7th to 10th June 2019
Wave Gotik Treffen 2019 day 3 with ArHai, M.I.N.E, Faelder, Empathy Test, Christian Death, Priest, Lord Of The Lost, Sono, London After Midnight, Solar Fake
Another warm and mostly sunny day in Leipzig on WGT Sunday. A little bit more of sleep and the camping ground neighbours played an awesome PRODIGY mix that once more reminded of the tragic loss we all experienced this year when the front man Keith Flint passed away in March. Still unbelievable.
Generally speaking we were really lucky with the song choices of our neighbours this year. Last year a camp a few meters away from ours decided to wake up the camping ground every morning around 7am with a song called “Guten Morgen Sonnenschein”. The infinite joys of staying at the camping area. But this time we’ve got to hear a lot of Old-school Goth music, already mentioned PRODIGY or just many other scene hits from bands like COMBICHRIST, ASP, ZEROMANCER and more. Couldn’t wish for much more.
ArHai - Heidnisches Dorf (Nastja)
I decided to spend the day not travelling around, but starting with an early visit at Heidnisches Dorf before switching over to Agra stage for the first time this year. Heidnisches Dorf was not that filled yet around 2pm when I came, so it was a really enjoyable start into the third day. ARHAI are Jovana Backovic born in Serbia and Adrian Lever, both living in London. The word “Arhai” comes from the ancient Greek language and means “principle”, “ancient” or “beginning”. The project was founded in 1999. Jovana is singer and composer and Adrian plays a variety of special instruments like tambura or medieval dulcimer. ARHAI spread their fairy-like sound all over Heidnisches Dorf. The music of ARHAI shows elements of medieval Balkan and Gaelic roots, Electronica and Serbian folk music.
While the visitors tried to find some very areas in the shadows to hide from the early afternoon sun and not get the first sunburn of the year (I already failed on Saturday while enjoying a cold lemonade at the Sixtina backyard - ouch), ARHAI bewitched the audience with their so dreamy, magically beautiful music and soft vocals by Jovana. The performance itself turned out very minimalistic. No decorations, no sophisticated outfits - just casual clothing and two almost shy seeming musicians making music. A welcomed change in the fanciful, so diverse and beautiful, but sometimes almost overwhelming environment of WGT. The music spoke for itself and was a beautiful start into the third day of music and more. // https://www.facebook.com/TheArhai
M.I.N.E - Westbad (Marko)
At the start of the gig it was still cool in the Westbad when the band M.I.N.E took to the stage. M.I.N.E is the project of singer Marcus Meyn from CAMOUFLAGE, guitarist Volker Hinkel, who was successful worldwide with the band FOOLS GARDEN, and drummer Jochen Schmalbach, who is known by his collaborations with ALPHAVILLE, A-HA and THE FANTASTIC 4. Musically, the three musicians in M.I.N.E move between Pop music and Electro-Wave. In May 2018, their debut album ‘Unexpected Truth Within’ was released and in 2019 the E.P. ‘Remixed’ came out. Marcus thanked everyone that so many had turned out to see them at such an early hour: “We really appreciate that” he said to the almost full Westbad. The mood was great and was further heated up by Jochen and Marcus encouraging everyone to clap along. It was an absolutely great show at the beginning of day three with many cheers between the songs.
In the course of the concert Jochen changed from the keyboard to the drums. The sound became even richer, even more dynamic and rousing. Now it was so warm in the club that Marcus had to grab a towel several times to wipe the sweat from his face. Marcus discovered a friend from Chile in the audience and he waved to her and said: “See you later”. After the well-known CAMOUFLAGE mega hit ‘The Great Commandment’, there were loud cheers and M.I.N.E were persuaded to come back for an encore. Finally, there was a particularly emotional, slow version of ‘Suspicious Love’, another CAMOUFLAGE song. // https://www.mine-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/minemusicband // Setlist: 01. Memory / 02. Undone / 03. That Smiling Face / 04. The One / 05. Wonder / 06. If… / 07. Dangerous / 08. Shine / 09. You Were There / 10. The Things We’ve Done / 11. The Great Commandment / 12. Suspicious Love
Faelder - Agra (Nastja)
After having a break at the Agra area, having a look into the mall hall, and getting a snack while sitting outside and watching all the beautiful people walking by, it was about time for the concert program at Agra to start as well. The first band that played came on stage at 5:30 pm and was announced by Oliver Klein as an “All-Star-Band” and “mix of UNHEILIG and IN EXTREMO”. Their debut album is called ‘Unheilbar’ and even that name reminds of UNHEILIG. The keyboarder and producer Henning Verlage is actually known as former member of UNHEILIG, and guitarist Sebastian Lange and drummer Florian “Specki” T. D. are known as members of IN EXTREMO.
The singer Kai Niemann has been successful in the early 2000s and now all together they form FAELDER. The band’s genre can be described as Dark Rock or Pop Noir. German lyrics that are able to serve bigger crowds. Really strong enthusiasm in the crowd didn’t show up that much, but those who came seemed to enjoy the show and go with the flow. To me, it didn’t add up to my festival experience. Nothing that made me curious for more or caught the attention. Technically okay, but kind of too basic and felt like something that one just has heard before. // https://www.facebook.com/faelder.official
Empathy Test - Westbad (Marko)
The second band in the Westbad was the British high-flyers EMPATHY TEST. Through numerous appearances in recent years their profile in Germany has risen sharply. In September and October 2019 they will embark on a big US tour together with AESTHETIC PERFECTION. Their stage was decorated with a big, colourful backdrop. Already, a hundred-meter-long queue was in front of the Westbad, so going out of the club was not a good option. Not even the smokers dared to leave the venue! But there was no reason to leave - the gentle tones of the British band were very well received by the WGT audience.
EMPATHY TEST played a nice set that sent the audience totally crazy, with the first rows lined with the biggest fans of the band. The voice of singer Isaac was very clear. But soon he was just as sweaty as the fans. “Man, is it hot in here - I would love to have a ballad now, but I have none!” the singer said. Finally, their well-known hits in followed: ‘Demons’, ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Here Is The Place’. With the words “Bye - see you at the merchandise stand”, Isaac Howlett said goodbye to the great Leipzig audience. // https://www.empathytest.com / https://www.facebook.com/empathytest
Christian Death - Agra (Nastja)
One more time Oliver Klein came on stage to introduce the next band. As he said, they were founded in 1979 and then he asked who in the audience was already born back then. Maybe about half or even smaller part of the audience that filled up quickly for this next gig, raised their hands. CHRISTIAN DEATH is a big name in the scene and one of these bands that had a huge influence on the scene from the time the scene just was born. The name was well-known to me, but to be honest I never consciously listened to them somewhere. So I didn’t expect anything and was ready for almost everything. The stage decoration was full of roses, some of them creeping around the mic stands.
The performance started with a 10-minutes-long DJ set by their Tokyo based member. A really nice Industrial inspired set actually! Nothing that I was expecting from a band that was found in 1979. The set was really cool, enjoyable and a little bit crazy and shamanic. The main part of the concert was more like I would think of it. A very strong Goth and Death Rock theme, legendary riffs and mystic music and vocals. The songs changed between male and female main vocals and I could hardly believe that these guys have already been making music a decade before I was even born. Valor Kand and Maitri managed to bring the legendary roots of Goth Rock in the present time without making them look and sound odd or old. The announcements, mostly by Valor, had a tendency to feel a bit weird though. As he said, he was pretty drunk and I don’t hesitate to believe him. But so quality of the performance itself was on point.
Just as a friendly tip for anyone playing in Germany - never, just never site these lines from the new RAMMSTEIN song called “Deutschland”. Just don’t do it. If you want to know why, ask a friend. Beside of that Valor was giving away compliments like a pro - “what a sex fucking crowd” - and a touch of the Rock’n’Roll attitude of the good ol’ days flew through Agra. The encore was dedicated to those who “we lost to drugs” and Valor added “So if you are taking drugs, please do it responsibly”. Wise words from an experienced man. Really a cool gig with great songs for all generations of Goths celebrating all together. // https://www.facebook.com/christiandeath
Priest - Westbad (Marko)
During the change-over between the bands the legendary THE CURE album ‘Disintegration’ was played over the speakers in the Westbad. A huge red PRIEST lettering was attached to the stage as a backdrop. Swedish Synth Pop band PRIEST have already been guests on tour with AESTHETIC PERFECTION in Germany this year. They also played at the E-Tropolis Festival and Out Of Line Weekender. At the beginning of this year, the band’s current EP, ‘Obey’, was released. The mood in the crowd for the Swedish Electro beats was great, especially in the front rows. “We are here for the first time and happy about it - thank you for being here, you are looking great!” is how the Swedes greeted their fans after the first song.
Well-tuned songs, such as ‘History In Black’, were an invitation for everyone to dance. When you see the band for the first time, you may expect harder sounds. Almost everyone in the audience clapped along to the song ‘The Cross’ the good mood was now at its peak. With the words: “Vielen Dank, Leipzig” they thanked us in German. The band surprised the audience by throwing some CDs into the audience, among them, the current single. Finally, to loud applause and with the words “Thank you Leipzig, we love you” they said goodbye to the fans in the Westbad. // https://www.facebook.com/priestofficial
Lord Of The Lost - Agra (Nastja)
Alright. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen LORD OF THE LOST live in the last seven years since I had the pleasure to see them for the first time, but the guys from (almost all of them) Hamburg never fail to surprise and just add another highlight on your list of visited concerts. By the time when they were about to start, the Agra hall was really packed and that is for a good reason. Especially the first part of the setlist was dominated by songs from the current album ‘Thornstar’ that are just majestic and made for the big stages. The performance was everything that you could expect from professional musicians. Along with light, fog and all the special effects the concert was like a perfect theatrical Metal play. The energy felt very thick, intense and filled with adrenaline and the crowd was instantly infected by the incredible life power.
In between of all the professionalism there is always space for some jokes and moments to wonder about the boys fooling around. Chris’ glitter outfit was just on point for that perfect occasion. After the emotional and epic ‘In Darkness In Light’ Chris made an announcement that when they played at WGT before, a dream of him and the band was to play someday at the Agra when it got dark outside. And now as he was talking about it, that dream just came true. This message felt so pure and honest. By all means, if there is one band that really deserves all the success because of all the cool music of course, but also the hard work they put in, than these are the guys. The final part of the gig was picked with some specials, like ‘It’s a sin’, a cover of a PET SHOP BOYS song that they already performed earlier on tour this year.
‘Blood For Blood’ also got a makeover and turned into a jumping workout. Drill instructor Chris Harms obviously had a lot of fun while giving instructions to the thousands of people in the venue (“And jump … And now don’t forget to breath”) and the jump wave worked perfectly. Must have been an amazing view from the stage. Following ‘Doomsday Disco’ and the forever hymn ‘Die Tomorrow’. After that the guys changed quickly their shirts or to be exact put new ones over their outfits and the message felt so incredibly strong. All of them were now wearing black shirts with big letters saying “FCKAFD” (note: AFD is a German conservative and right-wing party) and the applause and reaction of the audience was amazingly loud and huge. Wearing the shirts LORD OF THE LOST performed their last song ‘La Bomba’ that feels to me as the perfect, crazy song celebrating life and being whatever you are and want to be.
An incredibly great and so much needed message. It is not about making “politics”, it is about the fight for human rights, love and acceptance and I was glad to see that this was not the only time that people with a strong voice and some popularity in the scene used it to defend these values. Have never felt better being part of this scene. I could write like forever about this gig, but I guess, you probably got it. After the last song the musicians immediately jumped into the photo pit to take some pictures and chat with the fans before the next band was about to come on stage. A night to remember. // https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelost // Setlist: 01. On This Rock I Will Build My Church / 02. Loreley / 03. Morgana / 04. Black Halo / 05. Drag Me To Hell / 06. Prison / 07. Under The Sun / 08. Haythor / 09. In Darkness In Light / 10. Dry The Rain / 11. Six Feet Underground / 12. It’s A Sin (PET SHOP BOYS cover) / 13. Blood For Blood / 14. Doomsday Disco / 15. Die Tomorrow / 16. La Bomba
Sono - Westbad (Marko)
The penultimate band on Saturday was the appearance of the Hamburg band SONO. The band was founded in 2001 and reached the German charts with some of their albums and singles. No wonder then that there was hardly any room left in the Westbad. SONO’s keyboardists stood behind a large table with Apple computers - the sound they created was somewhere between Pop and Electronica. Singer Lennart came on the stage for the first song with his guitar and announced: “We are glad to be back in Leipzig”. But apparently there had been a few problems in this area for the band as during the last two visits to the city their car was stolen! Therefore they did not have their complete range of merchandise with them but Lennart said “The shirts can be ordered in the online shop”.
The bands Electro beats and clear singing style satisfied the crowd completely. The Hamburgers also played their new single, ‘Top Of The World’ at the WGT. It will be released on 19th July 2019. It became very hot in Westbad and Lennart had to take off his sweater and continued the appearance in the sleeveless shirt. Also in the set this evening was ‘Always Something Missing’, which is probably one of the best songs from the band. Over the course of the 2019, there are some highlights for SONO planned - such as the performances at M’era Luna and at the W Festival in Belgium. // http://www.sono.fm / https://www.facebook.com/sonofm
London After Midnight - Agra (Nastja)
It felt a bit hard to switch into the LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT mode after the incredibly amazing performance by LORD OF THE LOST, but nevertheless I was totally looking forward to this gig. The chances to see the legends of Goth and Industrial Rock live in the last years were quite rare, so I feel now very blessed to count in total three festival performances by LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT to my own experiences list. The gig started with an epic intro, a combination of the majestic ‘Carmina Burana’ theme and ‘The Devil’s advocate’, followed by video clips announcing new releases “coming soon”. If you want to know more about it and other topics, check out the interview that we currently made for our magazine with Sean Brennan, the mastermind and singer of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.
Well the band came on stage just on time, but somehow not everything seemed to work properly. Unfortunately the problem that at least some members of the band couldn’t hear themselves properly through the in-ears couldn’t be completely resolved which made them appear, totally understandable, stressed - especially in between the songs. But once they started playing a song, at least to the audience the sound was just as good as it can be at the Agra hall (and it became so much better over the years!) and the haunting magic of the darkness that surrounds LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT and their songs for decades was spreading around the venue, wrapping the audience in dark layers of forbidden passion and horror stories.
The set was an amazing journey through all the songs that we all love - ‘Psycho Magnet’, ‘Spider And The Fly’, ‘Your Best Nightmare’ and so on. In between, just before ‘Revenge’, the question who here also hates Nazis and once more thousands of people proved that they stand together against hate and discrimination. Without question, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT is also a political band, addressing environmental catastrophes or political failures of the current American government, accentuated with the meaningful and provoking visuals. The technical issues made the gig very challenging for the band, but also they sometimes managed to react ironically. When Sean stated that he cannot hear anything but bass on his in-ears, Michael just came closer to him and said with a seductive voice “‘cause that’s all you need”.
A truly amazing, mysterious band with the ability to enchant a venue of any size that was not very lucky with the technic stuff, but still delivered a great performance and a worthy closing of the third day of WGT 2019. // https://www.facebook.com/LAMofficial // Setlist: 01. Intro - Carmina Burana/Devil’s Advocate / 02. Letter To God / 03. Psycho Magnet / 04. Shatter / 05. Spider And The Fly / 06. Demon / 07. Claire’s Horrors / 08. Your Best Nightmare / 09. Let Me Break You / 10. Complex Messiah / 11. Revenge / 12. America’s A Fucking Didease / 13. Inamourada / 14. Love You To Death / 15. The Bondage Song / 16. Kiss / 17. Sacrifice
Solar Fake - Westbad (Marko)
SOLAR FAKE had a sold-out and very successful tour on the back of their current album, ‘You Win, Who Cares?’, at the beginning of the year. Their appearance at the WGT began with the song ‘Sick Of You’. The die-hard fans, who have seen a lot of concerts on the tour, were surprised because on the tour all concerts started with ‘Not What I Wanted’. The atmosphere was great from the beginning, even though it was really warm and stuffy in the Westbad - respect to all the people who stayed from the first to the last band. Singer Sven Friedrich was totally cool and enthusiastic about the crowd. Again and again a “Wow - thanks!” followed the audience’s applause.
During ‘Not What I Wanted’ there was a sea of hands. SOLAR FAKE played many songs from the new album, for example upcoming single ‘Anything You Want’. Sven had talked about the video during the tour - and now it's finally finished. “The band mates are my witnesses, they have already seen it”, said Sven. During the classic ‘More Than This’ the crowd did not hold back in their appreciation. “Now comes the last song ‘Observer’”, Sven said and added, “But if you look at the clock, you realize that’s not true.” A little fun always provides a good atmosphere at a concert. The band said goodbye with “Thank you Leipzig” and left the stage. But it was not over yet. After only a short time they returned and brought the club back to cooking with ‘I Hate You More Than My Life’.
“You’re crazy, Leipzig! Now comes our last song ‘Stay’.” Shortly before midnight this terrific concert ended and a great festival day at the Westbad was over. SOLAR FAKE will be playing again this year in Germany, also in Poland, Peru, Belgium and Finland. In addition, the Fan Club Event will take place in Berlin in September. There, Sven Friedrich will perform with his other band ZERAPHINE alongside SOLAR FAKE. // http://www.solarfake.de / https://www.facebook.com/SolarFake // Setlist: 01. Sick Of You / 02. Under Control / 03. Too Late / 04. All The Things You Say / 05. I Don’t Want You In Here / 06. Reset To Default / 07. The Pain That Kills You Too / 08. Not What I Wanted / 09. Invisible / 10. Anything You Want / 11. More Than This / 12.Parasites / 13. Where Are You? / 14. Observer / 15. I Hate You More Than My Life / 16. Papillon (Editors cover) / 17. Stay
All Pictures by Marko Jakob and Nastja Iz