We spent the night in Cologne and made a day drive into the Rock Werchter Festival, where we arrived about 3 hours before showtime.

The guys played Werchter in 2010 and it was great.

Werchter is one of the best run festivals out there, with top notch dressing rooms, facilities, and staff, not to mention the ping pong table that was set up outside the band’s dressing room.

So far this summer the guys have played mainly metal festivals over here, but Werchter has a more eclectic lineup.

So instead of a backstage area filled with the occasional scary looking dude in white facepaint wearing black a black cape and spikes, there was an overabundance of nerdy looking young dudes in skinny trousers wearing shirts with horizontal stripes.

And the Snidely Whiplash mustache was out in full force as well.

I don’t know who any of them were, and I know it’s not right to judge a book by its cover, but when the cover is that silly looking I’ll just move to a different section of the bookstore.

And if I’ve just offended anyone by making fun of someone else’s looks and style, I’ll just remind you that as a young man in my 20’s living in Seattle during the so called “Grunge” era, I (and each and every member of Alice In Chains) fell victim to the fad and occasionally wore thermal underwear under shorts.

Every generation makes its share of fashion mistakes, and there were a lot being made in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

As you get older and look back through old photos or videos, you wince at how seriously stupid you looked while attempting to look cool.

Back in those days, I used to describe the Seattle look as a bunch of people trying really hard to look like they didn’t care how they looked.

It was our thing, and for a tiny sliver of time it became the world’s thing.

Then it quickly died out and was tossed on the fashion scrap heap.

(Flannel never goes out of style however, and I will unapologetically wear that to my grave)

Thankfully the music had a longer shelf life than the fashion.

Long live grunge!*

Anyway, I was curious how the fans here would react to Alice In Chains, since the lineup was so eclectic and the bands on our stage earlier had nothing to do with hard rock.

But as the clock ticked down to showtime, the place filled up, and it ended up being a really solid crowd.

There were two separate mosh pits going, tons of people all over were singing, and at least one dude successfully crowd surfed after several failed attempts.

All in all it ended up being a better crowd than I would have expected, and it turned out to be a great day.

*I use the term “grunge” ironically.

We snobs in the Seattle community only use that particular word in order to make fun of the people who actually refer to the music using that moniker.