Celebrating it's 10th year, the gorgeously boutique 2000 Trees celebrated years gone by on Thursday – getting back all the bands you've loved over the years to knock it out the park once more. Of course, with a few extra additions which just couldn't be missed. Proceedings opened with Oxygen Thief over on The Axiom stage. His politically charged, no-nonsense hard rock turned many heads and shook many more alike. Mastermind Barry Dolan commanded the attention of the tent with ease and personality as he's captured so many times before. Their 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Killing In the Name' mashup toward the end of the set was another stroke of genius by this tenacious and genuinely exciting trio from Bristol.
Over at The Cave stage, Milk Teeth took a breather from their stratospheric rise to the top of modern day music, and treated their local festival to some of the finest music of the festival. Anyone who knows anything about new music knows that this four piece channels everything great about grunge and punk, stirs it into a frenzy, and delivers with the energy of a hard-core show. With the likes of Reading/Leeds and Download on their festival appearances this year, it's nice to see this fantastically talented act at a home county show. Their songs beam with energy and spirt, from the brilliant 'Brickwork' and closing with the timeless 'Vitamins'. Front lady Becky Blomfield always has something important to say, dedicating a song to a friend who has just come out as transgender. This level of equality is always well received in the musical community. Much like their fucking brilliant music.
Things moved from strength to strength with a brilliant one-two punch over in the tent – Black Peaks just destroyed everything in their path. With a sound that genuinely can only be described as colossal, these guys bought the tent to its knees. Opening with the fantastic 'Glass Built Castles', Will Gardner's vocals sounded just huge. Their delicate ability to dance seamless between the heaviest thing you'll ever hear, and some of the most gorgeous melodies are second to none. Black Peaks are already making waves touring with the likes of the Deftones, and make no mistake – this band will be destroying arenas on their own very very soon. A truly fantastic musical spectacle to witness.
The Xcerts brought things down a notch or two, making The Cave stage a little more ballad. It was a solid performance which became a little samey, but an easy listen all the same. A couple proposing in the middle of the set wasn't missed by the band either, and after the all-important retort was announced, it was met with a tent full of cheer.
Back over on The Axiom, the return of Crazy Arm was understandably well received. Their blend of punk rock, Americana, country, folk madness always pulls on the heart strings of 2000 Trees punters, and this diamond year was no exception. The three piece from Devon delivered and will continue to do some time and time again.
2000 Trees veterans And So I Watch You From Afar delivered their iconic blend of post-rock instrumental magic yet again in 2016. Not a bad word can be said about this Belfast ballistic missile, armed to the teeth with spirt, soul and energy. Erupting the tent into a flurry of frantic activity with opener 'Euonia', every single song rang loud and proud amid the gorgeous 2000 Trees setting. ASIWYFA never fail to capture and magic and sound which is accessible to so many, but so complex and beautiful, and this show was no exception. The perfect 2000 Trees band which complemented this anniversary in the finest fashion.
Thursday's headliners The Bronx almost seemingly picked up where they left 2000 Trees back in 2014. Their set was that stuffed with their signature venom, and huge sound, with the always animated Matt Caughthran helming the ship – tonight was full of magic. Caughthran declared how “No one is in charge of this country, and so no one is in charge of this festival, so no one is in charge of The Bronx”. It was a rather harrowing thought to some, but not to the fully packed tent of Bronx fans, they made every little bit of blood and sweat count as the Hard-core Punk icons blasted through an hour of their finest, and left 2000 Trees day 1 with some of the best performances this festival has ever seen.
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