Monday, August 28, 2023

Down the Hill Festival, Rillar, Belgium Aug 25-26th, 2023

I arrived at the Brussels airport about 1630. 30mins late. Dave (Hypnos69) picked me up and we chatted about studio stuff and modular synths, etc….    I have a nice place to sleep in the control room of the studio.. The Kanaan guys will also stay here.   We had some cold veggy lasagna and then headed over to the festival in time to catch about half of the Belgium stoner rock band, Fire Down Under. They have 2 albums out and new one next month… Pretty much straight up classic stoner rock sound, a bit of Swedish influence… Crowd was really into it and I could meet my old friend Silvana!  So nice to see her. She looked great..

I had heard from others that Mojo and the Kitchen Brothers were really good.  Pity we did not get to see them. Dorre had also played but I do not know them.  Also missed Slow Bear on the Dome stage. 

Koonda Holaa was on the small Dome stage where I will play.  A big mean angry looking guy doing a lot of experimental guitar looping and vocals songs. It was pretty cool…  

GNOME, a local phenomenon with their army of fans with the garden Gnome hats!!   The old Temple Fang drummer is pounding away in this group now. Heavy, metal-hard rock cross of aggressive rock music,,  They had some clear songs people were really into and a certain image as well.  Their set went down really well. 

Set List: Balls of Broekvol, Wencelkwast, Golden Loemperik, Antichrist, T¨Smitje, Empire Strikes back, Tong, Kraakpand, Framboos

Radar Man from the Moon, a Dutch band, I have not really heard much by them but I remember them as being more fuzzy and spaced out but now they are just a heavy intense wall of psych noise with 2 drummers and an angry singer.. The do it good but it was a bit too much the same not enough variety in the sound for me. . Reminded me a bit of a less wild and improvised GNOD! Crowd dug it.. 

Dries Geusens was a guy with a huge table of synthesizer modules, a MOOG subharmonium and some sort of sampler. He started off very promising and spacey and slowly added interesting modular elements but sadly, after 10mins or so started just putting in techno like beats and it became something normal and not very interesting. It was such a pity as it could have really evolved into something cosmic….

Sula Bassana Band, I was really looking forward to see and I had some time to hang out and chat with Dave which was great.. Such a nice human.  It was very cool to hear this songs from some of his solo albums. They are much heavier live for sure.  Lost in Space from the Dark LP was so great.. Audience really loved it. He did a nice balance of his keyboard and guitar playing. It was a solid band and people really dug it. They had some sound issues at the start but great in the end.. It was the best band of the day for sure!  Good luck Dave…

Day 2

I was totally exhausted when we got back at 130 in the morning. DId not get up until 10. Feel a bit strange still…  Going to have to find some new energy for tonight… Event is starting now but I am still too tired.. I will go downstairs soon. Had musli, fruit, banana, bread and cheese. All good…  Dave offered to let me use any of his synths so I need to go see what might work for me,.,.. He has the Mono-poly, Poly D, KORG Ms20 and MS50 sequencer, ARP2600, lots of cool stuff..  I played the mono-poly for a while but decided not to borrow it for the gig..

Lots of great bands today. Hypnos 69, Mars Red Sky, Kanaan, Earthless….  Not sure what time we will go to the festival.. I can rest a bit more.. 13 now…

We arrived at the festival about 15.. I heard that Kameel was really excellent as were Etherik and Ambi-J. Freek (used to put on Yellowstock), did not realize he was playing under the name Floating Bodies, so I missed his set. Damn….. I heard it was a really cool ambient set.  Music for Floatation tanks..

Grandma´s Ashes (France), was a female heavy rock trio.  They had a special look but they knew how to rock, despite the lack of attack from the drummer.  Mix of doomy, melodic pop elements and just rock and roll…  The crowd dug them….

Venediktos Tempelboom was a guy with acoustic guitar but he had loops and effects and did singer songwriter sort of stuff…  Always a cool crowd of people watching these solo artists in the dome tent..  Foto below I am not 100% certain it is him. 

Condor Gruppe was a big 9 piece band from the Netherlands. It was basically instrumental eastern film score music. I am pretty sure they did a few covers (Marcoinne). 3 horn players but they also played keys, percussion, congas, etc..  3 guitar players, electric sitar, drums and bass. It was a nice set of music with a cool vibe.. 

I was busy at the merch stand trying to sell some records unsuccessfully so I did not see the next two acts on the Dome stage, Jef Mertens and Jonas Meersmans.  

Kanaan was next on the main stage and what a powerful set they played. Wow.. They knocked the audience out!! The set was quite different from Sonic Blast 2 weeks ago. Amazon, Orbit, Jm, Bordum, The groke..  They were so good… It does still annoy me that Ingvald, just bashes the shit out of the ride cymbal way too much for me. Just makes this white noise over the sound completely as it always too loud…  What an amazing drummer.. Actually, these guys are all so skilled and so nice.. 

I caught some of Vitja Pauwels in the dome stage.  He was a very unique guitar player. He had a huge load of drum triggers, guitar pedals and other stuff (laptop) and played like no one else at the festival. Strange but so cool.. Awesome…

Hypnos 69 was the band (with Sula Bassana) that I was most looking forward to see play and they were awesome .  The band have a great sound and they focused a lot on the older material and jamming.  There was a massive thunder and lightning and rain storm that lasted 10 or 15mins in the middle of their set. The crowd scattered..  Great set..Since all bands had to play on their own gear and they had to switch out everything for every band this time the started 15mins late and played 10mins over so we were 25mins late in the end…

I had to set up for my own gig so only heard some of Mars Red Sky in the background. I think they only ended up staring 15mins late.   My set up went very smooth and the storm had not got the area too wet or muddy.  I had a great sound on the stage but was still nervous. 

Dr Space.. what can I say. My first real solo gig. The tent was packed and I just do what I do but the people were so wonderful and yelling and into the trip of cosmic music that I presented. It went quite well actually.  For those that want more info, here is what I did.  I started with some space wind noise on the modular and faded into a 6 different synth loops (arpeggiations) on the Novation Ultranova synth in a different keys. In most songs I would also add some mellotron or some space sounds or solos on the kaossilator pad or the modular and just went with the flow!! I played for about 40mins.. I had so much positive feedback from the Sula Bassana band, Dave and many others. Wow.. made me feel really good. Only sold 1 record after the show.. Thanks to Tom for the pic below.

Earthless was the main act and just killed it of course. They are still playing the title track from the last album jammed out and then Shinki, Speed and Glue track into Cherry Red was the encore.  I met Mario after the show. Super cool guy..  still hope we can do something one day Several people said they thought I would be a good fit..  We will see..

Awesome festival with super nice people. I had a great time and people were so kind..  Thanks to Dries and everyone at Down the Hill and all the amazing people I met..

peace love and music..

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Deviant Amps- The Castle in the Sky (DAMP35)

The Deviant Amps are one of the longest running psych bands in all of the UK starting in the early 80s. I have not followed them for that long but band leader, Paul, gave me this CD at Kozfest and I have to say my wife and I have been spinning it a lot.  I quite liked their last ambitious double CD, Countdown to a Cosmic Ego Death.  This CD features 12 tracks, a mix of short and long excursions. Here comes the Sun is a shorter one with a repeated lyric, nice laid back spacey vibe and flute playing.  Explode like a Star is a classic 80s psych rocker with nice spacey synths (Seaweed and Dave Onley).  She tastes of LSD, brings the flute back on this psych rocker that reminds a bit of Vibravoid, the Seeds, etc..   Inside Out (Floating in Space), what a great spaced out track, again with some relaxed flute from Claudia.  Later there is a nice long guitar solo section.  What a great track. Gravity Pulls starts off very uptempo, then spaces out totally in this great mostly instrumental track.. Gravity Pulls is another uptempo track with nice layers of synths and a bit dreamy, nice space attack bubbles, melodic guitar solo and good drive. She lay down in the long green Grass is a more relaxed track with a strong layer of psychy guitar and synths bubbling wildly in the background.  Last Chance Saloon is a slow building longer mid paced track lasting over 6 mins.  Temple of Acid Dreams reminds me of a HW tune at the start like from the Hawklords era.. It develops into a fast rocker.  Lost on the Wrong Side of Town is very spacey to start with. Love the sound.. Crank it up!!!!  The CD ends with Here comes the sun to melt the Night Away.  I  have to say I enjoy this album a lot more than the new Hawkwind…. Buy it!!

Alice Cooper in the 80s (by Chris Sutton) Sonicbond Publishing

Alice was one of the artist that really took a radical turn in his music and a lot of it was very cool and successful.  Like a lot of artists from the 70s, he had to either try to be more like the crowd (which was very unsuccessful for many 70s artists). Alice did a balance.  His teaming up Desmond Child to try to get hits, lead to some really crappy songs but there were a lot of gems on a lot of these 80s albums. I really liked Flush the Fashion and still own the cassette!  Dada was also a very interesting record.  I finally got to see him live (2x) on the Constrictor tour, including a show in his home town, Phoenix AZ.. It was the same show as we saw in El Paso just a bigger place and worse sound.

Anyway, I really like the approach Chris has taken with this book. Not only does he go thru all the songs one by one from the different albums, he discusses all the changes in the bands and the live sets they played on the tours and mentions key live performances or videos that exist from the different tours. There are nice short interview pieces with members of the bands about the tours, which is a nice addition. There are also quite a few unreleased music pieces from the 80s that still are not available to this day.   

If you are an Alice Copper fan and liked his output from the 80s you can not go wrong with this book. YOu will learn a lot and want to go back and listen to those albums again.  Highly recommended!!

Spirit- Every Album, Every Song (Sonicbond Publishing) by Rev. Keith A Gordon.

Spirit were a California based band lead by guitarist Randy Wolfe. He was renamed Randy California by Jimi Hendrix, when he played in Jimi´s band in 1965 as there was already another Randy in the band. Anyway, there is a brief history of the bands before Spirit to lead into the book and then we are straight into the first album in 1968.  Each chapter has a bit of introduction to the era before heading into the tracks.  There is a lot of information in this book and nice comments from a lot of the different band members (and there were a lot!). 

In general, it is considered that the first 4 albums are the classic Spirt (Spirit, The Family that Plays Together, Clear and 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus). I have to admit, I am really only familiar with the last one, which is pretty cool.  For most of the many albums in the Spirit discography, their has been a number of unreleased tracks, or versions, many of which have later appeared in box sets, compilations, reissues, etc. and all of this is described very well.  At the end of the book Randy´s solo albums and Spirit live albums are discussed in separate sections.

Overall, this is very interesting and informative book about a pretty groundbreaking band when they came out and one that never really got huge recognition.  An interesting read for sure.. 

Green Day- Every Album, Every Song by William E Spevack (Sonicbond Publishing)

I have to say, I have never really been a big fan of the band.  I saw them in 1989 at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley when they just had their first 7” record, 1000 Hrs (Lookout Records).  I also saw them opening for Bad Religion in 1992 at the Warfield.. Anyway…  I had no idea that the band was so huge and were the 3rd most successful band of the 90s with the most top ten hits and records. Far out..   

The authors starts with the early EPs and works through all the albums and has some details about the recording sessions and other information.  He describes the evolution of Billy Joe as a lyricist quite well.  Once the band got on a roll. they put out new studio albums with either 2 or 3 years inbetween and toured a lot.  At the end of each album he describes either non-Lp b sides (there are not many) or related tracks, stuff that was on compilations at the time or other places. 

At the end of the book there is a live LP, Compilations, videos and side project sections, so the story is pretty damn complete..  I was never into pop music even when mixed with punk but wow.. that a huge impact this band has had. Incredible..  A very interesting read… 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Sonic Blast Festival 2023- Villa praia de âncora, Portugal Aug 9-12th, 2023

It is about a 3hr drive from my house to the very north for this coastal festival. I was invited by Marco Lima to the Hertzcontrol studio in Seixas, 15mins away from the festival town so I drove straight there. When I arrived the San Diego band, Monarch were just stating to rehearse their set for the festival in the studio. I heard the entire set and talked studio stuff with Marco. Afterwards we all walked to a local cafe and talked for 30mins. They are good buddies with the Sacri Monti guys and it was fun to tell them I had mixed the live album….They were surprised..

Anyway, I arrived where I was staying this year in a house about 20mins talk from the festival. I settled in and then Paulo, Ana and I walked down the festival site and got our wrist bands etc. Met the guys in Ruff Magik and JJ from the Obelisk and Roberto Lucas (Deepa Fuzz). Met João from Stones of Babylon..   We had some food at a local cafe and were back to see the Spanish band, Plastic Woods at 22. 

Plastic Woods were a trio (primairly but a guy came and played acoustic guitar (poorly mixed into the sound) on 3-4 songs. What an eclectic and diverse band. The band went from psych rock, boogie rock to doom (with Flute), to dance groove rock and roll, a bit of punk- speed metal riffing and ending with a flamenco acoustic sing along thing. Wow.. fantastic way to start the festival.

Ruff Magik, from South Africa, played at the pool stage back in 2018 and were back. JJ from the Obelisk, this new album is very catchy and one of his faves this year he said. We hung out a lot during these first two bands. Such a cool guy.. Anyway, this was a full on high energy fuzz rock fest!!!!!   It was good but the sound was a bit harsh and the lights were just annoying as the guy used too many super bright ones faced straight out at the audience so you could not watch or look at the stage without getting a headache. Have to look at the ground..  Really stupid….

Set List: AYNIS, Swine Tooth, Joly Rodger, Rave, Goff, Lead Pills, Wax Wizard, Gregory, Hillbilly, Delerium

I left as it was already midnight. I could the punk rock of Scatterbrainac in the background as I walked the 20mins back.  Took a shower and went to bed…

Day 2\

Up at 730 as there is a construction site next to the house and they started making concrete, throwing bricks around, etc at 7 this morning.   I have my first interview at 15 today with Sasquatch. Going to be nice to meet the guys…

I arrived at the site about 1420.. Desert Smoke were soundchecking. Ran into JJ and we had a chat.  Read his first day report earlier in the morning. Was cool to hear his point of view of the same shows.  Desert Smoke, have played a few times at the festival. They are a Lisboa based stoner rock band.  They are tight grooves and have lots of lead guitar parts. They deliver it well but nothing new, not really?? One guys said this was awesome 10-15 years ago but not so much now.. Lots of energy and drive. People dug it…

Next up the people were all dancing for an hour (yes, including me!) for Etran de Láir from Niger.  Really fun music, A lot of it was the same the band was very sloppy with the way they started and ended song but once they got the groove off they went. Lots of cool guitar parts and excellent energy. IT was fun and had people smiling. I loved it and they had fun as well. 

Mythic Sunship traded their spot on the 2nd stage for the main stage as Death Valley Girls were delayed.  Huge stage for the Danes and the only concert they have played this year (one of the guitar players lives in Berlin now). They got covid last year so had to cancel but they played a solid hr of instrumental music. Some new sections not from the albums and one new song.  They were really good and the freakout was a great way to end. Quite smooth they play these days,. Not so wild.. Great band..

All the interview stuff was a fucking mess today and I wasted a lot of time and interviewed no one really.  Interview spot was outside next to the main stage where the sound was so loud you could not really talk to anyone and while I waited a few times, never got to really interview anyone. Acid King was moved then cancelled. Sasquatch was moved but then the one guy talked for 30mins and I was not going to wait anymore. Mythic Sunship it was too loud so I just had a chat or yell with the guys. New record is finished and will come out on Teepee some day. That was the news..

Sasquatch, just killed it.. What an awesome set. They played at least one new song at the end of their set.. I had a great time at their show. Only band I saw drinking Jack Daniels straight from the bottle on stage..  They had fun. They went a bit overtime and were cut off from doing their last song.  

Set List: Live Snakes, Let it In, the Judge, Bringing me Down, New Disguise, Rattlesnake Flake, Smoke Signals, Rational Woman, Voyager, Destroyer, Heart so Lonely

Crippled Black Phoenix (UK) played 10mins late and an interesting eclectic set. I am not really a fan but they held the crowd and seem to have a good time for sure.. 

SPY, were a super intense high energy punk. Screaming angry vocals, high energy short songs. Audience was totally into it and mad… Wow… The volume now on the PA seemed a lot louder!

ACID KING was the highlight for me. I really love their last record, the best on they have made and the most unique (they like the same Sabbath stoner doom riff a lot) and different and they played 4 songs off the LP. They started almost 10mins early though and ended when they could have played 25 more mins. Crowd was yelling for more and they did not play any more so that was bummer. I would never not play more if I had such a huge audience and that amount of time…. what are you thinking??? 

Death Valley Girls (3 women and a male guitar player), hit the stage for a set of high energy psych rock but their lead singer was still in Los Angeles.. It also felt like something was missing as well.  It was ok but the songs did not really speak to me at all. 

OFF!, a US band that I saw play an over the top show at Roskilde Festival many years ago.. Had that 80s hardcore sound down!!! I guess it might not be surprising with a former Black Flag singer, with dreadlocks down to the ground! They sounded great but on stage, they were far less wild than what I remember. People were crowd surfing and having a great time as the laid down a strong set but the music was very dated…  Fun..

It has been so LOUD (after SPY) that my ears, even with ear plugs were just finished. My feet and body felt ok but I just needed a break from the sound.  I heard about half the Hallas (Sweden), great classic 70s rock sound, very melodic but could not stand the 110db levels anymore. Pity as I really wanted to see the 4 piece Kadavar line up. Deathchant were great last year as well….  It was a great day but time to call it a day. Hope they turn it down a bit tomorrow.

Other highlights of the day is seeing my old friend from Finland, Ana!! We hing out and watched bands and had a great time..  Also, chatting ith the Elder guys and seeing them.  Such nice nice people…  Hope I can stay up to see them play tomorrow night..

Day 3

Elder is soundchecking in the background as I type from about 3km away from the festival site. I am staying at the house of the local mayor âncora. He is a great guy and I asked him what the people of his town think about the festival and he said 99% of the people are really supportive of the festival and happy to have it here.  That was good to hear. 

I arrived in time to see JJ and talk about the day before. I read his excellent article. He stayed to see all but the last act.  Hard core.. Anyway, Weedpecker from Poland were up and much more proggy and melodic than what I remember. Quite Elder inspired in many ways.  It was a sold set of mostly all recent material from what I could tell. They had a decent crowd that filled the tent. It was getting hot again today. 

Monarch from San Diego, an El Paraiso records band, were next and I have been hanging out with them a lot at the festival, mainly Sonny (keys) and Matt (bass). All cool guys and man, they played a great set despite a small loss of keyboard signal during one song. It was fixed quickly.  A really unique sound they have. Love the way the delay guitar worked and having gone from having 3 guitar players to one.. Wow..  Last song was one of the best. Crowd dug it..

A very popular band and they play a lot here was up next. Naxatras from Greece.  The crowd was big by now and the weather hot. The have added a keyboard- space sound guy since the last time I saw them and this was great and added a new dimension. It was a cool set but all there music so smooth and polished and could be so much more dynamic…. one called them the Kenny G of psych rock…  Anyway.. It was a really good set…  I do not have the new album but they played 2-3 from it, i think.

Temple Fang (who I only spoke to after the show), were one of the bands that I most look forward to see and they did not disappoint. Wow.. 3 songs in their 50min set, starting off as they always seem to do with Gemini. THe new drummer is a young and powerful guy. Wow. He was great and really gels with the flow and ebb that this band has in these long pieces they play. It is still a dream for me that I get to play with these guys. I love them so much. Probably my favorite show so far of the festival. Just awesome..  

Now it was Swedish stoner rock time with Greenleaf. I had not seen them since 2004, I think…  They gave 100% stoner blues rock show and the crowd ate it up….  What can I say.. A bit the same a lot of it but solld and rocking…. 

I am not a fan of Mondo Generator but they had a big crowd. Anny and I went to the beach and walked in the water and just relaxed. You can still hear the music when you are up on the hill part of the beach. It was loud, snotty, angry….   They did two Kyuss songs (War Machine) but not very good in my opinion… but always great to hear these songs anyway. Some people love them and others now..

We arrived in time to dance to Bombino, a old guy from Mali…  It was a fun show but they had only like 3 styles of songs and they repeated those.. A sort of reggae-African blues thing, one just straight tempo blues.groove and then one that builds to a big guitar crescendo.. It was fun and the drummer was fucking amazing.. How tight and fast this groove he kept. Impressive. I was talking with Ingvald (Kanaan) drummer about it afterwards…

Scowl, a female lead US pop punk band of sorts. Loud, screamy, noisy.. Anny and I sat for most of it inthe food court and talked with the Kanann guys. Super nice people. Look forward to see them tomorrow.

Thruston Moore Band…. hum.. it was a very diverse set from psych rock to noise rock to alt radio rock. The main lead guitar player he did some blazing solos..  It was strange they had 3 guitars and no bass player but it seem to work. It was ok…

Frankie and the Witch Fingers.. They were so awesome last year and this year, I think they just cranked it up another notch as they just ripped thru an hour long set of high energy kick ass rock and roll. Very afst, loud and catchy What a fucking band. They ended the set with an epic Stooges cover, I wanna be your Dog..  Crowd went nuts. One of the best sets of the festival.. Killer….

Elder was the last that I heard and they sounded great. I was disappointed a bit that it was all the same songs more of less from 5 years ago still. Sanctuary, Compendiim, Gemini, etc…  They are so awsome and I love to hear them anyway but a new set would be really nice. They have so many awesome songs.. They only played 1 from the great new record called Merged in Dreams.  This was the biggest crowd at the festival.. Great job guys. It was great to talk with them all a bit as well. Nicest people..

It was raining during their show which was annoying for them and theaudience. very light misty but still wet…   I did not stay to see Black Bombaim or Acid Mammoth

Day 4

I am pretty wiped out from the last 3 days of standing and watching LOUD bands for 10 hrs a day but this was looking to be the best day of the festival.  My friends from Norway, Kanaan, started the day off but with a small delay as the wind had blown down a part of the fence and due to security, they could not let people in..

The band started with in a few minutes of them opening and a good crowd gathered. They kicked off the show with Amazon, as they have been for more or less the entire year and then it was Downpour, Pink Riff and they closed with Tundrasphere from the Earthbound record, a Colour Haze inspired piece.. they were so good… Love this band.

Black Rainbows kicked off the main stage with a 50min set of a whole mixture of their catalog including Back to Comm (MC5), which they usually close their shows with but played in the middle.  A very solid stoner rock band.  Fuzzy, Fu Manchu like Italian stoner.. Done fucking well. ..

Spirit Mother, from California were next and I was not sure what to expect from this 5 piece band with dual violin players.  The sound was not that great though as the wind was blowing all the high frequencies from the violins away. I was not really that sold on the start of the show but they really got better and better.  Pretty cool and different band… Look forward to see how they progress…

EARTHLESS… wow.. I had spoken to Mario the night before so I knew what they were going to do and it was pretty amazing.. They basically played the title track from the last album, which they have been doing for more than a year now but this took them an nearly an hr!!!  The build ups were very cool and the crowd was along for the ride for sure. I had hope to hear the Shinki, Speed and Glue cover they have been doing but they always seem to do Cherry Red in Portugal… every show…  Still awesome..

I heard but did not see the next two bands as I needed to rest my body and ears, as the volume was really getting to me now, even though I wear professional ear plugs.  A Place to Bury Strangers were so noisy. Some people thought they had a bad sound but that is just the way they wanted to sound!! Nasty and Eyehategod, also a very nasty music.   Both did what people expected and well. 

Imarhan from Algeria, were something totally different and it was so cool to see all the people so happy and dancing after this very depressive and ultraheavy music…. these guys were the most diverse of the three bands from Africa.  They had an added percussion player and the drummer switched from a normal drum kit to acoustic guitar on several songs.  Cool band…

The Black Angels from Austin were next and had a great light show and cool sound.  I will call them mainstream psych. All the songs were 3-5mins, no freakouts or really taking any risks. Seemed very controlled and slick but they had some great songs and cool visuals. I think the crowd dug it. I was a bit surprised they were one of the headline acts as they had just played in Portugal less than 6 months ago.. Still, a very good choice for having a different style of music.  People including me enjoyed it but I was always waiting for them to go for it and they never did. 

Set List: Prodigal, Old Sniper, Without a Trace, Entrance. Icon, History, The River, Science Killer, Dheer Rishi, Bad Vibrations, Walk on the Outside, Firefly, Death March, Bloodhounds, Empires Fall, Haunting, Young Men Dead

One of the bands I looked for the most was next. Church of Misery from Japan. I saw hello to Mika and Tatsu at the merch table earlier in the day. Sadly, they had not records left.  They played two new songs but it was pretty much the same songs they always seem to play but damn, it is great to hear this band live. Born to Raise Hell really went down well. The young new lead guitar player was pretty cool. I still miss the days when they would jam out the songs for 10mins and the singer would play the MS20 synthesizer.. also they should play for Madmen only from May Blitz again as they did a killer version, at least when Tom was in the band..  Anyway, I loved the set but was really tired…

DOZER, another band that had never played in Portugal were next and just gave a very powerful performance for the fans.  I had not seen them since 2008, when they opened for Mastadon in Copenhagen. The drummer is very powerful and the grooves strong. I wish they had some more guitar solos as they are few and far between.. straight up stoner riff rock…  Great set and people were so happy.. Stoner rock is alive and well.. 

Lunavieja, had a cool theatrical stage set up but I had enough and could not stay to see them or El Alta del Holocausto or Love Gang (2:45-3:30!).  I heard all three bands were really good though..

It was a truely awesome Sonic Blast and I had such a good time hanging out with JJ from the Obelisk. Besides the friends I came with (Paulo and Ana) and my friend Anny from Finland, he is the one I hung out with the most. It was great to hang and talk with the Mythic Sunship guys and Kanaan guys a lot as well.  So nice to hang a bit with some of the photographers, writers- JJ, Roberto, Bruno, David, etc… such nice and dedicated people…

Awesome job Ricardo…  One of the best festivals on the planet now days. A true musical success..   Just tell the soundman to play a bit lower next year. It is not that necessary to be so LOUD.. 

My fave bands were: 

Temple Fang, Earthless, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Church of Misery, Sasquatch, Kanaan

 but very hard to say. So many killer performances… wow….