Photo credit: Tim Vermoens Photography
What should have been a start of a very promising day turned out otherwise as the news came in about the crash that Adrenaline Mob got into which unfortunately resulted in the death of their current bass player. As some bands who were playing at Dynamo Metalfest knew him personally I was wondering how this tragedy would influence the performance. Our prayers goes out to the other band members and hope they recover fully. So now off to Dynamo Metalfest to celebrate the still vivid presence of the metal scene.
When arriving at the festival area it was still quite calm, this would rather change fast as a lot of people seem to want to see all the bands that were on the bill today. First off was White Boy Wasted, a local band who won the contest for opening the festival. As opening a festival on such an early hour is not an easy task, White Boy Wasted did the best they could. There were only a hundred people already present in front of the mainstage as it seems that there was a lot of security checks at the entrance which took a little bit time to get in. The sound was good, the energy was there, the rock ‘n ‘roll songs which handled most of the time subjects as drinking and the consequences was nice to hear although generally I think this band is more fun when watched in smaller clubs.
Next up is Vuur, the new progressive band formed around front woman and the favorite of the dutch audience Anneke Van Giersbergen. Very modern progressive songs which from time to time touched a bit of Epica. Anneke has an incredible voice and showed also here what is she capable of. The only thing is, after half an hour the singing became a bit boring, it was a bit too much of the same. Although the audience didn’t care , they loved them and went wild when they played some songs of The Gathering. Vuur is an excellent band with an outstanding front woman, we should listen more to their songs to get more into it.
It became time for the first band that got back from the past, Toxik, one of the less famous bands in the era of the late 80’s thrash bands but not for the true lovers. They got the honour to wake up the crowd and let the first mosh pits and crowdsurfers take over the festival area. While they are excellent musicians I got the impression that their songs are a bit outdated. It didn’t had the “X-factor”, Toxik was very energetic and did everything to take the audience on the roll in which they succeeded for a part. The die-hards will for sure loved it while a large part will have expected more from it.
Prong has a new one coming out with Zero Days, so I was curious if they would play something off it. Prong delivered it again with excellent versions of Beg To Differ, Unconditional, Another Worldly Device to name a few and yes, they played Divide And Conquer of the new one, which fitted perfectly between the other ones. Of course their all-time classics like Snap Your Finger, Snap Your Neck and Whose Fist Is This Anyway couldn’t be let out of this set. Tommy and co were very energetic and enjoyed playing which was reflected on the audience who went crazy as hell. This was the first highlight of the day. Would there follow more highlights? We’ll see…
The Swedish metallers Entombed A.D. delivered a quite heavy set with their old school death metal. As I am not so familiar with their songs, it was quite a black box to see what I could expect from it. For sure the audience loved it as the crowdsurfers flew all over the place. At half the set I heard enough and went on to search some food to get some strength for what still has too follow.
The second anthem of the 80’s era is here to destroy the place, Exodus, still without Gary Holt, played mostly stuff of their oldest albums. If you have seen them before this year, you knew what you can expect, songs like Toxic Waltz and here and there a more recent one like War Is My Shepherd. Exodus seems to be playing everything a little bit faster than we are used too, which is an outstanding performance to play these technically songs so fast but the songs lacked the groove, the power, the attack from when they are played a little bit slower. Personally I am also a bigger fan of Rob Dukes . Not that the audience cared, they went out of their mind and that’s what it’s all about.
Our Canadian friend Devin Townsend was next, what the hell is he doing here was a question that we heard on the festival area. Well, he fucking deserves it, he is a genius, a crazy frontman, and it’s a nice variation on all the thrashy bands that are here. You could hear again that his songs are so incredible strong, a lot of people were singing along. Devin was again who he is: a crazy dude with an unseen interaction with the audience, we need more of these figures who are just having fun and letting the people smile so we can forget about all the shit there’s happening today. Anneke came also on stage to sing along, and you could see that they had a lot of fun together, there’s a certain chemistry between them. Devin delivered it again, maybe next year he will headline some stages at some festivals, he deserves it. Oh yeah, how many frontmen would came up with the idea to let the whole audience say ‘Hi Mom‘.
One of the greatest bands that ever came from the Bay Area , namely Testament was ready to do what they came for. To prove where they come from and to that they’re still one of the biggest thrash bands on earth. Unfortunately there was somebody who had other ideas about it, fuck Murphy. Some technical difficulties resulted in that Testament started 15 minutes later then foreseen, which was a pity as a lot of people came out to see them. As the festival has a strict time schedule their set had to be shortened, yeah shit happens. With classics like Over The Wall, Practice What You Preach it was a short but heavy and enjoyable set . Maybe a bit too short but hey it was all out of their hands, next year a rematch?
Who thought that Gojira wasn’t good enough to be a headliner should rethink his opinion. After Testament there were already a lot of people who left the festival area, which was a pity, they missed a lot of fun. What a sound, which was definitely better than all the other bands (except for Devin Townsend Project), what a performance, what a show. From the first song, the pyro went crazy as hell together with a lot of smoke and even fireworks, it fitted very well with their tight aggressive music. That their music is not for everybody is true, but hey this is a modern mix where metal stands for and sounds refreshing. Headliners are not all about bands who are just repeating their old songs, there is need for new bands who dare to change the scene. That is what Gojira does and how !!! This was a very worthy headliner.
Dynamo MetalFest 2017 was again a good edition. Thumbs up for the organisation. That you can see so many good bands for such a low price is incredible. Normally you couldn’t see even any band for that price. As the capacity rose to 10000 opposed to 7500 last year it was quite busy this year (sometimes a bit too busy), this location has reached it maximum capacity. The idea of having a hard plastic cup for a token is a nice idea, but has also some drawbacks, at the end of the festival you could hand in the cup and get a token for it and then get your money back. This was at the end quite noticeable by the long queues for getting their money back. A good idea could be that there are more cups with a printed line up on it, for sure there are a lot of people who would keep their cup. Three bars is maybe not enough for that amount of people, add 2 more bars, you still have place left… For the rest excellent organised, excellent food, excellent people. There are always issues at a festival, see GMM this year, not enough toilets for the amount of people and it exists for more than 20 years, so what.
Next year edition will again be great, Annihilator is announced as first confirmed band. Early tickets has risen from 15 € to 20 € , so it will be a bit more expensive than last year, but still a great price. Maybe the organisation is up to something with that raised price, we’ll see. See you next year !!!