Saturday 13 July 2013

Rock Werchter 2013 Day 2: Blurry Night

Traditionally I get quite wasted the first day of a festival and pretty bad at the beginning of the next day. But today I actually don't feel that bad. The weather is only getting more beautiful and Joe Piler never looked better. The line-up today doesn't look that good, but I don't care. Since today I'm finally going to see Blur and that alone makes it a great day.

Rock Werchter 2013 Day 2, July 5 2013

Charles Bradley
What better way to start a day with a good hug? Charles Bradley not only gives out hugs during his show. His music feels like a one big hug. He may look like your grandpa, but what a cool grandpa. His voice is strong, his music a crossover between James Brown and Otis Redding. With his James Brown-impersonator past, he borrowed some moves from the "Godfather of Soul". They may not look that flexible all the time, but I'd like to see any of us doing them at 65. Sometimes Bradley picks up the mic stand and carries it around like a heavy burden on his shoulder. And telling from the documentary 'Charles Bradley: Soul Of America' he has quite a burden to carry. Every word he sings is full of emotion and sounds honest. In the end he fills the tent with his love and puts a smile on every person's face.

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Gary Clark Jr.
It's not a bad thing when you're called the new Jimi Hendrix. At the same time it's quite a statement to live up to. Gary Clark Jr. sure looks a bit like the legendary guitar player. His drummer could even be a new Mitch Mitchell with his curly hair. Clark certainly is trying to continue the master's legacy. His blues and rock songs are topped off with long guitar solos and jams. His guitar playing skills are unmistakable, but it misses the rough edges and urgency of Hendrix. Despite that it sounds promising and maybe he will be prove to be Jimi's reincarnation after all. I'll sure keep an eye out for him.

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Two Door Cinema Club
We catch the end of The Bots' show on the main stage. Two young boys on this huge stage. The end is a bit chaotic and we don't get to watch many songs since they're chatting a lot. I guess they need to grow more. There's still plenty of time for that. Two Door Cinema Club know how to deal with these kind of stages and crowds. By now many people have found their way to the festival ground and have met Joe Piler. And so the band find a willing crowd for jumping and dancing to their catchy songs. It actually sounds nice, but I notice many songs use the same off-beat pattern and follow a similar recipe. Although I enjoyed it, they still haven't fully convinced me. Some of their songs like 'What You Know' and 'Undercover Martyn' are great crowd pleasers of course.

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The Hives
I have witnessed a few The Hives shows before and never get bored of them. This time we decide to take a look up close and we like what we see. Of course they play their usual show. Singer Pele Almqvist is acting like the biggest rock star and his brother guitar player Niklas is adding funny faces to his over the top performance. But it's all part of a The Hives show. It may not be new anymore, but songs like 'Hate To Say I Told You So' and 'Tick Tick Boom' make everyone move. In the end we had a great time once again.

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Kings of Leon
Last year the Followill boys had quite a stormy end of their tour. It looked like the band had a complete breakdown and they needed a break. It has done them well. Their performance is solid, tight and powerful. But where is the fun guys? They play everything on routine and don't seem to enjoy themselves a bit. Although singer Caleb is trying to connect to the crowd more and more, there's still no passion or love. And isn't that what a band should do when playing live? It's still quite impressive though what 'Sex On Fire' can do to a willing crowd.

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Finally it's time for the moment I have been waiting for. Blur are kicking off with 'Girls & Boys' which is getting everyone to jump right away. Damon Albarn doesn't look really pleased in the beginning but they seem to be enjoying themselves after a while. With so many great songs to choose from they come up with a nice greatest hits show. Of course 'Beetlebum', 'There's No Other Way', 'Country House' all find their way into the set. Fortunately they also play my personal favourites 'Out Of Time' and 'Coffee & TV'. It's a nicely balanced set, with some quiet moments as well. The beautiful 'Under The Westway' brings out the goose bumps. Halfway the four lads seem to be totally into it and are exchanging smiles. I'm so pleased the many British fans around me are singing their number one Blur song 'The Universal' out loud. When 'Song 2' closes the show the whole field explodes into one big "woohoo!". Just magical!

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At this point I'm just intensely happy. So me and my friends grab Joe Piler by the hand and we dance away into the night.

Click here fore more pictures

Rock Werchter 2013 Day 1
Rock Werchter 2013 Day 3
Rock Werchter 2013 Day 4

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