2000 Trees Festival – Day Two, 7th July, 2017

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After a great start to 2000 Trees Festival we were ready for day two.

Our highlights were

Decade

The UK emo/pop punk band were on the main stage early on the day and we saw some decent sunshine while they were on. They can be compared to Modern Baseball with their refined form of pop punk; slower and more deliberate with deeper emotions.

They impressed me with their confidence and consistency throughout their set. Even changing it up abit with Brainfreeze; a quicker one to get the crowd moving.

Shvpes

I have previously seen SHVPES support Trivium in February and they were every bit as good here. Lead singer Griffin Dickinson didn’t waste any time in hyping up the crowd with his energy. Their latest album ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair’ (2016) went down well with fans with it’s post-grungier vibe to it, separating it from earlier work which was confined to metalcore.

They’re impressing and making a name for themselves with each gig; nice to see them perform outside of Birmingham this time.

Vukovi

The Scottish rockers Vukovi took to the stage with a great excitment amongst the large crowd. Lead singer Janine took the bands stage presence to another level with her dancing around, massive smile on her face throughout. She even took to the photopit barrier and snapchatted herself from other peoples phones which made the crowd even crazier.

Captivating band; took this opportunity and ran with it.

Milestones

It has been an exciting year for pop punk alternative band Milestones. A little over a year ago the band released to great applause their first EP Equal Measures. Since the release it has been nonstop progress for the band, with an insane number of days spent on the road playing to their fans. At 2000 Trees the band played a midday set to a packed out tent, displaying their amassing of fans across the country in the short year since their first release.

As the clouds shifted in the sky, bringing some much needed shade, Milestones sauntered onto the tented stage to thunderous applause. Emotional propelling “Hindsight” was the first song to stream through the speakers. The high strung modern rock song brings an stimulating dance vibe that got everyone up and moving quickly. In a day full of hardcore rock, the band offers a nice escape from the pounding guitar and drums. While the song maintains all the brilliant rock elements and rifts, it also offers a lighter side in which passerby’s can come in and enjoy no matter their genre preference. Building instrumental shifting “Nothing Left” shows the bands range for writing and creating. Restructuring patterns and sounds, the song is incredibly intriguing but still palatable.

Departing from the pop punk alternative, Milestones played darker toned “Equal Measures” and jumping dance party “Shot in the Dark.” Like some of the other tunes, these songs have a really nice build so that the songs open and bloom as they are played. With powerful vocals and muted instruments the songs each take on their own personality and life form. This, paired with the fans singing along and the enthusiasm from the crowd, mix to form a lovely atmosphere. Along with “Call Me Disaster” the bands plays a few other songs to close the set.

Milestones may be a younger band with only a selective release, and yet their show at 2000 Trees displayed their immense talent and potential. With songs that are distinctive yet cohesive, new and yet fan friendly Milestones is crafting tunes that mark their space in a full market. With a gripping set at 2000 Trees the band solidified their presence in the world of music, gaining new fans on the way.

Black Peaks

Progressive rock band Black Peaks took to the main stage of 2000 Trees one shady afternoon, bringing their loud momentous music to a weary people. It was the second day of 2000 Trees and mid afternoon; by now the heat and the headaches had kicked in, people started to make their way back to the tents for a little nap. That was, until they heard the sound streaming from the main stage. On the stage was band Black Peaks whose rousing music turned heads, bringing the weary zombies to hear one more band before the sleep set in. With loads of movement and energy the band played an ear piercing show that exuded greatness.

“Set in Stone” was the first song to come from Black Peaks. The loud, high-energy song excited the crowd. If the band could sustain such a high level of showmanship this was going to be a show not to miss. New song “Can’t Sleep,” a song about fascist, had a dark down tempo that built slowly into a rock song. Drum lead, the song had a lovely haunting sound that opened nicely. It may be surprising to play a new song so early in the set, but Black Peaks had already enthused the crowd and so it did not seem to dissuade individuals from listening.

Fan favourite “Saviour” poured through next. The expanded instrumental and pre-chorus song break give the tune an interesting flow that is not necessarily typically found in progressive rock. The band proceeded to talk about their two years on the road and their plans to go away to write. The news brought some upset boos as fans who love the band did not want to see them leave. Yet the promise of new music seemed to calm the agitation. Drum heavy “Say You Will” was bookended by a few new songs, ending the set with the new music.

Black Peaks illuminated the dark afternoon at 2000 Trees. With a main stage set the band displayed their transformative progressive rock sound, enticing many to stay for a listen rather than take a nap.  At a festival it is no easy task to alter a fans path, and yet because of the brilliance and range of their music Black Peaks did so easily. As they continue to create and tour one can only look expectantly to all that Black Peaks will bring.

Dave Hause and The Mermaid

A rare one for me to never originally hear of a band before seeing/shooting them. Dave Hause and The Mermaid proved to me why I probably should have. His American punk style instantly captivated the large crowd and his showmanship was there for all to see.

His voice has a unqiue blend of soul and urgency to it. It makes for more than just another punk gig.

Deaf Havana

Birthed in Norfolk, Deaf Havana is an alternative rock band that sprinkles in elements of singer songwriter folk, blending two seemingly contradictory styles into an interesting yet effective sound. Gracing the 2000 Trees tent, Deaf Havana tuned down their softer elements and instead opted for a pure alternative rock show that brought sweaty bodies into a frenzy. The set, picked by fans on Facebook, allowed the band to play songs that were loved and adored, creating a sonic sensation as fans sang to each song. Shaking the tent with their noise and with their constant musical genius, the boys from Deaf Havana delivered a standout performance at the festival.

The tent was filled to the brim, so many people packed into the area that you would think they where giving away free beer. As the bodies pilled in, their breath heaving in the silence, an excited energy began to fill the room. Deaf Havana has created quite a stir, with other artists adding them as ones to watch during the weekend. With all the anticipation one would be nervous to live up to it, but Deaf Havana had nothing to worry about. Their show was boisterous and ludicrous, but in the best way possible. Opening that night was tune “You’ll Never Know.” The crowd immediately began to sing along, displaying the obvious popularity of Deaf Havana. With sweeping alternative rock riffs and gritty energy the boys opened the stage with a lovely mixture of sonic gold and performance highs. Pop punk tunes like “Cassiopeia” and others came next. As people were crowd surfing the band joined in, stage diving in acceptance of the crowds enthusiasm.

An Adele cover brought an interesting mix to the set, closely followed by drum lead “22” and melodic rock “The Past Six Years.” Sentimental and tempo shifting, “Hunstanton Pier”  offered a really lovely break from the head slamming songs. The tune had a bit of an acoustic feel, no doubt a nod to Deaf Havana’s folk side. The uplifting song had a really nice sense of breath to it, filling the space with a peaceful lull that was much needed in the emotionally tinged set. “Trigger” brought the energy back up quickly; with swinging big sounds the song is monstrous in its attitude. When played live it creates a type of energy that is truly unstoppable.

Along with “Anemophobia” the boys ended with a handful of punk alternative rock songs that were anthemic in every nature. The songs highlighted the talent of each musician, with extended guitar and drum breaks sustaining the high energy. In a blast of sound and light Deaf Havana concluded their sweaty and insane show, giving the 2000 Trees audience an unforgettable gig.

Deaf Havana is a band that is hard to place into a box. They are a genre splicing, limit defying band that creates interesting tones and pieces. Yet with this they are hyper aware of their audience, crafting a show that makes sense for each festival or each city. With a solid fan base that continues to grow Deaf Havana truly shows no signs of stopping, an exciting piece of truth for those who are able to partake in all that Deaf Havana have to offer.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes 

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes have been a band for only three short years, and yet in that time they have released two mammoth albums and toured the world gifting each audience with countless amounts of mosh pits and rock perfection. Carter earned a reputation in previous bands Gallows and Pure Loves as an unstoppable force of insanity, his tattooed body hovering over audiences. With each piercing scream of each song his energy growing more vicious. It is a reputation that is certainly well earned, and well on display at 2000 Trees. Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes took to the 2000 Trees stage, playing for an enormous crowd of fans.

One thing about Frank Carter is that he is not afraid to speak his mind; this was evident throughout the show, as Carter told stories and antidotes before each song. Often he would pause the set, antagonizing the audience who where at times not as invested in the set as Frank would desire. As songs such as “Paradise” and “Snake Eyes” joined other tunes to open the set, intense drum solos paired with Frank’s stage charisma. From the immediate start fans were up and crowd surfing, reaching out to the stage stars. At some point during the opening numbers Frank stopped the set abruptly, distracted by a crowd surfer who was trying to find his phone. Disrupting the flow, the stop felt a bit awkward but the band continued and finished out a handful of songs.

“Devil Inside Me” marked the halfway point in the set. The song is a vicious mixture of rock and hardcore that seems to take on a life of its own with Carter’s vocal performance. Raw and gritty, the tune resonates through the field giving it a hauntingly eerie feel. It is clearly a  favorite, as it seems that everyone is screaming along with Carter.

Again at the midway point Carter steps off the stage, stopping the show. This time it comes about as a reaction to people not playing along with the stage instructions of following a coordinated movement. As Carter wanders into the fans the reaction is mixed, some are loving the stage antics while others are growing weary of the artists demeanour. Frank laments asking, “What do you have to do to finish a song around here?” Not receiving an answer, Carter and band continue playing.

“I Hate You,” a song written for people to sing at the top of their lungs, rounds out the bands performance. As it was written, the song is clearly known to fans. All chime in during the chorus, shrieking in a not so eloquent way. Carter luckily has a vocal range that is much more pleasing to the ear, and his voice is pushed through the speakers to overshadow the horrid singing from the audience.

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes put on an interesting 2000 Trees show. As Carter is known well for his stage antics, it is not surprising that he repeatedly stopped the show to interact and at times antagonize fans. The reaction was mixed, some loving the banter while others grew tired of the stoppage. Whatever ones thoughts may be, you can certainly agree that Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes put on an unconventional 2000 Trees show that is memorable.

Nothing But Thieves

In 2012 band Nothing But Thieves formed. Back then they where just a five lads who wanted to make alternative indie rock. What they are now is a worldwide phenomenon, blazing ahead in their industry.  For any band playing the closing set on a main stage at a festival is a massive deal, for Nothing But Thieves this occasion became reality as they closed 2000 Trees Friday night. Playing the most dynamic set of the festival, Nothing But Thieves wowed fans with a show that had emotional peaks and valleys, sonic evolution that was truly a feat to behold.

Nothing But Thieves opened their set with cool guy rock song “Ban All the Music.” The quick paced guitar lead the song, filling the open field with lights and energy. It is the quintessential high octane start to any set, a song that draws fans onto their feet and allows people to start moving. Nothing But Thieves would sustain such energy, playing tunes such as drum heavy “Wake Up Call” and “Painkiller.” Both songs, along with the others that were played during this high voltage moment, displayed nicely the intense drum intros that have come to typify Nothing But Thieves song structures. The drums give this a vivacious and thrilling beat that are sustained throughout the song, the heartbeat of the energy flow. Paired with the falsetto vocals the songs each take on this anthem like behemoth, each song topping the other with its size and presence.

Just when you can’t take anymore of the large monstrosities of songs, Nothing But Thieves dial things down. Songs like “Hanging” and others, slower and somber in tone, give a nice alteration to the mood of the set. Slower paced the songs still have serious rock elements to them, and yet they are breathier and allow the audience to lower their heart rates. In a display of the lyrical talent, the songs also give the nuanced sensitive side a show. When many bands are so focused on maintaining a level energy during a festival set, the section of slower songs is risky. Yet, they give a lovely tonality shift and a great flow to the overall set.

The lull does not last for long. Nothing But Thieves launches into “Hostage,” lifting the energy back to its frenzy. The base heavy song has that familiar alternative rock feel that is well heard in Nothing But Thieves other tunes. The band continues to play the rock tunes, taking a breath only to announce their new album out in September. After a slew of rock songs the band closes their set with fan favorite “I’m Not Made By Design.”

To grace the main stage of any festival can be a daunting task. Crafting a set list that is engaging and energetic is easy, but to craft a set that has a great emotional and sonic flow is a bit trickier. Nothing But Thieves found the sweet spot, curating a set that was both parts lovely and ludicrous, solidifying their right to grace the closing slot of a main stage at 2000 Trees.

 

Our coverage of 2000 Trees continues with Day Three.

 

Reviewers: Kylie McCormick and Neale Hayes

Photography: Neale Hayes

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