Hot Shots Live Zone

Hellfest, Clisson, France, Day # 2 Of 4 – Friday 28th June 2024

Steel Panther



For Friday, the second day of Hellfest 2024, the first band we check out is Fear Factory… This is a band who were incredibly important for the doom metal genre and even stoner age music from the 1990s.

The band though have had many lineup changes with only guitarist Dino Cazares surviving from the originals. Milo Silvestro is their new singer and the Italian looks to be the perfect choice for the band, who are happy to run over classics from yesteryear.

Next: Steel Panther. Well, you either love em’ or hate em’ – Marmite moment – but it seemed that the majority of the Hellfest crowd were in for this ride and what a ride it was.

Just in case you are unaware, Steel Panther are a throwback and perhaps a sometime-parody of hair metal music from the 1980s, and if you are looking for political correctness, you best look away now”

Steel Panther

This is a band that talks about women, fast cars and getting laid a lot. Their sexually explicit lyrics pull no punches, but men and women are screaming the songs at the top of their lungs.

When lead singer Michael Starr asks for one woman to join them on stage, he gets more than he bargained for; minutes later the main stage has circa 300 women on it and about a quarter of that figure have gone topless. Yes, you read that right!

This is Spinal Tap on acid. The sun is hot, the outrageously non-PC  Steel Panther are here and so are the semi-naked women. Only at Hellfest!!!

Steel Panther


You really couldn’t get any different from Steel Panther’s ideologies than Tom Morello’s, who is up next on the main stage. Tom’s shows are as much about rock music as they are political, and he pulls no punches here.

At one point he swings his guitar round to reveal a message – just the one word actually: “Ceasefire”. We all know to what that is referring of course and it prompts loud cheers and applause.

Tom Morello

Tom is in good spirits though, he is loving the crowd and kicks off his set with “Soldier in the Army of Love” which was co-written with his son Roman.

The Rage Against the Machine classics are here too – not as full songs, but in fantastic guitar solo melodies which include “Bombtrack”, “Bullet in the Head” and “Bulls on Parade.”

There is a tribute to Chris Cornell, who Morello of course played with in the band Audioslave, and they play “Like a Stone.” Morello completes the set by telling the crowd they will finish with a French folk song so that the locals can sing along too.

That folk song ends up being the RATM classic “Killing in the Name”, in which the band play and the fans sing the lyrics. Tom Morello has arguably played the best set of the festival so far.




Fear Factory


Fear Factory




Cooling off in the blazing heat in the shower fountain

Over on the main stage it is being headlined by Machine Head, a band I have followed since 1994, a band who struggled to get known at first playing smaller clubs, so to know that they are headlining the second night is a special one.

However I want to see out the night at a smaller stage, called the Warzone, for a real 1990s throwback time. First up is Biohazard, the hardcore New York legends who set the 1990s ablaze with confrontation, controversy and fantastic music.

Ice T Body Count


To finish off the day we get Body Count. Ice-T is known the world over as a rapper, movie actor and record label owner. Known in hip hop and heavy metal. He formed Body Count in 1990.

The band launch into the Slayer classic track “Raining Blood”. There are some boos from the crowd when Ice-T suggests that men should be men…

Tracy Lauren Marrow aka Ice T and his cohorts turn in a strong performance. Ernie C on guitar is always reliable.

Biohazard come back on stage to join Body Count for “War”, the Exploited cover and then Body Count round up the set with their controversial classic 90s hit, “Cop Killer.”


Biohazard: The original band have only just got back together again and finally seem at peace with one another.

Biohazard shows are known to be chaotic affairs. This one starts off a little slow as the fans feel their way. So does the band, as bassist Billy Graziedie jumps into the crowd with his guitar and plays from the mosh pit.

The lights go strobe on us, but it’s a mixture of red and blue – not a colour scheme I’ve ever seen before with strobe lighting and gave a 3D effect.


Vocalist Evan Seinfeld is a monster on classic tracks which include “Tales From the Hardside” and “Shades of Grey”. The band really delivered a belter of a set and afterwards jump the barrier and shake fans’ hands.



  • The Prodigy and Rumanchi among the headliners on the various stages for day # two.
Spinal Tap or Steel Panther and brave fans on stage!!


  • See our coverage of Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in our “Live Zone”…




Words & Photos: David Bronstein




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