Live And Louder Rock Fest
8th of October 2006,
Palacio de los Deportes (México)
Article by Chico Migraña, Pics by OCESA
Live and Louder Rock Fest is a traveling tour concept developed by a Brazilian promoter, and 2006 was the second year of it’s existence. The line up for Mexico City was much better than last year’s with Stratovarius, Saxon, Sepultura, Doro, After Forever and Gotthard. Little did we knew that in the last moment, Saxon was to cancel their performance. So, this review comes about one month after the show mainly because I thought the Mexican fans deserved an explanation for the cancellation. That explanation was given a week ago and said that Saxon cancelled their Latin American shows due to recording commitments. Since the dates were all festivals, it was believed that cancelling the shows would not be as bad as if they were headlining shows. At least that’s what Biff Byford said. So, we will have to wait for a better time for Saxon, since they are one of the greatest bands ever and have played Mexico City only one time.
After dealing with the last minute cancellation, it was time to enjoy. The first band on the bill was the anonymous Gotthard. And the anonymity comes because here they are really unknown. So the vision of at least 1500 metalheads already there when they took the stage was a good beginning. And for all it’s worth, this swiss rockers know their damn business! They were supposed to play an hour long set, but eventually and thankfully, they played 70 minutes.
As they can asses, the Mexican audience is warm and participative. So, when the time came for songs with an easy to learn chorus, the Salon 21 turned into a friendly party for the band with people singing along and cheering the band between every single song. Maybe the reputation of a great audience is well earned and not a myth. All in all, Gotthard gave a good show, introduced people with their hard rock and left everyone pleased and wanting more.
The Deep Purple cover of “Hush” helped a lot, although the audience was mainly very young people who may not know about Purple.
All We Are
Top of the world
Said And Done
Let It Be
Lift U Up
Then came the time for After Forever. Not my cup of tea, if you mind. Although, it has to be said that they have a strong and faithful following here. Maybe the highlight was Floor Jansen’s beauty and stage presence. They seemed very comfortable and the audience cheered them all night. Doro was standing on stage side and saw half the show. They sounded fine, got everybody going and delighted people with 12 songs spanning all of their records (though they only have three).
Jansen stood there all in black, with her amazing beauty showcasing her voice and doing the round head banging for the audience’s delight. I thought they were going to be one of the strong acts, but reality is the night would show that the more heavy listeners were those in attendance.
They had some technical problems in the beginning and delayed the show more than 20 minutes. All in all, a good band for their kind of music, a good response from the audience, but nothing more than that.
Boundaries Are Open
My Pledge Of Allegiance # 1
Yield To Temptation
Monolith Of Doubt
Follow In The Cry
“Buenas noches México”. Then came the real highlight of the evening, at least for me. Doro had never been in Mexico City (or in any Mexican city whatsoever). The main reason is promoters think she is not well known here. What a great mistake. I had the great fortune of meeting her backstage, and beside the fact that she is amazingly beautiful, she is just a sweetheart. She was trying (successfully, I must ad) to learn some phrases in Spanish. She saw After Forever and had a glimpse of what kind of audience was there. So, the question was, are people going to listen to her, or are they going to go and get a beer during her time? The answer was an amazing choir of 2000 metalheads cheering her name.
First came the band, but when she appeared, it was very clear that people do know her and were eager to see what she had to offer. The entire hour she was given was a beautiful party of cheers, screams and admiration. Never before we had seen her in Mexico City, and she came into the stage as the metal queen she is and gave a great show. She has an enormous stage presence, and although her band is really good, it was really hard to keep your sight away from her.
She spoke a lot with that particular German accent and delighted everyone. To her and my awe, people chanted along the classic tunes with all the lyrics. Every time a song ended, people would go “Doro! Doro!”… Something that really got to her as one could see on her face.
She gave herself some time to pay tribute to Mr Udo Dirkschneider and to Judas Priest. She said they took her on tour when she started out and played a rare but beautiful cover of “Breaking the law”.
“Que chingón estar aquí, México” (fucking great to be here, Mexico) and some other things were excellent contributions to keep everyone’s hopes real high. Her guitar player introduced her as “The German queen of heavy metal”, and he was absolutely right. She haedbanged, sang, talked to the audience and all in all gave us a great show. I was listening to the bootleg of her performance early today and it captured the immense energy that she provided. Promised and we hope that she will come back. “We waited for 20 years to come here Mexico, and it is great”. Well Ms Doro, it was a great pleasure to give you a Mexican warm receiving. Mr. Dirk, the manager has to be mentioned here also since he made everyone around her feel welcomed and important. Really professional people, amazing show.
I Rule The World
Burning The Witches
True As Steel
Above The Ashes
Burn It Up
Breaking The Law
All We Are
No Saxon, so we went straight for Sepultura. They are big here, but lots of fans felt the new line up wouldn’t be good enough, and decided not to show up. What a big mistake! This Derrick Green looks like a raging bull and the new drummer Jean Dolabella is a fucking beast (the word meant as a compliment). They just demolished the place. And though the latest music from the band is far from great, they still can perform a great fucking metal blasting show!
People were expectant at the beginning but the Sepultura guys made it clear very early on the show that they were there to take no prisoners. Headbanging and maniacal slam went on all the time they were on stage. Brutal sound, tightness and a varied set list made the shopw one to not be forgotten soon.
People were tired from a long evening (by the time Sepultura took the stage, the schedule was about one hour delayed due to technical problems) but still treated the Brazilians to a Mexican rabid frenzy. 21 devastating songs were the ammo that the foursome chose to lit the night.
Derrick was inviting people to loosen up in between every song, and with his size and attitude, no one felt brave enough to not respond to him! Maybe Sepultura is planning a reunion, maybe not, but one thing is for sure, they can still kick ass. They even treated us to a minute long intro of their version of “Orgasmatron”. I know for sure that most of the old school Sepultura fans there were pleased. Maybe a couple were bitter enough to say the show sucked, but believe me, it didn´t. As you will see with the set list, they treated us to a good varied array of songs covering different Sepultura eras.
Maybe peolpe don´t want to accept the new line up, but it is only fair to state that they still deliver. I was never a huge fan of them, but they made me bang my head as if i were a convert to Sepulnation!!
Convicted In Life
Dead Embryonic Cells (surprise and kind of gift for everyone there)
Crown And Mitre
Biotech Is Godzilla
Troops Of Doom
Beneath The Remains
Slave New World
Come Back Alive
So the end was near. Some people had to leave because of the delay. The subway closes at midnight and Stratovarius was just taking the stage at that time. As with Sepultura, the finish band had been here one year and a half ago, and they were not presenting nothing new. Anyway, their fans are loyal and stood for them. One thing that comes to my mind every time I recall the show is that Timo Tolkki was smiling. He seemed to be happy and cheerful, which is a good thing for them. Lots of energy, Timo Kotipelto’s charisma grows bigger every time they come here, and certainly to be able to see again the drumming capacity of Jorg Michael was a highlight.
Lauri Porra did a bass solo and introduced a part of the Mexican National Anthem. My immediate thought was it was a mistake (people here tend to be extremely nationalist at some times) but he did it with respect and turned everyone on. In the end it became a great gesture from him and gained them a huge applause. Good balanced set list, although they are more and more softening their sound. No major incidents onstage (no piss showed up haha), Jens in great performing shape as always and a tight sound. People were already tired for being on their feet eight hours, but when the classic Strato tunes came, it really was a everyone was fresh and cheerful.
Hunting High And Low
Speed Of Light
Kiss Of Judas
Abyss Of Your Eyes
Million Light Years
Will My Soul Ever Rest In Peace?
So, that was the second year of Live and Louder Rock Fest:
The high points: a great line up; good sound; professional performances, having Doro and Gotthard for the first time; the audience behavior.
The low points: no Saxon; the venue (originally it was to be held at Paklacio de los Deportes, set for 10, 000 people capacity with an outside bar and places to sit down for a while); the poor promotion that led to the change of venue (Salón 21 holds 3, 500 only); the technical problems that delayed the show in 1.5 hours.
The things that hurt the festival: Slayer played 3 straight shows at the same venue, one and a half week earlier. They sold 9000 tix and that meant lots of metalheads were penniless by the time of Live and Louder. A concert with Anathema, Xandria and Stream of Passion one week later.
The future: uncertain. Hope to have a third edition of the show and maybe this time the bands will be promoting new material, since that is a big difference for people to buy or not a ticket.
The official site of the Live And Louder Festival