Groezrock 2014

Good music, cheap beer, and lots of friends
Groezrock 2014

 

First of all, we would like to thank Groezrock for the press invitation. It is very nice to see that they also believe in what we stand for. This invitation gave us the opportunity to interview some cool bands who definitely need your attention, so stay tuned over the next few days.

 

Anyway, let’s talk about the festival. You could sum it up in good music, cheap beer and lots of friends and familiar faces. For me, this was the 11th edition I attended. Funny to see that Gameface was also on the 2003 edition, my first one.

 

Friday 2 May

My first band of the day was Atlas Losing Grip. I saw them play at Jera On Air last year but I was not intrigued then. This time, the Swedish punk rockers did their best to please the crowd by playing fast, melodic and catchy songs. Especially fans of Rise Against will love this band, since the vocals are quite similar to those of Tim McIlrath.

Britt and I did a few interviews in between but then it was time for Red City Radio, a band that I could listen to all day. Growling punk rock from Oklahoma, USA. And even better: playing at the Etnies stage where people are allowed to stagedive. Everyone singing the line “I am a fucking Juggernaut”, a quote from the song ‘Show Me On The Doll Where The Music Touched You’, created a magical moment.

Red City Radio, Facebook fan page

 

The Wonder Years were up next, this band was supposed to play at the Impericon stage but the fans rallied and got them to play at the Etnies stage so there wouldn’t be any barriers. But although the band tried their best, the crowd remained a little bit calm. I expected more perhaps. Towards the end the crowd did get really into the show, especially during closing song ‘Came Out Swinging’. Luckily, everyone who missed it or didn’t get their fill will get another chance in Utrecht (Tivoli de Helling) or Eindhoven (Mildtfest).

For me, I Am The Avalanche and Iron Chic were up next. I had a blast at both gigs. There was definitely more singing and dancing along. I Am The Avalanche’s show got a little bit disrupted when they found out there were pickpockets among the crowd (shame on you). In the end I got a big grin on my face when I heard “Brooklyn Dodgers”. The same goes for Iron Chic. A lot of stagedivers during that set. A lot. Great atmosphere and great show!

I Am The Avalanche, Facebook fan page

 

Taking Back Sunday and Brand New then, two bands that share a long and often unpleasant history, although they have been getting along better in recent years. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out http://www.aux.tv/2013/09/remembering-the-taking-back-sunday-and-brand-n....
Anyway, Taking Back Sunday recently released a new album and was eager to play those songs. It turned out to be the wrong choice. The crowd came to hear the old nostalgic songs and the focus switched from listening to the songs into watching the singers dancing moves, which were better than his voice that day. A lot better. Brand New on the other hand, hadn’t released any new work recently, or in recent years even, and played what the crowd wanted to hear. Not to mention their performance was absolutely great, but by now that will not come as a surprise to those familiar with Brand New. Highlight for me was Seventy Times 7 and the British people standing next to us passionately singing along with every word.

 

Saturday 3 May

Local punk rockers The Priceduifkes have been a band for 10 years now. They finally got some recognition after playing in every small bar in Belgium and now got to play at Groezrock. Lots of familiar faces in the crowd and everyone was nicely dressed in PDS Jugend jeans jackets. With that much support, it could not be anything else than a killer show with crowd pleaser ‘Loser’ and a fantastic atmosphere. It was a good morning exercise.

The Priceduifkes, Facebook fan page

 

Running from the Etnies stage to the main stage to see the last part of Elway then. The Colorado punk rockers have beautiful catchy songs about broken hearts and disappointment and they make it sound great. Lots of references to poetry too. The charismatic singer made some jokes about the Casualties (“Who is ready to see them play today? Me neither, they will probably be in jail by the time they are on stage”). Oh snap!

British punk rockers River Jumpers got me to visit the MacBeth stage for the first time this festival. This stage was mostly reserved for winners of the MacBeth voting competition, like River Jumpers themselves were. The band are working very hard to gain some recognition and seemed to be successful. With their album “Chapters”, they got lots of people dancing and singing along, including myself. What I liked most about this gig is that I saw friends from the UK and from Belgium in the crowd all singing songs together. This is why I love music; it connects people.

River Jumpers, Facebook fan page

 

I then saw a bit of Apologies, I Have None. These British punk rockers make touching songs with passion and heartfelt lyrics. They used to be a four piece but after guitarist Dan left they were not sure what to do on stage. This time, Dan was replaced by 2 other members, one of them being Great Cynics’ guitarist Giles. Funny story: we saw Giles earlier that day still practicing his songs in the back of their van. Elway’s vocalist Tim was standing sidestage and was visibly enjoying himself, later saying that he also felt a little bummed when he had to leave the gig early to do some interviews.

Apologies, I have None, Facebook fan page

 

Bim Skala Bim and The Toasters threw a ska party. And nothing is ever wrong with some ska. Bim Skala Bim had a nice added bonus: a beautiful sundown.

The Offspring playing their album Smash in full and some of their greatest hits. I especially liked the greatest hits party (shame on me). The general crowd seemed to love it from the start. Moshpits were all around, even at the back of the tent. Incredible.

The Offspring, Facebook fan page

 

To recap: I had a lot of fun. I saw tons of familiar faces from all over Europe and listened to the best national and international punk rock bands. Groezrock is more than a music festival, as it is all about having a good time and a drink with your friends. It is about not letting stagedivers and crowdsurfers tumble down, even if it is the 20th time he/she jumps on you. It is about picking up people who do fall down in the moshpit. It is about helping and caring about your fellow man. 

See you next year. For sure.

 

 

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