Krank’d Up 2017 Review: Memphis May Fire leaves fans wanting more with electric performance

Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire. Photo: Wouter Pienaar.
Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire. Photo: Wouter Pienaar.

The lightning and thunder that filled the air on Saturday night (30 September) at Sundowners in Alberton was a sign of the electric performances that 2017 Krank’d Up Music Festival’s international headliners, Memphis May Fire and Intervals, brought to this epic rock and metal festival.

The rain and thunder came just after local band Red Helen’s crushing set that set the bar high for SA acts and showcased the talent South Africa has in the scene. When Red Helen’s frontman, Brandon Pratt opened with an earth shaking scream of “corruption” on their set closer Ode to the Corrupt, the heavens poured down – a sign that festival-goers were truly blessed for what was to hit their eardrums.

Photos: Wouter Pienaar

Intervals, under the brilliant musicianship of Aaron Marshall, impressed the crowd after the rain break with a technical metal masterpiece. The riff, the solos, and the change in tempo’s were absolutely sultry and spellbinding. The ever popular “I’m Awake” received roaring applause and the band even treated the masses three new songs. Intervals drummer, Nathan Bulla was an absolute powerhouse on the drums, so much that the kick drum had to be replaced mid-set.

Amidst some technical difficulties, Intervals showcased why they are one of the world best instrumental metal bands. Their musicianship was truly off the charts and SA is thankful for that.

Anticipation then started to grow minute by minute as the crowd begged for Memphis May Fire make their appearance. When Matty Mullins, Kellen McGregor, Cory Elder, Jake Garland and Samuel Penner hit the stage just before 23:00, the noise level grew.

This hit a crushing crescendo the moment Mullins and co opened up with “This Light I Hold” to mass adulation from a packed crowd.

The Nashville quintet then moved on to favourites such as  “Legacy”, “Sever the Ties” and “Vices” that had saw everyone moving to the infectious rhythms. Memphis May Fire’s ability to blend aggressive and hard hitting tracks with slower ballads was one of the set’s highlights. Mullins has an amazing voice and he showcases the emotional side with sing-alongs “Miles Away” and “That’s Just Life.”

Memphis May Fire closed their set with “Carry On” and the Krank’d Up crowd moved along one last time with electricity in the cloudy air.

Clearly this was not enough as the crowed urged the American metalcore heavyweights for an encore. A few seconds later the band is back and erupts with a rousing rendition of their hit song “The Sinner” to leave fans with happy hearts.

“We love you South Africa, is it alright if we take a picture with you?” asks Mullins post set.

The crowd erupts with the loudest cheer of the night as they raise their fists in appreciation for what will forever be an electrifying night to remember.

Earlier in the day the local bands also brought their A-game on stage with Vulvodynia creating the biggest circle pit of the day with brutal face melting death metal and Deadline impressing with their brand of old school heavy metal that would get an Iron Maiden-esque stamp of approval. Another band that showcased their quality were Ohgod, with their masterful set of progressive instrumental melodies. Overall, all the bands on both of the Monster Energy Main Stage and Hunters Stage, delivered something to love.

Krank’d Up 2017 delivered on its promise and has now surely cemented itself as one of the must-see festivals on any rock and metal lovers list.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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