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Speedfest 2013 - Good but not great
As like the last couple of years we from Metalrage decided to be present at the Speedfest festival. This festival, organized by the guys from Peter Pan Speedrock, has brought us some great (mainly drunk) stories so far. This year we wanted to add a new chapter to our Speedfest chronicles. If we succeeded? Read on!

From the ashes of, among others, Manmade God and Forbidden rose the heavy melodic rock band SpiralArms. They just released their first record last month, Freedom, and now they can present themselves live to the European audience while touring with Scorpion Child. Let’s immediately start with the downside of their performance: the synthesizer couldn’t match the wall of noise the other instruments produced, so the keys weren’t really audible. Furthermore these guys just rocked. With catchy rock ‘n roll they entertained the audience. I’ll sure give Freedom some spins in the nearby future. (Gilles)
Just after SpiralArms begun, Monster Truck started on the Wrecker stage. As many other acts here today, a band which I’ve only heard off by name. When the band started it was very clear that they have a lot of experience and they know how to perform live as well. Quite a strange thing since the band released their first album only this year, but also played Download 2013 and is touring as main support of Vista Chino at this moment. During their set there weren’t any big mistakes, at least not one I could hear or see. It was a great performance and for me the surprise of the day. Their album is great for an early Sunday morning, cruising down the streets on a sunny day or a rainy day when you sit in your warm house. The band is live the same, a great performance for any moment of the day. (Tukker)
After being quite stunned by the previous band it was time to go to the Demolition stage and see Honky. This band from Texas makes a mix of bands from Pantera to ZZ Top, mixed with an American sense of humor. The band exists for quite a while now and they are used to each other on stage. The, sometimes, cheesy jokes mixed with their tight performance not only got some heads banging, but also putting smiles on some faces. Not sure if I like this better than Monster Truck or vice versa. What I do know is that this was a very good performance as well and my day started off perfectly. (Tukker)
There are a lot of oldies on stage this festival, but with Bullet we literary went back to the 80s. Their looks, their sound, their performance, everything screamed “outdated”, but nonetheless it was a highly entertaining set of heavy metal. True, when closing your eyes you’d swear AC/DC was up, or Accept, or any other heavy band active in those years. There were also some differences of opinion concerning the vocals, but I myself liked them. They were furthermore singing about tractor pulling, but the whole thing was too much of a gimmick for a convincing full pull. (Gilles)
Prior to this year’s edition streetpunk band Tech 9 decided to quit after thirty years of existence. I’ve witnessed these guys a couple of times in the past and they didn't stick to me very much but since it was the last show of the band I decided to take a look. From the beginning of the show it was pretty obvious that vocalist Hein wanted it to be a party for the band itself. This resulted in some guest vocalist onstage. A lot of fans onstage and a lot of crowd response in the pit. All in all very nice for the band but to be honest, the band didn’t impress me the first time I saw them and also didn’t impress me today. (Niamen)
Anti Nowhere league is probably the most famous for being covered by Metallica. But of course these guys do have a lot more typical punk songs that are even way better than ‘So What’. The only problem that I had with these guys was pretty simple. Punk music has to be vicious and played by angry men. Well it probably was a bit vicious but it was sure as hell not played by angry men. So after having witnessed a couple of songs I decided to check out the food establishment. (Niamen)
With Agnostic Front taking the stage we were past the halfway point of this indoor festival and got to see the first of the main audience attractors. Until now the whole festival was a bit indolent and reserved. With the first couple of songs AF couldn’t change this attitude, but right from the start of ‘Gotta Go’ we saw some fireworks. On stage and in front of it. From then on till the end both the band and the audience kept their energy level high and both had a great time. Classics were sung loud and proud and people had a great time. With Stigma singing ‘Pauly The Dog’ and an encore of Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ their show ended with good vibes, but unfortunately they were only up to the mark from halfway on. (Gilles)
Due to some logistical errors, Swiss garage punk heroes The Monsters were the first band I caught at Speedfest. Fronted by the legendary Reverend Beat-Man of the garage blues trash record label Voodoo Rhythm, my hopes were extremely high for seeing these madmen live. As soon as they started playing, the crowd got bombarded with extremely loud and danceable 3 chord garage punk. The band had two drummers, each behind their own drum kit, which put extra power behind the already stomping beat, and delivered some crazy fills and double bass parts. The band got a crowd dancing in no-time, and it only took a few minutes before beer was flying around everywhere. This is punk how it was meant to be, raw, dangerous and really loud. No fancy rock stars with purple mohawks, just a bunch of Swiss freaks delivering as much noise as they possibly can! (Bart-Jan)
Since I had the honor of driving home today I might as well cross one major big thing of my all bucket list. Attending to a Peter Pan Speedrock gig whilst being sober and drinking cappuccino. So right before the start of the show I scored myself a lovely cappuccino and prepared myself for the show to come. What I saw in the following hour was even for my imagination too much. Since Peter Pan Speedrock are the curators of their own festival you should expect some fans present but considering the amount of crowd response they’ve might as well should’ve played at a daycare center. After the songs there was hardly any sort of applause let alone some moshing around during the songs. It was really weird to see the band trying hard and not getting much reaction. Especially when you consider that the drummer was wearing a corset onstage since he had suffered from hernia. There was even a point during the show I was nearly embarrassed by the rest of the crowd since I was also a part of it. My guess is that on next year’s edition I will get entirely drunk so I wipe away this awful memory from my brain. (Niamen)
First we had Kyuss, then Garcia Plays Kyuss and Kyuss Lives!, but after some lawsuits John Garcia, Brant Bjork and Bruno Fevery now continue under the name Vista Chino. A new name, even new music, but the same old attitude and some damn great good old stoner rock! These three guys, with Mike Dean from Corrosion of Conformity on bass, impressed a lot today. With a mixture of old Kyuss songs and some fresh ones from their new record Peace they got the loudest crowd response so far this day. Near the end some people left for a good spot at Hatebreed’s show in the other room, but that had nothing to do with what this band displayed today. (Gilles)
Putting Hatebreed on a headlining spot is a safe choice for almost every kind of festival. These hardcore giants know exactly how to please a crowd and today they proved this once again. In time they’ve written some killer tracks, but an hour is just way too short for them to play them all. Songs like ‘Doomsayer’, ‘This Is Now’ or ‘Perseverance’ were left out of the set, but the crowd still could sing along every other song. We got a few surprises like for example ‘A Call For Blood’, but it all fitted right in. It seemed like with every song played the audience exploded even more on the next one. In between they also announced they’ll play Paaspop in April next year, so I’m already looking forward to the next encounter. When driving home I had some questions about the quality of this year’s edition of Speedfest, but the strong performance of Hatebreed wasn’t questionable at all. (Gilles)