20th to 21st July 2019
Amphi Festival 2019 Day 2 with Hell Boulevard, Ost+Front, Seadrake, The Beauty Of Gemina, Fix8:SeD8, Holygram, Faderhead, Jäger 90, Schattenmann, Welle:Erdball, Cryo, Coma Alliance, White Lies, Spark!, Feuerschwanz, Project Pitchfork, Rabia Sorda, Janus, Nachtmahr, In Extremo, Das Ich
The second day started a bit too early if you’ve been dancing at Theater the night before as some of us and the visitors did. But the program on Sunday was too perfect to not get up early and it actually started with a band that must have been on the must-see list of many festival visitors, if we have a look at the crowd that was in front of the main stage at that early hour - 11 am. Let’s get right into it.
Hell Boulevard - Main Stage (LAy)
Good old Goth’n’Roll to kick start the second day of Amphi-mania 2019 was indeed a great change and very welcomed by the crowd. Those who gathered at the Main Stage extra early also got to enjoy an extensive sound check by HELL BOULEVARD. I remember seeing the guys for the first time live during their ‘Inferno’ tour in 2017, when they were on the road with UNZUCHT, who headlined the Theater Stage the day before. And so, there was no surprise at all that the winsome band delivered a hard rocking show with perfect sound that invited folks to play along. The combo started with the piano intro of ‘As Above So Below’ followed by crushing guitars and a heavy bass by Von Marengo and Raul Sanchez and kick-ass drumming by Jan Hangman. On top, we got the distinctive darkly, husky singing and screaming by Matteo vDiva Fabbiani. The set was filled with high-class, fast-paced, melodic tracks from their second record ‘In Black We Trust,’ which was produced by Chris Harms.
After they dedicated ‘Bitch Next Door’ to Von Marengo who would perform with FADERHEAD later on, a quite unusual cover of a BRITNEY SPEARS song followed. The word-perfect Amphi crowd proved that they were familiar with the tune singing “Hit me, baby, one more time.” Party smasher ‘Zero Fucks Given’ was a fitting next song, as frontman Matteo announced. His amazing vocals got under our skin especially during the “deadly romance” ballad ‘Dead Valentine,’ during which the vocalist refers back to almighty TYPE O NEGATIVE with the question: “Do you know the song that goes ‘loving you was like loving the dead’?” With their anthemic title track from the last album the band bit farewell to their Amphi audience. On the whole, fans of LORD OF THE LOST, THE 69 EYES et al. enjoyed a splendid and fun early morning Goth Rock show with HELL BOULEVARD. Bravo! // http://www.hellboulevard.com / https://www.facebook.com/hellboulevard // Setlist: 01. As Above So Below / 02. Satan In Wonderland / 03. Bitch Next Door / 04. Love Is Dead / 05. Baby One More Time (Britney Spears) / 06. Zero Fucks Given / 07. Dead Valentine / 08. In Black We Trust
Ost + Front - Main Stage (LAy)
Presenter Mark Benecke announced that the next band that is called neither “Ost and Front” nor “Ost plus Front”, but simply “Ost Front” and observed some amount of blood on one of the lights on stage. In their “About” section on their Facebook page the act names “MEAT” as their interest so you wouldn’t be mistaken to expect a gory show. Fake blood, latex, butcher clothes, masks, and violence towards Eva Edelweiß who held up a sign saying “I’m here against my will” were all part of OST + FRONT’s characteristic “New German Hardness” show á la RAMMSTEIN. Towards the end, they also let loose their black balloons so that their fans had something to hit. In between of a dirty, blood-rich, heavy-hitting “fiesta” Mr. Hermann Ostfront and crew also played a slower, doomy tune titled ‘Denkelied’ from the album ‘Ave Maria.’ // http://ostfront.de/news.html / https://www.facebook.com/ostfrontberlin // Setlist: OST+FRONT: 01. Adrenalin / 02. Fiesta de sexo / 03. 10 Jahre Ostfront / 04. Denkelied / 05. Freundschaft / 06. Bruderherz / 07. Ich liebe es / 08. Mensch / 09. Heavy Metal / 10. Bitte schlag mich
Seadrake - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)
On second Amphi day, the festivities inside the Theater were rang in by SEADRAKE. The Synth Pop act released its successful debut album, titled ‘Isola’, in 2018. A few days before the festival the super group, which used to be a trio, parted ways. When the event of their Amphi gig was cancelled on Facebook, it somehow appeared as if the entire festival was called off. But the confusion was sorted out fast. Of course the 15th edition of Amphi would be happening and SEADRAKE should not be missed either. Having already enjoyed SEADRAKE live at the beginning of the year when they were on the road with SOLAR FAKE, we were obviously curious about how things would turn out line-up and sound-wise at Amphi. In a nutshell: SEADRAKE entered as a duo and convinced the very well-visited venue from the very first title of their set, ‘What You Do To Me’.
Front man Hilton Theissen hit the stage together with a veiled guy with a silver mask who is answering to the name of “Silvveil” and plays his part at the synths. Hilton himself simply nailed his vocal performance that day - beautifully in tune, from the heart and at full power. No doubt, all SEADRAKE newbies were easily won over at Amphi. Hilton also played guitar during a couple of songs adding the energetic Electro Rock aspect to the catchy Pop tunes. I ended up standing in the front rows and let me tell you that there was a lot of happy singing and dancing along. While Silvveil stood behind his keyboard Hilton filled the entire stage by dancing from one side to the other. And finally, he also flashed a smile seeing how much fun everybody had with their music.
There was also a surprise during ‘Lower Than This’ when FLORIAN GREY suddenly joined in and contributed to the vocals. Cheers and applause from the audience. And with the last song in line, ‘Something Durable,’ the show was over way too fast. We are wishing all the best to all old, remaining and new members of SEADRAKE and look forward to their new material. // https://www.seadrake.de / https://www.facebook.com/seadrakeofficial // Setlist SEADRAKE: 01. What You Do To Me / 02. Daydream / 03. On The Run / 04. Conformity Loves Company / 05. Get It On / 06. Die Of Temptation / 07. Lower Than This (Someday) / 08. Something Durable
The Beauty of Gemina - Main Stage (Nastja)
The only show in Germany this year from THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA was happening on that Sunday at Amphi festival. The four Swiss musicians are doing a little bit calmer this year after plying many gigs last year along with the release of their latest album ‘Flying With The Owl’ in 2018. It is actually not so obvious that the band was able to perform at Amphi - frontman, singer and songwriter Michael Sele had a surgery just a few weeks ago and got a new heart valve. But on stage he seemed to have recovered well so far and the whole performance was great. THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA played a beautiful set of newer and older songs, and my personal highlight was when they started with ‘Last Night Home.’ An incredibly beautiful song, full of melancholy, that is taking you far-far away. But also the rest of the setlist was magical and pure. And the band also obviously enjoyed their time on stage a lot. // http://www.thebeautyofgemina.com / https://www.facebook.com/TheBeautyOfGemina // Setlist: 01. End / 02. All Those Days / 03. This Time / 04. Bitter Sweet Good-Bye / 05. Last Night Home / 06. Hunters / 07. The Lonesome Death Of A Goth DJ / 08. Rumours / 09. Endless Time To See
Fix8:SeD8 - Orbit Stage (Nastja)
FIX8:SED8 is a solo project by Martin Sane, started in 2006 with the debut album ‘Humanophobia.’ The music of FIX8:SED8 has very dark, electronic influences and is inspired by industrial bands like VELVET ACID CHRIST and SKINNY PUPPY. FIX8:SED8 sets its own accents and presents the fans and listeners a different kind of Electro music. ‘Dormicum’ (2009) and after a long break ‘Foren6’ followed as regular album releases. In June 2019 followed the latest release ‘Warning Sings.’ FIX8:SED8 played a strong and engaging set on the Orbit stage. Mastermind Martin Sane appeared covered with a spooky mask and celebrated the unusual, darkness and much more with his fascinating electronic soundscapes. Worth to check-out if you are into electronic music beside the usual paths. // https://www.facebook.com/Fix8Sed8
Holygram - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)
How can the 80s sound today? Listen to HOLYGRAM and you’ll get a unique answer. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing how the young Post Punk / Wave band from Cologne kept on rising and enchanting listeners with their high-class “music for the lost.” They released their self-titled debut EP in October 2016 and had played the opening gig the Theater Stage at Amphi two years ago. This year, the venue was entirely filled and the crowd, mostly familiar with their dreamy yet intense tunes, clearly enjoyed this year’s performance. Their mesmerizing set was introduced with the intro song ‘Into the Void’ followed by the title track of their debut record ‘Modern Cults’ (2018) - the perfect title to express what this band does.
The older, spherical anthem ‘Still There’ was of course also there and the Amphi audience celebrated in the dark while the musicians made the magic happen on their characteristically foggy stage wrapped in twilight. The sinister, tribal and at the same time post-apocalyptic instrumental ‘Dead Channel Skies’ was particularly captivating. The gloomy yet driving show earned a big round of applause and ‘Distant Light,’ building up to a Krautrock outburst, made for a captivating last song of another, all in all, glorious HOLYGRAM concert. // https://holygram.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/holygram.official // Setlist: 01. Into The Void / 02. Modern Cults / 03. A Faction / 04. Signals / 05. Dead Channel Skies / 06. Daria / 07. Still There / 08. She’s Like The Sun / 09. Distant Light
Faderhead - Main Stage (Nastja)
The area in front of the Main Stage filled extremely quickly and the atmosphere felt just right for the next artist to enter the stage. The stage set-up was quick, a big crew made it all ready in a few minutes. Unlike the day before, the temperature was on point, some clouds, still sunny, without the upcoming storms like the day before. Today the crew consisted of Joel Myer, Jörg Lütkemeier, Fede von Marengo and of course mastermind Sami Mark Yahya. Fede already played the Main Stage just a few hours ago with HELL BOULEVARD where his band colleague Matteo vDiva lovingly introduced him as “Bitch Next Door” because of playing in so many other bands. Now you know. And there are even more. And I was actually surprised that Sami introduced them with their “normal” names. Didn’t expect that. Really. The show itself was right from the start really strong, energizing, and professional and be it the guys on stage or the huge crowd in front that was partying hard in the afternoon and everyone seemed to enjoy the moment a lot.
FADERHEAD started the show with two songs from the current album ‘Night Physics’, the title track and the first single that was released already about two years ago ‘Know Your Darkness.’ In between an older scene hymn ‘Generation Black’ that already made everyone jump and smile. With the 4th song FADERHEAD opened a new chapter. A new song from the upcoming new album ‘Asteria’ (out 4th October 2019), ‘The Other Side Of Doom,’ was presented live and in general for the first time to a bigger crowd. The audience seemed to like it from the start as well. Presenting a song that the crowd never heard before might be a very difficult and exciting moment to a musician considering that there is also no chance that the people listened to it anywhere before. FADERHEAD challenged himself with not playing just one, but two songs from the upcoming album - the second one with the title ‘From His Broken Bones’ - and got rewarded with the most enthusiastic and excited reaction of the crowd. Both songs promise the new album to be a really exciting one.
In between we got some of the party smashers with ‘Destroy Improve Rebuild’ or ‘No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit,’ but also the enchanting ballad ‘Them Skinny Witches’ that Sami performed sitting on a box. The interaction with the audience was perfect, it is always great to have musicians on stage who see and connect with the audience. Even a festival show can feel very personal with FADERHEAD on stage while having a huge party. The three guys at the table didn’t stay there, but also jumped around and showed their individual, well done choreographies. Kudos to Jörg for the vocal support during some of the songs giving them another energy push. The Amphi show made it for sure into my personal top three of all FADERHEAD gigs I’ve ever been to, as well my top three of the Amphi 2019. And now we are all hyped for the new material and the next two gigs - another festival performance at NCN Festival in September and the album release show in Oberhausen on 4th October 2019. Be there or cry later. // https://www.facebook.com/faderhead / https://faderhead.com // Setlist: 01. Night Physics / 02. Generation Black / 03. Know Your Darkness / 04. The Other Side Of Doom / 05. Destroy Improve Rebuild / 06. Them Skinny Witches / 07. Sick City / 08. From His Broken Bones / 09. No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit / 10. TZDV
Jäger 90 - Orbit Stage (Nastja)
The Orbit Stage was now dominated by the EBM devotees. Put your boots on and dance - that was the motto on the ship now. The EBM project JÄGER 90 was started by Thoralf Dietrich and Stev A. in 2005, now the projects consists of Thoralf and Marcel Lüke on the drums (also known from ZWEITE JUGEND). The ship got packed, the boots stomped rhythmically and the air became thick. JÄGER 90 pushed the audience to dance and have fun with songs like ‘Stiefleblitz,’ ‘Ein neuer Tanz,’ ‘Zeig’s mir’ or ‘Ein Jäger’ and the crowd destroyed all efforts of the air conditioner to cool down the air. // https://www.facebook.com/jaeger90
Schattenmann - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (LAy)
After the first Synth Pop sounds inside the Theater, a quite different band was up next to raise the roof. Vocalist Frank Herzig, guitarist Jan Suk, bassist Luke Shook and drummer Nils Kinzig got together in 2016 to create their version of NDH under the name of SCHATTENMAN. The band from Nuremberg stand for “New German Hardness 2.0” and their Amphi appearance gave their fans a taste of what’s going to come on their tour in October/ November in celebration of the second record ‘Epidemie’ (out since July 5). German lyrics, crushing guitars, memorable hooks, hammering beats made the audience stomp along, raise their fists and shake their hair. The only calmer moment was offered by the new ballad ‘Ruf der Engel.’ Later on, a MANSON-reminiscent intro resounded - it obviously made a lot of sense to present ‘Schwarz = Religion’ at the black festival.
And when it was time for ‘Amok’ Frank got even wilder again with swirling his electric chain saw. During the title track of their debut album ‘Licht an’ there was a fitting light show with the lights being turned on and off. On the whole, SCHATTENMANN and their fans had a great Amphi debut filled with light and shadow and, in between, some neon green flashing in ultraviolet light. // https://www.schattenmann.net / https://www.facebook.com/schattenmannband // Setlist: 01. Schattenland / 02. Brennendes Eis / 03. F.U.C.K.Y.O.U. / 04. Ruf der Engel / 05. Epidemie / 06. Generation Sex / 07. Wahrheit oder Pflicht / 08. Schwarz = Religion / 09. Amok / 10. Licht an / 11. Kopf durch die Wand
Welle:Erdball - Main Stage (LAy)
Presenter Mark Benecke went into rhapsodies when it was time for WELLE:ERDBALL to grace the Main stage. The German New Wave act around frontman/ radio host Honey was formed in 1990, initially under the name HONIGMOND, later turning into FEINDSENDER 64.3, before becoming WELLE:ERDBALL. Their debut, ‘Der Sinn des Lebens’ (transl. “The Meaning of Life”), came out two years later. WELLE:ERDBALL had prepared a very special retro set filled with cover songs as a hats off to “Neue Deutsche Welle”. A fun minimal Electro show with a lot of clapping along began with ‘Die Roboter’ by KRAFTWERK. The act was masked and showed that they have mastered the robo-dance. During the song countless mannequins were brought on stage for the following song ‘Schaufensterpuppen’, also originally by KRAFTWERK.
Many more classics followed, however, I already had to run over the Orbit Stage to catch CRYO. WELLE:ERDBALL will be on tour in autumn, so check the dates if you don’t want to miss their next unique radio show which is going be a chamber of horrors featuring “mummies, monsters and mutations”. // https://www.welle-erdball.info / https://www.facebook.com/WelleErdball // Setlist: 01. Die Roboter (Kraftwerk) / 02. Schaufensterpuppen (Kraftwerk) / 03. Vor all den Jahren (Stahlnetz) / 04. FanFanFanatisch (Rheingold) / 05. Kabinett (Das Kabinette) / 06. Berühren (Profil) / 07. Eine neue Zeit (Der Liederkranz) / 08. Kleptomanie (Extrabreit) / 09. Und es geht ab (Piefke & Pafke und die Jungs aus der Dunkelkammer) / 10. Feuerwerk (Stefan Remmler & Nina) / 11. Karl der Käfer (Gänsehaut) / 12. Fred vom Jupiter (Andreas Dorau) / 13. Es geht voran (Fehlfarben)
Cryo - Orbit Stage (LAy)
Swedish acts are always very popular at Amphi and thus, when I arrived at the MS RheinEnergie, the venue was already packed and ready for a crazy CRYO party. Martin Rudefelt and Torny Gottberg were welcomed with enthusiastic applause and instant clapping along to the first songs ‘Smile Forever’ and the new singe ‘Control.’ Melodic, well-crafted EBM with mysterious vibes was on the programme and the boat was bouncing while Martin’s mike stand was shining like a lightsaber. The voices of both gents harmonised amazingly and we all were keen on hearing more songs from CRYO’s latest record ‘The Fall Of Men’ for the first time live. The album has been out since 7th June and entered the German Alternative Charts on position two. Grab your copy! The crowd was also all in for the quieter, moody masterpiece ‘Decay Decay Decay’. For the final track ‘Sanatarium’ Martin put on a doctor’s white coat. All thumbs up for the creative duo from Malmö! Make sure to dance with CRYO at the NCN festival this September. // http://www.cryodome.com / https://www.facebook.com/cryosweden // Setlist: 01. Intro/ Smile Forever / 02. Control / 03. Event Horizon / 04. I Tune In / 05. Decay Decay Decay / 06. Know Your Enemy / 07. Believer / 08. Remember / 09. Sanitarium
Coma Alliance - Boots & Braces Theater Stage (Nastja)
First visit at the dark and crowded Theater today for me. The band we all were waiting for now pulled a huge crowd into the venue beside of being a kind of newcomer still with one album being released in November 2018. But COMA ALLIANCE is the perfect symbiosis of the two masterminds Torben Wendt from DIORAMA (who already blew us away at the Call The Ship To Port event on Friday) and Adrian Hates from DIARY OF DREAMS. Their paths have crossed for more than two decades now, but with COMA ALLIANCE something really new and breath-taking has risen up. The debut, ‘Weapon Of Choice’, received a countless number of thrilled reviews and the first tour in January 2019 attracted a huge audience and filled quite big venues for a newcomer project (even not so natural for big names) in Hamburg, Berlin, Oberhausen, Dresden and more.
The appearance at the Amphi Festival was about to be the first ever festival that the combo played. I really don’t know what happened, but the 50 minutes just felt like 5. COMA ALLIANCE started with the instrumental ‘Unusual’ that was shortened to be still a perfect intro, but not to take away too much time of the festival slot. ‘Royd’ as the first single from the debut album followed and right away one of the most unusual songs for both artists ‘Starfruit.’ I am still impressed how different this creation turned out compared to the huge discography of both “main bands” behind Torben and Adrian. The symbiosis of both voices works perfectly. Zura, also guitarist in DIORAMA, brings his special guitar play into the whole universe and makes it so enjoyable to listen to.
With ‘Her Liquid Arms’ and ‘Butterfly:Dance!’ there are also - similar to the tour - songs of both “original” bands in the setlist, at the latest here the curious festival visitors should know who they are listening to now. The reactions of the audience are immense. Torben and Adrian hug each other at the end while performing and I believe, there was again that spark in the eyes of all the musicians on stage that we saw last time in Dresden, when the last show of their very first tour ended. Magical moment that flew by way too fast. // http://diorama-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/comaalliance // Setlist: 01. Unusual / 02. Royd / 03. Starfruit / 04. Trembler / 05. HLA / 06. Miracle / 07. Sepia / 08. Butterfly:Dance! / 09. Coma Supreme / 10. CA2
White Lies - Main Stage (LAy)
From one highlight to another. After giving a big hand to COMA ALLIANCE inside the Theater, we hopped back to the Main Stage where British band WHITE LIES, probably the most atypical act at this dark scene festival, entered with the impressive ‘Time To Give.’ The Indie rockers indeed had to give some time to those who had been unfamiliar with their music thus far, but the gents managed to make folks think out of the Goth box after the first songs and join in an amazing, vibrant WHITE LIES celebration. “It’s an honour to be here,” lead singer Harry McVeigh told us and impressed the audience with his warm, clear and powerful vocal performance. Back in 2009 WHITE LIES hit number one on the UK Albums Chart with their debut album, ‘To Lose My Life’. Old and new WHITE LIES fans at the Tanzbrunnen in Cologne enjoyed the classics ‘Farewell To The Ground,’ ‘To Lose My Life’ and ‘Unfinished Business.’
This year, the band presented their fifth opus titled ‘Five,’ and so, the catchy, up-lifting ‘Tokyo’ was of course not to be missed. The beautiful ‘Is My Love Enough?’ from the 2016 album ‘Friends’ was also a winner. Personal favourite, if I had to pick just one, was the spectacular ‘Fire And Wings.’ Finally, the melancholic hymn ‘Bigger Than Us’ was saved for last and made us cheer and applaud for a fantastic set of truly wonderful WHITE LIES. The guys were also beaming when they got together for the final bow. Check the dates for the band’s special ‘To Lose My Live’ 10th anniversary shows. Here in Germany, fans can join in the festivities in Dresden, Frankfurt and Berlin in November/ December. // https://www.whitelies.com / https://www.facebook.com/WhiteLies // Setlist: 01. Time To Give / 02. Farewell To The Ground / 03. There Goes Our Love Again / 04. Is My Love Enough? / 05. Death / 06. Tokyo / 07. To Lose My Life / 08. Fire And Wings / 09. Unfinished Business / 10. Bigger Than Us
Spark! - Orbit Stage (Nastja)
Talking about spark in the eyes - this Swedish combo was my personal discovery of the festival. I’ve never seen them live and only listened to a few songs before Amphi. The EBM combo got a “new” vocalist in 2016 with Christer Hermodsson and together with Mattias Ziessow the duo is now conquering the music world. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of “that kind” of EBM, but gave them a try and really enjoyed their refreshing style, performance and handsome appearance. EBM with a wink, a lot of fun and likeable performance - SPARK! did their job great and the Orbit Stage was swinging joyfully to the stomping and dancing of the crowd.
The Swedish lyrics are warmly welcomed, well, with my soft spot for Scandinavian languages, especially Norwegian and Swedish, maybe that helped to catch me, as well. My own feet were killing me after almost seven hours of dancing and jumping now, but even I tried to dance a bit. Many others did better that I and had a lot of fun obviously. Knowing they are going to perform at NCN Festival in September as well, I am now extremely looking forward to get my sparkling dance moment there. Check out ‘Maskiner’ if you missed them at Amphi. // https://www.facebook.com/sparksomfan
Feuerschwanz - Main Stage (Nastja)
To something very different on my list, my first Medieval Rock act on the festival list that weekend, FEUERSCHWANZ. Obviously my feet were killing me and when I made it into the Theater it was extremely packed, it was quite difficult to get inside of the concert hall at all. The band made a strong and playful performance that the fans enjoyed a lot. It was hot and mead was obviously very important theme of the performance. The combo released eight albums in their 15-year-lasting career and built up a strong fan base that was celebrating them a lot on that Sunday evening. Also the visual performance was well done and to all fans of medieval music and atmosphere a highlight for sure. // https://www.facebook.com/feuerschwanz // Setlist: 01. Operation Drachensturm / 02. Die Hörner hoch / 03. Schubsetenz / 04. Ketzerei / 05. Metnotstand im Märchenland / 06. Krieger des Mets / 07. Methämmer / 08. Wikingerblut / 09. Liga des Mets
Project Pitchfork - Main Stage (LAy)
PROJECT PITCHFORK are a fan favourite, so no wonder that people were trying to secure a good spot in the front where they could see, hear and dance. The unique Dark Electro project around singer Peter Spilles was founded back in 1990 in Hamburg and really doesn’t need introduction anymore. What a bummer that the kick off with the age-old ‘K.N.K.A.’ didn’t work out as planned. Peter’s and Dirk Scheuber’s microphones died on them. Peter joked about not being able to go all acoustic while the problem was fixed. The spirit of the audience was infectious thanks to the following smasher and dancefloor filler ‘Timekiller’.
The crowd had a lot of fun with PITCHFORK and especially the Dutch fans partying next to me gave free rein to their enthusiasm. Peter’s distinctive vocals, the varied electronics, hammering beats and amazing live drums made the crowd go wild. And how could it be any differently? Classics like ‘Alpha Omega’ and popular tunes like ‘Rain’ and wickedly good stomper ‘Beholder’ made PITCHFORK’s setlist shine. All PP-diehards agreed that the sinister disco came to a close with ‘I Am (A Thought In Slowmotion)’ way too fast. PITCHFORK forever! // https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPitchfork // Setlist: 01. K.N.K.A. / 02. Timekiller / 03. IO / 04. Rain / 05. Alpha Omega / 06. And The Sun Was Blue / 07. Conjure / 08. Acid Ocean / 09. Souls / 10. Titânes / 11. Beholder / 12. I Am (A Thought In Slowmotion)
Radia Sorda - Orbit Stage (Nastja)
The second performance of Erk Aicrag on that weekend was with his another project, RABIA SORDA. Formed in 2003, RABIA SORDA conquered the Electronic music world and spread their message around the world. The performance was solid, energetic and the ship was another time filled with a lot of people celebrating and dancing like there was no tomorrow. The aggressive sound of the band is standing out and the lyrics confident, straight forward pushing their way through. The last album ‘The World Ends Today’ was released in 2018 and the apocalyptic message fits well with the sound and vocals of RABIA SORDA. Strong performance. // https://www.facebook.com/rabiasorda / http://www.rabiasorda.com // Setlist: 01. Perfect Black / 02. We’re Here To Win / 03. So Slow It Hurts / 04. Violent Lovesong / 05. D.E.A.F. / 06. Out Of Control / 07. Radio Paranoia / 08. Demolición / 09. King Of The Wasteland / 10. We’re Not Machines / 11. Dekadenz / 12. Walking On Nails
Janus - Theater Stage (Nastja)
The German band JANUS took over the Theater Stage from FEUERSCHWANZ and filled the venue with Hard Rock riffs and German lyrics about the human abyss. The lyrics appeared poetic and the whole package dramatic and the guitar sound dominated. The band was already formed in 1995 and released numerous albums, though there was a break of about ten years in between. The music reminded me style-wise of SAMSAS TRAUM. The venue was not as packed as before for FEUERSCHWANZ, but also well visited. I saw several fans dancing enthusiastically and emotionally, also quite expressive to the epochal sounding music and deep lyrics. // http://neues.knochenhaus.de / https://www.facebook.com/Knochenhaus
Nachtmahr - Theater Stage (Nastja)
The last band at Theater for this year’s Amphi edition was NACHTMAHR. The Industrial project by Thomas Rainer (also L’ÂME IMMORTELLE). The venue got slightly more packed again and the people in uniform style clothing became more and more. There is a lot of controversy around NACHTMAHR. The discussion would totally go beyond the scope. I think in general it always makes sense to inform yourself. Back to the show: military style, hard Aggrotech beats, shouting “Supreme Commander.” Of course NACHTMAHR played all the songs that most of the people might know from the parties, ‘Tanzdiktator’ or ‘Mädchen in Uniform.’ I saw just a part of this. But heard that it got more packed later. // https://www.facebook.com/nachtmahr.band // Setlist: 01. Blendwerk / 02. Wir schreiben Geschichte / 03. Weil ich’s kann / 04. Tanzdiktator / 05. Feier frei / 06. Gehorsam / 07. Mädchen in Uniform / 08. Helden / 09. BoomBoomBoom / 10. Dein Herr / 11. Can You Feel The Beat? / 12. Tempus Fugut / 13. Ich glaube / 14. Heile mich / 15. Katharsis
In Extremo - Main Stage (Nastja)
From NACHTMAHR to IN EXTREMO. Both not my favourite bands, but the atmosphere at Main Stage was quite cool, I think. Those who enjoy Medieval Rock music had a very energising, awesome Amphi closing show! In EXTREMO was founded in 1997 and with 1.5 million sold CDs etc. they are the most successful band in their genre. The weather was perfect. The band in best mood and the crowd as well. IN EXTREMO performed songs like ‘Störtebeker,’ ‘Liam,’ ‘Frei zu sein’ and as the very last song of the day ‘Sternhagelvoll.’ So for sure one or another beer was enjoyed there. Some fire show in the sunset - what more can you wish for? // https://www.inextremo.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialinextremo // Setlist: 01. Sängerkrieg / 02. Vollmond / 03. Störtebeker / 04. Feuertaufe / 05. Gaukler / 06. Unsichtbar / 07. Quid Pro Quo / 08. Liam / 09. Lieb Vaterland / 10. Rasend Herz / 11. Frei zu sein / 12. Himmel & Hölle / 13. Moonshine / 14. Sternhagelvoll
Das Ich - Orbit Stage (LAy)
Thanks to DAS ICH, representatives of “Neue Deutsche Todeskunst” (transl. New German Death Art) at its finest, creators of unique electronic music since 1989, Amphi 2019 got a truly epic ending on the MS RheinEnergie. We got indeed quite diverse headliners at the three stages and within minutes the ship was jam-packed with DAS ICH fans for the final show. Those who made it aboard considered themselves lucky and felt sorry for the long line of black-clad folks who didn’t fit inside. The act apologised during the show and on the Facebook page to everybody who missed the Orbit extravaganza. It was back in 1991 that Bruno Kramm and Stephan Ackermann unleashed their first record ‘Die Propheten.’ Its title track and also ‘Kain und Abel’ and ‘Gottes Tod’ - obviously - are classics and were celebrated greatly at Amphi, which the act described as the “Wave-Gotik-Treffen of the West.”
DAS ICH played Amphi at the big stage before and even though it was a shame that so many fans had to miss the show, one has to say that the atmospherics on the boat suited DAS ICH perfectly. First, I was worried that the stage would be too small, but the three musicians with those extraordinary stands that can bend to the side and roll around from one of the stage to the other found their room and were quite mobile. And even more so vocalist Stephan himself, body painted in red, dressed only in red pants and gymnastic shoes and doing his performance dance and we know it. He was active till he got “dizzy” not only on stage, but also in the photographers’ pit where he shared his mike with the singing and screaming fans. Bruno was marvellous not only at the keys, playing his Soma pipe, or grinning like a mad clown, but also contributed to the vocals. The energy on the boat was thrilling and the entire crowd was in a rave.
There were a lot of happy faces in the front rows. And we were especially delighted to hear the two new songs ‘Was Ich Bin’ and ‘Lazarus’. DAS ICH maniacs are eagerly awaiting a new opus. A three-decade-long band history calls for celebration! Long story short: DAS ICH at Amphi 2019 was the best and most powerful gig of the act I’ve ever seen. When Bruno asked the ecstatic crowd which song they still had to play, loud suggestions were thrown in. “One more time and all together,” he animated the crowd and then, we all agreed one title still was missing, the must-play ‘Destillat!’ // http://www.dasich.de / https://www.facebook.com/DasIch.fans // Setlist (not in order): 01. Die Propheten / 02. Der Schrei / 03. Erde ruft / 04. Engel / 05. Was bin Ich / 06. Kain und Abel / 07. Re:animat / 08. Das dunkle Land / 09. Lazarus / 10. Uterus / 11. Kannibale / 12. Gottes Tod / 13. Destillat
We ended up at the beach side after the gigs, just talking for hours with friends watching the sun setting down, and switching to Theater to check-out the party on the last night that was still well packed. Amphi Festival 2019 was full of highlights, some new discoveries, beside of the short but effective storm in between, especially on Sunday the weather was great. Next to the concerts, the ship deck and the beach side were perfect to enjoy some time off and meet friends for a cold drink. About 12.000 music lovers and Amphi-heads spent a splendid weekend at the 15th edition of the festival. The early bird tickets for the next year’s festivities had been sold out only nine hours after they went on sale. See you then, children of the night!
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet) except Das Ich by LAy