ELSROCK OPEN AIR
bands on the bill in alphabetical order
favourites are in bold
Mnemic (Cancelled :/)
One Bullet Left
I thought it was a nice idea to use this year's Elsrock as a kind of cooling down party from Wacken (see my review @ http://www.last.fm/user/r1Co/journal/2007/08/10/496774/). My right hand co-headbanger Zlut eventually agreed on this and Marcel didn't mind joining us, so my quest for 3 tickets began a few days right after Wacken, limbs still sore, neck still hurting and still not much of a voice. After telling the guy behind the counter 6 times which tickets I wanted I finally got them, but he printed 4 instead of 3 (for which I asked) so he had to destroy one, or sell it to someone else (dunno exactly what they do with false prints tbh). On saturday (25th of August) we drove to Rijssen, while Marcel was already there, we had no idea where in Rijssen we needed to be exactly, so on arrival in the town the real search began. We were already pretty late (the festival had already started in the morning, but we didn't really care for the other bands on the bill except for the last 5 minus Mnemic who had cancelled their appearance a few days in advance :( ), so now we actually missed a big part of the first act I wanted to see as well...
Hatesphere might just become my most seen live act. These guys play LOTS of live shows and many festivals like having them on the bill I guess, because I encounter them everywhere. This is not a bad thing though because like I've said thousand times before, Hatesphere deliver live in a big way. The dedication and enjoyment is clearly visible on the faces of all band members and Jacob (singer) never stops sharing his amusing stories about Satan or Killing or other subjects of that nature. He also showed his love for Dream Evil a little by wishing us a good time and singing "in the book of heavy metaaaaaaaaaaal". I don't know if they removed it from the setlist or maybe they're opening with it nowadays, but just like at Wacken, I again missed 'The Sickness Within', without a doubt my favourite Hatesphere song and one of which I was sure they would keep it the final encore for a long time to come. But I was wrong, as I didn't hear the song again today, maybe next time, as I'm sure I will be seeing these guys again in the future
...because we missed like half of the Hatesphere show we decided to not go straight to the front of that show, because we weren't really there from the beginning anyway, instead we chose to grab a meal and some drinks and have a look around the festival area instead. Those who have been there will probably agree that this doesn't take very long as Elsrock is very very tiny, but also very fun and friendly with a very relaxed atmosphere. They also score points for the ice cream btw! ;) on to the next band!
Dream Evil (9/10)
This band playing a tiny festival like Elsrock I think is pretty unique. Eventhough they're officially a band I don't think Dream Evil play a lot of shows. Mostly because almost every band member has very busy "side gigs" (Fredrik Nordstrom for instance is a very high profile metal producer). So I was very surprised to see them at this bill and it made me want to go a lot more. Dream Evil play basically old school heavy metal with some modern touches, but overall, it's mostly rooted in 80's heavy metal. They also have this kind of sense of sarcasm/self-mockery/cliche-ish or whatever you'd like to call it which suits them very well and which makes it a lot easier to stand in front of their show, screaming, fist pumping and headbanging along to songs about dragons and fighting and ofcourse METAAAAAAAAAAAL \m/. Hell yes, each and every band members is spot on and Niklas is one of the better (especially concerning his live singing) frontmen out there, awesome show!
...after this show it was time for some of the excellent food again and also take a look around the very tiny MetalMarket they had set up. Nice thing for me here were the cd racks of the Metalzone-Nijverdal-store which brought me Arcturus' La Masquerade Infernale and Agalloch's Pale Folklore for which I both had been looking for for quite a while now, so props to that store! :>
Scar Symmetry (8/10)
Scar Symmetry were another band which I have never seen before so this was again a perfect bill for me. The problem with Elsrock though is that there were almost no people in front of the stage, which really took something away from the atmosphere. The biggest plus with this on the other hand is ofcourse that there are no problems getting up close while your favorite band are playing. Still I kind of missed the huge wacken crowds where everyone joins in singing and clapping along to the band who are performing. Scar Symmetry might have noticed this as well, but they didn't really seemed to care as they gave us a very worthy show. Everyone worked really hard on making the performance a really memorable one, too bad the crowd response was very minimal. I was very surprised actually at how good the clean singing came through live. And given the fact that the guy has to growl as well in every song, I couldn't help but be impressed. This band deserves bigger crowds, and hopefully I can attend the show where that happens.
...so, a few days before this festival there was the cancellation of Mnemic for which Elsrock could not find a replacement. Mnemic is also a band I never saw live and did want to. So this was kind of a bummer, but the biggest shock came a day before Elsrock when Nevermore were supposed to play another gig in the Netherlands. This show got cancelled that same day because Warrel Dane wasn't able to sing. After this al sorts of rumours got posted and I feared a cancellation for Elsrock, but luckily it didn't happen!
The last time I saw Nevermore was kind of a letdown because nobody at the Disturbed show (see one of my previous journals) seemed to know who they were, resulting in almost zero crowd response. So when this festival got announced with Nevermore as headliner I was very pleased. Finally I could be headbanging along to one of my favourite bands while other people around me also joined in! And what a great show it was. It still wasn't very crowded, but at least there were like 8 rows of people now who were actually clapping and cheering, while some others STILL remained on the back of the terrain, enjoying beers and nothing else (I guess there were lots of local people who were just curious or hungry for beer, they were quite recognisable with their "normal T shirts", identifiable by the use of bright colours, or just colours). Whatever, All I can say is, those people missed out, because all of their problems aside, Nevermore delivered one hell of a show. After some searching for a decent sound in the beginning they found a perfect mix and we got treated to an excellent setlist, including rarely played tracks like 'Deconstruction'! This was the biggest highlight for me personally but saying that doesn't do justice to the rest of the set, which featured mostly works from the last 3 albums, like 'The River Dragon Has Come', 'Born', 'I Voyager', 'The Heart Collector', 'Final Product', 'Inside Four Walls' and many more. And while the epic 'This Godless Endeavor' closed the official set we were anxiously waiting for an encore, preferably 10 encores but hey.. Luckily we got at least one. Dane started a speech: "open wide and lick the wounds of the enemy... we are.. 'The Enemies of Reality'". A worthy closer of an awesome setlist and a great festival. More people need to realize this, so next year (with hopefully an even stronger bill) we can attend again!
Horns and Hails to Zlut and Marcel!
UP NEXT: definetly means tickets are ordered/in
(definetly) 29/09/2007 - Kamelot (w/ Adagio, Serenity) @ Podium Hardenberg, Hardenberg, NL
(definetly) 10/10/2007 - Eastpak Antidote Tour (Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Caliban, Sonic Syndicate) @ Tivoli, Utrecht, NL
(likely) 13/10/2007 - Norther (w/ Amoral, Drone & more?) @ Romein, Leeuwarden, NL
(definetly) 03/11/2007 - Ultima-Ratio (Moonsorrow, SuidAkrA, Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Equilibrium & more) @ Turbinhalle, Oberhausen, GER
(likely) 23/11/2007 - Amorphis (w/ Swallow the Sun, Insomnium) @ Tivoli de Helling, Utrecht, NL
(definetly) 30/11/2007 - The Black Crusade (w/ Machine Head, Trivium, DragonForce, Arch Enemy, Shadows Fall) @ Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, NL
(definetly) 01/12/2007 - Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Melkweg, Amsterdam, NL
(likely) 05/12/2007 - Porcupine Tree (w/ Anathema) @ Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, NL
(most likely) 07/12/2007 - SuidAkrA @ Hedon, Zwolle, NL
(maybe) 09/12/2007 - Apocalyptica @ Oosterpoort, Groningen, NL
(likely) 15/12/2007 - Riverside @ Plato, Helmond
(likely) 17/12/2007 - Therion @ Melkweg, Amsterdam, NL
(definetly) 30/07-02/08/2008 - Wacken Open Air (w/ Iron Maiden, Kreator, Lordi & many more tbc) @ Wacken, GER