July 10, 2011

ROADBURN FESTIVAL DAY 4 - Afterburner (April 17 2011)

The fourth and final day of the festival started a bit early for us. At about four in the morning the phone starts ringing. First we ignore it, but after a while it gets a bit annoying and we answer, it’s the receptionist, she says “oh, isn’t this Greg Andersons room?” About 30 minutes later we are woken up by some random dude walking in to our room and starts taking his shoes off. “Uhm, sorry man, I think you got the wrong room.” The next morning the phone rings again, this time it’s one Stephen O’Malley asking for Greg. “No sorry, it’s the wrong Anderson.” “Ah ok, I guess that’s been happening a lot?” I guess the hotel staff must have been confused with two Andersons at the same time...

The Afterburner seems to slowly but steady becoming a regular fourth day of Roadburn. This year they had upgraded it by using the Main Stage and the Green Room, as compared to last year when it was the Green Room and the Bat Cave, and there are a few more bands playing as well. One part of me likes this as you actually never want to leave, but on the other hand the Afterburner works as a great closure with an even more relaxed atmosphere than the first three days. That’s actually what all great festivals need; a relaxed after party that lasts for an entire day.
Unfortunately the whole day is pretty much a haze for some reason. And no, not because of various substances mind you, but probably because this in fact day number four of a festival where there is so much to take in and process, and a festival where I like pretty much all of the bands performing. I guess that’s a lot for my brain to handle. When I look at the notes I wrote down while watching the bands perform I’m starting to question myself quite a lot. But yeah, I remember some things, so here we go.

First band for me was the classic American doom act Blood Farmers. This was their second set at the fest, they also played the first day but I couldn’t see them then since they clashed with Wovenhand. They were really impressing on stage with killer riffs and a very strong repertoire. They even played a new song, called “1000 Yard Stare”. Don’t know exactly how “new” this song is by now, but it sounded like something they could have written back in the day. Awesome stuff. Why this band hasn’t produced more music is beyond me.
Blood Farmers

Next up was Japanese death metallers Coffins. I was really looking forward to seeing them as I like Autopsy as much as they do. Well, maybe not that much, but close. It was great to see how much they enjoyed being up on the Main Stage, Uchino’s (guitar/vocals) smile when he took pictures of the crowd lit up the whole room. Their old school Death Metal (or Death Doom as they call it) is pure excellence and they delivered a very tight set that more people should have seen. Oh, and it was almost impossible to reach their merch table afterwards...

For some reason I missed out on Dead Meadow, which I regret now. Next up on the Main Stage was Black Mountain, but fortunately I had seen them a few months earlier in Stockholm so I could avoid the agony of choosing between them and Black Pyramid. Knowing myself I would probably have chosen Black Pyramid anyway. I fell in love instantly with their debut album from 2009, and they were actually just as good live as on my turntable at home. This band has a way of producing great riffs and melodies that other bands would kill for. Their second album due out this fall is at the top of my list for most anticipated albums of 2011.
Black Pyramid

I stayed in the Green Room to check out Germany’s Samsara Blues Experiment. They in fact turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the festival. I had of course heard their debut album, “Long Distance Trip”, and really liked it, but seeing the band live was something else. It was like one long jam in the vein of bands like Earthless for instance. Very groovy space-riffs that you never wanted to end.
Samsara Blues Experiment

Unfortunately it had to end, because I had promised myself to end the evening with Sourvein over at the Main Stage. Not a bad change of venue though since Sourvein showed us all what sludge is all about, as they were supposed to have done last year, but for reasons you know, cancelled.

And then, all of a sudden, Roadburn Festival came to an end. I know that there’s of course always a lot of hard work when organizing something like this, but this year must have been a vacation for Walter, Jurgen and the rest of the crew compared to last year. The only change in the schedule that I noticed was the delay of Earth that I mentioned on day two, and that was no biggie.

What more can I say? Awesome festival as usual, and oh yeah, a great place to spend your hard earned cash as you can see below.

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