RoD header


Flugplatz Borkenberge, Lüdinghausen, Germany
20th - 22nd August 2010
Area4 Festival 2010 Day 3: Billy Talent, Gogol Bordello, The Gaslight Anthem, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Caliban, Comeback Kid, Parkway Drive, State Radio, Twin Atlantic

On the last festival day, the weather was not so very friendly to us. First only grey and windy, it started raining heavily just during those two bands, I really was looking forward to: BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB and THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM. Festival and rain always means... mud... and lots of kiddies playing with and in it. It was a funny thing seeing all those mud flying high during the GOGOL BORDELLO show. Headliner of the evening finally was BILLY TALENT, a really great live act I might add.

Twin Atlantic

TWIN ATLANTIC got together in 2007, composed of members being active in other projects before until they joined forces. Their debut EP and the following single were all released in 2008. They could already land support slots with BIFFY CLYRO, supported the SAMSHING PUMPKINS on personal invitation and played lots of festivals. In-between they found the time to record the debut ‘Vivarium’, released in late 2009. TWIN ATLANTIC is Sam McTrusty (vocals, guitar), Barry McKenna (guitar, cello, backing vocals), Ross McNae (bass, piano, backing vocals) and Craig Kneale (drums). /

Music & Performance
Just a few people had found their way to the stage this Sunday noon to see the first band of the last festival day TWIN ATLANTIC who started a driving set with ‘Lightspeed’ and seemed more awake while performing than their audience was while watching. But in-between they seemed a little unmotivated. But hey, it was still early. Also it proved to be a highly challenging endeavour to understand what Sam McTrusty was actually talking about. The Scottish accent was just too hard to get for me and I guess many others had their problems as well. The next song was ‘What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?’, also from their debut album ‘Vivarium’. A fine element of their sound is the cello, played by Barry McKenna and which is giving certain tracks a melancholy feeling. Good opener of the day.

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7 / 10

State Radio

Given life to in 2002 by Chad Urmston after his former band DISPATCH disbanded, STATE RADIO released their first album ‘Us Against The Crown’ in 2005, following a couple EPs and a demo recording. September 2006 would be seeing their first journeys to Germany or the Netherlands or instance. Mostly spending time with touring, the band still managed to release with ‘Year Of The Crow’ their second album in September 2007, to be followed by the third one ‘Let It Go’ in September 2009. STATE RADIO is Chad Urmston (lead vocals, guitar), Chuck Fay (bass) and Mike Najarian (drums). /

Music & Performance
I’m not that much of a Reggae fan and the fact that STATE RADIO combine Reggae and Rock didn’t exactly lift any enthusiasm. However, it turned out not to be so bad in the end to say it upfront! They entered the stage and curly-head Chad Urmston said “Welcome to your second show of the day” to start immediately afterwards with the easy sounding ‘People To People’ where the Reggae elements prevailed while at the following ‘Doctor Ron The Actor’ the rock elements were emphasized more, and it was quite a good track to dance to as well, which some also did.

STATE RADIO had a replacement drummer for this show since their own couldn’t make it. It was Christoph Schneider of Münster-based GHOST OF TOM JOAD and he obviously did a good job as the band looked very proud. The set continued with ‘Camilo’, ‘Knights of Bostonia’ and ‘Man In the Hall’ which already was the closing track.

1. People to People
2. Doctor Ron the Actor
3. Gang of Thieves
4. Arsenic & Clover
5. Camilo
6. Knights of Bostonia
7. Man in the Hall

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 7 / 10

Parkway Drive

PARKWAY DRIVE started in 2003 and shortly after their inception released a split EP with the band I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN. Their first solo EP followed in 2004, having the title ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’, they acquired a fan base with in Australia. In 2005, they went on to produce their debut full-length with Adam Dutkievicz of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. The album called ‘Killing With A Smile’ was supported by several headlining shows. The second album ‘Horizons’ followed in October 2007. Afterwards, the band toured the US, Australia and Europe. Their third and most recent album ‘Deep Blue’ gained high praise amongst critics. PARKWAY DRIVE is Winston McCall (vocals), Ben Gordon (drums), Jeff Ling (guitar), Jia O'Connor (bass) and Luke Kilpatrick (guitar). /

Music & Performance
Typically at these occasions when a Hard- or Metalcore band is playing, lots and lots of people are turning up at a stage and this time was no exception. Where the first two bands lacked the audience, PARKWAY DRIVE couldn’t complain and when after the introduction and the band taking positions, the thrashing began with ‘Unrest’, it was like someone’s turned a switch. Jumping and rioting was on the schedule while Winston McCall screamed it all out at the top of his voice, moving like being chased by someone. After that first song he just looked like he’s just done a 10 kilometres marathon. But it was just the jetlag and the warmth he told us, before taking on the next steps ‘Idols And Anchors’ and ‘Romance Is Dead’ to which the crowd surfing began and also the mandatory circle pit couldn’t be missed and followed later on before ‘Deliver Me’ hit the nerves. The people loved all of it when I could have lived without it.

01. Intro: Samsara
02. Unrest
03. Idols And Anchors
04. Romance Is Dead
05. Sleepwalker
06. Dead Man's Chest
07. Deliver Me
08. Carrion
09. Boneyards

Music: 5
Performance: 6
Sound: 6
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 5.5 / 10

Comeback Kid

Initially intended as a side project, COMEBACK KID grew to become much more than just that with popularity coming nearly instantly through word of mouth. The first album ‘Turn It Around’ saw the light of day in 2003 already. The band released their second album ‘Wake The Dead’ in 2005, followed by a period of long touring before heading back into the studio to record. The third record ‘Broadcasting’ dropped in 2007. COMEBACK KID’s newest album ‘Symptoms & Cures’ will be released at the end of August. COMEBACK KID is Kyle Profeta (drums), Andrew Neufeld (vocals), Jeremy Hiebert (guitar), Casey Hjelmberg (guitar), Matt Keil (bass/vocals). /

Music & Performance
Next episode of the Hard- / Metalcore triple followed after the break with COMEBACK KID. Basically, it was the same style as before, but much more heavy and with more melody and that is why I couldn’t judge them as bad as I wanted to in the first place. It’s astonishing what a little bit more melodic work can accomplish. It can make even a completely harsh sound more appealing. Of course, it started all hard and pushing with ‘False Idols Falls’. The difference was obvious right away. The screaming of Andrew Neufeld was clearer and you could at least understand something of the lyrics within the songs. Also the following ‘Die Tonight’ and the racing ‘Defeated’ gave no reason for the crowd to slow down with their movements or acts by any means.

But that was still harmless compared to the insane reactions to ‘Broadcasting’ and guess what, later there was a circle pit. On closing ‘Wake The Dead’, the audience got the chance to sing a part of the lyrics and of course did it. Better than expected, actually.

01. False Idols Fall
02. Die Tonight
03. Defeated
04. Partners in Crime
05. Broadcasting
06. Do Yourself a Favor
07. The Trouble I Love
08. Lorelei
09. Because of All
10. Talk Is Cheap
11. All in a Year
12. Final Goodbye
13. Wake The Dead

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 6.2 / 10


CALIBAN was founded with the name NEVER AGAIN back in 1997 in Germany. First songs were sent to many record companies, one of which would go on to sign them. The first single got released in summer of 1998. It wasn’t before they finished their tour of Europe that they were heading into the studio to start working on their debut ‘A Small Boy And A Great Heaven’, released in 1999. Their second album ‘Vent’ followed in 2001. The same year they played the Beast-Feast festival with renowned bands such as SLAYER or PANTERA. Two years later, they would come up with their third one ‘Shadow Hearts’, which would be increasing their popularity considerably. By 2009, they’ve released a total of six albums with ‘Say Hello To Tragedy’ being the latest one. CALIBAN is Andreas Dörner (screamed vocals), Dennis Schmidt (rhythm guitar, clean vocals), Marc Görtz (lead guitar), Marco Schaller (bass, backing vocals) and Patrick Grün (drums). /

Music & Performance
The third time is the charm, or how goes the saying? After another little break to get some rest it was time for CALIBAN to enter the arena to please the Metalcore hearts, and the community was being present in a high count. A sinister intro, guided by a piano introduced their coming, followed up by the ‘Love Song’ which even starts comparatively calm with a dark ambience passage to venture off into violent rhythm and growl mayhem: Was exactly the initial spark the crowd needed to take off completely and there was hardly any alteration to the following ‘My Time Has Come’. To ‘No One Is Safe’, we needed to relocate to a different spot since the people opened a very large canyon in the middle for the upcoming wall of death that gave everyone space to leave control by their adrenaline.

‘I Will Not Let You Down’ then had a circle pit in stock for us, but a bigger one was still to come on ‘Between The Worlds’. With ‘Nowhere To Run, No Place To Hide’ the guys sent out a heart-piercing anthem for their admirers to give their last. Well, not to offend anyone but I was glad when it was over.

01. Intro: Her Darkest Dream
02. Love Song
03. My Time Has Come
04. It's Our Burden to Bleed
05. No One Is Safe
06. I Will Never Let You Down
07. I've Sold Myself
08. Forsaken Horizon
09. Between the Worlds
10. 24 Years
11. Nowhere to Run, No Place to Hide

Music: 4
Performance: 5
Sound: 7
Light: - (daylight)
Total: 4.9 / 10

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

The band that would be known as THE BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB was founded as THE ELEMENTS in 1998. First, they started making a name for themselves which sooner or later got the attention of many record labels. Virgin Records would eventually get the deal and the band would go about recording their eponymous debut album which was to become an early success. The second album ‘Take Them On, On Your Own’ followed in August 2003 and strengthened their status. ‘Howl’, their third album, would become a turning point, taking a fairly different route than their previous material. They kind of reinvented themselves with that record, but the next long-player would not entirely build up on the fundament laid out with it. ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’ is the newest result of their creative process and is out since March. BRMC is Peter Hayes (vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizer), Robert Levon Been (vocals, bass, guitar, piano) and Leah Shapiro (drums, percussion). /

Music & Performance
The performance of BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB was in a sad way ill-fated. The death of Robert Levon Been’s dad just a few days before made it look unlikely the band would be playing and we were told about an announcement on the internet they actually wouldn’t be playing, yet they did and as if the heavens knew how it must’ve looked like inside Robert’s soul right now, they started crying badly and for the first time at an Area4 festival we were standing in the rain. Just a coincidence? We will never know. The three-piece anyway entered the stage and even if the circumstances were difficult to say the least, I was glad they were playing. The beginning was made with an intro that was followed up by ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’, the Americana-inspired anthem that radiated an enigmatic aura just like the way the guys and the girl did their performance. There was not much talking involved here, rather letting the music speak for itself. Oppressing and slowly, the following ‘Love Burns’ put a layer of dirt on our souls while we were watching the still passionate performance that somewhat cast a spell as well. Gloom still covered everything on the next one ‘Mama Taught me Better’ that also brought a driving pace and the distinctive distorted bass lines to the table, Robert is known for. There you could also see some moving people.

The same thing you could do to ‘Stop’ and ‘Bad Blood’. The show got more intense with every passing minute, you could really sense it. A rocking western noire feeling came over us with ‘Ain’t No Easy Way’ before the ‘Conscience Killer’ walked amongst us. We were drawing closer to the end now, but none of us could know at the time what a memorable and saddening end it would become. During ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock'n'Roll (Punk Song)’, Robert would leave the stage to get in close contact with the audience while holding his guitar into the crowd, playing from the barrier to the photo pit. The next thing you saw after the song ended and the rest of the band had already disappeared was him kneeling in the mud, having a completely absent look on his face and carving some letters into the wet soil. Two letters we assumed were the initials of his deceased father Michael. May he rest in peace…

01. Intro
02. Beat the Devil's Tattoo
03. Love Burns
04. Mama Taught Me Better
05. Stop
06. Bad Blood
07. Ain't No Easy Way
08. Conscience Killer
09. Berlin
10. Whatever Happened to My Rock'n'Roll (Punk Song)

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.7 / 10

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, titled ‘The '59 Sound’. The third one ‘American Slang’ hit the streets in June. The line-up is as follows: Brian Fallon (vocals, guitar), Alex Levine (bass), Benny Horowitz (drums) and Alex Rosamilia (guitar). /

Music & Performance
“A little rain don’t hurt nobody right?” was a statement Brian Fallon threw into the audience during the performance of his band THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM and he was damn right, and sure as hell it didn’t keep the a big crowd from showing at the stage and having a good time with the guys. The fun started with the thumping ‘Great Expectations’ and though the ground was muddy, dancing people could be spotted already to this song and they would become more numerous with the second offering ‘Wooderson’. ‘The Diamond Church Street Choir’ had a kind of indie blues vibe that immediately had you going along with it. By that time I remembered when I first saw them here in 2008 in bright sunlight and how they now still have wide smiles on their faces when playing and enjoying themselves, even under those weather conditions. ‘Even Cowgirls Get The Blues’ calmed it way down and once again Brian’s raucous vocals shined.

‘We Came To Dance’ became the main motto for the next few minutes where some almost forgot how bad the weather god was treating us right now. ‘The Spirit Of Jazz’ now flew down from on stage to us, disguised as a rock song that left you no other choice than moving something. When ‘Film Noir’ started and gained momentum, you could hardly keep your head from nodding since it was like the song demanded it. With ‘Stay Lucky’ and ‘The Backseat’, the guys were closing their set that belonged to the best this day had to offer for me.

01. Great Expectations
02. Wooderson
03. The Diamond Church Street Choir
04. Old White Lincoln
05. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
06. Old Haunts
07. The '59 Sound
08. We Came To Dance
09. American Slang
10. The Spirit Of Jazz
11. Miles Davis and the Cool
12. Bring It On
13. Film Noir
14. The Queen Of Lower Chelsea
15. Stay Lucky
16. The Backseat

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.9 / 10

Gogol Bordello

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 of which ‘Trans-Continental Hustle’ has been recently released as the newest one on 21st May 2010. /

Music & Performance
Right in time to the GOGOL BORDELLO show it stopped raining. Best premises to throw a party, even if you were still wearing the orange Jägermeister rain ponchos, front man Eugene Hütz told us he wanted to wear one of either, some time into the set. But why am I talking about him as front man exclusively. He may be the master mind, but everyone in this multi-cultural troop somewhat was a front man! When everyone of the large ensemble had taken their positions, the show could start with ‘Ultimate’, which is not the fasted track in the beginning but makes a rocket start later. The crowd started partying with the first chords and would get their chance to continue with the following ‘Wonderlust King’.

It is a phenomenon! No matter when they appear to play, the people go absolutely crazy about them and even do a polonaise through the mud, because they’re completely filled with happiness. Me not being a big fan of theirs at least have to acknowledge that they know how to infect a crowd. They could keep the mood up high for the entirety of the set, lasting 75 minutes; 75 minutes where hardly anyone stood still, neither on nor in front of the stage.

Music: 5
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6.5 / 10

Billy Talent

The band started out as PEZZ in 1993 and released one album under that name before changing to BILLY TALENT in 2001. They roused the interest of a big radio show in their native, which eventually led to their record deal with Warner. The first album under the new name ‘Billy Talent I’ came out in 2003 and found considerable sales success and allowed the band to played many sold-out shows. ‘Billy Talent II’ hit stores’ in 2006 and went on to become even more of a success, also internationally. ‘Billy Talent III’ hit store shelves in 2009, followed by a European and Canadian tour. BILLY TALENT is Benjamin Kowalewicz (lead vocals), Ian D'Sa (lead guitar, vocals), Jonathan Gallant (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Aaron Solowoniuk (drums, percussion). /

Music & Performance
It had gotten dark in the meantime the preparations for the final act of the festival were made. BILLY TALENT would be closing the festival and they did it in style, starting with ‘Devil In A Midnight Black Mass’. Seeing singer Ben Kowalewicz running on stage like a mad man to be welcomed by an excited crowd. The rhythms were pounding fast and the riffs were tight, and in the fraction of a second the band had the people under their control. Then it went on in pulsating lights with the rolling riffs and rhythms of ‘Turn Your Back’. The fun they visibly had on stage was incredible and even if you were tired and wasted, you just had to go with the flow of the song.

Same goes for the third effort ‘Try Honesty’ that with that catchy phrase in the chorus animated to sing along. ‘Line & Sinker’ went one better and had the crowd cracking up completely. For the first time, things got a little slower in the set with ‘Rusted From The Rain’. For the saddening ‘Saint Veronika’ a circle pit formed and on ‘Surrender’, the audience was involved with singing. That was actually when the time had come for me to say goodbye to the Area4 since I had quite a way home ahead of me and work would start again the next day. But I left with the memory of a big celebration with BILLY TALENT.

01. Devil in a Midnight Mass
02. Turn Your Back
03. Try Honesty
04. Line & Sinker
05. Rusted From the Rain
06. Saint Veronika
07. Surrender
08. River Below
09. Diamond on a Landmine
10. Tears Into Wine
11. This Suffering
12. This Is How It Goes
13. The Ex
14. Fallen Leaves
15. Devil on My Shoulder
16. Prisoners of Today
17. Red Flag

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

With BILLY TALENT, the fifth Area 4 Festival ended. Steadily increasing attendance - this time it were 23,000 people coming to Borkenberge - prove that the organizer must do something right. Personally, I especially liked the line-up this year presenting little more Hardcore bands than in the previous years but more indie rock bands. I wouldn’t mind if this development goes on. The security did a very good job during the festival and was always kind, at least as far I could see. Biggest problem of the festival surely is the waste issue. When we were walking over the camp site, it looked like Armageddon. Sure the promoters think of something how to handle this issue in future. Anyway, I am already looking forward the next year’s edition and I am curious about the surprises it will have in stock for us...

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /
Written by Daniela Vorndran (common parts) and Sebastian Huhn

See also (all categories):

Comments powered by CComment