The small stage of the Effenaar is ready for action. Tonight three bands are going to live up to the stoner heritage of the past with some interesting performances. The crowd is filling up the place, the beers are flowing so time to kick off for tonight. Interesting fact is that none of these bands come from a country with a desert, but still it feels mighty sandy here tonight.
The Swedish band had a great year and is starting their next European tour tonight in Eindhoven. This year they released an album, titled Universe, that launched the band into mainstream success. When Metal Hammer can’t get enough of you, you must be doing something right I suppose.
Opener for tonight is Witchrider for a half filled venue. The band from Austria might have the best intentions, but they are not the most exciting band in the scene. The band from Graz plays steady and tight stoner rock, but they never really start being exciting during their set. Then again, they are warming up.Their fuzzy and calm sound is reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age in their early days and songs are played with plenty of conviction.
It wouldn’t be so bad if their live act would have some energy to it, but the band looks a bit nervous, which seems to hamper them quite a bit. The band has plenty of good things going for them, so their calculated desert sounds might just grow a lot during this tour. We are at the start of it all now, so let’s just wait for them to head back to The Netherlands for some more live music, before deciding if they’ve got what it takes.
The combination of guitar and drums has yielded plenty of cool acts in the past. It can also be just weird, but tonight the only weird thing is the stage set-up. On the far right, White Miles drummer Lofi sits behind his drum kit and on the far left is singer Medina. In between them two banners, displaying the name of their new record Job: Genious, Diagnose: Madness. The band was opening up for Courtney Love earlier this year, so clearly they know how to get the party started.
Medina has a powerful rock’n’roll voice and hammers the guitar furiously, while Lofi pounds the drum with unrelenting energy for the next half hour. Their sound is some furious bluesy stoner, which may not be remembered for its subtlety, but definitely for its unstoppable force. The duo needs no one else to rock the audience tonight, with Medina dancing up and down the stage, letting her hair down (literally I guess). She’s wearing a jeans vest and a bra, prompting some guys to call for the vest to be taken off, apparently not aware that this chick may just as well hit you over the head with her guitar. A lot of smiles, a lot of passion, that is mainly why White Miles will stick in my memory tonight.
Truckfighters have, as I said, not gone unnoticed in the stoner scene. Just when you think it has started bleeding dry of radio friendly bands, a new challenger appears. The band has cleared away everything they don’t need from the stage, leaving the drum kit, two microphones and an enormous stack of speakers (obviously). The hall seems packed and brimming with anticipation for the flag bearers of sand-between-the-teeth stoner rock at high speed. When the band comes on, they blast off with screaming engines.
The songs feel like they race by, steady but awesome. The most noticeable is obviously guitar player Dango (who listens to Niklas Källgren when he does wear a T-shirt). He never seems to cease jumping up and down and playfully fire off the most tasty, smooth riffs at the crowd. The chugging engine, propelling the band forwards however, is no other than drummer Enzo (Axel Larsson, when wearing shoes), who hits his drums with the fury of a frustrated five year old, while maintaining his calm composure.
Heads are nodding to the groove that the three men on stage are laying down. Some people even start a pogo, which is not the most common thing to see during a show like this. Apparently the energy is that contagious. A solid set keeps the crowd going. The question is of course, does Truckfighters have enough to grow to the size of the main stages? Time will tell.
Scribed by: Guido Segers
Photos by: Paul Verhagen (www.achromemoments.nl)