BOSPOP 2009 – Weert
The Netherlands
11 & 12 July 2009

The 29 th edition (my 20 th visit to Weert…) of the cosiest pop/rock festival of Europe was a kind of a disappointment as the line-up was not nearly as good as other years. The weather was also rather rainy and unpredictable and therefore I can say that Bospop 2009 will not end in my top 3 of Bospop editions…. But, there were also some rather nice musical surprises on this not sold out edition of Bospop, like e.g. Simon McBride or Chickenfoot, but let’s start at the beginning. The first day, 11 July, kicked off with the Irish blues rocker Simon McBride (first two photos below) and it was a real shame that there were so little people that listened to his set. If McBride had played for example at 17:00 CET or 18:00 CET then he would have set the stage and the crowd on fire… Most of his songs were from his amazing debut album Rich Man Falling and they sounded live even better, especially his voice and his wonderful guitar solos were a treat for my ears. Saint Jude from London, whose debut album will be released soon, also made a very strong impression. Female singer Lynne Jackaman (third photo below) rocked like a small hurricane but strangely enough the audience was not really convinced…… A little bit later the Dutch/Belgian trio Drive Like Maria set the tent stage on fire with their dynamic cross over rock music, reminding me very much of The Queens Of The Stone Age, fast, loud and powerful! The last band on Saturday, also one of the highlights, was good old Foreigner. The classic AOR rock band around Mick Jones got the audience finally enthusiastic and excited. The set turned out to be a greatest hits “show”, so the crowd was treated a.o. to Cold As Ice, Waiting For a Girl Like You and Say You Will. Singer Kelly Hansen did a great job and he almost did even better than Lou Gramm… Surprisingly Foreigner also played a cover, namely Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, a song that would be covered by someone else on this festival…

The second day July 12 th, promised to be more interesting with Beth Hart, Tesla, Queensryche, Jeff Beck and Chickenfoot on the bill. Beth Hart gave a marvellous show again, her Janis Joplin-like throat was in very good shape and withsongs like: As Good As It Gets, Get Your Shit Together and L.A.Song she really pleased the audience, Beth, just like Foreigner, covered Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love and I must say that Beth’s version was slightly better. The set of Jeff Beck (first photo below) was of course completely different as it was a one hour instrumental fusion jazz rock performance. Beck is still one of the best guitar players in the world and he proved this with an outstanding track like: Cause We Ended As Lovers from his glorious album Blow By Blow. Beck’s instrumental covers of ADay In The Life (The Beatles) and Theme From Peter Gun (ELP, Henry Mancini) were also worth checking out.

Tesla was up next and for lovers of good old school hard rock Tesla was a treat. Forever More and Cowboy Song really got the crowd head banging and singer Jeff Keith even got the high notes right… (second photo below)

Finally, it was time for Queensryche, one of my personal favourite rock bands of the last decade. The guys played no songs from the two Operation Mindcrime albums but only tracks from: Rage For Order (1986), Empire and their new fantastic album American Soldier During Best I Can, Jet City Woman, The Thin Line and Empire, Geoff’s voice was still magical and crystal clear and also the sound of the band was almost perfect. New tracks like: The Killer or A Dead Man’s Words were also great and it was a shame, or should I say disgrace, that the band decided to play fifteen minutes shorter than planned. Why? One can only guess…. (Queensrÿche: third photo below)

Chickenfoot was THE band of Bospop 2009, Joe, Sammy, Chad and Michael rocked the stage like no other band before in Weert. They kicked off with the opening song of their debut album: Avenida Revolution and the band and the audience were already on fire. Joe’s solos and the vocal performance of Sammy did the rest during the other songs of their first album. Short fragments of AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix completed the set before the band returned to play a Montrose song as the well-deserved encore.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show ended the second day, the show was great, but why close a festival with a cover band???

By the way, there were also performances of The Brew (energetic), Bernard Allison (funky and bluesy), Novastar (boring, just as on Pinkpop), Guus Meeuwis (WHO?), Tim Christensen (singer/songwriter), Fun Lovin Criminals (Scooby Snacks…), Guano Apes (yawn…) Pronghorn (cowpunk), Fiction Plane ( with the son of Sting), Triggerfinger (nice stoner rock), Stahlzeit (Rammstein wannabees), Lucinda Williams (country depression) and Paul Carrack (big band but not very impressive).

All in all I can say that although the music was not always to my personal liking, I still enjoyed myself a lot and the audience did too, so up to next year, the anniversary edition with some spectacular names please…

Review & photos by Martien Koolen
18 August 2009
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