Graspop day 1

Graspop day 1

Arrived at the GMM reception to get our press wrist bands and the guy there told us to just cross a football field and right behind it there’s the entrance. We all had our bags and backpacks and whatnots with us, was damn hot so we thought yey, that’s a short way. Wrong! We actually waqlked for like 2 hours (after a 30 mins drive from Eindhoven) just because nobody knew if press had a different campus and if yes where the entrance is. Eventually we ended up at the normal campus, laid the tent, cursed everything and went off to the festival area as concerts were about to start.
First of all not to forget to mention that it is quite nice going with a press pass. You get access to this press area where you have separate toilets, separate kitchen and drinks selling point. Bonus you walk around the artists and can manage to sneak in their area like I did and eat along side them. Or watch the concerts next to them.

A bit about the festival. Appartently it had 130000 visitors overall, 40k, 50k and 40k per each of the days. You had to purchase some food and alcohol tokens in order to buy food or alcohool. Good and bad in the same time. And was making things incredible expensive. I mean, one token was 2 eur and a half or so. And I could buy one small 0.25 l bottle of juice with it. Or a small glass of beer.

But back to music since that’s the main focus of the article. First band I got to see was Dragonforce on the main stage. Same as in Oslo, energic band on the stage with a lot of crazy guitar solos and powerful singing, a bit too annoying though and to psychadelic. They ended their concert with the song that made them famous with Guitar Hero. I moved along to see one of my favs from the festival, Jon Oliva and his Pain. Showwise, nothing big. Except him. But music wise it was extraordinary. The crowd was excited to have him live on stage and were screaming from the depths of their lungs in between songs. He had the awesome voice I expected to hear and the show was simple since it wasn’t based on visual effects but just on good music.

I managed to checkout a song from Taake that has blown my ears away but I was too wasted to checkout more and especially since there were much more great bands to come that day. One of them was Samael whose performance was quite genuine for me considering the drummer was also playing the keyboards. Also the bass player displayed some jumping up skills, all on a n industrial black metal rhythm.

Under One Flag
Baphomet’s Throne
The Ones Who Came Before
Infra Galaxia
Solar Soul
Reign Of Light
Black Hole
Into The Pentagram
My Saviour

So next up in the first tent was WASP. I was in heaven considering I get the chance to see both Jon Oliva and WASP in the same day. Their outfit was as crazy as expected especially when it came to shoes. Their performance was obdviously one of an experienced band to which you add the amazing Blackie’s vocals. I mean, they know when to talk to the crowd, when to jump around when to be crazy and when to be serious. The crowd went mad when they announced the Warchild tune. Another thing that made the WASP concert even more enjoyable, was a tall guy who saw me filming and who asked if I can actually see anything and he suggested me a better spot.

After I got my ears delighted by such bands, I moved again back to the main stage to have a look at the Soulfly performance. I always missed the chance to see Cavalera either with Sepultura or Soulfly so I was looking forward for this one as well, despite the quality of their new album. They played songs from it, but it was obvious that the crowd was mainly looking forward for the old hits. And I think they had some of the biggest moshpits at the festival, considering that even Cavalera said Holy shit at some point, after he encouraged the people to run in circles in front of the stage. I think they brought a person from the crowd on stage – doublecheck. Their concert also included one of the best drum solos I heard at the festival.

Blood Fire War Hate
Back To The Primitive
Seek ‘N’ Strike
Tribe / Umbabarauma
Refuse/Resist (Sepultura cover)
Last of the Mohican
Desperate cry
Fall of the Sycophants
Tribe Jam
Roots Bloody Roots (Sepultura cover)
Eye For An Eye

Moving back to the tent to see Blind Guardian. Their shows are not that different from eachother nor extremly impressive but still, it’s a pleasure to see them live in my opinion even if they don’t bother to play anything new (if new means an album lanched many many years ago). They have very old hits that the crowd loves and they show it by powerful screams and by singing along. And the classical Bard Song cannot miss from their concert and it still gives me goosebumps when I head it sung by the crowd. They also played Lord of the Rings song that I haven’t yet heard live.

Back on the main stage came another legend. Dio with his Heaven&Hell band. I was totally out of energy and just sat at the press area next to Jon Oliva to watch his performance. I have no idea if there was any show back on the stage since we could only see the speakers from that position. But he’s also the kind of singer who doesn’t need show. He doesn’t need anything actually. His voice makes it all. And makes it incredibly great.

1. THE MOB RULES (The Mob Rules)
2. CHILDREN OF THE SEA (Heaven And Hell)
3. I (Dehumanizer)
4. BIBLE BLACK (The Devil You Know)
5. TIME MACHINE (Dehumanizer)
6. FEAR (The Devil You Know)
8. DIE YOUNG (Heaven And Hell)
9. HEAVEN AND HELL (Heaven And Hell)
10. NEON KNIGHTS (Heaven And Hell)

Before I moved along to the next concert, I bought myself the first beer at the festival. And I started with an strawberry flavored one. There was a guy sitting at a table inside the press area and he asked if it’s any good and wanted to try. later on I found him buying one for himself.

Went back to the tent to see Dream Theater. I heard them a long time ago but never played their music again and said ok, let’s see them live, maybe I change my opinion. I didn’t. I mean, musically they are aces. Keyboard is awesome and the music flows really good. But I recall what bothered me…the voice. The guy sounds castrated and that’s totally a turnoff for me, when I can have the same awesome music with the voice of Sir Russell Allen of Symphony X. But it’s a matter of taste, and I can understand what fans like about Dream Theater.

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to Exodus nor Static X even if I ate my lunch next to the guys from Exodus and they invited me to their show. They were in the most far away tent and at the same time as Blind Guardian or Wasp.

Last band of the day was Motley Crüe. Obviously one of the headliners, but for absolutely no reason, especially when you hear the voice of a castrated tomcat. I mean, a late night show where the most impressive thing is that they launch some balloons in the crowd and they fly nicely over til they end on the stage where musicians pop them with their guitars…come on. Or the size of the drums is what you remember after it. They tried to entertain the crowd by talking to them and for example telling them to say ‘Hell yea’ if they’re drunk. But I am sure they didn’t gain too many new fans after this performance and they might have even lost some of the ones they already had. The atmosphere was one of disappointed public.

Nights at festivals are always a seoarate story themselves. For example, on the way back to the tent we passed by Ron and his friends’ tent. They were all outside, standing and one guy laying flat on the grass. We asked if it was theirs and they said no. The guy apparently was trying to enter one of their tents at the wrong end. He was on his knees trying to open the tent and all of a sudden he fell back… Frenkie woke him up, asked if he’s ok, he said yes and went back to sleep/fainting or whatever world he was in. Eventually we saw some stewarts and they called the ambulance. But later the night, when we were trying to sleep…well, that’s when everyone else seems to be awake and in a good mood. For some reason everyone is looking for Timmy. It’s hard to express in words how they scream for Timmy, but the thing is that once someone screams the name out loud, it’s like an echo coming from all the surounding tents. And when they either forget about Timmy or decide there are more missing persons, they scream for Helga. Helga was missing since I was at Wacken 2 years ago. Or maybe even more.
A funny story was on Saturday night when again, we wanted to sleep, we started hearing the Timmy tune but the french speakers next to us were really bored of Timmy. So they started to scream all the names that crossed their minds, from Tom&Jerry, to Sarkozy, to Passpartour to…youname it. And they kept it on for hours.


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