Sunday 26 August 2012

Lowlands 2012 Day 2: The Party Is Heating Up

After a good start yesterday the sun is burning us out of our tents way too early. A bit sleepy we find our way back to the festival area, where a pancake is bringing back life into my body. Let's start this day slow.

Lowlands Day 2, August 18 2012

Phantom Limb
Not exactly my cup of tea, gospel and country. But singer Yolanda Quartey is gifted with a great voice, which she already proved when singing with Massive Attack. So it's definitely worth checking out. Only half of the British band are present today, but it still is enough to impress. The songs are mostly slow, which is perfect at this point of the day. Piano player Dan Moore and guitarist Stew Jackson do a good job supporting Quartey's soulful vocals. And when they join the singing, it results in beautiful harmonies. Like angels carefully waking us up.

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Eagles Of Death Metal
Time for some good old fashioned rock 'n' roll. This time it looks like Jesse Hughes and the rest of the band are actually sober. Unfortunately the sound is awful, which makes it impossible to hear the songs' groove. Maybe the sound isn't the only problem and is the band just not focused enough to lay down a good groove. This is noticeable from the crowd and this party never really takes off. Even their great version of 'Stuck In The Middle With You' doesn't work today. Of course Jesse 'Boots Electric' is his charming self, joking around and he's trying to get the love across. But it simply isn't good enough this time.

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Willy Moon
Maybe this rocker from New Zealand can put some swing in it. It certainly looks great. Willy dressed sharply in a suit even in this heat, while his female drummer is wearing only a bra. The female guitar player, looking like a hot sexy rock diva, is playing the rock licks. The casual DJ in the back ground is a bit out of place like his contribution to the music. While Willy and his ladies are rocking, the DJ is adding some samples and loops, but it feels like there's no thought behind them. Also the breaks in between songs take too long while Willy himself is trying hard to get a move on. It does have potential though and I would love to see him back when it's all running more smoothly.

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Two Door Cinema Club
Everyone seems to love this band from Northern Ireland, and what's not to love? They wrote some great catchy guitar songs like 'Undercover Martyn' and 'Something Good Can Work' that will go down very well on the festival stages. And they do, but I keep missing something. Their stage performance is too static. It's lacking believe and they don't seem to put a lot of heart in it. The band still can't convince me. Which is a shame since it could potentially make this place explode.

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Johannes Sigmond or Blaudzun released one of the best records this year. It's full of nice indie songs leaning towards Arcade Fire. He already proved that he can play them in an intimate surrounding, but what about this big Grolsch stage? That's not a problem, just make the songs a bit bigger. And that's exactly what Blaudzun did, without doing harm to the songs themselves. What follows is a great show that stays interesting throughout the whole gig. But his band could be a bit more outgoing and challenging instead of just backing up the beautiful songs. The musicians are a bit pale in contrast with the extravagant Blaudzun.

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I could've gone to see Charles Bradley or Of Monsters And Men instead, since I've seen Triggerfinger so many times in the past years. But they never disappoint and you know what you're going to get: a full on smoking rock show with tons of energy. And this time is no different. This band is simply amazing and solid as a rock. So no surprises then? There's one: Dutch happy hip-hoppers De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig join in to play their song 'Sexy Beesten' with them. The sound is pretty bad like earlier today, but this time it doesn't seem to bother the band or the crowd. They're going on a vacation now according to singer Ruben Block and they deserve it. Next time I'll see them it will be with a new record and probably as headliner.

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The Whitest Boy Alive
We go take a peak at the Whitest Boy Alive. When we get there it's clear that Lowlands has surrendered itself to the catchy summer tunes. We watch the full tent dancing to Erlend Øye and his band mates. We only watch a small part of the show, but it's clear that they are doing exactly what every one hoped for: loosening our hips and bringing good vibes.

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Krema Kawa
Time to end this great and hot day with a bang. You want it hot? You got it with Krema Kawa. The Belgian band aren't anything special but are at the right place at the right time: a sultry summer night at the end of beautiful day at the Lowlands festival when everybody just wants to dance. And this party band knows how to do that. And so we all dance to their funky and swinging grooves.

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Lowlands already was at boiling point today, but we have to get ready for the hottest day tomorrow. So we party a bit more, drink a few more beers and try to get some sleep before that golden ball relentlessly will wake us up again.

More Pictures

Lowlands 2012 Day 1
Lowlands 2012 Day 3

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