Graspop Metal Meeting 2022 – Day 4 (19/06/2022)

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The last day of Graspop 2022 was the best day for me. So many old school rock bands and my favorite band: The Offspring. The whole day was filled with excitement. Plus, the weather was also less burning. A little breeze of wind and a few drops of rain were welcome after the scorching heat from the day before. 


Crossfaith

Damn, Crossfaith was something. The metalcore band form Japan went all out. They were only the second band to play that day, and they made it one hell of an intense show. We were asked to jump, circle pit, mosh pit, wall of death, … everything that is possible with a metal show crowd. You name it. Lead singer Kenta Koie made us do it and we obeyed. Even when he asked us to sit down to later jump back up, the crowd sat down all the way to the wheelchair raised stage. That’s half the field. Very impressive for a band playing that early.

This year was the first year that they were playing main stage. In 2018, they were playing the smaller Jupiler Stage. Some people were saying that was better, because a smaller but more intense crowd was present. But I have to say, I was impressed about what they did on Main Stage, We will hear more about this band in the future.

Setlist:

Xeno
Monolith
Rx Overdrive
Jägerbomb
Gimme Danger
Countdown to Hell

Evil Invaders

Evil Invaders is climbing to the top of thrash metal. This was noticeable by the huge crowd that formed in front of the North stage. People were singing along, sitting on top of each others shoulders. Evil Invaders clearly touched hearts. Although thrash metal is not my favorite metal sub genre, the band clearly knows how to do it and give their fans what they want.

Setlist:

Hissing in Crescendo
Mental Penitentiary
As Life Slowly Fades
In Deepest Black
Sledgehammer Justice
Tortured by the Beast
Broken Dreams in Isolation
Feed Me Violence
Die for Me
Raising Hell

Alestorm

Alestorm attracted a crazy crowd. So many people that were ready for a party. A pirate metal party. Sitting on the ground rowing, crowdsurfing, it was all there on the beat of Alestorm songs like ‘Keelhauled’, ‘Mexico’, cover ‘Hangover’ and brand new song from their new album ‘Seventh Rum of a Seventh Rum’: ‘P.A.R.T.Y’. One very special moment was when Alestorm played ‘Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship’. There was a call on social media for the band to play this song, because a guy named Robbe has recently taken his own life. His twin sister asked the band through social media to play this song, and the band got the message. The whole crowd did, as we sang the chorus to that song together. It was Robbe’s favorite song.

After the show, keyboard player Elliot Vernon put a message up on social media about how he didn’t think that his music was so important to people, but this event showed him that it was and he was very grateful for it. He payed his respect to the friends and family of Robbe.

An energetic, crazy, but also emotional show.

Setlist:

Keelhauled
Treasure Chest Party Quest
Mexico
Magellan’s Expedition
The Sunk’n Norwegian
Alestorm
Hangover
P.A.R.T.Y.
Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship (dedicated to deceased Belgian fan ‘Robbe’)
Drink
Pirate Metal Drinking Crew
Fucked With an Anchor
Shit Boat (No Fans)

Alice Cooper

One of the classics that played this day. Who doesn’t know Alice Cooper? And even though he is 70+, he still sounds great. His shows are great too. He gets beheaded, tied up, chased by a big baby… you know, things like that. His band is great too. From time to time, they each individually take solo moments and play with the crowd. The whole crowd on both sides. They’re not leaving anyone out. A great show, ending on the classic ‘Schools Out’, with a mix of Pink Floyd’s ‘Brick in the Wall’ in between.

Setlist:

Feed My Frankenstein
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Bed of Nails
Hey Stoopid
Fallen in Love
Roses on White Lace
I’m Eighteen
Poison
Billion Dollar Babies
Black Widow Jam
Steven
Dead Babies
I Love the Dead
Escape
School’s Out

The Offspring

Since The Offspring is my personal favorite band, I have high standards for them. Although they tend to play a lot of the same songs, they tried to mix it up a little by adding some melody to a song or extending it a bit. They also played two new songs from their latest album ‘Let the Bad Times Roll’. This was ‘The Opioid Diaries’ and ‘Behind Your Walls’. Lead singer Dexter Holland also sang the songs a little lower, which lead to a better performance for his vocals. There was a lot of humor in the show, and of course hit songs ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’, ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’, ‘Come Out and Play’ and closer ‘Self Esteem’ were there.

I don’t know how The Offspring does it, but they always create this special atmosphere around their concerts. It’s like they bring magic. I had it once that 4 planes flew over in a special way. I’ve had sun set multiple times. This time, it was raining a bit during the show, but there was also sunshine. I remember looking for a rainbow, but I couldn’t find it. When I got home, I found out the rainbow was right above the stage. I couldn’t see it because I was all the way in the front. The rainbow went perfectly from one side of the stage to the other. The Offspring did it again. For one hour, they brought magic and pure punk rock.

Setlist:

Staring at the Sun
Come Out and Play
Want You Bad
The Opioid Diaries
Behind Your Walls
Hammerhead
Bad Habit
Gotta Get Away
Why Don’t You Get a Job?
(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright

Encore:
You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid
Self Esteem

Deep Purple

Deep Purple, definitely a band that I wanted to have seen at least once in my life. Although I don’t know that many songs besides the obvious ‘Smoke On the Water’, it was legendary to see them do their thing right in front of my eyes. Their latest guitarist Steve Morse couldn’t be present, since he was at home to support his wife in her battle with cancer. Simon McBride took over for him and did a great job.

Setlist:

Highway Star
Pictures of Home
No Need to Shout (Live debut)
Uncommon Man
Lazy
Nothing at All
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke on the Water

Encore:
Hush (Joe South Cover)
Black Night

Sabaton

Deftones and Sabaton had the job to close this festival that everybody has been waiting for for two years. Although I’m not a big Deftones fan, everybody was going crazy and some people were crying because it meant so much to them. Lead singer Chino Moreno gave it all he got. But on to Sabaton:

Sabaton always opens the show with the same sentence, and it never gets old.

We are Sabaton, we play heavy metal, and this is Ghost Division!

Then the first drum beats of the song land and we’re off. Belgium has a special place in the band’s heart, because outside of Sweden, Belgium was the first country that they got really big in. Belgium also loves trolling the band by humming the melody of ‘Swedish Pagans’ all the time, even before they had started. Sabaton just has to play the song, or else we won’t shut up. Furthermore, we got a live tribute of ‘Race to the Sea’ and ‘Dreadnought’. Finishing with ‘To Hell and Back’, their usual closer, Sabaton has once again delivered an incredible show.

Setlist:

Ghost Division
Stormtrooper
Great War

Race to the Sea (Live Debut)
The Red Baron
Bismarck
The Attack of the Dead Men
Soldier of Heaven

Steel Commanders
Carolus Rex

Resist and Bite
Night Witches
Dreadnought (Live Debut)

The Last Stand

Christmas Truce (First time the song was played non-acoustically)
Primo Victoria

Swedish Pagans
To Hell and Back

Fireworks were shot into the air, together with a thank you sign and a speech form the hosts. We were told the date that the festival will take place next year: June 16-17-18 2023. It’s always emotional to see a festival end. Thousands of people have looked forward to one or more days for months or in this case even years. Then it happens and it’s over. You look back on some awesome days with friends, music, and most likely new friends. Because let’s be honest: where in the world do you find a place where there’s no hate and violence? Just music and people who want to enjoy it together.

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