Wednesday 11 July 2012

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 3: Time For Fireworks

After yesterday's stunning day it will be interesting how this day will turn out. My body is slowly starting to ache and protest so it's good we can start slow.

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 3, June 30 2012

Michael Kiwanuka And what better way to kick it off with some warm soul? Michael Kiwanuka is a brand new star that is rising fast. And for a good reason. His voice is a classic soul voice, full of emotion and comfort. His songs could have easily been written forty years ago but still sound fresh. Live they sound great because his band is playing them with a lot of heart like Kiwanuka himself. He looks pretty happy and relaxed while pouring his heart out in songs like 'Tell Me A Tale' and of course 'Home Again'. If Otis Redding was looking down today he must have been really pleased.

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Alabama Shakes We continue with more soul and blues. Even faster than Kiwanuka, who was watching right behind us at the beginning as well, this band has risen to stardom. Singer Brittany Howard has a great part in this. Her impressive appearance together with an even more impressive voice are quite a spectacle. The rest of the band are doing a good job, but it's Murphy who lifts this band to a higher level. Together with good blues and soul songs and a lot of heart it is a real treat watching them play. The boogie-woogie songs are less successful. It's clear their power lies in blues and soul. And what a power! This stage clearly wasn't big enough, telling from the crowd around the tent throughout the show.

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Black Box Revelation You don't need a big band to play loud rock 'n' roll. Belgian duo Black Box Revelation prove that. We weren't really close to the stage, but I have seen them play several times now. And even the big main stage is hardly big enough. Songs like 'High On A Wire' and 'Rattle My Heart' sound as if a full band is playing them. They do struggle a bit to keep everyone's attention. Still they play solid grooves and great guitar riffs in a mix of garage rock and blues. No wonder that people are picking them up in the US at the moment. Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify

Wolfmother We continue with some honest rock. Wolfmother hardly needs any introduction any more. Their seventies style hard rock sounds live even more loud and groovy than on their records. It's just too bad that the songs on their second album are not of the same quality as the ones on their epic first self-titled album. This is also showing in their set today. Long jams even get a bit weary at some point. But who cares when they close the set with their top song 'Joker and the Thief'.

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Simple Minds Time for some golden oldies. Once we arrive at the tent where Simple Minds are playing they already have started. The Barn tent is chuck full with mostly forty year olds going crazy with 'New Gold Dream', 'Waterfront' and of course 'Don't You Forget About Me'. Simple Minds are restricting themselves to their first five and best albums which is a wise choice. It's clear that this should have been scheduled for the main stage. Singer Jim Kerr is loving every minute of this trip down memory lane. His voice has gotten weaker over the years. But together with him we're singing one more time,"lalalala lalalala lalalalalalalala".

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Kasabian Time for some rock again. Kasabian are huge in the UK where they are considered the ones who can take the gap Oasis left behind after their split. Although releasing some successful albums and having played many big stages, today they are not proving to be able to fill that gap. Their set is played on routine and never gives you the feeling that they want to leave a lasting impression. Only when playing their biggest hit 'Fire' you get the feeling the band is connecting with the crowd.

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My Morning Jacket It is showing that Mumford & Sons are playing on the main stage at the same time since the tent is half full when we arrive at the My Morning Jacket show. Are they as good as many critics claim they are? Yes, they are. Singer Jim James's voice is clear and pure. Their true American style country rock sounds great, combined with long jams, solo's and psychedelica. The hairy musicians are totally into their own music and deserve a much bigger audience. Although this way we can get close to the stage and see them work through an exciting and varied set. I guess they still are a well-kept secret somehow.

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Editors Editors were one of the highlights in 2010 on this festival. Working on their fourth album they parted with guitar player Chris Urbanowicz More synths on the new album? It doesn't show tonight. It's always a real treat to watch and hear Tom Smith sing, totally into the music, eyes closed, his baritone thundering across the field. The stage is looking gloomy, while it's already dark outside, which totally fits the music. 'In This Light And On This Evening', which they didn't play, couldn't have been more appropriate. Editors have grown into the perfect festival band. Always reliable, with a big catalogue of hit songs: 'The Racing Rats', 'Munich' and of course 'Papillon' that closes the set. 'No Sound But The Wind', that turned into a magical moment in 2010, can't miss from the set list either of course. "That song belongs to Rock Werchter now" says Tom Smith. And so do the Editors when the fireworks complete their performance.

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Another great day has come to an end. But not before we party a little more on camping site A1. How much more can my poor body take?

Click here for more pictures

Rock Werchter 2012 Day 1
Rock Werchter 2012 Day 2
Rock Werchter 2012 Day 4

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