Japanese bringers of death Coffins had just started up on the main stage, but I had a vision of myself a year ago gruelingly trying to wrap up the entire Afterburner in one post (I did it, sort of) and decided promptly to stop back into the hotel and get a grip on the day. It’s amazing how laid back the Afterburner is. A lot of the rush and push is gone – probably because there are only half as many active stages and almost no time conflicts between bands – and everyone seems calmer. The change is enjoyable, and it’s a really smart way to end the fest.
Now that I’ve seen it three times, I think I can safely say Roadburn is probably the best live production in the world. Certainly the best I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to festivals where the people putting it on have a clue, and I’ve been to festivals where that’s very much not the case, but here, it’s not even that Roadburn and the 013 know how to put on a show, but they know why they’re putting it on, and for whom. It’s a vibe like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and a hell of a way to spend a weekend.
I managed to walk into the Green Room just as the lights went down for Sungrazer. They were the only band playing this weekend whose album I brought with me to listen to on the plane, and I was really looking forward to seeing how they came across on stage. Their low-slung stoner rock was one of the highlights of the whole weekend, “Common Believer” and “Zero Zero” being particularly killer, and they announced a new album for later this year and closed with a new song that had a more expansive, psychedelic feel. I stood right up front for the whole set and could practically feel the heat coming from Rutger Smeets’ guitar amps.
The crowd was nuts for them, and though the fact that they’re Dutch natives might have something to do with that, I think more it was the riffs and the tones. There’s something about that kind of heavy psych that makes me so happy. I stood there and watched and I was glad to be there, and they were glad to be there, and everything worked out. It was a great experience, and they still have some kinks to work out performance-wise, but there’s nothing stopping them from being forerunners in the next Eurostoner generation if they want to be.
On Thursday, New York’s own Blood Farmers were on at the same time as Wovenhand, so I knew I definitely wanted to see them at the Afterburner. Doom for doomers – no other way to put it. They haven’t put out a record since their 1995 self-titled on Hellhound, but man, they didn’t miss a beat when it came to the kind of straightforward, riffy classic doom they wanted to elicit. With Coffin Joe (look it up) on the screen behind them, they doomed their way through their allotted 50 minutes and even went over time a little bit, having to end suddenly after finishing a song and saying, “Well, I guess that’s it.” They still got a good response from the main stage room.
Although Coffins were pretty heavy, I had interest in seeing Dragontears, but the Green Room was mostly full, so I stood in back for a couple minutes, then ran by the merch area and picked up the two Spindrift CDs for sale. Seemed the least I could do after missing their set for Sungrazer at the start of the day. Black Pyramid was there too with new merch, and Dave Sherman of Earthride is set to play bass later on tonight with Sourvein, so that should be a trip as well. Right now though, it’s Dutch guitar trio The Machine in the Green Room and Dead Meadow on the main stage, so it’s probably time I head back. More once I have it, and more pics after the jump.
Tags: Blood Farmers, Coffins, Roadburn 2011 Adventure, Sungrazer, The Netherlands, Tilburg