After a short night, we woke up with a smile on our face in the warmth of our own bed… If you remember how cold it was on friday night, we made the right decision to sleep at home… Bacon and eggs for breakfast, some play time with the dogs and we where off for day two!
I was a little sad to miss out on The Interrupters, but from what I was told, they played a real good show. The first band we got to see on saturday was, just like friday, a Belgian band. Our little country is packed with talented bands and these guys are one of them. Your Highness, is not your typical Groezrock band, with their mix of metal, stoner, sludge and hardcore they do know how to throw a punch. I was amazed to see such a big crowd for these guys and especially all the young hardcore kids (not because their music is bad, but because, well… it’s a Belgian band and they don’t really play “hardcore”). They put on one hell of a show and that grooving bass really took you on a wild ride. Your Highness comes with the official “Festival Man” stamp of approval!
Next up was No Turning Back. These guys from Holland have been around for over 18 years and are still on the frontlines of todays hardcore scene. With their mix of old school hardcore, punk and metal they know how to put on a party and that’s what they did. I’m not sure if they have a loyal fan base, but the tent was packed and the pit was hard. No Turning back is one of those bands that you know will be around forever, and one that will always make quality records no mater what!
We had plans to go see Teenage Bottle Rockets, but we ran into some friends and decided to have a beer or two with them and talk music, photography and life in general. Hey it’s a festival! We can’t be shooting pictures and writing in notebooks all day…
Frenzal Rhomb, Australian punk rock legends… What to say about these guys… Aussies are always a little exotic and so is their punk rock. Yeah sure, it sounds like every other punk rock band in the world, but then again it doesn’t! Short funny songs about drugs, drinking and having fun, yeah sounds like every other punk rock band again, but they DON’T! Jay may be a celebrity in Australia, on stage he just rocks as hard as your local drunk punk singer. For most people in the crowd it was the first time to ever see these guys and you could feel the excitement in the air. What a great show it was!
Pizza time in the press area! Shout out to the guys that made these! HELL YEAH!!! Now that’s good eating!
Do you know a better way to wash away a good pizza than beer and a show? Neither do I, so we went to see Reign Supreme. This metallic hardcore band from Philadelphia is heavy as fuck and for me was one of the highlights on saturday. To be honest, I was not familiar with their songs but they blew me away, me and so many others in the Back to Basics tent. When they played a song from Integrity I thought the tent was gonna explode, it didn’t, that was a little strange, but we can’t blame the kids for not knowing all the good stuff 😉
Just before the Reign Supreme show we checked Psycho 44, another Belgian band that didn’t really fit the line-up. But again the crowd was there to support them and that filled my heart with pride. Not that I really care about Belgium as a country, but the fact that people not only go for the bigger bands or international bands, is something to be proud of. With their electronic rock (cuntrock as they call it) they appeal to the mainstream and underground the same and that makes them a pretty awesome band.
It may not be “cool” to run around at a hardcore show with a Raised Fist shirt (they are not underground enough you know… Sigh…) but it sure is cool to see them perform. And by the looks of it, almost everybody wanted to be cool! The tent was so packed, it became hard to move around. With their modern sounding hardcore they take the genre to a new level, maybe not new, but inviting to people who don’t really know what hardcore is. The live shows are not at a beginners level, this is full throttle, straight on, in your face madness. Alexander barks out his lyrics as a mad dog while the rest of the band tries to keep up with the energetic frontman. Great show! Would never buy a record from these guys, but GREAT SHOW!
“Hey Tom, what band do your really want to see at Groez?” OFF! was the only answer… If you ran into somebody who did not know who Keith Morris was, you got a free ticket to kick ’em in the nuts. Plain and simple… Keith is a legend, and not only Keith… The rest of the band payed their dues to the gods of rock’n’roll with their former bands such as Rocket From The Crypt… Some years ago I got to see Black Flag at the Muddy Roots festival in Tennessee and it sucked! Not the festival, the festival was great and I’ve being going there for 3 years (in september we’ll be on our 4th mission) but the Black Flag show to me was crap! I don’t know why, older friends, who had seen BF in their early days thought it was great, and I respect this but… For me, nah, it sucked… But OFF!, that’s how I wanted Black Flag to sound. This raw energy, this “I don’t care” attitude, this “who the hell are you” look on Keith’s face… It was one of the best shows I’ve seen EVER! I say one, I think it’s out there with my first The Goddamn Gallows show, and first Turbonegro show. I had a huge smile on my face during this entire show. And if you where at this show, I know you had to, unless you where getting your ass kicked in the pit…
After OFF! we needed to come back down, and running into friends with beer is the best way to do so… But the party wasn’t over. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones where yet to come! I’m always up for a good ska (punk) show and the Bosstones are master and commander of the genre. It was nothing less than a dance party from start to finish! There is nothing more to tell… DANCE MONKEY DANCE!
The last band for us on this second and last day was Agnostic Front. These pioneers of New York hardcore hold a special place in my hearts. Maybe because they where one of those bands that got me into hardcore, maybe because I like tradition in music (where needed). I love me a good AG show, only one thing that bugs me almost every show… the vocals… On albums I have no problem with them, but live Roger’s vocals seems to disappear after the first two letters of every word he sings. And it really bugs me… It makes the show so much, well… less good… Again with this one, the music was fantastic, great songs, great vibe, but then Roger starts to sing and I look at the sound guy like it’s his fault and it’s not… And then again, who cares, it’s a hardcore show! I just said to myself, “fuck this, just enjoy and have party”. And so it was done!
Groezrock was over for us, we had to get up early to drive to another show in the morning. Boy did we have two fun-filled days with great music, great friends and a little too much beer. Thank you to all that made Groezrock what it is today. The bands, the crews, the volunteers, the fans… THANK YOU!
See you next year…