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At the Festival: Wave Gotik Treffen 2013

As this years festival is drawing to its end I thought, I might as well finally finish my review for last year.

Black Leipzig

The Wave Gotik Treffen (Wave Gothic Meeting) or short WGT is a black festival that takes place on the weekend of Pentecost (Pfingsten) and stretches across the whole city of Leipzig (in Sachsen/Saxony). It offers many events, concerts and what not in every imaginable location like the Monument to the Battle of Nations (Völkerschlachtsdenkmal), the „Kohlrabizirkus„, the Moritzbastei, parks, cemeteries and many more.  To get there the ticket includes free access to public transport for the weekend, which is used by thousands of black or otherwise spectacularly clothed people (Goths, Metalheads, Cyberpunks, Steampunks) that flood the city and mostly the area of the Agra exhibition centre, that also holds the camp grounds. As last year was also Richard Wagners 200th birthday some of the attractions also included opera visits.

The Booklet, the Ticket and the (enlarged) bracelet

The Booklet, the Ticket and the (enlarged) bracelet


Many years ago, when I was still quite young, my family and I visited the newly renovated main train station in Leipzig during Pentecost. Back then I hid behind my mum or dad and watched those black people pass us with fascination and a bit of fear and now I am one of those people as last year also marked my first WGT. I accompanied about half of the Black Pack there and hadn’t really planned on attending until shortly before they purchased the tickets. I let them persuade me as it just sounded too interesting. The tickets were, by the way, white and plushy, which caused an emergency meeting after their arrival.
As we had to pack three cars for eight people we met up the evening before we set off to move luggage around and discuss the route. Our third car would arrive later as they would pick up their third passenger on the way and we planned on setting off quite early the next morning, though our actual departure was about an hour later. Interestingly as we made our first stop in Gransee (shortly before Berlin) the others caught up with us and we then continued together. But not without the realization that we are far too well prepared as Schnitzel or Anice offered Mücke Italian Herbs as he complained about an unseasoned roll with topping.

Camp Laziness and a panic attack

After several hours of driving we finally reached the camp ground without our third car as they did not have a parking ticket. When the supervisor had reached us he urged us to stick the parking sticker onto the front window and since then I have an upside down Richard Wagner head there. Thank you Black Kat
She, Anice and Kathy went ahead to find the other ones (not our third car) who already had secured their usual camping spot while Schnitzel and I assembled the handcart and secured the tents on it.
It was fun to see so many different ways how people carried their stuff to the camp ground as unlike Wacken this festival doesn’t allow camping and parking on the same ground.

The Schedule had to be folded twice to fit into the ~A5 booklet.

The Schedule had to be folded twice to fit into the ~A5 booklet.


As it was annoying to always take out the ticket to enter the camp ground we soon went to secure our light blue bracelets. In addition we also got a festival booklet, but not a small one like you’re used from other festival this one was a thick, hard cover book with similar ticket-plush on the cover. It also include a large schedule with every notable information for every location.
When we had finally finished setting up our camp a horrible question arose for me: „Where the hell did I put my car keys?“
Looking through all my pockets and the tent in panic I simply couldn’t find it and Schnitzel already offered to walk back to the park ground with me. When Kat tried to calmly talk me through every possible place again, I finally found them stuck between my blankets, air mattress and the side of the tent. After this fright I definitely needed a drink…
Though they had warned me of the laziness of the group I did not anticipate how lazy and how unwilling to do anything beside chatting at the camp ground everyone was. As a result I/we only attended a few concerts in the vast amount of stuff you could have done that weekend.
What we managed to do several times was stroll through the nearby Agra hall that was turned into a shopping mall for pretty much everything scene-related: clothes, accessories, toys and many more. Beside a semi-official festival shirt (with Zombies 😀 ) everyone kind of found something he or she was more or less looking for. With Schnitzel, Anice and me we also had three people, who couldn’t pass by the displayed gas masks without thinking „Are you my Mummy?„.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel…

Just in the adjacent hall was the closest indoor stage to the camp ground, where a couple of us started the trend of belatedly attending nearly every concert. Mücke and another person, where already there, but I didn’t notice their departure as I waited for others from the camp to finish. When we had finally entered the stage area to see Letzte Instanz I made my way to the two of them and we enjoyed the show together.
The second Letzte Instanz concert was in the so-called Heathen Village (Heidnisches Dorf) near the gate house Dölitz. A nice area for the medieval market with a stage in the middle.  This part of the area was also open for the general public (not just festival attendants) and was therefore quite full. Though if you already had your bracelet you could pass the waiting line and enter before them. Again Mücke and the other person went ahead and I wanted to go with Kat, Schnitzel and Anice, but as I said they have a tendency to dawdle and we started our way to the village when the band had already started. I was quite annoyed by this, but as soon as I heard the first chords of a song my mood lifted up.
We made our way to the side of the stage, as the whole area was filled with people, picking up some more of our fellow campers on the way and enjoyed the concert from that corner and Kat couldn’t help herself but to make several rather silly photos of us.
Luckily from where we stood we weren’t bothered by crowd surfers and other annoying people.
Stupidly when LI played their song „Ohne Dich“ I made the mistake to think and a couple of tears made their way down my cheek, as the songs theme by now is rather difficult for me to listen to. Afterwards I mentioned this to Mücke with whom I had discussed that problem on the way back from the LI concert we had attended together before the festival and he scolded me for thinking.

Catching a Bear and finding the way

As the festival started off with rain and coldness Schnitzel and Anice (and myself a bit) soon started to feel more and more sick. „Luckily“ had I brought self-made „Bärenfang“ (a honey liquor) that would help with coughing and illness so in the evening we warmed up a bit of it and drank it.

The location and the road map from the backside of the schedule.

The location and the road map from the backside of the schedule.


One of those times Kat and I then went off with a couple of others to see Crematory in the Clara Zetkin Park stage. To get there we had to use both public transport and our own orientation, which wasn’t really the best if I might say so, as the people we went with mostly only remembered how they did not find it some years before. Belatedly for Xandria we found our way through the net of trains and ways to the stage as the road map for the trains that was included with the schedule in the booklet wasn’t really helpful. The stage area was quite nice as it had large steps leading to stage and you could look above other people to see. The concert was again nice and quite different to the one in Berlin, as it had started in broad daylight and ended with „Perils of the Wind“ when it was already dark.
On our way back we stopped in the city centre to meet up with Iron Eve in a club, but getting there was again quite interesting. We took a taxi to get there and gave him the address, when he then set us off we couldn’t actually believe we had arrived. We went on a bit and asked around for directions, but they all sent us in different directions. As a result we went in a circle (passing by Auerbachs Cellar that is mentioned in Goethe’s Faust) to realize the taxi did set us off close to where we wanted to go.
The club was in an alley and consisted of two floors and several bars and dance floors. We got ourself a nice corner, a couple of drinks (e.g. vodka, lemon juice shots called „Gisela“ >_<) and waited for Eve. When they arrived we shared stories, as her journey to Leipzig was quite hectic and awful. A couple of circumstance let for us to call it a day rather soon after that and we took off in another taxi.

Sickness, Disappointment and late Recognition

One of the few concerts I was looking forward to, as I actually knew the band, were The 69 Eyes, but when I went into the Agra Hall with Kat and the first few songs played I got more and more disappointed. I barely recognized any of the songs or even understood the lyrics and it just felt like an odd concert. Kat soon returned to the camp, but I wanted to see the concert through, even though I didn’t really like it. During one of the last songs I returned as well, as I just couldn’t bear it any more.
As I mentioned in my review for „Kinder des Judas“ did I also attend the „Das Ich“ concert, but only a part of it, as it wasn’t really my thing I think, even though the clown-look of the singer was quite fun.
Until Monday Kat and I contemplated whether we should see „The Other“ and other Horror-Punk bands or Korpiklaani and Ensiferum, but as we would see The Other during their HellNights concerts we decided for the latter and thus made our way to the Kohlrabizirkus. Again we arrived quite late and thus only saw the stage-change of Wolfchant, the band before them, whom Kat and I had seen at the Paganfest and wouldn’t have minded seeing again, if only for their giant baby singer.
The Finnish „booze“-metal band (Korpiklaani’s songs somewhat centre around drinks and drinking) afterwards had us entertained quite nicely, just as the guys we had with us that were dancing to their songs. Korpiklaani also got the nickname of Korpidingsta as Kat didn’t want to remember which letters followed the „Korpi“ – „dingsta“ is roughly translated to „thingy“.
The only downsides of the concert were the not so great acoustic in the hall – that from the outside looks like two boobs rising from the ground – and the fact that we would leave just after the concert without seeing Ensiferum. Unlike this years Pentecost was it rather cold last year and as Schnitzel’s condition turned worse towards the end (he couldn’t even speak any more) of the festival we decided to leave during Monday night already.
So my first WGT ended with a night ride back home and this years festival was without Schnitzel, Anice, Kat and me.
I for one decided against it as it was too close between the Out&Loud (DarkFairy’s Review) I was at last weekend and the Metalfest (Review from 2012) I’ll be attending together with DarkFairy, her boyfriend and her sister the weekend after this. To not just attend the festival I also planned on travelling a bit through Germany again during the next few days, until I reach my final destination in Koblenz.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post anything during that time, but I think there might be some things that will get a separate post from the travel report.
See you around
PoiSonPaiNter
 

In Concert: 2012

This year had been a great one regarding the concerts and festivals I’ve been at.
And I’d like to look back onto the stand-alone concerts, simply because the festivals deserve their own posts. 😉

Rising Storm – Neubrandenburg

It started with a small concert in March: Rising Storm, supported by The Outside and Godskill. One of the rare Metal concerts in my part of Germany. Seeing the advertisement I asked some of my colleagues if they’d like to give it a try. As more or less all of these bands are no names in regions other than their home bases we didn’t expect too much of them. And that was – frankly – not too far fetched…
We had a good time, but somehow one of the support acts (The Outside) was more capable of capturing the audience than the main act, but they seemed to have quite some more experience as well.
It was an acceptable start into a year of – literally – breathtaking concerts.

Powerwolf – Berlin

The next one I noticed thanks to the Metalfest’s advertisement for their acts. Though it was more of a re-notice of Powerwolf -“ the holy wolf brigade“ ( according to their song: „Wolves against the World„) as I had l already noticed – and noted – them as interesting band when I had looked through the billing of Wacken 2008, but I had kind of put them aside back then.
Little did I know how awesome they would become…
They play a combination of Powermetal and Speedmetal with a religious influence or rather toy with Christian, satanistic and mythical motives and themes, but they aren’t religious in the „normal“ sense, the only religion they believe in is Metal ( as described in their song: „Catholic in the Morning…Satanist at Night„). Quite a bunch of their songs also deal with topics like – unexpected thanks to their self-given title/name – Werwolf’s („Werwolfs of Armenia„, „Night of the Werwolfs„,…), Vampires („Vampires don’t die„), Satan or Satan-like persons („St. Satan„, „Saturday Satan„) and all kind of different stuff.
When I started to listen to their songs I simply knew, I would have to be at this concert.
But as it was in Berlin this proofed difficulty. It would either mean driving there and back again on the same day/night or finding a place to stay for the night.
Good thing I know some people throughout Germany. At first I asked „Conan“ (again nicknames), whom I’ve personally met 2009 on a Christmas market. He would have given me a place to stay, but it was the weekend of his birthday, so he had quite a bunch of people already occupying his home.
Looking for alternatives I remembered another person from the forum I know Conan from, who also lives in Berlin: Liathano (you might remember her from my travelogue: Through a bit of Germany ).
Well, and what can I tell: She had a couch for me. 🙂
Planning the weekend we decided that I would arrive on Friday, so we would be able to have some time to talk – and for me to persuade her to accompanying me to the concert. We spend the evening with some mead and and a drink called „Paar Inne Fresse“ (a vulgar and dialectal way of threatening you to hit you in the face), which both were quite tasty. It was a fun evening full of interesting conversations.
The next day was spend throughout Berlin. She showed me some of the tourists places like the Neptune Fountain, a really impressive fountain I couldn’t really stop starring at. It was more fascinating than the Fernsehturm right beside it. I’m kind of a fan of fountains…

The Neptun Fountain in Berlin


Afterwards we strolled over an art market and alongside the cathedral and we – or rather I – tried Bubble Tea
I do not understand what people like about it. Well, I could understand it if it was for the tea itself, but not for the bubbles. They are quite disgusting in my opinion and I probably won’t try it again that soon. At least not with those bubble-bubbles…
Oh and we had a fun encounter with a saleswoman of Dussmann: She sat there with a face as long as a fiddle and a T-Shirt saying: „Smile and the world smiles back at you„, which makes you somewhat want to give her a dictionary…
Anyway during the day I finally managed to convince Liathano, that attending the concert would be a lot of fun – and I wouldn’t be able to find my way there alone. 🙂
When we got ready for departing she found out that some of her friends would attend the concert as well so we met up with them in front of the C Club (former Columbia Club). While Mystic Prophecy, Lonewolf, Stormwarrior played their sets, we had time to engage in quite interesting conversations, before the wolves finally entered the stage.
And what can say? The concert was brilliant.
They – especially their singer – have such a presence on stage, it’s unbelievable. Its not everyday you have chubby guy in a black preachers robe running over a stage, filling the room with his voice and taking everyone with him.
Besides, singing along with one of Liathano’s friends was so much fun. It is always great if there is someone else sharing your „passion“ for a certain song. 🙂
I can’t really describe the whole atmosphere, I just can advise you to go to a Powerwolf concert yourself, you will enjoy it! Liathano didn’t regret it either. 😉

Crematory – Berlin

While planning everything for Powerwolf another colleague of mine asked me, whether I’d like to accompany her to a concert of Crematory. A great band, which mixes growls with amazing clear vocals (Melodic Black/Gothic Metal I’d say).
Of course I agreed.
The concert itself was just one week after previous one, so it’s been two weekends spend in Berlin.
Unlike the previous time I only stayed for the evening and returned back home with my colleague after the concert.
But before the concert I accompanied Liathano to a medieval market where we met up with „Seppel„, „Artok“ and „Nebelkrähe„, who are also part of the forum-community.
It was just a small market with some booths, a medieval camp and a stage for artists.
There also was a weasel show. I really pitied those poor creatures, though they looked just as bored as their „trainer“.
Right when I was about to leave for the concert Nebelkrähe – who is a member of one of those medieval groups – had a fight show which was rather funny.
But unfortunately I had to leave before they were finished. Though I found out that I could have stayed longer, because when I arrived at the K17, where the concert was to take place, my colleague called me that she would be late.
When she finally arrived the majority of people were still outside and only some were already in the building.
But it filled up quite fast when they realized the support bands had started.
This time they were: Deadend Venice and Longed for Fusion. The latter being a band I’ve seen at a cafeteria party in our local college – a no-name band again, where one of the colleagues from the first concert even knew some of the members and described them in a way I will not repeat publicly. 😉
We soon noticed that we were among the youngest people there as everyone else seemed to be 30+.
But that’s not that surprising as Crematory are quite an old band themselves.
We still had a great time, especially when they played some of my favourite songs of theirs like Left the Ground (awesome combination of growls and clear vocals) and of course the encore song Perils of the Wind. It’s such a beautiful song, and the clear vocals singer has such a great voice…
You should listen to the live version from Wacken 2008 which gives you nearly the same amount of goosebumps the „real“ one does.
Well, after this the only concerts I’ve been on were concerts that were part of festivals, which I’ll cover in independent posts (or have already covered, like the ones from the MPS).
And it was a long way until my last concert this year – or so is the plan currently.

Sabaton – Hamburg

When we had our Summers Feast at our „University“ I’ve met a guy two years below me who already had tickets for this concert. I was undecided at that time whether I should go – as I hadn’t had someone to accompany me and going to a concert on your own is still fun but not as much fun as if you have other people with you.
Well, that evening we not just decided that I would buy my ticket as well, but also that we would take a fellow student of his with us whose music experiences were as far away from Metal as…your average Pop Music can be away from F*cking Heavy Metal. XD But as it was Sabaton we thought this would be a good way to introduce her to better music. 😉
Sabaton is again a band I re-discovered from the Wacken mentioned twice already – unfortunately I didn’t see any of those three bands that year. When DarkFairy send me a message with a link to their song „Carolus Rex“ (and the words: „When I listened to the refrain I inevitably had to think: „hmm we should call our king Carolus““ – which refers to the novel we are writing and the still nameless king) I started to listen to them again. Even though I thought for a long time, that they are just a band that sings a lot about wars and military I soon realized they are so much more (Beside the creepy reminder to our king). They manage to combine historical events and persons with so much passion-filled music that it is just incredible. And (almost) every time you’re listening to a new song you look for the background of it, learning more about history. And like Attila, the singer of Powerwolf, Joacim has a great way of singing a rolled „R“ – causing me to adept this while speaking English every once in a while…
The concert was in the „Große Freiheit 36“ in Hamburg and was my second concert at that place.
Last year I’ve been there on Halloween for a concert of HammerFall. Another great Swedish band – like Sabaton – that sings more about the glories of ancient (fictional) battles and also have some really great ballads. They had three support acts Deathdestruction, Amaranthe and Vicious Rumors. If I remember correctly the latter where a rather creepy band with 50+ dudes that still wore tongue piercings, but the music wasn’t too bad, Amaranthe sounded pretty good and the last was weird too I think…
Anyway, after much persuasion the other student finally agreed and we even managed to get a ticket for her in time. When the schedule for our trains was set we met up in Eidelstedt and then went on to the Reeperbahn.
If you remember the beginning of my post I mentioned literally breathtaking concerts.
Well, this one was the one that took our breaths away.
The Große Freiheit is an indoor concert area and if there is a lot of artificial fog in the room air is like not existent, but regardless of all the fog and the grogginess after the performance if Wisdom and Eluveitie (I still think they’re weird, as their singer has dread locks, but their music isn’t too bad) when they started to play Primo Victoria as encore song the whole room started to jump…even our dear non-Metalhead 😉
It was great and brilliant and far too short as good things always tend to be.
I am so looking forward to Wacken next year, where I’ll be seeing them again. 🙂
As I said before, this was probably the last concert for this year – it is highly unlikely there will be another.
Though Sabaton (who had an additional show in Hamburg), Edguy (who are currently touring with Deep Purple and had/have some concerts not too far away) and Iced Earth (who unfortunately only play in Bochum in the middle of the week) were quite tempting…
And even though this year hasn’t even ended there are at least three concerts that sound promising and that I’d really like to attend in 2013:

  • Avantasia are 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 a concert in a small club in Rostock – far too close to resist.
  • Stratovarius (and Amaranthe) play in Hamburg, they’ve been great in Wacken (and Hamburg) that seeing them alone would be great.
  • Die Ärzte also play in Rostock and one cannot resist ones roots, especially if the concert is that close…

But I’ll see what the next year brings and which of those concerts I will really attend – and who’ll accompany me.
PoiSonPaiNter