Hevy Fest was finally back after all the troubles of 2013 and kicking things off on the second stage was The One Hundred (7) who’s crossover metalcore did a good job of getting the Hevy Fest 2014 party started. Their blend of rap, electronica and metalcore might have taken a while to register with some people but thanks to the relentless energy of their frontman Jacob Field as well as the the catchy hooks of their songs they managed to have a few carving some shapes out on the dance floor by the end of their set. Unfortunately for Apologies I Have None (6) most people watching them open the main stage treated their emotional pop-punk tunes as background music despite their quality.
Back on the second stage Heart In Hand (7) delivered a set that pleased the fans watching with them rushing to the front whenevrr Charlie Holmes made his way down to the crowd but a lot of other people in tent weren’t very interested. Fortunately the band still have plenty of tunes and a great stage presence to make up for the lack of response from some of the crowd.
TRC (8.5) had no such trouble and delivered the first must see set of the day. Chris Robson and Antony Carroll easily control the crowd and constanly get pits going and everyone singing along with We Bring War and #TeamUK getting the best reactions. At the end of the set Chris asks the crowd “Is it really cocky if you know that’s true” before the band launch into Define Cocky and I doubt anyone watching today would argue with him.
Taking a break from the chaos on the second stage, Devil Sold His Soul (9) were busy keeping the entire third stage crowd mesmerised with a set that could only be described as stunning. The bands progressive metalcore songs feel far too big for the tiny tent they are playing in and based on the amount of people crammed in there it’s surprising the band weren’t put on a bigger stage. With the songs from their EP getting a great reaction this could be a very exciting time for Devil Sold His Soul.
One of the bigger stories at Hevy Fest this year was Crime In Stereo (6) playing their first UK show since their hiatus in 2010, unfortunately it turns out this wasn’t the event it could have been as very few turn up to watch. Their melodic punk rock tunes still sound great but after all the build up it’s hard not to feel a bit let down by the end result.
Luckily Brutality Will Prevail (9) pick things back up on the second stage. Fans are treated to 40 minutes of non-stop riffs and pits that even surpass what TRC managed earlier in the day in terms of size and aggression and vocalist Lewis spends almost as much time in the crowd as he does on stage, making this show feels like it’s still happening in a tiny club venue. He even decides to crowdsurf around the entire tent at one point. BWP mix in a few newer songs in with fan favourites such as the The Path gives the set bit of variety and by the time they finish they’ve left the entire tent battered, bruised and exhausted.
Back on the main stage Kvelertak (8) finally manage to get some energy from the crowd which is something every other band playing this stage had failed to do so far. Vocalist Erlend Hjelvik beginning the set with an owl on his head was always going to grab peoples attention and the songs got plenty of heads banging and people dancing around.
If you want songs to bang your head to then Feed The Rhino (9) are guaranteed to deliver. It feels odd describing todays set as a standard Feed The Rhino set as it’s still easily the most chaotic and dangerous set of the day but it’s the kind of thing Feed The Rhino now deliver with such ease. New songs from The Sorrow And The Sound are great additions to the set but Tides still proves to be the highlight. Even when they deliver “standard sets” like today, Feed The Rhino are still one of the best live acts around.
Having seen Deez Nuts (8) several times in the past and leave feeling disappointed I wasn’t looking forward to tonight’s performance but much to my surprise, Deez Nuts were on fire tonight. Playing a set full of hardcore tunes about drinking and partying to a bunch of drunk hardcore kids at festival was always going to end well, Popular Demand, Stay True and Band Of Brothers definitely proving to be the highlights of the set with the biggest sing-alongs occurring. They might not be the best songs ever but tonight it’s hard to deny that Deez Nuts were a lot of fun live.
Finally it was time for Finch (7.5) to bring the first day of Hevy to a close, it’s clear that looking at a lot of the crowd this was a chance for them to relive their teenage years as the band choose to focus heavily on their début album What It Is To Burn. They still choose to play a few songs from their upcoming album and these songs get a decent reception from the crowd but it’s nothing compared to the reaction songs like Letters To You (during which guitarist Randy Strohmeyer take a nasty tumble off stage) and set closer What It Is To Burn get. The set does start to drag on a bit by the end but it’s clear the vast majority of the crowd were having a great time.
With Finch bringing to an end the chaotic first day of proceedings, stay tuned for the second part of our extensive coverage as Rock Sins takes in the Saturday of Hevy 2014. That review will be online shortly after the bank holiday weekend so keep your eyes peeled!
Words by Sam Dignon & Fran Dignon. Photos by Fran Dignon.