GETAWAY 2013 – Day 3 – Gävle, Sweden
- by Andrew Robertsen
- Posted on 30-08-2013
The weather forecast was warm but variable and my feet were suggesting less standing so I decided to start off with Civil War which features former Sabaton members and the excellent Nils Patrick Johansson (Astral Doors) on vocals. They played almost all songs from their full-length album released earlier this year, understandably enough as they have not released other material except the EP ‘Civil War’. The music is on some songs Sabaton-like but others again are original-sounding. I cannot put my finger on it but they did not manage to pull me into their mindset, even though they were clearly enjoying themselves. Maybe they just need more time to put out more good songs and get a bigger following.
Dragonforce @ Getaway 2013
(Photo: Andrew Robertsen)
Next up was Dragonforce and there was a comment that listening to them was like hearing an old Nintendo at double-speed. I cannot say I disagree a lot with that statement, but again it is what it is. A lot of folks like hi-speed guitar playing and lyrics about fighting, swords, victory – very, very power metal. Having never seen Dragonforce before I just felt that the music was suffering esthetically due to the weight the band puts on being technically proficient.
Deep Purple @ Getaway 2013
(Photo: Andrew Robertsen)
After a two-hour food-and-beverage pause is was time for Deep Purple. Alas, it started pissing down 20 minutes before the scheduled start so there weren’t a lot of people in front of the stage when they more or less casually came strolling onto the stage. The rain was very heavy and a stream from the stage roof was hitting the very front of the stage, so this had got to be the reason why they had pulled Ian Paice and Don Airey quite far back. In fact, all the people standing in the very front were not able to see more than the two heads sticking up above the stage because of this. Now being a keyboard player can be dangerous when it is wet (for obvious ‘electrical’ reasons) but the drums could have been placed a bit more towards the front. It would have been very beneficial for the crowd to have a screen to watch, something I think Getaway Rock Festival seriously should consider for next year. From the very first tunes of ‘Highway Star’ you knew that this was going to be good, the guys were in a very good mood and it was obvious that they were hell bent on having a good time even though we were getting soaked. The band has such chemistry between the members and there was a collective aura of sheer fun radiated into the crowd. Shame on me, never having seen Deep Purple live before, but the good thing then was the set they played. Almost entirely old songs, exactly what I wanted to hear. The icing on the cake was Ian Gillans voice which sounded like someone had taken away 20 years from it. Believe me; I have heard his voice in poor shape. The concert had everything you would expect from an old school band: drum solo, guitar-keyboard duel and Roger Glover even threw in a bass solo at the end. Writing about this almost makes no sense now because it is so difficult to describe the sheer feeling of standing there watching. Listening. Being awestruck.
Riding back home on my Harley I had ample time to reflect over the festival in general. There were very few things I could put my finger on, I have already mentioned a few. I think there was some room for improvement at the security because that was taking a long time and people were queuing 20-30m to get in on Wednesday. But by the time it got to be Saturday I think they had gotten the grip of things because I did not have to wait for more than a few minutes to get in.
I used the Getaway app (having a waterproof phone this was a good idea) and they kept updating it frequently, like cancellations of meet and greet, Deep Purple playing earlier and longer and so on. I also liked the fact that mobile phones were working so you could actually get through to friends (the ones sober enough). I heard that last year the serving of alcoholic beverages were on designated areas but this year you could freely roam around; you had to have a yellow wristband showing you were old enough. However, there was one silly thing: you could only but two units of drinks and if you were three friends together… well, do the math. Then there were the prices, especially for stuff like rum and coke which cost SEK 110.- That IS expensive.
Being at a festival for a day means getting hungry. The food ranged from very good to terrible, the latter being the ghastly Ahlgren’s Pizza with ‘meat’, a pale brown-grey substance. I do not want to know what that was made from. On the other hand, the ‘Wokad Elg’ and Asian deep fried chicken were great. The next time I am having pizza with mushrooms.
Regrettably I did not see much from the black stage indoors, I only spent a few minutes inside so I did not get an impression of how that stage was working. The smaller bands were playing there. Maybe next year.
All in all I have to give high marks to Getaway Rock mainly because the things that matters were top notch. Especially the sound. Security personnel were also really friendly and helpful, as it should be on a metal festival. As far as atmosphere amongst the 13.500 people, the fans, the metalheads is concerned: everything was relaxed and people were clearly enjoying themselves even though the weather could have been a lot better in Gävle this weekend.
I highly recommend checking out Getaway Rock Festival in 2014.