The Friday night headliner is the veteran rocker KING DIAMOND who is well-known for both his solo work and as the front man of Mercyful Fate. Even if you had never seen him before the festival, you have no excuse for not recognising him now, due to the hordes of fans who have been parading around all day with their faces painted white with inverted black crosses to match his trademark appearance.
His elaborate church-themed stage is impressive, and he performs the first half of his set from behind a full set of churchyard railings spanning nearly the entire stage. His microphone handle is made from a human femur bone connected to a tibia bone to form an inverted cross, and urban legend would have us believe that these are genuine human remains. But even with such fanciful stage props, his characteristic high-pitched vocals are not to everyone’s taste, and the thinning crowd is testament to this. He obviously has his dedicated following, and it was nice to add him to “the list” of influential artists we have seen perform live, but in this author’s humble opinion, I would rather listen to Metallica’s 10-minute tribute medley of Mercyful Fate songs to appreciate King Diamond, than to see him perform them himself again.
The first full day of the festival has only given us a thirst for more. There are still two more days to go. Follow our festival experience in part 2 of this review.
Photography by Olga Kuzmenko
Article by Alan Daly