After an entertaining road trip from Joburg North, we arrived mid-afternoon to a throng of metalheads already settling in and enjoying the day. The sun was shining, the breeze was cool, the wardrobe theme colour was black and delightful heavy music was blasting from the main stage…there couldn’t have been a better place to be today. After hugs were dispersed to sweaty mates who had just completed their set, we ventured off to feast our eyes and ears on the magic that is Krank’d Up.
The Local Bands
We may say this every year, but our chests constantly fill up with pride at the display of local talent at these festivals. It is always great to discover a new band, or see bands playing again that are already on your ‘favourites list’.
With one of the headliners being an instrumental band – it was fantastic that we had a good few South African bands flying the flag high in this department. In that vein the bands that really stood out for us this year were Savage Lucy, Albino Beach and Ohgod, showing that Local is just as Lekker when it comes to instrumental.
We were really gutted to see power issues arise on the inside stage just as our mates in My Columbine began their set. So frustrating, as they had only just told us earlier in an interview how excited they were for it. I think to make up to them for this they should get a main stage slot next year Krank’d Up!
Checkout our interview with the band in the video below
Back on the main stage, one of those highveld thunderstorms that Joburg is renowned for kicked in just as the last local band (Red Helen) were finishing, people began dashing off to find their black hoodies.
And so, in an ironic turn of events an INTERVAL was announced (you can’t make this stuff up folks). The main stage would shut down until the lightning had passed. Many jokes could be heard coming from this wet crowd about how good this band ‘Intervals’ was 😉
Recording Studios hit krank’d up
Knowing the music and being a fan of Memphis May Fire, we were super keen to be seeing them live and getting to sing along to our favourite songs, but on the night, it was Intervals who were the ones that stole the show for us and blew us away!
‘Musical genius’ seems too inept a word to use for Aaron Marshall, as he and his band caressed and cajoled their instruments into doing their bidding, at the same time enticing this crowd into a mesmerised state. Changing up instruments that were so bright and shiny (a 70s disco could have used them for décor) and all the while grinning from ear to ear. They just looked so damn thrilled to be here and to be jamming together, it was like we had just wandered into a mate’s house and they were having a private little jam session. You could feel that magic as the music transformed everyone in that crowd.
And could Aaron possibly be any nicer? We know he is Canadian but he seemed super nice even by Canadian standards 😊
During a forced break when they had to replace a kick drum, he told us that the rain had been nothing for them as they come from Canada where it’s super cold, then joked that us humans are actually at the bottom of the food chain here in Africa…he said he was deliberately doing his best to NOT apologise – as it’s such an expected Canadian thing to do 😉
Checkout some footage of his banter in the video above
Memphis May Fire
Bursting onto stage with one of our favourite tracks This Light I Hold, Memphis May Fire kicked this horde into high gear from the onset. Having requested a few specific songs in the interview we did with them – we were thrilled when they played them all. Lots of singing and jumping was done, in fact a twisted ankle was sustained, such was our revelry.
Slowing down the tempo about halfway through, they threw in a couple of their rock ballads, including That’s just Life (which is one of the most exquisite songs once could have in their playlist). Admittedly a tear was shed.
It was great to hear Matty speak candidly about how when writing he had been thinking about jumping off a building ‘…and I found peace in realising that I was loved, and that’s what this song is about. If it means something to you I want you to sing it like you wrote it’ – a great message for everyone who has been through tough times…thus began No Ordinary Love.
They were called up for an encore of course – Matty told the crowd “Throw all the biltong you have” if we wanted another song, clearly he has left our wonderful country with a love of something South African. 😊
Their encore closed off the day of magical metal with The Sinner. Apt, as this crowd had ‘kept their heads above water’ – weathering out the rain to watch this band perform. 😊
A remarkable success of day despite the weather challenges – thank you Krank’d Up!
See you next year
Checkout our full set of pics on our Facebook page….