Röck Döts

Metallica with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax

livegigsLast year’s Sonisphere Festivals have been a blast for the metal community. The Big 4 of thrash metal teamed up for one big show. For year it would have been impossible even to imagine that Megadeth and Slayer or Megadeth and Metallica would play on the same stage. But last year showed that it’s possible, so this summer the Big 4 are back for some shows. One of these shows takes place in the sold out Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen. 52.000 fans attend to this event, but the arena is not filled with the whole amount of people as ANTHRAX start their set. The band plays a set which concentrates on the 80’s records and hits like „indians“, „Caught In A Mosh“ or the TRUST-Cover and fan-favourite „Antisocial“. They even play an unreleased song called „Fight Em Till You Can’t“, which is part of their highly anticipated record „Worship Music“, which will be released this september. But it’s sad to see them play without guitar icon Scott Ian, who is replaced by SEPULTURA-axeman Andreas Kisser. After 45 minutes their set, which suffered under a bad sound, is over.
The sound during the first two song of MEGADETH’s set is even worse. It’s hard to recognize the songs, but fortunatly the sound is well as „Hanger 18“ sets in. There are far more people in the football stadium as there were during ANTHRAX’ gig. But it seems like they do not conect to Dave Mustaine and his band. The thrashers seem to be tired, they don’t move that much or interact with the crowd. Eitherway the tracks are well done and the group delivers a nice mixture of their whole career. But it is „Symphony of Destruction“ that gets the loudest chants from the fans. MEGADETH play a quite short show as well, so everybody misses one or two songs by the metal band’s back catalogue. The Veltins Arena is filled with people as thrash heroes SLAYER begins their very own mayhem. As well as MEGADETH SLAYER’s setlist is filled with classics and new songs. „War Ensemble“ fits quite good to new tunes like „Snuff“ or „Deciple“ (which is not that new though). The fans seem to enjoy the energy driven live show by the four piece. If you take a closer look, you see that it is not Jeff Hannemann, who plays the guitar, it is EXODUS-man Gerry Hold who takes part for the ill Hannemann, who had to stay at home. After the typical „Raining Blood“ inferno the set is over and SLAYER leave the stage, knowing that is is by far the best show so far. Even the sound got a little better. Excellent! But METALLICA are the next in line. The most successful metal band of all time get enthusastic aplause even during the intro. The 52.000 fans are getting wild during every song of the band’s concert. But it is hard to resist fine tunes like „One“, „Master Of Puppets“, „Fade To Black“ (the guitar leads towards the end are a blast!) or even the „Reload“-Song „The Memory Remains“. The crowd is singing every single word from the top of their lungs and even drown the explosions of pyros and fireworks in silence. The tracklist mostly consists of tunes off the band’s first five records. Only „The Memory Remains“ and „Death Magnetic“-single „All Nightmare Long“ are taken from other records, so it is a very classic-driven show METALLICA present.
After „Enter Sandman“ the four piece leave the stage, just to return with the guys from ANTHRAX and MEGADETH to play the DIAMOND HEAD-classic „Helpless“ and two of their own songs. But as „Battery“ ends and the last chords are fading out it is clear that this was the end of METALLICA’s show and the Big 4, which was a great concert, that only lacked in organsiation for food and drinks. (Gelsenkirchen, Veltins Arena on 2th Jul 2011)

Gallows

livegigsVisions parties always had strange line-ups. Bands from very different genres teamed up for these special shows. This time it is british indie pop/rockers RAZORLIGHT with brit punks GALLOWS and swedisch rock band RIVAL SONS. But it seems like most of the attending people showed up for the mighty GALLOWS. Since they haven’t played in German club for ages, today’s event promises a furious live show. Actually there is no need to watch the support band RIVAL SONS, because every one is waiting for singer Frank Carter and his crew to show up. It only takes seconds to bring some riot into the small club of the FZW. Frank Carter is in the eye of the mosh-tornado. He seems to enjoy that a lot of guys are jumping over him to get the chance to shout some of the lyrics right into his microphone. Actually, this is kind of hard, because sometimes it just does not work and over the whole show you can not hear Frank sing for some moments over and over again.
GALLOWS are delivering a real good mixture of their both records „Orchestra Of Wolves“ and „Grey Britain“. But they put the focus on their still most recent work „Grey Britain“. Songs like „London Is The Reason“ or „Misery“ are fan favourites. But the London band even play some tunes they did not played that much over the last few tours. So it is very exciting to hear „Death Voices“ and „Queensberry Rules“, which takes Carter across the crowd, up the balcony and then he dives right into the crowd again. Old tracks like „Abandon Ship“ (such a massive sing-along in that „Mayday! Mayday!“-part) or „Come Friendly Bombs“ also get paid with a lot of movement on and before the stage.
The brits destroy the FZW. And after an hour of blood, sweat and tears and the last chords of „Orchestra of Wolves“ fading out the show is over. Sadly this is the last we’ll see GALLOWS in that shape, since Frank Carter announced his departure from the group a few days later. But this makes this experience a lot more special.
(
FZW, Dortmund on 1th Jul 2011)

FALLING IN REVERSE – “The Drug In Me Is You“

Ex-ESCAPE THE FATE-singer Ronnie Radke is back from prison. Since his old band has moved on with a BLESSTHEFALL man Craig Mabbit he had to find a new group of musicians. He formed his new band FALLING IN REVERSE and their debut record “The Drug In Me Is You“ is out now. So what can we expect from Radke and his crew? The same old sound he once did with ESCAPE THE FATE or something new?
Well, it’s both acutally. There are still hints of his ESCAPE THE FATE past but there are also a lot of new elements. The foundation is still emo mixed with hard rock straight from the 80’s in the vain of MÖTLEY CRÜE or POISON. FALLING IN REVERSE sound heavier than ESCAPE THE FATE ever did in some moments. Just check out the brutal breakdown of ’Don’t Mess with Ouija Board’. On the other hand ’Good Girls Bad Boys’ is one of the catchiest songs Radke has ever sung. You just don’t get rid of the chorus, it’ll stick in your head for days. The solo in that song sounds like a delicious hair metal one like the ones of POISON delivered to your older brothers. The addition of keyboards and some riffs make you think of the first PANIC! AT THE DISCO record with it’s 1930’s flair.
The lyrics deal with the past few years of singer Ronnie Radke’s life. There are some songs that seem like they are about his old buddies in ESCAPE THE FATE and of course about all the other people who let the inprisoned singer down. He also sings about his drug addiction and how he hurt people in the past. Sometimes the lyrics seem like he apologizes. Though, it’s not always dark. There are tongue in cheek songs like ’Good Girls Bad Boys’ that are about hooking up girls.
“The Drug In Me Is You“ is a great debut reocrd. Ronnie Radke is back with his new crew in FALLING IN REVERSE. It’s great to see that this band is not just ECAPE THE FATE II, but a band with an own identity and a singer which was missed by many fans. (Music Audio CD - This title will be released on July 26, 2011).

TAKING BACK SUNDAY – “Taking Back Sunday“

livegigsEmo-rock kings TAKING BACK SUNDAY return in the line-up of their classic debut record “Tell All Your Friends“. The news of the reunion of the New York rockers classic line-up was met with big excitment for a new record. There must have been huge pressure on the band’s shoulders to fulfill the fans’ hopes.

The first the band previewed was ’El Paso’, but this wasn’t like ’Cute Without The E (Cut From The Team)’ at all. It sounds way more like their peers BRAND NEW. Experimental, not that catchy and grown up. For sure, this was not was most people expected to hear. This did not sound like the classic TAKING BACK SUNDAY and it did not sound like the new TAKING BACK SUNDAY. It sounded like BRAND NEW. In someway the song disapointed, but made it more exciting, too.

So now the fifth album is released. The self-titled effort, which everyone was excited to hear. And then there was ’El Paso’ again, the opener of the record. But you grow to the unfamiliar sound. The tracks afterwards are a lot more the TAKING BACK SUNDAY fans are used to hear. ’Best Places To Be A Mom’ is such a great song, one of the best the band ever wrote. ’Since You’re Gone’ or ‚You’ve Got Me’ put a smile on every fan’s face, too.

The progression the band made is obvious. There is a more progressive way the songs work. Not progressive in the way bands like YES or RUSH write songs. The band plays tight and some of their best performances ever. Adam Lazzara’s vocals are some of the best he ever sung.

“Taking Back Sunday“ is not „Tell All Your Friends Part II“. It uses elements of that records and mixes it with the more matured sound of the last record, 2009’s “New Again“. TAKING BACK SUNDAY do what they want. They never sounded as free as they do today. And this is what makes their newest output so special. And this is what makes the next one interesting as hell. So let’s hope we don’t have to wait that long. (Music Audio CD)

Bochum

Bochum Total is one of Germany’s most beloved festivals. For free people can see unknown and well known bands for four days. This year has some great acts, too like the ones of CASPER, JUPITER JONES, FRIDA GOLD or KETTCAR, this year’s headliner.
Unfortunatly this year the weather is really bad. It’s cold and it’s raining as hell. So it is no surprise that there are not half as many people waiting to see Hamburg’s finest KETTCAR as you might have expected. But there are still enough people who are hungry to see the indie rockers, who are also influenced by brit-pop and american indie heroes like DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE.
They start their show with „Deiche Brechen“, which the crowd seems to enjoy. But it’s obvious that there are no moshpits or any moving in the crowd, because it’s not that type of music, but it’s way too cold in the first place and everyone’s holding their umbrellas. KETTCAR try to entertain the people and win over the crowd with a fantastic setlist based around their three records. Even two brand new songs from their upcoming fourth effort find their way into today’s setlist. „4:26“ is a quiet song but sounds really interesting, the other one is okay as well.
Tunes like „Nullnummernspiel“, „Graceland“, „Balloo“ or „Kein Außen Mehr“ are some really good ones, which their fans love. KETTCAR deliver a real good show, but after 75 they say goodbye to the festival crowd. And everybody is kneen to get home as fast as possible. (Bermunda Dreieck, Bochum on 24th Jul 2011)


The Carrier with All Teeth and Landscapes

If you like dark melodic emotional hardcore you might like DEAD SWANS, MORE THAN LIFE, KILLING THE DREAM or MODERN LIFE IS WAR. And you’ll like THE CARRIER for sure. The american group seems to have a little hype around their two records. This tour is all about their recent work „Blind To What Is Right“.
But before the headliner takes the stage, it is up to british five-piece LANDSCAPES. This is their first proper european tour. Only a few people are familiar to the band, which plays their „Reminescene“ EP as a whole. The six songs are quiet good, though the band’s performance lacks some energy. Energy which their brothers in mind MORE THAN LIFE always release on stage. Although the show is good for a first time over here.
ALL TEETH from the US of A are up next on stage. Their retarded frontman is the center of attention. Trying to suffocte himself with the cable of his microphone or just falling to the ground screaming. Their hardcore/punk reminds of old CEREMONY in a less aggressive way. People dig it and so there is more movement than there has been during LANDSCAPES’ set.
After a short break THE CARRIER enter the stage and set the crowd on fire. There is movements, kids grabbing for the microphone for the next sing-along or some serious actions in the small moshpit. The group plays a great mix of their two records „One Year Later“ and their recent one „Blind To What Is Right“. Also the 7“ EP „No Love Can Save Me“ is featured on tonight’s setlist. Songs like „One Year Later...“, „Blind To What Is Right“, „Wasted“ or the massive „Everyone Who I Knew and Loved Is Gone“ are tearing this place up.
But after 35 minutes their energetic show is coming to a close and leaves the crowd sweating as they go home. (Underground, Cologne on 30th Jul 2011)

As I Lay Dying and Skeletonwitch

AS I LAY DYING are one of the most successful metalcore bands. If you think back to the tours of their first two records you couldn’t see too many metalheads in the crowd. But years later it’s more metalheads than scene-kids among the fans who attend to the metalcore king’s show at the FZW in Dortmund. So it isn’t very surprising that SKELETONWITCH are supporting today. The melodic brew of death and thrash metal seems to be unfamiliar to many attendees. You can see some people in the frontrow bang their heads, though. The group tries to impress the people and their singer really tries to win over the crowd. But at the end of the day you get the feeling they just try too hard. But they can learn from the energetic performance of the christian US-Band AS I LAY DYING. They start their set with the really brutal „Within Destruction“ off of their fourth record „An Ocean Between Us“. Since the first chords there is a hughe moshpit in the center of the only half-filled FZW. The 600 Fans raise singer Tim Lambesis and his band. I haven’t seen AS I LAY DYING since almost four years and I did not expect that they still put on such a great show. It is even better than years ago. The five men are in such a great shape, they really kill it. But it is a little bit sad that they play too much of their two most recent records „An Ocean Between Us“ and „The Powerless Rise“. Only a few songs are featured on their second and third records „Frail Words Collapse“ and „Shadows Are Security“. But there is no doubt that old tunes like „Forever“ or „94 Hours“ are still killer tracks from AS I LAY DYING’s backcatalogue.
After the last chords of the epic „94 Hours“ AS I LAY DYING end their set within one hour. There is no encore, the kids in the pit wouldn’t stand one more song either.  (FZW, Dortmund on 4th Aug 2011)

Touché Amoré and Death Is Not Glamorous

Mönchengladbach’s Horst Festival is a cross in every festival friend’s calender. The festival behind the trainstation of Mönchengladbach is for free and offers known and unknown bands on two stages for two days. Acts like ska-punks SONDASCHULE or rapper MATERIA are on this year’s line-up as well as the whole LA DISPUTE tour that also includes TOUCHÉ AMORÉ and DEATH IS NOT GLAMOROUS.
First band for today are Norwegian melodic hardcore/punk rockers DEATH IS NOT GLAMOROUS. The band seems to be in a great mood today. The musicians do a real good job on stage during the songs of their two albums and their ep. Their singer isn’t to be seen, because he is IN the crowd during the whole set. Especially the tunes taken from their debut recor „Soft Clicks“ get great respone from the kids in the moshpit. DEATH IS NOT GLAMOROUS are doing a real good show but the abstinence of their singer on stage is kind of a lack in their performance, because most people do not see him sing, only those in the pit.
Most people however seem to be waiting for American band Touché Amoré. Starting their set with “~” makes the crowd in the front row become very enthusastic. Mosh pits, jumping onto the back of one's person in front or just wavig fists into the air and singing along to every word sums up to a very intense scene. It certainly gives a cold shiver to many people in the hall's posterior area. The group's dark and melodic hardcore style is very current inside the scene, so that the audience' knowledge of the lyrics does not really mark a surprise. Touché Amoré are doing their best and deliver one of the greatest and most intense hardcore shows that I was blessed with being a part of. (Platz der Republick, Mönchengladbach on 6th Aug 2011)