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Something like that has not happened in Southern Austria for a long time - a 2-days-festival with Austrian bands and a mix of styles, from Blues to Metal. The day before featured several acts in a warm-up party, VF-WEST opened; MELY (on the start photo) surprised with a very good Metal version of Uriah Heep´s "Lady In Black". German and Vienna-slang lyrics were part of the program of WIENER BLUT and CHL & BAND, who also played songs of Danzer and Ambros besides their own material. Singer and guitar player Christian Lehner should also be the excellent ARF host.
STEROFACE are 4 guys from Graz, playing fresh guitar Rock, and they had no easy opening job. The hall was still empty, but still they gave everything.
DULEMANN BLUES TRIO from Leoben were next. With their soulful Blues, their own song material and lyrics in Austrian slang they also added some more tempo towards the end of their set. Bandleader Werner D. played his guitar occasionally also on his back and earned some extra cheers.
JAM TRAX I had seen already as Support for Nazareth. This Carinthian band convinced me once again at this festival with their powerful Bluesrock.
DIE MÜLLIONÄRE entered the stage next. Those Carinthians played much harder stuff - Metal / Punk / Rock with German (Carinthian Slang) lyrics. Not bad, but the following band was something I had been looking forward:
BLUESPUMPM are from Upper Austria, and this act around frontman Zappa has been in the scene for 30 years, with some success also on an international scale. Incredibly earthy, honest and featuring real experts on the instruments.
I had heard the name EXCUSE ME MOSES but have never seen the band. Great Rock, melodic and heavy, a very good mixture from Lower Austria.
SEXTIGER from Vienna have been rocking Austria for 25 years, and I heard before that it´s worth to check out their show. Bandleader Chris has now vocal support by ULLI BAER, but Suzy Q could not be with the band this day, still it was a perfect Heavy Rock Show. Two girls were dancing on stage, and all bandmembers played skillful soli, so that sometimes I did not know that to look at first. And then my personal highlight entered the stage:
NO BROS from Tyrol – they had a successful reunion, and their new album Hungry For The Good Times entertains me now during my travels. The guys around bandleader Klaus offered the full show including guitar crash. They have a new keyboarder,Andy Brunner, who fits in perfectly. Their classic Hardrock a la Deep Purple, especially their ballad Be My Friend, are part of Austria´s music history now, as well as "Heavy Metal Party". They also played a new song that appealed to the audience, too, and made you to want more. Great, thank you.
RUSSKAJA from Vienna were closing the first evening. I had never heard them before, Rock with a Brass section and Russian influences is definitely something unusual. Not bad, and very entertaining, but honestly I had enough after 2-3 songs of annoncements in broken German and party animation. The fans liked it, and RUSSKAJA offered a full show.
The first day made me proud that we have so many top bands in Austria, but it seemed that except me and some helping hands nobody was really interested. Not so many tickets had been sold, so hopes were high for day 2, SATURDAY.
VF-WEST, the guys from Villach with festival promoter Ali on drums, opened on early afternoon with Coverversions of Whitesnake & more music from the 80s, a very hefty start, so to say.
THYTOPIA from Carinthia, present four band members and top class Metal, and a female singer. For me that was a surprise, as I haven´t expected that this could fit together. Their active front lady knows her job well, and also those 3 guys. Great.
MISBEGOTTEN from Salzburg played this kind of Metal that is a bit too rough for me. Surely technically brilliant, as those guys have been around for some years, and the audience liked it.
BADHOVEN are a Melodic Rockband from Graz played a set combining their last 2 albums Behind The Masquerade and Believe. The effect of another guitarist is unbelievable. Especially if he isWim Roelants, who has worked with Steve Vai, Motörhead and other Rock icons. So I´m curious about the upcoming 3-track recording with Wim.
MADOG, a Carinthian Metal band, had a full scale show with burning axe and other stuff. Their Coverversion of Run To The Hills was excellent, and I liked their whole program.
After Metalcore with SPOUT it was time for the next Rocklegend:
SPEED LIMIT from Salzburg have been reunited just a few monts ago and start their reunion tour in Rocktober. They rocked as heavy as in the old days, and naturally they also played Lady and Fly With The Eagle. Great, and good luck,guys.
BLIND PETITION was the last band of the festival, as Alkbottle had cancelled. Those Heavyrockers from Vienna offered a full show and featured a new bass player, Muff Sopper (Vienna´s Rockhouse/Planet Music Promotion legend). I knew already that he had played in other bands before, but I have never seen him like this. Always moving, full action - hats off! Hero Hero was the encore and their 2 ballads in their set were appealing, too. It was a lot of fun!
Finally I have to say: Thanks to Ali and the perfect organization, to the bands who did not disappont their way-too-few fans and played a full-scale show. For me it was paradise, and all people involved enjoyed it a lot. It was great how all people stuck together! Many thanks and CU at AUSTROROCK 2009!
Full 10 for organisation, 10 for perfect band- and style mix and 10 for bands and fans who cheered, as if they were hundreds...