On Friday night, the official build up to Lush, the music festival held in Clarens over Easter weekend, commenced. The pre-party was held at Arcade Empire. Miagii (a rock band from Johannesburg) opened the night with Hellcats (a two-piece ‘bare knuckle’ rock band) following them, and Shadowclub headlined the night. The line-up for the evening was very interesting, as only Hellcats have been confirmed to play at Lush this year. The evening was a typical rock night at Arcade, with a great amount of head banging, a lot of piercings and tattoos, and good music. The night started off fairly small. Miagii didn't draw a sizable crowd until halfway through their set, but their energy and quality never wavered. Hellcats pulled more people, and the crowd constantly grew as they continued with their heavy, busy, and energetic set. Shadowclub really pulled through. The stage area was packed as people piled in to watch these old favourites. They chose an interesting set list, as it was a lot slower than the other two bands. True to form, Shadowclub had everyone moving. Arcade Empire pulled off a successful evening, catering to almost all rock fans and accommodating varying tastes.
Perdeby spoke to Hellcats and Miagii – both Johannesburg based bands. Miagii has not played in Pretoria as often as Hellcats, and they were pleasantly surprised by the reception. Although the crowd was relatively sparse during their set, they were impressed by the laid-back attitude the Pretoria crowd. In comparison to that of their regular Johannesburg gigs, where – as they say – the audience tends to emanate a need to be impressed and an air of snobbishness, they said everyone at Arcade Empire just seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Josh Roscoe, the drummer, mentioned that they were definitely keen to come back to Pretoria – so expect to see them in the future, especially as they have a few EPs on the way. Hellcats also mentioned how much they love the Pretoria crowds, especially since they feed off of the energy their audience emits. Warwick Rautenbach mentioned they are always grateful for the sense of appreciation they receive in Pretoria. Hellcats also shared some exclusive information with Perdeby: this year they will be releasing the final volume of A Coffin Full of Hellcats. Instead of a regular launch, they plan on doing several small launches. One will be in their band room in Johannesburg, one will be in Cape Town, and they'd like to have one at a house party. They will be reaching out to their fans for the latter. You can also expect to see them at Lush and Mieliepop this year.