The Hard Rock Hell crew recently packed up their bags and dusted off their passports for warmer climes as the annual HRH Road Trip descended upon sunny San Antonio.
With the unpredictable nature of British summertime weather, a five-day hard rock festival located on the Balearic Island of Ibiza doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. You can leave those wellies at home, put your tent away, and comfortably enjoy the diverse bill of entertainment on display without worrying about being washed away. Instead, HRH Road Trip brings with it in tow several musical filled days and plenty of sun, sea and San Miguel.
As the White Isle awakens from its seasonal dormancy, flocks of revelers arrived at the party capital of the world as HRH took over San Antonio’s hotels, bars, and legendary night spots. The event itself offered a comprehensive bill of both established and emerging talent whilst encompassing acts that represented many of HRH festival’s different brands. Four of the five nights of the festival were housed under the roof of one of the island’s largest superclub’s, that being Eden.
Day 1 – Eden Main Room
Hard rocking British quartet JOANovARC kicked off the festival in fine fashion on the first night of the event. Opening with “Live Rock N Roll”, the band perfectly set the tone for the week ahead. Likewise, tracks like “White Trash” and “Seeds Of Summer” from JOANovARC’s debut album Ride Of Your Life really stood out in their set. The four-piece gave the HRH crowd a taste of their forthcoming album, which is set for a September release with their infectious new track “Slipping Away”. It’s fair to say that just like the title of their recent single these “Girls Wanna Rock” and don’t they just.
Melbourne’s Tequila Mockingbyrd gave a straight up shot of rock and roll to the Eden masses. With their no messing approach, the T-Byrd’s belted their way through the likes of “So Not Me”, “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” and their alcohol-fueled number “Jagerbomb”. The band also included new single “Tell Me”; one of several of their freshest cuts included in the set. On the strength of the new material featured we eagerly look forward to more of what is to come from this hard-rocking Anglo-Australian trio.
Day 2 – Eden Room 2
The second night of the festival orchestrated by HRH Metal featured one of the heaviest nights of music to be witnessed on the island this year. Welsh outfit VOiD, Mansfield based stoner rockers Witch Tripper, a rare appearance from Scandinavian five-piece Evil Masquerade and Glaswegian metallers Attica Rage were the order of the day. Collectively they performed under the atmospheric red light of Eden’s room 2 to a packed out hot and sweaty, fist-pumping crowd. The vibe in the room was reminiscent of Love/Hate’s hit single “Black Out In A Red Room”.
Day 3 – Eden Main Room
Friday night at Eden featured a very strong lineup. British quartet Empyre opened up the proceedings with their distinctive brand of prog-tinged atmospheric rock for those in attendance early on. However, it was Montreux based outfit Daxx and Roxane who were one of the talking points of the festival. The group delivered a high energy set of tequila-soaked classic rock and even managed to fit in a cover of Queen’s “One Vision” in the process. With good time rock and roll numbers like “Ticket To Rock”, “Junk Food Hangover”, “Girl Next Door” and emphatic set closer “Wrong Side” Daxx and Roxane certainly struck a chord with the Ibiza crowd.
Hard Rock legend Graham Bonnet made his first appearance in Ibiza and brought with him in tow an arsenal of crowd-pleasing classic rock anthems. Bonnet delivered a bountiful number of timeless classics from his illustrious career that included the likes of Rainbow’s “All Night Long”, MSG’s “Desert Song” and a rather fitting performance of Alcatraz’s “Islands In The Sun”. Former Stryper guitarist Kurt James made his live debut set with Bonnet and lit up the stage with his blistering fretwork throughout.
The Graham Bonnet Band is getting ready to release their new album Meanwhile, Back In The Garage on 13th July and subsequently they took the opportunity to showcase a few tracks from it including both “California Air” and the frantic “Into The Night”. Of course, the set would not be complete without “Since You’ve Been Gone”.
Massive Wagons arrived on the island fresh off the back of their recent signing to Earache Records. With their new album, Full Nelson scheduled for an August unveiling their set centered on their forthcoming release. The band’s electrifying set opener “Back In The Stack” and “Under No Illusion” was enough to blow the cobwebs off those who had spent the afternoon basking in the sun at the HRH pool party. The aforementioned gathering was described to us by one enthusiastic festival goer as ‘Download by the pool’. A mid-set power cut did not deter this incredibly professional outfit. With a packed out summer festival season including appearances at both Download and Camden Rocks, along with regular airplay on Planet Rock Radio things are certainly looking good for this British five-piece.
Day 4 – The Zoo Project
Event Date: 9th-13th May 2018