Airport Drispenstedt, Hildesheim, Germany
10th and 11th August 2013
M’era Luna Festival Day 2: Schwarzer Engel, ASP & Kai Meyer reading, Unzucht, Coppelius, Eden Weint Im Grab, The 69 Eyes, In The Nursery, Tanzwut, Clan Of Xymox, Staubkind, [:SITD:], Apoptygma Berzerk, Kirlian Camera, Blutengel, Zeromancer, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, Nightwish
The second day came quickly after a short night and the day was greeting us with the best festival weather: not too sunny, temperatures around 25°C. Unfortunately, some rain made it to the airport but this surely didn’t darken the great mood on this Sunday. The day was promised to be filled with great bands, from electronic tunes up to heavier guitar sounds – there was something for everyone. The highlight was surely NIGHTWISH with new their new singer. Expectations were high and, at least spoken for myself, the people were satisfied.
Schwarzer Engel - Main Stage [UMP]
Big part of the black festival goers already had two nights of extensive partying and a full festival day behind. Anyway, the infield was quite well filled up at 11:00 for the first band of the day. Dave Jason with his band SCHWARZER ENGEL was opening the stage, accompanied by Jens Lindmaier and Stefan Grießhammer on guitar, Bert Oeler on bass and drummer Marcel Woitowicz. On the schedule of Stuttgart based band was a mix of melodic Black Metal and classic music, something to get the last pieces of sleep out of your body. Just let me mention the songs ‘Schwarze Sonne’ from the latest Album ‘In brennenden Himmeln’ or ‘Die Königin der Nacht’ from the 2011 ‘Träume der Nacht’ album. In some parts, the sound of the band can surely be improved, but the 20 minutes show time was well used and found one or another admirer. // https://www.schwarzerengel.info/ / https://facebook.com/schwarzerengelband // Rating: 7 / 10
ASP & Kai Meyer - Hangar [FS]
While the music from the main stage was on its last lap, people gathered in the hangar for some prose. The highly acclaimed German fantasy author KAI MEYER invited to listen to chosen excerpts of his ‘Arkadien’ series, which were read by him sitting on stage with atmospheric candle light. He did a very good job introducing the audience into the setting and conveying the thrilling plot. That probably the audience perceived as well, since there was very little to no murmuring or interference at all. By his own account never before that many people came to one of his readings. The reason for that could be accompaniment in form of ASP front man Alexander Spreng, who brought along guitarist Sören Jordan. They remained passive while KAI MEYER was reading to the audience, but some of the people surely were there for some musical encore to last night, which of course followed after the author finished after about 25 minutes. Spreng explained that one of the songs of the recently released record ‘Maskenhaft’ was inspired by KAI MEYER and the track followed moments later in an acoustic rendition, which in my opinion was superior to the rock version. After the applause subsided they started over with the same very enjoyable procedure. // www.aspswelten.de / https://www.facebook.com/AspsWelten / www.kaimeyer.com / https://facebook.com/KaiMeyerFanpage
Unzucht - Main Stage [AK]
Looking at the amount of people in front of the main stage at that early time promised something good… but well, not for me. UNZUCHT, the winner of the newcomer contest in 2010, surely attracted a lot of people with their dark rock music but their songs are simply run-of-the-mill NDH (Neue Deutsche Härte) that could have been played by any other band alike. However, one cannot deny that the band had loads of energy (although the singer had a leg injury) and set a powerful opening to the second festival day. Despite “deep” lyrics like ‘Kleine geile Nonne’, the band probably sets a nice frame for partying but not for more – at least not for me. // www.unzucht-music.com / https://facebook.com/Unzucht // Setlist: 01. Der Schrauber (Intro) / 02. Todsünde 8 / 03. Unzucht / 04. Deine Zeit läuft ab / 05. Nur die Ewigkeit / 06. Kleine geile Nonne / 07. Engel der Vernichtung // Rating: 6 / 10
Coppelius - Main Stage [AK]
The gentlemen from Berlin, COPPELIUS, brought the flair of the 19th Century back and delivered classical yet catchy tunes produced by the clarinet, cello and the piano. Thinking about the simplicity of this concept makes it even greater to see what the band puts up on stage. Sure, some might think of them as being a little to eccentric but this little bit of arrogance gives it the special touch. However, COPPELIUS is probably one of the bands that keeps in touch with its fan the most, looking at the immense line during their signing session. Their show on the second day of the festival brought some fun to everybody and of course, due to Bastille, it was just as entertaining. // www.coppelius.eu / https://facebook.com/CoppeliusHilft // Setlist: 01. Ouvertüre / 02. Bitten Danken Petitieren / 03. I get used to it / 04. Reichtum / 05. Locked out / 06. Risiko / 07. Habgier // Rating: 8 / 10
Eden Weint Im Grab - Hangar [M]
The music of the German band founded in 2004 is described as Dark Metal but with a cello and violin player and the way they performed I would add Morbid Metal Cabaret as their music is a mixture of Metal with Fun Fair, Waltz and Tango sounds and the German lyrics are an ironical interpretation of morbid topics. I haven’t seen them live before nor did I know many songs of them. However I was very curious to see them performing as a friend of mine told me in a chat once how amazing they are when we were discussing about music. They performed in the early afternoon on the Hangar stage. The venue was not packed but quite a good quantity of people appeared in order to see the show.
The concert was really entertaining and the band apparently had fun with performing. To one song the violin player missed the entry but the singer took it with humour which is the best thing you can do. Anyway the audience enjoyed the show. And in summary I can say they are worth to see again as I liked their comical show. As we learnt the upcoming album ‘Geysterstunde II’ will likely be released in January 2014. // http://edenweintimgrab.wintersolitude.de / https://www.facebook.com/edenweintimgrab // Setlist: 01. Gespenster-Revue im Theater Obszön / 02. Tango Mortis / 03. Undine (Sey Meyn Schutzgeyst) / 04. Friedhof der Sterne / 05. An die Nacht / 06. Ein Requiem in Sepia / 07. Moritat des Leierkastenmanns / 08. Krieg Im Wunderland // Rating: 6.5 / 10
The 69 Eyes – Main Stage [FS]
THE 69 EYES said that they stylistically wanted to go back to the roots with their latest output titled ‘X’. That seems to be the premise for their current live setlist as well, since it is dripping with old songs from their “golden age” as I am willing to call it, which encompasses each of the three outputs between 1999 and 2002. With only one new track (‘Tonight’) and one all-time favourite (‘Lost Boys’) outside of that era, they have proven to know what their fans crave from the self-proclaimed Helsinki Vampires. Cloaked in long leather coats and dark sunglasses the band affronted the German afternoon sun and played a solid show of gothic rock. The audience been not particularly frenetic seemed to cherish the choice of songs and the slick performance, which was good but not special. How great would it have been if Ville Valo joined them on stage during ‘Wasting the dawn’ (on which he performed backing vocals for back then)? That would have been unlikely but special (one may still dream after all). // www.69eyes.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/the69eyes // Setlist: 01. Framed in Blood / 02. Gothic Girl / 03. Sleeping With Lions / 04. Tonight / 05. Dance d'Amour / 06. Wasting the Dawn / 07. The Chair / 08. Brandon Lee / 09. Lost Boys // Rating: 7 / 10
In The Nursery - Hangar [JNU]
Making the meditative, orchestral and soundtrack-like music of IN THE NURSERY work at a festival might be quite a challenge but it's a challenge that the English group mastered perfectly. The neo-classical music of the band around twin brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone demands a more focused listening than most of the party bands which played at this festival. In the end the audience at the hangar couldn't resist the enchanting songs of IN THE NURSERY, and the title 'Hymn Noir' is quite symbolic for IN THE NURSERY's performance. Dark, melancholic hymns for the creatures of the night, graced by Dolores Marguerite C.'s wonderful voice! A great gig that delivered a nice welcome change among many Goth mainstream acts! // www.inthenursery.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/INTHENURSERY // Setlist: 01. Capture & Control / 02. Crepuscule / 03. Hymn Noir / 04. Bombed / 05. Lectern / 06. A Rebours / 07. L'Esprit // Rating: 8 / 10
Tanzwut - Main Stage [AK]
TANZWUT consists of many members of the German band CORVUS CORAX and also comes along with medieval sounds but this time pared with a little bite more electronic beats. The band got everyone’s attention as soon as they entered the stage: scantily dressed men with make-up showed what bagpipes and computers are able of doing. The mood was incredible and the ground was shaking, a lot of people were dancing. TANZWUT are surely up when it comes to partying and therefore perfectly fit into the context. However, their cover of ‘Bitte, Bitte’ is getting annoying, maybe try thinking about cutting it. // www.tanzwut.com / https://www.facebook.com/TANZWUTOfficial // Rating: 6.5 / 10
Clan Of Xymox - Hangar [JNU]
Ronny Moorings ' CLAN OF XYMOX is an institution of the Goth scene. Formed in the Netherlands in 1981, songs as 'Stranger' or 'Louise' became veritable Indie chart hits in the 1980s. CLAN OF XYMOX has seen quite a number of line-up changes and shifts in direction. The last few albums didn't have quite the same impact as their classic material, and CLAN OF XYMOX' gig at the M'era Luna was an indication for this. Starting with more recent material, the response from the audience was a little lacklustre. But as soon as classics like 'Muscoviet Mosquito' or 'Louise' resound the atmosphere got pretty different. That's the kind of stuff the M'era Luna crowd was waiting for, as people's reaction clearly proved. The brilliant 'Jasmine & Rose' and the 28 year old 'A Day' set the bar even higher so that the second half of the gig compensated the rather low start. // www.clanofxymox.com / https://www.facebook.com/pages/clan-of-xymox/111769160178 // Setlist: 01. Love got lost / 02. In love we trust / 03. Hail Mary / 04. Emily / 05. Muscoviet Mosquito / 06. Louise / 07. Jasmine & Rose / 08. A day / 09. Venus // Rating: 7 / 10
Staubkind - Main Stage [AK]
Another band from Berlin made it to Hildesheim: STAUBKIND. The guys come along with melancholy riffs and rock sounds, filled with energy. With their mixture of heavy sounds, yet sensitive vocals the band appealed to a wide variety of fans and surely brought everyone a good time who made their way to the main stage. Especially songs like ‘Rette mich’ or ‘Dein Engel schweigt’ led to loud choirs within the audience. STAUBKIND are always an asset to a gothic festival line-up and definitely did not disappoint with their show at the M’era Luna! // http://www.staubkind.de / https://facebook.com/Staubkind.Music // Setlist: 01. Gnadenlos / 02. Rette mich / 03. Nur ein Tag / 04. Dein Engel schweigt / 05. So nah bei dir / 06. Angekommen / 07. Fühlst du / 08. Königin / 09. Ein Traum der nie vergeht // Rating: 9 / 10
[:SITD:] - Hangar [AK]
Sadly, also this great band was banned to the Hangar stage. Nevertheless, the band did their best and heated up the audience while tearing down the building with their powerful electronic sounds and Carsten’s sensitive vocals that are packed with emotions. [:SITD:] is one of those bands that one could listen to any time of the day, being in any mood and still feeling good while doing so. Never have they disappointed me and they didn’t this time either. What a great show! However, maybe next time you could get onto the main stage and convince even more people of how good your music is. // www.sitd.de / https://www.facebook.com/SITDofficial // Rating: 9 / 10
Apoptygma Berzerk - Main Stage [JNU]
Stephan Groth decided to play it safe: Starting with a loud noise his band APOPTYGMA BERZERK performed a 40-minute set with only the biggest of their big hits. From the opener 'Non-Stop Violence' to 'Starsign' to 'Until The End Of The World' - the Norwegians gave their fans what they craved for. On the other hand this means that the last two albums 'Rocket Science' and 'You and Me Against the World' were completely ignored but these two were not as impressive as APOPTYGMA's 1990s albums, anyway. Thanks to a cranked up volume and the greatest hits-set the atmosphere in front of the main stage was electrifying and the crowd just went wild. Funnily enough, drummer Ted Skogmann and guitarist Audun Stengel left the stage after only two songs so that Stephan Groth performed the Synth Pop cracker 'Something I Should Know' in pairs with his brother Jonas on the keyboards and, subsequently, Stephan Groth was alone on stage to perform 'Kathy's Song'.
Perhaps it is quite apt that he performs a song about his computer alone with his computer – some sort of man/machine duet, if you like – but still a single man on such a huge stage looked a bit odd. Anyway, Groth's band mates soon returned on stage to perform the rest of the show, which finished with APOPTYGMA BERZERK's latest single, a cover version of the 1980s classic 'Major Tom'. Although perhaps not the most interesting selection of songs for long-time fans, the festival-friendly set made sure that this festival audience got the roaring party time it longed for. // www.theapboffice.com / https://www.facebook.com/ApoptygmaBerzerk // Setlist: 01. Intro / 02. Non-Stop Violence / 03. Eclipse / 04. Something I Should Know / 05. Kathy's Song (Come Lie Next To Me) / 06. Love Never Dies / 07. Starsign / 08. Unicorn / 09. Until The End Of The World / 10. Major Tom (Peter Schilling cover) // Rating: 7 / 10
Kirlian Camera - Hangar [JNU]
Italian band KIRLIAN CAMERA, founded by Angelo Bergamini as far back as 1980 surely created their very musical sonic universe, ranging from cold minimalistic beats to acoustic Neo Folk-ballads to Dance songs with the luring voice of singer Elena Alice Fossi. KIRLIAN CAMERA combine danceable and tranquil moments, poppy and experimental tracks. The music sounds very spacious and clear and contains a great deal of moody electronics with a very clear sound. Experimental structures, yet pleasant to listen to. Over the last few years, KIRLIAN CAMERA's sound has become somewhat lighter and dancier, perhaps as a result of Elena Fossi's work with all-female Pop project SPECTRA*PARIS.
Earlier this summer KIRLIAN CAMERA released the new long-player with the adequate title 'Black Summer Choirs', and it was interesting to see if KIRLIAN CAMERA can live up to their reputation as an impressive live band. To keep it short: They could! And they encountered an audience which was totally up for it! Singer Elena, who delivered an absolutely flawless performance, was apparently deeply moved by the enthusiastic feedback which probably made her go the extra mile to give it all. KIRLIAN CAMERA had less than an hour for their performance, nevertheless they included a cover versions in their set. PINK FLOYD's 'Comfortably Numb' sounded great but the roaring their own songs as 'K-Pax', 'Eclipse' or 'Heldenplatz' received proved that KIRLIAN CAMERA didn't really need covers to warm up this audience. // www.kirliancamera.com / https://facebook.com/kirliancamera.official // Setlist: 01. INTRO: NEITHER HONOUR NOR GLORY / 02. HEAVENs / 03. BLACK AUGUST / 04. المادة السوداء (MATERIA OSCURA) / 05. NIGHTGLORY / 06. ECLIPSE / 07. K-PAX / 08. COMFORTABLY NUMB (Pink Floyd Cover) / 09. SIZE ZERO / 10. BLUE ROOM / 11. EDGES / 12. ODYSSEY EUROPA / Encore: 13. HELDENPLATZ // Rating: 8 / 10
Blutengel - Main Stage [AK]
The project around singer Chris Pohl is probably one of the most controversial bands within the gothic scene: either you love them or you think they are plain stupid. Well, I consider myself rather being on the second side. BLUTENGEL actually create some danceable sounds and the female voice (reminding me of the female voice of DJ BOBO) works out just fine but Chris’ rhyming and singing, or speaking, sets the mood off – and especially the English songs are horrible, regarding texting and pronunciation.
Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the band has a huge amount of fans and followers. A show by them is always well-attended and quite entertaining looking at the (mostly naked) women dancing and performing in the background. In short: like them or not, BLUTENGEL are always quite entertaining but if you’re looking for deep lyrics, keep on looking. // www.blutengel.de / https://facebook.com/BlutengelOfficial // Setlist (incomplete): 01. Die With You (classical version) / 02. Lucifer / 03. Uns Gehört Die Nacht / 04. Reich mir die Hand / 05. Save our Souls / 06. You walk away / 07. Kinder dieser Stadt / 08. Lebensrichter / 09. Engelsblut // Rating: 5.5 / 10
Zeromancer - Hangar [M]
Due to illness of Chris Corner, singer and head of IAMX, the Norwegian band ZEROMANCER agreed to fill the slot short- term. Although some people were sad not to see IAMX lots of people were really happy about this replacement. I arrived 15 minutes before the concert started and the Hangar was already crowded and many more people appeared. Thus there was no chance for me to find a place closer to the stage which was a disadvantage from the sound aspect. But I heard that the sound was good in front of the stage. Well, you just have to remember that this venue was actually not built for concerts and so it has not much to do with the quality of the band itself or the sound engineer. Back to the concert now: right from the first tunes the people started to clap their hands and party to the songs.
Between the songs the singer was talking a lot and we learnt that he is an IAMX fan, too, and that they will try to give their best now to fill the gap. They even performed a part of an IAMX song to show their respect for Chris Corner and wish him to get well soon. Singer Alex showed a great stage presence and he thanked several times the audience for their attention. Because of being so chatty they had to cancel one song at the very end, the powerful ‘Ammonite’ with its additional drum parts. Nevertheless the audience left the concert happily. // www.zeromancer.com / https://www.facebook.com/zeromancerzentral // Setlist: 01. Sinners International / 02. Doppelgänger I Love you / 03. Neo Geisha / 04. After every Party I Die (IAMX Cover) / 05. Auf Wiedersehen Boy / 06. Flirt / 07. The Hate Alphabet / 08. The Tortured Artist / 09. God bless the Models / 09. Cupola / 10. Photographic / 11. Clone your Lover / 12. Doctor Online // Rating: 7.5 / 10
Front 242 - Main Stage [JNU]
Belgian EBM godfathers FRONT 242 have been guests in Hildesheim a few times before. Their last appearance at this festival was in 2008, and older fans will fondly remember FRONT 242's gig in 1998 when they premiered their 'Re:Boot' programme here and when they drove the entire crowd mental with the sheer energy of their sound. Their gig at this year's M'era Luna was pretty much the opposite of the legendary show 15 years before in the same place. But that wasn't really the fault of Patrick Codenys (keys), Richard Jonckheere (vocals, keys), live-drummer Tim Kroker and lead singer Jean Luc de Meyer. The performance of the guys on stage was fine, and they presented a great selection of classic songs which got a fresh rework compared to their respective original versions. But when FRONT 242 started their show the volume at the main stage was so low that some guy next to me wondered if this was still the sound check. The usual power of a FRONT 242 live performance was just not there, and this was met by a pretty lame audience. It took quite a while until the enthusiasm on stage ignited a spark in front of the stage, and this could also have something to do that there were already many NIGHTWISH fans among the crowd waiting for the headliner. Those guys must have been pretty alienated by the sound of Front 242!
However, the smash hit 'Headhunter' terminated the rather disappointing first third of the show and manage to wake up half of the audience, while the volume had been turned up a bit meanwhile. But it wasn't until the last two songs, 'Religion' and 'Im Rhythmus Bleiben', when the sound volume was finally as pumped up as it should have been from the start. If the plan was to start on low volume and end on high volume to create some suspense, then this plan surely failed. Next time start on high volume and end on maximum, please! After all, an all-consuming audibility is crucial for an energetic electro act as FRONT 242. As indicated before, the performance itself was immaculate and especially the updated versions of songs like 'U-Men' or 'Quite Unusual' were excellent. But in the end this FRONT 242 gig lacked the ass-kicking energy the Belgians usually always create. Well, you can't win all the time! After all it surely doesn't keep me from seeing them next time! // www.front242.com / https://www.facebook.com/Front.242 // Setlist: 01. Moldavia / 02. Body to Body / 03. No Shuffle / 04. Rain / 05. Together / 06. HeadHunter / 07. Take One / 08. Triple x Girlfriend / 09. Quite Unusual / 10. Uman / 11. Commando Mix / 12. Religion / 13. Im Rhytmus Bleiben // Rating: 7 / 10
Front Line Assembly - Hangar [JNU]
The last noises of FRONT 242 just faded away when a pack of EBM heads rushed from the main stage to the hangar: FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY just started their show at the second stage, and if you ran quickly enough you had a chance to be there before the FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's intro was over. In fact it was quite amusing to see so many people running to the hangar stage! To be honest I wasn't expecting too much from FLA's live appearance at the M'era Luna, their live qualities have been somewhat a case of hit or miss over the last few years and besides that I'm one of those who are not too happy with the brand new album 'Echogenetic'. Still I hoped for an okay show – and I was totally blown away when Bill Leeb and his team started their show with a mind-boggling rendition of 'Final Impact' from the 1992 album 'Tactical Neural Implant'! Didn't expect to hear this song again at all in 2013, let alone as the opener of the show! An equally unexpected 'Neologic Spasm' from the album 'Hard Wired' (1995) followed before FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY eventually presented material from the new album. 'Killing Grounds', arguably the club hit of 'Echogenetic', didn't fail to impress and at the end of the day hearing the new songs live made me appreciate them a lot more.
The sound at the hangar stage was sharp, loud and direct and the bass caused a pleasant vibration of your body. Yeah, this is how it supposed to be! Quite a contrast to the unfortunate low volume performance of FRONT 242 just moments before. Vocalist Bill Leeb was visibly in high spirits and much more active on stage than in the past while he worked through FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's 60-minute set at the M'era Luna. The big hits 'Millennium' and 'Mindphaser' finished the performance and made the crowd go mental but my personal highlight was the dazzling performance of the epic single 'Plasticity'! I had some hopes for this gig but didn't expect too much. In the end it was so good that only days later I was again in front of a stage to see one of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's club shows. (which was by the way even better than their M'era Luna show!) // www.mindphaser.com / https://facebook.com/frontlineassembly // Setlist: 01. Resonance / 02. Final Impact / 03. Neologic Spasm / 04. Killing Grounds / 05. Blood / 06. Plasticity / 07. Exhale / 08. Shifting Through The Lens / 09. Surface Patterns /10. Millennium / 11. Mindphaser // Rating: 9.5 / 10
Nightwish - Main Stage [AK]
Undergoing some line-up changes in the past, NIGHTWISH are back – better than ever. Their last singer Anette Olzon surely did not live up to the quality the music deserved. However, their current singer (let’s hope she is going to be in the band permanently) Floor Jansen (former AFTER FOREVER) finally got the band back on track and sang to perfection this night. Especially songs like ‘I want my tears back’ and ‘Wish I had an angel’ the band fired up the stage like hell. The stage was completely filled out with everyone’s passion for their music – and with a huge keyboard arrangement for Tuomas, the mastermind.
This concert being the ending of a long tour, the band thanked everyone that went their way so far, setting an even more special ending to the festival. What a bombastic show, NIGHTWISH! And please, don’t let Floor go. Finally a girl in your front who knows how to bang her head! // http://www.nightwish.com / https://www.facebook.com/nightwish // Setlist: 00. Crimson Tide (Hans Zimmer song) / 01. Dark Chest of Wonders / 02. Wish I Had an Angel / 03. She Is My Sin / 04. Ever Dream / 05. Storytime / 06. I Want My Tears Back / 07. Nemo / 08. Bless the Child / 09. Romanticide / 10. Amaranth / 11. Ghost Love Score / 12. Last Ride of the Day / 13. Imaginaerum // Rating: 10 / 10
Written by Anne Kuhfuß [AK], Florian Schürmann [FS] morTICIA [M], J. Niggels Uhlenbruch [JNU] & Ulrike Meyer-Potthoff [UMP]
All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß (with post-processing by Florian Schürmann) & Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.black-cat-net.de / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)