Tag Archives: hamburg

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

Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum 2012

I’m going medieval this time, as I’d like to introduce  a series of events that take place throughout Germany every year. Their known under the name of „Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum“ (Medieval Phantasy Spectacle, MPS for short). They’re events that do not wish to show an authentic version of the Middle Ages, but a phantastic one (According to their own advertisement). 😉

The phantastic Middle Ages

And that is basically it.
You see people in medieval-like clothings (in German I would say „Gewandung“, but I haven’t found an English-equivalent for that word so far…), Orcs, Elves, Pirates and other stuff that is pretty much unlikely to have existed in that period of time.
Besides that you have all kinds of artists: Ranging from simple Jesters and fire-eaters (and variations of that), over people in beautiful and phantastic costumes performing incredible shows, up to all kind of different medieval bands.
Next to all the entertainment you also have the chance to buy more-or-less authentic clothings and supplies, like drinking horns, armour and what not.
On the festival-side you can even see how people might have lived back then in the camps of LARPer or even reenactment people – not sure which group they belong to, so to not offend any of them I give you both terms. It is quite interesting, though a bit creepy if you stand there and look at their camp sides. It’s kind of like standing in front of someone’s living room window and watching them.
By the way: The booths aren’t allowed to use electric lights, which is somewhat ridiculous seeing as it would help them in the dark. Yet it would also kind of ruin the atmosphere at night, when all kind of bonfires are lightened, but they seem to manage without functioning light bulbs. 🙂

Spontaneous Camping

This year I’ve been at two „MPS“ – as it is commonly shortened.
The first one was in Sierhagen [Edit: As it is no longer a station for the MPS I had to take out the link], which is in the north-east of Schleswig-Holstein. Beside going to that place for the first time it also was my first time camping at such an event, ,hough it wasn’t the medieval camp, but the mere tent-camp. Well, it was supposed to be one. We kind of used our cars as tents…*cough*
Anyway, in Sierhagen the area includes an old manor/castle-complex that gave the whole thing a different atmosphere than what you experience at the other one I was at. The whole manor-complex is surrounded by a moat and even a small lake as more or less natural defences. Going from the outside into the court and out towards the lime tree park you have to cross bridges, where you can follow the stream. Within the court were booths and the fool’s-stage. In the lime tree park they had booths, the smaller stage and the medieval camp. It was kind of beautiful. Just to see that again I would return to that place. Regardless of whom I might have to drag with me. XD

A look into the Court in Sierhagen


The guys I’ve been with this time were rather funny company. For example: Two of them bought an Ocarina and while one was quite capable of playing it right away, the other failed at it, horribly. I’m kind of curious whether they have played ever since…(and if they’ve improved). Interesting was also that we had eggs for breakfast. I mean „grilled“ eggs, like in: Putting a pan on the grill and putting (scrambled) eggs into it and then waiting for them to be ready. Or…I don’t know…far too many things to remember, let alone explain.
Concert-wise we looked into Faun – and decided they were too creepy – and watched the night shows of Rapalje and Saltatio Mortis.
The funniest thing about Rapalje probably was how the guys danced or clapped to it. That was more entertainment than what the band itself created.
Previous to watching Saltatio Mortis I talked with one of the guys about the song „Prometheus“ – a song that DarkFairy and I were looking for its interpreter, but couldn’t decide/remember whom it was. Unfortunately he didn’t knew either, but in the middle of the concert, we both realized: It’s one of SaMo’s most brilliant songs and DarkFairy and I forgot it, shame on us.
Beside the realization that the song was by them, it also became clear to me, that they simply are a band for small stages. DarkFairy and I have seen them on the amphitheatre stage of the Metalfest Loreley and that was quite a bad/boring concert, if I might say so…
The atmosphere they created on that small stage in Sierhagen was way better than the whole thing in St. Goarshausen. Remember: If you ever have the chance to see Saltatio Mortis live, make sure they play on a small stage!

The lime tree park in Sierhagen


Still the best thing that happened in Sierhagen: The radio of my car got fixed! It now works like it should have from the beginning. It’s a good thing to have some capable people with you once in a while. 🙂
Oh and you can have a look at the official Gallery (click „Veranstaltungsrückblicke“, „2012“ and then „Sierhagen“).

So much green and many funny looking people…

The other MPS I was at this year was Hamburg – Öjendorf. That date had been in my schedule for almost a year beforehand. It was my second time there and a chance to see some people that I hadn’t seen for more than a month. It was great seeing them again, though I did not manage to meet all of them…
The area is within the Öjendorfer Park, so in difference to Sierhagen everything was on meadows instead of court-yards (Though Sierhagen includes meadows as well). And even if it isn’t too large, the thing you are doing the most, is calling each other to find the others location…
Surprisingly the first meeting I had went rather smoothly. My colleague told me were they sat and it didn’t take me too long to find them as I had parked pretty close to the entrance that was closest to their position. As I sat with them it didn’t take long till the next few people of the group walked by, coincidentally meeting us.
This MPS was funny and expensive….oh dear, it was…why, oh why did I listen to myself when I had the thought of finally getting my own „Gewandung“? I don’t regret it though and according to the people who saw it, it doesn’t look too shabby. (They used different words, but I’m more a friend of modesty. ;))

Some of the Elven-creatures in Öjendorf


Regardless of that Öjendorf is quite a bit larger then Sierhagen, so you had some more attractions there. Like fire-shows, acrobats, a knight-tournament, more bands and more stages (four instead of „just“ two). The tournament is most fascinating as night-knight-tournament (couldn’t resist that one, sorry…). I’ve seen that last year and it was great. This year we saw it by daylight and it seemed a bit slow and somewhat annoying – especially the herald, but his role probably was made that way. Ok, I admit, I like fire, so riders with fire is like way more interesting than a „simple“ tournament to me.

A Troll-thing from Öjendorf


Afterwards IronEve – whom had accompanied me on my quest for clothes – and I headed back to the fire-spectacle stage for the evening concert of „Feuerschwanz„. A horde of perverts, but totally hilarious ones at that. When we arrived they just started playing „Hurra Hurra die Pest ist da“ (Hurray Hurray the Plague is here). A song about a village that gets the diagnosis plague and just drinks and parties away everything they got and do some pretty kinky things, only to realize the chaos after the predicted three days had passed. Simply too ridiculous to be taken serious., but fun nevertheless.
After that we picked up Eve’s chain amour for her Gimli costume, which she will be wearing at the premiere of „The Hobbit„. I don’t want to swap with her wearing that thing. Together with the axe and the helmet she should better start working out before she gets struck down by the weight…
When she rejoined with her boyfriend and their part of the group I departed to watch the fire show with a common pal of us and another colleague of mine. After catching up during the rather uneventful show they left for the night-tournament. I stayed to see the first few songs of that SaMo-night concert on my own before they returned to watch the rest of the concert. And yet again they did not play the „Drunken Sailor„… I was looking forward to that, but they did not do me the favour in both of their concerts… 🙁
However, that concludes my most interesting MPS experiences for this year.
I’m not sure which one(s) and with whom I’ll be attending next year, but I’d like to include at least one in my schedule. It’s fun (and I still need the other half of my clothings…) and always a great time and atmosphere.
I wouldn’t mind seeing some more of those.
PoiSonPaiNter

Hina Matsuri

or „Japanese Doll Festival“ (or even shorter: „Girl’s Day“) is celebrated every year on the 3rd of March in Japanese families with daughters. On platforms covered with red carpet they display puppets which symbolize the Emperor, the Empress, their attendants and musicians in traditional court dresses of the Heian period. In front of this royal household the girls welcome their friends and families and entertain them by any means of etiquette.

Due to their partnership with Osaka the city of Hamburg celebrated this day for the 19th time this year in the Museum of Ethnology. The Doll Set or „Puppet Mountain“ („Puppenberg“) is displayed from the end of February to shortly after the Festival. Regardless of the superstition that if the set isn’t taken down after the 4th of March (resulting in late marriage for the girl) the Festival in Hamburg is celebrated on the first weekend of March.

The Doll Set from the Museum of Ethnology in Hamburg (c) bunny_doll

Additionally to this the museum provides it’s visitors with all kinds of cultural activities. Ranging from workshops for Origami and Calligraphy over material arts demonstration and music performances to presentation about Japan and so forth.
I’ve been at this event for the last three years and it gave me the chance to try out all kind of different things.
By now for example I know how to properly fold a paper crane and how to play Hanafuda (a Japanese card game with the infamous InoShikaChou-combination that is used in several Manga).

A coincidental discovery

My first visit there in 2010 was a mere coincidence.
During that time I had Japanese classes and our teacher asked us if we were interested in participating in a Manga drawing workshop. Well, I was curious and looked it up whereas I found out that the same workshop was held on the „Hina Matsuri“ – without age limit as the other course would have been.
As a result I went there and had the change to talk to some interesting people. One of which I talked to for hours about Bleach and other Manga/Anime. Unfortunately we never talked again afterwards.
That year was also their first attempt at a Cosplay competition, with the large amount of three participants.

2011 wasn’t that much different. Some other workshops, a different material arts group – I think Kendo this time – and an increased number of Cosplayers.
That year they tried creating a dialogue between German Manga publisher and the audience, which wasn’t really a success. The room was too vast, the people to eagerly waiting for the cosplay contest to even think about getting into a proper discussion. Though the topics were interesting and relevant, i.e. they talked about Scanlations and Streams, which I’ll talk about in a later post.
My second time there was rather quiet. I didn’t find anyone like the year before, though I volunteered in taking some photos from the contest and sending them to someone. (I am still sorry that it took me so long to do so…). But among the participants was a little boy cosplaying as Ruffy (or Luffy) from One Piece, that was fun. 😀 Though I kind of pity the Chopper plush toy he tormented…

Of cows, Anime and dying people

This year was the first time I was accompanied by a fellow student and two acquaintances of mine, whom I’ve met in between the Festivals.
I could bribe them to come along because of the show acts, as i.e. Hamburg’s school for Ninjutsu had a performance this time. Though we cheered for the ones that had to play the „looser“ quite often…

Some time during the day there was an elderly woman telling stories for the children in the so called „Princely House“ in the museum (see links below for further information). Cushions had been placed in the front yard of the house where the most people where seated. We set on a bench nearby, though only two of us listened.
One of the acquaintances had to retell the last story – a story about a girl, a calf and a rather stupid mother – and her version was way better/more fun than the original.  😀 I would retell her story, but it’s not possible without her expressions and way of speaking.

Beside that we also watched „The Girl who leaped through Time“ and we were entertained pretty well or rather we entertained ourselves and everyone around us pretty well.
Once „Chucky“ complained that he couldn’t run and think at the same time one of my companions argued: „Of course!“, which forced me to add: „But not as man.“ The elderly lady in front of us turned around and grinned to this.
Later on the girl – whose name I have forgotten –  called out: „Chucky, Chucky where are you?“ Right then from the other side of the room came the reply: „In the large auditorium.“ Causing everyone to laugh.
When the movie had ended said lady turned to us again and told us: „Well, that was a funny movie. But I do not wish to leap back through time. At least not two and a half years back. My mother-in-law was still alive back then.“ We could only stare at each other and grin, unsure what to say.

After some more Sushi we then made our way into the auditorium again to watch the Cosplay competition.
As a lot of people wanted to see the Japanese Cheerleaders who had their show beforehand and it took us some time to get in there. Passing several Shinigami (Bleach) and an Amaimon (Ao No/Blue Exorcist) Cosplayer among others. The later and the fact, that it was released by the new German publisher Kazé, reminded me of a great series where I read the first chapter, but forgot to continue.
Anyway, the room was packed and the number of Cosplayers had tripled. In the contest were i.e. an Aizen, a L, a Near, Narutos and a Konan. We couldn’t resist telling her that she was about to die the next week. She was quite relieved when she realized we meant her character and not herself.

Sometime in between our idea for our own Cosplay blossomed, but so far we haven’t made a step towards it. Yet there still is the thought and some time left till March 2013. 😉

PoiSonPaiNter

Sources for Information:

My Galleries on Animexx: