Portals Festival 2024 現場紀實:後搖滾的夢幻週末

Photograph: © Elephant Gym by Yingying

英國後搖滾、數學搖滾和新前衛音樂節 Portals Festival 於今年 5 月 25 日至 26 日在東倫敦 Hackney 的 EartH 舉行,共有 35 支樂團在三個舞台演出,好青年有幸受邀去採訪,以下分享第一手的現場紀錄。

Hall 主舞台是可以容納 1200 人的開放式空間,Theatre 舞台是可以容納 700 人的環形劇場,座位採階梯式,前方設有搖滾區,對樂團來說是蠻特別的場地。Bar 舞台是可以容納 300 人的小型 live house 空間,使觀眾跟表演者能夠近距離互動,也可在一旁的座位區享用食物,同時觀賞演出。

5/25 - Day 1

由日本藝術家、音樂家 Yoshino Shigihara 所創的 Yama Warashi,音樂融入電子迷幻搖滾、日本民俗與非洲音樂元素,像是生活在山中小孩般的精靈,充滿實驗性的聲音探索,創造出一種整體的藝術體驗。

Photograph: © Yama Warashi by Joy

經過長達七年的沈寂,愛爾蘭數字搖滾樂團 Enemies 重組回歸,穩健的貝斯與相稱的吉他,飽滿依舊的能量,強烈的情感張力溫暖全場,希望之後很快可以帶來新作品。丹麥三人樂團 Town Portal 數學搖滾與前衛金屬交織,富有層次感的複雜節奏,樂器之間的互動和技巧展示精彩細膩,令人驚艷。

日本樂團 LITE 熱情點燃夜晚,極具活力的現場表演,風格揉合數學搖滾、爵士及實驗電子等,精湛的技術和動態節奏展現,可謂色彩豐富的視覺、聽覺雙重饗宴,耳朵享受之餘,身體也會不自覺地跟著舞動起來,酣暢淋漓的一個小時。比利時瞪鞋樂團 Slow Crush,濃厚的吉他音牆、飄渺的旋律和沉重的情感表達,把所有聽眾都拉近夢幻漩渦,現場煙霧瀰漫,如幻似真,一瞬間彷彿靈魂出竅。

美國後搖滾樂團 This Will Destroy You 在主舞台壓軸登場,帶給觀眾一場沉浸式的音樂旅程。看他們的現場就像看一部深沉又美好的電影,有著廣闊而迷幻的聲音風景,情緒跟著優美而略帶憂傷的旋律跌宕起伏,從平靜的旋律逐漸攀升到高潮,然後又緩緩回落,勾勒強烈的情感共鳴。

丹麥樂團 MØL 以瞪鞋黑金属迎接午夜的到來,極端金屬的激烈人聲、快速的吉他旋律和濃重的夢幻音牆,頓時腦內啡分泌,愉悅感油然而生,這個夜晚原來我們是如此幸福。

Photograph: © Standards by Yingying

5/26 - Day 2

來自美國的 Standards 是一支技術性強、充滿創意的數學搖滾雙人樂團,他們的音樂不僅展示高超的演奏技巧,還充滿活力和創意,這次特別趣味翻玩《超級瑪利歐兄弟》主題曲,並對英國的鹽醋洋芋片驚喜讚嘆,令人莞爾!法國樂團 Year of No Light,風格融合後搖、後金屬與瞪鞋,還有融入毀滅金屬的元素,彷彿黑暗籠罩的壓抑感,營造出具有力量深度的迷幻氛圍。

「這是一個瘋狂的音樂節,大家都盡興享受著音樂,你彷彿身處不同世界。」– 大象體操貝斯手凱婷

Photograph: © Elephant Gym by Yingying

Photograph: © Elephant Gym by Yingying

走過十年的台灣數學搖滾樂團大象體操 Elephant Gym,以複雜的節奏、獨特的音色和動感玩味的旋律感染觀眾,貝斯手凱婷、吉他手凱翔和鼓手嘉欽三人的表演就像體操一樣展現著技巧和靈活性,對音樂的喜愛溢於言表,凱婷自嘲喝醉可謂對音樂節的開心喝采。除了帶來精彩的經典曲目,如〈春雨〉、〈中途〉和〈Finger〉等,還有表演去年發行新專輯《世界 World》中的歌曲〈羽毛〉。〈夜洋風景〉讓遠在異鄉的遊子們一起飄蕩,直到看見明天的太陽。凱翔向全場介紹台灣,認識台灣的文化,希望讓更多海外樂迷知道台灣,知道台灣的音樂很棒。為大象體操感到驕傲,身為台灣人,以此為榮!

「我們來自台灣,台灣地處日本與菲律賓之間,從最南開車到最北大概要六、七個小時,是個不大也不小的島嶼。大部分臺灣人相信著民主、平權與愛,這讓台灣成為亞洲第一個同性婚姻合法化的地方。然而,我們有超級複雜的政治和國際關係,所以每位男性都要服兵役一年,包含我和鼓手在內。我覺得很幸運現在可以在世界巡迴演出,拿著吉他而不是步槍,還有這個機會為你們演出。」– 大象體操吉他手凱翔

主舞台最後一組演出樂團是美國的 If These Trees Could Talk,以純器樂形式展現出極富情感和動態的音樂風格,融合了後搖滾、後金屬和環境音樂元素,由強力的吉他旋律和豐富的層次感,創造出令人沉醉的音樂氛圍。儘管他們的音樂沒有歌詞,但卻能夠深刻講述著故事,激發聽眾的聯想和情感共鳴。

Photograph: © If These Trees Could Talk by Yingying

Photograph: © Wang Wen by Yingying

今年音樂節最後一場表演,由成軍 25 週年的中國後搖滾樂團惘聞壓軸登台,帶來七首歌曲完美落幕,吉他、貝斯、鋼琴悠揚彈奏,粗管上低音號、小號與木琴的加入,讓音樂更加立體飽滿。主腦謝玉崗沈浸在歌曲進行的模樣令人動容,〈Lonely God〉與〈水之湄〉依然精彩觸動,充滿沉思、寬廣的音景和情感化的旋律,抒發人生情懷,源遠流長觸及靈魂深處。刻畫的是一個虛幻的夢境,還是充滿希望的未來,冷冽地還是暖暖地,都是感受的一部分。美好總結今年的 Portals 音樂節,明年將繼續寫下新的篇章。


官方宣傳海報 Full Poster

English review:

Portals Festival 2024, featuring post-rock, math rock, and new progressive music, took place on May 25-26 at EartH in Hackney, East London, with 35 bands performing across three stages. I am thrilled to be invited to cover the event and excited to share my first-hand experience.

The Hall main stage is an open space accommodating 1,200 people. The Theatre stage, an amphitheater seating 700, features tiered seating and a standing zone at the front, providing a unique experience for the bands. The Bar stage, a small live house space for 300 people, allows for close interaction between the audience and performers and has a seating area where attendees can enjoy food while watching the performances.

Day 1 - May 25

Japanese artist and musician Yoshino Shigihara's creation, Yama Warashi, kicked off the festival. Their music blends electronic psychedelic rock with Japanese folk and African music elements, creating an experimental sound exploration reminiscent of mountain-dwelling spirits, providing a holistic artistic experience.

After a seven-year hiatus, Irish math rock band Enemies made a comeback. Their solid bass lines and well-matched guitars, coupled with their enduring energy and emotional intensity, warmed the entire venue. Hope their new work will be coming soon. Danish trio Town Portal intertwined math rock and progressive metal with layered, complex rhythms. The interaction and technical display between instruments were stunningly intricate and impressive.

Japanese band LITE ignited the night with their energetic performance. Their style, a fusion of math rock, jazz, and experimental electronics, showcased impeccable technique and dynamic rhythms, creating a visually and audibly rich feast. The hour-long set had everyone moving and enjoying a vibrant sensory experience. Belgian shoegaze band Slow Crush enveloped the audience with dense guitar walls, ethereal melodies, and profound emotional expressions. Amidst swirling smoke, their performance felt like a dreamlike vortex, evoking an out-of-body experience.

American post-rock band This Will Destroy You headlined the main stage, offering an immersive musical journey. Their performance was akin to watching a deep and beautiful film, with expansive and psychedelic soundscapes. The emotions swayed with the beautiful yet melancholic melodies, rising to a crescendo before gently falling, creating a powerful emotional resonance.

Danish band MØL ushered in midnight with their blend of shoegaze and black metal. The intense vocals, rapid guitar riffs, and heavy dreamy sound walls instantly released endorphins, bringing immense joy and making us feel incredibly fortunate that night.

Day 2 - May 26

American duo Standards brought their technically proficient and creatively vibrant math rock. Their performance was lively and inventive, including a playful rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme and an amusing commentary on British salt and vinegar crisps. French band Year of No Light merged post-rock, post-metal, and shoegaze with elements of doom metal. Their music created a dark, oppressive atmosphere with a powerful and deep psychedelic aura.

"It's a really crazy festival, and everyone is enjoying the music, as if from different worlds," commented bassist KT Chang.

Taiwanese math rock band Elephant Gym, celebrating their tenth anniversary, captivated the audience with their complex rhythms, unique tones, and dynamic melodies. Bassist KT Chang, guitarist Tell Chang, and drummer Chia-Chin Tu showcased their skills and flexibility, with KT humorously admitting to being tipsy, much to the festival delight. They performed iconic tracks like “Spring Rain”, “Midway” and “Finger” alongside “Feather” from their latest album World
“Ocean in the Night” resonated with the expatriates in the crowd, creating a shared sense of longing and hope. Drift together until they saw the sun of tomorrow.

Guitarist Tell Chang introduced Taiwan to the audience, sharing its culture and hoping to let more overseas fans know about Taiwan and its great music. Feeling proud of Elephant Gym and being Taiwanese, they took pride in representing their homeland.

"We are from Taiwan. Taiwan is between Japan and the Philippines. If you drive from the southernmost city to the northernmost city, it will take six to seven hours. It's not too big and not too small. It’s an island. Most of the Taiwanese people believe in democracy, equality, and love, so that makes us the first place in Asia that gay marriage is legal. However, we have super complicated politics and international relations, so every male has to serve in the military for a year, including our drummer and I, so I am so grateful that I have the chance to tour the world. I am now holding a guitar instead of a rifle and I have the chance to perform for you.” said guitarist Tell Chang.

American band If These Trees Could Talk closed the main stage with an emotionally dynamic performance. Their instrumental music, blending post-rock, post-metal, and ambient elements, featured powerful guitar melodies and rich textures, creating an enchanting musical atmosphere. Despite the absence of lyrics, their music told profound stories, evoking listeners' imaginations and emotional connections.

The festival concluded with a stunning performance by Chinese post-rock band Wang Wen, celebrating their 25th anniversary. They played seven songs, featuring guitars, bass, piano, euphonium, trumpet, and xylophone, creating a multidimensional and rich sound. Wang Wen's mastermind, Xie Yugang, was deeply immersed in the performance, which was profoundly moving. Tracks like “Lonely God” and “Mail from the River” were as captivating and touching as ever, with expansive soundscapes and emotional melodies that conveyed life's reflections and aspirations, touching the soul's depths. Whether it conjured a surreal dreamscape or a hopeful future, whether it enveloped in a chill or a gentle warmth, each sensation was an integral part of the journey. The performance beautifully summarised this year's Portals Festival, setting the stage for a new chapter next year.

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