Tuesday 24 September 2013

Arctic Monkeys Learn From Dr. Dre

On every record so far Arctic Monkeys changed their musical direction. From the fresh and boyish indie rock on Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, where singer Alex Turner was telling about teenage life in Sheffield, to the heavy rock in Humbug. The band keeps on evolving and doesn't let itself get distracted by short lived trends or compromises. Instead they are slowly building up to a point where I expect them to drop a master piece. Maybe their fifth album is their magnus opus?

Arctic Monkeys - AM (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)

Only eight years ago the boys broke through from out of nowhere. In those years they have been offering us an insight in the lives of maturing teenagers who became rock stars. Turner's lyrics are short stories and poems that illustrate this process. However their music is also maturing. They've moved from catchy guitar songs to heavy rocks songs with the help of Josh Homme. On Humbug they were unfairly criticized for this. On Suck It And See they showed more variation, a richer production and an evolved sound. On AM they are adding another dimension: groove.

Not that they were ever lacking any groove before, on the contrary. But it is where the new songs differ from the earlier songs. Live on stage you can see the transition as well. Turner has slowly raised his head, from staring at his shoes to carefully peeking through his hair, to the full on confident and modern James Dean rock star he is today. The band have grown some balls and are now at the point where they are feeling totally comfortable. According to themselves the new record is a mix between Dr. Dre and Black Sabbath.

And that description is pretty accurate. I admit I was raising my eyebrows as well when I heard where they got their inspiration from. The fear of Turner starting an awkward rap fortunately turns out to be ill-founded. Instead he's singing with more soul than ever. In the end they learned from Dr. Dre's main asset: beats. It's immediately clear from songs 'One For The Road' and current single 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High' what that means.

The songs have irresistible grooves and hooks that are more common in hip hop. They work very well in those mid-tempo tracks and the more you listen to them the more you get addicted to that groovy feel. It shows that not only Turner is the master-mind in the band. Drummer Matt Helders and bassist Nick O'Malley's did a great job translating the computer drum beats into organic laid back grooves. Guitarist Jamie Cook is adding the Black Sabbath part with heavy hard rock riffs. It turns the songs into a spicy mixture that fits the band well.

Let's not forget a few beautiful ballads that always come with every Arctic Monkeys album. 'No. 1 Party Anthem' is among the best ones they wrote so far. Or what about the gorgeous backing vocals in 'Arabella'? Or the soulful 'Snap Out Of It'? Turner's lyrics are of absolute beauty again; creative, poetic with plenty of tongue in cheek. But also maturing like everything else:
She's a silver lining lone ranger
riding through an open space
In my mind when she's not right there beside me
And so the four piece once again pleasantly surprise us with a new direction and a few twists. I'm starting to think that in the end they may not write that single masterpiece. It may just well be that in a few years we look back and have to conclude that it's not just one of their albums, but it's all of them. Their whole catalogue is turning into a classic series in itself and they are growing into the most important rock band of the past decade. And maybe even more.

Listen to AM on Spotify.

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Friday 20 September 2013

Direct Hit By Automatic Sam's Sonic Whip

In 2011 Dutch band Automatic Sam released their debut record Texino, which is full of rough blues and rock songs. Unfairly that record didn't get enough attention. The band played a lot in small venues and as support act for De Staat and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club among others. With their steaming shows they established a strong live reputation. Nevertheless they didn't manage to reach a bigger audience. After a few line-up changes the band is now back with their second album, Sonic Whip.

Automatic Sam - Sonic Whip (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

On that album the guys show to have grown a lot. The music has become more wide and varied. There's still enough room for the familiar raw punk and rock sound, rooted deeply in the blues. But they are exploring the boundaries and cross them many times, without completely losing it. Instead of continuously going full force, they manage to hold back and that way retain tension. For example 'See You' starts with a deafening intro after which it continues into a more subdued rock song, alternating with carefully placed eruptions.

It's what makes the record live up to its title. The foursome is handling the whip skilfully. Now and then they are teasing with gentle strokes, like the varied 'Ghost Town', which only completely explodes at the end. Other songs are ruthlessly scourging the listener like the great first single 'Set It Right'. The song is rumbling all over you with well aimed punches in the face. This way you never know what's coming. The band knows exactly when to sound overwhelming with hard riffs, pounding grooves and rolling fills. That last one is understandable when you know De Staat's drum monster, Tim van Delft, has taken over the drum throne. Pieter Holkenborg increases the tension even more with his vocals. Sometimes he's screaming his lungs out and then continues, whispering mysteriously.

Automatic Sam can be really proud of the gem they created. It is easily one of the best records of the year. The LP has been released on Quadrofoon Records, where that other one of a kind rock band Shaking Godspeed is releasing their music. Like that group, where Holkenborg once played the drums for a few years, they are the pick of the bunch of the Dutch rock scene at the moment. Automatic Sam is playing all over the country at the moment so go see them when you get the chance.

This review has been published on Festivalinfo in Dutch over here.

Listen to Sonic Whip on Spotify.

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Monday 16 September 2013

Soundgarden Return As Kings

Singer Chris Cornell mentions Soundgarden didn't play here for a long time. Actually they played here last year at the Pinkpop festival. But he was right that their last headliner show was a while back, in 1996 to be exactly. You can't blame him for not remembering, at least I hope he doesn't, since that show was already showing the band was about to implode. Now they are back with a new album and already quite a few miles on the road.

Soundgarden at Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam, September 11 2013

Hopefully all those live shows have paid off. Not that they played a bad show at Pinkpop, not at all. But it was showing they had been a way for quite a while. The new song 'Been Away Too Long', tonight it is halfway the set, is quite appropriate. After Graveyard do a very good job warming up the crowd, right from the start it is clear the live shows have done them good. A thundering start with 'Searching With My Good Eye Closed', 'Jesus Christ Pose' and 'Spoonman', reveals the band is in great shape. Of course they have grown older. Guitarist Kim Thayil was never the most outgoing man on stage, he now seems to move even slower and his beard has turned grey. The heavy riffs and licks he's firing off from his guitar are as solid and powerful as ever.

Cornell may not be able to sing all those incredible high notes any more, but that man is in great shape and still one of the best rock singers around. He is looking more comfortable than I have seen him in a long time. Occasionally he puts his guitar down and moves around the stage from side to side. Forgotten and forgiven is the time I saw him play that horrible Scream record.

If I remember correctly drummer Matt Cameron was the one who persuaded the rest of the band to breath new live into Soundgarden. Pretty remarkable for someone who is also full-time in Pearl Jam. But seeing him play here, I can imagine why he wants this so badly. His grooves are so important to their music. The unusual time signatures, the slow and heavy grooves, the rolling fills. The songs are more complicated than in Pearl Jam and offer more of a challenge to a guy like Matt Cameron. As a rock drummer, Soundgarden must be heaven. Bass player Ben Shepherd hasn't changed much. He is walking around like a caged lion and is asking the most of his bass. At the end of the show the poor guitar draws the short straw when Shepherd smashes it to the ground and pours water on it.

In the set the focus is mainly on their most successful albums Badmotorfinger and Superunknown. Scattered in between are songs of the latest album King Animal. Familiar tracks like a smashing 'Outshined', a heavy grooving 'Fell On Black Days' and a tight 'My Wave' get the loudest response though. A big screen is showing visuals in the same style as the King Animal art work, which gives a nice and sometimes psychedelic effect.

After one and a half hour the band leaves the stage and is returning for a four song encore. They close up with a dizzying version of 'Rusty Cage' and a brutal 'Slaves & Bulldozers', that ends by the band members walking off stage one by one, leaving us with a deafening and screaming minute long wall of feedback. Even if this was a reunion tour to fatten their wallets, it looks like the band has found their old sparkle again in the process.

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01. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
02. Jesus Christ Pose
03. Spoonman
04. By Crooked Steps
05. Outshined
06. Loud Love
07. Non-State Actor
08. Superunknown
09. New Damage
10. Been Away Too Long
11. My Wave
12. Burden in My Hand
13. A Thousand Days Before
14. Fell on Black Days
15. Blow Up the Outside World
16. Never the Machine Forever
17. Mailman
18. Flower
19. Like Suicide
20. Rusty Cage
21. Slaves & Bulldozers

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Friday 13 September 2013

ITGWO 2013 Day 3: Never Go Home

When I open my eyes in the morning the rain is pouring down. Even worse it turns out we put our tent in a small pit that is collecting water. The middle part of the tent is already slowly filling up. Not even this small inconvenience can break my mood.

Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 3, September 8 2013

Today the program starts early though and unfortunately we don't make it on time for Sean Rowe and the Onder Invloed sessions. So instead we set off for the stage in the dunes for the last time this year. And by this time the sky has cleared up and the sun is back.

Gruppo Sportivo
Over here a memory of the past is waiting. The Dutch band Gruppo Sportivo were successful end of the seventies with their new wave music. Happy sounding songs with dark lyrics. Today they will be playing their first and most successful album 10 mistakes to celebrate its re-release on vinyl. Although still active, the band were never able to top the success of that album. Singer Hans Vandenburg's dry humour and the band's merry appearance make it an enjoyable performance. The songs may sound a bit outdated, they still go down well with the mostly ageing crowd. In the end it's a lot of fun to witness this part of Dutch music history.

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Johannes Sigmond, or Blaudzun, had huge success with his album Heavy Flowers. He has been on the road for 18 months and today is the last show. I have seen him a couple of times during this period and the band and their music haven't lost anything of its power. The songs still have the same impact as in the beginning and Blaudzun himself is still singing as intense. 'Flame On My Head' and 'Elephants' have grown into crowd pleasers where everyone is joining in. He's also playing a few new songs that he already added to the setlist a while ago. The new tracks sound darker than the older songs. It sounds very promising and while Blaudzun is enjoying a well deserved break, we can start looking forward to a new album.

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Another artist rocketed into the spotlights by Dan Auerbach is Omara Bombino Moctar from Niger. His latest album Nomad that Auerbach produced is very successful and now he's playing all over the world. Today he's the closing act on the Sports Field where most people have gathered to see the musicians dressed in traditional nomadic clothes worn by the Tuareg people. It's a fitting performance in the sun where everyone is dancing to the catchy African rhythms. I do get the same feeling as when I listened to the record: it could use more variation. The blend of blues and African music is quite original and well performed, but most songs do sound alike. For today it doesn't matter though, it is a good soundtrack for this afternoon. We just have a few more beers, another basket of those amazing nachos and continue dancing until we have to leave to catch our ferry back to reality.

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At the harbour a last surprise awaits us. Coely, a young Belgian singer and rap artist, is playing a few songs with her band and some guitar players. Do we really have to leave this place? One last look at the island as the ferry nears the mainland. I'm already keeping my fingers crossed and hope we can get tickets again for next year.

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Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 1
Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 2

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Tuesday 10 September 2013

ITGWO 2013 Day 2: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Today it's less hot and sunny. I'm in doubt whether to go for a swim, but decide not to, since it feels too chilly. We still have time for some breakfast in the small village at the harbour before we make our way into the woods for the first band.

Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 2, September 7 2013

Elephant Stone
Front man Rishi Dhir of Canadian band Elephant Stone has Indian roots. You can hear this in their psychedelic music. He's also playing the sitar which he brought along with him. For a while he sticks to playing the bass though. Their music couldn't sound better between the trees. The songs are full of reverb and fuzz and take you away from this planet. It reminds of The Beatles' psychedelic period at the end of their career. Halfway Dhir is finally sitting down on the small riser to play the remarkable Indian instrument, his legs crossed. It's the perfect instrument for this psychedelic music and a very nice twist.

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We go to the stage in the dunes, for a series of bands playing here in a row. You don't expect a punk band on this relaxed and idyllic festival, where small kids are experiencing their first live shows. But traumahelikopter don't care and will play any stage. And once again do a great job with their short and energetic punk songs. Kids are watching in awe, while their dads pogo in the mosh pit. One dad is even teaching his son how to join in. Singer Mark Lada is joking this is oldest crowd they ever played. He's trying out the length of his mic cable, jumps off stage and into the dunes. He is going to the top of the slope where small paper windmills are spinning in the wind. Two are pulled from the sand for the way back. Later guitar player Daan van Dalen jumps off stage as well, hands his guitar to a flabbergasted young lad and makes for his usual round of crowd surfing. The threesome prove that even punk music has its place at ITGWO.

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Parquet Courts
And why not continue that way with more punk music? Parquet Courts made a great record with spiky vigorous punk and garage rock songs. However in the beginning the boys seem a bit detached from the crowd, despite a small group at the front going mental. It gets better during the performance. Guitarist Austin Brown is singing some songs, but his vocals aren't really strong. The angry looking Andrew Savage (what's in a name) is a more convincing singer. His vocals are more aggressive and give the songs the right amount of bite. It's not a perfect performance, but it does show the band is capable of writing good rock songs.

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Time to take it slow now. Dawes are playing rootsy country and blues songs. It actually is quite pleasant, but after a few songs it all sounds alike. The band isn't exactly charismatic either and after a while I'm getting quite bored with it. With this kind of music it could have been so much better on this stage in the dunes.

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Daniel Norgren
Swedish blues musician Daniel Norgren is doing a lot better later on with intense blues music. While picking his guitar, he's working a few pedals for the bass and snare drum. The only other band member, Anders Grahn, is adding contrabass to it. They both look like to be coming from some farmer's state in the US, with their lumberjack shirt and baseball caps. Norgren is mostly singing with his eyes closed, completely feeling his music. They both manage to keep most of the rain out and in the end get rewarded by a big round of applause and a beautiful rainbow.

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The Black Angels
When the dark sets in, the dune stage transforms in an even more atmospheric place. It turns out to be the perfect setting for The Black Angels. Their dark psychedelic songs are not missing impact. Red and purple lights are keeping the band in the shade. Vocals full of reverb are echoing across the dunes, while the band dives into lengthy jams. We're happily drifting along and slowly get lost in the gloomy sounds.

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Miles Kane
You wouldn't expect Miles Kane to be playing this festival. Although the program so far proved that louder rock bands can work well too. But the crowd on the sports field is a hard one. It is willing to party, however aren't typical rock fans. Kane is working hard like always. There just isn't a connection with the people tonight. Instead of trying to adjust to the more relaxed and intimate vibes, he seems to turn it up even more. Normally I like his music and performance a lot and don't mind his typical British arrogance. But tonight it just doesn't work. Hopefully he will be more convincing next month for his club show in Amsterdam

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Tonight we decide to take a look at the beach, where there are some camp fires lit. There's even a DJ playing on an improvised DJ desk. The music is faltering a lot due to some power restrictions I assume. The growing number of people doen't seem to mind. We have beer at one of the camp fires and then decide to call it a day. I'm pretty sure the rainbow we saw earlier struck gold right on the island today.

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Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 1
Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 3

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ITGWO 2013 Day 1: Back In Paradise

After two years it feels like coming home when we get off the ferry. We arrive at the wonderful island Vlieland for another edition of that one of a kind festival Into The Great Wide Open. As soon as you get on the boat the fun is starting. Only happy faces and good vibes. The sunny and warm weather don't hurt either.

Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 0, September 5 2013

We get to the island a day before the actual festival is starting. There's already a short program with some bands playing the night before. I didn't realize, it even started earlier tonight than last year. The boat we booked simply doesn't arrive on time so we have to miss DAAU. I hope to see them again soon.

Bed Rugs
Instead we kick off with Belgian band Bed Rugs who treat us to some great psychedelic rock music and long jams. Their inspiring performance is lively with all members looking active and focused. The enthusiastic percussionist sure is having a good time. The band even knows to impress a few young kids who are sitting down on the floor, marvelled by what's happening on stage.

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We spend the rest of the time outside, sucking up the atmosphere of the festival while downing a few cold beers.

Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 1, September 6 2013

When we wake up it's sizzling hot. It's impossible to stay in our tent any longer. But this island has a solution for that: the sea, one of the many things that makes this festival special. A swim in the cold sea definitely cools me down and I feel revived. We ride around on our bike a bit, have some coffee and then make our way to the Sports Field stage for the first performance of the day.

The Kik
The Kik's front man Dave von Raven is no stranger to this festival. He played here a few times before and also was the MC on a few editions. Now he's here to open up on the main stage. Their light beat music with happy lyrics is a nice way to start the day. Von Raven of course is chatting with the crowd a lot in his usual fasion. He's overdoing it in the first half though. It prevents their performance from gaining tempo. In the second half his chat sessions are shorter which helps. The band is trying to be too funny sometimes, especially when they play two party songs that don't fit in their repertoire. They need to go easy on the jokes otherwise there's a chance of turning into a gimmick.

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Sheep, Dog & Wolf
Totally different is Daniel McBride from New Zealand. He's a young multi-instrumentalist that is using loop stations to build layered songs. His album Egospect is full of freaky and jazzy tracks. Live he's performing with a drummer. He's playing guitar and saxophone by himself, while building his loops. It is hard to get into and that turns out to be too much for a part of the crowd. There's quite a lot of chatting in the back of the beautiful "Naar Buiten" stage in the woods. Now and then it comes together though and you hear and feel the great music that you'll find on his record. Hopefully he can find a way to show that more convincingly on stage.

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Jacco Gardner
The same thing is happening for Jacco Gardner today. His dreamy psychedelic sixties inspired music seems perfect for this festival. But the sunny weather this afternoon is slowing down his songs. It sounds too lazy and proves too much for the crowd who can't keep their focus. Maybe in the dark in the woods this would have been a more inspiring performance. Now it gets lost on the sports field, no matter how cool his drummer is. The dreamy songs just won't stick today in the sunshine.

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Bent van Looy
Das Pop front man Bent van Looy is at the right place on the stage in the woods. There are two electric piano's at his disposal, that he's using to perform the songs that he wrote when he lived in Paris. His charming personality and short tales to explain his lyrics are a successful combination. The convincing performance of the slightly melancholic songs on his fine solo album are keeping the crowd focused. He may not be the world's most gifted singer, but he makes up for that in charisma. The lush surroundings are doing the rest.

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Earth Mk. II
Jacco Gardner produced the album of new band Earth Mk. II. It is a nice album with psychedelic songs influenced by the same era that Gardner is drawing inspiration from. Their songs have more modern and pop influences though and cannot really compete with Gardner's work. Live on stage their performance isn't exactly inspired. The band members look quite static and shy. Master mind of the band is Hugo van de Poes, buddy of Gardner with whom he played in The Skywalkers. Van de Poes is also singing at the same time, which doesn't help for a more lively performance. The vocals aren't really spot on either. His voice is a bit monotonous and their performance is becoming quite weary in the end. It's clear this band needs to go and play many more shows to grow.

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Valerie June
It seems everything The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach touches these days turns into gold. He produced Valerie June's album Pushin' Against A Stone and gave it his unmistakable sound. The blues and country songs themselves however aren't that great and the performance itself a bit boring. June's voice, which is quite shrieky, is even getting on my nerves after a while.

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Claw Boys Claw
We get close to the stage for these old rockers. Enforced with drummer Jeroen Kleijn they look and sound better than ever as they already proved earlier this year and on their latest record Hammer. Like a diesel engine they are slowly warming up. The first couple of songs are lazy songs with heavy riffs. Combined with the baritone voice of Peter Te Bos it is their signature sound of "swamp" rock.

Halfway the engine is running smoothly and full force. Songs of the new album sound just as good as the old ones. There's even a pit forming in front of the stage. Te Bos, although in his sixties, still is a rebellious boy. He jumps into the crowd like he always does and takes off the top part of the wooden festival logo at the side of the stage. It is the word "great" which he puts down at the front of the stage. When he climbs on top of it with a big smile, the only thing missing is the exclamation mark: great!

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Chic ft. Nile Rodgers
Later than planned living legend Nile Rodgers takes the stage during the sound check. He's taking pictures of the crowd and the festival site. The big smile on his face is looking promising. There's plenty for him to laugh nowadays, since he's totally hot again after his collaboration with Daft Punk. When the band takes off he explains that they are not a cover band. All the songs we're about to hear are simply his. It may sound arrogant, but it is not a superfluous pompous statement. Many people may not be aware of it.

Despite the soundcheck the band faces many technical problems in the beginning. They stop for a while to get it fixed. After that the field turns into a full on disco party. All his big hits by David Bowie, Madonna, Sister Sledge, INXS and of course Chic make it into the set. The band is throwing a fully orchestrated disco show, played by great and professional musicians. It's a very tight band with the wonderful grooving bassist Jerry Barnes. Both female singers have a strong voice and take solos by turn. When the band finishes DJ St. Paul drops the one song he agreed never to play live without the original performers: Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'. Needless to say this keeps the party going for a little longer.

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While sipping a last beer on the camping site at our tent, we see lightning in the distance while the clear sky is showing thousands of stars. Fortunately the thunderstorms are far away and the rain never reaches the island.

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Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 2
Into The Great Wide Open 2013 Day 3

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Thursday 5 September 2013

Hot Night With Deftones

Last year Californian metal band Deftones released one of the best records of 2012. Koi No Yokan is probably one of their most consistent albums. I had to wait for a long time to hear the new songs live. Finally the band were about to visit this small country. They didn't play in Amsterdam so I went to the great, and today hot, 013 venue in Tilburg instead.

Deftones at 013 Tilburg, September 3 2013

Deftones are a one of a kind band. Their sound is hard to compare to anything else. It's almost like they invented their own genre. Loud outbursts are followed with slow heavy grooves. Especially on stage this group knows how to excel. Their live reputation is famous and the songs lend themselves very well for a thrilling rock show.

Chino Moreno's vocals are part of their unique sound. His way of singing is one of a kind but can sometimes start to get a bit on your nerves. As long as they keep varying this is hardly a nuisance. His voice is quite good tonight although it isn't always exactly in key. In the beginning the mix of the sound isn't great and his vocals aren't loud enough. Fortunately after a few songs it has been fixed. 

It takes a bit of time for the band to fully warm up. When they finally do, it turns into one of those shows where band and crowd totally find each other. Especially Moreno and bass player Sergio Vega move around stage a lot. Moreno is all over the place, bouncing around, jumping on monitor speakers and looking for contact with the front rows. The big smile that is frequently showing on his face reveals that he's enjoying himself a lot tonight. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter is less active and more introvert, but is totally into his heavy riffs. The whole band is playing with a lot of heart.

It is good to hear how different the band can sound. Still you will always recognize their music right away. Quiet and more melodic songs are followed by aggressive outbursts lighting the fuse of the pit in front of the stage. Four songs of the new record make it into the set, which is leaning heavily on their epic masterpiece White Pony, especially halfway. It's funny that songs of the same albums are mostly together in their set, covering era after era that way. Tonight is a nice retrospective of their discography.

Closing with some old favourites from first album Adrenaline in the encore they give the crowd exactly what they asked for in the end: a tight, solid and honest rock show the way only Deftones can play.

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01. Rocket Skates
02. Diamond Eyes
03. Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
04. My Own Summer (Shove It)
05. Lhabia
06. Rosemary
07. Feiticeira
08. Digital Bath
09. Knife Prty
10. Elite
11. Tempest
12. Swerve City
13. Poltergeist
14. Passenger
15. Change (In the House of Flies)
16. Regulate(Warren G cover)
17. Bloody Cape
18. Minerva
19. Engine No. 9 / Wicked
20. 7 Words
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Monday 2 September 2013

Sniffing The Grass: An ITGWO 2013 Warmup

I'm happy and sad at the same time when it's time for the lovely festival Into The Great Wide Open. Happy because it's such a wonderful festival and we're looking forward to it so much. Sad because it's the last one of the year and marks the end of the summer. So let's just think about today and forget about tomorrow for a moment and take a look at what we can see this year.

The festival doesn't officially start until Friday but we go to the small island of Vlieland the day before. Since many people do, there's already a small program on Thursday tonight. Belgium band DAAU left a big impression on me years ago and I have never seen them since. This year is starting off in a good way.

The sea will wake us up so we can start off this busy day smiling with ITGWO regular and MC Dave von Raven and his happy beat band The Kik. Next we have a choice between Sheep, Dog & Wolf and Matthew E. White. Any suggestions? Jacco Gardner's dreamy pshychedelic music and a magical island should be a perfect combination. I love Belgium band Das Pop whose singer Bent van Looy made a beautiful solo record that I look forward to see live. Rain or sunshine today? Hopefully Spanish party band Che Sudaka will bring out the sun nevertheless.

More psychedelica music with Earth Mk. II whose record got produced by Jacco Gardner. Gospel and soul singer Valerie June sounds worth checking out. Adam & The Relevants could be a good way to warm up for the always rocking Claw Boys Claw. And then we'll dance the night away with disco mastermind Nile Rodgers and Chic. Do you think Daft Punk will show up as well? Unfortunately this means I will have to skip Nadine Shah and Efterklang. After our hips are warmed up we will continue dancing in De Bolder for sure.

By now we should be slowly drifting into the laid back island mode. We're going to take it a bit more slow today. Some breakfast and coffee to start up the day would be nice.

I heard a lot about Elephant Stone and their psychedelic music. Sounds like a good beginning. Then I'll let traumahelikopter kick me in the balls if the espressos didn't do their job. Garage rockers Parquet Courts made one hell of a record and I finally get to see them live. I don't really know Dawes and Daniel Norgren, but they seem interesting enough to go check out. Or maybe go see The Revival Hour and their sixties inspired soul and r&b? The art and music project Zazazo could be quite interesting as well. I didn't get a chance to see The Black Angels at Rock Werchter so this time I won't miss them. Miles Kane will definitely light up the night and get our spirits high for some more dancing. Or when it's not raining we can see if there's anything happening at a camp fire.

Fortunately today is the slowest day program wise which also ends early. It means we can surrender ourselves completely to the island today, enjoy all the great food even more and suck up the vibes. Bluesman and nature lover Sean Rowe is on early though, but he will fit right in here. The Onder Invloed project is always good for some special moments and beautiful music. Gruppo Sportivo were quite big in The Netherlands end of the seventies when they released 10 Mistakes. Now 35 years later they will play it one more time. Blaudzun and this festival are a match made in heaven and may well turn out to be one of the highlights. Then maybe we can have a small old style blues/r&b party with King Dalton. I finally get to see Bombino ad his desert blues music, who I had to skip at Lowlands a few weeks ago.
And then it's already time to say goodbye. Our boat leaves at 19.00 so we can't even stay until the end. A sudden but planned ending to hopefully another great edition. See the full schedule over here.

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