TW Classic 2008

As I typed last Saturday we went to TW Classic. This is the one-day festival spinn-off from Rock Werchter which is Belgium's biggest 4-day rock festival at the start of July. It used to be "Torhout-Werchter" in 2 locations and TW Classic brings back the older big names for adults who are nostalgic for the Torhout-Werchter concerts in the 80ies and 90ies. (and the new date at the start of June really keeps the teenagers and students away: it's in the midst of their examperiod!)

After last year's disappointment when The Police cancelled their concert in Antwerp, we didn't doubt long to buy tickets when we heard The Police would be coming to TW Classic. And the rest of the programme was looking very interesting as well. Woohoo.
Off we went with our hiking boots (after a week of pooring rain and local floodings I didn't think the grass would survive the masses very long) to the trainstation where we took one of the special busses to the event. Werchter is a tiny village only 15 kms away.
We missed Milow and the concert of Juanes was ok but not stunning. Maybe that's because he only had one big hit in Belgium so far (but I do looooooove "La Camisa Negra". It's so catchy and happy).
The Scabs however really rocked. I discovered these Belgian rockers when my sister was an exchange student and I was 10 years old and could explore her music tapes all year long. They rocked as in the old days :).

Then Iggy Pop and the Stooges hit the stage. I must hontestly admit that I did not know his music at all. I am so not a rocker really : I went to Rock Werchter in '99 and during 2 days...I knew 2 songs. Yep really, 2 songs. I mainly listen to pop music and folk I'm afraid.
But I cannot deny that Iggy was entertaining and fascinating to say at least. A naked chest, snakelike movements, extreme ADHD attacks, spit enlarged on the big screens, climbing on and off speakers and on off the stage etc etc.... Hahaha what a rebel. A nightmare for the security guards as he actually helped his fans to climb over fences and jump around on the stage etc... And I wonder how they bleep his language on festivals in the USA.
And then the excitement rose. According to most T-shirts most people had come to see The Police. It would be their last concert in Belgium ever. While we were slowly moving forward a bit to find a better spot, we were surprised that the radio music in between sets al of a sudden sounded so much louder, more exciting and so familiar. "Message in a bottle"! We looked up and there they were already on stage starting 15 minutes early taking us all by surprise (who's truly watching the stage all the time in between concerts: that's the moment you go to the toilets and go and eat fries and ...).
and you know what: Sting has grown a full beard! Really. Weird at first but it sure looks good on him. Aging quite well! And they can still perform really well. I really liked the percussion by Stewart Copeland as well. It was a really great concert. Finally I got to see The Police after all.

After the concert I feared that we'd have to wait a long time to get on the busses. After all 42000 people had to leave all at once and 11000 of them were taking the bus to Leuven. Those stopped 1,5 km from the festival terrain and at first we were indeed walking heel by heel, shoulder by shoulder. But that was only at the start and we could soon walk at a normal speed towards the bus stop. There was a bit line-up of empty busses waiting and we were effectively directed in some rows right in front of the bus doors, they opened, the bus filled up, doors closed and off he went on his specially reserved route, while the next bus was filling already. 15 min later we were walking home in Leuven. Wow talk about a smooth organisation. Well obviously De Lijn is used to the Werchter festivals for a few dozen of years now so I suppose they know how to handle this. But still, it went way smoother than I expected. Hats off to De Lijn.

Hello there

The feared mud wasn't that bad if you looked out where you were walking. Watch out for the rubber tiles with holes in them though. They transform themselves into mud fountains when you step on them!

The Police

Looking at the sneeky photographer


anno said…
Sounds like a great time -- even with the mud! (Sting, with a beard? really?)
lies said…
The Scabs!!! Oooohhh ik wou dat ik erbij was geweest. Ik heb ze in de AB gezien een tijdje geleden en inderdaad, they still rock!
Sting with a beard.... hmmmm... and as I said, Iggy and the Stooges came together from (and in) Ann Arbor! NOW do you want to come visit? ;-)

He's definitely quite a character.
Snooker said…
Sting... with a beard!? The Englishman in New York with a beard? How interesting.

I really like "La Camisa Negra" too! You are so right, the tune is catchy and lively.

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