No strangers to performing acoustically, Orphaned Land settle down comfortably with their instruments for easily the hippiest moment of the weekend. Kobi Farhi elects to remain standing, and it soon becomes apparent why: folk-inspired songs lend very well to dancing. The set starts out reminiscent of the metal set earlier: ‘All Is One’ leads into ‘Brother’ and ‘The Simple Man’, all from the new album, but here it deviates into older territory.

The oldest track, ‘El Meod Na’Ala’, gets a whoop of applause as the intro solo unfolds into its full folky glory. Interestingly, the band has kept the backing track from the metal show for some of the tracks, mercifully mixed down in volume to let the instruments shine through.

The middle of the set, starting with ‘El Meod Na’Ala’, focuses mostly on the Hebrew-language songs, which are naturally a little harder to sing along to (although Kobi‘s voice is as pristine as earlier) but they are just as easy to dance to. There are even a couple bellydancing, which brings a smile to the band’s faces. ‘Shama’im’ and ‘Olat Ha’tamid’ go down a storm, while the instrumental “Freedom” gets a substantial reworking to end out that section on a high note.

Ever a fan of audience participation, Kobi asks the crowd to sing along with their classic ‘Norra El Norra’, and everyone obliges with gusto and hand claps, before the band transition smoothly to the final track, ‘In Thy Never Ending Way’. It is impossible not to get caught up in the spirit of it all, and even a minor technical fault which mutes one of the guitars does not dampen the spirits. The atmosphere is almost indescribable: intimate beyond belief, full of smiles and a warmth that is only enhanced by the double rainbow that appears behind Orphaned Land during the set. It cannot be a coincidence.

Orphaned Land – Facebook Page

Bloodstock – Official Website

Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal