Location: Rheinaue, Bonn (Germany)
By: Nina Mende
The weather forecast had announced rain, but we had sunshine and heat only. Just like last year, Rheinkultur in Bonn was a blast with amazing bands and many many visitors. First I was a little worried because there was Christopher Street Day and a couple other festivals nearby but it still got terribly crowded in the afternoon, and in the evening there was no coming through at all anymore. So even for those who didn’t celebrate Independence Day on this July 4th it was a huge party and a lot of fun. The heat made the queues in front of the beverage stands grow endlessly and even drained some beer wells.
Many bands were playing on five stages, but somehow we only stuck around at one stage: The red stage.
We arrived relatively early and so saw not the first but the second band playing on the red stage. In December was our first band, a German trash metal/hardcore band singing in English. The music was quite nice and melodic but the double kick on the bass drum made it to metal and the shouting gave it the final touch to leave no doubts about that. Not many people were there yet, but it was only 1pm. The ones that were there already enjoyed the music though. Some people were banging and shouting a long, cheering and gave the band the feeling that they are not alone.
The next band was one I was looking forward to big time. A band from Los Angeles called Black President. Black President is an American punk rock super group. The band was formed in 2005 by Circle Jerks/Bad Religion guitarist Greg Hetson and Goldfinger guitarist Charlie Paulson, but some line-up changes occurred later on.
Even though it was still early and the guys probably still tired they put up a gorgeous performance. Very energetic and powerful they performed and even handled some sound issues (a mistuned guitar) without any problems. The sun was shining straight onto the stage and I am sure they were sweating just as much as we did in the heat. The music was very rockabilly and punk like and in the audience there was a circle pit going on. Everybody had a blast and danced along. I personally found the performance way too short and hope to catch them live again any time soon.
After a short food break we dropped by “our” stage again to catch a couple songs of She’s All That. Three artists hiding their faces behind masks and producing electro reggae. Somehow it kept on reminding me of a bad copy of The Prodigy. She’s All That had many fans watching them and going along with the music, but we didn’t like them too much. The voice was high pitched and sometimes out of tune. The singer ran and jumped around across the entire stage during the performance and entertained the fans.
We came back for another band I had been looking forward to see: The Casting Out. I remember seeing the last show of Boysetsfire before they broke up. So it was quite exciting for me to see Nathan with his new band The Casting Out here at Rheinkultur on this July 4th. The Casting Out is another Californian band playing hardcore and punk combined with lots of melody and a very touchy voice. The guys all seem very nice and like to talk with their fans. There were tons of fans watching the stage now, and mostly under aged teenage girls screaming their lungs out in the front row. Nathan told about the recent festivals they played at which apparently had all been metal festivals. Poor them, because they were totally misplaced there. Luckily the crowd loved them here. Their performance was very energetic and captivating. Everybody went dancing and singing along, cheering and clapping. As The Casting Out played the Misfits cover “Skulls” all Misfits fans went crazy, us included. The casting Out is a gorgeous live band and I really enjoyed seeing them.
Next band, another one from LA, was The Bronx. The Bronx is a hardcore punk band formed in 2002 in Los Angeles, California. They have released three eponymous albums, with a fourth scheduled to be released in 2009. Very confident the guys entered the stage ready to rock the masses that had come together by now. Looking around it seemed to be close to the 120 000 expected visitors. The audience sang along and moshed a lot. There was a confusing thing happening as well though: The singer talked to the audience and all the sudden the audience sat down. So the band sat down as well, unsure what will happen next the singer asked the audience what they want to do. All the sudden the fans jumped up, cheered and screamed. So on the band went, still slightly irritated about what just had happened.
Last band for tonight was No Use For A Name. No Use for a Name (sometimes abbreviated NUFAN) is a punk rock band from San Jose, California, United States formed in 1987 by Chris Dodge (guitar), Steve Papoutsis (bass), Rory Koff (drums), and Tony Sly (vocals). The band’s sound has evolved considerably through its career, taking on a much lighter brand of melodic punk as the years passed, but that doesn’t mean they got boring or slow. NO. Just more professional. Everybody danced and moshed so much, that the band even had to stop in the middle of the song, because somebody in the audience had gone down and had to get rescued by paramedics. Many people did crowd surfing although it was forbidden. It was insane to see how crazy everybody went. The band enjoyed that big time but couldn’t quite believe it either. The pointed out over and over again that this was one of the best festival crowds ever seen and if they could come back next year. As NUFAN left the stage after an hour of performance, the host of the stage came out and announced that they are still allowed to play half an hour longer until the police would complain, we would just have to ask for it. So off the audience went shouting for encore so that even the cities around could probably hear it. The band at least did and came out to play till the very end.
What an amazing festival this year’s Rheinkultur was again. Can’t wait till next year.