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introLanxess Arena (Amphi Event Park), Cologne, Germany
25th to 26th July 2015
Amphi Festival Day 2 with [SITD], Patenbrigade:Wolff, Diorama, Inkubus Sukkubus, Stahlmann, Pokemon Reaktor, The Creepshow, S.P.O.C.K, Darkhaus, Sonja Kraushofer, Das Ich, Qntal, Der Tod (Death Comedy), Euzen, Zeraphine, Combichrist, Folk Noir, Welle:Erdball, Oomph!, Henric de la Cour, Samsas Traum, The Mission, Rome, Diary of Dreams and VNV Nation

Saturday was over, but the confusion about the rescheduled bands was still there. Some missed the early playing bands like [:SITD:] or DIORAMA. But at least the whole mood and atmosphere turned into a bit of a more positive thing. While the day before people were losing their way, stumbling around, standing at closed doors and were searching for their friends, they slowly got used to the new venue and its whole area. Shops and eating possibilities were opened this day, from time to time some little raindrops were falling down but in general the weather was quite good. So please, check out what we have to say about Sunday!


[:SITD:] - Arena Stage (Dani)

Cancelled the day before because of the storm warning, [:SITD:] got their chance for playing on Sunday, very early. The band was opening the day at the Arena Stage already at 10:30 and not anyone knew about the rescheduled slot. But still, a good crowd gathered in front of the stage. The band who released its latest album, ‘Dunkelziffer’, last October delivered a solid performance and heated up the audience with their powerful electronic sounds. AS they promised, they had a special guest on stage during their show: Chris L. from AGONOIZE supported them during one song. // http://www.sitd.de / https://www.facebook.com/SITDofficial // Rating: 7 / 10

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Patenbrigade:Wolff - Arena Stage (Dani)

PATENBRIGADE:WOLFF were the second band on Sunday, playing at their scheduled slot. The funny working brigade offered probably the funniest show of the day. As usually, the musicians looked like road workers wearing orange outfits. They made a real show using different equipment and involving the audience into the process. Besides the show, also the music itself created a positive atmosphere. As always, the show of PATENBRIGADE was a big spectacle. And the audience celebrated! Many electro bands could take this show as a good example when it comes to entertainment. // http://www.patenbrigade.com / https://www.facebook.com/PatenbrigadeWolff // Setlist: 1. Feind Hört Mit! / 2. Die Brücke / 3. Freunde der Technik / 4. Volksarmee / 5. Voyage / 6. Gefahrstoffe / 7. Der Brigadier trinkt Bier / 8. Demokratischer Sektor // Rating: 8 / 10

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Diorama - Green Stage (Dani)

When DIORAMA were cancelled the day before because of the storm warning I was really sad. This was one of the bands I really wanted to see. But finally it was sure that they would have the chance to play at Sunday. And so, they opened the Green Stage at 12 – it was not allowed in Cologne to play open air before – and many fans gathered in front of the stage to celebrate in bright sun. With ‘Why’, DIORAMA opened their show right away with one of the fans’ favourites and anyone in the audience was singing along. People were really happy that the band was rescheduled and not totally cancelled. Singer Torben thanked the crowd with the words: “Thanks for coming. It was not planned like this. But we are happy to get a chance today”. With songs like ‘Forgotten‘, ‘Hope‘, Synthesize me’, ‘Ignite’ or ‘Advance’ the band delivered what fans were longing for. As always, Felix Marc on keys was supporting Torben with additional vocals. I really loved the show and the fans in front of stage did too. There were many happy faces around when the band finally ended their set with ‘Advance’. // http://www.diorama-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diorama/20921056622 // Rating: 9 / 10

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Inkubus Sukkubus - Orbit Stage (Dani)

Also INKUBUS SUKKUBUS got their chance to play on Sunday early afternoon where they opened the Orbit Stage since their Saturday show was cancelled. The presented set was split into two parts. First, the band presented a pure acoustic set, followed by an electric set enriched by drum computer and sequencer. Singer Candia bewitched the fans with their charm and wonderful voice. The set indeed was charming and very right for this sunny Sunday noon. // http://www.inkubussukkubus.com / https://www.facebook.com/InkubusSukkubus // Rating: 8 / 10

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Stahlmann - Arena Stage (Dani)

By now, STAHLMANN has released three full-length albums, the latest one entitled ‘Adamant’ but even the debut self-titled work was quite successful. End of August, the new album ‘Co2’ will be out and of course the band promoted the new album and the first single, ‘Plasma’, with their Amphi show. Like during many shows in the past, the silver men started their show with ‘Willkommen’ which is of course a proper beginning. The energy spread on stage (if you might like the music or not) was immediately catching the audience and people were constantly moving or singing along. The setlist contained several of the band’s old hits but as already mentioned also a new song making already curious about the new album. Fan favourite ‘Tanzmaschine’ finally ended the set releasing a happy audience. // http://www.stahlmann.tv / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stahlmann/138756019513864 // Setlist: 1. Willkommen / 2. Adrenalin / 3. Stahlmann / 4. Süchtig / 5. Der Schmied / 6. Spring nicht / 7. Schwarz / 8. Plasma / 9. Tanzmaschine // Rating: 7 / 10

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Pokemon Reaktor - Green Stage (Alex)

Pokemons and Minions on stage can only mean one thing: POKEMON REAKTOR. Is this the new form of punk? Using trashy elements like those yellow creatures, underlined by music and people that don't seem to take anything too seriously because the highest priority is having fun. Even at such an unholy hour like 1pm after a long Saturday night, those German fun heads were able to animate the crowd with their cheaply produced industrial which is actually surprisingly good. The highlight of the show was the pogo that was formed at one of their songs. Seeing Goths dancing happily with Pokemons? This is an unforgettable sight! Hopefully this is not the last time we've seen those guys because they bring a light and humorous note to the dark festival. Yellow is the new black! // http://www.facebook.com/PokemonReaktor // Rating: 7 / 10

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The Creepshow - Orbit Stage (Dani)

I had seen THE CREEPSHOW last year at WGT and really liked their show. And so I was happy to see the band appearing at the Amphi line-up. Being first sad that they could not play as scheduled on Saturday, I was happy to see their new slot on early Sunday where they were playing as second band at the Orbit Stage. Obviously I was not the only one being happy to see the Psychobilly band from Toronto/ Canada. The place in front of the stage was packed when the band around singer Kenda, who joined the band in 2012, entered the stage. The band is one of the most important Psychobilly bands of Canada. Their lyrics mostly deal with horror movies and their monsters. Despite the early hour and bright light, the band delivered a powerful show and rocked like hell. Definitely one of my festival highlights! // https://www.facebook.com/TheCreepshowOfficial // Rating: 8 / 10

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S.P.O.C.K - Arena Stage (Josie)

Let’s Spock’n’Roll again. The Swedish band pleased for showing up at their show this early afternoon to celebrate with them. And people came in huge amounts. Some might have been long-time friends as there was jumping and singing along in the front of stage area a lot. S.P.O.C.K. always have this entertainment level of 100% cause of their funny singer Android, their water guns, their music itself. I can highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t heard of them yet or who hasn’t seen them live. You’ll end up with a bright smile on your face, dancing, singing along their refrains – I promise. After playing their last song, the band said good bye the way they always do. Do you know what they say before leaving the stage? It’s “Live long and prosper“. // https://www.facebook.com/StarPilotOnChannelK // Setlist: 1. Borg / 2. E.T. Phone Home / 3. Dr. McCoy / 4. Astrogirl / 5. Trouble With Tribbles / 6. All E.T:s Aren't Nice / 7. Not Human / 8. Astrogirl's Secret / 9. Out There / 10. Never Trust a Klingon // Rating: 10 / 10

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Darkhaus - Green Stage (Dani)

During the last months, I really learned to love this band. The multi-national band, consisting of five members from four countries, started in 2011 to delight the people all over the world with their excellent Synth Rock music. Head of the band is Rupert Keplinger, known not only for being a multi-platinum songwriter and composer for his collaboration with some known German musicians, but also as guitar player for EISBRECHER. I enjoyed their show a lot and I was not the only one being excited about this excellent live band, who is already praised and hyped already at the beginning of their career and presenting excellent rock music. // http://www.darkhausmusic.com / https://www.facebook.com/DarkhausOfficial // Rating: 8 / 10

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Sonja Kraushofer - Orbit Stage (Dani)

SONJA KRAUSHOFER is best known for being the female voice of L’ÂME IMMORTELLE. But she also has her very own solo project (not only PERSEPHONE or COMA DIVINE which you might know) and to be honest, I like the solo works much more. The day before, Sonja was already vocally supporting GOETHES ERBEN and today she proved that she is a great singer. Besides she impresses with her stage presence. When she was asked for a guest appearance at the “Call The Ship To Night“ last year she was passionate about the idea and the guests aboard the ship enjoyed a marvellous but way too short concert with acoustic variations and unreleased songs from the career of one of the best voices of the dark scene. Now on Orbit Stage she had the chance to reach more people than on the ship and the audience was attentively listening. I am not really a fan of L’ÂME IMMORTELLE, but when you get a chance to listen to Sonja’s solo performances, you should give it a chance since this is much better and much more emotional. // https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sonja-Kraushofer/299939136749364 // Rating: 7 / 10

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Das Ich - Arena Stage (Alex)

Another German scene classic performed at the Amphi this year: DAS ICH. After the long absence of Stefan Ackermann due to acute health problems there was consensual happiness in the crowd when he entered the stage, painted in red, resembling the devil like in good old days. The band had to wait a minute before beginning the set because everyone was cheering and clapping their hands in approval. What a heartfelt welcome! Ackermann was visibly moved and signalled gratitude throughout the entire set. Their harsh and highly critical electronic music was immediately received well and people were dancing and singing along. The band was also enjoying itself, Bruno Kramm and Stefan Ackermann were equally animating the crowd by grimacing diabolically and everything went berserk when the hymn ‘Gottes Tod’ was intonated. The chemistry between the band was full of love and gratitude and it immediately splashed over the crowd and this was definitely one of the Amphi shows with the most positive vibes. Another highlight of the show was when Marianne from SCHNEEWITTCHEN came on stage to perform a song with DAS ICH – her operatic vocals heightened the dramatic element of the music which is often called Neue Deutsche Todeskunst.

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Stefan Ackermann and Marianne flirting was a sight I will never forget because of the cuteness overload. There is something about seeing people who have gone through so much and recovered successfully that breaks your heart in the best way possible. The only thing that could have been better was the sound setting which was sometimes too bassy. Like GOETHES ERBEN, DAS ICH delivered a reminder that the scene used to be a collecting tank of critical ideas and individualism, unlike today where it seems to be drifting into meaninglessness and repetitiveness. // http://www.dasich.de / https://www.facebook.com/DasIch.fans // Setlist: 1. Kannibale / 2. Kain und Abel / 3. Der Schrei / 4. Das dunkle Land / 5. Nahe / 6. Uterus / 7. Kindgott / 8. Gottes Tod / Encore: 9. Destillat // Rating: 9 / 10


Qntal - Green Stage (Alex)

The weather was gracious with QNTAL so a lot of people gathered in front of the Green Stage while the sun was caressing their skins and Syrah's beautiful voice was comforting their souls. QNTAL's musical fusion of electronic and folk elements, transported by two amazingly skilled singers, was the perfect soundtrack for this kind of weather and the friendliness of the band upped the ante. The area surrounding the Green Stage was really full during the set and one could see people dreaming away with the absolutely gorgeous and harmonious tunes. I was surprised that not many people were dancing but it was explained to me that this is the norm at a Qntal show and I guess such dazzling music is mostly digested internally. The German band ended its set with the song ‘Schnee’ which was written for them by the German fantasy author Markus Heitz (who btw. just released his new thriller ‘Exkarnation – Seelensterben’) and even after the set ended, many people were still drifting in the imagination of QNTAL's musical world. // http://www.qntal.de / https://www.facebook.com/qntalmusic // Rating: 7.5 / 10

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Der Tod (Death Comedy) - Arena Stage (Dani)

Already being part of last year’s Amphi where he presented his comedy program at the theatre, DER TOD got also his place at this year’s program. Not only was he host of several performances, he also presented his comedy program at the Arena Stage. It all started in 2011 when the death itself was speaking to the audience in his black cowl and likewise humour. Soon he received first cabaret awards. With his unusual image campaign he is touring through Germany, Austria and Switzerland, talks about neglected work like the glut of pensioners, reads from his dark diary and sings from his part-time job as holiday rep at Mallorca. Dying so far had a negative reputation. But it is time to end this! His program fills your eyes with tears of laughter where so far fear and scare were ruling. Sadly, the big arena did not really suit his program. I felt really entertained last year, but this time, the hall was just much too big. Only some rows of people were gathering in front of stage. His show contained parts of last year’s performance and new stuff. I.e. you god a photo show with snapshots of his “working days”. Even though there were not so many people, the present ones felt entertained. // http://www.endlich-tod.de / https://www.facebook.com/DeathComedyShow

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Euzen - Orbit Stage (Dani)

EUZEN had their slot at the small Orbit Stage. During last year’s M’era Luna festival I had my first contact with this Danish band I was really positively surprised. So it was a sure thing I checked out their Amphi show as well, even though I could only have a short glimpse of it since photography duties were calling. Formed in 2008, EUZEN play progressive electronic pop with a clear Nordic tone. The band draws inspiration from several styles including classical music, hard rock, electro pop and folk. They made a good impression on me last year and they did not disappoint this year. Maria Franz, the singer, showed up with fantastic vocal qualities reminding me partly from the singing style reaching from Bjork to Anneke van Giersbergen or Kari Rueslåtten. I still recommend this band. Give them a listen! // http://www.euzen.dk / https://www.facebook.com/euzeniverse // Rating: 8 / 10

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Zeraphine - Green Stage (Dani)

Currently, Sven Friedrich is regularly present on German festival stages with his project SOLAR FAKE. ZERAPHINE appearances are rather rare at the moment, but Amphi Festival offered one of the rare possibilities. When the band entered the stage, the number of the audience in front of stage had significantly increased and right up from the beginning the people sang and danced to the songs. And once again Sven convinced us with his fine singing qualities. We’ve been presented a good mixture of old songs as well as ‘I’ll be there’ from their last album ‘Whiteout’, already dating back to 2010. Time for something new, isn’t it? ZERAPHINE opened their set with ‘Die Macht in Dir’, followed by kind of best-of set with songs like ‘No more doubts’, ‘Ohne dich’, ‘Be my Rain’, ‘No Tears’ or ‘Louisa’. There were some technical issues during the show, but they did not really disturb. And besides Sven delivered such a good vocal performance than no one even cared about other technical problems. // http://www.zeraphine.de / https://www.facebook.com/ZeraphineBand // Rating: 8 / 10

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Combichrist - Arena Stage(Josie)

We all were hoping that COMBICHRIST would be playing an electronic set instead of using that much guitars again. Well, we were unlucky and after two minutes me and my friends found ourselves in-between a metal crossover whatever kind of show and looked at each other really disappointed. I really miss the old CC shows with no guitars. At the moment it is hard to find out which song they’re actually playing, because the guitars are so dominant and loud. It’s like guessing what song they might be playing and maybe we should start to make a game out of it. Who knows the name of the current song first is getting free ear plugs or a beer. Okay, I was joking enough, I think. Please, COMBICHRIST turn down the volume of your guitars or leave them at home. It minors concert fun a lot if you don’t even know what to sing along. Thank you! // http://www.combichrist.com / https://www.facebook.com/combichrist // Setlist: 1. The Evil in Me / 2. Just Like Me / 3. No Redemption / 4. Zombie Fistfight / 5. Can't Control / 6. Throat Full of Glass / 7. Maggots at the Party / 8. Denial / 9. Never Surrender / 10. Blut Royale / 11. Get Your Body Beat / 12. What the Fuck Is Wrong With You? // Rating: 6 / 10

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Folk Noir - Orbit Stage (Alex)

FOLK NOIR was the only band I saw on the tiny and a bit misplaced Orbit Stage. They are another band project of FAUN's Oliver S. Tyr and you could go as far as considering them the hipster version of his main band project. The songs are entirely in English and definitely enjoyable even though there is little innovation. The band seems more adult, less dreamy than its medieval counterpart and the songs were delivered on stage in a rather serious manner. Since the music is indeed beautiful, the tiny audience was bopping their heads and dreaming themselves away into a world of peace and harmony. The performance in itself was quite average, FOLK NOIR are definitely more enjoyable on CD than on stage. // http://www.folk-noir.com / https://www.facebook.com/pages/FolkNoir/102976936475516 // Rating: 7 / 10

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Welle:Erdball - Green Stage (Josie)

Being on stage with Lady Lila, WELLE:ERDBALL entertained the audience with their minimal electro sounds. Of course on stage Honey, Fräulein Venus, A.L.F and the famous C64. The stage was decorated with a robot and the band played a lot of songs we all know from shows played years ago. I mean, the audience was fine with it and enjoyed their show dancing and singing along. Some were just sitting on the grass. I don’t know why but the more often I see WELLE:ERDBALL, they leave me with the feeling that they’re always playing the same songs. This is so sad, cause they have so many, many good and entertaining tracks. Maybe it is time to re-do the setlist, guys? // http://www.welle-erdball.de / https://www.facebook.com/WelleErdball // Setlist: 1. Des Wahnsinns fette Beute / 2. Wir wollen keine Menschen sein / 3. Mensch Aus Glas / 4. Telefonsex / 5. Der Türspion / 6. Hoch die Fahnen / 7. Schweben, Fliegen und Fallen / 8. VW Käfer / 9. Arbeit Adelt! / 10. Die Liebe der 3. Art / 11. Starfighter F-104G / 12. Monoton & Minimal / 13. Es Geht Voran (Fehlfarben cover) / 14. new song // Rating: 7 / 10

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Oomph! - Arena Stage (Alex)

OOMPH! are one of the founders of the Neue Deutsche Härte genre and have been making music for 25 years now and no, they are not a cheap rip-off of RAMMSTEIN because they existed before. Dero Goi and his band colleagues Crap and Flux were dressed handsomely as sailors and delivered a solid rock show without any special effects but the crowd enjoyed itself all the same. The vibes were good and the fans head-banged like crazy when hits like ‘Augen Auf!’ and ‘Mitten ins Herz’ were played and whenever they were asked to sing the lyrics to songs like ‘Gekreuzigt’ and ‘Gott ist ein Popstar’ they were truly word-perfect so that no awkward moment could occur. The band also deserves respect for playing absolutely everything live – Dero explained that this is why so many musicians (in total seven) are on stage. OOMPH! closed their set with a wink by deciding to cover the infamous ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!’ and left their fans in an exhilarated mood behind. // http://www.oomph.de / https://www.facebook.com/oomphband // Setlist: 1. Alles Aus Liebe / 2. Labyrinth / 3. Träumst Du / 4. Mein Schatz / 5. Das Weisse Licht / 6. Mein Herz / 7. Der neue Gott / 8. Mitten ins Herz / 9. Niemand / 10. Gekreuzigt / 11. Gott ist ein Popstar / 12. Augen Auf! / 13. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life! (Monthy Python Cover) // Rating: 9 / 10

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Henric de la Cour - Orbit Stage (Josie)

Let me introduce you to my personal festival highlight: HENRIC DE LA COUR. This Swedish musician is known for being a member of YVONNE and STRIP MUSIC. Later he continued his musical career on his own somehow. The area around the Orbit stage was quite full of people singing and dancing around, when he was playing his special mix of Synth Pop elements and guitars combined with his unique voice. There’s nothing I know, no band, no other act which I could compare to him. So maybe you better check it out on your own. Special moment was when nearly all of the people in the audience started to sing along ‘Dracula‘ with him. Henric brought a smile to my face this afternoon hours, though it was raining from time to time and I’m looking forward to seeing him again at Nocturnal Culture Night later this year. // https://www.facebook.com/HenricDLC // Rating: 10 / 10

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Samsas Traum - Green Stage (Alex)

My first thought when Alexander Kaschte entered the stage was: where is his long hair? Well, it's obviously gone. For some reason the SAMSAS TRAUM singer's long hair was his trademark to me. Of course, the quality of the music didn't suffer from this personal choice. Nevertheless, SAMSAS TRAUM are much more enjoyable on CD. Especially since they play the old, electronic songs in a metal version which is not really my cup of tea. Unfortunately, the rain also came back during their set and Alexander Kaschte was throwing snarky remarks into the crowd a la “You are so awesome for remaining here despite this asshole rain”. The people who stayed in front of the Green Stage (which was definitely my favourite stage at the new location) were metal as f**k and even pogoed during the set. Alexander Kaschte could definitely put more effort into his singing and the sound could have also been better but fans still seemed to enjoy their show. // http://www.samsas-traum.info / https://www.facebook.com/samsastraum.offiziell // Setlist: 1. Intro (Von Sieg zu Sieg) / 2. Igel im Nebel / 3. Für immer / 4. Stromausfall im Herzspital / 5. Schenk mir deine Flügel / 6. Endstation.Eden / 7. Niemand, niemand anderem als dir / 8. Heiliges Herz / 9. Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten / 10. Ein Foetus wie du / 11. K.haos-Prinz und Wind-Prinzessin / 12. Kugel im Gesicht // Rating: 6 / 10

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The Mission - Arena Stage (Dani)

With THE MISSION, some real Goth Rock was now coming up at the Arena Stage. And this band is cult, being founded by former members of THE SISTERS OF MERCY. But the show at Amphi was star-crossed. Frist Wayne Hussey entered the stage to open the set with ‘Serpent’s Kiss’. But soon it was very clear that his vocals were affected today. As I learned later, Hussey was catching a heavy cold. He explained on the Facebook page: “…I've been sick and I lost my voice and under the circumstances we decided to play the shows as best we could rather than cancel them… The last two shows were particularly difficult as I could hardly speak let alone sing. For the show yesterday at Amphi Festival in Cologne I had two B12 shots during the day, a cortisone and adrenalin inhalation just before going on stage and was also pilled up with a little codeine. A veritable walking chemistry experiment and needless to say I didn't really feel 'present'. But a big thank you to the very understanding festival organisers and doctors that were working at the venue that helped me get through the day…” That might explain the condition Wayne was in. So kudos to him for delivering a great show anyway.

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Since his vocals were affected so much he got help from Nana and Eve Evangel of Lolita KompleX. The set delivered fan favourite after fan favourite. ‘Naked and Savage’, ‘Wasteland’, ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ or ‘Deliverance’ raised the fans’ mood high. As encore, the band played a long version of ‘Tower of Strength’ and of course you could spot the inevitable “towers” built by people in the audience. Great view and great show… even though Wayne was sick. // http://www.themissionuk.com / https://www.facebook.com/themissionuk // Rating: 8 / 10


Rome - Orbit Stage (Dani)

Something special came up as headliner on the tiny Orbit Stage: ROME from Luxembourg. Since the bands were playing parallel and I had to change stages constantly, there was not much time left for ROME. Things were calmed down with apocalyptic folk / neo folk delivered by ROME and the band was playing a magnificent show like so many times before. The band around Jerome Reuter impressed with extraordinary arrangements and lyrics that enchanted the audience. Melancholic, apocalyptic and particularly intense were the songs being presented. // http://www.jeromereuter.com / https://www.facebook.com/romeproject // Setlist: 1. The Accidents of Gesture / 2. Der Brandtaucher / 3. Les îles noires / 4. A Pact of Blood / 5. The Consolation of Man / 6. To Teach Obedience / 7. A Farewell to Europe / 8. Ballad of the Long Little / 9. Skirmishes / 10. Automation / 11. Mine / 12. Birds of Prey / Encore 1: 13. Die Querkraft / 14. A Legacy of Unrest / 15. Reversion / 16. Swords To Rust / Encore 2: 17. One Fire // Rating: 8 / 10


Diary of Dreams - Green Stage (Dani)

It is not a secret that I am a huge fan of this band, seen numerous concerts. And since I have seen so many shows, sometimes I might be more critical than other fans. DIARY OF DREAMS are not just known for their unusual studio productions, designed and executed in elaborate detail, but also for their energetic and powerful shows. This time, I was blown away by the performance and the sheer power the band brought to stage. The stage setting was pretty cool with additional light arrangements in the back, creating a special atmosphere together with lots of smoke. Still, the smoke and additional smoke fountains did not cover the artists themselves and so it was a perfect view onto stage. All band members and especially Adrian were in extremely good mood and excited their fans. Not even the starting rain destroyed the magical mood of the show.

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The setlist of course contained several songs from the latest album, starting with powerful ‘Malum’, but also several older fan favourites and one song I did not expect during a festival setlist (even though played during the last shows), ‘Haus der Stille’. Calm ‘a day in December’ was closing the set. Great! // http://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams // Setlist: 1. Malum / 2. Psycho-Logic / 3. the Wedding / 4. Haus der Stille / 5. O' Brother Sleep / 6. Butterfly:Dance! / 7. Daemon / 8. Dogs of War / 9. King of Nowhere / 10. a dark embrace / 11. Kindrom / 12. Undividable / Encore: 13. a day in December // Rating: 10 / 10


VNV Nation - Arena Stage (Josie)

Band with the highest “fascination factor” and final headliner was definitely VNV NATION. Not only that Ronan Harris was really amazed by having a look from the DEPECHE MODE kind of stage perspective (the band constantly played the Lanxess Arena), he really enjoyed playing in front of so many people. I guess the most impressive scene of this VNV show was the moment when all of the people lit their lighters or cell phone lights while Ronan was singing “Shine, shine your light for me“. Yes, this was a moment that I will never forget and I can only remember such scenes from DEPECHE MODE concerts. Simply amazing how he handles the audience, the huge stage and how he triggered everyone’s emotions. Thank you VNV for ending a festival in this great way. // https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation // Setlist: 1. Space & Time / 2. Tomorrow Never Comes / 3. Darkangel / 4. Genesis / 5. Illusion / 6. Epicentre / 7. Control / 8. Standing / 9. Everything / 10. Farthest Star / 11. Resolution / 12. Nova / 13. Perpetual // Rating: 10 / 10

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Festival Impressions

This year's Amphi was held in the Lanxess Arena and the surrounding area for the very first time. Even before the actual festival took place people were already complaining about the location but the Amphi organisation team did its best to quiet the doubts with lucrative promises. Curiosity and excitement overweighed the doubts in our case and it's unfortunate that of all weekends this one had to be the one with severe weather alerts so that the event had to be adjusted to the circumstances. All outdoor places had to be shut down on Saturday so everyone was rushing into the Lanxess Arena where a huge cluster of confused and frustrated people was forming quickly and alcohol became the best friend. All the bands who were supposed to play on one of the outdoor stages had to be either cancelled or in the rarest cases squeezed between acts on the Arena stage (as happened with [X-RX] and DAF). Others played their sets early in the morning on Sunday like [:SITD:] and DIORAMA. The quick re-organisational skills should definitely be honoured here because, as some have pointed out, other events would have been cancelled entirely and the Amphi visitors did get to see the most anticipated bands after all. Nevertheless, there are some things we would still like to criticise: the Lanxess Arena was not very well sign-posted and even on Sunday we were still not really sure where to go when we wanted to see a band. If the Amphi team decides to remain in the Lanxess Arena they should definitely put up more signs for locations like the Henkelmännchen and the outdoor stages. Additionally, the food stalls were promised to be more vegetarian-and vegan-friendly but unfortunately we didn't see a big difference to the years before. On the other hand, the alcohol offer was excellent this year. Still, the prices remained mostly the same. 

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The Lanxess Arena is not really compatible with a festival and it should remain a concert venue for bands like DEPECHE MODE or AC/DC who know how to perform on such big stages. Many artists did not seem to know how to use the space they were given even though it was definitely a huge moment in their career nonetheless. Yes, the sound was better and the opportunity to sit is also lucrative but for some reason people did not get into a festival mood except at VNV NATION's set because Ronan Harris knew how to work in this format and also integrated the ranks into the show. ‘Nova’ is a moment everyone who has seen the show will never forget. Moreover, the potential of the Arena wasn't entirely used. For example, the screens that are positioned on top of the arena were not used at all but they would have given the people on the back ranks a better view. And the installed lights could be used much better. From further away it was hard to see the bands since the stages were poorly illuminated and mostly front light was missing entirely. This works on smaller stages or in clubs, but not in such a huge arena. And something else concerning the lights – please turn on the lights in-between the bands. If you come in from bright sunshine you are totally blind inside the dark arena. It happened more than once that people walking through the hall stepped onto others sitting on the floor to rest. Besides,  we have also been told by other visitors that the performance of the security service was poor (meaning the stewards in the hall, not the security in the pit or at the entrance), going as far as not deescalating a physical fight. The Green Stage was definitely the favourite one of all three stages because of the grass and the typical festival atmosphere it transmitted. Still, the beer stall in front of the stage could be placed at the sides. The opinions are split about the Lanxess Arena as a festival setting and there are certainly positive and negative aspects to it but to us, the latter overweigh.

Written by Daniela Vorndran, Josie Leopold & Alex UltraRiot
All Pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) except Samsas Traum by Michael Gamon (www.sparklingphotos.de


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