26th to 29th May 2023
Wave Gotik Treffen 2023 Day 1 with Shireen, Harpyie, ZyniC, The Chameleons, Lord of the Lost and galleries of General Dynamics, Milliken Chamber, Minuit Machine, Kaelan Mikla and Buzz Kull
The first full festival day started slowly at the camping ground for me. Getting a shower (without queuing!), enjoying a proper breakfast and also spending some time before the concerts start walking around at the AGRA shopping mall. I even found a few items which I liked and could add to my festival wardrobe. Afterwards, we went to Heidnisches Dorf - the medieval village. Friday is probably the only day when you can visit it in a super relaxed atmosphere. The ability of daily tickets for this one makes it really difficult to get inside on the weekend, but even if you do - chances are it’s gonna be super full. We used our moment to shop some silver jewellery and get the super delicious grilled champignons and potato wedges.
A moment later and the Dutch Pagan Folk formation SHIREEN entered the stage. I’ve seen SHIREEN exactly once before and it’s been on the exact same stage some years ago. SHIREEN’s appearance on stage is magical and the genre Witch Pop which they find themselves in describes the feelings created on stage really well. I love SHIREEN’s ‘Umai’ which is not only a beautiful and breathtakingly enchanting song, but also has a dark witchy vibe music video which I highly recommend to watch. While SHIREEN played during a sunny hour, the rays of the sun magically made their way through the treetops. Along with known songs, SHIREEN also presented some new, unreleased music yet and told they were working on a new album.
A quick break on the main stage at Heidnisches Dorf and HARPYEE entered, ready to energize the crowd! I’ve never been to a HARPYIE concert before, but from what I’ve seen they are doing great in engaging their fans and make people party even in the afternoon! I can imagine their show would be even more fascinating to watch at a darker hour, but the frontman coming out of the smoke wearing this impressive mask was an experience still!
Meanwhile in the city centre: ZYNIC didn’t want to fit into the rather rocky line-up on Friday in the Moritzbastei. But many came because of Peter Siemandel’s Synth Pop project, which is supported on the keys by Stefan Netschio (BEBORN BETON). After all, the performance of the Nuremberg-based project is very rare and it was ZYNIC’s festival premiere. For me, the only show that I really wanted to see on Friday and I wasn’t disappointed. The packed Moritzbastei celebrated the beautiful set from start to finish. ‘Algorithm Slave’ and ‘Dead End’ were my favourites for tonight. Loved that show and was really happy joining it.
Back to the south of Leipzig: after a short break at the camping ground, it was time to finally enter the Agra concert hall - and so the first band for me to see there was THE CHAMELEONS, Post Punk veterans from Middleton, UK, with the band history reaching back to the year 1981. The audience was listening carefully and enjoying every second of the performance even though the sound quality (Agra is just not an easy venue in terms of sound in general) did not make it very easy for those who are not that familiar with the band’s catalogue. However, I was accompanied by someone who knew the band and was very enthusiastic which made it easy to get to enjoy the show. THE CHAMELEONS played a variety of songs including among others ‘In Shreds’, ‘Looking Inwardly’, ‘A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days’ and ‘Paper Tigers’ and got the audience into dancing and dreaming.
Lord of the Lost
Last band on that day - and definitely a personal highlight - was the performance of LORD OF THE LOST as Friday's headliner at Agra! LORD OF THE LOST are definitely not a band that could complain about lack of activities these days and I’ve been honestly wondering many times throughout the last few months whether or when they get to catch some sleep. While I can hardly count the number of shows I’ve seen in total, due to the pandemic and me “suddenly” moving to another country made it impossible to visit some of their last shows (still having some of those tickets unused - sigh). So, this was the first LORD OF THE LOST show in a much too long time and it’s been amazing. The venue filled super quickly and it was really hard to get to the left side of the stage once I was out of the photo pit on the opposite side.
I managed to get a decent spot on the side where I could see most of the stage somehow and I enjoyed every second. The setlist has been my favourite one in many years with a great mixture of old, very new and of course some songs in between. My “old fan heart” jumped when hearing the intro of ‘Blood for Blood’ as much as when the crowd joined Chris Harms on the intro of ‘Blood and Glitter’. It’s been obvious that the guys enjoyed playing this show a lot and Chris showed a lot of gratitude for being able to headline this evening. My heart was full and I was so very, very happy to have been able to join this evening full of great songs, a strong connection between band and audience and many emotions.
Pictures by Aileen Ritter, Nastja Iz, Daniela Vorndran and Betty Schulze
Written by Aileen Ritter (Zynic) & Nastja Iz