Roskilde Festival 2007 Preview

author PP date 28/06/07

In just a few days time Roskilde Festival opens its gates and allows a sold out 75,000 campers into the camping zone to warm up for the long weekend of music to come. Hundreds of thousands of liters of beer will be consumed (if not more), parties will be had all around and everyone will surely be cursing the weatherman for turning his back on us and promising more rain for early next week. So don't forget those wellies and raincoats, and make sure your tents are well covered and bolted down to withstand as much rain as possible, since judging by the last few days' rainfall, if it's going to rain, it's going to be more like monsoon rain rather than just faint drizzles. But this shouldn't shatter the "Orange Feeling" the festival is known for, because we once again have a noteworthy list of names ready for the festival this year. At first, the band lineup seemed disappointing, especially when you compare it to the other festivals in mainland Europe, but a closer look reveals that the bookers once again knew what they were doing, and booked some of the most up and coming and influential acts in each genre. Great examples of this mindset are Against Me!, Strike Anywhere, Pelican and Arcade Fire, none of which can be considered as fairly big acts in Denmark, while overseas they are all absolutely massive. So myself, the editor in chief of Rockfreaks.net, have collected you the most exciting (and best) names from the enormous list of bands. They are presented to you in alphabetical order with enough information about the band, their style, and where they are playing for you to decide whether they might be worth seeing or not. Additionally, I have included my own personal opinion on how I would expect to rate their live show based on past experiences and/or rumors across the internet. Every now and then you might also notice a **MUST SEE** tag behind a band's name, that simply means its an act that should you miss them, you will regret it after your friends describe the gig to you. So without further ado, I present to you:

Bands we think you should consider seeing

Against Me! [USA] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Pavilion

Genres: Slow Punk, Gypsy Punk, Folk

Against Me! is one of the most influential punk bands of the new millennium in the States, but only a handful of people will know them in Europe, let alone in Denmark. They've been called the "saviors of punk rock" much in the same way as The Darkness were proclaimed the "saviors of rock and roll", with the difference that Against Me! are actually the real deal. Their previous album "Searching For A Former Clarity" was hugely underrated at the time of release by the undersigned considering it is probably among the top3 records released in 2005. Their left-wing songs vary from the folkish to the melodic, and witnessed at such a uniquely small stage as Pavilion will make their show one of the most intimate and emotionally intense ones of the festival. It's a great shame they have been selected to play just half an hour before one of the main headliners Muse, because Against Me!'s set has the potential of becoming one of the most memorable ones Roskilde has seen in the last few years. If there's one band you shouldn't miss this year it is Against Me!, even if it will cut into the Muse set slightly.

Predicted Grade: [9]

When: 19:00 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: The Lawrence Arms, Social Distortion, Dillinger Four, Rancid

Arcade Fire [CAN]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Indie, Experimental, Ambiance

Arcade Fire has long been considered as one of the flagships of the Canadian indie rock scene. They have recently risen into a cult status worldwide with their immensely successfully albums "Funeral" and "Neon Bible", selling out five nights in a row in London acting as a prime example of the hype surrounding this band focused on ambient sounds capes and their unconventional take on indie rock. You can pretty much expect the Arena stage to be filled up to its limits before their show, as they are known to make even the largest of shows intimate experiences for the individuals - don't expect moshing and crowd surfing as much as people dancing and enjoying indie rock as close to perfection as conceivably possible. If nothing else, go for the "Skål" song "Wake Up". For the uninformed, try to switch the extended oooohhh-ohhhh's with "Skål"'s and see what happens.

Predicted Grade: [8]

When: 18:00 on Thursday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Modest Mouse, Broken Social Scene, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Decemberists

Arctic Monkeys [UK]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Indie Rock, Alternative

Arctic Monkeys will always be near the top of my list of bands who don't deserve as much hype as they have received. I will always feel that they are just doing something that hundreds of other bands have done before, but just with a better and more capable marketing machine behind them. My suspicion has always been that they are somewhat of a one-hit-wonder band, and this was in part confirmed with their much weaker and less impressive sophomore album that followed so quickly after their massive debut album. But we cannot deny the millions of albums they have sold and the popularity that was evident at last year's festival, when they had to actually close the entrance closest to Arena stage because you simply couldn't fit any more people through. Sensibly enough, they are playing Orange Stage this year, but given how their last year's concert was rated rather weakly on this site, the question that remains is do people still care?

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 17:00 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers, Razorlight, Franz Ferdinand

Basement Jaxx [USA]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Electronica, Club, House

Some might question the inclusion of Basement Jaxx as a recommendation on a strictly rock-oriented site as ours, but most cannot deny how much influence this particular group has had on the electronic music scenes in the last seven or eight years, and as we know of late, many bands have been experimenting with the electronic side of rock. While few rockers will struggle to recognize any of their songs by name, most will certainly have at some point during their lives heard their classic track "Red Alert" (which had an amazing video by the way), and possibly "Where's Your Head At". They are the last noteworthy act to play at the festival since they are closing the Orange Stage on late Sunday evening, and what better way to end the festival than at a club filled with 75,000 (or more) festival guests. Find your way towards the front for the pop smart guys and the ladies you are used to seeing at clubs like Envy. Editor's suggestion is to get more than just mildly wasted and to dance the night off in a frenzy of house beats.

Predicted Grade: [6]

When: 22:00 on Sunday

Listen: YouTube music video of "Red Alert"

See them if you like: Clubbing, crazy parties

Beastie Boys [USA] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Orange

Genres: Hip Hop, MC, Alternative

Beastie Boys pioneered the art of making music videos in the 90s. You only have to have a brief look at the videos for "Body Movin'", "Intergalactic" or my personal favorite "Sabotage" to see how these videos even today stand as some of the best ever made. They too are an odd mention at a site calling itself Rockfreaks.net but disregarding their influence on the nu-metal scene would simply be ignorance. Some of our oldest readers will remember their roots as a hardcore punk band when they released songs like "Fight For Your Right (To Party!)", a song which everyone by now will have heard hundreds if not thousands of times, but later they moved towards a more hip-hop oriented rock like on "Sabotage" and "Intergalactic", before settling on the strictly hip-hop oriented tracks like "Brass Monkey" and "3 MCs and 1 DJ", all of which are some of the classics in the genre. Whether or not they will be as great live as on video is heavily dependent on what kind of setlist the guys decide to settle on and how they will translate their amazing videos into a live atmosphere. But something tells me that won't matter as the crowd is likely to go absolutely mental during one of the biggest acts this year. Expect a mixed crowd of hip hoppers, rockers, electronic music fans and mainstreamers - all dancing in unison. Hurry over to Orange as soon as My Chemical Romance finishes their set.

Predicted Grade: [8½]

When: 19:30 on Friday

Listen: A number of songs in audio/video streams on official website

See them if you like: Run DMC, The Roots, Public Enemy

Beirut [USA]

Stage: Astoria

Genres: Indie, Electronic, Folk

Beirut is one of the latest names to be hyped up by the indie-rock promoting machine known as the US record label industry, who lately have decided that indie rock is going to be the 'next big thing', although they are only a couple of years late of the audiences in Denmark. Most indie rock enthusiasts in Denmark will therefore find Beirut a familiar sight. If I could think of a indie-rock alternative for Against Me!'s more punk-ish interpretation of folk, then Beirut would be one of the first names to pop in my mind. However, as their performances tend to be much calmer and more relaxed, it's difficult to recommend checking out Beirut unless indie rock influenced by eastern European traditional music is your chosen genre for the festival. Beware though, mind blowing performances are rare in this genre.

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 14:30 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective

Boris [JAP]

Stage: Pavilion

Genres: Experimental Metal, Drone, Psychedelic rock

You don't tend to hear much to the Asian metal scene and therefore it's not surprising to find Boris playing at Pavilion, the smallest stage, just in between My Chemical Romance and Beastie Boys. You would imagine the people listening to such a psychedelic take on metal not to care for those two bands, but unfortunately that limits Boris' audience to a strictly dedicated audience as most people will without a doubt be at one of those two concerts. Though most people tend to consider Boris as a metal band, I personally feel they have more to offer as a psychedelic rock band as most of their songs tend to be less metallic than many others in their genre. Boris is guaranteed to be one of the strangest acts at Roskilde this year, so if you're open minded and want to hear something truly different, check them out

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 19:00 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Sunn O))), Jesu, Neurosis

Cold War Kids [USA]

Stage: Pavilion

Genres: Indie

It's quite interesting to see how a band like Cold War Kids has passed almost unnoticed in the otherwise indie-rock obsessed Denmark. Back home in the states they are playing large venues, and managed to sell out a number of shows in the UK as well when they came over a good couple of months ago. They even visited Denmark but according to my sources the show wasn't as well attended as the promoters would've hoped. Maybe our very own more average review contributed to it, maybe not, but the truth is that Cold War Kids is pretty much ideal to anyone who enjoyed the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show last time around. It probably won't be a very interesting live performance in terms of stage show, but if you can get into the music, who knows if this overly hyped US band can pull off an amazing performance.

Predicted Grade: [6½]

When: 01:00 on Saturday (Friday Night)

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

Cult Of Luna [SWE]

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Experimental metal/rock, Post-Metal, Progressive metal

Cult Of Luna is a band that never got reviewed on this site due to the annoying copy-protection measures their label Earache had decided to include on the promotional copy of the CD, which is a shame, because they are truly ground breaking in the experimental metal meets rock area that they are focused in. You can expect immensely heavy passages suddenly to transform into beautiful calm passages, much like a stormy sea turns mellow at a sheltered bay in the Caribbean, across their songs that are not afraid to pass the seven-minute mark. They have highly atmospheric passages that fit perfectly to the late Saturday night where you will be just standing still and sucking the beauty into you - one only needs to listen to their Myspace track "Finland" to imagine how amazingly that song will transfer through live. It's really too bad they are playing at the same time as Red Hot Chili Peppers, because otherwise the mental Swedish act might have been able to draw quite a crowd of tired but beauty-appreciative festival guests.

Predicted Grade: [8]

When: 01:00 on Sunday (Saturday Night)

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Neurosis, Opeth, Isis

Datarock [NOR]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Electronic, Indie, Pop Rock

Norwegian Datarock have only recently broken through with their straightforward approach to electronic indie rock. They've taken influence from Modest Mouse's complex sound and simplified it into a more straightforward and easily accessible form, with bouncy riffs and danceable tunes and 80s rock influence. That's also why we see these guys performing at the Arena stage, and given that there are no other interesting bands playing at the same time as then, you might as well drop by for a song or two on your way back from Muse.

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 20:45 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Modest Mouse, Klaxons, !!!

Death By Kite [DK]

Stage: Pavilion Jr

Genres: Electronic, Indie, Powerpop

Danish powerpop/indie rock act Death By Kite has received rave reviews for their self-titled debut album released earlier this year, and I don't find that surprising at all listening to the tracks on their Myspace. As a result of the hype they are now playing at the smallest stage during the warm-up days for Roskilde, when most people just chill in their camps with their beers and kebab's, and it may just be worthy of catching them at such an intimate show before they blow up for good. It's been a while since Denmark has had an indie rock act with as much potential as Death By Kite. Expect strong pop melodies dressed in alternative guitars and synths, but don't expect their stage show to be anything special given their relative inexperience as a band.

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 21:00 on Sunday (warm up)

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Kaiser Chiefs, Veto, Placebo, Interpol

The Flaming Lips [USA] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Orange

Genres: Indie rock, post-punk

One reason you should go see The Flaming Lips is their much-hyped and widely acclaimed stage appearance. They are known to perform in animal suits, to have fancy video projections and complex stage light configurations, and these will surely be put into a new light at the massive Orange stage - it's just too bad they aren't playing when it's dark. I recommend everyone to check out their Myspace live track because it truly underlines what kind of band they are live - spacey indie rock tunes, soft vocals and plenty of singalongs. One of the only truly great indie bands in terms of live performance, which has warranted the infamous Q magazine to rate them as one of the "20 bands you must see before you die".

Predicted Grade: [8]

When: 18:30 on Saturday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie, Broken Social Scene

Gojira [FRA]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Death Metal, Progressive

Somehow French melodic death metallers Gojira have managed to sneak past my ears to as big stage as Arena with their massively heavy and loud metal assault full of progressive elements. Aside from Mastodon, these French guys are the wet dream of any metal head obsessed with headbanging, because they have plenty of instrumental only parts where you will surely see their guitarists throw around their hair in a cyclical manner. The pits will be full of lethal mosh pits, so stay out of those unless you are into massive muscular guys ready to beat the shit out of you should you enter a pit. So instead of going to see The Who, who were considered ancient and irrelevant already when my father was young, go destroy your hearing at the Arena stage with some awesome death metal.

Predicted Grade: [7]

When: 21:00 on Saturday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Meshuggah, Death, Nile

Hatesphere [DK]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Thrash, Death Metal

Hatesphere are Denmark's finest metal act according to many sources, even if The Psyke Project have been steadily enclosing the gap as of late. They are known for their explosive live shows, and have received several "best live band in Denmark" awards throughout their career. It's worth mentioning here that despite their heavy-as-fuck delivery and ear bleeding breakdowns, vocalist Jacob Bredahl always has a massive smile on his face when he is performing in Denmark. Expect him to run back and forth like a madman while the rest of the band is soloing. They performed last year, and did a great job at the Odeon stage. Arena could be their biggest show yet, but I'm cursing the schedulers for putting them on as late as 01:30 in the morning on Friday night, at the same time as Cold War Kids and Nephew, which will surely reduce the amount of otherwise curious 'mainstream rock' fans present.

Predicted Grade: [7½]

When: 01:30 on Saturday (Friday night)

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Chimaira, The Haunted

In Flames [SWE] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Orange

Genres: Melodic Death Metal, Gothenburg Metal

It's been a while since Sweden's arguably biggest and most known metal export last visted Roskilde Festival. More precisely, it has been exactly seven years, since the last time the band was on the bill was during the Pearl Jam tragedy of the first festival of the new millennium. Since then, we've seen bands guest the festival who have heavily borrowed from In Flames' renowned Gothenburg sound and converted into the much loved and hated genre of Metalcore. With Bullet For My Valentine and other metalcore bands at the forefront at the time being, In Flames are a great reminder of how it all began, and on top of that, are acclaimed for having an explosive live show. They are a glorifying example of the greatness of a particular melodic death metal genre known as "Gothenburg Metal", and one of the absolutely must-see bands this year. Expect many long-haired metalheads, immense bursts of live energy and extensive headbanging to heavy-as-fuck music filled with stunning melody.

Predicted Grade: [8½]

When: 17:00 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: At The Gates, Soilwork, Children Of Bodom, Arch Enemy

Katatonia [SWE]

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Melancholic Rock, Progressive Metal, Doom

Katatonia is another one of those bands that for one reason or another constantly gets overlooked in our coverage, and undeservedly so. The band is in many ways a more accessible version of living progressive death metal legends Opeth, they are rock where Opeth is metal, and more depressive where Opeth is beautifully melancholic. This however does not reduce the beauty of their soundscapes at all, it just means that people who find Opeth absolutely amazing, but dislike them for Åkerfeldts rather impressive but crude vocal style, will discover Katatonia as their new favorite within the progressive genre, since their vocals are almost entirely sung cleanly with a melancholic tone. It's a bit of a shame they are playing as early as they are, because their light show is supposed to be astonishing and will not live up to its full capabilities during daylight. But considering the current climate in Denmark, it's dark even during the day because of the gray clouds, so maybe we'll get lucky. In any case, Katatonia's melancholic and depressive music fits well as the soundtrack to the constant rain we've been pounded with in the last two or three weeks.

Predicted Grade: [8½]

When: 16:00 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Opeth, Swallow The Sun, Anathema, Novembres Doom

The Killers [USA]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Britpop, Indie Rock

The Killers on Orange Stage is, in my opinion, one of the only cock-ups the people behind this year's schedule did aside from My Chemical Romance being on Arena and Against Me! playing almost at the same time as Muse. "Somebody Told Me" is a massive song but perhaps not that massive. I'm sure they will gather quite a crowd but somewhere in the back of my mind I think an exchange between them and MCR would've been entirely suitable and yet I don't think the Arctic Monkeys-phenomenon of last year wouldn't have repeated itself, because The Killers simply aren't receiving as much hype as those guys were a year ago. However, I do give them much credit for changing away from the whole brit-pop scene after their debut album and writing a follow up mostly independent of genre. But it's probably senseless for me to go on describing their sound since most of you will have heard them on the radio at one point or another.

Predicted Grade: [6]

When: 20:00 on Thursday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, Kaiser Chiefs

Klaxons [UK]

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Indie, New Rave, Electronic

As of late, the UK seems to be producing big hype bands with some kind of connection to indie rock on a year on year basis, and 2007 has become Klaxons' turn to step into the spotlight. They have only recently started garnering a growing fanbase in Denmark, whereas in the UK they are already playing massive shows and are all over the radio and TV stations' airplay lists. To me, this feels like Arctic Monkeys all over again because even though they have a much more electronic approach to indie rock than most bands, it still feels like they are doing nothing new contrary to what all the mainstream media seems to be saying. I don't see this band being capable of having a vivid live show like many other bands on the bill, and thus I can't really recommend seeing them unless you melt in front of every indie rock band you see.

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 20:00 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: The Rakes, Bloc Party, Kasabian, Maximo Park

LCD Soundsystem [USA]

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Electronic, Indie Rock, Disco, Experimental

While we are on the topic of electronica-influenced indie rock bands, we can't miss LCD Soundsystem who take a less mainstream approach to Klaxons and cater to a more dedicated indie rock audience. Their songs feature distinct disco-beats you might encounter at massive 80s/early 90s clubs, and this is what the band relies on as their niche. Without much more knowledge to this band than the reviews and their songs on Myspace, I dare to suggest that they might be a few notches too indie for the average rock fan to like, but who knows, maybe this will be your introduction to the more experimental indie rock scene.

Predicted Grade: [6]

When: 19:30 on Thursday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Klaxons, Daft Punk, !!!, Hot Chip, The Go! Team

Machine Head [USA]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Thrash, Nu-metal

Machine Head is exactly the adrenaline-filled burst of metal energy you will need on a Saturday afternoon. Their previous albums have been plagued by their similarities to the dying nu-metal genre (see "Crashing Around"), but their newest album "The Blackening" hit the scene with a storm. The band knew exactly what they were doing, they knew they were creating a thrash metal monster the likes of which we haven't seen in years now, and this can be seen in the fact that they didn't think twice about placing the over 10 minute long monster "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent" as the opening track of that album. This isn't a show for the head bangers, it's one for the moshers and the ones who want aggressive delivery and thunderous guitars. It's the best energy-drink in your preparation to the late night rave known as DJ Tiesto later on. Enjoy the raw energy of the older songs and the magnificence and depth of the new songs.

Predicted Grade: [7½]

When: 15:00 on Saturday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Soulfly, Chimaira, Devildriver, Mudvayne

Mastodon [USA] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Arena

Genres: Psychedelic Metal, Progressive Metal

I don't think anybody foresaw Mastodon being as one of the most eccentric shows of the 2005 festival when they last performed here, but they shook the Arena stage to the grounds through their monstrous riffs and awesome stage show. The sheer amount of power and confidence their set emitted transformed even the crowd behind the pits into a frenzy of head bangs, mosh pits and irons, with everyone visible overwhelmed by the sheer superiority of their sound in comparison to any other act who played on Arena before or after them. Since then, the band has released a new album that took a distinctly more progressive approach and toned down slightly on the flat-out aggressive sound of its predecessors, but this too received wide critical acclaim in both underground and the mainstream medias. If they are able to live up to their show two years ago, this will be one of the best shows at Roskilde this year. I'll shoot you in your toe if you see Björk instead.

Predicted Grade: [9]

When: 22:30 on Thursday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: High On Fire, Neurosis, Lamb Of God, Cult Of Luna

Muse [UK] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Orange

Genres: Alternative, Progressive, Rock

Anyone who was present at the festival in 2004 will remember those massive balloons that just seemingly fell out of nowhere on top of the crowd and bounced for a while, before bursting almost simultaneously into a storm of confetti at the climax of the show, that was in every way as close to perfect as it could get without actually reaching the magic 10 rating. It has been three years since then, and based on my sources across the UK their live show has only gotten better since then, so Roskilde Festival should be in for a treat especially considering the rumors that the band is at its best at arena-size stages. If you thought the confetti-filled ending of Green Day's show last year was amazing, just you wait for the climax of the Muse show this year. Not only is their music approaching that magic level of Tool in terms of perfection, but it is also easily accessible and enjoyable only on the surface level. Even if you hated their new album like me, you should still pay a visit to the Orange stage after Against Me! finish their set to catch them at what could be one of their best shows of their career.

Predicted Grade: [9½]

When: 19:30 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Radiohead, Depeche Mode

My Chemical Romance [USA]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Rock, Alternative, (Emo)

Before I get into the meaning of the brackets around the term emo, I'm just going to spend a moment contemplating the idiocy of the people behind the band schedule this year, who seemingly learned nothing from the Arctic Monkeys-phenomena last year, when an incredibly hyped and quickly growing band was placed on the Arena stage which resulted into the festival having to close one gate to the festival area because there were simply too many people. I don't have to be a wizard to foresee that this will happen for the My Chem show as well, so if you are in any way interested to the band and want to see something than just darkness from outside of the tent, you better get to the stage early, even if it means you might have to miss the last few songs from In Flames. Now, the reason I wrote emo in brackets is because My Chemical Romance's music can hardly be considered emo, it has just been mislabeled by the mainstream media due to the make up these guys wear in all their PR shots and on stage. It's all just clever marketing, and if you are able to swallow your pride and admit that their music is fantastic regardless of their looks, there shouldn't be any reason why you wouldn't be at the Arena stage to enjoy their show which is certain to include spectacular effects and video screens.

Predicted Grade: [8]

When: 18:30 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Green Day, Queen, The Used, Panic! At The Disco, AFI

Pelican [USA] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Instrumental, Post-rock, Sludge, Experimental

Pelican is a band I only recently got into through their new album "City Of Echoes". While I never thought I would be able to truly enjoy a band without vocals, Pelican allowed me to conquer my 'fear' so effortlessly that I fell in love with the band straight away. Their songs and melodies are so carefully constructed and well thought out that in a live atmosphere they are likely to surround and entrance you, and make you forget about the entire environment around you, making you only concentrate on the music itself. In its essence, Pelican's music is how music is an example of what can be done with instruments without ever feeling like vocals are necessary - they are simply amazing. One of our must-see recommendations.

Predicted Grade: [9]

When: 18:00 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Don Caballero, Neurosis, Isis, Explosions In The Sky, 65daysofstatic

The Psyke Project [DEN] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Chaotic Hardcore, Metalcore, Mathcore, Experimental

The Psyke Project hadn't received much critical acclaim for their relentless previous efforts, but this year's "Apnea" changed it all. The band opened its rather confined soundscapes to more spacey song structures and longer instrumental passages which will surely translate through incredibly live, and suddenly rose to be a significant contender to Hatesphere for being the best metal band in Denmark. This will be one of the heaviest shows of the festival, and therefore it is regrettable that they are playing at noon already given the hung-over head aches many will certainly still be having this early during the day. Be sure to drink some water before falling asleep on Thursday night, because The Psyke Project became one of the most exciting bands to see this year after the release of "Apnea". Don't miss what could be the best Danish live show this year.

Predicted Grade: [8½]

When: 12:00 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge

Queens Of The Stone Age [USA]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Garage Rock, Stoner Rock, Alternative Rock, Experimental

QOTSA never seize to surprise. Our writer TL regards their frontman Josh Homme as God of Music, because of his attitude to making music, which basically consists of pissing all over your fanbase after each album. Everyone knew Homme was weird, and most people thought he was incapable of creating amazing music without Nick Oliveri's creative support, but I don't think anyone expected as strange and avant-garde piece of music as recently released "Era Vulgaris" was. And best of all, it proved that Homme knows what he is doing, as it wasn't the miserable failure what people were expecting for, quite the contrary in fact. The album is so quirky that it is difficult to imagine what it will be sounding live, but one thing is for sure: there is no middle ground for QOTSA, either it will be amazing or it will suck balls, it's as simple as that. Lets hope for the prior.

Predicted Grade: [8]

When: 22:30 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Kyuss, weirdo experimentalist garage/stone rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers [USA]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Funk, Alternative Rock

Even though Red Hot Chili Peppers' double album "Stadium Arcadium" sounded great on paper, it was hardly listenable on record. It was both too long, too extensive and too creative, and lacked the straightforward funk tunes featured on "By The Way" and "Californication". But even so, will you be able to give up the chance of experiencing a late night show with Red Hot Chili Peppers together with close to 70,000 people, who will all be singing the lyrics to "Otherside" and "Aeroplane"? Because it starts so late at night, RHCP's show is guaranteed to be a psychedelic experience because a large majority of that crowd will be wasted out of their minds, and you know what they say: stupidity is increased in groups, especially in drunken groups. If you are in for a big sing along, go for the RHCP show. If you want something more metallic, there's always Cult Of Luna playing at the same time. But don't forget to swing by DJ Tiesto's rave party at Arena stage after the show, so buy some beers and go wild on Saturday night, starting from RHCP onwards.

Predicted Grade: [7½]

When: 01:00 on Sunday (Saturday Night)

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Funk, Incubus

The Sounds [SWE]

Stage: Arena

Genres: New Wave, Indie, Alternative

Somewhere along the way The Sounds got really famous, and I'm not exactly sure when. With almost two and a half million Myspace views, they are contesting the popularity of many American bands much bigger than them, and I'm not sure exactly why. Their music isn't especially innovative - it's basic indie rock with electronic support, which leads me to think people are in love with this band because of their female vocalist, who is particularly sexy during their live shows, where her dancing style consists of moves that would make a stripper feel embarrassed. But I'm sure the male readers (and why not some female as well) of this site won't mind, but somehow I have trouble imagining The Sounds outdrawing the male crowd for Katatonia who are playing at the same time. She is hot, and they have catchy songs, but perhaps she is not hot enough.

Predicted Grade: [6]

When: 16:00 on Friday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Klaxons, The Strokes

Strike Anywhere [USA] **MUST SEE**

Stage: Pavilion

Genres: Hardcore, Melodic Punk

When Roskilde festival announced Strike Anywhere as a major part of their punk lineup this year, my face was one big smile. When people asked for punk, they didn't expect much to come out of it as usual, but at least what we did get is one of the best punk bands still around. They are fully politically active, and you can expect their vocalist to have done extensive research about the political climate in Denmark before taking on stage, and occasionally preach about it in between songs, or about freedom of speech or encouraging us young people to vote and think for ourselves. While this might sound tired and cliché, Strike Anywhere is a band that pulls it off with so much credibility that they are actually convincing. And they put on a hell of a show, too, and because they are playing at the smallest stage their show is likely to be intimate as fuck.

Predicted Grade: [8½]

When: 14:00 on Saturday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Rise Against, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, The Lawrence Arms

Strung Out [USA]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Technical Punk, Melodic Punk

Strung Out is the other main actor in Roskilde's punk line up this year. Since 1990 they have been making solid melodic punk rock, varying from the more pop punk influenced mid 90s to the current, more heavy metal influenced style. Without ever having seem them before, it's difficult to judge how they will be live, but their music is fast and melodic enough that it lays out for a sublime punk show. However, they have been unable to convince my sources who have seen them live several times before. But in any case, much is pointing towards another Lagwagon-style humorous show at the Arena stage.

Predicted Grade: [6]

When: 12:00 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Good Riddance, Pulley, Bigwig, A Wilhelm Scream

Tiesto [NL]

Stage: Arena

Genres: Trance, DJ

DJ Tiesto on Rockfreaks.net? Has PP gone crazy? Well, kind of. It's only remotely relevant to other content on this site, as bands like Lets Talk Tactics and Enter Shikari draw their influence from trance acts like Tiesto, who only happens to the be biggest DJ in the entire world. Plus there is something appealing about a four-hour DJ set underneath the Arena tent which starts at midnight and ends at four - I imagine hundreds of glow sticks and really, really drunken people, and I'm pretty sure a bunch of Rockfreaks crew will be raving all night long once Red Hot Chili Peppers finish their late night set.

Predicted Grade: N/A (You can't really rate a "night out" either)

When: 0:00-04:00 Sunday (Saturday night)

Listen: YouTube

See them if you like: Trance, Raves

Volbeat [DEN]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Hard Rock, Metallic Rock N Roll

Though Volbeat has received wide national acclaim for their albums, I for one have always been a bit confused over why especially this band is getting so much attention in front of bands like The Psyke Project and Mnemic. But a lot of it has to do with the fact that they play metal in the rock and roll way, without resorting to growling or screaming, and they very much have their own sound. It's ballsy enough to be metal, but accessible enough for even your parents to like. Whether that's cool or not, I'll leave up to you

Predicted Grade: [5]

When: 18:00 on Thursday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Rebel Meets Rebel, Hellyeah, Life Of Agony

The Who [UK]

Stage: Orange

Genres: Classic Rock

In the words of my own father: "The Who were ancient already when I was a child". And that's very much true. Formed in the 60s, The Who lost their relevance during the 70s when the first punk bands started raising their eyebrows. But it is a tradition at Roskilde to each year feature some old school 'legendary' bands, last year it was Bob Dylan and Roger Waters, the year before Black Sabbath and the list goes on and on. It's difficult to recommend seeing them though as French death metallers Gojira are playing only half an hour before them, and I don't know about you readers, but I'll much rather be tortured by some brutal death metal than listen to age-old music from the 60s by a bunch of tired old men on stage who barely move around. Each to their own, I guess.

Predicted Grade: [4]

When: 21:30 on Saturday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: The Rolling Stones, Beatles, The Doors

Zyklon [NOR]

Stage: Odeon

Genres: Death Metal, Black Metal, Industrial

And last but not least, we have the Norwegian Black/Death Metallers Zyklon, which was formed in 1988 by members of the legendary black metal band Emperor. If this doesn't already ring bells, you can expect much growling, brutal riffs, thunderous solos that stun you in their technicality, and many 30+ year old metalheads swinging their hair do's around like maniacs.

Predicted Grade: [6]

When: 16:00 on Sunday

Listen: Myspace

See them if you like: Emperor, Behemoth, Satyricon

Epilogue

So there you have it, a thorough and incredibly subjective view on what we think are the bands you should see and why. The schedule allows you to see pretty much all of these without conflicts, and the few conflicts that arise aren't very difficult decisions in the end. Other than that, there's not much more to say than to have a great time, drop by our camp around M40 at some point for a beer, and DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Don't end up like the Swedes who went to hospital last year for drinking the alcohol-based soap in the toilet facilities, however tempting that might be after the service center closes for beer and you've just finished your last can. Take care of each other in the pits, and have a read through our Gigetiquette article before the festival! Up the irons and see you on the (muddy) field!

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