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Amphi Festival 2005 - Amphi Theater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
1st July 2005
Day 1: This Morn´ Omnia, Unheilig, Zeraphine, Goethes Erben, Project Pitchfork, Client

After raining the whole day, the rain stopped just in time for the start of the festival and a blue sky appeared over the “Amphi Theater” in Gelsenkirchen. As I arrived at the location there were a lot of people waiting outside to change their tickets into the festival bands and to go into the venue. As always when you do something new, there were some minor difficulties with the first Orkus Open Air in Gelsenkirchen too. So the people had to wait really long until they could go in. Due to these problems the promoters started with the second band “Unheilig” one hour later then planned so that most of the people had a chance to see them.



The promoters chose a very nice location for the festival. The stage was built into the water, so you had a very nice background. Even some ships were crossing there from time to time. In front of the stage was a bigger flat area before the stalls started to rise. Due to the amphi theatre style you had a very good view to the stage from every place. The festival was quite good attended, 3500 people made their way to Gelsenkirchen on the Friday. On the Saturday there were even 1000 people more.
www.amphi-festival.de




This Morn´ Omnia

The Belgian band, signed at the Ant-Zen label, presents a music style that grasps from light electronic to industrial rhythms in the tribal area of music. It´s a mixture of ethno, trance orientated techno, ritual and rhythm industrial. The track “one eyed man” which was represented on several compilations, conquered the dance floors very fast. Those who had listened to the distinctive "shiva! shiva!" samples surely agree: This song is now a classic! www.hegira.be

Music
The three people on stage presented their unique electronic mixture with a lot of enthusiasm. The instrumental songs were augmented with some voice samples. Most of the stuff of course came from playback, but the percussions were played live which gave more vitality to the show.

Performance
Due to that a lot of people still were waiting outside the venue to get in, the band played in front of only a handful of people. But there were some fans of the band who danced in front of the stage to the rhythmic music. You cannot really call what the three guys did on stage a live show; a desk in the middle with the technics and some notebooks, and two percussion stands on the sides were everything. But anyway the three guys on stage knew how to warm up the audience. Because of the fact that we still had bright daylight you couldn´t see any light show. As during the whole weekend, the sound was a bit too loud for my taste with too much bass.

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 5
Light: 4
Total: 6 (5.95)




Unheilig

Some like this band, some hate it. But one thing is quite sure: “Unheilig” with its roots in the Electro-Rock field, now occupies its place in the German musical story. The foundation for “Unheilig” was laid by “Der Graf” together with Grant Stevens (songwriter of "Everlasting Friends" from the Holsten Pilsener TV spot) and José Alvarez-Brill (Wolfsheim, Witt, De/Vision) in 1999. The single "Sage Ja" which was released in the same year on Bloodline Records shot straight into the German DAC charts and became a club smash hit. The debut album "Phosphor" was released in February 2001. The success of the band was surely due to the multi-facetted mix of traditional Electro and Rock married to “Der Graf”´s unbelievable voice together with the Alvarez-Brill´s production. The second album "Das Zweite Gebot" an the new album “Zelluloid” are a successful development of the typical “Unheilig” musical style. The songs spread from rocky to electro sounds; some songs to make you dance, some ballads and sometimes just plain straight ahead rocking. www.unheilig.com

Music

“Unheilig” presented some kind of clichéd goth music and divided the audience with their style. Some were impressed and their fans of course liked it a lot, the others just went away from the stage. The whole set was dominated by the extraordinary voice of “Der Graf”. Live drums and guitars supported the electronic elements very well.

Performance
Because of the delay during the entrance, the band started about an hour later as planned. In the meantime the venue was quite well filled up. In front of the stage a group of “Unheilig” fans came together, cheered up a lot and sang along all songs. Especially younger girls seemed to be impressed by “Der Graf” and so they met in the front rows to be as close as possible to their star. Especially the facial expressions of “Der Graf” are quite unique. His questions about if the audience wants to hear more are answered with loud screams. The songs “Sage Ja!” and “Freiheit” were honoured with strong applause and even if you don´t like the band, these songs stick in your mind.

Setlist
01. Zauberer
02. Hört mein Wort
03. Auf zum Mond
04. Schutzengel
05. Gib mir mehr
06. Maschine
07. Sieh mein Gesicht
08. Sage Ja!
09. Freiheit

Rating
Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 5
Light: 4
Total: 6 (5.85)




Zeraphine

Although ZERAPHINE have only been around for a few years in this shape and form and the band are “merely” presenting their third album, there are certain factors in their preferred creative process that have become a kind of tradition for the group from the German capital. Like the fact that the musicians ensconced themselves in the preliminary stages of the recordings at that farm in the “Spreewald” area again, where they came together to lay the musical foundations for the current release “Blind Camera”. They subsequently returned to the studio of Berlin producer Thommy Hein, who had also directed the recordings of their previous albums. Within these familiar surroundings, the band felt ready to tackle a number of musical changes. To transform their sound the way they had in mind, the quintet concentrated on working with contrasts within the individual songs. “Kaltes Herz” (Cold Heart) or “I'm Numb” are perfect examples of how the instrumentation in the verses differs from that of the choruses, lending a special significance to the individual passages. www.zeraphine.de

Music
Zeraphine started with real ear candy – “I never want to be like you” – which caught the audience right from the start. Strong guitars, harsh drums, catchy melodies and Sven´s unique voice are distinctive. The set included of course some songs from the current album “Blind Camera” like “Die Macht in dir” as well as some of the older hits. “Unter Eis” was very appreciated by the audience and welcomed with spontaneous cheers. “Be my rain” was a worthy finish of a very good set and made the audience jump of joy and sing along with the band.

Performance
As usually Sven was wearing his black long skirt. He was again the main focus of the performance and many of the girls admire him. Together with his mates on guitars, bass and drums he presented an experienced and emotional show. Because it was finally getting darker, the well composed light show started to work and to please the audience. Once again you felt the joy the band has while performing live. And that joy was transferred to the audience which was sunk into the deep mood of the music. As always on festivals when a strict time table has to be kept, the band couldn´t give any encores. But the U2 cover of “News years day” and “Be my rain” were good choices at the end of the set.

Setlist

01. I never want to be like you
02. Die Macht in Dir
03. No more Doubts
04. Sterne sehn
05. Unter Eis
06. I feel your trace
07. No tears
08. Ohne dich
09. Siamesische Einsamkeit
10. New years day (U2 cover version)
11. Die Wirklichkeit
12. Be my Rain

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 6
Total: 7 (7.1)




Goethes Erben

The band was founded in 1989 by Oswald Henke and Peter Seipt. The founding idea was to combine the German spoken word with music theater. Peter left the band soon afterward, and American Mindy Kumbalek joined in February 1991. The debut album "Das Sterben ist ästhetisch bunt" was released in 1991. In the years to follow, Goethes Erben became renowned for their spectacular live show, which included specials such as live film projections ("Blau Rebell" Tour). In addition to the numerous concerts in Germany, Goethes Erben frequently toured neighbouring countries as well, including Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and even Mexico. On stage, Goethes Erben continually set new accents by experimenting with new elements for each major performance: They worked with a dance ensemble, recruited a live band made up of varying guest musicians, and integrated speaking roles into their performances ("Kondition: Macht!"). www.goetheserben.de 

This weekend in Gelsenkirchen they played a best of show. Because their music is really a matter of taste (and not my taste) I took the opportunity to look at the venue, eat something – somewhen you simply have to do that – and talk a bit with friends and some band members.




Project Pitchfork

The word “pitchfork” was pulled by chance out of an English dictionary and became the name of the project. The roots of the band lay in 1989, when Peter Spilles and Dirk Scheuber met at a “Girls under Glass” concert. Soon after that some demo tracks were recorded and found their way into clubs. At their first live gig in the Hamburg club “Kir” their later Manager Kai Lotze must have liked the band. In 1990 the first official Project Pitchfork recording (K.N.K.A.) was released and sold out. Nowadays the band is one of the most famous gothic bands in Germany. The new album “Kaskade” was release in May 2005. www.pitchfork.de

Music

Very soon it became sure that most people today came only for Project Pitchfork. The space in front of the stage filled up quite fast and everyone was waiting the headliner to start. Very late at night it was finally time for the band around Peter Spilles and Dirk Scheuber to appear on stage. It was about fours years ago since I saw the band last time and so I was quite curious how it would be to see them on stage again. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed by the show. Peter seemed to be a bit bored and the lyrics were hard to understand. Was it only the bad sound which was very loud and booming that caused it? It was also quite surprising that they only played very few songs – like “Fleischverstärker” – from the recent record.

Performance

Project Pitchfork is mainly an electronic band. The live line up consists of Dirk Scheuber on keyboard, an additional keyboard, drums, guitar and Peter Spilles doing the vocals. Anyone on stage seemed to have his steady place that not even the guitar player left. Only Peter behind his strange formed micro stand occupied more room on stage and moved from time to time. Very calm songs steadily changed with up tempo tracks so the audience had time to dance and to relax in between the faster songs. Especially “Carnival”, “Existance” or the encore “Timekiller” brought real movement into the crowd. The band presented a very intense light show with their set. Batteries of bright lights in the back of the stage lightened up the whole "Amphi Theater". The moody lights were supported by well dosed smoke. Even though I was a bit disappointed the audience seemed to be released very happy after the show.

Rating

Music: 6
Performance: 7
Sound: 5
Light: 9
Total: 7 (6.6)






Client

The current album "City", follower of Clients self entitled debut album from 2003, surprises with collaborations with Pete Doherty and Carl Barat from “The Libertines” as well as Martin Gore from “Depeche Mode”. The album was written by Client themselves and produced in cooperation with Joe Wilson (Sneaker Pimps, Trash Money). The female electro duo Client was founded during the 2001 Depeche Mode tour as the former band “Technique” supported the ancient heroes of electronic music. They signed at Andrew Fletchers (Depeche Mode) Toast Hawaii label where they released their 2003 debut album too. Client are know as a fascinating and purposely mysterious live act. The both girls (Sarah and Kate), known as Client A and Client B, are producing seductive and exciting electronic music which is deeply enrooted in traditional song writing. www.client-online.de

Music

The band was put into the line up on short notice and was announced as “Late night special”. Because of the overall delay it became a very late night special. Sad but true it seemed that not too many people knew about another band playing after Project Pitchfork and so the girls found themselves on a big stage with not that many people in front of it. But anyway there were some die hard fans too. Client once again impressed with their unique mixture of 80s pop tunes, catchy melodies, intelligent song writing and their sexy attitude.

Performance
And speaking about sexy attitude… the girls really know how to deal with it. Dressed again as air hostesses in light blue dresses combined with high heels and Sarah with her black PVC gloves, they looked really hot... not only the boys mention that. The set contained mostly the better known songs and singles. Only “Client” and the last song “Pills” stepped a bit out of that row. Even though there was only a small crowd in front of the stage left, they immediately convinced these people who did not know Client before too. Playing at a big stage at that night meant also a much better light show as usually. As always you could feel the joy the girls are having on stage: a lot of smiling and talking to the audience. Really a worthy end of the first festival day.

Setlist
01. It´s rock and roll
02. In it for the money
03. Radio
04. Client
05. Rock´n Roll Machine
06. Overdrive
07. Down to the underground
08. Here and now
09. The price of love
10. Pills

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