dinsdag 12 augustus 2014

If home is where the heart is, then I lost it at Ieperfest: The 2014 summer edition reviewed

My arms feel as if I have been doing 3000 push-ups and my body is covered in black spots. Eyelids are heavy, my hair still looks dirty after washing it and I miss the smell of vegan dishes  coming from the most awesome festival that Belgium has to offer (that’s right, a big 'fuck you' to Tomorrowland). I guess both my body and brain are suffering from the post-Ieperfest syndrome, so I took a pen and started writing. I’ll go through some highlights of the festival with you again, just to cheer everyone up who knows the feeling. Because if home really is where the heart is, then me and thousands of others lost it at Ieperfest. Grab the pieces of your broken heart together. I hand you the glue.

Ieperfest is an interesting concept, covering many facets of a subculture and creates a unique landscape for music fans. In the More Than Music Tent, the festival was literally described as a ‘temple’ by some that have been visiting the festival over decades.
Because during the times without the internet, Ieperfest was the only way to get the merch and music that you had been craving for all year.  You can expand your merch- and or album collection easily at the event, just like your knowledge. As we were just walking around the merch tent and chitchatting around with people from all kinds of ages, we actually got educated about the 70’s and 80’s punkscene in Belgium. Ieperfest knows no barriers when it comes to age, gender, skin colour, height or weight. We are all hardcore kids, gathering for the party of the year. Now let’s get this party started!

A glimpse of what you can see and 
what you can participate in at the More Than Music Tent

Day 1 at Flanders Fields

As heavy rain was turning the festival site into a mudwrestling palace with only the women in bikini missing, the fans of Expire did not move back and kept on standing during the whole set. The band played a faster and shorter set with less of the blabla stuff going on on stage, so the fans could look for shelter afterwards.

From US hardcore to US punkrock. Total Chaos started a hell of a party in the marquee where you could get your hair and nasty socks dried. Old skool pogo time modus was on, mohawks a must and those who didn't join could not even bite the dust. I SWEAR TO GOD THERE WAS MUD EVERYWHERE. 

After some vegan snacks we saw Backtrack pushing it to the limit on the main stage and Dead Kennedys are soon to be renamed into Almost Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra made Ieperfest chew on anti capitalist statements last year, Dead Kennedys without him is just not the same. Biafra's replacement Jeff had been tackling too much bottles before going on stage and his incoherent speeches did not enlighten one single soul watching the band. The only thing that seemed to matter was 'California Über Alles'

Happy surprise of the day was Ringworm, a US metalcore band that planned to play just three shows in Europe this year. I remember loving this band as a teenager and Ringworm even sounded better live than they ever did on my iPod.

The Belgian punks from Sunpower made the newest Trench stage turn into the Party Tent, even though they had to deal with power problems. The drummer however, kept on entertaining the fans by drumming some Iron Maiden inspired songs until the technicians figured out what went wrong. 

It is undeniable that Dog Eat Dog was something most (wiggy) Ieperlovers looked forward to. Plastic saxes were passed to some diehard fans and the whole crowd was singing, yelling, stagediving, crowdsurfing and enjoying the live eargasms. 

Anyone wanting some speakers being thrown at them could check out Blind To Faith. Also people were just throwing themselves after that epic speaker moment. That was just sick.

Headliner of the day No Warning was *££*%Ù@€ôô}—*€ôÙ@≠÷µô}øÇÇ¡«¶{no text available}. Just watch this.

Day two at Flanders Fields:

We managed to get awake without the usual overdose of caffeine, because Curse Of Millhaven delivered us some early get-the-fuck-up death core that made us shiver to the bone. Thanks for that. Those guys make me feel proud to have Belgian roots. In September they play the release show for their EP, in Ieper of course.

Authority Zero has been around since the beginning of the 90's and turned the marquee into heaven for punkrockers and the hardcore kids. Worthy warm up for Real McKenzies that were scheduled later on the day. There was dancing, pogo, dancing, pogo, singalongs and funny drunk people bothering other funny drunk people.

American hardcore band Turnstile played their first show in Belgium at the legendary Ieperfest. The guys received an incredible response that even the band didn't expect in the first place. Headwalkers and ballcrushers represent! Keep your eyes peeled for more videos on Youtube, because they are worth watching, even if you have no idea about what or who Turnstile is.

The most brutal band from NY named Suffocation is another pearl hidden in the middle of a hardcore piled line-up. These death metal bandmembers started jamming before most readers here (I am guilty myself) were even born. Still, their deathmetal sounds timeless and therefore was amazing. They only scheduled a handful of concerts in Europe, Ieper was one of their last stops before starting the American tour.

And of course there was Deez Nuts... Because the question here is which festivals they don't play. This band was officially on my list of worst live acts, but Deez Nuts did the best performance that I ever witnessed in both Germany and  Belgium. Frontman JJ Peters did not screw up this time, he might have even been the most sober partystarting bastard of the festival. See what I did there?

Open up the pogo and bring on the bagpipe! The one and only Canadian Real McKenzies were a real magnet for all punks and punk rockers. Traditional Scottish music gets punked and mohawked. The voluntary lifted up kilt and the hairy ass were for free. 

Gorilla Biscuits went something like this. Keep an eye on that vocalistic narcism thing going on there.

Day three at Flanders Fields: The final resistance

Caffeine and early morning Israel hardcore smashed into you face by Kids Insane to wake and shake up Ieperfest. From the whispers into your ears ‘til a stagediving frontman to get those poles in the marquee moving. After playing Groezrock earlier this year and Aalst earlier this month, they ended their tour together with Bane at Ieperfest.

There were some problems again with the power just when No Zodiac was feeding the beatdownkids, which made the set a bit shorter than expected. No Zodiac hasn’t played much shows in Belgium yet, so their crew was happily welcoming them to the main stage at Ieperfest. Fatalism in order to replace peace was promoted by songs as 'Population Control' and 'Drowning'.

Last show of the tour from Bane. It is better to glimpse at this video than to read what we would write on it, as we simply could not find the words.

H20 means party time for everyone, including the little kids. Some kiddies went crowdsurfing and carried around as if they were pieces of gold, because those moments are something to remember for everyone. Because it proves that there are no age limits for punkrock and we are all equal. As always, H2O likes to keep their 'What Happened' for the very end. But even if they would turn their set the other way around, it wouldn't change a thing about the atmosphere they breathe over their fans.

Maroon played one of their very last shows and the vibe in the marquee was just moving everyone. And when  the poles were going from left to right, I wasn’t sure if it was the storm outside or Maroon’s incredible awesome metal causing this.  The old skool moshing was completely in again and crowdkilling was a no go. Long live German metal!

The beautifully headlining Heaven Shall Burn did not promote their new album, but instead played numerous of old songs. The frontman Marcus also won the official Brutality Blog award for being the most funny German. He seems to carry this very down to earth attitude, so much that it even looks like an old friend making fun of you when you dare to stand in front of the stage without moving and having your arms crossed. ANYWAY: official Brutality Blog award for most brutal vocals together with a heart soaked by sweetness goes out to HSB. Why? Because this guy came to check on everyone that got stuck into a ‘pile’ of people right in front of the stage. No further songs were played until he was sure that everyone was on his or her feet again and was alright. Skullbreaking song ‘Black Tears’ was the absolute breaking point where everyone lost their minds, glasses, masks, beanies and shoes. If I'm right, someone captured that on camera, so you could just keep on refreshing Youtube until it's uploaded. Somewhere. On the interwebz.  

All glued up

Now that we have our hearts fixed, let’s look forward to the first names of Ieper Winter Fest 2015 and of course to Ieperfest Summer edition 2015. 

Make hardcore music, not war

Exactly one hundred years ago Flanders Fields were shaking heavily. Blood got spilled and lives were lost. This might sound like old crap that is rusting away in school books, but these things are still going on today in other countries and we should not forget about that. 

A little P.S. shout-out: Vort'n Vis needs you!

For those who really care about the scene: The H8000 venue Vort’n Vis (roots of Ieperfest) is being rebuild after it needed serious renovation. They are still raising money, because no money means no future for Vort’n Vis.
Anyone that could miss some euros (because every tiny bits help) and wants to support the very roots of both the H8000 scene and Ieperfest, can donate in order to help rebuild the venue. Check out their website to follow the rebuilding of the venue! =)

Vort'n Vis: http://rvv.vortnvis.net  



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