Roskilde Festival 2006 Preview (Pt2)

author PP date 22/06/06

Two days ago we posted our first Roskilde related article in our series of coverage both before and after the renowned European festival, whose lineup this year boasts of big name bands like The Strokes, Trivium, Guns N Roses, Opeth and countless others. The amount of prominent bands is in perfect balance with the smaller scale 'scene' acts this year, and an addition of more big-name bands would result in unfortunate clashes between the 'scene' and the mainstream bands. This year, we are fortunate enough to have avoided all but one clash (Hatesphere & Placebo), while the lineup still stays up to the increasingly high standards of Roskilde Festival. This article is the second preview article of the Festival, describing the remainder of the bands as well as predicting how well the bands will do when it's their turn to take on the stage.

Franz Ferdinand [UK] (Orange)

Franz Ferdinand performed at Roskilde two years ago on the Arena stage. Back then, their showmanship was mediocre at its best, and the band looked like a bunch of trolls on the stage, never quite achieving to give across the energetic indie rock image they were trying to portray. This year, though, they have more material to play, and many of it is of higher quality than the songs played in 2004. After all, their critically acclaimed album "You Could Have It So Much Better" couldn't have been any better - the band reinvented themselves while still staying true to their original sound. Their 80s groove based indie rock is likely to get more than half of the orange stage crowd jumping up and down in ecstacy, so get near the Orange Stage to hear the hits "Walk Away", "Take Me Out" and "The Fallen" among others. But based on their showmanship last time around, there won't be much else to do than to listen. Seeing another band instead would be the correct choice if there were alternatives on at the same time.

Predicted grade: [5]

Listen: Myspace

When: 19:30 @ Sunday

See them if you like: The Killers, Modest Mouse, Morrissey

Guns N' Roses [USA] (Orange)

Well well, if you don't know the Gunners beforehand, then you must have lived under a rock, but even then if you were to state you've never heard "Paradise City" or "Sweet Child Of Mine", most people would be reluctant to believe you. A decade ago the Gunners enjoyed worldwide success like nothing ever seen, until the fallout between their guitarist Slash and the egoistic frontman Axl Rose. Lucrative details from the conflict flowed into the public: apparently Axl Rose's egoism went so far that he demanded his own entrance at shows. As a result, we've now been waiting for the new, Axl Rose-only Guns N' Roses album "Chinese Democracy" for almost a decade and it still hasn't surfaced with the exception of a few low-quality demos that probably won't even make it to the album. The question is - can Axl do it without Slash and co? It's worth checking out and hearing the new songs at the Orange stage on Thursday evening, even though the likelyhood is that the Gunners pull a 'Velvet Revolver' and disappoint gravely.

Predicted grade: [6]

Listen: Myspace

When: 22:00 @ Thursday

See them if you like: AC/DC, Def Leppard, Metallica, Velvet Revolver

Hatesphere [DEN] (Odeon)

Danish Hatesphere have long reigned on the throne of Danish death/thrash metal with a hardcore orientation. With song titles like "500 Dead People", "What I See I Despise", "Hell Is Here" and "Insanity Arise", destruction will be upon the Odeon stage at the same time as Placebo is delivering their soothing stoner indie rock melodies over at the Arena stage. Hatesphere shouldn't be missed by anyone who considers themselves a hardcore/thrash/metal fan, as they are on top of the foodchain when it comes to metal/hardcore acts. There will be blistering solos, ultra-fast thrash riffs and monstrous screaming and growling that will be heard all the way to the city of Roskilde most certainly. They are deemed to deliver one of the most aggressive performances Roskilde will witness this year. It is too bad they don't get to perform when it's dark, because then the scare-effect would be even larger.

Predicted grade: [9]

Listen: 4 MP3s @ Myspace

When: 18:00 @ Sunday

See them if you like: Darkest Hour, As We Fight, Chimaira, God Forbid

HIM [FIN] (Arena)

Finnish 'love-metallers' HIM (His Infernal Majesty) will take on Arena at a time where everyone is either a) Drunk out of their minds or b) Asleep. That's right, HIM will step up onto the stage at 2am and their frontman Ville Valo will also be drunk out of his mind, probably stoned and for 100% will smoke at least two packs of cigarettes during the gig. They've got the song material though to wake up even the most tired crowd: "Buried Alive By Love", "Your Sweet Six Six Six" and "Join Me" will most likely be the crowd favorites. It is too bad that HIM are playing only half an hour before the British experimental rock group Amplifier, who have been described as Tool meets Foo Fighters across the underground media, so this is where you'll have to make one of those important decisions. But considering how wasted most people will be at this time, Amplifier might be a bit too thick to appreciate properly at this stage, and HIM's "lets get drunk and be retarded" attitude will fit in perfectly.

Predicted grade: [8]

Listen: Myspace

When: 02:00 @ Sunday (Saturday night)

See them if you like: The 69 Eyes, The Rasmus, CKY, Marilyn Manson

JR Ewing [NOR] (Odeon)

If progressive rock or progressive post-hardcore turns you on just by the mention of the genres, then you will most likely wet yourself when JR Ewing brings their screamo infused post-hardcore progressions to Odeon stage on early Friday evening. Some of the readers may have experienced them already when they supported Coheed & Cambria in Denmark, while others may never have heard of them. The band has already announced their plans of breaking up after their summer tour finishes, which is a shame, because the heavily underrated band never got the attention it deserved from its critically acclaimed album "Maelstrom". Drop by the Odeon scene straight after Burst finishes their metalcore excellence.

Predicted grade: [7½]

Listen: 1 MP3 + Streams @ Myspace

When: 20:00 @ Friday

See them if you like: These Arms Are Snakes, The Fall Of Troy

Kaiser Chiefs [UK] (Arena)

Kaiser Chiefs draws heavily on the early 70s old school punk rock like The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Ramones, and adds indie influences and rhythmic hand-clapping elements to their sound. Frankly, they are about two decades late with their retro-sound, but somehow it still sounds as fresh as back then. You'll most likely have heard them on the radio without knowing it was them, and knowing that they will definitely get the party started when they play at Arena, you should drop by to check them out straight after Placebo/Franz Ferdinand/Hatesphere. Look out for the hits "I Predict A Riot" and "Every Day I Love You Less And Less".

Predicted grade: [7]

Listen: Myspace

When: 20:45 @ Sunday

See them if you like: Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Wolfmother, The Bravery

Lagwagon [USA] (Arena)

You would be a flat-out idiot to miss Lagwagon at Roskilde this year. It has been years since Roskilde has had a prominent punk act (no, Green Day doesn't count..), and you can't get a much bigger "real" punk act than Lagwagon (NOFX, Bad Religion excluded). The more than 16 year old punk act will play a punk rock classic after classic after classic. I could spend the entire paragraph just listing their seminal tracks like "Know It All", "Bombs Away", "Gun In Your Hand", "May 16th", "Violins", "Change Despair" or the more recent to-be classics from "Resolve": "Infectious", "Heartbreaking Music" and "Days Of New". Speed will be a key element here and moshing another. Don't be a fool and miss one of the best, and at the same time most accessible, punk bands on the planet.

Predicted grade: [9]

Listen: Myspace

When: 16:00 @ Saturday

See them if you like: NOFX, Bad Religion, Millencolin, Good Riddance

Mad Caddies [USA] (Odeon)

Last year we had Flogging Molly, this year we have Mad Caddies. A party band at Roskilde each year is a must, and Mad Caddies' ultra-happy trombone/trumpet supported ska-punk is the exact kind of music that will start a party like none other before. Prepare to learn how to 'skank': "one description is that the dancer alternately puts each foot forward while lifting the knee, and then moves each foot back. The person keeps the elbows bent, and puts the hands into fists. The right hand comes forward when the left leg is out, and the left hand comes forward when the right leg is out." (Wikipedia description), and have a great time while listening to one of the best ska-punk bands around. Their performance at last years Deconstruction tour was apalling though as a result of playing after Strike Anywhere, Boysetsfire and From Autumn To Ashes, but they are a festival band and the Roskilde atmosphere should suit them perfectly.

Predicted grade: [6½]

Listen: Myspace

When: 14:00 @ Sunday

See them if you like: Reel Big Fish, Catch 22, Less Than Jake

Morrissey [UK] (Orange)

Morrissey was the old frontman of The legendary Smiths, which shows in his amazing ability to write catchy songs with a strange, captivating twist to them. He'll bring his famous songs from his old albums as well as the new to-be classics "The Youngest Was The Most Loved", "You Have Killed Me" and others from the new album. His strength is his lyrical skill, as all of his songs contain serious and meaningful messages that can be interpreted on many levels. However, he won't be very interesting on stage, so you'll only be going to listen to the classics without expecting a huge scene show.

Predicted grade: [5]

Listen: Myspace

When: 19:00 @ Friday

See them if you like: The Smiths

Opeth [SWE] (Arena)

There is no question whether or not Opeth are the kings of progressive metal. Dream Theater comes close, but not close enough to the majestic, grand progressive death/black symphonies of Mikael Åkerfeldt & co. His demonic growls will dominate the surroundings of the Arena stage, and his clean parts will captivate even those who aren't fans of any of the metal genres. There will be something for everyone here: the slower, ballad-like acoustic masterpieces like "The Harvest", as well as the thunderous death metal oriented outbursts like "Deliverance". Their dominating sound will be at its best on an outdoor gigantic stage like the Arena. A must see, one of the best bands at Roskilde this year, and almost certainly to be in top5 best performances.

Predicted grade: [9½]

Listen: Myspace

When: 18:00 @Friday

See them if you like: Dream Theater, Evergrey, Dark Tranquillity, Katatonia

Placebo [UK] (Arena)

It is unfortunate that Roskilde presumed that Placebo and Hatesphere would draw entirely different crowds to them, because I for one wanted to see both of these bands, which is now impossible as they are playing at the same time. However, Placebo's hypnotic variation of indie rock will most definitely draw lots of fans to the Arena stage to witness such classics as "Every You Every Me", "Pure Morning" or "Burger Queen". They are the most prominent indie band on the bill this year and all fans of the genre should be in attendance at the Arena when Placebo comes on stage. However, it is likely that their showmanship won't be anything special, so don't expect stage destruction to be a part of their repertoire.

Predicted grade: [8]

Listen: Myspace

When: 18:00 @ Sunday

See them if you like: The Cure, Queens Of The Stone Age, Interpol, Pixies

Purified In Blood [NOR] (Pavilion Jr)

One of the only bands worth watching on the pre-Festival stage is the Norwegian hardcore act Purified In Blood. They have been in consistent growth in the underground scene and have received great reviews across the underground media. This is one of the few gigs at Roskilde where the stage will be shattered, deteriorated and bashed into pieces breakdown after breakdown. Don't stay too close to the security barrier or you might get a microphone stand in your head, and don't stand too close to the center of the crowd or you will get a few fists (and feet) into your face as people will mosh the fuck out during their set. All hardcore lovers should be present here to witness one of the most ferocious lvie shows they'll ever get to see.

Predicted grade: [8]

Listen: 4 MP3's @ Myspace

When: 16:30 @ Wednesday

See them if you like: Hatesphere, As I Lay Dying, Heaven Shall Burn

Roger Waters [USA] (Orange)

When Roger Waters hits the stage, he will perform arguably the best album ever written in the history of music: "The Dark Side Of The Moon" by Pink Floyd. All that needs to be said about this is that the album has been on the charts for 1700 weeks since it's release - almost straight on since its release in 1973. Don't miss witnessing an important chapter in the history of music - it would be like omitting first and second world wars while studying European history.

Predicted grade: [9]

When: 21:30 @ Sunday

See them if you like: Pink Floyd

Sigur Rós [ICE] (Arena)

Icelandic post-rock heroes Sigur Rós will also pay a visit to this years festival, and their atmospheric, up-in-the-skies style is perfect to listen to while either very high or very drunk. They're one of those kind of bands that will paint textures into your mind and you'll experience their music on more than just the physical level. They'll inspire your emotions and imagination while you attempt to understand their complex passages of beautiful atmospheric music. Think of Sonic Youth last year and triple the experimentalism.

Predicted grade: [8½]

Listen: Myspace

When: 22:30 @ Thursday

See them if you like: Shora, Mogwai, Radiohead, Broken Social Scene

The Strokes [USA] (Orange)

Who can deny that The Strokes have had a huge influence on today's popular culture. Songs like "Is This It", "Last Night" or "12:51" still receive constant airplay on the medias and deservedly so, they are some of the best rock pieces composed in the last five years or so. The question remains whether the band is able to replicate their energetic songs live on stage. Personally I'm leaning more towards the no camp, but who knows, they may surprise. Worth watching anyway if for nothing else than the classics and a good time with your friends as you all share knowledge to the songs.

Predicted grade: [6]

Listen: Myspace

When: 17:00 @ Sunday

See them if you like: The Hives, Wolfmother, The Vines, Louis XIV

Tool [USA] (Orange)

Do I need to write it to you? The best band of the last decade, no question about it. Loved by millions and hated by equally many, most of who will never be able to understand music this complex anyway, Tool is the current culmination of artistic talent in the modern music scene. They are famed for their unbeliavable effects during their liveshow with video-screens, astonishing lightshows and so forth, and a colossal outdoor venue like Orange stage in the dark is the only way to do justice to their liveshow. This may be the only [10] graded show this year from our side, but on the other hand, the expectations have grown so huge that it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people left the show disappointed.

Predicted grade: [8½]

Listen: "Vicarious" on the background of their website

When: 22:30 @ Saturday

See them if you like: Deftones, A Perfect Circle

Trivium [USA] (Arena)

Trivium is 2006's Mastodon at Roskilde. They will deliver one of the most aggressive in-your-face metalcore performances at the Arena stage this year, a much more suitably sized stage than the Orange stage for the much smaller band Bullet For My Valentine. Look out for Matt Heafy's screamed-out-loud vocals and their technically proficient thrash metal built around standard metalcore riffage. One of the most hyped bands around these days, but perhaps it is deserved? They will put on a great show.

Predicted grade: [8]

Listen: Myspace

When: 18:00 @ Thursday

See them if you like: Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, Unearth, Shadows Fall

Wolfmother [AUS] (Odeon)

Wolfmother have caused quite a spark in discussion in Australia. They came from out of nowhere and started a steady domination of the indie-loving Australians' charts with their Black Sabbath-riff, 80s-oriented indie rock in the vein of The Vines and The Hives. The difference between Wolfmother and the rest of the indie acts these days is that they actually have great songs: "Woman", "Dimension" and "White Unicorn" among others will be considered classics one day. Amazing band with an amazing debut album that will most likely put on an amazing show.

Predicted grade: [9]

Listen: Myspace

When: 16:00 @ Sunday

See them if you like: The Hives, The Strokes, Bloc Party, Queens Of The Stone Age

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