Werchter has the reputation of being Europe’s most organized festival, while having huge but quite well-behaved crowd. This year was no different. Allowing campers to set up their tents the day before, all the bureaucracy of the first day was hurried along and very efficient, with almost zero waiting time, leaving concert-goers to focus on the important thing – beer, and a splash of music.
On the docket:
Warpaint – four girls who harmonize two at a time to slow moving, bass-heavy songs. The lyrics were undecipherable but the atmosphere was outstanding. Probably due to the fact that a lot of the audience joined the party half way through after running away from OFWGKTA who were playing in the main stage. All in all, a good opener, although I bet no one will remember them in a year. (B)
TV on the Radio – one of my must-sees. The sound was a bit muddled, but frontman Tunde Adebimpe (whom you might recognize if you saw Rachel Getting Married) has a definite presence on stage, weird hand gestures and admirable dancing abilities. The band gave a setlist comprised mostly of their latest album Nine Types of Light, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I did hear some complaints. (A-)
I started watching Aloe Blacc’s show, but it was extremely mundane. So I moved on to Anouk at the main stage, which wasn’t a lot more riveting, but I could at least get a good spot for the next show.
Queens of the Stone Age – I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to articulate the amount of praise I have for Josh Homme. The man is a rock god who can do absolutely no wrong (in the eyes of his fans). He has collaborated with anyone who is anyone in the business and has put out consistently good music since the mid 90’s.Queens’ stoner rock has been the soundtrack to many periods in my life and the show they gave at Werchter was a tour de force of their sound. Homme joked around with the crowd and oozed his laid-back charisma, while cranking out hit after hit. (A)
Linkin Park – well, they do have a good video editor. And I know a lot of their lyrics form their album with Jay Z, Collision Course. I was a bit bored halfway thorough, but all the teenagers around were really digging it. The other option was watching Oasis sans Noel Gallagher, so not a lot of wiggle room there.
It started raining once Linkin Park were over (after it has been drizzling the entire day), at around half past midnight, but I couldn’t call it a day without watching the Chemical Brothers. I needed to end my first day with a well-produced party.
The guys didn’t disappoint, and neither did the audience, that was soaked to the bone but still managed to party. Unlike other shows, the big screens at the side of the stage did not work, so you never got to see their faces, nonetheless, the light show they put on more than satisfied the visual thirst.
I would just like to point out, for all the people who complained about the Dylan show in Israel– the DJ duo did not say a single word to the crowd, nobody cared.
Reached my tent, only to find my stuff wet, but I didn’t care – too tired… and happy.