Roskilde Festival 2006 Preview (Pt1)

author PP date 20/06/06

In five days time the festival with the best atmosphere and some damn good bands unlocks its gates and allows the 75,000 like-minded folks into the camping area four days before the actual festival area opens and bands come on stage. Yes, we are of course talking about Roskilde Festival 2006, which will intensively cover over the next two weeks time with pre- and post-Roskilde articles, interviews, and of course, reviews of all the important sets of the festival. This year, the lineup is one of the best in years even despite Coheed & Cambria's cancellation, so many will face a rather annoying problem: Who to see if two of your favorite bands clash? You'll find our opinion in this article in terms of predicted performances and short descriptions of the bands we think you should see. The 2006 lineup boasts of some of the hottest names in Metalcore, punk rock, prog metal, indie - you name it, so there's plenty to choose from. This article will be divided into two parts, as there are simply too many great bands to name in just one article. The list will go through alphabetically naming the strengths and weaknesses of each band based on our experience of them to help you in your decision on who's hot and who's not.

Arctic Monkeys [UK] (Arena)

The band that everyone knows. They've taken the scene and the mainstream with a blast with such ultra-popular hits as "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor". Their funky take on indie rock mixed with some 80s rock influence is nothing new, but the band does it damn well and enjoys the biggest hype for a new band seen to date. They've got the tunes to fill up the entire Arena stage, but how will they perform live? It's hard to say, as they are so new, but usually new bands are the ones that perform most passionately on stage. However, they aren't doing anything other indie rock bands haven't done for ten years already, but the difference is that they've got the promotional machine backing in terms of the major label Domino Records to back them up financially, which is why they are getting more exposure than they could've ever dreamed of. The problem is that the band is playing only half an hour before Wolfmother, an Australian band in the same genre, only far, far better than them. Avoid, as they only have one album and two EPs worth of material to showcase.

Predicted grade: [6]

Listen: Myspace

When: 15:30 @ Sunday

See them if you like: Bloc Party, Wolfmother, The Futureheads

Barra Head [DEN] (Pavilion)

Way too few people recognize the name of the Danish post-hardcore/math-rock act Barra Head. Their credentials are impressive - only at their second show EVER they were already on the bill with the legendary post-hardcore groundbreakers Fugazi. Their complex song structures that progress and build up towards the end of the songs has jaw-dropping qualities, you'll end up standing in front of the stage captivated at what you're seeing. Considering that most likely you won't know many of their songs, however, you should make sure there isn't another act on before you see them. After all, they are Danish, and the chance of them playing your city in the near future is remarkable.

Predicted grade: [7½]

Listen: 6 MP3s available for free download

When: 20:30 @ Thursday

See them if you like: Fugazi

Bob Dylan [USA] (Orange Stage)

If you don't know Bob Dylan, you're a douchebag. One of the most influential song writers of all time has decided to show up at Roskilde to play some of his most famous tunes for the old folks. Personally, not a fan, and I won't be seeing them. But if your heart ticks towards the older acoustic music at all, you'd be a fool to miss Mr. Dylan. But lets be honest here, how much can the old dude put up on the stage? Most likely he'll just be sitting/standing there playing his tunes, but then again, who goes to see Bob Dylan for stage performance?

Predicted grade: [5]

Listen: Hah, it's Sony. Do you think they allow free streaming?

When: 21:30 @ Friday

Bullet For My Valentine [UK] (Orange Stage)

What is there to say about the best metalcore band in years that hasn't been said already? I've personally seen these guys twice already, and they never disappoint. Even though the band doesn't destroy the stage like most other bands in their genre, their stageshow is tight and intense, and they've got the songs to back it up. Nobody should miss "Tears Don't Fall" or "Hand Of Blood" once its their turn to come on stage. Another interesting fact is that they're completely used to playing big festivals on huge arenas, as they've supported the likes of Metallica and Guns N Roses around Europe prior to the festival. They take advantage of the size of the stage and spread out to each end as if to provide a bigger, more far-reaching sound (and they do it successfully). My only concern is how many people will show up, because thanks to Sony, the band is performing on ORANGE stage. The 60,000-capacity stage may be a bit too big for them in Denmark, considering how they only drew 80-100 people to the 450-capacity Lille Vega a couple of months ago. One of the better bands on the bill, if you want to witness a 'true' scene band, Bullet For My Valentine are a must-see. Find all staff members of Rockfreaks at the front pits for this one. Don't miss this one no matter what.

Predicted grade: [9]

Listen: Myspace with 1 MP3 & streams, More songs @ Purevolume

When: 20:00 @ Thursday

See them if you like: Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Killswitch Engage

Burst [SWE] (Pavilion)

Burst has taken the scene with a storm after their latest full length album "Origo" ended up being a masterpiece and a genre-defining piece of some of the best metal/metalcore you'll ever witness. They are also one of those bands that will destroy the stage with their showmanship, which should be entertaining to watch even if you don't know any of the songs. These crazy Swedes are bound to cause some damage and based on this years performance, they'll sell more records than ever as the Danes get introduced to one of the best metalcore bands around these days. It's too bad they play only one hour after Opeth as most people will still be witnessing Mikael Åkerfeldt's amazing growls when Burst starts playing.

Predicted grade: [8]

Listen: Myspace, MP3 samples @ official website

When: 19:00 @ Friday

See them if you like: The Ocean, Cult Of Luna, Mastodon

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! [USA] (Odeon)

The american weirdo indie-rockers are funny on record. So funny and strange that some people actually like them, which is completely out of my understanding. Well, each to their own, but the truth is that indie bands seldom perform as good live as on the album. This is because most of them seem 'arrogant' to the crowd, by just playing their songs without addressing the crowd much, and this is all while standing perfectly still as if they were nailed to the ground. Granted, their soft-indie rock style isn't something to headbang or run around the stage, but that's the price they pay when they chose to play. They may sound good on album, but they'll be boring as hell live, unless they pull a Sonic Youth. But I doubt that. They are also playing just half an hour before Guns N Roses, which makes me doubt too many people will show up. After all, who doesn't wanna hear what Axl Rose has in the bag for us without Slash?

Predicted grade: [4]

Listen: Myspace

When: 21:30 @ Thursday

See them if you like: Wolf Parade, The Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene

Death Cab For Cutie [USA] (Odeon)

Death Cab For Cutie, on the otherhand, will be an interesting watch. Their fame has largely got to do with their songs constantly being featured in the ever-so-popular TV show The OC, but to be fair, they deserve the hype. Very few people can say they've never heard "The New Year" or "Soul Meets Body", because these songs are some of the best songs that the indie scene has produced in the last 5 years. According to the rumours I've heard they should be awesome live, and contrary to most indie bands, are able to pull a tight performance together even if their songs don't support it with aggression or speed. Their stage time couldn't be any better either, it's at midnight so you'll be just finishing your last beers totally drunk which will enhance the experience before you'll pass out in your tent. I predict a performance much like Mew's last year at 2am.

Predicted grade: [7½]

Listen: Myspace

When: 0:00 @ Friday (Saturday morning)

See them if you like: The Postal Service, The Decemberists, Saves The Day

Deftones [USA] (Orange Stage)

Well well. Deftones is single-handedly responsible for the screamo culture we're seeing today in bands like Parkway Drive, Alexisonfire, Silverstein, Bullet For My Valentine and the list goes on and on. Chino Moreno's desperate screams and whiny clean vocals are legendary by now, and the band has got the song material to back up what is expected to be an amazing performance. Songs like "Be Quiet And Drive", "My Own Summer (Shove It)" and "Knife Party" will make most fans cry, as they are simply the best and most original tracks you'll ever hear. A quick question: How many bands sound like Deftones? Answer: None. Nobody at all. This is the most unique band in the experimental nu-metal scene, and I hope you won't get turned off just because I said nu-metal. But what's even better is that during their recent shows in the states and Europe, the band has performed their debut album "Adrenaline" in its entirety from START TO FINISH! Now that would be a treat to the fans... and you'll be able to hear some new material as well from their forthcoming album that we've waited for 5 years now. You have no excuse to miss this, especially because it is highly likely that Tool's Maynard James Keenan will help Chino on the vocals for "The Passanger".

Predicted grade: [8] or [9½] if they play Adrenaline from start to finish

Listen: 10 songs @ Myspace

When: 17:00 @ Saturday

See them if you like: Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Mudvayne

Disco Ensemble [FIN] (Pavilion)

Disco Ensemble is one of the latest entrants to the emo rock/alternative rock side with their funky, punk-influenced up-tempo songs. Little is known of this relatively small band outside of Finland, which makes it even harder to predict their performance. However, their songs are those mood-setting ones with speed and happy melodies, that are guaranteed to make you jump up and down with the rest of the crowd. They may well be "the band" that everyone talks about in a year or so, but it's still too early to tell. The pace of their music is speedy enough for them to take advantage of it in terms of running back and forth the stage, jumping up and down and just.. PERFORMING. No need to know their songs, they are easy-listening. The band is fortunate enough to play early on during Friday so there are no real clashes with other bands, meaning they might just draw a big enough crowd to fill up the entire tent.

Predicted grade: [7½]

Listen: Myspace

When: 13:00 @ Friday

See them if you like: PMMP, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Editors [UK] (Odeon)

This years Roskilde Festival has turned to become the meeting point for anyone who is someone in the indie scene. The popular indie rockers from the UK are a midway point between Death Cab For Cutie and Arctic Monkeys, representing the more straight-forward The Strokes-style riffage and soothing singing over moderate pace. This band is likely to be one of the better performing indie bands out there, and are also the band to open Roskilde Festival on Thursday. It's too bad their set begins only half an hour before Trivium hits Arena, as most people (including all Rockfreaks) will be hanging around the queue for the pits for Arena when Editors hit the stage.

Predicted grade: [6½]

Listen: Myspace

When: 17:30 @ Thursday

See them if you like: Arab Strap, Death Cab For Cutie, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes

Evergrey [SWE] (Arena)

The prog metal fans are rejoicing this year with as prominent bands as Evergrey and Opeth dominating the Arena stage. If you are looking to see music in the form of art, where every note is well thought out, the solos are amazing, the atmospheres incredible and the songs 6+ minutes long, you shouldn't miss Evergrey. Not that you should miss them anyway, as their grandeur sound will be one of the best heard in Roskilde this year. There aren't any prominent bands playing at the same time as them other than the ska-punkers Mad Caddies, but lets face it, these two bands draw entirely different crowds to their shows. Most likely in the top5 of best performances in Roskilde this year.

Predicted grade: [9½]

Listen: 4 MP3s @ Myspace

When: 13:30 @ Sunday

See them if you like: Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation

That pretty much wraps up the first half of the bands to see at Roskilde. This years festival looks like it'll be just as good as the past years', if not better. Most importantly, we have avoided the retarded nu-metal bands koRn and Ill Niño this year, and have included some scene bands that previous years did not feature. It is too bad that Coheed & Cambria cancelled their performance, as their Orange Stage performance would have been one of the true highlights of the festival.

Click here to read part two

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