Damage festival 2014 / Paris – Day 1

  After a successful first edition two years ago, Damage festival was back to Paris last month and this time, they’ve set things bigger. More bands, bigger venue and…well it encountered quite a success! The two days of the festival were slightly different one from another and if day 1 was dedicated to a more rock and roll audience, day 2 was definitely more designed to prog/tech metal fans but let’s have a look at our first day there.

Damage Fest - heart

Cabaret Sauvage- We’re at a “circus” tent and fans are gathered here since early in the afternoon as doors open at 3pm. It’s in a good and relatively calm spirit that the festival opens. Merch tables are set, indoor Monster tent for signings is ready and the bar is busy. As we arrived, the least we could say is that A LOT of people showed up, the atmosphere was over-energetic and we later learnt that the venue was nearly sold-out, with over 1000 of people in presence. Now, if you take a closer look to the line up, you can easily understand why so many people were there. Our Last Night and Escape The Fate were headlining, while various other bands such as Hopes die Last and Glamour Of The Kill were playing throughout the day. Bands? There were 8 of them!

By the time we managed to get in, Our Theory had already started their set. Things appeared tricky for them at the beginning, however, the band quickly won over the crowd, which gradually started moving. Appearing with a renewed line up, vocal duties are pretty well balanced between Bastien and Alex, the latest addition to the band, who gives more energy and enthusiasm to the performance. The new vocalist also interacts fairly well with the crowd and it’s quite appreciable!

Quickly following, New Years Day are one of the few bands we didn’t know about before the show. Hailing from Anaheim, California, the young alt rockers seem to have already a community of fans in the audience, which quickly sets a great atmosphere in the venue. Led by a charismatic Ashley Costello, New Years Day were visually impressing with some original looks and particular lightenings. The band delivered an energetic and well crafted performance, at times reminiscent of their tour mentors Escape The Fate.

The cohesion between bands of various levels of reputation was delectable, as all of them managed to show the best of what they had. Silent Screams imposed themselves as a UK force to reckon with in the current metal / hardcore scene, showing all the people who weren’t convinced yet what they are about. Bigger stages suit them pretty well and the crowd gave them a fair response, with pit opening for the first time of the day. Clean vocals sounded accurate while strong vocalist Joel Heywood helped crowdsurfers get on the stage, receiving hugs and kisses as ‘thank yous’.

As for Glamour of the Kill, they were probably the closest band to headliners Escape The Fate‘s style. Except that they did deliver a muscular performance, all kinds of enjoyable and rock’n’roll as hell. If Glamour of the Kill are one of those bands we tend to forget from time to time, their live performances are here to remind everyone how brilliant this band is and most of all how much of a progress they made in the past couple of years. Reminiscent of the likes of Papa Roach and Buckcherry, their new songs are made to be performed live, getting the crowd rowdy in no time. You will want to dance, you will want to scream, you will want to fight. What we say here is that if Glamour Of The Kill ever play near you, you should definitely not miss it!

We took advantage of the stage set changes to have a walk around the circus tent where the event was held, to discover the friendly atmosphere going the (crowded) venue and the patience exuding from many, many fans, queuing for a few bands’ signing sessions.

Back to business and this time with a band that has no more secrets to us except…The nearly thousand of people who gathered together in front of the stage to see them (finally) play in Paris! Not that we had doubts on how successful The Charm The Fury could be outside Benelux, but still, the amazing sight of this many people clearly anticipating their set, then singing along to their lyrics (Carte Blanche!) and moshing to the hellish rhythms of the dutch outfit was something amazing to witness. With a methodic and imposing southern-ish metal/hardcore, it was obvious that The Charm The Fury had grown a lot in the way they sound and handle their performances. Yet, they always, always keep this contagious and positive attitude that can only make you have a fantastic time!

It’s easy to become very generic when it comes to playing post-hardcore nowadays. With hundreds of young bands, trying to break it into the genre, standing out from the others has become rather a mission. However, Hopes Die Last seemed to know their craft and showed a lot of personality with their music. Not only the italians showcased a strong identity but their sound seems to finally reach the maturity they lacked in the previous years, building a strong and memorable performance, heavily carried by the raging vocalist Daniele. Without revolutionizing their genre, Hopes Die Last gave a quality performance to Paris crowd, confirming their position as one of the hottest mainland european post-hardcore acts at the moment.

It’s finally time for the first and extremely anticipated headliner of the festival to perform. The atmosphere is now electric and the tent nearly fully packed. Our Last Night enter the stage in a burst of energy, while the whole crowd is screaming and excited. After touring in Europe earlier this year, the band was already back in our shores as part of their 10 year anniversary tour. It is hard to believe that such a young band is already celebrating its 10 years of career, but when you take a look to such a performance, you easily understand that they are certainly not new to this. The band handles things perfectly, led by frontman Trevor Wentworth’s crazy stage presence, punctuated by several interactions with the crowd. He even decided to stage dive a couple of times and at this point, we were also realizing that bigger venues suit Our Last Night perfectly. This performance gave this first day a whole new dimension, because that’s when we could witness a strong release of emotions for the first time of the festival, as well as such a huge gathering of people. There was something powerful floating  in the atmosphere, with some high points such as the ‘sing-alongs’ during fan-favorites like Sunrise.

Final headliners for this day are no others than Escape The Fate and the least we could say is that their performance quickly went off the charts. Close to 1000 people gathered together to see them and wether you’re a fan or not, it definitely was entertaining to watch. Aside from the musical performance itself which wasn’t bad at all, the band seemed glad to be here and didn’t hesitate to share some jokes with the french crowd. Escape The Fate put on a real show, something visually extremely interesting and fun to watch. From their outfits and make up, to the light show they offered, Escape The Fate formed the perfect conclusion to a long, tiring yet fantastic day of music.


Photos by Alisson Nilsson available via the following links : 

Leave a Reply