Graspop 2009 was probably the strongest overall lineup I’ve seen at the festival, although the headliners were surprisingly weak. Motley Crue were just dreadful, playing guitar-wankery for ages after just the first song. This was followed by a rather tedious and very poorly-performed solo after the third song. Time to head back to the tent.
Slipknot were much better on Saturday, but somehow didn’t capture the magic they once did. This despite a pretty passable fourth album. Perhaps the problem was with the weather which was ridiculously hot all weekend.
Marilyn Manson has gone from “God of ****” to “God of **** Off You’re Rubbish”. He certainly lived up to the bad press he received from his performance at Download a fortnight back. If memory serves, he was five songs through before he said anything at all to the audience and that was only four words: “So this is Belgium?”. Between songs, the stage just went black with the audience left just wondering what was going on. We gave him until “Sweet Dreams” then wandered off as we quite like that song and didn’t want to hear him murder it.
The remaining bands put together a great bill, though. Across various tents I watched All That Remains, Papa Roach, Anthrax (my top band of the weekend), Sacred Reich, W.A.S.P., Disturbed, Hatebreed, Trivium, Pestilence, Down, Dragonforce, Lamb of God… Plus a load more I wasn’t familiar with.
A shame Killswitch Engage didn’t play, but I gather the lead singer’s grandmother passed away. I’m sure nobody holds it against them for him choosing to go home.
Hot sun, cold beer, great music. A shame the local council has clamped down completely on the locals selling food and beer to the festival-goers. A big thumbs down to the mayor of Dessel. I don’t fancy his chances much at the next election.
I’m off to rest my weary body and dress my wounds (I’ve got some impressive cuts this year – weird) before getting up in about 4 hours to catch my flight to Bangkok. What a life, eh?