Due to the unique logistics of the WGT festival, where events are happening simultaneously in different parts of the city, an educated selection of certain event per day was made in order to make a complete report of that specific daily event. The events were chosen according to the spirit that moves this webzine.
On the first day we decided to stay at Heidnisches Dorf, a medieval village built every year for the purpose of this event. This place featured a medieval market and a lot of food and beverage stands. At the main stage the day began with Cuelebre, a pagan folk band from Spain. Perhaps due to the early time of the day (14:00) or maybe due to the intense heat that was felt, the venue was almost empty. This was unfortunate since Cuelebre proved to be quite good instrumentally and showed great dedication in the presentation of their debut album “Oinos”.
The second band to go up to the stage were Ragnaröek, a german folk/gothic metal band. The band began their acting with the presence of a ballerina playing with fire. This visually impressive opening, gave the motto for an energetic and well-arranged performance. Still with a small crowd, the band played a fun folk metal for the audience. They included some eye captivating scenic ornaments on stage, like an anvil. It should be noted that midway through the performance of the song “Trinkfest 5-4-3-2-1”, a rumpipe was passed to the audience and given to drink to those watching the band from the front rows. Some elements of the audience could be seen dancing to the mixed sound of bagpipes, guitars and drums. Very entertaining!
Beginning to play at 17:00 and still with a scarce audience, Metusa went on stage. This German folk rock punk band featuring violins also didn’t seem to captivate the locals, even though they sang in German. People were sitting on the grass in front of the stage and just a few stayed close to the stage. Overall it was a good concert that received a lukewarm reaction.
Romuvos was the next band going on stage. Romuvos is a Lithuanian epic folk viking metal band, inspired by the work of Falkenbach. They delivered a very good show with flawless sound conditions. It was noticeable the migration towards the stage of lots of people that were hanging in the food and drink stalls or in the medieval jewelry stalls (which occupied the lateral side of the medieval village). Suddenly the compound was more than half full with people. Essentially they played the most significant songs from both their released albums and it was noticeable that the audience really enjoyed this concert. A band to follow in the future.
The penultimate band of the afternoon, was Trobar de Morte, a Spanish folk band with traditional folk instruments. Currently promoting their latest album “Ouroboros” it was not a surprise that most of the played songs were taken from this album. Although they didn’t forget some of their older classics like “Sorcerer”. Under the command of the beautiful and very talented singer Mireia Garcia, the concert was hypnotizing. Sometimes Mireia danced with the flow of the music. The band totally conquered the audience that was coming to the venue as the night fell upon Leipzig city.
But the night belonged to Tanzwut, a German band of medieval industrial folk rock. As they began, the venue was completely full. This expressively showed that this was the band many were expecting to see, possibly moving to the medieval village at the very last minute to see them. Tanzwut started the show by playing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with bagpipes. Until the end, the party was guaranteed. Many people dancing and singing in chorus with the band showed that the legion of tanzwut fans was big and they were performing at home.
On this day we decided to cover the events at Kohlrabizirkus, a multi-purpose pavilion in Leipzig. The first band was Stahlmann, a German industrial metal band very similar to Rammstein. The pavilion was only half-full, but it was a very intense concert. One of the highlights of their performance was a ballad in which everyone in the crowd raised their hands, then the industrial beat of the music sounded and everyone began to dance and jump. A song called “Machine” was also one of this act highlight.
Next on stage was Xandria. It was curious to see the change of audience, now more orientated towards the Gothic metal scene, in detriment of the industrial audience. They managed to gather enough audience to fill the pavilion. The concert was mainly based on the presentation of their last album “Theater of Dimensions” and in recent songs like “Where the Heart Is Home”, “Death to the Holy”, “Forsaken Love”, “We Are Murderers”. Nonetheless, older songs like “Ravenheart”, “Firestorm” or “Valentine” were also played. Dianne van Giersbergen was very communicative and, overall, the concert pleased the audience although the drums sound was not the best. The drums huge echo was caused due the pavilion’s acoustic characteristics.
The third band of the afternoon was In the Woods… In opposition to Dianne van Giersbergen, there wasn’t much communication with the crowd. It could be said that after the Xandria concert half of the audience left the venue, possibly staying behind only the fans of the band. Even so the concert was very intense, where the apotheosis belonged to the last two songs played, taken from their first album “HEart of the Ages” (more black metal style). They closed their act with the track “In the Woods…”.
Rotting Christ once again had a full pavilion, giving the best concert of the night in terms of ambiance and audience reactions. The alignment was based on their last two albums and songs like “Kata ton Daimona”, “Ze Nigmar”, “Elthe Kyrie”, “In Yumen-Xibalba”, “Apage Satana” and “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos” got everyone jumping and head banging. still they got to play a pair of songs taken from the long-ago Genesis album (in which one of them asked the public to make a moshpit that was fulfilled with enthusiasm). The sound was perfect. A great concert by this legendary band.
Amorphis ended the night and the pavilion remained full but with a crowd quite different from the first two bands. It was a very good concert, with the typical dedication and professionalism that we have been accustomed to. Only to note that the singer could have been more communicative. Even so, songs like “Under The Red Cloud”, “Sampo”, “Silver Bride”, “Bad Blood”, “Smoke”, “Into Hiding”, “Against Widows”, “My Kantele”, “House of Sleep” seemed to fulfill the audience’s expectations. Saving the best for last, at the encore, “Death of a King”, and “Black Winter Day” were the cherry on top of the cake, pushing the public to show their full appreciation for the band.
On this day we decided to go to Agra-Treffenpark, considered the main event place of WGT. This is because it was surrounded by a huge camping site for those who came from outside Leipzig, but also because the buildings themselves were gigantic with two huge sections: one featured a huge market destined to sell articles of clothes, boots, CDs and gothic jewels. There were even representations of tattoos parlors. The second section was where the concerts were taking place.
The first show began with the Turkish band She Past Away, consisting only in a guitarist and a keyboardist / synthesizer. It could be said that they sounded post-punk / electronic dark-wave, quite often resembling Depeche Mode from the early 1980’s but with the style of Andrew Eldritch from Sisters of Mercy. For a first band in the afternoon the venue was surprisingly full, and much of the audience was dancing throughout the whole concert. They proved to conquered the audience. Overall a good atmosphere for those who prefer dance music and electronic beats.
Then Gene Loves Jezebel took the stage. An English Gothic rock band from the 1980’s which needs no introductions. Strangely, the room emptied out, leaving the venue half full. And during all the performance did not fill. Unfortunately, the band experienced a lot of technical issues during the first 2 songs but then the sound improved during their performance. Classics such as “Desire”, “Motion of Love”, “Heartache” and the timeless “Break The Chain” got the expected reaction from the faithful fans. Before leaving the stage, vocalist Jay Aston, incomprehensibly shouted to the microphones “fuck Donald Trump!”.
The following band was The 69 Eyes, a Finnish Gothic rock band. The room filled again and this time it remained full until the end of the last band. After an intro in which Edith Piaf could be heard singing, they began the performance with “Betty Blue”, and from that moment the public was seized, not ceasing to dance and shake until the end of the concert. No remarks to the sound quality, staying clear throughout the show. The setlist was composed by classics such as “Framed in Blood”, “Feel Berlin”, “Sister of Charity”, “Dance d’Amour”, “Never Say Die”, “Jet Fighter Plane”, “The Chair”, “Brandon Lee” and Lost Boys. It totally delighted the audience.
From one classic band to another, now it was time for The Mission take the stage. Another English Gothic rock band mostly known for their hit-singles from last century. With a very well chosen repertoire, they proved to be the band of the night. The show was very intense and managed to totally infect the overjoyed crowd. There were girls watching the show on someones shoulders, people dancing and singing like if it was the 90’s again. After the “Dambusters March” intro, a real treat was offered with “Beyond the Pale”, “Met-Amor-Phosis”, “Serpent’s Kiss”, “Swoon”, “Can not See the Ocean for the Rain”, “Garden of Delight”, “Severina”, “Only You & You Alone”, “Like a Child Again”, “Butterfly On A Wheel”, “Tower of Strength” and, of course, “Wasteland”. In the middle of the concert confettis were thrown to the crowd. Overall better concert was impossible to expect.
The last ones to act were Skinny Puppy, an electro industrial band from Canada, that went on stage around 1AM. With a very visual and theatrical approach, they began with the song “Jahya” in which the vocalist Nivek Ogre appeared dressed in a straitjacket looking like he came straight from a mental institution. During the following songs, a girl dressed as a nurse was sticking giant syringes and pretending to introduce blood into the body of the singer. On the fourth song a giant screen was raised behind the musicians and from then, the whole spectacle became quite psychedelic visually speaking. There was footage of sketches and a lot of light effects on the film. Some of the songs that were also listened: “Dogshit”, “Fascist”, “Jock Itch”, “Death”, “Tin Omen”, “T.F.W.O.”, “Crucible”, “Hardset Head”, “Village”, “The Choke”, “Worlock” and “Killing Game”. It was a good show, although perhaps due to the late time of the day, many people began to leave the venue during the concert.
On the last day Felsenkeller was the decided destination, an enclosed space where concerts and thematic parties are held throughout the year.
The first to act was Thrudvangar, a German viking black metal band coming from the town of Köthen. For a very small audience they delivered a very energetic performance playing a little sample from all their albums. Despite the shown energy, they had some problems on stage, notably in the “Piraten des Nordens” song. The drummer and one of the guitarists fell out with each other and had to repeat the song, which they interrupted right in the middle. Not a very lucky day for these Germans.
The second band of the day was Percival, playing Polish folk music, presentation themselves as playing metal with traditional instruments. Always in a good mood, they interpreted the songs while being seated. Although they are in front of a public who was mainly formed by metalhead, the Polish band never stopped smiling. The show turned out very well because many people were already dancing and seemingly conquered by their music. They played Polish, Hungarian, Serbian and Ukrainian songs but more into the traditional and folk spirit. One of the highlights of this band is the quality of their female vocals.
Russian Welicoruss, who play Symphonic / Pagan Black Metal brought more aggressiveness to stage. Boy, what a great show! The sound was perfect and they did not allow the public to rest, while the venue was getting packed and packed with curious bystanders. The singer never stood still and was always encouraging the crowd to move. Songs from their two albums were played, although most were from the most recent one, released back in 2015. Also, to note the brutal drum solo in the middle of the concert, showcasing a very talented drummer.
Finsterforst, the folk metal German band came next. “Nichts als Asche”, “Zeit für Hass”, “Auf die Zwölf”, “Fremd”, “Mach Dich Frei!” were some of the songs played, and also some who contributed the most to the festive atmosphere that was lived in Felsenkeller. Fintersforst even played the song “#YØLØ” song from the controversial EP released in 2016, but apparently it works quite well when played live. These guys nailed it on this concert!
But the consecration of the night was kept for the last band: Equilibrium. Although they faced some problems during soundcheck provoking a delay of 15 minutes to start the show, the performance of this German epic folk metal band was perfect. The sound was also very good which helped a lot to enjoy the full performance. “Erwachen”, “Prey”, “Heimat”, “Karawane”, “Blut im Auge”, “Born To Be Epic”, “Unsrer Föten Klang”, “Helden”, “Heimwärts”, were songs that thrilled the audience. For the encore, as expected, they chose the best and played “Rise Again”, “Der Sturm”, “Freiflug” (where the whole crowd raised their hands in the air throughout the whole song, swaying as ocean waves). To finish the show in glory they played “Eternal Destination”.
The last two bands presented musical character which contaminated everyone with a dancing mood. And possibly they were what most of the people expected since for these two final bands the enclosure was completely full.
In these four days, there were other excellent concerts all over the city and WGT proved again to be an unique celebration improving itself every year.
Special thank to the Wave Gotik Treffen organisers.
Original photos & text: João Osório
Photo Editions by Filipe Gomes
Managing Editor: Filipe Gomes / Elsa Marques