Graspop 2011 – reviews (Part 2)

Some gigs I just checked out briefly or from a distance (as in “not getting in the front row“) and here are some thoughts about those as well….

The first thing I wanted to check out was Swedish black metal band Watain. Not because I’m a fan of black metal by any means, but because of the hype and for the crazy stories about them that made me curious.

Walked into Marquee 1, one of the tents, and there was no question that it was the right one…
It was louder than hell, no pun intended. Fire and stuff on stage, flashing lights and a noise that definitely could have been from the devil’s jukebox. Yet it was interesting to see the theatrical performance,
Not sure what to say about it though, since it’s not my cup of tea, I’m not the right person to have opinions about it. It was entertaining enough to keep us in there for about 10-15 minutes, which is good, cause at festivals you usually decide within seconds if you want to stick around or not.

Korn were next up on the main stage outdoors. That would be yet another band that’s not “my thing” but I’ve got to hand it to them, they were damn tight, and I love the confidence in their stage performance. Crowd went nuts, a good sign that you’re doing your job right, so kudos to Korn. Not too shabby. :-)

Taking over the stage after Korn was Danish band Volbeat. There’s an interesting thing, cause I’ve had so many opportunities to see these guys live, yet I chose not to. Just never thought it was a band I would like too much, but they ROCKED! They had such a genuine attitude, their hearts were in it all the way through and got the crowd dancing, singing, jumping – and simply loving it.

Volbeat is the perfect festival-band, their whole presence just screams PARTY! It swingggss, you can’t help it, you end up smiling without even realizing it. Very cool gig, glad I finally took time to check them out.

That’s the great thing about festivals. You get a natural opportunity to check out bands that you normally wouldn’t for whatever reason. And you discover new, good stuff in the process.

Next day, Saturday, we walked in to see “some band”, no idea who, cause they were finishing up their set – but next up was Lacuna Coil.

I’ve seen them before, at the local rock club in Malmo, KB, waaay back in the early or mid-90’s. I like Cristina Scabbia, she’s a cool rock-chick who has a very strong stage presence. I heard young girls all around go: “I like her pants, her jacket, her boots, her leather glove – blah blah.…”. She is a rock-style icon as well.

Eventhough there are two front-people in Lacuna Coil, it’s too easy to forget Andrea Ferro’s presence on the stage, unfortunately. How can you compete with someone like Cristina? Still, the duo works well together vocally and they did a perfectly balanced set. Not too long, not too short, good choice of songs, basically, worth the time. :-)

I didn’t move from the barricades most of the day, next up were Firewind, which have been reviewed in a previous blog already. After them, the stage was being taken over by another Ozzy-guitarist, Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society.

Like I said before, I think that Firewind and BLS are like Beatles and Stones.
Nice guys – bad guys. You like one or the other.
BLS is more for the cool, hardcore macho-people. Cause I never got it, I have to admit. Zakk opened for Ozzy with BLS a few years ago in Copenhagen, and it was the longest 40-something minutes of my life. Every song sounded the same and the solos were pure torture.

I don’t like the songs, I don’t like the performance, I don’t like the solos… Hey – not saying that it IS bad, cause I can still appreciate what’s good or bad even in music that I don’t personally like, but I can’t lie and say that I enjoyed BLS because it’s like a sleeping-pill for me personally. 
Zakk’s fans loved it though, they were totally into it. Guess that’s the most important thing.

Last but not least – Judas Priest… Guess that needs a blog of its own. :) Maybe tomorrow.

5 comments

  1. Ronnie Soo

    Good stuff once again – not a fan of Black Metal myself and I’d never heard of Watain until now, never heard of Volbeat either! (been away from Scandinavia for too long, clearly!) Nice to see you filmed LC’s ‘Spellbound’ – I’ve seen this band twice in recent years, both times because they came to Liverpool (very kind of them to do that!) :DKnow what you mean about Cristina; last year, as soon as she appeared on stage every digital camera in the venue was trained on her! That said, I thought Andrea Ferro was more upfront last time out than when I saw them in 2009. Cristina is all you say; cool, great singer, captivating on stage… but my heart remains with Delain’s Charlotte Wessels! :D

  2. John

    Funny huh… I know BLS is all about this pure macho thing, in your face brutal, lots of guitar wancking, lots of songs sound alike,… still I love ’em, especially live… just like I love Down – now here’s someone who can have a crowd do whatever he likes, whilst bulshitting way too much and not really singing all that good.But bands like Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold,… I don’t get. Gave it a shot many times, but… nothing. Too me it’s like these guys don’t exaclty know what to do: they wanna look tough and still please the mommies of teenie fans, they wanna sound tough, and still please those teenie fans,… appearance seems more important than the songs, which are OK… but somewhere in between I don’t know what (Down is MUCH heavier and Alter Bridge far more melodic yet still metal)Like I said… funny and thus interesting :-)

  3. Daniela

    John: You’re right. It IS funny, because I’ve tried so many times to get into BLS, but no matter how I try, I simply can’t stand them. I just find it boring, can’t keep my eyes open. I keep trying to understand what it is people love about the band, but nah – beats me.Then again, that’s the beauty of different tastes, there’s something for everybody and the good thing is that there is one less person fighting for a spot at the front barricades. :)

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