Zitadelle Spandau, Berlin, Germany
18th to 19th June 2011
Zita Rock Festival Day 2: Qntal, Teufel, End of Green, Samsas Traum, Schandmaul and Apocalyptica
Well, after the first day which had already been wet, we all hoped for a better day this Sunday. However, what can I say? The weather god apparently didn't hear us and so, the day started rainy and continued being just like that for the whole day with the exception of about 2 minutes in between. Nevertheless, this day promised some good music and so, the weather didn't stop the people from having a great time!
The initial line-up of QNTAL, formed in 1991, comprised Ernst Horn & Michael Popp who still was working as a live musician with Horn's main project DEINE LAKAIEN back then and is a founding member of ESTAMPIE. Just like Sigrid "Syrah" Hausen, later complementing QNTAL with her vocal abilities. Impressed and inspired by the strictly positive reception from the press to the debut 'Qntal I' (1992), the project continued its work with the result being 'Qntal II', that was released in 1995 and supported by a tour as support of DEINE LAKAIEN. In 1999, Ernst Horn and Michael Popp fell out with each other which led to Popp's departure from DEINE LAKAIEN and Horn leaving QNTAL. With Philipp Groth handling the keys from there on, they recorded and released 'Qntal 3 - Tristan und Isolde' in 2003. Meanwhile, the QNTAL saga has reached its sixth chapter with 'Translucida' being released in February 2008. With 'Purpurea', the band offers a Best-Of collection since October of the same year. QNTAL is Michael Popp (medieval instruments, composition), Sigrid "Syrah" Hausen (vocals), Philip Groth (keys), Mariko (live violin, backing vocals) Markus Köstner (live drums). http://www.qntal.de / http://www.myspace.com/qntal
Music & Performance
QNTAL isn't really a band that had drawn any attention to me and so, I wasn't really excited to see the band this day. However, they started off being quite good. Starting off with one of the most famous medieval song 'Palästinalied', they soon showed that they are a well-experienced band with skilled singers and musicians. They were all dressed really nicely, especially Syrah (vocals), who wore a long red dress with a black kind of cape above it. They played a mixture of medieval, guitar and electronic sounds which probably wasn't everybody's cup of tea but there is no doubt about it that the music was well played, including a quite good sound. Unfortunately, the surrounding sounds were so loud that you couldn't hear anything the band was saying in between the songs. However, they played good show with rather slow music, maybe a little too slow for being the opening band. I'd rather had a more powerful band put in front to get everybody going. All in all, it was a good show but somehow not really matching for an opening act. It was nice to hear the voices though and a lot of people loved it, I'm sure.
Light: 8 (+ daylight)
Total: 7.5 / 10
In over 20 years TEUFEL has been out and about as minstrel, musician and entertainer in different formations. As singer and bagpiper of the medieval-industrial-rock band TANZWUT and the medieval band CORVUX CORAX he had travelled the entire world and attracted a huge fan base over the years. Now he appears with his new project TEUFEL and the album 'Absinth'. Between jester and devil there is always music. In medieval times, the jester was said to be remote of god and allied to the devil. On this album you can meet both in one person. With wit and a deeper meaning, ecstasy, inebriation and lunacy, passion and in view of the evanescence of us all, jester and devil together invite us to dance. http://www.teufel-music.de / http://www.myspace.com/teufeltv
Music & Performance
This was one of the bands I was mostly anxious to see since I like the projects TEUFEL is doing normally. After entering the stage wearing some strange masks with kind of dreadlocks attached to them, they soon started with the first song which instantly reminded me of TANZWUT. Then I took a closer look at the band and I realized: "Well, the line-up looks like TANZWUT as well". Anyway, the band started with the opener 'Tritt ein' from the current album 'Absinth'. TEUFEL welcomed everybody with "A lovely afternoon everybody, welcome to the live premiere of 'Absinth', let's worship the green fairy". Music-wise the band weren't really any different from TANZWUT, playing rock music mixed with electro and medieval sounds. The band played songs like 'Fährmann', 'Todesengel', 'Alles nur ein Traum' and 'Der dürre König'.
Of course, a glass filled with absinth was being held up in the air at the beginning of every song which was quite amusing if you ask me. However, the audience loved it. A highlight of the concert was probably his version of Bertold Brecht's 'Moritat von Mackie Messer'. I personally really liked it and I think I wasn't the only one that afternoon. The concert ended with songs like 'Komm näher', ‚Den speise ich' and ‚Kalt ist mein Herz'. Well, what can I say? TEUFEL, you did good although it wasn't really that new. And unfortunately, the guitar was definitely not loud enough, what a pity - but all in all, it was a solid show.
Light: 8 (+ daylight)
Total: 7.5 / 10
End of Green
END OF GREEN is a German band formed in Stuttgart in 1992. According to singer Michael Huber, the band name means by the end of the colour green symbolized hope. This fits with the type of music the band produces. The band describes its style as “Depressed Subcore”. The lyrics are about loneliness, depression, pain and death. The group released the debut album ‘Infinity’ in 1996. The album, ‘The Sick's Sense’ is their most successful with ‘Dead End Dreaming’ as the first album to enter the charts. With their current album ‘High Hopes in Low Places’, they are appearing at the 5th Zita Folk Festival! http://www.endofgreen.de / http://www.myspace.com/endofgreen
Music & Performance
The next band on the agenda was END OF GREEN. They started off with ‘High hopes in low places’ followed by ‘Demons’. This already promised a mixture of old and new songs. Unfortunately, the rain came down like nothing during the concert and so, many people preferred standing under a tree with umbrellas hiding which is quite comprehensible.
After telling us about their last night (excluding any sleep), they rocked the stage like hell - definitely no sign of tiredness showing at that time. I guess, with songs like ‘Hurter’, ‘Killhoney’ and ‘Saviour’ everybody was pleased that day. The weather didn’t hold the band back and they rocked the stage like crazy, which animated the audience as well. More and more people made their way in front of the stage listening to the good music. ‘Good night insomnia’ and ‘Tie Me A Rope While You’re Calling My Name’ made sure everybody was happy to be standing in the rain watching the good show. The band ended the show with ‘Sick one’ and ‘Burry me down (the end)’ and left everybody in a good mood. I was happy to be able to see the band that day despite of the crappy weather. Thanks, END OF GREEN, for the great show!
Light: 8 (+ daylight)
Total: 8.3 / 10
For 13 years now, SAMSAS TRAUM has enriched the Gothic community with its unique music as well as with their controversial lyrics and attitude, promoting a vegan lifestyle and misanthropy. Their recent album ‘Vernunft Ist Nichts - Gefühl Ist Alles’ was released on 26th March 2010 and proves that SAMSAS TRAUM is not yet ready to stop re-inventing themselves. The only constant member and mastermind behind SAMSAS TRAUM is Alexander Kaschte. And his is yet back again to entertain the gothic crowd at the Zita Folk Festival 2011! http://samsas-traum.com / http://www.myspace.com/samsastraum
Music & Performance
Let’s put it this way: I am not the biggest SAMSAS TRAUM’s fan. And therefore, the band wasn’t really one of the ones I was excited to see on that Sunday. However, there was no way around them and so, the concert started with a really cheerful front man Alexander Kaschte. I guess, the audience was divided into two parts: the first half love the band including Kaschte and everything that goes along with him (especially his arrogance) - and then, there is the other half who just simply don’t like the hype around the band and especially don’t like Kaschte. This showed in the audience that day. The first rows were basically full with younger people knowing every line of every song and singing along, the girls slobbering over Kaschte.
Anyway, let’s talk about the music. The concert started with the well-known ‘Ein Name im Kristall’ and ‘A.Ura’. After those songs, he talked about the upcoming WEENA MORLOCH and gave away some t-shirts. Afterwards, the band continued with ‘Fick mich noch fester’ which caused laughter all over the place, including myself. I don’t really know why a band has to sing that kind of stuff but I guess, it is none of my business anyway. After giving away some CDs and encouraging the people to upload it on the internet, the band continued with ‘Für Immer’ and Alexander said good bye to all the photographers asking for a good job. Well, I guess I did ok, Alex. The concert went on with ‘Stromausfall im Herzspital’, ‘Endstation Eden’ and ‘Heiliges Herz’ and ended with ‘Die Zärtlichkeit der Verdammten’, ‘Ein Fötus wie du’ (including a wall of death which was totally unnecessary considering the circumstances with all the rain) and ‘Die Kugel im Gesicht’.
All in all, the concert wasn’t that bad although Alex isn’t really what you call an excellent singer. The fans loved it, I’m sure, and the rest just waited for SCHANDMAUL to enter the stage. For me, Alex is just way too arrogant and that puts a bad light on the whole band.
Light: 7 (+ daylight)
Total: 6.5 / 10
SCHANDMAUL is a German medieval folk rock band from the vicinity of Munich. As well as using modern instruments like the bass or electric guitar, the band utilizes instruments typically used in Medieval folk songs, such as the bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy or shawm, to produce their trademark folk rock sound. In November 2008, SCHANDMAUL celebrated their 10th anniversary with a widely promoted anniversary concert in Munich that was filmed and recorded for the live CD and DVD ‘Sinnfonie’. In early 2009, SCHANDMAUL were nominated for the German music award ECHO. A club tour that was originally planned for 2010 was cancelled and no concert was played in that year. Instead, the band announced a break to take some time for writing a new album. This album ‘Traumtänzer’ was released on 28th January 2011 and is followed by a tour. http://www.schandmaul.de / http://www.myspace.com/schandmaulmusic
Music & Performance
One of the headliners everybody was waiting for that day was definitely SCHANDMAUL. After not being on tour for quite some time, everybody was excited to see the band again and listen to some new music. Unfortunately, Thomas (vocals) was injured while playing soccer with some friends and so, he wasn’t able to jump around the stage like he usually does and of course, he couldn’t play any instruments whatsoever. He wasn’t the only one who was sad due to that fact. And so, one of the technicians played the additional guitar. The concert started with ‘Kein Weg zu weit’ which got everybody in the mood for a great show despite the constant rain. Afterwards, they played ‘Auf hoher See’ and the well-known ‘Trinklied’ which was accompanied by singing of the fans. This continued during the song ‘Leb!’ as well. Later on, the band asked everybody for an “Anti Wall of Death” movement during the song ‘Pakt’. And so, the people danced around in pairs and had a lot of fun.
The mixture of the songs had something for everybody: ‘Wer hat sie umgebracht’, ‘Der Assassine’ and ‘Das Teufelsweib’ showed a great variety of their albums. Due to the strict curfew there was only enough room left for ‘Drachentöter’, ‘Traumtänzer’, ‘Das Hexeneinmaleins’ and ‘Frei’. Of course, everybody was waiting for ‘Walpurgisnacht’ and the band didn’t disappoint anybody. During the last song, the canvas covering the backdrop was supposed to drop in order to show another picture of the band but somehow this didn’t really work out and so, people had to enter the stage to pull it down. However, all in all, it was a great party with great music and even better mood!
Total: 8.5 / 10
The four classically-trained cellists have rose to a major force in today’s popular music. They attempted to fuse together the seemingly disparate worlds of classical music & hard rock and they were lucky. They created a style, blasting out every genre borders and which is commonly referred to as Cello Rock. The 1996 release of the debut ‘Apocalyptica plays Metallica by four cellos’ made a quick rise in the scene and the band became well-known over night so to speak. Some years - and also some line-up changes - later that band has toured half the world, received several major music awards, worked together with artists such as German “punk godmother” Nina Hagen or Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT) on the prior single to their album ‘Worlds Collide’, released in September 2007. APOCALYPTICA’s seventh full-length release is titled ‘7th Symphony’ and has been put out in August. APOCALYPTICA is Eicca Toppinen (cello), Perttu Kivilaakso (cello), Paavo Lötjönen (cello), guest singer Tipe Johnson (vocals) and Mikko Sirén (drums). http://www.apocalyptica.com / http://www.myspace.com/apocalyptica
Music & Performance
There was only an hour left but this one was filled with great music by the Finnish APOCALYPTICA. The first one to enter was Mikko Siren (drums), followed by Perttu Kivilaakso and Paavo Lötjönen. During the intro of ‘On the Roof with Quasimodo’, Eicca Toppinen entered the stage as well and the concert was about to start. After some cheering up of the fans, the band started off with ‘Grace’ which got everybody in the mood for this great music. During ‘Master of Puppets’ everybody sang along which was quite nice since APOCALYPTICA do not have vocals - but wait. During the following songs (which were both from their new album), ‘End of Me’ and ‘Bring it Light’, Tipe Johnson, who usually is the singer the LENINGRAD COBOYS, joined the band and supported the songs with some great vocals. For the next song, the drummer left the stage and chairs were brought in - ‘Nothing else matters’ was about to begin. The song brought goose bumps to everyone and the feeling was just indescribable. After showing some German language skills (“one of the things we learn in school is ‘it is raining’”), they had everybody in the audience on their side.
The concert continued with ‘Last Hope’ and ‘Seek and Destroy’. During every song, the band had a ton of energy which they delivered right to the audience as well. The celli were almost flying around stage and so was a lot hair. For the next song, ‘I don’t care’, Tipe came back to the stage and asked everybody if they were having a good time and, like I expected, nobody was denying that. Due to the fact that the last concert had to end strictly at 10pm, there was only enough time left for one song. APOCALYPTICA used that time for ‘The hall of the Mountain King’ which set a great ending to an awesome concert. Rarely had I seen such great energy on stage and in the audience. Quite an experience if you ask me!
Total: 9.5 / 10
All pictures by Anne Kuhfuß