Saturday, June 07, 2008

Pinkpop 2008

Yes ladies and not so gentle men!
It's the 7th of June, almost one week since I was walking on the green fields of Pinkpop 2008, enjoying the sun, the rain, the people and of course the music.

This year we went together with quite a large group of people, comprising of family, friends, friends from family and some very old classmates (primary school!).
It all started with the usual routine of finding a space to set up your tent. After an hour of stress, the first beer could be opened. Looking at the program, the following acts caught my attention...

Flogging Molly! The second time I saw this band, but again a very entertaining performance. "Good afternoon B'stards!" were the frontman's first words. Folk-punkrock is probably the best way to describe their music. Sometimes you wish they would play more sophisticated songs, that are more folk orientated, but to hell with that! It's the festival opening damnit! It should open with a bang, and that's exactly what flogging molly did.

After this Irish entertainment it was time to test the local cuisine. Fries with mayonnaise. Delicious!

We needed this healthy food because the next stop would be METALLICA(!!!). I`m one who believes that you can only fully enjoy a concert when you are standing relatively in front of the stage, so me and my two companions waited in line to get into "the pit". While waiting we saw a bit of Incubus, which sounded ok, but I still believe they take themselves (and life) way to serious.

After almost 1.5 hours of waiting it was finally time to squeeze ourselves in front of the stage. After a lot of sweating and a little of pain I was standing at the perfect spot to see..METALLICA(!!!).

METALLICA (!!!) was brilliant. I don`t listen to their music in my daily life, only know their "best of". However, from the second they started playing the first chords it was chickenskin all the way..and that really says something about the quality of the performance. It was better than Rock Werchter in 2004, by miles. Especially when they played songs like "The Memory Remains" and "Enter Sandman" you know that you are looking at one of the best bands still out there. They`re one unit on stage, and it just sounds perfect.

After 2:30 hours of METALLICA (!!!)..I was tired..luckily it was they end of day 1. We walked around a bit, bought some more food, and slowly went back to our tent.

The next day I woke up, and as always (the second time in four years), I had a cold. A pretty heavy one to: I needed two paracetamols to relief my head a bit. The good thing about those pills is that they keep away the pain. The bad thing about them is that you everything becomes a bit hazy. It feels like there is a thick layer of Plexiglas between you and the rest of the world. Could work out good for some concerts, but for others..

For one act those pills really didn’t work out in their favour; Blood Red Shoes sounded like a cheap-ass White Stripes clone, without the catchy hooks. A steady (and this really boring) rhythm on the drums with unimaginative riffs on the guitar.
No, thank you, bye bye!

Luckily Voicst was there to cheer me up. I`m getting sick of hearing that one song of theirs on the radio, but this performance was good! Really good! Well written songs that actually have some depth in them, together with a good performance.

Especially liked the part (during that song that makes me sick due to over-exposure) where they froze on stage for four full minutes. Pete Philly & Co. performed one of their songs during this moment in time. We had to leave a bit early though for the..

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL! I`ve seen them two times already in the past 2 years, but I keep coming back. Why? Well, this is one of the coolest bands out there. No complications, just good ol' dirty Rock 'n Roll! How it's meant to be, you know.
What did they play? Mostly material of their last album.."Death by Sexy". And for the first time I`ve got to say this wasn`t a bad thing. Songs like "Cherry Cola", "Don't Speak.." and especially "I Like to Move in the night" never sounded better! This time Jesse Hughes was also more concentrated on his moustache than the female members of his audience, which certainly helped his performance.

After the Eagles we had to go back to the mainstage for the Foo Fighter. While waiting in the line for the front-section, the Kaiser Chiefs where playing. They kept my mood up during an hour of way too close physical contact with members from the same sex (People were cramped like sardines in these wasn`t pleasant at all). I`ve got to say, it was worth it. The Foo Fighter are a solid band. It's not exactly my music (too much of the Straightforward Stadium Filling American Rock - SSFAR), but songs like "Monkey Wrench", "One by One" and "Learn to Fly" were still very enjoyable. And one of the persons with whom I went to the festival, was a great fan of theirs, and had the concert of her life. That's all that matters.

And then we already arrive at day number three, the last day. We started of completely at the front for Patrick Watson. Again he gave a great and experimental performance. It was a bit further "out there" than Lowlands last year, which probably wasn`t the best decision when looking at a general member of a Pinkpop audience. Early Sunday morning. Still having a headache from last night. "Man under the sea", "The Storm" and "Daydreamer" where the absolute highlights of his set.

After that we just chilled a bit on the grass, with Cavalera Conspiracy on the background. Pretty good music to take a nap with. It was on this day that we also got a nice sunburn. Napped a bit too long I guess.

We had to gain some energy though for the Grand final. This started of with The Hives. They are an entertaining band with some good songs, but not ground breaking. Good for an hour's worth of fun, but after gets a bit boring. Luckily for us the set was only 60 minutes! And because I had to be in front for the Queens of the Stone Age, I had to leave a bit early.

Along the way I bought some more food, and another coke (the cola variant). I was willing to stand in line for more than an hour to see my favourite band perform life again. I was even prepared to listen to Alanis Morrissette for this. And oh man, was it bad. She has gotten old. She might still have a good voice, but playing all the up tempo songs (like Ironic and Ought to Know) half a tick slower is just murder! It kills the energy that these songs used to contains. It kills the performance. Alanis, maybe you had a bad (birth)day, but please, get some more energy to play those songs at the speed that belongs to them.

Time for the Queens of the Stone Age. And as always, they were tight. They played a lot of songs from their last album, which isn`t bad for me, because I know them all. But the rest of the audience as just standing there. I guess they were already waiting for the Rage. "Misfit Love" and "Turning the screw" turned out perfectly in a live setting though. Not to mention "No One Knows" and "Monster in my Parasol".

Somehow however it seemed that Josh was a bit tired. I think something is nagging him; perhaps the format to which he has to keep himself with the Queens. Maybe something new will be created from its ashes soon. Just like what happened with Kyuss..

The festival ended with none other than the Rage Against the Machine. Got to love the tattoos of the bass player. True body art. Might try it out myself one day. The performance of the band was crazy. People where jumping constantly and the temperature was soon rising to a 30+ degrees Celsius. Luckily there were some songs where everybody could rest a bit. It was probably one of the most exhausting performances I ever attended. But with songs like "Bullet in the head", "Guerrilla Radio" and "Killing in the name" it's pretty damn hard to stand still mind you.

I was completely exhausted afterwards. I had chest pains (due to bad shoes; they didn`t really take the impact of me jumping up and down), my voice was gone (beer, screaming and a cold..what more do you want?) and my money.. still in my pocket?
I actually didn`t spend that much this time around. Less than 100 euro's in three days. And this year I actually had money to spend. Maybe it was just the cheap b'stard in me that kept me from giving away notes of ten..

All in was the best Pinkpop ever! The bands were great, the company was great, the weather was great..the food was great! What more do you want? Nothing!