Live Reports

Headbanger’s Parade 2023: a first successful edition!

We’ve been waiting a long time for this: the first edition of the Headbanger’s Parade in Netherlands can finally take place. Still headlining by Architects, the line-up is basically the same as the first one announced. Provided by the Jera On Air team, this indoor festival had a beautiful line-up and promised us a lot. We’ve not been disappointed and we hope they’ll be a second edition!

Organize an indoor festival in January may seems weird. Why not a classic single show? Well, when you’re a festival promoter, seems you prefer to stay on the same vibe. Here’s why this short Architects tour finished with this indoor festival in Netherlands after hitting all the biggest cities in Germany. As a festival, we not only have the tour supports Northlane and Sleep Token but also Tesseract, Ghostkid, Molybaron and to attract more Belgian fans as it’s Benelux exclusive, the French band Stake.

With only one stage and an headliner promising us a 2h set, the festival obviously had to start early. Molybaron opened it at 1pm! We discovered this French rock band at Rock Werchter last Summer and it didn’t give us a good feeling but it’s important to notice their singer was sick that day. Better today? A little bit, yes. But we count on the fact the level fortunately increase during the whole day. They groovy music between rock and progressive metal is great but nothing very new or bold. A nice warm-up to discover this venue, nothing more.

Molybaron at Headbanger’s Parade – 15 January 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

We continue the day with another very young band coming from Germany: Ghostkid. Before going on tour with Bad Omens next month, they’ve been added on today’s line-up for their first show in Netherlands. You may know him at least their frontman: Sebastian, former singer of Electric Callboy who left in 2020 (seems a bad timing…). Ghostkid is different: more brutal, less party style, a small electro vibe too but the same amount of energy. During 30 minutes, the pit will enjoy the songs from this German band we should see a lot in 2023… including Jera On Air on 23 June!

Get your flags out, patriots! Belgian heroes Stake are next! The band we knew under the name Steak Number Eight got a great success in Netherlands. Will it be the same under their new name? Let’s say yes! Not the best reaction of the day but still decent. Their grunge/rock’n’roll vibes are a bit weird on today’s line-up 80% metalcore. Because the ambiance will win at least 2 levels with the next act.

Opening act on the Architects‘s tour, our new favorite British band are right in the middle of the bill this time. Yes, Sleep Token are in the place! It’s the third time in 2 weeks we saw them as we also were at the shows in Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. Two shows were they confirmed the hype was real. Same today? As if there was any real suspense! A lot of people were looking forward to discover this band. Next to Spiritbox and Bad Omens, they are the biggest prospects in the metal scene right now. After this legendary tour with Architects, they’ll embark on a huge headliner in the UK playing venues of 3000+ people with Northlane as support. What else?!

Sleep Token at Headbanger’s Parade – 15 January 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

During both shows in Germany – like the rest of the tour – the British act got only 30 minutes. A classic time for an opening act. But during this festival, they had almost twice the time: 1h to discover the full universe of Sleep Token. How lucky are we! It was for sure the best show of this tour for them and we had a blast listening to all their best songs. Unfortunately, they didn’t add the latest one The Summoning, released during this tour on January 6th. Maybe this Summer during their show at Jera On Air?

Next band to appear on stage: the one and only Northlane. Like Sleep Token, it’s the third time we have the pleasure to see the band live this month and they also have more time on stage this time. Coming from 40 minutes to 1h with 5 more songs: Xen, Abomination, Details Member, Cypher and Obsidian. Only more new songs, not even a second track from “Singularity” or from the more recent “Node”. Too bad but the show was still pretty good! The Aussies look stronger and more mature than ever, which can only be positive for the future!

Setlist: Clarity, Plenty, Echo Chamber, Xen, 4D, Carbonized, Quantum Flux, Abomination, Details Matter, Cypher, Bloodline, Obsidian, Talking Heads, Clockwork.

Northlane at Headbanger’s Parade – 15 January 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

We approach the climax of this cool festival but before that, there’s one more band to appear on the Main Stage for an exclusive show: Tesseract. We were surprised to see them above Northlane but the audience seems to really enjoy it. More technical, less punchy but still a great show. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the British band and it was a pleasure to see them again. But more looking from back of the building with a nice beer before going back to the pit for the headliner of this first Headbanger’s Parade: Architects!

It may be a festival, it’s part of a intense headliner tour so the show is going to be exactly the same we already saw twice. But if we are back, it’s obviously because it was so fuckin’ good! Tonight, the vibes were different: different country, different audience, different kind of shows. More than enough to expect something else than both shows in Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.

Stage production is perfect, sound is good, public is on fire and the band are there to give all the energy they have left from this small but intense tour! The set-list is exactly the same and the reaction from the crowd is insane too. These Colors Don’t Run, Deep Fake, Broken Cross, Dead Butterflies, A Match Made In Heaven, Burn Down My House, When We Were Young, Animals… the highlights are the same. But we could enjoy this show everyday! The speeches from Sam Carter are a bit different, even if he’s always speaking about the same important topics: mental health and his own sad experience, the relation of the band with music, the introduction of a new member on stage, etc. Listening to Sam Carter is always heartbreaking: he’s the big brother we all want to have but also hug as much as possible. From here, he may look like a strong man, screaming along and leading one of the best metalcore band ever. But he’s a human like all of us with his strengths but also weakness. His biggest strength is to be able to share so much about difficult times. We all need to speak, we are not alone, you are not alone. It’s hard but if you need, please find someone to talk to. You will always find someone around you!

The breakdowns of Animals closed perfectly this first edition of the Headbanger’s Parade and we can’t wait to come back here next year if they continue this lovely adventure! Until then, the festival’s team is waiting you at Jera On Air on 22-23-24 June for an insane weekend where you’ll be able to see some of the bands from today like Sleep Token and Ghostkid!

Architects at Headbanger’s Parade – 15 January 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

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