As ever, Groezrock festival in Belgium was a bit of a blur. A pretty brilliant blur of bands, drinks, drunks, friends, work, play and partly questionable weather. Crossfire headed out as it’s one of our favs and one of the most punk rock festivals out there. This is a rundown of our experience in the crowd this time around.
YELLOWCARD ACOUSTIC (W)
We kick off our weekend of bands in a chilled manner with a mass singalong in the chandelier-adorned acoustic tent as Yellowcard have each and every one present in the bulging tent in the palm of their collective hand.
MISS MAY I (J)
Brilliant live band. Lots of head moshing to this which gave us a bit of a head ache but we reckon it was definitely worth it.
THE WONDER YEARS (W)
Stage diving is mandatory at the Etnies stage and bodies are flying throughout The Wonder Years’ set. In fact, they start propelling themselves through the air before the band even kick off their first song. An excellent performance brimming with energy and complete with mass stage invasion at its conclusion.
SET YOUR GOALS (W)
SYG pick up where TWY left off perfectly with more audience participation and an effervescent set of pop punk perfection.
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN (W)
We catch a fleeting moment of Dillinger and even this short audience with the band’s set provides opportunity to see them scaling the heights of speaker stacks and spewing forth excellent intricate heaviness in abundance.
GARRETT KLAHN (W)
A hidden gem on the line-up, the acoustic stage is woefully quiet for Garrett’s set of Texas Is The Reason classics and his own solo creations. However, it’s a magical interlude this evening with a spine-tingling stripped down version of Back And o The Left closing his beautiful performance.
By this point one too many Jagers had been consumed although we do remember a rad set, a rammed tent, a hell of a lot of crowd surfers and keen crazed Belgian stave-divers. The crowd were all rooting for Wade which was nice to see.
Two words: Fucking AMAZING
MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK (J)
Should have played a smaller capacity tent seen as it was half empty throughout the whole set. They lacked serious energy for such a band with lots of great songs and Pierre’s patronising chat in between songs wasn’t very inspirational.
ALKALINE TRIO (J)
We always find that despite how much we fucking love Alkaline Trio their sound live is pretty shocking. So we were glad to hear that they weren’t as bad as they normally are but it still wasn’t brilliant (Skiba if you are reading this – sort it out!) Their set was varied of old and new tracks which went down well however they didn’t play Armageddon so they lose 5 points.
Undeniably one of the weekend’s highlights, The Bronx have become one of our ultimate festival bands, always bringing the party and the hits, with plenty of engaging banter from Matt in between. In fact, he proposes to the entire crowd present, becoming the ultimate crowd pleaser in the process.
Sound was slightly dubious and by no means loud enough for such a great band. Despite the fact that their set was not advertised they drew a decent crowd. (They also played v well despite a mole telling us that they were absolutely shitfaced and the drunkest they have ever been for a gig.)
Thrice played a much anticipated set to a packed out tent of over-eager fans keen to see one of their last shows as part of their farewell tour. They did not disappoint and delivered a storming set including crowd pleasers Deadbolt and Stare at the Sun.
GORILLA BISCUITS (W)
More Etnies stage insanity at this point with a neverending barrage of stage divers and crowd surfing. The classic hardcore is certainly one of Groezrock’s big pulls for many of their regular punters and it’s great that the organizers bill such legendary bands in such an intimate tent so everyone can get involved. If they can squeeze into the tent, that is.
What can we say? One of our most anticipated bands of the weekend and they did not disappoint. Huge sound. Riveting stage presence. Seminal songcraft. The energy at the main stage when New Noise kicked in is a feeling that will not soon be forgotten. Catch this band whilst you still can.
Brought to you by Jaimo (J) and Winegums (W).