For its first concert in Clisson, the Californian group delivered a masterful show, the culmination of this double edition of the metal festival, which ended on Sunday, June 26.
A steel giant more than 12 meters high dominates the Warzone, one of the six stages of Hellfest, the very popular metal festival which took place from June 17 to 26 in Clisson (Loire-Atlantique). This is the new tribute statue to Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, the singer and bassist of the British band Motörhead, who died in 2015. The old one, sculpted in resin and which threatened to collapse, was replaced by this imposing structure created by the artist Caroline Brisset.
Under these 5 tons of steel, part of the ashes of the late rocker was deposited there in an urn, inaugurated during a ceremony, Thursday 23, in the presence of the two last members of the group, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee. All the festival-goers crowd around this place of contemplation and selfies. Because, in the eyes of the metal community, the author of the anthem Ace of Spades embodies the ultimate rock figure, devoted to the cause until his last breath. Six months before being swept away by cancer, the tough guy was still playing on the Hellfest Mainstage.
The reputedly loyal metal audience responded, once again, to this historic double edition of Hellfest, following two blank years. The figures are already known, with each edition since 2014 sold out months in advance: 420,000 tickets sold in total for 2022, or 60,000 spectators on average each day. From June 17 to 19 and from June 23 to 26, nearly 350 groups marched on the stages of the biggest musical event in France this year, including, during the first weekend, scorching, Judas Priest, Deftones, Megadeth or Gojira, and for this second, wetter, Alice Cooper, Scorpions, Guns N’Roses and Metallica.
On Friday, downpours transformed the site into a giant mud rink. The next day, the clouds disappear definitively with the arrival of Airbourne. “Motörhead is alive and well,” screams the agitated Australians into the microphone, raising a glass of whiskey and coke (Lemmy’s favorite drink) in honor of their hero, concocted live on stage. Musically, the O’Keeffe siblings’ gang perfectly masters the boogie hard rock recipe of their compatriots AC/DC (another family affair). Audiences who didn’t get a chance to see the golden era of the Young brothers on stage, with the late Bon Scott (d. 1980), can thank Airbourne for passing the torch.
For this last weekend, the festival has managed the feat of bringing together, as headliners, the two most important hard rock and metal bands: Guns N’Roses and Metallica