24th to 25th October 2015
Festival Day: Eisfabrik, T.O.Y., Mesh, Anne Clark, Covenant
You might have already seen pictures of the fourth Gothic meets Klassik Festival on some photographers' websites. Certainly, the first video clips are circulating, or your friends told you about it and now you're vexed about having missed out on the event. And there's reason to fret for the line-up was grandiose. Next to EISFABRIK, T.O.Y., MESH, and ANNE CLARK the Swedes from COVENANT together with Daniel Myer appeared as guests at the Haus Auensee in Leipzig putting the audience in the mood for dancing. For those who have never heard of this festival: On one of the two festival evenings you can listen to electronic sounds, while on the other, some bands are accompanied by the marvellous symphony orchestra from Zielona Góra, Poland.
Well, how did I spend my Saturday? Since my colleague Daniela from RoD visited me, we had a relaxing breakfast as a start and then hit the road downtown where, during our lunch, some confused, middle-aged man declared in the best Saxon dialect his love for us and said that my cleavage looked like the Alpine foreland. You can imagine how that must had looked like, but this much I can tell you: I wasn't even wearing a neckline. After twenty minutes, security walked our midday entertainer out; apparently his harassing most of the guests at the Chinese diner and starting to clear the tables was simply too much. As the day progressed we spontaneously joined in a pro-refugees and anti-PEGIDA demonstration. Escorted by the police, the crowd of demonstrators, that wasn't as big as usually on Mondays in Leipzig, wandered through the city and “Refugees Welcome” shouts echoed through the streets. But I don't want to bore you with political statements and will proceed with the musical evening now.
The evening in Haus Auensee opened with a band that doesn't want to reveal the true names of its members yet, hiding behind pseudonyms such as Dr. Schnee, Der Frost, and Celsius. Their nice stage decorations with the band's name in colour changing letters, the musicians wearing cosy winter jackets, and the surprise of flying snowflakes during the show made up the perfect concept of winter, ice, and snow. Musically, I found the band to be live much better than on the record. On their album ‘Eisplanet’, the vocals were too artificial-sounding making me think of plastic, live, however, that wasn't the case. Thank you for that, and please avoid further overproduction on the next record; more people might want to listen to you then. What did I miss? Oh yeah, the funny, glowing man walking on stilts who came on stage during a song – nice idea, not my cup of tea though, still, not too horrible. I believe one can compare the band's sound best to a blend of FUNKER VOGT and COVENANT. They describe themselves as “spherical”, but I didn't hear much of that. EISFABRIK may surely be recommended to friends of Future and Electro Pop. // www.eismusik.de / https://www.facebook.com/eisfabrikofficial // Setlist: 1. Eisplanet / 2. Polar Night / 3. Walking Towards the Sun / 4. A Million Lights / 5. Strom / 6. Ice Crystal / 7. Maschinen / 8. Friends // Rating: Total: 8.5 / 10
“Finally!” That's what I thought when Volker Lutz and his men from T.O.Y. entered the stage. They were one of the bands I was really looking forward to seeing that evening. I think it was last year that I heard of them for the first time, at the 20th anniversary of SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS, and I fell immediately in love with Volker's voice. In addition to praising the vocals, it should be noted that T.O.Y. are a band that sounds exactly like on record – despite the fact that Volker Lutz had a cold this evening. The audience awoke when they played ‘Welcome to Space Radio’; remembering the song people slowly started to sing along and dance around, everyone up until the last rows. During EISFABRIK's show the first ten rows were partying hard. By switching between calm songs that were partly accompanied by guitars and faster, danceable pieces, T.O.Y. perfectly paved the way for MESH, the bringers of great vibes. More about them, in the following… // http://www.toy-music.info / https://www.facebook.com/pages/TOY // Setlist: 1. Pixy Snow / 2. The Final Night / 3. Welcome to Space Radio / 4. Long Distance Ride / 5. Dream With Me / 6. Do Dreams Bleed? / 7. Virtual State / 8. We Are Electric / 9. True Lovers / 10. My Way to You / 11. For Gold // Rating: Total: 9 / 10
Good evening MESH, hello merry mood! Finally! After a short break, synth pop sounds made all present at Haus Auensee come out of light hibernation and start to jump. With their energy on stage MESH electrified the audience; the people's singing along to songs such as ‘Crash’ or ‘Last One Standing’ seemed to echo even outside awaking the giant carps in the Haus Auensee and putting them into party mood as well. It appeared as if people eagerly awaited MESH. My favourite song was ‘Born to Lie’, but I cannot describe one particular favourite moment of the MESH concert. What I really want to emphasize here, is that it's been a long a time that I saw a show in which the band and audience were so present, full of energy, and so cheerful. I think we need concert moments like these more often. A concert depends on energy, happy and dancing people, and emotions – and MESH succeeded in creating a perfect counter-image of an audience falling asleep. // www.mesh.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/meshtheband // Setlist: 1. Flawless / 2. You Didn't want Me / 3. Petrified / 4. Last One Standing / 5. Crash / 6.Born To Lie / 7. Taken For Granted / 8. From This Height // Rating: Total: 10 / 10
Well-known for sprechgesang, spherical sounds, and a touch of the mysterious, the co-headliner of the evening, ANNE CLARK, entered the stage. At the risk of being verbally stoned to death, I have to say that I'm not able to make sense of her music. It wouldn't bother me to have her songs as background music, but they don't make me feel anything. They neither make me want to dance, nor remain silent or be sad. But they make me want to listen. For me, ANNE CLARK is music to relax and I guess people who went outside for a smoke during the performance, or to get some drinks, or to talk with their friends discussing the shows so far, feel the same way. Seeing it this way, ANNE CLARK probably was a good choice – her chanting singing style was suitable for a public break giving us the chance to catch a breath and gather some strength for the following electro sounds of COVENANT. // www.anneclarkofficial.com / https://www.facebook.com/anne.clark.music/ // Setlist: 1. Oxford suite / 2. Seize the vivid sky / 3. Alarm call / 4. Heaven / 5. Leaving / 6. Killing time / 7. Elegy for a lost summer / 8. The haunted road / 9. Echoes remain for ever / 10. No coward soul is mine / 11. The hardest heart / 12. Whisper of shells / 13. Abuse / 14. Our darkness / 15. Sleeper in Metropolis // Rating: Total: 8.5 / 10
Right now, I would like to recall my last COVENANT experience and doing so, I'm taking a deep breath at this moment. It's not only that I had been horrified by the band's performance, all right, I had been actually shocked because of Eskil, who seemed to be out of control, but there were also some interesting and even stressful phone calls regarding my article back then. Thus, once again the thought, “Please, let everything work out all right today”, came over me. And I wasn't the only one pleading that evening as photographer and journalist friends didn't make any bets for fun regarding “hurdy-gurdy man” being word-perfect or not; everyone agreed: “Tonight everything has to go smoothly, or...” And everything worked out fine, actually, even better than just fine. After I had been really angry and shocked about the show in spring, I now want to raise my hat to COVENANT: there were no bloopers this time when it comes to lyrics, no missed cues, not a single mistake. I had never experienced the band as sharp as on that evening and the fact that they played ‘Tension’ made everything even better.
Now I would like to write that they've never been more amazing, but I can't. Why is that? I will explain in the review of the second day of the festival. To all of those who wondered where Daniel Jonasson was on that evening and why he was replaced by Daniel Myer: Well, family comes first, and addition to the family even more. So our congrats to Daniel Jonasson and his new family member. // www.covenant.se / https://www.facebook.com/Covenant-OFFICIAL-156626197713557 // Setlist: 1. Intro: Babylon dawn / 2. Bullet / 3. Thy Kingdom come / 4. Tension / 5. Riot / 6. Wasteland / 7. Brave new World / 8. Ignorance and Bliss (long) / 9. 20Hz / 10. Prime Movers / 11. Improvisation / 12. Lightbringer / 13. Last Dance / 14. Call the Ships to port / Encores: 15. Happy Man / 16. Ritual Noise // Rating: Total: 9 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)
Written by Josie Leopold, translation by Layla Ayobi