Graspop Metal Meeting Day 2: Friday

First day of the festival started off…. at 7am in the morning. My tentbuddy, if you like, thought it was a good idea to arrive early in the morning on Friday, forcing me to get up abnormally early to help him find the spot. Lazy as I am I just stood up outside the tent and let him find his own way, which was.. pretty simple since our camp was close to the entrance.

Spent the next couple of hours what I do best – not socializing with anyone, slowly eating and slowly getting ready. Seriously, anyone who ever plans to travel with me – there is no point in trying to rush me to eat. I’m a slow eater. Around 12 I realized that it might be a good idea I head down to the festival area, which is one minute away to catch H.E.A.T, starting at 12.20.

Here’s the deal. My friend gave me the impression that queueing goes so quickly at Graspop, so I figured, against my better judgement, that it should be no problem “only” arriving about 20 minutes before showtime. I was dead wrong.

I was still in the line when I heard “A Shot of Redemption”, presumably second song of the set, and I was pretty much… Let’s just say, it was a good thing for people in Dessel that day that it was H.E.A.T and not Butcher Babies that was the band I was missing out on.

In the middle of “Tearing Down The Walls” I finally made it in and I ran faster than I have ever done before. Seriously, I’ve never considered myself a fast runner, but two places in this world – Boda Borg and concerts, brings out the marathon runner in me.

I thought to myself that as long as I make it to the stage for “Mannequin Show”, I can slow down, so once I was almost there I slowed down for a moment to not completely drain myself and of course… the melody to “Mannequin Show” started. Oh well then, right back onto it!

Made it to second row (where are all the people?) and got to enjoy the last 20 minutes of the show at least, consisting of songs as “Beg Beg Beg”, my personal favorite “Emergency”, “Breaking the Silence” and wrapping it up with “Living on the Run”.

But you know, despite missing a lot of the show, I enjoyed the bits I did see. Erik Grönwall is an entertainer, even though I must admit it felt a little bit as he held back this day. This might be a direct response to the not so energetic crowd, what do I know. But damn, I love these men.


Butcher Babies

Right after H.E.A.T, who doesn’t even get a headline because of the mishaps, and with only a mere ten minutes between the sets I had to hurry a little bit, despite the stages being next to each other. I made it pretty far in, about second or third row or so, which was pretty good, if you ask me.

And… you know that feeling when you see a favorite band live for the first time? That feeling with “Oh shit! It’s really them!” That’s what I thought when Chrissy walked on stage as first person. I was like “Dude. That’s him. That’s actually him, whom I’ve seen only on photos on the internet before”. Jason and Henry joined followed by two of my heroines, Heidi and Carla.


They opened up energetic with “The Cleansing” and look. You can say whatever you want about the ladies, about the groups intention, about how they are not “true”, but what you can never take away from Carla nor Heidi is that, just as Erik Grönwall, they are true entertainers.

“The Mirror Never Lies” was the second song on the list, and I must admit, I was surprised, but also glad to see how many people around me were just as, may I use the term “die-hard fans” as I was. I never really heard much about them having a fanbase here in Europe, but I’m glad I was wrong.


“Goliath”, third song of the list followed by “Beerdrinkers & Hellraiser”. I must admit, when seeing them I kinda come to notice that the three men in the band, don’t really do a lot. They stand back, play their things and leave the show up to Heidi and Carla. I don’t mind, in all honesty, let the ladies do what they do best. Still baffles my mind why people discredits them.

A bit in the set it was time for the new song, “Monsters Ball”. I have never been too much of a fan of this song, as it kinda feel it’s just… pounding through. I always cared more for their melodic songs, but I have to admit something – this song, and especially the chorus works wonders in a crowd. “You can’t stop moving, no you can’t stop moving..” no, we really can’t, haha.


After “Monsters Ball” it was time for a personal favorite of mine, “Crazy Horses”. “I Smell a Massacre” and “Magnolia BLVD” was the last song of the sets where the babies left the stage for this time.

God. That was a rush. Seeing a faveband for the first time is always such a rush.

Headed over directly to the merch to get a hand on a shirt and a poster before moving on to the Classic Rock tent and catching the first out of three The Lounge Kittens sets.

Most of you who’ve read my blog in the past knows about my small obsession with The Lounge Kittens ever since the Steel Panther tour, so getting the chance to see the Kittens not once but twice during this festival was awesome.


After their set I headed over to the signing session for Butcher Babies, which was completely in vain. I guess Graspop lacks a bit here – It is never, NEVER a good idea to have the signing session begin neck in neck – there should always be a break inbetween to make sure that in case there’s a heavy flow of people or in case the band is late. It’s more sad for the Aborted fans who were kept waiting PAST Aborted’s signing time because Butcher Babies took so long.

Second thing, it’s never a good idea to allow people to take pictures at signing sessions, and I swear to God – I curse every, single, one of you who ever takes pictures at a signing session. Seriously, fuck you people. I do realize I sound bitter right now, but lets put it this way – there’s a reason Sweden Rock started to forbid photos. After they did so, twice, or even three times, as many people managed to get into the signing sessions after doing so. Also the major reason if I ever get into a band, I’ll never allow people to take pics at our signings. Never. Rather satisfy the many than glorifying the few, you know?

I come off very bitter here, and a little bit bitter, yes. But I’m more bitter about the failure in organization rather than not making it to the signing. Giving a mainstage act only 30 minutes is bad to begin with (Sweden Rock gives at least 45 mins even to the smaller stages) but yeah. Maybe they will learn, maybe they won’t. Spent almost an hour in that line for nothing, and if you hold on to your horses a little bit, I’m gonna demonstrate a bit further in this entry my point, but before that, Epica.

So, thankfully, Epica was starting on the mainstage in the time to make me feel better, and it sure does. Singers like Simone Simons makes everything better.  “Unchain Utopia” was just pure perfection, and I must admit, I’m not sure if the sets are really much shorter here or not, but it was over so quickly. I don’t understand why.


Right after Epica, I headed over to the classic rock tent again to catch the last our of three The Lounge Kittens sets (one of the sets were during Epica).

The set was just as energetic as fun as you’d remember them, and the set was a little bit different from the previous one, but still including “Rollin'” which I’ve always considered more of a favorite since I love the choreography.


Now, I’m going to get back to Butcher Babies signing sessions. The Lounge Kittens stopped their set at about 18.10, or a bit after and I thought to myself, hey, why not go to Epica’s signing session? Why miss out on an oppurtunity like that? But what to get signed?

So around 18.10, I head over to the metal market, and go through the hassle to get a wristband, go to the first recordstore I see, pick up a random Epica album (The Quantum Enigma) and slowly started walking toward the signing area. I reached the line about 18.20, and they had signing time until 19. So, I wanna put this into perspective. I made it to Butcher Babies signing session 14.50, and they started 15.00, and they STOPPED signing at 15.45-50 (Epica had already started when they stopped), and this had them going over time by 15-20 minutes.

Here I actively come 20 minutes too late to a session, and guess what. I. Made. It. In. by 18.50 I was in to meet them band, hurrying through of course since I saw the grim reaper coming out (the lady who walks out and asks who everyone is there to see to estimate how many more can get in) and because the faster I get out, the faster more people can get in.

So, what was the difference? They didn’t allow photos. They. Did. Not. Allow. Photos, so I guess they DID learn from earlier on. Of course, some people still took photos, hell, even I took a pic of a guy and Simone. But there is such a difference when ten people take pictures rather than 100, you know?

After the session I headed back to the camp to drop off all the merchandise, or well, all and all, but the poster got in the way and I kept losing it.

Spent some time in the tent resting, drinking and eating before heading down to the festivalsite again, and this time it was time to see a band I haven’t seen in quite a few years: KISS.

They opened the set with “Detroit Rock City” and the show was a fact.

KISS…. KISS is quite the show. I’m not gonna say this in a surprised matter since I’ve seen them live before, but I mean, DAMN. If it wasn’t fireworks it was confettis, if it wasn’t that it was pyro and lights and elevators and Paul did his little ride and God only knows!

I’m not gonna write a lengthy bit about this, since it will be way too long, and I don’t really have a lot to say. What do you say about the best band in the world?

The only thing I HAVE to say is that I completely owned my friend. Nailed to for see every single song, while he could be soooo off. Love it.


After KISS was done I headed over (alone) to the second mainstage to wrap this long day up with Marilyn Manson.

And seriously, the last time I saw him was in 2007 and I had forgotten how good he was. Not only live, but also musically. He’s not typically the first I turn to when I wanna listen to something, but that sure is about to change. Loved every single minute, and by every song I made it closer and closer to the stage and I found myself almost having the same spots as on Butcher Babies, despite arriving after the first song has started. Thanks for the evening, Manson.


After Manson I went back to the camp and went directly to bed. Saturday was gonna start fairly late in concert speaking, but I wanted to check out the market properly, as well as catching up on some sleep.

// Sara



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