GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2023 – DAY 4 (18/06/2023)

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Graspop Metal Meeting, or GMM for short, is the first festival of the summer for many of us. As always, I was looking forward to being back at the holy grounds this year. While I was working at the festival, I checked out as many bands as possible. Let me take you along to GMM 2023!

Kissin' Dynamite

Kissin’ Dynamite was an amazing start to the day. So must have thought more people, since it was quite crowded already this early. The band was surprised as well, and it turned a visible smile on their faces. They bring stadium rock with heart and soul. It’s always nice to see a band that loves it to perform. Kissin’ Dynamite got energy from the crowd, and we got energy from them. They played a nice mix of songs from older and new albums, on a stage that had a huge Ibanez guitar neck on it. Lead singer Hannes Braun destroyed the microphone stand again, and they ended in their iconic pose where guitarist Ande Braun and bass player Steffen Haile stand close to each other, and Hannes stands on their legs, so they form a little pyramid.


No One Dies a Virgin
I’ve Got the Fire
Sex is War
Love Me, Hate Me
Only the Dead
I Will be King
You’re Not Alone
Not the End of the Road
Flying Colours

Skid Row

A lot of people are going to laugh at me if I write this, but I know Skid Row because of the first guitar hero game on the Nintendo DS. Before I played real guitar, that was what I played and video games were a part of how I got to know the music I listen to today. ‘Youth Gone Wild’ is the song used in the game, and also Skid Row’s most popular song. They closed their show with it, and everybody sang along. It was amazing to see these legends live, having a whole story with the video game up to the point that I’m seeing them in real life.


Slave to the Grind
Big Guns
18 and Life
Piece of Me
Livin’ on a Chain Gang
Monkey Business
Makin’ a Mess
I Remember You
The Gang’s All Here
Youth Gone Wild

Hellmut Lotti Goes Metal

I wasn’t going to go see Helmut Lotti, but I’m so happy I did. He sang classic metal songs from Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, ACDC, … His vocals were so clean that I forgot at times that I was at a live show. It was extremely hot in the Metal Dome where he played. A stage that was way too small, since they had to close it because way too many people wanted to see him. Nobody expected it, but everybody loved it. Helmut was noticeably nervous, since he normally performs another genre of music in front of sitting people who do not shout. Now, at every movement on the stage, his name was chanted loudly. When he came on stage, his mic was shaking in his hand. Afterwards, he said that he loved it and will perform his show in other venues as well. If you want to see it, you have to be fast since multiple shows are already sold out. I can tell you, you won’t regret it!


Holy Diver (Dio cover)
Poison (Alice Cooper cover)
Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple cover)
Run to the Hills (Iron Maiden cover)
Easy Livin’ (Uriah Heep cover)
Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover)
That’s Alright / Ace of Spades (Elvis Presley / Motörhead mash-up)
Tiritomba / Painkiller (Traditional / Judas Priest mash-up)
Darkness (Original song and live debut)
Still Loving You (Scorpions cover)
Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover)
Here I Go Again (On My Own) (Whitesnake cover)
Paradise City (Guns N’ Roses cover)

The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect is a band that has only one album out, but headlined Wacken Open Air in 2022. That’s because the band exists out of ex-In Flames members and is somewhat of a supergroup that way. Their chemistry is amazing, as well is their sound. Although they did have a little guitar issue during the first song, since you couldn’t hear the melody. Having only one album, and a high place in the line-up, also means that you can only play that one album. This time they had a surprise for us; They are working on a second album, and we got to hear one new song live called ‘Become Surrender’. There is also another new song called ‘The Defiant One’. A title or release date for the album is not known yet, but it might be out sooner than later.


Days of the Lost
The Needless End
Feel What I Believe
In Broken Trust
Become Surrender
A Truth Worth Lying For

Enter Shikari

A friend recommended me to go and watch Enter Shikari, and I have to say, I loved every second of their performance. They bring rock with electronic and dance elements in it, and it was absolutely freeing. They have this thing in their show where they play 4 short parts of their songs, but it all comes up on the spot. It’s called the “Quickfire Round”. It sounds amazing and shows the skills of this band. Also, lead singer Rou Reynolds never sits still. He flies from one point to the other. Be it on stage or off-stage. They have these beautiful screens on stage that are adding an extra dimension to their performance. Rou was shown to fall into digital water. You keep looking at the stage and the screens, and all of a sudden 3 people run in front of you. You look toward each other, thinking about who that could be. And yeah, that was the lead singer that just escaped from the stage to the roof of the PA where he did the next song. After that song, I couldn’t even see him. I just heard the band on stage asking him if he was coming back or was going to stay wherever he was. Rou decided it felt good wherever he was and played the next song. He did end up back on stage eventually. An absolute great performance. They are coming back to Belgium on February 19 in the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels with their “Kiss for the Whole World” tour. Be sure to check them out!


(Pls) Set Me On Fire
A Kiss for the Whole World x
It Hurts

Quickfire Round:
Havoc B
The Last Garrison
Sorry, You’re Not a Winner

Arguing With Thermometers
The Dreamer’s Hotel

Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe was big, broke up, got back together, is still big of course, but I feel like the magic has gone lost somewhere. Lead singer Vince Neil is not really singing the words, but mumbling them. I hoped to see guitarist Mick Mars live some day, but the band announced earlier that due to his disease, he couldn’t play for the moment. So John 5 was playing guitar tonight. They did have a nice show with a lot of lights and props. It started to rain and during Home Sweet Home the lasers came out. It created an absolute magical feeling. They played their greatest and well known hits.


Wild Side
Shout at the Devil
Too Fast for Love
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Saints of Los Angeles
Live Wire
Looks That Kill
The Dirt (Est. 1981)
Rock and Roll part 2 / Smokin’ in the Boys Room / Helter Skelter / Anarchy in the U.K. / Blitzkrieg Bop
Home Sweet Home
Dr. Feelgood
Same Ol’ Situation
Girls, Girls, Girls
Primal Scream
Kickstart My Heart

And with that, Graspop 2023 wrapped up already. This year’s edition was hot, although it was even hotter last year, believe it or not. There were a lot of struggles with the new cashless payment system, especially the first day. But besides that, I think this edition was pretty great. See you next year at June 20 – 23, 2024!

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