Graspop report day 3

16908564310_c969e651d5One of the best weekends of the year has once again passed. Man, it went quickly. Time to reminisce a little about the good times we’ve had, or if you’ve stayed at home, because for instance you’re still in you exams, see what you’ve missed. The past days, I’ve given you an insight on day 1 and day 2. Today we travel back to sunday!

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Once more, the day when every thing had to be packed and brought back to the car had come way too soon. A short shower of rain in the morning seemed like an announcement for a day of miserable weather, but once the first sounds came from the festival meadow, the clouds passed by and the sun showed up for the first time, sticking with us throughout our entire last day.

Our first real appointment was in the metal dome nevertheless, where Belgian speed metal sensation Evil Invaders were planning on attempting to break the Exodus mosh pit record. The dome was pretty filled up way before the four piece started shredding away with Fast, Loud ‘n’ Rude. Tense atmosphere, musicians running around the stage all the time, lots of smoke and a truly vicious pit. Pulses Of Pleasure and Stairway To Insanity were highlights as usual. For set closer Master Of Illusion, the band’s former guitar player stopped by to play along.

For once I had to hurry from one stage to another. The reason was that immediately after Evil Invaders, Sylosis were scheduled at the marquee. Hard to put a label on the British four piece. I sense some clear influences from prog, thrash, black, death and even core in some of their songs and was particularly interested in how they would sound live. It was pretty stunning to witness the intensity with which they brought us songs like Mercy, Leech and the brilliant set closer Empyreal. Such great musicians, especially frontman Josh Middleton.

With some time to spare, I went to chill in the Classic Rock café once more. Around 17h30 I decided to follow a buddy of mine to see Equilibrium at the metal dome. Some German epic metal, pretty nice. While their performance was pretty enjoyable, it’s not entirely my thing though. The next band I was looking forward to, were Motörhead at main 1. “We are Motörhead, and we play rock n’ roll”, that’s pretty much all it takes for the crowd to go insane already. While drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell were definitely in good shape, it was clear that Lemmy wasn’t. Mumbling through and between the songs, it’s clear that Lemmy will probably never be the same again after his health issues. Some parts of the crowd went crazy anyway, but for the rest it took until Ace Of Spades and Overkill to really start partying.

Back to the metal dome then, where another British band was ripping out music even faster than their Belgian predecessors. “The fastest band in the world”, that’s how Dragonforce apparently present themselves according to their introduction. Starting off with Fury Of The Storm, the slow and steady pace Motörhead played in most of the time was immediately forgotten. Guitarist Herman Li seemed to have some problems with his wireless system, but that was obviously resolved rapidly, it’s kind of their trademark. Singer Marc Hudson announced Cry Thunder as a song from their latest album ‘The Power Within’, for a moment forgetting ‘Maximum Overload’ was released earlier this year. That’s what you get when everything has to go quickly. Even the visuals couldn’t keep up the pace during The Game, when the lyrics from the chorus came showing up during the verse. No-one seemed to really care when the band ended playing Through The Fire And The Flames, because the only thing we’ll remember is that they’re all such great musicians and entertainers.

scorpions_band_logo-1920x1080It’s power ballad time. That’s right, Scorpions were getting ready to end the festival with a blast. Or so you would expect, because their show and setlist did surprise pretty much everyone. No fireworks like when they came to Brussels last year. Pretty surprising that they had prepared some kind of ’70s medley featuring Top Of The Bill, Speedrock Fever and Speedy’s Coming as well as some other less obvious songs. Lots of instrumentals, besides the eternal Coast Coast and Kottak Attack. Most of the crowd clearly didn’t know what to think while the die hard fans – among whom yours truly – could really appreciate the surprises. The crowd awoke for the first time for Wind Of Change and again for Blackout and encores Still Loving You and Rock You Like A Hurricane.

After that, most of the crowd initially stayed to witness the return of Faith No More, but once Mike Patton and his comrades started playing Motherfucker, the exodus seemed to have started. They really didn’t have any problems captivating the tired crowd with songs such as Epic and a Midlife Crisis split up in two parts. Their Commodores cover Easy was obviously sung along by everyone that was still left. With them not leaving the biggest hit until the end, more and more people left right before the encore with the new Sol Invictus and Just A Man.

Some honourable mentions

2015 speed record: Dragonforce. Evil Invaders give it their very best though, until the point of almost over-galloping. There’s just not much to be done against the hyper speed riffing and soloing of Li and Totman.

Best musical trip: Sylosis. Some members in the crowd actually did resort to crack, the same effect was reached with only the music though. That’s some damn fine sweep pickin’.

Hottest female fans: Once more Dragonforce. I guess it’s got something to do with bad boy Sam Totman making wanky moves and sucky faces while Herman Li is shredding away. Or just the mad skillz. Bitches love mad skillz.

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