Resin Events do not put on gigs in the conventional way. This is a good thing! One small example of this is, during the heats leading up to the M2TM final, the bands started at 5pm in the afternoon. Well why not? You don’t have to have the last band finish at curfew, when the only people left are those not reliant on public transport and don’t have an early start in the morning. Simon Yarwood of Resin Events knows the challenges faced by the public attending such events so made such subtle tweaks to make each event more accessible for all – and with great success.
They say there is a fine line between genius and insanity, and when I first heard Simon’s plans for the M2TM final to be held at the huge De Montfort Hall, I was unsure which side of the line he was walking. Not only was Simon planning for the 5 competing bands to take to undoubtedly the biggest stage of their musical career, he was also inviting some truly fantastic bands to turn the event into an all day metal spectacular. Amongst the negativity of venues closing, festivals folding, bands quitting, well-known rock and metal artists claiming ‘the scene is dead’ (very helpful thanks Gene Simmons, Flea and everyone else just trying to get their name in the news), Resin Events go balls out in the face of adversity. I waited with baited breath for 4th June to arrive and prayed that people would turn out to support a brilliant but ambitious event.
Arriving at 2pm, we were relieved to see people had turned out in droves in support. Kudos to the punters for the support of a brand new ballsy event, but even more so to the organisers for actually putting on event that people want to come to!
So onto the M2TM final. First band on, Garganjua delivered their doom-laden trip-soaked mindfuck to an impressive early crowd. Garganjua deliver that something different that you don’t even realise is missing or that you need it until you hear it. I felt confident they would do well in this competition after seeing them in the heats at Firebug.
Next up, Blood Oath certainly upped the pace. With death metal growls enticing the crowds to participate, I felt they definitely suited the larger stage, making full use of the space. You could tell a lot of thought had gone into their set, right down to the inflatable swords to tempt the crowd to battle. Very enjoyable set.
Conjurer is a band I have managed to miss seeing on several occasions so I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. From listening to my peers over the last 6 months, Conjurer were favourites to win. And now I can see why. What a brilliant stage presence, tight musicianship and all round entertaining metal experience. I’m glad I’m not having to vote on this!
Final Coil take to the stage next and bring us something different yet again. Clean vocals, progressive with doomy hints – very much like Tool or Porcupine Tree. A great performance from a band I’ve seen a number of times now and just get better and better each time.
Temple Of Lies changed the game again, highlighting the fact that the ticket price was a bargain for the variety of the 5 finalists alone. A little bit manic, sometimes demonic, definitely what you need to see on a big stage and this definitely worked for them.
After 5 acts I was torn between Conjurer and Temple Of Lies for personal favourites, but could see any one of the 5 being chosen to take to Bloodstock Open Air in August. As it turns out, 2 of the 5 went through, Conjurer as outright winners and Garganjua as special guests.
So into the evening and the expansion to three stages. We were treated to performances from James Cull, Rhett Barrow, Final Coil, The Midnight Dogs and Resin on the acoustic stage, often joined by Burlesque dancers (they really did think of everything). Resin always deliver a stunning acoustic performance, however the real surprise for me was just how well The Midnight Dogs set translates to the acoustic setting. Brilliant!
Meanwhile over on the second stage, sets from Morass Of Mollasses (missed them again!!), Aghast, Mage and Swamp Delta preceded one of the highlights of the evening for me, Acid Reign. This was my first time seeing Acid Reign as they missed Hammerfest earlier in the year. The chemistry between band members was tangible, the energy was high and the performance was thrashtastic.
Continuing on the main stage, Bloodstock alumni Internal Conflict, Beholder, Conan, Hell and Phil Campbells All Star Band each gave incredible performances to a now full crowd. You could feel every bass note of Conan’s set coming through the floor from half a mile away, and everyone will remember the pyro’s from Hell’s performance. This was without doubt the best performance I’d ever seen from Hell!
All in all, something for everyone. Great selection of food stalls and traders, good prices at the bar, somewhere to sit for a break, and a brilliant atmosphere – smiling faces everywhere (yes, even Mr Yarwood!). Looking forward to Uprising returning in 2017 and maybe another one for the permanent calendar for the future.