1-3 June 2001 Nuernberg, Germany
with Kid Rock, Linkin Park x2, Limp Bizkit, OPM, Boy hits car, Slipknot-not, Travis, Echt, Tool, Papa Roach, Grand Theft Audio, H-Blockx, 3 doors down, Thumb, Godsmack, hed(PE), Blackmail, My Vitriol etc
review and pictures by neko
It's become a tradition for me to go to the Rock im Park festival in Nuernberg, Germany since The Prodigy played there in 1998, not only to be able to visit my friend Ada in Nuernberg but also because most of the times Rock im Park (parallel to Rock am Ring) has had one of the best line-ups in Europe. Also this year it seemed to be a nice festival, with Guns n' Roses, Slipknot and Orbital just some of the highlights that were announced to play.
But then this year the headliner, Guns n' Roses, have cancelled their appearance only weeks before the festival. Failing to replace them, the organizers have just moved Limp Bizkit one slot forward and now they're headlining.
Friday June 1st 2001
On Friday we get to the Center stage early and watch most of the action from the front row. Boy Hits Car kick off the festival and they're not that bad at all, but getting a bit boring. OPM are next and rather dissapointing, failing to bring more than one catchy tune (you all have heard it - 'heaven is a halfpipe'... "at least in heaven i could skate"). Next to me are two American girls. Unfortunately they got this very annoying habit of screaming very loudly with a very hysterical voice on a regular basis. In fact, I have never heard anything scream like that before, and it just doesn't wanna stop. Already the 3rd American band enters the stage: 3 doors down. In my opinion nothing more than a couple of ugly looking guys with one song that happens to be big in Germany ('Kryptonite'), but the rest is shit. Really old-fashioned rock. Too oldfashioned for me - and that's what the guys look like as well.
The most surprising thing so far are all the Slipknot shirts around. I mean, we know that they are huge in America and England but in Europe they aren't that mainstream at all yet. They just did that tour playing all those tiny venues in Europe. But now at this festival almost every 3rd person seems to be wearing a Slipknot shirt. Weird, very weird.
But it's gonna get better now. Next band on will be Linkin Park. I'd hesitate to call them newcomers. The American girls next to me haven't got anything better to do than checking their faces in a pocket mirror during the breaks. We just can't hide our laughter as one of them drops her mirror and can't get it back and starts to scream hysterically (once more). This is really starting to put me off from my US travel plans now.
But now i am looking forward to see Linkin Park. Last time I saw them they played their first European show at Kings College in London in front of less than 400 people. That was less than 5 months ago. Now they play here at Rock im Park the main stage in front of about 30'000 people. That's how fast it can go with a couple of good songs, some good promotion and a few good support slots. But do they really deserve that?
They do indeed. I am impressed about how they have progressed as live band since the last time I saw them. No little insecurities anymore, the whole band works just fine together and their live show is amazing. Less amazing do i feel when Fred Durst, famous for singing for a certain band called Limp Bizkit, is spotted at the side of the stage. Not that I am too bothered about him being there, but the two American girlies next to me start screaming as if they were some victims in a Scream movie, I really have never heard anything like that.
Linkin Park are amazing though. I know what everyone says about them being marketed, teeniestars etc. but what they put on is a truly great show. And eventhough all the big hype the guys haven't lost touch to their audience at all, after the show singer Mike takes the time and talks to various people from the audience (including of course my cool American neighbours: "do you want to party with us?"</screeeeeam>)
Next on another American, Kid Rock. I've never actually seen him live so there's a first now although I used to like Kid Rock's stuff ages ago already. He's got a huge stage show. A huge stage, loads of fireworks, special effects and next to all that 4 female half naked dancers on stage. Kid Rock's show is surprisingly fresh and indeed full of energy and I'm having a good time. Highlight of the set has got to be his cover of Guns n'Roses' 'Its so easy'.
After Kid Rock the American circus will peak with Limp Bizkit as headlining act, but since I'm keener on a different band i gonna miss the big Fred Durst spectacle and leave the center stage. It's 9pm now and later tonight Slipknot will be on in the Alternastage as a 'late night special'. At least that's what we all think. Since i definitely need to be at the front for this gig I decide to go there early. Very early indeed. So early that I will have to watch the whole sets of the two bands that are on before Slipknot. Unfortunately those two bands happen to be Echt and Travis. Echt are this German teenieband. A bunch of 16 year old boys making music for 12 year old girls. Oh great. But I do it for Slipknot. So at the age of 23 I finally end up at my first ever boyband gig (I'm still having nightmares). At least some of the kids have brought their parents, so I'm not the oldest one in the whole venue. But almost. The show is boring, really boring. Their songs are boring, their performance is boring and I just try to concentrate on this Slipknot gig. At about 22.30 The whole horror is over and Echt leave the stage. I am in the front row, how cool is that, soon Slipknot will come on.
But now... the 'presenters' of the festival go on stage. "there's a little change in the programme tonight: Slipknot will NOT play. Instead Linkin Park will play again. Slipknot have played a gig in Bremen last night but since then the band has 'dissappeared', we have no idea where they are."
DISSAPPEARED!! How on earth can a whole band including their whole equipment and crew just DISSAPPEAR??
And now consider that most band shirts at the festival were Slipknot shirts, how many dissapointed people are there? I personally am gutted and leave my front row spot to find my friends. I talk to some Slipknot fans, all kinds of rumors are going around already.
"They forgot the guitarist in Bremen and had to go back to get him, they'll play later" is just one of them.
Also I find my little sister and we watch the next band on in the Alternastage: Travis. I am aware of the fact that they are dead boring, the 1 minute i have heard of their set at last year's Glastonbury has taught me enough. Usually they'd get a little bonus from me for being from the UK but now I'm just still too pissed off about Slipknot. And if I wasn't that angry then probably Fran Healy and his Liam Howlett style blonde mohawk on black and his boring voice would send me asleep. At least they are still better than Echt though.
Next on is the second gig of Linkin Park, replacing the dissapeared Slipknot. This is going to be a tough one for the band. Playing in front of a bunch of enraged Slipknot fans who don't get to see Slipknot after all now isn't exactly an easy challenge. They have to be REALLY good now in order not to get booed off. Singer Chester storms on stage with a paper mask covering his face. this doesn't go down exactly that well and people start booing as the band come on stage but they kick off the show anyway and within the first few moments you notice they're playing a much 'harder' sound now.
Again blue cap Fred Durst is watching the show from the side of the stage, then to the sound of the 'take a look around'-guitar riff runs on stage with a beer and dissappears again. I can't believe how full of energy the guys of LInkin Park still are, playing the second show today.
Midways through the set suddenly the Limp Bizkit frontman and 2 lookalikes storm the stage again, but this time to 'attack' the guys of Linkin Park and poor beer all over them. But now there's a mess so Fred is coming back and for the next couple of minutes of the gig starts to clean up the floor, which, I can't deny this, is rather amusing to watch.
At 2am Linkin Park finish their fabulous set and although i am still dissapointed about Slipknot I really can't deny that the great performance of Linkin Park has helped to get over it. Respect to Linkin Park!
Saturday June 2nd 2001
But it doesnt matter that much, today is Alternastage day anyways (which is inside and covered), no one of us is really interested in any of the acts on the center stage (Manic Street Preachers, Alanis Morisette, Radiohead), although the Alternastage isn't THAT much better either.
By the time the next band, Blackmail, are on I have managed to do it again: I am standing next to Americans. This time it's not screaming girlies, this time it's two big fat beer drinking blokes wearing Godsmack shirts, shouting Godsmack and generally pissing everyone off. Nice. And the rather boring set by Blackmail doesn't help me either.
We're saved by hed(PE), they play a an amazing crazy show which is that good that I don't even care anymore about that i lost my jacket during it. I definitely recommend anyone to go and see this band live, it actually tops their studio work by far in my opinion.
Another German crossover band follows, the H-Blockx. For some reason I am kinda curious about what they are like and we go towards the front again. While waiting in about 5th row the 'presenters' go on stage again: "Little change in the programme, Orbital have cancelled tonight, a replacement will be announced later on" Oh great I think. One of the presenters finds a ball on stage and decides that its gonna be very cool to kick this ball into the audience. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be very talented at doing so and instead of kicking it in a high bow he kicks it straight and very fast....into my face!! Really, out of the 8500 people in the venue he couldn't find anyone else than me?? Everyone's looking at me and I get a 'sorry' from stage. Sweet, that really helped to improve my mood now.
The H-Blockx gig is horrible. They have got 3 MC's and one is worse than the other. Ugly wannabe machos. No good tracks either. The fat one even decides to throw his shirt, trousers, socks and shoes into the audience and I really don't wanna know what kind of person catches that stinky stuff.
It's getting a bit better now. But not much. Tool are on now. There's a band I really can't understand the whole hype about. I have seen them 7 days before at the Ozzfest in Milton Keynes where they performed in sunlight and i thought it might be better in darkness. Well, it isn't. I don't even mind their studio work, but as live band Tool are in my opinion just plain boring. They just stand there, play their intruments, sing a bit, got some cool visuals, and that's it. Now energy at all. Unless you are into their studio stuff VERY MUCH I really can't understand why everyone is getting so excited about Tool. In fact I got the secret theory that just no journalists dare to say that they're shit live because of the 'status' they have. Sorry folks.
Before the Alternastage hedaliners Papa Roach come on, they finally announce the replacement for Orbital. It's a band that wasn't supposed to play the festival at all: Grand Theft Audio. It's obvious that no one in Germany seem to know them but I'm rather happy about the unexpected treat with some good shit from England!
Papa Roach are ok. I am in the front row for that gig in the 8500 capacity Alternastage. Later I am told that there was so many people who wanted to see Papa Roach that it was being broadcasted live in the center stage. I'm still not a great fan of Papa Roach but compared to the rest we saw today its already entertaining again.
But I am really looking forward to the gig by Grand Theft Audio now. After Papa Roach have finished everyone wants to leave, I think I'm about the only person who has ever heard of that band and since I dont wanna be there all on my own (ok, little exaggeration there) i start talking all those people into staying and watching them with stuff like "They're really big in England, you know, they rock, you should see them" and i am actually quite successful with a couple of people.
I have seen this band twice before, but that was London, where everyone knows them. Here it's different, no one has a clue and they got a similar task as Linkin Park had last night: Playing to people who don't actually want to see them. The cheesy intro to their gig doesn't necessarily help to grab people's attention, but their first song, single 'we luv u', kicks off even more after that. It's amazing how people are getting into it and you can feel how the venue is getting fuller again GTA rock the place completely. For one song they're joined by a female singer I haven't got a clue who she is, but she's got a great voice. Absolutely amazing is then the last song, a cover of Beastie Boys 'Fight for your right' and after the band leave the people who didnt know who this band were one hour ago are now screaming for them to play more for minutes.
It's definitely one of my least favourite festivals now, but at 3am when we meet a friend of mine in the Internet tent and I 'accidently' find out that The Prodigy are going to play some shows this summer then suddenly nothing of that other stuff matters anymore :).
Oh, and I didn't see any bands on Sunday anymore (look at the line up and you know why).
impressing: Linkin Park, GrandTheftAudio, Kid Rock,
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