Lowlands festival – 17th August 2014 (Walibi – Biddinghuizen)

After the great day on Saturday mastered by the overwhelming character and spectacular show by Stromae, but in which also highlighted in their styles concerts by The National, Jungle or Volbeat, came the last day with two names as clear references, Queens of the Stone Age and Skrillex, and also with bands like Portishead, Snoop Dogg, Royal Blood and Blaudzun to shape stellar day of the festival.

Lowlands 2014 - Die Antwoord

Photo made by Esther Vicente. All rights reserved

The day began in the main tent with American rapper Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion, who gave a lesson about how to move on stage, and more importantly, how to move the masses with amazing ease. If the day before it was done had done by Stromae combining charisma with a batch of hits known by most of the public, in this case the Californian rapper did it with his natural ability to engage the listener gradually based on rhythms and choruses that are known to they, such as samples of "California Gurls", which collaborated with Kate Perry, or "Wet" with the omnipresent David Guetta. Although the most of the public did not know many of the songs, the atmosphere was amazing thanks to the flow and camaraderie that was throughout the show, arriving the tent to madness with the trio "Jump Around" (Awesome cover of House of Pain), "Drop it Like It's Hot" and "What's My Name", showing that the great friend of Dr.Dre is definitely a top-10 in style despite its success in Europe is not the same as the across the Atlantic. Although his show was proving as much fun, we did not hesitate one second to move when in the little India stage began the show of his countryman Jonathan Wilson, who under the guise of a 90's junkie 90 (cap backwards, colorful bum bag..) gave a concert full of rock and psychedelia in which at times he approached Bonnie 'Prince' Billy or Father John Misty and in a 180 degree turn remembered the early days of Pink Floyd. While their music was based on profound lyrics, it is noteworthy that his rift with the public (mostly gesture throughout the concert was to take his cap for a few seconds as a kind of greeting) made his show had serious moments of disconnection and indifference, though songs like "Angel" or the final "Valley of the Silver Moon", which lasted more than 10 minutes, were successful.

Lowlands 2014 - Jonathan Wilson

Photo made by Esther Vicente. All rights reserved

The return to big stage store for us the "battle" with the South Africans Die Antwoord, and I must say they were clearly the winners, as with their mix of hip-hop and local electronics similar to trashy rave they exhausted a public that adores them until the end. With a stage show that was based on bright colors as the main asset and some bases somewhat outdated both in pace and time (90 as an inexhaustible source) DJ Hi-Tek, Ninja and Yo-Landi jumped on stage to deploy a intense show that grabs you at the moment thanks to both mobility and nerve. In the musical, their rhymes can be somewhat childish in content, only altered by the amount of intercalated bad words, but it's worth recognizing that when they sang their two hits "Pitbull Terrier" and, above all, the mega hit "I Fink U Freeky" , any prejudice dissapers and the only thing you can do is jumping with the rest of the crowd. With legs still shaking, was time to witness the spectacle that Gogol Boderllo, substitutes on the line-up of Grammar London, offered in Grolsh tent. In a completely different style, resulting from mixing Balkan and the Roma gypsy rhythms with rock and ska, the American band got the same as their South African colleagues, make people dance to the last row of a room nearly full by few simple bases and a few catchy choruses (including some in Spanish). The force of their leader Eugene Hütz and a setlist based on probably thier two best albums, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike from 2005 and 2010 Transcontinental Hustle, quickly made them connect with the audience, making the show at a party in that at times musical quality clearly absent.

Lowlands 2014 - Gogol Bordello

Photo made by Esther Vicente. All rights reserved

After a few moments of calmness, and sheltered from the universal flood that fell on the festival for about 30 minutes, the local Blaudzun on the main stage showed why it is one of the independent artists with the highest number of followers in the Netherlands. Wrapped by a band of 10 musicians on stage, the show was a demonstration of sensitivity based on the wind and percussion sections who accompany him, having as a great starting point "Elephants" song that made him known to the general public about two years ago, before dropping in a small lethargy to the emergence of his two recent hits "Promises of No Man's Land" and "Too Many Hopes for July", where violinist Judith van der Klip highlighted above the band. There would still be time for chaining "Wasteland" rhythms with the chorus of 'Wicked Game' by Chris Isaak, leaving a good impression on an audience that came out happy of the concert, but with the feeling that the artist from Arnhem fails to come off the aura of a similar sound to Arcade Fire that accompanies him since his inception. The return to India scenario took us like the previuos day to attend the consolidation of the bands that amazed us in the past day London Calling, the British Royal Blood. With increased recognition of the general public thanks to songs like "Come On Over", "Little Monster" or "Figure It Out", which served as opener of his expected near-titled debut album, the duo offered their hard rock without concessions to an audience that loves them and sees them as the new reincarnation of pure rock. In an exponential growth that will take them to fill in larger stages in little time, the expertise of the duo on stage was shown to be able to present their new repertoire in a very fluid way, among their best known tunes, which led to more unknown songs as "You Can Be So Cruel" or rough but wonderful "Ten Tonne Skeleton" were the most acclaimed of the night songs. As more than 4 months ago, complete success and confidence in these youngs who promise to guide the evolution of rock in the coming years.

Lowlands 2014 - Blaudzun

Photo made by Esther Vicente. All rights reserved

To take a break and as part of a small sociological study, what better to do for a while that enjoy Skrillex show on the main stage? Since time of confirmation on the line-up countless critical voices on his presence at the festival were raised, but this did not mean that he didn't have a full tent waiting for him as the new messiah of electronica. In a show full of lights, smoke and screams, the young American gave his fans what they like most, that loud dubstep that even is painfull to tag under the same label and style as what they do Burial, Benga or Mount Kimbie, but it fully effective in accordance to the show and the reply by the crowd . A few jumps here, some ragga and R & B over there, a couple of handy remixes (surprised to remix the starting theme of "The Lion King"), clear orders to micro like a prophet in question and a show of more of an hour was past having the feel of watching all the time the same 5-minute loop.. Fortunately, as in on Friday with Imagine Dragons, we understand this kind of "sacrifice" in the line-up of a festival as necessary to enjoy then less mainstream proposals, although seeing the number of people that our beloved Portishead attracted the Grolsh tent is incomprehensible as they did not hold a special place on the main stage. Like a year ago in Benidorm Low festival, there is no single word to describe the concert of Bristol; exciting, magnificent, spectacular, memorable .. With a similar setlist almost logical as they not have new material since six years ago (and who knows how long we have to wait for the next great), the trio Ribbons-Barrow-Utley still shown as smashing machine on live that grabs you from the first moment thanks to the perfect combination of emotion, angst and beauty that exude both their lyrics and their music. How not to get excited with the Ribbons voice singing the magic phrases "Nobody loves me, it's true" or "How can it feel, this wrong"? It does not matter how many times you see them live and that their setlist remains without news from the tour to promote Third, we do not need it .. The simple experience of enjoying a live show like Portishead (and if it is a once a year better), makes you remember why you love music and the way that it is able to modify your most basic instincts.

Lowlands 2014 - Portishead

Photo made by Esther Vicente. All rights reserved

The end of the festival approached regarding concerts with the icing on the cake, the big name of this year, Americans Queens Of The Stone Age. The band of Josh Homme and company accomplished with their roles as leaders of the edition and under the pistol shot of the initial phrase "Hello everybody, it's so good to be here. Please do everything you want tonight. Everything" madness unleashed in a tent avid of guitar and distortion after the previous show Skrillex. It is amazing how new generations clinging with QOTSA sound without reconsider how less it brings regarding new sound relative to Homme's previous band Kyuss, that some were determined to label as stoner or desert rock, being that feeling of pure rock so unusual for newcomers where QOTSA found their comfort zone. If to this we add the sweeping character of its leadercapable of speaking on any subject even with the front rows of the audience, or the timeless hits present on their first record, we have a unique offer with succesfull results, being the band completely aware of it, as evidenced by their spectacular start with "No One Knows" and "My God Is the Sun" or the end with a long version (including drum solo) of "A Song for the Dead". Despite the success of the show, and more with the passing of time, we can say that the American band stayed away from offering one of those very memorable shows of great headliners who stay in the retina of the audience, as were Janelle Monae or Stromae ones, great achievers in what the public respect this edition. As mentioned in the chronicle of the first day, festival saved with a great mark an edition that seemed weak and that has served to confirm bands like Royal Blood or Jungle and enjoy top-notch values as The National and Portishead, but for the future must do balance the necessity of bring artists like Skrillex or Imagine Dragons that ensure a number of tickets sold at the expense of a higher quality on the line-up.