Tag Archives: live

Attaining the absolute: Dillinger Escape Plan Live

I think that yesterday, watching Dillinger Escape Plan, something happened. This is one of the last shows ever of the experimental hardcore… progcore, I don’t know what to call it… ever will play in the Netherlands. This will be in 013 in Tilburg. It was amazing and somewhere in between I feel like Dillinger Escape Plan gives the concert goer a glimpse of the absolute. I’m telling you.

So maybe that’s the fever that was running through my body, which almost made me sell my tickets. I felt that it would not do to stay at home, while this band has sustained so many injuries. A little fever, they must shrug that off like a little bruise. Anyways. Musically this band is supreme, I’ve seen them play a bunch of times, but the first time was 11 or 12 years ago and I think that was a moment when my way of perceiving music changed forever.

It was a gig in the old Effenaar in Eindhoven, when it was still that cool old factory hall with the shitty toilets and crappy… well, it was just a rundown place, which gave it such a cool vibe. Dillinger completely blew me away that night and that is exactly what happened again yesterday.  If there is a band compatible to the level of attention and ferocity of Dillinger, it must be Meshuggah. Apart from that they have no peer.

Through the years the band moved to a more  artistic, more accesible and even wildly jazzy sound. On ‘Black Bubblegum’ and ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’ you hear that softer sound. The feeling of being hunted is even on more tempered songs a constant present, like on ‘Happiness is a smile’ (which they played for the first time this night). These are all worthy endeavours, good songs that show the musicianship of these gents has vastly expanded over the years. I mean, the track ‘Farewell, Monla Lisa’ is a completely crushing, incinerating track with dirge-like passages lamenting the meaninglessness of our existence in one of the most powerful ways ever. Just wow!

Dillinger shines truly, when they play those classics. The all-destroying, aural assaults from the early days, like ‘Panasonic Youth’. Songs like this are destructive in essense, it’s the musical equivalent of scorched earth tactics. What is left after being completely battered and bruised by these frantic notes? Not without reason the set closes with ‘Sunshine The Werewolf’ from Miss Machine and ‘43% Burnt’  from Calculating Infinity. This is exactly because these songs are some of the purest expressions of rabid fury ever. The most violent music I’ve ever heard, but also delivered in a way that leaves no room for anything. An expression that is absolute, unmistakable and overwhelming.

Again, might have been the fever, but for me hearing Dillinger Escape Plan play again was cathartic. Destroying everything, playing on  a stage completely bare of any decoration. This is one of the most pure live experiences you can get.  Shame they’re throwing in the towel, but I won’t forget this night.

Bishop’s Green has a party in Eindhovens Blue Collar Hotel

On a regular weekday I cross the square in front of the appartment to see some dirty streetpunk at the Blue Collar Hotel in Eindhoven,  one of the prettiest venues around. Canadian bad boys Bishop’s Green are playing and there’s a nice turn out for these gentlemen. The guests of the hotel are surprised by the group of skinhead showing up for this gig, but the atmosphere is good.

The weather is fine, so enjoying a nice lager out on the terrace is no punishment for the waiting guests. They’ve apparently come from far and wide, even from Madrid in Spain, which tells you a bit about the scene itself and the band playing today. This scene is slowly shrinking it seems at times, but is tight and warm, filled with dedication and unfortunately that is often overlooked when discussing the whole Oi! movement. The band itself is remarkably friendly to any visitors, grateful even. But regardless how sweet everyone is, there’s about to be some violence in front of the stage!


Stealers from Rotterdam has been around for a while and has that right raw sound with aggression and energy that fits in with the headliner. The guitars keep up quite the pace and give the sound a feisty bite. Roaring his frustration but clearly enjoying every second of it is frontman Pet. Though some of the visitors are sitting out this one in the sun, the band is definitely up for it and manages to really warm up the mood for the main act. After a short set, we wait for the headliner. These guys have a new record out, titled ‘Street Law’, give it a spin.

It’s a noteworthy fact that Bishop’s Green is a fairly young band. The Canadians have only been playing shows for about five years now, but have earned their places in previous bands. Five years in band years is a lifetime in a way. The grateful attitude of hard working frontman Greg Huff says a lot to why this band is drawing a dedicated crowd. In between songs the bald guy with head tattoo’s is all smiles and hand shakes, but then shoots of a number of short, explosive songs. Lyrically the band deals with the more typical themes for the genre, but this always finds a willing ear with the working class, who’s lives are the themes of the songs. Hell, I find resonance in the music of a band like this just as much.

bishopsgreen2The sound relies on the staples of the Oi! scene and is pretty much straight forward, though surprisingly melodic and filled with chants and folky elements. There’s a primitive element to the music of the band, which really ignites when the band and audience jointly create that particular atmosphere. Chanting a long and raising fists, this is the interaction that matters. The pumping drumwork of Orville Lancaster is just chugging on to that party, where more beer flies around then gets drunk. Punkrock, the way it was ment to be, without ruffles, bells and nonsense and only the occasional guitar solo by Scott Farquason.

The band doesn’t play that long, but every song is spot on and the crowd gets rather jostled and I suppose fatigued. Heat, beers and a lot of fun. The sound of the band might not be pushing forward the genre, but why change a thing that is working fine. It’s been a good night.

Thanks a lot to Brendy Wijdeven for the pictures! 



Godspeed You! Black Emperor makes it worth to wait

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the band GY!BE for pretty much years. Ever since my class mate Geertjan introduced me to them in my first year at uni. I was pretty much hooked on the band instantly and their label Constellation Records. I wouldn’t say I’m a devout fan, but I was a bit nervous in 013, while waiting for the band to start.

It was the ‘Dead Flag Blues’ that got me into this band. A song with the most harrowing spoken part I’ve ever heard.

We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death..

Then the band fell apart, but like any group that has so much to say, these guys didn’t stick to their hiatus forever and took a break of about 8 years only to return completely reinvented and reinvigorated with ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!’ The sound is now much heavier and bass driven, but still pretty much the best band in whatever you want to call the genre out there.

So standing rather close to the stage I enjoyed the opening tunes of K/G/D, a noise musician, normally active with his act Total Life or Growing. The warm drones feel very natural and organic, only slightly deviating when the musician twits and turns some knobs. It’s a performance of only half an hour, but a very welcome start for a show filled with similar sounds. You don’t need to much appetizer before a band like GY!BE.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor-2

In a circle or semi-circle in a way, the band slowly emerges and starts on their opening tune ‘Hope Drone’, which swells with every addition to a full orchestration. This is Godspeed You! Black Emperor at their best, creating music that keeps you tense and excited throughout the listening experience. Obviously there’s no rock’n’roll banter, there’s just the music and the audience. Without skipping a note, the band continues on with ‘Mladic’, the opener of their return album with strange eastern elements woven into it. The band doesn’t even break their stride and continues ever onward.

The set is a mixture of songs from the last two records, which are just way more heavy and driven, leaving the postrock staples behind a bit. Sure, the repetition is still an essential element to the music of the Canadian group, but it’s changed with its time and that’s the best thing in this case. New song ‘Buildings’ specially dragged me along with its majestic visuals of towering sky scrapers and mild build-ups with warm tones.

As a desert a bit of the old back catalogue is played with ‘Blaise Bailey Finnegan III’, which stands apart on every level from the rest of the set. It shows the huge difference in sound between the band then and now. But still, they tower over anyone else in this genre.

Photo’s by Paul Verhagen | Website

Bolt Thrower, Morgoth, Vallenfyre @Muziekodroom, Hasselt

Source: Metalblade

It is a dreary sunday evening when we get in the car to drive down to Hasselt for an evening of old school death metal with Bolt Thrower. One long, straight road from Eindoven and then we cross a bridge, end up right next to a channel and there is the Muziekodroom. An awesome venue with the old feeling of excitement and danger attached to the experience for us as first time visitors. We get in and start enjoying the noise.

Having ex-members in their ranks from bands like At The Gates, Paradise Lost, The Haunted and what not, it must be clear that this band definitely has plenty of experience under their belts. The set is filled with quick jokes by vocalist Greg Mackintosh, about his ex-wife and other silly topics like religion. The death metal of them has an old school quality to it, but feels sludgy as if infused with the gothic and doom inflluences the bandmembers draw from their other groups.

Its interesting how they also pull of a grindcore track in the same vein as Napalm Death in the time of scum. The set is strong and convincing, but with a band fully aware of the sonic violence that is still to come. Taking it easy on the crowd seems to have been the mission, but that doesn’t mean not having fun.

The German band Morgoth has had many names, split up a bit and got together again because they just can not give it up. Well, why should they? The Tolkien inspired group is clearly in the mood to get the audience pumped with their bulky no nonsense sound, pounding and spitting out song after song, giving of a slight punkrock/oi! vibe while at it. Playing songs from over two decades of metal, the band surely has not lost its energy.

Funny element is the well ment enthousiasm of vocalist Marc Grewe, who is obviously of the generation that didn’t fully master the English language, which leads to some funny moments. He never stops firing up the stage with songs dedicated to the other bands, to oppose racism and such and just by jumping up and down and shouting. The music sounds less complex and dense, but is entertaining for sure.

source: Muziekodroom

Bolt Thrower
With an epic melody playing, the band enters the stage. The Warhammer 40k inspired banner decorates the back of the stage, where the band members position themselves, all smiles and cheerfull. Though the band hasn’t released an album in almost ten years, the name remains one of the house hold names for the death metal genre. Starting the set quickly, mainly frontman Karl Willets stands out for his endless smiles and joy. Pictures with fans, hugs and all, everyone is having a ball.

The real kick-off for the set is the obvious ‘World Eater’, pounding ever onwards like a huge all-crushing siege tank. The wide choice of songs from their back catalogue gives the band plenty of liberty to bring a bit from everything. The steady rhythmic guitar play brings a tranquil vibe over the stage, even when heavy songs like ‘Anti-Tank’ make the Muziekodroom shake on its foundations. The steady rumble of the drums makes heads bop and fists rise.

From the epic ‘The IVth Crusade’, to the brawling ‘No Guts, No Glory’, Bolt Thrower could just do whatever they’d do in the rehearsal space and still conquer the venue with their war inspired songs. The tight playing and energetic performance make fan favorites like ‘Warmaster’ (another Warhammer song!) and ‘The Killchain’ to a great experience. This batallion still conquers, wherever they go.

This review was published on Inlog.org

Ben Prestage @ Area51, Eindhoven

Glory and hallelujah and what not, finally bands are playing in the Area51 Skatepark. The small shabby stage and bar offer one of the best possible atmospheres for raw punk, garage and psychrock anywhere near, around and in Eindhoven. Residents complained about the noise though, so it was silent for a while around the skatepark. That silence is broken tonight with a performance of Ben Prestage and his one man band.

Ernest van Aaken

Even a one man band needs a support act. Luckily we have in Eindhoven a man just for the job. Ernest van Aaken plays bluesy southern guitarmusic on his resonator guitar. With a thick accent, like the man came from Alabama himself, he sings songs that set the mood. Many of the visitors have sat themselves down on the sides of the hall on the benches, chairs and floor. The heat is making everyone sweat a bit, which adds to the sweaty, bluesy feeling van Aaken is creating with his excellent music.

Some interesting information, I just read that the good man builds his guitars himself. That’s something.

Ben Prestageprestage2

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the man sitting on stage is normally driving steam trains across the continent of America. With his big beard and engineers cap, he looks the part. Ben is playing his guitar, drumming with his food, playing the harmonica and utilizing all instruments to their maximal potential. His vocals are the typical southern warble at much to high speed to make out what he’s saying at times.

Staying true to his roots, he plays blues, bluegrass, boogie woogie with a bit of country and western thrown in the mix. The sound is unique due to him playing all the instruments and not necessarily in the conventional ways. In that sweltering heat, Prestage still puts out songs like that steam train, not taking time for breaks except to take a swig of his beer. Did I mention it was really hot?

A various arsenal of guitars is being used, but also his famous cigar box one. Self build, it produces a primitive punky and raw sound. Prestage enchants his audience with his variations and skill, but mainly with his a performance. The man is full of jokes, delivered in words and song. Particularly funny are his stories about his own upbringing and how he started playing on a one string guitar, then got a second string and so on.


Artists like Ben Prestage are exactly those that work best in small venues like this. A bit grimy and run down, but great for music, drinks and atmosphere. The sounds of skateboarders in the background and the buzzing chatter of the visitors provides the perfect place for an artist like Ben to do his thing. He even introduces the band members by instrument to great amusement of the guests. Music at its best and purest. A great night indeed.