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Wow, it seems people have been missing me, so let me bore you to tears with the story of my weekend!
Due to the late decision/opportunity to go to Graspop this year the most sensible way to still obtain a ticket was to ask M. in Arnhem to get one for me.
A long story about free train rides and late arrivals follows, so let’s skip that and just say that this lead to me getting up at fucking 3:00 in the morning on Friday, picking up my ticket in Arnhem before the Dutchies boarded their train and heroically arriving earlyish and reserving a nice spot for our tents and the gazebo on the camping ground in Dessel.
When the others finally arrived I felt like kissing the ground, as after hours of me defending my piece of pasture against the enemy all by myself the neighbours became pushy and asked about putting one of their tents a bit into my reserved space and then merrily - but thankfully slowly - went about setting up two tents. Buuuut the others arrived just in time.
For us, Friday was a slow day, meaning we had a lot of time to check out the toilets, food and drink before it was time for the others to “see” Lacuna Coil. Well, there isn’t much to see if you’re sitting on the ground.
Then it was Moonspell time, but what with the distance and lighting I unfortunately cannot provide any pictures. The video clip I made is equally blurry, but I’ll just “watch” “Opium” with closed eyes then, lol.
It was dark; it was cold, but we bravely waited till 1:20 in the morning, passing the time by meeting Kenny, putting Kenny into a straitjacket and J. and R. hallucinating that they were in World of Warcraft, and not the real world. Well, I suppose sitting in the dusty cold does that to you. When the cold freezes your brain, and the dirt starts eating away at your bronchi….
Kenny, er, J.!
And then, the highlight of the evening - for me probably of the weekend: Die Krupps.
I had thought that after Lee Altus had left and Engler founded DKay.Com, Die Krupps had become the past, over and done with.
And then they were announced for Graspop! At some point Engler mentioned that it was their 25th anniversary, and the backdrop suggested the same. But…. that was a very ominous backdrop.
… or not Die Krupps?
Why are the Die Krupps rings crossed out? Is this just an anniversary tour, or will we be hearing more of Die Krupps again in the future? I’d appreciate the latter, as I don’t really like DKay.Com. Yeah, sue me, Mr Engler!
A few songs (e.g. “Alive”) sounded a lot more electronical than I remembered them, but still very Die Krupps. That concert was great. And Jürgen Engler was great. He may not have very many moves, but he performs them with grace and he does have stage presence.
Saturday was my busiest day. But first I had a very photogenic guest lounging on my tent:
Then it was time for some Florida noise, i.e….
Check out their equally bad pic of the crowd on their homepage!
It was very, very stifling in that tent, but it was to become worse:
Stone Sour, main stage, out in the blazing sun. Yes, Caesar, that’s when I was whining at you about heat strokes… or rather after their gig.
What can I say? Liked their show, got my brain fried through….
“This song is dedicated to the great American traitor, Mr. George Bush. This song is about real freedom.”
Close to the end of their set Corey saw himself in one of the big screens on the side of the stage, which led to the following little conversation with the audience:
“Do I look like that? I look like shit.
Do I look like shit?”
“Fuck you too.”
As I was well done by then I used the break to trudge back to the camping, where I rested a bit and washed my arms and wet my hair in the tent with the wash basins. That cooled me down a treat and kept me refreshed for… like…. 10 minutes?
Talking about the camping, this sign did confuse me a bit.
But I had brought my bow and arrows and my gutting knife! Dang!!!
I barely made it back in time to see Alice in Chains (main stage, out in the sun of course…), but I was very disappointed. Not that their new singer was bad, but if the voice of a band dies, they’re in a spot of trouble. The show totally sucked for me; sorry, dude.
My Dying Bride…
… made me forget that right away. Aaaaaah, sweet whiny melancholy…
Was too far away from the stage and Soulfly then for any postable pics, but I took a nice picture of a young lady who - like her boyfriend - was trying to avoid inhaling the flying dust that just crept everywhere:
Lol, I just saw that I also captured a “nice” belly in a men’s skirt in that pic. Enjoy!
After Soulfly I peeked into the tent Opeth were playing at, but that was too odd for me after that long and hectic day, so I wandered back to the camping.
Things got even odder on the way there. The security people sitting in front of the comfy crew camping area were listening to….. Celine Dion! Mildly traumatized I stumbled on and fell into nightmare-ridden sleep in my tent. I think I was at sea.
Good thing that Sunday was such a slow and relaxing day for me then.
As a Coal Chamber fan I had to go and see Devil Driver of course. What can I say? Dez needs a diet ; and I wish he’d still sing and not just scream. Nothing against screaming, but he has such a wonderful singing voice, at least in my opinion, so I miss that of course.
The show was great, and Dez is too nice too be metal, lol.
“There are some little motherfuckers in the pit - 11 or so - so be careful.
Man, I love this shit!”
He didn’t just seem to care for the safety of the little motherfuckers, but also about the safety of all motherfuckers.
Is a circle pit the in thing these days? I have no idea.
Anyway, on the first day some old school band on the main stage (Y&T? I think it was them; who cares…) wanted a circle pit as well. Their only concern seemed to be that people should only form it in the exact moment the band wanted and not at any other time.
Dez wanted one as well, for the duration of a whole song. So what did he do? He told people to open up a huge space in front of the stage (5×5 or 6×6 m, I’m not good at estimating measurements) to have room for the circle pit. Didn’t see anyone get hurt in there, not even the little motherfuckers - who really looked like being 11 or so.
As my festival food source had run out of rice and I don’t like his noodles, I sadly trudged back to camping and had some icky Belgian French fries and coffee. While I was sitting there the Flood happened, er, I mean, it rained. Mightily. When things had calmed down a bit I hurried back to the tents, as they had been giving out (thunder) storm warnings all day long. Luckily T., Kenny, er, J. and S. were back as well, so I had some help in taking down the gazebo. For that I was very thankful not so much later when the storm hit while I was whiling away the time reading in my tent (I said Sunday was a slow day for me…). We had another Flood, thunder and lightning and wind enough for my one tent wall to occasionally duck into the tent and say hello to me. Was a tad scary weathering out the weather there….
Little did I know what the day would still bring…
S. put it so accurately: “It’s amazing how the little guy can produce all those vocals.” (Don’t hit me if that wasn’t a 100% true quote; I’m senile.)
Cradle of Filth
Caught the little Brit out on something during “From the cradle to enslave” though. Sometimes it does pay off to try and pay attention to screamed lyrics. At some point he sang “I don’t know the fucking words to this song… *mumble, mumble*” Hilarious.
After that we split up. S., T., Kenny, er J. and me got some drinks and returned to the tents.
We went to sleep, or in some cases tried to.
I don’t know if you are familiar with this odd spreading habit of people at festivals. They take either old tents or are fucking rich farts.
Because on the morning after the festival there always are people who set their tent on fire instead of taking it home again. It must’ve become such a widespread habit that the Graspop people are even mentioning on their website that it is forbidden to burn your tent there.
So. I was just undressing/changing when I heard a mixed group of men discussing in English that they felt like setting a tent on fire right now. The notice on the website was mentioned, and that they had to exactly time this because of the fire brigade patrols. Someone asked if it was illegal, and someone else said “No, of course it’s not!” One of them started wandering around and hollered at a tent that the people inside had to leave it now, no joking, and if they had a lighter, please.
In the end they rather settled for lighting up the downed tent beside mine.
From the inside of my tent it sounded as if they had dragged it up right against mine, which frightened me some. (I had ceased undressing and started to sit listening with wide eyes some time ago…) From the sound of it they were all drunk; and who’d light their tent with one night still ahead anyway?! So when it became obvious that they were seriously going to set it on fire there and now, I crawled half out, but they had dragged it away to the “sensible” distance of maybe 3m off.
The fire brigade was there within one or two minutes and put out what was left of it… Two men had quit the scene the moment the fire truck appeared on the horizon.
I was still spooked, so I read for about an hour or so by the light of my flashlight.
Sometime then people started arriving back from the festival. I didn’t get much of what was said, but one thing I did get: one of the new arrivals was the owner of the tent. He stayed calm and alerted security. I think it was a security guy whom I heard on the phone right behind my tent some time later talking about the young man wanting to involve the police, and that several tents had been burned on the camping area. (He obligingly spoke very slowly and well-modulated which helps a German understand Dutch… or Flemish, if you’re in Belgium. Whatever.)
T. told me in the morning that he heard at some point that someone fell over a tent. So that was the reason it was down, not that people had already been taking it down…
Actually, the poor sod’s belongings had been in as well of course.
Fat chance they’ll catch ‘em (the two leaving were the main driving force…) but a gal can wish. They should be punished for that. Burning other people’s property is not metal, that’s the behaviour of scum. And being drunk is no excuse.
I wish I hadn’t mistaken them for some idiots lighting their own old tent…
But to something more enjoyable. After breaking camp on Monday morning we hauled our belongings into the breakfast tent and had breakfast, coffee, or nothing, depending on taste and mood.
A couple of benches on some guy suddenly raised a sorry breadroll or something, speared with wooden forks, into the air and started singing “Happy birthday”, motioning for people to join in. (Was it really someone’s birthday by the way? Do tell!) I went over when they were done with the singing and set to lighting the “candles”.
Pictures published with permission:
P.S.: Especially for you, Davie:
the Dutch - German border at Venlo