Roadburn 2019, Day 1


Event: Roadburn Festival 2019
Written by: Mr. Doctor, RaduP, Schimodie, Apothecary
Published: 01.05.2019

Galleries:

Roadburn 2019, Day 4 by Mr. Doctor (38)
Roadburn 2019, Day 3 by Mr. Doctor (52)
Roadburn 2019, Day 2 by Mr. Doctor (40)
Roadburn 2019, Day 1 by Mr. Doctor (71)


INTROS AND SUCH

Lil Radu (RaduP): Well that's fucking it, my very first Roadburn, a festival that I'd been wanting to attend ever since I first saw Rod and Che's concert review of it in 2015, and the time had come at last. To make matters even more special, it would also be the first time I would attend a concert outside of my own country, the farthest I've ever been from home, and the first time I would meet a fellow Metal Stormer (at least one that I didn't know beforehand). Thankfully, I had a bit of help on the logistics of the whole thing from Big Radu, my uncle, who handled planes, trains, tickets, and accommodation.

Packing nothing more than clothes, chargers, a hairbrush, and a toothbrush in order to have room for the inevitable quantities of merch I planned on buying, I eventually made my way to Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, where Rod and Che were already waiting for us, albeit with a missed opportunity of having a "Radu x2" sign while waiting. In Tilburg, we were surprised to see how great our Airbnb actually was and handled the bed divisions before asking Che to let me publish the March nonmetal article on his laptop (which you schmucks better read, because there're still not enough comments on it). There was still a pre-party to attend, bracelets to get early, and fast food establishments to visit, so that's where we were headed.

Che (Apothecary): At times I question the sanity of my decision to endure an almost 24-hour commute (between three planes and a 90-minute train ride) to the Netherlands from my native Florida for Tilburg's esteemed Roadburn Festival, but that questioning ends up being silenced almost immediately upon arrival. Highly anticipated band sets, tasty local cuisine, and time spent with great friends both old and new always turn out to be ends that justify the means.

The "Roadburn MS Crew" for this year's edition of the festival ended up being myself, Mr. Doctor (Rod), RaduP, and a fourth entity also going by the name of Radu. After rendezvousing at the Schiphol airport the Wednesday before the fest got going and then making our way to a comfortable little apartment in Tilburg for our stay, our squadron migrated on over to the 013 venue to warm up a little with the Roadburn pre-party.

Rod (Mr. Doctor): Another year, another Roadburn. It's hard to fully comprehend that I've had the privilege to attend nine times in a row (and writing 6 of these articles!). Yet here I am. This year's Roadburn is a special one for me for two reasons. First, this is probably the year I knew the least amount of bands. This led, of course, to great discoveries, but also to moments of wandering through stages and not being overly excited about much in particular. This last aspect is closely tied to my second reason, which is personal troubles at home. I always shared the opinion that this festival, with all its sets, side-shows, crowd, and just overall atmosphere, is a "home away from home" of sorts. This was the year where those words truly hit me, as Roadburn 2019 was a most welcome escape from home life.

For our group, the festival started with the pre-party (nicely titled "Ignition"). It's not only a great opportunity to get your wristbands ready before the actual festival, but it also serves as a well-needed appetizer that eases your way for the days to come.

Big Radu (Schimodie): Lurking under the Schimodie pseudonym on MS at least since 2009 (and I remember at least 1 year of anonymous lurking before that), I am the odd one out from this merry bunch of MS users (as I'm not an active contributor to the site… at least not yet, as I'm starting to reconsider this status of mine). What's more, I have to admit that I am a fan of Rod's Roadburn articles and being able to be part of this one makes me feel a bit giddy (I'm fanboying a bit, aye), so with the hope that I'll do a decent job, here we go:

Last year's Roadburn was my first (after a failed attempt in 2015) and it was exactly how I was led to believe it would be: dark, bombastic, eerie; from noisy and ugly to quiet and beautiful, the fest covered so many shades of the darker sides of music that is so near and dear to my nostalgic heart that it would be a massive lie to say that I wasn't (eagerly) looking forward to attending this time as well. Thus, I met with (lil') Radu in Bucharest and we flew to Amsterdam where Che and Rod were waiting - we had surprisingly close arrivals, so the guys didn't have to wait a whole lot for our late asses - and then all four of us made to our Tilburg Airbnb and in time for the so called "Ignition".




THE PRE-PARTY: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10th

TEMPLE FANG

Che (Apothecary): The Roadburn pregame kicked off Wednesday night in the 013's Green Room with Temple Fang. I had only become aware of these guys about a week before Roadburn when I checked out the pre-festival information and saw them described as groovy psychedelic rock with traces of Hawkwind and Blue Öyster Cult. It sounded tasty to me, so I was a little eager to see what they were made of onstage. It turned out to be quite a lot, as the band alternated between riff-heavy, stoner-influenced jamz on the one hand and more trippy, melodic interludes on the other. Certainly a group that knew how to get the blood bumping and heads bobbing, and they served as a fine appetizer for what would come next.

Lil Radu (RaduP): Breaking the proverbial ice were Dutch psychedelia lovers Temple Fang, which made sure we'd all get the point across that Roadburn really likes psychedelic stuff and we'd see a lot of that. My city has a shitload of stoner rock concerts, so it wasn't really something unheard of for me, but I was still pretty impressed with how great they sounded. And seeing the Green Room for the first time and knowing how many people will be at the festival, I expected to have issues getting in the Green Room, but that never happened. Can't say the same about Patronaat as well.






GREAT GRIEF

Lil Radu (RaduP): In great contrast to the heavy but very spacious Temple Fang came the chaotic and visceral Great Grief. And with it came the first disappointment of the festival. Not in the sense that the performance was weak; quite the contrary (there's a reason why Great Grief performed three times). But despite the frontman's best efforts to get the crowd moving, he was still met with a crowd standing perfectly still with their arms crossed. And man did their performance deserve some reaction, from talks about oppression, queerness, and wearing the same belt that he attempted suicide with, to just absolutely ravaging the mic, Great Grief deserved more than just that mosh pit during the final song, which was the first and last that I joined this festival, partly because within a few seconds I already got hit in the temple by another's head, and also because this was the only day where I didn't carry some sort of fragile merch with me.

Che (Apothecary): I had listened to Great Grief a few times before the pre-party, a band that plays metalcore that struck me with an overall "good but not great" impression. Live, however, it was an entirely different story. I was sucked right in by the look of their front man, Finnbogi Örn, who came onstage in a fancy suit with tie more characteristic of a man at a bachelor party than a vocalist fronting a hardcore band (I'm a big fan of when musicians do this, i.e. dressing sharp and professional when their music is ugly and mean as hell; it's hilarious). Great Grief launched into some pretty decent cuts from there, many of a very political or personal nature, including one about suicide that almost made me tear up when Örn mentioned he had attempted to kill himself several years ago before the band started playing. Overall this was a heavy, hard-hitting, and surprisingly emotional set.






HELLRIPPER

Rod (Mr. Doctor): After the bouncy and psychedelic set of Temple Fang and Great Grief's heartfelt display of aggression, I went for a walk to meet and greet fellow Roadburners. The whole atmosphere of the festival, located next to a street filled with different bars, is perfect for such an activity. Feeling revitalized with booze, I decided to run back to the Green Room for one last set. The Scottish Hellripper are fronted by one of the youngest musicians to set foot in the halls of Roadburn: James McBain, only 24 years old, was at full control of his abilities and made the crowd shout, move, and headbang at his every command. The crushing and blink-and-you-miss it fast approach to black/thrash metal is certainly not one of the first things that comes to mind when talking about Roadburn. That being said, as McBain was channeling his influences of Venom and Sabbat, Hellripper served as the perfect closure to a fiery pre-party.




ROADBURN DAY 1: THURSDAY, APRIL 11th

Che (Apothecary): The sun broke on a cool Tilburg morning and myself, Lil Radu, Big Radu, and Roadburn Senior Mr. Doctor Esquire were ready to get the festivities going. We ended up filling our stomachs for breakfast that day with… some KFC, because everyone knows that you always go for the low-budget consumerist fast food chain when in a foreign country as opposed to any sort of higher-end, localized cuisine. With the Colonel's finest slowly digesting, the crew lugged its way over to the main street that cuts through the 013 venue, hanging around and talking about all sorts of unusual, intersecting topics until the ball got rolling with the first bands of the day.

Lil Radu (RaduP): Trying to stick to one meal a day, our breakfast trip took us to KFC, which was my first contact with the fact that fast food menus of a chain differ from country to country. Afterwards it was a long day of merch-buying, either from a record shop nearby, or from the Koepelhal which had recently opened. Other than merch, it was the first time we got to see the art posted there, from Marrisa Nadler's and Emma Ruth Rundle's to the artworks for sale in the Full Bleed.






SHERPA

Lil Radu (RaduP): Finally it was time to start the actual festival, and if Temple Fang showed us that psychedelia would dominate Roadburn, Sherpa made that even clearer. They were more of the spacey and relaxed type compared to the heavier Temple Fang, and this would also be the first full-album-performance-type gig, although it was an album I wasn't that familiar with, as I had only began listening to Sherpa by Che's recommendation. There were some unpleasant bass feedback noises that sounded too loud even under earplugs, but performance-wise it was good. Despite not having yet to deal with Patronaat's reputable queues, I was instead met with the realization that I would not be allowed in the venues with my bag, so for the rest of the festival I had to carry the merch I had bought under my coat.

Che (Apothecary): Roadburn 2019 officially started for Lil Radu, Rod, and me in the Het Patronaat with Sherpa. A discovery I made through investigating Roadburn's lineup for this year, this bunch was playing their Tigris & Euphrates album in full, a fine cut of warm, relaxing, and spacious psychedelic rock (mostly instrumental). Gathering front and center for them in the Patronaat, the squad and I were washed in luscious, cascading melodies of dreamlike instrumentation and tales of (I would assume?) winged bulls, river valley civilizations, and that guy who was 2/3 God and 1/3 man who survived the flood before Noah survived the flood because he was the OG hipster of the ancient world. This was a great performance from very talented musicians, no doubt, but it left me a tad underwhelmed, likely because I may have been in the mood for something a lot heavier to kick off the first day with. But that was no biggie, as I would certainly get "heavier" later.






BISMUTH

Big Radu (Schimodie): After a proper and traditional (to me at least) half an hour of waiting in line for some early merch in the Keopelhal I decided to go see Bismuth; I did catch some seldom, solitary notes that pleased my ear from Crippled Black Phoenix, who were starting their show while I was waiting in the line, but as I had experienced their show 6 months earlier I decided to see something that I hadn't experienced live before. Of course, I didn't catch the start of the show and, in true Roadburn tradition, there was a massive queue of people waiting to get in, so I got to hear half of the first song (from a long set of 2) while in the queue. Even from the outside I could hear the droney notes mixing with Tanya's growls and rasps, sometimes allowing for a mid-tempo breakdown that let the attending metalhead breathe away the pressure for a moment. Getting inside, the atmosphere grabbed me - from the heat inside due to all of the people being packed together inside to the music itself, I felt as I was making my way through the fires of hell while carrying a heavy mental burden that I couldn't, wouldn't be able to redeem myself for - the infrequent breakdowns gave one a moment of respite, but in hindsight they were just to lure in more so that you could feel an even greater pressure/guilt. As the show finished, the harrowing sensation remained and I decided to wash it away with the whispers of a different kind of demon(ess), so I went to see Molasses.




THOR & FRIENDS

Lil Radu (RaduP): Due to not thinking ahead enough and getting some Roaming option, I was pretty dependent on wi-fi and there was none in the Patronaat, so I went back to the Green Room, which was the only other venue I had been to and one that I knew had free wi-fi. To my surprise, a band was still playing, so I stayed until their set ended. Thor Harris you may know from his work with Swans, and knowing Swans, the humble and light set was very surprising. Focused mostly on percussion on what seemed like xylophones done by three members, and a saxophonist, their performance was entrancing in a slightly different way than expected.





VILE CREATURE

Lil Radu (RaduP): And now came the moment where all my dreams of seeing every band that I wanted to see through easily switching between venues shattered. I had already seen that there was a queue right in front of the Patronaat, but couldn't see the end through the crowd, so I walked and I walked, slowly losing more and more hope. Alas, despite being a few minutes before their set, I still had to stay 20 minutes in the queue before getting in and finding a room packed where I could barely see the band playing. But thankfully I could hear them and I could be crushed by their slow and heavy sludge sound and by their "the only language that oppression speaks is violence" speech. Now familiar with the concept of queues at Roadburn, I decided to leave early to catch a good spot for Molasses. I did get to see Vile Creature briefly again while exploring the Koepenhal area and finding the Ladybird Skatepark, but once again it was too packed to see anything, so I kept going.




GREAT GRIEF

Rod (Mr. Doctor): This Icelandic hardcore quartet impressed me so much that I ditched my previous plans just to catch them a second time in the Hall Of Fame, the smallest stage. I figured the difference in size would make for a more intimate and perhaps more aggressive show. Boy, was I right. There was a trade in sound however. I felt the chunkier and bassy sound of the Green Room was better, although some may argue that the Hall Of Fame had a better guitar sound (and I'm clearly biased towards the former, hehe). That being said, I can't stress enough how energetic this band is live. I couldn't believe they just played yesterday. Finnbogi was without a doubt one of the best frontmen I saw the whole festival, jumping and running through the stage, connecting with the audience, and commenting on the meaning and purpose of the band's emotional songs. The band clearly wanted to send a message of love and acceptance that grabbed us all by the throat. This magnificent set culminated in Finnbogi climbing up to the ceiling, singing while dangling from it; finally he let loose and fell into the arms of a rabid, energetic audience. Props to the public for being way more active than yesterday, haha!






MOLASSES

Lil Radu (RaduP): I didn't know any of the musicians involved in this project nor any of the bands that they've been part of before. I just knew that this was "Commissioned Music", so it had to be special. I had previously gotten a glimpse inside the Main Stage during Myrkur's set, but going to the balcony now, it felt even more immense compared to the stages that I had gone to. Molasses felt like a weird mix progressive and occult rock, quite like a female-fronted Opeth, but like recent Opeth, blended with a bit of Mastodon and Blood Ceremony. It sounded great, but I felt like it was slightly missing something to go from great to memorable and amazing. And because I wasn't that won over by the music, I decided I'd rather catch a better spot for Lingua Ignota.

Big Radu (Schimodie): 7 to 8 years ago I discovered the diverse sounds of occult rock due to my love for Hexvessel, whom I had discovered due to a Romanian festival called Dark Bombastic Evening (DBE for short and sometimes known as the Eastern European younger brother of Roadburn). Cutting the story short, in my foray into this genre I stumbled upon the masters from The Devil's Blood and, obviously, I was mesmerized. However, unfortunately for me, I didn't get to see them live before they disbanded, so you can imagine my joy when I heard the Roadburn commissioned music containing four of the former members from that band. For the show itself, I went to my usual balcony spot for a better view and sound, only to be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, Farida's voice was powerful yet sensible, sure yet gentle, the band were solid, but just like my nephew, I feel like there was something missing - they seemed stiff or, maybe, bored as if they were playing music that they weren't passionate about. I did stay until the end as I really wanted to have great spot for Hexvessel, but I couldn't wash away the sour taste of disappointment as the show ended.




LINGUA IGNOTA

Lil Radu (RaduP): Initially Che told me he'd secure a spot in the balcony, but apparently Lingua Ignota was already preparing her gear inside of the crowd instead of on the stage, so by the time I got down, there was already a thick enough circle around her that I had to channel some inner asshole to get in as much as I could, but no matter how close you get, there's always a taller Dutch person in front of you. But once the music started and the only lights were the ones coming from the lanterns that Lingua Ignota carried around, it felt like such an oppressively emotional atmosphere. I wasn't really that surprised to see a few people in the front circle actually moved to tears by the performance, which ranged from manic to broken to a cover of "Jolene". It also involved some fear that she would hit someone with those lanterns while smashing them on the floor. The set did go from the more operatic Diamanda Galas type of thing to industrial noise territories as well. Once the set was over, I could really understand why some of the folks were teary-eyed, as this was the most emotionally devastating out of all Roadburn performances. And they had fucking Have A Nice Life as well.

Che (Apothecary): Yes, this was quite likely it for me: the set for Roadburn 2019 that I was anticipating the most, and the fact that it was on the first day just made things even better. Admittedly I had not heard of this unorthodox, spine-tingling artist (real name Kristin Hayter; lingua ignota translates roughly to "unknown language" in Latin) until digging deeper into Roadburn's lineup for this year, but to say that she ultimately became the artist whom I was most thankful to discover through it would be an understatement.

Kristin was playing in the Green Room, and I arrived early to the balcony area to get a good view of her on the stage. But then I began to notice that she was actually setting her equipment up in the floor area, and that a large crowd had already begun to assemble around her, so I sped hastily downstairs and brought my Asshole Powers to the forefront, shoving all people over 1.8 meters tall out of the way in the process of getting myself a nice, front-row position for the performance. Kristin had the lights in the Green Room darkened completely, save for a bundle of light bulbs that she held onto and began swinging at various points in her performance. Visuals of a burning forest and other bleak imagery were playing on the stage's projector at the forefront, augmented by frightening audio samples interspersed with Kristin's music, including that infamous Aileen Wuornos interrogation. Drawing influence from both noise and industrial music as well as dark, almost operatic ambient music not too unlike that of Diamanda Galas, Kristin's hypnotizing, transcendental delivery ranged from beautiful and uplifting in its lightest moments to all-out bleak and devastating in its harshest moments.

"Cathartic" doesn't even begin to describe it.







HEXVESSEL

Lil Radu (RaduP): We still had plenty of time before Emma Ruth Rundle's set would start and that would be in a bigger venue, so there was no need to be there that early; therefore, I wanted to check out Hexvessel, as they were playing All Tree live in its entirety, an album that I reviewed and enjoyed even though I liked some of their older stuff more, but I had a good time for the few songs that I managed to catch and was lucky enough to recognize. Hopefully the old tree hasn't cast its last spell on me.

Big Radu (Schimodie): You've probably gotten by now that I'm a massive Hexvessel fan (got to see them every time they got to Romania, i.e. five or six times), so I was eager to see them again with the new set/album. I had prior knowledge that the new album would be quieter (i.e. closer to Dawnbearer) than the last one from Jukka, their drummer, whom I had seen live with Dark Buddha Rising during the 2018 edition of DBE. Of course, I had listened to the new album when it came out, so I knew what to expect in terms of music, but I was curious as to how the show would feel, as Dawnbearer could get quite intense live. This time, however, the theatrics and intensity were left out for something simpler, more akin to the spirit of the All Tree, and it fit. I was hooked and they did deliver that eerie feeling that I keep talking about (just like a broken record), succeeding to wash away most of my dismay from the previous show. Unfortunately for me the moment I was dreading was coming: walking away from a concert from one of my favourite bands to catch another favorite that I didn't get to experience as much: Emma Ruth Rundle.






EMMA RUTH RUNDLE

Lil Radu (RaduP): And the last venue premiere for a while: this was my first time in the Koepelhal, which is almost as big as the Main Stage but with no stairs, no balcony, and shittier acoustics. I wasn't gonna let some minor inconveniences ruin the performance for me, though I would've wished for smoother sound. Emma Ruth Rundle's voice always felt a little bit too buried and subdued compared to the rest of the instruments, but not enough for me to call the thing bad, because it was amazing to hear the songs that I loved played live, most of which came from her last record, which I reviewed. Although I loved most of the songs played, there's always a feeling that "Oh, why didn't she play that song, that's my favorite!", though I'm sure that if she replaced any of the songs with "Arms I Know So Well", I would've complained about that other song missing. The last song she played was "Real Big Sky", which she played alone. I felt a bit guilty about enjoying this performance so much more than that of the songs played with the band, but the acoustics of the Koepelhal made this sound so much better; I suspect that her singing alone felt more intimate and comforting outside of what a venue's acoustics could influence. I left with a big fucking grin on my face.

Che (Apothecary): I had a little over an hour before the next set on my schedule, so it was time to get a little merch, fill the belly with some local pizza, and then head on over to the Koepelhal, one of the newer Roadburn stages, for Emma Ruth Rundle. This lady has seen her popularity growing steadily over the past few years, especially within the context of her Roadburn fans: first as the frontwoman for Marriages, and more recently for her solo work, as well as some collaborative material she's done with other artists. This set saw Emma going through her solo material with her own band, material of a sublime, melodic, and folky nature, but nonetheless quite bright and upbeat. Much of the music she played came from her most recent album, On Dark Horses, and since I had listened to that one quite a bit, I was pleased to be familiar with most of Emma's set. Good performance all around from a woman and her band who have been getting a considerable degree of greater recognition lately that certainly is deserved. What Emma had in store for us the next day, however, would be even better.

Rod (Mr. Doctor): I'd had the privilege to see Emma twice prior to this set. First when it was just her and a guitar back in Roadburn 2017, and a year later in my turf in the south of Sweden. There are few greater musical joys than watching an artist you admire grow bigger and bigger. Seeing her perform at the Koepelhal was a fine experience, but somehow I did not fully connect to the performance nor sound in the same way like I did before. Could it be that I thought the music lacked the intimate touch given by a smaller audience? Or the acoustics provided by the Koepenhal were unsuitable for her touching sound? Maybe my lack of knowledge of her latest album played against me. Perhaps… Or perhaps I was not invested enough due to personal problems at home leaving me quote emotionless from time to time. Whatever the reason, I can say it was a great performance and I would urge you to see her perform if given the chance, but it lacked "that" touch for me.

Big Radu (Schimodie): Ah, Emma… my discovery of her music was through a concert back in April 2015 where she was the vocalist of Marriages supporting Wovenhand - I was there for the gothic Americana band, but I didn't expect the supporting act to enthrall me so. Aside from my gothic hillbilly rave, I was in a phase of great admiration for the work of Chelsea Wolfe and Zola Jesus, so discovering Emma in such a context felt like a blessing and I continued to get closer to her music while, for some reason, the music of Chelsea and Zola feels distant now. With that in mind, it's easy to guess that I was really looking forward to this concert, especially when considering the fact that a show that she was supposed to do in Romania a year prior had been cancelled.

I didn't expect the band Jaye Jayle to be part of it as well, but they did bring another dimension to her songs that seemed more intense, though maybe a bit less intimate. Either way, as soon as the music started I was drawn into a meditative, nostalgic trance, getting out of it only for the last song (and to scowl at a couple that were making a fuss because they didn't get a better spot). While I was not in a trance anymore, I have to agree with the others that the last song performed alone was the cherry on top and seemed better with the overall acoustics of the Koepelhal, but I cannot complain as I thoroughly enjoyed the music as it was and with it in my head I headed towards the main scene for Heilung.






HEILUNG

Lil Radu (RaduP): I had already seen Heilung before, last year at Dark Bombastic Evening, so part of me was thinking of checking out Crowhurst and Midnight instead, but remembering how awesome their performance was and seeing Rod talk so enthusiastically about their lyrics made up my mind. And I regret nothing. There wasn't much difference from their previous performance, at least as far as I could tell, other than the stage, which from the balcony felt more like a theatrical performance.

Rod (Mr. Doctor): I skipped the last 15 minutes of Emma Ruth Rundle in order to get a decent spot for the Danish folk collective Heilung. I quickly became obsessed with them after seeing a performance of "Krigsgaldr" on YouTube (currently holding 12 million views, whoa!). After a short yet touching chant in which Walter Hoeijmakers participated (the founder of Roadburn for those not in the know...), the set began. I have a hard time describing the experience. It really was theatre to me. Visual, dance-able, so rhythmic and groovy. The ritualistic vibe of their folk music was sometimes juxtaposed with more electronic grooves that truly moved the whole stage. This natural, larger-than-life atmosphere was further elevated by fantastic throat-singing, beautiful chants, and one-of-a-kind "sacrifice" rituals. My mind and body wandered through two stages: either shaking/dancing uncontrollably while quietly murmuring the few lyrics I knew by heart… or just standing there, completely awe-struck, with my jaw on the floor. Not long after the performance I remember talking to this random guy from Northern Europe who told me something along of the lines of "I don't quite understand how so many people outside of our culture enjoy this". Well… I must say I feel sorry for people like him. The answer is not that difficult: because this sort of music MOVES worlds - it transcends barriers and makes us equal under the eyes of a much greater cosmos. That is the very reason why, during the climax of such a brilliant performance, many of the "warriors" that formed part of the choir jumped to where the public stood to dance and sing together. A beautiful sight and without a doubt one of the greatest things I've seen on the main stage ever since I started going to Roadburn.






MONO

Rod (Mr. Doctor):… And after Heilung ended, I moved closer to the first rows of the main stage. Exhausted, I sat down on the floor and started to prepare myself for what was coming. I've been listening to Mono for more than a decade. It was my entrance to the world of post-rock and to be honest with you… it's still my favorite band of the genre. Even though my favorite album by them is You Are There, there is no denying that the album that most deserved a "Roadburn treatment" is the beautiful, touching, and magnificent Hymn To The Immortal Wind. This is the album where they started to embrace more of a "classical" sound. Not only were they going to perform the album in full, but they were going to do so with the help of an exquisite quartet, commanded by Jo Quail. From the gentle and gorgeous progression of "Ashes In The Snow" to the bombastic grand finale "Everlasting Light", Mono and the Jo Quail quartet moved me to my very core. I was afraid that the massive sound of the riffs and pummeling drums would drown out the quartet. Fortunately, even at their noisiest, you could still hear those delicate strings amidst walls of sound, as if clinging to trees in the middle of a great storm. It would have been a great bonus if they had had some nice visuals, which are usually a great addition for the Main Stage. That being said, having the quartet close to my view and Taka, in front of me, giving his 110%, lashing out at his guitar and foot pedals was worth it! As the last notes of "Everlasting Light" were played, I just knew the day had come to an end for me as there was no other music I wanted to hear after that. I became so excited and obsessed for what I experienced that I just prayed for more… Little did I know that, sometimes, wishes do come true.






PHARMAKON

Lil Radu (RaduP): Since we had about an hour free before Pharmakon started and it was the last set before midnight, when the baggage depositories were closing, we had to run home and leave our merch bags home and make it back in time. And, to our biggest surprise, the DJ played Death Grips's "Guillotine" right before the show, which prompted some strange crowd stares upon us as we shouted the lyrics. With thick fog and oppressive noise, Pharmakon made the most of her short set. She did go down into the crowd a few times, but I was too tired at this point to try and move closer to where she was. To my surprise the set was even shorter than the already short allocated time, finishing about 15 minutes early, which left me a bit disappointed, but she managed to make those 25 minutes worth missing Mono. We did go to get a glimpse of Mono afterwards, but with me having seen them before and Che not being impressed, we decided to get some fries instead and go home.

Che (Apothecary): It was back to the Green Room for Lil Radu and me for the closeout to Roadburn's first day. The final set would come from Margaret Chardiet, an enchantress of harsh noise otherwise known as Pharmakon. Anticipation built as bright red lights doused the stage and smoke emitted from a machine before the performance (the playing of Death Grips over the speakers before the set, to which I happily lost my mind, also helped… thanks, Roadburn!). I had actually seen Margaret about 2 months prior to this set in my own neck of the woods, in Miami, so I was well aware of what she can bring out onstage and what a powerful performance she's capable of.

Seeing Margaret for the second time at Roadburn, her performance felt a little more restrained, but this may have been owed more to the setting than anything. Seeing her in Miami in February, I was at a dive bar with a very large floor area and a stage that's considerably lower to the ground, so there was a much greater opportunity for moving (read: running manically) through the audience on Margaret's part. Not so with her Roadburn performance. This time around it was certainly entrancing and visceral, but the most Margaret did as far as crowd interaction is concerned was stand on the edge of the stage and scream at people. I may have wanted a little more out of this performance, which ended after a mere half hour of a 50-minute time slot, but all in all it was a powerful, abrasive, and delightfully ritualistic end to the first day of the fest.






CONCLUSIONS AND SUCH

Lil Radu (RaduP): This was certainly a day of premieres, getting my first taste of most Roadburn venues and Roadburn traditions, Patronaat queues, and trying to rationalize buying so much merch to myself. I expected to be much more tired than I was, so we ended up watching some One Punch Man instead before going to sleep.

Big Radu (Schimodie): I was surprised that I was not too tired at the end of the day which is not what I had experienced a year prior - I assume I felt that way due to the nature of the shows that I've been to which more intimate and quiet rather than loud and engaging (Bismuth being somewhat of an exception, though not entirely). For me, this is in stark contrast with last year's first day when I felt so overwhelmed that I barely remember walking the 4 kilometers back to my hotel. However, I believe that was for the better as it would enable me to fully experience the monster that would be the second day of this year's Roadburn.

Che (Apothecary): After getting drowned in Pharmakon's sea of electronic violence, Lil Radu and I got some food before rendezvousing with the other guys and making our way back to the abode for some anime shenanigans before passing out. After four prior years of experiencing "the Roadburn routine", I gotta say that the first day of this new edition still succeeded in knocking me off my ass and throwing me for a loop as well as the previous ones ever had. Day 1 of a new Roadburn always feels like an initiation ritual of sorts, no matter how many times you've been to the fest previously, and even though I had somewhat gotten a dose of that initiation Wednesday night at the pre-party, the first day was nothing short of a head-first dive back into the thick of it all. And good Lord, was the temperature in the deep end (nice).

Rod (Mr. Doctor): With the exception of Lingua Ignota (and not counting Great Grief, as I had seen them the day before as well), I wasn't too fired up for more than half of the day. Heilung and Mono were the acts that truly stuck with me for the first day (and definitely among the highlights of the entire festival for me). As the first day came to an end, I moved aimlessly through nearby bars and met dear Roadburn-friends (you get many of those after attending so many years in a row!). One thing led to another and we ended up hanging out and drinking with half the Heilung squad. It was a classic example of Roadburn magic: When the distance between artists and attendees is completely demolished and you exchange your thoughts and visions of the precious craft that is music.

Three more of these bad boys coming your way, assuming our procrastination doesn't soar in the coming weeks and none of us end up bailing. Who knows? Anyway, in the meantime you can always check out the pics from Day 1 more closely in our Gallery, right over here.



 



Written on 01.05.2019 by An extremely lazy reviewer but he's so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 66 users
01.05.2019 - 14:50
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
The most important lesson learned is to take actual photos instead of expecting screenshots from the videos that I took to be enough quality wise
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 15:25
Schimodie
Aaargh... from now on I'll make sure to quadruple check my ramblings before allowing Rod to publish them
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 16:18
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Wow, that was a long but very interesting read!
Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences, sounds like you really had a good time there.

@lil' Radu: it's funny that you are mentioning Heilung's live video. YouTube keep's on suggesting it to me ever since it has been uploaded, no matter how often I already canceled it. It's so annoying that I might actually surrender and watch it right now - despite of those weird people wearing deer antlers.

So nobody of you bothered to see Slægt?
That would have been my personal pick for Thursday...
----
signatures = SPAM
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 16:57
Schimodie
Written by Starvynth on 01.05.2019 at 16:18

So nobody of you bothered to see Slægt?
That would have been my personal pick for Thursday...


I would have checked them out if they wouldn't have clashed with something on my "Must See" list like Hexvessel (or Emma)
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 18:12
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 01.05.2019 at 16:18

So nobody of you bothered to see Slægt?
That would have been my personal pick for Thursday...

That's what I fucking hate and fucking love at the same time about Roadburn. There's just no way one can possibly see everything they would want to see. I had to prioritize.
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 18:31
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Starvynth on 01.05.2019 at 16:18


@lil' Radu: it's funny that you are mentioning Heilung's live video. YouTube keep's on suggesting it to me ever since it has been uploaded, no matter how often I already canceled it. It's so annoying that I might actually surrender and watch it right now - despite of those weird people wearing deer antlers.

So nobody of you bothered to see Slægt?
That would have been my personal pick for Thursday...


I was the one who wrote about the youtube clip. :p
Also, it's One of the few instaces of Youtube recommending good shit. It's Amazing.

I saw Slaegt once. It was pretty good but didnt feel like seeing them again this time. :p
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 19:31
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by Mr. Doctor on 01.05.2019 at 18:31

I was the one who wrote about the youtube clip. :p

True, my bad. I guess the omnipresence of Radu - now even as a double feature - confused me.
----
signatures = SPAM
Loading...
01.05.2019 - 19:59
nikarg
Old Nick
What Starvynth said. Thanks for sharing guys.

p.s. I hope to see more stuff from Big Radu around here.
----
Instagram
Loading...
02.05.2019 - 14:07
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
I once heard 'Krigsgaldr' on YouTube through 'Recommendation' and was blown away. That is Heilung for you.

I never got much time to dig Heilung, to be honest. But seeing it in your article, it is time to check out.
----
Loading...
02.05.2019 - 16:43
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by jamessmith81984 on 02.05.2019 at 14:34

Awesome post thank you for sharing you are perfect

Thank you, kind bot.
----
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
Loading...
02.05.2019 - 16:50
DeliciousDishes
Written by jamessmith81984 on 02.05.2019 at 14:34

Awesome post thank you for sharing you are perfect

this but I actually mean it. I always love these write-ups; it's what made me go to roadburn originally in the first place. This year I wasn't there so it's even better to still kind of get some impressions!
Loading...
02.05.2019 - 23:46
musclassia
Oh wow, I didn't know Mono was doing Hymn..., that sounds amazing!
Loading...
12.05.2019 - 21:17
tintinb
Sitting in a small town in India devoid of any metal whatsoever, owing to my mind numbingly boring Banking and Sales job, this article is a breath of fresh air. Not only did I checked out all the bands mentioned here (yeah, even Heilung's Krigsgaldr, finally gave in to Youtube's will), I did learn a few facts here and there as well, like Bismuth did a split with Gnaw Their Tongues, Emma Ruth Rundle is the front-woman of Marriages etc. Overall a very very engrossing article. Amongst the artists whom I haven't already heard before I would definitely want to give Temple Fang, Emma Ruth Rundle and Lingua Ignota their due listens. Thanks for the writeup, keep 'em coming.
Loading...

Hits total: 1304 | This month: 70