06 July 2014 (gig)
06 July 2014
Walking into Hyde Park on Friday night was an uplifting experience, with the sun shining over the British Summer Time Festival; the village themed white picket fences and huge tree-engulfed stage blending beautifully into the environment.
Motorhead were the first band I saw perform beneath the vast canopy, and if t-shirts were anything to go by, they were the days clear favourites.
Stand out tracks “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill” garnered the greatest audience reaction although playing a Strongbow emblazoned guitar with yellow fluorescent strings was less appealing. Lemmy still looks the part, he’s moving less and less these days, and his vocals seem a little tired, but most importantly, he’s still here.
Faith No More took to the Great Oak stage dressed as priests with a white backdrop, and an unbroken row of flowers at the lip of the stage. Making the sign of the cross lead singer, Mike Patton, led the band into opener “Zombie Eaters”, followed by “From Out of Nowhere” and “Epic” setting out their stall with conviction.
With slightly unnecessary “Your mother sucks cocks in hell!” and “Let Christ fuck you!” soundbites dropped in-between songs, they strutted their stuff unabashed, climaxing with “We Care A Lot”.
“Black Hole Sun” was a highlight in the Soundgarden set but it was Black Sabbath that the majority of the 60,000 gathered rockers were here to see. Having been credited with inventing heavy metal it was a pilgrimage that any rocker worth his salt will already have made. Since their reformation they have largely pleased critics and fans alike and tonight was no exception.
Personal favourite, “War Pigs” opened up proceedings, with Ozzy screaming “I can’t f**king hear you!” in pantomime style. Introducing every song he looked in high spirits as he shuffled around the stage clearly relishing the spotlight. With the huge screen behind then throwing out images of Hitler, exploding bombs and piles of bodies to accompany “War Pigs” the added visual elements throughout were a stunning backdrop to these influential hard rockers.
“Let’s go back to the beginning!” announced Ozzy here’s “Black Sabbath”. There was a certain element in the crowd that clearly regarded this as spiritual, eyes closed, head thrown back aloft, facing skywards, arms outstretched. With flames engulfing the backdrop the moment hit a high in a set that was well crafted, and tightly executed. Tony Iommi’s screaming guitar sounded better than ever and although their mental rock antic days that grew to define a genre are long gone, their legacy shines on.
Closing with “Paranoid” not even gathering clouds and spattering rain could dampen what was a fitting end to a rockers dream day in Hyde Park.