being totally blown away by the tremendous time we had at Part 1 in May
we just had to come back for the Part 2. You certainly have to hand it
to them, Z know great rock when they hear it and luckily for us they
also know how to put on an impressive rock festival too!
Having realized at the last one that their idea of AOR and ours wasn't
the same came as a welcome relief. AOR does not mean soppy ballads and
simpering guitars. No sir! It might be what some of the other labels
might go in for that sort of thing but not Z. Instead here we have
lively performers, screeching guitars, classic rock vocals and bands
that all have one thing in common - they rock big time.
We had our favourite bands, indeed we did, but after seeing all of them
perform we can confirm that both fans, bands and technicians had a good
time! Those that didn't turn up to this one missed a treat. Where else
can you see so many talented bands all appearing on the same line-up for
so little money? How on earth do they manage to do it for just £15? It
was a bargain, an absolute bargain!
We are already looking into obtaining our tickets for next years Z Fest
in May 2002. If you haven't been to one of these then get yourselves
along as they are well worth checking out. There are so many quality
bands signed to this label there's something for everybody at these
The first band to hit the stage was Blow Up, a
fairly new band from the States. Rather strangely this is not a Z band.
The big question on our lips was … why are they on the line-up if they
aren't signed to Z, and why the heck haven't Z snatched them up? This is
one of the most commercially catchy rock bands we've heard in ages. When
I say they sound commercial I don't mean they sound manufactured and
shallow, no quite to opposite in fact. If I had to compare them to
another band it would be The Goo-Goo Dolls, who I am quite partial to.
had the good fortune to catch Blow Up earlier in the week in our
hometown acting as support to the mighty Vaughn and they were well
received by all who saw them. We had been pretty impressed too and were
looking forward to seeing them perform again.
They came onstage a little later that the published time but what's a
few minutes when they give you so much in return for the delay?
Introduced by none other than Danny Vaughn himself, the band went
straight into the set with a smile and a determined effort to captivate
everyone that had turned up. Did they succeed? Yes, for a large part
they probably did.
There are always going to be a few people who grumble and are never
happy at a band if they sound different from the rest. They did a great
gig and you can't ask for much more than that can you?
The songs were well delivered and the whole band seems to ouse that big
arena sound. They had obviously impressed quite a lot of people by the
looks of things.
There are not many opening bands from outside the UK that can amass
quite so many people to the front of the stage as these guys did. Not
only that but a large percentage had obviously bought the CD days
earlier, had inwardly digested it, and were singing along to all the
Many people would have recognized the familiar face of Jim Kennedy on
bass. The former Tyketto man who has come back to prove that when you
have that much talent you shouldn't let it go to waste.
On vocals we had the charismatic Mr. Jon Leidersdorff. Now there's one
man who's voice actually carries much better live than on CD. Live he
can fully expose the listener to the full range and passion he has for
the songs and that's just what he did here today.
On guitar to his left we had Rob Muller and taking position of skinman
we had Tom Cottone on drums.
Blow Up sound nothing like Tyketto, or like Vaughn for that matter, and
they're all the better for it. It means they can stand on their own two
feet and take on the world with their own brand of rock.
Highlights of the set included my personal favourite 'Popstar', if ever
there was a song destined for national airwaves then this is it.
If you didn't catch them live, or managed to nab a CD then you can
actually hear this one on their website. If this doesn't hook you in
then nothing will.
Another popular one with the fans was the song 'I'm on Fire' with its
big build up. Both songs show you just what this band can do when they
set their mind to it.
The band remembered to thank their road companions, namely Vaughn, Paul
the roadie and Mary on the merchandise, for all their help and support
during the past 10 days. In true rock tradition lead singer Jon even
scrambled onto the speakers to perform a song just before they finished
off the set.
Not original by any stretch of the imagination but still amusing to
watch. It was good to see Danny stay upfront the whole gig and watch the
band perform with the rest of the fans. The band seemed to enjoy
themselves, as did the fans. You can't ask for much more than that can
If you missed them this time around then be sure to keep an eye out for
the next time they come over. Decent bands are hard to come by and these
guys know how to deliver the goods.
How could anyone not like them? We did actually wonder if it was
compulsory for the bands here today to have a keyboard player?
Is this what's made Z hang on a bit while considering whether to sign
Surrender, 'Cause I love Her, Generation, Shame, Popstar, R. U. OK?,
Super, I'm on Fire