The Lokerse Feesten, or, literally translated: ‘Parties in a place called Lokeren’, is equal to the best bands for the best price. This day we got some big bands from the 80’s and 90’s for about 40 euros. You don’t see all these bands often in one place, and when you do, it’s awesome.
Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg (***1/2)
The day started off with Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg. Yes, the original Marky Ramone, drummer from the original Ramones. He was joined by other band members and gave us a pure punk show. They came on stage, said ‘Hello’, and started playing one song after another. They didn’t stop until the probably most famous Ramones song: ‘Blitzkrieg bob’. One hell of a closer that everybody knows. Marky came to the front of the stage to wave everybody goodbye, the band threw some drumsticks and picks, and gave the torch to next band The Damned.
At this point in time, you could still walk around at the festival site. This edition of the Lokerse Feesten is definitely the busiest one I’ve ever seen. Right after The Damned played, there was no empty space left and you had to slide through the crowd to get somewhere. This made for some random encounters and thus some new friends as well.
The Damned (***)
The Damned played their fortieth anniversary show of their album Machine Gun Etiquette. An album that got released in 1979. A lot of songs they played were form that album. It’s like one of these bands where you think you don’t know them, but when you hear them you’re like aaah it’s them! I had that when they played ‘Smash It Up’, a song I got to know because The Offspring covered it a long time ago. They finished the show with an English version of ‘Sa Plain Pour Moi’. Where everybody knows the ‘Uhiehuou’ part. Fun closer, but also a worthy one?
For some reason some bands think we were French, which we partially are and some people do speak french, but in reality, most people on this side of the country just don’t. Anyway, a good old school show with lead singer David Vanian coming to the frond of the stage and interacting with the crowd, cheering us on and holding the mic to us so we could sing along.
Dutch band Heideroosjes stopped 7 years ago and are back on the road for a few shows this year, because it’s their thirtieth anniversary. They didn’t make any new songs. As everybody loves the songs they already have so much, they don’t need to make new ones. Songs like ‘Klapvee’ and ‘Iedereen Is Gek’ are shouted along by the crowd and danced on in the rain. Lead singer Marco Roelofs announced they were doing only a couple of shows this year. Some lucky festivals (of which the beer and music festival from our partner Razernij is one of them) and also some stadium shows that are almost all sold out. More info about their shows can be found at their website.
NOFX , my first time seeing them and man, I love them. The humor, the songs, their spirit. I love it all. You can see a part of that in the video below, where they play, or rather speak, their intro to their show and the first song ‘Dinosaurs Will Die’. And yes, lead singer Fat Mike is in a dress.
Respect. Respect to Heideroosjes and NOFX who specifically addressed equality. Marco Roelofs said it:
I see white people, I see black people, I see girls that like girls and I see guys that like guys’. ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe in’. ‘Music unites us’.
And he also added:
‘We can do what Trump fails to do’. ‘Unite people’.
NOFX continued their show in the same high quality as they started it. Well done! Awesome show!
The Offspring (***)
The Offspring is my favorite band and I’ve seen them a bunch of times. The thing is, they always do the same thing. No new songs, no old songs, just the same most popular songs as 10 years ago when I saw them at Pukkelpop in 2009. They have one newish song, called ‘It Won’t Get Better’, which is from their new album that finally is finished and ready to release at some date, which we don’t know… But I’ve got to give them some credit.
Even though guitarist Noodles plays the wrong notes now and then and lead singer Dexter Holland misses a couple of notes as well, their music has something special that makes everybody jump up and down and mosh around, having a good time. And yes, if you see them for the first time, it’s great. Just know, if you plan on seeing them again, you’re in for the same thing over and over again. They are stuck in a loop.
Dexter played ‘Gone Away’ on the piano again. Something he has done 10 years ago for the first time and he brought it back. I remember being my 15 year old self with a flip phone trying to record that and failing miserably at it. My 25 year old self is still failing at a good quality video, but at least the audio is great. With this review, I will tell my 35 year old self to take a proper quality video as well.
They started with ‘Americana‘ and played their most famous songs ‘Come Out and Play’, ‘Pretty Fly For a Withe Guy’, ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ and closed with ‘Self Esteem‘.
And uh, WHERE IS BASS PLAYER GREG K? The rumor is going around for some time on the internet that he left the band for some reason and everybody is asking where he is. Fat Mike already said during their show that The Offspring had a different bass player and I still didn’t believe it, until I saw it. Todd Morse, who usually plays guitar, was on bass and they had a new extra guitar player, where there is no information on whatsoever.
Lokerse Feesten is a great festival that learns form each year and makes it better the next year. I can’t say it enough, the price is really low for the bands you get to see and I hope it stays that way. It’s small and cosy. You have tasty classical festival food and also a special dish with their local beer ‘Kaaiman’, because it was the fortieth anniversary of the festival. I love the sweetness form the pancakes and the muffins they sell.
Clean toilets, clean festival. Only a lot of trash afterwards, but that happens at every Belgian festival. A DJ between bands so you will never get bored, a chill zone to relax. Lokerse Feesten has it all. All the bands above played on the main stage. I didn’t go to the Red Bull Music Room, where other great bands played such as Black Leather Jacket, It It Anita, Cocaine Piss and Sons. The main stage and the new people I met just kept me hooked to the place where I was.
One remark about this year’s edition: more busses to bring you back to the parking. The parking area was easy to find. It was not so easy to understand where exactly we had to put our cars, as there wasn’t a special parking for the festival. You just put your car at a companies’ parking place that doesn’t have a gate so you can still drive away at night. Anyway, you park your car and get on the bus to the festival for only 3 euros. Very easy, very smooth. Until you have to go back and everybody leaves the festival at the same time. It was a half an hour walk to the parking and I waited for the bus for about 40 minutes and I was still only halfway in the line. A friendly woman form the crew told me it would go fast and that there were now 6 busses driving back and forth, and that the organization learned from the day before, where there were only 4 busses driving. Maybe her definition of fast is something else than mine, but that line wasn’t fast. I eventually decided to walk to the parking, which was fine too, but that part could have been better. Otherwise great. 9 out of 10!
Check out the photo report from Cédric here: