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01 intro nep D4S2468 kleinTanzbrunnen, Cologne, Germany
20th to 21st July 2019
Amphi Festival 2019 Day 1 with Seelennacht, Erdling, Logic & Olivia, Chrom, Ash Code, Massive Ego, Samsas Traum, Hearts of Black Science, Dive, Hocico, Agent Side Grinder, The Cassandra Complex, Lord of the Lost, Henric de la Cour, Solitary Experiments, Blutengel, Pink Turns Blue, Haujobb, Nitzer Ebb, L’âme Immortelle, Unzucht
It’s end of July. Time to get AMPHI-sised! The shores of the river Rhine in Cologne were once again calling for all AMPH-ected ones from here and afar to celebrate AMPHI’s 15th anniversary. Since 2005 the two-day, energy-laden festival has been luring dark music lovers and electro-heads from all around with a high-class, diverse, international line-up ranging from Synth Pop to Industrial and Post Punk to Dark Rock. According to tradition, iconic artists once again shared the stage with modern and rising acts. We’re looking back at a multi-coloured black celebration at the “dancing fountain”, the Tanzbrunnen, in good old Cologne. And of course, this year’s opening event “Call the Ship to Port” aboard the MS RheinEnergie was a very special one and will also be kept in good memory.

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Seelennacht - Main Stage (LAy)

Let’s get the first Amphi day started with SEELENNACHT. Marc Ziegler’s project, which he initiated in 2008 under the name of DARKGRIM INSTITUTE, made for an interesting kick off at the main stage. Right at 11 o’clock electronic Dark Romanticism was on the programme luring quite a lot morning peeps to witness the very first tunes at the Tanzbrunnen. The duo delivered nine Goth pop songs and their lyrics told stories inspired by Scifi and the Steampunk world. The first one was the pounding tune ‘Vorwärts’ (transl. “Forward”) from the latest record ‘Gedankenrelikt’ (2018) sung in German, followed by the older ‘New Visions’ in English. Marc’s dark voice and the act’s melodic catchiness and darkly spirit earned some rounds of applause.

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René-Eric Widukind (HOOKERS LANE 7, GODLESS CRUSADE) at the keys contributed to bring the electronics and instrumentals to life. The lads ended their gig with two songs from ‘Gaslichtromantik’ (2014); ‘Die Zeit zurückdrehen’ dealt with turning back the clock to the beginning and the last one was a call for “keeping hope” till the very end. The duo raised the interest of those new to SEELENNACHT and there’s no doubt that old and new fans would be back at the main stage later on, when BLUTENGEL would appear. SEELENNACHT will be supporting SOLAR FAKE in Oberhausen and Braunschweig in September. See you then! // / // Setlist: 01. Vorwärts / 02. New Visions / 03. Schall und Rauch / 04. Fährmann / 05. Pathfinder / 06. Neuzeit / 07. Aftermath / 08. Die Zeit zurückdrehen / 09. Keeping Hope

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Erdling - Main Stage (LAy)

The German Dark Rock band ERDLING has been around for five years now and they keep on rising. The way vocalist Neill Freiland, drummer Chris Eichlinger, guitarist Ne Djentno and bassist Lars Vegaas own the stage and interact with their audience makes it look like they’ve been rocking for way longer. As we are used to, ERDLING kicked off their show with their classic ‘Mein Element,’ the great song from the album ‘Supernova.’ ERDLING got to present nine songs and one could clearly see their joy of playing. In 2016, the band released their debut album ‘Aus den Tiefen’ and now their fans are eagerly awaiting the fourth record ‘Yggdrasil’ to come out in 2020. With the two new songs ‘Wir sind Midgard’ and ‘Im Namen der Krähe’ ERDLING gave us a taste of the upcoming ERDLING piece, which is inspired by Norse mythology and embraces more Metal attacks in their Dark Rock / NDH mix.

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The latter one is a loud smasher opening people’s eyes regarding how mankind deals with Mother Nature and the animal kingdom. Neill told the audience that on the record, Robse Dahn of EQUILIBRIUM supports him vocally. The respective music video has been out since July 5. Seen it yet? The vocalist also reminded us all to think about what we actually buy and what we eat, to treat each other with respect and be thankful for the life given to us. Hear! Hear! For the grand finale, ERDLING made the Amphi crowd kneel down - “You know how shitty it looks, when you’re the only one still standing...” - and then everybody jumped up together to rock their socks off. The guys concluded their set with the anthem ‘Blitz und Donner’ before a slow version of ‘Stimme der Wahrheit’ resounded as an outro. // / // Setlist: 01. Mein Element / 02. Du bist Soldat / 03. Erdling / 04. Supernova / 05. Tieftaucher / 06. Wir sind Midgard / 07. Phönix / 08. Im Namen der Krähe / 09. Blitz und Donner / 10. Outro: Stimme der Wahrheit Slow Version

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Logic & Olivia - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)

Vocalist René Anke, synth-man and backing vocalist Matthias Trompelt, and drummer Kalle Vogel are LOGIC & OLIVIA. The trio released their fourth piece ‘Louder Than Words’ last year and it was only two weeks before Amphi that their new, full-length EP ‘Diamonds and the Slaves’ came out - that’s how you celebrate 20 years of band history! The guys hit the Theater stage to share their finest Electro Pop inspired by the 80s and 90s with an eager Amphi crowd. Their set was highly danceable and at the same time spread some rocking vibes. ‘Moments’ was the perfect opener promising a great synth show full of driving beats, cool live drums, clear and addictive melodies, and a lot of clapping along.

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René hit the tambourine while singing or danced and jumped from one side of the stage to the other - his steps sometimes reminded one of DEPECHE MODE’s Dave, don’t you think? In between, there was the nice mid-tempo ballad ‘Frei und Gemeinsam’ from the last album. And of course their poppy Synth Rock single ‘Night of Despair’ was also a must-play. The title track of the new EP was also not to be missed, which they saved for the end. On the whole, LOGIC & OLIVIA did an amazing job getting the Amphi party started at the Theater stage. // / // Setlist: 01. Moments / 02. Pink / 03. Games You Play / 04. Frei und Gemeinsam / 05. I Like / 06. Night of Despair / 07. Because of Your Smile / 08. The Diamonds and the Slaves

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Chrom - Main Stage (Nastja)

For me, Saturday started at half past one in front of the main stage with CHROM. The band was founded in 2007 by Christian Marquis and Thomas Winters. The debut album ‘Electroscope’ was released in 2010 and received a bunch of positive attention. So far they released two more albums, ‘Synthetic Movement’ in 2012 and ‘Peak & Decay’ in 2016. Their sound is a mix of EBM, Synth Pop and Club-Electro.

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CHROM started their set with their most famous songs and were successful in waking up the festival crowd and letting the people dance in the early noon sun. ‘Regret & Testify’ (single from 2014) and the probably most popular ‘Memories’ were perfect ear-catchers to get the attention of festival visitors. Nice atmosphere and also the guys seemed to have fun. Even the rain drops that started falling down couldn’t stop the crowd from celebrating. // / // Setlist: 01. Regret & Testify (Extended Remix) / 02. Memories / 03. In My World / 04. Down Below / 05. Slave / 06. Losing Myself / 07. Loneliness / 08. Visions / 09. Staring At The Sun / 10. The Start Of Something New

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Ash Code - Orbit Stage (LAy)

The first act at the Orbit stage: ASH CODE! The trio is hailing from Italy and I was keen on hearing their unique, 80s inspired offerings of Dark Wave and Post Punk live for the very first time on the Amphi boat. Alessandro Belluccio, Claudia Nottebella and Adriano Belluccio released their first full-length album ‘Oblivion’ in October 2014 via the Swiss Dark Nights label. The first songs draw on the Nietzschean concept of forgetfulness as an active force to overcome suffering. ‘Posthuman’ followed in 2016 dealing with our era of technology and transformation and our need to “fix” our values. The trio successfully shared their “Electro Goth” tunes and conjured up some minimalistic, but grippingly emotive Wave vibes, rocking sounds, and essential drum machine beats at the Orbit stage.

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The faster-paced ‘Crucified’ convinced us as much as the moody ‘Disease’ with its superb synth line and Alessandro’s dark vocals. Of course, they also played their haunting title track of their third record, ‘Perspektive’ (2018). Claudia sang the German lyrics beautifully and Alessandro’s extraordinary violin-like instrument harmonised amazingly with Adriano’s guitar notes. ASH CODE concluded their show with one of their first songs: ‘Dry your Eyes’. There was much applause and cheers for ASH CODE’s hypnotic, melancholic, darkly melodic show. Follow the coded ash! // / // Setlist: 01. Nite Rite / 02. Crucified / 03. Empty Room / 04. Betrayed / 05. Disease / 06. Posthuman / 07. Oblivion / 08. Want / 09. Perspektive / 10. Drama / 11. Dry your Eyes

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Massive Ego - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (Nastja)

MASSIVE EGO is a British band, formed back in 1996 by Marc Massive and Andy J Thirwall. The style is very eccentric and extravagant. Marc Massive, the singer and front man, is also an ex-model and built up MASSIVE EGO around the prejudices and image that people believe to have about models. The most recognizable part of the stage appearance are the hair buns. Together with the specific make-up, I always have the Mickey Mouse reference, be it wanted by the band or not. Another part are the colourful suits. Today’s outfit was a pink glittery suit, very eccentric, and very cool actually. The music is a mix of Electro, Darkwave and Goth elements. It’s danceable and has some interesting hooks, however I kinda feel that the visual appearance here is much more exotic and individual than the music itself.

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That is okay as they found their niche and fan base and just released a new album via Out Of Line label called ‘Church For The Malfunctioned.’ While MASSIVE EGO released a lot of singles in their past, the current album is just the third one along with two EPs. ‘Digital Heroin,’ the single from the latest album, also opened the slot on the Theater Stage. MASSIVE EGO had quite good sound and also interacted with the audience. Marc Massive even practised some German which made the show very likeable. // / // Setlist: 01. Digital Heroin / 02. For The Blood In Your Veins / 03. Kill The Conspiracy / 04. Low Life / 05. My Religion Is Dark / 06. I Idolize You / 07. Malfunctioning Me / 08. Point Of No Return / 09. Military Fashion Show / 10. Haters Gonna Hate

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Samsas Traum - Main Stage (Nastja)

Back to main stage and a band that I happened to listen a lot in my teenage years, SAMSAS TRAUM. I heard ‘Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten’ for the first time on a self-made CD from a friend and still have a lot of memories about it. After having attended some gigs around 2013, I believe, I haven’t seen SAMSAS TRAUM live anymore, so here I was like the typical festival visitor who knows a bunch of the popular songs from the past, but only follows the current work from the side. The nowadays SAMSAS TRAUM really rocked the stage though it was difficult to me to get really warm with the first part of the setlist. But when song number six came up, ‘Stromausfall im Herzspital’, I was immediately back on track here. Especially that one, ‘Endstation Eden’ and the already mentioned ‘Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten’ woke up a lot of memories and made me and many others dance.

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Alexander Kaschte’s announcements were as you expect them to be. Some were just funny, others at least sarcastic or cynic. You can say “typical Kaschte”. Whether you like him or not, at least he is a personality that forces the audience at some point to have an opinion, even if they don’t plan to. A solid gig, some retrospective, also interaction with the audience happened here. A very nice part of the show was the guitarist saying special “thank you” to all the “Slavic fans” out there in Russian... probably a bit weird for all those who don’t speak Russian, but I actually think that this was a nice act of fan appreciation (maybe I am little biased since I speak Russian myself). // / // Setlist: 01. Ich sehe die Sterne bei Tag / 02. Für immer / 03. Dein bleicher Wolf / 04. Schlag in den Flammen / 05. Igel im Nebel / 06. Stromausfall im Herzspital / 07. Endstation.Eden / 08. Heiliges Herz / 09. Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten / 10. Ein Foetus wie du / 11. Kugel im Gesicht (9mm)

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Hearts of Black Science - Orbit Stage (LAy)

Welcome back aboard the MS RheinEnergie! We were very eager to hear Gothenburg-based duo HEARTS OF BLACK SCIENCE live at Amphi. The project was formed in 2005 and brought out their debut ‘The Ghost You Left Behind’ two years later. ‘The Star In The Lake’ followed in 2009. From the very first sounds vocalist/ guitarist Daniel Änghede (CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX) and partner in crime, Tomas Almgren, at the synths managed to put their audience under their spell with their atmospheric soundscapes and stellar, at times ethereal, vocals. ‘Faces’, the opening track of their third album ‘Signals’ (2015), was the perfect intro for an evocative show leading to the dreamy ‘Unfolding.’ Then, the duo presented two new pieces: ‘Field Of Light’ and the amazing ‘Last Chances’ - perfect harmony of guitar, synth lines and melodic vocals. Needless to say, that the BLACK SCIENCE-gang is hungry for more new material.

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The following ‘Icon,’ a melancholic yet at the same time uplifting tune, made us dance. And especially for the last two tunes, the epic ‘Wolves At The Border’ and ‘Protector’ HEARTS OF THE BLACK SCIENCE got enthusiastic and loud rounds of applause. Judging from the crowd’s reaction, one can say that the duo might have been one of the Amphi discoveries for some guests and that the duo gained quite a few new fans. All thumbs up for the masterful compositions and heartfelt delivery of these two Scandinavians. Luckily, we have the chance to see and hear them very soon again back in Germany: Catch these gents in September at the Nocturnal Culture Night festival in Deutzen (near Leipzig)! // / // Setlist: 01. Faces / 02. Unfolding / 03. Field Of Light / 04. Last Chances / 05. Icon / 06. Wolves At The Border / 07. Protector

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Dive - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (Nastja)

It was kind of challenging to switch from the outside (Main Stage) with the very diffuse daylight today into the Theater Stage. The first minutes I felt almost blind there. The reason was also, that the light inside was chosen to be very, very dark for the act that already started playing: DIVE. DIVE is a Belgium Electro & Industrial music project, founded in 1990 by Dirk Ives, also known from bands like ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL, KLINIK, BLOK 57 & SONAR. Dirk Ivens is a legend in his field and the performances promise experimental sounds of drum machines, disturbing elements and are not suitable for the lovers of soft Synth Pop melodies. The light show looked impressive even from behind with the strobe-like white light cones in the total black hall. Also the music suited well the show - dark, darker, DIVE! // // Setlist: 01. Insanity / 02. Something / 03. Far Away / 04. Bloodmoney / 05. Power of Passion / 06. Broken Meat / 07. Heart and Soul / 08. Machinegun Baby / 09. Wheeping in the Dark / 10. Pain and Pleasure (Klinik cover) / 11. Let Me In / 12. Sacred Skin / Encore: 13. Moving Hands (Klinik cover)

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Hocico - Main Stage (Nastja)

It got more cloudy and stormy, and the rain drops kept falling down every now and then. Also the weather forecast was still not sure how much of the storm warning was really about to pass through Cologne and Tanzbrunnen. But so far, the presenter Mark Benecke promised us to inform in case when the festival had to take a break which was not the point right now. So, it still looked good for the performance of HOCICO outside on the Main Stage. The project from Mexico City was formed in 1993 by Erk Aicrag and Racso Agroyam. With 12 full-length albums they produced a lot of dance-floor scene hits that are on rotation in Goth clubs all over the world.

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The new album, ‘Artificial Extinction’, celebrated its release on Friday, 19th July, the day before Amphi officially opened its doors. HOCICO smashed the stage on Saturday with old and new Industrial and Electro hits also playing the new songs from ‘Artificial Extinction’ like ‘Dark Sunday.’ Aggressive, fast & loud Industrial performance as we know and expect it from HOCICO and the energetic frontman Erk. // / // Setlist: 01. Intro (Blackout) / 02. Dark Sunday / 03. Sex Sick / 04. No One Gets Out Alive / 04. Bite Me! / 05. I Abomination  / 06. Psychonaut / 07. Poltergeist / 08. Dead Trust / 09. Forgotten Tears

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Agent Side Grinder - Orbit Stage (LAy)

From one Swedish act to the other. “Hej!” After HEARTS OF BLACK SCIENCE we welcomed the “Electronic/ Post-Punk/ Industrial monster from Stockholm” called AGEND SIDE GRINDER. Their self-titled debut came out in 2008 and their international following has been growing over the years. We still had good memories of our last ASG-encounter at last year’s M’era Luna festival and were curious to see them again at Amphi with new vocalist Emanuel Åström and now as a trio. The passionate Orbit audience was thrilled after the all instruments, including a gigantic steel spring hanging from the ceiling, were set up and Johan Lange, Peter Fristedt and Emanuel entered the stage for ‘In from the Cold,’ taken from the current record ‘A/X.’

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The ship was jam-packed, but people still found the space to dance in unison. Obviously it was impossible to stand still hearing the infectious beats of tunes like ‘Doppelgänger’ or the sweet chorus of ‘Giants Fall’ or the new anthem ‘Stripdown’ with its saxophone solo. For the beloved ‘Wolf Hour’, HENRIC DE LA COUR joined the gents on stage towards the end. All in all, a multi-faceted and good-spirited gig and sure a highlight for a quite a few Amphi visitors. Meanwhile, back at the Main stage the rocking LORD OF THE LOST also made sure of some bombast, so I quickly rushed over to also catch the band. // / // Setlist: 01. In From The Cold / 02. Life In Advance / 03. Mag7 / 04. Stripdown / 05. Giants Fall / 06. Doppelgänger / 07. This Is Us / 08. Wolf Hour / 09. Into The Wild

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Lord of the Lost - Main Stage (Nastja)

When LORD OF THE LOST perform live you can be sure to get the perfect live experience. The Hamburg based Goth Rock & Metal band is celebrating 10 years anniversary this year in December and they showed everyone the perfect example on how to actually conquer the music scene worldwide. I barely know bands who put as much effort and passion into their career like LORD OF THE LOST did. The setlist was built around many of the new songs from the current album ‘Thornstar’ that breath a lot of epic, I especially admire ‘Black Halo’ and ‘Under The Sun’ here.

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Additionally, they picked up a well-balanced selection of older songs like ‘Prison,’ ‘Blood For Blood’ or ‘Die Tomorrow.’ A special treat is always ‘La Bomba’, the probably best Samba-Metal song of all times. Along with the audio joy, the performance itself is just fun to watch - all the moves, instrument solos and obviously happy and talented guys all the way. The multi-instrumentalist Gared Dirge entered the stage today btw in a very extravagant outfit: grandma’s pinny and curlers - delightful sight. // / / Setlist: 01. On This Rock I Will Build My Church / 02. Loreley / 03. Morgana / 04. Black Halo / 05. Drag Me To Hell /06. Prison / 07. Under The Sun / 08. Six Feet Underground / 09. Blood For Blood / 10. Doomsday Disco / 11. Die Tomorrow / 12. La Bomba

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The Cassandra Complex - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)

No doubt, one of Amphi’s gems was offered inside the theatre when legendary CASSANDRA COMPLEX from the UK hit the stage. The band around singer Rodney Orpheus produced their first album ‘Grenade’ in 1986. Since the 2000 album ‘Wetware’ there has been no new material, nevertheless, there are blissful smiles on people’s faces whenever they get the chance to see such iconic and influential artist. No wonder that Mr. Orpheus, Andy Booth (guitar) and Volker Zacharias (bass) and “button pusher” Axel Ermes played to a full house starting with the darkly war song ‘Nightfall.’ The sound was stellar all through the gig.

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Funnily enough, there was a “technical problem” during the song ‘Datakill.’ Rodney seemed to have accidentally unplugged his bandmates’ instruments. CC and their fans were very well-spirited and of course no one minded having them perform the piece once again from the start. When ‘The War Against Sleep’ and one of their very first singles, ‘Moscow Idaho,’ resounded, the audience lost it dancing and jumping wildly to the fast-pasted song. ‘One Millionth Happy Customer’ marked the end of an entertaining “Post-Punk Industrial Electronic Rock” show. // / // Setlist: 01. Nightfall / 02. Too Stupid To Sin / 03. Valis / 04. Second Shot / 05. Motherad / 06. What Can I Do For You? / 07. The War Against Sleep / 08. Datakill / 09. Moscow Idaho / 10. One Millionth Happy Customer

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Henric de la Cour - Orbit Stage (Nastja)

HENRIC DE LA COUR is a Swedish songwriter and singer. After having played in several bands since the early 90ies, the solo career started in 2011 with self-titled debut album ‘Henric De La Cour.’ The album entered the Swedish charts on position 25. Two more albums, ‘Mandrills’ and ‘Gimme Daggers’, followed in 2013 and 2018. The new single ‘A Texas Dream’ was released just a few days ago. The project’s style is more minimalistic, but melodic electronic music. Dark, singing about pain and very emotional. Unfortunately, I missed a larger part of the show due to the fact, that when I arrived the entry to the ship was stopped and only as many people were allowed to get inside as many left.

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Well. I managed to stand there during the hardest rain storm, became quite wet and only cared about the protection of my camera. Of course, not many people decided to leave the ship in the storm, so it took quite long. However, when I arrived the atmosphere was great and as mentioned, the ship was full. The man behind the project and his show is special and different and so is the live show. Anyway, it is definitely worth to see and I hope to get another chance to see more of the performance next time. //

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Solitary Experiments - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)

Time to take out a red shirt and black tie and put on your dancing shoes! SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS’ fan-base is for sure not a small one and thus the theatre was immediately completely full and the gates were closed. The act around frontman Dennis Schober got their Electro Future Pop party started with ‘Every Time’ from the latest record, ‘Future Tense’ (2018). By the time I entered the venue (coming back from the main stage where amazing LOTL kept on rocking in the rain shower away), the theatre itself turned into a “sweat bath,” as Dennis perfectly described it. The Amphi crowd was dancing like there was no tomorrow and the corner where the Cyber dancers gathered a lot of calories were burned.

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SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS definitely raised the roof with their set. To be honest, I was only missing a bit of variety when it came to the rhythms and beats. Since there were two drummers on stage I was just hoping for more after a couple of songs. But there’s no doubt that SOLITARY’s catchy melodies immediately take possession of bodies. Personal favourite of the Amphi 2019 set: ‘Pale Candle Light’. The classic ‘Delight,’ taken from the 2005 album ‘Mind over Matter’, indeed made everyone join in a happy dance. Dennis thanked their audience for their stamina. // / // Setlist: 01. Every Time / 02. Trial And Error / 03. Immortal / 04. Delight / 05. Pale Candle Light / 06. Rise And Fall / 07. Crash & Burn / 08. Stars / 09. Brace Yourself / 10. Epiphany

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Blutengel - Main Stage (Nastja)

We don’t need to introduce BLUTENGEL to most of you, but for the hard facts: founded in 1998, with vocalists Chris Pohl and Ulrike Goldmann as main members completed with live musicians and dancers BLUTENGEL are a constant in the Gothic scene. The show was like we can expect it to be - German and English vocals - you can say what you want, but especially Ulrike has really a wonderful voice, light show and of course the dance performance - a lot of fetish elements and vampire clichés, a little bit of uniforms and dominance & submission are main topics here. Add some satanic symbols and here we go with the BLUTENGEL show.

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Honestly, there are elements that have potential and I used to listen to them in my teen years actually, but the show is a bit too cliché and sometimes I just miss a more synchronous choreography (when there is an attempt to synchronise it, of course). However, BLUTENGEL are kind of legendary in their niche and have a strong fan community that gives them all the support. // / // Setlist: 01. Morningstar / 02. Into The Void / 03. Teufelswerk / 04. Dein Gott / 05. Engelsblut / 06. I’m Alive / 07. Vampire / 08. Alles / 09. Leitbild / 10. You Walk Away / 11. Reich mir die Hand

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Pink Turns Blue - Orbit Stage (Nastja)

PINK TURNS BLUE are Post Punk legends from Berlin. The band was founded in 1985 and had a lot of influence on the development of the New Wave and Darkwave genres. The trio, Mic Jogwer, Ruebi Walter and Paul Richter, enchanted the Orbit Stage on the MS RheinEnergie ship with their thoughtful, dreamy melodies that invite to dance or dream away. Mic’s voice carrying beautiful melancholy and spreading it all over the audience.

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PINK TURNS BLUE spoiled the Amphi audience with all of those songs: ‘Missing You,’ ‘Your Master Is Calling,’ or for the encore ‘If Two Worlds Kiss.’ Beautiful performance in the light of the setting sun on the ship - what could one wish more for. Indeed a magical one, so relaxed and thoughtful, a highlight for many for sure. // / // Setlist: 01. Something Deep Inside / 02. Dirt / 03. Walk Away / 04. Walking On Both Sides / 05. I Coldly Stare Out / 06. After All / 07. When It Rains / 08. Missing You / 09. Tomorrow Never Comes / 10. Can’t Be Love / 11. Your Master Is Calling / 12. If Two Worlds Kiss

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Haujobb - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)

The second last band on our schedule at the Boots & Braces Theater Stage for that day were the masters of sounds HAUJOBB. The genre-bending project, around since 1993, lured a lot fans inside the darkened venue to celebrate their characteristic blend of Electro, IDM, Noise, and Techno. Harsh beats, thrilling shouts, ambient atmospheres and melancholically beautiful vocal melodies were spread from the dark and foggy stage. After the whiplashing technoid track ‘Antimatter’ the amazing soundscape of ‘Renegades of Noise’ resounded. HAUJOBB easily managed to capture the audience’s attention with their minimalism and effective, sinister atmospherics. Infectious, mind- and body-grabbing tunes make for a one of kind concert experience.

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We got lost in the ‘Crossfire’ and of course “followed the beat” during the suspense-packed ‘Machine Drum.’ The ever awesome ‘Dead Market’ brought a stellar performance to a close. There was much applause and Mr. Meyer offered the front row some of their water bottles to cool down again after all those sonic explosions beyond the mainstream. Currently, HAUJOBB fans are awaiting the follow-up album to ‘Blendwerk’ (2015). Till then, they might be listening to the live record ‘Alive’ at home at full blast... and getting their tickets for the next German festival appearance at Nocturnal Culture Night – hint, hint. // / // Setlist: 01. Letting the Demons Sleep / 02. Antimatter / 03. Renegates of Noise / 04. Crossfire / 05. Machine Drum / 06. Input Error / 07. Let’s Drop Bombs / 08. Net Culture / 09. The Noise Institute / 10. Information Space / 11. Dead Market

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Nitzer Ebb - Main Stage (Marcel)

A pioneer of a music that has decades of history behind it now entered the stage… in a cast as they did not exist for a long time. But NITZER EBB does not return to old sounds! On the contrary, the music of this co-founders of Electronic Body Music has undergone a transformation that has not addressed a tiny portion of the people. These were probably some old-school fanatics who do not allow renewals, never mind to accept that a band could develop. There were silly insults and wrathful leaving of the festival area. Completely incomprehensible, because NEP really delivered a great show.

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Yes, the old songs do not sound like NITZER EBB of the old days, but damn it, may a song not be reinterpreted after 40 years? NITZER EBB are cult and have been eternally successful and I think they will stay that way. When you change older pieces through projects that you successfully deny in your life, you bring in fresh ideas. So if somebody like Mc Carthy gets his impressions of possibly FIXMER / MCCARTHY to NEP it gets a bit more technoid. Speeds are adjusted and formerly faster tracks become slower, slower tracks faster and everything is backed by a thoroughly danceable beat. This opens the door to an audience that was not there before. Maybe even to a young audience that will keep the size of NEP alive for 40 more years. A great move that could not have been planned better with the departure of Jason Payne…

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Somehow the dropped out live drums have to be compensated, so why not make beats that animate you to dance? And if you look at the audience in front of the stage, it works too. The narrow-minded people who could not keep to themselves were limited to a few, but a few more celebrated. Democratically decided a fantastic concert! NITZER EBB may have gone from a “scene tip” to club dancefloor filler with this step. // / // Setlist: 01. Getting Closer / 02. Shame / 03. Hearts & Minds / 04. Let Your Body Learn / 05. Lightning Man / 06. Blood Money / 07. For Fun / 08. Come Alive / 09. Ascend / 10. Captivate / 11. Fun To Be Had / 12. Join In The Chant / 13. Control I’m Here / 14. Murderous / 15. Alarm / 16. Fitness To Purpose

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L’âme Immortelle - Orbit Stage (Nastja)

The L’ÂME IMMORTELLE show started with some minutes of delay due to the fact that the band’s sound check needed a bit longer. Sonja Kraushofer and Thomas Rainer started L’ÂME IMMORTELLE in 1996. 14 albums have been released so far in the last 22 years. The band experienced some major changes in their career as they gained some popularity in the “mainstream” with their album ‘Gezeiten’ in the 2000s that contains some of their most popular songs like ‘5 Jahre,’ ‘Stumme Schreie’ or ‘Fallen Angel,’ still being dark romantic, but less electronic than previous releases.

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Sonja Kraushofer’s vocals are breath-taking, though sound-wise it was unfortunately this time not as I expected and experienced the band’s sound before on the club gigs. The performance itself is dramatic and very emotional - a pinch of madness is always around. Also Sonja is changing her stage outfit and appears in a very decadent way, first witchy, later more like a ghost from centuries ago. The emotional theme, dominated by hurt feelings, human despair, love and evanescence, is always present in the songs and performance of L’ÂME IMMORTELLE and underlines the performance itself. //

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Unzucht - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)

Amphi offered truly diverse headlining acts and so, inside the Theater, we got versatile, German Dark Rock at its finest. Mighty UNZUCHT are usually known for tearing the Main Stage apart, but this time they got the atmospherics and great light show of the indoor venue and a jam-packed crowd ready to rock. The sound was perfection all the way through and the band was eager to share their musical endeavours since 2010. With ‘Die verbotene Frucht,’ ‘Nela’ and ‘Der Tod in mir’ the band kicked things off with the latest tracks taken from their last album ‘Akephalos’ (2018). Vocalist Der Schulz was all smiles as people know him and especially guitarist De Clercq emphasised more than once how much fun all this was and how he was up for it. His dark vocals and harsh screams contributed greatly to “Schulle’s” ever stellar performance.

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Particularly the beastly smasher ‘Kettenhund’ is wickedly great when it is played live and loud. The fans sang along at the top of their lungs and banged their heads when further tracks from previous records ‘Neuntöter’ (2016) resounded. Drummer Toby Fuhrmann was also completely in his element and Mr. Don Canone gave it all at the bass - to the breaking point of two instruments, actually. Of course we also enjoyed the calmer, melodic, older, emotional pieces like ‘Der letzte Tanz’ from ‘Todsünde 8’ (2012) and ‘Nur die Ewigkeit’ from ‘Rosenkreuzer’ (2013), which called for an ocean of swaying arms and made the singer crowd-surf. Obviously, classics like ‘Unzucht’ and ‘Kleine geile Nonne’ were not to be missed and the crowed stomped along to the beats.

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‘Engel der Vernichtung’ was saved for last celebrating what we all love about UNZUCHT: dark, rocking and heavy hymns with great melodies and meaningful lyrics, a brilliant union of the beautiful and the brutal, their unique blend of Rock, Metal and electronic instrumentals. The band announced that a new album is in the works making people cheer from the heart. We are very keen on hearing what this so very “indecent” band comes up next after their successful evolution from one album to the next and kick-ass live shows like this month at Amphi. Horns up for UNZUCHT! // / // Setlist: 01. Die verbotene Frucht / 02. Nela / 03. Der Tod in mir / 04. Ein Wort fliegt wie ein Stein / 05. Lava / 06. Widerstand / 07. Der letzte Tanz / 08. Kettenhund / 09. Unzucht / 10. Kleine geile Nonne / 11. Nur die Ewigkeit / 12. Deine Zeit läuft ab / 13. Engel der Vernichtung

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After a break on the beach that belongs to the Tanzbrunnen area, we finished the day at the Theater venue, tonight with sets of DJs Hades, Gillian, Sven Friedrich, Donlevi, Torny Gottberg, Dark Princess and Seb H. When we came to the venue, DJ Gillian just started his set and we all loved it! First, the transitions between the songs were really awesome and perfectly done, the remix versions of the songs were party unheard and the song choice itself was cool. Also Gillian just seemed to have a lot of fun and celebrated on stage, also interacting with the visitors every now and then and ending his DJ set with the COVENANT classic ‘Dead Stars’ making us stomp along. All the way awesome vibes and just a lot of fun. Next in line was Sven Friedrich of SOLAR FAKE, who started his DJ set with 'Zombie Nation' by GRENDEL. With masterful remixes of beloved electro smashers he made the entire dancefloor move it and sing along till the last tune.

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DJ Donlevi, DJ Torny Gottberg, DJane Dark Princess and DJ Seb H. made sure that all night birds who still had some energy left could party on till 4am. We couldn’t stay as long as we wanted because the next day was calling early again and the feet were actually a bit damaged already but nevertheless it was a fun night and actually a long, memorable day behind.

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / except Pink Turns Blue & L’âme Immortelle by Nastja Iz

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