An art-rock passage began to play that reminded me a lot of Elder and we approached the stage very quickly. It was Temple Fang, a band that pleasantly surprised me not only for their nods to the Germans but also for their desert parts in the Big Scenic Nowhere wave, continually approaching an eternal Jam that takes you and you don't know where. I was left wanting more from this Dutch quartet, maybe it was good to rescue them for a bigger stage in the future
Then it was El Perro's turn, we were able to see them for the first time because they played again on Friday. This American band came with a very good letter of introduction, and it is that it is a group led by Parker Griggs from Radio Moscow. Good psychedelia with overtones of soul-funk, very, very danceable. What plant and what style on stage…
Finally, highlight Toxic Shock, a band from Belgium that I was not expecting at all and that managed to activate me for the time it was and all the accumulated fatigue of the trip. Sound between Municipal Waste and Youth of Today, energetic in abundance, raw and very badass.
Lunch time and it was the turn of the Portuguese band Pledge, a quality post-hardcore with touches of emo, a voice with a lot of identity and some essence of the early 2000s. They reminded me of Refused at times and were one of the surprises of the day.
I quickly switch to Main 2 to see Madmess, another local band that for those of us who didn't know, we came to think it was an instrumental stoner until 20 minutes into the concert they started singing a verse. The truth is that the voice was not missed. Very compact trio with hints of psych-space but with a very heavy and forceful base. From here, the afternoon began to pass very quickly
The Norwegians The Devil and the almighty blues began with a very heavy planting, a very forceful sound, transporting us to some desert far from Oslo, how hot it was! Of course, "These old Hands" was THE highlight of this incredible concert.
After them, Slomosa conquered me with some very careful harmonies for two voices that made us advance through long stoner passages in the Kyuss wave with psychedelic touches. A bit of Grunge and their harmonic chorus´ create an unique sound. Take it or leave it.
Well, those who came were King Buffalo, one of the most anticipated of this first day. This mighty trio lifted the masses of us huddled together under the sun. A hypnotic heavy psych that stood like an anvil on stage. A very complete setlist and perhaps a bit tarnished because they played too early and people weren't quite active yet. Still, I was surprised at how crowded everything was for only six in the evening.
We were already looking for the sun to hide a bit, but we still had to see Meatbodies, a curious mixture of stoner and punk with very sharp voices and epic guitar harmonies that gave way to the happy hour of the day
W.I.T.C.H. We were left wanting to see their frontman Chanda, who couldn't attend, but even so they fulfilled their promise with their charismatic keyboardist taking the helm. The Zambian band that was born back in the 70s and after a long hiatus continues to give a lot of trouble, put the happy note and allowed us to relax a bit to gather strength. It was an hilarious retro thing which took all the musical influences from Zambia to Portugal. Outstanding!
We start the night with Nebula, showing that the years have not passed for them. Often direct from these kings of fuzz. I was looking forward to it after hearing the latest they had been releasing. Expectations were very high after their last album recorded in the very Mojave desert… and they didn't disappoint at all. Cosmic sound, a lot of pedal and the immense presence of an Eddie Glass with his immense presence on stage.
They set the bar high for those who succeeded them, and they were none other than the legendary Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri, accompanied by Ryan Goot on drums under the umbrella of their new line-up: Stöner. I was really looking forward to seeing this band because the mere presence of Kyuss' backbone is already imposing enough. The warm up on the main stage already diverted hundreds of eyes away from Nebula's performance, and people were eager for these legends to start playing. Unfortunately, I was quite cold with the sound of the band. The voices were barely heard throughout the concert, and I saw them quite lazy and not very charismatic (with the exception of Goot, and some specific moments by Oliveri) on stage. I'm left with one of the few positive things and that is that they closed, as expected, with “Green Machine”.
SLIFT closed the day with an unparalleled audiovisual show, more typical of macrofestival headliners than what you expect to see on a Thursday night in Praia Ancora. The French made it clear that they are the present and the future of the scene. The intro of “Altitude Lake” continues to resonate in my head accompanied by the majestic projections that left the crowd in love. An hour of absolute sound barbarity, where those from Toulouse walked at ease applying to be called to lead the new order of space/stoner/art and all the labels you want to add. They just nailed it, like at the Hellfest.