Graspop Metal Meeting has issued the following:
In the run-up to the festival it was all about the weather. The weather forecast predicted thunderstorms for Thursday afternoon but the festival doors still opened at the scheduled time. As a precaution the Talent Quest was pushed back to a later time. As if on cue, the heavens opened at the start of the talent hunt but no one really cared, least of all winners Lemuria from Antwerp.
Thursday ended with our traditional top-100 bash. The theme this year was the best 100 metal albums of all time. Check the list here.
Friday was the day of the eagerly anticipated return of Ozzy Osbourne & friends. Zakk Wylde and his Black Label Society showed the way with another impeccable performance. For the second time in a row his wall of sound wowed thousands of fans. Guitar god Slash and his excellent band couldn’t stay behind and their show was the first real highlight of the day. Sweet Child o’ Mine and closer Paradise City were greeted with thousands of raised fists.
And then it was time for the Prince of Darkness himself to take the stage. Some thought Ozzy would be a no-show but nothing was further from the truth. Set openers ‘Bark at the Moon’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’ blew away forty-two thousand metalheads and set a relentless pace for the remainder of the show. Ozzy may be 63 years old and he’s led a life that would kill an average human being five times over but the man sure knows how to please a crowd.
Possessed was a unique guest at this year’s festival. Singer Jeff Beccera has been confined to a wheelchair ever since a mugging in the late 80s left him paralysed from the waist down. The frontman rallied and resurrected his band several years ago. The crowd rewarded the band’s passion by roaring the classics at the top of their lungs. The ultimate Possessed classic, ‘Death Metal’, set the stage for a fierce slam pit.
There’s nothing like a generous helping of Powerwolf horror metal to kick off a new festival day. This German/Hungarian metal combo had risen early to paint their mugs werewolf style and a surprisingly large crowd ate it up, especially this early in the day.
Twisted Sister were one of the most anticipated bands on Saturday and boy did they deliver! Three simple words sum up their show: veni, vidi, vici. The fans loved every minute and rocked out to the Sister classics such as ‘I Wanna Rock’ and, of course, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’. Dee Snider & Co couldn’t have gotten a warmer reception if they’d been playing in their own backyard. Twisted Sister were the undisputed winners of a high-quality festival Saturday.
It had been quite some time since Machine Head’s last GMM appearance. In fact, it had been much too long and the weather gods apparently agreed. As the sun chased the last of the dismal Sunday morning showers away, all hell broke loose in front of the main stage. Machine Head put the doubters firmly in their place with a blistering set of top-notch metal. The band has lost none of its edge and they’re still having fun on stage.
If rock ‘n roll has a name, it must be Motörhead. Lemmy & Co didn’t play their most flawless gig of the year but the crowd couldn’t have cared less. Lemmy, who’s turning 67 the day before Xmas, never took his foot off the pedal with ‘Metropolis’, ‘Stay Clean’ and ‘Over the Top’. Drummer Mikkey Dee got another chance to prove why he’s “the best drummer in the world” before launching into the big finale with ‘The Chase Is Better than the Catch’.
The Rival Sons were the odd man out this year but the star of these LA sons is rising rapidly. After much-talked-about shows in the AB, Trix and at Rock Werchter, they brought their usual mix of blues and vintage hard rock to Dessel. Next time the crowd will belt out the lyrics to their songs and we’ll be forced to move them to a bigger stage.
Hatebreed proved to be the perfect festival closer for one of the Marquees. They went for the jugular and took no prisoners. While Jamey Jasta & Co were having the time of their lives, the security guys were having trouble catching all the crowd surfers on time. What a show! When Machine Head’s Phil Demmel joined them on stage for ‘Live for This’, the crowd literally exploded.
Axl Rose, the king of tardiness, actually started early this year. Contrary to their previous appearance in 2006, the Guns were ready for action. They played all the classics: ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, ‘It’s So Easy’, ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’, ‘Civil War’, ‘Paradise City’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘November Rain’… The final night of GMM2012 was a roaring success. The usual fireworks and swirling glitter concluded this year’s festivities.
The weather may have been less than ideal this year but the quality of the shows was absolutely exceptional! We’d like to thank each of the eighty bands (that used a total of 2,575 towels):
Aborted, Adrenaline Mob, Alestorm, All Shall Perish, Amon Amarth, August Burns Red, Axe Wound, Behemoth, Black Label Society, Black Spiders, Spoil Engine, Brutal Truth, Cancer Bats, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Comeback Kid, Dear Superstar, Death Angel, Devildriver, Dimmu Borgir, Eluveitie, Emmure, Ensiferum, Europe, Exodus, Fear Factory, Godsmack, Gojira, Gotthard, Guns N’ Roses, H20, Hatebreed, Heidevolk, I Killed the Prom Queen, Ihsahn – Leprous, Jon Oliva’s Pain, Killswitch Engage, Kobra & The Lotus, Kyuss Lives!, Lamb of God, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head, MaYaN, Megadeth, Motörhead, My Dying Bride, Nasum, Obituary, Ozzy Osbourne & Friends, Paradise Lost, Pennywise, Possessed, Powerwolf, Primal Fear, Rival Sons, Sabaton, Sacred Reich, Saille, Sebastian Bach, Sick of It All, Six Hour Sundown, Skeleton Witch, Slash, Slayer, Suicidal Angels, Texas in July, The Spudmonsters, The Treatment, Thin Lizzy, Tracer, Trivium, Twisted Sister, Ugly Kid Joe, Unearth; While She Sleeps, Betraying The Martyrs , Winterfylleth, Lemuria, Hell City, The Difference.
Revisit Graspop Metal Meeting 2012: http://www.facebook.com/graspop en http://www.youtube.com/user/graspopfestival
Thanks to all the fans, crew, local organisations, sponsors, suppliers and media partners. Thanks to you GMM2012 will go down in history as a top edition!
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!