Nothing compares to a metal festival, the thunderous drums, the guitar solos, the strident voices, the lights and the explosion that the sound produces in the body.
That was the Hell and Heaven Fest, an adrenaline rush. Three magical nights full of intensity and energy, where lighting and music came together to create a unique and unforgettable experience that surely left tens of thousands wanting more.
The Hell and Heaven took place on December 2, 3 and 4 at the Foro Pegaso in Toluca, Mexico, bringing together many of the most famous metal bands in the world, including Kiss, Judas Priest, Pantera, Megadeth, Scorpions, Arch Enemy and Anthrax.
According to the organization, the event reached more than 170,000 attendees, bringing together fans from different states of Mexico, as well as many more from Argentina, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, the United States, Costa Rica, Panama, confirming that this festival is the largest in the country.
From start to finish, the energy never stopped flowing; crowds chanting and head banging all over the place.
Without further ado, let’s continue with the best of H&H.
Day 1 – Friday
Fans from all walks of life came in droves. The power was palpable in the air and the passion of the metal fans evident.
Famous bands of the day: Epica, Arch Enemy, Pantera, Meshuggah, Venom, Cradle of Filth, Till Lindemann and Scorpions.
The return of the cowboys from hell
But the highlight of this opening day was Pantera.
Most of the devotees expected to see Pantera live because it was their first show in over 20 years; a tribute to Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul on stage.
Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown (original members) plus Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante (Anthrax), were responsible for bringing this return to life for the thousands of fans who were waiting for this reunion.
Phil Anselmo was powerful singing “A New Level”, before blowing away with a set that included “Cowboys from Hell”, “Mouth for War”, “Yesterday don’t mean Shit”, “Becoming” and “Fucking Hostile”.
“This is for Vince and Dime, man,” said Phil Anselmo. An unabashed display of power at the Hell & Heaven Fest.
The energy coming from the crowd exploded in the Pegasus Forum as Epica and Arch Enemy performed, while a hysterical audience headbanged to the sound of Meshuggah and Doro Pesch.
The metal night continued. The crowd was in a frenzy with Scorpions, singing along with Klaus Meine to “Wind of Change”, “Rock you like a Hurricane” and “Big City Nights”.
By the end of the night, everyone was exhausted but elated. One night, an amazing experience to be fondly remembered for years to come.
Day 2 – Saturday
The day started off well. Fans witnessed the strength of Corrosion of Conformity, Pain, Kittie, Behemoth, Bad Religion and Mexican band Ill Niño, lifting the spirits of thousands while on stage.
Hell of an evening continued with Architects and Trivium, which were the appetizers for Judas Priest and Slipknot, the most anticipated bands of the day.
Full of energy and passion, metal god Rob Halford opened the Judas Priest show.
Halford’s followers wanted to know if his screams were still as high-pitched as before; they did not disappoint, they still are.
“Breaking the Law”, “Painkiller”, “Turbo Lover” and “Living after Midnight” had everyone singing so loud that even the corners felt the power of Judas Priest.
For Slipknot, everyone was ready for a night of headbanging and moshing, the unmistakable dances and moves of metal.
The masked man opened with “Disasterpiece”, then provoked the audience with “Wait and Bleed”, “Before I forget” and the majority chanted “Psychosocial”.
Screams and metal horns were not lacking as the ‘maggots’, fists in the air, created the perfect storm for a brutal spectacle.
The night was over. Those who camped on the premises went to their tents, looking forward to an exciting and promising next and last day.
Day 3 – Sunday
Last day of the festival. Hypocrisy, POD, Avatar, Butcher Babies, While She Sleeps, Mercyful Fate and Stryper were some of the bands that the public had been waiting for.
But to this day I was essentially at the mercy of this triad: Anthrax, Megadeth and the everlasting Kiss.
Anthrax have produced some of the most popular thrash songs of all time, bringing them to the Hell and Heaven stage with Scott Ian, along with Joey Belladonna, whose powerful voice rolled through the speakers with the power of a raging storm. .
The crowds swore allegiance with a thunderous roar.
Already excited, fans welcomed Megadeth, one of the most influential bands in history.
A strong and intense Dave Mustaine lit the fire with “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells”, “Angry Again”.
Kiko Loureiro was in charge of the solos that electrified the atmosphere: Tornado of Souls, just to mention one.
Kiss – the last concert in Mexico
The closing of the festival was in the platform shoes of the legendary group Kiss, who had announced that this would be their last performance in Mexico.
More than 65 thousand fans, some with makeup on their faces and emulating the members of the quartet, formed the audience, stuck out their tongues and shook their heads madly showing their loyalty and tribute to the famous New York band made up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley , Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
Tens of thousands were excited and fired up, in contrast to the lights dimming as the first note sounded.
Kiss then appeared on raised platforms above the stage, creating a madness that painted a picture of the approaching night.
The anthem “I was made for Loving You” and “Heaven’s on Fire” proved that Kiss continues to be an overwhelming force on stage.
Nobody wanted the night to end.
Paul Stanley led the crowd in a chant that resounded throughout the venue.
The show reached its climax when Stanley flew over the audience on a wire.
A performance of “Rock and Roll all Nite,” followed by balloons, fireworks and a confetti storm, engulfed fans in that magical night.
Hell and Heaven was a tremendous success. After three days of memorable performances, headbanging and hard rock, the festival came to a close with satisfied attendees heading home with a bittersweet goodbye.
Now the organization has to guarantee that the next edition will meet the same standards as this one and will bring more iconic bands to the delight of metal soldiers.
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