woensdag 2 mei 2012

Groezrock 2012 Review

Every year at the end of April, a bunch of great bands find their way to the Groezrock festival in Meerhout, Belgium. Remarkable fact: This year’s edition even got sold out at the very end! People from all over Europe come to the punk- and hardcore festival to fill their heads with music… and beer.

The stages

The Fender Acoustic was the smallest stage on the entire festival. As the name tells you already, here were acoustic sets played by Yellowcard, Vienna, Face Tomorrow, Anti-Flag and Tommy Gabel.
The stage to be the most excited about –without a doubt-  was the intimate Etnies stage. No barriers at all, band and crowd become one as stagedives and singalongs are parts of the sets. A few bands who played this stage: Junius, BEAR, Slapshot, Verse, Sunpower, Confession.

The Impericon stage is the place to be for more ‘mainstream’ metalcore bands such as The Ghost Inside, Architects, Evergreen Terrace and Parkway Drive.
The main stage... No need for any further explanation.


On Saturday the Etnies stage was opened powerfully by Belgian band BEAR from Antwerp. What was immediately standing out during the show were the blinders, which gave the lightshow an extra touch. A great show to wake up and to get yourself prepared for more.

Last year, The Ghost Inside played the Etnies stage. This year they played Impericon stage around six ‘o clock and smashed the place. Songs like ‘Destined’ and ‘Unspoken’ made the crowd go mad. This band has gained popularity in just little time, what was proven once again at Groezrock.

The Dillinger Escape Plan was introduced as the most extreme band playing the festival and they confirmed those words in every way. All Dillinger traditions were there: Guitarist Ben Weinman went for a crowdsurf while playing his guitar, vocalist Greg took a 4 meter jump down from the boxes and at the very end of the set the drum was destroyed. You are wondering about how they can afford this? I was told they rob music stores in every town they play.

It became clear that Parkway Drive has become completely overhyped, since the Impericon stage did not provide enough space for all people who wanted to see the Australian band. You could not move at all and it was hard to get out of the place, because it was too packed. The atmosphere was not comparable to what it was years ago, before Parkway’s popularity increased. The main stage would have been a better spot for the band to play.

One of the best punkrock atmospheres on the festival was during Sunpower. The Belgian band played the Etnies stage around noon and succeeded in throwing a party out of nothing. People were dancing on stage as the band almost forced the crowd to join them. Just minutes later there was even a circle pit on the stage. Everything is possible when Sunpower is around. Satisfied they yelled: “Yeah, that is a punkrock party".

Another hardcore band is Verse. They attracted a good amount of people to the Etnies stage on Saturday and their genre can be compared with eighties hardcore. The song ‘Story of a free man’ broke the ice, which can be seen on the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buhxeQ9Q3GU

Architects has been touring until last weekend with guitarist
Tim, who left the band now. Tim’s last show was okay, but could be more satisfying if the crowd would have been more into it. Despite that fact, Architects gave the best of theirselves and played some new songs from their album ‘Daybreaker’ which will be out at the end of the month.
Anti-Flag brought familiarity to Groezrock, since their songs are known so well among the entire crowd. Even people who are not familiar with the band, will still be into the music thanks to the good old vibe. When there are people climbing up on the poles where light- and sounddesks are located to sing at the lighttechnican –he thought it was not funny… at all-, then you know the atmosphere is a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

Your last chance to collect some black spots at the Impericon stage was during Terror’s set. Suddenly, a whole lot more security men came out of nothing to swallow the stream of crowdsurfers. No surprise of course, as singer Scott Vogel pointed at the poor guys standing in front of the stage while demanding to put those men to work.
Terror took their time to tell us what they think about today’s scene: Bands who call theirselves ‘hardcore’ just to gain popularity should be ashamed of theirselves, bands who do not support other bands by going to shows etc. do not deserve any respect, same for those who do it for the money. Last, but certainly not least: Refused got blamed to be one of those bands who care about money only. After 50 min, Terror donated the last ten minutes of their set to Take Offense for some more terrorizing old skool hardcore. If that is not the hardcore spirit still living on, then the world will be taken over by ducks.

Refused did not answer Terror’s accusion. Honestly, they seemed very happy and were extremely honoured to be headlining the Groezrock festival. Refused has been gone for thirteen years and they had difficulties with filling venues where just a few hundred people could fit in. Now, years later they suddenly headline festivals and those guys are very grateful. The band took their time for some peptalk as well, such as life: “Don’t you ever let anybody tell you how to live your life. You only get one chance here. This is real. This is not a rehearsal.” Think about that, guys.
 ‘Ever Lasting’ seemed the song everyone had been waiting for, since the place broke loose at that moment the first notes started to play. Refused was very enthusiastic about the show, and so were the visitors of Groezrock.
A great headliner of a great weekend full of punkrock and hardcore.

The Dillinger Escape Stache