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Open Mind Festival, somewhat a "patch for a hole made of disappointment" after the failure of Hunterfest, which was eventually transferred from Szczytno to Warsaw, started on 12th August 2010 at Stodoła club. Even though it did not wind up as an open air fest as had been planned earlier, the organizators provided the attendees with a sort of snack garden, where everyone could enjoy some roasted or grilled food (the meat turned out to have been worth its price!)

The first day of the festival, despite taking place on Thursday, basically in the middle of the week, gathered the biggest amount of people. It was undoubtedly a very diversified day, in terms of the music itself of course. As a heat-up before the performance of headlining bands, Stray gave their show. The band might have appealed to all those keen on grunge feeling combined with some well-sounding vocals. I truly liked their performance, I have a soft spot for and am very sentimental about such sounds so the first concert was quite a beginning of the festival to me, additionally heralding what was ahead of us in a great way.

The Boogie Town
treated everyone to another medley of excellent tunes. As a matter of fact, it was my second concert of the band and I exactly knew what to expect of them. A WONDERFUL vocalist, great musicians, very good compositions. The band, which was made for big stages and renowned international festivals. The songs are catchy, yet not in a banal way; exquisitely 'classic' approach to the tracks - verses, choruses, bridges, a gradual increase of suspense, ending with giving vent to your emotions. The Boogie Town was not received as well as they deserved it. That festival was not 'theirs'... Substantially, the fans of metal music are afraid of everything which may sound just a little poppish, hence in no way could they praise such a band – after all, it would have rendered their image less heavy and unscrupulous and they simply cannot let themselves go like this! Especially when they are about to hear the band they have loved for years.

Corruption – is there anything else left to write about them? Once someone has been to their show, knows exactly how high their level of performance is. There was rock'n'roll, half-naked devilish women, even drinking a toast to Nergal's health. People were literally screaming with admiration so the band can definitely classify the show as yet another one which turned out successful.

At last the time came for a show, which may have been called "The Best of The Cult". The set list was as follows: Lil' Devil, Electric Ocean, Phoenix, Rain, Sweet Soul Sister, The Witch, I Assassin, Edie (Ciao Baby), Every Man And Woman Is A Star, Nirvana, Spiritwalker, Rise, Dirty Little Rockstar, Fire Woman, Wild Flower. In accordance with the expectations, the bands played their show in a perfect way, moreover, someone from the crowd gathered at the front was lucky enough to have caught the tamburin of Ian! The audiance rose to the occasion, in terms of both the attendance and vitality, and, it goes without saying, demanded an encore, which the band obviously gave by playing "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Love Removal Machine".

On Friday, 13th of August, there were considerably fewer people than the previous day. Unluckily, I did not manage to make it in time to see CARNAL, although I have to admit I have heard some positive opinions about the band, while NONE, frankly speaking, did not convince me musically therefore I shall not pass judgement on the genres which are strange to me.

However, I will write something more about The 69 Eeyes, which, unless my eyes mistook me, managed to attract even bigger crowd that the headliner of Friday, that is Orbituary. A bunch of female fans were moving around in front of the stage, one could also discern some male representatives of their Polish fan base, wearing full make-up, holding a flag with their name written on it. The concert was traditionally very energetic, it was immensely difficult to take your eyes off Jyrki – he was making an excellent show - the show which I had not seen for quite long – he was dancing like a lunatic, he even tried, as far as I remember, to eat those bloody red roses he got as a gift from the girls standing in front of the stage. From all the concerts of this festival – it was the performance of The Eyes which I enjoyed most.

Saturday, 14th of August, was the last day of the festival and, at least as far as I am concerned, the most surprising one. It was started by the concert of Ciryam, which, to my surprise, I took a liking to. Even though I expected that particular sort of gothic-metal whining or wailing in the style of Closterkeller's ballads, a vocalist with the energy and the claw resembling those of Małgorzata Ostrowska, was singing quite pleasant rock tracks, in which a hint of musical novelty could be noticed, although this genere usually does not sound modern. Being a woman, I have to praised the vocalist's overall image (that dress and boots – a revelation), altough I could not help associating her hairdo with the 80's.

Proghma-C was the second band to perform. I did not know them earlier, but it appealed to me to such an extent that I bought their record straight after the show and in addition, the overly kind boys from the band offered to sign it. I was thoroughly impressed by the vocalist, who proved that screaming and growling combined with melodic singing can sound equally great. I also appreciate the boys' musical aspirations, which is clearly discernible in the extent of complication of their tracks – first and foremost the amalgamation of various genres and a trace of progressive rock in form of the rhythm fractures. They definitely one my heart when the sounds of "Army of Me" by Bjork reached my ears – what a wonderful idea for a cover song, I hold you in high esteem for your taste and the courage, boys!

After the show of Proghma, the time came for the headliners. The first one was a latino-nu-metal band, Ill Nino. Due to the enormous noise (there were to drum sets on the stage, after all), I listened to the best part of the concert from the snack graden and I had an impression that all nuance s were a way more audible from there. Once again there was a full-capacity crowd, no wonder as it was Satruday, two great bands were to perform and Il Nino was playing in "a beautiful country that Poland surely is" (the words of Christian) for the very first time. The audiance received their show very enthusiastically and the set list was as follows: If You Still Hate Me, When It Cuts, This Is War, Lifeless...Life..., Unreal, Finger Painting (With the Enemy), I Am Loco, My Resurrection, God Save Us, Corazón of Mine, Te Amo...I Hate You, How Can I Live, Liar.

The last concert of the festival was the performance Simone Simmons, a perfection in terms of both looks and vocal, and her band Epica. For the first time, I saw them playing live in Belgium during Metal Female Voices Fest 2009, where the band was promoting their latest album and recording a concert DVD. I was very curious if I reviewed their Polish concert as good as the one I have already mentioned above. The band, surrounded by pyrotechnic effects of fireworks and a fountain of sparkles, played five tracks from the record they were promoting: Samadhi, Resign to Surrender, Unleashed, Martyn of the world, Kingdom of Heaven and a good couple of tracks from their previous releases: The Obsessive Devotion, Quietus, The last crusade, Cry for the moon, Sensorium and Seif al din. As an encore they treated the audience to Sancta Terra and Consign to Oblivion. Nonetheless, to my point of view, the show lacked the most beautiful piece of music, that is "Tides of Time", which literally paralyzes the listener with its magic and I grieve they did not played it, given the fat it is featured on their latest album, whose cover was being displayed as a background behind the musicians. The whole concert was played pretty well, the songs were sung, as one might assume, brilliantly. The performance provided the audience with unforgettable impressions and wonderful musical sensations. I have to mention a certain boy, who in a surge of romantic emotions, tried to bestow a bunch of roses to Simone; unluckily, his venture did not succeed. And even though Simone most probably did not notice that act, the boy and his fan commitment will surely stay in our memories, along with his roses and uncommon immersion in singing of the songs from the balcony – every band should have such fans!

While summarizing this year's edition of Open Mind festival, I have to express my positive surprise. The organizers should be praised for that snack garden with grilled delicacies and the lack of problems regarding bringing the alcohol beverages into the concert room. (despite the stickers forbidding such behavior, nobody took any notice of it, which rendered moving around the whole area much easier), the bands performed without noticeable delays, there was a gothic store with garments; a place where one could buy some shirts and records and the bands were chosen in a very diversified way in terms of the genres, which made the festival truly interesting musically and prevented the attendees from dying of boredom. I am also positively surprised by the performances of Polish bands, which I was not familiar with before the festival and which represented quite high level suitable for festivals like Open Mind.

Translator: murd
Add date: 2010-12-02 / Live reports

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