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Groezrock 2012: can I scream?

Groezrock 2012: can I scream?

After scraping hard balls of dust and booger out of my nose it’s time to reflect on Groezrock 2012. The first year with an acoustic stage, the return of Refused, Good Riddance, Lifetime, Verse and the year that people were willing to stand in line for an hour and a half to eat a vegan burger.

Since I’ve experienced Groezrock from that far off place called the festival market I won’t and can’t bother you with extensive reviews on all the bands that played this year’s edition. If you went to Groezrock you’re more than welcome to comment your highlights or negative experiences below.


– The acoustic stage was a welcome edition. The turnout was very good and Dave Hause, Chuck Ragan and others did a good job. My highlight was Tom Gabel singing Against Me!’s ‘ White Crosses’. I was taking a piss at the back of the festival market and I could hear hundreds of people sing along.

– I got to see Lifetime and the band lived up to my expectations. Ari Katz’ voice worked out fine enough in the big tent. Dan Yemin was great as always making clear why Lifetime played the Etnies stage and not on the main stage: ‘we only wanted to play this stage because there are no barriers. The stage is yours as much as it it ours.’

– Good Riddance. They were nervous about their show and rehearsed somewhere in Belgium the day before they were scheduled to play. But damn they did a good job rocking the main stage. I’ve been into this band since ’96 and know some of their members pretty well, so yes it was a special moment to see them return to form.

– Make Do And Mend handled the Impericon stage pretty well. Though the back up vocals of their new bass player were really off key.

– Midnight Souls. The band got added on the MacBeth stage at last minute but impressed everyone with a great performance. Rumor has it they’ll be playing the Etnies stage in 2013.

– Terror vs Refused. The epic battle between good and bad? Scott Vogel definitely doesn’t think Refused are Keepers of the Faith and shared his thoughts with the audience of Groezrock.

– Hostage Calm. They’re a bit of a light weight band to play the Etnies stage but it was a good change of pace and atmosphere.

– PJ Bond and Mark McGabe setting up an acoustic flash mob gathering in the band merch tent. It’s part of the charm of Groezrock that things like that can happen.

– Gorilla Biscuits. I think I don’t have to explain it when you see this:

– For years people have been talking about how Rancid would be a great headliner for Groezrock. Well they eventually came over and according to Sjarm 13 played the best show ever.


– A group of criminals who go to Groezrock to make a profit by stealing from kids sleeping in their tents or on the festival site. Or kids trying to steal stuff at the festival market.

– People walking around in banana outfits. When you ask them why they don’t even understand why one asks such a question. A smart guy would suggest they ran out of pineapple outfits.

– The sound of some bands playing on the main stage was very bad. I understand it’s hard to have a good sound at any place in such a big tent but next year Groezrock should try harder. People pay a whole lot of money to hear the bands not to hear some noise.

– Verse. The Etnies stage was packed and people went off. I however missed the anger and energy the band had on stage before their break-up. There was something relaxed and almost ‘jah’ about their performance I couldn’t quite place.

– Refused. I’m sure they were tight and impressive as hell (I didn’t see them play). But if you charge 20 euros for a shirt and get paid a whole amount of money to play, speeches about anti-capitalism are a bit beside the point.


2012 was a very good year for Groezrock. Can they top this edition next year? Maybe if they’re able to get American Nightmare/ Give Up The Ghost, Modern Life Is War, Defeater, The Gaslight Anthem, The Offspring, Kid Dynamite, Sunny Day Real Estate, Ignite, The Explosion, AFI, As Friends Rust, Champion, Green Day and a couple of other bands.

Back to reviews overview


  1. Just Killing Time said on 2012-05-01

    Off With Their Heads played one of the coolest show ever. Ryan apparently did not forget to take his pills is time and was in a surprisingly good mood. Stage diving and all. I love that band.

    My other highlight was Jonah Matranga at the accoustic stage. I love Far, I love New End Original, I love Onelinedrawing and I like Grattitude, so Jonah solo and accoustic is always a treat. Glad cobra slulls ended early so I could see the better part of his set.


    I also enjoyed Banquets a lot, even though they played at 10:45, just got of a 13 hour drive from Berlin, the singer still had ‘morning vocals’ and the guitar was out of tune as hell. But they played some songs Iove and I just enjoyed the hell out of myself

    Make Do And Mend was ok, but the sound sucked.

    Had a great weekend, even though I froze half to death somewhere between sunday and monday. I’m definately getting too old for camping.

    Every tent in the area where I was got stolen from, except mine and my friends. Guess we got lucky or it pays to be a big guy (those robbers must scout the campsite to see if they want to unexextedly encounter the owner of the tent, haha.) rumour was they even sprayed sleeping gas in tents so the owner wouldn’t wake up while being robbed. Crazy.

  2. Pim said on 2012-05-01

    That seems to be a problem every year (stuff being stolen from the tents), isn’t there something they can do about that?

    • rowald said on 2012-05-01

      Never heard about somebody being mugged while they were asleep in the tent and all the values needed to be carried over the sleepers. Happened to me this year, sucks but I wasn’t the only one. Luckily the police caught 4 guys that first night so hopefully i’ll see some of my money back.

  3. Nico said on 2012-05-01

    Almost everything has been said already, altough I don’t agree with everything that was said. I would like to point out that None More Black was a bit of an deception, due to the bad sound, the weird attitude on stage and a bit boring set list. O

    ne other thing that wasn’t mentioned is how awesome Sunpower was, playing early but still a decent amount of people showed up and moshed, stage dived and had fun.

    • xroldx said on 2012-05-01

      How was DYS Nico? Did they play any Dag Nasty or Down By Law stuff?

      • Nico said on 2012-05-01

        No Dag Nasty or DBL stuff, no Scream songs or Foo Fighters songs either.

        The band it self was pretty tight and I enjoyed hearing More Than Fashion, Brotherhood and Wolfpack, but the new songs, the later era rock songs and the Motorhead cover were forgetable.

        Should this band have toured? I dunno, maybe with a few more songs of their own under a different name and bust out a few DYS songs at the end of the set, it would have been nice. But since I had no expectations and both Dave and Franz are heroes of mine, I enjoyed myself.

  4. Just Killing Time said on 2012-05-01

    @Pim: There was a lot of camping crew and even a decent ammount of G4S-security guys on the camp site, but it’s not possible to determine whether a person belongs to a certain tent or not. Besides, some young kids camping next to us had their wallets with id’s, bankcards and extra money, mobiles and even iPods in their tent while they were on the festival site. Everything got stolen and that sucks, but how dumb can you be keeping all that shit in your tent?

  5. Just Killing Time said on 2012-05-01

    Besides, you can rent lockers both at the festival and the campsite. So lock your shit away if you bring valuables.

  6. Mark said on 2012-05-01

    First off: Rancid was the best act of the festival by far.
    Why isn’t anybody talking about the bronx and dillinger escape plan sets? Both sets were tight and intense.

    About the “…the year that people were willing to stand in line for an hour and a half to eat a vegan burger”: The catering company tried to compete with the vegan food stand by selling ‘vegetarian’ food. But apparently their definition of vegetarian is kinda messed up because they tried to sell fish and falafel fried in animal fat. So all the vegetarians and vegan were kinda forced to wait in line for a (awesome) burger.

    • Nico said on 2012-05-01

      Kind of sad to see that even for a not-so-picky vegetarian last year it was hard to find something decent to eat and now with a good alternative at hand, Senor Snacks try to fill the void they created themselves.
      But they indeed did it with a poor attempt and only when I asked what that fish snack was, I realized it was actual fish, when I told them about it that I wouldn’t consider this vegaterian and it could trick people, all I got was a glazy stare.

      I dunno how it was before, since I skipped Groezrock for give and take 10 years.

      I do hope the vegan stand is back next year and hopefully the waiting lines aren’t that epic long.

      • xroldx said on 2012-05-01

        I think the people of Just Like Your Mom were kind of overwhelmed with the amount of people who wanted to eat vegan. So for next year they can make preparations to avoid such long lines.

        • Andreaxxx said on 2012-05-01

          Even if the line was long i’m happy that more people than expected showed up to eat vegan!

  7. Andreaxxx said on 2012-05-01

    I agree that Refused is a band full of contradiction: not just the 20 euro shirts but also playing at corporate-sponsored festival. I would love to see them on stage where people can stage dive and go crazy.
    The camping was horrible: too many people and too many idiots and drunks: someone sprayed on our tent and some other idiot fell on it while we were inside it.
    Btw, fuck the jagermeister booth for disturbing Garreth Khlan’s acoustic set with playing way-too-loud techno music at 9pm

  8. Joost78 said on 2012-05-01

    The good:
    – The weather was much better than expected.
    – Despite all the noise and bright lights on the campsite I slept about 9-10 hours in one night.
    – Cheap beer.
    – More vegetarian food than in the previous years.
    – My girlfriend, despite not really being into punk rock and not knowing any of the bands, had a good time as well.
    – Good Riddance, Lagwagon, Yellowcard (acoustic and regular sets), Gorilla Biscuits, 7Seconds and Bouncing Souls kicked ass.
    – The acoustic stage was an excellent addition. I love punk rock and hardcore, but not non-stop for two days.
    – The place absolutely exploded when Gorilla Biscuits opened with ‘New Direction’, One of the most insane things I’ve ever seen.
    – All in all: best Groezrock so far.

    The bad:
    – Since when is fish vegetarian food?
    – DYS and Heideroosjes kind of sucked. And I expected more from Cobra Skulls.
    – Even when you stood right in front of the acoustic stage, you could still hear the noise from the MacBeth stage. Pretty annoying.

    • Just Killing Time said on 2012-05-01

      The macbeth stage or the jägerstand? I found that the sound level at the macbeth stage was extremly modest. I could hardly hear the bands I checked out there (as enemies arise and the charm the fury) and i was only a few meters away.

  9. Joost78 said on 2012-05-01

    It was definately the MacBeth stage during Yellowcard’s acoustic performance (Saturday early afternoon), I believe they turned the sound down later on.

  10. Just Killing Time said on 2012-05-01

    That would explain it.

  11. Jean-Paul said on 2012-05-02

    The Terror speech is kind of lame.
    Why pick on Refused while there are so many old bands reforming nowadays. Gorilla Biscuits, Unbroken, Youth Of Today, DYS, Outspoken, Negative Approach, Hot Water Music, Manliftingbanner just to name a few bands who broke up in the past, they all do the same and decided to hit the road again (every now and then).

  12. mongol said on 2012-05-06

    no one saw hazenstreet? was fucking awesome!

  13. Just Killing Time said on 2012-05-06

    Saw a bit from outside the tent. Looked fun and sounded good.

  14. xroldx said on 2012-05-07

    I don’t understand the whole Hazen Street hype. To me they sound like some hardcore guys doing not that good punkrock.

  15. Onno said on 2012-05-07

    I arrived saturday around 13:00 and my tent was in a nice place somewhere in the back. no real noise problems, no burglary, but I always take all my stuff with me during the day and sleep on my wallet during the night. the lockers are great for storing your shit!

    I also liked the fact that there was more vegetarian food (the burgers were good and the rice was okay) than previous years.

    bandwise I saw too many of them. was surprised by Gallows, now with the singer of Alexisonfire, they even played a Minor Threat coversong (Seeing Red),The Wonder Years and Parkway Drive. Plus I really liked past favorites The Bronx (after hearing several bands talking about standing up for yourself and being honest it was so funny to hear them say that it’s all about being cool), 7seconds (even without a voice Kevin is awesome), Gorilla Biscuits (there were even constant stagedives in between the songs haha) and Refused (please stop complaining, they were great, the show was awesome and in my book they are still hardcore, even with 20 euro shirts 🙂

    Hazen Street was great for the first half of the set, but one album with just a few too many slower songs is not enough for a great diverse setlist… And I’ve asked this before, but what is the deal with the singer of Good Riddance, I’ve seen them about 3 or 4 times now and he never shows enthousiasm… bummer…