Haus Auensee, Leipzig, Germany
10th to 11th November 2012
Gothic meets Klassik Day 1: Chrom, Rabia Sorda, Staubkind, Blutengel, VNV Nation
Leipzig became the Mecca for Gothic fans once again, an absolutely wonderful and ingenious idea has sprung from the creative minds which seeks its equal in festival history. Gothic meets Klassik, a wonderful festival spans two days and two different venues.
The first location is Haus Auensee, a well known location for everybody who has visited the Wave Gothic Treffen WGT. This building is a much-used concert hall within Leipzig with a capacity of about 2,500 people. This capacity was fully utilized on this evening. On Sunday three bands from Saturday, STAUBKIND, BLUTENGEL and VNV Nation, would combine their musical arts with a symphony orchestra at the Gewandhaus on Augustusplatz. Take a look if you are interested in the history and background of this individual location. I started my Saturday actually pretty good until I got finally stuck in the traffic with my car. On this basis I appeared late for this concert. CHROM the first band on this evening already played and the hall was crowded by now so you couldn’t set a foot in front of the other.
CHROM was founded in the year 2007 by Christian Marquis and Thomas Winters. Hard unyielding but melodic and danceable sounds are the trademark of the band. I also must admit that I don’t know anything about them but they convinced me from the beginning. The hall already seems to burst and the atmosphere had reached a climax. Hard bass sound coupled with electronic sounds rolled like a tidal wave right from the stage and grabbed anyone in front of them who could not take shelter. The powerful voice supported by pounding drums and emotionally stimulating synthesizer offered a good start for this evening. With an excellent song selection CHROM ensured a balanced mixture and convinced the people in front of the stage to hit the dance floor and caused a bombastic mood. Unfortunately the performance ended after half an hour and so left the desire to get and hear a lot more from this overwhelming band.
As I already mentioned I could not review the complete performance and must rely on the few moments I was able to notice. As so often at Haus Auensee, the sound was well balanced and I couldn’t realize any flaws. The individual strands and the thrilling voice could be heard loud and clear even in the farthest corner of the hall. The harsh electronic sound enhanced by a powerful voice made me hit the dance floor more than once. Unfortunately the settings of the lighting condition and the corresponding effects were not the best but that’s not the fault of the band and should not be included in this review. The evening could not start better although I previously never heard of this band. A very successful selection of songs combined with a very present and exciting stage performance prepared us for a wonderful evening. In conclusion I must confess that CHROM gained a new fan and I was really impressed from their stage presence. http://www.chrom-music.com
01. In My World
03. Morbid Mind
04. Walked The Line
Total: 8 (7.2) / 10
Erk Aicrag founded RABIA SORDA in the year 2003. He started this solo project as he followed his own intention. The singer and lyricist of the well-known electronic duo HOCICO created a new masterpiece and a different point of view for electronic music and also fans all over the world burst into storms of enthusiasm for this new version. After a short intro sequence the opening song ‘Misery’ followed right on the heels. Erk Aicrag and the other musicians tried to keep the mood at the same boiling point as their predecessors. Unfortunately most of the audience used the reconstruction phase and the greater part of the first song to rest instead of getting carried away from the hard hitting beats. Despite or precisely because of this reluctance RABIA SORDA throw a lot more energy and power into the ring. Suitable to the following title ‘Out of control’ the bass-line pounded with unyielding hardness like a sledgehammer in our stomach.
The selectively tuned electric sound opened another maelstrom and left the audience to lapse in wild convulsions without any control. And finally the crowd awakened from hibernation and began to celebrate this festival in front of the stage. Erk Aicrag dominated the stage from the beginning. He ensured with his energy-laden presence and absolute power in his voice that some small technical shortcomings were not noticed. Right at the start of their performance the sound was consistent and clear but especially within the song “Black Sheep” the sound becomes slightly mushy. Particular the high notes coming right out of the speakers form a musical porridge. But even at the end Erk had enough strength and vigour to get the hall to another boiling point. http://www.rabiasorda.com
02. Out of Control
03. Radio Paranoia
05. Money Talks
06. Save me from my curse
07. Black Sheep
08. Heart eating crows
09. Walking on nails
Total: 7 / 10
STAUBKIND were founded in the year 2003 by the singer and guitarist Louis Manke. The first single ‘Keine Sonne’ and the subsequent debut album ‘Traumfänger’ laid the foundation for a long-standing history of music. STAUBKIND is known for its successful mix of rock songs that alternate between depression and melancholy. The songs were supported by hard guitar riffs and catchy emotional melodies in combination with the distinctive and memorable voice from Louis Manke. After another short and professionally rebuilding phase you could notice from the behaviour of the crowd that one of their favourite bands are entering the stage. With enthusiastic shouts and clapping the team from STAUBKIND appeared. From the beginning the band delighted the audience with their emotional lyrics and their almost perfect performance. Harmoniously balanced melodies driven with heavy riffs and an almost virtuosic performance by the brilliant bassist Sebastian Scheibe whips up the crowd again.
While the not less gifted Friedemann Mäthger (drums) knocks the audience down with powerful blows to the gut. Both were supported by the talented Henrik Bohl (keyboard) who added an independent life, which manifests itself with an unexpected diversity. This performance is topped only by the ever-present and sympathetic singer Louis Manke. His presence and certainly the very successful selection of songs ensure that not only the fans of STAUBKIND would stay enchanted this evening. Songs like ‘Irgendwann’, ‘Fühlst du’ and ‘Dein Engel schweigt’ are just a few which contribute to this evening. Despite the melancholy contained in the lyrics a warm feeling spreads inside and make this night unforgettable. As already described I was more than satisfied from the show of STAUBKIND. The very well-tuned instruments combined with the intoxicating voice of the singer left nothing to be desired. Even the lighting effects were much better timed than from the two previous bands. The only downer was the was the shortness of the performance. http://staubkind.de
Total: 9 (8.8) / 10
BLUTENGEL founded in the year 1998 by the head and mastermind Chris Pohl. A skilful mixtures of pop, dance and electro with symbolism and themes from the romantic Gothic and classic horror movie paired with a little fetish and erotic are the band's trademark. The debut album ‘Child of Glass’ from 1999 was a great success in the gothic scene. The following albums and singles contributed only further to the success of the band. The success remained despite of the numerous changes in the line-up of the band and this is also certainly due to the charisma of the singer Chris Pohl. I had the feeling that there could be no further highlight on this evening anymore after the really brilliant performance from STAUBKIND. But BLUTENGEL appeared that evening from their best and put the whole another crown on the top. The masked woman entered the stage marching with their flags in a typical BLUTENGEL fashion. Chris Pohl and Ulrike Goldmann followed with thunderous applause and frenetically shouts from the crowd. From the first notes of the opener ‘Soultaker’ the crowd stood transfixed in front of the stage.
In combination with the following song ‘Nachtbringer’, the two pieces were intended to convey the existing mood for this late night. The spherically-style sounds ensnare the tortured souls in front of the stage and wake a desire for melancholy and the dark side within. The following songs like ‘Über den Horizont’ and ‘Ein Augenblick’ meet all of the typical Goth clichés but they carry the unique atmosphere even further. BLUTENGEL provide another peak with tracks like ‘Behind the Mirror’, ‘Die with you’ and one of my favourite but oldest song ‘Seelenschmerz’. With the emotional ‘Reich mir die Hand’ Chris Pohl and his ladies concluded the night. As accustomed by BLUTENGEL there was a nice stage show with various performances, started from flag-waving, lascivious erotic dance to a fire show at the end. But if you already know BLUTENGEL and you already have seen some concerts there was unfortunately no great surprise. But this statement should not reduce the performance of the dancers. I could fault nothing musically the songs were offered with very much feeling and enthusiasm.
This concert offered a lot of fun, joy and emotional moments unlike some other concerts from BLTUENGEL I’ve already seen. Like their predecessors the performance was technically very well adjusted, nothing was left for chance and qualitatively it was a real high standard which appropriate to this event. The lighting effects did not improve unfortunately. http://www.blutengel.de
03. Über den Horizont
04. Ein Augenblick
05. Behind the mirror
06. Die with you
08. Reich mir die Hand
Total: 8.6 (8.2) / 10
VNV NATION was founded 1990 by Ronan Harris. With ‘Advance & Follow’, VNV NATION released their first full album. Other CDs like the single ‘Solitary’ and ‘Empire’ followed right after and increase the success. VNV NATION evolved to a band who built their own way with a separate segment between hard industrial and electronic music. They combine electronic beats with symphonic like elements driven by tougher industrial noises with a topping of profound lyrics. The guys around Ronan Harris already reaped the first frenetically applause before the first notes rang out. To experience VNV NATION in a location like Haus Auensee is something like an intoxication which would never go. Not only the music and the light show but also the performance of the very charismatic way of Ronan put the audience under a spell from the first moment which least for a long time after the show. As always Ronan Harris rushes from the right to the left side and back of the stage cheering on his audience.
The condensation drips from the ceiling of the venerable house after the first two songs. Both the temperature and the humidity increased immeasurably and yet the audience is still moving and dancing in this completely filled hall celebrating boisterously this event. Ronan shines all over his face as he sight so many people who turn to him sing his words while dancing. All this makes him visibly satisfied and happy. And a quick look over the audience shows that there is no person which doesn’t fall into a trance-like shape of happiness from the first to the last row they danced frenetically with a ruptured expression. But at some point the last notes fade away the lighting of the hall is on - but the expected mass exodus into the nights does not take place. The public remains totally sweaty in the too hot hall clapping, shouting and thanked their idols with an furious applause for an brilliant evening which could not come to an end yet. Mastermind Ronan Harris could not believe what he sees he smiles and harvest even more applause but at the end must ultimately leave the stage.
What should I evaluate now, the show, music and the sound was just awesome and thrilling and so I really have nothing to complain about. http://www.vnvnation.com/
01. Intro (On-air)
03. Space & time
04. Tomorrow never comes
08. Honour 2003
Total: 9.6 (9.3) / 10
This Saturday nights was an absolutely brilliant night which was driven from a peak to the next one, there was no break to rest your feet or drink something. The reconstruction phases were all perfectly timed and almost executed minutely. The selection of bands, their song-selection etc. could not be better and more effectively. So there could be no better attunement fort he following day than this.
All pictures by Thomas Winter except Chrome by Pyro (www.unart.tv)