A full house, a great atmosphere, perfectly organised and last but not least (joke) four great rock bands live on stage, what else do you need on a normally rather dull Bank holiday?

Pure Inc. (perhaps related to Rock Inc.?) opened this festival and the Swiss rocked their socks off although the music sounds so typically American. The Creed and Nickelback influences are obviously there, but today Gianni Pontillio, Sandro Pellegrini,Genti Gentner and Dave Preissel proved that they also have their own style. In comparison with the two American bands I mentioned Pure Inc. is definitely “heavier” and the guitar solos are more frequently present. “Feel My Eyes” was the highlight of the set, melodic, heavy and catchy, but if you listen to singer Gianni too long you get a throat ache, for sure. However a nice opening of this festival and compared to the next act I even liked the Swiss guys a lot better.

I was truly disappointed in the performance of Rob Rock. It seems like Rob and his band are still in the mid-eighties; all songs sounded the same and all of them had the same guitar riffs, melodies and solos. Fortunately Rob’s voice is still strong and clear, although the mix screwed that up actually; the guitars and the rhythm section were far too loud and the vocals were too much in the background. That was really a shame, and that contributed to the fact that his rather “old-fashioned” set list sounded rather boring and mediocre. The biggest and luckily the only disappointment of this day!

Then Circle2Circle, featuring Zak, still one of the greatest rock singers ever, came, saw and conquered. Although I preferred his debut album to his second CD “The Middle of Nowhere”, today the band really got cooking on stage. The sound was perfect, the band was in great shape and Zak sang like a young rock god. New songs like “The Middle Of Nowhere”, “Holding On” and “In This Life” sounded great and the audience responded really well to that material. Of course Zak could not leave out some Savatage material and especially “Edge Of Thorns” got the audience steaming. A great performance, definitely much better than his previous gig in The Bosuil, where Zak was perhaps a little bit under the influence of our Dutch national product too much

Masterplan was the headliner and they proved that they deserve this honour like no other band. They kicked of with “Crimson Rider” and right from the start you could hear that the sound was not that good. Luckily after 4 songs this changed and then you could really enjoy Jorn’s excellent rock throat. Roland Grapow’s solos were brilliant and especially in tracks like “Soulburn” and “Black In The Burn” his impact was amazing. This band has it all: a magnificent vocalist, a super tight rhythm section, a young and promising keyboard player and of course a great guitar picker. Encores: “Back For My Life” and “Crowling From Hell”. This band will be great in the near future; Jorn Lande rules!!!

Interview by Martien Koolen,

(with help from Ralph Vermeere)

Photos by: Augie Rothkrantz