Monday, July 7, 2008

Rock Werchter Festival- Day 1 recap

One of the best times of the year is here again... Festival Season in Europe!! We had the chance to attend the Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium over the weekend. To see the photo's click here.
Here's a quick recap of Day 1 highlights:

-Kicking things off on the main stage at Werchter this year were the UK newcomers Air Traffic . With a handfull of hit singles in Europe, Air Traffic is known for their piano driven rock and Coldplay comparisons. They got the crowd going opening with the frantic single "Gloria", then later on got the masses singing along on the anthemic "No More Running Away", before closing with their biggest hit "Shooting Star".

- Counting Crows mixing in new material off of Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings , the highlight of which was the melancholy "Washington Square". Frontman Adam Duritz was all energy, tightrope walking the monitors and running across the stage, while mixing in old favorites "Mr Jones", "Have You Seen Me Lately" and "Long December". The topper of the set was the usual live extended version of "Round Here".

-The National manning the smaller Marquee stage, practically blowing the roof off the joint during a driving rain storm. The Brooklyn band set the intensity level early kicking off their set with a ramped up version of "Start A War". Other highlights were "Secret Meeting", "Slow Show" and a killer version of the rocker "Abel", with lead singer Matt Berninger's voice sounding especially strong. The band closed out the dynamic set with the one two punch of "Fake Emire" leading into the closer "Mr November" which left the crowd in a frenzy. Next time around don't be surpised to see The National playing on the Main stage.

- Shameboy and Soulwax getting the techno scene kicked off in the evening

- R.E.M. reminding people that they used to be one of the biggest bands in the world not that long ago. Playing mostly their heavier rock material, as if to prove the point, the band got the set started with "Orange Crush" complete with Michael Stipe yelling into the megaphone. The group then launched through a mix of harder numbers "What's The Frequency Kenneth" and "Ignoreland" with Peter Buck sounding as aggressive as he's ever sounded on guitar. The band also broke out classics such as "Driver 8", and "Begin the Begin", but the highlight of the set had to be the audience sing along on the "The One I Love".

We also attended day three of the festival, so more highlights to come from the Day 3 line-up that included, MGMT, Sigur Ros, Kings Of Leon and Radiohead.

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