You know you’ll have a great day when the sun is out and bands are brilliantly setting crowds on fire at 12:30 on the second festival day.
The Charm The Fury appeared in full force opening the Impericon stage in a packed tent. We’ve been following this band since the very beginning and they can’t be overlooked now. Having released a successful debut album last fall, The Charm The Fury played a few songs out of it such as The Enemy, A Shade of My Former Self or successful single Carte Blanche. The reception to their set was fantastic and the band showed a lot of strength. The Dutch proved that they completely deserve their place and they can be proud of how far they’ve come.
Moments later, we finally got to discover this newcomer we’ve been hearing about for quite a long time called…Moments! They are a young metalcore band whose performance surprised us a lot (in a positive way!). The Macbeth stage had rarely been this crowded, but most of all this crazy to watch. We definitely didn’t expect such devotion and enthousiasm for the young Belgians and it was a pure delight. Rik (Campus) even made a remarkable guest appearance and the least we can now say is that we can’t wait to see Moments again in the near future.
On that same stage we also got to discover another promising outfit from the mainland. Screaming melodic hardcore. If these three words sound good in your ears, you would definitely have enjoyed Edward In Venice. Based in Pesaro, Italy, this band is one to keep an eye on. Starting off with Lookin’ Inward from their newest EP, ‘A Heart That Doesn’t Bleed’, they definitely proved that Groezrock is a festival where they belong. With lead singer Filippo Greganti, who had ripped his ligaments in February and still wasn’t fully healed, they didn’t hold back at all. The interaction from the band with the crowd was great! At first, there weren’t a lot of people in the crowd, but with songs like In Cold Blood, Deadly Days and The Deads Comes From The Graves from their album ‘Muori’ which was released in 2012, people got more interested. The sound pleased their ears and crazy moshpits started to appear. They ended their set with Gravedigger and a bunch of new fans!
What’s great about Groezrock is that you can switch between genres all day and it’s still enjoyable and refreshing. For instance, we walked between stages the whole sunny day, checking out the likes of Apologies, I Have None and their joyful punk rock, greatly welcomed by a large audience or Blitz Kids, later in the day who were probably the band who made us put a huge question mark on how would be the reception to them. It wasn’t very surprising to see that very few people were here for them, because they’re not necessarily a band that would be associated with Groezrock, but after all, that’s also the point of their presence : make themselves known in the mainland, because they’re only starting to break though here.
With Joe James on vocals, Jono Yates rocking the guitar and taking care of backing vocals, Nic Montgomery on bass with backing vocals as well and Matt Freer on drums, they played a short but qualitative set. No metalcore or punk, but sweet poprock with singalong parts that make you scream your heart out. They opened their set with Run for Cover from their recently released album ‘The Good Youth’ through Red Bull Records. Starting off with quite a small crowd and giving everything they’ve g ot, the set progressed and more and more people came to check them out. With some hardcore fans, singing along to everyword, I think they definitely won over some new ones as well. They closed the set with On My Own that has the sound of a reborn band with bombastic melodies, a bit of aggression and determination. As you can tell, their first time at Groezrock was definetely a success.
On the heavier side we had the chance to watch I Killed The Prom Queen’s muscular performance, facing a great and well receptive crowd. The Australians are most definitely a safe value in their genre and their proved it with some massive breakdowns and an absolute killer frontman. They even initiated a giant circle pit around the sound deck in the back of the tent, which was quite fun to watch.
One of the craziest show of the festival was probably held in the Etnies stage, with Liferuiner. countless stage dives and crowd surfing could be seen as a lot of devoted fans were screaming their lungs out to the band. It was clearly a complete but heartfelt mess (and elements of our team have been reported carried away by the human storm, we’re all safe though, don’t you worry!). The show ended with frontman Jonny submerging among the crowd, even giving up his microphone.
Stage splits striked again when we had to make a choice between Modern Life Is War and The Devil Wears Prada. While Modern Life Is War were performing here for the very first time ever (and exclusively), it was clear that this was the band we couldn’t miss. However, after walking past the Impericon tent and hearing Mike Hranica’s gritty vocals, we couldn’t help but stop by and it ended up by one part of the team at one tent, another one at the other and a third one switching between both. Major suffering here! With that being said, both of the bands were really great to see. It was the first time we watched Prada on the ‘8:18’ cycle and it was a pleasure to watch numbers such as Sailor’s Prayer live as it gives them a whole new dimension. The Devil Wears Prada are in fact perfect fit with bigger stages. We also noticed that Jeremy DePoyster’s voice was improving throughout the time, which is a major positive point. One thing we could complain about, however, was that frontman Mike Hranica’s microphone gave him some hard time, which was a shame and cut off the general mood form time to time.
On the other hand, Modern Life Is War was off the charts. In a fully packed Etnies tent, people were losing their mind to the band, which has also a huge emotional spirit around them. The anticipation was seemingly so huge it made everyone explode when the time has finally come for them to see the Iowans perform and they have greatly met everyone’s expectations (and even exceeded them) with a 14-song long, intense set, including numbers such as Brothers In Arms Forever.
Earlier on the day, same place, Touche Amore were also playing some tunes and this time the maximum capacity was even exceeded, with many people forced to watch from the outside. And it wasn’t really a surprise to be honest, they are the kind of band that creates unanimity amongst hardcore lovers, as their melodic and aggressive sound blending with Jeremy’s suffering vocals has the power to instantly draw you in. An absolutely incredible performance with much intensity. The tent reached a pic of crowd surfing and stage diving in only a short amount of time and we even witnessed several people leaving the first rows, as they couldn’t handle the violent dancers passion.
One more time we found ourselves at the Macbeth stage to watch one of England’s finest metal/hardcore bands, Bury Tomorrow. Unfortunately, the band got on stage somehow late because of some sound checking problems, but it just added more excitement and anticipation within the many fans gathered in front of the stage. And it is probably the band that reunited the most people on this stage. The band is back right after they finished their European tour (with Chunk! No Captain Chunk!) and with a third record ‘Runes’ on its way at this right moment. And talking about this new record, they played Man On Fire as an introduction and as a great warm up to what’s following. With a set perfectly blending old and new songs, they managed to put the whole crowd on fire, even convincing the crowd to circle pit around the sound deck. Bury Tomorrow were amazing led by a relentless Dani Winter-Bates and left everyone (including us) hungry for more.
We had to rush and run right after Bury Tomorrow’s (sadly short) set to catch The Ghost Inside that already started on a packed Impericon tent. Of course, we don’t want to be missing one of the best bands around on the hardcore scene at the moment, they’re always at top form and they never disappoint. The Ghost Inside have an extremely passionate fanbase and everyone was singing all of the band’s biggest successes from their three records to date (Unspoken, Greater Distance, Engine 45, Chrono, Great Unknown, Between The Lines or Faith And Forgiveness). And a special mention goes out to their great frontman Jonathan Vigil for his poignant speeches.
And in the same vibe and level of energy, we also saw Caliban on stage. Those german folks are a quite special cru for the metalcore scene. They are back with a new record ‘Ghost Empire’, which is (in our personal opinion) one of their best to date. And with over 16 years of career and 9 records, the band knows his way around the stage and its crowd. They struggled with some sound issues throughout their set, which made it bitter to us because we know how much Caliban are great live. They managed nonetheless to keep things interesting for everyone and make their fans enjoy watching them once more.
Another amazing transition between music genres followed, from Caliban to The Hives on the main stage, from the angry Germans to the crazy Swedes. The latters seem pretty proud of it as they claim to be the best. Being crazy and funny, goofing around, makes them the perfect band to get you in a great mood, while they were rocking out on stage with their lovely suits. The band performed all their iconic songs: Come On, Tik Tik Boom, Hate to Say I Told You So.
And here is a band you can’t make up your mind about: yes, of course you hate them but in the same time are you sure you don’t kind of like them? We had to check them out, so we ran back to the Impericon stage to catch a bit of their set. We unfortunetaly didn’t make it in time to watch Ronnie Radke ‘Falling In Reverse’; some say it was the event of the day. The tent was half empty, especially if you compare it to all of the bands that played it throughout the weekend, also, the lack of motivation band members seemed to suffer from was obvious, making everything sound like a massive joke, which is a shame because Falling In Reverse used to be good and their (nearly exclusive) performance could have been something memorable (well for us it was, but not for the right reasons).
Sadly, it’s already time for the headliners of the day to hit the stage. An iconic band praised by so many generations of punk fans, The Offspring. What a great way to close this amazing festival. And it’s a special set they prepared for this Groezrock edition, as they playing the whole ‘Smash’ album to celebrate its 20th birthday. The whole crowd was excited and feeling emotional at the same time (all this doesn’t get us any younger sadly) and everyone would go utterly crazy on every highlight of the record (not to say the whole the record on itself) : Gotta Get Away, Self Esteem or Come Out And Play. Most of the other songs haven’t been played in over a decade. The set went on as the band played more recent songs such as You’re Gonna Go Far Kid, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) and The Kids Aren’t Alright to conclude this amazing set and festival.