Saturday 25 August 2012

Lowlands 2012 Day 1: The Party Is Starting Early

After thirteen editions you kind of know the drill: leave on time on Friday to beat the crowds at the entrance and within no time the tent is up and the first can of beer open. So we have plenty of time to explore the festival area to see what the changes are. We feel at home right away and are ready for the first band.

Lowlands 2012 Day 1, August 17 2012

Go Back To The Zoo
They made it from the India to the big Alpha stage in just two years. This was the result of their highly successful first album Benny Blisto. But the excitement has worn off after their disappointing second album and today it is showing why. The songs of the first album that is full of hits still are great, but the new ones can't come close. So although they are definitely playing more tight and convincing now, their set has too many weak moments. This is killing on a big stage like this. They want to start the party but only a few people are really joining them.

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White Rabbits
The description read "a mix of dEUS and Radiohead", which is enough to raise my interest. The band from Brooklyn do play a varying set with good songs, but their stage performance is too static and singer Stephen Patterson lacks charisma. A singer that is sitting down to play keyboard is never a good idea. It's just not enough to keep some of the crowd from leaving and stay until the end. I do think we're going to hear more from them and hopefully they can spice it up in the future.

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The hardcore punk-band broke up after their third record in 1998 and out of nowhere returned. Their status grew to legendary proportions in the meantime so I wanted to see it for myself. According to singer Dennis Lyxzén they ran out of fuel back then, but they are showing they have plenty at the moment. Lyxzén is all over the stage and their set is full of speed and solid convincing songs. It's good to have this band back to show those lame high school punk bands what the real deal is.

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Django Django
The hype around this funky surf band results in a full and hot Bravo tent. And they don't disappoint. Their highly danceable catchy songs make it impossible for people to stand still. Hit song 'Default' is greeted with many cheers. The nerdy band members in their homemade shirts(!) forget to light the fuse of this explosive mix of catchy music and a willing crowd though, which is a shame. But they are showing to have a lot of potential.

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Hot Chip
Since we're near the Bravo stage anyway, it's a good chance to check out Hot Chip. I wasn't impressed with their latest album, although I like their music. They continue where Django Django left off. though a few notches down,and we can keep shaking our moneymakers. They aren't exactly killing it on stage, but we're all having a good time with their swinging dance tunes.

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Bloc Party
The four members of Bloc Party had a rough time, which made it unclear what their status was for a while. Now they're back with their new album and a tour that includes many festivals. They are showing they still got it today. Kele is the always friendly and charismatic front man who's proving his voice is just great. So maybe they never really got close to their first album Silent Alarm, but they sure know how to entertain a big festival crowd. Hopefully they will stick around long enough and prove they can still write great songs.

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Alberta Cross
A few years ago Alberta Cross were playing the same small Charlie stage after releasing Broken Side Of Time, which was my introduction to the band. I thought I would see them back on a bigger stage. They are proving today that they definitely deserve that bigger stage. Singer Petter Ericson Stakee's voice is very clear and their rootsrock songs sound great. The band is looking energetic and the short set they are playing, because Bloc Party ended later, should definitely get them bigger crowds and a better spot in the line-up. Hopefully their new album Songs Of Patience is going to help them.

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The Black Keys
Who would have thought The Black Keys would be a festival headliner a few years ago? They have suddenly grown into a big band that is closing the full Alpha stage today. They did add two more musicians to enlarge their sound, which is very effective. And with so many great songs they are not disappointing. Especially the El Camino hits 'Gold On The Ceiling' and 'Lonely Boy' are great crowd pleasers. They show that they can even handle this big a stage with only the two of them. The duo do look like they are playing on routine and singer Dan Auerbach could look for more crowd interaction. Maybe they still haven't fully adjusted to their new status. The two are proving they are worthy of it though.

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Not a bad start of the festival at all. Where the party at?

More Pictures

Lowlands 2012 Day 2
Lowlands 2012 Day 3

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