In September over the past few years Sundowners, Alberton has seen its annual alternative music festival, Krank’d Up. This year’s event hosted Memphis May Fire (USA), and Intervals (Canada), as well as an array of local bands throughout the day across 2 stages. A hot summers day in September has been the forecast over the years, and this year was no different, only with the looming fear of a thunderstorm later in the day. That didn’t stop the crowds from rolling in early for gate opening at 12pm. Pounding down cold Monster Energy, buying as much merch as they could afford, eating some wholesome festival food, and rocking their favourite band shirts in the heat.
The tour started the Wednesday before the show date, with Canadian band Intervals arriving in the morning, followed by American heavy weights Memphis May Fire touching down early evening. All members and crew went for an introduction meet up and dinner at The Beerhouse in Fourways. Over the next 2 days the international guests were treated to tourist activities around Johannesburg. The Monkey Sanctuary in Hartbeestpoort, and the Lion & Rhino Nature Reserve, as well as some scenic lunches and drives around the area. A relaxing time after their long flights before the madness that was their show at Krank’d Up.
Friday night saw the VIP meet and greet and sound check at the venue, where VIP ticket holders got the chance to watch first hand how the bands set up and prepare for their performance, as well as being able to meet and hang out with the bands.
I wish I could write something about every band that played at Krank’d Up, but there are too many good things to say about each of you. So I’d rather just give you all a massive ‘well done’ for your sets. You did SA music proud, and made the festival a great time throughout the entire day.
The day flew by and suddenly it was time for the first international band, Intervals. With lighting cracking extremely close by, and rain coming down, the band and crew were asked to clear the stage for safety while everyone waited for the storm to blow over. 30 minutes later it was over and everyone was given the go ahead to continue. Within minutes the Canadian prog kids were setup and ready to deliver one of the most clinical performances I have ever seen grace our shores. A full hour of technical, and groovy prog music was just what everyone needed to get over the cold of the rain. A sea of jazz face, and chicken head banging was seen across the field. What a privilege to see such amazing musicianship from extremely humble and awesome people.
The crowd is pumped. The rain is gone. It’s time for the headliners, Memphis May Fire. Straight from the start the band shows why they are heavyweights across the world. Vocalist, Matty Mullins held the crowd in the palm of his hands from start to finish. The entire band running the stage to pieces with non-stop energy, even through the slower tracks. The crowd singing along to every word of every song.
Their slower songs ‘Miles Away’ and ‘That’s Just Life’ brought multiple people in the crowd to tears with Matty’s heart felt deliverance of the tracks. ‘Miles Away’ being about leaving his wife at home while he is on tour touched a few people in the crowd who were clearly missing someone dear to them. ‘That’s Just Life’ a song about dealing with depression, and understanding that “It’s okay, not to be okay” hit home for many. Tears streamed, couples and friends held each other, and the band touched the fans’ hearts! Memphis May Fire on stage were raw, passionate, energetic, and showed us what they do best. We look forward to their return!
Thank you to Turning Tricks Entertainment, the Krank’d Up crew, Monster Energy, HELLFIRE, Distell, and Sundowners for an amazing event. We’re looking forward to next year’s!
Words & Photos by Alexander Wolf of Alexander Wolf Photography.