This was my first 2000 Trees experience, and I’d only heard good things about it in the past. Alkaline Trio was enough to get me excited enough after missing their shows with NoFX earlier in the week.
As I walked through the arena I was amazed at the friendly nature of the crowd and how the food and drink on offer seemed to be… Real food and drink. Not terrible festival stuff.
Tim Vantol played early on the main stage, but that didn’t stop the group gathered down at the front from singing along and dancing. Tim has a great stage presence, as does his band, and manages to get everybody involved quite easily – ending things off with a big singalong to “If We Go Down, We Will Go Down Together”.
Over at the Axiom stage, Great Cynics manage to pack the tent out. Playing their distinctive brand of punk rock, they spent the entire set with smiles plastered on their faces as everyone danced and had a good time.
The Xcerts have had a busy few years, building slowly until they ended up on the main stage of almost every festival in the country. They played a great set to a huge crowd, full of hits from their latest record There is Only You – but the solo performance of “Aberdeen 1987” got huge cheers and a mass singalong from the audience.
Straight after The Xcerts were Skinny Lister who quite quickly managed to get a small crowd down the front dancing. Their brand of folk punk were perhaps a bit different to everything else on the main stage, yet it’s the perfect live genre, especially when done right with great charisma, as Skinny Lister manage.
Melodic hardcore band Defeater played to a packed out tent over at the Cave. Their set consisted primarily of songs from their latest release Letters Home, but when they played songs like “Empty Glass” and “Dear Father” they got very welcome reactions. Defeater are musically tight, and despite Derek Archambault’s voice starting to wane after weeks of touring Europe managed to play an energetic and enjoyable set which more than made up for it.
Everyone knows The Skints are one of the most fun live bands in the country. I’ve never had a bad experience watching them. This was no exception, as they made their way through a set full of hits like “This Town” and “Rat-a-Tat” before finishing things off with the amazing “Culture Vulture”. They are just incredible live, as everybody takes on about ten roles, especially vocalist Marcia Richards who seemingly plays every instrument under the sun to create their distinctive genre-mixing sound.
Alkaline Trio closed things out on the main stage after gathering the biggest crowd of the weekend. They kicked things off with “Private Eye” – sadly not leading into From Here to Infirmary as they had been playing on the rest of the UK tour. Sadly things took a turn for the worst as the sound blew half way through “In Vein”.
Matt Skiba was straight off, but Dan Andriano came back out to play an acoustic version of “Every Thug Needs a Lady” from the edge of the stage, to around twenty people who could hear at the front. After about 20 minutes, it came back on and they returned back to stage looking quite disgruntled. Understandably, but it must have been just as frustrating for the promoters.
This kinda set the tone for the rest of the set. They played a lot of great songs – “Nose Over Tail”, “Cringe”, “Blue Carolina” – but still announced “This Could be Love” and “Radio” as their last two songs, well before the end of their allocated time, despite losing a big portion of it.
For a big chunk of the crowd, it didn’t really matter about the sound blowing, or Trio looking annoyed for the remainder, as the songs are so enjoyable and easy to sing along to. Really, their amazing songs do make up for their well documented hit and miss live shows most of the time.