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Paaspop 2016 - A sunny weekend in Schijndel
Paaspop 2016 – A sunny weekend in Schijndel

For many years Metalrage has been attending the annual Paaspop festival in Schijndel. We have had some cold editions, an occasional warm edition and editions like this one. Where the weather was just perfect. The sun was pretty damn good for the 65000 people attending this year. People were having fun. The only downside of the experience is that the program is featuring less and less alternative bands and loud(er) music. Where the festival used to have a dedicated stage for metal this is now scattered across various stages with fewer bands actually playing and also regularly at the same timeslot. This is causing a self fulfilling prophecy where it looks like the organization tries to show people do not want to see these bands and the metal loving crowd is not visiting the festival as they do not want to pay a 100 euro’s to see a handful of acts.
Over the years Paaspop has developed itself. The festival has gotten a little bit different and they have added more tents or small stages were people can do a variety of other activities, drink craft beer or dance till they get blisters on their feet. You could say that the festival has created an experience instead of a music festival. Maybe that´s also the reason why there are a lot of cover bands present.
Day 1
BZB had the honor of opening the festival. The folkrockers had even taken the opportunity to light up a torch and open the festival in an Olympic kind of way. After this the guys took off for a set of classic BZB songs with an occasional new song from their latest EP. Although these guys have been here before they still manage to create a great party. It really doesn´t matter if the tent is completely packed or not. It´s still a great party with these guys.
DeWolff has been around the Dutch festivals for several years now. Their blues rock sounds catchy and got enough hooks to make it interesting for people who are not known with their work. Speaking of which, their latest album Roux A Roux was released a couple of months ago and showed a band that has developed themselves even more when it comes to songwriting. Especially when you compare this to the old material that is played. It still blows my mind when you think of the fact that all the guys are still in their early twenties. Great show with great musicians.
Powerwolf was the first real metal acts of this year’s edition. Their bombastic power metal should score pretty easily but the tent is not even half full. Still the band tries hard to gain some new fans in which they probably succeeded judging by the reaction of the audience at the end of the show. But since I had a busy schedule I decided to get a quick bite and catch John Coffey since these guys are getting bigger and bigger.
John Coffey
Their ‘vocalist catches a beer during a show’ on YouTube has gone viral last year and gained some major attention to the band. So I’m not surprised if some people came to see them just because of that. Fact is that the tent is packed. Once again they show that al the touring has paid off. The band sounds tight, have fun onstage and manage to pull off a great show while doing so. Considering the band has two albums out I do predict a nice future for these guys. Maybe you even could say that these guys are the best rock band we have in the Netherlands at this moment.
When Baroness had a terrible accident several years nobody knew where this would lead to but after the release of their 4th studio album Purple earlier this year, it was great seeing several of the old members perform on stage again. The band played the smaller Jack Daniels stage. The sludge metal these guys play is a mix between heavy riffs and melodic intimate parts. And somehow the combination of this is hypnotizing the present audience. Especially during the song ‘Chlorine and Wine’ the band is mesmerizing. Can’t wait to see them play again.
Joey Cape
Thunderalley has been around for several years but this year it got its own tent. The Vinyl Media and the barbershop Schorem are put together, add a little bar and a small stage and you have another great experience at Paaspop. It was at this nice place that I watched Joey Cape perform. The guy is of course known for being the vocalist of Lagwagon but like several more punk vocalist, the guy is also quite a good singer songwriter. Within the given time he manages to create a great atmosphere together with is friend Walt Hamburger that joins Joey onstage for several times.
Day 2
Spiritual Beggars
One of the acts that I was really looking forward to was Spiritual Beggars. Indeed, the side project of Micheal Amott of Arch Enemy. I’m not a big fan of his work with Arch Enemy but his work with Spiritual Beggars is awesome. Their latest album Sunrise To Sundown has certainly some nice tracks and already has found its way to my cd player. So with Sunrise To Sundown and Diamond Under Pressure on the set list I was quite satisfied. Although it was pretty crowded onstage the guys did seem to enjoy themselves which is always a big plus.

Drive Like Maria

Drive Like Maria is a Belgian/Dutch rock formation which released two albums back in 2009 and 2012. I was really pleased when I noticed a new song online a while ago called Nighthawk which really impressed me. Just in time for Paaspop the band announced that they will release a new EP in the middle of April and they've launched yet another song called Keeps me Going. Both songs were played at their show at Paaspop and boy did that made me happy. Next to these songs the band of course also played songs from their two full lengths and their sound sure matured. This is one of the better rock formations we have and I cannot wait for the new EP to be released. Definitely worth checking out!
Enter Shikari
Enter Shikari has been an outcast in the rock/ metal scene with their addition of dance elements within their music. This has clouded the band for quite a while. But with their latest album that was released last year they finally embraced themselves and basically told the critics to go fuck off. In a way that must be liberating since they don’t have to seek for approval with everything they do. This led to a show of intensity, really great visuals and a band that rises above themselves during the show.
It was a great surprise to see Deafheaven on the bill since it’s not the kind of band that I would expect at Paaspop. Their shoegaze blackmetal is certainly not for the fainthearted, so with a half filled tent you could say that it was certainly a success. The only problem that I do have is that the intensity of the music of Deafheaven is a bit rundown by the band members. Their vocalist is going berserk while the rest of their musicians is looking at their fret boards. Still this doesn’t rule out the fact that is was certainly the tightest performance that I witnessed on this year’s edition of Paaspop.
The Prodigy
Even though The Prodigy does not really qualify as metal it is one of those electronic acts which do get appreciated by quite some people in the metal scene. Especially their work from the 90s is present in the collection of many metal heads I know. The thing everybody talked about at the Paaspop show of these guys basically is them popping the fuses at the climax during Smack My Bitch Up, one of the biggest hits of the act. The band instantly disappeared of stage, apparently it was not the first time this happened, and after approximately 10 minutes the band played the last couple of songs of their set. 90 minutes of pumping tunes which surely entertained the packed tent at the festival.
Day 3
Slash N Roses
During the last day of Paaspop I didn’t have a lot of things I really had to see. Besides Monster Magnet of course. So I decided to check out some cover bands during the day. Slash N Roses focusses themselves on the career of Slash. This of course means that most of the songs are from Guns N Roses, some of them are solo songs and even a song from Velvet Revolver passes by. Quite a nice idea of the band since you don’t limit yourself to one band. The problem is that they have huge shoes to fill and they fail miserably. If I listen to a cover band, I want the music to be as close as possible to the original music. This wasn’t the case. Several small errors did take the fun away.
Monster Magnet
Finally, after a whole day of waiting Monster Magnet was about to walk onstage. To be honest I did look forward to the show since they are on a ‘Celebrating the A&M years’ tour’ which includes a whole deal of old material. You might know that Dave Wyndorff has its moments. Today is one of them. You could say he was certainly in a bad mood. After every songs he’s nagging that we don’t do well enough. We don’t cheer hard enough. Well uncle Dave, 3 days of festival does take its toll. Don’t get me wrong besides the grumpy old man it’s great to hear some old tracks of Monster Magnet. Although I do have to say that I think Dave is getting more and more a caricature of himself.
Swedish based post hardcore formation Refused is one of the bands who is playing in a tent with just a couple of hundred people present. And this is something they do not deserve being the headliner in this tent. With their energetic and powerful set they do convince and get the people present moving. Political statements are the main topic for this band and in between songs front man Dennis Lyxzén is clearly making some statements towards the audience. Their 2015 album ‘Freedom’ does get some attention with opening track Elektra and Dawkins Christ. But besides that the setlist contains only tracks of the albums which the band released back in the 90s. These are the songs where the fans are here for and the small group in the front is going crazy during those songs.
Most of this review has been written by Niamen and Buzzin Hornet filled the gaps and made it into one piece. We would like to thank the Paaspop crew for inviting us once again!