26th - 28th May 2016
Rock im Revier Day 2: Wild Lies, The Raven Age, Tremonti, Ghost, Sabaton, Iron Maiden
Today is the day that many Rock im Revier visitors have been waiting for. On this second festival day IRON MAIDEN will be on stage and their fans gather early. Around noon, the venue is already packed with people eagerly talking and buying shirts. This is going to be a hot day, as the line-up mainly consists of hard rock and metal bands. I wonder if the sound is going to be better today, and indeed it is. There are still some issues with loudness and microphones but sound quality in general has improved. And I am looking forward to another great day at Rock im Revier.
Today’s opening band comes straight from the UK. WILD LIES have been playing many festivals since their formation in 2013. They are hot and fresh and hard rock for sure. Enchanting guitar riffs and heavy arrangements are supposed to heat up the crowd. They play a short set with songs from their 2013 EP ‘Jack’s Out the Box’ as well as their new single ‘Asteroid Central’. WILD LIES play viciously although it is obvious that the crowd is waiting for the metal bands yet to come. I still like the music, and the guitars sound great. Lead singer Matthew Polley repeatedly engages the audience and people seem to have fun, too. I recommend the five guys to everyone who likes hard rock with solid lyrics. // http://thewildlies.com / https://www.facebook.com/TheWildLies // Rating: 7.5 / 10
The Raven Age
It is not my intention to fuss about the sound any more, but THE RAVEN AGE suffer from bad mixing. Here they are, five cool guys form London who play rather melodic metal with just the right amount of aggressiveness. Unfortunately, the music is just too loud. Guitars are screaming but I can hardly pick up the melodies. Which are, by the way, pretty good if you listen to their debut EP from 2014. Michael Burrogh has a good if not perfect voice. Unlike other melodic metal bands, lyrics and arrangements from THE RAVEN AGE sound rather laid back while they definitely know how to attack and leave a first good impression—as you can hear in the single ‘Angel in Disgrace’. // http://theravenage.org / https://www.facebook.com/TheRavenAge // Rating: 7 / 10
I am very happy to see Mark TREMONTI live on stage. Considered one of the best guitarists in the US and well-known from Bands like Creed and Alter Bridge—if not generally—it is wonderful to see him perform at Rock im Revier. He and his touring band play a very short set. TREMONTI play thirty minutes but it is enough to get excited. Mixing up metal, hard rock, progressive rock, grunge, and blues, I am all ears. The new single “Dust” is a great example for how talented Mark really is. His voice also sounds great and is in absolute harmony with his guitar. It is a moody yet moving piece of art. An overall amazing if far too short gig that leaves me quite stunned. // https://fret12.com/mark-tremonti / https://www.facebook.com/MarkTremonti // Rating: 8.5 / 10
Band number four is an evil formation from Sweden and I am honestly thrilled to see them. GHOST have been my secret favourite and I feel tense and jittery about their ritual. It starts with a playback from ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ that pulls me right into the first song ‘Spirit’ from their latest album ‘Meliora’. On stage: Papa Emeritus III and his five Nameless Ghouls. Awarded with a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the single ‘Cirice’, their music mixes elements of metal, classic and various other rock genres. The audience is left to flirting with the devil during a most pressing, sensual, sweaty experience with ten songs from three GHOST albums. Their striking presence on stage combines vicious music ideas with theatrical elements and satanic images. How am I supposed to sum up the alluring guitar riffs and stunning visuals? Not at all. It is blasphemy and I love it. // http://ghost-official.com / https://www.facebook.com/thebandghost // Setlist: Miserere mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song) / Masked Ball (Jocelyn Pook song) / 01. Spirit / 02. From the Pinnacle to the Pit / 03. Ritual / 04. Prime Mover / 05. Devil Church / 06. Cirice / 07. Spöksonat / 08. He Is / 09. Year Zero / 10. Absolution / 11. Mummy Dust // Rating: 10 / 10
So I am all sweaty and heated up and more than ready for another great show. Band number five are Swedish power metal heroes SABATON. I already know I will be sweating more. The five band members with Singer Joakim Brodén enter the stage after a playback of ‘The Final Countdown’ and people throw their hands in the air and roar in rapture. SABATON excel in powerful performances. Drums on a tank, pyrotechnics, and the whole military setup are the basis for a heavy night. People are having a blast. It is extremely hot in the Westfalenhalle as the band plays a set with songs from six albums. The crowd shouts “Noch ein Bier!” during ‘Gott mit uns’ and the music fills up the venue. SABATON have more in stock. After the regular set, they play an encore with three more songs. Throughout the show, the atmosphere has been terrific and I head outside for some fresh air feeling greatly entertained. // http://www.sabaton.net / https://www.facebook.com/sabaton // Setlist: The Final Countdown (Europe song) / The March to War / 01. Ghost Division / 02. Gott mit uns (Noch ein Bier - Version) / 03. Carolus Rex (English version) / 04. Swedish Pagans / 05. Resist and Bite / 06. The Art of War / 07. To Hell and Back / Encore: 08. Night Witches / 09. Primo Victoria / 10. Metal Crüe / Dead Soldier's Waltz / Masters of the World // Rating: 8,5 / 10
Thursday: Ed Force One lands in Düsseldorf. Fans are waiting, watching. Tonight, heavy metal icons IRON MAIDEN rock Dortmund. The venue is packed and hot. After the last shows this is going to be hell - but in the most positive way. The crowd is already thundering in excitement when the IRON MAIDEN show starts and reveals an Aztec setup with temples and blazing flames. Bruce Dickinson appears, singing ‘If Eternity Should Fail’. People are shouting, screaming, out of control. As the rest of the band enters, fans rage with joy. IRON MAIDEN play a set of twelve songs, many of them from the new album ‘The Book of Souls’. Never missing: Eddie, the devious mascot, on a big screen with changing backgrounds. The visuals are creative and pyrotechnics increase the heat, but the music is what fans are raving about: galloping rhythms and bass lines, strong guitar solos, and Bruce Dickinson’s unique voice. In the second half, sound quality improves drastically.
The encore brings three songs and Big Eddie on stage, concluding a bombastic night with the classic ‘Iron Maiden’ from their debut album. And what a night it has been. // http://ironmaiden.com / https://www.facebook.com/ironmaiden // Setlist: Doctor Doctor (UFO song) / 01. If Eternity Should Fail / 02. Speed of Light / 03. Children of the Damned / 04. Tears of a Clown / 05. The Red and the Black / 06. The Trooper / 07. Powerslave / 08. Death or Glory / 09. The Book of Souls / 10. Hallowed Be Thy Name / 11. Fear of the Dark / 12. Iron Maiden / Encore: 13. The Number of the Beast / 14. Blood Brothers / 15. Wasted Years / Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python song) // Rating: 8.5 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)