Here is a list of the performances I have seen at Best Kept Secret in Hilvarenbeek, the Netherlands and Rock Werchter, Belgium this year that will be worth your time, and which ones are better not to waste your energy on? Let's start with the bad news.
- Eagulls: As seen on Best Kept Secret, their sound is somewhat Cure-like, but there is absolutely nothing charming about this band. The singer was having such a hard time standing up straight and couldn't do this without the support of his microphonestand. I hope he is okay now.
- Pharrell Williams: This guy needs to learn his geography. Pinkpop is not Amsterdam, Werchter is not Brussels. Don't say Belgium girls are "different", that won't be taken well. This show was capitalism in its purest form, nothing about it was genuine, I doubt the singing was real. And the "sexy" act just creeps me out.
Actually, that was all I hated. There is some mediocre stuff:
- Royal Blood: The attitude of these people at Best Kept Secret was uncalled for. Threatening to leave the stage because the crowd isn't fun enough just means you are not doing your job well, mister Kerr. I forgive you for the performance at Werchter though. That was pretty decent.
But there were some surprising new bands I discovered on these festivals as well:
- Ibeyi: These French-Cuban twins who sing in English and Yoruba managed to get the crowd into the summer mood with their minimalist sound.
- Fickle Friends: This band from Brighton managed to get that Brighton beach feeling to the beach of Best Kept Secret, with a hint of 80's new wave and a modern sense of melancholy.
And my favourites this season:
- Of Monsters and Men: seen both at Best Kept Secret and Rock Werchter, this Icelandic folk-pop band doesn't disappoint. Great for singing along to thanks to the ooooh's and laa laa laa's.
- First Aid Kit: These Swedish sisters and their upbeat country certainly got the crowd dancing, and the Black Sabbath cover they did at Best Kept Secret was brilliant and unexpexted.
- Damien Rice: What can't this man do? On his own he played all the instruments and all the emotions of the crowd. This was one of the gigs I wish could never stop.
- Florence + the Machine: Obviously, Florence is my number one this time. Even though it was a shame the Foo Fighters had to cancel Rock Werchter and the organisation did not let her be headliner instead of them. Florence was her powerful and energetic persona, running all over the place.
That was my festival experience for this summer, hopefully the photo's speak for themselves. Now you know where to go in case of a festival overlap dilemma!