Day two of Amphi festival in Cologne was a little bit cooler. But that was ok. Because the line up today would get us sweating enough.
The first band we saw today, was performing at the outdoors stage, the Main Stage. The band name was M.I.N.E. and it was a duo today. . After touring for 15 years with the Band Camouflage all over the world, Jochen Schmalbach, Marcus Meyn and Volker Hinkel decided, that it was time for the 3 of them, to create their own project.
As mentioned before, these guys were only two today. The place in front of the stage was steadily filling up. More and more people came together, ready for day two of Amphi festival. M.I.N.E. The duo seemed a little shy on stage but that could be because it was still early. But the two were truly into their element of music, into every word and note they performed. The music was catchy and got the people going along. More and more people gathered, enjoying the performance of M.I.N.E.
Up next on the outdoors stage was Stahlmann. You could tell that this band was drawing quite some fans, because the audience was growing quickly. All eager to see the band perform.
Stahlmann is a German band that formed in 2008 in Göttingen, Germany. It is in the genre of Neue Deutsche Härte. So lots of guitar and drums. During the first couple songs, the singer of Stahlmann made sure that everyone knew the routine during shows. So when to shout what and what the queues are. More and more new fans started picking up on that. Satisfied, the singer continued with the show. The strong music of the guys got everyone moving and clapping along. The at first so calm audience soon grew louder and louder, making every minutes of the show worth while.
Stahlmann performed for about fifty minutes before it was time for the next band.
Indoors, at the Theater Stage, The Other was getting ready to rock the house. The Other is a German horror punk band formed in Köln in 2002. The band’s music style blends elements of punk rock and heavy metal. Although most of their material is in English, they also write and perform songs in German.
With dim light and lots of fog, the band added to their horror theme. The venue was packed and the air was slowly heating up. Then the band entered the stage. With strong rock tunes, they got the audience moving along. Singing and shouting, cheering loud after every song.
The Other talked to the audience in between the songs. Animating them to go along more, scream and shout. The band performed for fifty minutes before they released their fans again. It was an intense show that got everyone to sweat
It continued being creepy on the Main Stage. With Das Ich on stage, Amphi was taken to the gates of hell, vividly performed by this trio.
Das Ich is a German electronic music group formed in 1989. The group, fronted by Stefan Ackermann and Bruno Kramm, were one of the prominent founders of and contributors to “Neue Deutsche Todeskunst” (New German Death Art) a musical movement in the early 1990s. The German term das Ich makes reference to the Freudian concept James Strachey translated as “ego”.
The singer was painted all in red, entirely. Running around on stage like a little devil, giving the audience weird looks, singing the creepy songs. On the keys and synths was a demon with bandages and remains of horns and a creepy clown with a priest robe. All three were linked together by a moveable stand with which the two musicians could move back and forth while the singer had his microphone pinned to the centerpiece of this construction.
The songs were harsh and gloomy. Mainly about death, pain and hell. And the performance supported these topics. Quite some people in the audience loved it, sang along and cheered, while some others were dazzled and almost a little shocked or even disgusted by the show. But no one was able to look away or even leave. Das Ich performed for about fifty minutes.
We continued on the main stage to see the Mexican band Hocico, which is always a pleasure to watch perform.
Hocico was officially formed in 1993 by Erk Aicrag (Erik Garcia), who sings the lyrics and vocals, and Racso Agroyam (Oscar Mayorga), who does programming, but both cousins had been experimenting with electronic music, mixing industrial and EBM, since they were fifteen years old. Their music can be described as electro-industrial. Given the influence of varying currents of electronic music (mainly Skinny Puppy) they began their trajectory in 1989 in a project called “Niñera Degenerada”. Their lyrics are both in Spanish as well as English. The Spanish word hocico means snout, and is used in Mexico as a disrespectful way to describe someone’s comments coming out of their mouth.
The singer came on stage wearing a wrestling mask. Two dark angels were drumming the intro. Then the noise set in and everyone went crazy. The singer was not standing still for even a second. The music was energetic and powerful. No one in the audience was able to stand still. The singer moved up and down on stage, singing to every single person, animating them to go along more and more.
The cheering was immense and the adrenaline level was high during this performance. Hocico played for about fifty-five minutes before they handed the stage over to Combichrist.
Combichrist is an American aggrotech band formed in 2003 by Norwegian Andy LaPlegua, who also founded the bands Icon of Coil, Panzer AG, Scandinavian Cock and Scandy. Combichrist is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The band consist of only LaPlegua in the studio with Joe Letz, Eric13, Brent Ashley, and Nick Rossi for live performances. Releases by the band have been very successful in terms of sales and charted in top positions for dance and alternative charts worldwide.
It seemed as if the audience was growing bigger and bigger. Many people in the front row had waited all day for this part of the day. And now, it was the time of the day. Combichrist entered the stage and rocked the masses. Everyone was blown away and went along to each song. The vocals of the audience was sometimes louder than the band themselves. The energy was rising more and more throughout this show. Combichrist played old and new songs to the audience. The band members raged on stage, all with a smile on their faces. And the audience smiled back at them, enjoying every single second.
Combichrist performed for about one hour before it was time for Apoptygma Berzerk to take over and continue with the good times.
Apoptygma Berzerk is a Norwegian musical group. They have achieved success with a brand of synthpop, and ballads backed with electronic rhythms, commonly known within the scene and referring to themselves as “future pop”. Apoptygma Berzerk has over 30 releases and won awards and Top 10 spots in Germany and Scandinavia. Apoptygma Berzerk has toured Europe, North America, South America, Israel and Australia with bands such as VNV Nation, Beborn Beton, Icon of Coil and Unheilig.
The band entered the stage, beginning their music and there was magic. The peace and positive vibes filled the air. Everyone was swaying, humming, and singing along to the songs. Singing them louder than the band and singing the songs for the band.
Apoptygma Berzerk played old and new songs. All hits that everyone knew the words to. The fog on stage was blown away by the winds. The singer was moving around on stage. For one song, Andy, the singer of Combichrist, joined Stephan on the vocals.
It was a very heartfelt and emotional performance that everyone enjoyed and made everyones day. Apoptygma Berzerk played for one hour before they had to leave the stage.
Eisbrecher was the last band on the Main stage. Which also meant, that this year’s Amphi festival was coming to an end.
Eisbrecher is a German Neue Deutsche Härte band that consists primarily of Alexander Wesselsky (vocals) and Noel Pix (lead guitar/programming), with live support from Jürgen Plangger (guitar), Dominik Palmer (bass), Achim Färber (drums). In the United States and Canada, their record label is currently Metropolis Records. The band’s lyrics and slogans often include terms of ice and sailing, such as “Ahoi” (“Ahoy”) and “Es wird kalt” (“It’s getting cold”); vocalist Alexander Wesselsky often wears naval and military clothing in performances.
Now, the bar was high because of the previous killer performances. So as Eisbrecher entered the stage, they asked the audience if they would help them continue at this level. Then, the singer asked everyone to take out their phones, so they could take pictures of the band. Why? Because the band had been rehearsing five poses for the fans to take pictures of. After that quick shooting was done, Alex asked everyone to put their phones away and enjoy the show. In real life, not through a sense or a screen.
Then, Eisbrecher hit it off. Performing all their hits, old and new. The audience was jumping and shouting along, dancing and singing. Making every moment worth while. Eisbrecher performed for well over one hour, ending the festival with a big band. Until next year!