Live Reviews

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Radar Festival 2023 – Sunday

Photo Credit: Charlie Bluck (Photo 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 18, 19, 20, 21)
Photo Credit: Martin Hindley (Photo 3)
Photo Credit: Rubén Navarro Martín (Photo 6, 13, 14, 15, 16)
Photo Credit: Eleanor Hazel (Photo 9, 10 11)
Photo Credit: Lauren Robey (Photo 12, 15, 16)

There was simply no time for the stereotypical Sunday lull at Radar Festival 2023 because across its three days, Sunday at Radar is perhaps the most action packed, super stacked day from start to finish. As American accents filled the northern tongue of O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, this transatlantic crossing of paths only meant that djent lords Periphery were set to make their long anticipated four-year headlining return to the UK. Elsewhere, Liverpool’s Loathe continued their successful summer streak of festival appearances, French metalcore dominated, as Resolve and Ten 56 performed back-to-back and I Built The Sky woke everyone’s ears to the sweet sounds of instrumental bliss. Stacked Sunday? That is a massive understatement. 

As mentioned previously, Sunday started with the sweet sounds of instrumental bliss coming courtesy of I Built The Sky. Hailing all the way from the other side of the world, I Built The Sky made the UK stopover of shows worthwhile, their live guitar noodling capturing the attention of the crowd and never letting this captivation go all the way through to set closer The Fire Inside. Breaking their technically proficient intricate riffs and stunning keyboard playing for an on-stage stint with Monuments’ vocalist Andy Cizek, who joined the band on stage to show that his beautiful display of clean vocals akin to his other projects with Makari and WVNDER deserve as much attention in the limelight as his infamous screams receive. 8/10 

Like bands like Landmvrks and Novelists? Then the French metalcore treat you were in store for at Radar Festival would make you feel like all your Christmas’ comes at once. “Radar Festival, we just got here. Our van broke down and a lovely guy called Terry drove us all the way here, which is why we are 15 minutes late” explains Ten 56 frontman Aaron Matts on the band’s lateness to their mid-afternoon slot on the main stage at Radar Festival. Fifteen minutes late and two songs short, for Ten 56 they made their set all about quality and not quantity, delivering a ferocious dose of nu metal that stomps unapologetically on the borders of hardcore and deathcore, getting Manchester to two step one minuet and metal Jesus crowd surfing the next. 9/10

With big boots to fill in the name of their fellow French counterparts, Resolve were a late edition to the line-up of this year’s Radar, after bands Car Bomb and Heriot dropped out last minute. But better a late edition than a never edition and in the last run of shows exhibiting their debut album Between Me And The Machine, yet as Resolve debut tracks taken from their upcoming sophomore album Human, it’s clear to see this band function as music making humans with ten times bigger melodies and ten times bigger breakdowns than ever before. Whether it be Move To Trash’s glitchy electronics or Death Awaits palpitating arrangement, the band provide a full-on onslaught of their current selves, a show “we will always remember” in the words of Resolve’s Anthony Diliberto. 9/10

However, the craziest crowd of the weekend award goes to LA legends Volumes and their main stage set at Radar. From the moment the band stormed on stage to set opener FBX, the crowd was throwing down hard and didn’t stop until the band bounded off gleefully and some might say happier fourty-five minutes later after their colossal closer Wormholes. The warehouse reaction to every single song Volumes performed put the hardest of hardcore shows to shame, the bone breaking grooves of The Mixture and 91367 sending every soul into an uncontrollable frenzy of mosh pits, crowd surfing and two stepping, with the welcome appearance of the one and only Olly Steele to the stage. “You guys have been listening to too many riffs all day long, these next songs are about the feels” interjects Volumes vocalist Myke Terry and if there is one thing Volumes are masters of their craft at is the perfect balance and composure between breakneck breakdowns and entrancing melodies. Much of the tracks taken from their latest LP Happier? did the latter, Weighted, Bend and Happier? sending everyone into a mass euphoric singalong. Volumes band to crowd synergy was simply unmatchable, making their Sunday evening slot one of the best of the weekend by a long shot. 10/10

Remember how we said Monuments vocalist Andy Cizek is Spider-Man in disguise as a highly talented, musically diverse vocalist? Well, the crowd that packed into the second stage space to see headliners Loathe could give Cizek a run for his money. From the moment frontman Kadeem France opens his mouth to demand “Manchester you better move yourself” to kickstart Aggressive Evolution, Manchester didn’t stop moving, moshing of scaling the roof for that matter. At this point, Loathe are used to the surroundings of o2 Victoria’s Warehouse, having supported Spiritbox here only a few weeks ago, this time around however, it was Loathe’s limelight to dominate, even with a surprise on stage collaboration with Static Dress’ Olli Appleyard during Heavy Is The Head That Falls With The Weight Of A Thousand Thoughts. Their set wasn’t without their brand of stirring atmospheric shoegaze with hardcore heaviness, big hitters Two-Way Mirror, Is It Really You? and I Let It In And It Took Everything maintaining the crowd capacity despite the time nearing for co-headliners Periphery to start over on stage one. Who knew Loathe were a warehouse band? But it seems any space this band perform in, they can fill every inch with their beautiful heavy atmospherics. 10/10

Their latest LP might be titled Djent Is Not A Genre, but Periphery’s return to headline Radar was nothing short of a djent masterclass from the top dogs. Sleep Token might have been the big pull for Friday, but Periphery were an even bigger pull for the Sunday, three dots littered around the main stage space of Victoria Warehouse, as the glitchy sounds of set opener Muramasa, performed for the first time in eight years welcomed Periphery back with a bang, their fans and friends Andy Cizek, we see you again, surging over the barrier from all angles. With a band with a back catalogue as big as Periphery has, they seized every opportunity they got to treat fans to a slice of the Periphery pie from all eras of their career. Debuting tracks from P5 including Zagreus and Dracul Gras, whereas Wildfire ripped through the warehouse like the world’s worst natural disaster. Classic Periphery cuts like Icarus Lives!, Marigold and Reptile taken from the span of their Self-Titled, Select Difficulty and HAIL STAN works respectively proved that this band are deserving of everything their illustrious thirteen year career has earned them, from Spencer Sotelo’s passion for pricey whips to Misha Mansoor’s slick strings because Periphery’s breadth for irreplaceable skill has earned them their stripes. They might have been one man down in guitarist Mark Holcomb, sitting out of their Radar Fest set to be with his family “We are doing this for Mark, let’s throw the fuck down” honours Sotelo and filled their set with strange talk about British kebabs “We’ve been here since Tuesday and no one has let me have a kebab yet. Let me get fat, I’m on vacation” says Sotelo again, but it was their musical display and inexplicable talent that stole the Periphery show. It was only smiles that lingered long after the greats graced Radar with their presence. 10/10

Written By: Katie Conway-Flood

Katie Conway-Flood
🎵 Music Journo @bringthenoiseuk @gigwise @newnoisemagazine 🖤 Brewdog Crew @brewdogshepbush 🎵 Bands obsessed 🖤 Vegan