A Little Worse For The Wear, But Back For Day Two Of Groezrock Festival

We had a great time on the first day of Groezrock Festival.  I don’t think we were the only ones.  When we got off the bus for the second day, some people were looking a bit rough.  We missed the first band we really wanted to see… again.  We caught a bit of Zebrahead (great) and The Dangerous Summer before hitting the acoustic stage.

At the acoustic stage we saw Anti-Flag.  They said they were a were a bit nervous, because this was first time they were playing acoustically and their songs were not written to be played like that. They shouldn’t have worried.  Talent and hard work usually wins out.   They were fantastic and had the crowd eating out of their hands.

We know The Hard Lessons, who opened for and sang with Motion City Soundtrack.  The Hard Lessons are fantastic, fun-loving, musicians who put on a great show.  We wanted to see and support people they have toured with and so we went to see Motion City Soundtrack.  Doing so, we missed The Old Firm Casuals.   Curses.

After that we chilled in the sun listening to Hot Water Music.  There were lots of people outside soaking up the sun, enjoying the atmosphere and pulling shenanigans.

We ran into some Aussies that we’d met the day before at the Alkaline Trio show.  They had the tattoos and were pretty psyched for the show.  They weren’t the only ones.  We caught a glimpse of the guys from Anti-Flag checking out the show.  Love the Detroit Red Wings shirt too.  Way to represent.

We caught the tail end of The Bronx.   People were digging them, especially the kid in the viking helmet.

As expected, Anti-Flag put on a phenomenal show.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the festival.

 They weren’t afraid to mix it up and got out in the crowd.  The circle pit and crowd surfing were enthusiastic to say the least.  Groezrock seemed pretty prepared for it.  They must have had 20 big guys up there and were getting people over the barrier like they were working an assembly line.

We caught some of Against Me!’s Tommy Gabel on the acoustic stage.  It was pretty full and he sounded great.

We were also able to get a good spot for Simple Plan.  They were polished and had a lot of energy.

We tried to go see Chuck Ragan, but couldn’t get in the tent.  Disappointed, we consoled ourselves with some fries and called it a night.  Thanks for the great shows Groezrock.  We hope to be back next year.

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Mohawks Welcome But Not Required At The Groezrock Festival

We love to see live music and summer music festivals are big in Europe.  In January, we started looking at lineups and chose Groezrock Festival in Meerhout, Belgium as our first festival.  It had a fantastic lineup.  I am sure that many people don’t know these bands, but believe me when I tell you fans of punk rock are astounded by the sheer volume of great bands playing this festival.

Essentially, Groezrock is a giant music festival with four stages in the middle of fields in Flanders.  You bounce around between four stages (one of them acoustic) catching great music.  There were so many good bands that it was difficult to choose between several bands that were playing at the same time.

Arriving at the Main Stage where we saw the Menzingers. When you see the crowd surfing, you will understand why I didn’t bring my camera and only had my iPhone.

Unfortunately we arrived too late to catch Authority Zero.  The Menzingers had already taken the stage and were a great surprise.  We’d heard of them, but hadn’t seen them before.  Their music was strong and they sounded great.  We’ll definitely be buying their album now.

The Bouncing Souls on the acoustic stage

He is a huge Bouncing Souls fan.  We caught their acoustic set.  I think everyone tried to fit into the smaller acoustic tent to see them.  For good reason, they were great.

Reel Big Fish

The Bouncing Souls followed Reel Big Fish on the Main Stage.  I would have paid just to see them back to back!  They both put on great shows and had such a positive vibe. The crowd ate it up.  It was still relatively early and most people had tons of energy.

We didn’t have the best view of Reel Big Fish because we’d stopped to fortify ourselves.  Since we were in Belgium, that meant French Fries with special sauce.  So tasty.  We needed energy to keep from looking like this guy.

Set Your Goals

I’d heard some Set Your Goals on the Radio One Punk Show with Mike Davies.  After seeing them live, we became huge fans.  They were strong.  It was so crowded that I could only catch a glimpse of the stage by climbing the fence surrounding the sound booth.  It looked like joyful mayhem.  He saw guys in banana suits stage diving.

Yellowcard on the acoustic stage

We also caught Yellowcard‘s acoustic set.  He thought they did a good job wanted to see their live set.  It was even better.  Yellowcard was clearly motivated to put on a great show and excited to be there.  They had tons of energy and the crowd got the crowd really into it.

Bouncing Souls

We had such a great spot for Yellowcard that we decided to stay there to catch Face to Face, Lagwagon and Rancid.  It’s easy to forget how many great songs Face to Face has.  Seeing them live reminded me.  We hadn’t bought the album they released last year and will definitely be doing so.  They delivered a solid performance.  I love punk concerts for the energy.  It’s great to be someplace where you are encouraged to feel and move with the music to such an extent.  Face to Face was about our 10th consecutive hour of rocking out and we’d started flagging a bit.  By that point, I was too tired to jump around.

Face To Face

Crowd surfing during Face to Face

Even though it was their second show of the day, Lagwagon had tons of energy.  People were downing energy drinks like water and it showed.  The circle pit was huge and people were definitely rocking out.

Lagwagon

We lost our key.  Oops  We went off in search of it and missed seeing Rancid…again.  Hopefully the third time will be the charm.  Given all the great music we saw, it is hard to be too bummed.

Here are some other acts we missed, but that got great reviews:

I Apologized for Saying Merci Beaucoup (Thank You)

It is sometimes difficult to explain the relationship between the Flemish speaking and the French speaking parts of Belgium to other Americans. Heck, I’m not sure I understand it and I have been trying to for decades now.
While I was in Belgium, we went to see the ruins of an amazing castle. It was both interesting and beautiful. If you want to read more about it, here is the link: http://www.montaigle.be/  Since it is in French, here is another link to see information about the ruins (this time in English) medieval-castle-ruins-of-montaigle.

I wanted a picture of all of us with the castle behind us and asked a passer-by exiting the castle if they could please take our picture (in French). They did so and I thanked them. When they found out I spoke English they switched to it immediately and so did I.  This is because they were from the north of Belgium and Flemish is their mother tongue.* They made it clear that they preferred English to French.

When they left, I reflexively said “merci beaucoup” without thinking and then, immediately apologized for having spoken in French. To make reparations, I attempted a “dank u”.

*I have always been advised when meeting Belgians who speak Flemish to speak English not French (one of their country’s languages and mandatory in school from an early age). I was told that they could feel slighted that I had chosen to learn one of their countries other languages before Flemish. I have always done so and found their English to be excellent.