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01 intro mesh D4S1233 kleinMS RheinEnergie, Cologne, Germany
19th July 2019
Call the Ship to Port 2019 with Mesh, Solar Fake & Diorama

The seventh edition of the popular opening event “Call the Ship to Port” took place on 19 July 2019. Aboard Europe’s biggest domestic event ship, the MS RheinEnergie, the Amphi team was again inviting to the evening panoramic cruise on the Rhine River at the start of the Amphi weekend.

No matter if you chose to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at the promenade deck with cocktails, snacks and various other refreshments or to rock out to the concerts at the fully air-conditioned main hall, “Call the Ship to Port” remained the ultimate overture to the Amphi Festival weekend. Speaking of the bands, the Amphi team once again focused strongly on presenting you a well-paired selection, to make you bust a move instantly! As headliners there was nobody less than the British Synth Pop veterans MESH. Furthermore you were offered master class Electro Pop with SOLAR FAKE as well as the ever impressive DIORAMA, whose songs unleashed an electrifying energy on stage.

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15 years of Amphi! A whole weekend full of great names from the Electro, Gothic, Medieval and EBM area, with great bands and of course everything else that goes with it: Tanzbrunnen, ship, beach club, Hohenzollern Bridge, Dome and the Rhine. Somewhat more moderate temperatures than last year and that the Rhine carries enough water, so that the MS RheinEnergie was situated only few steps away from the Tanzbrunnen on the Deutz side for the Friday event and the regular festival days, provided a lot of positive feedback and a good festival mood. The boarding on Friday was, as always, very disciplined, the first cocktails were slurped and everyone felt visibly well. This cosy, euphoric and expectant mood aboard the MS RheinEnergie was as always an experience and the comfortable ship was anyway the pure luxury of space, sound, light and clean toilets and sometimes even assertive air conditioning.

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Just in time at twenty to nine, and at full “speed” of the ship, DIORAMA entered the stage and were already eagerly awaited. Torben Wendt and his three comrades Felix, Zura and Markus were in a good mood and after the wonderful instrumental first track ‘Nebulus’, ‘Odyssey Into The Vacuum’ and the classic ‘Kein Mord’ were celebrated by an enthusiastic audience. Torben jumped over the stage as usual, Felix Marc delivered the sovereign second voice on the keyboards, Zura Nakamura on the guitar was calm in person but virtuous in guitar play, and drummer Markus provided the rousing basis.

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The beautiful ‘Advance’ was not missed of course, as well as the song-along song ‘Child of entertainment’ or the hammering ‘Ignite’. Towards the end of the performance, Torben asked with a wink if we are going to the Amphi at the weekend, because the best bands were already to be seen today. Except on Sunday, there would be something good to play... sure, COMA ALLIANCE! And of course many other cool bands, but the bar was really damn high tonight. The epic-gripping ‘Synthesize me’ dignified this first of three headliner gigs. // / // Setlist: 01. Nebulus / 02. Odyssey Into The Vacuum / 03. Kein Mord / 04. Advance / 05. Child Of Entertainment / 06. Exit The Grey (Dub Version) / 07. Belle / 08. Ignite / 09. Synthesize Me

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Solar Fake

After a short snap of air, SOLAR FAKE hit the gas pedal right for the start with ‘Sick of you’; Sven jumped today a lot on the left side of the stage, because Drummer Jeans was placed right in the centre of the already built drum kit of MESH. André made his keyboard exploding as usually at right side of the stage. Anyway, as you know it and love SOLAR FAKE, everybody could sing along anyway, the force was enough to jump along, and the band had us totally under control and just was throwing out one hit after the other. After hits such as ’Under Control’ or ‘All the things you said’, the mood in front of stage during the classic ‘More than this’ was literally exploding - who was not sitting on one of the many chairs on the edge was hopping his soul out of the body.

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The beautiful aggressive ‘Parasites’ was in no way inferior, and Sven could always only be stunned and with a broad grin he said: “You are so blatant!”, and how incredibly cool it is to play here on the ship. It must be a unique sight for the musicians on stage even if they have played in front of much larger crowds before. ‘This is not what I wanted’ gave the crowd what they needed, but still made anyone incredibly happy, and so did ‘Invisible’ as well. The wonderful ‘Anything that I want’ and ‘Where are you’ then was lead to the final song ‘Observer’ and no one was dry anymore, either on stage or in the audience, but all were very, very happy. // / // Setlist: 01. Sick Of You / 02. Under Control / 03. The Pain That Kills You Too / 04. All The Things You Say / 05. I Don’t Want You In Here / 06. More Than This / 07. Parasites / 08. Not What I Wanted / 09. Reset To Default / 10. Invisible / 11. Anything You Want / 12. Where Are You / 13. Observer

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After the SOLAR FAKE show, many attendees needed a breather on deck since it was getting hot inside and especially because the Rhine scenery was always great. But soon it was time for the “headliner” - if you can call it that way - of the evening and MESH fired fireworks just like the two bands before. The audience was text- and melody safe and elicited singer Mark Hockings more than just one smile. It’s was not difficult either with songs like ‘Trust you’, ‘Runway’, ‘From this height’ or the earwig ‘The fixer’. It seems just that nay song of the band can be called a sing-along hit.

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As always, MESH were convincing as well with their video and light show. ‘Born to lie’ hammered extra-aggressively from the speakers, and with ‘Last one standing’ one undertook a “try” to complete the performance, but of course there was an encore bloc including ‘My Protector’ and the intensive ‘Taken for granted’. MESH also liked the atmosphere on the ship, band and audience “sang in an aquatic way”, as Mark often joked. Of course, also this third headliner gig of the evening was a success. // / // Setlist: 01. New Intro / 02. Involved / 03. Trust You / 04. Open Up the Ground / 05. Runway / 06. Leave You Nothing / 07. From This Height / 08. It Scares Me / 09. I Fall Over / 10. The Fixer / 11. Born to Lie / 12. Last One Standing / Encores: 13. My Protector / 14. Taken For Granted / 15. Fragile

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After the show, people pushed very quickly to the exit of the ship, but patience was required. It took about 20 minutes after the concert until the ship had reached the shore and was ready. Around 1.00 clock a great, musical ride over the Lower Rhine ended and who was still in party mood could enjoy the opening party at the Theater at Tanzbrunnen.

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /
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