Welcome to Amplified 2022, this is the third, and final, day of the three-day event; the first two day’s events took place in London before moving up North to the not-so-leafy suburbs of Central Manchester.
Nine bands on the menu tonight, starting with Overthrone and ending with Saint Agnes.
Band 1: Overthrone
Overthrone kicked off the show with a welcome to the crowd, the band cheered back before they jumped into their first song of the day. With a mix of heavy deep vocals and soft it’s the perfect blend. They personally give a While She Sleeps and Parkway Drive vibe to the festival. Their vocalist goes deep with his heavy vocals. Their Bassist creates the perfect combination with his soft vocals. The second guitarist runs around the stage, spinning around with his guitar as he plays and kicks his legs so high in the air.
They encourage the crowd to get hyped and create some energy, the crowd headbands to the bass and before you know it, it may be 12:55pm but a pit is already beginning to form.
“Are you ready to pick up the pass again?” Before jumping into one of their heavier tracks. The crowd growls, screams matching the intensity of the bass perfectly. This is truly a band that’s going up! The headbands are slow, they’re deep, and they’re dirty in a good way.
They thank the crowd before the slow intense backing track begins. All in sync they end with their most intense song of the night. The high kick to end all high kicks is brought in. For a band to kick off a day festival. They sure know how to amp up the crowd and the volume!
Band 2: Throne of Icarus
Very different vibe to the first band. These guys are giving me every bit of Viking that they could. The long hair, the long beards, the deep aggressive vocals.
Before they even begin during set up they’re interacting with the crowd.
I can already tell this one will be a lot more intense. There’s no clean vocals for this one, it’s all growls, it’s all screams. It’s all heavy! It’s deep, it’s fast, it’s everything a metal head ordered!
It’s getting hot, a slow backing track is played, the vocalist pours water over his head. He knows how hard he’s going for the next song. An incredible riff kicks off with their guitarist. Then a pure 15 second no drop in its scream begins. Not one vocal drop during the entire 15 seconds. I’m getting older slayer vibes mixed in with the vocalist sounding like a blend of Suicide Silence and Cannibal Corpse.
Even the staff are loving the show at the back of the crowd making their own miniature pit as they overlook the show!
I really hope the guitarist gives his neck a rest later on after the amount of times he’s swung his hair around during this set.
If the crowd didn’t know this band before they definitely do now!
He may be intimidating but their frontman doesn’t hide the smile on his face when he looks into the crowd and sees staff and punters head banging along to every song and every single one of them has kept their spot.
Only fault of the show was the ending which just seemed very dry, their final song ended and the crowd stood there awkwardly waiting for another or possibly their final song of the set. To only see the band clearing their gear away and hear the playlist of Rebellion.
Band 3: Defects
2:30pm Defects take to the stage, the lights are orange and green. Vocalist Tony connects with the crowd getting on his knees being at eye level as he belts out lyrics about life over the past 2 years as well as ten! He changes from intense deep growls to soft vocals in the space of seconds, you could say they have two frontmen but nope it’s all him and him alone.
Bassist David, someone who has so much passion has he plays! He has such an intense amount of concentration and love in his eyes as he plays. The happiness playing these tracks is obvious.
“How the fuck are we feeling?! Alive?! Alive?” The song slows down before the crowd gathers together to sway their hands!
Last song: Recurring.
Tony does not hold back as he jumps into the crowd running around the floor to every member of the crowd getting hyped, fans running with him as he belts out lyric after lyric. Screaming is an intense skill to learn but running at that pace and keeping the vocals perfect is another thing which he nailed perfectly! Guitarists and backing vocals take the middle of the stage to keep the attention in both areas! Smoke comes out of his mouth and he shreds the riff. Before the song ends with Tony at eye level with the crowd. And a healthy welcome to meet the band around the festival and at the merch stands.
Band 4: Asleep At The Helm
Manchester based band back in their hometown!
When people say the Manchester metal scene is dying or it’s gone. They’re wrong, it’s back and it’s big!
Have you ever had a band that’s so down to earth and so incredibly intense? That’s the best way to describe these guys! Before coming on you see this soft and wholesome persona, but the second they play you can hear how heavy they can really go! Manchester’s IPrevail in a nutshell, the perfect combination of scream and soft brought by vocalists Dylan and Adam. Showing the pride of their hometown with every intro to each song, the ballad mixed with scream. The band shows their closeness and how they can’t be apart with how close each member is even on stage.
The lights change on stage to match the emotion of each song, blue when the emotions come in and red the second the bass drops! Flashing lights for the drop of the screams!
Band 5: Seething Akira
Oh God how do you describe these guys?
Beastie boys mixed with Electric Callboy with insane drops and breakdowns. With two frontmen, one who is so unpredictable you just have to watch him constantly.
You have to really listen to see him at first, as he’s probably running around the crowd merging in. While the rest of the band is on the stage, their own bright RGB lights on both sides of the drummer. They light up the stage with an electronic backing track.
Front man 1: wearing a shirt that says IceCream in bright neon colors, front man two wearing baggy black shirt, cap, and shorts. While the guitarist looks every bit of a metal main guitarist doting all black and black skinny jeans. The bassist wears black eyeliner, an Emo version of a Hawaiian shirt and black skinny jeans.
They’re very much a mix. There’s humor all around the place as front man 1 watches front man 2 run around and cause chaos in the crowd. If you don’t want to run into him I would recommend standing back. Despite their electronic backing tracks, they have breakdowns just like any metal band, high jumps and heavy head breaking strong enough to break a neck.
Band 6: Monasteries
If you want deathly growls and full cannibal corpses without the disturbing song titles. There’s a band for you! Full death metal has taken Manchester with these guys. And once again the voice does not match looks, a shock in the best way!
High and low grows take over Rebellion, heavy bass and a lot of long curly hair too!
Wholesome song dedications, with vocals if you weren’t a metal fan this would baffle you. But the crowd isn’t upset with showing how the community binds together. Who knew a band could go so hard they send a small piece of equipment flying 😂
Band 7: ChuggaBoom
We all know slipknot we’re used to bands in masks. How about a band in masks but going full Phantom of the opera?!
Every member dresses differently, a suit? Sure, denim jackets and skinny jeans? Yeah also a black long cardigan too. All with phantom of the opera masks to go with.
They have a kind of heavier day to remember with their soft vocals but hard screams mixed in. Full metal core!
Weirdly it always feels good for bands to remind us of the Emo phase we *definitely* grew out of. Yeah we definitely did.
Starting off with a lyric “when I was a young boy” but going on to talk about step dads hating his skinny jeans. Threw me off for a second.
You know it’s a good show when the photographer aka me can’t get to the front of the stage for pictures because the crowd covers it!
Vocalist Levi jumps into the crowd for the slow part of their song with fans crowded around him, their head banging in sync.
Of course a metal version of Bohemian Rhapsody had to be done! In full form and for a man who does deep growls he hits Freddie’s high notes too!
The band features Guitarist Leo Carter, Vocalist Levi Taurus, Lead Guitarist John Virgo, Bassist Avira Caprica and Drummer Caster Holland. If you think you will find much on them, you will be sadly wrong, their individual instagrams aren’t known or known if they have one and their website is short an simple, social links and merch link. But they do have the great website url of www.chuggaboom.wtf
Band 8: Vexed
Vexed came on as the second to last band of the night. The first female fronted band of the night, all doting black with the only color being their vocalist’s platinum blonde hair.
There’s no softness here though, it’s all deep it’s all heavy it’s all dark and badass!
The band from Hertfordshire combine aggressive groove mixed with threads of progressive atmosphere into their performance. The strobe lights that hit the stage amplify the lyrics she screams, the bass and the lights combine and shakes the room to its core, with vocals no one was expecting, you could be a fan of this band and you could have been waiting to see them and when you finally do in this room, the depth that her vocals go and the combination of the three other members go hard, that would shock any major fan and new comer.
Band 9: Saint Agnes
Last but not least Saint Agnes takes the stage, the lights go out and the backing track begins, they exit the dressing room and take to the stage, with lead vocalist Kitty jumping to life almost instantly, with sinister siren eyes she looks over the crowd.
The guitar, bass and drums kick in and they are in full force, the smoke machine covers the stage and the mic stand is knocked down in the first minute and then goes to the guitar.
The sound seemed incredibly low compared to previous bands that had been on during the day which was a shame to me Kitty’s vocals couldn’t be heard too much over the sound of her bandmates, if she was aware of this it didn’t show, the look in her eyes never changed and she never broke.
She picked up the guitar and went for it, regardless of the setbacks she might have had at the beginning of the set. The band ended the festival on a high in the true style it was meant to go in.
At this festival today I saw people arrive on their own. After a couple of bands you saw them come together, run in the pits together and each other as they went fucking nuts!
I saw some of the best bands to crowd interactions. Bigger shows can be incredible all they want, but nothing beats the energy of smaller shows, the pits are insane, the crowd just hits differently. The Amplified Festival really showed that today in Manchester!
Words & images: Lauren Allard