The Hooters – Festival Stage (9/10)
The Hooters is a band that really shouldn’t fit in to SRF’s brand. The Hooters are a rockier kind of pop band and some voices were raised when they were booked. But they are a good band. We have all heard their hits, but maybe not more if you’re not a big fan. But damn the narrow-minded. With Rick Springfield from last year’s festival fresh in my mind, I would definitively give them a break. Very few clouds appeared on the sky, this warm and sunny Saturday noon and with shirt off and a beer in hand (that eventually became a few more…), my guess was that The Hooters music really should mix well with that. And I was right. If you’re not a boring fart with your feet nailed to the ground, then it is impossible to stand still to this. The Hooters play happy music with a beat and a groove that just forces you to dance around with a big, stupid smile on your face. Then add beer to that…, well, I think you get my drift. All the hits were, of course played. ”Johnny B”, ”Day By Day”, ”Karla With A K”, ”All You Zombies” and ”…And We Danced”, you know them all. And the best version of ”Boys Of Summer” I ever heard. And the audience danced. The mix of people there were extremely funny to watch. Older, balding guys with beer bellys smiled along with rockers and even a guy with a Black Metal shirt on. At the end when they kicked off with ”Satellite”, maybe one of the best festival songs ever written, I thought the place would explode. Their keyboard player even went way out to front of the stage, with an accordion on his belly and his fist in the air, making the audience sing along. It doesn’t get much harder than that. Easily one of the best performances of the festival.
Thin Lizzy – Rock Stage (8/10)
As usual when Thin Lizzy’s name comes up, conservatives starts to scream themselves blue about how sacrilegious this is. How can they go out and do this when Philip Lynott isn’t here no more, dragging the name through the mud?? And then we have all these dorks who screams ”COVERBAND”!!!! on top of their lungs. Ever since Scott Gorham put this version of Lizzy together with John Sykes years ago, he has pointed out time and again that this is a TRIBUTE, nothing more. No new songs under the name, no new albums, just go out and play all the great songs for us who loves Lizzy. When they are as good as they have always been, I say Hell Yeah! This is as close to Lizzy we’re gonna get and I for one just love to hear all the songs live. Today John and the rest of the band, except for Scott and bassist Marco Mendoza are gone. Back in the band, thank God, is drummer Brian Downey who is crucial for Lizzy’s groove. No more metal á la Tommy Aldridge. For the second guitar spot, they hired Vivian Campbell who hade to pull out due to Def Leppard commitments and was replaced with Guns N Roses man Richard Fortus. Who did an excellent job, I might add. Ricky Warwick of The Almighty were hired for rhythm guitar and lead vocals. I was suspicious about him, to put it mildly, but yes, he did a great job also. Darren Wharton, who was with Lizzy on their two last albums, is back in on keyboards. He also took over lead vocals for ”Still In Love With You”. Thumbs up, there, Darren. Do I even have to mention the songs? Ok, then. They were all there. ”Jailbreak”, ”The Boys Are Back In Town”, ”Emerald”, ”Cowboy Song”, ”Rosalie”, ”Black Rose” and even ”Dancing In The Moonlight”. I would have loved to see Viv Campbell with them on stage, but this evening, it didn’t matter. The guys were all smiles up there on stage and so were us punters below. This is by far the best Tribute Lizzy I’ve seen and in my book, they should be booked every year. Lemme hear you’re out there. ARE YOU OUT THERE??!?
Ozzy Osbourne – Festival Stage (10/10)
It’s really ironic that with all the reruns of this year, an icon like Ozzy have never played this festival before. So it was about time he did. With him he brought his new guitar player, Gus G, the replacement for Zakk Wylde. And with Zakk playing SRF with his band Black Label Society, we were many that hoped he would guest Ozzy’s gig. That didn’t happen, but in all honesty, nobody cared. Gus, however, seemed to have settled fine in the Ozzy camp, looking cool and relaxed and played very well. And Ozzy himself, the true professional that he is, knew exactly what a festival audience wants. Therefore he cut all the new songs, concentrating on only his classics, with only ”Road To Nowhere” as the only misjudgment of the night. The song is just too long, slow and obscure to really work here. But it is a good song. And no solo masturbation à la Coverdale’s little worm. With the energy of a 20-year-old he took the stage with a big grin on his face, squirting water from a hose on everybody and their mother. That included the roadies and the staff who were trying to clean the already wet stage. We all got what we came for. ”I Don’t Know”, ”Suicide Solution”, ”Mr Crowley”, ”Bark At The Moon”, ”Crazy Train”, ”Fairies Wear Boots”, ”Iron Man” and ”Paranoid”. Like a fist right at our jaws. Knock out! And how he manages to run around like a maniac, in his age and condition is beyond me. Ozzy came, took the stage, kicked our butts and walked away as the big winner of this whole festival. A true hero.