By Jase Walker

Updated Jera On Air 2024The weather overnight has left a pretty noticeable impact on the ground but it’s not quite as bad as what I thought it would be. That being said I’ve already put my feet in a hidden puddle so off to a good start today I suppose. My legs are covered in mosquito bites, I’m a bit tired despite having a fairly decent night’s sleep but this is just how festivals go when you’ve been up and active for almost 18 hours a day the whole time.

Just before the gates open, the people delivering the sawdust and pumping out the excess water get a massive cheer from the crowd outside the gates. Sadly due to having to sort some stuff out I’ve had to miss Annisokay which is a shame but I don’t think it’ll be long before I get to see them again!

I am, however, ready for As Everything Unfolds! The crowd turnout here is quite a bit smaller than I anticipated, I suspect this may be down to Sunday being an extra and separately ticketed day though. Doesn’t matter anyway, they’re gonna smash that show out in the short 30 minutes they’ve got! Their poppy synthy take on metalcore is something I truly love and I wasn’t going to miss their set for anything. The crowd has thickened out shortly after they start and they’re not wasting any time in getting the crowd spinning around in the middle. ‘Hiding From Myself’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ go down well, plenty of movement in the crowd so I think Jera has taken well to AEU’s first time here, especially so early in the day too. These never fail to put a smile on my face, it’s just straight up fun music that scratches my itches for heaviness and poppiness in the same package. Finishing with ‘On The Inside’ as is their usual, and for good reason, and I’m using what little remains of my voice to scream the chorus, I love AEU.

As Everything Unfolds @ Jera On Air 2024. Photograph by Kealey Oosterom

Later on back at the main stage, it’s another big one for me, Make Them Suffer! These Australian hardcore-cum-melodic metalcore group are a massive favourite and getting into the tent just in time for ‘Bones’ is a good way to start for me with another epic chorus that I love singing. Arguably one of their biggest songs off their Worlds Apart album, ‘Vortex’ with its rapid fire riffing and dreamy chorus and Jera are loving it every bit as much as I am! Make Them Suffer has a real knack for writing music that can equally be as intense as it is atmospheric and ‘Vortex’ is a great example of that. I do find these sets are very much a tapas of live shows but it just makes me hungry for more! ‘Erase Me’ from ‘How To Survive A Funeral’ is a huge singalong for me too, what a stellar set it’s been so far despite the length but they’re back with Bury Tomorrow later this year!

After another massive round trip around the festival and campsite I’m back in for Boston Manor. I genuinely had worries that I’d not get to see these again for ages after moving to the Netherlands but here they are at Jera! I’ve seen these guys absolutely kill it a few times now and they’re slaying today at Jera even after their singer saying he’s been at festival shows for weeks now, that’s some endurance. You wouldn’t believe how busy they’ve been given the energy they’re putting out and the fact that the singer still sounds like this after such a heavy schedule is testament to these Blackpool lads’ energy. “We’re still 150 short of the record for crowd surfers this weekend” they shout, the record set by none other than While She Sleeps yesterday, it’s certainly working with getting the crowd incensed though! Gotta hand it to the people doing sound on the Vulture stage this weekend, they’ve made every band sound fantastic. Boston Manor’s pop yet dark take on uhhh, is it metalcore? I’m not actually sure with these but whatever it is, it goes hard and Jera most definitely agrees. I’ve been waiting for ‘Passenger’ and I finally get treated to it towards the end of the set. Finally finishing with ‘Halo’ and ‘Foxglove’ they announce they’ve got an EU headline tour and mentioned Eindhoven so hopefully either it’s on a weekend or a bit closer to Amsterdam!

Next up is another singalong favourite, Leeds lovelies, Caskets. It’s a bit odd that they’ve not started at the indicated time though, I hope nothing is up with their set! Oh no, just a bit of introductory foreplay, nevermind! They kick off and Caskets sound absolutely fucking massive, easily the biggest and best I’ve ever seen them! Anyway ‘The Only Ones’ distracts my attention completely from that thought because holy shit I love this song. I really should be typing out more notes watching these but I’m a bit preoccupied with screaming the words out to all the songs, I wish I could properly do both at the same time but that’s quite a high level of multitasking! Not only that but finishing the set with ‘Glass Heart’ really tested my ability to scream at the same pitch as their singer, what a fantastic band though and it’s been fantastic to see these truly stomping around Europe and having some great success. Well done lads.

Okay so, for clarity I was supposed to go see Atreyu but then I got dragged off by some friends to go watch an old lady play various covers on her organ ranging from Abba to full on Dutch hardstyle and I have no idea what the fuck is going on. I really can’t stop laughing at this, it’s completely insane, there’s so many crowd surfers and people flying across the crowd on inflatables! I actually think this is going to beat While She Sleeps’s crowd surfing record, this is legitimately bonkers! She’s even got a circle pit going to YMCA, this is officially the weirdest festival experience I’ve ever experienced by an absolute mile! There’s even a stuffed animal being tossed around in the pit as well, I’m fully lost for words with this experience. People are literally doing the breaststroke to swim across the audience, throwing the inflatables up to the balcony audience and back down. I’ve not been able to stop for the full set but my god, I’ll be telling people about this for years.

So an extended break and I’ve decided to get down the front barrier for TesseracT, this may prove to be an unwise decision but I’d be a fool if I didn’t do something to get stuck into one of my favourite prog bands! I legitimately cannot contain my excitement for this, I fucking adore TesseracT and there is no concept of seeing them too many times for me. Of course leaning pretty heavily on the War Of Being material but no complaints, it’s a fucking epic isn’t it? Sorry but ‘Nocturne’ is going to be the death of me, I’m spending every bit of energy trying to get the band’s attention here. If it’s not that then it’s going to be ‘King’ maybe? I don’t know we’ve still got time before I blow my voice out I guess. Look I don’t think I’ve said this enough but I am a gigantic simp for this band and I’m already looking forward to losing my voice again at Radar, three times in a year just isn’t enough.

Anyway, straight across to Enter Shikari to catch the start of ‘System….Meltdown’, time to fully put the boot into what’s left of my voice! Admittedly ‘Live outside’ is an easier song to sing at least! The absolutely massive song of ‘Sssnakepit’ with its epic chorus and dubstep break goes down a complete storm and I can feel my throat steadily deciding to give out. Quite entertaining seeing Rou get a huge balloon kicked into his face as well, you’d think he’d be a bit more prepared for shenanigans but this one took him by surprise evidently! ‘BLOODSHOT’ sees Rou climbing up one of the main pillars to sing the majority of the song before shooting his way back to the stage, man is a nutter for this stuff and it’s always a treat to see! God the bangers just keep coming like ‘**Satellites’ with its incredible chorus and I’m finding my throat burning more and more but I don’t care for it at all, this is the time to give it my all!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a balloon swatted by a guitar mid-set because of the danger but Shikari doesn’t care, nope! Jera loves Shikari, there is no secret about it. ‘Dreamers Hotel’, and I’m getting a mate of mine on the back of my shoulders because why the hell not eh? Anyway next up is ‘Void Stares Back’, with Wargasm coming in for their guest spot as well, this is very much getting towards one of the best sets I’ve seen Shikari do even after so many times, even despite the random crowl surfer pouring half a pint of beer directly into my eye. ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’, starts out with its traditional start before moving into its Pendulum remix as is new tradition. And finishing with ‘A Kiss For The World’, which brings a fantastic set for Enter Shikari to a close and the crowd is fully set on complete carnage, people launch themselves over the top of the crowd with reckless abandon. Fuck yeah Enter Shikari, you are legitimately one of the best live bands in the world right now.

The Prodigy @ Jera On Air 2024. Photograph by Kealey Oostoerom

And finally, The Prodigy who open up with some of their biggest bangers and are not letting anyone ‘Breathe’ for a moment because it’s an ‘Omen’ for their set here. And immediately following it up with ‘Spitfire’? They’re going for an all killer no filler set here! I can’t get over that they’ve followed this up with ‘Firestarter’ either, the crowd is going absolutely wild for the energy that these guys are kicking out! Teasing a bit of ‘Voodoo People’ and then kicking straight into it, the sound of The Prodigy is gargantuan! And ‘No Good’ as well? Christ this really is one of the strongest Prodigy sets I’ve ever heard! ‘Poison’ too?! Holy shit.’Smack My Bitch Up’ as well?!

The sheer amount of force that The Prodigy are coming with is truly becoming of a headliner on the last day that comes with so many years of experience doing shows. It’s also astounding to me that Jera have pulled off a booking like this considering that The Prodigy very often play huge arenas around Europe, completely punching above their weight but incredible nonetheless. And finishing up with ‘Outer Space’, bringing this year’s Jera On Air to a close and what a fantastic weekend it’s been and what an incredible experience it’s been for the first time. I’m definitely coming back next year… watch this space for a write-up about the experience as a whole and some of the things, other than the awesome music, I took away from the weekend…

  • PHOTO CREDIT: Photographs courtesy of Jera On Air/Kealey Oosterom. All copyright remains with the photographer.
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