Roskilde Festival 2006

author JM date 12/07/06

This year's Roskilde Festival boasted with an awesome lineup. Everything from the 'scene' bands Bullet For My Valentine and Purified In Blood to the punk bands Lagwagon and Mad Caddies to the indie rock kings Placebo and The Strokes to the legendary Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters was on the bill this year. Everyone had something to look forward to at the atmosphere-wise best festival in Europe, and the amount of great bands was perfect so you didn't have many major schedule clashes. Just like last year, The RF.net staff traveled from all around Denmark to enjoy the great music, drink, and of course, flirt. Yes, Roskilde Festival is the festival where you can get away with any comments. The strangest pick up lines that you would never ever use outside of Roskilde are those that have the highest success rate at this festival as experienced by many each year at the festival.

Much like last year, we avoided rain for the most part (besides one night where both AP's and KS's tents drained with water all the way up to the ankle level) and hot, sunny weather dominated the second half of the week. As a great addition this year, the festival had opened one of the lakes for public swimming during the daytime. There was nothing more refreshing than coming out of your 150,000 degree warm tent in the morning in your swimming shorts and run straight to the cold lake to cool off before starting the daily beer-rotation schedule. Yes, like last year, Beer was consumed in a manner that would cause a heartattack for most doctors in the 'real life', but as we all know, 'real life' and Roskilde Festival have very few if any things in common. "Whatever you thought wasn't possible is possible at Roskilde Festival". Or what would you think of seeing Red Warszawa perform on a dirt hill at the camping area using beer-cases as drums, a semi-acoustic guitar and screaming into the air without a microphone in the middle of the day?

Wednesday 28.6

Pavillion Jr.

Before the actual festival area opened, a bunch of no-name bands were to perform on the Pavillion Jr. stage. And then there was the prominent Norwegian hardcore/thrash hybrid Purified In Blood. Their use of dual vocals and ripping lead guitars and violent thrash riffage set the pace in the crowd so harsh that the security guards had to join the crowd to calm the intense circle pits down. Where the band perhaps lacked substance, they compensated with intense stageshow with their two vocalists jumping all over the place. [6½]

Thursday 29.6

Arena Stage

And once the actual festival area opened on Thursday, Trivium had the pleasure of opening the 15,000 capacity Arena stage with their trendy metalcore show. But what was wrong with Matt's voice? He didn't scream a single note, and instead sounded like James Hetfield, which is a vocal style completely unsuitable for their style of music. It sounded horrible and ruined the show for many of the Trivium fans present in the crowd. Besides that their stage show was more than boring. They mostly stood still on the stage headbanging to their songs sparking the entire crowd to do the same. Unfortunately, this isn't enough, and this was the worst opening to a festival I've seen in a long time, and incomparable to last years excellent opening by Flogging Molly. [4½]

Orange Stage

Danish Magtens Korridorer was chosen to open the Orange Stage. They opened the festival by playing a ballad, namely "Nordhavn Station" which has gotten a lot of airplay lately. I arrived as this song was almost done and got in front in 5 minutes, which proved that the crowd wasn't as big as usual at Orange. This might have been a too big mouthful for these guys, since they normally just play at clubs and small festivals. The vocalist, Johan Olsen, really tried to fire up the crowd with his energic performance, but it seemed that the crowd only knew the radiohits "Picnic På Kastellet" and "Lorteparforhold", which really was a shame. If this had been in a tent, it would probably have been a lot better, since it kind of fell to the ground at Orange when there were only about 500 fanatic fans. They pulled off a nice performance though, and can't be blamed for the boring crowd. [7]

After Magtens Korridorer opened the Orange Stage energetically, it was time for some more metalcore, and who would be a better choice than the Welsh metalcore heroes Bullet For My Valentine. Unfortunately for them, the 60,000+ capacity Orange Stage was far, far, FAR too big for them (thank Sony by the way), as a rough 100 or so people knew of them at all. Not only that, but Roskilde Festival arrangers stupidly allowed the Guns N' Roses queue to enter the pits at the same time, which resulted in old men smoking cigarettes and complaining about people pushing and not giving shit about who was on stage. Sad for Bullet For My Valentine though, because their sets are usually amazing, and it would've been this time as well with "Hand Of Blood", "No Control" and "Tears Don't Fall" being the highlights of their awesome setlist. But to be fair, somebody had to be the first band ever to play metalcore on the Orange Stage. [6½]

Guns 'N Roses was without a doubt the most criticized performance at the festival this year. You would have to search high and low for grade over 2/6 in any tabloid, and they all trashed Axl Rose & co. bigtime for everything from being an hour late for the show, to him not performing anywhere near as good as he was once able to. This, however, does not give him justice at all, as the show was actually great. The biggest problem was the long improvised solo intro's to almost every song they played. Most of them were great, but they quickly became way too long and frequent, and made people emigrate the show on a large scale. Other than this, it was awesome hearing all the old classics like the opener "Welcome To The Jungle", and immortalized songs like "Sweet Child O' Mine", "November Rain" and the finale "Paradise City". I bet almost everyone in front of Orange stage was able to sing along to most of the songs. And that's what's most important. [7]

Friday 30.6

Pavillion Stage

Being on as early as 1 pm on Roskilde’s smallest stage, Disco Ensemble faced a crowd of scene-kids still only half awake, but boy did they put on a show. Their emo/post-hardcore was delivered with full force, great sound and enthusiasm, as the band truly seemed to enjoy themselves. That feeling rubbed off on the audience and I think most of the people who had chosen to see Disco Ensemble this afternoon, were overjoyed with how the band threw a classical emo stage performance. All members of the band played with energy, and frontman Miikka Koivisto delivered emo/hardcore stage-classics like microphone swinging and ending song lines in emotional screams. Being at the Disco Ensemble show was a party and I’d go see them any day. If you haven’t seen them yet, I would recommend doing so soon, before they outgrow good venues like pavilion. [8]

Burst have been hailed as 'the next big thing' from Sweden. Although the band themselves aren't too happy about it, they're often times labeled metalcore though they are miles ahead of their genre-mates in terms of song structures and complexity. Their vocalist's heartscraping screams were surely heard much further away than just the Pavilion stage with "Where The Wave Broke" and other already-classic songs from their latest album "Origo" taking the lead on today's show. The only shame was that the band played almost at the same time as Opeth, drawing much potential crowd members away to the Arena stage. [7]

Odeon Stage

Danish Veto could probably have wished for a better schedule. Just like other danish rock-hopes like Figurines and Spleen United they were chosen to play at Odeon at 12 in the morning. Nevertheless, there was high expectations for Veto since their debut album "There's A Beat In All Machines" got a lot of attention - which was displayed by all the Veto t-shirts in front of the crowd. On stage Veto aren't moving much, but you'll quickly forget that, when Troels Abrahamsens vocals runs through the speakers. He should maybe have considered to sing in a metal band with that powerful voice - but thank God he is in Veto. Especially in the song "Nemesis, Babe" everyone was amazed by his abilities. Even though the concert wasn't that long due to the fact that they have only released one album, this was an incredible experience. "It's A Test" finished the show and a great morning. [8½]

Danish metal band Volbeat have received many great reviews and publicity lately, and with good reason. The band lived up to every good thing said about them, with their refreshingly straight-forward metal style. With songs like "Rebel Monster", "Caroline Leaving" and the classic Hootie And The Blowfish cover "Only Wanna Be With You", the show could only have been better in a smaller, more intimate venue. I predict a great future for the band that won "The Hope Of The Year" award to play at Roskilde. [8]

Now I know Death Cab For Cutie is a scene band, but this band could easily have filled the Arena stage. Odeon was packed, but even from far back, it was clear to this reviewer, that what the crowd witnessed was a band delivering one hell of a quality performance. The band delivered both old and new material in a confident way and received amazing response from the crowd. Death Cabs’ songs have always had a dark and beautiful mood around them, and Death Cab projected this mood into the air in and around the Odeon stage. The late time was perfect for their kind of music and I’m sure that more than one pair of lovebirds felt that magic was in the air when Death Cab played [8½]

Arena Stage

Opeth had very high expectations to live up to with 8 albums spanning over 10 years and a very wide spectrum of music styles, ranging from extreme progressive metal to acoustic ballads. They have often been referred to as one of the best progressive metal bands out there, and with good reason. If you listen to albums like "Blackwater Park", "Deliverance" and the newest addition to their port-folio; "Ghost Reveries", these words of praise seem well deserved. However, Opeth did not quite deliver the goods at this show. Unfortunately the show was way too short to justify the band. They only had time to play something like 6 or 7 of their often 10-minute-long songs. It seemed the band had made a choice to only play the heavy songs, which was a bit disappointing, as this is not the only thing that make them so great. Not a single song from the softer album "Damnation", and on top of that, to the crowd's great disappointment, not a single song from "Blackwater Park" either. The ending of the show with the title track from "Deliverance" though, was clearly the highnote of the show. Unfortunately a too short, and too onesided show. [6½]

One of the most popular bands in Denmark, namely Kashmir, invaded the stage later that night at 2am. The last few years, seeing Kashmir has meant hearing only the new songs from their latest two records, leaving out all the old classics. This was a pity, and it got old. The same was about to happen tonight, and you could easily get a bit bored and wonder if it was deja-vu, as most of the show only consisted of overplayed songs like "Melpomene", "Curse Of Being A Girl" and "Mom In Love, Daddy In Space". Not that these are bad songs, but seeing the same show three times in a row can get old. Fortunately, Kashmir pulled an ace from their sleeve at the end of the show and played "The Story Of Jamie Fame Flame" from their debut album "Travelogue", and "Vote 4 Dick Taid" from "Cruzential", and it was easy to see on the crowd what they enjoyed the most. They finished a great show off with "Rocket Brothers". [8]

Orange Stage

Kaizers Orchestra is a norweigan act that sounds like no one else. A mix of folkrock and other genres, but the band's own definition works a lot better: Omparock. They played at Odeon in 2002 and was probably the most hyped band back then with their album "Ompa Til Du Dør" - and yes they sing in their own language. This year they were placed at the Orange Stage which probably was a mistake, since a tent suits their style a lot better; There is not 30.000-60.000 people at Roskilde who are absolutely fanatic about them. Though the frontman Janove Ottesen did a decent job, the performance was characterized by routines. They didn't live up to the expectations, and I actually found myself quite bored. Highlights as "Ompa Til Du Dør" and "Kontroll På Kontinentet" did not save the day for the Omparockers this time. [4½]

In the afternoon baking oven, also known as Orange Stage, Morrissey had quite a challenge ahead of him to keep the crowd alive and entertained. Likely as a result of the sun the crowd was split into two different types of audiences: The front crowd was eager to get involved and seemed to know most of the songs. The rear crowd relaxed and sat on the staircase at the back and on the grass taking in the music with some minor word exchanges with the neighbour every now and then. The editor and another writer retrieved a nice spot in the back and were drawn into the engaging performance of Morrissey, which stage performance truly was far better than what the legend Bob Dylan was to display later in the evening. Unfortunately due to the heat many decided to lay back, relax and wait till the evening to see Bob Dylan. Perhaps Morrissey would have been a better choice for the evening show and let Bob Dylan play his soft relaxing tunes during the afternoon heat wave, but still an outstanding performance from Morrissey. [8]

In the late evening Orange Stage was guested by none other than legend Bob Dylan. Unfortunately the legend status does not imply a legendary show. In reality there was no show, at least not of the rock 'N Roll type, but maybe that was ok. Many may not expect a big show from Bob Dylan, but personally I would have liked a bit more energy, as it could at times be difficult to know who was even playing. The enjoyment for the many thousands of fans was in the well known songs, which many fans could sing along to every word. The ending was probably the oddest part of the show, as he seemingly stumbled off stage after having simply stood in the middle of the stage bathed in the spotlights. Yet one could argue that it was a memorable ending none the less. A bit more engagement from the old super star would have been nice, but despite his personal lack of enthusiam the crowd seemingly still enjoyed themselves and his band played high quality music for the happy crowd. [6½]

Saturday 1.7

Ballroom Stage

In the early hours of the saturday afternoon several staff members found their way to see Cabruera, the Brazilian genre mixing band. Their music is a stew of many different genres with a definite brazilian influence shining through. Their stage performance was some of the best seen. They taught a dance to the audience and managed to have the entire crowd dancing a brazilian style dance at around 3 PM in a very hot humid tent. The interaction with audience was amazing and the music quality was high. The famous pen-technique by the guitar player sounded really good. Definitely a show worth watching, even for the people that do not usually enjoy these genres. The energy alone was enough to get you high and pumped for the rest of the days activities and shows. [9]

Odeon Stage

The last show on that day was Amplifier, despite the date having turned already as the show started at 02.30 AM. There was a bit of expectancy before the show, as Amplifier had told us that they had structured their show to be like an adrenaline shot, which to be quite honest sounded promising for a show starting at 02.30 AM. Not surprisingly the tent was not completely full due to the late show and perhaps also that HIM was playing at the same time. Yet the crowd seemed prepared to allow Amplifier to prove that they had chosen correctly in watching them rather than HIM. Just as promised they kicked off with high energy and entertaining stage performance. It was a small intimate show, which according to our interview with them earlier was only to their liking. This was the latest show they had ever played and they did well despite the uphill battle of keeping people awake and interested. They engaged their audience of which some were starting to display clear signs of long days of heavy drinking, but this did not destroy the good atmosphere that existed in the tent that night. The complex music of Amplifier was a nice invigorating experience for both soul and mind. The night was rounded off well with good music and entertainment from Amplifier, which perhaps on a slightly earlier schedule would have performed even better. [7]

Arena Stage

It's been years since Roskilde Festival has had as prominent a punk name as Lagwagon. The renowned 90s melodic skatepunk act laid out a classic after another including "Know It All", "Violins" and other crowd favorites, resulting in some of the biggest circle pits for the festival. Perhaps this was the wake up call for the Roskilde bookers to get some more punk acts next year, because Lagwagon had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They were clowns on stage - Joey would be jump-roping with the microphone lead in mid song only to stumble and fall down, and the band several times asked for people to throw stuff at them on stage. I sure hope that guitar was waterproof! One of the funniest concerts of Roskilde, and it was truly too bad it wasn't already on Thursday, as that would have given the Festival a nice kickstart. [9]

Finnish "love-metallers" His Infernal Majesty (HIM) played another late-night show at the Arena stage. This suited them fine, and the tent was filled, although it was in the middle of the night. They fired one catchy song after the other out over the crowd, and one could not help but dance along to tunes such as "Beyond Redemption", "Your Sweet Six Six Six", "Funeral Of Hearts" and "Vampire Heart". Vocalist Ville Valo seemed tireless on stage. Unfortunately it got a bit trivial in the end, as the show was a good deal over an hour, and the music does not have that much variety. [6½]

Orange Stage

Deftones are still alive after a rough period both musically and band-wise. They proved this by totally blowing away the crowd with a more than great setlist, including songs like "My Own Summer", "Bored", "7 Words", "Be Quiet And Drive" and "Change". This was any Deftones fan's dream. They actually played more songs from their 1995 debut album than from the later albums! This is not something you see everyday from bands. Chino Moreno seemed at his best, bending his voice from the soaring highpitched clean singing to the energetic primal screaming that is the trademark of Deftones. Easily one of the best performances this year. [8½]

Everyone who’s heard of Tool knows that this band is in a league of its own, but what Tool displayed Saturday on Orange was simply breathtaking. The music that is normally so complex and bizarre sounded clear as crystal from the speakers and took everyone in the crowd on a journey into the dark universe of Tool. The audience was in a trance and nobody seemed to get bored by the extremely long songs. At certain points, everyone in the front pits were jumping as well as people in the first couple of rows outside the pits. Tool took everyone in the audience on a trip through their gloomy world and left none untouched. Even with little crowd-interaction and only a single gimmick (where Maynard wore a festival guards uniform), the band communicated their music to the audience without possible interference. Tools display this night was sublime, and as close to perfection as possible without getting there. [9½]

Sunday 2.7

Odeon Stage

Mad Caddies is the band that should've opened Roskilde Festival this year. Their fun, fast, mood-setting ska-punk is perfect for getting the party started, so it didn't do much good trying to get the party started on the last day after eight days of tireing parties and concerts. Even though the band laid out some of their best songs like "Contraband" together with some brand new ones from their next album, they only ever got the front of the crowd going and in the back people were yawning and waiting for other acts to come on stage. Not even the dangerous behaviour of the trombone player (he knocked a crowd member down while coming off stage) could save their set from a mediocre grade. [5]

Australian Wolfmother has caused quite a stir in their homeland by mixing Led Zeppelin style 70s prog rock elements with the fast, straight forward sound of garage rock meets hard indie rock. Though few in the crowd knew of them, they knew how to get the crowd going with such to-be classics as "Woman", "White Unicorn" and "Dimension", with the first two being ultra-marathon versions where the band would engage in The Mars Volta-style telepathic improvisations in mid song. The stage had transformed into a trampoline/dancefloor as the trio bounced up and down, side to side and threw their instruments around like madmen. Wolfmother's show was possibly the best show at Roskilde this year. After all, what other band can play an hour and fifteen minutes, when they only played eight songs from their 51-minute long album! [9]

Following Wolfmother on the Odeon stage was Hatesphere, one of Denmarks flagships in the metal world. Their Thrash/Melodic Death Metal can, according to themselves, only be described simply as "Hatesphere". As the band got on stage, the air filled with horns, and as vocalist Jakob Bredahl entered the stage, the first thrashy tune blasted out over the crowd. The funny thing about Jakob Bredahl is that even though the music is extremely aggressive, as well as his screams and growls, he always smiles and looks happy. It is clear that he loves performing and being on stage, which projects an uplifting mood. He also has a tendancy to throw himself into the crowd and let the fans scream the lyrics into the mic. This, of course, is a huge plus in the RF.net book. The show never lost the energy, even at the encore, and the funny gimmicks that trademark Hatesphere were there as always. At one point, Jakob made the crowd turn around and give one of the soundtechs the finger. Also, guitarist Peter played the theme from Top Gun, as he had promised in our interview with them the day before. Great metal show. [8]

The last band of the festival on Odeon Stage was The Raconteurs. This is the band that includes Jack White from the White Stripes and Brendan Benson both as vocalists. People obviously forgot about Kaiser Chiefs that played at the same time, because the Odeon tent was packed and even outside people stood hungry to see Jack White's new project. White and Benson's voices are so different, that the fact that they sing the songs together doesn't really matter. After 15 minutes they decided to play their huge hit "Steady As She Goes", unlike many other bands that tend to play it as their last song. It was clear that everyone in the audience knew this song to the bone and it was probably the highlight of the concert. It's obvious that they have only released one album since the concert included some weak songs like "Call It A Day". They did what they could, but when they have enough good material for an entire concert I predict that it will be great. [6½]

Arena Stage

Evergrey's progressive metal dominated the Arena stage in a similar manner as Opeth a few days before only without the growls and screams. Instead, the fans were treated to an hours worth of incredible solos fortified by superb sound quality. Unfortunately, sometimes sound quality isn't everything and when you are somewhat lacking on showmanship the grade will be dragged down. Whether this is because the show was so early on is beyond our judgement. [6½]

Regarding Arctic Monkeys performance on Arena, I’m going to go against a lot of people and say that it was AWFUL. The crowd was ecstatic, yes, but that was because everybody knew the, yes granted, quite good songs. The band however looked like they didn’t really want to be there and they left it to the songs to entertain people. I don’t know about you guys, but if I wanted to just listen to the songs, I’d put on the CD. When I go to a show, I want to see something more. I want to see the songs backed up somehow. You would expect an Arctic Monkeys show to be as energetic as their songs, but only the frontman moved, he did so very seldom and when he finally did, it wasn’t really much more than walking around in a circle bending over back and forth. The band's vague attempts to conceal their indifference combined with the yapping of the lyrics like on “From the Ritz to the Rubble” earns them no more than [4]

About the show that Placebo performed on Sunday, you need to say nothing more than, that this was everything you would expect a good concert to be. Sound was great. Lighting was amazing. Stage performance was entertaining. Crowd response was huge. Molko and friends set out to entertain us and to show us just how good a concert in the company of Placebo can feel. Oh and man did they hit the spot right on! Fans were singing along to every song and Placebo made sure to take full advantage of the size of the Arena stage sporting weird screens in the background and a charismatic stage performance. Brian Molko delivered the lyrics in a way every bit as emotional as you would imagine when you listen to the album, made jumps from the elevated drum set, while both Steve and Stefan were handling their instruments with true rock star attitude. Had Tool not played the same festival, Placebo would have been the kings of Roskilde 2006. [9]

Orange Stage

No introduction needed for this band. The hype about The Strokes has almost disappeared the last couple of years which was why the expectations for this concert weren't that high. They came on stage, pulled off their smash hit "Juicebox" and the concert had begun. Unlike Guns n' Roses, The Strokes took no breaks - they just kept playing one rock'n'roll classic after the other. It was clear that The Strokes had to show their worth this afternoon after the rather disappointing "First Impressions On Earth" from early 2006 - and they certainly did. The new song "You Only Live Once" was very impressive live and actually one of the highlights during the hour they were on stage. Classics like "Last Nite", "12:51" and especially "Reptilia" of course made the crowd singalong, but in truth every song of the chosen 15 were amazing; this despite that "What Ever Happened?" was in my opinion a missing piece in puzzle. That was the only minus. [9]

The grand finaly for this year's Roskilde Festival was the legendary Pink Floyd bassist, Roger Waters. This was the longest show at the festival with a well deserved 10 minute intermission for both the band and the audience. The first part of the show was a collection of old classics from both Pink Floyd and Roger Waters' own collection. This included such great songs as "Wish You Were Here", which both young and old in the crowd were able to sing along or at least recognise. The second part of the show was the promised performance of the entire "The Dark side of the moon" album. Hearing the album in its entirety was a major experience and with a few extra classic songs as an encore the show was had been nicely wrapped like a sandwich with classics on either side of album, which many today still will recognise as the best rock album in history. The show was performed with quadrusound, which allowed many great sound effects adding to the well structured and all around great show. Neither the visual nor audible part of the show lacked, but the editorial staff could have wished to have been further forwards as it is our humble opinion that the overall experience was better rear of the pits or the first few rows before the pits. In all a very good show with only a few songs falling below the otherwise high standard of the overall show. [9]

This festival was great both musically and socially in the eyes of the editorial team and the RF.net writers. The contributors to this article were PP, MS, PH, TL, AJH and JM. Lets hope next year's Roskilde Festival continues in the spirit of this year, with great music and superb social atmosphere!

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