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From A like "Antipasti, burned" to Z like "zealously sealing a leaking tent" we experienced everything during June 5 to June 9. Life on that weekend was dominated by ‚ROCK IM PARK‘ festival that musically left nothing to be desired. Some people even arrived in Thursday´s early morning hours at Zeppelinfeld and waited for the festival doors to be opened, for the 11. time here in Nürnberg.
Friday offered blue sky and sunshine, no need for rubber boots and "North-German fur coat" (=rain coat). At first.
The Alternastage offered ‚DISCO ENSEMBLE’ and right afterwards Die texanische ‚FAIR TO MIDLAND’ a Rockband from Texas, who sounded interesting, but unfortunately this electro- Progrock soon became dull. Not the ideas, but power and expression were lacking.
Much more body contact and 40° C (without shade) characterized ‚FILTER‘, who had played with ‚DISTURBED‘ and others in Kuwait for the US soldiers. The former Nine Inch Nails guitarist and now frontman Richard Patrick put all his energy, drama and theatrical efforts in new songs like „What’s next“ as well as old hits like „Hey Man Nice Shot". Live it´s so much better than on CD, as their new album ‚Anthems For The Damned‘ also lacks surprises and high speed songs.
But here they gave everything despite the heat, and bass player John Spiker, guitarist Mitchell Marlow and drummer Mika Fineo had the quartet appear as pulsating unit. Such a great show had you even ignore the water jet attacks, which were actually welcome. Afterwards Spiker spontaneously decided on ‚Foto-Posing’ and ‚Shake Hands’ with fans in front of the stage.
During stage re-set the audience number had increased by 10.000 people. It was easy to discover who had attracted them, just by the merchandise: ‚QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE’ or ‚KYUSS’- T-Shirts or a Girlie with a modified Molly Hatchet Banner. ‚EAGLES OF DEATH METAL’ rocked the Park and Jesse ‚The Devil’ Hughes (voc, git), ‚DC’ Dave Catching (git), Gene ‚Teen Dream’ Trautmann (dr) und Brian ‚Big Hand’s’ O’Connor (bass, voc) didn´t need to be announced, the audience began shouting „EAGLES...EAGLES...EAGLES!“ way before the concert. Worth to mention that ‚KID ROCK’ played on Centerstage at the same time. The band appeared in front of the cheering crowd, Jesse featured his typical ‚Porn-Style´ with 80s ‚VonZipper’ sun glasses, tight Jeans, mo-bike boots, moustache and long hair and seemed overwhelmed by this reception.
And what followed was pure Rock’n Roll, highly infectious: „Kiss the Devil“, „Whorehoppin“, „I only want you“ or the cover „Stuck in the Metal“. In the front row you could spot Josh Homme, ‚QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE’ singer, member and producer of ‚EAGLES OF DEATH METAL’ and Jesse´s friend, freak out in the stage isle. The crowd didn´t stop cheering, the guys are stunned, and Jesse thanks the German fans, throws kisses to the girls, and many kisses are thrown back towards stage. Then he demonstrates with a comb how to keep moustache and hair-do in shape - a real entertainer. Besides tracks from the 2004 ‚Peace, Love, Death Metal’ Album they presented the recent ‚Death by Sexy‘ songs „Cherry Cola“, „Boy’s Bad News“ and „Just Nineteen“, in double speed so they could play some more. This hour of garage rock and ‚Porn-Party’ went by way too fast.
After ‚DIE TOTEN HOSEN’ on Centerstage the majority of fans at Alternastage wore black. „His Infernal Majesty“ better known as ‚HIM’ took ‚Dark-Rock’ to Nürnberg. Ville Valo (voc), Mikko Viljami Lindström (git), Mikko Heinrik Julius Paananen (Bass), Jani Purttinen (Keyboard) and Mika Kristian Karppinen (drums) are definitely one of the most successful Finnish music exports.
The girls scream when Ville entered the stage, and he presented himself once again as nicotine-junkie, practically non-stop throughout the 1 ¼ hour show. Yet instead of red wine they had water on stage. Perhaps this was the reason why sound, voice and show were exceptional this time: „Join me in Death“ and „Wicked Game“ were just perfect, as well as „Funeral of Hearts“ and „Right here in my Arms“ in this mild evening breeze, with the bright starry sky as backdrop. The Billy Idol Cover „Rebel Yell“ ended a show that everybody, no matter if die-hard-fan or HIM "freshman" found very satisfactory.
It was good that some people went to see ‚OOMPH!’ and ‚DIMMU BORGIR’ at Clubstage, therefore there was more room in the front rows of the QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE crowd, which cheers wildly when Josh Homme (voc,git), Troy van Leeuwen (git, keyboard, voc), Joey Castillo (dr) and the 2 new members Michael Shuman (Bass, voc) and Dean Fertita (Keyboard, voc) enter the stage during the „Dance to the music“ intro.
No show or set list is like the other: „You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire“ and the classic from ‚Rated R-Album’ „Feel Good Hit Of The Summer“ had everybody lift off. In the photo pit you can spot also D.C. and ‚The Devil’ among the press people, taking pictures of their friends. Hits like „No one knows“ and „Burn the Witch“ demand everything from Michael, Troy and Dean - like a tight unit they somehow explode on stage. The new album ‚Era Vulgaris’ was present with „3’s & 7’s“, „Misfit Love“ , „Make it whit Chu“ and „Go with the Flow“, the latter announced as love-songs. Josh might have used the F-word, too, but that wouldn´t sound so nice here ;-) On and in front of the stage there´s a lot of action and sweat: „Sick, sick, sick“ and „Little Sister“ invited a mass-Pogo, before „Song for the Dead“ ended the 15 song set. The crowd screamed for more, and the air was burning long after those 1,5 hours of California desert feeling in the heart of Nürnberg.
Saturday begins as Friday has ended - the heat chases people out of the tents into the shade at the parking lot. Soon the Alternastage lures us to ‚ANIMAL ALPHA‘, who played a quite good show, and ‚SEETHER’.
In Germany this South African band isn´t that well-known yet, contrary to the US. Founded 1999 as Saron Gas by Shaun Welgemoed (voc), Dale Stewart (Bass) and Dave Cohoe (dr) released their debut album that was only available in their home country. They moved to the USA in 2001, changed their name to ‚SEETHER’ and released 5 Alternative-Metal and Post-Grunge CDs, John Humphrey replaced Dave on drums, who had returned to South Africa. This line-up also rocks us for 30 minutes here: „Like suicide“, „ Fake it“ and „Breakdown“ are songs from the recent ‚Finding Beauty in negative spaces’ CD, which is among the US top 10 album charts. The band must be very popular in Europe, too, as the crowd went nuts, despite the fact there was no shade in front of the stage. Besides „Remedy“ and „Burrito“ from the ‚Karma and Effect’ Album also „Broken“ seemed to be known by the entire audience, singing along the full song - no wonder, it was part of the Punisher-Soundtrack, re-recorded with Evanescene-singer Ame Lee. The ‚SEETHER’ show seemed way too short, hopefully the guys return for a club tour soon.
A quick change to Centerstage, and we had a look at ‚GAVIN ROSSDALE‘, former ‚BUSH‘ front man. He went solo in 2002, and his new album is titled ‚Wanderlust‘, presented with „Love remains the same“ and „The skin I’m in“. Both are wonderful ballads, but not heavy enough for BUSH fans. The girls did not care, however, as Gavin is really nice eye&ear candy.
As it was supposed to be a long evening we instinctively retreat to our tent. A good choice, because a thunderstorm breaks out right afterwards. Rain turns to hail, and our tent begins to leak. Time to pull out rubber boots and rain coats, in order to see ‚CAVALERA CONSPIRACY‘ at Alternastage.
Everybody is curious how the cooperation of Max and Igor Cavalera works out after ‚SEPULTURA‘. The result in CD form ‚Inflicted‘ is quite respectable, songs like „Sanctuary“, „Hex“ oder „Nevertrust“ are simple, a la ‚SEPULTURA‘, but this seems to attract the crowds. Everybody went nuts after one hour of ‚Death-Matal-Trash’, and Max even attempts a stage dive. Unfortunately this risky jump has consequences, you can see Max hobble off stage with 2 aides. Probably he had not repeated this stunt 2 days later at their Warschau gig. But even without it a ‚CAVALERA CONSPIRACY’ is absolutely recommendable.
(part 2 follows soon)