Brussels. La Madeleine. November 11st. Frank Carter is back in Brussels! After the intimate show at the AB Club, a bigger one at the AB Box and a small trip to Trix in Antwerp, he played tonight his bigger indoor show in Belgium! With the dark lady Mimi Barks as opener and in the gorgeous interior of La Madeleine, we expected a crazy show: we almost got it… with a small touch of frustration. Here’s why!
For the first time since 2019, we got our October-November marathon shows back and we can’t tell how great it feels! Obviously not only for us as fans but also for all the people involved: from the bands to the venues and all people working in between. We could forget it because we’re back to normal but this tour from Frank Carter has been postponed once before taking place in this busy and crazy month. But now, it’s really happening and after his sick show at Jera On Air this Summer, we were looking forward to see the crazy British live again!
To open this show, he took another crazy artist on tour: Mimi Barks. Crazy in the sense she has such a dark and unique universe and seems to deliver crazy live shows. She played earlier this year at Biebob (Vosselaar) as support for Combichrist and tonight is the first time we saw her – such as many people in the audience. Tonight, it’s in the capital of Europe she can bring people to her doom-trap world!
MIMI BARKS: TOO HEAVY FOR THE NEW FRANK CARTER AUDIENCE?!
Sadly for her, perhaps she was a bit too intense for the public present at La Madeleine tonight. A few years ago, the fans from Frank Carter would have been more receptive to her but not anymore. From her latest singles to oldest stuff (which are 2 years old), Dead Girl to Suicide, she gave all the energy she had, accompanied by her drummer who didn’t have the best sound. One of the surprising moments of the set was when they exchanged their places: Mimi Barks sat down between the drumkit while his drummer was running on stage in his orange inmate uniform. When we interviewed Mimi Barks (interview online very soon on our website), we asked her why she played drums on stage, how it comes and her answer could be resumed in 2 words: “Why not?”. Basically, yeah, why not? She’s there to deliver the best show as possible, to have as much fun as possible and express herself as authentically as possible. Which she did during about 30 minutes long.
Until the last song, she tried her best to get the audience moving but 99% stayed still. It didn’t prevent us a delicate move for her final song: ask the crowd to bend down. Luckily for her, half of the floor did it. A proof that she convinced enough people to check her out on Spotify later and getting ready for her new release coming on December 16th – with 6 songs already released as singles.
After a long change-over listening to heavy classics like Aces Of Spades from Motörhead, it’s time for the 1200 people present in this soldout and beautiful La Madeleine to welcome to star of the evening: Frank Carter and his teammates The Rattlesnakes. Packed as fuck, the ground floor is ready to move their asses.
Arriving on stage by the stairs of this old theater, like real rock stars, with a backdrop with the new album’s “Sticky” artwork between both stairs, they started the madness right away with the duo My Town / Rat Race. The crowd is on fire, people tried to move as much as possible : from upstairs, if you have the reference, we could have film the pit and add the song Les Sardines from French cabaret singer Patrick Sebastien… (drop a comment below if you know it). Not only the crowd is on fire: Frank Carter is too, obviously. From already the third song, Tyrant Lizard King, he disappeared in the crowd. The security guards helped him to get out after the song? What the fuck?! He didn’t ask to be rescued. He went back there in a second for Cobra Queen! It was funny to see the couple of security guards looking at him from the barrier. Or at least, tried to follow him in this madness crowd. They’re definitely not used to have crazy artists like him or similar concerts. They are lucky that the audience was not more boiling than that: of course they moved and sang a lot but we’ve seen way more crowdsurfing on a Frank Carter show! If he asked once during the night to have as much crowdsurfers as possible, security would have been completely overwhelmed… And if security are overwhelmed, it’s not secure anymore for the fans.
TOO MAINSTREAM, TOO SOFT: FRANK CARTER FRUSTRATED US!
There’s not doubt Frank Carter is one of the best frontman we’ve ever seen during the last couple of years. And one of the kindest: when many artists seems to give a shit about the security from their fans during shows, he has always insisted on this point at length. A show is a safe place. His show is always a safe place. And tonight was. Like it should always be. Wo go to live concerts to forget all the bullshit from the world outside. We try to leave our problems outside. Of course, it’s not always as easy but at least, we try. And powerful live shows like Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes help us to do so. From the mosh-pit for girls only to the speeches about being in a safe space and treat us like a family – as much for us than his crew and the venue crew -, we always feel he’s sincere about it. Like calling his Mom in FaceTime during a song. There is a physical barrier between the artist and the fans but it is only an impression once the concert has started. Like Arch Enemy sang it: “One for all and all for one”. Or like the Belgian national motto : “Strength In Numbers” (aka L’union fait la force). A motto we definitely feel in the music world but not in the outside world. Sadly. But that’s another debate.
That being said, we’d lied if we say this Frank Carter was perfect. It’s definitely less crazy than before, the new songs have more singalong then ever and the average show felt softer than usual. The few massive songs missing in the setlist were also very surprising: I Hate You and Juggernaut, played at Jera On Air less then 5 months ago, disappeared. Such a pitty!
Set-list: My Town, Rat Race, Tyrant Lizard King, Cobra Queen, Bang Bang, Wild Flowers, Go Get A Tattoo, Cupid’s Arrow, Love Games, Angel Wings, Lullaby, Kitty Sucker, Devil Inside Me, Original Sin, The Drugs, Paraside, Crowbar.
Tonight, Frank Carter gave us the powerful show we expected from him and his bands. Thanks to him, Belgium discovered a bit more Mimi Marks. And we can’t wait to see them both in the conditions that fits the best for them: during a Summer festival for Frank Carter, during a smaller headliner show for Mimi Barks. See you in 2023?