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Soundgarden, Dortmund, Germany
21st December 2005
Subway to Sally and Leaves Eyes

The longest night of the year brought the last concert before Christmas of the recent “Subway to Sally” tour together with “Leaves Eyes” who were on headliner tour before. As I entered the parking site I saw a huge queue waiting in front of the sold out venue. Nearly 2000 people came to see “Subway to Sally” on their “Nord-Nord-Ost” Tour. The venue filled up very quickly so that the opener “Leaves Eyes” had the luck to play in front of a big audience. The audience itself was quite mixed on that evening. You could see quite old fans mixed up with a lot of youngsters.

Leaves Eyes

The band released their second album “Vinland saga” earlier this year. It is somehow composed world history interlarded with legends, love and passion. Singer Liv Kristine and the other band members (know as the band “Atrocity”) take the listeners on a journey into mystic times. After promoting their album on an own tour they are now on the road again together with “Subway to Sally”. “Leaves Eyes” are: Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull (Vocals), Mathias Röderer (Guitar), Thorsten Bauer (Guitar), Chris Lukhaup (Bass), Moritz Neuner (Drums & Percussion) and Alexander Krull (Vocals, Programming).

Since their debut “Lovelorn” the band is an inherent part of today’s gothic metal scene presenting atmospheric Metal-Rock and sensual ballads. Their music is marked by affectionate harmonies and beamy Metal-arrangements. In the centre of all stands Liv with her unique voice that made her famous in former times as she was singer of the band “Theatre of Tragedy”. At the beginning of the show her voice seemed to be a bit weaker as usually though but it build up towards the end and reached her usual strength with “Elegy” where she had no problems to reach the highest heights. As we know it from former shows, her husband Alexander Krull joined her on stage for several songs – the first time on that evening for the song “Ocean’s way”. He was not as dominant on stage as several times before… giving Liv more space to present and develop the show what I really appreciated. His darker voice was a very good contrast to Liv´s clear voice though. There was quite a good balance between songs out of the first album “Lovelorn” and the recent album “Vinland Saga”. With “Farewell proud men”, “The Thorn” and “Solemn Sea” three real Gothic-Metal numbers were presented with all the power you can imagine supported by a very good sound too.

The stage was decorated as usually with a big backdrop showing the “Leaves Eyes” writing. After the intro it was time for a “Norwegian Lovesong” out of the first album. Liv entered the stage in a beautiful red satin dress combined with a golden corset. She looked really astonishing. As usual it was she who stood in the middle of the show, lightened up with bright red, green or blue spots. After the song “Ocean’s way” it was time for a little serenade to Mathias´ birthday. The audience was in a really good mood right from the start singing and rocking together with the band which gave everything – the drummer behind his instruments and Mathias, Chris and Thorsten head banging playing their guitars and bass – even though Chris is mostly in the back of stage besides the drum set. As “The Thorn” started, Alex pushed up the audience – like he did it the whole evening – with the question “Dortmund, where are you?!” which was answered with a loud “Hey! Hey!” Alex´ comment: “You’re on the ball!” After the following calmer song “Into your light” where Liv was moody enlightened by some decent spots, Alex again questioned the audience: “Friends, do you want to hear something faster?” Not waiting for an answer, “Temptation” started. “Your hands! All together”, Alex stateed and let his long hair fly. He was accompanied with ecstatic “Hey, hey!” screams out of the audience.

While Alexander constantly pushed the audience forward, Liv was the calmer and restraining part on stage. After “Temptation” as a quite wild song, it was time for some rest… as Alex stated too: “Now we’re getting a bit hot here on stage too; to cool down one of our ballads.” For this song, Mathias and Thorsten changed to acoustic guitars which were mounted on stands. Liv was standing in red and yellow light which gave her a very mystic look. People were waving their arms in the time of music. Now it wass finally time for Liv to thank the audience while Alex took it to the point: “You are a great audience!” Towards the end of the show two more songs from “Vinland Saga” followed. First of them is “Solemn Sea” where Alex constantly animated the audience and even Liv asked the audience through gestures to clap along. Due the fact that Alex hasn’t got a real guitar he was just playing air guitar. Liv was obviously ravished by the audience: “You’re really great tonight! Madness!” The final of the show was celebrated with “Elegy” which started with whining “pig-rock” guitars. Finally Liv´s voice had gotten back its known strength and also the band was giving everything at the end. Also the audience said goodbye to the band how they deserved it: with loud screaming, singing and clapping. So Alex stated: “Dortmund, you were great!” while Liv said goodbye with “Thank you. We will be back. Have fun with Subway to Sally!”

00. Intro
01. Norwegian Lovesong (Lovelorn)
02. Farewell Proud Men (Vinland Saga)
03. Ocean's Way (Lovelorn)
04. The Thorn (Vinland Saga)
05. Into Your Light (Lovelorn)
06. Temptation (Lovelorn)
07. Leaves' Eyes (Vinland Saga)
08. Solemn Sea (Vinland Saga)
09. Elegy (Vinland Saga)

Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 8
Light 7
Total 8 (7.85)

Subway to Sally

After the first band members met in the early 80ies the band found its name “Subway to Sally” in 1990 when they played their first concerts too presenting much different music than today. Eric Fish entered the band in 1991 for the recordings of the first demos but wasn’t the front man at that time but a flute player and background singer. Some more concerts in 1992 followed and Eric was “pleased” to be the singer and front man of the band. The first record deal and the recordings for the first album followed in 1993 as well as the release of that CD. After several concerts and albums, the band released “Nord Nord Ost” in summer 2005 which should be the biggest success for the band with several sold out concerts. Due to the huge demand i.e. the concert in Frankfurt was changed to a bigger venue. “Subway to Sally” are Eric Fish, Sugar Ray, Ingo Hampf, Frau Schmitt, Simon Michael (which is on stage as drummer for the first time), Bodenski and Simon.

It was about nine as the first sounds flooded through the venue and the band started Christmas-like with “Stille Nacht”. The band is singing in it´s songs from witchcraft and magic, love and hate but also from neglect, disease, or mercy killing which stands in heavy contrast to beautiful love-ballads and the stories from medieval times wrapped in a modern dress. The sound of “Subway to Sally” can be described as medieval rock using modern instruments like guitars, bass and drums together with medieval instruments such as back pipe i.e. No one of the attendees could escape from the brute sound with so many grave tones. Every one of the band possessed the instruments very well. In the middle of the set which consisted of old and new songs (there were eight out of ten from the recent album) Ingo was playing a guitar solo which proofed as well his abilities with his instrument. Though the whole set there were over and over again instrumental solo parts during the songs.

Right after “Leaves Eyes” finished their show, the crew started rebuilding the stage, getting all the needed instruments and the metal-jacketed microphone stands on stage. The venue was now totally packed and people started again with “Subway” screams after the support band to get their idols on stage. Due to fire protection reasons most of the planned pyrotechnical show elements had to be skipped. But the audience was not really sad about this. There were other gimmicks that helped over this.  A very nice example for a moody show was the artificial snow falling down during “Schneekönigin” onto a totally blue tinted stage. It looked great! Another very moody moment was Eric handing out red roses to the audience during “Kleid aus Rosen” what surely made some girls hearts beating faster. The last rose was handed to Frau Schmitt – the only female on stage – dressed up in a white dress. The temper in the hall was really boiling. People were jumping, clapping and singing along every single line of the lyrics. It became so packed that several people had to be pulled out of the audience by the security guys. Eric Fish went crowd surfing and of course there was a well-known ritual too: “Der Schrei” (“The yell”). The audience screamed over and over again in a big choir. Eric’s comment: “If you could convert that energy into years of life, we would be immortal now!” Anyhow Eric was very communicative all the evening, telling little stories to the songs. The band member always were changing places on stage – it was never calm there.

Also the light show created a good mood to any song with a lot of bright lights and scanners from the back and spots from the sides of the stage. For the song “Eisblumen” (Ice-flowers) the whole stage was covered with cold blue light while Eric introduces the violinist Frau Schmitt as the most beautiful ice-flower in the world. The song was the highlight for a girl in the audience too. Eric pleased her onto stage, hugged her and sang along with her. You could see how ravished she was. But not only were the lights very appropriate. For “Maria” there were fires lit in bowls on the rim of stage. On stage were only Ingo and Eric to perform that song enlightened by the fires and yellow spots. The set went on with “Mephisto” from the album “Bannkreis” which is a very strong song. Eric Fish asked the audience: “Leave your hands up. Now we’re pooling all Heavy-Metal trademarks… the devil’s sign, and now a throaty sound from deep down and now jump!” It was working very well and the audience did what it was pleased to… getting handshakes for it from Eric. It seemed it got a bit hot for him too so he undressed his jacket and only left some kind of very bare leather vest. At the end of the song he was going into the audience and disappeared. You could hear from the stage: “Where is he? Are you all mad? You need to bring him back! Fly, Eric, fly! Please people, leave him dressed!” After a while he indeed managed to return to stage. Another fast and quite heavy song followed with “Henkersbraut” where the audience turned to a rioting mob. “You’re sounding like 10,000, do you know that?” stated Eric in response.

After that, it was time to rest a bit and with “Lacrimae '74” a calmer song followed. Ingo is left alone on stage with his medieval instrument; fog was flowing like water over the ground and Ingo was very well enlightened from the back with violet and white lights. Eric returned, took a seat on the drum platform and started performing “Feuerkind” for which several glow sticks and sparkling candles were lightened in the audience. Afterwards it was time to thank the crew and the support band. The main set ended with “Sag dem Teufel”, “Ohne Liebe” and “Veitstanz”. But that wasn’t all. The band was pleased back onto stage several times for encores and a great and hard celebrated final of the show followed.

01. Stille Nacht
02. Schneekönigin (Nord Nord Ost)
03. Feuerland (Nord Nord Ost)
04. Knochenschiff (Engelskrieger)
05. Kleid Aus Rosen (Herzblut)
06. Liebeszauber (Bannkreis)
07. Die Schlacht (Herzblut)
08. Unsterblich (Engelskrieger)
09. Eisblumen (Nord Nord Ost)
10. Guitar solo
11. Maria (Foppt den Dämon)
12. Traum Vom Tod (Album 1994)
13. Mephisto (Bannkreis)
14. Henkersbraut (Hochzeit)
15. Lacrimae '74 (Nord Nord Ost)
16. Feuerkind (Nord Nord Ost)
17. Das Rätsel II (Nord Nord Ost)
18. Sag Dem Teufel (Foppt den Dämon)
19. Ohne Liebe (Hochzeit)
20. Veitstanz (Herzblut)
21. Haughs O' Cromdale (Album 1994)
22. Die Hexe (MCMXCV)
23. Falscher Heiland (Engelskrieger)
24. Sieben (Nord Nord Ost)
25. Julia Und Die Räuber (Foppt den Dämon)
26. Seemannslied (Nord Nord Ost)

Music 7
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 8 (7.9)

More pics on page two and on

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