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Lowlands 2006 - Invasion of Love
Lowlands, Lowlands, Lowlands. How I love you, my dear Lowlands. Funny thing is the fact that this years’ theme was called ‘Invasion of Love’. For me, it was the eighth time with my dear friend Shaydee. Buzzin Hornet, Napalm Lex and Niamen also got their entrance ticket to witness a festival that seems to be able to come up with such an interesting line-up, that it would be a like working out on an athletics track for more than 80 hours. It all started on Friday, where I didn’t even got the time to build up my tent. I just arrived from the Sziget festival, all dirty and tired but I had to see the opening act. Running, faster, faster, grabbing a beer I found myself in the middle of the almighty Alpha tent watching the opening act.
 
Friday
 
Wolfmother
Opener of the festival is the band which I have already decided to dedicate my album of the year title to, Wolfmother. Already great on the Rock Werchter festival, absolutely sublime at Lowlands. Every single song is a potential hit and although I thought starting with ‘Dimension’ ‘White Unicorn’ and the almighty ‘Womaaaan’ would be a bad mistake, the flawless jam solo and the killer-song ‘Joker & the Thief’ showed me wrong. This is a band to love, the vocals of mr. Stockdale just have to get through your whole vascular system and the combination of Black Sabbath and The White Stripes make you realize that we might have to deal with the biggest rock sensation of the decade. Incredible! (CarpeSiem)
 
CKY
Just arrived and fresh from the campsite CKY was the first band I saw. The band “with the brother of Bam Margera on drums” played a mixture between Deftones, System Of A Down and a dozen others so-called new metal bands. The show of CKY (which stands for Camp Kill Yourself) was good but not great. The main reason was probably the static performance of the band. (Niamen)
 
Zero 7
Zero 7 came to Lowlands with their danceable lounge and brought José Gonzalez on stage, who also collaborated on their latest album. They managed to put on a big sound and at the same time maintain the intimacy. The crowd reacted quite enthusiastic but I think this band would have gotten a better reaction if programmed at night. Still a good way to start off my Lowlands Friday. (Shaydee)
 
Fun Lovin Criminals
What better way to start the Lowlands festival then with the brothers Huey of the Fun Lovin Criminals? Of course everybody knows the Fun Lovin Criminals from their greatest hit ‘Scooby Snack’ but they have more than that. In a very short time several great songs were played and a giant Joint was passed around on stage (yes we are in Holland again) and when they started ‘Scooby Snack’ the shit hits the fans. Yeah the criminals are back. (Niamen)

Magic Numbers
Have you ever seen The Magic Numbers? Now I’m sensitive for the positive vibe they create on stage but I do think that a lot of metal fans will dislike the softy songs. However, the band played a solid set with the incredible love song ‘I See You, You See Me’ as the highlight. Another big hit today! (CarpeSiem)

Xavier Rudd
Another surprise this year comes from a former surf dude. On stage, Xavier Rudd plays almost every hippie instrument you can imagine plus guitar and drums. Whether it’s a didgeridoo or a harmonica, Rudd knows how to play this while singing about piece for all. The sphere in the Lima tent gets better with every song he plays and once again we see the proof of the fact that Lowlands is a festival that knows in which tent their acts should play. Although the crowd gets so incredibly insane, we do not get some extra songs. It’s the only bad thing of one of the most surprising acts of the festival. (CarpeSiem)
 
Gorefest
Zeeland. Province of fish, traditional dances and incest. And great death metal bands returning on the metal scene, which they shouldn't have left in the first place. It's always fun to check out heavy bands such as Gorefest, but it's even more fun to check em out at a festival such as Lowlands, where the audience is diverse and open-minded. Erase, howtay! (Napalm Lex)

Luie Hond
My personal favorite today in advance was Luie Hond, the Dutch, reggae/ska band. And although opening with ‘Heroinewiet’ looked very nice, the band focuses way too much on the reggae songs instead of the jamming tunes they’ve become popular with. The new work is hardly interesting except for the song with De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig ‘Poes in de Playboy’. ‘Groepie op mun Stoepie’ will never fail live but I’d expect more from this band. (CarpeSiem)

The Knife
Seeing The Knife is truly an experience. Two masked people on stage, awesome visuals and paranormal music. They had some trouble getting grip at the audience with their dark electro though. I guess that’s because their compositions sometimes seem to lack a pounding bass. That makes it more difficult to listen to, because it forces you to really focus, and that’s not easy for half-drunk festival audiences. But after some time they managed, and put a spell on the Bravo tent. Highlight was the song ‘Heartbeats’, an original The Knife song, later successfully covered by José Gonzalez. (Shaydee)

Placebo
Splendid music. That's Placebo's expertise. And if you don't agree, you will have had an even better time hating these Brits, as it was an auto-pilot affair, with hardly any contact with the audience at all. Shame. (Napalm Lex)
 
Saturday

Hawthorne Heights
Every Saturday morning at the lowlands festival is the same for me, hangover time. This time it’s even harder, there’s no time for chilling and recovering from the drinking of the night before because I wanted to see Hawthorne Heights. I heard some songs of them before and they made me curious. The emo/rock/ hardcore style of Hawthorne Heights lured more people to the festival area at this early time and those people got what they came for. A great show of a band with a great stage presentation. (Niamen)

Urban Dance Squad
The comeback of the century! I mean, who gives a crap about the return of The Stooges when one of the best Dutch groups reunites in front of your eyes. Too bad Lowlands put them in the Alpha tent, where it was hard to get a real party off the ground. But my eyes glowed with delight as I witnessed the return of the Urban Dance Squad. The true inventors of rap/rock/crossover/whatever you want to call it. And damn, Rudeboy still got that funk. Living in the fast lane, Huh! (Napalm Lex)

Mastodon
One of the most exiting bands of recent history has to be Mastodon. Unfortunately, this wasn't their best gig. I'm over fourteen, and therefore not of the opinion that it's 'totally rad' to brag about how stoned you are. What’s more: the sound was awful, and I know it was, 'cause I've heard this band play many times before with a crystal clear sound. Mastodon will always be one of those must-have-seen-at-least-once-in-a-venue bands. Too bad some people who've heard them first time at Lowlands thought they sucked because of the crappy sound in multiple parts of the tent. Oh well, they'll regret not giving Mastodon another chance. (Napalm Lex)

The Frames
And then it was time for my absolute highlight of the festival. The band with the most sympathy of all, The Frames. They started very shy at the Pinkpop festival last year but today they immediately kicked in, leaving nothing to the imagination that they would play a beautiful set. Front man Glen Hansard is obviously touched by the response of the crowd which attributes towards the positive vibe I’m a fan off. ‘Fake’ ‘Revelate’ and the most beautiful version of ‘Star Star’ I’ve ever heard truly made this the best gig of the festival. (CarpeSiem)
 
Michael Franti & Spearhead
This act has got something special with the Lowlands festival and the festival has got something special with Michael Franti, and Spearhead. The vibe in the Alpha tent was incredible and everyone cared about the fate of the world for an hour, even the ones you’d never imagine doing so. Big hit ‘Everyone Deserves Music’ got a little less attention than the last time the band was at Lowlands but the enthusiasm could not have been any better. We all love Michal Franti & Spearhead. (CarpeSiem)

The Streets
Since their last performance, The Streets have not made many friends at the Lowlands festival. Mike Skinner got drunk and played way too many songs of his first album instead of the killer 'A Grand Don’t Come for Free'. However, Skinner has sobered up and he’s a nice guy on stage. The accent of the set lied on the last album with my personal favorites 'Never Went to Church’ and ‘When You Wasn’t Famous’ included. The crowd loved it according to the fact that the whole tent jumped up and down which made us realize Skinner has definitely changed. Closing down with ‘Dry Your Eyes Mate’ and ‘Fit But You Know It’ was predictable but it didn’t matter. Another great gig. (CarpeSiem)
 
Epica
Another Dutch gothic metal band was my reaction when I first heard of Epica. A few years later they are standing in the Alpha tent (cap. 20.000 persons) playing for almost 15.000 people. Although I’m not a big fan of gothic metal I have to admit they gave a great show and the crowd loved it. After the Roadbook To Paradiso (famous venue in Holland) this must be another milestone in the career of Epica. (Niamen)

Massive Attack
It seemed as if the all the people at Lowlands came to visit this band today but a lot were gone after only a few songs. The fact is, Massive Attack is way too perfect for a festival. The sound was absolutely flawless and I couldn’t notice a single mistake. Everything was so perfectly arranged on the forehand with a great visual wall at the back of the stage, that I could only keep my breath for a long time and watch. And I have to say, after ‘Teardrop’ and ‘Angel’ were played right after each other, it was too much for me too and I had to sit down for a while. I’ve never been so exhausted after a live gig by doing so absolutely nothing. (CarpeSiem)
 
Sunday

Corvus Corax cantus Burana.
Hmm wasn’t it Carl Orff who had something to do with Cantus Burana? Well Corvus Corax, who mainly plays their music on instruments that were used in the medieval ages, pulled out an entire orchestra and several background vocalists in monk suits to perform on Lowlands. All together there were 120 persons on stage. Although it was on the Sunday morning it was a great performance that gave me Goosebumps several times. Considering the huge amount of people and the applause I wasn’t the only one who liked it. (Niamen)

Panic! At The Disco
Pop-emo, emo-pop, silly pathetic lyric music, striped t-shirt crap, I don't know man. Maybe it's just me. It probably is. Somebody told me that this is the typical band that kids rate as 'emo', while it 'clearly isn't'. I know shit about emo, so there you go. (And cover Radiohead some more, as that's a hundred times more interesting). (Napalm Lex)

Opeth
A few weeks ago Mikeal Akerfeldt was criticized for his humour onstage. Well I’d say fuck ‘em. The humour of Mikeal gives Opeth just a bit more twist on their performance between the songs. Overall it was a great show with a good sound and great songs. The band played 6 songs within the hour including their monstrous hit 'Deliverance'. With jokes like 'Who is here to see us and who is here to shelter from the rain? Showing his middle finger towards the ones who responded to the last question only, and 'We are the only Cock Rock Death Metal Band in the world!' the band gave a flawless show on a rainy Lowlands day! (Niamen)
 
Lostprophets
Well, what to say about Lostprophets? I guess they’re making new friends now. But they are on the other hand losing loads of old ones. They look terrible on stage with their tights and Franz Ferdinand-hairstyles. Especially when they play older ‘tougher’ songs like ‘Start Something’. It really makes you sigh and long for the past. Am I getting old and unadventurous? Could be, the young fans seemed to like it, but I think it’s more likely that Lostprophets just lost quality. (Shaydee)
 
Pennywise
Pennywise hasn’t been on the Lowlands festival for 9 years and considering the amount of people that are standing in and outside the tent (in the rain) it was way too long. 9 years ago the show ended too early and today they were back to make it up to the fans. A great show with a nice mixture of new and old songs, in between some anti-Bush statements, and at the end the well-known song 'Bro Hymn'. The entire tent woohood along and had a great time which of course affected Pennywise onstage. (Niamen)

Danko Jones
Ouch. That's what Danko Jones must have shouted when he recently nearly poked out his eye whilst slapping his face during a concert. Therefore no more slapping. And that's where the news concerning Danko ends for now. Once my favourite live band, nowadays a repeat of a repeat. Too bad. I can only hope they stop touring for a while to let them reload my Danko Jones battery. Maybe record an album or two. And then come back. With a little less monologue. The boredom on a lot of the attending people's faces was painfully real. Ouch, indeed. (Napalm Lex)

Wir Sind Helden
Ever since the Pinkpop gig in 2005, I kept my eye on this band. Although their latest record has got more reactions than the first one, I still consider 'Denkmal’ as their best song so far. The band played almost the same set as they did on the Sziget festival but with 'Wenn es Passiert' getting the best response due to the fact that this song was played at the end of a popular tv-show during the world cup. A good vibe in the tent and the usage of some copper horns were the ingredients for a decent show. (CarpeSiem)
 
Arctic Monkeys
I hate myself sometimes. I tried to hate the Arctic Monkeys for a long time, and I failed. Reason enough to hate oneself. I suggest you check em out sometime. Yes, hype this and that. Sure, NME bladeebla. Little spoiled brats, yackadeeyack. But their sublime song writing can not be ignored. This is, quite simply one of the, if not the single best live band out there right now. Songs such as 'When The Sun  Goes Down', 'Fake Tales Of San Francisco' and 'Mardy Bum' are brilliant. Brilliant in song writing, lyrically and brilliant in sound. Hype or no hype, The Arctic Monkeys fucking rule! (Napalm Lex)
 
Less Than Jake
Where almost everybody went to the Alpha stage to see Muse we went to the India tent, which is a lot smaller, to see Less Than Jake. To be honest I’d never had such a great time during a “headliner of the evening”. It was a great show with a lot of entertainment, great songs, hilarious moments and no bass solo. Truly one of the greatest shows of the Lowlands festival for me. (Niamen)
 
Muse
And then there was Muse. I am so into this band and I truly think they have created another dimension in the world of music. In twenty years, Muse may have gotten the status other pioneers have gotten throughout the years. What this band is doing, in both sound and visuals is beyond everyone’s imagination. Whereas the schizophrenic part of the band in songs like Stockholm Syndrome’ and Plug in Baby’ or the tenderness like in Starlightis played, it is a must for all of the witnesses. It might have caused some strange reactions, putting Muse as a headliner but they truly deserved it and, more important, proved the organization right. (CarpeSiem)
 
And this is how the festival ended. For me, it was the best Lowlands I had in eight years, with a lot of incredible gigs. Going to Lowlands is stepping outside of the world for a while, a world only visitors of the festival can understand. I believe that there is no such a happening as this festival and I cherish the fact that me and my friends are given the opportunity to give you some impressions about these three days. Right now, college has started, but next year, there will be another Lowlands. Hell fucking yeah!
Details Written on Monday Sep 4th, 2006
Writer @CarpeSiem

Tags: #Lowlands 2006