Roskilde Festival 2005 Part 2

author PP date 24/08/05

After the first four days of carnage and drinking it was difficult to make the festival become even better than it already was. With the help of the best line-up of bands Roskilde has ever had, the festival suddenly became ten times better than during the warm up days. Bands like Mastodon, Audioslave, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath and tonnes of others provided great entertainment. The festival saw some unbelievably amazing shows by surprising names, as well as some disappointing appearances by the mainstream bands. All in all, every band contributed to make this festival something worth remembering (well, the little that everyone remembers from the excessive usage of the little green glass bottles) for a long time. There was something for everyone; Hip hop, metal, punk, electronica, pop punk, rock n roll, art rock, pop rock and tonnes of other genres were represented by some of the biggest names in their scenes. The only "big" scene entirely left out was the emo/screamo/hardcore scene. Bands like The Used or Darkest Hour would've made this festival even better than it already was, but then again we are in Scandinavia - the promised area of electronic music and melodic metal (strange combination indeed).

Tuesday 28.6

Pavillion Jr.

This years Roskilde Festival had done something new with what was formerly known as the "Camping Stage". They had moved it onto one of the bigger stages, namely Pavillion, and before the festival actually started, a part of the festival area was open to the public. This was the Pavillion Jr. area, where minor and upcoming, mostly Scandinavian bands played. Lack performed their hardcore set with an amazing precision and attitude. This venue was a little big for them but people went along great with their energy. Unfortunately this stage wasn't visited much by the Rockfreaks crew, as this was still during the days of "warm up" before the thing really kicked off. [7]

Thursday 30.6

Arena stage

What's better than four days of partying? Of course an extra day of partying. That's why Flogging Molly was the perfect start for the festival. Their captivating irish folk punk caught onto the 10,000 capacity Arena Stage amazingly well. The flutes, harmonicas and happy party-style melodies resembling The Dropkick Murphys got everyone dancing Irish folk style and the atmosphere within the tent was so thick it could have been cut with a knife. [7]

But even as Flogging Molly got the party started, their else great performance suddenly felt like nothing after seeing Sonic Youth. There's just something really mysterious about this band who started the indie rock movement over 15 years ago. The mystery of their female lead singer in her little dress while she jumped around in slowed down movements, and the unbelievable ways of guitar playing by their lead guitarist made this bands performance unique from all of the other bands I've ever seen - he played the finishing avant-garde guitar solo of "Pattern Recognition" against the amps, against his hair, against his shoulder, against the stage and against everything one could possibly imagine, while still maintaining the off tune, irritating sound, that somehow still managed to make sense in everyone's head and turned into some of the most beautiful melodies Roskilde's ever witnessed. This band didn't just play their set. They were doing it passionately, while still keeping the crowd ambiguous on what was going to happen next. Mysterious appearance indeed. [10]

Now Mastodon faced a huge problem. How to better themselves from this amazing performance - though of a completely different genre - we just witnessed two hours before them. 'No Problem', said the monstrous riffs of their guitars and their set. Monstrous is the only word you can use to define the way they dominated the stage. The Arena Stage is among the biggest ones they've played in, and they proved the cliché true: size DOES matter. Synchronous Maiden-like guitar playing in front of the audience and the amount of confidence the band showed tonight assures me that what I've read from other reviews before is true: this band will make it colossal one day. Heck, they already looked like a band the size of Metallica while performing. Their amazing riffs, bass lines and solos just kept amazing the audience. Their two guitarists moved their fingers with a velocity close to that of the speed of light, and the bassist did the same. Their superb set was closed by a cover of The Melvins and thus closed the Arena stage and Roskilde Festival area for the night. An amazing start to the festival indeed. [9]

Orange stage

Velvet Revolver had a lot to live up to, as they, like Audioslave, are a combination of legendary bands. They consist of the legendary Slash, drummer Matt Sorumand and bassist Duff McKagan, all previously of the Guns'n'Roses fame, as well as vocalist Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots and guitarist Dave Kushner from Wasted Youth. They opened with "Sucker Train Blues", but unfortunately they started out a bit weak, as Weiland seemed like he had a major hangover, and his energy was missing. Slash did a good job though, with great solos behind his back and with his high charisma he held the show above average. Later on in the set, Slash found his old GnR hat, and brought out the "double necker". They played a couple of old GnR songs; "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone". Not excactly the songs I had hoped for, but at least they played some of the old stuff. Weiland also seemed to get some color back in his face later on in the show. So all in all a slow start and a better finish. [6]

Friday 1.7

Arena Stage

Where Mastodon left off yesterday on the Arena stage, Swedish death/thrash metallers The Haunted continued as early as 13:30 on Friday afternoon (Well, known as morning for most people). Most people had barely recovered from the night before and now they were once again faced with insane metal riffs and screaming. As far as I understood, their bassist was ill, or in other ways kept from performing, because he wasn't there. This however didn't seem to stop The Haunted, as they made a great performance with tracks like "99" and "All Against All" ripping the stage apart. Front man Peter Dolving stormed across the stage while jumping around, as if he was trying to shake off a giant bug from his back. And this is all on top of those heart-scraping screams he produced while collapsing to his knees, bending backwards as they closed with the "rEVOLVEr" album finisher "My Shadow". The slow, heavy riffs pounded out through the speakers along with the seemingly minute-long screams, and I'm sure the people all the way over at Malmø, Sweden were able to hear those because The Haunted were LOUD. Together with Mastodon these two bands produced the loudest two sets this year in Roskilde, as well as the best metal gigs. [7]

At 02:00 the night to saturday, Mew entered the Arena Stage and played a pretty good set. The entire concert through, there was a pre-recorded video rolling behind them, following the music perfectly and making the music experience much more awesome. Jonas Bjerre has one of the most amazing voices ever, he can get a pitch so high it's almost unbelievable. Mew has a new record coming out and we got a few listens on what to expect and it's looking good. They played most of their hits from Frengers, a few old songs, as well as the new ones. Good show although they didn't move around much. Great visualization. [8]

Orange Stage

Audioslave was the show I was looking the most forward to, and therefore also the show that I had the greatest expectation for. Chris Cornell, Tom Morello and the others entered the legendary Orange Stage at 19:00 Friday afternoon, and opened with "Cochise" from their debut. I myself couldn't have picked a better opener as it has everything that Audioslave stands for. Extreme energy and great riffs, a weird Morello solo, as well as obvious traces of the grunge roots that all of the band's members have. Audioslave gave the crowd what they wanted with great songs from the old album like "Show me How to Live", "Like a Stone" and "Gasoline", as well as songs from their newly released second album "Out of Exile", like the title track, "Be Yourself" and "Doesn't Remind Me". But we all know what the crowd wanted to hear, and obviously so did the band. Namely the old Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden songs. And that's what we got in the form of "Sleep Now in the Fire", an acoustic version of the Soundgarden classic "Black Hole Sun" performed solely by Chris Cornell, and to finish everything off, they fulfilled everyones wishes by playing "Killing in the Name". I swear, in at least the first 30 or 40 rows of people, everyone was jumping around to this ultimate classic by one of the greatest bands to ever exist, and although Chris Cornell ain't no Zack de la Rocha, he did a damn good job in my opinion. [9]

Roskilde '05 would also witness the reunion of the band that started it all. Black Sabbath entered Orange Stage at 22:00, and when Ozzy Osbourne addressed the crowd they went nuts. It was amazing to witness the biggest legend in all of the Heavy Metal scene live. And although you might expect him to be totally doped up and wasted as you see him on the MTV show "The Osbournes", he was nothing at all like that. He seemed like this was the first show he had ever done, with a huge smile on his face and it was obvious that he too was amazed by the 60.000 people that had come to watch them perform. Now the thing about Ozzy is that he really can't sing very well, but it doesn't really matter. Just being there is enough. Watching Tony Iommi doing his magic on his black guitar, and the great charisma of Ozzy himself. And make no mistake, Iommi is a fucking good guitarist. Some of the solos he pulled off were simply amazing. Sabbath played all the classics like "War Pigs", "Paranoid" and "Iron Man", and they even played their title track "Black Sabbath" with Ozzy on the harmonica. I have never seen so many lighter flames at the same time as when they played that. It was breathtaking. They finished the show magnificently with "Children of the Grave". [7]

Later the same night, D-A-D were to close Orange Stage for the day. D-A-D are known for their amazing live show, and this was no exception. They opened with "Lawrence of Surburbia" which is also the opener of their newest album "Scare Yourself". Stig, Laust and the Binzer brothers did a great job at mixing new songs with old ones as always, with songs like "Bad Craziness", "Scare Yourself", "Everything Glows", "Soft Dogs" and "Evil Twin", we got to hear one of Jacob Binzer's amazing improvised solos during "Grow or Pay", lasting at least 2-3 minutes. The thing with D-A-D is that you will never see the same show as almost all of Jacob's solos are somewhat improvised. They did 2 encores with classics like the acoustic "Laugh 'n a Half" and the always amusing "Marlboro Man" with Laust Sonne's drum solo, and the crowd chanting in danish: "Kom så Laust, vi ved du har det!" ("Come On Laust, we know you've got it!"). Take notice that none of the band members started this chant. Not even a hint was made from Jesper Binzer. It's just a regular thing that always happens at a D-A-D concert. Before the concert there were rumours that someone had stolen bassist Stig Pedersens's gladiator helmet, and that the band had announced that they would not go on stage unless the helmet was returned. Whether or not it was true i don't know, but if it was, the thief obviously had a bad conscience, as Stig proudly wore the helmet during the show. In the end a fireworks fountain was strapped to his helmet, and it ignited as Stig ran about the stage. It is never boring to watch D-A-D live, this not being an exception. [8]

Saturday 2.7

Arena Stage

Fantomas kicked off their set at the Arena stage at 16:00. And as always, you never know what to expect when crazy-man Mike Patton is at the wheel. Spastic rhythms, a doll tied to some sort of voicebox and other weird stuff was going on all the time. Patton was whispering and suddenly bursting out into a chilling scream. I'm not sure I entirely understood what was going on, and I'm sure a lot of other people were thinking "what the hell" as well. We had to leave early to go see Jimmy Eat World at Orange stage, so we didn?t actually watch the entire show. [5]

Orange Stage

Jimmy Eat World opening orange stage on a saturday afternoon. It surprised me that as many as 30,000 people showed up to watch Jimmy Eat World's emo-filled pop punk set at 17:00 on the afternoon, and I'm sure lots of people left the scene unimpressed. First of all, I don't understand what a band like JEW does on the 60,000 capacity stage anyway because they aren't big enough for these kinds of venues. You could sense the nervousness, shyness and inexperience of the band the moment they stepped up on the stage and Jim took the mic to say "hi, what's up, we're Jimmy Eat World". Second of all, they suffered greatly from sound problems. Their music isn't exactly the loudest heavy metal to start out with, and when the orange stage sound technicians decided to turn down the volume low it was difficult to get much out of their set. Of course, songs like "Work", "The Middle" and "Sweetness" got the majority of the crowd to singing along the choruses and the backup vocals, but it was way too late as these songs were played at the end of their set. The crowd lost their interest roughly by the fourth or fifth slow, near-acoustic song. [5]

Now loudness wasn't a problem for Foo Fighters at all, even though they also suffered from some sound problems. Dave Grohl's vocals were only beaten by Chris Cornell's the day before, but yet it was difficult to make out which song was which during their set. And their set wasn't what the crowd expected. When you have enough material to play three hours straight of pure hits and you only play 50 minutes and 11 songs, you can't expect a good review either. Of course we heard everyone's favorites like "In Your Honor", "Best Of You", "This Is A Call" and "Hero" but it just wasn't enough. Even Dave's stunt during a marathon version of "Stacked Actors" wasn't enough. He decided to keep the riff flying on mid song, to jump off the stage, storm 50 metres through the crowd, climb on the mixer tower's roof and play a solo from up there. Real rock 'n roll Dave, but less cockiness and more music thanks. [6]

By the time Billie Joe Armstrong's 'Greatest Show On Earth' [(c) Kerrang!, *cough*] landed the Orange stage the sound problems were all gone. Perfect sound was imminent as soon as "American Idiot" blasted out of the loudspeakers and an ecstatic atmosphere in the crowd was guaranteed. Orange Stage was at least as packed as during Black Sabbath's set the night before, and everyone was enjoying the "Hey-ho" bullshit; Billie Joe Armstrong's example of how to control masses better than any army general could do it. But here's where the problem lies, and i know a lot of people are going to kill me for saying this, but once you've seen one Green Day show, you've seen them all. Where's the uniqueness, with the same scripted acts like pulling kids off of the crowd to play Operation Ivy's "Knowledge", or having a crown and a red cloak on during "King For A Day"? Now that's really cool to see once, perhaps even twice but over a long period you start to want to see something different or you'll feel cheated from your ticket price (not that it matters here on this festival, but still, you get my point). You wouldn't buy the same DVD movie twice, would you? But the one thing that truly annoyed me (and one of the reasons why it's graded so low) was the hypocrisy of Billie Joe Armstrong: Back in January when I last saw them (note: on a DIFFERENT tour), they stated "This is the greatest tour we've ever done", and with my blind blue eyes I believed them. But when a band says the same thing again six months later on a different tour at the exact same point of their set, its worth drops in my eyes dramatically. Another thing is that they spent probably more time on crowd control stunts than playing actual songs. They could've fitted at least 6 more songs into their set if they had less bullshit. Come on, it's punk rock, it's supposed to be rebellious and non-commercial. Nevertheless, they always put on a great show as long as you haven't seen it before. [7]

Odeon Stage

Mikael Simpson & Sølvstorm was a great experience. They had a nice contact with the audience and played their society-critical rock/electronica well. It's much more guitar orientated live than on record, and that is simply awesome. Mikael gave a few bashings to our current government and dedicated a song to Pia Kjærsgaard, the leader of the most racist party in Denmark. The dedication was of course all satirical and the crowd seemed to love it. [8]

Sunday 3.7

Orange stage

It's a tiring day if you first see Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Mew all in a row. And on the last day of the festival you feel just that extra tired from the carnage of the last week or so. And when you know that the band playing in front of you isn't the band that was supposed to play there at this time, you can't help to have a critical attitude before they even start playing. ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead played in front of 200 people the week before, and now they are supposed to fill in The Mars Volta's shoes in front of at least 20,000 people? Hell no. But to my surprise they actually managed to pull it off well. I thought they'd just get slaughtered on such a big stage, but after all the stage didn't look too small for them at all. Their double drumkit powered art rock blasted through the giant Orange Stage speakers and left no one cold. Songs like "Caterwaul" and "World's Apart" showed why two synchronized drumkits can be a real pleasure for the eye in a gigantic arena like this one. It's a shame these guys had to play on Orange Stage on the last day as most people only experienced them in sessions of few minutes or so while passing by the stage. Very few people actually paid attention to them even though they should have deserved it. But lets be honest here, there isn't a single band out there that can come out and replace a band like The Mars Volta. Cedric and Omar are, after all, living legends and their superiority on stage was something that ...Trail of Dead were missing. But all in all, not bad at all. [6]

The last thing to play on a less than half-full Orange stage this year was Juan Luis Guerra and he produced a huge party with his reggae/punk mix. To draw parallels to something people might know, you could take something like Manu Chao, which has the same combination of slow reggae parts mixed with fast punk bits. Juan Luis Guerra managed to get people dancing around even though it was the last day, and people were starting to think about going home and taking a warm shower. The stageshow was excellent. Juan was all over the stage and his band was making a lot of fun too. I enjoyed the show as an overall but I don't actually know anything about this guy so I'll just end it here. [7]

Arena stage

Earlier on the article we talked about how Flogging Molly's happy irish folk punk was the perfect start for the festival. Well here we are, on the last real act of the festival, namely Interpol. While they are the exact opposite of Flogging Molly with their mellow, monotonous indie rock, they were the perfect finish for the festival. The chilled out appearance of their front man Paul Banks reminded me of HIM's Ville Valo with the way he kept smoking a cigarette nearly throughout the entirety of their set without his hands. It was just hanging from his mouth as if he was too cool to take it off to exhale smoke, so his mouth just turned into a miniature chimney while he was playing his guitar. Just like Sonic Youth, Interpol seemed untouchable and divine during their performance. The band was on stage, didn't speak much, if anything at all, played their set with calmly but with with passion, while maintaining the correct image required to play their kind of chilled out rock. Great ending for the festival, indeed. [7]

And to finish off the tiring week, we have personalised messages from all of the writers of the article about their Roskilde experience:

-This Festival has without a doubt been the most memorable one for my account, with awesome bands and great camp-hood. May the festival spirit never die! -MS

-Roskilde is a festival that everyone in Denmark talks about. You can get a nice idea of what it is like, but still never really understand what it truly is without going to the festival. It has definitely been my high point of the year - the carnage, the meeting of new people, the drinking, the great bands and the atmosphere is just unmatchable anywhere in the real life. -PP

-My first festival where I was working, so it was a lot different from other years that I've attended. Very good bands this time around, best in years. The camp "Cow-tits" was awesome, even though I didn't sleep there. All in all a good festival, with lots of drinking, smoking, laughing and enjoying music. -KS

Written by PP, KS and MS

Click here to view the gallery of images from the festival.

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