4th July 2014
Darkflower Live Night Open Air: X-Divide, Rabia Sorda, Welle:Erdball, VNV Nation
It was hot on this July weekend. Ice cream melted within seconds into a sweet former ice cream stream, cold water turned into really warm water within five minutes and the sun was shining so brightly and hot in the Clara-Zetkin-Park in Leipzig that there was no way not to sweat or to complain about the heat. And so it was quite necessary to bring a hat, sun blocker and some creative things to cool yourself down at Leipzig's Parkbühne. Yes, wearing nothing (even less than usual at scene festivals) was a great idea but didn’t help that much. And so not only me but music friends from all over Germany came to fight against the heat while singing along to X-DIVIDE, RABIA SORDA, WELLE:ERDBALL and VNV NATION.
X-DIVIDE are a Synth Pop band from Cologne and yes, you might have already heard of the two members: Jens Domgören and Eric Schmaler. Some of you may know Jens from being the host of last year's 20th anniversary celebration of SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS or maybe as a host of other festivals. I can highly recommend him, he’s really entertaining. His band mate and singer Eric is not only into electronic music but also into Rock’n’Roll music. If I had to compare this band to others I would say their music sounds a lot like NAMNAMBULU (and I’m not the only one who said that this evening), while the voice of Eric reminded me of several Synth Pop singers. I can’t and won’t compare it to anyone else. I would call them a perfect opener for this evening as Jens was joking around and shooting with a water gun to cool the audience down.
I didn’t get wet as I found a place where no sun was burning. I didn’t like the DEPECHE MODE cover but there are not many DEPECHE MODE covers I do like and it was ‘Enjoy the Silence’, a song continuously covered and played live by so many bands. Maybe find an older, lesser known track and cover it, but don’t always use this song. This goes out to any band out there! In general I have to say that it’s quite sad that most of the people attending a festival always miss the first few bands. And it was like that on this weekend, too. Okay, heat and protecting yourself from a sunburn was a good excuse but I always see the same kind of situation. First bands – nearly empty venue, last bands – overly full. People, you miss a lot of good bands, you let your scene die if you don’t give an opener band the chance to convince you with their music - so please come to any festival or concert earlier.
I guess you all would have liked X-DIVIDE and now you may have to watch crappy YouTube videos to find out if they’re good or not. http://www.x-divide.de / https://www.facebook.com/xdividecologne
01. Sympathy (NNB Mix)
02. My Love is…
03. Holding on Sometimes
04. Crying over you
05. White Wedding (Billy Idol Cover)
06. Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)
Total: 8 / 10
Heat. The sun burning down. Ice cubes melting within two minutes. But there is definitely a reason to jump into the second row – RABIA SORDA! Just like me and my companions many people motivated themselves to show up now and meet up right in front of the stage. I mean, watching Erk jumping across the stage is always fun and his music is so energetic that no matter how cold or hot it is, you want to move and go crazy. Opening their set with ‘I’m tragedy’, my personal favourite track from the last release, Erk, Markus, their new keyboarder and their dancer girls wearing pig masks made everyone jump around and sing along. It’s always magical how this Mexican guy controls the audience. Yes, we were all melting but no one really cared during the RABIA SORDA show.
Erk who was wearing sunglasses was that kind to give some water to the crowd and just like Jens from X-DIVIDE he really cared about the people in the front of the stage area. Just like us, Erk and Markus seemed to melt, but delivered a show as energetic, loud and great as if there was no heat outside. It all got a little calmer when the band played ‘Hotel Suicide’, one of their slower songs. But it isn’t RABIA SORDA if there’s no loud track to finish the set and so Erk and his band ended their show with ‘Somewhere along the Road’, a perfect last song for this hot summer night. http://www.rabiasorda.com / https://www.facebook.com/rabiasordaofficial
02. I'm Tragedy
03. Die in Berlin
04. Out of Control
06. Obey Me! (Promises of Monsters)
07. Eye M the Blacksheep
08. Abuse Me
09. Radio Paranoia
11. Hotel Suicide
12. Somewhere along the Road
Total: 9.3 / 10
WELLE:ERDBALL are always highly entertaining as they deliver a show involving the audience, for example with throwing balloons to the people. It was the first time I saw the band performing with their new singer Lady Lila and it was WELLE:ERDBALL as usual. I couldn’t hear or see any differences so I guess the band has found a good substitute for Plastique. Once WELLE:ERDBALL started, the sun gave up burning down that much and here and there you could feel a little bit of wind blowing. Great after having such a heat for hours.
I watched the band from the right side, waiting for RABIA SORDA to get both Markus and Erk interviewed with my colleague Britta from peek-a-boo magazine. Sitting and watching WELLE:ERDBALL was fun. I never saw them from afar, I was always in the crowd, singing along, playing with the balloons and enjoying the glitter. But WELLE:ERDBALL works as well when you’re not in the crowd. You can’t say anything bad about them playing live. Sometimes I have the feeling that they should change their setlists more, but that’s only a little thing to mention. http://www.welle-erdball.de / https://www.facebook.com/WelleErdball
01. Tanzpalast 2000
02. Wir wollen keine Menschen sein
03. Der Türspion
04. Hoch die Fahnen
06. Der Telegraph
07. Schweben, Fliegen und Fallen
08. Die Liebe der 3. Art
09. VW Käfer
10. Starfighter F-104G
11. Es geht voran
Total: 9 / 10
When Ronan Harris and his mates of VNV NATION entered the stage, the hot sun was already gone and the temperature had fallen down to a way better level. Yes, the band with the most dance and lighter factor had the chance to play under really good circumstances. Ronan Harris came on stage in a really good mood, joking around with the audience and animating them to clap their hands or to sing along. So it was way better than the past shows of VNV I attended. No complaining about the light or the sound, just a musician doing his job.
Yes, the heartache level reached level 100 when they once again played ‘Illusion’, while the dance mood level had its climax when they played ‘Control’. A really good VNV NATION show, nothing to complain about. The band left the stage with a happy but sweaty audience ready to go to the after show party at Darkflower club. https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation
Total: 9 / 10
All pictures by Michael Bock (www.michabockphotography.de / https://www.facebook.com/MichaBockPhotography666)