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introWestfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany
26th – 28th May 2016
Rock im Revier Day 1: Prime Circle, Powerwolf, Garbage, Mando Diao

For the second time, rock and metal fans head to Rock im Revier festival. Last year, more than sixty bands played on three stages in and around the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, and about 45,000 people were having a blast. This year, Rock im Revier feels less like a festival and more like a concert. The line-up has shrunk considerably, counting less than twenty bands. On the first day, not too many people have come. We are at one of my least favourite venues, the Westfallenhalle in Dortmund, now.

Does an indoor rock festival work? Partly. Sound issues like indistinguishable guitars, inaudible bassists and far too low singers, and an overall muddy and squishy texture to the music reduce parts of the performances to noisy nonsense. Besides, first headliners MANDO DIAO from Sweden are obviously not to everybody’s taste. Then again, festivals live on diverse line-ups and Rock im Revier is no exception to that rule. Furthermore, the indoor shows had no need to worry about the weather and the rain outside.


Prime Circle

PRIME CIRCLE open up the festival on Thursday. The five-person rock band from South Africa has been writing a story of success over the last fifteen years. Now they are touring Germany with their latest album ‘Let the Night in’. Although they are very popular in their home country, way too few people care to listen to them. The crowd remains so-so, although the performance is rock-solid and the light show is great. Lead singer Ross Learmonth delivers his lines with a powerful deep, raw voice while Dale Schnettler hits the drums hard. I am impressed by the raw energy of the last song, new single ‘Ghosts’ and I overall enjoy their 40-minute set. // / // Rating: 8 / 10



People gather and it’s getting crowded and hot in the Westfalenhalle. The mass begins. POWERWOLF start with a great intro that instantly captures the audience. And what a mass it is. POWERWOLF are great to look at: stage setup, make-up and clothes let them appear even more vicious and that just suits their strong performance. I am listening to an amazing German power metal band with amazing fans. There are some guitar problems first but after they fixed, I let myself get torn away by heavy guitar and organ sounds and forceful drums. All the while, the Greywolf brothers are heating up the venue with their fast guitar riffs. Attila Dorn humours the audience and leads the crowd through an energetic show worth watching. What a blast it is and in the end, I feel blessed and possessed; definitely my favourite performance of the day. // / // Rating: 9 / 10



The nineties are back as soon as the US alternative rock stars GARBAGE enter the stage. Lead singer Shirley Manson jumps around like she used to in the past. Her four band members deliver the grungy sound we have grown up with. And what would a GARBAGE gig be without their hits ‘Stupid Girl’ and ‘Only Happy When It Rains’? Shirley Manson gives the fans what they want and even more. The new album is soon to be released and the audience’s appetite is quickened with the single ‘Empty’. Although GARBAGE deliver well and Shirley Manson performs frantically, not everybody in the venue seems convinced. Yet people enjoy themselves and for a while, even I feel like a teenager again. // / // Setlist: 01. Automatic Systematic Habit / 02. Empty / 03. Stupid Girl / 04. Special / 05. Blood for Poppies / 06. #1 Crush / 07. Control / 08. I Think I'm Paranoid / 09. Only Happy When It Rains / 10. Why Do You Love Me / 11. Push It / 12. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) / 13. Vow // Rating: 7 / 10


Mando Diao

It is pitch dark as MANDO DIAO enter the stage with glaring torches and as the crowd welcomes the Swedish rock band frenetically. Lead singer Björn Dixgard welcomes the fans and the party begins. Listening to the five musicians’ energetic performance means pure fun. Since their formation in 1999, MANDO DIAO have entertained people all over the world. Tonight, the audience in the Westfalenhalle gets excited over a great set of alternative rock songs. ‘Losing my Mind’, ‘Mr. Moon’, and ‘Hit me with a Bottle’ are performed with acoustic guitars only, so people can catch their breath until MANDO DIAO reach their grand finale. They return with another three songs, among them ‘Gloria’ and the famous ‘Dance with somebody’ which conclude the encore and a successful first festival day. // / // Setlist: 01. White Wall / 02. Sweet Ride / 03. Lady / 04. Never Seen the Light of Day / 05. The Band / 06. Money / 07. Sweet Wet Dreams / 08. Losing My Mind (acoustic) / 09. Mr. Moon (acoustic) / 10. Hit me with a bottle (acoustic) / 11. You Got Nothing On Me / 12. Watch Me Now / 13. Amsterdam / 14. Lonely Driver / 15. Down in the Past / 16. It's Now or Never / 17. Gloria / 18. Dance With Somebody // Rating: 8.5 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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