Are Gig & Concert Ticket Prices Becoming Too High?


Tickets for the Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary concert at the O2 Arena last night (25th November 2012) were going for £1000+ for the best seats in the house and no less than £100 for anyone else.That’s huge money, but putting it into perspective, The Rolling Stones are a huge band that people are seriously excited to see.

Mick Jager had this to say at the show last night:

“It’s amazing that we’re still doing this, and it’s amazing that you’re still buying our records and coming to our shows,” Jagger said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

He also joked about the controversial price of the concert’s tickets:

“How are you doing up in the cheap seats?” he asked fans in the upper rows. “Except they’re not cheap seats, that’s the problem.”

Well here is something pretty cool! We can show you a big selection of some more reasonably priced gig tickets for the greatest acts of all time that we had the fortune of seeing back in their heyday. Check out Black Sabbath for £0.75, Rolling Stones £3, Pink Floyd £1.40.

View a Slide Show HERE: Concert Tickets – The Rolling Stones

I suppose one thing you need to remember is that in 1974 I was quite well paid on £18 a week! Are ticket prices too high now? Leave a comment with your thoughts and tell us about the prices that you have to pay to see your favourite bands & artists.

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Album Review: Deftones ‘Koi No Yokan’


Deftones – Koi No Yokan
Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal
Label: Reprise

Deftones, a name that has undeniably made its way into the life of a fan of rock or metal in general, for better or for worse. Going through the band’s history would require an essay twice as long as this review will be with all the rumours, addictions and the additions of members as years passed. All you need to know is that Deftones are known for never making the same album twice: constantly evolving their sound into something else with every release… is “Koi No Yokan” a step in another direction again? Yes.

It felt an age since Deftones released anything new, but it’s only been over two years when they released “Diamond Eyes”. Two years prior to the 2010 release, a horrible car accident left bassist Chi Cheung in a coma, and instead of putting their talents to rest  the band continued (while garnering moral and financial support for Chi and his family) with the help of Quicksand bassist Sergio Verga, who makes his second album with Deftones via “Koi No Yokan”. However, music is the business here…

To put it bluntly, Deftones have really managed to pull some astonishing feats on this album. Several songs sound like short soundtracks to crumbling of old statues that have finally fallen from time or stars ploughing into cities that have stood through thousands of years of civilisations; like nature the resetting of a score. Then others are some of the most sincere love ballads with a punch that you’ve heard in years. The overall sound is titanic, huge, colossal and any other synonyms for ‘big’ I haven’t included: it’s just massive.

What’s different? Well, Stef’s toned down the obvious Meshuggah-influenced riffs that appeared often in “Diamond Eyes” and has leaned back to style of the hard-hitters on “Saturday Night Wrist”, and it seems that Sergio’s presence is a lot more prominent too, and that his role in the band is a lot more relaxed and creative. Probably the most surprising thing in consideration of the overall sound is that Chino rarely screams on this album – possibly cementing it as the most vocally clean album in their discography to date. Otherwise, Abe and Frank provide their usual attributes to the sound, the former giving his standard powerful and catchy drums while the latter adds keys and moments of ambience to the mix.

Opener Swerve City starts at full pace – no soft introduction, no build-up, just a guitar riff that inspires nothing but high jumps immediately, but then smoothly transcends into an almost drive-at-night soundtrack with its smooth flow and Chino’s alluring vocals. The track just prepares you for what to expect for the rest of the album. Romantic Dreams has an old school alt rock feel, not far from the likes of their favourites Jawbox, and teasingly progresses into one of the catchiest choruses that Deftones have ever penned; which will no doubt have audiences at live performances weeping along to “I’m hypnotised by your name / I wish this night would never end”. Just a powerful track so early into the album that makes you wonder how can they possibly keep the it up.

Leathers starts of softly with some tingling ambience between a clean guitar notes and keys, almost promising a break from the energy of the first two tracks, but then the whole band jumps in and throws a heavy slab of aggressive riffs and generally one of the more metal sounding moments on the album, before dropping into a melodic chorus with the haunting “Shedding your skin / Showing your texture / Time to let everything inside show”. The song could easily have fitted in on “Saturday Night Wrist” too.

Next is Poltergeist, which opens with claps and a rumbling bassline, letting you know that you can expect the same high energy as the previous tracks. In fact, this track feels like it would be at home on “White Pony”, despite the polyrhythmic style of the guitar at parts. Entombed however is the first time where the band mellows out, reminiscing the mood and style of Sextape (from “Diamond Eyes”) with its seductive melody and eloquent chorus, featuring a nice play between synth-keys and drums during the outro.

Sixth track Graphic Nature returns to the aggressive style ,with jarring and slightly disjointed guitars, yet the melody is plentiful. Tempest is the first track to reach to over the 6-minute mark, filled with those driving-through-the-night feeling riffs while mystical lyrics flow over the top, especially with the chorus haunting “Turning in circles / Caught is a stasis / The ancient arrival / Cut to the end”. It’s just hypnotic in its delivery and oddly soothing even with the distorted guitars.

Gauze is yet another track that charges in with aggression as Chino sings warning messages over the top, but there’s no simpler way to describe the following track Rosemary other than if there was a song to describe the beauty of the Universe, this would be it. The sound is on such a grand scale that it feels like it weighs more than the Earth, which peaks with the enormous chorus of “Time shifting / We discover the entry / To other planes”, playing heavily on atmosphere.

Goon Squad, though starting with soft scrapes across clean chords, is full of spiteful aggression – especially with Chino’s opening line “I carve my name across your town when I’m set” and the later “Before we get down you should prepare your heart strings / To cut all the ties and watch the trends begin”. Final track What Happened To You? provides a smooth ending to the album, sounding like a hybrid between the styles of “Saturday Night Wrist” and “Diamond Eyes”, and Sergio’s bassline embeds itself into your memory, as Stef’s guitar sounds more complimentary than being the focus to the overall sound (which isn’t a complaint).

In the end, this may be the most consistently pleasing album since “White Pony”. Every track is memorable and addictive, and there’s nothing that spoils the album or seems out of place in the slightest. Instrumentally, Deftones have tightened the screws since the fairly rough “Diamond Eyes”, and it feels like the band may have been keeping their best riffs and grooves during the last ten years and saved them up for this album alone.

There’s no reason for the hardcore Deftones fan to be disappointed by this. In hindsight, after listening to this album, you might just question what they’ve been doing during the previous few releases, and not because they’re bad, but because you wonder why this album is so much more satisfying than the last few.

It’s been worth the wait.

9.3/10
Favourite tracks: Romantic DreamsRosemary, Leathers, Goon Squad.

Review by Rich Reviewz

Get Your Christmas Shopping Wrapped Up Now!


Who’s already started the stressful task of Christmas shopping or who’s leaving it until late December to hit the shops in the cold and rain? Why not remove the stress and do it all from the comfort of your home online at www.eyesoremerch.com

Hundreds of Band T-Shirts, Movie T-Shirts, TV Show T-Shirts, Video Game T-Shirts + hoodies, hats, bags and accessories galore. Head over to our store. You are sure to find something for all the family!

Time to Hit the Road: Undertaking the 1st international tour


The 2nd in a series of posts from our friend Jason Lekberg; frontman of metal band IKILLYA and VP of Digital Marketing and Strategy for the Eleven Seven Music group, where he tells us his experience of taking his band from New York to the United Kingdom.

Touring is probably the most complex part of being a musician. It’s simultaneously the most fun, most expensive, most effective and most difficult part of growing as a band. I think I can speak for all of you that the thought of your job being cruising from place to place with your friends to play music is one of the main reasons we started playing in the first place. It’s a blast and the feeling of working for yourself is really irreplaceable. You know your songs and how to execute them so you don’t wake up in the morning stressed about getting your job done or having to put up with some asshole boss who makes everyone else’s life hell because they hate their own. You get to play for people who (hopefully) dig your music and are looking forward to seeing you. You sell music and merch and begin to build a base of people who enjoy and maybe are even moved by your music. It’s the next step in your career and as a musician in heavy music, it’s the only real way to make yourself known. You can put out music and you might get some accolades for it, but if you have any hope of becoming more than a weekend warrior local band, you have to tour.

That’s all the good stuff. The bad is that it costs far more than you’ll ever make starting out and you’ve got to do all the work of booking the gigs and finding food and lodging on your own. For many people the intersection of “old enough to make money to support your band” and “too much responsibility to quit your job and hit the road” comes very early. When you’re young you’ve got no real money to support a tour and by the time you do, how you make that money doesn’t allow you to take time to go on tour. It’s a tough place to be and many bands never make it past the discussion stage at that age. I’ve been in bands on both sides of the coin and have learned a few things that may hopefully help you when it comes time to make that choice yourself.

It goes without saying that your band has to love to play more than they love money to survive but you still have to figure out how to eat. I’m sure most of you are already playing cities in your local area that you can get to by car or train on the weekends so we’ll jump right to touring somewhere you need time off to get to. When IKILLYA decided to go to the UK (we’re from NYC) to tour last year I booked the whole thing on my own. It’s just like booking your own city, kind of.

Once you’ve decided to tour, the first thing you need to figure out is how you’re going to get there and how you’re going to get around while you are there. Figure out flight costs, van costs, gear rental, gas, hotels/lodging and food in advance and then add 30% (cause there are going to be expenses you don’t expect) and if you can’t afford all of that, stop now. If you’re reading this you’re likely a band looking at one of their first tours so there probably won’t be a lot of money to be made from the door or merch. My advice would be to expect that you are going to make no money at all and if you do, view it as a bonus. If you’re going to another country, research the Musicians Visa process and prepare to file. Most countries won’t let you even file until you have a tour routing, but you’ll need to know that countries laws and be as prepared as possible so you can file quickly once you’re done. I think the show “locked up abroad” should convince you it’s not worth the risk of sneaking in. Once you’ve got all that done, you can start booking.

I started by using Facebook, Google, and ReverbNation to find other bands similar to my own in the UK and then looked at where they were playing. ReverbNation has an amazing tool called Gig Finder that lets you put in a location and shows you venues played by other RN members in that area. I began building an excel document of each venue, it’s address and booking contact information, and the same for any promoters I saw putting on heavy music shows there. I also began reaching out to bands to see if any of them would be interested in either helping us set up a show or introducing us to their local promoter or club. Most bands were not helpful, but a few were and we got some great shows from them. I was also fortunate enough to receive an old promoter and club contact list from a friend in the industry. It needed to be gone through as many of the clubs and promoters listed were no longer operational but after combining that list with mine I had a great starting point. I’ll be honest, we’re talking about a week+ of late nights putting this together.

Once I had my list, I began personally emailing each contact with a short letter I put together that gave an overview of my band, our achievements (specifically those that would show we had the possibility to attract fans in the UK) and links to our music, video, EPK, how much $ we were looking for and what dates we were looking at. I thanked them all for their time in advance and worked hard to be very honest about the level my band was at. At this early stage you are building relationships and the last thing you want to do is have a promoter/club book you on false pretenses and then be pissed after your show. The industry is very small and if you want to come back (which you need to and should be planning to if you’re going this far) you’ll need friends and professionals who speak highly of you. If they’re not interested in taking a chance on you, you don’t want them to anyway so don’t get upset when you don’t hear back.

I haven’t counted exactly but I estimate I got responses to about 5% of the emails I sent. Some of the responses were people being kind enough to let me know that they were not interested, some were people kind enough to give the contact of those who could help me and a very few were actually interested in booking us. I logged the dates when I emailed each contact in my excel sheet and also their responses. I then took the new contacts sent to me and emailed each of them as well. As I began confirming dates I built a google map marking the locations of potential and confirmed shows so that I could schedule the dates in the best way possible. I’ll be honest though, the end result did have us doing a bit more traveling than I would have liked, but at least we had shows.

Once I had the semblance of a tour together I sent one more email to those on the list who never responded letting them know which dates were still open and asking if they could help fill those. This actually got some responses as I’m sure many people read the first note and thought “these guys are never going to get themselves over here so I’m not going to waste my time”. As soon as it was apparent we were coming either way I’m sure they saw less risk. Eventually I had a whole routing together, but I’ll be honest – it took nearly 4 months. By the time I was done I had been passed on to someone else so many times that my excel was almost 3 times as long as when I started, and we had to move the whole tour 2 months to make it work.

Once your dates are solid you can submit for your Visa, buy your flights, rent your van and gear and start promoting. If you don’t already have them, make up posters and ship them to each venue at least 3 weeks before each show. I also bought super targeted facebook ads through ReverbNation for each show. They cost $25 each and just ran to the people in each specific town targeted to those who like the magazines we had gotten features in. Of course you’re going to promote it on your sites and if you have a publicist have them release a press release and begin reaching out to local press in each city for interviews and show reviews. If you don’t have a publicist, hit up google and make yourself a new excel. Put together a list of the local press and reach out to set up coverage.

Simple right? Now all you have to do is get your ass there and play the shows. haha. I have a few last tips for you though. Before you leave, make a tour book that lists each show, it’s address, the address of where you’re staying, the location of hospitals close to both, the promoter/venues phone number name and any other info you may need about it. You have no idea how good your cell service will be and who knows if your laptop battery will survive so print that stuff out and give everyone in the band a copy. If you have confirmed press, put that in there for each day too along with what time you need to leave each city and arrive at each venue. Next, remember that most countries will charge you tax for bringing merch to sell into the country. You can either find a local merch distributor to print stuff for you in that country or pack it in your suitcase. If you’re the size of my band you likely won’t have enough merch to arouse suspicion or really be worth taxing so I think this is an acceptable risk.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, be a professional to the clubs, promoters and other venues. Show up when they ask, thank them for their time and effort and roll with the fucking punches. There are going to be lots of them. If the venue doesn’t have a good PA, make the best of it. If they don’t want to let you soundcheck, deal with it. If the other bands play too long, roll with it and cut your set a song or two short. You want to leave there with everyone wanting you to come back as soon as possible. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with any promoters that try and screw you out of money they promised, but if they do, remember that you don’t want to go to jail in a country you’re not a citizen of. If you properly budgeted as I described above then you don’t need the money anyway so go about your business and when you get home, make sure everyone knows never to deal with them again. We were very fortunate to not have any of those issues and in general found everyone we dealt with to be pleasant and willing to go out of their way to help us. I expect you’ll find the same 99% of the time.

After all that, it’s all about the music. If people dig it, next time you’ll be able to ask for more money and eventually, you might not be losing money on the tour and that’s really all we can ask for isn’t it?

METAL

Jason Lekberg
www.IKILLYA.com
http://www.facebook.com/IKILLYAofficial

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Disney Acquires Lucasfilm; Fans Are Concerned


The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin… and Star Wars? It may seem like a game of “which of these things is not like the others,” but now that The Walt Disney Company is acquiring Lucasfilm, this means that all of George Lucas’ creations, including Star Wars, will become a part of Disney’s big family.

In addition to acquiring the rights to the entire Lucasfilm catalogue, Disney will also gain the rights to use any of the technologies that Lucasfilm has used to create sound and visual effects, as well as the merchandise that comes along with the films. Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm’s co-chairman, will take over as president of the company and executive producer of any new Star Wars episodes. George Lucas himself will stay on as a consultant.

The announcement of the $4 billion deal has sparked both interest and controversy, mostly from fans who are concerned that the merger could lead to a watering-down of both brands. With a new Star Wars film in the works, there’s also a lot of speculation as to the details of the production, and who might be brought in to direct the film.

There has been some talk of relative newcomer indie director Colin Trevorrow, who directed Safety Not Guaranteed, coming forward to take on the next few Star Wars episodes. Although it may seem like an odd choice, Lucas met with Trevorrow earlier in the year and discussed possible projects, though it is not known for certain if Star Wars in particular was on the table. Some bigger name directors have also been mentioned, including Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and David Fincher.

As for George Lucas, he assures fans of Star Wars that he has left the franchise in good hands with the Disney takeover, and that it was always his plan to pass the company on while he could still control the direction of its evolution. Lucas didn’t just want to leave it for others to decide in the future, so the Disney deal allows him to have the greatest amount of say in the future of Lucasfilm and its creative endeavours.

Episode 7 of Star Wars is not slated for release until 2015, which gives Disney plenty of time to get organized and work out how they’re going to go about the production.

Written by — Brynn Alexander lives and breathes all things music. When she’s not ditching work to catch her favorite artists, she’s writing about entertainment for up-to-date-events.com and others.

Album Review: Muse ‘The 2nd Law’



Muse
– The 2nd Law
Genre: Rock/Experimental
Label: Helium 3

Muse, if really in need of an introduction these days, are the experimental and flamboyant rock trio from the seaside town Teignmouth in Devon. Headed by guitarist, pianist, vocalist and general mad musician Matt Bellamy, bassist and backing vocalist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dom Howard. Throughout their time together, they’ve undoubtedly changed since their beginnings as an intricate progressive rock band to an eccentric pop-rock sensation, and “The 2nd Law” is their sixth studio album, which sees them taking their extravagant style to a whole new level.

Basically, if you haven’t heard of Muse via radio, TV or through a friend in general, then you’ve probably been hiding under Ayers Rock for the past 18 years. While Matt Bellamy is perhaps known as one of the most frantic and unpredictable frontmen and songwriters in rock over recent years, to say that he pushes the limits of being outright bizarre on this album just be a bit of an understatement. Even though the previous two albums, The “Resistance” (2009) and “Black Holes And Revelations” (2006), have been undeniably ambitious, this release outright takes the cake.

The evidence hits you as soon as Supremacy starts, the track features very dramatic and sleazy guitars backed by orchestral symphonies which just screams and begs to be used for a James Bond film’s opening theme. It’s just completely indulgent in its grandiose pompousness and lack of subtlety disregards any chance of taking the song deeply or seriously. Then the single Madness follows, with low throbbing electronics to support the teasing vocal delivery, especially with the “muh-muh-muh-mah-mah-mah”, like a slow song played in a sexually intense nightclub.

Third track Panic Station becomes another track that’s just  a cup of cold water to the face, by being a funk track. Yes, Muse, playing the funk. The song, with its slap-bass and just the overall sound of the instrumentation and vocal style is like what the drunken first-draft of Stevie Wonder’s classic Superstition might have been. Even the delivery of the word ‘imagination’ is almost the same as in Superstition.

Then there’s Prelude + Survival, and in all honestly, it’s hard to really describe an orchestral intro by now because Muse use them so often now and there just aren’t enough different words to use. However, after the prelude, we get the single used for as the official 2012 Olympics song and as that title might suggest, the track is as radio friendly and cheesy as you might expect, with almost cringeworthy lyrics, like “Race, it’s a race / And I’m gonna win / Yes, I’m gonna win / And I will light the fuse / I’ll never lose”.

Afterwards is the sixth track, Follow Me, which changes the pace and is almost like something you might have expected on their “Black Holes & Revelations” release, with Matt’s lonesome vocals eventually joined by growing electronics and pounding drums, but then as it reaches the chorus, Nero’s dubstep production kicks in. The track as a whole concentrates on the electronic influence and is basically the Take A Bow of the album.

Then the following track Animals turn to a more laid-back and mostly acoustic side, a nice break from the flurry of different directions the band puts you through with the previous tracks. The bouncy keys in the track particularly sound reminiscent of The Stranglers’ hit Golden Brown. Plus the lyrics, despite being cringeworthy again at times, features some ballsy statements, like “Kill yourself / Come on and do us all a favour”.

Next is Explorers, which opens up with these tinkly keys and just unfolds into a very Queen-ish sound, being (again) very radio friendly, yet at times almost reminiscing of Radiohead’s No Surprises during the “We don’t belong here, it was a mistake imprisoning our souls / Can you free me and free me from this world”. But then Big Freeze seems to resonates U2′s famous stadium-rock sound, the vocal delivery being very similar to Bono’s, so you pretty much get the idea of what it sounds like.

Save Me is the first of two songs that features Chris taking up the vocal duties, which is really striking to hear his voice leading. While the track is very nice and soft, and probably the first to really feel to have any real emotion behind it, there’s still that unfortunate level of cheese when the it builds, but there are some nice gentle guitar melodies. On Liquid State, there’s a change in tempo, the track having a sense of urgency throughout with bouncing keys and a growling bassline, making Chris take a different approach to vocals, becoming coarser and stronger. Yet, it’s easy to mistake it as a Pendulum b-side, just without the electronic parts.

The last two tracks come as a pair, similar to the last three tracks of “The Resistance”. However, this time there’s not a purely classical link between these two songs. The first, The 2nd Law: Unsustainable, starts with this very dramatic orchestral build with opera vocals on top, eventually a news bulletin is ‘played’ alongside them. Then the dubstep part kicks in. While it’s impressive that Muse can pull the style off with conventional instruments, it’s just not all that interesting or different from what a lot of dubstep artists are doing. Lastly, The 2nd Law: Isolated System begins with quiet keys, then a low muffled dance beat joins in and again has the news bulletin coming in, building the suspense slightly better than the previous track, generating a morose atmosphere. The orchestral involvement here is a lot more striking too, perhaps proving that less is more.

In conclusion, this album is just bizarre. The influences are so sparse, frantic and non-linear that this really doesn’t feel like a Muse album in a true sense; but more like a tribute and celebration of their influences. Despite this, personally, being far from an emotionally engaging album, it seems that Muse just aren’t taking it seriously anymore, and perhaps we shouldn’t either and that music can just be for fun.

That said, to say this album has some life-changing value would be complete exaggeration, and seems like a compilation of tracks that Muse have thrown together to keep fans satisfied with new releases. It’s not a crime, but it seems like Muse are playing around at the moment and your enjoyment of this album probably depends on whether that’s what you want or not.

5/10
Favourite tracks: Panic Station, Madness, Animals.

Review by Rich Reviewz

Live Review: Damnation Festival – 3rd November 2012 @ Leeds University, UK


So in 2012, Damnation reached its 7th year of providing Leeds and its visitors a strong dose of extreme metal and underground rock music, and what a line-up to celebrate it with!

Sporting headliners consisting of Electric Wizard, Pig Destroyer and Amenra; while joined by the likes of My Dying Bride, Extreme Noise Terror, Belphegor, Primordial, Winterfylleth and more – possibly the bargain of the year considering that a single ticket only cost around £32.

The day started with The Atrocity Exhibit, who warmed up the Terrorizer stage with their filthy grind, armed with head-banging grooves and ferocious vocals. Despite the band being pretty fun (the bassist constantly flickering his tongue like a rabid man couldn’t help lighten the mood), the crowd remained still for the most part; perhaps still suffering from hangovers or early hours of travelling. Otherwise The Atrocity Exhibit seemed just right to open the stage.

Thirty minutes later, Hang The Bastard walk on to plenty of cheers, soon rolling into their sludgey hardcore as vocalist Michael Carver jumps around the stage, winding himself into the crazed man that appears during songs, at times staring into the crowd as if everyone had just offended him for the last time. Meanwhile, inbetween songs and during a moment of technical difficulties, Carver is more polite, thanking the crowd for watching or apologising for the wait while one of the guitars is dealt with – providing a humorous mix of dual personalities. That said, the band were tight and managed to stir a moshpit with little effort.

Devil Sold His Soul began playing at the Jagermeister Stage shortly after and provided a great setlist as well as a hypnotic performance as they mixed their soft-loud dynamics and syncopated riffs, playing a range of tracks from each of their albums, the most striking moments during The Starting and Sirens Chant from their debut “A Fragile Hope”. The band were incredibly on point, proving that they had more than earned their right to play the main stage.

Next up were noise-pushers Blacklisters on the Eyesore Merch Stage. Playing to their home city, the band did Leeds justice and they undoubtedly made it one of most talked about sets of the day. If you’ve listened to their debut album “BLKLSTRS”, you might be prepared for what could happen, but even then band managed to throw wilder and messier versions of their already chaotic music at first time viewers of the band – myself included – they took many people by surprise. While guitarist Dan Beesley looks like he’s trying to break his instrument in half, vocalist Billy Mason-Wood shakes and spasms like a man possessed, pouring cans of lager down his throat between songs, even making his way through the crowd during Ok47. They played a few new songs too; as well as announcing a new album in the works. A ridiculously fun band to witness live.

Darting towards the Terrorizer stage, I managed to catch the majority of Extreme Noise Terror‘s crust-ridden set from the safety of the balconies, witnessing the most energetic crowd yet – a moshpit taking up the centre of the crowd below and frequent crowdsurfers, some grabbed from the front barrier while others fell back into the crowd. The band themselves were a constant flurry, rocking back and forth or storming around the stage while managing to maintain a clear sound, inciting the audience to give it their all. The coarse Dean Jones gave his opinions on religion, wishing he had more beer and dedicating one song to the late Phil Vane (RIP); but looked like he was having a great time throughout.

Unfortunately, I left ENT a bit later than expected to see sludgey post-rock titans Bossk back at the Eyesore stage, who had already managed to fill the whole room and so it was a difficult job to wade through the crowd in order to get a decent view. Although hearing the likes of Truth and Define in person was a chilling experience, it felt slightly underwhelming with them being on a small stage, and seemed they would be more suitable for a larger stage with a bigger light show to accompany their heavy atmosphere. After Bossk, I spent an hour to replenish and headed to the Terrorizer stage to catch Aura Noir; who were nothing short of entertaining. Even though the band plays heavily thrash-influenced black metal with a serious demeanour, the slightly cheesy style and the seriousness itself couldn’t stop me from smiling or chuckling – not in a negative light, just that it was… well… unexpectedly fun.

I then left the Terrorizer early again to head over to the Eyesore stage to witness and enthralling set by Maybeshewill. No words could justify just how intense they were; especially during fan favourite Not For The Want Of Trying, the sample of Network (1976) inspiring a few shout-alongs before the band burst into human-shaped balls of energy, yet never missing a note. Maybeshewill proved that having a vocalist isn’t necessary to keep your audience engaged in a live setting and were simply brilliant. Thirty minutes later, Amenra took to the same stage, swamping the audience in their progressive doom/sludge, with help from a projector displaying grim images on the band themselves. Although hardly injecting a whole lot of energy into the audience, the set was mesmerising and crushing, making me feel guilty when leaving early in order to catch one of the headliners…

Speaking of which, at the Terrorizer stage, the audience is noticeably fidgety and impatiently hungry – men and women are staring as the band casually go through soundcheck on stage, and this is what strikes you: Pig Destroyer look like average guys, humble in every sense, seeming like friendly regulars at your local pub or local labourers that you recognise. As the lights dull down and a monologue from Tropic Of Cancer (1970) plays, the anxiety of what these guys will be like kicks in. Just a few moments ago, vocalist J.R. Hayes looked like a friendly woodcutter smiling at the crowd while noise/sampler Blake Harrison looked like someone who had accidentally wondered on with a beer in hand; but when the sample ends and Adam Jarvis blasts into Rotten Yellow and the band start swaying, jumping and looking downright scary, especially Hayes.

The setlist covered a fair range of their material too: Piss Angel, StarbellyThumbsucker, The BugDeathtripper, Alexandria and Pretty In Casts were all played as well as a handful of others. Unfortunately, a portion of the band’s set was taken up by trying to fix a problem with Hull’s guitar, resulting in three false starts, breaking the onslaught so far and killing the mood slightly. The band also finished the set a few minutes early, which was a bit of a disappointment considering the time lost with the guitar issue, but otherwise it was a mighty set, leaving a lot of battered people wandering slightly concussed afterwards, unable to comprehend what they’d just been through during the past 55-minutes. Even though the band admitted themselves that they’re plagued with the bad luck of technical difficulties live, which became reality on the night, they’re definitely worth seeing if the chance arises. Unmissable.

Electric Wizard:

Some highlights from an hour long video found on Youtube:

Written by Rich Reviewz