22-07-2007 Amphi Festival

Location: Cologne (Germany)
By: Nina Mende

This year’s Amphi Festival’s line-up was quite industrial, but still great. Unfortunately I could only be there on Sunday, maybe next year I’ll be there both days again and maybe take pictures and do some interviews.

The weather was pretty good for a festival. It only rained a little bit, but the sun was shining most of the time and it was warm but not as hot as last year. A fresh breeze was going to cool you off every once in a while and I’ll stop with my weather description now….

The festival’s visitors seemed to come from everywhere and not just from all over Germany. I saw British people as well as Swiss, Swedish and Norwegian people. I also heard some Dutch and Italian. Most of them were dressed in plain black, only a couple had some fancy dresses or came in normal jeans and a non-black shirt. Somehow this year I saw many rockabilly people running around (at least more than last year). Many people had their digital reflex cameras with them since it was allowed to everybody.

The Amphi Festival has two stages, the Theater stage which is an indoor stage and the Main stage which is the open air stage. Somehow some bands were playing at the same time so you had to decide which one you wanted to see (there was a little delay at the Theater stage). In the middle of the festival area is a pond with a platform in the center of it where x-tra-x had a stand to shop. Around this pond are many other gothic stands for clothing, jewelry, CDs, little figures and food. So if there’s no band playing at the moment you would like to watch you can go shopping, get a drink or eat something.

The signing sessions were right at the entrance where you could always see long lines of black people waiting for their signature. Unfortunately the Subway to Sally Signing hour got cancelled. But you could get signatures and close-up pictures of many other great bands, such as Down Below, Zeromancer, Dreadful Shadows, Apoptygma Berzerk and many more.

The bands were also running around the festival area so you could actually get to talk to them if you wanted to, which was very nice and many fans used their chance to chat with their stars.

I ended up seeing four bands completely, two at the Theater stage (indoors) and two at the Main stage (outdoors).

The first one I went to see completely was Mesh at the Main stage, a synth-pop band from Bristol, England, a quite famous and popular band in that genre who love to work with other artists such as Dave Gahan, Martin Gore or Robbie Williams. Mesh is a very energetic band that makes you want to jump and just dance, and a really nice choice for a festival, but also really nice for clubs and parties. The audience loved the band and moved along with the beats.

After them I went to the Theater stage to see Down Below, a newer band from Germany. They played several festivals already and many gothic magazines write about them proudly. The singer seemed quite nervous though, but the fans cheered so much that he   got more confident as he was going. They played for about an hour and did a great show. I wish them all the best for their future.

Later I went back to the Theater stage to see Zeromancer, who really amazed me. Zeromancer are an electronic-rock band from Norway. They were so awesome and full of energy. The singer jumped around during the whole show and didn’t seem to get tired. What a great voice he had and what a great show they did. Their music was full of energy, nice rock mixed with electronic elements, perfect to dance and rock with the sound of these five Norwegians. The audience was dancing and cheering all along, clapping with the band and applauding long after each song. Everybody seemed to enjoy it. I will definitely try to catch them live anytime. They were really great and I really recommend them to you.

After them I went back to the other stage to see Apoptygma Berzerk, a synth-pop band from Norway who became somewhat rockier during their last albums, but still love to play their old-school stuff. It was as if all of the festival visitors and bands gathered in front of the stage to watch APB. The audience sang along with the band, cheered and danced. After an hour the performance of the 4 Norwegians was over (way too quick, they are so great live, and it was their only Festival performance in Germany this year…). For their last song they got the guys of MESH on stage and performed together which was really nice to see them on stage all together.

Dreadful Shadows started with a delay of about an hour, so they were playing at the same time as Apoptygma Berzerk, what a pity. I would have loved to see the whole show of them, and I wasn’t the only one thinking that, but oh well… that happens. Now I just got to see the last songs of them. Dreadful Shadows was a band from Germany who included Sven Friedrich and Norman Selbig who are now playing in a band called Zeraphine and Jens Riediger of Seelenfunken. Dreadful Shadows split up about 7 years ago, and now they went back on the road together, but they also state very clearly that this is not a reunion and it will not have any effect on any of the projects the band members of Dreadful Shadows have now, still worth to see. They are planning some more live dates so check them out.

Amphi festival
Mesh official
Mesh Myspace
Down Below official
Down Below Myspace
Zeromancer official
Zeromancer Myspace
Apoptygma Berzerk official
Apoptygma Berzerk Myspace
Dreadfull Shadows official
Dreadfull Shadows Myspace

23 July 2007