Thursday, 3 July 2008

Graspop Metal Meeting 2008, Dessel, Belgium, June 27, 28, 29

Friday 27th

We got to camp really early in the morning so we could set up two tents and set up our flags then walked over a mile (literally) to the actual festival site where all queues for drink tokens were absolutely huge so after we eventually got our "beer cash" we watched the first band of the festival on the main stage, Tesla, and they were a huge pile of crap, really bog standard US rock with horrible strained vocals and every song was greeted by total silence, a hugely disappointing start to the festival.
After Tesla had bored us all to death we crossed over to the main marquee for Black Stone Cherry, a band that looked english and musicaly sounded english but announced they were from kentucky, BST rocked, sounded quite like a southern version of thin lizzy, boss vocals and excellent guitar work, the drummer was great too, onde to look out for!!!!
After Black Stone Cherry it was back over to the main stage for YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
now I write that in capitals cos the guy deserves it, i totally love "Rising Force" but when it's sung by Tim "Ripper" Owens it beats all versions by all who sang it before him. Yngwie's set was proper dogged by guitar malfunctions and watching him cover up his malfunctions and some mistakes was pretty amusing, other than that, the solos ruled and Ripper was his usual excellent self, I should have bought his shirt, the one that said "YNGWIE WHO?" on the front, and "YNGWIE FUCKIN MALMSTEEN, THAT'S WHO!!!" on the back!!!! Yngwie, with his tight as fuck leather pants and girly hair do still made me bang my head, BOSS!!!!
There were no other bands worth bothering with til Saxon took to the main stage and did the english proud once again. Biff Byford is a great frontman, his continuous quotes of "Do you want a new song or an old song?" were always met with a few thousand shouts of "OLD" then before the end Biff said " Are you lot gonna let us play any new stuff or what?", it was all a laugh, Crusader was the highpoint of saxons set, I've always loved the Crusader album! Saxon were "Top Notch" as Lemmy would say, can't wait to see them support Motorhead in november!!!!!!!

Back to the smaller tent for Obituary, only caught half the set due to the amount of people crammed into the tent, we couldn't see any of the band but they sounded amazing, the huge surge of people trying to get out of the tent pissed us off a bit so we got off to get our speck for Def Leppard. "What's still got 9 arms and still sucks?", I though as a huge red curtain was spread across the backdrop of the stage as Joe Elliot announced "Welcome To The Sparkle Lounge" which totally put me off them for life, good setlist though but bad sound, bass and guitars were perfect but those electric drums sounded terible and at some stages it looked like Joe Elliot was miming, just a thought, was good to hear Animal!
Testamentwere on stright after Leppard over in the main tent and they were tight, everything about this set was perfect, even got involved in the pit for the first and only time at the festival, I liked the new songs, Chuck Billy gets man of the match for this, when he wasn't singing he was doing air guitar or air drums, a proper joy to watch!!! They opened up with Over The Wall and it was none stop thrash after that! Testament clashed times with Nile who i really wanted to see again but I'm really chuffed I chose Testament instead!
I left during the last song so I could sort out my place in the crowd for the next band on the main stage, WHITESNAKE!!!
Gotta hand it to David Coverdale and Whitesnake and the comeback of the century. Opening up with "Best Years" and playing lots of oldies like "Fool For Your Loving", "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" Coverdale dedicated "Love Ain't No Stranger" to ex whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley, who I thought must have died, but he actually died the day we got back to england. Absolutely cannot fucking wait for the liverpool show in 2 weeks!!!

Never got to see Morbid Angel in the small tent, the same problems with Obituary were to blame so we hung around for Judas Priest.
It fucking hurts me to say this, after 18 years of listening to Priest since Painkiller came out, Priest were shite, really disappointing, opening up with a new song which was really slow paced compared to the new album version and following it up with a really slowed down version of Metal Gods, watching Rob Halford plod along slowly with no enthusiasm at a snails pace was excruciating. The set that included really slow versions of fast classics Sinner and Between The Hammer And The Anvil was terrible, half arsed and tuned down so it sounds even worse.
Can't say any more really.

A boss day, with a load of good bands to watch but there wasn't much worth bothering with on the other two days.

Saturday 28th

Today was all about KISS, we had a lie in, got up dead late, walked that mile to the festival site and saw our first band of the day on the main stage, Forbidden, who played for about an hour, they were really good and I was surprised they were on the main stage.
I missed a load of bands on this day due to me being a lazy tired cunt, we returned to the tent after Forbidden so most of the day was spent in a deck chair getting sunburnt, I missed Immortal, Dying Fetus, My Dying Bride, Iced Earth, Agent Steel and Valient Thor, bands that for weeks I was dying to watch but at the last minute I just couldn't be arsed. After I got back to the bands, I caught The Cavalera Conspiracy and thought they were good, some old sepultura songs went down well and a version of Troops Of Doom with Max Cavelera's young son on drums, which was cool! Surprisingly a good gig by the cavaleras!!!
The mighty KISS had finally taken the stage at 11.30pm and finished at 1.45am. I can't fault anything Kiss did at Graspop, from the excellent choice of songs to all the fire breathing, gene flying, paul sliding, tommy thayer soloing, eric singer drum solo's and OTT pyrotechnics, the whole kiss kaboodle was an amazing experience, not even the P.A. cutting out 3 times during 100,000 Years could kill the mood, Kiss Ruled, end of, and I hope they play Liverpools new arena next year!!!!

Sunday 29th

Once again, a lie in on sunday morning cos all the opening bands were shite, I mean Lauren Harris was first on the main stage and I wasn't even gonna attemp to go down and get all that shit.
We got to the main stage just in time to catch the opening song "Rock N Roll Outlaw" by ROSE TATTOO!!!! My pick of the festival, thee best band at Graspop, they looked and sounded great, Rose Tattoo have always reminded me a lot of AC/DC with Bon Scott on vocals and Live they're much better, they're just so catchy and awesome, Angry Anderson is a great frontman, always looks like he's up for a laugh!!! Excellent show by them!!!!

Watched a bit of Apocolyptica but they were shite so we went back to the tent to pack it up back into the car and returned much later missing some good bands like Madball and At The Gates in their respective tents.
Mainstage headliners Iron Maiden disappointed me at last years Graspop with their unimpressive set list, this year they blew my fucking head clean off, a simply amazing show, all 6 members reminded me of why I got into this music in the first place, non stop energy and fun, Bruce Dickinson even gave us the football scores in the Spain Vs Germany Euro 2008 final!!!
He announced that the sunday had the record attendance in the history of Graspop, I can't remember the total but it seems they beat Kiss and Priest for attendance and that is fucking boss!!!
Can't wait for Twickenham this saturday!!!!!

We spent another day in belgium getting pissed and went to amsterdam on the way back home, got very painfully sunburnt but it was all worth it, dunno about going next year, let's see who plays first!!!!

See Thee at Twickenham!!!!!!!

1 comment:

SJW said...

This is the best review that this here zine has seen so far! Well in Our Claw!