May 16, 2011


We arrived in Holland the day before the festival, and not a volcano in sight. Roadburn is by far the highlight of the year, and this time we planned ahead a bit more than last year. Resulting in a room at the Mercure Hotel, just a block from 013 and the Midi Theatre, perfect.

The first day of this riff filled event started out strong with the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble at the Midi Theatre. I’d wanted to see them for quite some time, well; I actually want to lay my hands and eyes on everything that Jason Kohnen aka Bong-Ra produces. I mean, just listen to the Killahman Machine 7” singles for instance and try to prove me wrong. TKDE performed an excellent set, with their great combination of violin, horn, trumpet, soft vocals and lots of bass from Kohnen. The bass almost takes over at times; don’t know if this is intentional or if it’s just too high in the mix. Either way, I liked it!
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
After this perfect festival opener all we could do was to stay at the Midi. Why? Because Ghost were about to enter the stage. The place was packed of course, since the Ghost hype is far from over. When the robe clad members walked on stage you could barely move up front without being elbowed by some dude with a camera. Does the band deserve all this fuzz then? I guess you know where I stand on this. Last time I saw them was when they opened for Watain in October 2010. That whole night was one of the highlights for that entire year, and the Roadburn set worked as a great reprisal of said night. I saw them again a few days ago (May 13), and they managed to make me like them even more by adding the Beatles’ cover “Here Comes the Sun” to the set list.
Over to the main stage at the 013 where Wovenhand had taken the stage. I was really glad that Roadburn finally booked them to play. And what a set they did. David Eugene Edwards owns the stage like no one else. I found myself almost paralyzed, just standing there staring at him where he sat on the side of the stage on a chair with guitar in hand. It was pretty overwhelming at times and I almost couldn’t take it anymore. Strange feeling that; one part of me wants to stay, taking it all in, wanting more. And one part just wants to flee, longing for something easy to absorb...
Staying in front of the main stage waiting for band I’d wanted to see for, well, it seems like forever. I’m talking about Pentagram and I was trying not to get my hopes up too much. Back in my mind I was sure that they weren’t going to show up, but all of a sudden Bobby Liebling and Victor Griffin are right in front of me. Bobby is running around on stage in his high heels and seems to be in a very good mood, joking with the audience in between songs. It was a good show, but it was nothing mind blowing I have to admit. I heard later on that the band weren’t that satisfied with the Roadburn set and that they could do a lot better. I believe them, but still, it was Pentagram and I got to finally see them.
Had to miss the last bit of the Pentagram set and head over to the Green Room to catch Today is the Day. That’s of course the thing with Roadburn; it’s all about compromising. On the other hand, on most occasions I’m satisfied with a 30 minute show, so this luxury problem isn’t really what I would call a problem. Still, you can’t see all the bands no matter how much you run around between the stages, but going to see TITD was a no brainer. It was an awesome set, and I didn’t expect less from these guys. For some reason I don’t remember much of their show, and my notes are extremely cryptic, even for me. Maybe it was because what was about to hit me on the main stage...
Today is the Day
Godflesh! Never thought this day would come. But here they are; Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green right in front of me, ready to perform their entire debut full length “Streetcleaner”. Knowing what a great musician Broadrick is, and what an excellent album “Streetcleaner” is this could in no way go wrong. Of course it didn’t either. Godflesh really gave it all on stage. Even after the first track, “Like Rats” it looked like Justin Broadrick was about to collapse of exhaustion. But he just kept going giving it more and more for the entire hour and a half.
The first day was almost over and I tried to decide which of last bands I was going to see. Carlton Melton, Count Raven or Soilent Green. I chose the latter, and well, the band and the crowd seemed to be as tired as I was. Ben Falgoust made excuses to the crowd that they were suffering from jetlag, but still I think they did a good show. It was a great ending to an awesome day.
Soilent Green

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