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I just have to rate Graspop 2007 with full 10 elks: Pure party, a really fantastic line up with the top bands of every metal genre and I did not see one bad show! The only point of critique could be, that it was rather difficult to find enough time for drinking on Sunday, because there were so many great concerts. The organisation ran quite smoothly. I heard of problems, but I really did not notice any. Only on Saturday night there was a deadlock at the exit, but it was also funny, because then the fences had to fall and the festival visitors cleaved through the forest. Most prices were fair for a festival: e.g. 2 euros for Kriek, Belgian cherry-beer, 3 euros for a Burger or Hot Dog, 7 euro for a doner kebap was rather expensive. The food was eatable - with some exceptions of strange consistency ("What did you order? Barf onto my plate and warm it up?"). By the way, the festival vistiors had this year with the free "Boxautos" also outside of the moshp its the possibility to crash into each other. Of course with metalsound - funny idea! The weather wasnīt as friendly as in the past years. Instead of the dust cloud, which usually enwrapped the festival area with atmospheric smoke, there were some showers, which invited to jawing matches.
Grave Digger plays a typical festival hit set with songs like "Last supper" or "Rebellion". Despite of the band having just one guitarist, the sound is powerful and the show ends of course with "Heavy Metal Breakdown", which is sung along by the whole tent. Guitar hero Joe Satriani is a must for all present guitarists, but a worthwhile must! Those who have been thrilled by his live-album, are not dissappointed. And itīs not only impressing; the musicians really show their joy to play and so itīs a fancy gig! Really stunning is Therionīs performance. Their atmospheric haunted-castle-like stage decoration includeds big candleholders and metallic fences. With their 2 female and 2 male vocalists they have a great stage presence, as well as phantastic choirs. The whole band convinces with musical perfection and bright, but powerful sound.
Heaven and Hell have grown older, but theyīre still playing fresh and good! Nice gig for all fans and Ronnie James Dio is still a true frontman. Dimmu Borgir plays a stirring show at a jam-packed tent and songs like "Kings of the Carnival Creation" or "Mourning Palace" really kick ass. Iron Maiden starts their gig with songs of "A matter of life and death", but the penny dropps, when "Wrathchild" inititates the best-of-set. During their old hits the flaggs are raised and the heads bang. On the occasion of the 25th birthday of "The number of the beast" there are many songs of this album, e.g. "Children of the damned", which the band hasnīt played for a long time. And of course the typical elements of every Maiden show arenīt missing. The huge Eddie tumbles across stage or looks out of a tank. Itīs a real great show, but Bruce Dickinson seems to be not that satisfied with the festival area and the band doesnī t play the full 2 hours. Thatīs a pity!
Sunday 24. 6.
Eluveiti opens at the tent "Marquee 1", which on this day is dominated by Folk and Pagan Metal and ruled by the plastic-sword-swayer-fraction and proud blow-up-axe-bearers and drinking-horn-carriers. Yet many of them found their way to the place at 12 pm, and the catchy folk metal of the Swiss band wakes them up. No suprise - where else one can see a whistleplayer headbanging? When Turisas enters the stage with their usual warpaint and blood, the reaction of the audience is at the beginning a little calm, but fortunately Warlord Nygard knows what Graspop folks need: Drinking tunes, disco, or even better: Battle Metal! And so there were finally good vibes. And the band deservs it! The metal-content of Korpiklaani is relatively small, but nevertheless they enjoy great popularity among the metalheads and turn Marquee 1 into one big party with mass-dance-activity, moshpits and circlepits. But this is topped by Finntroll. Maybe the band wants to be more serious now, but at Marquee 1 not many people seem to realize this, particularly the , letīs call it "Heavy-drunken-humppa-dance-pit". The Finns bring the tent to a boil! The crowd celebrates old songs as well as the ones of the new album. A real highlight! Johan Hegg, front viking of Amon Amarth has his audience under control. Where he looks at, a sea of horns arises, when he challenges to scream, booming war-shouts arise. Rarely a whole tent from the back to the front bangs, screams and moshs like that. Hammerfall prove with their show, that they are no deadly serious posers, but present theirselves in a sympathic humourous way. For example when vocalist Joacim Cans harangues the "Templers of Belgium", drummer Anders Johansson shows his naked ass to the camera, which is displayed on the screens. Itīs a solid power metal show! Children of Bodom, first time on the mainstage, have a real good sound and actually everything else is as always: The mosphit is respectable and between the songs thereīs a lot "fuck", motherfuckers" and "shit". The cameraman falls for female blonde photographers, so thereīs not only the Finns, but also the womanīs string on the screen. Catching a gig of Ozzy Osbourne is certainly a worthwhile thing for Ozzy-fans. But certainly his vocal quality alternates form verse to verse. Nevertheless thereīs a huge crowd and fantastic vibes in front of the stage, though itīs Sunday night and in the back of the area everyone is sad and drunken.
Summary: I survived Graspop 2007. 100% party and metal! See you next year, Belgium!