Vagos Open Air 2013 – 1st day

Lacuna Coil, Sonata Arctica, Evergrey, Moonsorrow, Bizarra Locomotiva, Secret Lie
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
9th August 2013

Photos originally taken for Portuguese webzine Sound(/)Zone.

This year’s edition of Vagos Open Air suffered some changes: new place (Quinta do Ega instead of G.D.Calvão field), new date (second weekend of August instead of the first)… And also for the first time the bill featured a non-metal band. Sure one of the guitar players was wearing a Motörhead tee and the other one is a famous metalhead around here, plus the violinist could fool you into thinking they were some kind of folk metal band. But nope, Secret Lie is a pop rock band. A good one, no doubt, but still pop rock. It was a bold move from Prime Artists to make them open the festival, but in the end it kind of worked out. They brought some of their own fans, who were pretty enthusiastic, and the general metal crowd just went along.
Besides a few songs from their debut and only album, “Behind The Truth”, they also played some Vivaldi stuff and finished the set with a brand new song, “Little Taste Of Fun”, with Tó Pica (the aforementioned famous metalhead) holding a sign from a fan, asking him for a pick, but that his biggest dream was still having a sign from a female fan asking him to get her pregnant.

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As variety is the spice of life, something totally different (and more suitable for the fest) came up afterwards – national industrial titans Bizarra Locomotiva. They haven’t released anything new since 2009 (“Álbum Negro”) but this year they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary, so…
Singer Rui Sidónio could easily be the poster boy for some energy drink, standing still not being an option. On and off stage, as during “A Procissão dos Édipos”, the very first song, he jumped into the audience and danced with the fans for quite a while.
“Anjo Exilado”, a song which features Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell) in its studio version, had a different special guest here – Tó Pica.
A short but awesome show – as always – which finished with “O Escaravelho”.

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I don’t know if Moonsorrow’s setlist was their usual one, but since it was the first time the Finnish Vikings were playing in Portugal, performing all songs from different albums couldn’t be better. It was like a best-of. Of course that, given the long length of each track and barely an hour to play, they couldn’t visit their whole discography. Still they made a hell of a party with “Unohduksen lapsi”, “Köyliönjärven Jäällä “, “Taistelu Pohjolasta”, “Sankaritarina “ and “Kuolleiden Maa”.

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Their Swedish neighbours from Evergrey had never played in Portugal either. I still think their melodic dark prog works better indoors, but as the sun was setting, it also created the right mood to embrace songs such “As I Lie Here Bleeding”, “Rulers Of The Mind” or the beautiful Dilba cover “I’m Sorry”. “Frozen”, “Monday Morning Apocalypse” and “Blinded” were some of the heaviest tracks of a great gig that closed with a golden key in the form of “A Touch of Blessing”.

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I don’t consider Sonata Arctica a power metal band anymore, especially since their latest “Stones Grow Her Name”, which is heavy rock to my ears. But when it comes to live shows, putting together both the old and the new stuff, the Finns deliver metal – as simple as that. Not even the ballads “Alone in Heaven” and “Tallulah” broke that feeling. And whether it was something classic like “FullMoon” or a newbie like “I Have A Right”, the crowd sang along to every word – screaming louder in the choruses, of course. But it was near the end that Tony Kakko asked for the usual “sing-after-me”, where besides a few variations of “oooohhhhh”, also a “Tony, shut the fuck up” was included – this because the show was about to end with “Don’t Say A Word”. Unless the outro “Vodka” counts as a song for itself.

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Lacuna Coil are indeed a lot heavier and darker now, like the title of their last album, “Dark Adrenaline”, suggests. They played “Swamped” and “Heaven’s A Lie”, but didn’t go further back than that.
Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” has become a mandatory track, even if they covered R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” more recently. Leaving “Upsidedown”, “Trip the Darkness” and “Spellbound” for the encore, the Italian band promised not to let another ten years pass until they’d return. The crowd was more than happy to hear that.

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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