2009-07-18-19 DE – Cologne - Tanzbrunnen
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[Dajana] Well rested but with a grey sky above raining cats and dogs and with a little breakfast we got back to the Tanzbrunnen. An official announcement was meanwhile hung out to explain the situation during the Feindflug gig and that all today’s indoor shows were moved from the Rheinparkhalle to the Theater. The Theater is actually a really nice venue, but made for approx. 2000 people and so supposedly too small for the audience that was ranging around 13.000 during both days. Let’s wait and see… ;) Weather played the same game as the day before.

Oh, what again stroke me was the fact that a couple of fans had their kids and babies at AMPHI FESTIVAL, which is generally a good thing. But the kids often did not have any ear protection, which is definitely a bad thing and absolutely irresponsible!

Front 242 - Unheilig - Hocico - Saltatio Mortis - Diorama - Delain - Panzer AG - Mono Inc.

Camouflage - The Gathering - KMFDM - Henke - Qntal - Omina - Jesus On Extasy - The Other - Rosa Crvx

:: photos ::

[Leo] Sunday noon, the rain had stopped and the sun came out, :: MONO INC. :: entered the mainstage and opened the second day of the festival. Some people who already were in the venue filled the space front of the stage and enjoyed the show. The Hamburg-based act did a dedicated performance, powerful and pushing, sometimes the sound and the voice remembered me to the legendary Sisters Of Mercy. Altogether a good start for this Sunday and I think MONO INC. had found some new fans after this show.

[Dajana] I have to confess I never heard of :: ROSA CRVX :: before. Entering the Tanzbrunnen Theater I was downright amazed by the sumptuous stage scenery. Wow! A huge bell mechanism to the left, next a very old piano, mechanical tambours around the stage and a timbal added by a three women’s choir on the right. In the middle singer Oliver Tarabo stood playing guitars and singing, accompanied by a cellist and Claude Feeny for the piano and bells. The music is mystical, downright mesmerizing, lyrics all sung in Latin. A huge screen behind with some visualization even amplified this unbelievable atmosphere. I was truly captivated, couldn’t get enough of the music and scenery. I felt like pushed back ages in time, in a medieval France, where dark and sinister rituals fathom the depths of human spirits. Too bad that lights were so rare and time so short to take photos. I guess I have to catch them next time on a regular show ;) AWESOME! ROSA CRVX got a new fan here ;)
Setlist: Adorasti, Invocation, Terribillis, In Tenebris, HelHel, AnteA, Omnes Qui Descendunt, Sursum Corda, Aglon

[Niggels] Andy LaPleagua’s Combichrist is among the most popular acts of the scene these days but LaPleagua has a lot more to offer than the Techno Body Music of his most successful project. :: PANZER AG :: is somewhere between standard EBM and Industrial Rock - and a surprisingly good live act! The guitar elements and the fact that PANZER AG does not simply rely on four-to-the-flour rhythms make them musically more interesting than certain other Electro projects including some of LaPleagua’s own ones actually! Add to this the fact that he’s indeed a great performer with a lot of energy and the right aggressive attitude, there’s a reason why he’s so popular no matter under which moniker he performs, and you get a hell of a show. Only downside: The daylight and the rather static audience. The gig really made you wanna see PANZER AG at a dark sweaty club!

[Dajana] :: THE OTHER :: - The horror Punks are back in town ;) It took some time till the guys got their scary make-up ready but then they rocked da house. Dark blue and red lights in the background, white spots focused on the faces and some glowing gravestone imitations or whatever created a spooky Halloween atmosphere ;) Yep, perfect background for an entertaining and asskicking live show! Listening to THE OTHER on CD it is clear where from the guys got of the grid. Live however, musical leanings blur and THE OTHER develop much of an own identity. It’s fun to watch them performing live. And now it’s upon time for a new record. The Place To Bleed dates back to May 2008 and already attracts some dust. Next time I wanna hear a new song ;)
Setlist: Become Undead, The End Of Our Time, The Last Man On Earth, Der Tod Steht Dir Gut Bleed, Lover's Lane, Beware Of Ghouls, In The Dead Of Night, Hyde Inside, Tarantula, We Are The Other Ones, Black Angel, Ripley 8, 666 Ways To Die, Exit

[Dajana] And again a female-fronted Gothic Metal band. Huuuuh. But, hailing from Holland and being somewhat of a little musical sister of Within Temptation, :: DELAIN :: at least deliver great and epic music, powerful and driving with awesome guitar work and some growls in-between to set accents. Only the voice I cannot stand… However, I already saw DELAIN last weekend at Forta Rock and so I was prepared of what has to come ;) Not that much has changed; setlist was the same, except for one song, and the performance as great and lively as always. They know how to enthuse their fans. DELAIN took the audience by storm. This time Charlotte was dressed in pure black (instead of pure white last weekend) and gained sympathies with German announcements. Generally speaking this girl is absolutely lovely and it is a real pleasure to take photos of her and her band mates ;) Just the singing… Well, other ones love it. It was for sure a great show and the Dutch released the audience with happy faces ;)
Setlist: Invidia, Stay Forever, Go Away, The Gathering, A Day For Ghosts, Nothing Left, Virtue And Vice, Pristine

[Niggels] Two years back :: JESUS ON EXTASY :: were rated as the hottest newcomers of the dark music scene. Combining Industrial Metal, Pop and a good portion of Glam Rock, JESUS ON EXTASY has proved that they are not just fashion victims but actually pretty solid musicians who know what they are doing – and absolutely determined ones. Two years after having released the debut album, the hype around this band has faded away a bit, and despite constant touring they are still candidates for the second stage of a festival. However, the touring earned them a die-hard following as a quick glance at the first few rows of the well attended theatre stage gave away. Young Goth girls, often with an obvious addiction to Manga style clothing, and long-haired guys who ere there for the *Rock* element of JESUS ON EXTASY packed the area in front of stage. The gig opened with the club hit Beloved Enemy and band and fans were into it from the start. The small stature of frontman Dorian Deveraux is the focus of the show, and while he truly loves his Rock star poses he takes it with a pinch of salt. JESUS ON EXTASY love the dark side of glamour, and while they are determined enough in regard to their music they know that especially at a live show you shouldn’t take things too seriously. And they also know how to please their fans, as the last-minute inclusion of the fan fave Dead Presidents proved. Add to the set their biggest hit Assassinate Me and a storming cover version of the 80s classic Nowhere Girl and you’ll have a crowd with a lot of happy people.
[Dajana] Dunno for what reason, but JOE started with the delays on the indoor stage.
Setlist: Beloved Enemy, Nuclear Bitch, Change The World, Direct Injection, Assassinate Me, Deep Dead, Nowhere Girl, Alone, Neochrome, Church Of Extasy, Lies

[Leo] :: DIORAMA :: entered the stage in the afternoon and started their show. The drum set and the keyboard were arranged in a kind of metal boxes in the background, the foreground was dominated by the guitar player and the dynamic, oratorical singer. The show was started by Kein Mord and right from the start the crowd was dancing, clapping hands and singing along. The melodic sound and the charismatic performance pleased the meanwhile well-filled crowd. The set list all in all consisted of eight songs, highlighted by a new unreleased song – called Apocalypse Later. After about 45 minutes finished the show too early and DIORAMA left the stage.
[Dajana] Yeah, the cages for Felix and Marquess looked great, especially with the lights behind. Much more the Soulfly shirt of Sash made me smile ;) Having seen DIORAMA at last year’s Blackfield Festival for the very first time I was downright stunned. And again singer Torben Wendt left me speechless with his performance. Seems I have to spend some more money on some special records ;)
Setlist: Kein Mord, Why, Acid Trip, Advance, Said But True, Apocalypse Later (new song), The Girls, Synthesize Me

[Niggels] The nice thing about festivals is when their line ups are diverse. The AMPHI did not only have a lot of EBM und Goth bands on its bill but also something more obscure like :: OMINA :: with their neo-pagan Celtic folk music. Anyone who hears “Celtic folk” and thinks of Enya couldn’t be more wrong. OMNIA do not perform ethereal Pop but a much more authentically mix of ancient European styles with modern influences. The band transported this authenticity also with their stage clothing, with gowns made of leather, metal or furs, and their bodies and faces were body painted with in traditional Celtic symbols. Thus the music and appearance of OMNIA is much more genuine and historically correct, so to speak, as many other so-called “Mediaeval Rock” bands who actually just offer Rock music with some bagpipes added on top of screeching guitars. OMNIA present themselves with less party attitude and more graveness - and the result is pretty impressive! It took a while but then the audience was really into it, everyone was clapping and dancing to the music. Dance Until We Die as one of their songs is titled – ironically one of OMNIA’s who is most evidently influenced by modern day music as some of the lyrics are actually rapped! A slight antagonism, to say the least, but it worked fine! Excellent performance which I loved because it was a bit out of the ordinary at the AMPHI.
[Dajana] More delay, which was kind of understandable with all these medieval instruments on stage. There was a rack full of flutes and other instruments and while seeing the band members running around I already thought they would sound-check every single instrument. Luckily they did not. I really loved the costumes and of course the music too. Singer Steve tried it with German-spoken announcements and little stories (about oak trees he loves because they grow best on corpses *lol*)
Setlist: Dulaman, Tine Bealtaine, Alive!, Richard Parker’s Fancy, Dance Until We Die, Saltatio, Dil Gaya, Auta Luonto, En Evant/Etrezomp-ni Kelted // Fidhe Ra Huri

[Niggels] Bagpipes instead of synths and keyboards! Placed between bunches of electronic bands :: SALTATIO MORTIS :: surely stuck out on this afternoon. Drawing a good crowd to the main stage, SALTATIO MORTIS did not lose time and kicked off their show with the heavy Tritt ein. Blaring bagpipes, crunchy guitar riffs and a singer with an almost aggressive in-yer-face attitude also dominated the rest of SALTATIO MORTIS’ set. Crowd participation is always an important thing when a medieval Rock band plays, so no surprise that the audience was in high spirits soon. One may argue that many bands from this genre, which seems to be an exclusively German phenomenon, sound all the same after a while, but on the other hand they are all excellent musicians who know what they’re doing. SALTATIO MORTIS are probably more on the Metal side of things compared to some of their fellow bands, in the second part of the song Varulfen there are even classic Black Metal growls.
Otherwise not too many surprises at the gig of SALTATIO MORTIS, you always know what you get with a band like this billed for a festival. And perhaps that’s why so many people loved them. However, SALTATIO MORTIS considerably raised the party factor among the AMPHI audience - fun gig!
Setlist: Tritt ein, Uns gehört die Welt, Wirf den ersten Stein, Varulfen, Salz der Erde, Koma, Prometheus, Tod und Teufel, Wir sähen den Wind, Falsche Freunde, Spielmannsschwur

[Leo] Announced by the anchor man as the most bizarre band of the festival :: HOCICO :: entered the stage and ran their crazy show. The additional dancers with their big feather-costumes like Incas or sachems were very pleasing for the eyes. The pushing and powerful rhythm, perfected by the characteristic voice of the singer satisfied the crowd and quickly the spirit went over to the crowd who was dancing and clapping hands. The set ran about one hour inclusive one encore. At the end the singer destroyed the keyboard on stage and HOCICO left. Altogether a great show and surely one of the highlights of the second festival day. I don't like the music of HOCICO at home, but the crazy performance at their live shows every time is a great experience and that's why I like to enjoy their shows.
[Dajana] I love them ;) Much more the both Aztecs on stage dancing around and painting Rasco with blood. Too bad they vanished before it was time for group 2 to enter the photopit. I only saw them once playing live so far. Indoor. Without the Aztecs…

[Dajana] :: QNTAL :: also taxed patience of both audience and organizers and made me missing Saltatio Mortis. Two Berlin-based live members got stuck in jams and didn’t arrive on time, increasing the delay up to a three-quarter hour. Finally everything was ready, more or less, and with a short explanation and apology Syrah started with the Palästinalied. It was a hectic beginning with kind of a stressful atmosphere but already with Departir, things calmed down and Syrah found back to her special vibes celebrating the music of QNTAL in her very own way. Time was limited, the set shortened and Syrah did waste no words but when it came to Name der Rose she told a little bit about the poem that gave its name to the legendary book. A wonderful and dreamy performance. Too bad I had to leave short after for the mainstage…
Setlist: Palästinalied, Departir, Name der Rose, Entre Moi, Maiden

[Leo] :: UNHEILIG :: is one of those bands who polarize the people, one part love them and the other part hates them, anyway over the last years UNHEILIG had got a lot success with their releases and their emotional live shows and this time again the space front of stage was filled complete and the crowd welcomed “The Count” and his band with cheers. The stage was decorated with the obligatory church candles and the show was performed dedicated with much soul and emotions. The audience followed the animation prompt and were clapping hands and singing along at the most songs. The set list consisted of some calmer soulful songs like Astronaut or Mein Stern, alternated with up tempo songs like Maschine or Sage Ja. The emotional performance made a romantic atmosphere in the venue, particularly at the calmer songs and the swinging arms of the crowd were nice to been seen. After 55 minutes finished the show by Freiheit, but the crowd requested an encore and UNHEILIG had to play two more songs before they left the stage finally.
Setlist: Intro, Lampenfieber, Spiegelbild, Astronaut, Tanz mit dem Feuer, An Deiner Seite, Feuerengel, Sage Ja, Maschine, Freiheit, Mein Stern

[Niggels] So :: HENKE :: is Oswald Henke’s latest project – his solo project so to speak although he gathered some experienced musicians around him to form his backing band. I have to admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of any of Henke’s projects but I have to give him credit for pursuing his ambitions determinedly and putting a lot of effort in anything he does. The theatre was quite packed with fans of his former projects, most of all Goethes Erben, to see the new HENKE band performing a best of his three past bands Goethes Erben, Artwork and Erblast. The performance was as expected very theatrical, intense and surprisingly energetic, and the response from the audience was particularly well during old hits like Zinnsoldaten or Die Brut. Fans absolutely loved it. I was happy to hear at least one Artwork song too but I had to leave early, I’m afraid.

[Niggels] :: KMFDM :: are doing it again! Sascha Konietzko’s home country neglected KMFDM for a long time, so gigs by this band used to be a rare thing in Germany while KMFDM were stars of the Industrial Rock genre in the United States. Things have changed, fortunately, and KMFDM appear relatively often at European festivals, at least more often than they once used to. But still there’s a sense of mystery and cult around their gigs, and KMFDM truly have a die-hard cult following. So the theatre was pretty packed and sweaty when Konietzko & Co entered the stage. Due to the delay at the second stage KMFDM’s gig was parallel to the headline gig of Front 242 at the main stage – quite a pity as both bands share some of their audiences but on the other hand forgivable as the organizers of the AMPHI did their best to reschedule the bands of the second stage from the closed down Ruhrparkhalle to the smaller theatre stage. However, many people opted for KMFDM and the first sounds from Konietzko, his wife Lucia Cifarelli and their band mates turned the audience into a bouncing mass. It got pretty wild in front of the stage so I was happy that I managed to get a safer spot at the side of the stage. Unfortunately the sound was not optimal, and if I’m not mistaken KMFDM had a couple of technical problems during the first few songs of their performance. Celebrating 25 years of KMFDM, the band started with their classic D.I.Y. – a perfect opener, and not just because of its orchestral prelude. The title track of their latest album Tohuvabohu followed and KMFDM continued to go back and forth through their vast back-catalogue of pounding Industrial Metal anthems. KMFDM do love weird German phrases as song titles like Hau Ruck, Saft & Kraft and Potz Blitz will show you. All songs were loud, powerful, noisy, straight in your face and with no mercy, and the fans just loved it this way. With the signature sounds of the sharp and groovy Megalomaniac, arguably KMFDM’s biggest hit to date, and fans turned mental and more damageable people probably decided to hide for shelter. I left to catch a few bits of Front 242 – by this I missed a rare performance of Godlike, unfortunately. But I witnessed a mad and powerful show by KMFDM which couldn’t be ruined at all by the less-than-optimal sound and the few technical glitches.
[Dajana] Well, I have never seen KMFDM live before, but due to the delays and overlaps in time I just had the 2 songs in the photopit to get in touch. And there it was more fighting with the lights than paying attention on the set :(
Setlist: D.I.Y., Bait & Switch, Tohuvabohu, Son Of A Gun, Hau Ruck, Looking For Strange, Potz Blitz, Attak/Reload, Saft & Kraft, Megalomaniac, Light, A Drug Against War // WWIII, Godlike

[Leo] Sunday evening 8:30 o'clock – time for the headliner at the main stage. Like Saturday, Honey again conferred the announcement for the headliner to a fan who was picked up from the crowd. :: FRONT 242 ::, who entered the stage during the intro, were welcome with “242” shouts and started their show hidden behind a wall of fog. The stage still was hidden for the most time in dark and fog, only during the cleared moments the drums and the keyboards in the background came visible. The show ran about 75 minutes and included all in all 17 songs. Right from the start the temper in the crowd was great and the powerful rhythmic performance was responded with a jumping and dancing crowd who enjoyed the rousing show.
[Dajana] Finally, finally I got to see them live *jumps* Old heroes from the old days… And it was a real pleasure :) Only the smoke all over the stage got on nerves. Seemed like they wanted to be as cool as Fields Of The Nephilim ;)
Setlist: Intro/Shout It Loud, Tragedy For You, Together, Funkhadafi, Moldavia, Circling Overland, 7Rain, Religion, Welcome To Paradise, Commando Mix, Triple X Girlfriend, Quite Unusual, No Shuffle, Take One, Im Rhythmus Bleiben // Kampfbereit, Headhunter

[Niggels] Due to the delays and problems at the second stage :: THE GATHERING :: started considerably late. The theatre was not as full as at some shows before but after a short soundcheck THE GATHERING finally started their set with an instrumental track. Often labeled as Gothic Metal, THE GATHERING are musically and especially visually less “gothic” than most of other bands which performed at the AMPHI. Their music has a Progressive Rock vibe, and the band members certainly prefer casual wear to fancy Goth fashion. Actually it was the first German show of THE GATHERING with their new vocalist Silje Wergeland, so for many fans it was a first to see and hear old THE GATHERING songs like Leaves or Great Ocean Road being performed with Wergeland at the microphone. And she did her job well! A little shy still, perhaps, but the range of her voice is quite stunning and her soft voice was a nice contrast to the Metal guitars of THE GATHERING. A late but pretty relaxed gig.
[Dajana] Ah, the first German show with the new singer Silje. I was really curious how she would turn out. The new record is much promising, although I find that there are too many songs too quiet on it. Live Silje adapted gestures and movements known from Anneke. Voice-like she found her own range and was interpreting the songs slightly different, especially on the old songs. It was a great and stunning show and I stood there till the last tone was gone. But I have to confess, Silje’s voice isn’t that powerful as Anneke’s is, especially in higher pitches.
Setlist: When Trust Becomes Sound, No One Spoke, Inuit, A Constant Run, The West Pole, Leaves, Analog Park, Even The Spirits Are Afraid, Great Ocean Road, Marooned, Saturnine, All You Are

[Leo] Midnight special at the second stage, delayed at 11:30 o'clock :: CAMOUFLAGE :: entered the indoor stage to close the festival. Maybe some people already were going to home, but the Theatre still was well-filled and the crowd welcomed CAMOUFLAGE with cheers and celebrated a nice party together with them. The temper was great the whole time but later in the set when they played their older and most successful songs like The Great Commandment the temper exploded and the whole crowd were jumping and singing along. CAMOUFLAGE did a dedicated performance and satisfied the crowd with their soulful and rousing performance. The main set finished after about one hour with Suspicious Love but of course the crowd requested an encore which was given with two more songs and after about 75 minutes the show and as well the AMPHI FESTIVAL 2009 finished finally by Love Is A Shield. Altogether a great finish for a great festival.
[Dajana] Hihihihi… CAMOUFLAGE… I remember their hits from the 80’s, croony stuff back in the time. But tonight it all had a very special vibe. The classics got reworked and sounded realy, really great, seeing the complete crew dancing in the crowded Theater ;)
Setlist: Neightbours, Dreaming, I Can't Feel You, That Smiling Face, Confusion, We Are Lovers, Me And You, Here She Comes, I'll Follow Behind, The Great Commandment, Conversation, Suspicious Love // Something Wrong, Love Is A Shield

[Dajana] Ah yesss. And again no aftershow party. We almost collectively were falling asleep standing up and so we went back to the hotel for some sleep. We had to be up very early on Monday morning, going back and delivering Leo at his work. I had the day off but didn’t do any better than to fall down on me sofa for some additional sleep ;)
My first AMPHI FESTIVAL was a great one. I discovered new bands, have seen surprising shows, met new people – people from Brazil, Portugal/Norway for example – and had a lot of fun. Thank you much to all for this great weekend.


stories © Dajana Winkel, Carsten Leopold, J. “Niggels” Uhlenbruch & Sebastian Huhn
photos © Dajana Winkel & Daniela Vorndran