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Tanzbrunnen, Cologne, Germany
22nd July – 23rd July 2006
Amphi Day 2: Frozen Plasma, Faun, Dope Stars Inc., Fixmer/McCarthy, Letzte Instanz, Samsas Traum, Negative, And One, Schandmaul

On Sunday, the second festival day, about 6,000 people made again their way to Cologne to see their favourite bands. The afternoon started very early at about 1:00 and Cologne welcomed us with clear blue sky and sun shine. Nearly perfect festival weather. It only was a little bit too warm and if you were not careful you went home with a sun burn afterwards. Today the program was running on only one stage what gave a much more relaxed atmosphere to the whole day. People were lying in the grass, enjoyed their food and drinks or just went shopping in-between the bands or when a not liked band was playing. The well mixed program again offered music from the different dark music genres.




Frozen Plasma – Mainstage [CL]

After the split of his very successful band ‘NamNamBulu’, Vasi Vallis presents now his follow-up project ‘Frozen Plasma’ with a fantastic new singer: Felix Marc (producer / keyboarder / backing vocals for ‘Diorama’)! The debut single ‘Hypocrite’ was released at November 24th 2005; the first album ‘Artificial’ was released in April 2006. To promote the album, ‘Frozen Plasma’ will support ‘In Strict Confidence’ at their upcoming tour in autumn. ‘Frozen Plasma’ are Vasi Vallis and Felix Marc. http://frozenplasma.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/frozenplasma



Music
Sunday at 1:00 pm - 28°C, the sun burns... We just arrived at the location when the first sounds of ‘Frozen Plasma’ already attracted the present people in front the main stage. The music sounds well-known on one hand, but a little bit different on the other one - simply because the sound is like ‘NamNamBulu’ but the voice is different. I think Felix made a good job and I was happy to listen to the songs from the debut album live for the first time.



Performance
A smiling Vasi operated the machines in the background and Felix run across the stage in the foreground. The performance was powerful and pushing just as well as the songs itself. Sometimes, Felix tried to animate the audience to dance and clap. ‘Hypocrite’- the first single - was announced as “Tanznummer” (dance music). The fan base supported and celebrated their heroes and at the last song three teddy bears were flying to the stage. The set was finished with the upcoming single ‘Irony’.

Setlist
01. Condense
02. A Generation of the Lost
03. Crossroads
04. Hypocrite
05. Irony

Rating
Music 8
Performance 8
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8




Faun – Mainstage [DV]

Since spring 2002 the band consists of its recent line-up and played nearly 200 concerts. ‘Faun’ has fans within the genres of Wave Gothic, Folk and Medieval music. ‘Faun’ are Fiona (vocals, bagpipe, flutes, diverse other instruments), Oliver (vocals, Celtic harp, fiddle, lute, diverse percussion instruments), Lisa (vocals and hurdy-gurdy), Rüdi (a lot of different percussion instruments) and Niel (computer sampler and synthesizer). http://www.faune.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/paganfolk



Music
With ‘Faun’ a real contrast to the previous band started musically. The band is presenting some kind of medieval music which they call “Pagan Folk”. While Nile is only using his technical stuff – computer and synthesizer – the other boys and girls are changing a lot of different medieval and allied instruments like bagpipe, flutes, fiddle, lute or hurdy-gurdy. Especially Rüdi is the master of many different percussion instruments. The combination of the modern equipment and traditional instruments creates a special kind of sound that works very well. The sound was very well mixed and so the whole show was a pleasure for your ears. Not only fans of this kind of music stopped by to watch the gig. ‘Faun’ really have their own style.



Performance
The stage looked as you were thrown back into a wood where fauns and elves walk winding paths. Ivy ranked up the microphone stands and around the table where Nile’s computer was placed where you could also see a goat scull with big horns. The two girls were optical eye candy and very vivid on stage dancing a lot with their instruments and joking a lot to each other. Oliver was the communicative person on stage announcing nearly every songs wit a short story. He dedicated the song ‘Rosmarin’ to the Bavarian police because during a control the good-looking female patrol did not search well enough. Hm… I wonder what they did hide. ;)

Setlist
01. Punagra
02. Wind & Geige
03. Rosmarin
04. Sirena
05. Iyansa
06. Andro

Rating
Music 8
Performance 8
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8




Dope Stars Inc. – Mainstage [KM]

Originating from Rome in Italy, the band started in 2003 and as they speak of themselves they are “ young, loud and synthesized”. Their artistic output is collected on two albums ‘10.000 Watts Of Artificial Pleasures’ and ‘Neuromance’ as well as a new EP ‘Make a Star’ and a variety of compilations. ‘Dope Stars Inc.’ are Victor Love (vocals, guitars, synths, programming), Grace Khold (synthesizers), Darin Yevonde  (bass) and Alex Vega (guitar). http://www.dopestarsinc.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/dopestarsinc



Music
To put it short: forceful, exuberant, aggressive. At the concert where the living guitars, harsh vocals and synthesizers meet such impression is much in demand. A twisting seizure, the striking, hard and loud music that got to ears with the speed of light and passionate, vibrating vocals is what the band presented musically on that day. They performed the songs of their previous albums ‘10.000 Watts Of Artificial Pleasures’ and ‘Neuromance’, but they decided to make the audience familiar with the new output, namely ‘Make a star’.



Performance

The vocalist Victor Love seems to be an easy-going person: he established contact with the audience right at the very start and kept it to the end. Well, that's what it should be like after all. At his entry to the stage he honesty announced that he was going to kick the audience's asses to make us aware what to expect and I'm sure some people felt the concert that way. Taken off their feet. The four musicians took part in the performance equally, making best of their instruments, encouraging the audience to move, dance and clap their hands which was very fine, indeed. The image of the band itself is quite interesting  too: artistic, strong make-ups, stylish clothes and conspicuous jewellery – all these made the concert a colourful though not flashy spectacle. As the musicians claim, they look after their scenic image themselves and I think they do just fine.

Setlist
01. 10.000 watts + infection 13 (medley)
02. Vyperpunk
03. Make a star
04. Rebel riot
05. Theta titanium
06. Generation plastic
07. Self destructive corp.
08. Defcon 5

Rating
Music 7
Performance 8
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8 (7.53)






Fixmer/McCarthy – Mainstage [KM]

Having on their account one full album ‘Between the Devil’ and four singles, the duo ‘Fixmer/McCarthy’ is a project presenting best what can be found electronic music. Started in 2002, it keeps enchanting the audience with the fast beat, characteristic vocal line and unrestrained energy. Members: Terence Fixmer (music) and Douglas McCarthy (vocals). http://www.fixmermccarthy.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/fixmermccarthy



Music
When the album ‘Between the Devil’ was released I thought it was everything I wanted in electronic music and waited for the chance to see the artist live. This finally happened on Amphi Festival and I must say it was a great show! Each of the songs included on the albums was a hit-to-be, combining the characteristic vocal of McCarthy with a hard-hitting, invigorating and dynamic sound. The band performed a lot of new songs - actually, the new ones prevailed over the old ones – but as they were sticking to the similar style, the audience reacted to all of them enthusiastically and it didn't take long to make the people catch the thread of the new tracks and dance. It's totally impossible not to recognize McCarthy's voice and his manner of singing: threatening, tensed, more like scansion than an easy flow of lyrics. Well, that day McCarthy was like a general warming his solders up before the battle. :) And as far as I could see(and feel myself) he succeeded in the enlivening mission for 100%.



Performance
F/M was an absolute must-see of the festival; one of the greatest treats to be true. Though Terence Fixmer was partly hidden behind his equipment, Douglas McCarthy was enough to get the party into gear. Moving, marching backwards and forwards on the stage, looking straight into the audience's eyes (yeah, he was wearing sunglasses, but I don't think anyone bothered) he made the performance lively and captivating, very McCarthy-ish in fact. I assume that was what the fans had been waiting for, so those used to the vocalist gestures and ways must have been pleased.

Setlist
01. Look To me (new)
02. Freefall
03. Pistol whipper (new)
04. And then Finally (new)
05. Love the night (new)
06. Destroy
07. You want it

Rating
Music 10
Performance 8
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 9 (8.9)






Letzte Instanz – Mainstage [DV]

With their latest release ‘Ins Licht’ (“Into the light” - released in February 2006), the band is back with a new singer. ‘Letzte Instanz’ are existing for eight years now – in ever-changing line-up though. So far, the band released five studio albums and a live DVD so far as well as played more than 380 concerts. After the 2003 album ‘Götter auf Abruf’ the band reached a dead end and three musicians left the band. 2006 finally saw the rising of a renewed band with a new album. ‘Letzte Instanz’ now are Holly (vocals), Holly D. (acoustic guitar, vocals, programming), Oli (guitar), Michael Ende (bass), Benni Cellini (cello), M. Stolz (violin, programming) and Specki T.D. (drums). http://www.letzte-instanz.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/letzteinstanz



Music
The band perfectly manages to walk between Pop, Gothic-Rock, Classic, Folk, Medieval and Metal. Elements from all those genres are combined in the output of ‘Letzte Instanz’. For eight years the band now walks the path of musical development. Lyrical German lyrics meet classical string arrangements and rock music. Back with the album ‘Ins Licht’, the band also introduces new singer Holly. Today, the band sounds very lively, energetic and inspired. Holly’s lyrics are haunting with clear pictures and his voice alternates between different pitches and registers. Of course during Amphi the band played several songs of the latest release like ‘Sonne’, ‘Tanz’ and ‘Unerreicht’ which are quite catchy, danceable and muscle-twitching. At the album ‘Das Stimmlein’ provides guest vocals by Eric Fish (‘Subway to Sally’), Thomas Lindner (‘Schandmaul’) and Sven Friedrich (‘Zeraphine’). Two of those appeared with their band at the festival too. Really sad that they did not add their part to the live performance of ‘Letzte Instanz’.



Performance
This band can really rock any kind of audience – whether it likes metal or medieval stuff. And so people joined in singing and dancing during all the songs. Several stories were told in-between the songs and cared for a relaxed atmosphere. The eye catcher of stage is Benni Cellini who was sitting on a strange chair made partly out of metal and handled his instrument like a maniac while his red dreads were flying. M. Stolz was jumping all across the stage while playing violin. I really started to wonder how he still could hit the right sounds. But obviously it worked out. When the band finished with ‘Mein Todestag’ anyone in the audience had the feeling of a much too short show.



Setlist
01. Intro
02. Unerreicht
03. Sonne
04. Ohne Dich
05. Tanz
06. Bittere Nacht
07. Das schönste Lied der Welt
08. Jeden Morgen
09. Das Stimmlein
10. Mein Todestag

Rating
Music 8
Performance 9
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 8 (8.4)




Samsas Traum – Mainstage [DV]

‘Samsas Traum’ is a difficult band – whether you love it or hate it – how even mastermind Kaschte says. The band is very complex and hard to describe. In their ten year lasting career they gained a lot of fans even though the music is controversial discussed and the band’s viewpoint is very polarising. The band counts as one of the quaintest appearances in German Gothic and Alternative scene. ‘Samsas Traum’ are Alexander Kaschte (vocals, programming) Daniel Schroeder (saxophones and clarinets) Michael Puchala (live guitars) and Martin "Acid" Gutmann (live synthesizers). http://www.samsas-traum.info/ / http://www.aurora-acht.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/samsastraum



Music
Like during the support slot at the Oomph! tour, ‘Samsas Traum’ started with ‘Es war einmal’ which had included a bad wigging against America. After ‘K.Haos Prinz und Wind Prinzessin’ the show was opened for the hand puppet “Trulala” which introduced ‘Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten’ and “sang” this song in duet with Alexander. Even if the guitar did not work properly, ‘Samsas Traum’ can play punky fast songs like ‘Ein Fötus wie du’. ‘Bis ans Ende der Zeit’ (from the SAW 2 soundtrack) completed the gig which was expanded by an encore for the first time on this day. As encore the song ‘Kugel im Gesicht’ was chosen which is originally a track from Alexander’s side project ‘Weena Morloch’. Daniel added his saxophone sounds to the songs was gives them a quite unusual feeling. All in all the presented music was a mix of Black and Gothic Metal somehow which included elements from Alternative and Metal too.



Performance
This band is a quite extroverted act which was welcomed by frenetic applause. Lots of fans gathered in front of the stage despite the quite early hour to see their heroes. There was no choreographed show; it was Alexander’s appearance that made the deal. There was a lot of communication – in words and gestures – between him and the audience. Anything made sure that he’s (playing?) the crazy person on stage. Very odd and a bit infantile I found the play with his hand puppet “Trulala”. Is it really that simple to make the audience scream? Martin behind his keyboard was quite fun to watch with all the grimaces and staccato moves he did. As controversial as the music is the show – you love it or hate it.

Setlist
01. Intro
02. Es war einmal
03. K.haosprinz und Windprinzessin
04. Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten
05. Stromausfall im Herzspital
06. Ein Foetus wie Du
07. Endstation Eden
08. Einer gegen alle
09. Bis an das Ende der Zeit
---
10. Kugel im Gesicht

Rating
Music 5
Performance 4
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 5 (5.2)




Negative – Mainstage [CL]

‘Negative’ from Finland were founded in 1997. The melancholic rock and the specific voice of the lead singer are attracting and fascinating an international audience. The current album is called ‘Sweet And Deceitful’. The upcoming album will be released in autumn and is called ‘Anoretic’. ‘Negative’ are Jonne Aaron (vocals), Larry (guitar), Sir Christus (guitar), Antti (bass), Jay (drums) and Snack (keyboards). http://www.negative.fi/ / http://www.gbfam.com/negative / http://www.myspace.com/negative  



Music
The emotional voice of Jonne Aaron and the catchy sweeping guitar play of Larry and Sir Christus were a good combination to fascinate the crowd. Songs taken from the second album were alternating with songs from the debut album. The band also performed the upcoming single ‘Planet Of The Sun’.

Performance
I think it's not necessary to spit around the stage and to curse in every phrase. I also think, the request to the female fans to lift her tits is tawdrily, but the fans didn't care - they love the "sex, drugs and rock n' roll" - image of the band. The interaction between the band and the audience was great though and a lot of fans ambushed their heroes at the backstage entry after the concert.



Setlist
01. L.A Feeding Fire
02. In My Heaven
03. My My / Hey Hey
04. Planet Of The Sun
05. Frozen To Lose It All
06. Naive
07. Moment Of Our Love
08. Until You’re Mine

Rating
Music 8
Performance 6
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 7 (7.3)






And One – Mainstage [CL]

‘And One’ are one of the most famous Synth-Pop bands in Germany. Inspired by ‘Depeche Mode’ and other electro acts of the eighties,  Steve Naghavi - the mastermind of the band - created a lot of hits like ‘Techno Man’, ‘Panzermensch’, ‘Deutschmaschine’, ‘Sometimes’ or ‘Metalhammer’ just to mention a few. In every electro club in Germany very often you can find ‘And One’ on the playlists. And always when the DJ is playing an ‘And One’-song, the floor is crowded. After the last album release ‘Aggressor’, the band changed the label and is now signed by an independent label (Out of Line) again. The first releases within the new label are the pre-single-releases ‘Military Fashion Show’ and ‘So klingt Liebe’ which is released in three versions with different live-recordings made during the last tour. In autumn, the band will release the album ‘Bodypop’ and will present it on tour through Germany. All I can say is: an ‘And One’ concert is always a big party! ‘And One’ are: Steve Naghavi, Gio van Oli and Chris Ruiz. http://www.andone.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/andonemyspace



Music
‘And One’ were not the official headliner of this day, but a good deal of the audience were in place because of just this band. The show started with the first single ‘Military Fashion Show’ out off the upcoming album ‘Bodypop’. It is a typical ‘And One’ song with melodic synthesizer-sounds and the unique voice of Steve Naghavi. The following song was my all-time favourite song ‘Für’ taken from the album ‘I.S.T’. The setlist included older hits like ‘Metalhammer’ and ‘Techno Man’ as well as tracks from the latest album like ‘Speicherbar’ and ‘Krieger’. Besides that the first single out off the upcoming album ‘Military Fashion Show’ has been played, but the current single ‘So klingt Liebe’ was missing sadly. ‘Krieger’ was mixed with a part of ‘Sweet Dreams’ (‘Eurythmics’) -  visitors of the last tour know and love these integrated cover versions of ‘Depeche Mode’ and ‘Eurythmics’. The main set was finished with a cover version of ‘The Walk’ (‘The Cure’) - this is also already known by the fans, but nice to listen over and over again.



Performance
The band members entered the stage clothed in black suits - Steve with a red-orange tie - and in spite of the hot temperatures they kept on the suits until the end of the show. During the second song Steve went to the first row, greeted the fans with handshake and asked them: "how are you?" The songs were performed very powerful, Steve was running and dancing all over the stage all the time. During ‘Metalhammer’ and ‘Technoman’, Chris left his Keyboard to sing and dance together with Steve over the whole stage. Between the songs, Steve was joking sometimes and amused the fans with slogans like "the live is short, short as like me" or "the sun is shining, it will go down with us". After the main set the band did not leave the stage but Steve said: "Stuff it! We don't go out and come back, we just stay on" and then they performed together with the audience the encore ‘Technoman’. It was a solid gig, too short in my opinion and sadly without the current single.



Setlist
01. Military Fashion Show
02. Für
03. Metalhammer
04. Speicherbar
05. Enjoy The Unknown
06. Get You Closer
07. Deutschmaschine
08. Krieger
09. The Walk
10. Technoman

Rating
Music 9
Performance 9
Light – (daylight)
Sound 8
Total 9 (8.8)






Schandmaul – Mainstage [DV]

The Munich Folk-Rock band ‘Schandmaul’ were the closing band for this year’s Amphi festival. The recent album ‘Mit Leib und Seele’ was released on 31st March 2006. ‘Schandmaul’ are Thomas Lindner (vocals), Anna Kränzlein (violin, hurdy-gurdy), Stefan Brunner (drums), Martin Duckstein (guitar), Birgit Muggenthaler (flute, bagpipe) and Matthias Richter (bass). http://www.schandmaul.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/schandmaulmusic



Music
The band started with ‘Mädchen und Tod (intro)’ followed by ‘Drachentöter’ out off the 2004 album ‘Wie Pech und Schwefel’. The whole included several of songs from the recent album ‘Mit Leib und Seele’. So, the band played ‘Kein Weg zu weit’ – the first single out off it, ‘Lichtblick’, ‘Feuertanz’ – which is an eerily rampant dark anthem, ‘Mitgift’, ‘Die Tür in mir’ and ‘Dein Anblick’ – a warm sweet ballad which was played as last song of the evening. In-between the band played several of their well-known hits such as ‘Teufelsweib’ (which was officially the first song ever written by the band), ‘Herren der Winde’ and ‘Walpurgisnacht’. Not only with the recent album the band unfolds its experience on the instrumental level with sometimes smooth caressing and sometimes powerful crashing guitars, elegantly arranged flutes and bagpipes, medieval hurdy-gurdies and shawms. In the same time Thomas’ voice tells metaphoric stories from fantasy worlds. Additionally within the new songs, the band added some funky-jazzy elements as well as heavy metal solos.



Performance
The show started with a band covered by a half-transparent curtain. When the curtain fell during the first song after the intro, it unveiled the band occupying two levels on stage: Guitar, bass and drums on a podium, the two girls with the medieval instruments and singer Thomas in front close to the audience. Behind this all there was a big colourful backdrop hung up. In-between the songs, Thomas told several small stories or impressed the audience with his “just for the Amphi festival prepared guitar solo”. Before the band intonated the song ‘Vogelfrei’ they celebrated their well-known “jump-play”. Especially remarkable is the show of the two girls who flirt with the audience, smile a lot, dance across the stage with their instruments and just show pure fun in what they are doing. And even if you are not into that kind of music the show is worth watching. The remaining audience (several electronic fans left after ‘And One’) celebrated their band and sang along loudly while clapping enthusiastically. After some faster songs, finally ‘Dein Anblick’ marked the romantic finish of the show and the festival in a wonderful sun dawn.



Setlist
01. Mädchen & Tod
02. Drachentöter
03. Kein Weg zu weit
04. Sichelmond
05. Vogelfrei
06. Lichtblick
07. Feuertanz
08. Mitgift
09. Tür in Mir
10. Teufelsweib
---
11. Herren der Winde
12. Walpurgisnacht
---
13. Dein Anblick

Rating
Music 7
Performance 9
Light 7
Sound 8
Total 8 (8.8)







More pics on Black-Cat-Net
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Reviews:
Daniela Vorndran [DV]
Carsten Leopold [CL]
Karolina Moszkowicz [KM]
 
Pictures:
Daniela Vorndran

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