Location: Dokkum (Netherlands)
By: Sabine van Gameren
This year Dokk’em Open Air celebrates their tenth anniversary. A good reason for a little celebration and there were many exclusive shows on the bill to confirm that.
We start the day with My Minds Mine. Due to check-in times we had to miss Cornered, but we know we’ll see them later this year so keep reading!
My Minds Mine are local here, making Grindcore. What was to like about these guys is that they are not really living up to the stereotype but show their audience to be themselves. Soundwise, performancewise, lookwise. The band has recently been re-united and although it is not know whether they are up for writing some new material, it is clear that they have a bunch of fans out there that is perfectly happy with what they got.
Threshold is playing next and the British guys are a delight to have at your festival. Frontman Damian decides to jump offstage already before their show has started and start to shake hands with people on the festival terrain. During the show he also was not shy from his audience. With songs in the list of their album “Dead Reckoning” he easily get them on his hands and throwing in some newer material from their latest release “For The Journey” shows that they are still on that path. The band does not really get back too far in time with their set today, but simply make the most out of it with their early performance which they, as pretty much the only one of the early bands at the whole festival, never complain at all but just show gratitude for those who came out there to see them. A positive vibe and a personal approach from these guys help to get the festival warmed up and get everyone excited for what is yet to come. Threshold are simply the kind of people you want at your party!
Madball seems less pleased with their timeslot, but are energetic enough to get people into movement. These American Hardcore guys have quite some years of experience on the counter. They have some dedicated fans along, some of which made their way upfront enthusiastically screaming the lyrics along, but others just jumping around in a mosh. Here and there the guys seem to be taking it at ease, enjoying the fact that they don’t really have to do a lot to get them people in movement, but on other moments they give full force. A two sides performance from the guys, but what counts is that they obviously entertained here today.
Enfant terrible Shining (the Swedish one, but the first words would probably told you that already) was part of the bill also. Fuck this, fuck that, fuck you, you and you… we kind of know the drill by now. With a bottle of Jack in his hands he (you know… Niklas… god.. whatever) marches up and down the stage, spitting out much more than these words of disinterest for anything else on the festival.
Nine studio albums in, but granted only one of the songs of the latest album “IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends”. The question is, how many people cared, because after each song more and more people seem to have enough of them Swedish. Such a shame, because when you look through the theatre of Niklas and pay some attention to the riffs played they could really have enjoyed some. Where some people may adore this rockstar attitude it’s clear that the Dutch here today seem to take no bullshit after all, having a field in front of him that seems more empty than when the first acts played. Says it all, I would say.
Anneke van Giersbergen is loved here in Holland and not only here. Today she’s scheduled for a show with the project The Gentle Storm, which she did together with Arjen Lucassen. He won’t be touring with them, but there are others that have stepped in. The album called “The Diary” got out earlier this year. Seeing all these artists together you could safely call it a supergroup, bringing a story to the stage today. Anneke is the one who shines most, her voice leads the group but the power of the music is giving her the perfect frame. It’s more powerful than we expected, hinting towards that “Storm” part of their album. Yet, where Anneke’s quality really shines is in the moments she takes a step back to let the rest come forward also. To not outbalance herself with it. An unique experience to see this coming alive, a good performance.
Time for some more Hardcore. Where Madball started today, Biohazard continues. And overrules. Biohazard seem to have a bit more positive attitude on the stage. The guys are energetic, jumping around and have no problem getting the audience along. Some crowd surfers appear, the mood is set. The band has not released any album since 2012 but the fans seem to be happy to have the guys with their older work as well even with a new singer along.
We did not see the full set of the guys, for the sake of… dinner, but seeing it from a distance ensured us that the second part of their set was as much of a success as the start if their show.
The Canadian Kataklysm was a little delayed but able to switch a spot with Biohazard so they could still perform. The guys have a new album coming out soon at the end of July and they are touring now to warm people up for that release. The show here tonight was THE exclusive show in Netherlands. The guys come with a powerful Death metal show, not much else is needed for they let their music roll over you, blow you away. A strong and solid sound that convinces you. When the guys make it clear that their new album is coming soon, it seems like they make the statement: strong as always, stronger than never before. Just about a month away, but after seeing this show we are looking forward to let the riffs surprise us with brutality, let them vocals tell us what it is about and let us live some more Kataklysm.
Doomformation Candlemass were the last ones of this very first anniversary day of Dokk’em. Their show is also one of the exclusive shows on the bill and although their latest studio album is dating back to 2012, the guys released some more material after that, including some compilations. Also, a live album recorded at the Dutch Roadburn festival showing that the band has a strong link with Netherlands. With vocals Mats Levén on board the guys are ready to play a long show at Dokk’em. At first sight he does not seem to be that much of a charismatic figure, not bringing the instant show, but he has his focus on getting into it. During the set he seems to grow into the mood and makes it more interesting to watch.
Their traditional doomy sound send us all into the night with darkness. At the party stage people are still having a good time and dance their asses off. Another day is waiting for us though.
The review of day two will be online soon!
Photo’s by sabinevangameren.com
Dokkem Open Air website