9th and 10th August 2014
M’era Luna Festival 2014 Day 2: Bo Ningen, Microclocks, Heimataerde, Euzen, Feuerschwanz, Ambassador 21, Darkhaus, Solar Fake, Letzte Instanz, [X]-RX, Die Krupps, Spetsnaz, Faun, Hocico, Deine Lakaien, De/Vision, In Extremo, Covenant, And One
“No rest for the wicked!” could have been the slogan of the second day of the M’era Luna festival as further great bands entertained the visitors. A thunderstorm warning came out on early afternoon and those who were camping were a bit nervous if our tents will stay at their places and if we have to pack wet tents into our cars. But fortunately it all went quite smooth.
Bo Ningen – Main Stage [morTICIA & Dani]
On the second day, opening act on the main stage was BO NINGEN. Though all of the four members are actually coming from different parts of Japan, they only met when they all lived in London. In 2007 their love for experimental psychedelic music brought them together. Indeed their musical style is very diverse and hard to describe as you find Hardcore Punk, Electronic, Psychedelic and also Metal elements in it and to make it even more “exotic” – at least for us Europeans – they are singing in Japanese. Their third album was just released this year. The experience for the M’era Luna audience was surely quite a strange one. As I see, no one really knew what to expect and when the band started, you could see many confused and irritated faces, some were laughing loudly about the stuff they saw and heard. At was a nice try to bring such a band to a dark festival, but I guess not a successful one. // http://boningen.info / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bo-Ningen-official/171019199641365 // Rating: 4 / 10
Microclocks – Hangar [morTICIA]
On the stage of the Hangar to the German Synth Pop/ Rock trio, supported by a live drummer, did themselves the honour of being opening act in this venue. Already with their first EP the band won several German newcomer awards and sponsorship of their region. In 2011 they launched their first album. Apparently for most of the people it was too early to show up to the concert of MICROCLOCKS and so only a small crowd could be found in the venue. A new song - ‘Life is grim’ - which will be on the actual Sonic Seducer album, was introduced. As the guys did their best to entertain the audience it was no surprise that the people were shouting for an encore. Sad enough that the short time they were given was only enough for four songs. // http://www.microclocks.de / https://www.facebook.com/microclocks // Setlist: 1. Hyperion / 2. Soon before Sundown / 3. Life is grim / 4. All eyes on you // Rating: 7 / 10
Heimataerde – Main Stage [morTICIA & Dani]
Dark Electro/ EBM with medieval instruments sound weird but DJ Ash, who founded in 2004 this project, successfully weaved music with visual arts, design and stories. Dressed in crusader outfits with (fake) blood smeared faces the 5-piece band started a hell of a party with the support of the huge crowd at the venue. We learned that on the 29th August their new album ‘Kaltwärts’ will be launched under the Out of Line label and during their show, they presented the title song of this new album. Furthermore the fans were informed that there is a chance to meet the band later at the medieval market. The music was not really my taste but apparently the audience liked it. During the show, Ansgar was coming down from stage, to give the audience his heart – yeah, guess, it was a bloody one he threw into the audience – and of course, many faces in the first raw were painted with blood. // http://www.heimataerde.de / https://www.facebook.com/HeimataerdeOffiziell // Setlist: 1. Bruderschaft / 2. Dein Opfer / 3. Gib mir / 4. Tief in Dir / 5. Kaltwärts / 6. Heimataerde // Rating: 7 / 10
Euzen – Hangar [morTICIA & Dani]
A nice surprise was this band from Denmark. Formed in 2008, the band of five with a female singer is showing a great talent to combine Electronic/ Experimental with some Rock sounds with folkloristic elements. Also remarkable are the unconventional arrangements and tricky beats. Maria Franz, the singer, showed up with fantastic vocal qualities reminding me partly from the singing style reaching from Bjork to Anneke van Giersbergen or Kari Rueslåtten. This band is surely worth to be checked out. It was a really nice change from the standard festival program. // http://www.euzen.dk / https://www.facebook.com/euzeniverse // Rating: 8 / 10
Feuerschwanz – Main Stage [morTICIA & Dani]
The more or less Medieval Rock influenced fun and party band FEUERSCHWANZ set out to the world since 2004 in order to entertain the people with their party songs about drinking, parties and sex. As already mentioned there were some visitors of the festival dressed in animal costumes. The guys of FEUERSCHWANZ took the chance and invited a pink rabbit on stage and announced it to be the fairy for their song ‘Wunsch ist Wunsch’. The venue at the main stage was crowded and most of the people had a great time while partying with the band. Of course, there was a lot of fun on stage when FEUERSCHWANZ presented their medieval comedy. With several posters, the audience was even fired up more and overall, anyone had a good time and partied at this early hour of the day. // http://www.feuerschwanz.de / https://www.facebook.com/feuerschwanz // Setlist: 1. Metnotstand im Märchenland / 2. Wir lieben Dudelsack / 3. Wunsch ist Wunsch / 4. Hurra Hurra die Pest ist da / 5. Das niemals endende Gelage // Rating: 8 / 10
Ambassador 21 – Hangar [morTICIA]
Founded in 2001 in Minsk (Belarus), AMBASSADOR21 play Industrial / Digital Hardcore with powerful lyrics in English and Russian. Since then the duo was busily touring and performing on all kind of festivals as well all over the world. Furthermore they released lots of albums, appeared on manifold compilations and did numerous remixes. In their own words: The AMBASSADOR21 sonic hackers gonna to destroy your world! "Keep calm. The virus is now implanted in your head. It's part of your own system. An increasing sense of revolting euphoria is the first symptom to be detected. Addiction comes next. Fusion will be the ultimate stage of the infection. You'll then become one of us. Expect us!!!" Oh well... I surely did not become one of them as I definitely did not like the sound from the playback which was only a raging hammering and the aggressive “singing” style that was more screaming than singing. The inflationary use of the middle finger didn’t make it any better.
Well, at least there were some people who liked this kind of music/ performance as they were dancing to it. // http://www.ambassador21.com / https://www.facebook.com/ambassador21 // Setlist: 1. Fuck All Systems 14 / 2. Turn Yourself V.2014 / 3. Riot Generation / 4. Power Rage Riot Death V.2014 / 5. In Love V.2014 / 6. (Russian Roulette) First Aid / 7. Face Your Future Killers V.2014 // Rating: 6 / 10
Darkhaus – Main Stage [morTICIA & Dani]
The multi-national band, consisting of five members from four countries, started in 2011 to delight the people all over the world with their excellent Synth Rock music. Some might know Rupert Keplinger, the head of the band, already not only for being a multi-platinum songwriter and composer for his collaboration with some known German musicians, but also as guitar player for EISBRECHER. In 2013 the band launched its first album which is really recommendable. After the acoustic shock of the band I listened to before, I was very pleased to see this band again. Apparently I was not the only one who enjoyed this excellent live band, who is already praised and hyped already at the beginning of their career. But well, there is some reason for it even though the band did not re-invent the wheel but presents excellent rock music. During their short set at M’era Luna, they entertained the audience with songs like ‘Drive’, ‘Ghost’ or ‘Life Worth Living’.
If you cannot get enough of the band or want to check them out, they will be supporting LETZTE INSTANZ during their upcoming autumn tour. // http://www.darkhausmusic.com / https://www.facebook.com/DarkhausOfficial // Rating: 8 / 10
Solar Fake – Hangar [Niggels]
Sven Friedrich, singer of the more guitar-oriented bands ZERAPHINE and DREADFUL SHADOWS, started his solo project SOLAR FAKE to satisfy his love for electronic music. When he entered the second stage of the M'era Luna together with live keyboardist Frank Arnold it was obvious that SOLAR FAKE is just as popular as the other projects he's involved in, as the hangar was really well attended on this early afternoon. And the many people who turned up were not to be disappointed! After all, Sven Friedrich has one of the best and most recognizable voice of the Gothic scene, and the electronic grooves and melancholic tunes of SOLAR FAKE did not fail to impress, either. Presenting material from last year's album 'Reason To Kill' plus a handful of older favourites, SOLAR FAKE delivered an exciting 35-minute performance that featured dance anthems like 'No Apologies' as well as more balladry moments as 'Where Are You'. http://www.solarfake.de / https://www.facebook.com/SolarFake // Setlist: 1. I hate you more than my life / 2. No apologies / 3. Here I stand / 4. Reset to default / 5. Parasites / 6. Where are you / 7. One step closer / 8. More than this // Rating: 8 / 10
Letzte Instanz – Main Stage [morTICIA]
Since 15 years this German Alternative/ Goth/ Rock band are out to entertain the people. While in the early years there was a confusing mix of musical genres, like Medieval, Death Metal, Tango, Rock and 30-years Schlager, the guys finally decided to focus their style on Alternative/ Goth/ Rock. As they love touring and performing they know how to interact with the audience in order to have a big party. And the M’era Luna gig was no exception. While there was already a bigger crowd in front of the stage, the number was continuously growing during the performance and most of the people were clapping their hands to the songs and danced happily. Not to forget the obligatory stage dive of Benni, M. Stolz and Holly. By the way: their new album ‘Im Auge des Sturms’ (In the eye of the storm) will be released on the 29th of August this year and in autumn, the band will be presenting it on an extended tour. // http://www.letzte-instanz.de / https://www.facebook.com/letzteinstanz // Setlist: 1. Intro 2014 / 2. Nur für uns / 3. Flucht ins Glück / 4. Ganz egal / 5. Von Anfang an / 6. Sing! / 7. Rapunzel / 8. Wir sind allein // Rating: 7 / 10
[X]-RX – Hangar [Fee]
Being really curious about how [X]-RX would be like when playing live as they’re known for techno-like music and rave sounds, I was really amazed by what they were doing on stage. From the very moment they entered the stage, the audience was with them. Singing along, clapping hands. A more than full Hangar with dancing people looking happy and a band that really made the audience sweat with their songs made my [X]-RX experience a really good one. Thinking of so many concerts I saw in my life, I did never see and audience looking so happy after a show. Good job, [X]-RX! // www.facebook.com/XRxmusic // Rating: 9 / 10
Die Krupps – Main Stage [Fee]
Honestly, I have never seen DIE KRUPPS live before (shame on me!), so it was a bit of an adventure for me with a wild mixture of excitement and expectations. I didn’t get disappointed, just to mention that. Whoever was there or had seen the band live before knows about the energy they let the audience feel when playing their industrial-like music. First of all: No technical issues during their show this time. When playing Amphi festival in July there had been some trouble with the sound but this time people could enjoy the music without any interruptions or problems. Waving hands, dancing people, a lot of applause for a band which could look back to a career of 30 years and nothing more to say than Juergen and his machinists of joy brought some totally electronic energy to Hildesheim. // http://www.diekrupps.de / https://www.facebook.com/diekruppsofficial // Setlist: 1. Dawning of Doom / 2. Risikofaktor / 3. Der Amboss / 4. Schmutzfabrik / 5. Robo Sapien / 6. Metal / 7. Machine Music / 8. To The Hilt / 9. Nazis auf Speed / 10. Fatherland // Rating: 9 / 10
Spetsnaz – Hangar [Niggels]
Electronic Body Music in its purest, some may say most simplistic form were delivered on Sunday afternoon by Swedish duo SPETSNAZ! However, there's no doubt that it's very old school what Stefan Nilsson and Pontus Stålberg aka SPETSNAZ do, and a lot what they do seems to be a continuance of what NITZER EBB did in 1989 on their 'Belief' album. Nothing wrong with that, actually, at least when you in the middle of a packed venue with everybody around you dancing and sweating. Right in front of the stage there was the typical EBM crowd, thirsty for anything that's hard-hitting and uncompromising, starting to move their bodies when the first beat came in. You might argue that SPETSNAZ are copycats and a bit one-dimensional musically but there's hardly any other band which perform pristine and straight EBM with such a power and energy as SPETSNAZ does. When the inescapable club hit 'Apathy' kicked in it was welcomed by a big roar and with this track SPETSNAZ eventually also won over the casual bystanders in the back of the hangar.
A gig that did not offer many surprises but which nevertheless had an energy that truly did not allow an escape! // https://www.facebook.com/pages/SPETSNAZ/23395943282 // Setlist: 1. Darkling / 2. Between what ifs and might have beens / 3. Allegiance / 4. Degenerate ones / 5. Free fall / 6. Apathy / 7. Faustpakt / 8. Indifference / 9. Dead man’s eyes / 10. That perfect body / 11. Reign of wolves (EBM version) / 13. On the Edge / 14. Hardcore Hooligans // Rating: 7 / 10
Faun – Main Stage [morTICIA]
In 2002 FAUN saw the light of day. And since then they are known for creating an enchanting and powerful atmosphere by combining medieval and ancient instruments with modern influences. Most of the six members of the band play several different instruments and the two female singer enchant the audience with their vocals. The venue at the main stage was filled and lots of people were sitting enjoying the relaxed atmosphere while others were moving to the music. And even the rain that set in for a short while could not put the people to flight. // http://www.faun-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/FaunOfficial // Setlist: 1. Andro II / 2. Diese kalte Nacht / 3. Alba / 4. Zeitgeist / 5. Iyansa / 6. Tinta / 7. Rhiannon / 8. Hymn to Pan // Rating: 7 / 10
Hocico – Hangar [Fee]
It’s always a pleasure to watch HOCICO. May they be touring or playing festivals. Waiting for Erk and Racso is always worth it. This time not only the complete Hangar was full of people waiting for the Mexican electro band, but the band themself brought a nice surprise for the people with them. Some kind of special Mariachi band opened the show with their version of several songs and HOCICOs ‘odio bajo en el alma’ and got a lot of applause for it. What followed was the typical HOCICO show: Energetic, evil and just fun to watch. I can only recommend to see this band live as they bring so much power to the stage which jumps over to the audience. I’ll never get tired of watching HOCICO playing live, because watching them is worth every second of your time. // www.hocico.com / www.facebook.com/hocicoofficial // Setlist: 1. La Llorona (Mariachi version)/ 2. Cielito Lindo (Mariachi version) / 3. Odio Bajo El Alma (Mariachi version) / 4. Intro / 5. Dead Trust / 6. Untold Blasphemies / 7. Intruder / 8. Bite Me! / 9. T.O.S. of Reality / 10. Forgotten Tears (with Mariachis) / 11. Poltergeist / 12. Tiempos de Furia / 13. La Cucaracha (Mariachi version) // Rating: 10 / 10
Deine Lakaien – Main Stage [morTICIA]
If there had not been the advertisement in the newspaper in 1984 where Ernst Horn was looking for a singer who is happy to try out new things, these exceptional musicians Ernst Horn and Alexander Veljanov probably had never met. Since 30 years now this duo successfully produces music of high quality from the genre Dark Wave / Pop / Electronic / Avant-garde. Last year they performed at the M’era Luna, too, with an amazing acoustic set. This year they performed as full set with the support of a drummer. Except the last two songs they presented a mixture of their hits where many people in the audience knew the lyrics by heart and sang along with the band. The last two songs were a kind of premiere from the new album ‘Crystal Palace’. Once more a concert of high quality like we are used to of DEINE LAKAIEN. // http://deine-lakaien.com / https://www.facebook.com/DeineLakaien // Setlist: 1.Colour- Ize / 2. Reincarnation / 3. Fighting the green / 4. Into my Arms / 5. Over and done / 6. Europe / 7. Dark Star / 8. Gone / 9. Overpaid / 10. Nevermore / 11. Farewell // Rating: 9 / 10
De/Vision – Hangar [Niggels]
German Synth Pop at its best – Steffen Keth and Thomas Adam aka DE/VISION have come a long way in their more than 25 years long career. They've managed to maintain a pretty healthy level of popularity over the last few years, something that is not granted to many bands with such a long career. While the intro rings out, Keth and Adam plus their live drummer Markus Koestner enter the stage and with 'Binary Soldier' from their last album 'Rockets & Swords' one hour full of the band's hits started. Sure, with 13 albums up their sleeves DE/VISION could easily perform a three-hour set but this is a festival, after all, so focussing on the popular songs is pretty much a good idea. The fans got what they were craving for with classics as 'Your Hands On My Skin' or 'Strange Affection', and Singer Steffen Keth keeps himself busy with fervently (and successfully) getting the crowd involved when he's not singing. It's been quite a while since I saw DE/VISION live on stage, and I have to admit that I wasn't much a fan when the decided to become a full-blown Rock band live. More recently they decided to go back to their roots with a more electronic set-up as a three-piece, and at least for me this works so much better! Sticking to what you are really good at is sometimes a wise move.
At the M'era Luna, DE/VISION had a walk-over and the threefold of the vintage hits 'I Regret' and 'Try To Forget' plus the fabulous 2009 single 'Rage' made the mood inside the hangar exuberant. A pretty decent gig with an electrifying atmosphere which made clear, why DE/VISION is still a popular booking for festivals. // http://www.devision-music.de / https://www.facebook.com/pages/DEVISION/24741337633 // Setlist: 1. Binary soldier / 2. mAndroids / 3. Brothers in Arms / 4. Strange Affection / 5. I’m not dreaming of you / 6. What’s love all about / 7. I regret / 8. Try to forget / 9. Rage / 10. Time to be alive / 11. Your Hands on my Skin / 12. Flavour of the Week // Rating: 8 / 10
In Extremo – Main Stage [morTICIA]
This German Medieval Rock band is one of the most successful band of this genre with 1.5 Mio. sold albums. Including their actual album ‘Kunstraub’ they launched eleven albums since 1995. And even after 20 years the band is not tired to tour busily in order to have great parties with the audience all over the world. With a loud bang the show started. Besides some songs of their new album they presented a cross section of their productive period. The energetic performance was underlined with some firework and the huge crowd in the venue danced and sang along with the band. // http://www.inextremo.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialinextremo // Setlist: 1. Rasend Herz / 2. Zigeunerskat / 3. Vollmond / 4. Feuertaufe / 5. Viva La Vida / 6. Unsichtbar / 7. Gaukler / 8. Liam / 9. Himmel und Hölle / 10. Belladonna / 11. Sängerkrieg / 12. Frei zu sein / 13. Küss mich // Rating: 8 / 10
Covenant – Hangar [Fee]
If there’s one band I always need to watch, then it’s COVENANT. Honestly, if I could put Eskil Simonson next to my bed and let him sing for hours my lack of sleep would definitely minimize just because his voice is so overly beautiful. Mixing older and newer tracks for their headliner show at Hangar, the band made the audience move and smile. Some enjoyed tracks like ‘Call the ships to port’ more because it brought back some good memories, maybe. Others were totally satisfied by ‘Ignorance and Bliss’ from the latest release ‘Leaving Babylon’. With his beautiful voice, Eskil Simonson casted a spell over the audience, which was absolutely amazing to watch. // www.covenant.se / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Covenant-OFFICIAL/156626197713557 // Setlist: 1. Leaving Babylon (Intro) / 2. We Stand Alone / 3. Bullet / 4. Ignorance & Bliss / 5. The Beauty and the Grace / 6. 20 Hz / 7. Stalker / 8. Ritual Noise / 9. Der Leiermann / 10. Last Dance / 11. Call the Ships to Port / Encore: 12. Dead Stars // Rating: 10 / 10
And One – Main Stage [morTICIA]
Headliner and finishing act on the main stage was no less band than AND ONE. The Berlin based group came to life in 1989. Of course you are reminded of DEPECHE MODE, CAMOUFLAGE and the like when you listen to their songs, but nevertheless the band has their own style and the charismatic head of the band Steve Naghavi convinces quickly with a good vocal quality. Actually Steve announced in 2012 the end of AND ONE and to do a farewell tour, but as it looks like he made up his mind and thus short before the festival their ‘Trilogy’ (Magnet, Propeller, Achtung 80) album was released. Though headliner in the Hangar was COVENANT, the place at the main stage was crowded. With only two songs of the new ‘Magnet’ album and the rest songs that you could hear in every Gothic discotheque, the band was surely on the safe side to get the crowd going. It is of course very impressive to watch a big crowd waving their arms to some of the songs.
As an old stager Steve knows how to interact with the audience. And so the last concert of the festival ended as a big party. // http://www.andone.de / https://www.facebook.com/ANDONEoffiziell // Setlist: 1. Für / 2. Get you closer / 3. Schwarz / 4. Krieger / 5. Sometimes / 6. Unter meiner Uniform / 7. Everybody lies at Night / 8. High /9. Wasted / 10. Traumfrau / 11. Speicherbar / 12. Second voice / 13. So klingt Liebe / 14. Techno man /15. Military Fashion Show / 16. Shouts of Joy // Rating: 9 / 10
This fantastic and diverse weekend ended much too fast, though surely most of us needed some time to recover from all the partying. For the M’era Luna 2015 these first bands have already confirmed: ASP, BLUTENGEL, MONO INC., SALTATIO MORTIS, L'ÂME IMMORTELLE, SUICIDE COMMANDO, TANZWUT, LORD OF THE LOST, NACHTMAHR, COPPELIUS, UNZUCHT, VERSENGOLD and FROZEN PLASMA
Written by Dani Vorndran, morTICIA, Fee Wundersee & J. Niggels Uhlenbruch
All Pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)