PINKPOP 1998; HAVE A LAUGH IN LIMBOLAND click here for dutch
Pinkpop is not a place for hip people. Lowlands is the place where tenthousands of self proclaimed alternative kids hang out, so this year’s Pinkpop festival wasn’t sold out. Although the organisation naturally likes to see all tickets sold, the festival was much more fun this year now that those hipsters didn’t show up. In fact it reminded me of the times when the Lowlands festival still used to be fun. Even the organisation this year was more friendly than Lowlands’ and granted our Project A with a press-pass. What’s more, we were the only e-zine to get one! More than enough reason to go down to that distant corner of Holland that is called Landgraaf and check out what’s happening there.
When I arrived I noticed that the que in front of the VIP and Press entrance was actually longer than at the normal gates. Overdressed executive wifes suddenly turn into ugly bigmouths when they are not as VIP as they thought they were. "Don’t you know who I am?!" eeeehm... no? Later on I noticed more figures like that. Acting very important they settle themselves at the VIP terrace and only get up to get some drinks. For them Pinkpop ain’t no music festival. They are here to be seen. You won’t find them at the actual festival grounds. Oh no! They might get their shoes dirty. They’ll catch the festival on the telly tomorrow... that’ll be much safer.
HUMPTY DUMPTY AIN’T ON THE WALL....
I actually WAS there to see music, so I decided to go out on the field where Eagle Eye Cherry opened the festival. He’s clearly not used to playing this early (it’s 11 o’clock in the morning). I would not call the audience awake either, so nothing much spectacular happened. Only during that hit song they jumped up but that was his final song.... Money Mark did not show up. I couldn’t blame him. I also would’t show up if the program announced me as Monkey Mark. Instead Imani Coppola performed, but I didn’t bother to go and see her.
Unfortunately I missed the first highlight. I really shit on Anouk and her music, so I decided to boycot her performance. Shouldn’t have done that. A fellow anti-fan who felt exactely the same about Anouk as me, threw eggs at her. A perfect hit! I thought it was an achievement in itself to not brake the eggs in such a big crowd, but to score a perfect hit.... my compliments! The whole egg incident could just as well be a big publicity stunt. Every newspaper got tricked into mentioning the Humpty Dumpty incident and even I can be found guilty of mentioning the name that I had decided to boycot. DAMN!
HOT AND HORNY
Roskilde is the mother of all festivals and a lightning example for all festivalpromotors. I once had the privilege of visiting Roskilde and I still miss it. So my heartbeat doubled when I saw the big Roskilde tent on the field. It tripled when Tori Amos started playing in that very same tent. Jesus, it was phenomenal! In the overcrowded and overheated tent she sang, screamed and moaned her songs; her legs wide open, sucking in the entire audience.... shit hot! I never saw such a horny crowd of people in my life.
Luckily the organisation had thought of a way to solve that problem. So when Tori Amos finished her set, K’s Choice entered the main stage. One look at singer Sarah Bettens made all the feelings of lust that were still boiling in my body fly out of it immediately. K’s Choice has got absolutely no sex-appeal and that makes them a very ‘safe’ band. Maybe that’s the whole reason why they got the biggest crowd anticipation. Who knows? I couldn’t care less...
The Smashing Pumpkins, now there’s a band that made me happy! From all corners of the field the crowed gathered in front of the main stage. Ready for the big pogo...... WRONG! Billy Corgan had already said it but no one dared to believe it. The Pumpkins have changed and they are not the band to pogo on anymore. It was true and it lead to a disappointed audience who came to hear the hits. The band mostly played new material which sounded absolutely brilliant to me, thanks to the works of David Bowie keyboard player Mike Garson. Backed by two extra percussionists the band put down a historic performance, but I’m quite possibly the only one who thought so. The dutch press was unanimously negative and focussed mainly on D’Arcy’s exiting see-through outfit.
In the weekend that Ginger Spice left the Girls, it got clear that you had to be in Limburg to see some real Girl Power. Excluding K’s Choice girl, the female performers on Pinkpop 1998 were by far the strongest. Tori, D’Arcy and in the highest gear Shirley Manson from Garbage. She seduced the audience even more than Tori did and Garbage was announced as one of the highlights of the festival.
I missed Garbage’s performance myself, due to the band that played on the other stage; Tindersticks. In my life I never saw grown man cry, but it happened here. Tindersticks hypnotised the audience and lifted them high above the festival. When the band suddenly stopped playing it was a long and hard fall back to the ground. I’ll never buy a Tindersticks album becouse I really don’t like their music that much, but what happened here was pure magic. Their performance was the best and the worst thing that could have happened to me at Pinkpop, because after Tindersticks there was no way that The Verve could properly finish this festival.
Singer Richard Ashcroft was not is a very good mood when he entered the stage; "foookin’ bastards, cunts! This is music!" Yeah right! I’ll still be the judge of that and besides I don’t like to be called a "foookin’ bastard" by someone who hasn’t even started singing yet. Their performance is plain boring and mister Ashcroft has quite a big mouth for someone that only a year ago was a complete nobody. So this is the big hype of 1997? It’s mr. big mouth 1998 for sure and if it was up to me he’d shut it!
When they finally finished, Jan Smeets (the festival’s main man) entered the stage to do some useless announcements. He does that every year, nobody listens but they all let him be. This is his party and he did very well this year. Pinkpop has, in my eyes, taken over the title of best festival in Holland from Lowlands. Thanks!
by Edgar Kruize
pictures: Evelien Eenhoorn