For the first European Mainland Headliner of the London based metalcore band Shields, Hurricane Bookings definitely wanted to bring us some fresh blood. Indeed, four bands out of the initial five were supposed to play their first gig in Brussels on that night ! Unfortunately, the venue canceled and the bill had to change as to meet the requirements of the last-minute replacement venue. The support was thus coming from Brussels’ rising band Watch The Prey and the Liège’s newcomer Giant As Mountains. This shows that our local scene still need to professionalize a bit to be next level, but the gig happened anyway and people enthusiastically showed up, so we’re still on the right path and Brussels is very well alive !
Watch The Prey opened the night up with a short speech about the recent events that took place in Paris, followed by a one minute silent tribute to the victims of the attacks. Candles were also sold at the entrance for the benefit of Amnesty International. The motto was given, we were about to replace all the sad emotions we all felt the previous days by something way more joyful, because no one can take the pleasure we gain from the shows away from us.
Despite the late schedule and the lineup change, a good amount of people showed up and the room was almost filled from the start. Everybody already knew Watch The Prey and they did what was expected from them as openers, the audience didn’t wait long to bring some movement into the pit and the set seemed too short as we all were enjoying it very much. The guitars sounded a tad muddy and that’s something that needs to be improved in order for them to achieve a professional level, but the performance was almost as excellent as when I last saw them a few weeks ago and totally blew my mind with how much they had improved this year. If they keep on going like they currently are, they might very well become an important part of the Belgian scene in the next few months !
Moving on to Giant As Mountains, the audience didn’t really know what to expect, but I had heard some rumors about how good they were, and this one of the reasons they didn’t open despite the fact that this was only their second show. And I wasn’t disappointed at all, their djenty metalcore was really well executed and it seemed like they’d been playing together for years. Sharp and strong, the performance was really good and the presence of the guitarist was quite remarkable. My only regret was that it felt like it could have been heavier, but I can’t really point out why. Maybe it was because the small room obliged them to crank the volume of their back tracks very loud, therefore compressing them to the extend that the low-end didn’t come out how it should have, or maybe it’s just how they want it to be, but otherwise it was an excellent introduction to that band !
Finally, the band we were all waiting for, Shields. It seems that most of the people only had known them for a few weeks, since the show was announced, and they all showed up to discover them. This just shows how much touring can be important for bands to grow, even if the venues aren’t that big. For myself, I had known them since the I Just Feel Hate music video that was released a little under two years ago, and I was really excited to be able to see them on their first show in Brussels.
As a full disclosure, I can’t really judge how the sound was since I was the sound guy, but coming from the band and the audience it was really good (and I’m super glad I managed to make it good for this is the first international band I did the sound for and the gear and cables available were extremely limited). The band played their whole new EP, ‘Guilt’, switching between very heavy parts and melodic clean-sung ones, for an audience that moved right from the beginning of the set. Nobody really knew the songs but this definitely felt like we were partying hard with close friends, we even had circle pits involving almost all the audience in that little venue, and we didn’t let the band go without an encore ! Ultimately, it had been quite a long time since I had so much fun at a show, and I’m totally looking forward to seeing them again as soon as possible!