July 10, 2010

Photo by Karolina E. Piwko

All photos by Karolina E. Piwko


Photo by Karolina E. Piwko

Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner have got to be the biggest cult legends in the entire Heavy Rock circus, in large part because of their documentary The Story Of Anvil that almost makes This Is Spinal Tap pale in comparison. This Saturday the boys delivered a great show as usual.

Whether they understand that people show up because they think the band is so bad that it becomes fun, or if they actually like what they hear is difficult to say. But there’s no doubt that Anvil is an entertaining band. And the only reason for that is Steve “Lips” Kudlow. He smiles like the sun, delivers charming wrecked versions of Anvil songs from the first half of the 80s and warms the hearts of the crowd by saying “Thank you for making my dreams come true.”

And it’s an aura of faith and hard work, to never give up on Anvil. His friendship with drummer Robb Reiner has been well documented, and songs like “School Love,” “666”, the hysterically funny “Mothra” and the ending “Metal On Metal” is good entertainment this Saturday.

The highlight of the set is “Lips’” guitar solo spot, where he tops it all by using a dildo. And that’s Anvil for you; a real life Spinal Tap with a front man so twisted that it would be difficult to create him in a fictional world. And that’s probably why Anvil itself is a phenomenon.

Bullet For My Valentine

Photo by Karolina E. Piwko

Bullet For My Valentine was one of the few bands representing the “up-and-coming” part of the Norway Rock Festival program this year. And even though they’ve become more melodic with each release their set was dominated by hard-hitting Metal.

Photo by Karolina E. Piwko

Fever is relatively fresh, and the Welshmen opened with the first single from that album, ”Your Betrayal,” in front of a crowd where the people in the first few rows probably have the band’s third album at home already.

Matthew Tuck and the rest of the band have become more varied and at times more melodic in the studio, but live they’re still just as brutal as they’ve always been. The song “Tears Don’t Fall” from their debut The Poison (2006) show how versatile the band can be, with tempo changes and parts of different characteristics.

Bullet For My Valentine is a tight band that sounds as compact as a cannonball when they play live. The schedule didn’t allow the band to play more than 60 minutes, and though it was a great hour, they weren’t close to impressing the crowd as much as the youngsters of Airbourne did Wednesday.

Setlist: Your Betrayal/Fever/Waking The Demon/Tears Don’t Fall/Pleasure & Pain/4 Words (To Choke Upon)/The Last Fight/Scream Aim Fire/Begging For Mercy/Hand Of Blood/Alone


At approximately 1 AM Norway Rock Festival’s finale began. 64 year old Lemmy Kilmister entered the stage, and brought with him some new, some weird and a great deal of classic British Heavy Rock.

Since the band was founded in 1975 Motörhead have released 19 albums, but they’re constantly on tour, and therefore it’s difficult to pick a song off their back catalogue that hasn’t been played extensively before. That’s why the band plays a solid dose of new songs, even though the “festival summer” demands the classics. But Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee haven’t been lazy when it comes to releasing albums the last decade either, with the refreshing Inferno (2004) as the highlight of the releases after Y2K.

From that album “In The Name Of Tragedy” has become a central piece in a Motörhead concert, as it allows drummer Mikkey Dee to blow off some steam as well. Among the new songs the crowd were treated to “Rock Out” and “The Thousand Names Of God” from their two-year old Motörizer, while “One Night Stand” and “Be My Baby” are still included from Kiss of Death (2006).

Photo by Karolina E. Piwko

And to make it a bit interesting they included a couple of B-sides, like “Over The Top” from the B-side of the single for “Motörhead” (1975), to “Cradle Of The Grave” which is the B-side of “Eat The Rich” (1987). This is probably most for the hardcore Motörhead fans, but also to make it a bit more exciting for themselves.

No matter the length of a Motörhead festival set, there’s always room for some classics, and Lemmy has a lot of them. From the opening song “Iron Fist” and “Stay Clean” to “Killed By Death,” “Ace Of Spades” and “Overkill” at the end. And as part of the last song of the ordinary set, the crowd got a surprise as Sebastian Bach made a guest appearance on “Born To Raise Hell,” not that Bach got the chance to raise too much hell as his microphone was critically low in the mix. But Motörhead raised enough hell themselves, even though their performance looks and sounds a bit too much like the result of the good ol’ routine. Motörhead 2010 smells of overtime, even though the main character himself probably will play until he drops…

Setlist: Iron Fist/Stay Clean/Be My Baby/Rock Out/Metropolis/Over The Top/One Night Stand/The Thousand Names Of God/Cradle To The Grave/In The Name Of Tragedy/Just Coz’ You Got The Power/Going To Brazil/Killed By Death/Born To Raise Hell (feat. Sebastian Bach)/Encore: Ace Of Spades/Overkill


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