Archive for DarkTribe

Laurus Nobilis Music Fest 2022 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd September 2022 by Pieni

Manowar, Vëlla, Rhapsody Of Fire, Jardim Letal, DarkTribe, M.E.D.O., Via Sacra
Louro, Famalicão (PT)
Promoted by Associação Ecos Culturais do Louro
21st July 2022

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The two-year hiatus COVID-19 forced into Laurus Nobilis Music  Famalicão – now Laurus Nobilis Music Fest – is over and they’re back… well, not stronger than before, but just as strong. Sure, Manowar is probably the biggest name they’ve had in all their six bills and their fans gathered the biggest audience so far, but it’s just one band – it shouldn’t define a whole festival.

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Portugal has a rich rock and metal underground, so promoters try not to repeat names as much as they can. But Via Sacra is a local band and has been working on some new material (finally, as “The Road” is still their one and only full-length album after 10 years of its release), so it made perfect sene that they were back at opening the festival, just like they did in 2016. A more vivid performance (more because of the line-up changes rather than experience acquired) which ended with the new single “Rock ‘N’Roll”. This should be worth of mentioning just for the novelty itself, but the real highlight stands in the fact that little Gabriel (singer Jimmy’s son) got on stage to play guitar, with such a rock star attitude that melted everyone’s hearts.

www.facebook.com/viasacraband

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Despite the two stages, the slightly bigger one was destined just for the two “main” bands (Manowar and Rhapsody Of Fire) of this first day, meaning the action kept taking place on the smaller one. So no need to get far – unless you didn’t like hardcore, which was what came next. M.E.D.O. were one guitarist short for this gig but that didn’t slow them or the slamdancers down. I honestly don’t know if the latter were specific fans of the band or just the genre’s, but they seemed to have a lot of fun to some of the most popular songs, like “Órfão Orgulhoso”, “Apartheid Ambiental” or “Cegueira”.

www.facebook.com/medofshc

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When DarkTribe got on stage next, I noticed the drummer kept looking at the computer by his side and I joked to myself “the drummer needs a cheat sheet”. Then I saw his face and I thought he was familiar, but since DarkTribe was a French power metal band that I was seeing for the first time, chances of knowing the guy were pretty slim. And THEN I saw he was wearing a t-shirt of Metalpoint (a famous underground venue in Porto). So I looked at his face again and finally recognized Gaspar Ribeiro, the Portuguese drummer of Equaleft and Wrath Sins. Singer Anthony Agnello would say at some pont that their own drummer told them he couldn’t make it to Laurus just the day before and they almost cancelled the trip. But the promoters promised they knew just the right guy for the job and just in a couple of hours, Gaspar learnt the set list and nailed it. “Fire your drummer!” someone yelled from the audience, making everybody laugh, but the way he played songs like “Prism Of Memory” or “Voici L’Homme” (title-track of their third and latest album) was no joke.

www.facebook.com/DarktribeOfficial

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What seemed like a joke was the band that came next (no offense). Jardim Letal fit more in some town festivities than a metal festival, sounding more like a pop band than the rock one they claim to be. And not even mainstream pop, which could somehow entertain the crowd. Their only album “Silêncio” was released in 1996, which puzzled me even more regarding their presence, but there they were – and people took the chance to grab something to eat.

www.facebook.com/jardimletal

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Rhapsody Of Fire, on the other hand, was a great choice. I confess I had no idea there were so many fans of theirs in Portugal, but then again, a lot of Spanish were present, and no matter how many albums they release, the Rhapsody legacy left by Luca Turilli and Fabio Lione will always have its weight. The proof is how much louder the crowd sang “Dawn Of Victory” or the mandatory “Emerald Sword”, even if they got a major feedback throughout the whole set list (“I’ll Be Your Hero” and “Son Of Vengeance” seemed to be favorites). It was great to see so much happiness on and off stage. They should have played longer.

www.facebook.com/rhapsodyoffire

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A lot of people stayed in front of the main stage, saving their spot for Manowar, but Vëlla had a considerably large crowd watching them – enough to build the first real mosh circle of the festival and first wave of crowdsurfers making their way into the security’s arms. Call them modern, call them alternative – what really matters is that both “Coma” and the latest “Entity Vol. 1” have received great reviews, and when it comes to live performances, everybody goes wild. Equaleft-Miguel co-sang “The Promise” but one presence I’d have happily dismissed was the girl filming the gig with her phone, always popping up in different places of the stage. Pretty annoying.

www.facebook.com/vellamusicofficial

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We were first told that there would be no photographers in the pit for Manowar (well, we could for thirty seconds – ha ha ha – so none of us would bother…). Then we were told that we could shoot the usual first three songs after all (which surprised us more than the thirty seconds joke, in all honesty). But when we were all already lined up in front of the stage, the head security came rushing us out of there, saying Manowar didn’t want anyone in the pit. In a later statement though, the festival promoters apologized, saying that it had nothing to do with the band but problems with the fire machine – which ended up not working at all – and they were afraid it would spit flames right on us… Whatever the truth was, I didn’t bother and try shooting from the crowd – just a few pics of the monitors with my phone. I’m not exactly the biggest Manowar fan myself, although of course I remember some songs from my highschool years, but watching that legion of fans go ecstatic was a blissful sensation. “Manowar”, “Kings Of Metal”, “Warriors Of The World United”, “Carry On”, “Black Wind, Fire And Steel”… almost everyone sang along every single word, I dare saying even louder than the “one-million-dollars PA” the band had on stage. The encore included a “small” speech from Joey DeMaio, where he explained how hard was to produce a good show and that’s why they sometimes cancelled them, how he and the whole band didn’t care about haters, that they should live a long and miserable life knowing that Manowar had the best fans in the world. Then he called on stage the three men behind Laurus (there’s more, obviously, but those were the ones he had direct contact with), responsible for bringing Manowar to that small town of Famalicão. I confess I was touched. Attending this festival since its first edition and witnessing it growing to the point where a renowned artist such as DeMaio acknowledges the promoters’ efforts was way better than listening to “Heart Of Steel” (the one song I know the full lyrics to and which they didn’t play).

www.facebook.com/manowar

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino