Lowlands chewed me up and spat me out four days later with a voice like a sorority girl after spring break and in a general state of physical decay, but what a glorious experience it was! Before I fall into a complete coma it is time to line the festival highlights up for inspection: who did I see and were they everything I ever dreamed of?

FRIDAY 20-8

I was determined to kick off Lowland 2010 with Triggerfinger, but right off the bat I was distracted by Cymbals Eat Guitars playing the Lima stage on the way there. I was lucky enough to stumble right into Wind Phoenix, perfect sunny song of distorted genius to start the weekend! But the pull of the massive Alpha stage was strong and on I went to the rock raunchiness served up by Belgium’s finest Triggerfinger. Who can resist the loin-stirring voice of singer Ruben Block and those primordial guitar licks? Alpha responded from the gut, screaming along Aaaaaa-aaahhhhhh in Deep Purple style. Great choice for opening headliner on Friday, including the nice touch to bring Selah Sue on stage for their revved up cover of Duffy’s Mercy.

Triggerfinger at Lowlands 2010 (photo Tim van Veen via 3VOOR12)

Sticking around main stage Alpha what followed was a hero’s welcome for the cream of the crop of Dutch hip hop label Top Notch: The Opposites, Dio accompanied by indierockers Go Back To The Zoo and Flinke Namen. I figured it would be a good show, but I couldn’t have predicted the massive mayhem that followed, the crowd was lapping up every song, encouraged by increasingly stomping beats. Can you get a few thousand people to crouch down on the floor and then start jumping? Can you get them to scream out that they’re hookers (D’r zijn hoeren in de tent dus we gaan nog niet naar huis)? Yes you can, if you perform with the raw energy and enthusiasm these boys brought. Great show, I was already flogged at 4 PM on day 1.

The Opposites at Lowlands 2010 (photo Tim van Veen via 3VOOR12)

Already a broken woman, I stumbled across the way to the Charlie stage to see Frightened Rabbit. Although everything seemed in order and I like their brand of indie, I couldn’t get into the gig. Maybe my brain was still set to hip hop mode, but it lacked a bit of magic for me. I decided to soak up some sun whilst listening to Broken Bells. Why they were programmed in the Alpha tent is beyond me with such a mellow sound and a new project too, the tent was only half filled as was to be expected. But it was perfect lounge music for lying in the sun. I enjoyed the beautiful alt country nostalgia of Band of Horses a lot more, “No one’s gonna love you more than I do”. Although in fairness, both bands don’t offer much in the way of stage antics, best consumed with eyes closed perhaps.

Enough of this main stage fodder! Off to the dark depths of the sliced-in-half-tin-can that is the X-Ray stage. Canadian electronic beatguru Caribou was cooking up a slow intoxicating mixture of psychedelic soundscapes. Just when I was feeling a bit hypnotised by the video graphics he shook it up with the amazing Odessa and after that there was a kind of extended foreplay that erupted in the irresistible pulsating seduction of Sun. The man knows how to build a set. If I was a smoker I would have lit up after that one.

Caribou live at Lowlands 2010 (photo Nick Helderman via 3VOOR12)

Walking past Air I did a double take but really couldn’t find the oomph to worm my way into the tent just to see two guys on synthesizers play Kelly Watch The Stars again, I pass. I did arrange to meet up with friends for a reliable boogie with Groove Armada, but we were disappointed. A routine uninspired set with choppy starts and stops to songs and random shouts to ‘hype the crowd’. Even dance floor favourite Get Down sounded lackluster, shame. All the more because I missed Tame Impala to be there!

We ended the night in good spirits though, joining the masses for the Zer00’s Heroes party: enough of the Doctor Alban and Haddaway ninieties crap, in with the naughties: Gaga, Britney, White Stripes and De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig!

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