Live Reports

Jera On Air – Day 3: Emotionnal show of The Ghost Inside!

Ysselsteyn. Saturday 24 June. We are back in a small town than no one knows except the fans of metalcore, punk and hardcore in Western Europe. But what a place! Every year, Jera On Air delivers a sick line-up and this 2023’s edition proves it again. After the horrible weather – but awesome shows – on the first day and a very busy second, we expected to have awesome weather and awesome shows on this last day. Spoiler alert: that’s what we got!

Tired of the first 2 days, we sadly missed a few bands opening this last day: Dreamshade, March and Static Dress. But we arrived on time to catch Cancer Bats. Only 1:30pm which seems a bit early for a band like that but the crowd was present and helped the band to have a great time despite the heat. The perfect warm-up for what’s coming next. A band we’ve seen so many times since the lockdowns ends. So many shows with almost the same set-list everytime. And still, we are excited to see them live everytime it’s possible. This band is coming from France: Landmvrks, c’est Marseille bébé ! The Main Stage is full to see them and what can we say? We asked, they delivered. A set of intense 45 minutes when they played their best songs of their last album “Lost In The Waves” with a couple of older songs. Metalcore, hardcore, rap, pop-punk: they can do everything on stage and the audience in the pit agreed to everything. It wouldn’t have been a shame to see them way higher on the bill but the line-up above them was really packed with Dutch heroes Heidersoojes and John Coffey or bands like Enter Shikari, Meshuggah or The Ghost Inside. But in another country, they would have played way later: per example at Full Force on the same weekend, they played around 8pm. Hopefully, next time, with a new album, they’ll have a better and so deserved spot. But whatever the spot, they’ll always give their best. This Saturday afternoon proved it again!

The afternoon on Saturday was still great but depends on your own preferences. From John Coffey and Heideroojes on the Main Stage, Black Flag and The Menzingers on the second stage or some hardcore bands on the Buzzard Stage that got lot of changes in its timetable for this last day due to traffic issues, you got lot of stuff to see. We made our way to the smaller stage then for Unity TX, another heavy hardcore band from Texas like Kublai Khan TX that played the day before. Small tent, small stage, everything we need for a good hardcore show. During 30 minutes, we had a blast. So much energy, so intense. The band is coming to Belgium 2 times in the next week: Wednesday 28 June in Lodelinsart by Ether Agency and Saturday 1st July in Gent by Return Bookings. If you missed them at Jera On Air, you then have 2 more chances to catch them this Summer!

They used to be an headliner back in the days. Now, they are a big band next to others. Enter Shikari got only 45 minutes set at 7:15pm, which seems a bit small for them but that’s better than than nothing! With so many good bands, the festival had to make some choices. Some seems weird, like this one. The Main Stage is almost full, the production on stage in huge with pyro almost every two songs and a great song. But the set-list is focused on the last releases with almost half of the songs coming from the last 2 albums released in 2020 and 2023. Some hits have been forgotten or played in a shorter 2023 remix version… It was nice to party but still a bit frustrated. Should be better next year on their headliner show at the Ancienne Belgique!

Next on the bill: Carpenter Brut and Defeater. If we would have loved to see Defeater, it was impossible to enter last-minute to the tent so we went to catch one of the UFO’s of the weekend: Carpenter Brut. We were a little bit surprised to see Papa Roach on the line-up but an act like Carpenter Brut… Good or bad idea? Based on the show in a half-empty marquee, it doesn’t look like a win. As they played at 8:00pm with lot of sunlights, it doesn’t help for the show either. As an afterparty after the headliners, maybe it would have worked better. But here, it’s a small fail.

Motionless In White won’t have the same issues. The sub-headliner of this Vulture Eastpack Stage got a packed crowd of fans ready to sing all their biggest hits during 45 minutes. We saw them playing in Paris a few weeks ago as support of BMTH and it was freakin’ good. Same for their show in Brussels as support of Beartooth earlier this year. So we were looking forward to catch them here in a different condition and we haven’t been disappointed! A strong show that proved once again they’re a band you can count on for the present but also the future of metalcore. The perfect warm-up for the headliner of this stage, which should have been the main headliner of the day instead of Flogging Molly: The Ghost Inside! It was their first show in Netherlands since their terrible accident in 2015. Prepare your tissues, you gonna cry. The marquee is full as f*ck and it’s not a surprise: not only it’s their comeback show here but it’s also the only show of the weekend without any bands playing on other stages, meaning everybody is there. You may or may not like their music, you wanna see these survivors, see “The band who almost died in a bus crash” or “The band whose the drummer played with only one leg left”, etc.

During one hour, they gave us the best show of the weekend. A show full of emotions, full of energy and a real lesson of life. We had the chance to catch the show as close as possible to the band – after Jim (bassist) invited all the people stage-side to come hang out closer to them – so we had the perfect view to see what happened on stage and in the crowd. Not a surprise if the many musicians said this was in the top 3 of their career and/or top 3 since their comeback. More than 10k people making 1. That’s what live music is all about. Especially with The Ghost Inside: they’ve been se close to the death in 2015, lot of us never thought they’d play live again but not them. They knew since the beginning they’ll do everything possible to come back. And even if they’ve now more success than ever, they stay so humble: they are just here to have fun, to enjoy life and to enjoy this kinda second chance they got. This is the mindset we should all have. Stay humble, stay calm, spread love and enjoy the life. During concerts or festivals, we live during a few days in a dream world (*): no violence, just love, thousand of people who don’t know them before the festival and won’t see each other again after the festival but during the weekend, it’s like they’ve known each other for a while and are a real family. If we can do it with unknown people far away from home, why can we not do it in the “real life”? Or the question is: what is real? A world where most of us are unhappy and with violence all around us or a world where the biggest issue is to know if our Vans will be for the garbage after one day or not?

(*) We obviously know that sadly in the music industry: violence, sexual aggression and all the problems we see in the society are there too but less present. But less present is not enough: it need to be zero forever. Hopefully one day maybe.

Once again, the Jera On Air made an awesome job with this line-up and a really good organisation most of the time. This last day wasn’t the most packed but quality above quantity is always the best choice. This show from The Ghost Inside will stay in our minds and hearts forever. Landmvrks proved they’ve a huge future in front of them and the Buzzard Stage shows us the many new good hardcore bands we have. See you all in 2024 for a huge 30th Birthday special edition on the last weekend of June!

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