High Voltage Festival 2011
By Tom Geddes
High Voltage Festival
Victoria Park, London
As their last ever UK show, it was to be expected that Judas Priest were going to steal the weekend. With over three decades to hone themselves, they blasted out hit after hit, with lead singer Rob Halford still hitting higher notes than an abused cat, despite being 59.
Whilst it’s tempting to mock Attica Rage for their ill-judged decision to end their set on a song they can’t play, the band to really suffer were Thin Lizzy; though they cannot be accused of putting on a bad show, painfully quiet mixing ruined what could have been a huge sing-a-long.
Graveyard and Gentlemens Pistols both impressed with their retro vibes, but the real surprise was Von Hertzen Brothers. Opening the weekend, Finnish prog might sound tedious, but when it’s done well (check out ‘Freedom Fighter’) it leaves you awestruck.
This is first and foremost a classic rock festival, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was a bit ‘dad heavy.’ That’s not bad though. The drunken contentedness of the masses is calming and infectious. Though quiet mixing for the first day (thanks Hackney Council) did lower the mood.
Worth the Money?
At just under £100 (OK, £99) you can’t argue. Two days of solid bands, a highly varied beer tent and most important of all, the cheapest festival food I’ve seen all year. Though it would be a little better with the volume pushed a little higher.