Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2011 in Leipzig, Germany: Days 1-3

Event: Wave-Gotik-Treffen
Written by: Promonex, Shurayukihime, Ven
Published: 02.08.2011

Galleries:

Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2011 in Leipzig, Germany: Days 4 & 5 by Ven (47)
Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2011 in Leipzig, Germany: Days 2 & 3 by Ven (56)
Wave-Gotik-Treffen - Leipzig, Germany, 9-13 June 2011 by Shurayukihime (88)
Wave-Gotik-Treffen - Leipzig, Germany, 9-13 June 2011




One of the few occasions goths don't mind getting a tan is the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany. This is more than a festival, as the name - "Treffen" actually means "gathering" in German - already implies. There are concerts and cultural events scattered all over the city of Leipzig. The whole thing is not just about the music: there are readings, art exhibitions, ballet performances, cinema shows, knitting lessons, gothic church services and many other happenings, that make the "Treffen" so special. In an amazing atmosphere followers of the dark culture from all over the world gather in Leipzig, showing the people of the city, that the black-dressed and often maybe even scary looking people are nothing to be afraid of. The inhabitants of Leipzig have become used to the unusual visitors and even like to watch these strangely beautiful creatures, ranging from elegantly-clothed gentlemen from the early 16th century and ladies in extravagant crinolines to cybergoths in colourful latex and neon clothing, lurking in the city on the days around Whitsun.

This year was the 20th anniversary of the "Treffen", and to celebrate this the concerts already started on Thursday 9th of July, one day earlier than usual, and the party went on till July 13th, the following Monday. Many visitors chose to do without the comfort of a hotel room and use the camping ground between the Agra Hall, more or less the centre of the festival, and the Pagan Village, a medieval or rather "heathen" fair with vending and food booths, a huge camp fire and two stages for a variety of music and dancing groups, among those some big names of the medieval and folk scene like Faun and Heidevolk.

But what makes this festival so interesting for metalheads? A lot! Above all there are the world premieres of the gothic metal legend Empyrium, French folkgazers Les Discrets and Swedish black metal band Vinterland, but also less exclusive yet no less interesting sets by the likes of Katatonia, Anathema and Eluveitie and performances by bands you don't get to see every day like October Tide, Bilocate and Crib45. And that's just a small selection of metal-relevant bands. The open-minded listener will of course find a whole lot more to see and do at this festival.


Table of Contents

Day 1: Thursday, 09.06.2011
1.1 The Eternal Afflict
1.2 Love Like Blood

Day 2: Friday, 10.06.2011
2.1 Victorian Picnic
2.2 Chthonic
2.3 Bilocate
2.4 Vreid
2.5 Tristania
2.6 Anathema
2.7 Diamanda Galás

Day 3: Saturday, 11.06.2011
3.1 Empyrium
3.2 Barren Earth
3.3 Vinterland
3.4 Ef
3.5 Les Discrets
3.6 Front 242
3.7 Pagan Village
3.8 Rome

WGT Part II featuring performances by Katatonia, Eluveitie, Moonsorrow, Helevorn, October Tide, Crimfall, Heidevolk, Recoil, Crib45, The Foreshadowing, Northland, Coppelius, Thee Flanders and STÜBA-Philharmonie & Ensemble Wilde Jagd




Day 1: Thursday, 09.06.2011

Shurayukihime: Since it was the 20th anniversary of the Wave Gotik Treffen, Thursday was a special night with bands from the first Treffen (which had hosted merely 2000 visitors back then in 1992): Das Ich, Sweet William, Henke Spielt Goethes Erben, Age Of Heaven, The Eternal Afflict and the farewell show of Love Like Blood as the great finale for the special opening night.


1.1 The Eternal Afflict (Agra Hall, 23:10)

Shurayukihime: The Eternal Afflict entered the stage at the best time around 11 pm. The one-hour-show of the electro/wave veterans was very much appreciated by the people in the quite well-filled Agra Hall.




1.2 Love Like Blood (Agra Hall, 00:30)

Shurayukihime: It turned midnight, the venue got fuller. German goth rock legends Love Like Blood, the continental counterpart of The Sisters Of Mercy so-to-speak, had performed at the very first WGT and have been on hold since 2001. Now it was time for both the reunion and the official farewell show of the band. The setlist of this show was determined following a voting on Facebook, so of course all the fan favourites have been played; and so it was no surprise that both the people and the band had a great time at this equally happy and sad event.
Setlist: The Everlasting Dream, Walking in Demimondes, Out of Sight, Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, Fallacious World, Night Is Young, Johannesburg, Doomsday, Ylene, Dear Catherine, Kiss & Tell, Heroes






Day 2: Friday, 10.06.2011

Ven: On Friday, after the kick-off night in the Agra Hall, the festival took on the shape everyone knows and loves it for: with over two dozen concert venues, a lot of sideshows and some fan-organized events, there was a lot to do and a lot to see.


2.1 Victorian Picnic (Clara-Zetkin-Park, 15:00)

Shurayukihime: One of these privately organized events was the Victorian Picnic in the Clara-Zetkin-Park. The organizer was the photography artist Viona, who claimed the dresscode should be Victorian, Steampunk, Baroque, Rococo, Elegant Lolita or Romantic Gothic. Of course there was no one standing on the way to the lawn to act as a bouncer, telling who was allowed to participate. So the gathering crowd was a wild mixture of neon-black cybergoths, romantic styled people in black lace and velvet, fantasy outfits and renaissance clothes. All of them enjoyed picnicking with their friends, posing for photographers and wandering around, looking at the other elaborately dressed goths. Some might mock them being posers for showing off themselves and their costumes to photographers and the people of Leipzig, who watched the picnic of course. But isn't it understandable? Most of those delicately dressed people spend a lot of time working on their clothes, many of them are designing and making the vesture themselves. The Victorian Picnic was definitely worth taking a look and enjoying the magical atmosphere.






2.2 Chthonic (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 17:30)

Ven: Today most metal events took place in Hall 15 of the Old Exhibition. At 4 p.m. Chthonic took the stage, and considering their on average 1.5m body height these idiosyncratic black metallers from Taiwan had a lot of power. But that was already their only redeeming factor. For most parts vocalist Freddy's shrieks combined with the omnipresent keyboard layers sounded too dull and weak, and one couldn't get rid of the impression of seeing merely a Cradle Of Filth clone with political lyrics. But all this probably didn't bother the male attendees of this concert; after all there was the incredibly gorgeous bassist Doris AKA Thunder Tears who had all eyes on her. All in all the Taiwanese music was interesting for a while, but the samey screams and keyboards were just too monotonous to keep up the fascination.




2.3 Bilocate (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 18:40)

Ven: Time to switch from not particularly sophisticated music with an attractive visual component to the total opposite. Probably nobody gave a damn about what the Jordanians of Bilocate looked like. Alone their fantastic melange of oriental tunes and dark/doom metal managed to captivate the audience and pull it into another world far beyond Western soundscapes. Or at least that's what they would have done if the sound hadn't been so exorbitantly terrible, that you only felt like running away. And so all there was left to do was to imagine how the grandiose music of this sextet had been supposed to sound.
Setlist: Inoculate, 2nd War in Heaven, The Dead Sea, The Tragedy Within, A Desire to Leave, Dead Emotion, Blooded Forest




2.4 Vreid (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 19:50)

Ven: Coming up next were Vreid, and for the first time the hall was reasonably filled. Even the sound improved quite a bit, so that one could finally tell one instrument from another. It was also the first time one could see the crowd moving a bit more than just rocking back and forth. Looks like it needs the cold Norwegian atmosphere to heat up metalheads and gothics alike.
Setlist: Arche, Fire on the Mountain, Raped by Light, Speak Goddammit!, The Sound of the River, Wolverine Bastards, The Others & The Look, Pitch Black




2.5 Tristania (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 21:00)

Ven: Finally the sound tech managed to achieve what he was hired for. And we stayed in the land of the fjords: Tristania, female fronted gothic metal par excellence and co-founders of the scene in Scandinavia, took the stage. The hall was quite full by now and the entire audience was swaying as Tristania offered something for everyone: deep growls by Kjetil Nordhus, delightful vocals by Mariangela "Mary" Demurtas, who was clothed in all white this time around and whose gracious appearance surprised with an enormously powerful voice, and guest musician Pete Johansen with his brilliant violin playing all contributed to a great show full of musical variety. And whoever still didn't get captivated by the music, concentrated on the visual part and watched Mary and her expressive performance.
Setlist: Year of the Rat, The Wretched, Protection, Tender Trip on Earth, Shadowman, The Passing, Beyond the Veil, Amnesia, Exile




2.6 Anathema (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 22:20)

Ven: Time for today's headliner in the Old Exhibition Hall! A veil of melancholy was embracing the whole venue as the first tunes of "Thin Air" were resounding and from the very first note played Anathema had the audience hypnotized. The venue was filled to the brim, but nonetheless one could hear that it was almost absolutely quiet in the hall during the calmer passages. Everyone, absolutely everyone, was captivated by the British sextet! The by now perfect sound and the band's performance full of passion and emotion are an extravaganza one definitely shouldn't leave out! Graciously and atmospherically the guitars and keyboards underlined the melancholic male and female vocals and in the end one just couldn't help but applaud vociferously and shout for an encore. And of course Anathema fulfilled this wish, so that they concluded their set after a total of twelve songs and were released from the stage accompanied by thunderous applause.
Setlist: Thin Air, Summernight Horizon, Dreaming Light, Everything, Closer, A Natural Disaster, Angels Walk Among Us, Deep, A Simple Mistake, Universal, Flying, Fragile Dreams




2.7 Diamanda Galás (Opera Leipzig, 20:00)

Shurayukihime: While metal bands were pleasing the long-haired folks in the Old Exhibition Hall, singer extraordinaire Diamanda Galás was scheduled to perform at the Opera in the centre of Leipzig. The show with the motto "Your Kisses Are Like Fire" started one hour late because there were some technical problems, so one could admire the dignified premises of the Opera even longer.

Around 9 pm she entered the stage. Just her and the piano with some plumes of smoke in the background. The atmosphere was astonishing even before the performance began. The first songs were rather experimental piano-accompanied demonic screams, which made many people leave the opera-hall noisily. After almost half of the people were gone, Diamanda Galás decided to perform some beautiful ballads, which went directly beneath one's skin. This amazing experience between pleasure and pain ended with "Gloomy Sunday", an unbelievably sad love song, which was written in Hungary in the 1930s and popularized by Billie Holiday. This song was so sad and depressing, that lots of people used it as a soundtrack for suicide, hence its nickname "Hungarian Suicide Song" and which led to many countries in Europe forbidding this song. Thinking of this song as performed by Diamanda Galás still gives me goose-bumps as I write this. After that I left the location on a cloud and wasn't able to process more impressions for the night. So I sadly missed Anathema's beautiful performance, but which I couldn't have attended in time anyway due to the delay of Diamanda's performance.






Day 3: Saturday, 11.06.2011

3.1 Empyrium (Pantheon - Cupola, 15:00)

Shurayukihime: The day couldn't have started any better than with the world premiere of Empyrium. Already an hour before the venue opened there was a long queue of fans waiting before its doors. And the formidable Kuppelhalle (a round venue with a dome-shaped roof) in the Pantheon proved to be just perfect for this kind of atmospheric music! Original band members Markus Stock (The Vision Bleak) and Thomas Helm (Noekk) were accompanied by Jochen "Eviga" Stock (Dornenreich), Fursy Teyssier (Les Discrets) and Alcest's Neige. Both band and fans can consider themselves lucky that this all-star line-up got to play its first concert ever in such a beautiful and intimate venue. The stage was very low and all the musicians were sitting, so they were not particularly elevated above the audience. The atmosphere was very dreamy, relaxed and romantic with a strong melancholic touch, which gained even more grace in the theatrical venue with the dome-shaped roof, surrounded by columns and walls draped with curtains. Opening with "The Days Before the Fall", the first published song after the reunion, Empyrium took the audience on a musical journey through the band's past 17 years. The nearly perfect sound made the audience lose itself in a mystic world. And once the regular set was over the audience relentlessly demanded more, so that Empyrium weren't released from the stage until they had played five more songs.
Setlist: The Days Before the Fall, The Franconian Woods in Winter's Silence, Where at Night the Wood Grouse Plays, Heimwärts, Mourners
Encore: Die Schwäne im Schilf, Dead Winter Ways, Der Weiher, Many Moons Ago, Das Blau-Kristallne Kämmerlein





3.2 Barren Earth (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 17:15)

Ven: Whoever needed more metal after Empyrium mind-blowing performance, returned once again to the Old Exhibition Hall 15 to arrive just in time for the show of Barren Earth. This Finnish all-star band, founded in 2007 by Olli-Pekka Laine (ex-Amorphis), Marko Tarvonen (Moonsorrow) and Sami Yli-Sirniö (Kreator, Waltari), invited the crowd to celebrate with progressive death metal with folk and rock influences, and considering the time surprisingly many people had heeded the call, so that the hall was reasonably filled once again. As the band has only released one EP in 2009 and one album in 2010 so far, the setlist was rather predictable. Only the opener "The Curse of the Red River" from the album with the same name was replaced by the song "Jewel" from their EP, and "The Ritual of Dawn" and "Ere All Perish" were dropped altogether. But even though Barren Earth delivered a decent show, the crowd merely responded with nodding heads and tapping feet. Probably the audience just needed a while to shake off last night's hangover.
Setlist: Jewel, Our Twilight, Flicker, Forlorn Waves, The Leer, Cold Earth Chamber, Deserted Morrows




3.3 Vinterland (Old Exhibition - Hall 15, 18:15)

Ven: And Vinterland turned out to be the perfect remedy for that! After 16 years of inactivity following the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Welcome My Last Chapter these Swedes finally resurfaced to celebrate their live debut. And they've been received accordingly, so it was no surprise to see the first spinning heads in the audience. Judging from the crowd's reaction definitely a successful gig; the rather static performance could've done with a bit more movement though.
Setlist: A Winter Breeze, A Castle So Crystal Clear, As I Behold the Dying Sun, Vinterskogen, I'm Another in the Night, Our Dawn of Glory, Wings of Sorrow




3.4 Ef (Schaubühne Lindenfels, 19:00)

Ven: And now it was time to teleport oneself to the opposite end of the city in order to catch the Swedish post-rock band Ef. In theory 40 minutes sound like a reasonable time span for this undertaking. Reality looked somewhat different though. Apparently Leipzig's public transport service hasn't learned from the past 20 years and sent the trams in 20 minute intervals on the way. Delays not included. And so I arrived totally exhausted at the Schaubühne Lindenfels to catch the last two songs of Ef's set, to witness the wonderful atmosphere despite the far too loud sound for such a small venue and to be annoyed for having missed a grandiose concert.

Shurayukihime: Whoever took the time to let Empyrium's divine set sink in and whoever was in the mood for more beautiful mystic sounds, slowly made his way to Ef at the Schaubühne Lindenfels. The Swedish post-rock band had an amazing light show and performed sunken in their own soundscapes. Every band member had his own rhythm and way of moving which was kind of funny to look at; it was like everyone moved to his own music in his head. The sound was actually good, just a little bit too loud for the rather soothing, melancholic, yet light-hearted music in the small venue. Some people stood in front of the stage and slowly rocked from side to side, once in a while even tapping a foot. Others had taken their seats on the gallery and enjoyed the music, resting and watching.




3.5 Les Discrets (Schaubühne Lindenfels, 20:20)

Ven: Having missed most of Ef's set, I finally got my reconciliation: it was time for another world premiere, this time by Les Discrets. Fursy Teyssier's and his three comrades-in-arms of Alcest. Their unique blend of post-rock and shoegaze created a breath-taking atmosphere - unfortunately exactly this seemed to have happened to the sound techs who had immense problems to regain control over the overmodulated pitches, which irritated not only the audience. Other than the popular "Song for Mountains", Les Discrets presented two new nameless songs of the upcoming, also nameless album, and despite a few wrong notes, which is probably excusable for the very first gig, the band received rapturous acclaim and didn't get to leave the stage without playing an encore.

Shurayukihime: Neige and Fursy Teyssier again - this promised another beautiful show. But since the Schaubühne Lindenfels was far away from the Agra Hall, where Front 242 were to perform next, I had to leave after a few minutes to get the tram to the main station, from where I had to take another tram to the Agra.




3.6 Front 242 (Agra Hall, 22:00)

Shurayukihime: After I had left the show of Les Discrets very early to get in time to the Agra, where Front 242, the Belgian legends of Electronic Body Music were to perform, I suffered from a cultural shock. The day was full of beautiful, dreamy music and all of a sudden my ears were penetrated by monotonous overdriven beats. On the stage I saw two bloated geezers, jumping around embarrassingly. No, these couldn't be the heroes of EBM! And it got even more awful when they butchered one of my favourite songs: "Tragedy for You". I had to get out - I needed to erase this shameful images and sounds from my head!




3.7 Pagan Village

Shurayukihime: After the gruesome experience in the Agra I found sanctuary in the Pagan Village, where the medieval/folk band Faun attracted so many people, that the area was packed, making it impossible to even see the stage. One reason for the vast amount of people probably was the fact that even non-WGT ticket holders could enter the Pagan Village for just a small fee.

After strolling around searching for a place to sit, - in which I didn't succeed by the way - I ended up at the smaller stage of the village where the band Capud Draconis was pleasing the audience with their self-invented blend of "neo-pipe-folk". They also helped me to rinse my ears after the frustrating performance of Front 242 and closed my day in a somewhat conciliatory manner.



Despite really having had the need to sit down on something other than the leg-numbing ground, the atmosphere in the village was magic. The vending booths were lit beautifully and the smell of garlic was everywhere. It grew so strong, that it was almost sickening. Thinking of the sickening experience with Front 242 I decided one was enough for the evening and staggered to my tent exhaustedly.




3.8 Rome (Felsenkeller, 22:20)

Ven: At the end of the night Luxembourgian avant-garde musician Jerome Reuter invited the fans of dark ambient, martial industrial and apocalyptic folk into the Felsenkeller, a ballroom building in Neo-Baroque style, for an exclusive show of his project Rome. Their first show in 1½ years with a new line-up and a new routine attracted a whole lot of people which filled the venue to capacity. And the visitors got treated with a show full of emotion and grandeur, so that this band as well didn't get around an encore.
Setlist: Like Lovers, A Consolation of Man, All for Naught, Der Erscheinungen Flucht, Das Feuerordal, The Death of Longing, The Merchant Fleet, To Die Among Strangers, Bread and Wine, Hope Dies Painless, Sons of Aeeth
Encore: The Torture Detachment, Neue Erinnerung, Swords to Rust - Hearts to Dust







Coming up next on Metal Storm:
WGT Part II featuring performances by Katatonia, Eluveitie, Moonsorrow, Helevorn, October Tide, Crimfall, Heidevolk, Recoil, Crib45, The Foreshadowing, Northland, Coppelius, Thee Flanders and STÜBA-Philharmonie & Ensemble Wilde Jagd


 




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BloodTears - 02.08.2011 at 19:34  
Interesting read. This made me remember the time when I loved Love Like Blood.
Darkside Momo - 02.08.2011 at 23:39  
Makes me wanna go to this fest, even if I'm far from being a goth... The line-up this year was pretty sick!
BitterCOld - 03.08.2011 at 01:23  
Galas is terrifying. ridiculously talented and infinitely creepy.
Mr. Doctor - 03.08.2011 at 01:55  
I would have loved to see some of those bands, specially Empyrium, Les Discrets and Diamanda Galás
Kenos - 03.08.2011 at 19:14  
Diamanda.
Galàs.


OMFG.
InnerSelf - 03.08.2011 at 23:48  
Empyrium's songs with this line up .... EPIC

and lol at Neige playing two gigs
Bad English - 04.08.2011 at 00:50  
When I read title I thought was is das (Prom how in German I can say WTF) but I look at picks, atmosfere, line up and all whats written I no regrest that I read and also I would love to attent it to see atmosfere peoploe, get good wine , no I wont chamnge my old blue wrangler whit lil wholes and levis denim jacket and my stinky black t shirt to gothic cloths, but who cares , not me, because its a thing what I would like to see......good damn skins didnt try ruin it
Bad English - 04.08.2011 at 01:01  
For me : Bilocate is headliner, then Veid
Day 3: start whit headliners 1th 2 bands !!! + Vinterland whit one beautiful only album what they criated , exelent!!!
Magatouve - 05.08.2011 at 00:51  
Was this event listed in Metalstorm before it happened? I mean enough time before it happened. I came to live in Leipzig in mid-May and I am sure I checked the events listed for Leipzig around the time I came, but I didn't seen it!! I saw of course goths walking around in the city and I knew there were many events happening but I never heard of all these metal bands coming How come I missed that?! Leipzig is not at all a metal city, it seems to me so far (it's full of hippies). So it's a huge disappointment to have missed all these bands I need to sue Metalstorm
Promonex - 08.08.2011 at 04:35  
Written by Magatouve on 05.08.2011 at 00:51

Was this event listed in Metalstorm before it happened? I mean enough time before it happened. I came to live in Leipzig in mid-May and I am sure I checked the events listed for Leipzig around the time I came, but I didn't seen it!! I saw of course goths walking around in the city and I knew there were many events happening but I never heard of all these metal bands coming How come I missed that?! Leipzig is not at all a metal city, it seems to me so far (it's full of hippies). So it's a huge disappointment to have missed all these bands I need to sue Metalstorm

WGT has been in the database since December 2010 and has been listed as supported event since mid-May, with the names Empyrium, Tiamat, Katatonia, Anathema and Fields Of The Nephilim appearing regularly on our front page. So basically this just means that you don't spend enough time on Metal Storm yet

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