Once Upon a Time in the Town of Meerhout #2

Groezrock 2015 © Morgan Legars // www.plugin-mag.com
Groezrock 2015 © Morgan Legars // www.plugin-mag.com

Day two, we’re slowly kicking off our day with a coffee, and Bad Ideas, who turned out to be a great idea to start a festival day with. It was only our second stop of the weekend at the Macbeth stage, which is a shame because that’s where we usually get to see some of the most interesting performances, however, the days were busy and there are so many rad bands we needed to see everywhere else. Bad Ideas are this lovely blend of generosity and happiness, with a pinch of delicacy to top all of that. The vocals soothed our ears, while the tempered instruments surprised us with increasing energy, making us want to either dance or bounce. People gathered in a reasonable number around the stage and we could definitely spot a small number of fans who will sing along to most of the lyrics. Bad Ideas played various songs of their repertory including recent track  Clumsy Hands, and we are glad we decided to go and watch this british band who definitely needs way more recognition.

We’re now awake and ready to get to serious stuff and we did pull no punches! Turnstile are up next at the Back to Basics stage and well, this was easily the sickest performance we’ve watched the whole weekend. Turnstile gave a whole new definition to the word madness and while we weren’t quite sure what to expect exactly, we all agreed on the fact that despite you’d enjoy listening to this band at home or on your way to work, there was only one way we could describe what we’d just witnessed : Jaw-dropping.

Stocking up on some Monster Energy, we made our way to the next show, realizing that today will definitely be more chill (okay, we just talked about Turnstile, but still), and brought to us a lovely bunch of lovely bands who would load up our souls with love and happiness (and silliness.) The Early November were one of these and despite the very few people who came to see them, the New Jersey guys seemed thankful to be able to perform at such an event with such welcoming and sometimes very dedicated people. In fact, there was that visibly hardcore The Early November fan jumping on stage every now and then to sing the lyrics with a passion…to the extent that security and crew didn’t even bother taking him off stage, as the band members themselves thought what he was doing was great. That’s also what we love about our music; the sense of sharing and unity it can bring to us sometimes and definitely we’d love to see more of this. The Early November were about to release their new record ‘Imbue’ and gave us a fair insight of it.

The award winner of the most entertaining set, however, was for us Call It Off. It wasn’t the first time for us seeing this band, and once again magic happened and this already fantastic outfit brought all the fun this festival could have. With a LOT of people involved, this set quickly turned into the most unexpectedly crazy performance and it was a delight! Having just released ‘Lovers and Liars’, Call It Off followed up songs such as Do It All Again and Forward or Crazy…Which people responded to in the most enjoyable way. Punk rock at its best. Did we mention the wall of death? The circle pits? Adrian Delange jumping off stage to play guitar in the middle of the audience and oh. Boobies! To be fair, we’re not the average innocent people however, the surprise made us react like absolute teenagers and it only added to the entertainment of the performance. Throughout the whole set, we couldn’t help singing, trying out dance moves and most of all laughing. All the way through it. Thank you Call It Off for giving us the best time!

We could also speak for hours about the friendly atmosphere at Groezrock 2015, resulting in us running around the festival site in between the sets and expressing our love for each other while swallowing some vegan treats (Cheers Just Like Your Mom!), before running into a certain Liam Cormier who will reveal to us his love for cheese sticks. For the record, Cancer Bats delivered a mental show the day before (Read report day – 1) and were still around on Sunday enjoying the non-existant Belgian sun a few beers and obviously french fries (to those of you who need to enrich their culinary culture, Plug-In recommends a chat with Mr Cormier.)  They will be back on tour in the area real soon and we are psyched!

One pretty enjoyable moment for us was the blistering performance we saw from The Deaf. We didn’t know this band at all, but randomly decided we would walk to the Macbeth Stage and watch what was going on there. We did not regret our choice, as it’s a surprising show that we were facing, slightly different from the remaining names of the festival and so it felt refreshing. The Deaf are a quirky four piece from the Netherlands who play old school garage rock. Vintage-ish, these young people love a touch of craziness for our total enjoyment. Overall it’s a pleasant and satisfying discovery that we made with The Deaf and if this band ever plays near you, you should know that they’re worth the watch.

Once again, we couldn’t overlook the usual suspects as Comeback Kid and as per usual, they didn’t disappoint and it’s obvious that these guys have a strong community of fans who are always there and welcoming them just the way they deserve. For the record, Comeback Kid were presenting their newly released album . We also made a stop at the Revenge stage to watch Bane and the least we can say is that they attracted huge amounts of people. The tent was full and we’re not even short people, but we could barely watch a thing of what was happening on stage, leaving us mostly listening to Bane’s heart wrenching tunes and feeling the engaged atmosphere.

Speaking of our hearts, here comes the most emotionally touching performance of the day, as far as we’re concerned. Basement. Appearing from the darkness and a light filter of lights, the Ipswich boys are definitely back and for real! Having missed their small run of shows last fall, it is needless to mention how excited and tensed we were at the same time. Funny thing is that the band immediately caught us. It was only a matter of minutes before we completely forgot the holy mess that was occuring around us, to focus on the music and the performance itself. The stage is quickly flooded by the audience and people’s voices echo with Andrew Fisher’s singing. Many classics followed up, reaching a peak with Covet. By the time it was over, we’re already empty, but definitely happy.

But we’re not quite there yet, it’s getting late but we have one last rendez-vous at the Macbeth Stage to watch the adorably emo You Blew It! One year after their first European tour, where we got to “meet” them for the first time somewhere in the Netherlands, You Blew It! were headlining this cool stage at the biggest punk/hardcore festival in Europe. No big deal? That’s what they seemed to be saying. There weren’t that many people showing up, because Millencolin were playing at the same time, but the Americans took the opportunity to crack a joke about it and beg the few people in presence not to leave them for the Swedes. Aside from the lovely music, You Blew It! Have this nonchlent attitude on stage that makes you feel like these are your cousins playing a show in the backyard. They’re funny and they do not take themselves too seriously, which is a major freshness.

Is Groezrock coming to a close? Oh yes it is. Oh no we don’t agree. What’s left for us now? Refused are headlining. The Swedes are back apparently and by back we mean back to writing music and releasing new songs. The punks are not to everyone’s liking but this doesn’t matter, it’s an occasion for us to gather again around lively music and drink more beers (Yes we love you Belgium), New Noise kicks in and people get even more excited, it’s time for all of us to give the very last ounces of energy we have left, before leaving for good. So long Groezrock, we had a perfect weekend!

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