So then, where were we? Ah, yeah, The Bronx. But you can read all about that here. You want to hear about all the lovely (and a few less so) bands I saw on the Friday of 2000 Trees Festival! Well, I suppose I can give you a run down.
Funnily enough, the first band I popped along to see Friday was actually the band responsible for waking me up. Having risen to the sound of Reigning Days soundchecking, I actually felt pretty impressed despite the intense tent heat and lack of fluid within a 50 metre radius. Beginning their set with a skeleton audience, the band attracted an incredibly big crowd for that early in the day, and the band yields promise in spades. However, one issue stuck out like a sore thumb throughout the group’s set: they blew their load in the first five minutes, and, if you were me and heard them soundcheck, about half an hour before they were due to hit the stage. Reigning Days‘ first track was by far their most accomplished, leaving the remainder of songs feeling lacklustre in comparison. Lacklustre being an unfortunate trend several times this particular Friday, leaking into a flat, albeit relatively entertaining set from Croydon three-piece Press To Meco. Having included the boys in my ‘best of’ roundup preceding the festival, I had incredibly high hopes for the band’s set. What I received, however, was a set of fantastic material marred by sound issues and a serious lack of any real punch, as well as iffy three-way harmonies that, sadly, were more miss than hit. Whilst it can be said that the band’s stage presence was superb, I left The Axiom unsatisfied. Nevertheless, I’ll be making the effort to check out any Press To Meco shows that come near, and I strongly advise you all to check out their debut Good Intent.
Picking things up remarkably over on the Main Stage, John Coffey attracted a disappointingly small crowd for a band so fresh, raucous and impressive. Waiting until the end of their set to inform the uninitiated few that this would indeed be their last ever UK show, John Coffey left a field full of sad, frustrated punters, disappointed that their potential new favourite band would be no more come the end of the year. A set to remember, the band laid waste to the dedicated bunch that made the effort. Making my way back to The Cave, I managed to secure a place for myself on the barrier, ready for what is promised to be Palm Reader‘s last show for a very, very long time. Hitting the stage to a true heroes welcome, this is the first time I’ve seen this incredible band receive the reception they truly deserve. With a set pulling a huge selection of tracks from the band’s second record Beside The Ones We Love, the band promised that this would be the last time the majority of these songs would be performed live. Proving to the entire crowd in the tent that they’re simply the most impressive hardcore band in the world right now, the set culminated in crowd surfers, circle pits and some pretty stoked looking individuals on the stage.
Sticking around at the back of the stage, I stood long enough to catch the majority of Krokodil‘s set, another band in the aforementioned preview round up. However, whilst Press To Meco left be disappointed, Krokodil left me, well, sleepy. Whilst the band put on a strong performance (and don’t get me wrong the songs are still untouchable), Krokodil seem to be a weekend project in every sense. Emerging every once in a while to grace us with their presence as though they remain this mysterious, incredible force, whereas in reality they’re becoming a little stale. Will new material remedy this? Maybe, but for now, I’m not gonna be venturing out to check out their live shows until they make a little more effort, and show they give a shit about the people sticking around to watch them repeat themselves. After turning up, looking bored out of their skulls and making almost no effort to impress, I left before the last song to have a nap instead, which proved to be a big mistake. Waking as Dinosaur Pile Up launched headfirst into a blistering set, I ran to the tent, meeting a dense wall of fans watching the band rip through a set focusing on the band’s recent record 11:11. Sounding the absolute definition of perfection, Dinosaur Pile Up and The Xcerts remain the most impressive bands of the weekend, with record purchases made as soon as I returned to the real world. Sadly, I was forced to leave the band’s set early in order to secure a decent spot for Neck Deep.
Is there a young band with a fanbase as dedicated, obsessed and just plain excited than Neck Deep? Treating every single show like their debut headline set at Wembley Arena (give it time), the band were on fine form despite some flat sound mixes on the stage itself. Picking out a strong setlist focusing on the band’s short but impeccable career thus far, the amount of people at this festival solely for Neck Deep is baffling, and an even stronger sign of things to come for this band. Watch out, Green Day, Neck Deep are gunning for your place in line. And your lunch money. Following this was a decent, predictably by the books performance from newly-returning Ipswich five-piece Basement. Tight and sonically sound, the band suffered from the fact that much of their material is a little samey, and being sandwiched between Neck Deep & Twin Atlantic is a pretty hard gap to fill. Nonetheless, a packed tent were left gagging for more as the hordes made their way to the main stage for the day’s headliners, Twin Atlantic.
Hitting the stage with what would seem a slightly barren stage set-up for a headline set, the band offered a no-frills, substance over style seventy-five minutes of hits from across the band’s album spectrum. Making it clear throughout their superb set that this was an incredibly special night for them, Twin Atlantic drew the biggest crowd the weekend attracted so far, one-upping every other performance found that day, with very few issues prevailing.
To pick any, the band may well have chosen to include a few too many new, unplayed songs to their arsenal, leaving me and many others in the dark in terms of big sing-a-longs. By the end of their set, one question remained: Why are this band only just playing shows of this size? Capable of headlining far bigger festivals, it’s a staggering fact that we’ve waited this long to see these songs on such a grand stage. More of this, please.
Check back in the near future for the final section of my review, including views on Refused, SiKth, Animals As Leaders and many more!