Sziget 2007 - A wonderfull yearAh, the glorious Sziget festival, with it's multinational visitors, affordable beer and excellent lineups. One of the few festivals were you can crawl out your tent at 5:30 am and just continue a party somewhere. This year's edition went as smooth as ever, with only a few short rainy moments to spice things up in the wetness department.
The lineup was as diverse as ever, and since you are going to spend 7 days on the Sziget-island, you actually have to spice up the things you want to visit. Even though we all love metal at the Metalrage HQ, this year saw us checking out some diverse things, ranging from Jazz to Metal. In this review you will read impressions by Metalrage editors Carn & Napalm Lex, who, next to navigating the island, spent seven days of walking around like drunk, decomposing zombies.
Every festival generation has it's bands that keep returning. Mando Diao, alongside with The Killers and The Hives, definitely among the handful of bands that festivalvisitors just can't get enough of. In case you are very, very metal and have never heard of these guys, rest asure: it's another The Strokes clone. But even though it's generic and quite unoriginal, The Swedish retro rockers are a fun mainstage filler. Nothing more than that I'm afraid. (Napalm Lex)
Gary Willis' Slaughterhouse
Visiting the Jazz tent on Sziget is getting a bit of a ritual. Not that I spend much time there, but every year there seems to be an act that blows your socks of. For me it was Gary Willis and his friends. Gary brought Tribal Tech drummer Kirk Covington along as well, and Spanish saxophonist Llibert Fortuny. These guys knew how to lay it down, with the result of an awesome mix of jazz, funk and impressive grooves. The use of various saxophone effects (even though there were some technical difficulties in the begining) created an original sound; and having master-drummer Covington in your band always adds to the experience. My brain was slaughtered..excellent stuff and I still want to buy the CD "Slaughterhouse 3". (Carn)
Respected cofounder of metalrage, and asteemed collegue Carn should really have written this. Since he and a friend had a blast bashing this theatrical group of balkanpunks. Ol' Lex doesn't really give a shit about the music either, be it that he would like to add the comment that it is good fun if your willing to ignore the whole trendyness of it all. It's fake? Fuck it, so is instant coffee. I drink it all the time. A nice group for a once in a lifetime seethrough. And I mean that in the sence of lack of depth in music. Just like The Hives, Juliette & The Licks, etcetera, and so and. And a little bit of vice versa, if that's your bag. (Napalm Lex)
Ok. Now The Hives were one of the surpising acts back in 2000 and 2001 when they first broke through onto the global alternative rock scene. Be it that the whole masquerade was the most entertaining part. Cocky girly boys jaming out their poppy punkrock with a garage (butt)lick. Great. Why didn't we ignore them back then? Since in 2007 it could not have been more clear: empty music always prevails. Always. No tie and suit can rescue it. Let that be a warning for the lionshare of the Sziget 2007 mainstage line-up. Get to writing some damn good songs quickly, or bore me in 2014. Not much of a threat, I know. (Napalm Lex)
Nine Inch Nails
Ah, Trent Reznor and his band of merry men. Earlier this year I went to see Nine Inch Nails in the 013, and I was kind of dissapointed that the band didn't use any form of visual projections (something that NIN has been doing since the last few years). Somehow, Trent found a way to include this piece of showmanship on festivals with bringing a huge see-through LCD-screen thing that could be lowered on the stage.
Songwise; the band played a mix from The Downward Spiral, With Teeth, Year Zero and Pretty Hate Machine; with only 'No You Don't' from The Fragile (which is my favorite album). I do have to say that 'The Great Destroyer' sounded and looked awesome. When the electronic Aphex Twin-ish parted kicked in I was almost cheering.
Setlist for the ones who care:
The Beginning Of The End
March Of The Pigs
Me, I'm Not
The Great Destroyer
The Good Soldier
No, You Don't
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like A Hole
The sound was excellent as well, easily the best I've heard in the whole week. Reznor even felt like saying something positive about Sziget. For someone who rarely speaks during his shows, definitely a cool moment! (Carn)
Stealing a bit of bio: "Zagar is the headliner group of the Hungarian electronic music scene. Their sound is based on contemporary electronic music, jazz and indie-rock adding with experimental scratches by DJ Bootsie. The result is heavy beats, atmospheric mood and sound clips from the psychedelic era of the late 60´s."
I've seen this band a few times and again, Zagar managed to impress me. Even when most of their material is a good 2 years old by now. This year they prepared something special; the band was accompanied by "The Underground Divas", various Hungarian female vocalists. This addition worked out very well, giving the already impressive songs an extra vocal layer (as you can hear in the song "wings of love" on their myspace: http://www.myspace.com/zagar)
The new record is coming out in September, their show only made me more curious! (Carn)
Hungarian band Másfél is one of the festival highlights for me. The band played a mix of rock and metal (with a saxophone) in their early days, but currently the band plays around with jazz, drum n bass, dub, jazz, acid-jazz and modern rock. For Sziget; the band incorporated a long drum n bass segment including an MC, which resulted in quite a lot of people shaking their ass. I read that the band is releasing a DnB record sometime soon; definitely check that out! (Carn)
I`ll just be honest: Personally, this was the worst Tool show I've seen. I had the idea that Adam Jones wasn't on his game, and the whole thing just felt dragged. Ofcourse, it's hard for a band like Tool to give a bad show, but I've seen them better. Apparently the band cancelled a few gigs after Sziget, so it could be that illness was a factor here.
The sound wasn't all that great as well. The setlist didn't differ that much from the shows in the HMH and Ahoy, and after 1 hour and fifteen minutes the band called it quits. No Aenema either! For a closing main act I expected a 2 hour show, but unfortunately for us we weren't that lucky. (Carn)
Napalm Death are probably one of the few metalbands who can absolutely suck on stage and get a comment saying "it's just the genre, man". I once was fermly convinced I really liked grindcore. Than the week moved into wednesday and I found out I didn't. However, two bands always stuck around in my mission to shuffle towards my death: Carcass and these Britts. And how can you not adore these grampa's? They are not only the founding fathers of the genre, they are also the most messy. Ever listened Scum back to back about three times? Still can't find out why it is supposed to be so good? Well, no one can. It sounds like a big, fat, ugly mess. And that's great. Sloppy shite to match the feeling in your gut when you're as pissed off as one gets. And when played in the cheapo Hammerworld tent in the crappy weather, and an alarming volume it hits that note with precision. By missing a lot of notes of a different order. The Necessary Evil! Wrooaagh! (Napalm Lex)
Juliette & The Licks
Okay, so Juliette Lewis can't really sing, not for real, not in rock n roll tradition. But she is hot. No, really. I think she is anyways. Must have something to do with all that delicious mudering and executioning she got going in films like Natural Born Killers. Once again a product of our boring mainstream rock generation, The Licks are forgettable. Lewis however is quite worth seeing. At least she looks as rock n roll as her band should sound. (Napalm Lex)
A band many metalheads would love to hate. And not only would, but most likely do hate. Admitably, the most hyped band since the Arctic Monkeys, these eighties rip offs can put on a show. It has to be your taste, I'll hand it to you, but as a close down act of a seven day Arany experience, it will do just fine. And well, we can be a bitch about it, but these Las Vegas posers (no one could argue with that, let's be real) have a hand at writing good songs. And pleasing a crowd, that much is obvious whilst seeing the audience going apeshit. (Napalm Lex)
The Good The Bad & The Queen
Where Gogol Bordello is a once in a lifetime deal in terms of never wanting to see it more than just this day, Damon Albarn has put together an expierence that could sail under the same flag, but with a whole different meaning. The Good, The Bad & The Queen haven't only the most stupid bandname since Carcass inspirered thousands of highschool kids to look up dificult words to name their group of friends after, it's also quite good music that's worth hearing. Both on plastic and as a liveshow. The - dare I say it - ecclectic mix of dub, rock and african (stuff?) is interesting and enjoyable. Good stuff, and never to be seen on stage again probably. On to Albarn's next project. (Napalm Lex)