What a ride. What a festival. What a blast. The SonicBlast.
It was my first time at the SonicBlast Festival, but definitely not my last one. I was already a die-hard fan after I got there. Living in Lisbon, it took me 4 hours to get to the Village of Ancora. A sleepy town, way up north, close to the Spanish border. The festival area itself sits between green mountains, just behind the dunes of a long stretched beach, which provided fun mellow beach break waves on the second day of the festival. I mean, what is better to shake off last nights hangover, than a quick cold-water session. And a hangover we had..
I blame Hällas, Mythic Sunship, Kadavar, Desert Smoke and Etran de l’Air for it – all of them performed fantastic shows on the first day of the festival. Desert Smoke is the pride of Portuguese Stoner Rock. A groovy and spacy roundhouse kick in your face with desert vibes, ironically reminding me of a little bit of Red Desert and Astro Queen without the vocals.
I bought the tickets due to Hällas and I was right to do so! Those guys are on the light speed train to become mega stars. The behavior on stage, the sound check (a perfectly synchronized shredded 15 sec hook of Astral Seer, just enough to get the crowd heated up) and of course the performance itself (clean as a Mentawai Canvas in August) were outstanding.
Due to the good waves (in August!!) I couldn't see Greenleaf, but that turned out not to be a problem, since they basically played in a co-bro-performance together with Dozer. Now I also understand, why I always loved Greenleafs sound. Because it's the same fucking guitar genius Tommi Holappa, playing heavy hittin riffs for both of these bands. After co-founding Dozer in 1995 he co-founded Greenleaf in 1999. Sick insight – you're welcome.
Also the other headliners like Dozer or Elder were absolutely on fire and gave you a taste of crème de la crème devil music. But what I really liked besides all the usual heavy rock suspects, were the African Bands like Etran de l'Air or Imarhan, whose "Desert Blues" sounds were just as refreshing as Portugal's cold-water surf. I mean, I never saw a crowd dancing like that on a stoner rock festival before. F**king good vibes only.
My favorite musical discovery is Mythic Sunship, whose cosmic instrumental Krautrock gave me the absolute space trip.
Another outstanding was the food. Cheap but delicious Portuguese cuisine like arroz de bacalhau for 6€, or Bifana for 3€ are just two examples of the munchies your stoned brain could choose from. The imperial was €1. So no problem to get (and stay) drunk as well.
The only thing to improve by the SonicBlast-Team is to create some shade over the audience. It was 33° Celsius and if you want fans to party all day, you need to protect them a little bit more from the sun. The few little trees did only stand in the view and gave no shadow at all. And you know what, I'm sure, that if this feedback reaches them, they will change something. why? Because one time, when I commented their schedule / lineup post on Instagram asking them “@sonicblast, please pin this post, so you don't have to scroll down through all the posts to find it again” I got the answer like 1 hour later “done”. That's why.
The rest was perfect. Looking forward to next year. Rip till you R.I.P and send it with love.
Death by Rippin