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Machine Head, Trivium, Dragonforce, Arch Enemy, Shadows Fall - The Black Crusade
Oh boy, all those big bands sharing the stage on one evening, that’s always a thing which sounds really cool, but can turn out in a disappointment. The opening bands just have too little time to play, when you think of all those other great songs which you wanted to hear. Also the sound quality isn’t always optimal so most of the times these shows just function as a way to present the band to an audience who do not know them yet. Nevertheless it’s always a fun party during these shows and everybody’s totally stoked and drunk when the headliner begins, just the way we like it!
 

Shadows Fall
Shadows Fall
was the first band to enter the stage of a not even half filled Heineken Music Hall. Not weird on this early hour, but it made it a very typical gig for me. A decent but nothing-special metal band, a big platform, some enthusiastic kids in front of the stage but for the biggest part of the audience not an interesting show. A comment from Fair about Shadows Fall not being an emo crap band that cancel shows because he performed with pain in his throat I found very deplorable, even more when they played an emo part with clean vocals not so long after. I can further on mention that the sound mix was okay, but I wouldn’t mind if the volume was turned up a bit more. I however guess that that just comes with being a supporting program. You just can’t outshine all the bands to come. [Mindsaver]
 


Arch Enemy
had only somewhat like an half an hour for their set and it lasted eventually even shorter because they started later than planned. Therefore they chose to play their killer songs and their just released record Rise of the Tyrant was merely represented with one song, ‘Blood on Your Hands’, which was the opening song. Especially during this opening the sound was not very strong; it was like Arch Enemy was playing a mile away! So Arch Enemy didn’t really make a big impact, but the other ‘hit’ songs ‘Nemesis’, ‘My Apocalypse’ and finisher ‘We Will Rise’ were still cool to see. However, this was absolutely not a show for the true Arch Enemy fans. People who didn’t know them yet (are there any?!) had a slight sniff of what this band is capable of. [Sledgehammer]
 




Dragonforce
As a variation on this mostly modern/(neo-)thrash influenced metal tour we were treated with a performance of power metallers Dragonforce. I already saw this multi-nationality band (based in the UK) on this year’s Fields Of Rock and although power metal is totally not my genre, I watched a couple of songs to see what’s hot in metal nowadays. So this time I was well prepared for what was coming and despite that I’m used to some fast noise, 45 minutes of Dragonforce really are too much for me! These fidilidiiii-solos just go on and on and really make me crazy, as they did with the people surrounding me. I’m happy that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously since they’re all continuously jumping around (I didn’t see a trampoline that tended to be on stage) but the fun-aspect makes it likable for a while, but truly respect for those who can really stand this for a whole show. [Mindsaver]
 
Trivium
Tonight it was the fourth time for me to witness a Trivium-show. The first show I saw was really great, the second was very disappointing and the third time I saw them was decent. Tonight they did a great job as the co-headliner of this tour. They played a set with songs from every album and they did their best to play different songs than the last time they played in Holland. Besides tracks as 'Rain', 'A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation' and 'Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr' they played 'Anthem (We Are The Fire)', ‘To The Rats’ and there recent single 'Becoming The Dragon'. The tracks from their latest album The Crusade were played a bit heavier than on the record, because mostly screams were used as backing vocals instead of the clean vocals present on the record. The show was very tight and especially the great interaction between the vocals (and the guitar playing) of Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu is worth mentioning. [Gilles]
 

Machine Head
Then, finally the time was there. It was quite a wait before it finally was Machine Head’s turn to get on the stage. All the four preceding bands were of course of great quality too, but they mainly served to drink some beers…and some more…till you’re totally drunk to fucking destroy the place during the climax of the night. And that was exactly what happened when Machine Head let us hear the first notes of ‘Clenching The Fists Of Dissent’. In contrast to the other bands playing tonight there was fortunately little to complain about the sound, what one of course can expect of the headliner, but what isn’t always self-evident. So everything was there to build a big party: a good sound, a Machine Head back in excellent shape, fans which were stoked for this for a long time and of course the beer. The emphasis in the setlist was on the last two records. Also the golden oldies like ‘Old’ were played and there was little room for the more nu-metal-ish records that were released in the middle of their career. Just as I had expected and hoped, but it was a big letdown that the show just lasted 70 minutes. The performance of Machine Head tonight was sublime, but the short set and the obvious ending with ‘Davidian’, without giving an encore, prevented that it became a real memorable night. [Sledgehammer]