LIVE: Groezrock 2015 [Saturday]

By Ben Tipple

Friday’s line-up was stacked full of fantastic sets right across the festival, which resulted in lots of dashing between stages. Luckily, after a lot of coffee consumption (and maybe the hair of the dog) we still had enough left in our tanks to keep up with the equally impressive Saturday line-up.

Accepting the dubious honour of shaking the cobwebs off, gritty punk trio The Holy Mess deliver a suitably loud and energetic dose of WAKE THE FUCK UP. Despite a comparably wary crowd, the band prove that the acclaim gained during their UK support for The Menzingers last year remains justified. Melody driven yet gruff, The Holy Mess prove to be a punk-rock force to be reckoned with. [BT]

Amping up the melody, Timeshares take to the Revenge Stage with glee. Their unusual vocal structures shines through in a live setting, with each member singing various elements of the tracks with great effect. With the size of the crowd growing as the set continues, special mention has to be made to the super-fan front and centre, moving along with reckless abandon. Timeshares may not be the most frantic outfit on this weekend’s bill, but they make up for it in melody, structure and outright enthusiasm. [BT]

Still struggling? If ever there was a way to clear your hangover from day one, its 30 minutes with Off With Their Heads. While they are usually more suited to a small and crowded room, the mass sing alongs during ‘Start Walking’ and ‘Nightlife’ – led by their intense front man Ryan Young – make the cavernous main stage feel more intimate than you could imagine. [GB]


Since returning in 2011, The Early November have consistently proven themselves as stalwarts of the emo genre. Donning their crown at Groezrock, the band whip through a set stretching across their back-catalogue – including particularly notable performances of ‘Decoration’, ‘Frayed In Doubt’ and choice selections from their ‘The Room’s Too Cold’ debut. Despite the questionable interference by an over-zealous fan which sees frontman Ace Enders perplexed, frustrated and impressed all at once, The Early November have the substantial crowd in the palm of their hands for the full forty minutes. Dominated by Enders’ faultless vocals, the band breathe another breath of fresh air into their unfaltering career. [BT]

A last minute addition to the Groezrock line up, Angel Du$t tear through their short and sharp street punk inspired catalogue. Unfortunately vocalist Justice Tripp doesn’t sound as powerful as he can be, and falls a little flat at times. However the crowd clearly love it, and certainly do their fair share to help out vocally on the riotous ‘Stepping Stone’, and the band certainly feeds off this to deliver a high energy set. [GB]

A festival like Groezrock is where punk veterans Good Riddance just fit perfectly. They blast through a career spanning set with ease, packed with classics such as ’30-Day Wonder’ through to ‘Mother Superior’. Even new song ‘Dry Season’ gets a huge reaction, and fits perfectly among their older material, proving that Good Riddance don’t need to reinvent the punk wheel, because their wheel is fine just the way it is. [GB]

If you have ever been present at a Bane show before, then you will already be familiar with the passion this band possess. Even when they are stripped down to a four piece, their heart and enthusiasm knows no bounds. From the highly emotional ‘Final Backward Glance’ to the awe-inspiring ‘Can We Start Again’ they are on-point as ever. The band are set to call time on their career soon, but their final Groezrock performance will be something that everyone who saw it can carry with them forever, and preserve Bane’s legacy. [GB]

It proves an almighty squeeze to get into the packed Impericon tent for Winnipeg hardcore punks Comeback Kid. As they whip through an explosive set, including stalwarts ‘Wake The Dead’ and ‘Broadcasting…’, it’s easy to see why. Vocalist Andrew Neufeld makes easy work of the larger stage, having appeared on the barrier-less ones in prior years. With bodies packed together the atmosphere inside the tent proves as volatile as the ferocity directed from the stage. Ultimately Comeback Kid prove why they remain kings of modern hardcore, as bodies fall battered and bruised out of the tent. [BT]


Be it the day’s alcohol beginning to kick in, or the light starting to fade from Belgium’s sky; Basement‘s 45 minute set on the Revenge stage is the perfect accompaniment to the evening. Breaking into ‘Whole’ from their seminal ‘Colourmeinkindness’ LP, the juxtaposition between grunge sounds and hardcore punk energy works perfectly right up until the closing notes of ‘Crickets Throw Their Voice’. Even as crowd surfers fly from the stage at seemingly inappropriate times, there is something distinctly fitting about the combination of the two styles and atmospheres. Something that comes together at the perfect moment this evening. [BT]

Before they have struck a single chord, the Back To Basic’s tent is packed to the rafters for As Friends Rust’s first European show since 2008, and the deliver one of most spine-tingling sets of the weekend. Everything you want to hear from ‘Coffee Black’ to the anthemic ‘First Song On The Tape You Made Her’ is played tonight, with front man Damian Moyal grinning from ear to ear throughout their perfect set. Lets just hope they don’t keep us waiting that long before they come back to Europe again. [GB]

At some point during You Blew It!‘s headline set on the tiny Macbeth Stage, the charismatic Tanner Jones ends up wearing a mullet. As a horse crowd-surfs over the barrier for the fourth time, and Jones makes some fittingly awkward dedications to the live streaming service on hand, it becomes evident that the Floridan five-piece aren’t taking themselves too seriously. It’s this charm that allows You Blew It! to stand out, as well as their ability to deliver emo driven indie-rock tracks that soundtrack the intimate atmosphere overwhelming the only outside stage on site. It’s perhaps the biggest crowd to turn out to the Macbeth Stage over the weekend, and it’s really very easy to see why. [BT]

Another one of the many scene legends playing the main stage, Millencolin draw one of the biggest crowds of the weekend by covering all corners of their vast back catalogue. The nostalgic ‘Twenty-Two’ still sounds just as relevant, and fan favourite ‘Bullion’ incites near pandemonium from the crowd. Of course they end on the quintessential Millencolin anthem ‘No Cigar’ to bring their triumphant set to a close. [GB]

Arguably one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend, American Nightmare’s headline slot in the Back To Basic’s tent is something a lot of people have been waiting a lifetime to see. Unsurprisingly ‘(We Are)’, ‘AM/PM’, and ‘Hearts’ send the crowd wild, however this is not 2001 anymore, and American Nightmare do not carry the same intensity that they once did. Vocally, Eisold doesn’t spit the words with the same bile he once did, but people change, and with a chorus of voices screaming “Tell the boys I’ll see them soon” during ‘Postmark My Compass’ it’s clear that American Nightmare still mean so much to tonight’s audience. [GB]

Full disclosure; we were on hand to see Refused at Groezrock in 2012 and it, to this day, was the best live experience ever. Fact. This means that their headline performance tonight has more than a little to live up to. In fact, to top 2012 it has to be the best live experience ever. Fact. Perhaps we should admit straight away, it isn’t.

Now, before anyone reading this infers that Refused are therefore terrible; an outer shell of what they once were and all that jazz, the band are still brilliant. Frontman Dennis Lyxzén onstage antics are second to none, as he swaggers across the vast main stage with more than a little of Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s unapologetic bravado. Vocally Lyxzén is also on point, switching between cracked rhythms and outright screams on set opener ‘Elektra’ or the inevitable appearance of crowd favourite ‘New Noise’.

A second new track (entitled ‘Françafrique’, we are presumably reliable informed) sits somewhat at odds with proceedings, switching the overt punk with a rock and roll direction that similarly hints at The Hives. It serves to raise some eyebrows, and may not be the Refused fans have come to know, but is by no means poorly performed.

What Refused to succeed in is their musicianship; their showmanship; their craftsmanship. The Swedish icons remain at the top of their game – no doubt about that. Any disappointment that stems from tonight’s performance can be blamed on a subdued audience atmosphere (the tent is half as full as it was back in 2012), or potentially on some questionable setlist choices. Yet should anybody question their relevance and ability, it may transpire that they were facing the wrong way. With a sentence that will undoubtedly close articles, features and reviews regarding Refused for months (if not years) to come, Refused are fucking alive, and punk is all the better for it. [BT]