The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




1-2 JUNE 2013





Toto in full flight at Loreley



Now here is a Festival for you! Two days at two different venues with bands alternating to play each site on a different day. With a truly awesome line up two days in Freilichtbühne Loreley, Germany proved to be the event of a lifetime. And you want to know why? Here was a festival where bands got to play a decent length set – fewer bands – more music and less time waiting for changeovers. And with every single band a red hot crowd pleaser.



I truly hope we get to see more of this type of festival in the future and move away from the multi-band and multi-stage model we see too often at the bigger festivals where you just get tastes of bands and miss so much.



This made me feel like we were back at the good old days of Monsters of Rock in the eighties, and damn that German beer is good! Almost as good as this part of the country is beautiful. Sadly the sister Festival in Bavaria at Chiemgau was called off due to the extreme weather, so we picked the right site for our dose of Summer Rock!










Saturday saw the day start off with a quite amazing set by FM the UK band we first saw as teenagers back in the UK, a million miles and a reformation later it’s both amazing and heart-warming to see these guys again after so long and sounding so good. While FM may not exactly send the German afternoon ablaze they are a band that sound as good today as they did back in the day if not better.



Rick Springfield followed to deliver a show that would take some beating, he’s as slick a performer as you are likely to see, and backed by a band that enable him to either lay down note perfect renditions of his hits or wander into deeper waters.



RICK SPRINGFIELD SETLIST: Wide Awake | I've Done Everything for You | Living in Oz | Celebrate Youth | Our Ship's Sinking | State of the Heart | I Hate Myself | Rock of Life | The Man That Never Was | Love Is Alright Tonite | Don't Talk to Strangers | Human Touch | Jessie's Girl



This afternoon it was straight to the hits with a  decent smattering of tracks from the impressive recent release ‘Songs For the End of the World’ including the fun three chord ‘I Hate Myself’ and the anthemic ‘Our Ship’s Sinking’. Of course the biggest reaction from the swelling partisan crowd are the bigger hits mainly from Rock’s eighties outings. Ending with ‘Human Touch’ and Jessie’s Girl’ couldn’t be any more perfect. 





It was clear to see from the off that Survivor had something to prove and as a band I was a little too young to really get into back in the day the performance was spellbinding, just the sort of show that makes you reconsider your preconceptions of them being a band with the one big hit: by God there’s so much more to them than that.



SURVIVOR SETLIST: Feels Like Love | Can't Give It Up | Take You On a Saturday | High on You | Rockin' into the Night (.38 Special cover) | It's The singer, Not The Song | Rebel Girl | Keyboard Solo | The Search Is Over | I Can't Hold Back | Burning Heart | Eye of the Tiger



Kicking off the set with ‘Feels Like Love’ from 1982’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’ album and ending (of course) with the title track from the same album Survivor have a quality catalogue that far more of the audience than I imagined seem to know all the words to. The best part of seeing these guys though is of course seeing both vocalists Dave Bickler and Jimi Jamison on stage with the rest of the original band, two great voices belting out the hits is more than some can take!






The first night was crowned by a wonderful couple of hours in the presence of TOTO. Never having seen the iconic band before, this is their 35th Anniversary year and to be quite frank they are well worth the wait. With a musical legacy spanning decades we get to see the band a few dates into their anniversary tour after playing a few shows previously in Belgium before a few more here in Germany then heading on to France before making the trip back to North America.



TOTO SETLIST: On the Run (including part of “Child's Anthem") | Goodbye Elenore | Goin' Home | Hydra | Rosanna | Wings of Time | Falling in Between | I Won't Hold You Back | Pamela | 99 (Acoustic) | White Sister | Better World | Africa | How Many Times | Stop Loving You | Hold the Line

Encore: Home of the Brave






As a fan of the earlier work of the band and previously being rather dismissive of the later eighties period that saw all the big hits like ‘Rosanna’ and ‘Africa’ it’s a joy just to watch a band this on top of their game, and Lukather especially is spellbinding on guitar.



Drawing together hits from the decades and even ‘Falling In Between’ from 2006’s latest studio offering of the same name, Toto’s set is the complete musical experience. Highlights though have to be the wonderful ‘Wings of Time’ which is dedicated to Mike Porcaro, who is seriously ill; the acoustic rendition of ‘99’ from 1979’s Hydra, and the riff that launched countless thousands of kids dreams about being in a rock band: ‘Hold the Line’ one of the very best songs ever written, which has so much power tonight it’s crazy.



As the show comes to an end there’s no place we’d rather be, and tomorrow promises to be even better.
















HEAT is one of those bands you always hoped would get a chance like this – to play a Festival bill with some of the greats from the eighties, where their own sound has its origins. The fact that this is such a compact bill too, coupled with the fact that they get a decent length set means that those here early really get a chance to appreciate them.  It’s a perfect way to start the day with a great ‘new’ band worthy of their place in the more exalted company of what follows. 



HEAT SETLIST:Breaking the Silence | Better Off Alone | 1000 Miles | Late Night Lady | Straight For Your Heart | Beg Beg Beg | Downtown | Falling Down | Heartbreaker | Danger Road | Living on the Run | It's All About Tonight



Black Star Riders is of course the ‘re-birthed’ Thin Lizzy to many, with new album ‘All Hell Breaks loose’ as close to the sound of Lizzy as we could hope for. With all the talk and publicity around ‘not calling the new album Thin Lizzy out of respect for Phil’s legacy’ today we get what many had hoped for and expected, a set that is 50/50 Lizzy and Black Star Riders.





What we are witnessing here though is the very first ever show by the band and as we saw most of them on stage as Thin Lizzy in Australia earlier this year it’s only to be expected they sound amazing. The highlight for most of course is the Thin Lizzy material that dominates the latter part of the set, but the new stuff sounds so sweet you’ll be lining up for those UK dates in November!



BLACK STAR RIDERS SETLIST: All Hell Breaks Loose | Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover) | Bloodshot | Kingdom of the Lost | Rosalie (Bob Seger cover) |Hoodoo Voodoo | Valley of the Stones | Hey Judas | Massacre (Thin Lizzy cover) | Bound for Glory | Cowboy Song (Thin Lizzy cover) | The Boys Are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy Cover)



Europe is a band that has always eluded me live but over the past few years I’ve been more than impressed with their new material especially on the ‘Bag of Bones’ album. Tempest certainly still has the pipes as he launches into the title track from that very album to get proceedings underway.





To be perfectly honest I’m blown away with how good these guys sound and leading with three songs from the latest album I couldn’t be happier, even though some of the older members of the crowd are clearly hanging out for the eighties material.



For me Tempest and co put on the set of the day with a beautifully constructed and very lively set that combines the best of the old and the new. Despite never really being a fans of the big hits like ‘Carrie’ and ‘Countdown’ you can tell from the energy there is out on the stage that these guys still love to make music and they are a band that always had far more to them than one memorable keyboard refrain.



EUROPE SETLIST: Riches to Rags | Firebox | Not Supposed to Sing the Blues | Scream of Anger | Superstitious | Carrie | Love Is Not the Enemy | Sign of the Times | Girl From Lebanon | Seven Doors Hotel | Cherokee | Rock the Night | Prelude | Last Look at Eden | The Final Countdown





Having already seen Whitesnake twice in the last few weeks we pretty much knew what to expect, but tonight with pretty much the same set as they are taking out on the arena dates of the ‘Year of the Snake’ tour they somehow seem more focussed.



Doug Aldrich is his usual relentless fret-bothering self and Reb Beach as he always does hops around like a madman as the perfect counterpoint, while Tommy and Michael drive the backline relentlessly. It’s Coverdale though who looks most at ease, roaring out the lyrics as the crowd and the band mouth them back at him.



Taking the best of the songs they’ve amassed over the last 35 years there is of course an emphasis on the watershed 1987 album, but also a good portion of newer songs in the set, which belies a great trust in the partnership he and Aldrich have formed in the song writing department over what now is 11 years.



The crowd loves it all from start to finish and the sound is certainly crisper than we’ve heard in the UK arenas. It will prove a hard act for Journey to follow.



WHITESNAKE SETLIST: Give Me All Your Love | Ready an' Willing | Can You Hear the Wind Blow | Don't Break My Heart Again | Is This Love | Gambler | Love Will Set You Free | Guitar Duel | Steal Your Heart Away (incl. Drum Solo) | Forevermore | Best Years | Bad Boys / Children of the Night | Fool for Your Loving | Here I Go Again | Still of the Night



Journey has just finished a stint over in the UK with Whitesnake and top the bill tonight as they have been doing in the UK.





Under the night sky they manage to rise to the occasion as headliners and give the crowd something to remember. As on the UK dates it’s Schon who is the real revelation, owning the audience with every solo and stab at his guitar. There can be few better in tune with their instrument than him, and no one who write a solo like he does.
As you might expect the rest of the band are note perfect and to actually hear these songs in this beautiful setting is magical. ‘Separate ways’ starts a night where there’s barely a let up in the sing along. Pineda too does an admirable job in leading the line and the crowd.



Journey may now be the best part of 40 years old but these songs tonight are timeless. Everyone of course is waiting for that one song and they get it after a rousing rendition of ‘Be Good To Yourself’, there are a few tear-filled eyes in the house as they leave the stage after a brief encore. This weekend has produced some golden memories for a lot of us here, it was worth the trip from Australia.



JOURNEY SETLIST: Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) | Any Way You Want It | Chain Reaction | Only the Young } Stone in Love | Keep on Runnin' | Edge of the Blade | Lights | Keyboard Solo | Open Arms | Escape | Dead or Alive | Guitar Solo | Wheel in the Sky | Faithfully | Be Good to Yourself | Don't Stop Believin'

Encore: Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'






This year’s Hi-Rock Festival was one of the best organised I’ve been to in a long while, but the real difference here was both the beautiful setting and the fact that you got to see quality bands perform decent length sets. Long live Hi-Rock, we’ll be back for sure next year and you should check it out too. It may not be Europe, or even Germany’s best-known Rock Festival at the moment, but if you want to recapture the magic of events like Monsters of Rock from decades gone by, this is as close as you’ll ever get.




by Mark Diggins



LIVE HI ROCK FESTIVAL LORELEY REVIEW Whitesnake Journey Toto Survivor FM Black Star Riders Europe H.E.A.T.