Weekly Status Update #8: Fortarock Review

A bit later than usual, but a weekly status update nonetheless! It’s a little different this week, because my week was also a little different, featuring: Fitbit, Blood Ceremony, Ghost, Behemoth, Gojira and Dimmu Borgir. Before I get started, a little more context. This week only featured 3 working days followed by 2 compulsory days off and 1 festival (Fortarock in Nijmegen). So for the highlights of the week I’d like to write about this festival to change things up a little.

  • First up, some stats. I always wear a Fitbit Zip, which is an elaborate step-counter that provides me with an indication of how many steps I have taken and my activity levels over time. Since dancing totally counts as steps, it is quite interesting to see the stats for yesterday:
    Fitbit Fortarock
    Fitbit Fortarock

    The interesting thing is that from these steps, we can see which bands I danced to the most. The first and last green peak is caused by walking for over 30 mins to and from the festival area. The next green peak at 13:30ish was Ghost’s performance, followed by Behemoth at 14:40 (only yellow there), Gojira at 16:10 (I was really working it there apparently), Carcass at 18:00ish, Dimmu Borgir at 19:45 (whew!) and Iron Maiden from 21:00-23:00.  Dimmu Borgir and Gojira are definitely the bands I danced to the most intensely and this reflects my opinion on the awesomeness of the concerts quite well 🙂

  • And now for some brief performance highlights including some sound samples. When we arrived, Blood Ceremony was playing. It was really great to see the lead singer of this Canadian band rocking the flute, keyboard and the stage in an amazing outfit. They were delivering great occult rock even in front of a pretty lame audience. And speaking of occult rock, the next band in the tent stage was Ghost from Sweden. Catchy songs and a nice atmosphere, though it would have looked a lot better without the bright sunlight shining in from the sides of the tent.
  • Behemoth took the stage next, presenting their blackened death metal (it’s a thing, ok…) from Poland, fresh out of Russian prison I believe. While I don’t particularly care for their stage show and religious beliefs (and how vocal they are about those) their latest album is really amazing and they pulled off the songs live very well. This video, while censored, is still NSFW: 
  • Next up was Gojira with their technical death metal from France. I have to admit that, like Meshuggah, I enjoy Gojira much more live than I would listening to it at home, but wow, what a show! A groove that makes it impossible to stand still and the stage energy of these guys is nothing short of incredible. 
  • And for the final highlight of the day, Dimmu Borgir from Norway. This band is really special to me, as it was one of the first metal bands I really got into when their ‘Enthrone Darkness Triumphant’ (they have a thing about combining three random words 😉 album came out in 1997.  Last year was their 20-year anniversary and they are still rocking it! Great sound, even with the clean vocals on tape, which I wasn’t as bothered by as I expected. I just kind of imagined Vortex there, since I couldn’t really see the stage anyway as I was dancing my ass off and behind several tall people.

That’s all for this week! Have a great week and replace all your workouts by festivals 🙂

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