I was trying to find a clever MacGuyver way to open a bottle of Palm Dobbel from the sixer that forum member StevhanTI was kind enough to bring me, but there’s no opener in the hotel room and so I have no means of doing so. I suppose I could go downstairs and work that out, and maybe I will by the time this is posted.
Tilburg is jumping tonight. Through the open window, I hear cheers, chants, periodic death growls. It’s a culture clash between the nightlife crowd and the Roadburn weirdos. I like it. I enjoy this place. Today was long, but I have no regrets for taking it on. I might even sleep tonight, if I’m lucky. It’s already later than it was when I started my post last night, but Voivod‘s set got me all full of energy — because it ruled — so I should hopefully manage to not fall asleep as I type, which would be a boon at this point.
When I got back to 013, the main stage room was already mostly full for Winter, and rightly so. The reunited New York trio were suitably momentous, and suitably loud. It was awesome. There’s something extra misanthropic about that early ’90s brand of death-doom; it was made so opposite the trend of its day, and Winter managed to carry that feel over. They didn’t have a stage show to speak of, just the three of them standing there (well, the drummer sat). Not about the show, just about the music. Just about the heaviness. And in that, they were devastating.
In a scene so varied, it’s easy to lose track of that mentality and get caught up in the fun side of a band like Ghost, who can deliver both a solid musical aesthetic and an engaging live show. But ultimately it’s the music that matters, and Winter brought that out. On that level, it was the essence of doom. It’s not about the show, it’s not about entertaining. It’s about not fitting in, and even among the weirdos, Winter were their own entity. Unmistakable.
The Green Room was accessible for Beaver, so I went in there and got a much-needed dose of rock. Between Winter and the likes of Keiji Haino and Year of No Light, the day had thus far been pretty grim. The change was welcome. There wasn’t much room to stand or get any decent pictures, but I made up for it by hitting the merch area and buying an exclusive wood-box boxed set of everything they’ve ever recorded for 50 Euro. Next up on my plan was Earth at the Midi Theatre — their set switched with Circle with Pharaoh Overlord, if you’ll recall — but I missed it and the Animosity lineup of C.O.C. in the name of getting dinner. Sorry. Man’s gotta eat.
After failing to get a table at Koi Sushi across the street from the Mercure (I’m pretty sure if I’d showed up in a suit and a Eurodouche haircut, I’d have gotten seated, but I’m always sure of that), it was off to a Mexican place down Weirdo Canyon, that had a beer spiked with tequila called Desperados that I had two of before I realized why I was getting so buzzed off it. So much for knowing what you’re getting into.
The food was decent, though, and much needed. If I’m lucky, tomorrow I’ll wake up in time to get some eggs for breakfast. After the “flautas” — which was actually a burrito — I went back to the 013 main room for SunnO)))‘s set. They took their sweet time getting on stage, as you’d almost have to expect, and I waited impatiently in the photo pit, crowded in with the same pushy group of people who’ve been around all weekend. I saw members of Evoken up front in the crowd on the other side of the barrier. Looking forward to their set tomorrow. Another killer Jersey band — totally opposite end of the spectrum from The Atomic Bitchwax — representing my home state. Jersey Shore my ass.
I probably should have stayed for more of SunnO))), but I wanted to catch Hooded Menace in the Green Room, and knew that doing so meant I had to get over there early. They were already on when I rolled in, and killing it. I was glad to see they captured the tightness of their studio sound live with a formidable vitality to complement. They look like a young band on stage, and forsaking the cloaks of the main stage act on at the time, they wore hoodies to cover their heads and evoke their moniker. It was clever, and even if they did look like they belonged at a Madball show, they certainly didn’t sound it. Fucking killer death metal with doom riffs. I dug it and felt lucky to see them.
My night ended with Voivod, which was fitting. I was right up front at the Midi Theatre for the start of their set — having gotten there and been pleasantly surprised to catch the tail end of Incredible Hog‘s performance — and it was well worth the push of the crowd. Incredible Hog had hit the old-man-rock nail right on the head, and Voivod, a generation younger, injected punk rock energy into classically progressive heaviness. I’d never seen either band — never heard of Incredible Hog — so it was awesome to see both acts and close out my Friday night with such a meaningful set.
I know Voivod‘s days as a live act are numbered after the death of Denis “Piggy” D’Amour and their subsequent albums featuring the riffs he recorded prior to passing, and I appreciated having the chance to see them. Having Snake sing “Forlorn” from Phobos (on which Eric Forrest originally performed) was the icing on the cake, and the band as a whole rocked. There was no pretense about it, no bullshit, just rock and roll. It was a joy to watch.
Tomorrow begins with Candlemass performing Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in its entirety — basically a headlining set opening the day — so I’m stoked for that, but for tonight, it’s getting on 3AM and time for me to upload my pictures to go with this post and get the hell to sleep if I can. Breakfast and all the rest of it depends mostly on my getting a decent night’s sleep, so here’s hoping. My Palm Dobbel now open, Friday has a fitting (and delicious) end.
More pics after the jump. Click to enlarge any of them and/or the ones here.
Tags: Beaver, Roadburn 2011 Adventure, SunnO))), The Netherlands, Tilburg, Voivod, Winter