Groezrock 2015 – Day 1

The 2015 edition of the Groezrock Festival promised to be a good one, not only for the line-up of amazing bands playing this year, but also because we know that the people running this festival take care of their visitors, fans and bands alike. Just before we went on our way I went out to get gas and the car just shut down on me at the gas station. This was not a good way to start our day! After some calls I got a tow truck too where I was stranded and guess what… The batterycable came lose… I felt like such an idiot. Whatever… We got there! We checked ourself in for our press passes and dropped our gear in one of the lockers at the press tent. We are at a festival, so we set our priorities, before we do anything, “let’s have a beer!”  While sitting our ass down in the sun we noticed the dude sitting next to us, this day was going to be good, Mister Nick Oliveri was thinking the same thing we where, priorities, remember…

Groezrock-14 Toxic Shock was the first band we went to see, and that was not a bad choice. These guys from Antwerp play fast trashcore, oldschool style. After beating cancer Wally is back on the frontline to tell you how your life sucks. Jobs you don’t want to do, kids you love but don’t want to spend time with and how growing up suck… DEAL WITH IT. They played the Back to Basics stage, wich means no front, no security… A paradise for stagedivers. Maybe it was the early hour, maybe it was the fact that I have only seen them in small venue’s but the crowd was a little méh… They played their hearts out, Wally was even climbing 10 meters up in the stagesetup… Except for the people in the front the crowd did not really respond, I don’t get it, it was a great show! Their song “Monday is cancelled” got me all fired up and I was ready for a weekend of mayhem and destruction (only thing I destroyed was my liver and my wallet…)

When The Dwarves play a festival it’s always a risk, are these guys gonna fuck it all up or is it going to be great? Who remembers the 20 minute show they played in Aarschot some years ago? Nick Oliveri walked on stage full monty and the crowd loved it before they even played a note. Blag was in a great mood and was ready for a party. Did The Dwarves invent rock n roll? No! Do they play it and make it sound so much better? YES! It’s always fun to see a band interact with their fans and when Blag got into the crowd he won the hearts of all there, he did lose his mic, but that’s not his problem. I did see some girls looking at Nick, wondering and hoping if he was going to follow Blag’s example… Don’t blame them for dreaming, besides being a great bassist he got something else pretty great to the dislike of many male fans in the crowd… I mentioned this before in a previous post, but if you want your punkrock PC, stay far away from The Dwarves. But if you just want to party, get drunk and have an awesome time this is your band! If you missed them, make sure it doesn’t happen again!

After The Dwarves it was time to hang out a little, meet up with friends, have a few beers and just enjoy the atmosphere. Groezrock is one of those festivals that are great to just be there, hang, drink wander around… Getting a beer mostly ends up in a chat with a stranger, even for a few seconds… We all understand why we’re here…

Groezrock-31I HATE AUSSIES!!! They think they are the best people in the world, they think they have the prettiest girls in the world, they think they have the best BBQ in the world and they even think they have the best beer in the world! Fuck ’em! My ex-boss was one and he’s a dickhead! (I’m just kidding, I love you Mike, and most aussies…) The Smith Street Band are according to the world-wide web a folkpunk band. I did not hear any folk… What I did hear was an indie punk band that knows how to write a song. This show was pure fun, for the people in the crowd, it was a big crowd, and for the band on stage. If they got payed for every smile they had on their face they would have been millionaires. One thing did bother me, if you’re playing at the Back to Basics stage, you know there will be people on stage diving and trying to sing along in the microphone. Don’t push them away, don’t get upset about it, they buy your records and merch. Be glad they want to be there with you and make this show what it is. I really loved this show, but for some reason, the image of the singer pushing away the girl who just wanted to sing along stuck with me.

Groezrock-67The next stop was Iron Reagan from Richmond, Virginia. Oh my god, what a party this was. Trash is back, that’s for sure. Hardcore kids going crazy on trash metal? Not when I was a kid. The mood was set right from the start, stagedivers everywhere and moshpits all around. I could see Nick Oliveri standing on the side of the stage approving it all with a big grin on his face. If there is one thing I like it’s an open mind and this band is the living proof that taste is a genre crossing thing. Nobody cares if you like punk, metal or hardcore, or should not care… Iron Reagan grabbed the crowd by the back of their neck and pulled them into a hurricane of noise and chaos. It was marvelous!

Groezrock-83We had no plans to go see Broilers, but I was a little curious about how a these guys would do. I was also convinced that the only reason they got booked for the festival was to get more Germans to the festival. But while Inny was shooting pictures frontstage, I got hooked on their sound. Catchy punk’n’roll, that you just want to dance to. I loved it! If these guys where not singing in German they would be huge world-wide!

Groezrock-104If there was one band I needed to see on this first day it was Social Distortion. The hours went by and my anticipation grew stronger by the minute. Was I expecting to much? Where they going to be a big disappointment? While my adrenalin went up, the temperature dropped, it was getting really cold in the field and the folks not willing to embark on this adventure with me started to turn home or to their tents in search of some warmth. I kissed Inny goodbye for her epic journey into the frontstage to shoot pictures of Mister Mike Ness… When I was a kid I didn’t like Social D, it was not hard enough for me, but with age comes wisdom and all of a sudden it spoke to me. These are just good songs! It took them some time to start and I was not getting drunk, but when they walked on stage and those first notes got played I got an instant high. A big smile on my face and I felt like I was the only one there. It was this good. Mike’s voice sounds better with age and the sound was spot on. They played as tight as a nun’s asshole and for a moment I was king of the world… 3 songs in I had to come down because I knew Inny was going to get kicked out of the frontstage with the rest of the photographers and finding one another in this crowd sucks. She came out frozen and in pain from taking pictures all day, and as Mike I’m a gentleman so I decided it was time to head home for the night.

The dogs where waiting to keep us warm and day two was just a few hours away…

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