Hangovers and Rain
Sunday, the third and last day of Minerfest, we started off by watching the guys in Call It Off on the Main Stage. Their set was exactly what you’d want it to be, not too heavy, not too light, not boring, just simply… right? Not too sure if that’s what you’d want to hear but, if we’d started the day with some heavy music I’m pretty sure I would’ve been done for the day, and Call It Off did the exact opposite for me. If was fun and energetic and a lot of smiles and positivity was spread in the room. These last couple of months I’ve listened to their latest EP ‘Liars’ on repeat and it was nice to finally hear those songs live, and let me tell you one thing: they’re as good live as on the record (and even better)!
This third day was also exciting in a different way than the others, it was full of exciting bands from our area, such as Set Things Right (who don’t need anymore introduction here I guess), who presented an adjusted set, consisting of a disturbing introduction with their popular Fake A Smile (those of you who are familiar with this band will understand what I mean here) and mostly in new songs from their recent album ‘This Is Home’. These are songs that are starting to get a great shape live and you’ll probably see it yourself as Set Things Right have many shows lined up for the next few months!!
Brussels based Now, Voyager also teared up the main stage. Now that I think about it, I realize they don’t get to play this much in their home country and it’s refreshing to see them nearly at home, with their own, original audience. The band was wrapping up a tour with this show and however played a strong set that ended in apotheosis with the brilliant and wonderful To The Heart and its stunning percussions. It was grand.
The rain hadn’t spared us on that Sunday and thankfully music was here to help us survive a strange day. The only downside of it is that everyone had to hide inside the venue, where one stage was quickly way too packed and the bigger room way too hot. People quickly filled the merch tent as a last resort, making things slightly less enjoyable for people who wanted to hang out and relax in-between the sets. However, let’s not complain about the weather as it’s something that is completely out of anyone’s hands.
I Divide, the band I was most excited about, the band I’d waited for a whole weekend. Did they disappoint? Hell no! The room (mainstage!) was pretty packed, which was something I did not expect, I underestimated these boys, and their fans. They sounded exactly the same live as on the album and people could not stop singing along. I did what I promised to do in my last review, simply closed my eyes and listened, and the result was, as suspected: goose bumps all over, especially during I’m Not Leaving. You should’ve checked them out already and if you haven’t I have no idea what I could do more to persuade you, but just take my advice, listen to I’m Not Leaving, you won’t be disappointed!
The Charm The Fury were also something absolutely incredible. Playing the mainstage to a nearly-fully packed room, it was definitely not the first time we saw them playing to so many people, however, we rarely witnessed such an involvement from the crowd as many fans were singing along to the lyrics and moshing around.
The dutch played some of their most popular songs such as singles Colorblind and Carte Blanche but also older numbers such as the cheeky Dirty South (one of my personal favorites). Just as we told each other when we left the venue, ‘that girl has balls!’
Great Britiain was fairly well represented at Miner Fest, which seems logical in a certain way, because it’s the home to many current and very talented alternative acts, such as Attention Thieves. This band caught my attention in a good way. If some of their songs could sound the same at times, their set wasn’t too short, not too long and gave us a great overview of what this band is about. Uplifting melodies, catchy at times (I quickly found myself humming “you can’t say/you can’t say”), punctuated by slightly more aggressive riffs at others, Attention Thieves’ set themselves as great, involved performers and we did love frontman Alex Green’s gritty vocals. Definitely a band that worths a listen (or more)!
We stopped by the smaller stage moments later to discover Anavae, who are starting to get increasing recognition in Europe. With a woman on vocals, many people could easily fit them into the “female-fronted” rock band category as another Paramore. But I like to think that Anavae managed to create something different and deserve some more attention. This band is interesting and still has a lot to give in the near future. Furthermore, even though I admit not being fond of feminine voices, it was refreshing to see some women performing at Miner Fest, because this is something this scene isn’t used to a lot!
There are some bands out there who have a particular connection with some countries they play in and this is the case of Heart In Hand, whose relationship to Belgium is something I rarely witnessed elsewhere. The band definitely has a strong community of listeners and lovers here and it was was one more time proven in Genk, with a packed, main venue. The audience was wild and this is one of the greatest things you could ever watch. From an extremely involved and skilled band to a crowd of passionate kids, this set was A+ from the very beginning.
Let’s not leave Britain and move north to Liverpool with Carcer City. If you’ve never heard of this band, it’s high time it changed! When it comes to metalcore, I’d say this is one of the rising beasts of the genre. I don’t really know what I was expecting. Probably a good set because I like their recent opus ‘The Road Journals’ which sounds solid, but what they delivered on that Sunday evening was way beyond my expectations. Carcer City have something impressing and powerful and the only way to understand it is to watch them perform. Now you know what to do!
For the ‘international’ touch of the day, Obey The Brave were representing the American continent, headlining and closing the mainstage at the same time. Yes they’re good, they really are but at the same time, their performance was expectable. The Canadians played some of their recent numbers such as Full Circle, which seems to be already one fan-favorites judging by the reception it got. However, it was fun watching Obey The Brave and many people seemed quite excited about it, but it wasn’t a highlight for us. Also, I couldn’t talk about this band without mentioning the strange interruption mid-set when Alex Erian left the stage and no one could understand what was happening. We finally figured he was kind of hangover, so, you know…Things quickly got back to normal and it made people smile.
As it was a Sunday night and it was getting late (AND let’s not forget it was the World Cup Final), the venue was slowly emptying from the people who filled it solidly for 3 days, BUT there was still one more band to go and we were at first quite afraid no one would be there for them (because I have to say we were excited to see them) but we soon realized that even though not that many people showed up, those who were here tried to make the most of their time. Polar performed a few songs from their recent album ‘Shadowed By Vultures’, as well as some older songs such as H.E.L.L, while vocalist Adam Woodford risked a crowdsurf when he wasn’t helping out a bunch of peeps to stage dive (from that nearly floor stage). As if it wasn’t enough, Heart In Hand’s Charlie Holmes joined the band on stage to sing the anthem Black Days.
This moment was a perfect illustration to the whole spirit that was conveyed during the weekend.
It felt like we were all part of a community, filled with great music, which is in the end what reunited all of us there. There was no rush and no pressure, people could hang out before the first set and after the last one every day, which enhanced that atmosphere we enjoyed so much at Miner Fest.
Thank you Miner Fest for a brilliant first edition and most of all, thank you for the memories…Until next year!
Special thanks to Miner Fest / Tsysa Band Promotion,
for the opportunity