Friday 11 July 2014

Rock Werchter 2014 Day 3: Red And Orange

Today the sun is not waking us up, which is good since we can sleep longer this way. It is bad at the same time since it is expected to rain today. We end up eating a great pancake with cheese and some nice rolls and head out to the festival site.

Rock Werchter 2014 Saturday, July 5 2014

It is clear there are two World Cup football matches today. Many Belgian and Dutch fans are wearing their team's colours and there's a vibe of excitement everywhere. This should be a good day.

The Temperance Movement
A temperance movement is a movement that criticizes excessive alcohol consumption. I assume this British band took this name as a joke, since alcohol consumption is definitely not moderated at this festival. Although it's a new band it consists of experienced and skilled musicians. This is showing since their blues rock songs sound great. Singer Phil Campbell has a good voice that reminds of The Black Crowes' Chris Robinson. It doesn't take long before they have almost everyone's attention at the main stage. This is a very promising start of the day.

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The three Haim sisters had a incredible start of their career. Before their first album came out they were already playing a lot of shows. The ladies look like they had a rough or short night, but still fly right into it. The songs sound more rough live which is quite nice. They definitely can handle their instruments and hit songs like 'Falling' and 'The Wire' sound great. But sometimes it gets a bit messy, especially when they are just jamming. The three do make up for that in enthusiasm though.

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Ozark Henry
We enter a pitch dark tent where Ozark Henry is playing. The Belgian musician and his band are hidden behind a partially transparent screen. From our position it seems it is not transparent enough. It does fit his music though which is slow and dark. The songs are quite lovely and they know how to build up tension, keeping the crowd focused. When the screen is lifted partly, the musicians are still scarcely lit as they pick up the tempo. It may not be to everyone's liking or easy to get into, but it looks like most of the people are staying until the end.

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Biffy Clyro
The Scottish band Biffy Clyro moved from kind of hardcore in the beginning to more middle of the road alternative rock on their last few albums and achieved quite some success with that. In the meanwhile their live reputation grew and they are playing the main stage today. Lead singer Simon Neil's voice sounds really good. The band is tight and especially in the older, more heavy songs they are excelling. When they are playing their bigger hits like 'Bubbles' and 'Black Chandelier' many people on the field are singing along.

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The three gentlemen from Belgian giants Triggerfinger are in a tough spot. The Belgian national football team, The Red Devils, are competing with Argentina in the quarter finals of the World Cup while they have to play on the main stage. There was nothing the organization could do about it. Fortunately their fear of playing a half empty field didn't come true, although people wearing the Belgian colours are hard to spot.

It doesn't put down this great band that will never disappoint. They play their heavy grooving songs with all the heart and energy we're used of them. The songs of the new album By Absence Of The Sun already sound familiar as if they have been playing them for many years. As a gesture the band has hired two lovely ladies to give us the score of the match. It's a bad score, since the Belgian team is behind, but over here Triggerfinger are winning by a landslide. At the end of the show the girls are handing them a gold record for their new album, which is well deserved.

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The Black Keys
The Black Keys are the ones to wash away the disappointment of the Belgian fans. Nowadays there are permanently two musicians backing the duo up on stage. It's a solid show where the band plays many of their big hits. Of course everyone is singing along to 'Gold On The Ceiling', 'Lonely Boy' and 'Tighten Up'. Although they are playing their songs well, it never gets really exciting and they are not trying really hard to make us forget about the Belgian loss.

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Fortunately there's always Pixies. We had quite the dilemma at this point as Dutchmen: see Pearl Jam or Pixies or support our national football team in their quarter final match? We decided to watch a few Pearl Jam songs from a good spot, then see Pixies play and then come back again later for Pearl Jam. But Eddie Vedder and Co. take too long to start their show so we head for Pixies. We can hardly get in the tent where the band is totally blowing everyone away with a tight and hard rocking show. Black Francis doesn't waste a lot of time in between songs but instead is knocking out their songs one by one. The crowd is going absolutely mental. No one's thinking about any football match over here. The band finally finishes everyone off with 'Where Is My Mind?'.

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Pearl Jam
We head back to Pearl Jam who started half an hour later than scheduled. But there's still more than half of their show left, since they were supposed to play for three hours. It looks like it's a bit mellow and Eddie Vedder is trying to read a speech in Flemmish. It's all part of a Pearl Jam show where you know things will pick up in the end as the band is growing. It's no different today when they play Pink Floyd cover 'Mother' and 'Jeremy' back to back, and 'Black', 'Daughter' and 'Porch' later on. You just got to love this band. By the time they start 'Alive' we hear the Dutch team have just won their game on penalty kicks. Naturally we're going crazy and have now forgotten about the Belgian loss and the rain earlier today. 'Rocking In The Free World' never sounded sweeter and when Pearl Jam close the night with 'Yellow Ledbetter' we just want to party.

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This day totally ended on a high and calls for celebrations. But there's another day coming so we better not go all the way.

More Pictures

Rock Werchter 2014 Day 1
Rock Werchter 2014 Day 2
Rock Werchter 2014 Day 4

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