Shaking off hangover number one for Saturday, the first band we caught, and the second band to take to the Red Bull stage, COLLAPSE THE CONTROL, were, without a doubt, one of the worst of the weekend. An almost carbon copy of every other ‘death-core’ band, Collapse the Control fail to excite and lack the stage presence or talent to fully engage the audience and ultimately leave the crowd underwhelmed and little amused.
At the other end of the scale, GOLD KIDS may be from a small island with an even smaller scene, but as they bound onto the stage with their brutal brand of hardcore, it’s clear these Italians mean business. With frontman Andre providing the fuel for the mayhem his band are causing in the pit, it’s clear that they have both the talent and attitude to propel themselves further.
MAKE DO AND MEND are the perfect start to the evening, with a set packed with tracks from their latest album, End Measured Mile, they pull a strong crowd who sing along to the near faultless renditions of their songs, with Oak Square a particularly strong opening highlight. They seem to be soaking in every part of the experience and never fail to impress with their live shows.
BRUTALITY WILL PREVAIL bring the Front/Etnies stage to the brink of insanity with an appropriately brutal set which saw a huge pit erupt, including a huge man in a balaclava. Chaotic and heavy, Brutality will Prevail were a lot of fun and demand, at the very least, a curiosity look. A very memorable performance from a band that many might write off as a novelty.
Meanwhile on the main stage, GHOST OF A THOUSAND powered through their last ever show with an impassioned set that, though devoid of surprised, was a perfect sign off for a band that never quite got the recognition for the years of hard work and great songs they gave to the world. A band that will be sorely missed, but not a bad sign off at all.
The Jaegermeister stage was plagued with sound problems for the entire weekend, one of the bands to battle successfully through these issue were ARCHITECTS. A brilliant, energetic set that saw everyone in attendance come alive and managed to prove just how good this band actually are. A big name on everybody’s lips, Architects lived up to and exceeded the hype. Awesome.
TITLE FIGHT share similarities with many of the bands on the lineup this weekend, and as they launch into songs from the upcoming Shed, the packed tent is an indication of the anticipation for more of the same. This is music to pump your fist to (and many do) and the band struggle to maintain energy on slower tracks – however, when they pull it all back with a mass stage invasion to the title track of the aforementioned ‘Shed’, its evident that their brand of hardcore influenced pop-punk is in high demand.
With the majority of people at the Jaegermeister stage to see Dillinger Escape Plan, the Macbeth tent became a die-hard, intimate BOUNCING SOULS show. Seasoned veterans of punk rock, Bouncing Souls took the Macbeth tent and made it their own. As the set progressed, the crowd got bigger with the party atmosphere. Bouncing Souls are a tonne of fun and, even though an average studio band on occasion, a brilliant live act every time.
Elsewhere, we joined the big majority of Saturday’s crowd for DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. Not quite the absolute carnage that was hoped for, with the stage leaving the sound a little flat, but there’s really no-one like DEP when it comes to delivering mathy hardcore that equally perplexes as it does impress. Stuck in awe as usual, and there’s no doubt that the band are one of the main reason this festival exists.
The more left unsaid about the after-band activities of Saturday the better, but Hevy 2011’s Saturday will long be remembered as one of the best line ups a festival had this year, and it was everything it promised to be despite a few niggles in the sound department.
HENRY MCCAUGHTRIE / EMMA BUFF / TOM AYLOTT
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