Graspop Metal Meeting Day 3 – Sunday

So today was the day. The last day of Graspop, and it was also the day for the highlight of the festival for me: Sabaton. But first, I had to get through the day, which was easier said than done when you wake up in a motherfucking sauna. So, I was planning to get down to Alestorm alreadt at 11, but I think I made it there around 12.30 or so? I mean, better late than never.

Once at the crowd, I rejoiced with Stephen, Jonathan and Dieter, and I was also introduced to some new friends of theirs. Never before have I heard someone introduce themselves with saying “My name is like the little girl on the island with her dog”. You know, Astrid Lindgren’s character Tjorven. If you are familiar. But this one spells with an S. Well, that’s one for the books right?

After this, the small wait for Alestorm began, which was basic torture. The temperature was hitting 30 degrees, and the sun was up right over us. I told myself that everything would be alright once Alestorm starts, as music has a tendency to actually make you forget everything… and then… it started.

Alestorm

After the intro, the band started off the show with “Keelhauled”. The audience kind of exploded, which was good to see, but to be frank… the energy didn’t really stay for long. Which I can understand – I even found myself not really being able to jump and headbang as much as I wanted to. “Alestorm” was the next song on the list, followed by “Magnetic North”. And seriously…

Like the band was really good. But I felt myself just kind of losing it… it was seriously just too much. The heat was too much. I felt myself WANTING to headbang but being unable to. Because of the heat. “Shipwrecked” and “Mexico” was next on the list, followed by “Th’ Sunk’n Norwegian” – or as Stephen and I have dubbed it – “The toilets at Graspop”. Because why not.

“Drunk” was next on the list, followed by my personal favorite “Fucked With An Anchor”, and then “Hungover” and wrapping it all up with “Captain Morgan’s Revenge”.

With that done, the band thanked for the day and left the stage. The show was amazeballs as usual – it’s Alestorm for gods sake, but I’m sure it would have been… more enjoyable if it wasn’t for the damned heat.

After this, Sjorven and I stumbled toward the fence and the front row to secure our spots for Sabaton. Yes, I was really willing to spend all day there. Because Sabaton. As we sat there, Steel Panther started on the opposite stage, and I watched it as good as I could

Steel Panther

So, on the stage my boys went and they opened up with “Eyes of a Panther” and quickly followed it with “Goin’ in the Backdoor”. Well, to be frank I wasn’t seeing a whole lot as I remained on my side of the stages, but I was happy to see Michael come over to our side once in a while!

The crowd response was amazing though. That I can admit. “Just Like Tiger Woods” was the next song, followed by “Death to all but Metal”. They slowed things down a bit, “That’s When You Came In”, and honestly – I’ve come to really really love this song. I won’t deny that. It’s so nice.

“Poontang Boomerang” was next on the list, and then “Community Property” with the proper sing along to. They brought up 17 girls on stage for “17 Girls” before wrapping the set up with “Party All Day”. The set was a lot shorter than a Sweden Rock, I’m personally missing “Fat Girl” for instance, but it was a good set.

The only critique I really have is the jokes. It’s obviously the same jokes, but they might wanna look into it a little bit, seeing they said “Opening for Aerosmith, we met Steven Tyler”. And Aerosmith wasn’t even playing Graspop. At least make it a little believable, right? Aside that, good and energetic set. But what else to expect?

After this, I headed off to a signing session with Alestorm while Hatebreed was playing our stage, and got back in good time for it to end. Thanks to the stranger keeping my spot!

Mastodon

So, after being at the signingsession and all that – Mastodon started. It was a nice set… I guess. To be honest… I was really gone. I actually had to sit down at the front row, with Sjorven, Stephen and Jonathan bringing and pouring water on me. It was.. an experience I shall say, I spent the first 30 minutes of the show just standing trying to focus on one thing. I either the rhythm of the music or my body. But after a while I just gave up and sat down. I felt my legs weaken, and it was a good thing. I saved myself from a lot.

I looked a bit at the band through the holes in the fence, and I did enjoy the show despite never being much of a fan.

After this, I laid down in Sjorvens knee to rest a bit properly before the next band – which was going to be Rob Zombie. And I was really excited for Rob Zombie, not gonna lie. It was nice lying down and listening to Evanescence. By the way, I want to direct a large thank you to all the people, all the strangers, that brought us waterbottles throughout the day. So nice of you. I love you.

Rob Zombie

I’ve only seen Rob Zombie once before, at Sweden Rock, which was the show I discovered him on. So I was happy, even though it was hard – he played at the same time as Gotthard, which sort of killed me. Like a lot.

But despite that, I’m happy that I stayed for Rob Zombie. I really enjoyed the show, and John 5 is simply eyecandy. We even got his towel, in fact. Thank you, Sjorven!

After this… the eager wait for Sabaton began. Lazily listening to Scorpions which played the other stage, and the crowd started to gather. Once the sun went down by the way, the temperature shrank.

Once Scorpions was over… It started. “In The Army Now” echoed through the air and then followed by “The March To War”…

Sabaton

And they hit it off with “Ghost Division”. Is anyone here shocked? I was however, taken aback by the second song of the setlist – “The Art of War”. How long has it been since I heard this one? Probably last year, but it feels like an eternity.

“Blood of Bannockburn” was next on the list, followed, surprisingly, by “Attero Dominatus”, and then, as you know, my personal favorite “The Last Stand”. I can honestly not get enough of this song. At all. Whatsoever. I felt that the crowdparticipation, at least where I was standing, wasn’t that great to be honest. I’d expect more from Belgium, but oh well.

Another beautiful and welcome surprise, “Panzerkampf” was next on the setlist, quickly followed by “Sparta” sans the spartans. Still an epic live track though, mind you that. “Screaming Eagles” was next on the list, followed by of course, the greatest moment of the show “Carolus Rex”.

Seriously, I don’t even know what it is and why it is, but “Carolus Rex”, or any song of the “Carolus Rex” album just… It simply is the best moment. Really.

Another not so great moment followed in “Swedish Pagans”. I hope one day we will not be tortured with this song. Anymore. “Diary of an Unknown Soldier” soon cut it off and we got to embrace the beauty that is “The Lost Battalion”.

So ok. “Resist And Bite” was the next song on the setlist, and I was expecting to get something here. But no. Nothing. I mean, if you see the Swedish crowd during the “Carolus Rex” songs, you will notice the kind of pride that goes into it. It was lacking that, like, big time, on Graspop for “Resist and Bite”. Come on people.

“Winged Hussars” and “Nightwitches” wrapped up the set. The storming of Normandie started, followed by “Primo Victoria”. “Shiroyama” and “To Hell and Back” wrapped up this amazing set. The band thanked for themselves, and left the stage.

We retreated a big to the back to watch the last fireworks ending this years Graspop before I collaposed on a grasspot trying to grasp time and space again. It happens when I see a band I really love – like Sabaton or Lordi that I lose grip of time and space and I need to “come down” from the high, so to speak.

Sjorven and I spent the rest of the night, frankly running around the festivalsite and talking about music and pretty much everything before deciding to go to bed. At you know, 5 am. And I was getting up at 7. How awesome, huh?

// Sara

 

 

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