Second day of this festival started for us with the most recent Saint Seya Movie and some signing sessions with people from this well known series from Japan. I see that kids and parents are very much into it and are basically into the whole Manga section here. Cosplay is also another important thing at the festival, After that we where lucky to able to watch some rehearsals and finally meet some people we interviewed.
In the late afternoon we gave Prima Nocta another shot, this time it was almost impossible to get into the tent and watch their show as it was overcrowded from the start. Once again they set the place on fire with their passion and enthousiasm! The bagpipes rule! Party, party, party! It has become very clear that these folks will have to come back and play inside the expo next time!
One of the bands I was really looking forward to see on stage was Ithilien, they start on the mainstage like stinged by a bee: raging, on fire and very energetic. I can see their passion, I can feel their emotions! The lyra and the violin give their sound a special touch, while their heavy metal sound stays put and Pierre screams out his pain, anger … we hear a lot of emotions and the crowd goes berzerk. When the accordeon and the flute jump in I notice the first crowdsurfers. The dancing, clapping hands, jumping up and down, the showing off totally burst. The conquer as I notice that the audience is well known to their new album and shows it. Drinking Song is a loved track, just as Shaping The Soul. We get a moshpit and a real Wall of Death with their last track Edelweiss. Booking Ithilien was clearly a good choice as they conquered today at least the heart of 2000 people (yes i got the news that the gigs are sold out for tonight and it was already pretty filled from the beginning). Great show, big time and a lot of fun!
Skeptical Minds is another must see. I have seen them in the past and know that they conquered the heart of every Metal Female Voices edition in the past and I know that they grow with every gig, tonight they finally play here. You might know that Karolina played the last edition on stage with Rastaban (she did a cameo) and Mich has been a helping hand on stage for years. To capture their new live feel (with the artistic work of alain Poncelet, who designed banners and other artistic things for this festival) they announced the show will be recorded for their new live DVD and thus work really hard to entertain the trolls, monsters, vikings, elves … who are in front of the stage. Their songs go from heavy to ballad minded, filled with emotions and with Karolina leading like a real stage beast (but with the looks of a queen). I notice a lot of energy and love going back and forth from stage to fans, back and forth. The slide show on the right and left side of the stage really helps them creating the right setting, with lots of great tracks from their last album Omega Thanatos, but also some older songs known by the audience. Off course at some point the audience started shouting the Naheulband anthem and Ghislain Morel even runs towards Karolina and asks them to stop singing it, as he was apparently watching the show. Off course we all know that this anthem has become a part of this festival and thus we all know that this is just to show their love for the festival and the bands. A highlight that how I describe the sensitive ballad called Emptyness, followed by a vulcano called The Escape. Party time! They also end with a Wall of Death, giving it all for the very last time! As the audience wanted more they come back with an encore and what a blast it is: their well known cover verion from the classic Mötorhead anthem The Ace of Spades with Lemmy on backings, making it feel like a duet. Wow! What a blast and so much fun off and on stage!
Next is another living legend from this festival: our beloved friends from Rastaban, this time with a real heavy metal sound mixed with their classic folk tribal sound. The violin still rocks too and shows off how much the guy is a beast on stage. I remember that Marine was pregnant (sitting on a chair with her big belly) two editions ago, but now you would say she is fired up, looks sharp and sexy as hell! The place is by now totally packed, people are happy, smiling, dancing, jumping, shouting, clapping hands … Their new sound clearly works well here and eve the softer tracks work well. Going from heavy to delicate, al they do is fire up or mesmerize with all they got and we LOOOVE it! Another reason to party is the fact that it is today also the birthday party of Marine and yes: we have to make her blush by singing for her. And yes, we qlso get the Poulet, poulet, piou piou moment here. Their show is pure fun and clearly a hit, whatever they do! Sadly there was no more time for an encore, just the classical picture with the audience … Still we want more and more we will get with the headliner …
Our Finnish heroes are set on fire, lead by a new accordeon player called Sami (check out the interview with him) and a singer in the best shape of his life. From the start they throw one bomb after the other. It gets really hot in here, clearly starting a Pagan folk metal party. It looks and sounds as if we are at their homebase and the place is packed with hardcore Korpiklaani fans, but this is Mons, we are in Belgium and thus I can’t believe my ears and can’t believe my eyes. It’s simply amazing! The crowd is like an sea, never standing still with lots of crowdsurfing. This is for me the best headliner since Saltatio Mortis! Their last album is clearly well known (check our review) by the audience. Another cool thing is that everybody except the drummer changes on regular base place and interacts with the fans. The work hard, play hard and aere clearly having fun. The started at 23h and when I left it was almost 1 and the show still went out, loudly acclaimed by the audeince, I damn my old age and wished I could stay until the very last note as this was clearly one of the best nights ever! Maybe next time with Metsatöll is the last thought I had before falling asleep …
Pictures: Filip Van Muylem