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The heavens opened on Sunday and with torrential rain and high winds predicted to last the rest of the day, it looked like Bloodstock was in danger of ended up a bit of a wash out. Still, that didn’t stop Italian thrash metallers Arthemis from having an absolute blast on the main stage. The rain lashed down on the band as they shredded through their thirty minute set but, judging by the smile plastered across the face of frontman Fabio, it looked like the Italians loved every minute of it.

Marking the last night of their U.S. Summer tour, Yes treated their fans by opening with the Close to the Edge album in its entirety, albeit out of sequence. This was followed by a couple of songs from the just-released Heaven & Earth album, which received a warm welcome, an unusual occurrence for new material among old favorites. The opening notes of “Roundabout” signaled the beginning of the Fragile album in its entirety as well, and the evening at the Greek Theater was topped off with two of their greatest hits, “Your Move/I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart”.

Down are an interesting choice of headliner for the first day. Yes, there is no doubting that Phil Anselmo is a heavy metal legend but, to follow the theatrics of Dimmu Borgir with a set of weed-soaked stoner anthems was always going to be a tough call. Still, Anselmo and his Down brethren pull out a stunning set for an audience who soak up every weed-stained riff of the likes of “Witch Tripper” and “Lifer” while “Hail The Leaf” sums up everything that is great about Down and proves why they were the perfect way to end a great first day at Bloodstock.

On Tuesday April 8th, Toronto’s Kool Haus was swept with a wave of nostalgia with The Used and Taking Back Sunday’s co-headlining tour taking the stage. The show was sold out; leaving room for only diehard fans that aged and grew with songs from both iconic bands since the early 2000s. The openers were former Underoath singer Spencer Chamberlain’s new band Sleepwave and Australian five piece pop-punk band Tonight Alive. Both openers killed it.

No radio ads, no skywriters, no billboards. It all started with an e mail from a publicist that read: “This invitation is not to be posted or shared… and the location must not be revealed in any form of media or social media.” On Tuesday, April 8, Aerosmith affirmed its upcoming “Let Rock Rule Tour” with Slash featuring Miles Kennedy and the Conspirators in a very rock and roll way. The venerated band from Boston played a show on Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.

Sweden’s Katatonia is a band of pleasing contradictions, one that combines differing elements into a darkly emotive blend of sound. While watching them perform at New York’s Irving Plaza on September 24th, those paradoxes came to the fore, mostly to the band’s advantage. Onstage it’s not physically stoic (considering the act’s name, that wouldn’t be a surprise), but its players don’t run amok like sugar-stoned toddlers, either, and singer Jonas Renkse kept his face hidden behind his curtain of long dark hair like a grieving widow, never showing his face. Despite being a progenitor of the doom genre, its set list didn’t sound depressing or disturbing enough to be described as black. Its uptempo moments weren’t consistent enough to be straight metal; the same goes for its progressive characteristics.