Ieperfest 2012 was hot, sweaty, dusty, and above all lots of fun. These are our highlights…
The Mongoloids portrayed their ferocious straight edge message in their early afternoon set on Friday. ‘True Colors’ was definitely one of the highlights of their set, featuring many sing-a-longs, and pile-ups. The band genuinely deserved a spot on a month long tour with Agnostic Front, along with Take Offense. Check them out if you don’t know them yet.
As always, The Chariot put on the most energetic show this weekend. Even though the recent departure of bassist Jonathan “KC Wolf” Kindler, who always put up an iconic performance, the band still put up a very strong show. Guitarists Brandon Henderson and Stephen Harrison have taken over the expressive guitar moves, and keep the energy level high together with drummer David Kennedy. Sing-a-longs were a big part of the show, especially when singer Josh Scogin got on a chair in the middle of the crowd; a lot of people got excited and reached out to the mic.
Still X Strong
Brazilian quintet Still X Strong kicked off their set with SSD cover ‘Glue’, which instantly got the crowd going. Due to technical difficulties the set was laid to rest for about ten minutes – reason for a lot of people to leave. The band picked up where they left after the guitarists amp got fixed, and made up for the lost time. In between songs frontman shared some interesting and inspiring stories about veganism, homophobia and sexism, based on the band’s experiences in home country Brazil.
Pianos Become The Teeth
Ieperfest has a lot of punk, hardcore and metal bands performing, yet Pianos Become The Teeth doesn’t quite fit into any of these genres. The band has some extremely talented musicians, that presents an interesting blend of styles. Expression of emotion is one of the key elements of their show, and it caught the audience’s attention immediately. It was so well received that vinyl sold out within minutes at the merch tent.
MXPX All Stars
MXPX put on a classic punk rock show: the band played fast, stripped down, no bullshit songs, while the crowd had fun pogo-ing. The Bremerton, Washington band played a solid set, with Mike Hererra fronting the band with slick bass riffs and clean vocals. Their no-nonsense attitude has a great positive effect, and put smiles on many faces on a hot afternoon.
Trapped Under Ice
The massive crowd in front of the main stage on a 30+ degrees Celsius afternoon proved that many people were looking forward to the performance of Baltimore, Maryland’s Trapped Under Ice. Ignoring the tropical temperature, and the extremely dusty moshpit, the band for sure did not disappoint. Setting off with the first riff for ‘Pleased To Meet You’, the crowd struck a mosh spazz, and singer Justice Tripp was forced to share the mic with many enthusiasts. TUI delivered a great, fun set.
One of the better names on the bill was definitely Cruel Hand. With their very own brand of redneck stompin’ hardcore, they took over the stage during the hottest period of the day. Naturally, this didn’t stop them and the crowd from tearing Ieperfest a new one. Blazing through their setlist like a wild animal, they still knew to keep the crowd well entertained. While the sun was turning everyone into a fellow redneck and with dust flying everywhere, Cruel Hand gave an amazing performance that won’t soon be forgotten.
Brutality Will Prevail
After difficulties with their tour bus, both Naysayer and Brutality Will Prevail showed up late at the festival site. As they were on tour with Terror, the hardcore legends were kind enough to share their stage time with both bands. In 15 minutes, the down tempo hardcore quintet gave it their all, setting it off with ‘Trapped Doors Moving Walls’. The “Purgatory Family” made sure dust was flying around, giving it their all in the mosh. ‘Reprisal’ followed, and the band ended their set with their new single ‘The Path’. In a short quarter of an hour Brutality Will Prevail showed what they stand for: vicious mosh, fierce riffs, and a damn good time.
Rise and Fall
Ghent, Belgium’s Rise and Fall was welcomed by a packed tent on the last night of Ieperfest. The band played a sublime set, filled with emotional intensity, leaving the audience with glowing hearts and minds. Frontman Björn Dossche confessed that Ieperfest and the hardcore scene are not the same as it was when he got to know it over 10 years ago, yet he showed his appreciation for all that came out to see them. Given it to him, not many sang along nor stage dived. Nevertheless, the crowd enjoyed four skillful musicians playing a majestic show.
Just before the end of Rise And Fall set, Jacob Bannon and his friends were already on stage, waiting for their soundcheck to be finished and for their labelmates to conclude their performance. Two years ago, Converge played an honest but shortened set at Ieperfest during the Axe To Fall tour. This year, we’re lucky enough to witness 45 minutes of their greatness again.
Converge surprised everyone in the audience by starting with a long and slow song like ‘Jane Doe’. It took some time for everyone to get into their set but from ‘Heartache’ to ‘Worms Will Feed’, including ‘Eagles Become Vulture’ or ‘Aimless Arrow’ (a new song from their upcoming album All We Love We Leave Behind), it didn’t took so long ! Converge built a solid setlist, picking old and recent songs. J. Bannon is still a beast on stage and the band plays fast and precise. They concluded with, in my opinion, three of their best songs as to know: ‘The Broken Vow’, ‘Last Light’, and ‘Concubine’.
Converge have been around for a long time now and are definitely a band to catch if you want to witness a great amount of pure energy.
Written by Tim van Reyswoud, with contributing words by Tom Vlasveld, Lorenzo van Dee, Alex Tabankia.
All photos taken by Anne Carolien Köhler • Facebook