Mid-June will see a 10,000-strong mass of metal fans and self-declared ‘scene kids’ descend upon the Dutch village of Ysselsteyn for Jera on Air, one of Holland’s leading alternative/metal festivals. With the likes of Dropkick Murphy’s, Of Mice & Men and Hatebreed all filling headliner slots last year, this year looks set to beat it with sets from Enter Shikari, A Day to Remember and All Time Low. Read on to find out which five acts we recommend you check out at Jera on Air this year.
Genreless boundary abusers Enter Shikari will be making their debut Jera on Air appearance this year following the release of stellar fourth record The Mindsweep. Its powerful mixture of eclectic post-hardcore, vibrant electronica and soothing orchestral moments demonstrate exactly why Enter Shikari is a step higher than all of their contemporaries. Not many bands have had such a profound effect on society by means of lyrical work than Enter Shikari, whose activist-cum-hero frontman Rou Reynolds is exactly what a frontman should be. This summer will see the Rou Reynolds-fronted quartet take The Mindsweep across Europe’s festival main stages, with their Jera on Air set likely to be the highlight of the whole weekend.
Enter Shikari. Shot by Jack Parker for All Things Loud.
Young pop-punkers Roam spent a while touring with Enter Shikari through Eastern Europe last year, honing their live craft to the point that their classic pop-punk became the favourites of many new fans. Although pop-punk has never been the most original genre, Roam add that little edge to their music which sets them apart from contemporaries such as Neck Deep and Real Friends. Expect plenty of pizza when they take to the stage in Ysselsteyn this year, because Roam are going to bring the party.
Roam. Shot by Abbie O’Neill for All Things Loud
A DAY TO REMEMBER
Filling the headliner slot on Friday are Californian pop punk-meets-post-hardcore behemoths A Day to Remember, a band who can’t seem to get away from Ysselsteyn after having performed there a mere two years ago. Since becoming one of the most reputable live bands in their local scene, the Jeremy McKinnon-fronted group have slowly worked their way up the ladder to a point where their name has become a mainstay on festival main stages worldwide. The moment that standout track All I Want powers out of the speakers in June will be the moment that everyone in attendance embraces one another with a huge feeling of camaraderie. And boy will it sound good.
CHUNK! NO, CAPTAIN CHUNK!
French hardcore pop-punkers Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! like to do things differently. That’s instantly evident from their playful band name, as well as their carefully constructed mix of musical styles. Elements of pop-punk may prevail, yet the French quintet also likes to add heavier moments in order to give their songs a rougher edge. 2014’s cover of Smash Mouth’s All Star opened the door for Chunk into an American scene ready to welcome the Parisians with open arms. By the time Jera on Air comes around, a whole new group of (potential) fans will be ready to welcome Bertrand Poncet and his band.
IN HEARTS WAKE
If there’s one thing that Australians are good at, it’s heavy music. Their rock scene sprawls in all directions, with Tonight Alive’s pop-punk and Parkway Drive’s brutal metalcore two frontrunners. Byron Bay quartet In Hearts Wake may lean more towards Parkway Drive’s no holds barred metalcore, yet their music also edges towards more melodic elements which bear a message. The last two years have seen the band release two studio albums, the complementary Earthwalker and Skydancer, both of which have a heavy emphasis on nature and the environment. Expect plenty of pits and crowdsurfers by the time these Australians take to the stage in Ysselsteyn.
ALL TIME LOW
Our final recommendation needs little introduction. If there’s one band who have started at the bottom to work they were into the rock stratosphere, it’s All Time Low. New studio album Future Hearts went straight to #1 in the UK, a country who have embraced the Baltimore rockers more so than anyone else. 2015 alone has seen Alex Gaskarth and his band play sold out shows at London’s 02 Arena (on a co-headline tour with You Me At Six) and SSE Wembley Arena, something which they’ll likely never repeat at home in America. In March, the band also played their biggest Dutch show to date, selling out Utrecht’s TivoliVredenburg. This show perfectly precedes what looks set to be their first ever festival headline set in the Benelux region, heading up the main stage and subsequently closing the festival on its last day. Be there, you wouldn’t want to miss this.
All Time Low. Shot by Jack Parker for All Things Loud.
Jera on Air takes place on 19 and 20 June in Ysselsteyn. For more information and tickets, visit www.jeraonair.nl.