Lowlands is a gem of a festival. With enough stages and goings on to keep even the most energised minds entertained over three days in the Netherlands come torrential rain or beautiful sunshine.
One of the first surprises comes on Friday from John Coffey, a Dutch band, who, being on home turf manage to create what might have been the world’s largest circle pit. Loud, abrasive rock, and an over crowded tent equals absolute carnage.
Biffy Clyro are on top form as usual, barraging through a set of hits for their headline slot on the Bravo Stage. Though the tent itself seems emptier than it would have been at a UK festival, the sound is just as vicious and the crowd are just as wild.
It’s Sum 41’s turn for the spotlight on Saturday, and they do what they came to: prove they’re still a driving force in punk. With a riotous crowd, timeless hits and a youthful vigour much like when they first emerged fifteen years ago, Sum 41 certainly are far from out of the game and should not be underestimated.
A band with a serious hype, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard draw a ravenous crowd when headlining the Charlie Stage. From the moment the first note powers through the small tent, pandemonium ensues both inside and outside (albeit helped by the sudden storm).
Engaging the crowd, covering Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’ and smashing a guitar, Eagles of Death Metal put on a riotous set that contains all the best of a rock show – and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Brian Fallon & The Crowes over on the India Stage proves both a welcome relief from more rain, using it to perfectly set the scene for Fallon’s down to earth, forlorn songwriting.
Since the return of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy and co have been the band to watch. With no specific tour plans and sporadic festival appearances, this is a comeback that has been much sought after. Here at Lowlands, they prove just why that is.
Bringing their mixture of dance, funk, rock and just about anything else you can fit onto a stage, Murphy’s as focused and controlled as ever, with the band executing the classic LCD sound perfectly. Opening with ‘Us vs Them’ and ending with ‘All My Friends’, the set is a sight to behold – a melding of what’s been and what’s to come.
There couldn’t be a more fitting set to close out a festival that has such character and mastered execution.