A Colossal Weekend 2017

author AP date 16/05/17

For the second year in a row, the COLOSSAL booking agency had put together a two-day event in one of Copenhagen’s finest venues, Vega, where all things post-, math and experimental within rock, metal and even pop/electro took place. As already foretold in our recent interview with the bookers, this year’s Colossal Weekend added an extra stage, giving extra space for additional bands to play – and with a lineup with this, who could blame them?

The concerts unfolded across Vega’s three smaller stages, Ideal Bar, Lounge and Lille Vega, in which the almost sold-out event never became too crowded despite the great number of people. Granted, being able to see anything in Ideal Bar and Lounge could be challenging for some people if a big crowd had gathered – due to the relatively low stages – but that’s always the chance you take when venturing to such venues. In fact, most things throughout went down surprisingly well, although we at Rockfreaks do have a few points of criticism:

  • No food – last year, we had Tommy’s Burgerjoint on the terrace, which was an excellent meal. I personally don’t mind spending twenty DKK extra for something good that’ll keep me going all night.
  • The merch stands are awesome, but a timetable would’ve been nice. Several times, I went up there to buy merch from different bands, only to walk down in disappointment repeatedly.
  • After-parties weren’t long enough. I’m not sure if this has something to do with Vega’s curfew or not, but an hour is not enough when you want to get together after the event and talk about the great experiences you just had.

I would, however, like to applaud that Vega, once again this year, made it possible to purchase a beer for only 40 DKK (as opposed to the venue’s usual fee), and I’d also like to praise the bookers for putting on such a fine event with this many excellent bands that very often don’t play live around here. Bands like Oxbow, Mouse on the Keys, Yndi Halda and others – hell, they even managed to book a rare appearance by Speaker Bite Me. It’s nice to see the genres so often neglected by the public’s eye gathered for two days of turbulent, extraordinary musical experiences in such fine settings, stitched together tightly so that you could manage to see all the bands. Surely, there was a few overlaps, but you could always catch 20-something minutes before going to the next location.

All photos Friday courtesy of Peter Troest, all photos Saturday courtesy of Jakob Muxoll

FRIDAY

Toundra @ 18:30 in Lounge

The honor of opening this year’s Colossal Weekend goes to the Spanish post-rock/-metal band Toundra, who off the bat sounds like something you could place right between Russian Circles and Pelican (both of which played here last year). Although the band seems to have many fans among the crowd, I myself am unfamiliar with their material except for the few songs I’ve heard online prior to the show. However, I quickly grow a liking to their many-climaxed approach to the genre, which doesn’t focus much on building up grand soundscapes over 20 minutes, but rather takes a few minutes before unleashing a bulldozing baseline or powerful arpeggios to collide unto you.

After 30 minutes time, it feels like the band’s formula gets a bit repetitive. Not because all of the songs sound alike, but because the band’s epic finales, despite their initial irregularity, gets a little too predictable. I’m quite confident that some more advanced interplay between the drums and bass could add an extra layer to the huge sonic waves that the band is actually really good at creating. Luckily, Toundra’s visual performance is a sight for sore eyes as these four gentlemen look like the happiest bunch of guys in all of Copenhagen. Especially the guitarist on the stage left has a charisma that could charm even the largest skeptic, and his enthusiasm wins over the crowd in a heartbeat, resulting in an amazing synergy between band and crowd. Toundra’s show kicked off Colossal with a loud, warm and fuzzy bang that set the bar high for the bands to come. [7½] MIN

Mutiny on the Bounty @ 19:20 in Lille Vega

The math/post-rock of Luxembourg's Mutiny on the Bounty is always a joy to listen to. The fast guitars and their acute sense of rhythms and off-beats also start a party here tonight, although it takes a while to get going. The first couple of songs suffer from the guitars being too low in the mix and the drums having an oddly flat sound. Come the third song "Countach", they nail it though, and the breaks in the songs see the audience banging their heads casually even in the back of the venue. The band members all play energetically, often lifting up their instruments in unison or separately, only to chop the air with them the next second for an especially heavy note or to mark a sudden break. They play mostly songs from their newest album "Digital Tropics" but we also get some cuts from the previous "Trials", first and foremost the excellent "North Korea". None of their earlier songs with vocals appear here though, so it is a purely instrumental set. "Mkl Jksn" leaves a great impression later on with its funky bass-riff that is turned up just the right amount so that it dominates without being too much. When the glorious twinkling of "Dance Automaton Dance" appears, the band has the audience in their collective hand, and afterward I only hear impressed comments about the musicians' skill-level. [8] LF

Redwood Hill @ 20:10 in Lounge

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Redwood Hill is the best Danish band around. The darkness possessed by their tracks is a breed of its own; the desolate guitar that turns into a hammering onslaught of the senses with vocalist Marco Stæhr Hill’s fantastic screams piercing its way through the music’s thickness is a constant thrill for me whenever I see the band live, and they have yet to disappoint me. Neither do they tonight, but unfortunately it feels like the bass and drums are turned up way too loud in Vega’s Lounge, absorbing most of the guitar-parts in the songs’ heavier sections. Thus, the all encompassing force of Redwood Hill’s music only rarely pokes its head out of the shadows.

The quieter sections luckily still excel: from the cello-like guitar sound in the middle of “Microgravity”, over the clean vocals of “Albedo” and all the way to the gorgeous guitar melody in the end of “Poseidon”, whenever the bass and drums aren’t at the fore-front of the sound, Redwood Hill sound perfect. Marco is acting up the frontman-role with much liveliness, jumping around on stage and mangling the microphone cable as usual, bellowing like a beast most of the time. Yes, everything is still very much alive in Redwood Hill; they just don’t have the most of luck with their setting. As usual, it’s been a pleasure experiencing this excellent band perform some of the best music Denmark’s put on record for a long time. I’ll be looking forward to the day when they play a headlining show of their own. Oh, also: Redwood Hill is the best Danish band around. There, I said it again. [7] MIN

Mouse on the Keys @ 20:30 in Ideal Bar

Currently on tour with Mutiny on the Bounty, this jazzy japanese post-rock trio are four on the stage tonight. In addition to their regular trio line-up of one drummer and two keyboardists, they also have a live-member playing the trumpet as well as various samples and backgrounds from a laptop. Ideal Bar's intimate setting, where it's possible to stand on three sides of the stage, makes it so that drummer Akira Kawasaki is placed in one of the front corners with the audience around him, looking across the stage at the two keyboard-magicians, Atsushi Kiyota and Daisuke Niitome. This makes it possible for many of us to really follow his fast-paced antics, and the slowly melting faces of the audience members closest to him are just great to follow on their own, even when Akira himself disappears from my view in the packed venue. They play through several tracks I can't remember hearing before, but also at least one song, "Earache", from their recently released EP "Out of Body".

Their drummer is in many ways the center of attention, and even when what he plays seems difficult enough on its own, he ups it from time to time by standing up or positioning himself weirdly on his chair to really show off. When he later takes a minute to present his fellow bandmembers to us, he does it while standing on his chair so as many people as possible can see him and in general, the band seems to be trying their best to make it a memorable performance. Their light show consists of a number of projectors covering the ceiling in black-and-white patterns that move quickly as befitting the music. Their show seems very thoughtfully put together in all these departments, and the only sad thing about it is that with one member standing in the back and the three others sitting on chairs on a stage that's pretty much level with the floor, many people in the room have no chance of seeing what's actually going on. Luckily, their funky music is more than interesting (or some may say weird) enough to make it worth following on its own. [8½] LF

Deafheaven @ 21:30 in Lille Vega

Any doubt about Deafheaven’s supreme reign on modern metal is long gone. Their sophomore album “Sunbather” blew them into hipster-metal stardom (if there really is such a thing – that’s a debate for another time), and its follower “New Bermuda” highly strengthened the claim. By now, they have a legacy of mastering their live shows, too, with an awe-inspiring performance at Amager Bio last year cementing it. Safe to say, this booking by Colossal is a homerun, as we get to see George Clarke and company in Lille Vega’s wonderful settings. The setlist hasn’t differed much from the last time the band came around, but with songs like these, I’m up for another round.

It’s pretty obvious that Deafheaven are still perfectionists in terms of executing their brilliant blend of black metal, post-metal, shoegaze and whatever other miscellaneous genres they choose to throw in the mix. Every note’s hit perfectly and passionately, and every time a change of pace, a blastbeat or an additional slick guitar lick occurs, Clarke waves his hand or slings the mic-stand synchronically – almost playing the part of a conductor – paying attention to and remembering every little detail of the songs so that they work just like clockwork. Yet, simultaneously, much of the performance feels improvised with Clarke’s sinister stares and rapid movements between guitarists Kerry McCoy and Shiv Mehra’s hypnotizing performances. Touring bassist Chris Johnson does a good job at constantly moving behind Clarke, but unfortunately it’s hard to get a full visual of Daniel Tracy on drums in the back, who usually has a boisterous showmanship unlike any other. For once, I actually think that a band should have a bigger stage, because you honestly want to watch every member of Deafheaven doing what they do best.

By the end of the set, Deafheaven once again performs the excellent one-two punch of “Dream House” and “Sunbather”, which features Clarke crowd-surfing and moshing in the pit, much to the audience’s enjoyment. The two songs are almost too intense for the tiny room’s sound to manage, but by this point of the show I’m already fanboying so hard that it’s beyond me, as I, too, throw myself around in the crowd. But despite this grand finale, tonight’s highlight already arrived halfway through the set: after the beautiful melody of “Baby Blue” and the bitingly forceful “Come Back”, Deafheaven decided to play a cover of Mogwai’s song “Cody” off the album “Come On Die Young”. Mogwai’s usually tranquil track was turned into pure shoegaze-/noise-bliss as McCoy and Mehra turned the volume up to My Bloody Valentine, while Clarke kept toying with his voice and the microphone, impressively making the emotional song even more hitting than it usually is. It was almost enough to give a big boy wet eyes, I’ll tell you. Conclusively, although the show doesn’t quite reach the brilliance of last year, Deafheaven’s performance tonight was another excellent tour-de-force by one of the best damn bands around today. As a dear friend told me afterwards, Deafheaven’s show was “pikke godt”, as we say in Denmark. [8½] MIN

Tvivler @ 22:45 in Lounge

Despite being punk at heart, the Danish act Tvivler has earned a slot on this bill with their experimental take on the genre. I was introduced to the band already in 2015 and although they spent the gig combatting an unwilling audience, it was obvious that they had the art of performance nailed. And If anything, Tvivler has grown wilder still, each musician twitching and thrashing around impulsively as the band d-beats its way through overdriven, minor-key melodies not unlike those of Touché Amoré. Vocalist Thomas Burø is particularly explosive, dancing, moshing and screaming into people’s faces without relent, in that high-pitch, Scott Wade (ex-Comeback Kid)-esque voice of his, although once again, it must be said that few of those in the crowd have any interest in reciprocating his energy. The lack of response probably boils down to the fact that most of the music at this festival is geared toward the imagination rather than flailing limbs, but even so the contrast between Tvivler’s crazed antics and the crossed arms of the beholders is striking. What bothers me is that as exhilarating as Tvivler’s songs are and as unique as the style of their melodies is, they all subscribe to the same pattern, with little by way of dynamics in them to stop them from blending into one another. As a consequence, one leaves the show rattled by its energy, but without a clear imprint of the songs that really made a difference. [6] AP

The Physics House Band @ 23:15 in Ideal Bar

Having only just acquainted myself with the very recently released album "Mercury Fountain", I am surprised tonight by just how chaotic this group's music is when I hear it played live. On album, they excel at spacing out their more experimental and noisy sections with quieter pieces so the listener gets some room to breathe in between the hectic riffs and melodies. Here however, that kind of sensibility is nowhere to be found as they play through their psychedelic and mathy songs in the tight confines of Ideal Bar in what feels like one big, swooping motion despite the short breaks between tracks. Their music is still interesting to follow obviously, but it is almost too massive to fit into this crowded, small place considering the many different sounds they include in it. After a short while, I seek refuge further away from the stage and there I spend the rest of the set waiting for the music to click with me live as it has done at home, but the moment never really arrives. Still, I wouldn’t miss a chance to see them again, perhaps in a not quite so cramped place. [6½] LF

Anna von Hausswolff @ 00:00 in Lille Vega

One of the hidden gems of this year’s line-up, Anna von Hausswolff must make do with a scant audience for her late-night spectacle. But the people that felt content that Deafheaven as the penultimate act could not be usurped go home as the missers-out, with the Swedish singer and multi-instrumentalist and her band orchestrating a magical performance. Like a shamanic Björk, she conducts a dark and disturbing amalgamation of genres ranging from art-pop to shoegaze and even doom, conjuring a spell which slowly, subtly descends upon us, curling its invisible fingers around our necks as we stand there, transfixed. Sometimes light and ethereal, other times crushing and brutal, von Hausswolff’s compositions are an intense experience in their own right — not so much songs in the traditional sense as escalating tides of sound, massive and feverish, and gilded with a witchy, Nordic edge — but even more so given the heart and soul she pours into them, and her complete immersion in the music.

Most of the time, von Hausswolff resigns herself to a piano and organ behind the other musicians but even in the background (every now and then, she does step forward with an acoustic guitar, however), her dramatic presence and wild, girlish voice (not unlike Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife) remains the absolute focal point of a show during which no words are exchanged and which seems to grow darker and madder by the second, reaching a climax in the panicked screams of “Pomperipossa” and the atavistic monolith of a crescendo which rolls in during “Come Wander with Me / Deliverance”. ”You’ll never see anything like this ever again, so watch it — drink it in,” whispers a voice inside my head and it is true; seldom have I been so mesmerised or felt so completely consumed as by the mystery and drama of Anna von Hausswolff’s performance. [10] AP

SATURDAY

Oxbow @ 18:30 in Lounge

Founded in 1989, Oxbow is a cult band in the truest meaning of the word — and not only because of the limited number of records they have released (just seven in all, including this year’s comeback, “Thin Black Duke”). No, the primary culprit is vocalist Eugene S. Robinson, whose attire, personality and periodic eruptions into spoken word afford him the semblance of a gospel preacher. Although the San Franciscan outfit’s interpretation of avant-garde noise rock is an interesting proposition to say the least, it is the radiant charisma of the frontman that steals the show, undressing a garment with each passing song and painting a spectrum of emotions onto his face by means of his expressive and impassioned singing. It is hard to deny that much of Oxbow’s material is an acquired taste, but even at its strangest, the three instrumental musicians — guitarist/keyboardist Niko Wenner, bassist Dan Adams & drummer Greg Davis — play with a groove of seasoned veterans, earning loud cheers for their intoxicating renditions of “A Gentleman’s Gentleman” and “La Luna” (to name only a few examples). It feels like one is visiting a piece of obscure music history; the kind that probably inspired a lot of our present-day heroes but was never lauded for its influence. The concert also encapsulates what A Colossal Weekend is about: the chance to experience something different and unconventional — and certainly, the sight of Robinson donning only a shirt and boxer shorts, grooving to a math-y rhythm and noisy, acerbic riffs is an example of just that. [8] AP

Agent Fresco @ 19:20 in Lille Vega

It is hard to believe that six years have rolled by since the first and last time that Agent Fresco and I crossed paths. Back then, the Icelandic eclectic and artsy alternative rockers were promoting their début album, the excellent ”A Long Time Listening”, and wooed me by balancing explosive energy and subtlety so perfectly. Nothing has changed in that department. Once the tranquil first piece, “Anemoi”, gives way to “He is Listening” with its breakdowns, the entire front-trio comprising vocalist Arnór Dan Arnarson, guitarist/pianist Þórarinn Guðnason & bassist Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson, is soon flailing limbs, swinging instruments and trouncing about haphazardly in best ‘Dillinger-esque fashion. These kinds of eruptions are a common sight throughout the set, struck into contrast by Arnarson’s celestial and at times fragile singing during the more subdued parts that form the other half of ‘Fresco’s music. It is this marriage of pop (as heard in the ridiculously catchy “Howls”) and its antithesis (like the frenetic screaming in “Pyre”) that rubs the audience the right way — the moshing, sing-alongs and applause constitute the wildest reaction to a concert witnessed during this weekend — and the band seems as fuelled by it as they are grateful. I must admit that the allure of Agent Fresco’s music has sort of waned for me since their sophomore LP, “Destrier”, came out in 2015, but if they hold onto their showmanship, that is not going to stop me from catching their future gigs again, and again, and again. [8] AP

Emma Ruth Rundle @ 20:20 in Lounge

Emma Ruth Rundle has apparently already taken the stage a few minutes too early as I arrive in Vega’s Lounge at 20:18. The first song I get to hear is “Hand of God” off her latest album ”Marked for Death”, where it quickly becomes apparent that although Rundle sounds good, her voice can’t quite make the transition from quiet to loud as brilliantly as she does on record. However, with that in mind, she and her band still puts on a good show where especially the flourishing hurricane-like guitars of “Marked for Death”, the wooing chorus of “So, Come” and the desolate beauty of “Shadows of My Name” makes a lasting impression. Unfortunately, just as I’ve started to fully embrace the show, Rundle exits the stage after only thirty minutes, leaving the crowd wanting more but before having quenched any of their thirst. Thus, the show ends before becoming truly great, and I’m sadly forced to rate it no higher than this. [7] MIN

Valerian Swing @ 20:35 in Ideal Bar

Valerian Swing describe themselves as "three Italian lunatics" playing music that is mathy, violent and anthemic and that is not only an apt description of the music they compose but also ties in perfectly with the way they behave themselves on stage. As they play through their fast riffs and twinkling melodies, the quickness of the music is increasingly challenged by the trio's aggressive movements that seems as if they, insanely, want to move their feet to a new position at a pace that matches every new note appearing in the music. It's enjoyable to watch that attitude from the very beginning, even though it takes a little while for the small venue to fill up. Complementing these antics in the two front members, their drummer seems to be utterly unwilling to play a simple beat with no extra stuff going on in each bar of the music, and even though he sits down most of the time, he seems just as into the music as his fellow band mates. When their set ends after this firm display of power, they each charge suddenly into the crowd, one ending abruptly atop a nearby table to general amusement among the crowd. The band certainly provides a positive surprise and they succeed in getting everyone in good spirits if they weren’t already, even as it's a slow curve for the audience to get really into the music. [7] LF

SUMAC @ 21:15 in Lille Vega

The first thing you notice when SUMAC takes the stage is how god damn loud and heavy things can get all of the sudden. Like a slumbering volcano ready to erupt, Joe Preston’s bass work shakes the entire foundation of Lille Vega and stays at this rumbling intensity throughout the entire show. He stands almost completely still for the entire time, letting Nick Yacyshyn’s bouldering drums and Aaron Turner’s intensely deep headbanging take the visual front seat. The synchronicity of Yacyshyn and Preston’s rhythm-section was already well-praised in my review of the band’s sophomore album ”What One Becomes”, and tonight, too, does it function as the perfect, rock hard backdrop for Turner’s primal, metallic guitar playing.

I saw SUMAC perform in front of 20-ish people at last year’s Roskilde Festival around 02:00 a.m. on the last day, but luckily the attendance tonight has multiplied several times. Instead of ebbing out into nothing, the band’s massive, seismic collisions receive an extra layer of heaviness among the many people present, and here, inside of Lille Vega, it almost feels like the walls are about to crack from the pressure of the colossal sound waves. At times, you can see Aaron Turner tuning his translucent guitar while roaring like a creature from the debts of Khazad-dûm, constantly focusing while intensely delivering with all of his might, even when doing what’s practically necessary to keep the show progressing. Every motion he makes creates a sound on the guitar, whether it’s gently driving his fingers up the fretboard or taking out drumsticks to pound the living hell out of his guitar, sparking sonic flares whenever he sees fit. I’m actually not sure what to precisely classify SUMAC’s music as, as it involves everything from post-metal to noise, so instead I simply choose to call it post-destruction.

After having flensed your eardrums for a several minute long droning noise-assault, Turner’s joined by Yacyshyn to finish us off with one last brutal onslaught, just so we really know that they mean business, and that SUMAC is a force to be reckoned with. The band’s set was an inferno of loud sound unmatched by any volume and turmoil I can recall, and although the show might’ve been too heavy or intricate for some people, there’s no denying the power displayed by these three musicians. It almost feels surreal when Turner ends the set by graciously thanking us all for coming out, acting all human and all. [8½] MIN

Yndi Halda @ 22:10 in Lounge

The post-rock of the British group Yndi Halda is something else. Compared to all the other bands playing A Colossal Weekend this year, their violin-focused music is much softer and so delicate that parts of the audience almost can't handle it in their late-night semi-drunken state. Their light and melancholic set thus balances on a knife's edge, tipping between absolutely entrancing moments and then the several times someone talks too loudly in the back and is promptly shushed back into a quieter murmur that nevertheless doesn't really stop. However, when the guitars and the violin soar together, at the times when the music kicks in and becomes louder, we're all consumed in the emotional rise and fall of the songs, and I'm quickly sure that this is one of the most magical sets of this event. Their songs are generally long, more often than not nearing 15 minutes on average, and there's therefore plenty of time in each composition to get sucked in, although the conditions tonight are as explained not quite as perfect as one could have wished. Still, the quality of the material carries through, and "Golden Threads From The Sun" from their last album "Under Summer" is especially magical to me. What leaves the greatest impression though, is the way they choose to end their set by letting the music quiet down and bleed into an an acoustic ending. They all walk into the middle of the crowd, creating a circle as they each carry two instruments that I can only describe as pipes with little hammers on them that move to hit the pipes and make a huge, round sound when the instrument is flicked. They all present different notes and thus they play out the final parts of melody in this way that is sufficiently spell-binding for everybody in the room to quiet down completely before erupting into a solid applause when the last note has rung out. They seem overwhelmed by the positive response but they certainly deserve every last clap of it, so here’s to hoping that they come back again sometime in the not so far future. [8½] LF

Rome in Reverse @ 22:30 in Ideal Bar

Although we usually don’t review the kind of music that Danish/Italian electro/ambient artist Rome in Reverse plays, we’ve decided to cover everything on the festival. Therefore, after 20 minutes of an otherwise great set by Yndi Halda, I venture down to Vega’s Ideal Bar where Antonella Pacifico is getting ready. Equipped with nothing but an iMac, an effects keyboard, a projector and a willingness to conquer, the show sets off with electronic loops aided greatly by trip-hop blip-blops. Throughout its duration, the music constantly increases in volume and intensity, with the projector throwing interstellar visuals on the wall behind the heavily headbanging artist, who in herself is a damn party to behold. We start a few people in the intimate room, but a small, constant stream of people arrive, and by the end of the set, the amount has doubled a few times. What began with me being – admittedly – a little skeptical about leaving the Lounge ended up being a nice break from all the epic guitars and mathematical polyrhythms, finding a place where I could dance a bit awkwardly by myself for half an hour or so. [?] MIN

Alcest @ 23:10 in Lille Vega

Originally, AP was supposed to review French blackgaze band Alcest’s show tonight, but given the spellbinding performance they delivered – and the impact it had on me – I persuaded him into giving up the task and leave it to me. Since the band’s latest album ”Kodama” was such an impressive triumph, I was expecting a lot from Stéphane Paut (aka Neige) and his band, and thankfully they didn’t disappoint – in fact, they exceeded every expectation I might’ve had prior to the show. While the stage is still hidden behind a large, black curtain, the rumbling and ominous sounds of the band’s song “Onyx” fill the buzzing room. As the curtain’s being withdrawn, the four musicians present themselves on stage in front of a black and dark blue-shaded backdrop with huge, white letters spelling “Alcest” in the band’s distinctive font. Kicking off with the title-track off 2016’s “Kodama”, the sound present tonight quickly proves to be miraculous as everything is both loud and clear, giving way for the song’s shoegazey melodies, light vocal-harmonies and impeccable drumming to shine.

The band rarely do or say anything except for “thank you” now and then, but it’s obvious they enjoy playing together, delivering their iconic music to a devoted audience. And frankly, that’s all they need to do. Tonight, the music speaks for itself, making 65 minutes fly by like nothing. Throughout the set, we’re treated to such excellent tracks as “Eclosion” and “Percées de Lumière”, where the music takes over body and mind in complete, musical zenith. The fuzzy guitars’ wall-of-sound, the galloping bass and the raging blastbeats of the drums create the perfect foundation for Neige’s brilliant black metal screams as they thrust their way forward. The sound of the band in full force is so overwhelming that it feels like cascades of water rushing over you, leaving you numb and speechless. Already before the show’s end, I’m well aware that I’ll remember this concert for a long time.

Tonight, in Lille Vega’s tiny room with less than 500 people present, Alcest’s music feels like something that transcends worlds. The set’s softer moments are like the sweetest dream you had as a kid – one, which you can barely recall, but only have fond, nostalgic feelings about when you finally do. Yet suddenly you remember the horrible things that also happened in that dream and why you tried to repress it, as a tormented scream from Neige present itself in the soundscape in front of you. Alcest’s music is the kind of sound where you’re not sure whether that creature in the distance is a beautiful woman or a surreptitious siren, yet you still approach, oblivious and unaware. It lures you in with its gorgeous melodies just before it takes you down below the surface, a point from where there’s no knowing what’s going to happen. Much like the water in which the ancient spirit on the cover of “Kodama” bathes, you’re not fully aware of what’s below, but you want to know. Therefore, you dive in headfirst and get lost in the overwhelming bliss that inherits the darkness, never wanting to resurface. And that is exactly what went down tonight. [10] MIN

Speaker Bite Me @ 00:15 in Lounge

I didn't really know this Danish group at all before A Colossal Weekend announced this show that marks their return to both recording and performing, as far as I can understand. This makes sense since their latest album was released in 2007, which was at least one year before I got into noise rock, post-rock or any kind of other genre that resembles the kind of proggy hybrid music Speaker Bite Me makes. As the last band on the bill tonight, they face the challenge of playing right after the pretty much perfect show that Alcest just provided us with, and the upstairs lounge room is never more than half-filled through their set. Their music is often loud and bass-heavy in a very grounded way that is nice after some of the more mathy and soaring stuff that has appeared on the stages today, and their dual vocals burn through just fine in the mix. Everyone in the band seems to be happy to be on stage and they perform with great confidence even though most people here don't seem to know their music beforehand. There's a mysterious vibe in their songs as well as their faces as they cheekily look out at us, as if they're guarding a secret we only get to see a glimpse of here. It's intriguing enough to keep the audience's interest even though most seem tired by now. Their relaxed attitude fits the late time slot as well, as they provide us with a solid way to slowly gear down from the packed program of the last two days. They present another positive surprise from a band I didn't know before Colossal introduced me to them, and I'll be looking out for new music from them for sure. [7] LF

FINAL THOUGHTS

A Colossal Weekend was once again a great success. Although the event unfortunately didn’t sell out completely, we’re confident that next year will be just as good – if not better. The acts that were expected to deliver excellent shows did, and the ones we didn’t really know what to expect from surprised as well. See you next year, COLOSSAL!

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