It takes longer to get to Bray than it does to Download and that’s a fact. One of the shortest plane trips on record, by the time we got our glasses of wine, we had to put the tray tables up and try to do our best impression of a fish. From there it’s a ten minute taxi ride and you’re at one of Europe’s biggest metal festivals. Friday brings glorious sunshine, in stark contrast to overtones from the main stage as Hollywood Undead open proceedings. State wasn’t expecting much from them but they prove a pleasant surprise, interacting well with the crowd and providing a great kick start to the weekend. Due to the intense heat the audience got to see the Californian group de-mask, raising the crowd reaction even more.
A sweaty walk to the second stage brought us just to catch In This Moment, where it was apparent that vocalist Maria Brink had not expected such a huge crowd. The LA band responded with an exceptional show, including their own rendition of Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ – a song that in hindsight one would believe to be brutally destroyed if sung with any metal characteristics.
While the youngsters in the crowd were loving the reunited Limp Bizkit, it just reminded us we were getting older, so we decided to watch Korn instead. The set though was exactly the same as they played at their Dublin gigs early last year so seeing as it was getting late in the evening it was time to go to the bar to quell the anticipation of seeing Motley Crue. The walk to the second stage is more like a herd of cattle as everyone ran to get a good spot to watch the legendary rockers play. Opening up with the classic -Kickstart My Heart’ and with some of the most X-rated visuals we have ever seen, the crowd was going wild. The band didn’t need any introductions but nonetheless they had their solo moments to woo the audience. Tommy Lee confused the crowd by showing his sensitive side instead of his usually hardcore self when he told the people how much he loved them. ‘I wish I had bigger arms so I could hug you all. An arm extension that’s what I need! Can someone sort that out?’ By far one of the best acts of the day.
With Faith No More also on the comeback trail, Mike Patton – resplendent in red jump suit – looked like he had been let out on day release. The band started the set with lullabies and folk songs which seemed to confuse as well as entertain before breaking into the songs everyone had been waiting to hear. The crowd were like puppets on a string as they listened to every word Patton said and jumped any way he asked them to. The set ended with -We Care A Lot’ and the front man quickly disappeared backstage and everyone was left in the middle of a big messy field in darkness, some covered in dirt, but with the biggest grins on their face. Roll on Day two.
Photo by Luke Seagrave – © eFestivals.co.uk