Sunday 14 July 2013

Rock Werchter 2013 Day 3: On Fire

Summertime is really trying to make a point now and the sun is getting really hot. It's impossible to make it past 10.30am in our tent and we arrive at the festival ground early. Plenty of time to down a few espressos and get ready for the first band.

Rock Werchter 2013 Day 3, July 6 2013

The Van Jets
Rock Werchter usually has a Belgian band open the main stage one of the days and I got to know some fine bands because of that like Triggerfinger. I already know The Van Jets and I like their pop/rock songs. The band is playing a tight set where front man Johannes Verschaeve is working hard. With songs like 'Broken Bones' and 'The Future' there's plenty ammunition to win over the crowd. But it's hard to compete with the sun and hangovers. Many people decide to lie down in the grass and watch the stage from there, although I do think they have made a few new fans. Better go see this band in a club next time.

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A Swedish band that is playing old school hard rock and blues is always a good thing to check out. Graveyard look like they stepped into a time machine in the seventies. Singer Joakim Nilsson has an interesting voice. It has a lot of bass when he's singing low registers, but gets more hoars when he's singing higher. They bring their blues and hardrock songs with a lot of heart. The band looks quite unmoved, but they are letting their music speak. Bluesy ballads are followed by heavy grooving rock songs. This is what I like a lot so I'll be watching these guys more closely from now on.

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I used to really like Welsh rock band Stereophonics. But their last few albums just don't cut it for me. Also their last performance I saw a few years back on this exact same stage was quite poor and uninspired. But I'm glad to see the band are doing well again. The songs sound convincing and the band are enjoying themselves. Singer Kelly Jones never was a talker, but he is even chatting to the crowd now and then. Hits like 'Maybe Tomorrow' and 'Mr. Writer' never sounded better and are pleasing the crowd. Of course everybody is joining in on closer 'Dakota' and I think Stereophonics made many friends today.

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Django Django
Django Django has too many friends. The tent is overcrowded and very hot. There's a big party starting wherever they play and today is no exception. Although many people are leaving after they played their hit song 'Default'. Too bad since this band deserves full attention for an entire set. Their intelligent mix of percussive dance music and fresh catchy guitar riffs is wonderful to hear.

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
The times I saw Nick Cave perform here before, I was up front in the pit and was stunned. This time I kind of keep my distance to the stage. It makes it harder for me to get into his performance. It's not easy getting into his dark poetic songs when the sun is burning your skin. But Cave doesn't take things easy and is working hard to please the crowd. He's spending a lot time at the front, where he's even signing autographs during his performance. In the end he definitely knows to grab me again with brilliant songs like 'Into My Arms', 'Mercy Chair', the wonderful 'Red Right Hand' and a vicious 'Stagger Lee'. See you in November Mr. Cave.

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Tame Impala
If your forgot to pack some items to "broaden your mind", don't worry. Who needs drugs when you have Tame Impala? I always have trouble getting into their live shows. I really love their music. Mastermind Kevin Parker is a true genius, but something is missing on stage. It still is quite a mind-blowing performance once again, with long spacy jams, hallucinating vocals and great versions of 'Mind Mischief' and 'Elephant'. So I do leave on a high without even using mushrooms but only Joe Piler by my side.

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Short of options we decide to hang around the main stage. And so we're "lucky" enough to see Volbeat struggle through their set. It seems to get worse every time I see them. Their music only is loud and uncouth, with no subtleties. Their set is far from tight and even the cover songs sound horrible. Singer Michael Poulsen's voice is not too good and is getting quite boring after a while. So does their performance. Too bad they keep popping up at festivals a lot.

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Hopefully Volbeat were watching Rammstein after their own set. I've seen them several times and their music doesn't really appeal to me. But once again I was impressed with their amazing show. A tightly directed flaming roller-coaster ride through their music catalogue. Sometimes it gets real cheesy like during 'Bück Dich' when singer Till Lindermann uses a dildo to spray some fluids all over keyboard player Christian Lorenz. But somehow they can pull it off. Of course the fireworks are impressive and well timed. This is the reason why programmers keep booking them for closing headline spots at festivals. They sure deliver on it.

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After the sun has been burning our skin and Rammstein burning our eyes it's time for some refreshments. Now Mr. Piler where are they keeping those cervelas since I still haven't had any!

Click here for more Pictures

Rock Werchter 2013 Day 1
Rock Werchter 2013 Day 2
Rock Werchter 2013 Day 4

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