresses us between providing the songs with his recognisable, rough vocals. This may not be the most extraordinary of Entombed gigs, and the bright sun does not bring the ideal setting - "sunny during metal?" quips Petrov - but there is a pleased crowd leaving, having witnessed yet another enjoyable Entombed gig.

Performance: 7 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: The class material
: No surprises, but that is not surprising either…

Living Dead
Like This With The Devil
Out of Hand
Revel In Flesh
To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth
I For An Eye
Stranger Aeons
Damn Deal Done
Supposed To Rot
Left Hand Path
Chief Rebel Angel
Wolverine Blues

Band: Dragonforce
Red Stage 17.45 - 18.45

As with the case of Iced Earth, power metal outfit Dragonforce switched singers some time ago, and I hadn't witnessed the band since. Joining the band in 2011, Mark Hudson fitted in very well with the Dragonforce sound, demonstrated on last year's The Power Within. And as with Iced Earth's Stu Block, those reporting of the newcomer's accomplished live abilities are right: Hudson gives a very comfortable impression onstage and has a terrific rapport with the crowd. He is also very solid in his vocal performance, sounding great throughout the show and interpreting the old material splendidly.

It is an altogether impressive display by the blonde vocalist. His bandmates, meanwhile, are the same old animated, cheerful personalities onstage, running and jumping around and joking with each other. And this they do while demonstrating some highly talented playing, often in a frantic tempo. As usual, it is Hermann Li's and Sam Totman's exchange of guitar wizardry and general fooling around which catches the eye the most.

Of the eight songs in the setlist, four are taken from The Power Within, and Seasons is one of the highlights of the set, its infectious chorus generating a tremendous atmosphere. The obligatory closer and hit song Through The Fire And Flames, then, is affectionately greeted by a crowd having a pleasurable time. Dragonforce may have some critics who regard them being a bit over the top.

Still, it's impossible to deny their talented musicianship and catchy hooks, and most importantly, Dragonforce are always entertaining to watch live, no matter how big a fan you are. Their shows are characterised by an upbeat spirit and the crowd gives the band warm applause as they leave the stage.

Performance: 7,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: Seasons
: It can become just a bit too frenetic tempo-wise at times

Holding On
Fury Of The Storm
Die By The Sword
Operation Ground And Pound
Cry Thunder
Valley Of The Damned
Through The Fire And Flames

Band: Deep Purple
Green Stage 20.45 - 22.30

Just minutes before it's time to witness Deep Purple take the stage, the sky opens and a ruthless downpour soon creates small seas here and there. With your feet soaking wet, a feeling of discomfort appears, but that is soon forgotten. Opening with the absolutely awesome Highway Star, Purple also treat us to three other big classics from the golden 70's among the first five numbers: Into The Fire, Hard Lovin' Man and Strange Kind Of Woman. It is nothing but an outstanding start of the set, played with first-class skill and tremendous groove. Any complaints about the weather are gone and replaced by joy and warm support of these huge legends and innovators of hard rock.

Then, the solos start to appear, which dampens the fun a bit. Then again, the solo spots are nothing new and fully understandable as the aging members can use a bit of rest during the show. And they also serve to highlight the band members exceptional musical talents, which are certainly obvious throughout the set. Drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Don Airey and guitarist Steve Morse are of course all virtuosos within their field, and it is sure fun to watch them in action. Singer Ian Gillan, meanwhile, may not be able to use the high notes of old but nevertheless impresses with his recognisable vocals.

Irrespective of their individual abilities, it is their union as a live band that is impressive and most important, and it is clear that the quintet that is Deep Purple is still a vital, strong live band. Something which strikes you when watching these living legends perform is they seem to have so much fun onstage. They are sporting wide smiles, are expressing a playful attitude and they are joking around with each other.

It is obvious they, after more than four decades as professional, highly successful musicians, still love to sing and play music, and this genuine passion is awesome to witness. After a somewhat average middle part of the concert, the ending third is great, with colossal anthems like Perfect Strangers, Smoke On The Water, Hush and the concluding Black Night.

Performance: 7,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 8 chalices of 10
: Perfect Strangers
: The loss of momentum mid-set

Highway Star
Into The Fire
Hard Lovin' Man
Vincent Price
Strange Kind Of Woman
Contact Lost
Guitar Solo
The Well-Dressed Guitar
The Mule
(including drum solo)
Hell To Pay
Above And Beyond
No One Came
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin'
Smoke On The Water
Green Onions
Bass Solo
Black Night

Band: Anvil
Red Stage 22.30 - 23.30

Everyone know the story by now of how a much praised documentary led to a drastically raised profile for Anvil. In turn, it led to much more live opportunities, as a support act and on big festivals. Therefore, it should be highlighted that not only the documentary but also Anvil's reputation as a live band has generated new fans. Either way, there is indeed a large crowd at Getaway tonight to check out the Canadian veterans.

The trio goes straight into business with oldies 666 and School Love being followed by Badass Rock 'n' Roll, the latter living well up to its title. Once again, frontman Steve 'Lips' Kudlow is a pure joy to behold, showcasing a child-like enthusiasm that is very infectious. During Mothra, the famous dildo appears as a guitar tool, and it does the usual trick of putting a grin on everyone's faces. Lips himself is grinning almost throughout the set and deliver some very amusing comments.

The singer's partner in crime, drummer Robb Reiner, is as usual a monster on the drums, and newly recruited bassist Sal fits in great both sound-wise and as a performer, despite being quite laid-back. It should indeed once again be said that although Anvil does have a good portion of humour in their live show, they are of course adept musically too, certainly obvious tonight, with a great stage sound too. And when it comes to the songs, they may not be of the same high quality as the premier acts in the genre, but it is certainly fine, traditional heavy metal and hard rock that Anvil delivers.

It is good too see that the songs from their recent albums, including four from the latest one, sit for the most part well with the old staples in the set. That being said, it is nevertheless the old material that gets the crowd on their feet. The standard closing number, the classic "national anthem of heavy metal" Metal On Metal, gets a rousing reception complete with an enthusiastic singalong. There are loud chants afterwards for Anvil to be allowed to play another song, but to no avail. Even so, another good time has been had together with these likable old rockers.

Performance: 6,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 7 chalices of 10
: Lips
: Through With You

March of the Crabs
School Love
Badass Rock 'n' Roll
Winged Assassins
On Fire
This Is Thirteen
Through With You
Thumb Hang
Swing Thing
Drum Solo
Hope in Hell
Eat Your Words
Metal On Metal

Band: Within Temptation
Green Stage 23.30 - 00.45

When Within Temptation appear onstage, there is a very large crowd in front of the Green Stage. True, their brand of symphonic/goth metal is of the more accessible, poppier kind and therefore appealing to a wide audience, but the sight is still another testament to just how hugely popular the Dutch outfit has become. The stage show is fitting for a band finishing the festival: there is a huge screen behind the band showing some dramatic, eye-catching videos and projections, and the light show is tasteful and effective. Overall, the stage show works in a tremendous way to bring a dramatic atmosphere to the music.

Regarding the music of Within Temptation, it contains some glorious melodies and hooks. A couple of the highlights tonight include opener Shot In The Dark, Stand My Ground and Sinead, which all are a joy to experience. The beautiful Ice Queen, an early favourite for many, brings tears to ones eyes, and What Have You Done, featuring Keith Caputo on assisting vocals and on the video screen, is moving. Overall, the songs performed have an engaging, majestic and warm mood to them which works great during this late cold night. The audience is indeed embracing Within Temptation tonight, with singalongs and an appreciation which you can really feel.

Apart from the quality tunes, Within Temptation has another most valuable asset: vocalist Sharon von Adel. This lady has a marvellous voice that features unfailing power as well as pure, angelic emotion. She sounds just amazing tonight, and combined with a first-class stage presence that grabs your attention, she charms the whole crowd. Her band mates put on a solid performance and surely know their stuff, but are quite anonymous onstage. This must in fact be one of the clearest cases where one band member steals the show.

At the same time, it is obvious this is a well-oiled, professional unit performing onstage and the band sound great together, delivering the tunes with passion and bringing a heavier edge to them live. Mother Earth is a magnificent end to a magnificent performance, and Within Temptation close this year's festival in style, spellbinding us with their music as well as their stage show.

Performance: 8,5 chalices of 10
Stage sound
: 8 chalices of 10
: Sharon von Adel
: Her stiff band mates

Shot In The Dark
In The Middle Of The Night
Fire And Ice
Stand My Ground
Our Solemn Hour
Ice Queen
What Have You Done
Summertime Sadness
Intro (The Silent Force)
See Who I Am
Mother Earth

To the top

Related links: www.getawayrock.se