Day Two of HRH AOR V brought together a bunch of red hot bands determined to deliver the very best in melodic and hard rock. HRH Mag was there.

 

Revved Up Ford Still Living Like A Runaway

By her own admission Lita Ford has lived a coulourful life – on and off the stage. And the former Runaway could comfortably retire and rest on her laurels – and her royalties – six months shy of her 59th birthday. Instead one of rock’s most iconic female singer songwriters is in the form of her life backed by irrepressible drummer Bobby Rock and brilliant lead guitarist Patrick Kennison. This was a headline set the HRH community had been waiting years for. And it was well worth the wait.

 

It Takes Two To Tango

Joe Lesté is Mr Bang Tango but as well as an ongoing battle with alcohol (he’s more than 250 days sober) he faces a fight to bring the Los Angeles hard rockers up to speed at a time when his more focused peers are fully embracing the 80s revival. The frontman’s kind words about his stay in Wales won warm applause and a good deal of sympathy but there’s work to be done on stage. Bang Tango hold a place in the hearts of 40 and 50-something rock fans the world over and there’s a lot of love for Lesté. But after finding the highway to Hard Rock Hell the trick will be keeping his band on track – without a beer for back-up.

 

Wizard Of Oz Makes Magical Debut

Dellacoma Rio doesn’t lack confidence. The bare-chested Aussie brought Day Two to a fittingly brazen close on the glam/sleaze stage with a whirlwind performance recalling Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale and the late Layne Staley all wrapped up in classic rock goodness. The band Dellacoma made a blistering UK debut before jumping in the van and heading to Belgium where a run of shows with Jeff Scott Soto awaits. For those lucky enough to catch history in the making this set will be talked about for years to come.

 

Autograph Sign Off In Style

How come Autograph weren’t massive? The Pasadena band’s six-year stay at rock’s top table was all too brief and top 30 single Turn Up The Radio should have ushered in an era of platinum albums aplenty and sold-out arena runs. Instead it never quite happened but a hugely entertaining HRH AOR V set suggested the best is yet to come. I Lost My Mind In America – from 2015’s comeback album Louder – was one of the standout anthems of the weekend and steeped in Autograph’s signature melody.

 

Girls, Girls, Girls

In the week that International Women’s Day took centre stage it wasn’t only livewire genre leader Lita Ford who flew the flag for the increasingly influential movement that is female-fronted rock. After Tequila Mockingbyrd kicked down the door on Thursday night, Kane’d and Romeo’s Daughter both hit their stride on the main stage to give the guys a run for their money. With Haxan set to open things up on Day Three is it finally time for a festival dedicated to women who rock? Hard Rock Hell’s Belles, anyone?

*Exclusive images by HRH Festivals Photographer Simon Dunkerley.