For my second set of gigs this week, I headed to Antwerp's cosiest venue, Music City. I reviewed all three bands' albums in the past months so it seemed like a good idea to check if these guys could deliver "on stage" (there is no stage in AMC, but that doesn't spoil the fun - nothing spoils the fun at AMC
Hungry Like Rakovitz
This was a perfect opener for what was about to become an awesome night. The sound was great, the ambiance was joyous and friendly and Hungry Like Rakovitz were in the zone, so to speak. Although this is music I very rarely listen to at home, at gigs I can't get enough of it, especially when it comes with such massive flashes of pure energy and aggression. So yeah, I was a little disappointed when they stopped after thirty minutes. Nonetheless, it was already quite impressive so I wonder what these guys are going to sound like when they return with their complete line-up.
Lambs performed with a heap of aggression, brutal vocals and harsh guitars, reminding me a bit of some hardcore gigs I've seen in the past. It also brought back a feeling I had been missing. Something was different tonight. It felt like one of those awesome concerts in my late teens and twenties, before all kind of stupid regulations took most of the fun out of these things. But this was fun, this was adrenaline, pure, harsh and relentless.
Perhaps it was my scepticism about the light show or the fact that it was getting pretty crowded, but I wasn't "feeling it" in the first few minutes. It was ok, and "professionally" it would give these guys a decent rating for their performance but nothing more. But then it happened, Gradually, Telepathy started climbing my "best-gigs-of-2016" ladder. They easily surpassed Dopethrone, left 65DaysOfStatic behind them and started pulling the legs of Russian Circles. Goosebumps formed on my arms and it was hot in there. Halfway through, I decided that this was a perfect gig.
The sound was crystal clear (or clear enough for a post-metal/sludge/... concert), their performance was pure energy and the audience was -rightly- ecstatic. This was a highly immersive trip. Even people who had seen Telepathy before were in awe, like me. I knew it was going to be a decent evening but I really didn't expect things to be as majestic as it was. Right now, Telepathy are somewhere on top of that ladder. The bands at Desertfest have to be damn good to surpass this...
There were also security people from De Lijn (bus & tram company) who, much to my delight, provided me (and other people) with the information they needed, calm and friendly. They would guide people towards other travelling possibilities, which made me decide to start walking to the nearest overground tram stop. Eventually, that would turn out to become an eight kilometer walk, including a chat with some people who had no idea what was going on. Shortly after midnight, everything in Antwerp went back to normal.
It was weird to see how people were still drinking, laughing and having fun, mere twenty meters from a station, occupied by heavily armed men, trying to find a possible bomb. In the end, they arrested two guys who were acting suspiciously and the threat was lifted. For me, the situation was a bit surreal but it didn't spoil the awesome evening I had just experienced. During my walk, I often found myself thinking "damn, that was good". It was. If you weren't there, you should pack your things and head to Tilburg as all three acts will play Incubate as well.