After last year‘s catastrophe Pukkelpop‘s future wasn‘t clear. Five people died and many were injured. But festival organisators said that there will be another edition of the famous festival in Belgium. Last year‘s pukkelpoppers got food vouchers, 50 Euros each for the next three years. The organisation crew worked hard at another Pukkelpop and changed some things. The campsite is now divided into three parts. Campsite A is the same as usual right across the street, but this year there are two others. Both are a few miles away. It‘s a thirty minutes walk or ten minutes via bus, which starts at the campsite every ten minutes. Of course these busses are filled with a lot of people, so sometimes people will have to wait for the next bus to get to the festivalsite or back home to the campsite.
Thursday, 08/16/2012The weather is great. It‘s a sunny and very warm day in Belgium. The first band I am going to watch is THE COMPUTERS at The Shelter. The band, which is dressed in white from head to toe, draw some fans and some other people who don‘t know what to watch either. Their sound is a mix of punk rock, indie and 60‘s rock‘n‘roll. Although it seems like most people do not really care about what‘s happening on stage, there are a few who really enjoy the Brit‘s show. Especially their frontman knows how to deal with the crowd. Their THE CLASH cover is what draws the most attention, though. A few minutues later it‘s up to TOUCHÉ AMORÉ. The blend of melodic and emotional hardcore got famous in today‘s hardcore scene because of their most recent record „Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me“. There a far more people in the Shelter than before and it‘s obvious most are familiar with the US hardcore outfit. Even though there‘s a big stage and a barrier between the band and the crowd, they really know how to put up a great show. This is great, for hardcore isn‘t made for these big stages. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ show two new tracks to the Pukkelpop crowd which sound as great as their most recent tunes such as Pathfinder, The Great Repitition or Wants/Needs. After half an hour the five-piece say goodbye to the crowd, but they will return to Europe this fall with TITLE FIGHT and LA DISPUTE. Up next on the Main Stage is US-rapper SNOOP DOGG. The MC draws a huge crowd, far bigger than many bands who will play at a later settime during the next days. After a five minute long intro he finally enters the stage. His performance is kind of strange, he plays two tunes of his new raggae project SNOOP LION and often only his part of a song like California Gurls by pop princess KATY PERRY or 50 CENT‘s hitsingle P.I.M.P.. Only a few songs like his colaberation with DAVID GUETTA, Wet, or his own hit Drop It Like It Hot are played in its entierty. Therefore the hip hop legend‘s one hour set isn‘t the best Pukkelpop will see at this year‘s festival. OF MONSTERS AND MEN, indie pop‘s newset hype, enter the Marquee‘s stage. I‘m quite shocked that most of their songs are laid back and quiet. I expected more up-tempo songs like their breakthrough single Little Liars. Nevermind, most people seem to dig the band‘s blend of folk/indie pop. The seven-piece don‘t put up a great show. They play their songs, talk a little bit to the crowd and that‘s it. Notably their faster songs get the best crowd reactions during their set. Then they finally play their big song, Little Liars, and people just go crazy. But this isn‘t the end of their set, though, most people won‘t notice because they leave after that tune and miss the Swedish band‘s last song.
Following are THE HORRORS on the same stage. The British electronica/indie outfit were booked to play here last year, but couldn‘t do their show because of the big storm that brought Pukkelpop 2011 to an unexpected and early end. Dressed in black their outfits fit perfectly to the mood of the songs, which are far away from sweat and rock‘n‘roll energy. I have seen worse bands and some tunes are really good. They might be better if you listen to a CD of the band, because the musician‘s performance lacks some energy. They are just standing around and their frontman is a quiet, maybe shy, guy who seems to be taped to the microphone stand. Still, THE HORRORS offer some goodies like Chaning The Rain or You Said takken off their still recent record „Skying“. Back at the Shelter YOUNG GUNS are up next. Two years before they played at first or second position of the stage billing. This year they‘ve got a good spot right in the middle. And there are far more people than before, mostly girls under twenty years old and some dudes who start a small but nice moshpit. The nice thing about a YOUNG GUNS show is that you always get a different setlist with every new tour. This time people also get to hear the dramatic Meter & Verse, which the band‘s mainland fans never got to hear during their support tours. The boys around singer Gustav Wood are in a good mood and have a lot of fun during their show. The London-based group always know how to win over a foreign crowd. Their songs attract young fans and some older ones as well because they know how to present these tunes live. They sound sharper and edgier than on their two records, which makes YOUNG GUNS always worth being watched. In the Marquee there‘s another British act, rapper TINIE TEMPAH, who played the ceremony of Olympia as well a few days before his set at Pukkelpop. Compared to SNOOP DOGG the British guy knows how to attract the crowd. This might be because of the more electronic, dance music-influenced style of his music. Tracks such as Earthquake, Written In The Stars, Till I‘m Gone or Black And Yellow make the huge crowd dance and swing their legs to the dance beats of his DJ. Up next at the Main Stage are reunited indie rockers BLOC PARTY, who will release their fourth album, simply titlted „Four“, a few days latter than their Pukkelpop performance. They start their set without any intro. It‘s just the fourpiece walking on stage, saying hello to the crowd and playing their new tune Octopus. Four men, four records and four tracks taken of their yet-to-be released effort „Four“. Of course there are old hits as well. And these tunes are what people want to hear today. There are massive crowd reactions and applause during hits such as Banquet, Song For Clay, Hunting For Witches, One More Chance, Flux, This Modern Love or Helicopter. Besides the great indie rock songs they‘ve got a very sympathic singer in their own rows. Kele Okereke knows how to entertain the ten thousand people in front of him with his funny and tongue-in-cheek announcements between the songs. Besides TOUCHÉ AMORÉ and YOUNG GUNS this was the best gig of today‘s billing. Then it‘s time for Main Stage‘s headliner BJÖRK. The singer from Island is a strange woman with strange music, which is their trademark. Her stage show is kind of strange as well. One drumkit, one rack of synthesizers and laptops and twelve background singers dressed in blue and gold as well. BJÖRK herself wears a outfit which would make LADY GAGA jealous. The focus of the singer‘s setlist is clearly her most recent effort „Biophila“. She also plays some more familiar tracks like Pagan Poetry or Possibly Maybe, though. But let‘s be honst, everyone would be happy to hear hit singles like Army Of Me, Play Dead, It‘s Oh So Quiet or Hyper-Ballad. Still, BJÖRK knows how to entertain her crowd. But I suggest most of the crowd isn‘t that sad after Island‘s finest woman‘s set comes to an end.