On this steaming hot Sunday, Wim grabbed his camera and drove to Rotterdam for an evening of dark electro and stomping industrial. Combichrist invited Wednesday 13 and Night Club on this tour, which guaranteed an evening of good old fashioned fun. Check out these photos and follow Wim on Flickr if you will...
Na Fir Bolg is one of Belgium's most open-minded folk festival, situated in the cosy village of Vorselaar. Traditional Flemish folk shares the stage with intense folk metal and nobody bats an eye. This year, Wim went to see a few bands in between his many duties. He came back with these four photo series.
More than a thousand people showed up, even though the event was not sold out. Some people sold their tickets over the internet. I tried it too, a ticket for a friend of mine who couldn't make it. One guy offered 15 euros, another one 18. Tickets were €29.50, by the way. It pissed me off. To me, that behaviour is similar to that of people who buy tickets for sold-out events and sell them for twice the price. It's a vile and unrespectful version of opportunism, something I can't stand. So I ignored the cheap-asses and decided to enjoy the evening.
Once inside, I quickly noticed the differences between OLT Rivierenhof and many other events, especially Antwerp Metal Fest which I attended a week earlier. This thing showed the allure of Ghent Jazz, Jazz Middelheim and all the other "upper-class" festivals. Prices were higher, food looked as if it was made for a TV-show and some of the attendees had picked out their most chic attire as if it were a wedding reception. Others wore bandshirts from We Lost The Sea, Duran Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails and many, many more.
We bought something to drink and looked for a place to sit. OLT Rivierenhof is a beautiful venue, an open air theatre, surrounded by trees. The organisation also makes sure that your experience is as perfect as possible, which resulted in a near perfect sound quality. Kudos for that, that's getting rare these days. But obviously, we were there for the music and that first appeared in an energetic and experimental way.
MDC III is the trio of Mattias De Craene (sax-player in Nordmann) and drummers Simon Segers and Lenner Jacobs. With this band, the trio explores the interaction between these instruments. The result was something I can only describe as "Latin free jazz". The drums at times felt like a Brazilian carnival while the sax (and other equipment) of De Craene droned, screamed and whirled. It was interesting but it also showed that this was nearly a first experiment. It will be interesting to see where this sounds heads to in the future but for now, this was a decent opener.
After a short break it was time for the Canadian legends to appear on stage. Their set started with a monotonous (hope) drone, obviously stolen from Hellstorm Of Flaming Nothingness. One by one the musicians walked on stage and started adding layers of Godspeed to layers of Godspeed. Before we knew it, everyone in attendance was being treated to a Godspeed You! Black Emperor greatest hits set. They kicked off with 'Mladic', which immediately ignited the spark. Heads were banged, tears flowed and people quickly got into a state of trance.
This was my sixth time seeing these Canadians live, twice before their 2003 split and four times after. This was also the best and most convincing set I have ever seen them perform. 'Fam/Famine' and 'Undoing a Luciferian Towers' were absolute highlights and the saxophone cameo was so intense it scared off the mosquitos in the arena. Even the looping outro was performed to perfection. It was fun to see the left part of the standing audience dancing and shaking while the rest stood their with their eyes closed and their minds into faraway places.
So yes, this was utter brilliance, certainly one of my personal highlights of the year. I can't think of anything that would have made it even better. Godspeed You! Black Emperor are deservedly one of the most successful bands in the atmospheric musical regions and they apparently loved to show that here in Antwerp. My fanhood is renewed, hurray for that...
Bands & Festivals