Roskilde Festival 2007

author PP date 17/07/07

After having attended and covered Roskilde Festival for two years in a row before 2007 edition, I was expecting the weather to be against all odds beautiful again with a few showers here and there, beholding the grass friendly for beer football for the duration of the entire festival. After all, the last two festivals had been pretty much perfect experiences - the lineups were amazing, weather couldn't have been better, and the people topped it all by being both retarded (drunken Swedes drinking the alcohol-based hand-wash at the toilets) and amazing (atmosphere at concerts) at the same time. Statistics show that every two to three years, one of those three aspects will lack, and 2007 will go down in history as the festival where everything seemed to go wrong. Firstly we were all greatly disappointed by the lineup this year in comparison to the other years, which only worsened when first Slayer, then Eagles Of Death Metal and finally Cold War Kids all canceled their performances this year. Then the weather broke our trust in it by lulling us all into thinking it was going to be fantastic through a warm and sunny queuing afternoon and a clear night, followed by clear blue skies on Sunday... you'd be forgiven to think it was going to be amazing all week long after a couple of rounds of beer football under the belt. The first couple of showers on Monday made the grass merely wet, and the possibility of it drying up was still in wide open in the horizon. But the heavy rain on Tuesday made sure that grass was just a distant memory in a much drier place. I just wish the festival crew had looked at the weather forecast and laid down the woodchips and hay BEFORE the service centers started floating on water. But more about the weather later. Just over a week after the festival, I have finally received all reviews from our tired and wet writers, which more or less tore apart almost every single one of our predictions. Contrary to last year's article, I've chosen to use a timeline-based approach instead of stage-based one. PP

Thursday 5.7

The hated sound of rain beginning woke me up at about 3-4am early on Thursday morning, drawing parallels to the nights before when the God of the skies had chosen to pour the festival area with enough water to remove thirst from the developing countries altogether. "Just another shower, it'll be over soon", I thought at the time, and fell back to sleep. But Zeus wanted otherwise, and the shower turned into a tropical storm with high winds, cold temperatures and enough rain to warrant categorizing the day together with the monsoon-season in the rainforests around the world. So an hour before the festival gates opened at 5, a group of shivering Rockfreaks writers, who had been rained upon since about Monday, were waiting to be let in and run underneath Arena to shelter from the rain and wind as our primary motivation, with Arcade Fire's soon-to-begin set as a close second. PP

Arcade Fire @ 17:00 on Arena

Canadian new wave indie phenomenon Arcade Fire's opening of Arena stage was a show most of the Rockfreaks staff had chosen to check out, and that would seem to be a wise choice. Not only were we able to enjoy the shield from the rain Arena had to offer us, but we would also witness a show that, when it was good, was almost magical. Admittedly, the more quiet and quirky songs from the bands repertoire did have problems connecting with the crowd, but when they played fan-favorites like "Wake Up", "Keep The Car Running" and "Rebellion (Lies)", both the band and the crowd bubbled with joy and created an amazingly happy and encouraging atmosphere. A decent effort even if it was a bit inconsistent [7½] TL

Volbeat @ 17:00 on Orange Stage

Ahh, the anticipation I got when I first heard that these guys had the important task of opening up Orange Scene for more than 45.000 people. The whole live experience though was quite so-so, with almost an ocean beneath you and more above you, resulting in anyone who wasn't completely drunk or a hardcore Volbeat fan to just stand like lonely Tolkien Ents, rooted to the ground and soaked by the weather. Nevertheless, Volbeat delivered a powerful and encouraging welcome to the festival despite lead singer Michael Poulsen’s rumored sore throat could have ended the whole metal adventure as quickly as it had begun. You could sense it occasionally when Poulsen replaced some choruses with growls, probably to clear his throat. The finishing touch, “Garden’s Tale”, also seemed to clear the mind of the mute audience, especially when Johann G. Olsen from another Danish rock band Magtens Korridorer came on stage and sung the Danish vocals on the track. All in all, Volbeat did a great job. Good energy and powerful sing-along songs eventually gripped most of the standstill festival society, making their opening of Orange Scene a pleasant welcome in a quite unpleasant environment. [8] ASH

The writers following Arcade Fire had barely dried underneath Arena stage, before it was time to return to the seemingly never-ending rain and embrace the cold as The Killers were about to take on Orange Stage. At half-empty, the Orange Stage isn't a pretty sight but props up still for the surprisingly large amount of people who showed up despite the now 16 hour rain having no end in sight. PP

The Killers @ 20:00 on Orange Stage

Now, in all fairness it did not serve as an advantage for The Killers that a rainstorm of unheard proportions had chosen to climax over Roskilde during the same time as their set, but unfortunately that was not the only thing that held it down. You see this is a band that writes great songs, and as an effect they have been hyped up to the level of a superstar band. Live on Orange stage, what we witnessed was NOT a superstar band. Sure, they play the songs they're supposed to and people like it, but in terms of showmanship you might as well go see the local jam-band, as only frontman Brandan Flowers seem remotely into it, and even he does not even come close to displaying any kind of format worthy of Orange Stage. [5½] TL

After having stood at Orange Stage with absolutely no wind/rain shelter for almost an hour, it was time to make a run back underneath the Arena stage to get dry again. A quick look at the tent demonstrated just how bad the rain was - it was reportedly close to collapsing from the weight of the water combined with the power of the wind, and it sure looked like it too. By this time, we hear, the festival was pumping water/mud out at a rate of 6,000 liters per minute. To save you from calculating, that's over 3,6 million liters of water/mud in ten hours given that they don't stop pumping at all. Of course, this was little help when it was still raining at a rate probably very close to the rate being pumped out. When the camp finally flooded with water and the pavilions had either flown away or been devastated heavily respectively, it was game over for our writers. Even our writer TL, who had been calling everyone sissies for complaining about the mud while proclaiming himself 'hardcore' enough to withstand the weather, had to admit his defeat and see that since our only shelter's had been destroyed and tents were under water, it was time to look for an alternative bed at KS's floor in the city of Roskilde. And indeed, others had the same idea as us, and even the post-metal amazingness of Mastodon couldn't hold about 70% of the festival any longer on the festival site. The exit gates saw a continuous stream of people with all their gear going towards the station, friend's houses and whatever shelter they could find for the night, as if it was the last day of the festival. PP

Mastodon @ 22:00 on Arena

Thursday night, mighty Mastodon took to the Arena stage. This band has received tremendous praise for their live performance, and tonight they showed us why (Ed note: again). They opened with the crunching "Iron Tusk" from "Leviathan", continuing directly into "March of the Fire Ants", where the last note of "Iron Tusk" replaced the first note of the latter. It was a fantastic transition, and thereafter you knew what you were in for. Both "Leviathan" and the newly released "Blood Mountain" were well represented with songs such as "I Am Ahab", "Colony of Birchmen", "Crystal Skull" and the beautiful "Sleeping Giant". Bassist and singer Troy Sanders seemed on fire, writhing around and making faces as though he was really experiencing the stories told in the songs. The band really got into it, and even though they played most of the songs a lot faster than on the records, every note was spot on, and guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher's fingers seemed ablaze. Brann Dailor proved once again why he is considered one of the best metal drummers in the world. The band finished the show with the hit "Blood and Thunder", and every fan in the crowd could be heard screaming along to the lyrics once the chorus hit. "Split your lungs with blood and thunder, when you see the white whale..." [8] MS

Finally, cold and wet, the remaining staff left the festival area to the warmth of their (and their friends') homes. It's difficult to explain in words how wet Thursday had been, but one way of putting it is that until 2007, the record amount of rainfall during the entire festival had been 45mm. That was broken in only one day. There are no official numbers available, but experts estimated that during the festival week a total of 2½ month's worth of rain fell on the festival in just seven days. Another way of explaining just how much water and mud we are talking about is to quote a Danish national TV news ticker from Friday morning: "Parts of the camping area evacuated due to severe risk of guests drowning". PP

Friday 6.7

Friday, on the other hand, looked much better. The festival had managed to drain a few million liters of water overnight (just contemplate that amount for a moment, it is so massive), and lay out some hay and wood chips to the main walk-aways, making walking around the festival much easier since your foot didn't get stuck in the ground after every step anymore. The sun peaked from behind the clouds and spread some warmth over the festival guests, who had all been preparing for "another Thursday", including the undersigned who was terribly over clothed for the day's climate. The weatherman was clearly making fun of us. PP

The Psyke Project @ 12:00 on Odeon

The Psyke Project almost never fails when they perform live and this years festival show was no exception, regardless of their early slot. Right from the beginning the danish boys gave a solid performance. Martin, their vocalist, was in an exceptionally good mood and kept mentioning what an awesome crowd we all were. Many unusual happenings took place during this show. The bass player, for instance, threw his bass in the air to get the crowd going even more crazier than they already were, only to have it hit him in the head on the way down - he didn't get hurt though but it looked damn funny. Their ex-guitarist had a guest appearance during one song and they also had two drum kits and a guest drummer on another - I wasn't able to figure out who or why - but the two drum kits worked really well. They also had a guest vocalist singing an entire song - though slower and lighter than their normal stuff - while Martin was resting his voice. During the one hour mayhem of music and weirdness they round-handedly threw out t-shirts, cd's and whatnot to the crowd in the very front, which further improved the whole atmosphere of the show. A really positive experience. [8] KS

Unfortunately the warmth and comfort at home meant that a large percentage of the writers had decided to take a long sleep before coming back to the devastated festival area (also missing The Psyke Project), and therefore exciting bands like The Answer, Katatonia and The Sounds are all missing from our festival coverage. But In Flames was a band nobody was prepared to miss. PP

In Flames @ 17:00 on Orange Stage

These Gothenburg gurus have a history as one of the most influential metal bands ever; a history that now includes three performances at Roskilde Festival; a history that has progressively lead the Swedish quintet to an Orange Stage show, which, according to the band’s bassist Peter Iwers, has always been the goal. In Flames is renowned for energetic live performances masterminded by Anders Fridén’s assumed bandmaster personage. Anders Fridén is a true show man, and tonight was no exception despite a flu that would have lead to a cancellation under ordinary circumstances. Combined with a one-of-a-kind head bang choreography, those famous dreadlocks stole the show from second one, but it wasn’t until the “jump, jump, jump” command during the intro riff of “Only For The Weak” that the crowd embraced the enthusiasm on display. Throughout the concert the pits were entropic with horns, fists, moshing and bouncing. Still, despite a better setlist this time around, In Flames never managed to reach the grandeur their last year’s Unholy Alliance show in Malmö did. The sound wasn’t as clear and suffered from setbacks in the right speaker tower, similar to those experienced during Volbeat’s concert the day before, and the band had little to offer in terms of stage set up. After all, In Flames takes pride in awesome displays of pyrotechnics, but these gimmicks were nowhere to be seen today. Whether or not the time of the day had something to do with this, I don’t know, but the set left an overall feeling of hunger for more. Nonetheless, these Gothenburg heroes were able to put out a great show filled with energy, which, though it leaned towards the melodic with most emphasis on “Clayman”, “Reroute To Remain” and “Come Clarity”, managed to capture the entire crowd. A longer set at a later time could have done wonders. [7] AP

My Chemical Romance @ 18:30 on Arena

What to say about My Chem's live show that hasn't already been said? Maybe I would know if anything about their show on Arena had been significantly changed from the show in KB Hallen a good two months ago but that wasn't the case. MCR comes on and do what they always do. They deliver crowd-favorite upon crowd-favorite loaded with energy and driven by the ever-impressing charisma of Gerrard Way, who, where other front men struggle to incite response, only has to wave his hand a bit to start a thunderous clap. Still when you've seen the band more than once, the antiques start to get old, and I for one am starting to miss something to make the My Chem-shows distinguishable from one another. Maybe a song or two from the debut album for once? [8] TL

Boris @ 19:00 on Pavilion

Probably most people only know these guys because of their collaboration with drone metal band Sunn O))) and Japanese noise kings Merzbow. Their 2005 album "Pink" also got them some attention by landing at place 49 in "The 50 greatest CDs of 2006" by Blender Magazine. I arrived a bit late and was only able to hear about ten minutes of 'fast' songs before the Japanese guys turned into drone. I've never quite understood what it's all about but this time it was captivating. The whole atmosphere in the tent was amazing and every time a new chord was hit the crowd cheered with explosive power. I sure didn't know what I was going to expect when I was going for this show but now it seems like one of the if not the biggest musical experience for me this year at Roskilde Festival. Words can not really describe what was going on that night. [8] KS

Beastie Boys @ 19:30 on Orange Stage

So My Chemical Romance decided to play a longer set than I had imagined, and thus we arrived about 40 minutes late to Beastie Boys just on time to catch the massive singalong in the form of "Brass Monkey". Beastie Boys have always been showmen, which can be seen in their innovative music videos that all, in my opinion, belong to the absolute elite of music videos. Their inspirational showmanship was at its very best tonight. For some reason, a lot of media has attacked their show as being a boring "best of" set, but what more can a fan ask for when you get "Ch-Check It Out", "Intergalactic" and "Sabotage" and other hits performed flawlessly? The key word here is performed, because a lot of bands should really take inspiration from their stage show - everyone was moving constantly, whether it meant leisurely strolling back and forth on the stage or jumping all over the place. Worth noting is how impressively the band is able to switch from pure hip hop to the hardcore punk of their 80s records effortlessly without losing the crowd. The orange stage was filled with massive mud pits where people danced and jumped around during their songs - the atmosphere was indescribable. [9] PP

Queens Of The Stone Age @ 22:30 on Orange Stage

The Queens were at first plagued by the same sound problems as nearly every band on Orange Stage so far except for Beastie Boys. Many people were complaining that the festival's audio-setup wasn't optimal this year, but the real truth was that unless you were standing at close proximity to the speakers, the heavy winds would have severe effect on the sound waves and thus distort the sound, and without ear plugs it would be almost impossible to distinguish any familiar notes. However, once the wind eased up slightly, Homme & co's sound returned to its full scale. The band treated us to songs like "Sick, Sick, Sick" and "Turnin' On The Screw" from the new album, which got people dancing but big singalongs were absent. Also, because bands performing at festivals don't get to sound check too much, their sound wasn't as quirky as it is on records, and especially the vocal texture wasn't as strongly visible as on the new record. Their lack of stage performance contributed to the rather apathetic crowd atmosphere as well, and it wasn't until their most known songs "Go With The Flow" and "No One Knows" that the crowd got jumping and singing. One could argue that Homme & Co are at an artistic level where they don't really need to care about the crowd reaction, but just standing still and only occasionally rocking it out isn't going to make a good performance, especially when a large part of the crowd only knows your singles. But for us fans, it was at times hypnotic, at other times belligerent.. but just not quirky enough. [7½] PP

Nephew @ 01:00 on Orange Stage

Danish Nephew has worked their way from the very bottom in the last ten years on the danish pop rock scene. Roskilde-wise they have fought their way from the Camping stage to the Odeon stage, and this year they played Orange stage, one of the biggest achievements a Danish band can reach on home court. On top of that, it was late Friday night at 1 am, when the party was on its absolute peak. As a humbled Simon Kvamm so elegantly put it: "We almost shit our pants coming up here". The band entered the stage wearing jumpsuits, and opening their set with "Bazooka", and from the beginning, the crowd was into it. They pleased the crowd with all their radio hits such as "Worst/Best case Scenario", "Superliga", "Igen & Igen" and "Mexico Ligger i Spanien", and during the last part of the show, Danish rapper L.O.C appeared on stage and played a song with the band. It's arguable if this contributed to the show in any way. They finished the set with the classic "En wannabe Darth Vader". Now apparently, it is a tradition to wave toy light sabers at the band during this song, and as a side note, I read in the Festival paper that the local toy store had sold more than 300 toy light sabers prior to the concert, although I hardly counted more than 50. [7½] MS

Hatesphere @ 01:30 on Arena

Having seen Hatesphere live just once, I never quite recognized the hype that tends to surround these Danes’ live performances, but I think it’s fair to say that Hatesphere exceeded all expectations tonight – good and bad. And at a festival plagued by disappointing and mediocre performances, Hatesphere’s ultra-energetic late night show was more than welcome. One thing I’ve always liked about this band’s shows is the ying-yang essence of lead singer Jacob Bredahl. While the band pounds some of the heaviest music imaginable, Jacob smiles and chuckles between his growls and grunts, politely thanking the audience after each song and announcing the next in a mellow Jydsk dialect. Guitarists Pepe personifies a similar attitude, and it’s rare to catch a glimpse of the shy guy not smiling. Hatesphere loves to play live and it shows. Tonight’s concert was made extraordinary first and utmost by the setlist. Hatesphere had selected the heaviest, least melodic tracks from their impressive discography. For enhancement, the band had chosen to power up the bass and drums for that in-your-face feel, and the only real melody we were treated to was in the famed intro to “Disbeliever” and in the finishing track “Let Them Hate”. More than once Jacob threw himself in the crowd, eagerly moshing with the fans, letting them scream some of the lyrics, while a naked roadie did the helicopter on stage, head banging simultaneously. It’s worthy to mention that not many bands that play in Denmark succeed in generating the kinds of mosh- and circle pits seen tonight. Like a flashback from last year’s festival, Pepe also played the Top Gun theme twice to an amused crowd. Without a doubt one of the best shows of this year’s festival and a show that redeemed my festival. [9] AP

In the end, Friday was much better both show-wise and weather-wise. A large percentage of the people who had left the festival on Thursday evening had returned better prepared, and the widely known "Orange Feeling" atmosphere re-appeared from beneath all the mud. It all laid out for a great Saturday, though most people were still sleeping at home, and those who couldn't, were sleeping beneath the Astoria tent which had been opened the night before for those guests whose tents were under water - this had never happened before in the history of the festival. PP

Saturday 7.7

The mud seemed to disappear at an increasing rate, and by the time that we arrived for Strike Anywhere's show early Saturday afternoon, all the main walkways had been cleared of mud and much of the rest had solidified enough to make walking much easier. The sun was up, and the festival area was buzzing from people still conversing about how horrible the weather had been up until yesterday, and encouraged by the decent weather, a growing number of people had opted for shorts and t-shirts instead of mud-trousers and hoodies. By now, the festival was back on at full force.

Strike Anywhere @ 14:00 on Pavilion

"Thanks for showing up even though it's kind of early for hardcore punk", proclaimed the Strike Anywhere vocalist Barnett after an explosive start to their set. And he was right, not many would expect to be listening to let alone watching a speedy punk act with a vocalist screaming left-wing politics from the top of his lungs straight after waking up. But yet the pits I experienced during their show were some of the most intense of the entire festival - the crowd even managed to successfully execute a true circle pit. Hits like "Prisoner Echoes", "Infra-Red" and "Chalkline" saw an enthusiastic crowd response, but nothing could beat the massive "...TO THE WORLD!!!" gang shouts that filled the Pavilion tent in response to Barnett's screams "I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE...". It felt like there were future politicians in the making - it is here where revolutions start. The remainder of Barnett's political ramblings in between songs went to deaf ears at least in the front, as his mic was tuned way too low and he spoke too fast to be comprehensible. It might have been better towards the back, but judging by how little cheers his speeches received, I don't think so. Their stage show was sublime, with simultaneous jumps and Barnett even visiting the front-barrier during one song. But one can't help but think how much better this show could've been at late evening instead. [7] PP

Machine Head @ 15:00 on Arena

Machine Head have had their ups and downs over the years, but most critics agree that they are currently at the high note of their career with the newly released "The Blackening". The new album combines all the best from their career from the thrashy debut "Burn My Eyes", to the slightly softer "Supercharger", to the previous "Through The Ashes of Empires", where they really started getting into their newly found progressive style, which is fully developed on the new album. When Rob Flynn and co. entered the stage, they showed us how they truly master all aspects of these elements. They opened with the 10 minute long "Clenching the Fists of Dissent" from "The Blackening", which in itself is something of a metal masterpiece. As the band destroyed their way through the many different riffs of the song, the atmosphere in the tent rose to the ceiling along with Flynn's screams. The next song was "Imperium", and the crowd seemed pleased. The front rows turned into giant mosh pits, and at some point, Rob told the security guards to "let them have fun". Through the show we were treated to some of the old classics from "Burn My Eyes" like "Old", and a wide aspect of their new material. The band showed their respect to deceased Pantera guitar legend Dimebag Darrell before they played "Aesthetics of Hate". Rob Flynn and Phil Demmel executed some fine dual guitar solos, and beautiful vocal harmonies in some of the new stuff. Towards the end of the show the band played the pretty "Descend the Shades of Night" before closing with "Davidian". The entire tent could be heard screaming "let freedom ring with a shotgun blast". Incredible show, with exemplary showmanship from frontman Flynn. Think of him as a metal version of the showmanship Gerrard Way demonstrates. [9] MS

The Flaming Lips @ 18:30 on Orange Stage

I had been looking much forward to seeing The Flaming Lips after reading some of their background and listening to a live song on Myspace. But what a great disappointment this show was. The entire stage was filled with useless props and extra actors to make up for the lack of showmanship the actual band members professed, and useless balloons were constantly filled up and shot towards the crowd only to be caught by the wind and blown into the trees far away from the actual stage. This is hardly the band's fault, but the delivery of their songs absolutely is. Indie rock has never been particularly interesting on record (at least for me), but it has its moments which is also the reason why The Flaming Lips are as big as they are. These moments weren't visible live at all, however, as frontman Wayne Coyne's stupid political ramblings ruined the entire show. The only thing even remotely interesting from their set were the Alien and the Santa Claus figures that turned out to be filled with 'little people'. I mean who spends almost five minutes in trying people to get to sing along to a single line of one song? [3] PP

Gojira @ 21:00 on Arena

What Gojira was doing on Arena stage was a complete mystery to me. Three songs into their extremely brutal death metal set, the tent's population had halved as those initially curious of the band description in the festival booklet had been pushed away by their overly heavy set. I believe I'm not wrong to say when I proclaim to have found the leading cause of migraine worldwide: if you ever experience painful, continuous headache, I'm pretty sure Gojira has just played somewhere in the world. A few of their songs had some groove and received some nods of acceptance from my direction, but most of it was ruined by the double-pedal blast beat dominations that removed all recognizable sound and probably disturbed my heart beat enough to remove a couple of years from my life-line. It's too bad I only discovered during their encore that the sound was ten times better at the back of the tent than in the front, because then they really could've interested me. By far the loudest and most bass-heavy show of the festival. [5] PP

The Who @ 21:30 on Orange Stage

I am by no means one of the disciples of these legends of old, but even I have to roll over and surrender to the display of power these ready-for-retirement guys staged on Orange Stage on Saturday. Seeing Daltry and Townsend respectively show off what microphone swinging and guitar-handling was originally supposed to be like, while sending classic track upon classic track all the way to the back of the huge multi-generation-spanning crowd - a crowd faithfully and ironically chanting along to "My Generation", a song more than twice the age of most of the people present. The show feels like a portal opened and wind flew through carrying magic from the days when rock was young. Bloody impressive from a bunch of guys who almost could have been in school with my grandparents. [8] TL

After Gojira and The Who, almost all writers went to check out Tiesto, 'the worlds best DJ', for a bit before moving onto one of the biggest bands this year, namely Red Hot Chili Peppers. And though Tiesto will not receive an official review, as a rock-editor I must say how impressed I was over his crowd-control skills without uttering as much as a word. His remixes and samples spoke for themselves. Glow sticks were all over the place, people were dancing in ecstasy and the impressive video effects had my eyes glued on the scene. The announcer really wasn't kidding when he said it is time to turn the Arena tent into a massive club. PP

Red Hot Chili Peppers @ 01:00 on Orange Stage

Not a soul could have anticipated the disaster that the most hyped band of this year's festival was to rain down on the enormous audience that had collected before the Orange Stage, a lot of whom had left from an incredible show by Tiestö. The first drop of shit the peppers dropped was in the form of being fifteen minutes late. When the band saw it fit to finally enter to a chanting audience, Anthony was nowhere to be seen and Frusciante, Flea and Chad Smith broke into a ten minute jam that was, at this point still, a cool trick that created suspense. After a twenty-five minute wait Anthony manned the microphone and his band jammed into the intro riff of "Can't Stop". Then a five-minute jam session ensued before "Dani California", followed by another jam session before the next song. The concert snailed along in this fashion until the grand finale and encore, while songs like "Otherside", "Around The World" and "Scar Tissue" never came. A glimpse of hope crossed my mind when all but Anthony persisted on stage with a fifteen-minute jam session after which it was more than appropriate to expect an even more grandeur finale with, say, "Otherside". Or something. And what happens? The band thanks the audience, Chad throws his drumsticks into the audience for the second time now, and poof, the band vanishes like a fart in Sahara. I believe I speak for everyone when I say I didn't come to watch Frusciante blow out a trumpet solo or pull some heartbreak ballad under spotlight. I mean come on, the most expensive band Roskilde Festival has ever booked and we are treated to a fucking rehearsal. There wasn't a soul in the audience that didn't already know Frusciante is pretty good at plucking his Fender, or that Flea is pretty good at fingering his bass; then why spend more time jamming than playing songs? What's positive to say about this concert? Well, Chad was awesome as always, and they played some good songs when they did. Anthony's tired vocals can be excused by his flu, but the band's utter failure to connect with the audience can not. To sum it up, probably the most disappointing concert I and everyone else has ever seen. [1] AP

I can't say more than that I concur with absolutely everything AP just said, except I left an hour early, tired as fuck, to sleep in the car for an hour before driving home for the last night's sleep before the grand finale of the festival. I wish we had skipped Red Hot and left a few hours earlier, so we would've been fresh enough to wake up for Strung Out the next day, but then again I also wish that the festival wouldn't always place punk bands in such early slots during the days. At least the weather had improved. PP

Sunday 8.7

By the time that we arrived to the festival on Sunday, almost all of the mud from the festival area had either been drained or dried up. At least most of the ground that I stood on felt pretty solid, and my foot didn't sink ankle-deep in mud like it had on every other day of the week. You could sense that people were starting to be tired and waited for the festival to be over with the rain and mud and all, but yet we still had a day's worth of performances, some better than the others. PP

Strung Out @ 12:00 on Odeon

It was with regret that I missed the beginning of Strung Out's show on Sunday, because after hearing their "Teenage Suburban Wasteland Blues" record I had been looking forward to it a lot, so when I finally got to Odeon I headed straight for the front to find pretty much the most pathetic moshpit I've ever seen. Now of course this can be blamed partly on the early hour, but there's no doubt in my mind that the band themselves carry the main responsibility as they were quite plainly boring this afternoon. They have the artwork, the uniforms (if you can call identical t-shirts that) and the poses.. They also have an attitude even if it is a bit forced and too focused on being bad ass in my eyes. What they completely lack however is the ability to make their music connect with more than roughly counted eight people at the front. Average at best. [5] TL

The Ark @ 14:00 on Arena

Sure enough, PP did stress that we should keep our reviews short in order to do the same to the feature, but there is no way I can keep it short when it comes to the extravagant performance Ola Salo and The Ark surprised me with on the last day of the festival. "On rainy days like these I think you people need an Ark", Ola says, and boy is he right. Dressed in tight black leather reminding us of the glory days of glam rock and backed by a band that looks like they came straight from the Eurovision song contest, the band launches into their glam-disco songs with an enthusiasm to match and surpass the huge Arena stage that they're on. Granted in the beginning it is notable that the band's songs are a bit simple in structure, but soon the in your face charm of Ola's provocative dancing and the overall over the top attitude of the entire band wins everyone inside and outside of the tent over, and soon we're all dancing and singing along. The singalongs during "Clamour For Glamour" are impressive but they pale in comparison to the massive ones "One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young" inspires. And then, for a brief moment, the facade cracks as Ola initiates "It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane" with words praising the extremely tolerant and friendly atmosphere of Roskilde, and the song itself becomes an explosion of passion, that makes us all feel like brothers and sisters. If that wasn't enough, when the band goes off, the audience reinstates the singalongs from "One Of Us.." on their own accord, and soon the band comes on, Ola now wearing a copy of his previous outfit only in shining silver. The ecstasy of the show goes on and on as the beyond metro-sexual frontman jumps from stage, parading back and forth in front of the barriers only to start piggyback-riding a security guard down the central corridor. For the first time in my life I felt that the size of the venue was in no way a problem for the band in question as The Ark soared high above the usual quality of their recorded music and brought pure magic to the audience. A-MA-ZING! [9½] TL

Arctic Monkeys @ 17:00 on Orange Stage

About the Arctic Monkeys I have one thing to say: Do NOT believe the hype! Now some people appreciate it when a band comes on stage, does nothing and "lets their music speak for itself". That's bullshit. When I come to a show I want to be feel that I'm getting more than if I'd just put the record on back home. Arctic Monkeys do not give that to me. They come on stage, play their stuff, barely move and only interact on a minimal level. I'm sorry but this thing just feels like they think they're too cool for their fans, and in all honesty, this show could not have been worse or more boring, unless the guys had suddenly forgotten how to play their instruments. [3] TL

Pelican @ 18:00 on Odeon

Prior to their show, I had imagined how "Bliss In Concrete" would be like experienced live. I had imagined being able to touch the sound waves around me, being able to sense them fly around the venue while creating a magical atmosphere. I had imagined the band to somehow be the display of music at its purest, and with no vocalist around, to be absolutely crazy live. I had expected simultaneous jumps and bursts of energy. And what did I get in reality? None of that. Though the song kicked off the concert promisingly by seeing the band members move more and more progressively to the growing loudness in the song, this was pretty much the only movement to be seen for the next hour. Their lack of a frontman/vocalist never shows on their amazing records, but live it is a massive problem. Even during the beautiful parts of "City Of Echoes" I felt like something was missing. That something is a vocalist who initiates the crowd. To improve their live show, these guys need to move a LOT more to make up for the lack of a vocalist. [5] PP

Against Me @ 19:00 on Pavilion

What was the biggest mistake of Roskilde bookers this year? To place Against Me!'s set only half an hour before the main headliner Muse's. With great shame I have to admit having left only half an hour into their set, because thus far it was one of the best sets at this years festival. The band displayed so much pure left-wing punk rock energy and soul on stage that watching them gave you cold shivers. No bullshit ramblings took place nor was there a need for crowd interaction as these guys strolled through some of their hits from the old times and some new songs like "White People For Peace". The transitions between the songs were flawless, as soon as the last note finished the band was already in the next song, burying the cheers and claps underneath their instruments. The critics aren't lying - Against Me! is a revolution in punk, a reminder what the movement was originally about without all the bullshit today. Major label or not, they are one of the most important bands today and you could see it in their show, from which they probably walked away with a few hundred new fans. [9] PP

Muse @ 19:30 on Orange Stage

Having to leave such an amazing show for another will always cause a somewhat negative tone to a review, my apologies for that. People who have attended several Roskilde festivals in the past will surely remember the absolutely mind blowing performance that Muse put on in 2004, with the massive confetti-filled balls that floated above people during the encore, and the unfathomable multi-talent of frontman Matthew Bellamy, which was again the high point of their show. Seeing him effortlessly switch between the piano and the guitar is amazing enough to start out with, but that he can sing as flawlessly as today at the same time warrants for your jaw to be glued to the ground. "Time Is Running Out", "Knights Of Cydonia" and "Supermassive Black Hole" were massive, and even myself, a big critic of their latest album, have to admit that the new songs worked much better live than I had imagined. However, the 2004 show is a hard one to top, especially because I have especially vivid memories of Bellamy holding onto his guitar, strumming chords and notes on it, all while sitting by the keyboards and alternating between the two. Tonight, he had instead opted for a separate keyboardist which in my opinion took some intensity away from their show. But by no means a bad show, as Bellamy is still one of the most talented musicians and showmen in the entire world. [8] PP

Dúné @ 21:00 on Pavilion

Dúné is a band that has been on everyones lips in Denmark for some time now. The ensemble with an average age of about 18 years have taken the country by storm with their infectious breed of what they themselves call 'indielectrock'. Effectively it is no surprise to see the Pavillion more filled than ever with anxious youngsters, and as the band comes on no-one is left doubting their reputation as one of the best live acts in the country. Vocalist Mattias Kolstrup is continuously dancing all over the stage, generally inciting a riot, getting more and more frantic as he gets more and more warmed up. Keyboardist and backup singer Ole Bjørn Sørensen doesn't leave much to be desired either, and security has to pull him back down when he attempts to scale the stage lights. Also, I am sorry, but I have to say this, but I while know Cecilie is younger than me and everything, I have simply never seen a bass handled so sexy. Just wauw (Ed note: hold your horses). It isn't all praise though, because even though the hits "Bloodlines" and "A Blast Beat" see a massive response, it should be clear to all that the bands winning formula is recycled at least one time too much, and for them to achieve the star-status they've been prophesied, they need to add more depth to their expression. Otherwise their shows will end up like this one, with small moments where you couldn't help but to be a little bored despite all the effort. [7] TL

And so ends Sunday, the last day of the festival. Those brave enough to stay all the way to midnight are treated to an impressive display of fireworks, before everyone returns either home or to their devastated camps to reflect on an experience that surely warrants wearing a shirt "I survived Roskilde Festival 2007" in all possible meanings of that word.

Aside from the weather being the worst ever in the history of Roskilde Festival, the main problem this year was the lacking in the band department. You can follow what the booking department was thinking when you notice that they booked cult bands like Cult Of Luna and Pelican, as well as massive metal names like In Flames and Mastodon, but despite the effort it still left something to be desired compared to last year. Many of the shows this year were also characterized by their mediocre quality, and even though festival performances almost never match those at intimate club venues, the amount of bands with disappointing live performances was far too high, and I predict that the festival will be left far away from selling out point next year. The truly amazing and mind blowing performances were far too scarce this year, considering how we awarded only four 9 or over performances this year. There were plenty of "okay" and "good" performances but they all seemed to lack something. Hopefully this year's sold out festival has encouraged the people in charge to book some more interesting acts - we will return to that by analyzing who we expect the festival to book, and who they should or shouldn't book in about one month's time with an article titled: "Roskilde 2008: Light At The End Of The Tunnel". As the editor in chief of this website, I hope everyone had an enjoyable experience at the festival and I count on meeting some more of you next year. As an encouragement I'd like to add that one of our readers René found a new girlfriend at our camp - that could be you next year! See you next year! PP

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