Slowly but surely, the festival season is coming to an end. The first real one since Summer 2019. After Slam Dunk (uk), Rock Werchter, Jera On Air (nl) or Lollapalooza (fr) and many more, we attend this Sunday the last day of Pukkelpop to see Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me The Horizon, Sigrid and many more. Between surprises and disappointments, here’s the summary of this lovely day at Kiewit!
We arrived on time to see the last songs of Belgian shoegaze Slow Crush which are killing it this year. Tons of release-shows in the best venues in Belgium (Botanique, Trix, Muziekodroom, etc), big tour in the US and spots at almost all the best Belgian festivals. Even if we catched them only for 15 minutes, we had the time to enjoy their powerful show and felt swept up in their lovely world! It’s sad the Club wasn’t full to support our fellow citizens but the public at Pukkelpop takes time to show up.
As soon as they finished their set, we ran to the Backyard to catch the last-minute addition to the line-up, Girli. We were sad Hot Milk had to cancel… but even more stoked to see for the first time in Belgium this British act! With so many tents and then so many acts, it’s easy to make some great discoveries during the festival. Here is the first one! The Londoner has already a great success in UK but not on Mainland Europe… yet. There are maybe 1000 people in the tents to see her set (while the full capacity is 4000p). That being said, she was more than happy to be there and delivered one of the most energetic sets of the day (spoiler alert: some people like Arctic Monkeys should learn about that) accompanied by a backing vocalist on most of the songs but which was not really useful. She made some news fans for sure and we hope she’ll be back for a proper tour in our country soon!
We continued to run from stage to stage but luckily the Backyard is next to the Main Stage so it was a short run to catch the beginning of Sea Girls and get our daily dose of British indie-pop. The quatuor was there to present their brand new album “Homesick” (way different from the A Day To Remember album of course) they released in march… with 6 different singles!! Unfortunately, the new songs didn’t have a great response from the audience… neither the old songs. Except a few fans at the front row who seems to enjoy the show, the couple of other people enjoyed most the sun coming up than the show itself. Get a beer, be with your friends, enjoy the sun and put some music in the background. It was a good plan. But it would have worked with any other bands of this genre.
Back again right after boring Sea Girls to catch one of the heaviest bands during this last day at Pukkelpop: Lalma. Their set earlier this year at AB didn’t impress us at all but we thought the bad sound was one of the reasons. Unfortunately, we got the same impression today and still a bad sound – the only one during the whole day for us. We tried a few songs but the band didn’t succeed at all to bring us in their universe. They were doing their thing. So we were: which means leaving the tent to visit the festival as we had now a short break. We could have had a look in the other tents but the acts weren’t really our thing and we wanted to enjoy a bit the good vibes of the festival. Compared to Rock Werchter or Graspop, the Pukkelpop doesn’t feel cold at all. The many but basic decorations, the small efforts for the food and drinks stands, the many stages, the easy way to go from one to another, the good vibes from the audience and its diversity. Everything gave us the desire to go back next year for sure!
After some Aperol Spritz – cost: 6,60€, which is really not expensive -, we were ready for Sigrid at the Marquee which seems to be almost full when she went on stage. We weren’t ready for that, neither she was. Her brand new album “How To Let Go” is a true masterpiece and it’s not a surprise to see half of the set-list coming from this one. The audience is on fire, singing along all the songs and it got better and better during the set. While we enjoyed the show, we had one question in mind: will Oli Sykes appear to sing Bad Life?! Right before beginning the song, the spoke about Bring Me The Horizon… sadly, the expected featuring didn’t happen. But it didn’t prevent us to enjoy this killer song as much as we could! The same for Mirror that perfectly end this show. She set the bar very high and we were curious to see which act is gonna do better?! Arctic Monkeys? Arctic Monkeys? Oscar And The Wolf?
Set-list: It Gets Dark, Burning Bridges, Sucker Punch, Head On Fire, Don’t Feel Like Crying, A Driver Saved My Night, Plot Twist, Don’t Kill My Vibe, Bad Life, Strangers, Mirror.
After a team meeting with new members – more about that very soon on our social networks so follow us on Instagram right away !- with Joost in the background and some expensive fries (6,60€ for a small pack of fries with sauce), we were ready for Bring Me The Horizon! After their sick show at the Halles Tony Garnier in Lyon last month, we were more than excited to see them again. Even if we knew it gonna be a bit different as it was a festival show and not an indoor headliner show. But we still hoped it was gonna better… because yes, it wasn’t the good set we expected! Not a lot of people were there to see BMTH and Oli Sykes wasn’t the most motivated guy on stage. Playing between 2 Belgian acts on a Belgian mainstream festival was maybe a bit too much for them. But still, the set-list was quite the same from the show last month but didn’t have the same good vibes at all! The first half of the show was disappointing. The bar started to rise with Shadow Moses and especially DiE4u. But it was already late. You can see on the video below how not motivated the crowd was. In the first part of the crowd, there were some fans, some pit opening up but nothing very spectacular. It was fair to expect much better! Fingers crossed the band will play Graspop next Summer after their show at Lotto Arena in February with A Day To Remember!
The festival is closed from the end but still some great acts to see! Starting with Glass Animals in a full Marquee! Fortunately, the organization had the great idea to put a screen – with speakers – in front of the tent so we were still able to enjoy the show, even if it’s not the same feeling than being inside. But still better than nothing. Maybe you don’t know the band but you have at least hear once their biggest hit, Heat Waves, that got almost 2 billions streams only on Spotify! We thought it was packed of curious people just wanting to hear this big song (like a show of Europe where everybody just wants to hear The Final Countdown) but it appears many people were true fans of the band. Sadly, the show itself wasn’t the most exciting, always on the same level and any real ups. Until the final song, obviously Heat Waves, where the full tent was singing as loud as possible. A great moment as expected but also the only one from the 1h set. Glass Animals will need to improve their live skills if they don’t wanna become a one-hit-band.
We went across a few tents to catch small parts of live-shows: Boys Noize were great but you need to be in the crowd to really enjoy it, you don’t look an EDM show from the back; DIIV weren’t as powerful as expected so 2 songs was the maximum we could listen to; Songs Of Kemet didn’t appear us. So back on the Main Stage to catch the last 20 minutes of Oscar And The Wold which wasn’t on our wishlist of the day. The listenings on Spotify or YouTube didn’t motivate us enough… so you can imagine our big surprise when we arrived in front the packed Main Stage and enjoyed these 20 minutes a lot! Here, the disappointment is not the show but the fact we didn’t watch the show in full! So much energy, so much emotion and a full union with the crowd. Hard to believe he’s not the main headliner with a show like that! But Arctic Monkeys also deserved this spot with the aura, career and exclusivity they have. At least, that’s what we thought…
A last round-trip Main Stage – Backyard – Main Stage to catch Ho99o9 which was on the top 10 bands to not miss at Pukkelpop 2022. An heavy set, potentially one of the best from the day, but we made the decision to watch a few songs to go back in front of the Main Stage to not be too far away for Arctic Monkeys. At this time, we didn’t know we were making the worst decision ever… but you have to take risks in your life. Sometimes it pays. Sometime it doesn’t. You can have regret after making a bad choice but you can’t have regret to have at least try. Tonight, we tried and we failed. The opening song, Do I Wanna Know, gave us some hope. A good choice to start the show, energetic song and the crowd was in the good mood. Sadly, it was the only good moment during a way-too-long set. Boring as hell, almost zero communication and zero energy in their music. They came to play their stuff, take their money and leave. We didn’t even get a cool fireworks to end the end as the festival justified it because of a “Red Alert”. Or was it orange? Anyway. Two disappointments in a row left us really frustrated.
It was a great day at Pukkel. The highlight was definitely Sigrid who delivered an awesome show and got the best crowd possible. Same for Oscar And Wolf, even if we sadly only saw the last 20 minutes. For the rest, some disappointments or shows that won’t be in our top 10 at the end of the year. But the good vibes of the Pukkelpop already gave us the envy to come back in 2023 and we can’t wait to see the line-up! What about you?!