Airport Borkenberge, Lüdinghausen, Germany
17th to 19th August 2012
Area4 Festival Day 2: Bullet for my Valentine, Egotronic, The Gaslight Anthem, Long Distance Calling, Casper, Kilians, The Wombats, We are Augustines, The Subways, Alberta Cross, Agnostic Front, Timid Tiger, Kvelertak, O’Brother, Every Time I Die, Radio Havanna, The Flatliners, Average Engines, Adolar
Not even a little decorating cloud could be seen at the sky, only the hot sun was shining down the airport Borkenberge on this Saturday in August, when about 16,000 fans gathered at the festival ground, sweating and maybe even suffering due to temperatures far beyond 30 degrees Celsius.
Every now and then, slight wind came up, but it did not bring any refreshment, it felt more as you opened the door to a baking oven. Maybe this was the reason why during the first bands who played during hot noon times, a slight lethargy was laying across the area. The festival crowd took it easier as usually and saved power for the bands playing later. On stage, might it be on the main stage or at the tent, there was no sign of taking it easier; the bands played as they would not suffer under the big heat. At this early hour, especially Swedish O’BROTHER could convince, who stylistically reminded of KATATONIA. While during KVELERTAK people seemed already to wake up, they were finally when AGNOSTIC FRONT entered the stage!
Despite a little break in the 90s, AGNOSTIC FRONT are already in the Hardcore-Punk business for 30 years and belong tot he absolute top acts of the genre. There was no sign of age, when the Americans entered the stage. No, it was more like a powerful punch when the band presented staccato guitar noises and thundering beats during songs like ‘Dead to me’ or also ‘Crucified. Of course, one or another circle pit was not missed and soon, the pit security also took the engine hose to cool down the crowd in the front rows a bit what made the people standing in the back moving towards the stage to get some cooling as well. And so, the high-speed track ‘Gotta Go’ was celebrated heavily in the glowing sun before the band moved on to a bit less brachial track ‘Riot, Riot, Upstart’. Along with the harsh ‘Take me back’, singer Roger Miret demand a Wall of Death and of course, people immediately followed the command, before ‘A Mi Manera’ and ‘Addiction’ took care for more banging and thundering guitars. With THE RAMONES cover ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, the band bet farewell. // Setlist: 1. The Eliminator / 2. Dead To Me / 3. For My Family / 4. Us Against The World / 5. All Is Not Forgotten / 6. Peace / 7. Crucified / 8. Gotta Go / 9. Riot, Riot, Upstart / 10. Police State / 11. Take Me Back / 12. A Mi Manera / 13. Addiction / 14. Blitzkrieg Bop (RAMONES-Cover) // http://www.agnosticfront.com / https://www.facebook.com/agnosticfront
When AGNOSTIC FRONT still were playing on the main stage, ALBERTA CROSS just demanded some patience from their audience since they were about 10 minutes late. Finally, the five more or less long-haired men entered the stage to present their folk-soaked Blues-Rock. Coming from Brooklyn, the band brought some kind of Southern States flair to the festival, i.e. with the piano accompanied ‘Lay Down’. Significant for the sounds from oversea were the polyphonic chant and the sophisticated guitar work, for example during the opener ‘Wait’ grooving a lot. With lots of pressure, ‘Money for the Weekend’ moved your legs where besides whining organ and catchy vocals especially the strumming guitars convinced. End of August, this will be contained on the band’s new album ‘Songs of Patience’ which you should give a listen. // http://www.albertacross.net / https://www.facebook.com/albertacross
I somehow get the impression that there’s no getting round of having THE SUBWAY on the bill when you are a German Rock festival with is pride of itself. The trio from Hertfordshire/ UK was already on the Area4 stage in 2008. Totally unimpressed by the heat, Miss Charlotte Cooper (vocals & bass) and her ex-boyfriend Billy Lunn (guitar & vocals) raved across the stage - not only during ‘Oh Yeah’ which opened their set. The song was used in 2006 for a Hugo Boss commercial and increased the name recognition of the band, being in the business since 2003, a lot. With ‘Rock & Roll Queen’, the band later had another song being used for a commercial. And of course, also this band hymn was not missed during the show, being heavily celebrated and presenting some German line, also to be heard during ‘We Don’t Need Money To Have A Good Time’. Especially Charlotte, dressed in glitter top and hot pants, learned a little German she was presenting during the set. In the meantime, Billy took over the job of throwing water into the audience. During ‘It’s a party’, he was practising some crowd surfing. No doubt that the band celebrated together with its audience, including circle pit along with the bass line of ‘Turnaround’ and audience chants during ‘I Want You To Hear What You Have Got To Say’. Also the “sitting-down-and-jump-up” game during ‘Celebrity’ worked out very well. Great set once more! Setlist: 1. Oh Yeah / 2. Holiday / 3. Alright / 4. Turnaround / 5. Shake Shake / 6. I Want You To Hear What You Have got To Say / 7. We Don’t Need Money To Have A Good Time / 8. Rock & Roll Queen / 9. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang / 10. At 1 AM / 11. Celebrity / 12. It’s A Party // http://www.thesubways.net / https://www.facebook.com/thesubways
Quickly back from bright sunshine to darkness in the tent, which was already filled up quite well. Seems that WE ARE AUGUSTINES from New York were not unknown for the young fan crowd and quickly, anyone was caught by the raspy chant of the men with the hat. But maybe some of the attendees knew the band also under its previous name PELA, which was laid down with the debut album ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’, out in Germany in March. Singer, guitarist and band co-founder Billy McCarthy has lost two family members – his mother and his brother James – within short time and it is for sure that such tragic happenings also influenced the music. But there were no melancholic funeral marches, but powerful Indie rock with certain Folk influences being presented. And so, already opening song ‘Ballad of A Patient Man’ impressed and also along the set, the band know how to attract the audience. Within the set, the keyboarder changed over to the guitar and temporarily, also a crew member helped out on guitars. Altogether, they presented something you would call “honest music” you could compare to bands like HOT WATER MUSIC or THE GASLIGH ANTHEM. WE ARE AUGUSTINES for me was a new discovery I will keep an eye on. // http://www.weareaugustines.com / https://www.facebook.com/weareaugustines
Back to bright sunlight, where THE WOMBATS already were into their set and welcomed me with floating ‘Girls/Fast Cars’ before the band moved on with the calmer synth driven piece ‘Jump Into The Fog’ from last year’s album ‘The Wombats Proudly Present: This Modern Glitch’ whose cover also decorated the back of stage. During the song, Matthew Murphy – who founded the band nine years ago together with drummer Dan Haggis und bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen – changed back to the six-string to finally end pacey with ‘Techno Fan’. The journey moved on with poppy ‘1996’ before the band presented once more the full Indie package with ‘Moving To New York’ from the 2007 debut ‘The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation’. Powerful, frisky and very British, ‘My First Wedding‘ invited to another dance while opulent strings opened ‘Anti-D’. The well arranged ‘Let's Dance to Joy Division’ was announced as last song, but in fact the trio went back to its instruments afterwards to play a few chords of ‘Euroshizer’. Seems they recognised that the schedule offered still more time for them. I only missed their Indie Dance hit ‘Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)’. Anyway, this was an enjoyable hour with cheerful music. // Setlist: 1. Our Perfect Disease / 2. Kill the Director / 3. Girls/Fast Cars / 4. Jump Into The Fog / 5. Techno Fan / 6. 1996 / 7. Moving to New York / 8. My First Wedding / 9. Anti-D / 10. Let's Dance to Joy Division / 11. Euroshizer // http://www.thewombats.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/thewombatsuk
If you wouldn’t know better, you could think the KILIANS would origin from the big island in the Atlantic. But in fact, the quartet comes from Dinslaken (Ruhr Area Germany), not very far away from the festival area. The band members were not even 18 when they celebrated first success with debut ‘Kill The Kilians’ and inked a major deal with Universal. After the second album ‘They Are Calling Your Name’ from 2009 it became a bit calmer around the band since the members mostly took care for their studies, but they still could not skip music totally and went to studio again with Simon Frontzek resulting in the album ‘Lines You Should Not Cross’ out on 24th August. A first foretaste was already presented during Area4 one week before release. Seeing the well filled tent you could get the impression the band has been missed by its fans during the last years. Rhythm accentuated and with a lot of groove, the KILIANS started their set and did not show any contact fears to their audience which very soon loudly sang along. Front man Simon de Hartog still could enthuse his audience with the typical KILIANS sound. As foretaste for the new album, the band presented sweeping ‘Not Today’ before ‘My Hometown’ from the second album ended the set. // http://www.thekilians.de / https://www.facebook.com/thekilians
Just rushing out of the tent, CASPER’s intro already had started and quickly, I searched a nice spot with a good view onto the stage and the huge wolf-backdrop. And already, CASPER entered the stage while a heavy bass opened ‘Auf und Davon’ before the pacey rap of ‘Casper! Bumaye’ animated to lift your arms and jump. Even though the sun already went down behind the stage, the rapper with the comfortably intelligent lyrics still thought it was quite hot and he hoped the audience put on the dancing shoes anyway. Indeed, the title track ‘XOXO’ from the current No1 album was celebrated extensively. Even though CASPER seemed affected a little by the heat, he was looking forward a lot to the following band on main stage whose singer Brian Fallon was out of hand awarded as “Best-looking man of the World”. ‘Unzerbrechlich’ from 2008 debut ‘Hin zur Sonne’ took a little speed away before it was time again for extensive mass-jumping along to groovy ‘Rock’N’Roll’. For the DIE ÄRZTE cover of ‘BGS’, the stage was turned into blue lights. Then, CASPER was taking you into the world of mean Gangsta Rap with ‘Blut sehen’ after some technical problems with the drum kit were solved. The “sitting-down-and-jump-up” game following during the medley did not work very well but the big crowd in front of stage proved a huge interest in his music. // Setlist: 1. Intro / 2. Auf und davon / 3. Casper! Bumaye / 4. Die letzte Gang der Stadt / 5. XOXO / 6. Unzerbrechlich / 7. Rock’N’Roll / 8. BGS (DIE-ÄRZTE-Cover) / 9. Blut sehen / 10. Medley / 11. Lilablau / 12. Das Grizzly Lied / 13. Michael X / 14. So perfekt // http://www.casperxo.com / https://www.facebook.com/casperxo
LONG DISTANCE CALLING are originating from nearby Münster and were already on stage during a former Area4 edition, back than very early in the afternoon at the main stage. Today, the band was playing at the dark tent, surely smaller stage, but far later. As the quartet announced, the songwriting for their upcoming album is nearly finished and so we can already be curious what the Post rockers and guitar virtuosos come up with. The crowd at the tent was quite manageable when the band entered the stage, needing the microphone only for short statements in-between their instrumental songs. Being “restricted” to instrumentals in combination with LING DISTANCE CALLING not means to abandon something. Moreover, Florian Füntmann (guitar), Jan Hoffmann (bass), David Jordan (guitar) and drummer Janosch Rathmer play so sweeping that the listener does not miss the chant at all. And so it was on the night at Area4 starting with ‘Into The Black Wide Open’ very powerful and expanding over an hour without losing any intensity. The sound was nearly perfect, supporting the special music, such as the 10 minutes lasting ‘Black Paper Planes’ from second album ‘Avoid The Light’ (2009), starting first reluctant covered by clouds of smoke and then gaining more and more power ending in fulminate applause. Also final ‘Metulsky Curse Revisited’ started a bit calmer first just to show the talent of all musicians in the course of the song. // Setlist: 1. Into The Black Wide Open / 2. Figrin D´an Boogie / 3. Black Paper Planes / 4. Sundown Highway / 5. Arecibo / 6. I Know You, Stanley Milgram! / 7. Metulsky Curse Revisited // http://www.longdistancecalling.de / https://www.facebook.com/longdistancecalling
I was so banned by the show of LONG DISTANCE CALLING, that THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM – I really like as well – had to start without me. I joined their show during the energetic ‘Old White Lincoln’ from 2008 album ‘The ’59 Sound’. It was also 2008 when I saw Brian Fallon and his band for the first time, in front of just a few hundreds of people. Now, the guys from New Brunswick/New Jersey have grown up during the last years! And this was well-deserved, just as the latest studio output ‘Handwritten’ proves, climbing up to position 2 in German Charts even! Out of this album, the band played i.e. the pushing title track. Also the mod-tempo piece ‘Too Much Blood’ and the calmer ‘Mae’ belong to the totally fresh songs, but also the title track of great predecessor ‘’ American Slang’ could not be missed. With ‘The Backseat’, the band proceeded luscious again, after with the ANIMALS cover ‘House of The Rising Sun’ was presented in a rough version. Great Rock with grip on reality, just the right portion of Punk and a lot of gusto and emotions! // Setlist: 1. Great Expectations / 2. "45" / 3. Mulholland Drive / 4. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues / 5. Howl / 6. We Came To Dance / 7. Keepsake / 8. Old White Lincoln / 9. The '59 Sound / 10. Handwritten / 11. House of The Rising Sun (THE ANIMALS cover) / 12. Film Noir / 13. Señor And The Queen / 14. American Slang / 15. Too Much Blood / 16. Wooderson / 17. Mae / 18. The Backseat // http://www.thegaslightanthem.com / https://www.facebook.com/thegaslightanthem
While in the tent now EGOTRONIC were entering the stage, the main stage belonged to BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE. At the end of the second day, it was now time for crunchy Metalcore. The band started already in 1998, back than as NIRVANA and METALLICA cover band, later on with Nu Metal before they finally arrived in Metalcore fields leading to worldwide commercial success in 2006. Finally, the heat was gone and mild wind around 20 degrees was coming up meaning people finally were up for some movement. After the intro, the British band started with a heavy guitar storm, accompanied by twitching lightning. The name of the storm was ‘Your Betrayal’ out of the last album ‘Fever’ from 2010. Whining guitars accompanied next song ‘Pleasure and Pain’. From the 2008 album ‘Scream Aim Fire’, the band presented the straight-forward heavy Rock’n’Roll piece ‘Walking The Demon’, combined with the demand for a circle pit. After ‘All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)’, the band returned to its roots with lots of guitar solos and clean vocals, presenting a song from their 2005 debut ‘The Poison’. Also the powerful ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’ was taken from the debut album pleasing a lot of fans, before with ‘The Last Fight’ harsh banging of newer times followed. The stage itself was decorated with a huge backdrop wearing the band’s name.
Before the band moved on with ‘Scream Aim Fire’, they short alluded the German National Anthem, just to lead over to the inevitable Wall of Death. ‘Alone’ moved on with lots of speed and also ‘Begging For Mercy’ liked it hot and sweaty. With this song, the band already was up to leave the stage after just one hour. But with chants for encore, extensive clapping and ‘Seven-Nation-Army’ chants, the band was demanded back onto stage to presented their goodbye song ‘Tears Don’t Fall’. Water, drum sticks and plectrums were now being thrown into the audience before the quartet finally left the stage. Fir a headline gig, 65 minutes are surely a bit poor but I have to admit that after the long hot day, the early concert ending was pleasing me, leading me homewards now. // Setlist: 1. Your Betrayal / 2. Pleasure and Pain / 3. Waking the Demon / 4. All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me) / 5. 4 Words (To Choke Upon) / 6. The Last Fight / 7. Scream Aim Fire / 8. Cries in Vain / 9. Hand of Blood / 10. Alone / 11. Begging for Mercy / Encore: 12. Tears Don't Fall // http://www.bulletformyvalentine.com / https://www.facebook.com/BulletForMyValentine
At the end, I just want to hint you towards the Anti-Nazi demonstration being held on 1st September in Dortmund, which also EGOTRONIC at the tent were calling attention to. Not only with songs like ‘Raven gegen Deutschland’ or ‘Tolerante Nazis’, the Berlin based Electro Punks were opposed against right-wing radicalism, they also base their lyrics on other social-critic topics. Today, I sadly missed their show due to lack of time. http://www.egotronic.net / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Egotronic/7045292479
http://www.timidtiger.com / https://www.facebook.com/timidtiger
Setlist: 1. Sjøhyenar (Havets herrer) / 2. Fossegrim / 3. Blodtørst / 4. Spring / 5. Nekroskop / 6. Offernatt / 7. Ulvetid / 8. Liktorn / 9. Ordsmedar / 10. Mjød // http://kvelertak.com / https://www.facebook.com/Kvelertak
http://www.beneathyourgardenwindow.com / https://www.facebook.com/OBrotherMusic
Every Time I Die
http://www.ex-lives.com / https://www.facebook.com/everytimeidie
http://www.radiohavanna.de / https://www.facebook.com/radiohavanna
http://www.theflatliners.com / https://www.facebook.com/theflatlinerstoronto
http://www.averageengines.com / https://www.facebook.com/averageengines
http://adolarband.tumblr.com / https://www.facebook.com/adolarband
Written by Daniela Vorndran in cooperation with Ulrike Meyer-Potthoff (Terrorverlag).
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.black-cat-net.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/vorndranphotography / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)