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intro judaspriestVeltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
29th to 31st May 2015
Rock im Revier 2015 Day 3: Black Map, Kissin’ Dynamite, Hellyeah, Accept, Epica, Five Finger Death Punch, The Darkness, Judas Priest, Airbourne, Kiss

We already reached the last day of the festival, and of course there was no chance to see all bands. The sheer amount was too much and besides, it was raining nearly the whole day. Last day also means that we should have a general look at the first Rock im Revier.

In total 43,500 visitors experienced 62 national and international top acts from 29th to 31st May in the VELTINS arena. Impressive shows by the three headliners METALLICA, MUSE and KISS provided for great festival moments. 4,000 rock fans camped enthusiastically for three days on the Trabrennbahn GelsenTrabPark, the neighbouring camping sites were also used. Around 90,000 litres of beer were given out during the three days. More than 2,000 volunteers and further 2,500 securities provided for a smooth and secure procedure. The festival audience celebrated itself and the bands exuberantly. The idea of a three-day-festival on the grounds of the VELTINS arena stood its test, the concept proved to be successful.

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Fred Handwerker, manager of Handwerker Promotion states: “I am more than content. An extremely short preparation time of only eight weeks and we are looking back on an absolutely smooth procedure in all areas. This is simply sensational! Our thanks go to all participants, the artists, the town, Schalke and especially the visitors. We will be seeing each other again next year!” Oliver Hoppe, managing director of the Wizard Promotions Konzertagentur adds: “An overall successful weekend has come to an end. The vibes of the festival visitors during the three days made me happy, the organisation makes me proud. All artists felt very comfortable in Gelsenkirchen. Thanks to the town of Gelsenkirchen and the VELTINS arena. Let's seize Rock im Revier 2016.”

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Black Map – Boom Stage

Since we were early at the venue and the program at the Big Stage was starting later, we moved over to the Boom Stage to see the first band playing there, BLACK MAP from California. So far, this band was unknown to me. BLACK MAP includes vocalist and guitarist Ben Flanagan [Trophy Fire], guitar player Mark Engles [Dredg], and drummer Chris Robyn [Far]. That we have someone from DREDG in the line-up is already a good hint for quality. BLACK MAP create striking music between heavy and beautiful. BLACK MAP as a band is quite young. They were founded in 2013 and inked a deal with HEAD Records in 2014 where they later released their debut album ‘And We Explode’. I really liked the stuff presented and was a bit sad that the crowd in front of the stage was rather small. I am sure we will hear from this band in future. // http://www.blackmapmusic.com / https://www.facebook.com/blackmapmusic // Setlist: 1. Code And We Explode pt. 1 / 2. Gold / 3. Head for the Hills / 4. Chinaski / 5. Gemini / 6. Melee / 7. I'm Just the Driver // Rating: 8 / 10

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As I already told, the weather on that last festival day was rainy and cold. But there were more difficulties. The schedule on the Big Stage got out of control. The KISS trucks were late and when the first band on the stage, THE DEAD DAISIES, was up to play, the crew was not yet ready to build up KISS’ stage. So anything was delayed. First they said about 15 minutes, but soon it was clear it would take longer. Since the schedule was tight we decided not to wait for the start on the Big Stage but instead move over to the Boom Stage to see KISSIN’ DYNAMITE who always deliver a cool show. In the course of the day, the delay got smaller, but at the end stayed 15 minutes. This meant, a lot of bands were completely overlapping and we could not see all bands we liked to. So we i.e. missed BEYOND THE BLACK sadly.


Kissin’ Dynamite – Boom Stage

KISSIN DYNAMITE call themselves the inventors of Sleeze Metal. The five-piece officially works under that moniker since 2006 and has four albums under their belts. 'Money, Sex & Power' was released in 2012, the emphasis during the gig was placed on material off that records. Their music is strongly 80s influenced and with their 2014 album ‘Megalomania’ the five guys from Swabia were touring through German clubs. Even though it was already raining a lot, the band was not impressed by the weather and delivered an explosive and energetic show. Even though the crowd in front of the stage was not too big because of the rain, the ones present celebrated hard together with the band and when singer Johannes asked if they would like to sing with them, many followed the invitation. At the end of the pleasing show, singer and string section delivered a little acrobatic performance by building a pyramid. Conclusion? Entertaining as always! // http://www.kissindynamite.de / https://www.facebook.com/Kissindynamiterocks // Setlist: 1. DNA / 2. Running Free / 3. V.I.P. in Hell / 4. Maniac Ball / 5. God in You / 6. Love Me, Hate Me / 7. Money, Sex & Power / 8. Ticket to Paradise / 9. I Will Be King / 10. Operation Supernova // Rating: 8 / 10

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Hellyeah – Big Stage

HELLYEAH had a lot of trouble the day before at Rockavaria Festival. Due to technical problems, at the end the show was cancelled. So they were probably still kind of frustrated today. The stage re-building also took quite long and so, there was no chance anymore to run over to the Boom Stage for BEYOND THE BLACK. HELLYEAH is an American heavy metal band, at the moment it is consisting of Chad Gray (MUDVAYNE), Tom Maxwell (NOTHINGFACE), Vinnie Paul (PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN) and Kyle Sanders (BLOODSIMPLE). The band was formed in the year 2005; 18 month after Vinnie Pauls brother “Dimebag” Darrell was shot on stage performing with DAMAGEPLAN. Vinnie Paul wasn`t sure if he will return to the music business after the murderer of his beloved brother Dime, but Chad and Tom were very persistent and in the end their efforts resulted in HELLYEAH. The band released their fourth album with ‘Blood for Blood’ in 2014. Already at the start, the band hat technical issues. During the first song ‘War in Me’ there was not much of the vocals to be heard and the music was creaking and droning out of the speakers. It lasted nearly until the middle of the set to solve the technical problems. Not convincing to me! // http://hellyeahband.com / https://www.facebook.com/hellyeahband // Setlist: 1. War in Me / 2. Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood) / 3. Demons in the Dirt / 4. Moth / 5. Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones) // Rating: 6 / 10

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Accept – Big Stage

Due to the now overlapping schedule, ACCEPT and EPICA were nearly starting at the same time. It was said EPICA would start little before and then we could rush over to see at least a little of ACCEPT. When standing already in the pit for EPICA, the promoter told us ACCEPT would already start and who from us was up for a sprint back to the Big Stage to take at least some pictures. Since there were still seven minutes to the start of EPICA, four of us agreed. So we were running (and I really mean running) over to ACCEPT, into the pit and saw at least one song. Not enough for a proper review though, but enough to realize that the band’s sound now was much better than during HELLYEAH. As I was told, in the course of the set, songs like ‘Restless and Wild’ or ‘Princess of the Dawn’ were celebrated by the fans with loud chants. Sadly, we had not much time to enjoy the German Heavy Metallers. After not much more than one song were had to run back to the Boom Stage and entered the pit when EPICA’s intro was already sounding from the speakers. // http://www.acceptworldwide.com / https://www.facebook.com/accepttheband // Setlist: 1. Stampede / 2. Stalingrad / 3. London Leatherboys / 4. Restless and Wild / 5. Princess of the Dawn / 6. Pandemic / 7. Fast as a Shark / 8. Metal Heart / 9. Teutonic Terror / 10. Balls to the Wall // Rating: 9 / 10

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Epica – Boom Stage

EPICA are always a guarantee for a good live show, not only because of the likable appearance of singer Simone Simons. EPICA is a Dutch symphonic metal band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen subsequent to his departure from AFTER FOREVER. They are known for their symphonic sound and the use of female vocals and male growls, performed by Simone Simons and Mark Jansen. ‘The Quantum Enigma’ marks the seventh studio record and was released at the beginning of May 2014, via Nuclear Blast Records. In 2013 EPICA celebrated their 10th anniversary with a huge live event called Retrospect hosting a live orchestra from Hungary along with special guests and former members. Of course, EPICA did not fail to deliver a good show, no matter if it was raining. Along to songs like ‘Sensorium‘, ‘Unleashed‘, ‘Storm The Sorrow‘ or ‘Consign To Oblivion‘ and fighting the rain, the fans were celebrating. It was a little sad that the show was completely overlapping with the appearance of ACCEPT and so, the Dutch band was playing in front of a smaller crowd than usually. EPICA will be back in November on tour, to this is your chance to see them. // http://www.epica.nl / https://www.facebook.com/epica // Setlist: 1. Intro: Originem / 2. The Second Stone / 3. The Essence of Silence / 4. Sensorium / 5. Unleashed / 6. Storm the Sorrow / 7. Victims of Contingency / 8. Unchain Utopia / 9. Consign to Oblivion // Rating: 9 / 10

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Five Finger Death Punch – Big Stage

This US Metal combo came into existence in year of 2006, founded by guitarist Zoltan Bathory. Zoltan soon gathered singer Ivan L. Moody, guitarist Caleb Bingham, drummer Jeremy Spencer and last but not least bassist Matt Snell. The band’s name refers to a fictitious martial arts style that kills people with a punch to the chest. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH or 5FDP debuted in 2007 with the album ‘The Way of the Fist’. The band had a few personal changes over the years but did stay true to their style of Hardcore influenced Groove Metal with bits of catchy Rock parts. In the year of 2013 the bands discography increased to five albums and they don`t seem to capitulate or slow-down a bit. The new album ‘Got your six’ will be out in August 2015. The show in Gelsenkirchen started with full power when ‘Under And Over It‘ was fired into the audience. The front rows immediately started moving fast. For ‘Burn Mother Fucker’, the band chose five fans from the crowd to enter the stage while singer Ivan shouted: “Make some Noise for the next Generation of Heavy Metal”. Hands were raised and in the middle of the hall, a circle pit was formed. At the end, the ballad ‘Remember Everything’ caused goose bumps and finally, ‘The Bleeding’ was ending the energetic set. // http://www.fivefingerdeathpunch.com / https://www.facebook.com/fivefingerdeathpunch // Setlist: 1. Under and Over It / 2. Burn It Down / 3. Hard to See / 4. Lift Me Up / 5. Bad Company (Bad Company cover) / 6. No One gets left Behind / 7. Burn Mother Fucker / 8. Remember Everything / 9. Coming Down / 10. Never Enough / 11. Here to Die / Encore: 12. The Bleeding / 13. Outro: The House of the Rising Sun ([traditional] song by Five Finger Death Punch) // Rating: 8 / 10

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The Darkness – Boom Stage

Summer 2015 is going to be hot, and not least because THE DARKNESS, which are a much awarded rock band surrounding falsetto master Justin Hawkins, are finally back with a new record! ‘Last of our Kind’ was released on May 29th, just in time for the show at Rock im Revier. Out of the dry arena we were meeting THE DARKNESS fighting the rain. Even though “fighting” is not the right word since the band somehow integrated the water from above into their show. Singer Hawkins is joking: “It’s unbearably hot! Come on, join me, take off your shirts!” Indeed there were a few fans joining him and taking off their shirts. As kind of reward they were asked to join the  band on stage. THE DARKNESS really understand to entertain their audience. Cool show… not only because of the rain! // http://thedarkness.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/thedarknessofficial // Setlist: 1. Barbarian / 2. Growing on Me / 3. Black Shuck / 4. Roaring Waters / 5. One Way Ticket / 6. Love Is Only a Feeling / 7. Open Fire / 8. Get Your Hands Off My Woman / 9. I Believe in a Thing Called Love / 10. Love on the Rocks with No Ice // Rating: 8 / 10

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Judas Priest – Big Stage

Decisions had to be made again. Staying in the arena where it was dry and watch JUDAS PRIEST of going out into the cold and rainy evening to see a bit of TURBONEGRO and later watch JUDAS PRIEST. Since I was already very cold, I decided to stay inside and watch the whole show of JUDAS PRIEST. Few metal rock bands make it big. Even fewer make it big and become legends. Even fewer still are able to maintain their legendary “metal god” status for over four decades and still continue to tour, sell out and play their shows with the fresh enthusiasm that they had when they first started out. JUDAS PRIEST has been there and done all that and then some. JUDAS PRIEST, the style-defining band from Birmingham, became the spearhead of “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” with their successful album ‘British Steel’. With their classics ‘Breaking the Law’, ‘Metal Gods’ or ‘Living After Midnight’, the band established as queen of the British Heavy-Metal scene. Even though the band was on Farewell tour in 2012, they are still here, releasing a new album, ‘Redeemer of Souls’, in 2014 and now they were entering the stage at the VELTINS arena. Front man Robert Halford if 64 now and he still delivers a great show. During the first songs, he still was moving slowly and used a cane, but during ‘Hell Bent For Leather’ he was driving a Harley onto stage.

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The mood in the arena was great the and the venue was boiling, not only because of classics such as ‘Metal Gods’ or ‘Turbo Lover’. But also the songs from the latest album got lots of applause. Highlight was of course ‘Painkiller’ towards the end of the set. // http://www.judaspriest.com / https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest // Setlist: 1. Intro: War Pigs (Black Sabbath song) (first verse only) & Battle Cry / 2. Dragonaut / 3. Metal Gods / 4. Devil's Child / 5. Victim of Changes / 6. Halls of Valhalla / 7. Turbo Lover / 8. Redeemer of Souls / 9. Jawbreaker / 10. Breaking the Law / 11. Hell Bent for Leather / Encores: 12. The Hellion / 13. Electric Eye / 14. Painkiller / 15. Living After Midnight / 16. Beginning of the End // Rating: 9 / 10


Airbourne – Boom Stage

Before the headliner of Sunday, KISS, would enter the Big Stage, Australian AIRBOURNE rocked the Boom Stage. AIRBOURNE became internationally one of the greatest bands in 2008 with their first studio album. With elements of AC / DC, MOTÖRHEAD and IRON MAIDEN, they fascinate the crowds around the world, on their own gigs or at festivals like Wacken Open Air and Rock am Ring. AIRBOURNE goes with no trends, but with their typical Australian hard rock sound, they even get on track lists of video games. This band quickly goes into the ear, but it's hard to get out. They won the Metal Hammer Award for the best debut album and have been on tour with the Rolling Stones and MÖTLEY CRÜE. With such a history, they deserved the headliner position on Boom Stage for sure. Sadly, bad weather and soon starting KISS were the reason that the crowd in front of the stage was quite manageable. But the band, whose style strongly reminds of AC/DC but has an own twist of modernity to it that emphasises their uniqueness, was full of energy. The already well-known beer shower was already coming at the beginning of the show, making some of the photographers in the pit wetter than they already were.

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The rain got stronger in the course of the set and the stage was really wet. But still, the band had fun. And the audience had too while fighting the rain. At the end of the show, they were praised for their endurance. At the end, AIRBOURNE promised to be back when they have a new album. // http://www.airbournerock.com / https://www.facebook.com/airbournerock // Setlist: 1. Ready to Rock / 2. Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast / 3. Chewin' the Fat / 4. Diamond in the Ruff / 5. Girls In Black / 6. Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women / 7. Blonde, Bad and Beautiful / 8. Party in the Penthouse / 9. Bottom of Well / 10. Stand up for Rock N Roll / 11. Live it up / 12. Runnin' Wild // Rating: 9 / 10


Kiss – Big Stage

Does KISS need any introduction? The band, well-known for the painted faces, is cult. And of course, they were the highlight of Sunday night… or maybe of the whole festival. As already told, the setup of the stage already started before the first band even entered the stage and caused some delays during the day. Now, anyone was anxiously waiting for the show to start. The screens already showed the band members walking from backstage towards stage and with the words “You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best – KISS!” finally the curtain was falling and revealed the view onto the drum set being lowered on stage. Through the speakers, you heard the LED ZEPELLING song ‘Good Times Bad Times’ and finally the painted protagonists entered the stage. KISS like it big and fans expect it big. So, the band did not save up on pyro effects. But there were more special effects. For example, Gene Simmons was spitting fire, blood was running from his mouth during his bass solo and during ‘God Of Thunder’ he was hovering over the stage, hanging on a tightrope. Several times during the show, Paul Stanley asked the audience if they have a good time and, as expected, loud cheers were the right answer.

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The fans loudly sang along to ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’, one of the band’s biggest hits. Along to the final showdown with ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’, the musicians were standing on telescope podiums and were lifted over the heads of the crowd while glitter canons were caring for a sparkling rain over the audience. You want glam? You get glam! Great final! Really! // http://www.kissonline.com / https://www.facebook.com/KISS // Setlist: 1. Intro: Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin song) / 2. Detroit Rock City / 3. Deuce / 4. Psycho Circus / 5. Creatures of the Night / 6. I Love It Loud / 7. War Machine (Gene spits fire) / 8. Do You Love Me / 9. Hell or Hallelujah / 10. Calling Dr. Love / 11. Lick It Up (with “Won't Get Fooled Again” by The Who bridge) / 12. Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies) / 13. God of Thunder / 14. Parasite / 15. Love Gun / 16. Black Diamond / Encores: 17. Shout It Out Loud / 18. I Was Made for Lovin' You / 19. Rock and Roll All Nite / 20. Outro: God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II // Rating: 10 / 10


Conclusion

To sum it all up: Friday immediately started with a highlight on the Bang Stage in the Emscher-Lippe-Halle. The band ANY GIVEN DAY from Gelsenkirchen brought the indoor stage to a boil already in the mood. Friday evening was focused on the founding fathers of crossover FAITH NO MORE whose comeback on German stages after six years was celebrated frenetically and the breath-taking performance of the metal gods METALLICA. While the rain was pouring down on the arena, the fans celebrated in the roofed arena. The weather god showed mercy on Saturday and even presented the festival visitors with individual sunrays. The US rockers LIMP BIZKIT delivered a furious performance on the bursting full areal of the parking lot P7 on the outdoor stage Boom Stage. The arena roof was opened for MUSE's performance who underlined impressively their reputation of being one of the present's most spectacular live bands.

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The trump card was played by Rock im Revier at the latest on Sunday and showed that it's an advantage to have an almost entirely weather-independent stage concept. Only the festival visitors of the Boom Stage got wet feet because of the murky weather. Festival visitors could enjoy their favourite bands on the Big Stage as well as on the Bang Stage in the roofed VELTINS arena while staying dry. 2016 more to come!

Written by Daniela Vorndran (bands) & Alex UltraRiot (general review)
All Pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) except Judas Priest by Michael Gamon (http://www.sparklingphotos.de)


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