Summer is really thé time for festivals. In Belgium, each year the festival-season starts with Rock Werchter. Rock Werchter 2004 was four days of 80.000 visitors and 61 concerts on two podiums (main stage and pyramid marquee). As each year, the tickets were sold out very soon. In the very nick of time, I had managed to get a one-day-ticket and joint the last day of the festival. I was a bit disappointed, as I couldn't see Lenny Kravitz, who was performing the day before. But the Sunday-program was great as well.
A few days before the festival, we heard the bad news David Bowie wasn't closing Rock Werchter 2004 at the main stage as he had a squeezed nerve in his shoulder (after the festival we heard that he had been operated at his heart). I hope I'll ever have a second chance to see him during a live concert…
When we entered the festival area, the great Baptiste from Burkina-Faso of the StuBru commercial ("trop commercial, désolé") was introducing Zornik, a Belgian group which I didn't like that much (not my kind of music). But, no problem: in the pyramid marquee Sioen was playing at that time. Two years ago, this Belgian group was still absolutely unknown. Last year, I saw them (by coincidence) during the Gentse Feesten (see my first column), and I loved them from the first moment. If you would ask me to classify this group, I would put them in the "folk music"-group, I think. It was great to see them back.
After seeing Sioen, we went back to the main stage where Starsailor was playing. Which was quite ok. And while meeting some friends, we heard Lamb at the background. The next musician who could take a place on the main stage was PJ Harvey. Her outfit was fantastic: a yellow dress and flashy pink shoes. Terrific! Her performance was (luckily) great as well. Of course, she sang the big song "down by the water". It was the first time I saw this lady during a live concert, and I must say she is worth going to! This is a performance I won't forget!
After her, the Pixies could do their thing. A friend of mine told me that their show is nil, as they (mostly) play for one hour, without a break. And yes, this is what we got: one hour of great music! Their stamina must be unbelievable: the tempo they played…incredible! At this time, Rock Werchter 2004 was already successful for me!
After this, it was difficult to choose between Placebo and N*E*R*D, but as a friend of mine loved the second group, we joint her to the pyramid marquee. I liked it somewhat but not as much as she did. I decided to go to the main stage again and have a look at Placebo, which was a nice variation. After a while, I went back to the pyramid marquee, and I was back just in time to hear the only song I know of N*E*R*D (something with "sexy lady") which was great.
We stayed in the pyramid marquee and tried to get a nice place for the next group "Air", a group from France. I knew this group from radio and CD's but I never saw them before. And I (and my friends) discovered something strange: the one, who is singing "sexy boy" with a very high voice, is not a girl but a boy! Moreover, there is no girl involved in this group, which was a big surprise… Their songs were relaxing, and with the accompanied light show, the concert was great as well.
Then, the moment was arrived David Bowie would give his great show. But as I mentioned before, he couldn't come and a Belgian duo "2 Many DJ's" replaced him. They, which I hoped, started with a Bowie-song (Rebel Rebel), which was great. Then, they started mixing all kinds of music (old and new songs) and provoked a big open-air-party. Although I liked it very much, I really wanted to see "El Tattoo Del Tigre" who was closing the festival in the pyramid marquee. I saw this group before, and liked them very much. I wanted to see them again, and after a while, I succeeded in convincing my friends to come with me and have a look. They loved it as well. "El Tattoo Del Tigre" is a Belgian mambo-band (30 people on stage!), playing splendid South-American music, which is brought like a theatrical performance. For me, this was the best ending of this festival!
On the way back to the car, we were treated on lots of rain, but also on a nice firework. Rock Werchter 2004 had succeeded for me!