11th till 12th August 2018
M’era Luna Festival 2018 Day 1 with Markus Heitz, David Grashoff, Christian von Aster, Cyborg, Whispering Sons, Erdling, Cephalgy, Merciful Nuns, Eisfabrik, Zeraphine, Rabia Sorda, Tanzwut, Das Ich, Lord of the Lost, Clan of Xymox, The 69 Eyes, Welle:Erdball, Apoptygma Berzerk, Nachtmahr, Ministry, In Strict Confidence, In Extremo, London After Midnight, The Prodigy
Day-flying moths and nocturnal Goths, from here and afar, they’ve all been eagerly awaiting the second weekend of August. It was finally time for the M’era Luna moon to rise and shine again. The airfield in Hildesheim, Germany, was once again transformed into a Gothic wonderland inviting dark music lovers to spend an eventful weekend with friends old and new. After the first visitors had put up their tents, the traditional Friday readings rang the festival in.
According to tradition, the festival was kicked off at 8pm on Friday inside the Disco Hangar. Attending these readings is always highly recommended. People took a seat on the benches or found a spot at the sides to stand closer to the stage. Like in the past years, Markus Heitz was beginning and Christian von Aster was ending the readings. In-between, there were thirty minutes time for David Grashoff. While it was in the beginning slightly noisy at the bar in the back, we gave an ear to the first German author: Markus Heitz presented his new ‘Doors’ project. No other writer has been awarded the German Fantasy Prize as often as Markus Heitz, which is why he is rightly considered the grand master of German fantasy. With the bestseller series ‘Die Zwerge’ (‘The Dwarfs’) he left his stamp on classic fantasy and conquered the urban fantasy with his werewolf and vampire thrillers.
Second man of the evening was David Grashoff, who already took part at the 2015 M’era Luna. Although he is now turning grey, David Grashoff still stubbornly refuses to grow up. On stage, he talks about his life as a father and nerd and his many failed challenges of life. Other people may do this in a more charming way, but not Grashoff. His humour is as subtle as a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire and with the flame of a Bunsen burner he burns images into the brains of the audience that will stay with them. Always balancing on the fine line of political correctness, he mercilessly goes where it hurts and gets down and dirty! David Grashoff has found himself accidentally on TV Total and Nightwash. He does not like animals bigger than him. David Grashoff made all Goths in the hall laughing hard once again. His texts were evil, provoking, ribald but always honest and entertaining.
Finally, it was once again Christian von Aster who had the “pleasure to be the last one”. As always, the verbal acrobat made the audience laugh whole-heartedly and interrupt the author with rounds of applause for his witty rhymes. Christian von Aster lovingly draws his audience in with his program “Just recently, in the seventh circle of hell”, then proceeds to scare them into dark laughter with his sinister stories about orcs, potatoes and moody love-letter carrying pigeons. In addition he delivers extraordinary love stories, lectures on the fine art of emotional literature and even endeavours with satire, poetry and expressive dance. It couldn’t get any more hilarious than with Christian von Aster. After the readings, there was of course the traditional warm-up party at the Hangar.
And after the first night on the M’era dance floor, at the campsite, or some hotel room in town, the following two days had the old familiar M’era Luna extravaganza of great live music in store. On the whole, 21 diverse artists graced the Main and the Hangar stage on the first day of the festival.
Cyborg - Main Stage (LAy)
Sci-Fi Metal act CYBORG came into being in 2012. They had won this year’s “Newcomer Contest” and therefore had the honour of opening the festival at the Main Stage at 11 o’clock sharp. The band hails from Hamburg and with their riff-laden music, Micha (vocals), Sebastian (drums), Peer (guitar), and Philipp (bass) plan on taking their listeners to the end of the universe and back again. Their debut album, ‘/Maschine’, came out in July, 2017. They kicked off their set with their “Cyber power” tune titled ‘Stahl und Fleisch,’ the opening track on the record. Fittingly, a circle of blue LED lights shone through their black shirts presenting the musicians not only as men of flesh and blood, but also as men of steel.
For the second song ‘Lebensecht’, special guest Patrick of DUNKELSUCHT contributed to the vocals. The last song ‘U.S.S. Ikarus’ made the morning crowd clap along as the song started. It is also the final song on the album presenting calm verses on the one hand, and brute choruses on the other, clear piano notes next to some serious guitar shredding. Micha invited the long-haired M’era Luna fans not only to join in the head-banging, but also to come to their full-length club shows. This October, CYBORG will hit the road for their “Stories of Chrome Tour”. // http://www.cyborg-band.com / https://www.facebook.com/CyborgBand // Setlist: 01. Stahl und Fleisch / 02. Lebensecht / 03. U.S.S. Ikarus
Whispering Sons - Hangar Stage (LAy)
There the early M’era Luna guests stood inside the Hangar - stunned by the dark Post Punk compositions with beautiful New Wave sounds, psychedelic outbursts, and the captivating deep voice of Fenne Kuppens. Even though there was still a lot of room inside the venue at that hour, WHISPERING SONS earned well-deserved rounds of applause by those who were there. The young band from Brussels formed in 2013, released their first EP ‘Endless Party’ in December 2015, and won “Humo’s Rock Rally”, Belgium’s most prestigious music competition in April 2016. The band must have gained some new fans at M’era thanks to their hypnotic, doom-laden yet driving and energetic live performance. Impossible to stand still during tunes like ‘Walls’.
One can only look forward to the release of their debut album ‘Image’ which will be out on 19th October. WHISPERING SONS made a lasting impression on us and we will definitely catch them on tour. Next chance to experience the band live at a German festival will be at the NCN Festival in Deutzen on 7th September. With the sinister and gripping new title ‘Waste’, which grows in intensity and gives way to a piercing scream, an atmospheric 25-minute-long set came to an end very soon. Shouts for an encore after the last song for the first band inside the Hangar. // http://www.whisperingsons.com / https://www.facebook.com/WhisperingSons // Setlist: 01. Alone / 02. Performance / 03. White Noise / 04. Hollow / 05. Wall / 06. Waste
Erdling - Main Stage (Marko)
The German Dark Rock band ERDLING was founded in 2015. In 2016, their debut album ‘Aus den Tiefen’ appeared. In 2018, there were two personnel changes when Pierre Anders (bass) and Christian Eichlinger (drums) joined the band. In July 2018, their third album of the band ‘Dämon’ was released. Two years ago, ERDLING played for the first time at the M’era Luna, also on the Main Stage. Now they are back in Hildesheim with their new album and of course to present some of the new songs to their fans. However, the concert started with a classic, the great song, ‘Mein Element’ from the album ‘Supernova’. The mood at lunchtime was great from the beginning. ERDLING then played as their third song, their current single, ‘Wieso Weshalb Warum’. Singer Neill said that even though the weather was not so good today, it is still cool to be here. (In the early morning it had rained for the first time in Hildesheim for a long time, and it was much cooler than it had been for weeks.)
The next song was called after the band and Neill said by the third album it was the right time for that. Now ERDLING had the audience firmly under control and the band jumped together with the fans with the next new song - ‘Tieftaucher’. Neill told the audience that he had just recently gotten married - with his guitarist as his best man - and had only just returned from his honeymoon in Finland. Before the last song ‘Blitz und Donner’ fans were asked to squat down - it looked really well when everyone stood up again on command. Neill played and sang today without his makeup and with sunglasses and delivered a great festival appearance with his band. // https://www.erdling-band.de / https://www.facebook.com/erdlingofficial // Setlist: 01. Mein Element / 02. Du Bist Soldat / 03. Wieso Weshalb Warum / 04. Erdling / 05. Tieftaucher / 06. Blitz Und Donner
Cephalgy - Hangar Stage (LAy)
Electro act CEPHALGY from Dresden were up next inside the Hangar. Last year, their latest record ‘Gott Maschine Vaterland’ came out via Out of Line. The four-piece presented catchy tunes like ‘Deine Seele’, ‘Blut zu Blut’, and ‘Engel Sterben Nie’. The applause for the latter one was somewhat more enthusiastic. Of course CEPHALGY’s songs made their fans move along to the beat, but most of the audience were rather listening and maybe waiting for EISFABRIK to hit the stage next. Vocalist Jörg Göhler addressed the crowd trying to animate people, but the audience just could not get electrified. I cannot tell if this had maybe changed as the gig went on since I had to get back to the Main Stage really quick. MERCIFUL NUNS were about to appear... // http://www.cephalgy.de / https://www.facebook.com/Cephalgy
Merciful Nuns - Main Stage (LAy)
One might had wondered why the mighty MERCIFUL NUNS were scheduled to play such an early slot at 12:35pm outside in the midday sun. If there were any doubts that this could make their performance less one hell of a show, these must had been cleared up immediately once the intro resounded. The NUNS, Artaud Seth (vocals, synths), Jón Thmo (guitar), and Jawa Seth (bass) - of course all of them were wearing their shades - gathered their devoted fans at the big stage for a black celebration of stellar Occvlt Post Goth. Needless to say, that MERCIFUL NUNS are not a mainstream act, and thus their audience knew to appreciate their sonic wizardry at M’era Luna. The bass and guitar sound coming out of the speakers was matchless and Artaud’s deep dusky vocals unmistakeable. After a fast-paced beginning with ‘Neo Alpha Genesis’ followed by ‘Cremation’ and the NUNS played the new title ‘Blue Lodge’ from their final record ‘Anomaly X’ (out since April 2018). With ‘Body Of Light’ the band spread some FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM vibes and ‘Karma Inn’ was simply ecstatic making the fans dance.
For the more poppy, beautiful tune ‘Eternal Decay’ Mr. Seth got behind the synthesiser. Anyone else out there who had a Gothic DAVID BOWIE moment during that one? Obviously, their anthem the ‘Allseeing Eye’ from the 2016 album ‘Thelema VIII’ was not to be missed. After its ambient intro there was one more thundering smasher, ’Exosphere’, which finally led to ‘Blackbody/ Ultraviolet’ - simply a perfect closure and the fitting purple lights added some colour to the show in the end. With Artaud’s words “Have a nice time, see you in another dimension, in another place, thank you very much,” the trio left the stage after forty minutes filled with truly stirring sounds from the universe. Don’t miss MERCIFUL NUNS at their “Solar Lodge Convention” in Bochum on 10th November! // http://www.mercifulnuns.com / https://www.facebook.com/MercifulNuns // Setlist: 01. Neo Alpha Genesis / 02. Cremation / 03. Blue Lodge / 04. Body Of Light / 05. Karma Inn / 06. Eternal Decay / 07. Allseeing Eye / 08. Exosphere / 09. Blackbody/ Ultraviolet
Eisfabrik - Hangar Stage (LAy)
Let it snow! Doc Snow, Frost, Celsius arrived from the far north and brought all friends of Future Pop one of their distinctive “Ice Factory” shows in the middle of summer. EISFABRIK got the polar Synth party started with the stomper ‘Soon Enough’. Doc Snow’s mike stand was glaring in frosty blue light. As always, EISFABRIK didn’t just play their catchy, beat-driven tunes but delivered an art show including snowflakes raining down inside the jam-packed venue. A giant snowman stood next to the white-dressed musicians. A polar bear and a Yeti joined them on stage jumping and dancing and making the crowd clap their hands. It was celebration across the act’s discography and the fans had a ton of fun with tunes like ‘Maschinen’, ‘White Storm’, and many more till the final melodic smasher ‘Friends’. // http://eismusik.de/eisfabrik / https://www.facebook.com/eisfabrikofficial // Setlist: 01. Soon Enough / 02. Polar Night / 03. A Million Lights / 04. Maschinen / 05. The Choice / 06. Schneemann / 07. The Survival of the Strongest Mind / 08. White Storm / 09. Walking towards the Sun / 10. Friends
Zeraphine - Main Stage (LAy)
HIM might have signed off, but we still have ZERAPHINE! And they were finally back at M’era Luna. We’ve been waiting very patiently for the band around vocalist Sven Friedrich to appear at the festival again after their last show back in 2010. And so, lovers of dark and heartfelt, honest and meaningful Alternative Goth Rock gathered at the Main Stage to join in one of ZERAPHINE’s rare concerts. It has also been eight years since the release of the band’s last opus ‘Whiteout’. Faces full of expectation all around me. Finally, guitarists Norman Selbig and Manuel Senger, bassist Michael Nepp, drummer Marcellus Puhlemann, and Sven entered the stage to kick things off with the German titles ‘Lieber Allein’ and ‘Die Macht in dir’. They were greeted by their long-time fans and suddenly I was surrounded by pure bliss. ZERAPHINE made their listeners beam from ear to ear and the diehard singing along in front of me threw his hands up in disbelief.
The band played like they never stopped touring full-time and ‘Be My Rain’ from ‘Traumaworld’ (2003) was celebrated greatly. Sven’s darkly deep vocals during the verse and Manu’s harmonic background singing and the old familiar melodies made the crowd cheer in between the choruses and clap along. After ZERAPHINE played the title track of their 2006 record ‘Sill’ Sven announced: “The next one isn’t really for festivals, we’ll play it anyways...” What followed was the terrific ballad ‘Kaltes Herz’ which made for a real highlight. Beautiful vocals presented in a calm manner during the verse gave way to a powerful heart-wrenching refrain. A big round of applause made the vocalist laugh and say: “Thank you, that’s very kind of you.”
The band wanted to make the most of their 40-minute-long set and the riff of ‘Inside your Arms’ resounded. And we kept on rocking with ‘Out of Sight’ and ‘No Tears’. In between, ZERAPHINE’s wonderfully lyrical love song ‘Louisa’ was of course not to be missed. Let me just quote, “Living seems so easy when we melt in our embrace,” and say no more. The band closed with the oldest track of their M’era set: The anthem ‘Die Wirklichkeit’ taken from their debut ‘Kalte Sonne’ (2002) raised all arms up into the air. Time flew by too fast together with ZERAPHINE. Simply fantastic. Until next time! // http://zeraphine.de / https://www.facebook.com/ZeraphineBand // Setlist: 01. Lieber allein / 02. Die Macht in dir / 03. Be my rain / 04. Still / 05. Kaltes Herz / 06. Inside your arms / 07. Out of sight / 08. Louisa / 09. No tears / 10. Die Wirklichkeit
Rabia Sorda - Hangar Stage (LAy)
RABIA SORDA stand for hymnal Electro Punk and a lot of fun. Mixing the harsh and the melodic has made the act around Erk Aicrag, the “King of the Wasteland”, and a fan favourite among electro-heads. The Hangar Stage was full to bursting. We came to dance wildly to tunes like ‘Out of Control’ from the ‘Noise Diary’ album. ‘Shut Up and Dance’ - that’s exactly what the band’s fans did. RABIA SORDA were as energetic as always and earned one hurricane of applause after the other. What a killer gig filled with addictive, intense electro smashers. There was no time to catch your breath between the songs as RABIA SORDA know how to put the pedal to the metal. Wickedly good! // http://www.rabiasorda.com / https://www.facebook.com/rabiasorda // Setlist: 01. Perfect Black / 02. Deaf / 03. Violent Love Song / 04. Out of Control / 05. Shut Up And Dance / 06. King Of the Wasteland / 07. We’re not Machines / 08. Turbulence / 09. Walking on Nails
Tanzwut - Main Stage (Nastja)
Right after ZERAPHINE reunited on the Main Stage before, the melodic Goth Rock sound changed to the energetic Crossover mix by TANZWUT. Bagpipes, Rock and a massive amount of energy are the characteristics of TANZWUT. Right from the beginning the huge crowd was enthusiastically celebrating the gig of this legendary band even at this early time of the day. A lot changed during the last decades, but Teufel, the frontman and singer, is still a Teufel (“Devil” in German) with his red horn hairstyle and outgoing appearance. This guy knows how to catch everyone. The band opened their show on this perfect, not too hot, but also not a cold day, with the majestic BEETHOVEN’s 9th symphony. A more epical start is hardly possible. The Medieval Rock band didn’t need to do much, the crowd celebrated with them through the gig with classic hymns like ‘Meer’ or the newer ‘Freitag, der 13.’ and enjoyed this great and cheerful performance on this Saturday afternoon. // http://www.tanzwut.com / https://www.facebook.com/TANZWUTOfficial // Setlist: 01. Götterfunken / 02. Schreib es mit Blut / 03. Meer / 04. Freitag, der 13. / 05. Das Gerücht / 06. Stille Wasser / 07. Reiter ohne Kopf / 08. Geteert und gefedert / 09. Spiegelkabinett / 10. Brüder im Geiste
Das Ich - Hangar Stage (Nastja)
DAS ICH just came back from an extended US tour, so it happened, that they said “thank you” in English which they explained with the fact being on the road in US. The legendary band that co-created the “Neue Deutsche Todeskunst” style in the early 90ies is as unique as a band can be. Though their show didn’t change that much over the years, it is still very impressive to see the keyboard construction along with the epic microphone stand that Stefan Ackermann uses that underlines the brachial sound. I remember watching DAS ICH the first time at M’era Luna in 2010 which was also my very first time at M’era Luna and being impressed by Stefan who was jumping all over the stage, but telling the audience later that he actually had a bounced rib. Wow. I am always very happy and grateful still to be able to see Stefan Ackermann and Bruno Kramm with the other band members on stage after the serious illness that Stefan had to fight and managed successfully.
During their first gig after the break due to the illness that happened when Stefan got better I literally had tears in my eyes because it was still very recognizable that he was not totally well yet. This time the show seemed nearly as energetic as before though Stefan had to admit right before the last signature song ‘Gottes Tod’ that he “was getting old”, snorted briefly, turned back to the audience and said with a teasing grin “but so do you, too”. The 40 minutes gig was full with amazing songs like ‘Die Propheten’ or ‘Kain und Abel’ and let us forget most of the time how much time passed by since their release. // http://www.dasich.de / https://www.facebook.com/DasIch.fans // Setlist: 01. Die Propheten / 02. Kain und Abel / 03. Kannibale / 04. Uterus / 05. Das dunkle Land / 06. Was bin ich? / 07. Gottes Tod
Lord of the Lost - Main Stage (Marko)
LORD OF THE LOST released their new album, ‘Thornstar’, at the beginning of August 2018. There have already been two pre-released singles for the album - ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’ and ‘Morgana’ - of course there are, as always, totally cool video clips to accompany these. And, of course, the fans were waiting to hear the new songs to be played live at M’era Luna Festival. The new giant ‘Thornstar’ backdrop adorned the stage during the appearance of LORD OF THE LOST. The band almost always comes up with something new visually as well. Today singer Chris entered the stage in a skin-tight patent top and black patent arm warmers. Luckily for him this particular Saturday was a bit cloudy and not so hot. His neck and forehead he had made completely black with theatre make-up. He also wore completely black contact lenses - overall, the look was pretty cool.
The concert began straight away right with a song from new album, ‘On this Rock I will build my Church’. At the end of the song, Chris smashed his guitar on the metal platform in pure Rock’n’Roll style. Next came ‘Dry The Rain’, one of the first big hits from the band. Chris invited the audience to sing for him. Many took him up on this invitation and there was a great mood. During ‘Drag Me To Hell’ bassist Class Grenayde and guitarist Pi danced and jumped wildly almost in wild sync on the stage. You could see that the whole band were having a lot of fun. It must be a great feeling to present your songs in front of over 20,000 people. And if you then ask the fans “I want to see your hands” - and all comply - this must be a fabulous sight from the stage. In the song ‘Prison’ as with every LORD OF THE LOST concert, the fans sang: “What is Heaven For?”
With ‘Morgana’ and ‘Haythor’ came two more songs from the current album ‘Thornstar’. The album has reached number six in the mainstream German album charts - wow! Congratulations! On the song ‘Blood For Blood’ Chris then left the stage and continued singing down at the barrier where he was held tight by a fan. During the last song, ‘La Bomba’, Class crashed into the crowd and was passed around on the hands of the fans while filming it with his camera. He was definitely the crowd-surfing master of this year’s M’era Luna. Guitarist Pi then gave a fan the destroyed, broken guitar from the beginning of the concert. It was a terrific performance in which LORD OF THE LOST will have gained even more new fans. Surely a sold-out tour in October will follow. // http://lordofthelost.de / https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelost // Setlist: 01. On this Rock I will Build My Church / 02. Dry The Rain / 03. Morgana / 04. Drag Me To Hell / 05. Prison / 06. Six Feet Underground / 07. Haythor / 08. Blood For Blood / 09. La Bomba
Clan of Xymox - Hangar Stage (LAy)
The vast discography of Dutch Electro Goth rockers CLAN OF XYMOX goes back to 1984. Frontman Ronny Moorings and his partners in crime lured their fans inside the Hangar to revisit and enjoy the old familiar, melodic and infectious XYMOX tunes. The show began with their atmospheric title track and opener of their latest record ‘Days of Black’ (2017). Later on, the band also presented ‘Loneliness’ and ‘Your Kiss’ from the album. The rest of the set consisted of older Goth rock classics such as ‘Jasmine and Rose’, to be found on the ‘Creatures’ album (1999), and the fan favourite ‘Emily’ from ‘In Love We Trust’ (2009). The timeless tune ‘A Day’ (1985) closed a typical melancholically sweet and nostalgic CLAN OF XYMOX gig. // http://www.clanofxymox.com / https://www.facebook.com/clanofxymox.official // Setlist: 01. Days Of Black / 02. Going Round / 03. Obsession / 04. Loneliness / 05. Your Kiss / 06. Jasmine and Rose / 07. Emily / 08. A Day
The 69 Eyes - Main Stage (Marko)
THE 69 EYES were founded in 1990 in Finland. The band’s line-up is unchanged since 1991. In their successful career they have so far released 12 albums and many of their albums have made it to #1 on the Finnish charts. Their last product, ‘Universal Monsters’, came out in 2016. These “Helsinki Vampires” have also celebrated considerable chart success in Germany. Unfortunately, the appearance of THE 69 EYES was delayed due to technical problems. The many waiting fans were already a little impatient, because they knew that at a festival any lost time cannot easily be attached onto the end. After about 15 minutes delay, it was finally time. The five Rockers from Finland entered the M’era Luna Main Stage and kicked off the concert with 2003’s ‘Framed In Blood’.
All dressed in black leather, singer Jyrki was wearing a jacket with very long fringes, and drummer Jussi played, as so often, bare-chested. As usual for this band in Hildesheim they had the Rock fans completely under control. They have already played many, many times at M’era Luna and said it was “great to be back!” Other hits followed, such as ‘Feel Berlin’ and ‘Gothic Girl’ and Jyrki thanked the big cheers from the audience in German. With the song ‘Jet Fighter Plane’ they included a song from the current album. The singer introduced the song ‘Brandon Lee’ with a quote from the film ‘The Crow’: “It can’t rain all the time”. After that, unfortunately too soon, it was time for the last song, ‘Lost Boys’, but a really great song to rock along to with.
“Thank You M’era Luna, thank you very much” - the band said goodbye to the audience. It was a great performance by the Finns, which the fans celebrated with storming applause. Nevertheless, the shortened playing time due to the earlier technical problems was very annoying, especially because as it is the only one appearance of the band in Germany this year. Now there are only a few concerts left in Finland and Russia on the current tour schedule for this year, before the band works on material for the next album. // http://69eyes.com / https://www.facebook.com/the69eyes // Setlist: 01. Framed in Blood / 02. Feel Berlin / 03. Gothic Girl / 04. Jet Fighter Plane / 05. Dead Girls Are Easy / 06. Never Say Die / 07. Brandon Lee / 08. Lost Boys
Welle:Erdball - Hangar Stage (LAy)
Next, minimal Electro Pop was on the Hangar’s programme. WELLE:ERDBALL was formed in 1990, initially under the name HONIGMOND, and their debut ‘Der Sinn des Lebens’ (trans. “The Meaning of Life”) came out two years later. Their latest record titled ‘Gaudeamus Igitur’ was released last year. After a short delay, the act began their 10-songs-set with the new tunes ‘1000 Engel’ and ‘20.000 Meilen unter dem Meer’. As expected, the act was spreading their characteristic W:E vibes of nostalgia and their fans loved it. A lot of white WELLE:ERRDBALL balloons were hanging in the air. Some were popped, some kept as mementos. // https://www.welle-erdball.info / https://www.facebook.com/WelleErdball // Setlist: 01. 1000 Engel / 02. 20.000 Meilen unter dem Meer (Tax-5 Remix) / 03. Deutsche Liebe / 04. Arbeit Adelt / 05. Schweben, fliegen und fallen / 06. Der Türspion / 07. 23 / 08. VW Käfer / 09. Ich bin aus Plastik / 10. Starfighter F-104G
Apoptygma Berzerk - Main Stage (LAy)
Frontman Stephan L. Groth and the gents of APOPTYGMA BERZERK called us to the Main Stage for an outstanding Synth show. A huge crowd was already waiting for APOP and then the hit song ‘Love Never Dies’ sounded the bell for a high-class Electro Rock meets Future Pop concert. What an unreal kick off. This year, the band is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ - Can you imagine? They played ‘Burning Heretic’ from that album before moving on taking their good-humoured audience on a journey across their discography.
Needless to say that tracks like the stompers ‘Non-Stop Violence’ or ‘Until The End Of The World’ and the space-y tune ‘Kathy’s Song’ made the airfield dance and sing from the heart. A great time thanks to the Norwegian act’s driving show and stellar sound very soon came to end after the last song they shared at M’era: ‘Mourn’. // http://www.theapboffice.com / https://www.facebook.com/ApoptygmaBerzerk // Setlist: 01. Love Never Dies / 02. Burning Heretic / 03. Deep Red / 04. Non-Stop Violence / 05. Near / 06. Kathy’s Song / 07. Shadow / 08. Asleep Or Awake? / 09. Starsign / 10. Until The End Of The World / 11. Mourn
Nachtmahr - Hangar Stage (LAy)
Right after WELLE:ERDBALL it was time for Industrial “dance dictator” NACHTMAHR to raise the roof of the Hangar. “Supreme Commander” Thomas Rainer founded the project in 2007. He and the boys, all dressed in camouflage, and the girls in uniform entertained their fans with harsh, repetitive beats and addictive melodies. A lot of fists were raised. For Techno fans this was the place to be and stomp along to NACHTMAHR’s “Imperial Austrian Industrial”. I witnessed only the first minutes of their “total club domination” though, as duty called me straight back to the stage in the open where MINISTRY were to be welcomed. // https://www.facebook.com/nachtmahr.band // Setlist: 01. Wir schreiben Geschichte / 02. Weil ich‘s kann! / 03. Tanzdiktator / 04. Mädchen in Uniform / 05. Gehorsam / 06. Firmament / 07. Strenge Liebe / 08. Can You Feel the Beat? / 09. Katharsis
Ministry - Main Stage (LAy)
Ready for mighty MINISTRY at the Main Stage? Frontman Al Jourgensen founded the project in Chicago back in the eighties, called it quits in 2008, and reunited the band in 2011 again. People had hoped for a killer industrious Metal show and that’s what they got. It was loud, it was raw, and it was wild. ‘I Know Words’ served as a perfect intro. Samples of Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan introduced ‘Twilight Zone’ from MINISTRY’s 14th record titled ‘AmeriKKKant’ (out since March 2018). Al switched between presenting his distorted screams and playing the effective harmonica riff. Three further new titles found their spot on MINISTRY’s M’era set: ‘Victims of Clown’, ‘Wargasm’, and ‘Antifa’ - perfect life songs with all those riffs and scream along choruses.
Even though the video screens were not showing the band but psychedelic and brightly coloured clips, one could not miss the two giant blow-up chickens representing Trump with anti-Nazi symbols on their bellies that were situated at each corner of the stage. Al clearly made his statement when he repeatedly kicked the chickens during the show. More aggression and Thrash during the band’s super-fast-paced ‘LiesLiesLies’: “Gentlemen we have called you together to inform you / That we are going to overthrow the United States government...” MINISTRY are alive and kicking. And they are on a mission. How about you? // http://ministryband.com / https://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry // Setlist: 00. I Know Words / 01. Twilight Zone / 02. Victims of a Clown / 03. Punch in the Face / 04. LiesLiesLies / 05. Wargasm / 06. Antifa / 07. Just One Fix / 08. So What
In Strict Confidence - Hangar Stage (Nastja)
Many of the bands that play at the M’era Luna know each other for a very long time already. So it is also for IN STRICT CONFIDENCE and DAS ICH. Both bands shared the stage already back in 1999 during their US tour. This year’s gig at M’era Luna was a perfect retrospective though the creating time of the band that Dennis Ostermann, singer and frontman, founded already back in 1989 - 1990. IN STRICT CONFIDENCE’ album ‘Holy’, released back in 2004 when I was just 15 still discovering the music world of the dark scene, impressed me a lot. Not only the music, but also the artwork was mind blowing. And this is something that seems to have been very important through all the years, the unique electronic music along with the individual aesthetics that the band is recreating new all the way during their career.
Whether it was ‘Morpheus’, ‘Somebody Else’s Dream’ from 2016th EP, the well-known ‘Zauberschloss’ or the legendary ‘Forbidden Fruit’, the music appears timeless even 20 years later. The specific sound and the clear and deep voice of Dennis Ostermann, combined with the female parts, performed by the gorgeous and talented Nina de Lianin, make IN STRICT CONFIDENCE a very special band in the music universe and so it was a pleasure to see them live on stage again. // http://www.instrictconfidence.com / https://www.facebook.com/instrictconfidence // Setlist: 00. Intro / 01. My Despair / 02. Promised Land (Clubmix) / 03. Kiss Your Shadow / 04. Everything Must Change / 05. Seven Lives / 06. Forbidden Fruit / 07. Set Me Free / 08. Somebody Else’s Dream / 09. Morpheus (Clubmix) / 10. Herzattacke (Clubmix) / 11. Engelsstaub / 12. Zauberschloss (Extended)
In Extremo - Main Stage (Judith)
Okay, my hands are up - I am a huge IN EXTREMO fan, I have seen them in small theatres, castles, on boats, during acoustic sets, festivals, headline tours... but nothing excites me more than IN EXTREMO at M’era Luna. Since their first appearance here in 2002, they have stomped onto this stage seven times before. On Saturday they took to the main stage at 8:45pm - and they played that magical slot during which daylight turns into night-time darkness. The crowd was in a great mood - the first M’era day had been a great success, the sun had shone, friends had been met, drinks had been imbibed, expectations were high. The band entered the stage with a bang and launched straight into ‘Quid Pro Quo’.
As always with IN EXTREMO live, the songs are punctuated with special fire effects, but also watching the band members never disappoint - with seven of them on stage there is always something; the unspoken interactions between pipers Andre and Marco, Specki head-banging and pummelling the hell out of his drums, the charisma of lead singer Michael, the solid bass sounds coming from Kay. With excellent sound clarity, they performed songs that almost everyone was singing along to. Their set was never going to be very surprising, and as expected, they played crowd favourites such as ‘Frei zu Sein’. Everyone around me was dancing and singing and clapping and shouting, even linking arms during ‘Sternhagelvoll’.
However, there was one unexpected song with ‘Rotes Haar’ from the 1998 album ‘Weckt die Toten’. After what seemed like no time at all, Das Letzte Einhorn announced the last song - I looked at my watch in disbelief, was it over already? There were so many more songs that they could have/should have played! But unfortunately yes - M’era Luna keeps to a very tight time schedule and 75 minutes of IN EXTREMO magic came to a perfect end with ‘Piske Palve’. // https://www.inextremo.de/de / https://www.facebook.com/officialinextremo // Setlist: 00. Requiem/ Intro / 01. Quid pro Quo / 02. Feuertaufe / 03. Vollmond / 04. Störtebeker / 05. Unsichtbar / 06. Lieb Vaterland / 07. Mein Rasend Herz / 08. Frei zu sein / 09. Rotes Haar / 10. Sängerkrieg / 11. Sternhagelvoll / 12. Himmel und Hölle / 13. Pikse Palve
London After Midnight - Hangar Stage (LAy)
Legendary LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT hasn’t been only on my personal M’era Luna wish list for many years. The Alternative Rock project was created by mastermind Sean Brannan in the 90s. And it was back in 2002 that the band from Los Angeles played at the festival for the first and last time till this year. Their loyal following squeezed in front of the stage waiting in the dark for the band to come out. Next to all the German fans, international M’era Luna guests from Russia and South America were keen on seeing the Hangar headliner.
The crowd was super excited. Before the show began, video clips were advertising upcoming LAM albums on the screen. “New music is coming” is very good news indeed. Then, Sean and his brothers in crime hit the stage throwing red roses into the audience. Original bass player Michael Areklett was also welcomed back on stage. ‘Psycho Magnet’ with its Oriental vibes and changes in tempo was the first tune to take the crowd on a diverse ride across LAM’s unique and eclectic song-spaces. Getting to hear timeless songs like ‘Spider and the Fly’, ‘Shatter’, ‘Claire’s Horrors’, ‘Demon’, and ‘Kiss’ live at M’era Luna was a real treat. Meanwhile, THE PRODIGY started to party hard outside at the Main Stage and LAM thanked their fans who stayed for them.
LAM’s performance showed us once again that there is no band as socio-critical, hauntingly beautiful, smart and soulful, and simply sparkling dark as LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. The undying melodies of ‘Sacrifice’ marked the end of a stellar headliner show inside the Hangar leaving behind a speechless crowd. // Setlist: 00. Intro / 01. Psycho Magnet / 02. Your Best Nightmare / 03. Spider and the Fly / 04. Shatter / 05. After the End of the World / 06. America’s a Fucking Disease / 07. Revenge / 08. Claire’s Horrors (acoustic/minimal mix) / 09. Demon / 10. A Letter To God / 11. Kiss / 12. The Bondage Song / 13. Sacrifice
The Prodigy - Main Stage (Nastja)
This year’s very special guest at M’era Luna was THE PRODIGY. The festival is known for inviting at least one band that is clearly very well-known far beyond the scene borders. Unfortunately I missed the beginning of their show due to the overlapping gig of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT whom I didn’t want to miss at any price. But hell, was it painful to know that I have to decide between these two so different and matchless bands and couldn’t see both shows in full length. But everything I could see and hear from THE PRODIGY after LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT’s gig and even during the song breaks (the hangar stage is actually not so far away from the main stage, so in between it was not possible not to hear THE PRODIGY blowing away everything) was a blast.
The light show was incredibly crazy and amazing and the bass, holy cow. What the hell, there is a good reason why this band is so huge all over the world breaking down all music borders. THE PRODIGY transformed the M’era Luna infield into a huge dance floor and were not giving up until the last one was dancing. Though such huge acts lead to discussions every now and then between the visitors, it is mostly a great opportunity to experience musicians beyond the known territory.
For me, THE PRODIGY is a band that I’ve already listened to when I was very young because of my older brother and it was a dream coming true to experience them finally live. And they totally met all my expectations. // http://www.theprodigy.com / https://www.facebook.com/theprodigyofficial // Setlist: 01. Breathe / 02. Resonate / 03. Nasty / 04. Firestarter / 05. The Day Is My Enemy / 06. Roadblox / 07. Voodoo People / 08. Need Some 1 / 09. Get Your Fight On / 10. Omen / 11. Run With the Wolves / 12. Invaders Must Die / 13. Smack My Bitch Up / Encores: 14. Their Law / 15. Take Me to the Hospital
On the whole, all M’era lunatics had a splendid Saturday. Most acts delivered outstanding shows making their fans happy. The festival’s popularity keeps on growing and the grounds were well visited from the early hours on. As the day went on, it felt too crowded though, when you wanted to run from one stage to other and get inside an already packed Hangar. In contrast to last year’s mud fest, this year the weather Goths had been more gracious. It was sunny, but not too hot. Bearable temperatures, slightly dry and dusty, and only the wind made M’era Luna’s characteristically great sound somewhat less perfect at times. But we would be having better luck with that on the second day of the festival.
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)