This is an official review by the LebMetal.com staff who were invited to this event by RockRing whom we thank. All opinions here are related to the reviewer himself and may not represent what everyone in the staff believes. All comments/critics are welcomed. – LebMetal Admin

Review by Patrick Saad:

Tantra Kaslik was flooded with metalheads from all over Lebanon as well as other neighbor countries, all attending to watch the all star band Hail! with supporting Lebanese act Blood Ink. I have merely two remarks here, the first being that the place was overly packed, more than it can handle, which pissed off those who waited more than an hour to get inside, almost getting squashed by hundreds of other fans. Due to that problem, there event started at 11:00 PM (Open Gates were at 7:00 PM, people were allowed to enter at 8:30-9:00 PM!) and ended approximately 1:30 AM.

Aside from those two ‘organizing’ issues, the show was satisfactory music-wise as the sound/light system were well set-up and handled and the headlining band Hail! pleased the crowd with their set of classic heavy metal/thrash metal songs, ranging from Slayer’s South of Heaven, Accept’s “Balls to the Walls, Sepultura’s “Territory”, Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” and many more! Though Blood Ink played their set of originals and other songs for Pantera, Lamb of God and Metallica, the band was overshadowed by Hail! as soon as they got on stage and played their 90 minutes show.

Everything looked alright from the VIP section as Bostaph was literally feets away, pounding at his drum set, Kisser with his Sepultura-ish attitude banging all over the stage, Ellefson with his crowd friendly interaction and enthusiasm, and Owens with his flawless vocal performance and energy. Hail! gave everyone their money’s worth, from the old school heavy metal fans, to thrash fans and rock fans (fun ACDC medley). Fans in front of the stage were a bit maltreated by the security, but that’s again due to the over-packing of the venue which I mentioned earlier. Waiting to see that DVD!

crowd-at-tantra

Review by Samer Saad:

“The show is gonna start at 8:00”: that’s what was written and scheduled for one of the biggest events this year at Tantra Kaslik, a place which barely fits 1000 people! Around 11:00 PM they announced that the show is gonna start in 10 minutes, while I saw people stacked outside, still trying to enter, some pissed off and others already drunk and moshpitting before the show starts.

Blood Ink warmed up the stage with a very good performance playing some originals and some covers which pleased the crowd (especially Metallica’s).

When Hail! finally hit the stage, people went crazy and more energetic, even in a little area, stacked on top of each other! Each band member had a blast while performing, especially the drummer Paul Bostaph who made the stage crumble with his heavy stick hits! The band definitively liked the fans’ reaction to each and every song as there was great chemistry in the air, with songs for Black Sabbath, AC DC, Sepultura, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Metallica…

Finally, it was a night to be remembered both by the bands and every one who attended the show and waited for hours to get in and see The all star band hitting the Lebanese metal scene.

Review by Rami Rouhana:

My Pals Samer and Patrick already described the bands Performance which again I shall confirm that it was great all in all except some small mistakes by Bloodink in the Metallica covers probably to lack of band practice (for those tracks only).

But I have some organising mistakes to point out for a better and bigger event. I know Rockring have a long experience in planning concerts and making the best and most successfull events but this was their biggest. I will state again, mistakes stated here are for the best of the next events to come.

The place “Tantra” was really small for such event, by simple calculations it is clear that the maximum number of people the place can fit would be a 1000. Tickets where sold for more than 1500 person (If anyone have the exact number please post it).

We went in when there was less than 30 person inside, the temperature was about 23 degree when the place was full the temperature went close to 32 degree due to the large number of people and the breakdown of half of the ventilation system. This situation caused lack of oxygen between the crowd below and much higher temperatures in the upper VIP levels.

hail-1

There was risk of people fainting and people getting hurt in moshpit (I heard one nose was broken). There was no emergency unit for the red cross parked outside which should have been called and set.

The sound system used inside the relatively small building was even bigger than the one used at Summer Fusion which was an outdoor event, thus resulting in a very high sound much higher than the recommended level and over powered considering the space.

And last but not least a friend of mine said and I second him “poeple who buy their ticket before the event date should have been allowed to enter first, then everyone who wants to buy tickets will enter after that”.

Review by Jad Jawhari:

Well, I personally arrived to Tantra at 8:15 and thought to myself “Oh God I must be late, the event started.” I was obviously wrong. There was somehow a “bloodbath (not the band)” at the entrance. There were hundreds of people waiting in a corridor about 1m x 1m and people were going in one by one, not to mention that some people were going in because of “wasta”. After 2 hours and a half the event started. I can’t say if Bloodink were good or not, because the sound system was somehow “not functional” when they were playing, however this didn’t keep the people from moshing. Then came HAIL! and they were great! They opened their show with Ace of Spades by Motorhead and it was the perfect way to start the show.After Ace of Spades, they played other Metal classics and they were more than PERFECT. The way they played those classics was EPIC; people were singing and screaming to somehow every song they played! There was a lot of chemistry between the band and the audience.

What really impressed me is that they reminded the crowd of Black Sabbath’s songs, which in turn reminded us of Black Sabbath’s importance in Metal music. The band continued for over 60 minutes to play songs such as: Run to the hills (Maiden), Walk (Pantera), Refuse-Resist (Sepultura), Balls to the wall (Accept) and many more. The show ended with an encore that lasted for about 20 minutes! *The crowd refused to leave until they got the band to play again. All in all if it wasn’t for HAIL! this event would’ve been a forgettable one, due to lack of organization, no time commitment and the continuous moshing that was occurring with and WITHOUT the music.

blood-ink

HOWEVER, this is an event that is the first of its kind. We have to stop blaming Rockring for what happened and help them at achieving better concerts in the future. Let’s not be the people that nag, but instead work and help Rockring and especially Roy Naufal at organizing such events OR at least RESPECT THEM, because they deserve the UTMOST respect. We can’t expect everything to be perfect or at least close to perfect, because, “reality check”, we aren’t living in a country that supports such organizations at organizing such events. Now think about it objectively and put yourself in Rockring’s shoes and just picture what they have been going through to set the event. We waited 2 or 3 hours for the event to start, but I am pretty sure they didn’t sleep and kept working for HOURS and maybe DAYS. Last but not least, let’s not forget that this is not a commercial concert. We can’t compare such concert with others; this was a concert that was organized BY METEALHEADS FOR METALHEADS. The Anathema concert had the funds, but this concert didn’t. So let’s not start comparing, because this is what we mostly do.

Review by Serj Panossian:

Well, people started to gather at the gate at 7:30pm sharp. Ironically, the show began at 11:00pm due to the fact that there were 2000 people (not exact) split between inside and outside (security issues). Bloodink played their set (some songs played at Summer Fusion II such as Walk with me in Hell- Lamb of God) as well as a couple of covers (Cowboys from Hell and a Metallica medley). What a magnificent opening act for Hail! Bloodink managed to engage the audience with their fast, abrasive riffs and especially with their guitar solos, amazing vocals, and a guy who really knows how to treat his bass (thumbs up).After Bloodink, the moment that the audience were all been waiting for, HAIL! claimed the stage with its amazing playlist (1 hour and 20 min) starting with ACE OF SPADES (Motorhead). The members of HAIL, who were received with loud enthusiasm by the multigenerational audience, performed on a stage placed on the left side of Tantra (Hektik Hall), obviously well shown to fans all around the arena (Regular and VIP sections). Front man “Tim Ripper Owens” had an impeccable vocal performance as his infectious energy invigorated the crowd at Hektik hall, engaging fans in a musical dialogue with the band and challenging them to new levels of adrenaline.hail-2

Tim Owens, guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist David Eleffson smashed out Hail’s signature riffs, while Paul Bostaph electrified the audience with his aggressive and precise percussion. The setlist featured many songs of traditional old school Metal/ROCK Bands (BLACK SABBATH, ACDC, PANTERA,SLAYER, SAXON, METALLICA etc). Hail rewarded fans with their signature fast tempos and much anticipated guitar solos, as well as an explosive solo by drummer Paul Bostaph ending the show with 2 encores (REFUSE / RESIST & WHIPLASH)

Hail! Setlist

ACE OF SPADES
TERRITORY
SYMPHONY OF DESTRUCTION
GRINDER
STAND AND SHOUT
WALK
BALLS
NEON KNIGHTS
WRATHCHILD
RUN TO THE HILLS
GREEN MANILISHI
SYMPTOM OF THE UNIVERSE
SOUTH OF HEAVEN
PEACE SELLS
PARANOID

Encore: REFUSE / RESIST
WHIPLASH