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GRASPOP 2012 – Live Review

| On 14, Jul 2012


June 22, 23, 24 – Dessel, Belgium



Saille (Metal Dome) are the opening band for this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting and what better than starting it off with a band from the country of origin Belgium. I haven’t been that impressed with some of the band from this country, I have heard before like last minute addition to last year’s line-up Channel Zero who filled the gap left by Ozzy Osbourne cancelling at the last minute due to laryngitis, and Diablo Blvd who opened last year’s festival and were just a poor pub metal band. I have to say this time I have to bite my tongue and say this is a very good atmospheric Black Metal band that have some very nicely played melodic riffs in their set. Their music seems to make you think about hidden woodland area’s in dark hillsides were there is an under currant of evil that no one can quite explain. For a new band they have quite a complex sound but just lacking a little stage presence but don’t know if that is important in this genre. There is a new musical movement with a lot of underground collectors paying a lot of money for demo tapes by hard to find bands in this genre. Darkthrone set took quite a few years ago for this sound to evolve into what it is now and it has a great undertone to it, It’s good underground music.


I killed the prom Queen (Marquee 2) has been a return a lot of Deathcore fans have been waiting for, but if this performance is anything to go by a lot of the drive and push has been taken out of the band. I don’t know if it was the replacement of Michael Crafter with new singer Jamie Hope cause when they tried adding Ed Butcher a number of years early it didn’t work. I don’t the band has recovered from the change in recruitment. I was expecting much heavier driven riffs with their signature beatdowns and what we got is muted riffs and in-activeness. I was expecting the normal lively presence of Jona Weinhofen (Bring me the Horizon) guitarist who used to be in Bleeding Through and brought an unmasked aggression to their sound, but there is just nothing there. He hardly moves like he has just forgotten to turn up to the festival which is a real shame cause this, for a lot of young fans was the performance they were looking forward to. The band have turned from a polished machine into a worn down broken one that has had all the life sucked out of it. I think maybe the lack of playing together has really shown them up today. I wait with baited breath to see if they can produce something with the new singer on a record and maybe the live situation as well will evolve.


Godsmack (Main Stage) It’s really hard for me to say anything new about this band that I haven’t said in my reviews before, but something was just working for them today in the sun in Belgium. It might not be one of the better performances of the festival. But it’s just the kind of music that the people of this country like to listen to in the sun. I think the European metal circuit really identifies with their late Metallica / Alice in Chains metallic sound and metal attitude. They are a very steady band and it is a steady greatest hits set in the small time period they have been given today. Graspop is delighted with classic songs that include ‘Whatever’, ‘Straight out of Line ‘ and always closer the song that appeared on the Scorpion King soundtrack ‘I stand Alone’ were Sully Erna is left standing near enough on his own cap on his head wearing sun glasses as his band wanders around at a slow place like they had been rocking in Status Quo for years. I don’t think they are that old yet but the band, have been going for quite a few years now.
Godsmack – Setlist
Straight out of Line
The Enemy
Forever Shamed
Cryin’ like a Bitch
Keep Away
I stand Alone


Unearth (Marquee 2) the second Marquee is going to hear some heavy riffs today and Unearth are quite brutal and deliver an in your face sound that makes you hit the mosh pits. They have heavy breaks and know how to deliver a good metal song. The only thing is that I can never remember the songs they actually play, I know I like them but if someone asked me to tell you a song I would struggle, which makes me think that it will be hard for them to make the break up the line-up in future years. It’s just an enjoyable piece of metal magic.




Black label Society (Main Stage) This is the first performance for Zack Wylde today playing with his band. Later on for the first time since he left Ozzy’s band we will see him in Europe playing on the same stage in the same set as part of Ozzy Osbourne and friends which will be a rare chance to see them play together again. But back to BLS Zack comes onstage in a full Indian chief headdress and usual Black label Society motorcycle gang attire. He looks like a cross between two members of 90’s Disco sensations the Village People and it is some sight to see but sadly we hear no metal version of ‘YMCA’ but more amazing Dimebag Darrell Esq guitar driven sneers are on show. The society is a beer guzzling explosion into the world of riff driven metal that is now a landmark trademark for kids around the world to learn on funny shaped guitars watching expensive tuition DVD’s. The sound and vocals are still quite echoing and what a lot of metal bands want to mix their sound with today, and with tracks like ‘Parade of the Dead and Fire it Up’ who can blame them. This band can still produce some great music but it is just standard BLS if you seen it once, you will be seeing the same show again and again and if you’re no diehard fan it’s just a little predictable which also making it a tad boring at times and there is a lot of competition for time at this festival.
Black label Society – Setlist
Crazy Horse
Funeral Bell
Parade of the Dead
Fire it Up
Godspeed hell Bound
Concrete Jungle

Slash (Main Stage) now it’s time for this weekend’s first instalment of the war of the roses with Guns ‘n’ Roses – AKA (G’N’R) playing the main stage on Sunday and like Zack Wylde you will get two appearance by Slash over today’s top flight circus. It’s not a good start for Slash, I can’t work out if they are having sound problems or it is that they just sound like a pub covers band. Myles Kennedy’s amazing voice that saw him guest with the greats like Led Zeppelin and front Creed super group Alter Bridge has seemed to have vanished and is a croaky shadow of his former glory, maybe he had been playing too much Guitar Hero with Slash. They play quite a few Guns ‘n’ Roses numbers were Myles tries to imitate Axl rather than singing them in his own style, if you have to sing a song that has a definitive sound it’s not a great idea to try and imitate it. He does seem to get a lot better with singing some of the new Slash numbers of the new album ‘Apocalyptic Love’ I think they would be a lot better concentrating on these songs rather than songs Slash didn’t write with Guns ‘n’ Roses cause these songs are really good especially the title track which is a sing-a-long anthem and you cans see that the crowd are really digging it. I’m not sure about the band he is playing with the Conspirators I don’t think they are the best musicians he could have worked with but then again they did make a really credible record with him. The set has sleaze the set has classic rock and is good for a summer’s day.

Slash – Setlist
One last Thrill
Back from Cali
Shots Fired
Mr. Brownstone
Sweet child O’Mine
You’re a Lie
Paradise City

Paradise Lost (Marquee 1) Doom and gloom on a summer day can sometimes send your heart racing and with the new record ‘Tragic Idol’ being a comeback to form we were all expecting good things from Halifax doom and gloom merchants of the tragic disasters. The funny thing is for a band that makes depressive metal they are all in high spirits today with guitarist Aaron Aedy looking ecstatic as he bangs his head in time with the music, Paradise Lost have always been inactive when it comes to their music and I think this has evolved them as musicians with today’s performance the musicality is spot on with mistakes not being shown to damper their day. The intensity of Nick Holmes vocals are deafening you can feel the pain and fear he puts into all the songs and it is down bearing on you, which should be a bad thing but sometimes we might want to be depressed even though we say it’s not the case and there is a massive place in society for music that Paradise Lost are making. New song ‘Fear of impending Hell’ might bear down on you like an unwanted ailment but sometimes it’s like the spot you can’t wait to pop so you can feel release, there is a majesty to this song that makes you think that it is their by royal appointment. Their set really makes a change in the days activities. They end with ‘Say just Words’ which was their hit single at the start of their electronic experimental segment in their career which is welcomed with open arms.

Paradise Lost – Setlist
Honesty in Death
As I Die
Tragic Idol
Forever Failure
One Second
Embers Fire
Fear of impending Hell
The Enemy
Say just Words

Sabaton (Main Stage) in the UK we haven’t really jumped on the Sabaton craze they are huge in Germany and Belgium hence their high billing on the main stage, they even do a three and a half hour signing session which wasn’t even enough time with not everyone that wanted an autograph getting one. I personally don’t get what all the fuss is about they seem to have a formula that resides from song to song maybe this hypnotizes the listener to listen to more. They have their own military look with shaved heads and bulletproof jackets, combats and aviator sunglasses which a hell of a lot of their fans try to emulate in the audience so they feel part of all the excitement. The Sabaton army of thousand strong metallers, enjoy the pyrotechnics that a light in time with the music like symphonic flames of war. The simplistic music is lined with jokes and arrogance that for some reason the crowd simply love and go mental for stamping boots in time with the music likely they are copying the Queen ‘Radio GaGa’ video, I don’t think the band wagon will hit the UK with the same impact it’s something for this time and place.

Sabaton – Setlist
The Final Countdown
March to War
Ghost Division
Gott mit Uns (English Version)
Price of a Mile
Cliffs of Gallipoli
Into the Fire
Carolus Rex (English Version)
Attero Dominatus
Art of War
Primo Victoria
Metal Crue
Dead solider Waltz
Masters of the World


Sick of it All (Marquee 2) hardcore that is speedy and fast like a bus through the centre of Graspop, they really know how to get the crowd going there are circle pits the whole way round the Maquee and the band are running round like they are acid and putting in the performance or their life. The place goes totally mental when they play ‘Scratch the Surface’ and when a fan joins them onstage to sing a whole song, and he does it with style knowing all the words and the band are really impressed. If you like punk and hardcore you will love Sick of it All and they are getting a status of being an influence on the whole new Deathcore and Emo scene, this was a great set by a great band.


Cannibal Corpse (Metal Dome) the crowd isn’t a strong as it should be with someone stupidly putting them on at the same time as Slayer and they have the same fan base. So many people are really disappointed that they can only see one of their favourite extreme metal bands. So Cannibal Corpse must have decided that they would make it up to the people that had decided to grace them with their presence by putting on the best show possible. The lighting tonight is amazing in the Metal Dome and intensity is buzzing in everyone’s heads lowering them into submission as the Cannibal Corpse singer (Tom Fisher) invites people to keep up with him with the head banging which is an impossible mission and everyone can see his head spinning in a Guinness book of records frantic way. He already has a cartoon character created after him in a band called Dethklok which is quite something in itself so he has kind of a super human thing about him. The new material goes down really well, I think they must have sold a lot of copies of the last album ‘Torture’ cause everyone seems to know all the lyrics especially on track ‘Scourge of Iron’ which is already in bedded in the bands set. The tightness of the band onstage is quite something with each member feeding of each other to harmonize the guitars in a brutal assault. They have some great songs and they play loads of these tonight from the amazingly titled song that most girls fear ‘I cum Blood’ and what you don’t want to happen to you on a Friday night ‘Hammer smashed Face’ a friendly band for this festival and headliners in the Metal Dome and really on form this band know how to create great Death Metal and are probably the number one artist that you think about when you talk about this genre.




Ozzy Osbourne & Friends – Geezer Butler, Slash, Zack Wylde, Gus G, Blasko, Tommy Clufetos, Adam Wakeman


Ozzy Osbourne & Friends (Main Stage) tonight’s performance was meant to be the legendary Black Sabbath but due to Tony Iommi’s ill health they had to change it to a performance without him for the GMM. To make it extra special to make up for Tony’s absence they handpicked the cream of the guitarist world to play with Ozzy and Geezer which was Slash, Zack Wylde and Ozzy’s solo band current guitar player Gus G so this was going to be a unique opportunity to see three great guitar players all together on one stage. The set was set out into segments were various friends of Ozzy would take to the stage, starting of the set with his currant band he burst into the amazing and one of the best metal songs ever written ‘Bark at the Moon’ before a breath taking Erie version of his hit song ‘Mr. Crowley’ about the serial killer of the same name.


(Pictured Above) Ozzy Osbourne singing ‘Mr. Crowley’

There is massive crowd participation for ‘I don’t Know’ and ‘Shot in the Dark which are two of the most popular songs from Ozzy’s solo Career before he Jam’s into a Black Sabbath number ‘Rat Salad’ in honour of Tony.

Ozzy / Blasko / Gus G / Tommy Clufetos – Setlist

Bark at the Moon
Mr. Crowley
Suicide Solution
I don’t Know
Shot in the Dark
Rat Salad

Ozzy is joined by Slash and Geezer and Blasko leaves the stage to perform more Black Sabbath numbers, the three biggest hits ‘Iron Man, War Pigs’ and ‘N.I.B.’ which are greeted with a standing ovation it is really nice to see Geezer playing with Ozzy sadly Tony isn’t here to see this cause it is quite a moment of joy. This is also you first time you see Gus G jamming with Slash which must be quite something for this young guitarist and he holds his own showing his skills as a creditable guitar player.

Ozzy / Slash / Gus G. / Geezer Butler / Tommy Clufetos – Setlist

Top of Form

Iron Man
War Pigs

Bottom of Form


Slash and Gus G leaves the stage and long time friend and guitarist Zack Wylde who seems so pleased to be back on stage with Ozzy and Zack plays a Black Sabbath number.

Ozzy / Zakk Wylde / Geezer Butler / Tommy Clufetos – Setlist

Fairies wear Boots


Geezer Butler leaves the stage and Blasko comes on, so the full previous Ozzy line-up are now on the stage and it’s nice to see this again. You get to see a great selection of songs that is line-up made their own like the two headed guitar that Zack plays for ‘Mama I’m coming Home’ and you can see the love between him and Ozzy.

Ozzy / Zakk Wylde / Blasko / Tommy Clufetos – Setlist

Top of Form

I don’t want to change the World
Crazy Train
Mama I’m coming Home

Bottom of Form


Finally all the members go on to the stage for a final farewell and play mega Anthem ‘Paranoid’ you get to see for the first time the three guitarists Slash, Gus G and Zack Wylde all playing on the same stage which is any guitarists dream and is an amazing closure to the first night of this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting.

Ozzy Osbourne & Friends – Everyone – Setlist







Powerwolf  (Main Stage) they are the vampires of Power Metal a genre I am not normally impressed by but with songs like ‘Resurrection by Erection’ which is a funny thought. How could you ignore them. They have great stage presence and could be in a few years one of the biggest bands at this festival. They have quite a crowd waking up early to see them especially when they are the first band on, so this shows word of their great live show has got out. They are across between Priests, Werewolves and Vampires and they want your blood, but I couldn’t see this band in a Twilight film, they seem like they would hang more in the bushes ready to jump out and bite you. These wolves must be from somewhere it’s winter because everything is white even the band and their equipment. Looking at the band you would expect them to be Black Metal but this band is pure Power Metal that is deigned and aimed at the European market. Check out this band because they are really enjoyable to watch funny and talented.



Powerwolf – Setlist
Lupus Daemonis
Sanctified with Dynamite
Prayer in the Dark
We drink your Blood
Raise your Fist, Evangelist
Werewolves of Armenia
Resurrection by Erection
All we need is Blood
Lupus Dei
Wolves against the World


While she Sleeps (Marquee 2) are gradually getting a massive reputation in the UK as a great live act, but I think constant touring and sometimes their over aggressive attitude takes away from the music cause they have some great songs. When I first saw this band they had aggression but they had also a sense of friendliness and fun around them and this has been replaced by brutality. They have good riffs and they are on the heels of bands like Bring me the Horizon and the Deathcore scene and even getting quite a following in Europe.

Primal Fear (Main Stage) I listened to a few albums by this band recently and was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the band. They have re-produced the classic sound of artists such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, but at the same time putting some of their own soul in their too. I think if this band had come out fifteen years previous they would have been huge. The singer even looks a bit like Rob Halford and he has a great presence and sense in style. The harmonics of the guitars and solos are quite in your face and there is a driven force behind the band.


Primal Fear – Setlist
Intro (Unbreakable Part 1)
Nuclear Fire
Bad guys wear Black
Seven Seals
Metal Nation
Final Embrace
Metal is Forever


Thin Lizzy  (Main Stage) Who is actually in the band these days that ever graced the stage while Phil Lynott was alive and why can they still use the name. I know people want to hear these great songs but maybe they should be called the new Thin Lizzy and not just Thin Lizzy. I am surprised though the band actually do justice to these great songs and they sound really good. It’s great to hear them in a festival surroundings. Ricky Warwick of the band the Almighty is on lead vocals and he thunders out slightly heavier sounding vocals for tracks ‘Jailbreak and Killer on the Loose’ which is later followed by a great drinking song ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and what better place to hear this song as in the country that is most famous for beer and drinking, but for most a Thin Lizzy set wouldn’t be complete without a rendition of ‘The boys are back in Town’ a song that I remember putting on every Friday night before I went out when I was a kid.

Thin Lizzy – Setlist
Are you Ready
Killer on the Loose
Don’t believe a Word
Whiskey in the Jar
Cowboy Song
The boys are back in Town

Eluveite (Marquee 1) are a Celtic explosion from Switzerland and their new album ‘Helvetios’ is going down a storm. The Marquee is packed and you can hear whistles mixed with the sound of In Flames Esq guitars and vocals. This eight piece really know how to mix up genres to make a unique sound, and are evolving from album to album, they do have a few weak moments were the sound could be better and more polished and a few things are out of time, but they work well to work around these problems and work well with the addition of multiple instruments and styles. The singer even looks like Anders Friden of In Flames so you can tell they must be a big influence on the band. I think they could work the crowd a little more than they do like bands like Finntroll do cause in places they just don’t really get going.

Eluveitie – Setlist

Meet the Enemy
A rose for Epona
Inis Mona
The Uprising
Kingdom come Undone

Trivium (Main Stage) are becoming one of the best Metal bands out there, getting more polished every album they produce and now are up their with heavy weights Megadeth and Machine Head when you talk about metal bands. They put on the full show for the festival today starting up with the intro for the new album ‘In Waves’ ‘Capsizing the Sea’ which leads in to one of mine and your favourite tracks ‘In Waves’ which has one of the most killer choruses in modern heavy music. They have picked their set very wisely today and you hear the songs that you have been hoping for like ‘Pull harder on the strings of your Martyr’ and ‘A gunshot to the head of Trepidation’ which just sound so good. The band just go from strength to strength and they even look cool now, shaking off their former image that got them so many comparisons to Metallica. The band are really standing out for themselves as the band to watch which has taken Machine Head the whole career to achieve. If you like Metal music simply listen to Trivium you will be impressed.

Trivium – Setlist

Capsizing the Sea
In Waves
Pull harder on the strings of your Martyr
The Deceived
Dusk Dismantled
Drowned and torn Asunder
A gunshot to the head of Trepidation
Throes of Perdition
Leaving this world Behind

Megadeth (Main Stage) impressed me recently at the London Electric Ballroom but now they have gone complacent again. They know they are really good and it just means sometimes they get just so lazy standing back just letting the songs speak for themselves. Megadeth do have a strong back catalogue but not one strong enough to do this, we all know the maniac fans won’t care they just want to see the band but the rest of us want to be impressed. It’s nice to hear classic songs live like ‘Hangar 18 and Sweating Bullets’ and new song of the album ‘Thirteen’ ‘Public Enemy No.1’ really stands out for itself showing that they do have some great material I would just like to see them pick up the game with their live set. Dave Mustaine doesn’t really move the whole set, but does lean over to do some finger picking on certain tracks that looks really impressive. It is nice to see one of the Big 4 on a festival line-up so they make a nice festival interlude.

Megadeth – Setlist

Never Dead
Head Crusher
Hangar 18
Poison was the Cure
Sweating Bullets
A tout le Monde
Whose Life (is it Anyways?)
Public Enemy No.!
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars… The punishment Due
Silent Scorn


My dying Bride (Marquee 1) are one of the most impressive bands on the festival this weekend, simply destroying the Marquee with their apocalyptic Doom Metal. Singer Aaron Stainthorpe is a Christ like figure that is so menacing with bleeding stigmata hands and a dark evil image. It’s a crowning glory when they play a song of their 2009 album ‘For lies I Sire’ which was a definitive album for the band ‘Bring me Victory’ which see’s these tormented souls drag themselves round the stage like the pain is so undying that they can’t continue. They announce that they have played this festival more times than any other band playing every two years and this might be because of the great reception they get from the crowd. The music is haunting and tragic and traumatic but it is Doom at is best and I can’t think of another band that in the same league as them that have never differed from their traditional sound.

My dying Bride – Setlist
Your River
Bring me Victory
From darkest Skies
Thy Raven Wings
The prize of Beauty
She is the Dark
The dreadful Hours
Cry of Mankind


Leprous  (Metal Dome) are the band championed by Ihsahn Emperor and solo singer and they have worked with him on his new album ‘Eremita’ mostly on the live circuit but in the recording to. They have a great collection of albums of their own and the play four songs of their own which are alternative breaking into Indie and Metal, some people in the venue don’t really understand what is going on, because for these four songs there is no sign of Ihsahn which a lot of people have come to the tent tonight to see so confusion is in the air. Leprous can hold their own though and the material is experimental and maybe not totally designed for this festival but it is really good and makes me want to check out more material by them.

Leprous – Setlist
Waste of Air
Forced Entry


Ihsahn & Leprous (Metal Dome) When Ihsahn finally decides to make an appearance is he greeted by a warm reception and there is good reason for this as a member of Emperor he influenced a whole genre. They were Black Metal but they also crossed over some many genres like the set that he is playing tonight. I am shocked by how good songs of his new album are from the second he starts playing new track ‘Arrival’ which is the first song in the set. He worked with some of the cream of the music industry on this record and it has really worked out well for him, he is starting to really get noticed again. There are a lot of people that just want to hear Emperor songs but with such a great catalogue of songs solo and with Emperor I think it doesn’t really matter what he plays cause it will be brilliant whatever he does. This is a legend at his best and one of my personal highlights of the festival.

Ihsahn – Setlist
Called by the Fire
Frozen lakes on Mars
The Barren Lands
A grave Inversed
The Grave

Dimmu Borgir (Marquee 1) are now more symphonic than Black Metal and a totally different band than they used to be, and they are more popular than ever. I struggle to get into the tent to see them and you can’t get anywhere near them. This band are really loved and they look amazing like futuristic Black Metal from the dawn of time. The keyboards really take over and set the band a light in this festival night. They are the Marquee’s headliners so have a full stage show. The band have gone a long way since they started in 1994 and their sound has evolved they have had a number of different members over the years and the new one is very strong. Geir Bratland for me is a strong addition to the line-up his keyboard playing did wonders for Apoptygma Berzerk and it’s done the same for Dimmu Borgir. I would love to hear more old material but I think that time and place has now gone so we have to live in the now. The song that really stands out today is just simply titled ‘Dimmu Borgir’ which is strange to release a self titled track so late in their career but what a track but also ‘The Serpentine Offering’ off 2007 album ‘In sorte Diaboli’ is a wander to behold. The sound is great but at times it just gets a little tiring to watch, after the costumes wear of are they really that great live I just can’t make my mind up but the music is in a world of its own.

Dimmu Borgir – Setlist

Mourning Palace
Spellbound (By the Devil)
Kings of the Carnival
Dimmu Borgir
The Serpentine Offering
Progenies of the great Apocalypse
Perfection or Vanity

Limp Bizkit  (Main Stage) most people won’t admit they like Limp Bizkit but secretly they do and you can see that by the size of the crowd tonight which is immense. This is because they are a great live band and every single one of their songs is a hit even though they might be a little silly. Wes Borland shows this with always dressing weird like an Alien that has a bleeding back passage which is a little shocking and confusing for on lookers. Love him or hate him Fred Durst is a great frontman that can work his way round the stage in a matter of seconds breaking into ‘My Generation’ like he just doesn’t care what you think, his signature red baseball cap is replaced by a white one to show that we are now in the layer of the cobra. New album ‘Gold Cobra’ didn’t sell as well as it should have because it is a great record and the band have been headlining festivals all round the world, strange thing is everyone seems to know every word to it so did they just illegally download it.

I’m starting to think so, this is a sing –a –long party where he invites people up to join in and he gets everyone joining in. This is what a good live band should be enjoyable and Limp Bizkit are that, they might not be your favourite band but your at a festival to have fun and I had buckets of it, dancing around to ‘Nookie’ and ‘Break Stuff’ like I am having a weird spastic attack and singing and waving my hands to ‘Behind blue Eyes’ before we see a show of flesh by all the girls in the crowd as they join the band on stage for the last two songs. I don’t totally think this is the best way to end the set cause you can’t see the band for most of the songs and I want to see the band, but the end fireworks make up for it 1998 has been brought back for Saturday night at Graspop and I love it.


Limp Bizkit – Setlist
The Truth
My Generation
Hot Dog
Livin’ it Up
Gold Cobra
My Way
Eat you Alive
Smells like teen Spirit
Holy Wars
Master of Puppets (Bridge Jam)
Break Stuff
Behind blue Eyes
Rollin’ (Air raid Vehicle)




Six hour Sundown (Main Stage) However you repackage something sometimes we won’t be fooled, sometimes a spade is just simply a spade and Hannah Montana today… I’m Lauren Harris is just not good enough and has no business being on this bill. She should be supporting Avil Lavigne or Alanis Morissette this is not a bill for her. The rain pours the girl caterwauls and the skimpy bikini get’s smaller and smaller but the music doesn’t get better and better and has the crowd disburses after track one you do feel a little sorry for her cause you must be trying so hard and it’s just not working.

Cancer Bats  (Marquee 2) I love the Cancer Bats and must have seen them, god knows how many times this year but I think exhaustion is starting to get a hold of them and I can’t blame them they never stop they are like that Duracell bunny that keeps going and going. They do have some great songs and the sound isn’t at it’s best for them today. I would like them to take a little break and come back bigger and brighter cause I want everyone to see this great Hardcore, Metal, Punk band at it’s best and if this performance is not enough for singer Liam he is playing with Axewound later on. Songs like ‘Pneumonia Hawk’ and ‘Lucifer’s rocking Chair’ are the ones that go down best today but the majority of the front row are all from England so I don’t know to this day how the people of Belgium are taking to the Bats.


Cancer Bats – Setlist

Trust no One
Pray for Darkness
Bricks an Mortar
Pneumonia Hawk
Sleep this Away
Breathe Armageddon
Lucifer’s rocking Chair
Road Sick
Hail Destroyer


Sebastian Bach (Main Stage) it’s chucking it down with fain and Mr. Bach is hiding at the back of the stage trying to avoid the rain cause he is afraid he might get electrocuted, which makes a really sorry display indeed. The songs are really good and loads of Skid Row ones are on the setlist today but Bach’s voice is even more croaky and a shadow of what it used to be ‘I remember You’ should be remember with the amazing voice he once had and not how it is being performed today. Out of nine songs, six of them are Skid Row songs so he can’t be too confident with his solo work and he has had quite a few of them. It’s fun to hear the songs but this is just a disappointment.


Sebastian Bach – Setlist
Slave to the Grind
Kicking and Screaming
Big Guns
18 and Life
American Metalhead
Monkey Business
I remember you
Youth gone Wild


Ugly kid Joe (Marquee 1) The comeback of Ugly kid Joe was well over due and a triumphant one, you know that as they break into first song ‘Neighbor’ which sounds as good as it did all through years ago and is an amazing start to their set. You realise that they are not a joke band and they have an amazing selection of songs they can bring out of their hat with everyone being classic. Their brand of Funk Metal and school kid antics make them a great band to watch especially when Whitfield Crane tries to climb the scaffolding at the side of the stage and is met by loads of security guards and a fight breaks out. This is amazing to watch and brings action to their set. Then again their whole set is action from Phil Campbell of Motorhead coming on to play ‘God’ and a kick ass version of ‘Goddamn Devil’. The set is water downed a little by an acoustic interlude of the Harry Chapman song ‘Cats in the Cradle’ this is then highlighted by end track ‘Everything about You’ which is one of the best ever rock songs written and the bands biggest hit.

Ugly kid Joe – Setlist
Panhandlin’ Prince
Milkman’s Son
Cats in the Cradle
Goddamn Devil
Everything about You


Europe (Main Stage) The countdown falls on death ears as they muddle through songs from their new album ‘Bag of Bones’ an album that just doesn’t not cut the mustard in this century were their is a lot more competition, but at least they try to write some new material and don’t totally sit back on songs like ‘Superstitious’ and ‘Final Countdown’ anthems that will never die and are the soundtrack to a generation. The band are still prim and proper with Joey Tempest walking round the stage with an arrogance like he is god’s gift trying to get the crowd going but all they are waiting for is the bands big hit. They play quite a few songs of ‘Bag of Bones’ a little too many for festival goers that are looking for the hits but they must have misguided faith in the new record that you can buy in a quite a few charity shops already all the way around Europe.

Europe – Setlist

Riches to Rags
Not supposed to sing the Blues
Scream of Anger
Demon Head
Rock the Night
The Beast
Last look at Eden
The Final Countdown


Killswitch Engage (Main Stage) On the 4th January this year the band announced that Howard Jones had left the band after nine years with the band due to an illness. The band then announced that original vocalist Jesse Leach would be coming back, the singer that recorded on the self titled album in the year 2000 and probably the bands best album ‘Alive or just Breathing’ a couple years later was a welcome return and a nice opportunity to hear the old songs live again and today was Graspops chance. The band go into a furious set of great songs and a stage presence that would set you on fire. Jesse ‘This is f**ing awesome, awesome weather, awesome bands, an awesome audience! What more could you want? Johnny ‘My balls on your chin!’ yes the band still have a sense of humour to and keep the festival goers really entertained for the duration of the set with not a dull moment. How could there be a dull moment with songs like ‘This is Absolution’ and ‘Bid Farewell’ and the one you really wanted to hear Jesse singing ‘My last Serenade’ again a song that the former singer could never quite get right on the live stage.


Killswitch Engage – Setlist

Fixation on the Darkness
Rose of Sharyn
Numbered Days
This is Absolution
Self Revolution
The arms of Sorrow
Take this Oath
Life to Lifeless
A bid Farewell
My Curse
The End of Heartache
My last Serenade
Holy Diver


Axewound (Marquee 2) are a new band the brain child of Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats and Matt Tuck of Bullet for my Valentine also containing members of Glamour of the Kill and Rise to Remain so kind of a super group. The band are very similar to bands like Metallica and Revoker having a more Metal than Hardcore sound to them. Liam still has his signature Cancer Bats moves and sings most of the vocals but Matt does take the lead on a few tracks and there is a nice contrast between heavy and clean vocals on some of the tracks. The thing is they are quite high up the bill and the crowd doesn’t know the material so the atmosphere in the room is a little thin. I think once the record comes out this problem will be sorted cause the songs I heard were really good and they work really well as a unit, the thing I want to know is all the members are so busy when are they going to get time to work on this band properly.


Machine Head (Main Stage) are probably the band the most people want to see this weekend. I think for Machine Head this has been their biggest year to date playing massive venues and being at the top half of most festival bills which will conclude with a massive headline spot at this year’s Bloodstock Festival
in Derbyshire England. This is all because of their brilliant last album ‘Unto the Locust ‘ this album has done very well for the band, I think on this record they have went from being quite similar to many other Metal bands to creating this amazing new sound. The sad thing about today’s performance, is that I think a lot of the sound the make, does not come across the same in this live festival situation. They do some nice guitar interchanges and there is a mass chant of Machine F**king Head between each song that builds up the atmosphere a bit. The band seem a lot happier to playing older material like ‘Old’ and Davidian’ which for a long time I think they tried to avoid cause they were quite bored of it. This was a good solid performance but not the performance we were all expecting.


Machine Head – Setlist

I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)
Beautiful Mourning
Aesthetics of Hate



Behemoth  (Marquee 1) with the future of this band being in serious jeopardy with the singer Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski suffering from a serious illness, there is a packed Marquee making sure they see the band in case they disband for any reason. The problem with the show tonight is that the lighting is too dark so you can’t always see what is going on. They have a good pyrotechnics show and flames ext… but you do feel you have see loads of bands do this before them like 1349 and Watain and that they could have thought of something new. The other thing that affects their set is that the sound quality is not very good so some of the songs are a little muffled which doesn’t help with the live experience. I love their use of futurist masks and their Armour looks amazing. Their seems to be a thing for futurist stance of Black Metal at the moment and on the albums this works really well for the band, I would like to see this show in a different surroundings to make another judgment but for today this is just average.

Behemoth – Setlist
Ov Fire and the Void
Conquer All
Christians to the Lions
Alas, Lord is upon Me
At the left hand ov God
Slaves shall Serve
Chant for Eschaton 2000

Motorhead (Main Stage) need no introduction they are clearly one of the heavyweights in Metal music and have gained the love and respect of fans of every genre of music in the world today with pop bands even wearing their t-shirts. You can see why with a frontman like Lemmy Killmeister he always says the right things and knows how to command a stage and his knowledge into music is vast. The highlight of this set is Ugly kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane coming on to sing ‘Killed by Death’ and the iconic ‘Ace of Spades’ always goes down well. The band look good in the sun and look like they are having a good time with loads of jokes between songs so I think this was a fun day for them to.

Motorhead – Setlist
Damage Case
I know how to Die
Stay Clean
Over the Top
One night Stand
The chase is better than the Catch
The one to sing the Blues
Going to Brazil
Killed by Death

Ace of Spades


Children of Bodom (Marquee 1) are the final days Marquee 1 headliner and they even have a car in their expanded stage show that Alexi keeps jumping on and doing a solo or two. The set is an adrenaline fuelled riff based explosion of guitar twiddling and keyboards. This is a little bit of the Alexi Laiho show I wonder what the rest of the band think about it, with everything centred around him. A lot of the band seem a bit shadowed with some of them being half hidden at the back of the stage. It’s a good performance tonight but I am not sure it deserved a headliner spot. ‘Needled 24/7’ sounds great in the festival surrounding and see’s people getting on each other shoulders for a better look.

Children of Bodom – Setlist

Hate Me!
Silent Night, Bodom Night
Shovel Knockout
Needled 24/7
Everytime I Die
Deadnight Warrior
Angels don’t Kill
In your Face
Hate crew Deathroll

Guns ‘n’ Roses (Main Stage) grace the stage thirty minutes early, yes I said it early that has never happened before in the whole history of the band. I think they want to show that the band is working as a strong package and that the last album ‘Chinese Democracy’ is one that you just have to listen to, which clearly no on in the audience has other than me. While I was watching the show loads of people asked me what is this song

I’ve never heard it and I was like it’s on their last album haven’t you bother to check it out it’s really good. Their live sound is amazing and a big reason of this is the brilliance on guitar by axeman DJ Ashba who shows Slash how it’s done. Slash never really wrote anything for Guns ‘n’ Roses and is worshiped by a lot of people I think this is because of his signature top hat and cigarette, DJ Ashba is actually a better guitar player his technical work is exquisite and it really helps to bring out the sound of the new material and the setting of post apocalyptic China. This is a massive full on rock show with all the stops pulled out and a massive tracklisting.


Guns ‘n’ Roses – Setlist
Chinese Democracy
Welcome to the Jungle
It’s so Easy
Mr. Brownstone

Rocket Queen

Shackler’s Revenge
Richard Fortus guitar Solo
Live and let Die
This I Love
Used to love Her
Dizzy Reed piano Solo
Street of Dreams
You could be Mine
DJ Ashba guitar Solo
Sweet child O’Mine
Another brick in the Wall
Axl Rose piano Solo
November Rain
Glad to Here
Don’t Cry
Civil War
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Nightrain / Jam

Whole lotta Rose / Jam
Patience / Jam
Paradise City


Daniel Cairns