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introAmphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
12th - 14th June 2015
Blackfield Festival Day 1: Xiphea, Pre/verse, Spetsnaz, Absolute Body Control, Lord of the Lost, Subway to Sally

For the eighth and unfortunately the last time at the Amphitheater, the Blackfield Festival took place and many people came to enjoy the music, the special atmosphere, meeting friends or making new friends and making it altogether a great weekend.


The venue is very extraordinary as it is an amphitheatre at the Rhine-Herne Canal. As in the recent years host of the festival was Jens Puppekopp. The weather Gods were gentle with us all as it was mainly sunny and hot. On Friday there was a thunderstorm warning but fortunately nothing happened, just a light steady wind in the evening which was a nice cool down. And apart from a short rain shower around noon on Saturday we had a perfect festival weather during the whole weekend.

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Xiphea

Winner of this year’s “Battle Of The Bands” contest from Sonic Seducer Magazine and opener of the festival Friday was the German Symphonic Rock band XIPHEA. The band, consisting of three guys and a woman, was founded in 2011. The members chose this name as it stands for a brave but amiable woman. This is also the leitmotif for its songs. As to expect this is a typical female-fronted metal band with the singer looking a bit like LIV KRISTINE but without the vocal abilities. Also the singing roles were “classical”: she = singing and he = growling. Surely you cannot abide that a band invents the wheel anew but I didn’t find the songs catchy or interesting enough that XIPHEA could draw my attention for a longer time. // http://www.xiphea.com / https://www.facebook.com/Xiphea // Setlist: 1. Star crossed lover / 2. Beauty and the King / 3. Falling shade / 4. Kissed by the moon // Rating: 5 / 10

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Pre/verse

Actually SEASURFER would have been the next band but due to familiar affairs it had to decline and PRE/VERSE filled in. This is a quite new band from the Ruhr area but some members - the singer Kai, the drummer Andreas and the guitarist Hilger - are already well known from the STRAFTANZ project. Further members are a female bassist - Neila Fynn - and a lady at the keyboard - Dae Joon - both definitely eye-catcher. As they couldn’t get a satisfying offer of a label they unceremoniously founded their own but this implicated that the release of the debut album took a bit longer. Of course at that time of the day there weren’t so many people in front of the stage but the singer knew how to invite the audience to party to their Synth Rock songs and this was rewarded with a big applause after each song. Close to the end Kai gave away some signed pink flamingo balloons and asked the people who caught them to wave with them to the next song which gave the whole scenery of people, mainly dressed in black, a funny appearance. // http://www.nyx-records.com/preverse / https://www.facebook.com/preverse // Setlist: 1. No Faith in my God / 2. Goddess / 3. Trace of Water / 4. Rubbertears / 5. My Shadow has a Gun / 6. Bringing me Home / 7. Truth Hurt // Rating: 7 / 10

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Spetsnaz

The place in front of the stage filled quickly when the duo from Sweden entered the stage. And soon the audience moved to the sound of the very danceable EBM songs. Surely the band couldn’t go wrong by playing the well-known songs like ‘Apathy‘ and finishing with ‘That perfect body‘ where Stefan at the electro drums presented us his exquisite body and all attention was on him no matter what the singer Pontus was doing on stage then. // https://www.facebook.com/pages/SPETSNAZ/23395943282 // Rating: 8 / 10

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Absolute Body Control

During the stage rebuilding many visitors left the place in order to buy a drink, get some food or just stroll along at the stalls looking for the latest offers. Thus not so many people were in front of the stage when the duo started to play. ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL is a Belgium Electronic music project of Dirk Ivens and Eric Van Wonterghem. Its sound is quite 80’s like, especially with the Synth beats, reminding me partly of GARY NUMAN, OMD and the like. Personally I didn’t find them very exciting or innovative and as it seems the duo couldn’t attract the audience that much as well. Probably also because of the lack of communication. // https://www.facebook.com/AbsoluteBodyControl // Setlist: 1. Melting Away / 2. Sorrow / 3. Love at first Sight / 4. Is there an Exit? / 5. Figures / 6. Automatic / 7. Invisible Touch / 8. Never seen / 9. Did you do it 10. Give me your Hands // Rating: 6 / 10

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Lord of the Lost

Throughout the last years the band with the charismatic singer Chris Harms gathered a growing fan base with its Dark Rock sound. And as for a lot of female fans Chris seems to be a kind of sex symbol, it was no wonder that in the first two rows in front of the stage more young ladies were to be seen and heard. Just in time when the band entered the stage the weather had cooled down a bit and a light but steady wind refreshed the audience so that the party could start immediately. Meanwhile the place in front of the stage was crowded and lots of people could be seen at the seats of the Amphi theatre. Now lots of people were dancing and even head-banging to the songs and once more Chris proved this bandwidth of vocal quality. He and his band mates also knew how to get the crowd going by continuously interacting with the audience, inviting them to sing along with them or clapping their hands. Before the last song was announced Chris told us to be very pleased that the feared thunderstorm didn’t happen so that they could also enjoy the show of the headliner of the evening as well. // http://lordofthelost.de / https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelost // Setlist: 1. Kill It With Fire / 2. Six Feet Underground / 3. Kingdom Come / 4. Blood For Blood / 5. Black Lolita / 6. Fists Up In The Air / 7. Go To Hell / 8. Prison / 9. Afterlife / 10. Sex on Legs / 11. Die Tomorrow / 12. La Bomba // Rating: 8 / 10

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Subway to Sally

Headliner of the day was the Medieval Rock band SUBWAY TO SALLY. Founded in 1992 the German band is quite an old stager. The rebuilding time took quite a while as there had to be made some preparation for the fireworks and with a fire work the party started immediately. The sound was not so good in the beginning as the instruments were too loud but this got better later on. Amongst other well-known songs the band presented a new version of ‘Kleid aus Rosen‘ (Dress of roses) which was more Metal like. I have to say I didn’t like this version much but it seems that most of the audience found it quite good. The whole show was underlined with fireworks, fog and sparklers which was a fantastic effect in the evening light. And with an encore of two songs the first day of the Blackfield Festival ended. // http://www.subwaytosally.com / https://www.facebook.com/subwaytosally // Setlist: 1. Warte, Warte / 2. Schwarze Seide / 3. Feuerland / 4. Wenn Engel hassen / 5. Mitgift / 6. Grausame Schwester / 7. Arme Ellen Schmitt / 8. Das Schwarze Meer / 9. Kleid aus Rosen MMXV / 10. Falscher Heiland / 11. Besser du rennst / 12. Tanz auf dem Vulkan / 13. Veitstanz MMXV / Encores: 14. Sieben / 15. Julia und die Räuber // Rating: 8 / 10

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All Pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)



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