Tuesday 10 July 2012

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 2: Almost Perfect Day

We get our first rain today, but since we're still in our tent it doesn't hurt us a bit. Actually it cools things down so we can sleep a bit longer. After the rain stops we still have plenty of time to make it to the festival site for the first band.

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 2, June 29 2012

School Is Cool
This young Belgian band had a few hits in their home country coming from their debut album Entropology And they mean business today. The band members want to show their home crowd what they're made off. It's an energetic show and especially Andew van Ostade puts on a great act and is a lot of fun to watch. They have a few very good songs like 'Warpaint' and 'The World Is Gonna End Tonight' which are greeted with excitement. Especially when a small machine is blowing foam snow flakes covering the first row. They even manage to form two circle pits in the crowd. Great job by these newcomers who hopefully will treat us to a lot more in the future.

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Miles Kane
More excitement with Miles Kane later on. And the English musician deserves it. His performance is convincing as is his stage appearance. The album he released last year holds enough songs to captivate the crowd and Kane himself is getting more excited by the minute. This results in an inspired and stretched out 'Come Closer' at the end of the set where everyone keeps singing the "ah-ah-ah-ah-ah" part even when Kane already has gone off the stage.

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Beth Ditto and her band have to work a lot harder to keep every one's attention. She has broken her ankle and is less active than usual. Her voice is shrill and starts to get on my nerves. They have a few decent songs but it's not enough to lift this performance to a higher level, no matter what Ditto is trying today.

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Jack White
Contrary to Ditto, Jack White has no trouble getting the best out of his band. He chose the all-male band today, Los Buzzardos, and that is working out well. All dressed in black and blue, they are tight and simply sound great. White himself is quite chatty and seems to be enjoying himself. He has this impressive catalogue that he can choose from, playing songs by The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather and of course his solo album. Like that album it's admirable to see how he's able to weld all this variety in songs together. 'Hotel Yorba', 'Steady As She Goes' and 'Sixteen Saltines' all blend together nicely. It's great to hear that The White Stripes songs sound so good when he's backed up with a full band and a good drummer (sorry Meg). He finishes us off with an insane 'Seven Nation Army'.

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Still touring clubs and festivals in support of their album Keep You Close, Belgian's pride and glory dEUS are on familiar ground here. In the meanwhile they have released a new album Following Sea out of the blue that got mixed reviews. With so many great songs, this brilliant band cannot go wrong. But I would have expected a bit more fireworks on their home ground. Nevertheless I can never get tired seeing them play songs like 'Hotel Lobby', 'Instant Street' and 'Bad Timing'. Even when watching them from the side, waiting to get up front with Pearl Jam.

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Pearl Jam
At the concert last Tuesday we were quite far in the back and we want to see them up close this time. We thought we knew what to expect but still are pleasantly surprised how well they play their headlining slot. Of course this time they play a greatest hit set list with the usual suspects like 'Corduroy' with 'Interstellar Overdrive' intro again, 'Even Flow' and 'Alive'. That doesn't mean that this is just your avarage show. They blend 'Daughter' with Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall' and play PiL's 'Public Image'.

Eddie Vedder again holds a small speech in Flemish and looks even more inspired and fired up this time. He makes jumps from monitor speakers several times and stands at the side of the stage now and then, as if he wants to admire this great rock band. He dedicates a ferocious 'Spin The Black Circle' to Jack White. The set closes with 'Rockin' In The Free World' where he's getting a dazed young boy and his excited dad on stage to play the tambourine. The last song of the night is the traditional closer 'Yellow Ledbetter'. Vedder smokes a cigarette sitting down on a monitor speaker before leaving a stunned Werchter audience behind. No band will be able to top this I'm sure, but I hope they will try.

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After this explosive end of the day we decide to take a rest for a few beers. Unfortunately that also means we're missing Beirut. Hopefully we will be able to catch them some other time soon.

More Pictures

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 1
Rock Werchter 2012 Day 3
Rock Werchter 2012 Day 4

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