After yet more accommodation problems and unscrupulous London cabbies, I rolled (quite literally!!) much later than I had intended back into Victoria Park.
Over to Main Stage where MICHAEL SCHENKER was in full axe-hero mode!
Immediately impressed with a crisper and much cleaner sound than the previous day, Schenker did a basic greatest hits set with a band of seasoned pros, including Pete Way(ufo), Hermann Rarebell (Scorpions) and Michael Voss on vocals.
They generated a great fantastic audience response as hit followed hit, with their set culminated in an all-star jam on the UFO "Doctor doctor” standard.
With guests Rudolph Schenker, and Jeff Scott Soto and Doogie White on co-vocals, it was great to see that Schenker appeared to have overcome his past demons, to deliver a quality performance.
Another comeback was due next! I’ve been a huge fan of THUNDER for many years; from the ACDC "Thunderstruck" intro the huge crowd were on their feet and pumped for a good time" " Back street symphony" was first up and yes still sounding great!
Successfully combining up-tempo rockers with beautiful ballads, Thunder ensured the best reaction of the day.
My ultimate slowie "Love walked in" still made me emotionally melt as they ended the set with "Dirty love", which made the audience happily sing a long!
Last year I saw Glenn Hughes legend live for the first time, and was anticipating a good set from his new band project; BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION.
Utilising a calibre line-up of musicians with Glenns vocal range and power, playing a set from their 2 albums, with some rock standards from Glenn’s past worked well.
Joe Bonamassa taking over vocals for "Who killed John Henry" from the latest album.
Combining hard rock and blues definitely won over the High Voltage crowd, which gave the band a universally great reception.
Encoring with Deep Purples "Burn" was a master stroke, the pedigree of this band is clearly established!.
Despite a long history of 20 + years I’m ashamed to say I actually knew very little of DREAM THEATER.
Although my lack of familiarity, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of their set. Their 2 hour set seemed to pass all too quickly, with them Showcasing their new drummer Mike Mangini!
I could only conclude that his talent had been largely underrated within the confines of his former employers.
Dream Theaters set largely consisted of long-drawn epic tunes, showcasing the members prodigious musical talents.
Judging by the rabid audience response they have a widespread and devoted fan-base. Their epic set still managed to maintain my attention, without sagging.
Suffice to say I’ve now invested in their entire back catalogue in addition to the latest "A dramatic turn of events", several tunes from which featured in their High Voltage set!!
In conclusion; despite some of the problems I had to face and let down of the sound on the first day, I will definitely look forward to attending the festival next year, if it occurs in Olympic year!
All Photos by Graham Hilling except Judas Priest/Dream Theatre by Falk-Hagen Bernshausen