Rock Werchter 2012 was the 2nd time I went, this time focused on smoking more marijuana and drinking less and see how it would work out. It was more of a pre-sziget experience for me. This year, it was from the 28th of june until the 1st of July, meaning the last act would play on my birthday, the 2nd of July. With the Red Hot Chili Peppers announced as the final act and many more acts including stoner bands like Cypress Hill and Wiz Khalifa.
Personally I also really wanted to see Rise Against, Blink-182 and Skrillex, as well as Jack White, dEUS, Pearl Jam, Deadmau5, Black Box Revelation, Wolfmother, Simple Minds, Mumford and Sons, Editors, Dropkick Murphys, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Florence + the machine, Snow Patrol and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Some I didn’t manage to see, but they might appear on the pictures.
The road to Rock Werchter 2012
We left at 5 AM so we would be one of the first people on the camping. We got there at about 6.30 AM and parked the car and unpacked our stuff. We were pretty early, so when the camping opened at 7 AM we were one of the first to choose a spot.
We went over to the entrance to queue. The heat was almost unbearable, but we all managed to get there without suffering too much from the heat. When we were finally there, we managed to see about half of Within Tempation. I had seen them before and knew they are really good. Sharon den Adel is incredible. Even if you think you aren’t into this kind of music, you have to admit she is really good.
After Within Tempation, Rise Against was next. Their performance was better then the one they did 2 years ago, but it is a shame Tim Mcllrath’s lyrics are difficult to distinguish between the hard punk rock. Overall they put down a great performance and everyone I spoke enjoyed the performance.
Cypress Hill was an experience itself. The tent was really crowded and many people were smoking some green , there was even a cross joint showed on the big screen before the show. One shot was really funny at some guy who was high as fuck, eyes all red and his pupils aiming to nowhere.
I had 2 joints on me to smoke with a friend of mine. They were about 15 minutes late, so we smoked one joint before the show after which they arrived on the stage. The crowd reacted great to the band and B-Real even got a joint from the crowd which was smoked on stage and was followed by a loud applause.
We went back to the main stage afterwards and managed to catch about 30 minutes of Blink-182. When blink finished we went for some food and sat down in the big grass field in front of the main stage. Elbow and The Cure delivered a good performance, but i’m not a fan of theirs. After The Cure we went over to see Skrillex, only to find out it was too crowded. We got to see the into which was epic, but because we couldn’t get very close we went back to the main stage to see Justice finish day 1. I didn’t know what to expect, but they delivered a good finish to the first day. Personally I’m a great fan of a good techno ending to a festival day.
We went back to the camping to smoke some more and we went to bed at about 5 AM.
We woke up to some rain at about 10 AM, which I don’t mind in the morning as that way you don’t get pushed out of your tent thanks to the heat. We ate something and continued relaxing and smoking some more until about 3 PM to see Wiz Khalifa.
Wiz Khalifa was well received by the crowd, especially Young Wild And Free which was a hit over here. His performance was spot on and even a friend of mine who really doesn’t like Wiz’s music really enjoyed it. Which I think says a lot.
Jack White delivered an awesome show, even playing the hits by his other bands “Steady As She Goes – The Raconteurs” and “Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes”. We got something to eat and got ready for Pearl Jam. I made sure we had something to smoke during Pearl Jam, so we’d have a high buzz going on.
I can’t stress enough how awesome Pearl Jam was. I saw them for the 2nd time, after seeing them as final act on the final day 2 years ago. The crowd reacted way better than 2 years ago, because during the final act the crowd is usually really tired and I was really impressed by the difference. Eddy Vedder is really inspirational. What he managed to do, even while drinking was really stunning. I’m a life-time fan now. I really recommend seeing them every time you are able to! Being high was really nice during the whole performance, I really think I enjoyed it more thanks to some smoking.
Deadmau5 is a joy for the eye. Not so much for the ear. The sound was really loud, arguably too loud. But he made up for it by delivering a hefty light show next to his music. His iconic mouse helmet alone can keep you entertained.
Black Box Revelation, Wolfmother and Kasabian all delivered well done performances, but I was really impressed by the Simple Minds.
(the image is the barn, the venue simple minds performed at)
The Simple Minds are veterans in the music industry, but nevertheless managed to get the whole crowd inside the 3rd stage, The Barn with them and also were asked, and they gave, an encore after which we left for Mumford and Sons.
Mumford and Sons were as expected really beautiful. They played some new songs from their upcoming album, whereof 3 were already released on the B-Side. The setting was great, as they played at about 8 PM to 9 which is I think the best time for them to play, early in the evening.
We went to eat something and smoked some more and went to see the Editors.
(picture is from the fireworks during the Editors’ performance)
It was actually the third time I went to see them, but it was the first time I saw them playing during the night. Which made a very big difference. The music and sound is always spot on, but I always found them a bit boring live. This time however, they delivered a hefty light show including fire works at the end which were well received by the crowd. Everyone I spoke really enjoyed it and it was definitely one of the top performances this year’s Werchter.
Chase and Status
Chase and status gave away an awesome performance including an awesome show. Many people I’ve spoken are now a fan of Chase and Status while they hadn’t heard about them before this performance!
For the last day, we arrived pretty late at about 4 PM, just in time to see the Dropkick Murphys who really are fun in every way. It is amazing how many people they manage to get moving or singing.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
I’m a big fan of Manchester City, but without a doubt Noel Gallagher is arguably the biggest Manchester City fan. I was wearing my 2011 MCFC jersey with Kompany’s name on it, so I knew it could be a pretty great experience. I didn’t really expect it, but it was of course awesome when Vincent Kompany himself appeared on stage to announce NGHFB. Everyone around me reacted really great and me and a friend of mine moved closer to the stage. I even managed to get on the big screen, showing my shirt above my head. There were even people taking pictures from me randomly, which is always fun. I think I got about 30 reactions on the shirt and all of them were great. During the final song I sat on my friends shoulders, after which we went to get something to eat.
Florence + the Machine I had heard before and I only heard good things, but I never really listened to any of their material. Nevertheless they delivered a great performance which I really enjoyed.
During Snow Patrol I quickly noticed what 4 days of festival does to a man, as the crowd reacted a lot less to the fine show. Hits like Run, Chasing Cars etc were of course received very well by everyone in the crowd.
Next up were the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
(pic is from the fireworks after the show)
Red Hot Chili Peppers
We rolled some extra joints so I would be able to smoke one at 0.00, because then I would turn 20. It was a great show, but here it showed even more how tired the average person in the crows was. Their new songs were definitely reacted less to then their hits like “Californication”, “Snow”, “Under The Bridge” and all the others. Not many people are able to say this, but the RHCP played at my birthday so it was an awesome experience, especially with my dear close friends.
Like every year there was fire works after the show. So yeah, I got fireworks on my birthday which made it even more awesome than for the rest of the crowd. Like every year the crowd gathers garbage and piles it up to burn it and to make bonfires. Luckily the organizers are aware of this and fires get put out quickly.
4 long awesome days were over and it was my birthday. It really was another never to forget experience and I would like to thank all the friends I was with and of course the spot on performance by the Organizers, Artists and not to forget the always friendly crowd. Never have I seen a fight between some people. It is a “stoner” – proof festival too. Carrying around some weed (just keep it under 3 grams, as below 3 grams you only get a warning and they take it from you if they find it). One tip: Don’t look too much like a fucking stoner and hide it somewhere. Even if you don’t hide it the chance you get checked is still small. And it proves not to cause any noticeable hassle.
More pictures online over at our Facebook
See you next year!
Note: This article is written by one of our editors, Mauro Picavet and all opinions are his and belong to him.