I am an All-Star! Ahead of the event were some well-publicized troubles. Things like low ticket sales and fears of cancellations etc. Bands lineups changing and then closer to the event, bands cancelling and publishing statements of not receiving guarantees and payments. All-Star Festival announced some replacements for the drop-offs but overall, not as many as we lost. Understandable at this late juncture. With international flights already booked from Toronto Canada, we already set our minds that no matter what happened we would make the best of it.
The journey took me first to London UK for a night, then to Brussels for the next night. And finally onto Antwerp one day ahead of the event. All along the way meeting up with friends made through my music travels. My worldwide family.
All-Star Festival Friday
Proceedings kicked off at 15:00 on Friday, Nov 25th with USA band Midnight Devils. I’d seen Midnight Devils a couple of weeks before at HRH 15 and knew they would come out slapping the crowd with an energy to wake us all up. Fun set!
Seraina Telli currently on tour with Core Leoni was one of the last-minute additions to the roster. Great show from this former Burning Witches frontwoman mostly made up as far as I could tell from her debut solo album. Definitely very different from Burning Witches.
As someone who does not “love” Enuff z Nuff, this was a great chance for me to hang with friends from around the world.
Grand Slam took their turn next. Originally they started out as an Irish-based band created by former Thin Lizzy member Phil Lynott along with Mark Stanway and Laurence Archer. With member changes over the years they are now based all over we were told. Their set was, as expected, loaded with Thin Lizzy classics as well as their original material. They sounded fantastic and it was another awesome set.
For all the doom and gloom posted online ahead of this event, I must say that everything here is going off wonderfully. Great bands, quite good sound and all on time so far as well.
Having seen Electric Boys a few times already this year, I didn’t pay super attention to the full set as I enjoyed beers and chatting with friends making memories. Again, a great show with, for me, “All Lips n Hips” being the highlight.
Bringing it Home
Even though I’d seen Core Leoni at Indoor Summer back in September, their show was something akin to eroticism. OMG, so great! I love the latest album titled III and of course, the Gotthard material slipped into the set. Unfortunately, tonight we didn’t hear “Fist In Your Face” my fave Gotthard song. They’d played it at Indoor and upon consideration, I believe this setlist and order were quite different from the set at that event. It made it more exciting not being the exact same show as I’d seen before. What a great band and clearly the headliner of the evening!
Friday’s big end-of-night headliner was Nestor. This band has so much buzz and hype right now it’s crazy. Good for them! But I’m sorry, I personally just don’t get it. I’ve seen them live 5 or 6 times now and given the album several plays, but aside from one track, it doesn’t resonate for me. I keep thinking I’m missing something. I’m clearly in the minority on this one…and I’m ok with that!
Full Band Photo Galleries and More
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