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introAmphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
20th to 22nd June 2013
Blackfield Festival Day 1: Austerity Complex, Feuerschwanz, Gothminister, Namnambulu, Saltatio Mortis, Schandmaul

The Blackfield Festival took place for the seventh time and nearly 6,000 people came to enjoy the music, the special atmosphere, were meeting old or making new friends and having altogether a great weekend. The venue is very extraordinary as it is an amphitheatre at the Rhine-Herne Canal. As it is typical for such a theatre the acoustic is of the same quality wherever you are sitting and from almost every seat you have a good view to the stage.

Austerity Complex

As the festival started in the late afternoon of a working day, not so many people have arrived to see the winner the contest of the Sonic Seducer and opener of the festival. The British/ German Synth-Pop project was founded in 2011 by Nigel Wheeler (vocals, keyboard) and André Schuster (programming, keyboard). Already with the first song it was quite clear that this band has its roots in the eighties and my first thought was, that it remind me strongly of THE HUMAN LEAGUE. Well, this thought was confirmed close to the end of the concert when they performed a cover version of ‘Being boiled’. Not bad for the lovers of the Synth-Pop sound of the eighties. // // Rating: 6 / 10



Founded in 2004 in Erlangen, Germany, this Medieval Rock band is more a comedy combo with songs about partying, heavy drinking and sex – a kind of medieval counterpart to the Ballermann Schlager music (the infamous part of Majorca where German tourists do their best – with the help of lots of alcohol- to leave a bad impression of the people of our country). Before the band entered the stage a prologue from the playback started à la ‘Once upon a time’. Arrived on stage they immediately started to party and with the help of their ring card girl and their interaction, they could animate more people to come to the front of the stage and party with them. But surely the German lyrics full of innuendos helped, too. Somehow the singer had problems with the microphone and thus you could hear every now and then some disturbing noises. Neither the music nor the performance was my taste but anyway they brought some action into the audience. // / // Setlist: 1. Wunsch ist Wunsch / 2. Latte / 3. Metnotstand im Märchenland / 4. Aufs Leben / 5. Hurra Hurra die Pest ist da / 6. Das niemals endende Gelage // Rating: 5 / 10



Bloodstained clothes, chalk-white faces, smeared with fake blood and lots of black make-up around the eyes, is a trademark of the Norwegian Dark Rock/ Metal band. Founded in 1999 the band has released five albums up to now and entered with some songs the top ten of the German and US Alternative charts. Mastermind and GOTHMINISTER Bjørn Alexander Brem and his band mates involve the audience in their nightmares of undead, werewolves and monsters underlined with the sound of Rock/ Metal with some pathetic Opera Rock. Right from the beginning they rocked the place although the venue still was not filled. But in front of the stage the people apparently enjoyed the show where even a ‘chainsaw massacre’ was performed. I found the mixture of styles from song to song a bit irritating, as there were also Synth- Pop elements to be heard, but then I guess it was because they presented songs of their fifteen years career. // / // Rating: 6.5 / 10



Behind this strange name lies the German/ Swiss Synth-Pop duo that was founded in 2002. The band consists of Vasi Vallis (songwriting, arrangements) and Henrik Iversen (lyrics, vocals). After the release of their single ‘Alone’ in 2005 the band vanished from one day to the next. Fortunately they came back in 2013 with an extended ‘Reunited’ tour. This year they launched their new single ‘Sorry’ which entered already the top 10 of the German Alternative charts. Before the duo entered the stage the conférencier Jens Domgörgen announced that there will be a chance to watch football in the big tent tomorrow evening just in case you don’t want to see VNV NATION. Then he introduced the band. Already with the first tunes more and more people walked down the stairs of the theatre in order to join the crowds in front of the stage and party together with them. Meanwhile a lot more people have arrived at the venue and had the chance now to listen to some fine danceable Synth-/ Future-Pop sound. Their sound reminded me a bit of COVENANT mixed with VNV NATION. The last song was a FROZEN PLASMA cover which is not really a surprise as Vasi Vallis is one member of this duo. Though there was not much action on the stage, this concert was musically my personal highlight on this day. // / // Rating: 8.5 / 10


Saltatio Mortis

Founded in 2000, the eight piece German Medieval Rock band made its mark in the Medieval and Gothic scene and thus it is no wonder that the guys appear frequently on diverse festivals in order to entertain the masses. Two years ago they performed successfully at his festival and so it is no wonder that they were greeted loudly when the guys entered the stage. Now not only the people in front of the stage, but those on the seats as well, sang and danced to the music of the band. So the singer need not much ask much for the crowds to interact with them. The band clearly succeeded to bring the people in a cheerful mood. // / // Setlist: 1. Früher war alles besser / 2. Idol / 3. Prometheus / 4. Uns gehört die Welt / 5. Eulenspiegel / 6. Wachstum über alles / 7. Nur ein Traum / 8. Koma / 9. Sündenfall / 10. Falsche Freunde / Encore: 11. Spielmannsschwur // Rating: 8 / 10



In 1998 this German Folk Rock with medieval instruments saw the light of day in the south of Germany. What started small with a gig in their local pub, became soon big with extended tours all over Germany, the Swiss, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and even St. Petersburg and Moscow. Until now they have released three live albums, six singles as well as six DVDs and eight studio albums with the last ones reaching the top ten of the German charts. The six piece band performed successfully on every renowned festival in Europe and usually their concerts are sold out. Before the band entered the stage you could hear sounds from the playback like ringing bells, a creaky door and the like, creating a spooky atmosphere. Though the audience was already in party mood, most of the people reacted a bit restrained at the first half of the concert.


We were presented a new song ‘Auf hoher See’ (on high seas). With every further song the people started to dance and party more and the mood was at its height at ‘Walpurgisnacht’ (Walpurgis Night). And so the first day of the festival ended with cheerful, exhausted but happy people looking forward to the events of the next day. // / // Setlist: 1. In Deinem Namen / 2. Auf hoher See / 3. Tippelbruder / 4. Vogelfrei / 5. Bunt und nicht Braun / 6. Der Pakt / 7. Der Teufel... / 8. Lichtblick / 9. Teufelsweib / 10. Kaspar / 11. Traumtänzer / 12. Krieger / 13. Walpurgisnacht / Encore: 14. Euch zum Geleit / 15. Dein Anblick // Rating: 7 / 10

All Pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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