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Tanzbrunnen, Cologne, Germany
24th & 25th July 2010
Amphi Festival 2010 Day 2 Staatenhaus: Eisbrecher, Letzte Instanz, Diary of Dreams, Front Line Assembly, Samsas Traum, Coppelius, Blitzkid, Frank The Baptist, Escape With Romeo

During the second day, the Staatenhaus had one of my favourite bands and personnel festival highlights in stock: DIARY OF DREAMS. But there were some more extra class performances at the indoor stage, just starting already with the opener ESCAPE WITH ROMEO or later on with a powerful performance of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY.

Escape With Romeo (Janine Szakacs)

Founded in 1989 by Thomas Elbern after leaving PINK TURNS BLUE, ESCAPE WITH ROMEO released its first, self-titled album. One year later, the first concerts were already played. EWR is Thomas Elbern (vocals, guitar), Martin Pott (keyboard), Frenzy (drums) and Ralf (bass). /

Music and Performance
Their show on the Amphi Festival was fantastic! I entered the Staatenhaus and the first things I saw and heard were partying people and an enthusiastic band. It was such a good atmosphere and so obvious that everybody there was in good mood, that I began to smile right at the beginning. The mood in stage was great too and the guys gave everything, they really had fun - starting with jumping, clapping or presenting guitar duels. They also offered extensive guitar solos.

The Staatenhaus was not as full as it was the first day at this early time. Maybe the people drunk too much and even were still sleeping. Nevertheless, the mood was better than it was during some other bands filling the Staatenhaus completely.

01. Intro
02. Helicopters
03. Glitter on the snow
04. Somebody
05. It's loneliness
06. Anteroom
07. White room
08. Addiction

Music: 9
Performance: 8 (they performed as much as they can do with carrying guitars)
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.3 / 10

Frank The Baptist (Dajana Winkel)

The band was founded out of the urge for music that didn’t exist in the San Diego Underground. Initially it was only Frank, writing the songs but he recruited one member after the other who eventually contributed to the songs with their own talents. Their first live performances became a bigger success than expected and the fans demanded that they release some material. Said, done; in 2003 they finally debuted with ‘Different Degrees of Empty’ released on Strobelight Records. Subsequent to the release of the second album ‘Beggars Would Ride’ in 2004, the band toured Europe for the first time. When Frank relocated to Berlin in 2006 he had to assemble a complete new line-up which debuted at the Wave Gotik Treffen 2006, they were headlining.

In November they went to the studio to record the next album ‘The New Colossus’ released in March 2007. FRANK THE BAPTIST is Frank the Baptist (vocals & guitars), Justin Stephens (bass), Carsten Klatte (guitars) and Phantomas (drums). /

Music & Performance
FRANK THE BAPTIST was a band completely unknown to me and so I was quite excited to discover something new. This German-American band plays classic New Wave as known from the 80’s with these dazzling and mesmerizing guitar harmonics. Unfortunately there was nothing going on, the four-piece stood quite statically on stage, no spark was jumping over and the audience responded much reserved. I was pretty disappointed and quickly bored. I expected more. Oh, by the way, Carsten Klatte was playing guitars; last seen last night with PROJECT PITCHFORK.) Seems like he filled in for Fez Wrecker...

01. Letters To Earth
02. Sea Legs On A Train
03. Falling Stars
04. When The Sky
05. Beg Steal And Borrow
06. Signing Off
07. Glow
08. Scars Forever
09. King Of All Hearts
10. Silver Is Her Colour
11. On My Tongue
12. Ashes Ashes
13. If I Speak

Music: 7
Performance: 5
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 6.3 / 10

Blitzkid (Dajana Winkel)

BLITZKID, a horror punk 3-piece from Bluefield, Virginia, started their career as a duo back in 1997 and after recording a 10 track demo, titled ‘Songs for the Aesthetically Challenged’ was joined by its third member. In May 1999 after a period of soon writing, rehearsing and the playing of some local gigs the ‘Revisited’ EP, showcasing what was to become the band’s trademark sound. The first full-length ‘Terrifying Tales’ released in 1999 enabled them to also tour the surrounding states for the first time. Soon they went on to produce ‘Let Flowers Die’ unleashed on the crowed in December 2001. Through constant touring and a few more albums they’re able to increase their popularity a lot and bestowed them a growing and loyal following. The next album ‘ApPaRiTiOnAl’ is scheduled for October 2010. BLITZKID is TB Monstrosity (E-guitar, vocals), Argyle Goolsby (E-guitar, vocals) and Ricko (drums, backing vocals). /

Music & Performance
BLITZKID means Horror Punk much in the veins of good ol’ MISFITS. Hailing from Bluefield, Virginia, this trio pretty much rocked the stage. Especially bass-player Argyle Goolsby (funny nicks… hahaha) was downright freakin’ out, running, jumping and twisting his body while playing. The dudes sounded much heavier and more powerful here at this indoor location as I excepted after I had a listen to their stuff on CD. Singer TB Monstrosity several times mentioned that they will hopefully have out a new record by the end of the year and already presented a couple of brand new songs. Besides he introduced BLITZKID’s new drummer and told that this is his very first festival and his first time ever in Germany. The audience screamed and applauded enthusiastically. I guess he won’t forget this welcome!

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 7.3. / 10

Coppelius (Dajana Winkel)

Nothing particular is known of this mysterious band. If you take a look on their homepage you can find a “concertography” dating back until the early 19th century but the first known appearance of COPPELIUS was the farewell tour of THE INCHTABOKTABLES where they had the support slot. They also performed as support for Mila Mar, Mutabor, Fiddler’s Green and others in 2003 & 2004. A demo EP called ‘To my Creator’ has been released which also includes the first video for the song ‘Get used to it’. In April 2007 a live DVD was recorded in Berlin followed by the first time appearance at the Wave Gotik Treffen in the same year. In summer 2007, COPPELIUS signed a record deal with Fame Recordings and the debut album ‘Time-Zeit’ was released in September 2007. With ‘Tumult’, the fine gentlemen would return with fresh material in 2009. COPPELIUS is Max Coppelia (vocals, clarinet), Nobusama (drums), Graf Lindorf (vocals, cello), Comte Caspar (vocals, clarinet), Sissy Voss (contrabass) and Bastille (vocals, servant). /

Music & Performance
Last year, COPPELIUS, opened the festival on the main stage, this year they moved to the middle of the second day and were allowed to play a longer set at Staatenhaus. Again butler Bastille spiffed and furbished the stage up before, rushing around with a feather duster and arranging the instruments. Finally, Bastille turned the radio on (for the intro) and the tail-coated and top-hat wearing gentlemen entered the stage, pulling faces and teasing the butler. Hell yeah, always a great scenery especially for the photographers. Anyway, COPPELIUS got in with the legendary track ‘Transylvania’ from IRON MAIDEN’s self-titled debut record in 1980 and I was... nailed… on the pit's fence. What heaviness and power. Wow! The sound man has done a great job here. Incredible what these gentlemen make out of these classic instruments. With ‘Der Handschuh’ and ‘Diener 5er Herren’, COPPELIUS also presented two brand new tracks from the upcoming album ‘Zinnober’ set to be released in October.

And again I’m sorry, for myself, for leaving that early. But COPPELIUS will grace us again in November/December with a German club tour! Gentlemen, it’s always a pleasure!

01. Transylvania (Iron Maiden)
02. Schöne Augen
03. Operation
04. Der Advokat
05. Der Handschuh
06. To My Creator
07. Murders In The Rue Morgue (Iron Maiden)
08. Diener 5er Herren
09. Habgier
10. I Get Used To It
11. Time-Zeit

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.6 / 10

Samsas Traum (Janine Szakacs)

SAMSAS TRAUM’ foundation dates back to 1997, and in this time they build a great fan community. After 13 years they are even progressing, their recent album ‘Vernunft Ist Nichts - Gefühl Ist Alles’ was released on 26th March. /

Music and Performance
The performance of SAMSAS TRAUM in the early evening at the Staatenhaus turned out to one of the highlights at this year's Amphi-festival: after I saw Alex Kaschte the last time two years ago at the Blackfield Festival, many people were very disappointed. But this time there was a firework of older songs and also some new songs. Only the "USA!" cries from the audience were unsuccessful. Musically, he probably pleased everybody in the room with the setlist that was played. With songs like ‘Ein Name im Kristall’, ‘Stromausfall im Herzspital’, ‘Für Immer’ and ‘Heiliges Herz’, he covered all his albums and gave a wide variety of songs.

That was good for the fans on the one hand and on the other hand a good chance for people to get to know the band. I don’t like this kind of music but nevertheless, a great show!

01. Ein Name im Kristall
02. Auf den Spiralnebeln
03. Für Immer
04. Stromausfall im Herzspital
05. Allein unter Menschen
06. Endstation Eden
07. Heiliges Herz
08. Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten
09. Ein Fötus wie Du
10. Mr. Misantrophia
11. Kugel im Gesicht

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: 8
Total: 7.3 / 10

Front Line Assembly (Janine Szakacs)

FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY (FLA) began when Bill Leeb decided to part company with Canadian Industrial pioneers SKINNY PUPPY under alleged controversial circumstances and set out of his own musical quest. Whilst Bill trading under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder had real little influence in SKINNY PUPPY, it was a place where he learnt his trade and saw the germination of some of the ideas that would form the backbone of FLA. FLA is Bill Leeb (vocals, keys), Jeremy Inkel (keys), Jared Singerland (guitar) and Jason Bazinet (drums). /

Music and Performance
The reason why I stayed at the Staatenhaus comes from Canada and is FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, arriving with a new album. I expected that there will be played songs like ‘Shifting through the Lens’, the catchy ‘Angriff’ and the intense ‘Hostage’. And they were! In addition, they played classic sounding like ‘Millennium’ and ‘Plasticity’. That mixture created a nice set, but the show itself remains despite diligent drum inserts a bit pale. Bill Leeb seemed to be a bit tired and the light show was relatively bleak. The beamer show was pretty cool but the spot lights were not very good. For me, who stood in the back, it was impossible to see the band members themselves. Not quite optimal, moreover, the drum sound, so the performance was only good but little spectacular.

The Staatenhaus was extreme full, and I think many people, which don’t like their music were also there because of the rain outside the Staatenhaus. That was underlined by the fact that I was one of the less people in the back who danced. But I saw that the people in the front of the stage were all the more enthusiastic.

01. I.E.D.
02. Circuitry
03. Angriff
04. Resist
05. Hostage
06. Plasticity
07. Prophecy
08. Shifting through the Lens
09. Millennium

Music: 9
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 9
Total: 8.1 / 10

Diary Of Dreams (Janine Szakacs)

Since its foundation in 1989, DIARY OF DREAMS developed more and more in a bona fide rock band. The band enchants a still growing fan base all over the world. With their beautiful tunes, whose central element is the deep melancholy they touch a lot of people. DIARY OF DREAMS is Adrian Hates (vocals, guitar), Gaun:A (guitar), D.N.S. (drums) and Flex (bass). The show at Amphi presented a new keyboarder whose name is still kept a secret. /

Music and Performance
Meanwhile singer Adrian Hates has got many rocker poses in stock, he never sets himself in the middle of the action, but occurs almost humble behind the music that does not fail on this evening to have effect. With ‘Wahn!sinn?’ it starts before the acclaimed hit ‘The Wedding’ follows. The deeply sad ‘She And Her Darkness’ touches and ‘AmoK’ was played in a very beautiful, vibrant version. With the current single ‘King Of Nowhere’, the band finished the set and thanked politely handle for the enthusiastic audience response.

It’s always a pleasure to be part of their intense live show. And worth to miss something like 20 minutes of VNV NATION. Obviously many people thought this way, because the Staatenhaus was full, although VNV began preparing their show and the main stage was already filled over and over with people. But after DoD we had to hurry up to see them, too.

01. Intro
02. Wahn!sinn?
03. The Wedding
04. MenschFeind
05. Kindrom
06. The Chain
07. She and her Darkness
08. AmoK
09. Hypo)crypticK(al
10. Soul Stripper
11. Traumtänzer
12. King of Nowhere

Music: 10
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 9
Total: 8.8 / 10

Letzte Instanz (Dajana Winkel)

LETZTE INSTANZ was founded in 1996 in Dresden. After they approached some labels under the former name RESISTANCE they signed a record deal with the label Costbar and recorded their first songs which are included on the first album. Later the band then changed their name to LETZTE INSTANZ. Before they even released their second album, singer Hörbi and bass player Kaspar left the band. Sebastian Lohse aka Robin Sohn and Rasta F. took over as singer and bass player. After the release of their fourth album ‘Götter auf Abruf’, again three members of the band (incl. the singer) left the band. They found a new singer with Holly and meanwhile recorded two other albums with ‘Wir sind Gold’ as the latest regular studio album.

In December 2007, the acoustic album ‘Das Weisse Lied’ was released presenting newer and older songs with different orchestration followed by the live CD ‘Die Weisse Reise and the next full-length ‘Schuldig’. In 2010, the band will return with the new studio album ‘Heilig’. LETZTE INSTANZ is Holly (vocals), M. Stolz (violin), B. Cellini (cello), Oli (guitar), Holly D. (guitar), Micha (bass) and David Pätsch (drums). /

Music & Performance
It was up to LETZTE INSTANZ to call out the final round at Staatenhaus, after the main stage outside was left alone in the dark. The hall was still crowded and the fans celebrating the band on stage. LETZTE INSTANZ once again delivered an awesome and much powerful show, with its members performing as if there was no tomorrow. Singer Holly several times referred to the band’s new record, promising that the autumn will be “Heilig” (Holy), supported by a tour right after the release. The traditional stage diving finishing a LETZTE INSTANZ we actually missed. Never mind. Great show!

01. Mea Culpa & Mein Engel
02. Flucht ins Glück
03. Dein Licht
04. Ohne Dich
05. Der Garten
06. Mein Gott
07. Schau in mein Gesicht
08. Finsternis
09. Komm nie zurück
10. Das Stimmlein
11. Mein Todestag
12. Wir sind allein
13. Rapunzel
14. Song 2 (Blur)

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.9 / 10

Eisbrecher (Dajana Winkel)

EISBRECHER was formed in 2003 after former MEGAHERZ singer Alexx Wesselsky left the band over creative differences, co-founding member was another ex-band member Noel Pix. Then in 2004, they debuted with their self-titled album; there was a heavy outcry due to the band adding two CD-Rs as an incentive to copy the album and as a statement against the criminalization of the end-customer through the music industry. The sophomore ‘Antikörper’ became a big success for EISBRECHER charting at #85 of the German album charts. Ever busy with touring, the band meanwhile has a huge following and EISBRECHER shows usually are nearly or completely sold-out. The newest part of the saga is named 'Eiszeit' and has become the band’s most successful album release this far. EISBRECHER is Alexx Wesselsky (vocals, composition, management), Noel Pixx (programming, guitars, backing vocals, engineering, production, composition), René (drums, percussion), Jürgen (guitars) and Oli Pohl (bass). /

Music & Performance
The last one cleans up and turns out the lights, so front man Alexx “The Checker” told the audience when EISBRECHER entered the stage to finish this year’s edition of AMPHI FESTIVAL. This band cannot do it wrong, no matter when, where and how often they play. Performing for the fourth time, in a row at this festival, EISBRECHER still managed to get the crowd up and partying. The fan-base grew big and seemingly cannot get enough. Fans freak out when “The Checker” is around. Except for one song, the setlist was the same from the last year, so it was easy for the fans to sing-along every song. Well, after 4 years they should know the lyrics… Hehe! Anyway, EISBRECHER made it to bring this festival to a glorious end at midnight! Let me guess… EISBRECHER is one of the bands playing the festival next year?

01. Eiszeit
02. Angst?
03. Willkommen im Nichts
04. Leider
05. Vergissmeinnicht
06. Schwarze Witwe
07. Die Engel
08. Heilig
09. This Is Deutsch
10. Amok
11. Miststück

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7 / 10

With EISBRECHER; yet another Amphi Festival ended. After this year’s edition, I have mixed feeling about it. Sure, it was great to meet a lot of friends there and see some great bands. But for my taste it was much too crowded. Definitely! And the line-up… hm… I was not really happy with it. Why let three bands play there that already performed last year? And why always the same bands you see a hundred times on different festivals, literally spoken? There are so many great bands, also new bands, out there! I wish the promoters of the festival were a bit braver in compiling a diversified line-up. We’ll see what next year has in stock for us.

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /
Written by Daniela Vorndran (Common Parts), Dajana Winkel, Janine Szacaks, Carsten Leopold

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