There's a moment midway through Devin Townsend's absolutely bonkers main stage headline set when eight fans in inflatable panda outfits march wordlessly towards the pit while a smattering of blow-up sex dolls rain down from on high. For those witnessing it, it's just one moment of mind-boggling brilliance in a performance full of them. The Canadian musical mad scientist's "by request" set promised to be one of the more divisive moments of the weekend, but as glittering rockets and scorching flame towers erupt, while underrated classics like Regulator, Stormbending and Love? are brought to life by a band of hired guns who've – remarkably – only been together for three days, there are few in attendance not overwhelmingly swept along.
"I don't know about your year, but mine's been a little weird," Devin quips dryly as he launches into a full-throttle Deadhead. We get an interdimensional guitar duel with Ziltoid The Omniscient before brass-wielding demons invade for the evil swing of Bad Devil. By the time a brass-wielding gorilla, drumming elephant and 20-strong choir emerge for Spirit Will Collide, Bloodstock is fully in Hevy Devy territory. Said trunky boi sticks around for an absolutely smashing version of Strapping Young Lad's Detox, before Vampiro drops curtain with suitably horrific verve for the final movement in a Friday The 13th masterpiece. Fucking incredible. (SL)
Pic: Steve Dempsey