Accepting the inevitable and gruesome, the saying goodbye to a festival we love with all our hearts – for about 360 days – and to make matters worse, to rub it in and make the pain even more tangible: we’ve asked our staff to give us their Roadburn 2019 Highlights. And to confine those picks to just 5… sheer torture, we know. But here goes.
Also; the video crew let us know that they’ve seen more of the camera and microphone than bands actually playing. That is some seriously shitty job you guys have! All the more respect to camera magician Stefan Kemp and mic maniac Waldo Volmer, you guys rule.
Please note that Roadburn is not a contest in our book, we are simply spreading the enthusiasm. Most votes came in for Sleep, with the breathtaking sets of Anna von Hausswolff and MONO and the Jo Quail Quartet getting the exact equal amount of votes and ‘finishing’ as runners-up.
All of that led to this Top 10 of Roadburn 2019:
2. Anna von Hausswolf
2. MONO and the Jo Quail Quartet
6. Thou coverset at Ladybird Skatepark
8. Triptykon + Metropole Orkest – Requiem
9. Great Grief at Ladybird Skatepark
10. Emma Ruth Rundle
JUSTINA LUKOSIUTE (PHOTOGRAPHER)
3. Anna von Hausswolff
4. Emma Ruth Rundle
5. Great Grief
Maalstroom stabbed straight into the heart, sucking all conscience out of the audience. Not generally a black metal fan, I don’t think any music has ever brought me into such dark, deep emotion, ever before.
GUIDO SEGERS (REPORTER)
1. Great Grief – Friday, Ladybird Skatepark
2. Maalstroom – Saturday, Patronaat
3. Triptykon + Metropole Orkest – Requiem – Friday, Main Stage
4. Anna Von Hauswolf Disco Beatdown – Friday, Main Stage
5. Doodswens – Ladybird Skatepark, Saturday
5. or Molasses – Thursday, Main Stage
I think you’re allowed to cheat a little on a Roadburn top 5, particularly when there are two shows connected to your city that were just awesome. But nothing for me compares to the delivery of Great Grief and the way it made me feel. I think Walter felt the same actually.
ROY WOLTERS (PHOTOGRAPHER)
1. Thou coverset at Ladybird Skatepark
3. MONO and the Jo Quail Quartet
5. Crypt Trip
TIM VAN DER STEEN (EDITOR)
1. Sleep, the Sunday set turned out somewhat better, but Saturday was great too.
2. Thou, punk coverset at Ladybird Skatepark. I don’t even remember all guest vocalists, Emma Ruth Rundle being one, it was superb.
3. Old Man Gloom
4. MONO and the Jo Quail Quartet
5. Great Grief at Ladybird
Oh man… some seriously tough choices. With a heavy heart I have to say that Molasses just didn’t make the Top 5, like the Mythic Sunship sets (got to see 2 out of 3), Daughters, Temple Fang and Morne. Striking how much magic was happening at the Ladybird Skatepark. Free of entrance and all! Very cool to observe how spontaneously these ‘secret gigs’ can come about. Seeing Walter come up to our NMTH colleague Timothy during the Mythic Sunship set Saturday, and the next day Timothy and his Supersonic Blues were on fire at the Skatepark themselves. Crazy!
PAUL VERHAGEN (PHOTOGRAPHER)
2. Triptykon + Metropole Orkest – Requiem
INGMAR GRIFFIOEN (CHIEF EDITOR)
1. Anna von Hausswolff
2. MONO and the Jo Quail Quartet
4. Mythic Sunship @ Ladybird Skatepark
Yes, it was impossible to choose just 5. I have to pay due to the commissioned pieces Maalstroom (+ the Dodecahedron mayhem) & Molasses and tons of sets like Thou x Emma Ruth Rundle, Crypt Trip, Old Man Gloom, Marissa Nadler, GOLD, Temple Fang, Morne (2x), Jaye Jayle, Daughters, Wolvennest, TankZilla, Supersonic Blues, Seven That Spells and so much more.
I was so completely sucked in on Thursday by MONO and their golden rendition of Hymn To The Immortal Wind (immaculately enhanced by Jo Quail Quartet) that all the work-related stress of the days before was blown away and I floated in sheer happiness and joy. I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone topping that. But then again, Anna von Hausswolff had been deeply impressing in EKKO in hometown Utrecht, her Dead Magic album was a mysterious and addictive piece and the big question was: Will she be able to convince in front of a full house at Roadburn? Well she most definitely was. Incredible performance from Von Hausswolff who totally dominated and enthralled the Main Stage, playing the crowd from intimately up close with the harmonica to grotesque and orchestral. I will honestly never forget it. Like I will never forget the Patronaat venue, and was very grateful to see Marissa Nadler, GOLD and Messa doing the venue some stunning justice. I enlisted Messa because their album Feast For Water really stuck to me and hearing those songs live was a real… well, feast! I don’t think Sleep and Mythic Sunship need much explaining, the latter being a real surprise and treat (shame I only got to see one set). With Sleep I never expected to see those songs played live. It happened in TivoliVredenburg once, but inside a packed 013, surrounded by 3000 Roadburners, it made such a huge impact. Two hours didn’t seem that long at all.
MERIJN SIBEN (EDITOR)
1. MONO and the Jo Quail Quartet at 013, Thursday
As a big fan of post-rock, MONO count as one of my favourites. This was my third time seeing them in a year, but them playing the full Hymn to the Immortal Wind was just an emotional, unforgettable experience on a personal level.
2. Anna von Hausswolff at 013, Friday
I’ll let my review speak for itself.
3. Sleep – The Sciences at 013, Sunday
When I discovered the works of Matt Pike last year, I since considered myself to be more of a High on Fire guy, while liking Sleep just fine. Seeing their impressive live performance however, has made me freaking LOVE Sleep. This was amazing, transcendent, hypnotic, unforgettable.
4. Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle at Koepelhal, Friday
5. Loop at 013, Friday
6. Have a Nice Life at 013, Sunday
7. Molasses at 013, Friday
8. Great Grief at Ladybird Skatepark, Friday
9. Crypt Trip at 013, Thursday
10. Crippled Black Phoenic at Koepelhal, Thursday
LISA GRITTER (EDITOR)
2. Emma Ruth Rundle
4. Marissa Nadler
You will find all of our extensive Roadburn 2019 coverage through this link. Enjoy! We hope to see you again in Tilburg on April 16-19, 2020.