ROCK WERCHTER

WERCHTER, BEL­GIUM. 29.06.17 – 02.07.17 FRIES, FOOS AND FLEM­ISH FUN GA­LORE AS ROCK RULES BEL­GIUM’S BIG­GEST FES­TI­VAL WORDS: JAMES HICKIE blink-182 PHOTO: JA­SON ASARE for rock WERCHTER 2017 SYS­TEM OF A DOWN AND FOO FIGHT­ERS PHO­TOS: JOKKO for rock WERCHTER 20

Kerrang! (UK) - - Kerrang! (uk) -

ROCK WERCHTER is where 88,000 fes­ti­val-go­ers and an eclec­tic mu­si­cal bill go to­gether like chips and may­on­naise.this year’s size­able quota of rock kicks off on Thurs­day evening with one of its most in­cen­di­ary su­per­groups, PROPHETS OF RAGE (KKKK), who vow to “make Bel­gium rage again”.tom Morello’s gui­tar does much of the talk­ing, both mu­si­cally – on Know Your En­emy and Bulls On Pa­rade – and more lit­er­ally via the words ‘FUCK TRUMP’ em­bla­zoned on the un­der­side of it. It’s sim­i­larly ob­vi­ous

ROYAL BLOOD (KKKKK)

love this fes­ti­val – their Fri­day set mark­ing their fourth time here.to cel­e­brate, Mike Kerr and “the rest of the band” (i.e. drum­mer Ben Thatcher) un­leash a blis­ter­ing bag of bass-groov­ing badassery.‘how did you get so good?’ a fan’s sign asks.

An­other ques­tion for Satur­day is what

FRANK CARTER & THE RAT­TLESNAKES (KKKK)

will do when the main stage’s elab­o­rate bar­rier sys­tem pre­vents them start­ing the “big­gest cir­cle-pit of the fes­ti­val”. Frank set­tles for in­sti­gat­ing mul­ti­ple smaller ones: a sight he de­scribes as “like an ant farm”.after such ur­gency, BLUES

PILLS (KKK) make for a noodling come­down, de­spite singer Elin Lars­son’s en­er­getic ef­forts. While the Swedes show­case a love of psychedelia, MA­CHINE GUN KELLY (KKK) il­lus­trates what pre­sum­ably hap­pens when you grow up on a diet of Kid Rock. It’s paid off, as the huge, hangar­like Klub C stage is full to burst­ing.as are hearts when JIMMY EAT WORLD (KKK) ar­rive, although the bum notes Jim Ad­kins un­leashes dur­ing Sweet­ness jar.thank­fully noth­ing im­pedes the gooey love­li­ness of The Mid­dle. Mid­dling, how­ever, ac­cu­rately de­scribes what BLINK-182 (KKK) de­liv­ers. While the clas­sics (What’s My Age Again?, Dammit) sound vi­brant,

if thin, the ma­te­rial from lat­est al­bum Cal­i­for­nia fares less well. It’s bol­stered as ever, though, by Travis Barker’s dom­i­nant drum­ming, and gen­er­ous pyro.there’s no need for the lat­ter dur­ing SYS­TEM OF A DOWN (KKKKK) be­cause they’re on fire.as at Down­load, we get a lengthy set list of flaw­lessly ex­e­cuted favourites. Un­like Down­load, how­ever, the band ac­tu­ally look like they’re en­joy­ing it. Gui­tarist Daron Malakian la­bels this crowd “hands-down the best on this moth­er­fuck­ing tour”, though they’re only giv­ing as good as they get.‘strange’ is the best way to de­scribe LINKIN PARK (KKK) try­ing to in­cor­po­rate songs from One More Light into a co­he­sive ex­pe­ri­ence.you would think those pop lean­ings would give the Cal­i­for­ni­ans a mul­ti­ple head lin­ers-for-the-price-of- one ap­peal, but the re­sults – a gruff One Step Closer one minute, dance lul­laby In­vis­i­ble the next – proves wildly un­even.

On Sun­day, NOTH­ING BUT THIEVES (KKK) con­firm new songs like Am­s­ter­dam are suited to big­ger stages, though the Es­sex boys need to learn to put on a big­ger show to match. They could learn from DROP­KICK MUR­PHYS (KKKK), whose rab­ble-rous­ing shenani­gans peak with mar­itime favourite I’m Ship­ping Up To Bos­ton. Hav­ing re­cently head­lined Glas­ton­bury, FOO

FIGHT­ERS (KKKKK) shouldn’t be too fazed here, though Dave Grohl ex­claim­ing “No pres­sure!” while sur­vey­ing the vast crowd sug­gests some nerves.that might ex­plain the odd ban­ter (Dave call­ing drum­mer Tay­lor Hawkins,“the Ike to [his] Tina Turner”) and al­most for­get­ting to in­tro­duce The Kills’ Ali­son Mosshart dur­ing new song La Dee Da. It’s this loose­ness, though, that makes it a more fun set than Glasto, with Dave play­fully brand­ing those with signs mock­ing the leg-break that can­celled their 2015 ap­pear­ance “ass­holes”. Else­where, a jammed out ver­sion of Mon­key Wrench – played on a gui­tar signed by hun­dreds of fans, and com­pleted by Dave ap­pear­ing up the sound tower – dis­tils ev­ery­thing Foo Fight­ers (and this fes­ti­val) rep­re­sents: loud mu­sic, good times and an un­break­able bond be­tween artist and au­di­ence. Foo-king bril­liant.

Frank Carter al­ways got re­ally in­volved when ref­er­ee­ing… Travis got cramp in his hand at the worst pos­si­ble time You wouldn’t like Ma­chine Gun Kelly when he’s an­gry… Serj help­fully points the way to Rock Werchter. Cheers!

“Al­right!who put su­per­glue in my hand mois­turiser?” Chuck D and B-real lost half of their bar­ber­shop quar­tet

Mike Kerr al­ways drooled at the sight of a tasty mic…

Ch­ester was al­ways on hand to catch any fall­ing bassists

Jimmy Eat World al­ways saw the funny side. Even in armpits

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