ATTACKER in Europe.
Last month we had the pleasure to spend almost 2 weeks with the US Metal legends and our friends from ATTACKER. We were posting updates on our Facebook page (and through it on Twitter) daily, but we wanted to sum it up in one retrospective post here.
ATTACKER started their 4-show tour (or actually: tour-cation) on Saturday, September 14th with a show at Rock Hard festival in Trezzo sull'Adda close to Milan, Italy. Together with Italian ASGARD they were the only band on the bill playing classic heavy metal, others being mostly death and thrash, but nevertheless they conquered the audience and came with the shield from this battle. Other bands we thoroughly enjoyed at this 4th Italian Rock Hard fest edition were ASPHYX (truly crushing show of this death metal legend!), SODOM, TANKARD and NATIONAL SUICIDE. All in all, a great and really professionally organized (by Eagle Booking) event: no delays and a great venue (Live Club is one of the best venues we've ever been to, regarding both the stage with good lights and great sound, and the club's layout with a balcony etc.).
The following week was the vacation part - the guys stayed at our place, doing some sightseeing in Tuscany (and even in Liguria, as we went to the beautiful Cinque Terre), relaxing and enjoying the Italian food. We've posted many photos on our Facebook page, so if you're interested in the seeing the band outside their natural habitat (stage), check them out. Good times indeed!
On Friday we managed to pack the band and their instruments and luggage into 2 cars, and drove about 6 hours south-east to Abruzzo region, as on Saturday, Sept. 21st there was the 6th edition of an old school metal festival called Heavy Metal Night in Villa Rosa di Martinsicuro, close to Teramo. Apart from ATTACKER, who for us and many others were hands down THE highlight of the festival (with their intense show they didn't let the audience catch a breath!), the billing included among others NWOBHM legends BATTLEAXE and CLOVEN HOOF, as well as Italian bands: CRYING STEEL, DANGER ZONE, DOOMRAISER (our second favourite band at the festival), BATTLE RAM (great show, and one of the best epic metal bands from Italy) and RULER (very cool NWOBHM-influenced young band, better from studio than from stage, but we're sure they'll get tighter). It was an extremely successful event for ATTACKER - they had not imagined they'd sell so much merch and get to sign so many albums and take so many photos with fans. We also can't fail to mention the location: the festival is on the camping grounds and with the most beautiful surroundings: right by the seaside, with mountains close by. Very friendly and relaxing atmosphere... and for FREE (yes, they don't charge for tickets!) - we stayed there also for the whole Sunday and headed to Rome on Monday.
The 2 days in Rome was another vacation part of the tour: spent mostly in the most typical touristic way (Colosseum and surroundings)... see the photos on our Facebook page again. On Wednesday the band flew to Holland, as on Friday they had a show in Tilburg, which we can't say much about, as we weren't there.
However we met again on Saturday, Sept. 28th in Oostrozebeke, Belgium, at the Ages of Metal festival. We went there the day before and enjoyed the shows of MANILLA ROAD (we lost the count how many times we saw them live, but they're always a great pleasure to see) and AVENGER UK (much better than we had expected considering that there's no Swifty on vocals). On Saturday there were more bands, most of them NWOBHM representatives (TYGERS OF PAN TANG, DIAMOND HEAD, SPARTAN WARRIOR, DESOLATION ANGELS, TYTAN and CHASAR), so ATTACKER were definitely the heaviest and most powerful band there, not counting the German thrashers DARKNESS (a deadly thrash machine live, with a frontman who actually has something to say) that were the second favourite band of the day for us. ATTACKER received an overwhelming response to their energy-packed (as always!) show, with fans singing along to a lot of their songs. It was a triumphant end of this European mini-tour for the US metal veterans! And for us it was the first show/festival in Belgium and a nice new experience, but actually we knew many Belgian metalheads from festivals in Germany like KIT and HOA, and we also met some friends from Germany, France and Italy there. A.O.M. is definitely one of the best festivals for old-school metal people, especially those into NWOBHM.
There are many fan-filmed videos on YouTube that support all that we said about ATTACKER shows. We have selected a few clips with best audio and video quality and added them to the ATTACKER playlist on our YouTube channel, so watch and enjoy!
All in all, it was a great adventure and a lot of fun for us to be part tour managers and part tourist guides for ATTACKER. We are already looking forward to repeating the experience next September, as ATTACKER have been confirmed for Swordbrothers XIII festival, that will take place on Sept. 13th 2014, in Andernach, Germany. They will play there along HERETIC, JACK STARR'S BURNING STARR, OSTROGOTH and VORTEX, among others. It's very probable that ATTACKER will come to Italy again right after Swordbrothers, and a good chance that they will visit and play a festival on one tiny island in the Mediterranean the following Saturday.