The scorching sun, after all the biggest protagonist of the 51st edition of Pinkpop, managed to thaw even the coolest frog of the festival on Friday afternoon: Joe Talbot, the blunt, monotonously roaring pit bull of British post-punk pride Idles has just declared war on all the fascists and homophobes in the world. Because he really means it, he sulks at his chest with every syllable with a full fist, as if he wants to knock his soul and bliss out of his lungs.
Spectators are regularly carried away and loaded onto carts with stretchers
And then, when the show’s boiling point is reached, it happens. After looking approvingly in ‘Danny Nedelko’ – Idles’ growling tribute to “all the immigrants who make our country and our country much more beautiful” – as the guitarist Mark Bowen, dressed in a pink flower dress, walks over the heads of the visitors, Talbot suddenly starts grinning. and childishly happy to wave to everyone, with the motor skills of a silly toddler who has never seen such a large crowd together.
But although the scorching heat spontaneously transforms the most dangerous guest in Landgraaf and the surrounding area into an endearing sweetheart, victims are falling all around him. Spectators are regularly carried away and loaded onto carts with stretchers.
Staying cool with code yellow is simply impossible at the Hottest Pinkpop Ever. The asphalt of the Limburg racecourse (recovery: griddle) is scalding hot and shade is scarce: only one of the four stages is in a tent.
Although the organization hands out free water at the entrance, the brave visitors who dare to brave the huge queue have long since sweated out the necessary amount of moisture while waiting for the burning paving stones.
Those who had not yet been scorched during the day could still allow themselves to be flambéed by Metallica’s gigantic flamethrowers after sunset. Their masterly masterclass started at the very front on the triangular spur of the stage, where the band members were close together and surrounded by headbangers and fist swingers kicking off with the thrash metal classics ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Creeping Death’.
Lars Ulrich is still the most inspired but also the least gifted metal drummer (but it doesn’t matter)
Fire, venom, passion and (funnily enough) intimacy made it seem as if a sky storming band gave its first performance on which everything depended. Like no other, Metallica can collectively lift a crowd while making all visitors feel like they are being treated to a private show. Besides the usual roaring moments (“Searchììììng… Seek & Destroy!!!”) even the virtuoso solos that Kirk Hammett conjures up from his fingers with black lacquered nails, are collectively sung as if they were battle songs.
Typical Metallica: how frontman James Hetfield, after the lightning fast and biting intro of ‘Metal Militia’, dares to stop everything abruptly to casually ask the crowd: “Are you sure?” or announce a crowd favorite like ‘Sad But True’ with: “Here’s a song you don’t like.”
Also typical Metallica: even after 41 years, Lars Ulrich still proves to be the most inspired but also the least gifted metal drummer, who is as often wrong in two hours as he sticks his tongue out excessively – but that it doesn’t matter is doing. Because despite all the hiccups, Metallica effortlessly crush Landgraaf. Hetfield summed it up perfectly – visibly emotionally: “This is what we are on earth for.”