Rockweekend - The Experience
It appeared that it would be quite difficult to create a review for this festival. This due to a couple of causes, one being the fact that I had to play there myself, the other being the fact that I had never consumed this much beer in such a short time ever. So this won’t be your ordinary live view, but more of an experience view.
The first day was a nice and sunny day, but since the program didn’t start before the evening it was rather nippy when the first band started to play. We travelled there by train, and from the trainstation there was a bus travelling to the festival terrain. It was an old bus painted blue with some of the band’s names on it. Our bandname, Model 101 was on it as well, so we felt extremely proud. The bus’ radio was blasting out some Iron Maiden to get us in the mood for this evening. It made a number of stops when driving to the terrain and the bus gradually got fuller while we gradually got more drunk of a couple cans of beer.
When we arrived at the terrain the first band had already commenced with their show, one of the bands that I really wanted to see, and also the noisiest band of the entire festival. Yes I’m talking about the thrashgrind act Collision, who played a nice and tight set of very loud music. What a great idea to start a rockfestival with a grindcore band! That’s one way of waking up the people there! I enjoyed their show and especially their cover of a song by De Heideroosjes put a smile on my face.
After this the Dutch rockband Mennen started on the big stage, so we took a little glance at it, only to realize that it was definitely not our type of music. Simplistic hard rock with heavy metal vocals, yuck! They played a nice show nonetheless, but most of the crowd was not very impressed by their performance. They were joined on stage by the After Forever vocalist as well, but I didn’t witness too much of that either.
This was a perfect time for us to check out the festival terrain. They kept it nice and cosy, with the big tentstage on the right and the small tentstage to the left. In the middle of the entire terrain there was a big tent with no sidewalls and a bar beneath it. Then there was a number of festival stands and some food stands to the left again. It all had a nice and cosy atmosphere over it and I felt home immediately. With home I mean that typical festival feeling that means a lot of drinking and partying. And the best was yet to come, because we had to play the day after.
The next band up were the newly hyped heavy metallers of Powervice. These guys are of to a magnificent start by playing a lot of the Dutch festivals this year and they proved to be rightfully there by playing a good and tight set. This is again not my type of music so I didn’t catch too much of this either. But they seemed to deliver an excellent set of heavy metal music as it was done in the eighties and show a lot of growth-potential if you ask me.
For some reason I witnessed a couple of tracks of After Forever, something I don’t like too much neither. The sound wasn’t too good according to experts and didn’t take me too long until I got so irritated that I left again.
By now most of the people I came with here were quite drunk and anxious to see Dreadlock Pussy at what would be their last show in Limburg (again). We’re not big fans of the band, but we were waiting for something in a genre that we could appreciate. They did manage to put on a great show of which I have little recollection besides remembering that I moshed several times way to enthusiastically. I had a great time and did I emphasize that we were incredibly drunk already? Yeah… fuck!
The great big headliner for today is a band that I personally despise, but I cannot deny their place in metal history. Yes, I’m talking about Saxon. They had a nice sound and a big fanbase in front of their stage that was very happy to see them. A good (but fairly standard) show was put up and I guess the fans all went home satisfied.
We left a little early to catch the train and to drink a little more in our hometown. Great idea if you have to stand on a stage the day after at 16.00. Hell yeah, rock n roll!
This was not a festival day in our genre, but I still felt this is a nice festival that deserves the media’s attention, because it’s quite hard to put up a decent and successful festival.
Day two, I wake up with a reasonable hangover that some coffee and of course a whole lot of beers could get right out of my system. As we arrive at the festival with our equipment we are guided through the backstage area and discover that we are the smallest band that has access to a personal backstage booth the entire day. Also, we are glad to discover that we can get free beer at the backstage bar the entire day, one free meal and to top it all, we arrange our own crate of beer in our booth. Things couldn’t have started out better. We immediately start some heavy drinking to get in the mood and check out the first two bands.
The band to kick of this day was The Gecko Brothers, a cool rock ‘n roll band that looks like they’ve lived rock ‘n roll for quite some time. They got the (fairly small) audience warmed up pretty nice and I must say that I quite enjoyed it. It had a good pass throughout the set and I really got that rock ‘n roll feeling with it, which resulted in more drinking of course.
After this it was time for the rockband Clayborn from Rotterdam fronted by a woman to try and get the crowd further warmed up, in which they failed miserably in my point of view. During this set we had to get our stuff ready so I only got some glances from the side of the stage, but it seemed like there were less people there when they ended then when they started, and that can’t be a good thing. I could only hope that we would do better.
As El Guapo Stuntteam kicked of the festivities on the big stage, we got our gear on stage and soundchecked. Minutes later we were announced and Model 101 at Rockweekend became a fact. I will not go into details too much, but we played in front of like 400-500 people, a reasonably full tent you could call it, and they all stayed! So that was a very positive thing I guess. I enjoyed myself excellent and we even got some mosh action going on now and then. Very cool experience.
So after this you can guess what time it is. All-you-can-drink-buffet time! I have never drank that much beer in one day, and I can drink severely so that must have been a whole lot of beer. The first few hours after the show I was in complete ecstasy of that killer experience and I wanted to talk to a lot of people on the terrain about their opinion. That caused me to miss a couple of bands, except for some not mentionable excerpts from walking in and out. Those bands were Three Amigo’s, Infa and Nailpin. During 16 Down I realized that they fabricate some very nice rock songs with a phat Rage Against The Machine groove in it (and my band gets compared to them a lot, go figure).
I did not go see Epica because I wouldn’t have any decent words to mention about them I fear. That and I wanted to save myself from that torture. Intwine on the other hand I wanted to see. Personally it got boring to me after a couple of songs, but by the looks of a packed tent and an enthusiastic crowd they did a splendid job. And I believe it was around this time I got in the possession of 3D-glasses. That made things oh so much more interesting, especially with that amount of alcohol in my blood. Racoon was up next and I can recall myself singing that latest single with every vocal chord muscle I have in me. I saw quite a lot of that set and I can recall them giving a very good show. It is again not my music but these guys sure know what they’re doing. The mix was very nice and I reckon this band to be a good choice for this festival. The choice of Peter Pan Speedrock is always a good one too. Those rockers were tasked with ending the show in the small tent, and did it with a loud bang I can tell you. Bashing crashing rocking madness as we are used from them, and of course Dikke Dennis made an appearance as well.
Headliner for this day was Within Temptation, and to be honest I can appreciate a track every now and then. Of course not an entire show, but I certainly watched some tracks through my fear and loathing glasses. They gave an excellent show and proved to be worthy headliners for this day. An excellent mix made sure that they could perform to the fullest.
And then it was over. I continued drinking for some time after that and I can remember some scary moments on our way home that brought us to all kinds of places. Throwing up in a little town called America is included in that.
Well to give an impression, this festival has a great atmosphere but wasn’t able to realize a big enough line-up to get the place packed as it deserves. The people there all seemed satisfied when they left for home, and that’s the only thing that really matters in my opinion. With a pretty diverse line-up including some of the biggest names in Dutch rock and metal a great two days were arranged. I had fun, and so did the people who were there with me. Lets hope they have some more visitors next year!