Rock en Seine 2010: Rated!
Domaine National de St Cloud, France - 27-29 August
01 September 2010
Overall – 7/10
For the die-hard festival-goer, Rock en Seine could be the ideal way of prolonging the festival season by one more week. Held over the last weekend of August, Rock en Seine is one of the last big summer festivals with a location convenient enough to attract visitors from all over Europe. Throw in a line-up of long established bands and you’re sure to sell out fast.
Getting There and Back – 9/10
Getting to Rock en Seine is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Hop on a train, get on a bus or board a plane and get yourself into the city.
Step 2: Find a metro station, look on the tube map and make your way to the nearest festival station.
Step 3: Get off the tube, spot the Rock en Seine sign posts and follow the arrows.
The Site – 6/10
True to its name, Rock en Seine is located along the banks of the river. This makes for a very long, stretched festival site, which in turn means you’ll have to walk for 10 minutes to get from one stage to the other. This is a small price to pay, however, as the area is filled with food stalls, merchandise and special projects such as a photo exhibition. The French are known the world over for their cuisine, which is reflected at the festival. There is food from all over the globe, from Africa to Asia and back to France in the form of a wine bar. So there’s really no need to dig into cold pizza and sloppy hamburgers.
Atmosphere – 7/ 10
At first glance, the French appear to be a lackluster bunch, but as the evening sets in, the audience grows both in number and in eagerness. The Parisians are gentle folk. There is no pushing or shoving, and if you want to, you can walk straight up to the stage. The crowd’s gentleness is equaled, though, by its enthusiasm. There is more crowd surfing over this one weekend than there was in the rest of Europe over the entire summer, as of course it’s now prohibited in most places.
Music – 7/10
With three stages, Rock en Seine has enough room to promote long established bands such as Blink 182, Skunk Anansie, Cypress Hill, Roxy Music and Stereophonics as well as showcase some newcomers like Rox, The Temper Trap, All Time Low and Plan B as well as French stars too. Although the whole line-up is pretty safe, it still produces a great variety of styles ranging from rock to dance to urban music, making sure there’s something for everybody to enjoy.
Skunk Anansie – 7/10
Back from the dead, Skin and her band mates, are ready to once again conquer the world. Most of the festival-goers still remember the good old days when Skunk Anansie played one festival after another. So it’s no surprise that a lot of people show up to watch the show. Not much has changed as singer Skin is still as full of energy as she ever was. She uses every part of stage, and when she’s done with that she dives into the audience. This is a rock show like it should be.
Blink 182 – 7/10
The band members of Blink 182 may grow a little older every year, but this does not reflect on their show or their audience. Blink still calls in all the teens with their infantile humour and lyrics. But they give it their all and the crowd enjoys it. Blink 182 is a band the way a band should be. The guitarist is equally as important as the drummer or the singer. All the band members get their share of the stage and the spotlights, and they use it to their full advantage. They seem happy to be back on the road again, and the audience is more than happy to have them back.
Paolo Nutini – 8/10
Blues is a tough style to sell to the newer generation, but Paolo Nutini succeeds in drawing a young audience to the stage. Of course some girls are there purely to watch the concert, rather than listening, but most people appear to be enjoying themselves relaxing to the summery sounds of Nutini’s folk rock. With a few hits up his sleeve, Paolo can count on a big sing-a-long from the audience.
Rox – 8/10
As the new kid on the block, Rox has to pull out all the stops and really make an effort to win over the audience. At the start of her show, there are a mere handful of spectators, but her irresistible mixture of soul and rock lures the passers-by to the stage like the old Greek Sirens. The audience members warm up to Rox’s sultry voice and dancing, especially during her hit single ‘My Baby Left Me’ and her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ put The Corrs at shame.
The Ting Tings – 9/10
Though The Ting Tings are not the biggest name on the bill, they do draw the biggest crowd. The field is packed in anticipation for the pop duo. The anticipation is more than met, as the band pull of a fantastic show. The audience goes bonkers, dancing to the beats, clapping to the rhythm and even crowd surfing to the bands biggest hits ‘That’s Not My Name’ and ‘Shut Up and Let Me Know’.