25 May 2024

22,23,24-06-2007 Graspop Metal Meeting

22,23,24-06-2007, Mol (Belgium)
By: Sabine van Gameren

Day 1:

Many, many metal heads made their way to Mol, Belgium this year. Arriving at the camping I found out that there was an enormous waiting line. People were pretty much complaining about the fact that nobody told they had to change the ticket before they could get in line for entering the camping. After two hours of waiting I finally got on the camping to set up our camp and drop of all the  stuff I don’t need at the festival area.

At the festival area we found out that Thin Lizzy cancelled their show. This means that Sabaton would play at their time on the mainstage instead of the Marque 1 in which they were scheduled. Unfortunately not all the people knew about this, so many people missed Sabaton due to this.

The band which opened the festival was Fastway. This is the band of Motörhead  guitarist Eddie Clarke. It was nice to see this band play, they really impressed me. Most of the people had never heard of them before, but they managed to get attention from them.

In the metal dome, this festival was opened by Crimson falls. This Belgian metalcore band shows of their skills immediately. Besides the metalcore, you also hear deathmetal. A special (winning?) combination. Their aggressive style and energy entertains a pretty filled metal dome.

Vader is the first band which got Marque 2 completely filled. This might also be a result of the weather. Right when they started playing it started raining. Loads of people saw this as an extra reason to see what Vader does. Well, nothing then compliments. I don’t like their music at all, but they play their music sharply and full of passion. The death metal is surely rich with Vader representing it.

After Vader, it was Amorphis’ turn to rock the marque. Quite some fans queuing for this deathmetal band. Seems like the Finnish metal guys, which singer have some very long dreads are quite popular. When they started playing I was pretty disappointed. The sound was bad!! Really bad! The drums and the guitar were too loud. The vocals completely faded away. After a while it went better, but this show did not please me at all. We have seen them before, know they can give a great show, but this was slightly disappointing.

Later the evening, Type O negative was about to play. Their music has become fabulous. With their almost doomish gothic metal they impressed many of the graspop visitors. They have some sort of sarcastic humour in their music. Their stage performance is perfectly done. I would not have expected that I would like them this much. Since the Marquee was completely filled, I guess they also could have been an act for the mainstage.

Aerosmith was the first day’s headliner. For quite some years they ignored Europe with touring, but now we see them rocking in Belgium. Although mr. Tyler seems to be a little tired, he really made a big show of his gig. After a while he showed us his belly which had “lick me” written on it. The mainly played their most well known songs as they started of with “Love In An Elevator”. But also, “Crazy”, “Rag Doll”, “Eat The Rich”, “Living On The Edge” and “Dream On” have been played. At last we got “Walk This Way”.
For the fans and people who are not fan, a good night with a lot sing along songs. Aerosmith still got it!

Day 2:

After long night of party on the camping, I went quite late to the festival area on Saturday. But, right on time to see Stone sour. Stone sour is a band you definitely have to see on a festival like this. They interact with the audience and test how smart they are. With asking to repeat him saying: Yeah… Yo… yeaah… The audience immediately follow. Then he laughs at them raise his middle finger to the audience and say: “Dorks”. The people on the field reacts the same. Probably he did not have thought that they would be this smart, since he seems to be surprised of this reaction. Anyway, Stone sour performed great!

Life of Agony was about to play next on the main stage. Although the band started in 1989 as a hardcore band, they play some more peaceful rock nowadays. Their performance was ok, the music sounds ok, but it was nothing special. Nothing more or less then an ordinary rock band you find in the bar next door. Too bad.

After Life of agony I walked up to one of the Marquees and found Less Than Jake playing. I managed to give them a change but after standing there for two minutes I run away. What kind of horrible music is this?? The vocals are horrible and the drums are overruling the rest. I found my way to the other Marquee and there I found Cannibal corpse. This death metal band is not only well known of their macabre lyrics, but also by the artwork. The kind of built a reputation with this. To see this band live is a nice experience. The aggressive way of playing is definitely affects the audience. The energy of the music is immediately returned.
But, never trust them! “When I told you this was our last song… I lied!!” the singer said followed by an evil laugh and then they started another song.

When Cannibal corpse left the Marquee, the Swedish Tiamat was preparing. Their Gothic doomish metal really gave me goose bumps. Especially with the song called “Cain”. They tear your soul in pieces. You get the feeling that you feel exactly the same as the writer of their music. That is the amazing effect f Tiamat. Although the band looks like they were involved by drugs the played very well. Probably the best band I have seen this festival.

After seeing Tiamat and having sort of dinner, I took a place to see Iron Maiden. They were about to play 2 hours there. Many people gathered in front of the Main Stage. Of course, Iron Maiden are famous! But well… besides that the show was really good, I could not be interested in them after one hour. Been there, done that. Their classic, sure… but I am already done with it in one hour.

Day 3:
When I arrive at the festival area on day 3, the last day, It seems to be pretty crowded. Because of all the rain of the days before and this morning the area changed in a huge puddle of mud. If you want to stay clean you better stay far away from Graspop.
First band to see is Black Label society. Great to see this band of Zakk Wylde playing at the same day as Ozzy Osbourne. A perfect start of the day. The typical sound of Black Label Society pleases me more and more. Metal/rock as it suppose to be! Nothing else to add.

After Black label society I went to the Marquee to see Moonsorrow. In this Marque there was some sort of folk day going on. Moonsorrow makes a cross between death metal and folk metal on a very interesting way. With touring in Europe and doing all the major festivals they become pretty successful. That results in an almost filled Marquee. For me, they were ok, but I could not find any specialties in their music or performance that attract me to buy on of their cd’s.

As if the Finnish Moonsorrow failed to give me musical joy, their Finnish colleagues did! When Korpiklaani entered the stage, the marquee was so filled that even outside people were watching them. Besides just musical artists, they are entertainers.
When the audience thinks they have to wait to long and start yelling for Korpiklaani, singer Jonne sneaks from behind a speaker and pretend that he can’t hear them. Then finally they start of and please us all. With songs as “Let’s Drink”, “Korpiklaani” and “Beer Beer” everybody sings along, whether they know the lyrics or not. It’s not that hard. As being a folk metal band they also use some cool instruments as accordion, Woodwinds and Jouhikko. Korpiklaani makes a big party this day! I would recommend this band to everyone!

In the metaldome, the Belgian progressive/metal act is about to conquer. Unfortunately they are scheduled at the same time as Children of Bodom, which results in a half filled metal dome. To all the people who went to see Children of Bodom: You really   missed an excellent band! With throwing some Frisbee’s into the audience they wanted to make sure all people came a little closer to the stage. They did not need that, because when they started playing everybody was surprised. It did not take long before a moshpit started and some crowd surfers appeared. Officially, crowd surfing was not allowed this year. Same for mooning. Both of this rules were broken several times though. It seems like the security was kind of ok with it, this time. Oceans of Sadness seems to enjoy their time at graspop a lot and the audience do not allow them to leave immediately. We all wanted an encore. We got one! But for most of us, it is still not enough. Maybe we will see this band on other festivals next year as well, maybe a Marquee place for them then? They really have potential.

During my dinner I was watching some slayer. For some reason they bore the hell out of me. Seriously, I expected more from them. The performance seems to be a little weak, like the band rather wants to sleep. Like they have been touring for too long already. Luckily, they are almost done when I finished eating and then the waiting for mr. Ozzy Osbourne has arrived. I waited for a while and there he was. But again, quite boring. This old guy is someone I would help cross the street if I would run into him somewhere. It’s not that his music is not good, but it is just boring to see. For me the festival is over after this. Back to the camping for the afterparty!

Crimson Falls
Type O negative
Stone Sour
Life of Agony
Less Than Jake
Cannibal Corpse
Iron Maiden
Black Label Society
Oceans of Sadness
Ozzy Osbourne