All-Star Festival Belgium 2022With three team members from CGCM Rock Radio on hand at All-Star Festival, here’s our respective top five favourite performance lists! What were your faves? Be sure to check out our daily blogs and photo galleries as well:

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Brian Ronald

When the final roster of 23 bands was in place there were still many highlights and bucket list moments for me to enjoy.

Aside from maybe a couple of acts that weren’t really my thing, all were very, very good.

Here’s my top 5 performances:

5.)    China – speaking of Gotthard (next position), how about Freddie and Marc’s band China? Wow, what a unique opportunity for this Canadian to see. Along with the 3rd original member Claudio, they rocked playing mostly hits from the first two classic China albums. Highlight for me was “In the Middle of the Night”.

4.)    Coreleoni – being a huge fan of Gotthard, Coreleoni is not far behind. Their albums are amazing, and Leo and company really put on a special show. They had a nice mix of Gotthard and Coreleoni songs on the setlist with of course my highlight as “Mountain Mama”.

3.)    Praying Mantis – fortunately, I crossed Praying Mantis off my bucket list earlier in the year at Sweden Rock Festival but that by no means did not lower their status here. Such a great band that culled songs from their massive album collection. Again, not hearing “Cheated” was a bummer but the highlight was still “Children of the Grave”.

2.)    Age of Reflection – when a few top bands were cancelled I was disappointed. But the inclusion of Age of Reflection was almost an even trade. Being a huge fan, these Swedish rockers put on a great show. Also, what a great bunch of guys to hang with. Highlight was hearing a couple of new songs that hopefully will be on next year’s album.

1.)    Demon – my most anticipated of the final roster and the last band on the bill, Demon did not disappoint. What an energetic performance with an amazing setlist. Having bought Night of the Demon when it was out during the NWOBHM days, it only took 40-plus years to see them. Highlight was hearing “One Helluva Night” as the encore.

Overall, it would be hard to rank the others as all were great and the opportunity to see these bands, most of which have never and will never pay Canada was a treat for me. My itch for European festivals has solidified even more. I can’t wait to see how next year’s bucket list will dwindle down.

Shawn “Animalize” Irwin

I enjoyed many bands including Highway Chile, Praying Mantis and Killer but these All-Star Festival Belgium 2022 (Full Coverage)are the top standouts for me.

5.) Tytan

4.) Demon

3.) China

2.) CoreLeoni

1.) Chez Kane

The Meister

All-Star Festival for me offered the best of both worlds with melodic rock and also traditional/NWOBHM. Everything I need. But they exceeded expectations by doing something extremely rare for me at festivals. What was that you ask? Well, they were able to present a roster that out of 23 bands scheduled by the time doors opened on day one, 13 of which I had not seen live before!

Although all bands played well and some rounding out my top 10 were Highway Chile, Demon, Praying Mantis, Roulette, and Killer these were my five faves:

5.) Steelover – Having discovered this band while recently recording a CGCM Podcast episode on Belgian bands, I never thought I’d see them live. Great last-minute addition and a rockin’ set that really started the day off right! Nice guys too! CGCM Podcast – Around The World in 80 Episodes – Belgium.

4.) Tytan –  After looking forward to and being disappointed that they had troubles and couldn’t make HOA in July, they didn’t let me down here. Perhaps the most charismatic, funny and engaging band of the weekend with top-notch NWOBHM packed in their suitcase.

3.) CoreLeoni – Absolutely loving the latest release III, I enjoyed seeing a great set by CoreLeoni about a month ago at another event. Here they surprised and delighted by switching up the setlist creating a whole new gig to see. Fantastic band and clearly the proper day #1 headliner!

2.) China – Not knowing much about China, I had made a grievous error here! I was absolutely blown away by this set above any others at All-Star Festival. Perhaps because there were no preconceived notions. I definitely need to dive into the China albums asap!

1.) Age Of Reflection – Again as I said in the daily blog, I might be biased but I thought my friends in AOR delivered another great set that even had me welling up with tears of pride and happiness. It was great to hear the Cutting Crew cover of “I Just (Died In Your Arms)” but the real highlights were the two new songs from the forthcoming album.


Full Band Photo Galleries and More

Follow this link for more All-Star Festival coverage on CGCM Rock Radio!