Saturday 9 July 2011

Rock Werchter 2011 Day 1: Warm Welcome

When the summer has finally kicked in it is time for our favourite (and only) Belgian festival. The summer kind of overdid it last year but promised to be gentle on us this time. We continued our successful festival traveling streak and without any traffic jams we were sipping beer by noon. Opening up some festival camping sites a day earlier proved to be highly effective. Without running into any lines we walk onto the festival site for the first time, buy our food and drink tickets and get ready for the first band.

Rock Werchter 2011 Day 1, June 30 2011

Warpaint (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
First up are the all girls band Warpaint. They are much talked about and their album The Fool got good reviews. They play dreamy psychedelic music with lovely harmonies. Sometimes drummer Stella Mozgawa provides a solid groove to accompany the songs. But it doesn't really work today and the songs are sometimes stretched out too much causing them to turn weary in the end. A quiet start of the festival though.
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TV On The Radio (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
Next up are one of the bands I was really looking forward to. I'm really into their mix of soul and rock music. Maybe my expectations were too high since they cannot convince me. The sound is pretty bad and especially one mic sounds awful. Some songs aren't really right to play on a festival and they don't connect to the crowd. Even a great song like 'Will Do' sounds a bit bleak.
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The Hives (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
If you want a festival crowd to have a good time you can always call these crazy Swedes. The look like they are so full of themselves and especially front man Howlin' Pelle Almqvist is acting like the over confident arrogant rock star. But if you've seen them before you know this is all an act. Almqvist is full of energy and is firing up the crowd while the first rain is falling down. And it's always great jumping around with songs like 'Hate To Say I Told You So' and 'Tick Tick Boom'. The festival is really getting loose now.

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Queens of the Stone Age (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
Time to roughen it up some more! We even make sure we're in the pit in front of the stage to watch our favourite band from the desert. And they don't disappoint. Josh Homme is in a good mood and is enjoying his bottle of vodka. The band is tight and loud, the way we like them best. They deliver a solid greatest hits set for the highlight of the day.

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Linkin Park (Ronald Says 5 out of 10)
The headliner of today was high on the wish list of many Belgian fans. But a big visual spectacle is the best you can say about it. It's just very loud and can hardly be described as playing music. One for the fans I guess.
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Beady Eye (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
Fortunately Oasis minus Noel is playing a bit later on. But it's clear Liam can't do without his brother although he will never admit it. Beady Eye sounds more like pure rock but the songs are missing an edge as is this performance. It's all routine with Liam's familiar poses. But they are hardly trying to entertain the crowd.
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Hurts (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
I heard good things about this band and wanted to see if for myself. Their dark electronic and eighties inspired music leans a bit towards a darker Ultravox. It comes close to the edge of cheesy with singer Theo Hutchcraft handing out white roses while he's singing with a tormented face. Obviously this is all fake but it is a convincing performance. The rain outside is adding to the dark atmosphere.
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The Chemical Brothers (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
Time to cheer up again. We're not sad anyway, we're just getting drunk. So let's dance the night away with The Chemical Brothers. Of course we've seen them a thousand times before and there aren't any surprises. But it gets you moving. You don't get to see much of the boys themselves and it's hard to tell what they are really doing anyway. Some of their old songs still rock hard though and they get a bonus point for the great light show.
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More Pictures
More Videos

Rock Werchter 2011 Day 2 Review >
Rock Werchter 2011 Day 3 Review >
Rock Werchter 2011 Day 4 Review >


  1. can't understand the LP 5/10 part. They were definitely the highlight of the day.

  2. It's just my opinion of course. I think they didn't play well, it was all just too loud and the singing was just screaming all the time. Of course they are a band that is playing quite heavy music but they could have paid better attention to the details I think.