Monday 20 June 2011

Pinkpop Ends With Perfect Storm

When the Pinkpop festival announced they had put Foo Fighters down as the headliner on the third day I didn't need any more convincing to buy tickets for that day. It may be the sad truth but it turns all other acts on Pinkpop Monday into support acts. Of course we would definitely check out some of them since there were some pretty nice ones. The three day festival with Coldplay and Kings of Leon headlining the other two days did however program lots of mediocre acts so it wasn't hard to pick out the most interesting ones without having to run around or making tough choices.

Pinkpop Festival, Day 3 Monday June 13 2011
And we continue our festival traveling success streak. Without traffic jams and long queues we make it onto the festival area long before the first band will start playing and we're sipping beers that go by the brilliant name Brand in no time. This day sure was off to a good start!

Dazzled Kid (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
First act to check is Tjeerd Bomhof and his solo project Dazzled Kid. I already saw the Voicst front man a while ago and was impressed. He's bringing the same big band onto the stage this time as well. But the singer is off to a hesitating start though and seems a bit tensed which isn't weird on a big festival like this. During the first couple of songs he manages to pull it together though and slowly grows into it. His voice isn't too great today and this is noticeable in the higher registers. Maybe it
s the nerves but with this great band it doesn't matter and the sound is good. It even turns magical now and then like in 'Stronger'. By the end everyone is loving it and Bomhof's emotions explode in the last song '99 Cent Dreams' when he starts trashing the drum kit.

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Go Back To The Zoo (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
This band are rocketing upwards in their career. I've been following them for a while now and saw them live in beach bar Timboektoe about one year ago with a few hundred people. Now they're playing the main stage in front of 50,000 people. The boys must have been dead nervous but are hiding that well. The band manages to put down a big sound that's needed for this huge crowds. Singer Cas Hieltjes, in a bright green African shirt, acts like he's used to playing huge crowds and is using most of the stage. They brought confetti canons, inflatable elephants, a big jungle picture at the back and a huge gorilla inflates itself during 'I'm The Night'. They are a hit producing machine and especially the up-tempo songs are working very well. Their slower songs aren't as good but they know how to balance that in their set list. Half of the crowd is jumping and cheering and when they close with their big hit and best song 'Electric' the field explodes.

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The Gaslight Anthem (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
With a big picture of a skull in the back and lots of tattoos you may expect a heavy rock band. But this band are inspired by Bruce Springsteen and play rock songs in the same style. Looking at their faces you can see they aren't as dangerous as it seems. Their songs are good and sound great live. Singer Brian Fallon looks like a nice guy and is chatting away. His voice sounds clear and their show is nicely balanced. It just is lacking a bit of danger. If they can put a bit more spice in their music and performance it could turn into an unforgettable show like their big inspiration The Boss proved two years ago.
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Kaiser Chiefs (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
They have played every major festival several times and are an audience favourite. Their lively shows with the ever active front man Ricky Wilson resulted in many memorable moments. But their hitmachine came to a grinding hold with their third record and the songs of their upcoming record aren't really promising either. And that's obvious in their performance today. All their hits are still good for a bouncing crowd and many people join the sing-along verses. But their setlist isn't well chosen and the new songs are scattered throughout it causing many dead moments. They aren't really catchy and no matter what Wilson tries they don't go down easy. Of course they have to change direction since they can't keep on producing the same anthems over and over again. But they may have gone down the wrong road since their show has given in on energy and speed. A real shame.
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Foo Fighters (Ronald Says 10 out of 10)
Then it's time for the long awaited headliner. And Foo Fighters live up to every expectation and more. They have an impressive list of big stadium rockers and start firing those onto the crowd. The weather gods aren't really cooperative and the first real rain of the day starts coming down. But that doesn't bother Dave Grohl and the others at all. Instead it adds to the great atmosphere of the excited crowd. It even adds a rainbow to the already impressive light show and causes Grohl to stop and enjoy it for a moment. Then it's full force ahead again. The band shows how to close a festival as the main headliner. It's the perfect rock show. Two hours in total which is 30 minutes longer than planned. No leaving the stage before the obligatory encore as Grohl explains it. Why leave if they can just keep on playing? This is a no nonsense band, no arrogance, no faking it. Just good honest giving it all rock music. And that's truly admirable. To top it off they play one of my favourite Queen songs 'Tie Your Mother Down'. Epic.

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