RoD header


Batschkapp, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
7th April 2009
Letzte Instanz, Van Canto

On 27th February, the Dresden-based band LETZTE INSTANZ released its ninth album `Schuldig´ containing 13 songs in German language. The musicians can be described as a formation that represents a mixture of Folk Rock, Rock and the so-called “Brachialromantik” (a German expression for brute and at the same time romantic sounds). Right after the release, the septet went on “UnSchuldstour” through Germany and was able to find out whether the album’s songs also gained a great reception live on stage.

The formation is going to play at several well-known festivals this summer. For example, the artists are part of the line-up at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, the Blackfield Festival in Gelsenkirchen and the M’era Luna Festival in Hildesheim. In the warm evening of the 7th April 2009, Holly (vocals), M. Stolz (violin), B. Cellini (cello), Oli (guitar), Holly D. (guitar), Specki T. D. (drums) and Micha (bass) gave a performance at the Frankfurt club Batschkapp. /

I arrived at the venue at half past 6pm and was way too early. Surprisingly, I watched a gathering of fans who had already been waiting for the admission that should be proceeded at 8pm. For now, the fans enjoyed the warm sunlight. When I talked to them, I got to know that some of them had travelled many kilometres to see LETZTE INSTANZ live in concert and therefore, they didn’t want to be late. It was a good decision, as they should get a well-deserved standing room later on - and they could find one of the very rare parking spots. By and by, many people arrived and queued up in front of the doors. Although it was pretty hot and crowded, there was a nice atmosphere. They all seemed to know each other, as many of them had been at other gigs before. Just in time, the Batschkapp staff opened the doors and the admission took place. Everything ran smoothly and well-organized. The big challenge was waiting indoors, as the hall was totally heated up and I felt like being in a sauna. I was a bit relieved and very curious when it was time for the support act VAN CANTO I hadn’t experienced before.

Van Canto

VAN CANTO is a German formation that specialized in the unusual style of acoustic Heavy Metal. The singers Sly Schunke, Inga Scharf, Stefan Schmidt, Ross Thompson und Ike Sterzinger are responsible for the vocals, whereas Basti Emig accompanies them by playing the drums. VAN CANTO was founded in 2006 by Stefan Schmidt who wanted to breathe some fresh air into the Heavy Metal scene. In 2007, the band signed a record contract with the label Gun Records. After the band had released its first long-player `A Storm to come´ in the same year, VAN CANTO proudly presented the recent album `Hero´ last September. Besides their own compositions, the VAN CANTO members succeeded in the recording of well-known Heavy Metal anthems´ cover versions, for example `Fear of the Dark´ (IRON MAIDEN), `Battery´ (METALLICA) or `Wishmaster´ (NIGHTWISH). /

Music & Performance
The small venue seemed to be filled up with VAN CANTO fans who went wild when the acoustic Heavy Metal band entered the stage. It was an exciting welcome the musicians were offered. The pretty singer Inga Scherf stood out from the crowd of her male colleagues. Wearing an elegant black dress, she excused the nearly whole band for having a cold. However, I couldn’t pick out the stuffy noses, as the different voices caused a clear and forceful sound I didn’t expect at all. It was fascinating how the singers managed their vocals according to the Heavy Metal style they had promised before. Actually, they offered a drum-driven soundscape while they were only working with their voices. It was one of the most unusual concerts I have ever been at. The opener `Ronja´ was an aural pleasure as well as the stunning cover versions they performed. Vocally and visually, Inga reminded me a bit of TARJA TURUNEN who had been the lead singer of NIGHTWISH for some years.

According to my first impressions, I was excited to listen to the version of the NIGHTWISH song `Wishmaster´ that deeply impressed me as well as all the other songs did. Besides the impressing vocals and harmonic tunes, VAN CANTO was able to present a splendid show that enthused the crowd and made the people clap and sing along. Before the band made room for LETZTE INSTANZ, they had turned the Batschkapp into a boiling pot by singing the METALLICA song `Battery´. It was a breathtaking performance I would like to watch again at any time.

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: 8
Total: 8.1 / 10

Letzte Instanz

The change over took some minutes and finally it was time for the host LETZTE INSTANZ. Even before the seven band members appeared, there was an expressive stage design: A stylish fog was wafting around the drum set that displayed the band logo, a sexy female comic character. The microphones were as fancy as the drum set. And it was so hot! Some totally exhausted girls were pulled out of the crowd, as they couldn’t stand the heat anymore.

Music & Performance
When the lights went off and the audience screamed at the top of the lungs, the intro `Mea Culpa´ was started. By and by, the musicians walked to their instruments and it was obvious that they were in a good temper. The first measures of the opener `Mein Engel´ made the people jump and chant along. The front man Holly noticed the crowd’s enthusiasm with a smile and welcomed his Frankfurt audience. Certainly, the lyrics and the show are a matter of taste, but one can’t deny that this band gained a lot of fans who animate the artists to give their best. The show is a real eye-catcher: A self-exhausting band and an opulent light show made it a pleasure to be part of the audience. All the present photographers rubbed their eyes due to the bright light. The performance was very powerful and the seven musicians stroke big poses. No matter who I looked at, I noticed a lot of spirit for the show and the band members put their whole hearts into it.

They were rewarded by the shouting of a thankful audience whose great mood wasn’t dampened by some occasionally high-pitched sounds coming out of the left loudspeaker - a small problem I had already heard when VAN CANTO was on stage. I would like to highlight the cellist B. Cellini who played his instrument keenly and in a way that was nearly Punk. The setlist contained songs from the new album (especially in the show’s first 30 minutes) as well as many older pieces. Therefore, it was something for everyone. The song `Rapunzel´ was celebrated in particular and seemed to be eagerly awaited. Generally, the musicians distinguished themselves by their endurance, as they had played for all in all more than two hours. This doesn’t happen that much - and just consider the sweaty show in that small hall! Hence, the dried-up and knackered crowd left the venue euphorically and perfectly satisfied.

01. Mea Culpa / Mein Engel
02. Flucht ins Glück
03. Tanz
04. Maskenball
05. Ohne Dich
06. Eisherz
07. Dein Licht
08. Vollmond
09. Kopfkino
10. Unerreicht
11. Sonne
12. Traumlos
13. Monument der Stille
14. Jeden Morgen
15. Das schönste Lied der Welt
16. Finsternis
17. Komm!
18. Die Eine
19. Das Stimmlein
20. Feuer
21. Ganz oder gar nicht
22. Kalter Glanz
23. Mein Todestag
24. Rapunzel
25. Wir sind allein
26. Sandmann

Music: 7
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 10
Total: 8.1 / 10

All pictures by Katrin Renner (

See also (all categories):

Comments powered by CComment