Friday - Sunday, 9th - 11th July 2011
Weert, The Netherlands
Already the 31st edition of Bospop took place this year on 9,10 and 11th July.
A friendly small scale festival in Weert, in the Southern part of The Netherlands.
Last year they moved to Evenemententerrein Weert Noord, a new and larger location which brought some organizational and logistic problems with it.
This year it looked like everything is solved. There is plenty of food and drink, a small festival market and there are enough shadow places.
I can only give huge compliments to the organization and the volunteers of the festival.
One of the acts on the first day of the festival is Foreigner.
I must admit that I have some mixed feelings with this band.
I have seen them a few years ago on the same festival and I was not impressed.
That concert did not run smooth. Too many and too long breaks and endless solos between the songs which killed the speed of the show.
Today I experience a completely different Foreigner.
The voice of the singer Kelly Hanson is great, he rocks, jumps into the audience and there is a lot of interaction between the band members.
The set list is well thought of with a good balance between ballads and the more unknown heavier songs.
They start unconventional with 'Double Vision' which creates a good atmosphere and the audience goes mad.
Hanson jumps into the audience and shakes countless hands of the fans directly in front of stage.
Of course they also play the well known ballad I want to know what love which is not everybody's favourite song.
As this is followed by a great guitar solo of Mick Jones it is well balanced.
They finish the set with a brilliant long version of Juke Box Heroes and this time Foreigner is one of the surprises at Bospop.
A band often loses power if the lead singer leaves.
This is the case with Journey as the leave of Steve Perry took its toll.
This changes when Neal Schon finds Arnel Pineda through YouTube.
Journey has found the successor with a voice with the same power as Perry.
The energy of Arnel catches the audience who reacts enthusiastic to the older songs.
However, the attention fades away in the middle of the set when they play a few songs of their the new album Eclipse.
This is a shame because they end the show with their old hits.
Despite this the gig was thanks to the energy of Ansel and the distinctive guitar riffs of Neal Schon a feast of recognition.
Another surprise during the 3 day festival is Riverside.
I must admit that I had never heard of this band before and they impress me.
A great light show and a show well thought of.
Progrock with a silver lining with a lot of Pink Floyd influences.
The final gig on the last day of Bospop 2011 is Dream Theater.
Considering the amount of Dream Theater t-shirts on the festival terrain a lot of fans found their way to this part of The Netherlands.
Of course everybody is curious about Mike Mangini, the new drummer chosen by the band after countless auditions.
The show starts a bit unorganized.
It turned out that some cables and plugs are mixed up.
As a result of this singer James Labrie is a bit irritated.
Luckily the problems are solved quick and the band goes ahead with a smashing gig.
They play a great combination of old and new songs.
The leading part is for guitar player John Petrucci who excels.
A great final of a great festival.
This year there aren't as many visitors at the festival as last year.
I am not really sure about the cause of this.
It is the first festival in The Netherlands where the VAT increase effects the ticket price.
To the people who did not come this year because of the startup problems of last year I would say:
Give it another try next year, because of the southern hospitality Bospop is a unique festival.
Bream Theater Official Website
Dream Theater Myspace
Riverside Official Website
Journey Official Website
Foreigner Official Website