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Hawerkamp, Münster, Germany
3rd - 4th July 2009
Vainstream Rockfest 2009 Day 1: Hatebreed, Gogol Bordello, Suicidal Tendencies, The Gaslight Anthem, Ignite, Dillinger Escape Plan, K.I.Z., Walls of Jericho, Muff Potter, Bouncing Souls, Bring Me The Horizon, Mr Irish Bastard

The fourth anniversary of Vainstream Festival! It was to be a big, hot, boozy party as in the years before. Considering the temperatures one was put in mind to the festival’s premier taking place on the year’s hottest day, but didn’t have any effect on the mood and what’s better than good music on a sunny summer’s day? Real good music on two sunny summer days! That’s what the organizers must’ve thought and so presented this year’s edition on two days. Even as a mere attendee it’s a good feeling to see a festival grow time after time. A definitive sign of the good job, those responsible are doing.

Still, the admission procedure is - after the catastrophe of the first year with endless waiting and a too little stuff for too many people - one of the most stressing parts, but the improvements from year to year are visible and let’s be honest; there’s no festival without waiting time. Arriving on the festival grounds you found the usual package with various food and drink stalls. So you could already spend some time with strolling around, getting a free drink at the Jägermeister booth or stocking up with TITUS stickers. At the Fisherman’s Friend Tent you could get your scream volume attested and a bunch of pastilles to calm the sore throat afterwards. If you were in the mood of re-filling your closet, there’s enough possibilities for that either. Actually, there was something for nearly everything you wanted and a Festival Guide stall offered info material. And last but not least, the ‘distortion’ and ‘On Fire’ stages.

Mr. Irish Bastard

Following the releases of their critically acclaimed EP ‘St. Mary’s School for Drinking’ one of the very few national Irish folk punk bands, in this case the band comes from Münster’, returned with the much anticipated debut full-length ‘Bastard Brotherhood’ in 2008. Afterwards they spent the rest of the year with touring and meanwhile have a reputation of being one tremendous live act to watch. This band opened the festival on Friday afternoon, but still it was much too early for us because we could not manage to be at the area in time due to work reasons. /

Bring me the Horizon

BRING ME THE HORIZON began in 2004 with members of many defunct bands from around their local area. With their debut EP ‘This is what the edge of your seat was made for’, released in 2005, they could celebrate first little successes; successes which tended to increase with the forthcoming releases of ‘Count Your Blessings’ (2006) and ‘Suicide Season’ (2008). In 2007, they’ve headlined a tour with the band I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN. BRING ME THE HORIZON is Oliver Sykes (vocals), Lee Malia (lead guitar), Jona Weinhofen (rhythm guitar), Matt Kean (bass guitar) and Matt Nicholls (drums). /

Music & Performance
At 13:40 sharp, the men around Oliver Sykes entered the stage. After the departure of guitarist Curtis Ward, ex I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN and BLEEDING THROUGH guitarist Jona Weinhofen was called to replace him on tours. That one directly caused a store in opening the circle pit, climbing on the really huge amp towers and continuing doing his job from there. Once more they showed live qualities, played newer songs such as ‘Chelsea Smile’ and ‘The Comedown’ but also older pieces like ‘Pray for Plagues’. Sadly, the band dismissed really great songs a la ‘For Stevie Wonders Eyes Only’, ‘It was written in Blood’ or ‘Diamonds aren't forever’. But still it was a great start for the Vainstream Rock Fest 2009.

Bouncing Souls

The roots of the BOUNCING SOULS go way back to 1987 when Greg Attonito (vocals), Pete Steinkopf (guitar), Bryan Kienlen (bass) and Shal Khichi (drums) would decide to form a band. All committed to the various incarnations of Punk, the stylistic direction was pretty clear from the start. They would be releasing their first singles soon after the inception already; however it wasn’t before 1994 that the first full-length ‘The Good, The Bad & The Argyle’ appeared through their own label Chunksaah Records. After relocating to New York, BYO Records approaches them and the band goes on to sign with the label. Already back then they would develop the habit of being more on tour than anything else and it was on one of these tours, the songs for their sophomore ‘Maniacal Laughter’ (1995) were written and every new album they would add to their discography was to be followed by a tour marathon and meanwhile they’ve become an institution in the punk rock scene not only in America. Their last album carries the pretentious title ‘The Gold Record’ and was out in June 2006. /

Music & Performance
After lots of ear-banging stuff and screams, the festival now showed its other side and with it the special charm it has: The mixture of concentrated harshness on one, and joyful detachment on the other hand. For the latter, the New Jersey punk rockers of THE BOUNCING SOULS were responsible. The sun was shining, it was warm and considering this, many had wished for their skateboards to the sounds of ‘Lean on Sheena’ and more. But even without “wheels” there’s much movement before and most of all on stage. Here, singer Greg Atonito, driven by fast rhythms jumped around happily or entered the photographer’s pit. You could tell these guys had already played “a few” shows since the band’s inception in 1987. On the other side of the fans, people were pogo-dancing and screaming in proper style. A clean, solid show, fitting the festival and whetting the appetite for more!

Muff Potter

The guys from Rheine / Germany (now living in Münster and Berlin) were long not 18 when the band was founded back in 1993. But anyway they started right away with an own label to be independent from the beginning. Punk Rock is not only the musical style of the guys but also their attitude. The first album ‘Muff Potter’ was released in 1996 followed by several more. 2009 saw the release of the latest album ‘Gute Aussicht’. MUFF POTTER is Thorsten "Nagel" Nagelschmidt (vocals, guitar), Thorsten "Brami" Brameier (drums), Dennis Scheider (guitar, vocals) and Dominic "Shredder" Laurenz (bass). /

Music & Performance
There’s more to come right away in the form of ‘Angry Pop’ in German. More or less home play, proving once more they’re not belonging in the shadows of DIE ÄRZTE, but earned a place in the sun within the 16 years of band history, which they’ve got today as the sun was smiling as the faces of the attendees while consuming the sounds of e.g. ‘Gute Aussicht’. But that didn’t just look good, it sounded good either. The guitars of Thorsten and Dennis, handling vocal duties as well, felt audibly comfortable in the hands of their owners, drawing melodic sounds off them, supported by the strong fundament of Bassist Dominic an drummer Thorsten (Yes, another one) to deliver real good German Punk Rock.

Not least due to their profound lyrics, MUFF POTTER for me is amongst the spearheads of that genre, because they actually have something to say. Sadly, people seemed to busy with listening, resulting in very sparse movement! Instead the audience gave them well-deserved applause for songs such as ‘Wecker? Tickt!’. The band, especially looking forward SUICIDAL TENDENCIES today, strongly recommended them after having seen them live a while ago and having only praise for them.

Walls of Jericho

WALLS OF JERICHO were formed in 1998 following the demise of two Detroit based bands, called EARTHMOVER and UNIVERSAL STOMP. After they had a complete line-up, touring around the local scene started and in 1999, the debut EP with the name ‘A Day and a Thousand Years’ following constant touring to promote the stuff, they attracted the attention of  two labels and eventually signed with Trustkill Records who released their debut album ‘The Bound Feed The Gagged’. In 2001, their former drummer announced he would be leaving the band which would eventually force them into hiatus after their replacement drummer left to work with another band and a series of unsuccessful auditions. However, 2004 saw the band returning from cryo sleep with a new drummer and album ‘All Hail tThe Dead’.

Within the following years, the band would gain a big and loyal following through continuous touring, whilst releasing an EP and two more albums. Their latest one ‘The American Dream’ was out in July 2008. WALLS OF JERICHO is Candace Kucsulain (vocals), Chris Rawson (guitar), Mike Hasty (guitar), Aaron Ruby (bass guitar), and Dustin Schoenhofer (drums).

Music & Performance
The hardcore five-piece around shouter Candace Kucsulain entered the stage and with the first sounds pressing through the speakers you weren’t sure anymore, you would still be alive for the other acts. The bole started rolling right away and the first circle pit was a mere question of seconds. Little time to take cover but it was just a little crowd intending to do so anyway. WOJ proves time and again, they do not owe their status solely to the label “Female Fronted”, but being one of the most accomplished bands in the genre. As regards the shout quality, you wouldn’t hear a difference between Candace and her male colleagues anyway.

If they’d taken time to take part in the screaming contest at the Fisherman’s Friend tent, the question who’s the winner would’ve been obsolete + she’s real eye-candy against her male pendants, especially when being dressed like today (And with a better haircut considering the past “accidents”). Everyone would like to have a piece of that. So they fed the engine of the mosh monster with ‘A Little Piece of Me’ and ‘There is no I in Fuck You’. Breakdown followed breakdown and the masses fairly celebrated the formation from Detroit who visibly enjoyed themselves on stage as well. “It’s a fucking great day and we are so proud to be here”, they stated before calling to finally wake up the security guys and storm the stage. As WOJ are known and notorious for being close to their fans, the aforementioned followed the call, but it was only short fun as the security was quite awake after all, dragging the people back off the stage. Of course, rules are clear, but to clear the stage of people that way after such a call was a bit over the top for me. So, the ‘American Dream’ could only be experienced from behind the barriers. But there you can do all the better circle pits.


K.I.Z. is a German Hip Hop formation, founded in Berlin in 2000. One of their brands that the use of lyrics containing a lot of black humour and irony. After the band’s formation, the first street album ‘RapDeutschlandKettensägenMassaker’ came out in May 2005, followed by a mix tape ‘Böhse Enkelz’ in 2006. After various successes in TV and print media, their first “real” album ‘Hahnenkampf’ was released in August 2007. In 2008, they were even nominated for German music award Echo in the category “Video International”. That same year they would hit the road for the ‘Einer muss es ja machen’ tour which would lead them through smaller towns. On 10th July 2009, their newest effort ‘Sexismus gegen Rechts’ will be released. K.I.Z. is Tarek, Maxim, Nico and DJ Craft. /

Music & Performance
We wouldn’t see any pits on the next one for sure; at least no one did expect that, really of K.I.Z. Yes, I do mean K.I.Z. and not KISS whose appearance would be more likely than the one of a four-piece hip hop band from Berlin. The band was probably the most controversial act on the festival and probably because of that, one of the most anticipated ones with the highest attendee count thus far. If I initially thought “Most people just know them from their CALEJON feature, anyway”, I was put right by a mass loudly growling to such songs as ‘Klopapier’ and ‘Walpurgisnacht’ (With THE OFFSPRING sample). It seemed MTV’s advertising machinery did a good job again and didn’t forget past successes (#9 in Germany’s album chart). Question is: Would you buy a ticket for a festival with other bands like HATEBREED or DIMMU BORGIR on the billing on that account? Seems like it, or there’s really far more musically open-minded than you’d think.

Would be great and even if I’m counting my person to that group in large parts I can’t say much about the quality of the performance itself as I’ve got no way of comparing them to anything similar because I never attended a hp op gig before. K.I.Z. won’t change that, even though I have to admit that it’s funny to hear “Grün Weisser Partybus sha la la la laaaa” sounding from the stage all of a sudden and people start celebrating it. As the festival also had beer stalls, nothing to really wonder about - still it’s quite funny. The four guys on stage catered for a lot of alarm with a ‘Wall of Love’ and songs like ‘Spasst’ or ‘Geldessen’. The beats are spreading far across the grounds, while the rapping trio Tarek, Nico, and Maxim with their crazy, bizarre, and funny rhymes had the masses under their control and delighted everyone with their statements even though often speaking at the same time and thus, making it hard to understand  a thing. It was a daring step, the organizers took with this formation, but none to regret. If they’re going to leave it with 1 foray into foreign genres, it’s surely an asset for the whole event.

Dillinger Escape Plan

The band originated in 1997 after the disbanding of Arcane, a hardcore punk trio. Following a string of EPs was their debut full-length release ‘Calculating Infinity’ which was met with great acclaim from both underground and mainstream press, eventually leading to former FAITH NO MORE vocalist Mike Patton inviting them to tour with his band MR. BUNGLE. He is also the one who would be handling vocal duties on the following EP ‘Irony is a Dead Scene’ (2002); only a temporary commitment though. The final new singer Greg Puciato is first heard on their contribution to the ‘Underworld’ soundtrack; his first full-length appearance with the band being the second album ‘Miss Machine’ (2004). The band completed their follow-up album to ‘Miss Machine’ in 2007, entitled ‘Ire Works’.

Being in the top ten of many music critics made it the commercially most successful album in the band’s career. A new album is slated for a 2010 release on their newly founded own label Phonogetic Records. The record’s title will be ‘Option Paralysis’. DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN is Greg Puciato (lead vocals), Ben Weinman (guitars), Jeff Tuttle (Guitars), Liam Wilson (bass guitar) and Billy Rymer (drums, percussion).

Music & Performance
But it seemed that St. Peter, or whoever was in charge of the weather, wasn’t in the mood for hip hop today, so he quickly just send over a few rain clouds. It was just a pity that not K.I.Z but DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN had to suffer now, so one of the huge side-banners of the stage had to be disassembled due to a higher occurrence of wind and right in time for the performance to start, rain started dropping on stage. Nothing to get a band like this one irritated and so they started right away with their exhausting “Stresscore”.

While Ben, Jeff, and Ian maltreated their instruments to deliver a flawless live performance of the band’s chaotic sound, drummer Chris tried to keep at least some structure in the songs. The band’s stressing plan worked out, especially as front man Dimitri shone with great shouts and weird screaming parts. Despite the difficult circumstances, he showed total commitment and climbed up one of the stage pillars hang down from their headlong with his leg hooked up to it. After climbing back down again the most part he jumped the last part, rather then getting carried by the security man and to be frank; it wouldn’t have looked half as cool. Even beyond that, the guys had a lot up their sleeves to keep the crowd in a good mood.

So Dimitri grabbed the microphone stand and went straight towards one of the speaker towers, pressing himself against it and trying to pull something that wouldn’t work. But it caused some clumsy movements. The idea to place every band member on a speaker, a monitor etc was much better. Looked like they wanted to play ‘Fire, Water, Earth’ and as it was raining, it was time for “Water”, obviously. The looser in this game was Ben, slipping on the wet stage. As regards the residual posing of the band; it was looking unfortunate, rather than stylish. But DEC wanted to attract more attention through their music, anyway. Surely, this chaotic style of music, isn’t up to everyone’s tastes But some seemed taking their pleasure in it, considering the pits, so you could still feel as happy as you were wet, despite little statements.


IGNITE came to life in 1992 and with a complete line-up in place around 1993, they stated recording various demo tapes, eventually leading to the debut release of ‘Scarred for Life’ in 1994 and a tour in Europe with SICK OF IT ALL and SNAPSHOT in summer of that same year. Shortly thereafter, the EP ‘In my Time’ was recorded with Zoltan "Zoli" Téglás on vocals for the first time on one of their records and nobody would kick him off that position ever since. By the time, their record ‘A Place Called Home’ was out in 2000, the band had already gained a considerable reputation and following alike partly thanks to constant touring. But this one was also their commercial breakthrough and exposed their sound to an even bigger audience. They shouldn’t be releasing a new album before 2006 with ‘Our Darkest Days’ still being the bands most recent material. IGNITE is Zoltan "Zoli" Téglás (vocals), Brian Balchack (guitar), Nik Hill (guitar), Brett Rasmussen (bass), Craig Anderson (drums) and Kevin Kilkenny (touring guitarist). /

Music & Performance
Less dry, but therefore much more melodic and catchy, the festival continued with my personal highlight of this Friday. After a cool intro, ‘Bleeding’ sounded and the five Californian guys started the set with their melodic hardcore in a moody way. Ever since their final breakthrough with the album ‘Our Darkest Days’ in 2006, the guys, who’re giving an autograph session that day as well, enthuse the masses, so it was no wonder, people loudly sang along to the following ‘Let it Burn’. Singer Zoltan thanked for the warm welcome and was happy to be back in Germany after many difficulties and such a long time. He called Germany “Home” and was particularly happy SUICIDAL TEMNDENCIES had followed them “Home”. Of course he wouldn’t use his voice for speaking alone but also for a clean vocal performance, while his band colleagues on the instruments supported him and they were celebrated by the audience.

Still, the weather god wasn’t in a good mood and right in time for ‘Judgement Day’, the floodgates opened wide to send diluvian rain showers down to us. While the first ones rushed to the stalls with the rain capes, the core stayed in front of the stage, singing and dancing. Just as many others did today, Zoltan addressed Michael Jackson with not too many positive words for the “King of Pop”, so he talked about his alleged paedophile tendencies and on a related note, promoted the organization “Children of the Night”, fighting against child prostitution, a matter being of utter importance for the band and thus, they’re dedicating it the song ‘Run, Run, Run’, followed by smashers like ‘Fear I sour tradition’ and of course the U2 cover ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’. So, a boozy performance came to an end with the unfulfilled calls for an encore.

The Gaslight Anthem

This American punk rock band was founded in 2005 and debuted with ‘Sink or Swim’ in 2007 which was warmly received by sources ranging from independent over to mainstream music press. Their style surfs on a punk wave, while simultaneously incorporating other influences. One of the acknowledged heroes of the band is Bruce Springsteen. The follow-up EP to the album ‘Señor and the Queen’ hit the stores in February 2008; exclusively on vinyl. The band's second full-length album was released in August, 2008. It’s titled ‘The '59 Sound’.

The line-up is as follows: Brian Fallon (vocals, guitar), Alex Levine (bass), Benny Horowitz (drums) and Alex Rosamilia (guitar). /

Music & Performance
I didn’t see that much of the Indie rockers from New Brunswick as I retreated to get some dry clothes because it had stopped raining in the meantime. Watching at listening to it from afar, they seemed to make a lot of fun and pleased with a fluffy sound and pleasant songwriting, not only making ‘The 59 Sound’ a crowd-pleaser.

Suicidal Tendencies

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES were formed in 1981 as a hardcore punk band in California. No one would’ve guessed at that time, this band would eventually become a legend in the hardcore punk and skater scene and generations of bands to come would try to be like them and come near their status but never really succeed. SUICIDAL TENDENCIES rose to fame with their 1983 self-titled debut album, which spawned the single ‘Institutionalized’ being one of the first videos in the genre gaining some airplay on MTV. With the follow-up album ‘Join the Army’ issued in 1994, they appeared on the radar of Epic Records who ended up signing them to release their third album ‘How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today’. After having released their eighth album with ‘Suicidal for Life’ in 1994, the band called it quits but came back a couple years and is still active. There hasn’t been an album with new material since 2000, but one is going to be released in 2009. /

Music & Performance
At least I made it - more or less punctual - to the performance of a true legend. I imagine they were the main reason for many people to attend the festival Friday in the first place as you don’t get the chance to see a musical milestone live everyday. So you could spot a lot of blue bandanas and ST basketball shirts and other features before the show. The band started their set under frenetic applause and instantly radiated their charm and attitude in a form you won’t find with many bands these days. The joy of playing of the men around singer Mike Muir literally sprayed down from the stage and started a fire of enthusiasm, especially amongst the people of the hardcore and skater punk scenes. The band - having only one founding member left with Mike Muir - delivered classics like ‘Feel like Shit…déjà vu’ with well-known intensity and displayed what many of the new hardcore generation lack: Credibility!

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES always stood for what they are and continue doing so. Everything, the new formations want to be, those South Californian guys have created in the first place. You’re buying their lyrics, their ties to the scene with every word, riff or drum beat. The show was honest, didn’t come over as an obligation to fit into genre thinking in narrow-minded categories. The clothes they wear have become hardcore with them. Today, bands have to buy those clothes first to feel “Hardcore”. The lyrics originate from real subjects, family and friends are praised, because there was a reason for that. Not like today where all that is taken as a mere frame, so you recognize a song as “Hardcore”. That alone, already made the show something very special. The solid performance of the music contributed to that in an equal way. The solos fitted, the sound grooved, and the crowd wasn’t afraid of any sing-a-long to enter the stage afterwards in order to celebrate with their heroes. Just brilliant and as the icing on the cake, the announcement of a new album: Legends never die!

Gogol Bordello

This band is an absolute exception, no matter which festival line-up you add them to. This multi-ethnic Gypsy punk band was formed in 1999 and is notable for its theatrical stage shows. The intention behind GOGOL BORDELLO is to “smuggle” Gypsy / European music into the English speaking world and slowly take control of the government (Just kidding). Back to the band, which has made its first ever live appearance in an after-hours club called Pizdetz and eventually became the residents. In 1999, they released their first album ‘Voi-La Intruder’ by Rubicon Records, followed by four more albums the latest one as been released in February 2008. /

Music & Performance
Slowly, an eventful and exhausting day draws close to its end. That’s why I pulled back a little to gather strength for the headliner HATEBREED. Still, I witnessed enough of the show to find it absolutely moody, despite the unique and unconventional appearance. With guitar, drums, percussion, violin, and accordion, the nine international musicians created a genuine, European folk fete atmosphere and literally invited to dance and sing along, re minding of the 2007 edition where the DROPKICK MURPHYS spread an equally good mood. Given the musical open mindedness I mentioned in the K.I.Z. report, there’s not much left doing except enjoying the show and people did that visibly. The musicians showed a lot joy of playing and delivered a solid performance. A true live band! However, I have to admit I didn’t get any song title, but for me, GOGOL BORDELLO was the most positive surprise of the day.


HATEBREED was formed in 1994. Their first release was e 3 track demo; they sold to locals in their hometown. Following their highly acclaimed EP ‘Under the Knife’ came the first full-length ‘Satisfaction is the Death of Desire’ in 1997 which was the best selling record in the history off their label Victory Records. With constant touring, they soon attracted more than the usual hardcore audience. 2002 saw the release of the second instalment ‘Preservance’. Just one year later they already followed it up with the next strike ‘The Rise of Brutality’ after whose release the band took part in the 2004 Unholy Alliance tour in Europe with SLAYER, SLIPKNOT and MASTODON followed by an extensive European tour and a performance on the main stage at Ozzfest 2006 which was also the year their next album ‘Supremacy’ was released.

The recently released ‘For the Lions’ is a cover album but a second album supposedly containing originally material is announced for a release later this year. /

Music & Performance
After faces of hardcore devotees still were frozen in terror after GOGOL BORDELLO, they were no gradually relaxing again in anticipation of the headliner, turning the 2007 edition of the festival into one huge pit. So it was clear to everyone what to expect in the following 60 minutes and what can you say: It came true, of course! After an epic intro, first fists flew to ‘Doomsdayer’. Jamey Jasta & Co. took no prisoners and unleashed such rage on stage that the setting sun surely didn’t escape just because it was time.

Afterwards ‘Never let it Die’ sounded into the pits, growing larger and larger over the day, finding their climax here. With neon tubes in the background and pillars of fire provided a lot and broke their way through the skull caps into the brain of everyone there. Jamey said thanks for having them again at the Vainstream festival and everyone else for the support of metal and hardcore. Following this statement were songs like ‘To the threshold’ and ‘As die hard as they come’ and the audience showed no sign of being tired and shouted along to the speed assault ‘Defeatist’ and the following ‘Beholder of Justice’ until hell broke loose with the super hit ‘Live for this’.

The three well-known questions followed, which all needed to be answered with a “Fuck, No!”: “Are you tired?” - “Fuck no!”. “Do you wanna go home??” – “Fuck no!!”. “Is there anyone, who is NOT ready to destroy the stage with HATEBREED???” - “Fuck nooo!!!”. Said it and with ‘This is Now’ opened the gates to hell for all who intended to bring the day to a calm end. With hits like ‘I will be heard’, ‘Destroy Everything’ and ‘Straight To Your Face’, the heavily celebrated and proud headliner ended the first festival day. A good, very confident show with all songs and without big surprises in the set list or the performance on stage! But with one hit following the other. It’s like you know it from a festival! So, they left exhausted, sweaty but happy faces in the cheering crowd, spreading to the far end of the festival grounds. We should meet a big part of them again tomorrow!

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /
Written Alexander Vogt and Philipp Prüßmeier ( and Sebastian Huhn for all band intros and translations


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