I've been silent all day, not knowing how to write about the exact opposite feeling I experienced yesterday. Yesterday was a day of excellent spaghetti, tasty Geuze-beer, the music of Philip Glass and chianti, completed by three great performances and a free ride home thanks to my Merchants Of Air colleague Björn. It was a day of many familiar faces and very few 'hellos'. I guess I just wasn't feeling very social yesterday. As a matter of fact, I rarely am.
So for awhile I've been thinking about absolute silence on Merchants Of Air today, even though I still have a lot of stuff to check out. However, at some point, I decided to get this review done anyway. Perhaps I wanted to start spreading some positive words from inside this 'warzone', realizing that the people in attendance at Het Bos yesterday might appreciate that. Besides, all three gigs were too good to not write about them. Once again, sorry about the lousy quality of our photos. Let's just say it's not our speciality...
This is actually the third time I review a gig by The Mary Hart Attack. The first one seemed a bit hesitant, the second one was awesomeness in absolute darkness and this last one was tight as hell. These guys have been growing as a band, that's for sure. In Het Bos, they delivered a massive wall of sound, guided by that intense, rolling bass and energetic drums. At the moment, I wonder what's keeping The Mary Hart Attack from completely breaking through. They are becoming one of the most interesting things in the shoegaze and post-punk scene. A new album seems to be on its way and judging from what I heard yesterday, it's going to be a blast.
This too was as excellent gig, very atmospheric and somewhat trippy. Ashtoreth formed a perfect bridge between the intense walls-of-sound this evening. It also was too short for me but I guess that's nobody's fault. I just love to be engulfed in drones and soundscapes for long periods of time.
Helped by a minimal but on-point light show, the songs from Oranssi Pazuzu blended the complexity of psychedelic rock with the intensity of extreme metal, sometimes grinding, sometimes noisy but always enthralling. These guys proved that the evilest of genres isn't dead yet and that original and fresh acts can pop-up anytime.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one who enjoyed this show, and something very Belgian happened right after it. In front of the merchandise table, a nice line of people formed, each one gently waiting to be served. Björn and I took our place in line and went home wearing a brand new t-shirt and carrying what is possibly one of the most interesting albums in 2016.
I will probably soon visit Het Bos again to see Conan & Hemelbestormer and Zion Train. Many other concerts will obviously follow in this great venue but, like most people in attendance, I will always miss Scheld'Apen. It felt good to see the Scheld'Apen facia hanging in the hall as a sign that some scenes will never die...