That’s where things really kicked off. 12 hours of almost non stop music. Sure it was a long (exhausting) day, but it was a really, really good one. Not only it was sunny (yes, that’s a very important detail), but we enjoyed and also discovered quality bands from various part of the world, which is very good. Today was also the day that shall be known in the history books as ‘The Birth of the Friendship Circles’. What do you get when you take two exhausted writers and put them together at a festival? Crazy ideas!
Feeling kind of under the weather, we woke up bright and early that Saturday to see 18 Miles play the main stage. And while we were kind of tired upon arriving, that changed as soon as they finished their first song. With a thirty minute set full of circle pits and this Dutch band made us wish we still moshed and actually knew the words so we could sing along. With their signature hardcore, the vocals and instruments were clean as a mother and if they made any mistakes we surely didn’t notice. They’re a band worth checking out!If many of the bands playing on that day were well-established, touring bands, it didn’t take anything off the pleasure we had watching them. Obviously they were playing later in the day and yes we started feeling tired after switching from one hot room to another but on the other hand it allowed us to actually watch in details, the likes of Being As An Ocean, Hundredth or the mainstage headliners Stick To Your Guns. Let me tell you one thing: Stick To Your Guns completely owned it. The room was entirely filled and despite the set starting really late, some kind of a new, fresh energy took over the whole place from the second the band entered on stage. Performing the usual, meaningful hardcore and allowing everyone to participate to it, the atmosphere was full of passion and positivity, which was rather beautiful to watch.
Moments earlier we got to enjoy Being As An Ocean’s performance, which was for us a bittersweet one. Sure their music is an absolute and skilled blend of delicacy and aggressiveness, that can be very interesting live, however there was something missing for this performance. We can’t really say what, but everything didn’t click together and it’s a shame because we do enjoy Being As An Ocean a lot. The setlist mostly consisted in new songs, which isn’t a bad thing, because it was short and if you’re probably a fan and have already seen them before, it’s good to see different things performed rather than the same set all over again.
The audience however showed a strong presence and the band was as per usual greatly received.
Next on my ‘must-see-bands list’…
...is Continents. After hearing some amazing things from friends and colleagues, we decided to check them out and disappointment is something we did not feel, at all. They simply blew us away with awesome guitar and drum work and vocals that immediately captured your attention. And while I tried multitasking the whole taking pictures and notes for the review that didn’t work out, I realized I wasn’t the next Adam Elmakias and decided I wanted to enjoy and fully focus on their set without having to think about camera settings because they simply deserve that. Check them out guys, I promise you’ll like them!
Empires Fade took over the Main Stage half an hour later and we were glued to the floor in astonishment. With melodies that were sometimes light and airy, which is a good thing because honestly, you can only hear so much heavy stuff in one day, we were nodding our heads and moving along. The most surprising part though, was Jack Delany’s vocals, that guy has one hell of a set of pipes on him! Take a listen to Empires Fade, and you’ll realize that Jack’s vocals cannot be compared to anyone else’s, they have this unique sound to them, that goes for the whole band actually, if you’re looking to compare Empires Fade to anyone else, good luck.
There is no way I could write this without giving a very, very special mention to the Germans in Colburn who absolutely destroyed the small stage with a mental performance of raw hardcore. We’d already seen them at the end of last year, in support of Your Demise’s farewell Belgian show and it’s always a pleasure to witness such passion and talent at the same time. Coldburn played some of their recent tracks such as DTE and Love Left Me. They gathered a lot of people and they know how to involve the people and if you missed this, then you should definitely look out carefully for their next shows in your area!
The local scene was of course represented as well
And an honourable mention goes to the Belgians in Collapse of Mind, who showed a promising metal/hardcore that is pretty well thought and interesting. It’s with a nice stage presence, fueled by confidence and already a decent amount of supporters that Collapse Of Mind have appeared at Miner Fest. If the Belgians are obviously still looking for their definite identity as a band, they definitely know where they do want to go and it’s all for the best!
Other nice performances we encountered today
were Elephantis’ and Annisokay. Both of them are slightly different but they reach a common ground as bands who have created universes of their own. On the one hand there is the melancholic and delicate world of Elephantis, who perform, close to their audience in a rather emotional, but simple atmosphere. On the other hand we could feel the special and dark(ish) Annisokay world, which was a bit more aggressive and painful (in a good way!), whether it was musically or scenically (darker lights, for instance). Annisokay was an interesting discovery for us and the fact that they are a german based band is also very pleasant to know. And this is what was pleasant about Miner Fest, which is a place where the balance between international touring bands and local talents was on point. Sadly this isn’t something common and we did appreciate it! Which is also why the next day was probably the most exciting and anticipated one for us!
Now here’s a little message from us to all of you lovely readers. If you happen to stumble across us at a festival, or a gig, come say hello, there’s a fairly large chance we’ll ask you to join our Friendship Circle. “What is a Friendship Circle?” I hear you ask, well, it is simply a circle of friendship, nothing more, nothing less. It’s where we can hang out and talk about our problems and thoughts on the show, and don’t worry if you don’t have any problems! You’re still welcome to join our Friendship Circle!
Words : Mary & Skye