After almost one year and a half after Wizz Beauprez passed away, his best friend Nico De Vreese decided to organise a tribute to the lead singer of Wizz Wizzard and the organiser of Wizzfest at the venue where the festival went through annually. The weather was great so I decided to go by bike. Indeed, by bike because Wizzfest used to be the only metal festival in my town. This festival was unique because of the fact that all the drinks were available at the same prices and the line-up consisted of Belgian, Dutch and British bands. Those bands were pretty new and especially the British bands were unknown in our country, but definitely worth it to perform on stage. Wizz himself performed as well with his band and during the festival he was talking to the audience. I was really glad to hear about ‘A Tribute To Wizz’ because the man really deserves it.
Opener for this event was Warckon (****), a trash metal band from Geraardsbergen. This band proved they are very strong musically with their great guitar work and their musical parts. There wasn’t much interaction with the small audience that was already present, but we didn’t mind and completely absorbed in their music. Warckon definitely started on the right foot and immediately brought the right atmosphere into the tribute.
Second on was the trash/heavy metal band Eternal Breath (***). It was not a surprise this band was invited to rock the stage because Kenny Geerts (drums) used to play the guitar at Wizz Wizzard. This band had to deal with some technical problems during their performance, but the guys decided to have fun and gave us a good show with a lot of interaction with their audience. Eternal Breath also introduced their own beer ‘The Joker’ with the same name as the title of their latest cd released in February this year.
Ironborn (****) is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Waregem and brought us something totally different than the previous two bands. Ironborn is an accessible band and they performed in their uniform as usual. Jan Versnick (bass) is a former member of Wizz Wizzard so it was no coincidence this band performed on this tribute. There was a lot of interaction with the audience and everyone was singing along with ‘Never Again’. Ironborn only played one cover during their performance, they usually play more covers between their own songs, from Saxon in honour of Wizz.
Next in line was a new band bringing us power metal with heavy/progressive/speed metal influences. Dario Frodo, Kurk ‘Stripe’ Lawless and Tom Tee from Ostrogoth introduced us to their new band Thorium (****1/2). They brought an amazing performance both musically and vocally. We can hardly wait until they release their first album.
Halfway the event it was time for the first British band Vice (****). These 3 guys from Manchester really impressed me, they set the venue on fire with their music. I’ve never seen a band playing so hard and loud with only 3 instruments.
Until then, we had only seen men on stage. But the melodic/power metal band Evyltyde (***1/2) from London was about to change that with Hannah Delany (vocals). She is an alto and has a pure voice, but she seemed to have little difficulties reaching the higher notes. Evyltyde played a varied set and there were beautiful musical parts. There was interaction with a funny twist between the band and the audience.
The last Belgian band for the day was announced as ‘indispensable at this event’ and and it turned out to be true because the venue seemed to fill well with people when the heavy metal band Guilty As Charged (****) started to play. Next to the amazing performance, everyone was curious to see the new band member Jasper De Clercq (bass), who played his second show with the band. Due to some technical problems during the sound check, the band had to shorten their performance, which everyone regretted because we really had the time of our lives, especially with Dempsey Derous‘ guitar solos and their most popular song ‘I’ll Never’.
There was also place for the rock/metal band Diggeth from The Netherlands. I wasn’t able to see them due to an interview. I think I only heard one song and that sounded great. I talked to some people and everyone said it was a great show.
Another band from Manchester was Babylon Fire (****). It was 10 pm so some people were already leaving because of the children and other personal reasons. Other people were still enjoying the good weather outside, though it was already dark, which I think was a shame because this band really kicked ass. This band combines grunts and clean vocals which was a nice change in the line-up of the day. Also this band was musically very strong with heavy drums and great guitar work.
After a speech from Karolien to thank everyone it was time for the headliner for the evening, the heavy/trash metal band Vicious Nature (****) from The United Kingdom. I remember they played at Wizzfest 2015 and it was a great opportunity for the band to present their new EP ‘VII’. It was an amazing show with lots of interaction with the audience and a perfect way to end the event.
Fight For Your Life
Dragging Us Under
System Of Disorder
Silence That Kills
When The Devil Calls
Marshall Law Medley
Symptom Of The Universe
After a long day and evening with 10 amazing bands it was time to go home. It was an amazing tribute and I’m sure Wizz wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
Photos by Geert Lippens.