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Bochum - Cologne - Arnhem - Vosselaar

It was announced quite a while ago that the DIARY OF DREAMS tour accompanying the release of ‘(if)’ would be a festival tour with three more bands. Leading the band through different European countries I decided to follow the band on 12 out of 17 shows. The first part was more or less my home match when I went to Bochum, Cologne, Netherlands and Belgium.

Friday, 9th October 2009, Matrix, Bochum, Germany

Today it was finally starting, the INTO DARKNESS TOUR with DEATHSTARS, DIARY OF DREAMS, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE and DOPE STARS INC. And this start was quite explosive in the best sense of words. But let’s start at the beginning.

14:00. I quickly left the office heading home for a quick shower, feeding the cats and grab my stuff to drive to Bochum where I first checked in at the hotel. At 18.30 I arrived at the Matrix in Bochum, just in time when the doors were supposed to open. But they didn’t. First no one knew what’s happening there. But all around was a lot of police what made people think. At around seven, finally some guy from the security came out to explain the situation: There was an Islamite bomb thread, he said, and the police is currently still searching down there in the club. But it is supposed to open soon. Due to this thread, the security measures were heavier than usually; anyone needs to show his ID and gets body checked.

After telling us all these things, memories at our last trip to Poland came into mind. Somehow always something happens when we want to see DIARY OF DREAMS. Because we still had to wait quite a while, we entered the supermarket nearby to have some coffee and sit in the warmth while waiting. Meanwhile, the queue was getting longer and longer. Finally at 10 to 8, the doors opened, a lot of police was watching the entrance procedure and there were dogs and stuff. Somehow quite threatening! It took very long to get all people in and when DOPE STARS INC. finally started more than one hour later than scheduled, many fans still were waiting outside to go through the security procedure.

The whole evening turned out in a way that the band were skipping some tracks from their setlists because there was a party after the concerts and they could not play much longer than midnight. As for the shows, all bands were welcomed from the very start and celebrated the band. I was stuck in the photo pit until DEATHSTARS started. After some songs of taking pics, I left the hall to meet some friends outside at the merchandising booth. And even though you did not have any mobile reception it worked out perfectly to meet them. We had some nice chats, some drinks and a little surprise: for my birthday a few days before, my friends brought a little cake with candles and some shots. My face must have looked funny. After joking around and eating the cake we entered the main hall again to see our favourite band DIARY OF DREAMS performing the headliner show of the evening.

It was such a relief to see the band after a long time (well, long time for us) again. Today, we got a little surprise when it comes to the keyboarder. There was someone new on stage, Mauri who is usually playing drums in Gaun:A’s band STONED AGE. The DIARY OF DREAMS setlist on the evening was very powerful and fast containing several news songs such as ‘Wahn!Sinn?’, ‘The Chain’, ‘The Wedding’ and of course the new single ‘King of Nowhere’ just released on the day of the concert featuring a brand new video clip you can watch at the band’s MySpace site. Also some well-known and loved classics belonged to the set like ‘MenschFeind’, my all-time live favourite ‘soul Stripper’ with the great drum solo, ‘AmoK’ or the final encore ‘the Curse’. What a nice start of my tour containing all in all 12 shows. Just the audience was not as outgoing as I expected. So we’ll see what the following shows will bring.

After the concerts we stayed at the club for a while, watching all the strange creatures of the night passing our way while we had a few more drinks and chats. Around three we finally fell into our hotel beds just to get refreshed for the coming concert day in Cologne.

Saturday, 10th October 2009, Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany

Wisdom of the day: If there is powder, there is also vinegar. Ok, now you think what weird people the hell are writing this article? Well, the explanation will follow later. Just let me tell you first what happened during the day until we discovered this wisdom...

We were getting up not too late in Bochum, called a cab to drive us back to the Matrix club where we still had my car waiting. In the cafe of the nearby supermarket we first had some nice breakfast to get refreshed for the things to come. And what was coming for us was crazy and absolutely funny. The funny part started when we entered out hotel room... Imagine four girls all together in a small Formule 1 hotel room. Just getting ready there for the evening, having some champagne and some sweets made us laugh the entire afternoon. We decided to get ready early to first go into the city, have a look at the dome, walk around a bit and then have some beer and some food at one of Cologne’s famous breweries.

It was already getting a bit late and we had to check where the venue was. We only knew the street but not, where in this street it was. So we decided to walk the street down, not knowing how fucking far it finally was. Far away we saw some building looking like a factory (the venue itself was called “Essigfabrik” meaning “Vinegar Factory”) and coming closer I recognized the logo on it. It was a powder factory. And then, soon there, it started raining cats and dogs. Terribly wet we were. But next, just basically at the powder factory, there was also our location. Now you know where our wisdom came from. Late as we were, DOPE STARS INC was already performing. I just ran in hoping I still had a chance to take some pics. It turned out that I entered the photo pit just some seconds before the third song was over. So, only about 5-10 pics today for me this time. After getting out of the pit, I first had to calm down, have some drink and conversations with lots of people I knew, some from Romania or Netherlands. Was very nice to see them all again. Music seems to unite people.

Next band coming up was LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE and now it was much more relaxed for me to take pics. The band performed pretty well today and people clapped along to such songs like ‘Amber Girl’ or ‘My Mescaline’. The Cologne audience was much to my surprise very outgoing and celebrated already the second band of the evening. Many of the attending people only were waiting for the band coming up next, Swedish DEATHSTARS who have quite a following by now especially within the females. Extroverted as always, the band entered the stage after some SATYRICON song used as intro and started with the title track of the latest album, ‘Night Electric Night’. Loud cheers and clapping followed the band during all songs including smashers such as well-known ‘Blitzkrieg’. Turned out as a great show, much better than the day before, what can also be said about following DIARY OF DREAMS headlining the tour in Germany.

The mood on stage seemed to be much better than the day before and also the audience was louder, wilder and more into what was going on stage. The fast and aggressive set seemed to perfectly meet the taste of the audience even though several people seemed to miss ‘Traumtänzer’ in the set. I for myself was not too sad about this because the presented songs including ‘The Wedding’, ‘Poison Breed’, ‘King of Nowhere’ or ‘The chain’ from the current album as well as ‘The Plague’, ‘Soul Stripper’ or ‘Kindrom’ from older releases perfectly met my preferences as well. Also today the set was ended by the faster version of ‘AmoK’ as first encore and ‘The Curse’ as final song. Even though the audience was screaming long and loudly, there was no further encore.

After the show, I met my friends all again at the merch stand where we had more conversations. Members from the first three bands also were there to give some autographs, take pics with fans etc. Only DOD was missing. Very sad for a lot of fans and totally different from their past behaviour... but for a few shows now the band refuses to come out from backstage after their shows. No clue about the reasons. Hope their change their opinions soon as the fans always loved to have some Smalltalk with the band. Very soon after the show, the venue was closed though and we found ourselves also back outside at the street. But luckily the evening was not over yet; we got served some more drinks and stayed outside in the cold for 2 more hours for extensive talking and lots of nonsense-making. Finally we called a cab to bring us back to the hotel. The night ended with a “Taxi ride of Death”. The driver was totally mad, his driving style was crazy and we were very happy finally seeing our hotel.

Some food now at a Burger King, lots of laughing until four in the morning and finally, four tired girls fell asleep in this tiny hotel room.

Sunday, 11th October 2009, Luxor Live, Arnhem, Netherlands

I left Cologne at 10.30 in the morning. It was grey and raining. The ride to Netherlands to a friend seemed to be endless, world was passing by like in slow-motion. Time was expanding like bubble gum. While I was listening to music I was all alone with my thoughts... thoughts about last night’s concerts, about music, about life in general. Sometimes it is good to be alone with your thoughts and memories. Finally after about three hours drive I reached my friends place where I got refreshed and got some work done. Around 5 we left for Arnhem, had some food on the way and arrived short after the doors opened at the venue.

Anything there worked out smoothly. Anyone was very kind. And what a venue! It looked amazing. Somehow like an old theatre with lots of decorations, a very nice balcony and hundreds of small lights in the ceiling glowing in deep red when we entered. The present crowd on the evening was now very big but anyone was in good mood looking forward the bands coming up. Already before the show stated you felt that lots of people were really into DOPE STARS INC here buying a lot of their shirts at the merch booth. I got told there that already before the show they sold more stuff this evening than all other three bands together. Something for a change I’d say.

Perfectly in time at seven, the Italians entered the stage for their vivid and entertaining performance. Due to the fact we had this balcony in the venue, I watched most of the show from there having a great few onto what was happening on stage and having some new perspective for pictures. Always nice to have something like that! Otherwise having 12 shows in a row someday the pics would look all the same. Well, not this time. Today I was even seeing the drummer who was usually hidden behind all the high hats. Even though the crowd was quite small, DSI left the stage under big applause. Next band coming up were German LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE. With their old fashioned Goth Rock they had the crowd in their hands right from the start.

Then it was already time for the band I was mainly doing this tour, DIARY OF DREAMS. While they are headliner in Germany, they play on the third spot in the foreign countries. The Setlist was the same like during the both shows before, just without the encores because there was this limited time of an hour to perform. And so, the set ended with powerful ‘Kindrom’ and lots of happy faces in the crowd. After lots of people had a cigarette outside, the venue filled up again for DEATHSTARS’ show. I decided to watch the beginning of show from the balcony and so I had perfect view on all the posing going on on stage. Even though I am not totally into this kind of music you really must give them kudos for haven the crowd totally in their hands. Mr. Bergh knows how to command the people and they are doing what they want.

When the show had ended, there was only little more time to chat and we already left very early. Back on the highway, light were passing by and I was alone with my thoughts again.

Monday, 12th October 2009, Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium

A very sunny autumn day welcomed me today. At noon I left my friend’s place and I found myself back on the highway soon. Due to the great weather I decided not to take the highway for the entire distance but left earlier to have some kilometres on empty alleys, driving under big trees and watching the sun painting shadows onto the road musically perfectly underlined by the current SININE album... leaves are flying around the trees, yellow as bright sun... I reached my hotel at 14:00 without any trouble, checked in and then decided to have a walk through the city. At least I need to see something of the world while travelling so far... Well, this city called Turnhout where I was staying overnight was not so very much interesting. But at least I got some fresh air. In the way, I got myself some food and soon got ready for the show in close by Vosselaar.

The venue, called Biebob, seemed to be more something for Metal heads and also the audience tonight came more from the Metal corner and so, most people were eagerly waiting for the DEATHSTARS headlining tonight’s evening. I saw several people attending the show who were already present at the previous show in Arnhem. The venue itself was pretty small and the only way going backstage for the bands was across the stage. So, several band members got stuck in front of the stage while another band was playing just waiting for them to finish getting their own stuff ready. DOPE STARS INC had quite a good start into the concert evening. Due to the fact that the venue was quite small, you had a very intimate concert atmosphere. Liked it! Even though the light conditions were not the best for all the bands. So, the light technicians had a difficult job to make something special out off the availabilities.

Following LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE was well received by the audience as well, especially their songs ‘Amber Girl’ or ‘Ave End’ again closing the set. Following up was DIARY OF DREAMS attracting the attention of several fans coming just to see this band. The setlist was the same as during the days before and I had a lot of fun watching the show. Even though I had some problems taking pics under such light conditions in the club. But well, another challenge today. So it never gets boring. After the four Germans had left the stage, it got really packed in front of the stage and I was just staying at my spot on a little step to have any chance to take pics of DEATHSTARS at all. So, for the first time during the tour, I was experiencing the Swedish guys very close. Even though it is not my kind of music, the band seems to be very likable, friendly and had the audience totally under control.

Today, members of all bands were out off the backstage just like on the day before, and were taking some time for all the fans who wanted some pictures with the bands, autographs or just some Smalltalk. I had a pretty easy day and so I stayed for a while as well. It was nearly three when I finally went to bed after emptying a bottle of white wine. Next day I saw myself on the highway again already at 9:00 in the morning. A lot of work was waiting at home before I was going to the next part of the tour, starting off in Frankfurt again.

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /


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