Location: University Campus, Essen (Germany)
By: Nina Mende
A one day festival at the university campus in Essen was the place to be for metal heads. Devilside was expecting 10 000 visitors throughout the day, and with that great line up I am sure they reached that. The age of the visitors was quite mixed, as well as the genre. Some people looked hardcore metal, some more medieval metal as well as punk or rockabilly. Two stages straight across from each other and taking turns in having bands play.
|The first band I saw was Emil Bulls. Emil Bulls is a German alternative metal band that formed in 1995 in Munich, Bavaria. The group is currently constituted of two guitarists, a bass guitar player, a drummer and a vocalist/guitarist. They are currently on tour to support their latest offering, Phoenix, which was released on September 25, 2009. They had quite many fans in their audience but somehow it seemed liked the hardcore metal heads did not take Emil Bulls too serious. But maybe it was just too early. Emil Bulls mostly played songs of their latest album with their fans singing along. Their performance lasted for about 40 minutes.|
|Next band, playing on the big stage, was Mad Sin. Mad Sin is a German psychobilly group that began in 1987. Founded 1987 by Koefte De Ville, who had just dropped out of school, punk and rockabilly guitarist Stein and four-week-bass-playing Holly, they struggled around with the help of some friends, who organized gigs in several shady bars of Berlin. They played as street musicians in shopping malls, where they played rockabilly, country, and blues songs to get the tourist’s money. No need to do that anymore nowadays. They have a big fan base all over the world. And all the rockabillies at this festival were only there to see Mad Sin. The guys entered the stage with a big bang. Koefte started right away with the rocking and everybody followed. Fast rockabilly tunes were filling up the university campus in Essen. You could see the crowd shout and jump along. The band wasn’t standing still on stage either. Mad Sin created an amazing atmosphere. Too bad they only played for 40 minutes.|
|The audience went right across the campus to the other stage to see Agnostic Front perform. Agnostic Front is an American hardcore punk band that formed in New York City in 1980. The band began playing hardcore punk similar to their contemporaries, and were thrust to the forefront of the burgeoning New York hardcore scene in the mid-1980s with their widely regarded 1984 classic Victim in Pain before evolving to incorporate thrash metal elements into their music. By the late ’90s, Agnostic Front had signed with Epitaph Records and adopted an Oi! sound before growing into a crossover metallic hardcore hybrid similar to bands like Hatebreed. They had a German drummer as replacement because their own drummer had to go back home due to injuries. All the metal heads and hardcore punk fans piled up in front of the other stage, moshed and even did a wall of death. Fast and harsh music was coming from stage and the speakers, aggressive vocals A thriving and powerful performance of 40 minutes as well.|
|Back to the big stage, Snapcase was taking it up. Snapcase was a Straight-Edge Hardcore band from Buffalo, New York. Their records were released on the Chicago record label, Victory Records. They had an awesome power with their music and got everybody to move along. Many people could sing along. The band told their audience, that their first time in Germany was in Essen in 1994 with Sick Of It All. So here they were again, 16 years later and still rocking. The tunes were catchy and you just had to go along. Snapcase is a gorgeous band that definitely gets you going along and is totally worth seeing more than once. They had quite many fans in their audience and were totally thankful for the great support they received from the audience. 45 minutes went by way too fast.|
|Up next was Fear Factory. Fear Factory is an American heavy metal band. Formed in 1989, they have released seven full-length albums and a number of singles and remixes. Over the course of their career they have evolved from a succession of styles, as well as steadily pioneered a combination of the styles death metal, groove metal, thrash metal and industrial metal. The resultant sound proved to be enormously influential on the metal scene from the mid-90s and onwards. All the metal heads were going insane with Fear Factory playing. The screaming of the audience sounded like off a battlefield. The band’s music matched that very well. Harsh and fast heavy metal sounds.|
|Now it was tome for a break from aggressive and harsh music, time for some fun music by a fun band: Zebrahead. Zebrahead is an Orange County, California-based band. Their performance was very powerful and crazy. Many fans were there only for Zebrahead and could sing along to all songs and join in on all crowd activity the band made their audience do. Like sitting down before jumping up, yelling nasty words in German or showing signs. Zebrahead managed to get the audience start a huge circlepit. The guys on stage were just as crazy as their fans. Talking about nasty and dirty stuff, showed off their German skills in these areas and rocked like hell on stage. Jumping around and simply having a blast. It is always a pleasure to see Zebrahead live because they spread such a good mood that simply gets you.|
|Up next was Overkill. Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. The band has been active since 1984, releasing 15 studio albums, 2 EPs, 2 live albums and a “covers” album. The band also has a notable mascot (named Chaly), a skeletal bat with a skull-like face, bony wings, and green eyes. It has appeared on most of their album covers. Overkill has gone through many line-up changes, with singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni remaining as founding members. Along with Anthrax (whose one-time lead guitarist, Dan Spitz, was also an early member of Overkill), the band is one of the most successful East Coast thrash metal bands. Their music was very metal and the metal head people seemed to like it. Many were staying at the big stage though, waiting for the bands to come up there.|
|Like for example Danko Jones. Danko Jones is a Canadian rock band from Toronto, Ontario. The band consists of Danko Jones (vocals/guitar), JC (also known as John Calabrese) (bass guitar), and Dan Cornelius (drums). Many people had gathered in front of the stage and beyond to see the band play. As usual Danko talked more than playing – at least it seemed like it. They still played all their hits and got the audience to go along to everything. Danko also thanked every band that played at this festival, except for Zebrahead which left some fans in the audience irritated and others even yelled at him for that. But besides that Danko Jones put up a great show, addressing people in the audience who seemed to be long time and hard core fans. Almost everybody could sing along to the songs.|
Unfortunately we had to leave after Danko Jones which made us miss Sick Of It All, New Model Army and a few others. But I am sure they were great and everybody had a blast.
Devilside was a nice one day festival, maybe we’ll see you around there next year.