Main Stage: Motherland, Cassyette, Death Blooms, Static Dress, Vukovi, Boston Manor, Creeper, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Fireball Stage: Mally, Kidpunk, Rituals, Hometruths, Zand, Lebrock, Modern Error, As December Falls, Higher Power.
For the galleries of the bands who performed at the festival, follow this link.
Taking place over the course of the day at Northumbria SU, Newcastle; Rise Fest. This is a brand new music festival for the heavier audiences of the North East but… a heavy music festival in Newcastle? It’s not something you’d normally credit the city for, expect says few select venues but with it rearing to go with some standout bands from the last few years as well as the established mainstays on the scene, it was time to unleash the energy on the fans!
Rise Fest was composed of two stages at Northumbria Students Union, the Main Stage with Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes headlining in addition to Creeper performing an exclusive ‘Weeping Widow’ set where keyboardist Hannah Greenwood stepped into the main vocals role as their regular lead vocalist Will Gould sadly couldn’t be there on the day.
Kicking things off were a band from the local scene in Newcastle, Mally, where they stepped in at the literal last minute to replace Superlove and I have to say they brought their absolute best energy with them to kick start things on the day, pulling a great crowd over to the Fireball Stage and starting the day off with a bang. They were quickly followed up by Motherland, an ambitious five alt piece from down the road in Middlesbrough warming up the stage for the utter madness that would ensue.
Switching over we had the always fantastic Kidpunk, one band who are already establishing themselves as the next big ones to watch, especially with the recently released track, ‘Tanners Arms‘ Next up on the day, Cassyette. It’s probably a good thing this artist was switched from the Fireball Stage to the Main Stage because over the course of the last year, she’s one that has been nothing short of excellent, gaining more and more attention to become one of the largest names in alt music in lockdown. With that, she pulled in what looks like everyone who was there at one glances leading to a blinding powerhouse performance which is always managing to topple every subsequent appearance.
Heading over to the Fireball stage for a moment, Rituals bring the head banging heaviness for which they’re known for, the quartet are assisted by some of their best new material where their rising progression is just hammered by by the refined collective they have become over the last few years. Special shoutout to the track ‘Oceans Subside’ because that is one tracks which showcases all the energy the band bring to the table.
Now Death Blooms. If Cassyette gave the crowd the energy, then this band takes it to a whole new level and being one of the heavier bands on the bill, they had to live up to the reputation (which they did). What’s more is that Death Blooms just kick everything up every single time I’ve had the pleasure to watch them play and this one tops the bill quite literally with a majority of the crowd singing back ‘Shut Up‘.
Now to switch genres up a little here, you have some more tremendous local talent in Hometruths that give and give so much where their boundless potential matches against their ambitious melodies showcasing just what the North East is offering at this festival and why they won’t go ignored for much longer.
I’ve witnessed Static Dress before and there’s just something about them, their refined sense in the pride of their music or the attention to detail. Whatever it is, it’s that which unlocks the pent up energy we’ve all had in lockdown, they take it out of us to really get things started. They’re a band who know how to play with their audience, taking their time with their songs and peaking just at the right time to give you that little bit extra you never expected from a performance.
Zand is just Zand. Before a note is every even played or a word uttered, all attention is on this artist. The crowd is just silent and then you’re captivated by the shaved green headed person which stands before you, which leads into a record for most eagworms you’ll ever have during a set. It’s a very refreshing set to say the least which is what makes Rise Festival so spectacular in bringing the many different genres of rock and metal together because you never know whom will surprise you on the day.
Now Lebrock. I honestly hadn’t heard anything from this particular group before and wasn’t sure what to expect, in fact it was a little weird to begin with because they were a band which seemed a little bit of a mismatch to everyone else I’d seen so far. But it’s this difference which made the performance all the more memorable as much as it was powerful. Their synth vibes completely captivated me to a point where I was just fixed on the spot and couldn’t look away. This was one of the most unique artists I’d come across in a long while.
Scottish mainstays Vukovi are the next band to grace the MainStage, showcasing their undeniable rage with their amazing confidence, making them one of the best bands on the day where a little bit of the mix from their older material fires up the crowd well as some of their material from their second record, ‘Fall Better‘, especially ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A‘ is one track which the crowd identifies with and loses their collective minds over.
Another band which are hard to place on the day, flickering the line of heavy are Modern Error. To myself, they’re a band which are just that little bit more mysterious which adds tot he mystique of their performances which always seem to make them a highlight, no matter what lineup they’re a part of. ‘Their latest record, ‘Victim Of A Modern’ age and some of those track live just hit a little bit differently live where each and every band member matches the energy in a way most bands don’t, they exceed it at every turn.
Keeping things going, Boston Manor just had every banger on their repertoire going, opening with ‘Carbon Mono’ off the Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures EP delighting fans much to the excitement of what’s to come on their upcoming release ‘Datura‘. Creeper though, we didn’t know what to expect. This is because Keyboardist and backing vocalist Hannah Greenwood was stepping into their frontman Will’s shoes for their ONE NIGHT ONLY Weeping Willow performance but by the sounds of everything I heard, I think there’s a lot of people who would want to see that again due to how strong her vocals were on the night and how grand her stage presence was. Safe to say, she absolutely smashed it! From effortlessly ripping into ‘Suzanne’ and having the audience participate in ‘Down Below’, this will go down in the bands history as a fan favourite set.
*Below is some fan shot footage from the festival.
As December Falls, one UK pop-Punk band always on an upward trajectory. Last year they delivered a SOLD OUT UK tour and this year it’s just continuing their success with appearances at festivals, not to mention a headlining UK tour which will see them at larger venues this time around. But for Rise Fest? The gave an absolutely solid performance where if there had been room on that Main Stage, I’m sure ADF would’ve definitely filled it because some of their latest material, the effortlessly catchy ‘Go Away’ as well as the guitar driven powerhouse ‘Ride’ are always two you want to hear live again and again.
Now for the final bands, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, I had to dash off after the first three songs into the set because of the trains which meant I did miss quite a bit of their set and the entirety of Higher Power so I can’t say much on these final two acts but from what I did experience and view via Social Media, Frank Carter led his band into a high octane energy fuelled set which not only smashed through anything people witnessed but also it dwarfed any expectation which was set on the day to end the first ever Rise Fest on a high note which made everyone want so much more.
For its first iteration, Rise Fest was nothing short of an absolute success from my standpoint, showcasing the best of the locals scene to the talented up and coming acts as well as the established in the UK. It was such a fantastic space which has been created and hopefully this isn’t the first and only iteration of the festival that we’ll end up watching.
Now the last question I’ll ask on Rise Fest is that will it return for 2023? At the time of writing a post was made a day ago on the Rise Fest account which teases the 2023 edition of the festival. So I guess we’ll have to keep an eye on what happens until sometime in the future.
Who does everyone want to play the festival next?
Comment your answers.