Review of Day 1

Review of Day 2

Review of Day 3

We arrived again a bit after 12PM – which is when the festival area opens – and so many people were already there, given that all sitting surfaces seemed packed. I guess everyone could arrive in good time and for a good reason, to watch two beloved local heroes/bands, first Bokassa and then Seigmen. I missed Bokassa, but I admired Seigmen and their show full of energy and nostalgia. I didn’t get to familiarize myself with their music, in all the years spent in Norway, but maybe I should as it seemed cozy to sing along. I took a quick glimpse at All Them Witches in the tent and I must say I enjoyed the fuzzy rock way more and wished I had more energy to stand up and watch the whole show. But then I caught more of Seigmen’s show and the teary eye moment when a band member asked the crowd to cheer for the singer, who was almost gone from this world few years back and now everyone is grateful for still having him around. That was really touchy.

The show with highest intensity and perhaps the biggest amount of crowdsurfers took place on Vampire stage when Max and Igor Cavalera took over and delivered good old Sepultura songs and some of their own tunes, just as powerful as the older hits. Photographers got sent out from the photo pit after two songs for security reasons as the crowdsurfers were literally pouring into the photopit. There were at least five of them up in the air at any time. It was really fun to photograph the happy faces once their feet were back on the ground. That was pure happiness. Which matched well with the intensity on stage.

The level of madness continued with more thrash on the main stage, this time from the German legends Kreator who managed to get the crowd to create a rather huuuge wall of death. And of course, more crowdsurfers. The stage had some very creepy props, such as impaled dolls and hanging from the ceiling dolls, plus a rather cool goblin like head, which initially looked like a fancy 3D generated one on the black backdrop. But when the backdrop changed to something more dramatic, you could see the goblin head was actually still present. It kinda stole the show for me as I liked watching it, but I also got to throw some looks at the musicians who were rapidly and madly riffing the hell out of their instruments. We even got a happy birthday singing from the crowd as one of the band members celebrated a big day on Saturday.

Back to the second stage, Vampire, for some dramatic power metal by Tobias Sammet and his Avantasia, a project with so many amazing singers on stage and always cool stage props and setup. Of course, there’s a lot of preplanned moves in the show, but the amount of smiles and nice interactions between everyone on stage can’t all be directed. It was a joy to watch them and to listen to such skilled singers, as there’s guests coming in and out of focus all throughout the show. And someone put that drummer in front of the stage in the future, he’s too cool to be so far back.

ZZ Top wasn’t such a nostalgic highlight as it felt the other day with Uriah Heep. First, they didn’t let photographers into the pit so we had to climb on the fences that were somewhere in the middle of the crowd and that reduced a bit of the fascination with the show. But I gotta give them the credits for the somewhat minimalist stage props, yet a lot of attention given to each detail of their equipment and clothes. The mega sized bass used on the first songs was such a fun one to watch being handled and maybe it’s meant to be ironic at the people who pimp their instruments to have more chords than the ‘classic’ 4s or 6s. Which is a bit of a sad move, if that’s the case. However, it was cozy to listen to some of the band’s classics and see their ‘famous’ back and forth dance moves, along with the famous orange beard tagging along.

Afterwards, the rawness of Satyricon’s black metal and insanity of Frost’s drumming was a really welcome wake up moment. Satyr looks somehow more mature now that he has battled with some big health issues and could come back to performing live. He almost looks like another person but he still gives it all as a singer and has the same old elegant stage presence. I was surprised that he no longer used the classical microphone stand he had for so many years, but that didn’t change the show in any way. The crowd was ecstatic and screamed along many of the famous choruses.

The festival ended with a lot of chaos for us photographers. The last show was offered by the newcomers Greta Van Fleet on the main stage and many have questioned the choice for this band with ‘who on earth are they?’. I was one of them but after I listened to the music, I must admit I had to admire how the young men managed to recreate the sound of the 70s but make it modern at the same time. So I was hoping to get to see them upclose, but due miscommunication we haven’t had any news of restrictions and when we went to the photpit, prior to the show, as we usually do, the message was that we’d only get to shoot from the side of the stage. Which is not something I have the proper height to do so I just packed my stuff, only to find out that it was only meant for the first song. Ah well, earlier evening for us. As for the show and music, well, the starting song was really screechy if I can call it so. I totally admired the technique and the band’s nonchalant attitude on stage, and the music became more enjoyable afterwards. It was nice to see they still pulled a decent amount of crowd, but it also felt like a lot of people were starting to head home early and didn’t wait for the ton of firework that ends the festivities every year once the concert on the main stage stops.

So that was it for Tons of Rock 2024. With a side of tons of thanks for the efforts made by everyone involved in organizing this adventure. Despite some of the complaints in this text, I am well aware it’s not a piece of cake to just gather together few thousands volunteers, merchants, security folks and what else it takes and just make everything run smoothly for four days. Nor find the perfect bands to match everyone’s taste 100%. This is months of planning and years of previous experience from various branches of the industry. Kudos for putting this crazy puzzle together, almost incident free and which hopefully left many with tons of good memories. Until 2025, farewell!

Full photo galleries from day 4

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