Monday 9 July 2012

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 1: A Friendly Welcome

We're off to a promising start this year. Taking off from a friend's house in Belgium where we arrived the night before, we make it to the camping site in no time. The weather has changed from monsoon rains into simmering hot. So let the cold beers flow and bring on the first band.

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 1, June 28 2012

Bombay Bicycle Club
This band from London were the next best thing a few years ago but never could live up to it on the main land. They play a decent set and are lucky that the crowd is willing to party today. They have a few nice songs and it all sounds cheerful and happy, but still it doesn't make them more than just another indie band. It is a nice way to start the festival though, but not one that will stay with us for long.
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Amon Tobin
We decide to check out Amon Tobin's visuals. I don't really like his music, but his visuals should be quite spectacular. A construction of white blocks is standing on stage, hiding the man himself in one of them. Images are projected on the blocks which give a spectacular effect. After a while the effect wears off a bit though, so that's enough for us.
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The Maccabees
This band raised my interest a while ago when they opened for Editors. Today the group shows they have grown a lot and play a convincing set. Singer Orlando Weeks has turned into a charismatic front man with a strong voice. A tight band and good songs do the rest. At the end they receive a well deserved applause.

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Cypress Hill take too long to show up and we want to see Garbage play. Shirley Manson gained a few years, but still is the sexy front woman of the band with drummer Butch Vig, the famous producer. And that's exacly the problem. It's all well produced even into the smallest details. All the poses, little speeches are thought through and it feels a little fake. They are there for everyone who doesn't really fit in, says Manson tonight. I want to believe her, but I can't. Their image and audience have been chosen with too much accuracy. So even though they play a solid set and the crowd does respond well, it kind of leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
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We've seen this band so many times before. They were here last year as well. Still we decide to stick around and like every time get sucked into singer Guy Garvey's world, where everyone is doing okay. How do they do it? It must be the combination of a very solid band and a very charismatic front man. Within no time we're singing along to 'The Birds', 'Lippy Kids' and of course closer 'One Day Like This'.

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The Cure
I thought this would be the first time I was going to see The Cure, but definitely was there when The Cure played Werchter for the last time in 2004. I just don't remember it. Can't be the beers right? We get up close where Robert Smith and friends play a good set. They could have easily played two hours of hits but decide not to and play many old songs as well. A risky choice on a festival. It's a convincing set and Smith looks pretty pleased. But it may have mostly pleased just the real fans and it just won't get memorable. For me personally that means I was still really happy to have seen them play and at least they go out on a high with 'Boys Don't Cry'.
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We try a piece of Justice but decide to call it a day. Time for this year's first cervela!

Click here for more pictures

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 2
Rock Werchter 2012 Day 3
Rock Werchter 2012 Day 4

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