TONS OF ROCK 2017 – Day 1 – Halden – Fredriksten Festning
Tons of Rock takes place in Halden, and 2017 is the fourth year that the festival is arranged. Bands from all over the world came to entertain a fairly large audience in the Fredriksten fortress for three days.
Eluveitie entered the main stage somewhat early on Thursday, but people were still coming in from all over Norway (and other places). The folk metal band from Switzerland seemed to pull an ok crowd, and the music was a nice way to start for many. The band was fairly tight on stage, however, the sound was somewhat lacking, and they seemed to be one bass player short. Inis Mona (the standard finishing song) just didn’t have the same energy as it should. The band did an ok job, but some elements just didn’t seem to be in place.
Next up on the main stage (Fort West), was the old Norwegian group, TNT. Usually known for being one of the more reliable bands in the old Norwegian rock scene, this band has atleast one song that anyone interested in rock and metal in Norway would easily be able to sing (or atleast hum) back to you if you were to ask. The band is also equipped with one of the most famous guitar players in the Norwegian musical scene as well. Everything points to this band as one of the most anticipated acts of the festival, and that makes it even harder to say that this did not look good. The band leaned heavily on playback vocals and the members seemed mostly tired and ready to go home. The songs lacked energy for the most part and this ended up being one of the weakest performances of the festival.
CANDLEMASS live @ TONS OF ROCK 2017
(Photo: Andrea Chirulescu)
Over at the Tent Stage, Candlemass gave a rather strong performance of their horror-esque doom metal. The band seemed to be on point and they basically enchanted their audience while playing, as well as being able to connect with the people between the songs. The sort of ghostly tunes seemed to resonate well with the people watching, and the stage gave an extra layer to Candlemass’ dark and atmospheric music. Just stunning to witness.
Back on the main stage, the legendary Turbonegro took the stage with full force. The band gave a flawless performance with a great setlist and an amazing contact with the people watching. Tony Sylvester might actually be one of the greatest fronters of a band to ever exist, and the rest of the guys in the band are not lagging behind either. Running around with flags, dancing on stage, costumes and fanfare all made this into an amazing show. Songs like "All my friends are dead" and "I got erection" are great classics that are even better live than on the albums. While TNT was one of the weaker performances of the festival, Turbonegro was easily one of the greatest! The turbojugend has every right to be proud of their musical overlords from this years Tons of Rock!
Up at the Huth Stage, the black metal queen of Denmark, Myrkur, created one of the most intense, beautiful and yet terrifying atmospheres of the day, by singing her lovely hymns/screaming her evil tunes to a great view of the city of Halden. Myrkur’s show was incredible to watch, and the music is just a magnificent work of art. A great blend of dark, black metal-esque music and folkish tunes that gives a picture of a beautiful, yet dangerous forest nymph perfectly came alive on stage, with Amalie Bruun’s wonderful look, combined with the band’s more traditional black metal style. This was all in all a great experience, and Myrkur was placed on the best possible stage for her image and soul.
ROB ZOMBIE live @ TONS OF ROCK 2017
(Photo: Andrea Chirulescu)
And last but not least… There are some artists out there that manage to push the boundries for what constitutes a good performance every time they hit the stage. In Rob Zombie‘s case, this is absolutely true, but interestingly enough, he doesn’t make the most interesting music. It is more the way he and his band acts on stage. The band seemed so hyped and so full of energy that they almost would not need to even play any music for their fans to be happy with the performance. Zombie is basically the perfect vision for what a showman should be. So good at feeding off of the energy in the audience that they will not question anything that happens. Now with that being said: The setlist was somewhat weak, and the band isn’t standing out as the greatest musicians in the world, yet still nobody seemed like they disliked the show. Which goes to show that in order to be a performer, the most important thing to know is how to perform.