Tag Archives: concert

Was für ein Jahr …

Hier kommt er, der Jahresrückblick auf den ich eigentlich keine Lust hatte, weil zu viele wow-Sachen passiert sind. 😀

Aber von vorn … erinnert ihr euch noch, wie ich Anfang des Jahres noch darüber nachgedacht habe, ob ich von Englisch auf Deutsch wechsel oder zweisprachig mache? Tjoa, wie man sieht bin ich irgendwie einfach dazu übergegangen. Das war aber eher so eine notwendige, als bewusste Entscheidung, weil meine Blog-Aktionen doch eher deutsches Publikum anlocken … ein paar Englische Beiträge haben sich ja trotzdem dazwischen geschlichen, aber es wurde schon ab März immer seltener … Zusätzlich dazu, fing ich auch an die Beiträge nicht mehr länger als PoiSonPaiNter zu unterzeichnen, sondern meinen richtigen (Vor)Namen zu verwenden, da der ja mittlerweile auch bei meinen Veröffentlichungen steht … alles sehr merkwürdig …

Wo wir schon beim Blog sind …

Nachdem die DSGVO alles durcheinander brachte, wanderte der Blog im Mai von randompoison.wordpress.com zu randompoison.com. Damit kamen ein paar Umstellungen, die ich jetzt noch nicht alle hinter mir habe – vor allem die Zeilenumbrüche in alten Beiträgen muss ich noch durchackern … es gibt also immer was zu tun …

Und weil das nicht genug ist, gab es natürlich wieder ein paar Aktionen.

Nachdem ich letztes Jahr die Supermamas von Tina Skupin gelesen und Karriere: Superheldin von Marion G. Harmon gewonnen hatte, war mir klar: Ich muss die Nerdwoche neu auflegen, mit dem Thema Superheldinnen.
Gesagt getan und mit Hilfe von diversen Gastautorinnen füllten sich schnell mehr Tage, als ursprünglich geplant. Sogar eine Verlosung konnte ich dabei machen, bei der es Comics vom Gratis Comic Tag, die ich selbst gesammelt hatte und drei, die ich von den Veranstaltern selbst bekam und ein Exemplar der Supermamas zu gewinnen gab. Die Beteiligung war leider etwas gering, aber die Beiträge waren trotzdem klasse.

Nachdem es letztes Jahr schon so viel Spaß gemacht hat, musste ich auch dieses Jahr wieder einen Märchensommer machen. Diesmal war alles größer, ausgereifter und vielleicht auch besser? Als frisch ernannte Fee (inklusive meines aller ersten Interviews) der Märchenspinnerei hatte ich doch ein paar andere Möglichkeiten und einige neue Beteiligte, die mir bei der Umsetzung halfen. Zusammen mit fünf anderen Autorinnen erschufen wir dann auch das #CroMär, das Crossover Märchen. Mal schauen, wie es nächstes Jahr weitergeht. 😀

Die Feenwerdung hat auch gleich ein paar andere Sachen mit sich gebracht, denn kurz darauf, wurde ich auch schon die Patenfee von Susanne Eiseles „Das erste Lied„. Die Releaseparty habe ich nicht nur betreut, sondern auch eine kleine Videolesung für vorbereitet … und ich weiß immer noch nicht, warum es so klingt als wenn ich lispele. :’D

Das war die zweite von vier bedeutenden Lesungen dieses Jahr … die dritte war vor ein paar Monaten im Märchenhaus Neubrandenburg, als ich Ausschnitte aus drei Geschichten der Märchenspinnerei Anthologie „Es war einmal … ganz anders“ lesen durfte, leider nur vor drei Leuten, aber mal sehen, ob da noch mehr draus wird im neuen Jahr …

Vorher habe ich aber auch Katherina Ushachov schon mit einer kleinen Aktion zu ihrer Adaption „Zarin Saltan“ geholfen.

Doch nicht nur die Spinnerei habe ich unterstützt. Für die Veröffentlichung ihres letzten Galgenmärchens „Hexensold“ kam Nora Bendzko auf mich zu und fragte mich, ob ich die Betreuung der Online Releaseparty übernehmen möchte, während sie in Wien live feierte. Konnte ich auch nicht nein sagen …

Ups, irgendwie bin ich jetzt vom Thema abgekommen … ich wollte ja über den Blog reden … zwei Sachen davon waren aber auf Facebook … eine im echten Leben … also zurück zum Thema!

Fremdgebloggt & Geschriebsel

Neben diversen Beiträgen auf dem Nornennetz Blog (u.a. zu den Themen Comics, Conventions, Gute Bösewichte und natürlich Märchen) habe ich dieses Jahr auch zwei Gastbeiträge auf dem Blog des Bücherstadt Kuriers gehabt in deren Diversitätsmonat (Diversität ist mehr als Hautfarbe und sexuelle OrientierungEnglisch, Review zu „Strowlers“Englisch ). Doch das war nicht alles! Eine weitere Geschichte von mir erschien im Rahmen des #100Bilder100Geschichten Projekts (Ungreifbare Geschichte) und eine Geschichte, die ich gemeinsam mit June Is geschrieben habe, belegte gleich zwei Türchen des diesjährigen Adventskalenders (Operation „Joker“ – Teil 1; Teil 2).

Aber nicht nur das, ich habe auch andere … öhm … zu mir geholt.
Und zwar für meinen diesjährigen Adventskalender. Neben jeder Menge Schnipsel aus meinen verschiedenen Projekten, gab es fünf Kurzgeschichten an den Adventssonntagen und Heiligabend von Gastautorinnen.

Wo wir schon bei Kurzgeschichten sind …

Neben den oben genannten Geschichten gab es auch eine kleine Halloweengeschichte hier, ein Drabble im Adventskalender des Nornennetzes. Und natürlich meine Veröffentlichung in der Anthologie „Entzünde den Funken“ von Siiri Saunders & Adrian Stiller.

Massig Messe …

Dies ist ein weiterer Schritt in meiner Autorinnen-Karriere, in der es in diesem Jahr einige Highlights gab.
Für die LBM wurde für mich eine tolle Box gebastelt und ich habe seit dem ein gepimptes Logo, Visitenkarten und Märchensommer Lesezeichen (und Buttons). Ich denke, in diesem Fragefreitag vom Nornennetz, habe ich das denke ich mal ganz gut zusammengefasst:

Ich war 2017 das erste Mal auf einer richtigen Buchmesse, der BuchBerlin, als Besucherin, die sich ordentlich mit neuem Lesestoff eingedeckt hat und als Autorin, deren erster Anthologiebeitrag an jenem Wochenende erschien. Nicht viel später war ich dann eine derjenigen, die den Messeauftritt der Nornen auf der LBM 18 nicht nur geplant, sondern auch als Standinventar begleitet hat. Außerdem hatte ich da auch noch meine erste große Lesung am Stand … Momentan bin ich eine der Hauptorganisatorinnen unserer Messeauftritte (BuchBerlin 2018 und LBM 2019) und das ist irgendwie ein sehr schräger Wandel …

Kurz vor meiner Lesung regelte Elenor Avelle noch die Lautstärke des Mikros. (Foto: T.S. Elin)

Den Bericht zur BuchBerlin hab ich noch nicht geschrieben, aber eines der Highlights da, war definitiv die Lesung (Nr. 4) in verteilten Rollen von Anne Dancks Beitrag in der Anthologie „Verirrte Prinzen und bockige Prinzessinnen„. Die war einfach nur witzig … sollte die Aufzeichnung davon mal ihren Weg ins Internet finden, geb ich Bescheid. 😀

Als Gast war ich außerdem im Dezember online unterwegs. In Anja Buchmanns Adventskalender konnte man Weihnachtspost von mir gewinnen. Die Bücherhexe auf Facebook stellte in ihrem mein Projekt #Eishörnchen vor. Und beim Comic Klatsch durfte ich in Folge 8 (54:00:00 – 1:05:00) zwei Comics empfehlen. Den eine habe ich hier auch schon vorgestellt.

Auf Achse …

Das waren aber nicht die einzigen Veranstaltungen, an denen ich teilgenommen habe. Mit June habe ich Berlin nicht nur während des Gratis Comic Tags unsicher gemacht, sondern auch die German Comic Con besucht. Zusammen waren wir aber auch musikalisch unterwegs, als wir uns Van Canto bzw. Stratovarius und Tarja Turunen angesehen haben.
Mit den üblichen Verdächtigen, war ich dieses Jahr auch wieder auf dem Rockharz, auch wenn es etwas anders als geplant ablief … aber dazu irgendwann später mehr.

Faszinierende Fische

Obendrauf kam dann noch das wunderbare #NornenHopping, bei dem ich so vielen großartigen Autorinnen begegnet bin, das ich es immer noch nicht ganz glauben kann … geendet hatte es dann im LitcampHH, auf dem ich dann am ersten Tag auch gleich eine Session leitete. Zu beidem werde ich noch einen Bericht schreiben, versprochen!

Doch das war noch nicht alles. Mit meinem Vater besuchte ich zum ersten Mal das Ozeaneum in Stralsund und kehrte nach Jahren zum Königsstuhl zurück. Meinen Halloween-Urlaub verbrachte ich bei Elenor Avelle und half ihr bei der Vorbereitung und Durchführung ihres Hexenhofmarkts, bevor es dann mit Jancy für ein Wochenende nach Amsterdam ging.

Tja, wie ihr seht … hatte ich ein sehr ereignisreiches und wow-iges Jahr.
Vieles erlebt, viele tolle Leute getroffen, und doch ist es gefühlt irgendwie nur der Anfang …Wir werden sehen, was 2019 bringt. Bis nächstes Jahr.
Anne

In Concert 2013: Die Ärzte – Rostock

After excessive Blogging throughout the Book-Week I really need to get back into a writing mood and as I do not seem to be able to finish my post for last years Wacken am I trying to change course by finishing this concert review instead.
Originally I did plan on writing this before the Wacken post anyway, as it was before it, but after the WGT.
Anyway, one of the bands I failed to mention in the Soundtrack of my Life are Die Ärzte. I probably mentioned them in one of my other posts and I have used some of their songs for the Weekend Guess, but so far I failed to express what they mean to me.

Everyone starts somewhere…

As impressionable young teenager did I listen to what my parents and peers where listening to, but somehow the things I enjoyed most had guitars and other proper instruments.
Then in 2002 or a bit later did I catch the broadcast of the „Rock’n’Roll Realschule„, an unplugged concert of some of their most famous songs and I got hooked. They became one of the first bands I ever had an actual interest in.
I tried to get my hands on their CDs and pretty much everything that sounded interesting (like their biography „Ein überdimensionales Meerschweinchen frisst die Erde auf“ – An oversized guinea pig is devouring the Earth). For my Confirmation I got a whole package of their old stuff from my cousins and listened to it over and over again. The unplugged album and 13 soon became my favourites. At that time I still haven’t had a MP3 player so I either used a portable CD player or even made my own mix-tapes for my portable cassette player. I think I still have those tapes somewhere…
Besides the main band each of the members has side projects and of course I listened to some of them as well. After managing to see Farin Urlaub twice, we – BlackWolf , a mutual friend and I – finally went off to see them in Rostock in 2008 during their Jazzfäst-Tour and it was a pretty fun concert.
It then took me five years to see them on stage again.

The Medics are in

I don’t really remember how I noticed that they would play in Rostock again, but I was thrilled when I read it and marked it as one of the possible concerts for last year. Discussing them with Black Kat and Mücke it was soon clear that Kat would accompany me for this trip.
Setting off in the middle of the week I picked her up and we made our way to the City Hall (Stadthalle) in Rostock.
The hall is constructed to have a middle (standing) area that is surrounded by tribunes on each side and as there were no cards left for the arena we had gotten some for the sitting area.
It wasn’t until we had found a proper place to sit that we noticed a couple of strange things:

  1. We were surrounded by mostly middle-aged to old people up there.
  2. The younger people in the arena partly looked like they were in a club.
  3. There were barely any Punks in the crowd (DÄ are after all a band with roots in Punk Rock).
  4. We felt like we stood out amongst the people with being dressed semi-punky and in black.

There is a lot of controversy that DÄ are too mainstream to be considered Punk any more, but they still make fun of that in their songs. Other than that does it seem that people are trying to get to a concert of them just to say that they’ve been at an Ärzte concert, before the band retires completely (The same phenomenon happens by the way with Rammstein, where you can see more and more normal people at the concerts).
Regardless of the weird people (who didn’t even move a muscle most of the time) around us and the minimal moving space we had, was it again a pretty great concert. Die Ärzte aka BelaFarinRod are just one of the most fun and ridiculous bands I know. It is not just their songs that give you a good time, but also their conversations on stage and the general atmosphere they create. I didn’t necessarily understand all of their jokes, but that doesn’t really matter as I still had a lot of fun and was pretty much grinning all the time.
What surprised me most, however, was that I still knew so many lyrics, even though I hadn’t heard most of the songs in years… Guess I simply listened often enough to the majority of the pretty well mixed (many old, some newer songs) set list back in the day. 😉

Definitely no lullaby

After a long day at work and a great concert we – or rather I – had to drive back to Neubrandenburg. The most problematic thing on those night rides is to fall asleep while driving. I might not have mentioned this before, but I can’t listen to music – especially not the band itself, though I currently don’t have anything of DÄ on my player, which I should change at some point again – right away after a concert. I need some quiet time to properly enjoy what I just heard.
Regardless of that do I need to listen to something to keep myself awake and that is when I discovered something weird.
When my shuffle brought a Feuerschwanz song to my attention, I thought, I might as well listen to the other ones as well. What I did not expect was that I became more and more awake the longer I listened. I started to actually pay attention to what they were saying, which is in most cases utterly ridiculous and pretty perverted. I do not know why it helped me to become less sleepy, but it did… Kat later said, that she doesn’t really like the singers’ voice as it sounds too faked and she has a point with that. To me it doesn’t sound bad, but I can hear some kind of fakeness in the way he is singing, as if he changes the sound of his voice on purpose. Maybe that’s what kept me awake. 😀
As I am now completely off topic let me give you a short version of what you just read:
It was a great concert with a strange crowd and I’d go right away if I have the chance to attend another of their concerts.
PoiSonPaiNter

Re-Wri-Day: In Concert

As I have just released my review of the Schandmaul concert I attended last week, I contemplated about the reviews I had published before. As already the name of the category it was put in bugged me I set off to use this in the Re-Wri-Day.
What is the Re-Wri-Day?
Inspired by EdMooneyPhotography’s Re-Work-Wednesday and based on the fact that my writing style for this Blog has changed over the past two years I kind of created my own version of this.
But why the strange name and what does it mean?
I’m awful when it comes to puns and I couldn’t help myself but to turn re-write and Friday into one strange word: Re-Wri-Day. Sorry…
But in conclusion: These posts are supposed to be always published on a Friday, but not necessarily on every Friday, just the Fridays when I feel like editing an old post beforehand.
And what am I doing with this?
I am taking my old posts from the beginnings of writing this Blog or just former posts and read them again to see what things I can change or add. They wont necessarily be actually re-written, but some changes will be made.
In the Re-Wri-Day post I’ll also give you a couple of thoughts on why I had chosen the topic and stuff you might be interested in.
So, let’s have a look at the posts in the Category: In Concert
First of all I changed the category from simply „Concert“ to „In Concert“ and modified the post titles accordingly.
I also added additional headlines between different paragraphs in the posts.
In the summarized review for 2012 I made them simply the band name and place of the concert, whereas with the ones for Letzte Instanz and Avantasia I tried to use their song titles as puns (E.g. Journey to the Tempodrom as pun from Avantasia’s „Journey to Acadia„) or just tried to make any kind of remotely funny line, like in the ones for the Paganfest.
It feels like adding sub-headlines helps me to better place some of the information and nicely splits up the masses of words in a post.
I am pretty sure that the next big thing will be my festival reviews, as they are even larger and more confusing than those for the concerts – and I don’t like the category name either.
PoiSonPaiNter

In Concert 2014: Schandmaul – Berlin

Contrary to how I usually handle the reviews for concerts and festivals I’m giving this to you shortly after it has happened instead of after a huge delay (and yes, I do still owe you stuff from last year…).

Live The Last Dance…

Anyway, this years concerts started off with one of the bands that turned me into a Metalhead in the first place: Schandmaul. When Icewolf had sent me „Der Letzte Tanz“ (The Last Dance) and „Herren der Winde“ (Lords of the Winds) back in 2004, I believe, I started on a journey that has yet to end.
Their fascinating, funny and wonderful songs have stuck with me throughout the years; particularly „Leb“ (Live) that even made me reconsider the way I was going about my life and others that I just enjoy listening to. Many of their songs tell stories of finding/losing love, taking revenge or simply enjoying life, but also about legends (e.g. songs about Siegfried) and myths. All this is carried by different flutes or bagpipes, a violin or whatever other (medieval) instrument they choose to play the rhythm.
Even though this band is one of the first metal bands I ever listened to, it was only the second time I was able to see them on stage. The first time was only a short concert at the Wacken Open Air while standing in the rain and mud of the festival grounds (Read more: Wacken 2012).

A filled Chamber

Fortunately the concert was indoors in the Columbiahalle (or C-Halle – Columbiahall in English) in Berlin, so the only rain we – Mücke and I, as we gave him the ticket for his birthday – had to suffer through was on our way there. As we arrived in Berlin the rain had ceased and we had ample time for me to change into proper boots after driving and for us to file into the crowd waiting for the hall to open while having conversations about superheroes and joking with other people.

I really like this sign, unfortunately we don't have many of those in Germany

I really like this kind of sign, unfortunately we don’t have many of those in Germany


Finally inside we had a look at the merchandise stand before checking in our outdoor clothes (jacket and coat), as it was way to warm to keep them. After getting refreshments we stood at the side to see if we could see and hear well from there.
The hall, however, is shaped quite oddly:
There is a rectangular area in front of the stage with the speakers turning to the crowd.
There is also a rank like balcony, you’re not allowed to enter, surrounding that area. This not just reduces the room for the volume (as the speaker barely reach below the balcony), but also gives you pillars standing in your way while watching.
When the support act Die Kammer (The Chamber, not to be confused with Chamber) started their show we soon noticed that the acoustic where we stood wasn’t the best and we made our way into the area unaffected by the balcony. Though while the sound was better there, we now were amongst several strange people and had little to no space to move at all.
Die Kammer had just started playing when Mücke noticed the familiarity of their songs and one of their musicians. As an ASP fan a recognized their former member and decided to see them after the concert at their merchandise stand.
The music itself wasn’t too bad, though it was more country/folk than medieval/folk. It was nice to listen to and to see their different instruments interact (they had a tuba!) with the two singers. When the band members were introduced Mücke had already suspected the drummer to be another (as we now know) former ASP-member and was proven right when they said the name. We also learned that their violinist is the composer of the theme music of Löwenzahn (Dandelion), one of the most well known educational children shows here in Germany.

A sick bard and borrowed staff

After an awfully long intermission Schandmaul then finally entered the stage with a song I wouldn’t have suspected to become their opener („In deinem Namen“ – On your behalf, about the crusades if I’m not mistaken).
Only afterwards did we learn that the break was due to the singer not being healthy enough to sing (he had completely lost his voice during the afternoon) and the medicine he was given not kicking in fast enough. It is impressive what he managed to do even with his sick-voice and also a bit reckless.
His voice is the one thing that earns his money and he forces himself onto the stage. Of course he does it for the fans who are eagerly waiting for the concert, who have driven several kilometres (about 150 in our case) and just want to see the band perform. Still, there are several reasons why you would forgive a singer/a band for cancelling a show and being sick is one of them.
Aside from his illness a strange thing occurred during and after the first song. Usually the band has two women at their side, a flutist and a violinist. This evening, however, the violinist was a man, whom I soon recognized as one of the members of Fiddler’s Green, which I had seen live at Wacken 2010.
When the intro song was over Thomas (the singer) addressed the audience and pointed in the direction of the borrowed musician:

As some of you may have noticed: This is not Anna*.
*(their actual violinist)

This earned laughter from the crowd and he then proceeded to explain that she had given birth to a child earlier this year and was still at home with it (Just as I remotely remembered and told Mücke when I noticed the green fiddler) and he was filling in for her.

The Escape

The concert then proceeded with many great songs, some of which were picked out of an old chest. According to Thomas they had put a lot of old stuff into it when one of their mother’s had visited their studio and ordered them to clean up.
While he rummaged through the chest he – amongst other things – took out a folding chair that he tried to open with one hand. After a bit of struggle he actually managed to do it and sat down to properly read the paper he had just fished out of the chest. It was quite strange and pretty cool to hear „Der Kurier“ (The courier) being read instead of sung – and interesting to see that I kind of seemed to realize what song it was only from the lyrics while the people around us wondered what he was doing.
We could enjoy a good mixture of their older and newer songs, including „Leb“ and „Das Tuch“ (The Scarf – see this travelogue for more information on this one) until it got to crammed to even remotely clap your hands, let alone move at all. Signalling Mücke we then made our way towards the end of the hall (underneath the balcony) while one of my favourites from the newest album played („Kaspar„, about the tale of the Brandner Kaspar, a guy that strikes a deal with the drunken Death to continue living some more years).
Back there the acoustic wasn’t as bad as it had been at the side and it was definitely more pleasant to be out of the heat and bodies pressing against yours from every side imaginable…
Even the atmosphere was better as I had thought, as here the people actually were able to dance along with the music and enjoy it more profoundly.
Anyway, as we had stood through nearly the whole concert only a few songs remained, so we decided to already get the stuff we checked in earlier.
We nevertheless still managed to hear my other new favourite „Der Teufel“ (The Devil), where one of the assistants took up the parts originally sung by the singers of Russkaja and Fiddler’s Green, and „Walpurgisnacht“ (Walpurgis Night). Though I had hoped that they would play another faster song in the encore, but they kept it rather quiet with „Euch zum Geleit“ (For your company – a funeral song) and another song I can’t remember.
When they had said their good bye and said to return for autographs in a moment Mücke and I went outside to take a breather, have a smoke – in his case – and just sit down in the cool April air for a moment.

Autographs on the ticket, yay :)

Autographs on the ticket, yay 🙂


As you can see I managed to get four of six autographs from the musicians (Thomas and Anna being the exceptions, due to their absence). Mücke instead got the autographs from the former ASP members.
I also worked up my courage to ask one of them – drummer Stefan – if it would be all right with them if I tried writing down the stories they tell with their songs.
As I mentioned in the beginning do their songs tell different tales, which fascinates me and I would really like to try writing down the parts they left out and as I now have a „go ahead, try it“ from one of the band members, I feel a bit more encouraged to do so. 🙂
Regardless of the far too little space within the hall and the nearly unnoticeable sickness of the singer it was a really nice concert that I wouldn’t mind repeating one day – with less weird people surrounding me though.
And who knows, maybe I actually will try writing down some of the song-tales. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. For some official photos and statements you can read/watch the tour diary here: Schandmaul-Tourtagebuch (German)

In Concert 2013: Avantasia – Berlin

As I said in the review for Letzte Instanz: I split apart what I wanted to write about the concerts I attended this year.
So here is the continuation of my reviews.

Journey to the Tempodrom…

For the next concert I did not find any company. I had asked a couple of people – even including a woman I know through giving lifts – but no one had time or was interested in it. Besides, with ~40 Euro the concert was my most expensive one so far. But it kind of was a reasonable price as the concert wasn’t only in the Tempodrom in Berlin, but also three hours long, with a good dozen of different musicians from all kind of bands. Well, if you read the list from the post above properly you know which concert this was: The long awaited Avantasia concert. 🙂 (Which I also mentioned in my review for their Album The Mystery of Time)

As Berlin is a bit further away then Rostock and I did not want to drive through the night I had asked Liathano if I could take up the offer she had given me for the Paganfest and stay at her place again, which I then did. When I was about to depart for the concert she and her boyfriend gave me instructions as to which train-thing (I think it was a tram) I needed to use to get there. I’m always nervous when I take these things alone and checked my notes a few times…

On my way to the Tempodrom a guy with an Avantasia shirt entered the train-thing as well and sat himself right across from me. I couldn’t help myself but to grin at him as we most likely would have the same destination. Especially as he even resembled Tobias Sammet – the mastermind behind the project – a little…
But before we exited the train I entertained a little kid that his mum had placed beside the scary looking black-clad person. He was moving around his stuffed doggy(?) and I was making faces accordingly. He even waved at me when they left. 😀
When we arrived at my final station Shirt-guy finally asked: „I guess we have the same destination?“ and we started talking about the band, it’s musicians and the question of where the hell we would have to go…
Let’s just say we struggled a bit with the actual direction, but in the end we did find the Tempodrom – after some asking around – on the other side of the road… 😀
There he said he’d meet up with friends and as they had tickets for the ranks and mine was for the arena itself I parted from him and entered the building.

The Tempodrom is a huge building which kind of resembles a circus tent. You have the stage on the far side, which is the entrance of the artists. In front of it there is a round flat area, the arena. And then the whole things is surrounded by the tribunes, with quite a number of seats. As I said, I had a ticket for the arena, so I made my way to a position where I could see well.

Soon enough the musicians entered the stage, but the audience didn’t really do the same. My guess is, that the arena was only half full, while the ranks were nearly empty. Tobias even claimed that a Berlin audience is always hard to catch and hard on the musicians, but that they still would give their best to turn the Monday into a Friday (or Saturday, I don’t remember, but it was something like that).

Pleasing the foreign audience

As he had seen a couple of foreign flags in the crowd Tobias also decided to use English for his (far too long) monologues. Well, I certainly don’t mind people from abroad to visit or be on concerts in different countries, but I don’t really get why a German musician would have to not talk in his native language just because of that. I don’t know if this counts as considerate on Tobi’s part or as simple misjudgement as to the amount of people with no knowledge of the German language in comparison to those who did. I mean, I don’t expect a musician to change into a different language, just because I’m waving a flag, showing that I am not native to this country. I go to the concert for the music, not for the ramblings of the artist – though Tobias is well known for long ramblings/rants…

To digress a moment I’d like to give you two examples of bands, who wouldn’t change the way they speak:
At the Blind Guardian concerts at Wacken and at the Metalfest the singer didn’t speak English, though he knew of the multinational audience. This might as well be due to the fact that he has quite a horrible accent, but still.
On the other hand, when Sabaton play in Germany they talk English with a few German words here and there, but if a German were to attend a concert of them in Sweden, I doubt they would do that throughout the whole concert. For a few things probably, but not for the whole thing.
In conclusion: I have no idea why he decided to switch to English, regardless of the people expecting him to use his mother’s tongue.

Three great hours

Regardless of that and the fact that he really talks a lot, the concert was great. Not as great as I had expected due to the weird atmosphere of a half-full location, but still great.
They played a nice mix of old and new songs – even some that are around 10 minutes long – and showed me that all those ballad-like songs from the latest album are indeed quite rock-ish (Black Orchid has become one of my favourites of the record). The songs just have so much more energy when played live, with all these brilliant musicians. I mean they had Kai Hansen, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Amanda Somerville, Eric Martin, Ronnie Atkins and more.

It was great to see and especially hear all these amazing singers.
It was also great that some of the songs where usually Tobias sings the main part in the vocals were sung by other people and I have to say that those sounded even better.
The chemistry between the musicians was also quite amazing.
Even when Bob had just finished his first part their wonderful duet The Story Ain’t Over and it was time for Tobias to sing his part, but he instead just started laughing, Bob took over for him. Ronnie and Eric joked about Tobias‘ endless monologues and so on. You could just see that, even though there were not as much people as they had expected, they still enjoyed playing for the audience. And it is always fun to see Catley perform. He is always smiling and moves his hand according to the rhythm of the lyrics. 🙂

During their song Stargazers, a song that I don’t like that much, I got out to get some water – only to realize at my return that there also was a bar within the arena and I wouldn’t have had to go outside…
Though it gave me the chance to see that there were still a few people standing outside, for whatever reasons, but they wouldn’t have managed to fill up the arena either.

Anyway, some of my highlights, beside the ones I’ve already mentioned, were definitely: The Scarecrow, Twisted Mind, Dying for an AngelThe Seven Angels and Sign of the Cross. Unexpectedly also What’s Left of Me, due to the amazing performance of Eric Martin.
On a side note: I shortly wondered why the actor Benedict Cumberbatch was sitting on the stage, when Eric had first appeared…
In my defence: I just saw the the short black hair and was strangely reminded of him. And I didn’t know the faces of all of the musicians. I rarely do, because it’s about their voices not their looks…

Well, after the concert when I went back to the station – which I found through following random people and again asking for directions – I saw the guy from before again, typing away on his phone. Until he had to get off the train we continued our conversation, this time obviously about the concert itself. He was positively surprised that they had played so many of their longer (~10 min) songs, but I assured him that they also did that during their performances at Wacken, which was much shorter than the concert here.
When we parted again he said that we’d see us again when Avantasia would return to Berlin, but I doubt I would recognize him again…I can’t even remember what his name was….

Even with all the slightly negative stuff I mentioned, I really enjoyed the concert and I’d like to see them again one day. Maybe in four years, as Tobias had promised during the concert. 😀

PoiSonPaiNter

In Concert 2013: Letzte Instanz – Rostock

As I will not attend another stand-alone concert this year I’d like to give you a little review about the ones that I’ve been at. Like last year I wanted to write about them in one post, but it was soon clear, that that would end up being a horribly long post, so I split them apart.
At the end of last year I had made a list of concerts that sounded good/interesting:

  • Avantasia [were] returning to the stage for up to three hours of performance. I always wanted to see them alone and not “just” at Wacken.
  • Letzte Instanz play[ed] a concert in a small club in Rostock – far too close to resist.
  • Stratovarius (and Amaranthe) play[ed] in Hamburg, they’ve been great in Wacken (and Hamburg) that seeing them alone would be great.
  • Die Ärzte also play[ed] in Rostock and one cannot resist ones roots, especially if the concert is that close…
    (Edited list from: Concerts 2012)

It soon was clear that I couldn’t attend every concert I would have liked to. Especially as it looked like I would be writing my Bachelor’s thesis in the beginning of the year. That however soon changed, when I decided to take a breather from all studying related stuff and postpone the thesis until fall (which is now fast approaching).
Nevertheless I started asking people what they thought about the concerts.

Three’s a crowd…

During one of the Dark Noirs (Gothic-Parties I might have mentioned before) Black Kat made me talk to another member of the group Mücke (short for Brüllmücke/Roaring Midge), who had just asked her what concerts there would be in 2013.
He said that he wouldn’t mind seeing Letzte Instanz and Die Ärzte live and that I should write him the dates and the prices for both concerts.
Shortly after I did that another member, Kathy, asked if she could join us for LI and Mücke decided to only go to them as well.
So only a week after the Paganfest my first actual concert took place.
At our local bus station I picked up Kathy and Mücke and we drove to the M.A.U. Club in Rostock. As it was still pretty cold I had decided to take the motorway for the route, instead of  the – though shorter – country road, which was still affected by snow and ice.
The way there was a bit weird as I didn’t really knew either of them that well.
I had seen Mücke several times on parties and stuff, but I actually met Kathy the DN after I had agreed on taking her with us. So finding something to talk about was a bit awkward at first.
When we arrived in Rostock we decided to look for a place to eat at before the concert. Walking around the city harbor – were the club is – we found several high priced restaurants and the bar on the backside of the building. But eating at the bar that evening was only permitted to the band itself and commoners like us had to continue their search. We wound up in gas station on the other side of the road and I still get goose bumps when I think about, how we crossed it…

The invisible drummer

After we had a quite unsatisfying meal we returned to the entrance, only to see that it was not open yet and that only a few people were waiting outside. But as I learned that day: The club hasn’t been filled entirely throughout the last few years.
When we got in Kathy and I stopped at the merchandise stand for the obligatory tour-shirt, while Mücke made his way to the bar.
With the new purchases in the car and a drink in their hands (not in mine, as I was after all the designated driver) we made ourselves comfortable on one of the many couches at the side of the large room, just behind the sound technicians‘ weird and unsafe looking construction of a platform.
The concert started with the support band Lost Area which weren’t that good to be honest; not entirely bad, but I’ve heard better bands. Besides, their set list wasn’t that thought-out either as they constantly switched the style of the (cover) songs.
The funniest thing about their performance however, was that we couldn’t see the drummer. All the time we heard him, but we couldn’t see anyone. We even went as far and said that there was none and the sound played from a tape. Even when Mücke, who is quite tall, stood up and had a look, he didn’t find him. When I then stood up and looked, because I just couldn’t believe it, I saw movement on the far side of the stage. Quite up front there were arms being lifted up and down rhythmically. I declared that I had indeed found the drummer and revealed him to the others. 😀

Of barefooted cellists and jumpy violinists…

When it was time for LI to hit the stage we made our way nearly to the front row. It was weird standing that close and being seen by them as well. I haven’t heard many of their newer songs until then, so I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. But their manifold music made sure that I still had fun and the people around me played their part to that as well. LI also played enough of their old songs for me to enjoy. What is special about them is that they don’t only use typical instruments like guitars, bass and drums, but also a cello and a violin. Oh, and the majority of the musicians hopped around bare foot throughout the concert. 😀 (The cellist and the violinist even doing so on the wire mesh podium of the former.)
As his (full) nickname suggests, Mücke can be a quite loud fellow, so a few of his remarks even made it to the ears of the musicians. But as they are quite likable people, they did not scold him for it, but found it funny instead. They really knew how to entertain even as little as roughly a hundred of people.
Their most prominent members are by far the violinist and the cellist who joked around on stage all the time. And when they started to play a variation of their song Rapunzel (including Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes) the cellist stage dived into the audience and Mücke went further behind to grab him and carry him to the people a bit further away as well. The security guard was really anxious, while those two were making smalltalk in the crowd. 😀
Kathy had asked me, if we could stay a bit after the concert so that she would be able to get autographs for photos she had taken on previous occasions. And so we waited for the band to return from backstage.
When Kathy went to get the autographs she had asked me to watch out for her stuff and while she stood with them new photos were made by that days’ local photographer, one also of Mücke, Kathy and the cellist together. And being the shy person I am, I stood behind watching her stuff, as I had promised to do.
Soon after we made our way back and this time we definitely had much to talk.
Mücke and I talked about everything that we could think of, from old series and movies, over my book project with DarkFairy, about writing in general and so forth. The usual tiredness that settles in after a long day/concert didn’t stood a chance to surface. And Kathy slept through it all. 😀
To be continued…
PoiSonPaiNter

In Concert 2013: Paganfest

This years concerts started a bit differently, as it was a mini-festival that provided them.
When I looked for possible concerts I noticed that one of the bands I like – Alestorm – would be headlining the Paganfest, which is a series of concerts with about 6-7 bands a day in different cities – that’s why I called it a mini-festival.
I had heard little about the Paganfest, only randomly seeing some shirts but nothing concrete, so I did not really know what it was like. I only knew Alestorm would be there and that the Paganfest would have a station in Hamburg and Berlin.
Soon I started asking around for company for this (and the other concerts I had found), as I had failed to see Alestorm at the Metalfest the year before.
From my initial question Liathano was the first to say yes, even offering me her couch again. But as Black Kat and my other colleague – from now on called „Schnitzel“ – had interest in it too I thankfully declined her offer and told her that I might be using it for the upcoming Avantasia concert – that I’ll be covering some time later.
But shortly before the festival a nasty cold befell her and she couldn’t make it…
Neither could my colleague and fellow student – Lil‘ kat from now on – , whom I had asked as well, as she had semester at that time.
In the end I went with Black Kat, Schnitzel and Anice to the one in Berlin .

Of early Fridays and frozen bottles…

For quite some time I was certain that the „festival“ was on a Friday, so I was confused when Kat and Schnitzel talked about taking a vacation day for it.
But when I realized my mistake I was too stubborn to take a day off as well and decided to just go to work the following day. This way it was also a trial for the concerts after this one as they were in the middle of the week as well.
Nevertheless we soon ruled me out as driver for the evening, as my car is simply too slow in comparison to Schnitzels….
As Kat wanted to have a beer for the way Schnitzel joked about still having a bottle from the WGT (Wave Gotik Treffen, you’ll read more about this later) the year before.
Only to realize that said bottle did NOT survive the cold (aka freezing) winter….
Its content was completely emptied into the door pocket, as the bottom of the bottle was split off (more or less clear cut) and the whole thing smelled accordingly…
It is kind of a surprise that Schnitzel hadn’t smelled it previously, but as it was March the last frost hadn’t been that long away and it still is unclear when exactly the bottle broke.
Anyway, before we could start we needed to clean up the mess. Fortunately the pocket was leak-proofed, so it really was only a stinking pocket and its swimming content. Lots of stuff was thrown away that day…
When we were finally done Kat „sacrificed“ herself and sat at that side of the car. I’m not sure if my sensitive nose would have survived the trip otherwise. Even though we had put disinfection wipes into the pocket it now smelled of both: The rotten beer and the disinfection stuff….
Still, what was most fascinating about the whole trip was for me to have a back seat again.
When you start driving and you have your own car it is rare that you are the one being driven. And it was a nice change. I could actually see a bit of the scenery between Neubrandenburg and Berlin and converse and drink with Kat. 🙂
When we reached Berlin it was close to the festival already starting, but before we could even think about that we had to find a parking lot. Which is no fun, if the car does not have a green pollution badge and the concert is in a green pollution badge area…
When we had finally found one we had to wait a short moment for Schnitzel to change into more appropriate shoes (Normal shoes at certain concerns just aren’t save enough for your feet 😉 ), before we then took off – the clock already saying that the first band had started.

Bands, bands, bands…

The concert was in the K17, where I last was with Lil‘ kat for the Crematory concert the year before. Having enough bands to count as a mini-festival I couldn’t quite imagine how they would pull off the schedule, as I had heard that there were several floors in the building and knew that bands usually played at the same time on a festival. But they instead just did the simplest thing: They let one band play after the other on the same stage. That at least explained the early start at about 17:30 h. So as soon as we had noticed this we mentally prepared ourselves for six bands in a row by buying Mexikaner shots. This is, by the way, a „cocktail“ made of tomato juice and vodka. As I drank it for the first time I asked if there were some noodles with it as well, as it tasted like the the sauce of noodles, just way spicier… The others than suggested to created a noodle-shot in the same manner, but I’m not sure if that would even taste at all…
The first band that evening were Thyrfing from Sweden and I’m not sure how much of it we actually saw, but I think it wasn’t that much as I can hardly remember them…
Next on stage were Wolfchant from Bavaria. I remember them a bit more as they had two „singers“ and one of them looked – according to Kat – like a giant baby. 😀
Well the bald head and the chubby body did not really help his case.
They weren’t bad, but with the baby in mind you couldn’t really take them serious, at least I couldn’t.
Number three was then Canadian band Ex Deo (which is a side project from the guys of Kataklysm as I have just learned). With their suits or parts of Roman armour they looked quite impressive on stage and the music they made wasn’t too bad either.
The last one before the ones we were looking forward to see were Bornholm from Hungaria.
At this point I was quite annoyed that every band they had picked had a habit of growling their lyrics. I think I already mentioned this in one of my Wacken Reviews, but I am not a fan of this way of „singing“. But as I learned later: Only a few bands that fall into the category Pagan Metal do NOT use growls as this genre derives from Black Metal, though also from Folk Metal, but they only use the instruments from there.
We didn’t completely listen to all of these four concerts, as none of us is that much of a growls fan, so we did spent some time outside were you could sit – and have Mexikaner. 😉

Wait, that’s a woman?

With Arkona from Russia there was finally a change in that pattern, as they are pretty good at combining both growls and clear vocals. And all that is done by one and the same woman(!).
Schnitzel and Kat had told me that they had seen them at the WGT the year before and the show there was brilliant. They had played indoors as well and the audience moved around that much that they caused the heat in the room to went up several degrees, even causing the sweat to drop down from the ceiling again. Every bit of alcohol the bars had to offer was gone, the people were exhausted – but content – and the main band hadn’t even played yet and all this, while the singer still wore a thick, hairy pelt around her shoulders. I do not want to know how much she could wring out herself after that gig….
Berlin didn’t get as hot as that, but they still managed to grab the audience quite well.
And it is really fascinating so actually SEE this woman change from growls to clear vocals in the blink of an eye. I can really understand why people would mistake her as a man while just listening to the records, but if you carefully listen, you will notice that it is the same voice.
By the time Arkona had started we all were quite exhausted from standing around all evening so we sneakily had grabbed a stool from the bar room next door and had carried it into the stage room. With this we took turns in sitting. Alternatively the wall behind us – as we stood at the end of the room – provided us with a free foot massage, as the vibrations of the music resounded in it. It was quit a nice way to lose the tension in your feet after standing for so long.

Pirates!

After them came the/my main reason to be there: Alestorm.
And they were just as much fun as I had imagined they’d be.
I can’t really describe what it was like to finally see and hear all these ridiculous songs live, but I know for certain that the other three looked quite questionably at me when I sang and moved along with most of them. We hadn’t been on a concert of one of „my“ bands before, so they didn’t knew what I was like during one.
Alestorm is not just funny because of their (pirate-themed) songs, but frankly also because of their singer. Christopher Bowes the skinny, short Rumpelstiltskin – again named by Kat – that has a voice as deep as any bulky guy could have; at least I imagined him to be taller and sturdier before I saw one of their videos for the first time.
Speaking of videos: Alestorm used a remix of their song Shipwrecked by Drop Goblin – that is just as much fun as the original – as Intro and Outro, which was pretty fun too and quite catchy…
It was totally worth waiting through all that growling Pagan stuff to get to this concert alone. It was just so much fun. Even when Bowes let the crowd carry him to the bar at the end of their set. 🙂
On a completely different note: I considered the Rumpelstiltskin remark even more fun as Kat had intended as I still had the image of Robert Carlyle’s portray of the character in Once Upon A Time in mind and you can’t really compare those two, even though they’re both Scottish…
To sum this up, I think, I can speak for all of us, if I say that we had a good time that evening.
Regardless of that we also concluded that it wouldn’t have been bad if we had arrived for Arkona and Alestorm only, as the other bands weren’t really ours.
But it was a nice starter for a brilliant concert and festival year.
And it even caused me to do something on our way back, that I usually do not do: Sleep in the car while driving – or being driven in this case. 😉
PoiSonPaiNter

At the Festival: Wacken 2012

As this year’s Wacken is approaching fast – only about a month left – I’d like to look back at last years festival.
This is the third part of my festival reports about Wacken. You can find the one for 2008/2010 here: Wacken and for 2011 here: Wacken ’11. You might want to read them before you continue.

Ticket trouble and stuff…

Last year’s Wacken was again different from its predecessors. When I finally decided on going there I had no ticket at all, but as the Wacken forum has a sell-area as well, getting one wasn’t too hard. I just had to check in with the forum frequently.
I’m not sure if I decided to get the ticket before or after I knew the “pal” from the Hina Matsuri – who is not Iron Eve (check out the „Cast“ page for more information) – would want to go there too.
I remember us talking about it on our way to or back from the Japanese feast.

A fan of tickets.

A fan of tickets.


Anyway, I got a ticket for her and myself.
While DarkFairy and I were at the Metalfest we also started talking about Wacken and she decided to come as well. So the hunt for a ticket started anew, but in the end I went from no ticket at all to having five tickets. Two of which went to friends of my colleague and fellow student.
Though as I hadn’t heard anything from the pal until shortly before the festival I still had her ticket when she said she couldn’t come and I had to get rid of hers. Let me tell you: It’s no fun doing that two weeks before the festival.
Everyone I replied to did not reply back, so in the end I was stuck with the ticket and 150 Euro unpaid by her until now.
Regardless of all that nonsense above, Fairy and I planned our trip there and as I was staying at a room in Uetersen at that time Fairy decided to try out the new train that goes directly from Cologne to Hamburg and stayed a few days longer than just the festival.
Unfortunately the week she stayed was also my first week in the new accommodations and upon our introduction I forgot to mention Fairy to my landlady. (Funnily we got an addition to our contract about giving away the WLAN key and people staying longer than two weeks afterwards. I’m kind of sorry the other two who lived there with me had to sign theirs as well, but it is kind of understandable for a landlord to do something like that.)
Needless to stay Fairy could still stay when I explained it to the landlady, but before she arrived there I picked her up at the train station in Hamburg Altona. It wasn’t fun getting there the first time as I somehow managed to find a rout – or rather my satnav did – that involved a lot of traffic lights and construction sides.
A half an hour ride by car took me about an hour, so I got hopelessly late when her train arrived.
Shortly after we finally found each other I started talking funny, like misusing/-pronouncing words and so on. We had the same effect during the Metalfest days and more or less each time we Skype and we will probably also have it when I get to her place before Wacken this year…
If you ever meet both of us together somewhere: Don’t expect us to be able to talk properly (be it in German or English…)
Well, the week of Wacken was also my first week of semester, again,  so I had to leave Fairy alone for some hours each day to go there and see what they wanted from me/us. It was also the first semester I was officially in a different group than before, therefore not being there in my very first week was unfortunately not really an option…
I am still sorry that Fairy had to put up with all this, but I am still grateful that she did.
During her stay we did some exploring around town and Hamburg, but I won’t be covering that in this post. Maybe in a post of its own, but I’m not sure yet.
As I had to go to my lessons each day and nothing special was in the Running Order we stayed in Uetersen until Wednesday and used the time to work some more on „Warlords“ our book project (Find more about it on this Blog: dfppentertainment.wordpress.com).

A long and sunny day…

One of the Metall-creatures.

One of the Metal-creatures.


Thursday became our first day at the Open Air. We’ve been there pretty much the complete day – at least it felt like that, but we think we went there about noon.
As we weren’t staying in the Camping Area we had to use the Parking Area for a Day and we kind of drove in a circle around the village before we found it.
I think the first day it was already full, so we had to park in one of the streets nearby. We scribbled down a little note for the window, that said we were sorry that we had to use the parking spot.
It was a warm and dry day and it probably was the only day I could have worn my beautiful coat, but it was too warm for it. We used Thursday to explore the grounds to see the new attractions like the “Thrash of the Titans”-field and the „Bullhead City“ circus tent (which we never actually entered, as we found it weird to show the bracelets at the entrance). But also to have a look at the old stuff, as this was Fairy’s first Wacken. I think we even managed to get our festival-shirts that day.
Even though we did not really understand what the meaning of the Titans- field was, they did have some neat stuff there like the many robotic creatures in the form of a dragon, a horse and a spider. Seeing them move makes you want to know how they are controlled and programmed, at least if you’re a bit into IT-stuff as I am, for everyone else its a fancy show with robots and fire. For me too, but I still want to know how they did it…
Music-wise did we only fully listen to U.D.O., whom I wanted to see at one of the previous years, but didn’t because of the late schedule-spot. We just sat down in front of the Main Stage and enjoyed the concert. While we did so a random guy came up to us, to ask if we had a program and then continued to sit and talk with us for a moment.
I know U.D.O.s singer from his collaboration with Hammerfall on their cover of “Head over Heels”. I actually only discovered that it was this singer by coincidence as I heard an U.D.O. song in the Christmas calendar from the Metaltix-Homepage. The voice sounded familiar and I had to think of/remembered the song and then looked it up. So when that song was played I simply had to stop the conversation and actually listen for once.
Throughout it Fairy commented that the singer’s voice and appearance reminded her of a gremlin, I’m not sure he would like that comparison…
During this concert we by the way took the very first actual picture of both of us and we had met twice before this.
Afterwards we might have seen a bit of Saxon but we decided to get going anyway as we were somehow pretty tired and exhausted from all the wandering around.

The beginning of the end…

The crowd while entering the Stage Area for Hammerfall

The crowd while entering the Stage Area for Hammerfall


Friday was one of the days were we would have liked to get to the festival earlier, but couldn’t as I had to attend some lessons that went way longer than the concert we wanted to see, which was Oomph! around noon. We only managed to get there in time for Hammerfall and they had already started when we were at the entrance of the Stage Area.
It still was a great concert and the beginning of a muddy weekend…
During the night and the morning hours it had rained that much that the fields were so drenched that you couldn’t stand in one spot without moving your feet, without getting stuck,  every few seconds/minutes we had to lift a foot to free it again.
Fairy wanted to see Dimmu Borgir and Orchestra next, but somehow we seemed to only have seen a bit of it (as it was on my partly-list). We both can’t really remember why we went away. Might have been the sound, might have been hunger, might have been something entirely different…
What we did see, however, were In Flames with their school uniforms and Rock music and they were quite nice. As it was already late when their show ended we contemplated whether we should stay for In Extremo or call it a day. We decided for the former and we did not regret it. The show was the same they had at the Metalfest, but still great. It was streamed on television as well, so my colleague wrote me that she was watching it too.
We watched it from the sides where the Axe Festivalshowers stood and right beside us was this weird drunkard that, though he left us alone, was pretty annoying – especially towards the guards that stood there too. I can’t really believe that people would actually want to shower this publicly in those things…

Some decisions should better be made awake…

Anyway, when In Ex were done we made our way back to my car in the Parking Space for a Day. We had to walk through quite a bit of the Village for that – and this festival was the first time for me to see a bit more of it as we did not only park outside, but also had lunch or dinner in one of the many food places – and at some point we both – though completely sober – kind of started walking in wiggly lines, far too tired to walk straight…
When we finally got to my place after the concert it was about 4 o’clock Saturday morning, I think, and we had to get rid of the mud on our trousers.
Little did we know, that that was only the beginning….
So completely tired we hit the hay, keeping in mind that we wanted to buy groceries the next day before we went to see Gamma Ray or so was the plan…
When I woke up about 10 o’clock I went to Fairy’s room carefully waking her and asked what we should do. We had missed Oomph! on Friday, which she had wanted to see, and we were both far too tired to properly work. So we dismissed seeing Gamma Ray after we had made a very slow breakfast and went shopping afterwards. This actually led to one of the funniest experiences that weekend – except all the hilarious moments we had while editing our book:
We had invited some fellow students of mine for barbecue on Sunday, like some kind of closure for Fairy, so we went to buy the stuff to get the barbecue working and meat, Fairy also got herself a bread-thingy and we returned to the house.
One after the other had dropped out of the invitation, so only the guy from the MPS was left and we decided that we might as well have the barbecue at his place, with him and his flat-mate.
At that point we had the firm conviction, that we had everything we needed: Stuff for the barbecue and meat.
So we drove off to Wacken.
Well…it again had rained, so the mud was even deeper now and you had to be really careful with every step you took, unless you actually wanted to end up doing the splits.
We wanted to at least be there for Amon Amarth, but we came about an hour before it, so we started to listen to Cradle of Filth while struggling through the mud to flee from their pig-squeals towards the Wackinger Village. Yes, flee, as it sounded like they were slaughtering piglets on stage. Unfortunately Ingrimm were not able to drown out the entire squeaking…
So after a while we went back to the Video Wall to see Amon Amarth and we even found a more or less hard place to sit through it near the football field, which was still one of the rare spots of green. I think Fairy at that point read through the Metal Bible she had acquired. Just as I had done when I had watched Judas Priest like that the year before…
I’m pretty sure we even saw one of The Incredible Blood Brothers stalking through the mud. I had seen them in person – not in their show – on a Horror Convention (The Weekend of Horrors, about which I might add a post one day [Edit: Look at the bottom for the Pingback] )).
It was really interesting how everyone had different kind of techniques to advance. He had his shoes covered with a blue plastic bag. Others wore rubber boots – others none at all and we had our trusty boots to carry us through it; dirt in every gap of the shoe sole and mud nearly up to the knee.
When it was time for Schandmaul we wade our way towards the Party Stage. We had contemplated for a while if we should see them or The Scorpions that would be playing parallel on one of the Main Stages. As it was far more likely the concert of The Scorpions would be recorded and displayed, the decision was clear.
So when we found solid floor again we sat there until shortly before the concert. While we did so we took one of my favourite mud pictures, that even made it into the title-picture for our shared Facebook-Page (DFPPEntertainment), as well as my own (Poisonpainter) and my private one. I don’t really know why I like this picture, but it is somehow fun and the light in it is nice…

The best picture of muddy boots I've seen so far...

The best picture of muddy boots I’ve seen so far…


When the concert was about to start we moved on to find another spot to stand during the concert.
Two funny things occurred throughout it.
The first: While they played a thundery front was making its way towards the stage from the side. We watched the lightning and heard the thunder and when we had decided to put on our rain capes and had just finished doing that it poured down. Again.
The second is the final realization after our shopping earlier and went something like this:

“Um, [Fairy], we don’t have anything for lunch tomorrow…”
“Yeah, I know, but we didn’t buy anything that goes with the meat either.”
“We shouldn’t go shopping when tired…”
“Yup.”

So we stood there partly wet (as we tried to clap along and the rain poured into the capes…), exhausted from all the walking through the mud, with no prospect of lunch the next day.
But the show was great.
They even finished before The Scorpions, so that we could watch the finale of their show on our way out. It made us glad we had chosen Schandmaul, as the singer of the Scorpions seemed old and tired – it was their retirement show after all. So that was a good choice there.
As surprise act they had announced Edguy earlier that weekend, but as we had just seen them at the Loreley (Metalfest) as well, we decided to go and not wait until 2 o’clock for their performance, besides: It would be recorded.
On some occasion when we stayed in the Wackinger Village we shortly listened to Vogelfrey, but I can’t recall which of their many concerts it was.

Realizations…

Anyway, on her Blog Fairy had also made some realizations way back:

– Dixis (portable toilets) are unfriendly. Even if you greet them, they do not make a reply. XD
– “Knee deep in mud…” Sabaton must have found inspiration from Wacken.
– Wacken is like Rock am Ring. Just better.
Full Post here: Erkenntnisse by DarkFairy (German)

Let me tell you a little about them…
The Dixis
In the forum Fairy and I know each other from was a guy (Nebelkrähe, I spoke of him in my post about Concerts in 2012) that asked us to send his regards to the Dixis. Well, upon arriving at the Village on the first day and passing by the first loo Fairy greeted it, but it did not respond at all…
Luckily no one was in there to hear her greeting and say something – though that would have been funny.
The Mud
I think I’ve mentioned the mud to quite some extend already, but let me tell you it was muddy and it was awful getting all the mud out of our clothes.
We were really happy that we had decided to not camp there…
After one of the concerts we passed by a tent that was completely surrounded by mud. We have no idea how anyone was able to enter or leave that thing…
The “Knee deep in mud” comes from Sabaton’s The Price of a Mile and might be slightly exaggerated, but it was pretty close to that at times. Besides the mud splashes went up the whole trousers leg and sometimes even further…
Still, we had fun cleaning off everything, because it was ridiculous how much mud was on those clothes/shoes…
Have some pictures for it:


Oh, and we saw a guy standing in the middle of a puddle of mud, having lot’s of fun. No idea, if he ever managed to get out of there…
Rock am Ring vs. Wacken
Well, Fairy attended the Rock am Ring the last few years and it’s one of two major Rock-Festivals in Germany (The other being Rock im Park) and therefore she could pretty well compare these two festivals.
Her conclusion was: The booths and everything are pretty much the same, but the music and the people are way better – for a Metalhead at least. 😉
So in conclusion: We didn’t really saw that many concerts as we were way more comfortable with sitting in the dry and warm house and working on Warlords, but the once way did see were fun.
Besides: It was muddy.
Until the very last day, we had decided that we would not attend the next Wacken and focus on some minor festivals.
And then came the trailer…
Sabaton, Rage and some other good ones confirmed right from the start and more and more added to that throughout the end of last year.
When Rammstein – one of Fairy’s most favourite bands – were confirmed, we finally bought our tickets and now we are looking forward to all those amazing bands that will play this year. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time

Something different for a change as I’d like to write about my thoughts on the newest addition to the Avantasia releases: The Mystery of Time.
Avantasia is a side project of Edguy’s singer Tobias Sammet, who’s quite skilled when it comes to song-writing, in which he uses these skills and creates (captivating) stories and brings together many different musicians from many different bands to play and/or sing them.
I’ve talked about this project in my Wacken Reviews (just search my blog for those) and told you that I’ve been fortunate enough to see them perform on stage, twice.
But today I’d like to talk more about the „printed“ versions of the songs.

When I first heard about this project I was curious as I read that Sammet had wrote a Fantasy story and made it into a Metal Opera.
It took me a while to get my hands on the releases, but when I did I was captivated by the brilliance that are

The Metal Opera Pt. 1 & 2.

Coverart of „The Metal Operat Pt. II“

These two tell the story of the young cleric Gabriel that gets a closer look into the schemings of his brothers/superiors. They try to get their hands on a relic to close off peoples imagination forever.
When his sister is put under arrest for being a witch and he reads some documents he shouldn’t have read, everything changes. He himself is put under arrest and meets Vandroy the magician, who promises to help him in Anna’s rescue, if he in turn would bring back the artifact. So they flee together and Gabriels mind is sent into a world of Fantasy (Avantasia) where he faces many trials, while the elder stays behind guiding him.
This short summary doesn’t give enough credit to the story those two long-players depict.
And while in the first one Sammet explains the story in a lot of details, he didn’t do this in the second one – because fans were to lazy to read. I obviously do not belong to those and would have liked to have the story there as well.
But that can’t be helped and I am left with the little hope for a story-only release some day. I really liked the characterizations and thoughts he had put into the story. It’s a pity that only so little of it could be told.
As I said, these compilations were my first contact with Avantasia and when I found them the project was long since disbanded. Or so everyone thought.

Around 2007 Sammet decided to let Avantasia resurface.

The Wicked Trilogy

„The Scarecrow“ cover

As Gabriels story had been told, he now went into a different direction – not only story-wise.
Again many musicians from the first two albums like Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen (the founding members of Helloween and by now in their own projects Unisonic and Gamma Ray) joined him again, but also new additions and special guests like Alice Cooper and Bob Catley (Magnum). All in all it is always an interesting ensemble with this project and to name everyone would take simply too long.
This new version told the story of a man trying to follow his dream to become a memorable musician and is not just told in the 2008 release „The Scarecrow„, but also in 2010s double-album „The Wicked Symphony“ and „Angel of Babylon„, giving the story the name „The Wicked Trilogy„.
While the first two albums were depicted as Metal Opera’s, these were as Rock Opera’s. Describing the new sound pretty well.
But as I am a fan of fantastical stories this one didn’t really capture me, though the music did. And that was worth it. Though it made them just like any other album, without this special something they had in the Metal Opera storyline. After all the project name has the word „Fantasia“ (Fantasy) in it, but there wasn’t that much Fantasy in this one, unfortunately.
The change in sound and storytelling was strange at first, but the songs proved captive again. What also changed, was that Sammet got more and more into the focus, well he is the mastermind behind all of it, but as these three albums also held a little autobiographical background, it felt to me as if the other participants became less and less important. Though probably only in the eyes of the audience. He hopefully still sees them as what they are: amazing musicians; and not gets this whole thing over his head.
Regardless, I anticipated each release and of course the tour they had started.
This after all let to two of the greatest concerts I’ve been at so far. But I already covered those in my Wacken-Reviews.

Having said that, I have reached the point I wanted to write about in the first place:

The Mystery of Time

Again Sammet had told the people Avantasia was finished.
Again he couldn’t stop writing for it – he even turned the music of his own band, Edguy, more Avantasia-like, which is a pity as they were capable of making their own great kind of music.

The brilliant cover of „The Mystery of Time“

And thus he created a new story. This time he again tells a tale, though in a more scientific setting, as the main character Aaron Blackwell (who probably gets stuck in my head with the name Arthur o.O) argues with Science and Reason amongst others about the mysteries of time. I am personally not that much of a SciFi fan, but this story is also interesting in his „philosophical“ aspects. Where The Metal Opera dealt with the struggle of losing ones make-believe, the Wicked Trilogy with the prices that come with fame, this piece deals with the momentariness of time. What it means to use or not use a moment given to us in a situation. This again is an interesting concept and as it seems The Mystery of Time is only the first chapter of the story. I’m curious where this is headed, especially as the story itself is partly told through what seems to be diary entries (with a hard to read font) of the protagonist.
With the return to the storytelling also returned the great (cover) artwork that has been there with the Metal Operas. I kind of prefer those abstract creatures over the clearly outlined pictures they used for the Wicked Trilogy, though the Scarecrow, the (creepy) Angel and whatever it was for the third part, were done well too. Still, in the inside were only photos of Sammet, which again supports the focus theory from above…
Anyway, while there was a return to the original roots with the story and the artwork, Music-wise the long player describes itself as Rock Epic, which again fits it quite well as it is a mixture of rock tunes combined with the music of the Filmorchestra Babelsberg. I might haven’t mentioned this before, but I’m quite a fan of orchestras and orchestra elements in songs, so this was a really nice change. Surprisingly all songs are rather soothing and calm. For me it seems like an album with 10 ballads (well 11, but the last one’s an extra). Nothing really that much of an up-tempo track, at least not compared to what I listened to these past months. Where I could pin point the songs I liked right away with the other albums, I can’t with this one.
I don’t know if this is just me or the music. I have listened to it several times by now and I am only slowly getting used to the songs, but I still haven’t found any where I would say: Yes, that’s it.
I am somewhat looking for songs like „Memories„, „The Toy Master“ or „Death is Just a Feeling„, but none has a similar streak to them…Some even remind me of old or other songs…
Don’t get me wrong, the songs are great and all, but I haven’t found that special something I am looking for in a song, but maybe I will after listening some more to it. Some songs do have the potential for becoming my favourites. Simply because of the orchestra elements and the melodies. 😉

Nevertheless, the Mystery of Time is again a great piece of musical conception and storytelling. And another reason for Sammet and his people to tour again.
And as luck would have it they play a show in Berlin.
And guess who will be there to enjoy it. 😉

So, see you around

PoiSonPaiNter

[Edit: If you are interested about how the concert was, look here
© The rights for the covers belong to their respective owners.]

At the Festival: Metalfest 2012

One day, when I skimmed through a magazine I saw an advertisement for the Metalfest festivals – a series of festivals throughout Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, etc.). When I saw the billing I knew I would like to go there. 2012 the Metalfest was twice in Germany: One in Dessau (Metalfest East) and one in St. Goarshausen (Metalfest West) and according to the billing Blind Guardian – a brilliant band that I had last seen in Wacken 2011 – would only play in the western version of it.
Long story short: I asked around who would like to accompany me to the Metalfest West/Loreley – even though it would be farther away from home than East. Luckily it isn’t that far from DarkFairy’s place, so she volunteered and we managed to finally meet again after three years.
As you might remember Fairy and I are working on a book project called „Warlords“ and this meeting proved to be really productive in meanings of planning and editing. So when we had decided to go for it we also decided that I would stay a bit longer so we could work on it and also have a look around Koblenz. And we worked a lot on it. We even constantly carried around a little black notebook to write down whatever ideas we had. and that occurred mostly during any songs that somehow fit our characters/stories, so we even sat down in the Festival Area and scribbled those notes done. We even made sketches on a serviette, but we will cover that separately on our blog: dfppentertainment.wordpress.com.

High above the Rhine Valley…

The Rhine Valley close to the Lorelei


A Castle in the Rhine Valley close to the Lorelei


The first day of the festival was a strange one.
It kind of put us in a roller coaster of experiences. It all started with Fairy’s satnav that calculated an interesting route to the festival area: The amphitheatre at the Lorelei (Loreley in German). Our route lead us straight through the Rhine, well basically it let us to a ferry to cross it. While figuring out what to do, we saw some other Metalheads and asked them if we were really at the right place and they told us, that we just had to take the next ferry as there were no bridges anywhere close by.
As we waited we had a chance to look at the amazingness that is the Rhine Valley…simply breathtaking beauty of nature and former craftsmanship of the wine-people. When we drove back that night, we found the way we wanted to go the first time on the other side of the Rhine, were we would cross the bridge in Koblenz. Really nice scenery on either side of the Rhine…
Crossing the river we then had to drive up serpentine like roads to reach the top of the Valley were the festival would take place. It was funny seeing as Fairy was used to it  – thanks to growing up in the Eifel – while others failed horribly and caused us to go as slow as them. When we finally reached the top, the next question became apparent: Where do we park?

A tractor mowing the remaining parking area.


We first asked some guy, that looked like he worked there and he sent us a bit further down to park there. But when we got down, another guy or girl told us, that we should park back were we just came from, so it was back up again…seemingly no one knew what the other did and unfortunately this was something that continued through this three days as the organization wasn’t the best one…
When we had finally parked and gotten ready, we saw something funny again: A tractor was still mowing the field for more cars to park.
The next thing was: Finding the way to the Festival Area. As we had seen something while we were mislead we tried that direction first and after some trial even found the bracelet booth.
And the queue, the awfully long queue, we might as well could have moved along the field you see in the photo to reach the end..

Standing in line…

Luckily for us we found one of Fairy’s fellow students in the line and after some contemplation joined them and managed to end up in about the middle of the queue and somehow it was the part where there was a nest of teachers or former teachers or those who aim to become teachers…all in all a weird bunch of people. When we didn’t move or at least only barely for quite a while, Fairy became restless and what did she do? She asked all those long haired males around us whether one would like her to braid his hair…and she indeed found a volunteer. 😀 Occupying ourself with our newly found companions in misfortune, we slowly moved down to the booth again. We talked about all kind of stuff, like school – teachers remember? – bands/music and the fact, that Fairy and I had bottles of water with us instead of beer or any other alcohol. Well, we wouldn’t be staying there over night so at least one of us would have to stay sober and it was pretty warm and sunny…
They wanted us to be their drivers whenever we came to their place, we kind of agreed if we managed to meet up again. Not much surprise here, that we didn’t. 😉
Anyway, originally we had planned to see Alestorm that day and even though we got there about two hours before their show: We made it into the area when they had just finished their set…
I think I complained quite a while about the organization of the booth – and still do – that had caused us to miss them…

Our local new friend =)


Well, this way we had enough time to look around the pretty small area. I mean, I am used to festivals like Wacken, but this was kind of „cute“ compared to it, even somewhat familial…
Above the theatre you have a lawn with trees were you can simply sit down and enjoy the view. The theatre itself consists of stone benches that lead down to the stage. Each bench had enough space to stand between or on top of them – and for the majority of people they became steps instead of benches. Just a brilliant and amazing setting for such a festival and some of the bands that we would get to see.
Some time during the day we just sat on the lawn and listened to whatever was on stage that time and we got a little company from one of the local residents. 😉 It seemed that he did not want to leave us after we had discovered him, but than he was just gone. Hopefully no one trampled or otherwise killed him by accident or on purpose…

Front row!

Besides this new friend we also found another of Fairy’s fellow students –  a former one this time – who was also at the festival and thanks to him, we kind of ended up in the first few rows of the Blind Guardian concert that day. As I mentioned in the beginning they were the main reason why I wanted to come to the Western Metalfest and I am more than grateful that he simple threw Fairy over his shoulder and jumped down the steps – except the fact that I had to rescue her from being strangled by her backpack, but it kind of was worth it. While the atmosphere in Wacken was amazing due to the masses of people, here it was awesome because of the setting (and our position to the stage) and come on: Who wouldn’t get goosebumps in a setting like in the video, when everyone is singing along (for what felt like about 5 minutes…we were kind of annoyed in a good way when we could finally stop).

This was one of several great experiences those days. Meeting up with her companion again we also were in the front rows for the Powerwolf concert the next day. As I told you in my concert review for last year, I had seen them in April in Berlin and now wanted to introduce Fairy to them and what can I say? They easily won her over, after the keyboarder had entered the stage. We both greatly enjoyed the concert and the companion again said something interesting about lead singers and the crowd: They are like dictators, they dictate what the people should do and then the people do it willingly without thinking twice. Well, there is some truth to that, but as long as this is just about clapping, jumping and/or singing along, who could blame any of them?
After their concert we noticed that Powerwolf would be signing autographs and again we stood in a queue…
Fairy got a picture of herself and her new-found favourite – the keyboarder, and I got an autograph for me and one I later sent Liathano as a memento for the concert we’ve been on together.

We’re sitting in the rain, just sitting in the rain…

The Side of the Stage between Rain and Sunshine


Shortly after that session the weather started to change. Luckily we had a large poncho with us to secure us from the rain. Weirdly there was this guy that first looked at us and than sat himself between us under the poncho starting a conversation. We felt kind of relieved when he was finally gone. Though we saw him again after that, but he wasn’t as intrusive as that time above. It stopped raining right before Edguy started their show. Causing a double rainbow to spread across the side of the Stage Area and also bathing the buildings in sunlight while the dark clouds still hang in the sky. It was a most impressive view and a good concert. Even though I would have liked them to play some more old songs and the singer not to make such bad jokes about their concert on the Metalfest East in Dessau. I have nothing against bad jokes – I make a lot of them myself, but I’ve simply had enough of jokes regarding the former GDR and so forth. Germany is reunited for more than 20 years now and people still judge the Eastern parts – and its people – the way it used to be. And that’s just childish and dumb and as good as the music is that Tobias Sammet creates, I can’t stand it when anyone makes jokes like that…
Anyway, the next day we hadn’t really had that many bands to look forward to. Only Ensiferum and In Extremo, but InEx where totally worth it. It was a brilliant concert, probably again thanks to the setting and a worthy ending for the festival. The bag pipes of this band are just great – so are the bag pipers, but that’s beside the point. 😀
As I with Edguy, Fairy had hoped to hear some other songs of Ensiferum, but instead we were met with the creepy sight of one of the guitarist shirtless and bearded. Seriously that dude has a beard that reaches nearly down to his belly and is cut like a rectangle. o.O
Weirder than that only were the dreadlocks of Equilibriums singer…and that dude that kick-danced to Fear Factory

But that’s not yours!

Well, we had some fun encounters throughout the weekend – beside the rain-guy.
The first day we were able to bring water bottles into the Stage Area, the next day we had to take them away, so we went to look for a place to put our bottles without having to walk all the way to the car.
Well, luckily for us, we found an aged couple – we called them „The J.B.O. people“ – not far away from the entrance and asked them whether we could place our bottles in their tent, which we could and that let to a fun discussion later on.
When we returned the next day their neighbors were present and watched us and when we were done drinking one of them actually dared to say:
„That’s bold.“ As we asked him what was, he said: „The water. Just taking the water out of the tent.“
As we told them that it is ours he replied: „No that’s our neighbors.“
To which we then told him: „No it’s our water, they allowed us to put it there.“
Where they only awkwardly looked at us and said they were sorry.

The Rhine from the Side of the amphitheatre

The Rhine from the Side of the amphitheatre


Another encounter was with one of the guards at the side. We just sat near the autograph booth and listened to the band that was just playing and saw that he was taking some photos of the Rhine from his position.
So we looked at each other and knew we had to ask him too. and thus the photo you can see on the side here came to existence.
Isn’t it just nice?
Oh, and before I forget it: We encountered Metal Tigger. A Winnie the Pooh plushy with Metal-vest that was appropriately decorated with badges. The mascot was on several festivals and managed to get pictures taken with tons of Metal fans and musician and now there is a picture of him and Fairy in the Gallery for the Metalfest Loreley. 🙂
Music-wise we listened to quite a bit while on the compound, some of it only partly as it didn’t fit us, like Tranquility, Legion of the Damned, Hypocrisy, Megadeth, Kreator or Moonspell – mostly because they are Death and/or Black Metal bands.
Some others, like Epica, we had to leave because the sound was not appropriate for the band or – Saltatio Mortis – where we discovered that they were much better suited for smaller stages.
Behemoth were we only saw the end of their set were especially funny, as they blasted black plastic shredding into the audience. Well, it was more fun to see all those helpers and their broomsticks trying to get rid of them before the next concert – we secretly called them: The Evil Shred Band („Böse Schnipsel Band“). 😀
When we waited for In Extremo we listened in on Kyuss Lives!, which are not bad, while having a hot dog and trying to figure out if Alea from SaMo had a secret side-job as hot dog vendor and watching some dudes playing with a Footbag. Yeah that was a nice evening.

And now for something entirely different…

Well, not just a nice evening, but also a great week(end). After a bit relaxing on Sunday Fairy showed me around in the pretty green Koblenz. We went sightseeing in the city and an old former fort as well as an area that had held a gardening show some years before, high above the city.
We also were at the „Deutsches Eck“ were the Moselle joins the Rhine. When we approached the large statue Fairy told me that it was for some kind of „Karl“, well as we came closer we could make out the letters and it started with a „W“, so it wasn’t that much of a Karl… 😀
We also waited for a watch-face to poke out its tongue, but not all of this in that order.
Still, this was a great week and if the billing would have been better this year, I guess we would have returned to the Metalfest.
We’ll see what next year brings. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter
© The rights of the video lay with Metalfest that has provided this over their Youtube-page.