For what was such a fantastic festival, condensing Hard Rock Hell into a list Top 10 Moments was no easy task. However, after much deliberation, here’s Team RAM’s Top 10 Moments of Hard Rock Hell 2012.
10: Trucker Diablo “calling out” Axl Rose with their song “Not So Superstar”.
It’s no secret that there’s plenty of people in the rock and roll world who aren’t particularly fond of a certain W. Axl Rose. So when Irish rockers Trucker Diablo dedicated their song “Not So Superstar” to him, they put forward their opinion in musical form. What was a fantastic song, with personal opinion backing it up made for one of the most intelligent highlights of HRH 2012. Check these guys out, they’re awesome! www.facebook.com/TRUCKERDIABLO
9: Kobra and the Lotus performing Iron Maiden’s “The Wicker Man”.
Performing an Iron Maiden song at a hard rock festival is always a risky move, as Maiden are so universally loved worldwide. However, Kobra and the Lotus covered “The Wicker Man” with aplomb, singer Kobra Paige matching Bruce Dickinson for vocal range and tone and giving the performance of her life. So surprising and effective, this made the band’s set one of the best of the entire weekend.
8: Nympherno fire breathing during “Raining Rock” by JettBlack
During JettBlack’s final song “Raining Rock”, Hayley and Amy from alternative entertainers “Nympherno” came on stage and breathed fire in time with the music. This was utterly amazing, as it recreated the cover image of the “Raining Rock” album live. A brilliant way to close the set, even if it was slightly warm down the front with flames everywhere.
7: Molly Hatchet performing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird”.
Call it clichéd, call it cheesy, but this was utterly amazing. Molly Hatchet, the band Lynyrd Skynyrd themselves championed to follow in their footsteps performed “Freebird” in its entirety. Never have we seen a room full of rockers so united. Random people had their arms round each other, singing their hearts out, and when the incredibly long instumental mid-section kicked in everyone just lost their minds. What a brilliant way to close a brilliant set.
6: Ugly Kid Joe performing Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”.
It’s no great secret that Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane’s favourite band is Motorhead. So, after they played “Goddam Devil”, Crane declared “Dude! Play me some Lemmy” and they cracked seamlessly into “Ace of Spades”. Well, the place simply exploded. What a fantastic cover and a truly unexpected moment.
5: Chris Jericho climbing the PA speaker stacks.
Fozzy frontman/high-flying WWE superstar Chris Jericho has always been a daredevil. So, when he decided to climb the PA stacks at the side of the stage, it was expected. However, to jump off the stack back on to the stage at the end of the set as the final not was played was utterly brilliant. It’s true what Fozzy say, they truly leave it all on stage.
4: Breed 77 performing Alice Cooper’s “Poison”.
Latin metallers Breed 77 threw a real unexpected cover in their HRH set; Alice Cooper’s “Poison”. Their version was so much heavier than the original, yet the melody and tone was pretty much the same. It’s wonderful to see a classic song have a real original twist put on it, and this topped their set off brilliantly.
3: Testament creating the first mosh-pits of the weekend.
Bay area thrash metal masters Testament absolutely tore the roof off at HRH. However, when they played “Into the Pit”, the crowd who all weekend long had watched every band and had a good time, suddenly exploded into life and created pits all across the front section of the crowd. This reaction is a huge badge of honour for Testament, and their set was simply astounding. The crowds for the rest of the weekend were more willing to dive around and go crazy, thanks to Testament.
2: SOiL frontman Ryan McCombs singing “Halo” in the crowd.
At the end of SOil’s excellent set at HRH, everyone was waiting for the band’s biggest hit Halo to close the set. Then all of a sudden, the signature drum intro came in and frontman Ryan McCombs appeared in the middle of the crowd down the front and began singing “Halo” with the assistance of the crowd. This moment really summarised why rock and metal is a genre that has such togetherness.
1: Ugly Kid Joe’s entire set.
What a set. Ugly Kid Joe absolutely played the best set of the entire weekend at HRH. They simply stole the show from the other bands. Frontman Whit Crane was absolutely on fire, spitting the lyrics to such hits as “Neighbour”, “VIP” and “Everything About You”. However, they also provided one of the most emotional moments with the legendary “Cats in the Cradle”. After this, Crane got the audience to make as much noise as they physically could every time he bowed to them. Also, getting the stilt-walking Area 51 up on stage with them during “Goddam Devil” was a random moment of pure magic. Thank you Ugly Kid Joe. You were amazing.