Monsters Of Rock Festival, Spain - 2007

Event: Monsters of Rock
Written by: Aylee_Bodom
Published: 01.07.2007
Monsters Of Rock festival, Zaragoza - Spain, 22nd & 23rd June 2007



Introduction
So far, Spain hasn't been the venue of really important metal festivals except for Metalway festival (Gernika), the first edition of which took place in 2005. However, a brand new festival appeared in 2006: Monsters Of Rock festival in Zaragoza, which was only one day long, featuring six bands. This year the festival has been greatly improved: fourteen bands in two days and more than 30.000 people were witnesses of it all.

Venue
Monsters Of Rock festival was located in Feria de Muestras de Zaragoza, a place quite far away from the city. People who wouldn't camp had to either take their car or wait for the bus (a quite poor service as there were only 4 buses to carry hundreds of people) to go to the city.

Also, the camping area was a pebble desert, which wasn't very comfortable when sleeping, and several people had problems to hammer in the tent stakes. To top it all off, this area was a bit far from the concerts area, having to walk 5-10 minutes, and keeping in mind the heat at 2 pm, it's not very welcome.

In spite of all this, there were also good aspects. For example, the concerts area was really nice. It was divided in three zones:

1. The entrance zone, where there were lots of stands selling metal stuff (t-shirts, wallets, belts, pants, pins...) and a collective "shower" called Tren de Lavado Heavy for people to cool down (with clothes on, of course).
2. The main zone, where the stage was. It was quite vast and there were terraces on the sides, which are really welcome when you've been standing right in front of the stage for hours. In the middle of this zone there was a big stand to buy drinks.
3. A zone for food and drinks stands, as well as toilets, seats and some recreational games to rest and while away the time.



Random stuff
Concerning the weather, it was hot as hell the two days. Luckily it would cool down in the evening.
Prices were way too high (for example, a 33cl bottle of water cost 1.5 ).

Friday 22nd
Bands:
Brujeria (16:55 - 17:40)
Black Label Society (18:00 - 19:00)
Mägo De Oz (19:30 - 20:30)
Megadeth (21:00 - 22:00)
Children Of Bodom (22:30 - 23:45)
Ozzy Osbourne (00:15 - 01:45)

The doors opened at 4 pm, just when I arrived. There were two queues: one to get the bracelet so that you could go in and out of the area whenever you wanted, and another one to get in the area once you had your bracelet. When I was in the queue it wasn't very long and I soon got my bracelet, so I didn't really have any kind of problem with that, but the queue started growing longer and longer after me and many people even missed Black Label Society. So yes, the festival was badly organised in that aspect.

Brujeria
This was the first band to play. Not many people gathered in front of the stage to see them, although this could have probably been due to the queues problem outside and the heat prevailing. The performance was very dynamic and their sound was stunning, but I didn't really get to appreciate the vocalist's talent.




Black Label Society
I didn't really understand the reason why this band played before Mägo de Oz, anyway, obviously many more people attended their performance. What can I say about this band? Zakk Wylde's band and their unmistakable sound pleased all their fans, not counting Zakk's solos, which are powerful but this time there was a problem (yes, another one) with the sound and the bass was so high that we could hardly hear the guitar. Some of the songs played were "New Religion", "Fire It Up", "Suicide Messiah" or "Still Born", among others.





Mägo de Oz
The Spanish band was 30 minutes late. During all that time, people would shout all kinds of insults both to organizers and the band members. In my opinion, Mägo de Oz have a lower level than the rest of the bands (referring to talent and technique) and were totally out of place in this festival. Yet when the show started, many people sang along with the vocalist and enjoyed the performance, which was only 30 minutes long because of their being late.




Megadeth
No doubt Megadeth were one of the most acclaimed bands of that day. With superb and heavy sound and riffs, Dave Mustaine's band made their fans shake. The show started with "Sleepwalker", from their latest release. Also were remarkable the songs "Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms" and "Gears Of War". From their old stuff, "Hangar 18" and "Symphony Of Destruction" couldn't be missing.




Children Of Bodom
The performance started with "Hate Me!", something quite strange as this song is usually one of the last to be played in Children Of Bodom shows. Again, this was a great show. Alexi and Roope didn't stop moving around the stage during the whole show, putting on funny faces and making the audience feel nice, Henkka did his part too. Both Alexi and Janne played their powerful solos as if it were the easiest thing in the world, while smiling and even talking to each other. Also, the setlist satisfied all their fans, with songs such as "Downfall", "Sixpounder", "Needled 24/7", "Angels Don't Kill" or "In Your Face".





Ozzy Osbourne
The great star of the night, the Metal Monster. There were so many people all over the place that it was really hard to take a step. Starting with a classic, "Bark At The Moon", Ozzy made everyone in there sing along and shout until there was no air in our lungs. The same happened with "Mr. Crowley", "Suicidal Solution", "Believer" or even "Paranoid" and "War Pigs", by legendary Black Sabbath. Also, songs from Black Rain were played, and this time Zakk was finally able to show off his musical skills since this time the sound was perfect.




Saturday 23rd
Bands:
Riverside (15:00 - 15:30)
Mastodon (15:45 - 16:45)
Kamelot (17:15 - 18:15)
Pretty Maids (18:45 - 19:45)
Blind Guardian (20:15 - 21:15)
Dream Theater (21:45 - 22:45)
Slayer (23:15 - 00:30)
Motörhead (01:00 - 02:30)


This time the doors opened at 13:00, as 8 bands would play on Saturday. I arrived at the area at 14:00 and as there was one hour left for the first show, I hung around the metal stands with some friends.

Riverside
This band from Poland are not very famous, however, they have released several albums. I saw them from one of the terraces and just as it happened the day before, not many people attended this first show. Although it's understandable, it was all sun and heat. I hadn't listened to this band before, but I liked what I heard, they have a very progressive sound.




Mastodon
When Mastodon started playing, a lot of people appeared in a sudden. I know that lots of people like them and that they have a great future in the metal scene, but I found the show quite boring. I could recognise the song "Sleeping Giant", although it all seemed to me an everlasting song. However, I'm sure that the sun took its soporific effect on me.




Kamelot
This band really impressed me with their live performance. They gave off energy and a sound full of melody and vigour during the whole show, with songs from their last four albums such as "Karma", "Forever" or "Ghost Opera". It's undeniable that the front-man Roy Khan is so charismatic, but the rest of the members aren't left behind. I really enjoyed it and probably will see them again when they come back to Spain.




Pretty Maids
Yes, Pretty Maids are old, that's why at first I thought that the show would be quite boring. Well, I was wrong: I can't say they owned the power other bands did, but they were really nice to the audience and played some classics as well as the song "Wake Up To The Real World" from their last album. Also, they won the audience's affection by making us sing the chorus of some songs and repeat the singing of the vocalist.




Blind Guardian
This was the time when the place started getting crowded and wouldn't stop until the end of the festival. Blind Guardian have lots of mythical songs, but in a 1 hour show it's impossible to play them all, so they played songs such as "Valhalla", "Nightfall", "Mirror Mirror", the beautiful "Bard's song: in the forest" and a pair of songs from "A Twist In The Myth". It was really emotive to sing "The Bard's Song" all together. The only mistake I found in this show was the fact that they played "And Then There Was Silence", a 14 minutes song in a 1 hour show. Apart from that, everything was perfect, especially Hansi's voice.





Dream Theater
Dream Theater means perfection, at least when talking about technique. Their live performance sounds just as if it were the songs on the album, with the difference that you're seeing them play. They have a very special style and that's one of the things people like the best. All the members' performances (John Petrucci, John Myung, Mike Portnoy, James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess) were equally remarkable and impressive, and I can assure that this band left the audience speechless. The setlist included "Panic Attack", "Pull Me Under", "As I Am", "Sacrifice" and "Constant Motion", among others. They speeded up when playing "Pull Me Under", and that really left the audience speechless.




Slayer
When their turn came, I went to one of the terraces, I really didn't want to die squashed among all the Slayer fans. So far I haven't followed their musical career and I wasn't a big fan of them, yet when the show began they caught my eye. Stunning and aggressive sound, heavy riffs, powerful voice. I loved it. "Mandatory Suicide", "Raining Blood", "Bloodline" and "Angel Of Death" were some of the songs played. I must say Slayer is the band that most filled the place, it was totally crowded and now I understand why.




Motörhead
Finally, Motörhead arrived to close the festival. Lemmy wanted to show us that years haven't passed him by, and so he did. Even making jokes, they managed to make people move after Slayer's performance with songs such as "Metropolis", "Sacrifice", and two of their anthems: "Ace Of Spades" and "Overkill". It was just unforgettable.




Conclusion
As the first important festival I've attended so far, I must say I couldn't have enjoyed it more. Even though I got my arms and face sunburnt, the prices were so high, and the festival wasn't as well organized as one may have hoped, the experience of being so near great bands, feeling the energy, the power, the metal, is completely wonderful. No need to say I'll be there next year.

Thanks to
www.monstersofrock.es (Unsigned pictures were taken from this site).
Wrathchild for the thumbnails code.


Photos by Aylee_Bodom and www.monstersofrock.es.


 
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




Comments

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Baz Anderson - 09.07.2007 at 15:04  
I don't think Blind Guardian playing "And Then There Was Silence" is really that bad..
I don't think they really play that often.. so you are lucky to see it. I would have loved to have seen it at Hellfest but they only played for about 40 minutes there unfortunately..
hopefully at Wacken maybe..

and with Dream Theater - they didn't speed up because they run out of time - they did the same at Hellfest.. I think it is just to keep an old song interesting.. haha

but yeh.. sounds quite the same about how I feel after my first festival experience.. it could have been organised better but all the great bands made it superb anyway!
Aylee_Bodom - 09.07.2007 at 15:24  
Written by Baz Anderson on 09.07.2007 at 15:04

I don't think Blind Guardian playing "And Then There Was Silence" is really that bad..
I don't think they really play that often.. so you are lucky to see it. I would have loved to have seen it at Hellfest but they only played for about 40 minutes there unfortunately..
hopefully at Wacken maybe..

and with Dream Theater - they didn't speed up because they run out of time - they did the same at Hellfest.. I think it is just to keep an old song interesting.. haha

but yeh.. sounds quite the same about how I feel after my first festival experience.. it could have been organised better but all the great bands made it superb anyway!


Alright then I was wrong about the Dream Theater thing...though it would have been cool(er) if it had been true hehe.
As for Blind Guardian...well, instead "And Then There Was Silence" I would have liked them to play other 3 classics =D
Baz Anderson - 09.07.2007 at 15:43  
Written by Aylee_Bodom on 09.07.2007 at 15:24

Alright then I was wrong about the Dream Theater thing...though it would have been cool(er) if it had been true hehe.
As for Blind Guardian...well, instead "And Then There Was Silence" I would have liked them to play other 3 classics =D

I guess.. "And Then There Was Silence" was one of my very first Blind Guardian songs though so maybe it is more important for me..
you got "Valhalla" and "Nightfall" - and we didn't get them at Hellfest..
oh well.. still it looks like fun was had all round
Taktsekte - 24.07.2007 at 02:34  
A guy who went there told me that John Myung was unable to follow the chant "oéee, oé, oé, oéeeee, oéeeeee, oéeee" by the crowd. One of the best drummers (if not the best) in the world, unconcerned about local folklore. How was that feeling like? (Good review anyway, Aylee_Bodom, congratulations for that)

Apart from that, I am glad that at least one Metalstomer could go to such an important festival in Spain. Unfortunately, I couldn't go there because of my university exams (which I finished as late as June 27th), although some of my favourite bands which I have not yet seen live (Blind Guardian, Dream Theater to name a few) were playing there. Next time, perhaps?
Doc Godin - 30.07.2008 at 01:19  
Holy crap, this looks waaay better than the MoR I just went to on Saturday.
Aylee_Bodom - 04.08.2008 at 20:44  
Written by Doc Godin on 30.07.2008 at 01:19

Holy crap, this looks waaay better than the MoR I just went to on Saturday.


Yah well, and the one you went to must have been way better than this year's MoR in Spain...it got cancelled Ô.o

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