It rained all night, so all the drunkards couldn’t make too much noise, turning out great for me since I could actually sleep. I went into town to meet friends who were staying at a hotel and had brunch, so only managed to get back at around 14:30, missing the first acts of the day.
01:00 – 02:00ARSENAL
Lissie – whom you may recall, won her round against My Chemical romance by a landslide, has really grown on me in the past month or so. Her music is straight-forward, simple but not vapid. Nice way to start the day. She ended with what got her famous in the first place, a Kid Cudi cover:
Kesha – I didn’t actually see this one. I was standing outside the Pyramid wondering why the hell is this part of a music festival and how much longer would I have to suffer through this girl’s stupid antics (at one point, she drinks fake blood and acts like a cannibal, huh?).
Jimmy Eat World – The Arizonian band that has been able to keep the momentum from their hit self-titled album from 2001 (that was released as Bleed American two months before 9/11 so yeah, that had to be changed) came on stage with tons of energy and great love from the crowd. This was the show-opener:
The National – the reason I came to Werchter this year and I’m kind of angry at myself for not being in a closer spot. Matt Berninger’s baritone infused lyrics can bring me to tears, however, his stage presence is lacking. He is an anti-performer, sticking to his microphone, walking off-stage at instrumental segments; the guy looks like he doesn’t want to be on stage. And then he surprises you in the last song, goes into the crowd (to the dismay of Werchter’s security) and sings from within the audience. I wanted to put my video for Fake Empire here, but unfortunately the band had a bit of a malfunction during the trumpet solo – which, for me, is the best part of the song. So instead, here’s Apartment Story – a song that is the epitome of loving The National, in the beginning it’s quiet and almost unnoticeable, but then you get reeled in, and in the end you find yourself bopping your head to it, singing out loud.
Arctic Monkeys – even though their last album does not fair well in comparison to their previous two, Alex Turner and the gang do know how to rock a crowd [although, you could hear groaning when new songs were played, everybody fully aware that it means less of their favorite songs]. My friends came completely psyched for this show and it was infectious. There was a mosh-pit right next to me, which was fantastic, since it left plenty of room for me. I was waiting to hear When the Sun Goes Down, while the sun was going down (at 22:06 mind you), and that’s exactly what I got:
Kings of Leon– this band is huge in Europe since they’ve been doing the festivals for a while now, and Werchter is known to be the one the frequent the most. The band’s sound has become a lot more polished in the two years since I saw them, and it seems they’ve grown into their southern rock stars’ shells. Right before they ended with their Grammy winning Use Somebody and their first ever number one single Sex on Fire, lead singer Caleb decided to address the audience – thanking us for the fact that we chose to spend our money on music, claiming it “tickles him pink”. I think that’s my new favorite phrase.
In retrospect, this seems like the most cohesive day at the festival. Every show I went to was top-notch. Well, except for Ke$ha, but she spells her name with a dollar sign, so she’s obviously not into music.
***More videos can be found at my YouTube channel: