Bloodstock 2014: Megadeth and Satan

This year's Bloodstock festival reaches its very metal climax with one of the biggest thrash bands on the planet and a NWOBHM legend. What more do you need?

Megadeth are a fine, fine choice to close out what has been an extraordinary weekend and with a ludicrously expansive back catalogue to choose from, the setlist takes in the usual suspects while throwing out a few treats along the way. Ol’ Dave Mustaine is often in the news for all the wrong reasons but for the packed out field this evening, none of that matters.

Hangar 18 kicks things off in style before Wake Up Dead and Sweating Bullets get the crowd moving as one. Not usually known for their sense of humour, Megadeth intersperse the set with short film clips in which they’re mentioned – slightly narcissistic, but come on, it’s Megadeth! – with the Wayne’s World video getting the biggest laugh of the night. It’s a fun touch to the show and with the band on stomping form, they launch into Public Enemy No.1 while Kingmaker goes down a storm. Peace Sells allows the crowd to get completely rowdy and sing along before the band break out a delicious cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat to close out their time on the stage. The thrash legends enjoy the spectacle as much as the audience, and it’s truly lovely to see. (910) (CC)

Newcastle cult old-school metallers Satan have had their set pushed back until after Megadeth’s headline set on the main stage tonight for ‘some reason’, but vocalist Brian Ross doesn’t seemed bothered in the slightest; in fact he goes out of his way to make a point of thanking Dave Mustaine for making them the real headliners of the night.

“Don’t worry Dave, we’ll do you proud, mate,” says the frontman with a cheeky glint in his eye, much to the amusement of the substantially packed crowd. And do Mr Mustaine proud they do, as the twin guitar attack of Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins rips through Twenty Twenty Five from latest album Life Sentence and Ross’s falsetto screams pierce the night air as they shred up a storm through Break Free and Seige Mentallity while Oppression continues the assault and both Blades Of Steel and No Turning Back go off like a rocket. As closer Alone In The Dock sees out the last notes of live music at this years Bloodstock and the mass cries of “Satan, Satan” fade into the night, this set has only gone to serve as strong reminder of just why Satan, along with fellow Newcastle legends Venom, stood out so much in the burgeoning NWOBHM scene in the 80s and just why they were so influential on the early proto-thrash and speed metal scene. (710) (JH)