The picture of one of Europe's biggest festivals is still alive before my eyes. Thousands of faces appearing on my left and right, imprinted in my memory.
Their numbers made me feel as if I was being swallowed by an ocean of people. The road leading to the stage, and everywhere I looked, was decorated with colourful masks, shimmering to the rhythm of music. Everything was pulsing, melting into one with the sound coming from the speakers. The pulsing blood hammering at the body from the inside, a total sensation of oneself right to the fingertips. Feeling alive. Right then and there...
The splendour of the whole event is always created by a story told from the stage. A story that continues through two days, neverending, materializing each year, this one being the seventh time.
Even more specific for the festival is the extraordinary fashion show... You cannot avoid thinking of it when mentioning M'ERA LUNA. Not only is this fable composed on the stage, but also among the legion of fans who also deserve appreciation.
Each Festival is exceptional, but this turned out to be something unbelievable and hard to describe. It is such an amazing experience that I nearly envy myself of being there.The trip and adventure worth my most precious moments began on Friday. However, we did not get a chance to start our adventure from entering the Festival grounds. The organizers did not have any understanding for those waiting for the press-passes... Despite that, we were quite sure that the party was going to be a stone groove. The incident did not change my conviction of a good organization of the whole thing. Everything ready to the last gaiter button, no delay, technical glitches and also nice security and medical aid everywhere, which surprised me positively, I must say. Needless to say, apart from the concerts these things are also quite important.
GOTHMINISTER smashed their fans from the very beginning! A great performance, full of humour and sometimes strangely serious. Little had I expected to be raging at 12.35 AM! The band heated everyone to red flames, without any compromise. The visual side of the concert was quite impressing.
In the meantime MIDNATTSOL began their show. What's surprising, by the way, none of the bands exceeded the given time limit. Would that be possible in Poland? Sharp tones, Carmen's vocal - strong, resembling a mixture of opera and folk, flavoured with a note of metal. Sometimes a bit too monotonous and shallow. But the crowds went crazy! An enjoyable mixture and a very good performance, although the opinions about the vocalist's oufit were not as positive...
GIRLS UNDER GLASS played exactly what I had been waiting for!!! As they played 'When I think about you' and the even more fantastic 'Feuerengel' I felt weak at my knees. I cannot say if I was touching the ground at all at that very moment. Their songs are like a bomb for me, exploding over and over again, spreading more and more destruction.
The concert that I had been waiting for so impatiently, surely did not let me down for a moment. No doubt they were a bright star shining on the festival's firmament.
DOPE STARS INC. did well, didn't take your breath away, however. But I must say they're doing much better on stage than on their studio recordings. They're less monotonous, besides - their interesting image draws attention.
The vocalist jumped vividly on the stage. A nice incident with the flag made me laugh: the insignificant object of teenage desire became entangled in a huge scrap of material with a dark sign on it. This was so 'untrue' in comparison with their image! That amusing accent made the rest more attractive. The song 'Theta Titanium' sung almost like a hymn (and much better than it is on the album "Neuromance") confirmed my opinion.
MESH, on the other hand, disappointed me a lot. It was only the last song that made up for the whole show. The visual and musical side - nothing special. I know it doesn't have to mean a thing but that day it did!
The festival, fortunately, is where you can pick and choose something for yourself. LIV KRISTINE may be one of the better choices, for she did her best, as usual. Although the crowds were crazy about the performances of UNHEILING and SAMSAS TRAUM, for me they were no revelation. A lot of people had the same impression after DE/VISION's concert on Sunday.
FUNKER VOGT - black and orange energy. At Castle Party they played a bit worse. Let's just mention the green seagrass-like 'thing' on the stage, bringing Lordi to mind, which caused a furore.
The smashing beat after a non-electronic performance by GIRLS UNDER GLASS was something breathtaking. Like FUNKER VOGT, I found also BLUTENGEL a nice sight. However, only the visuals were good. I cannot get used to Chris'vocal, despite my appreciation, I admit, for the popularity he gained lacking the basic skills he should have as a person being or pretenting to be the "vocalist". Thus, the main point of het whole show were several ladies writhing on the stage, at least partly drawing fans' attention from the music itself. And that was the right thing to do! I'm not a fan of this genre of music, but I remained under the stage during the whole concert. Applause for the beautiful ladies.
TERMINAL CHOICE on the next day left me unimpressed. The lack of women on the stage changes everything, I guess.
A beautiful vocalist with a beautiful voice is what TRISTANIA means to me. Thanks to that, this concert was unforgettable. What they did, could be at some moments compared to Sunday performance by WITHIN TMEPTATION. Not exactly of course, but I take into account the vocalist's charisma.
By the way, isn't that a kind of a handicap that music is not the only thing of importance to me? Some people near the stage close their eyes and listen, whereas I have to see. There must be an experience, something you cannot get when you purchase the album. It is so hard to organize a performance, make it good and memorable, especially when the fans can watch forty bands in two days. Some of those artists held the key to that secret. TRISTANIA, along with WITHIN TEMPTATION clutched it strong. Of course the latter had a bigger one.
FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY are undoubtedly superstars. They've got the power! Still undefeated! In terms of performance quality they proved to be professionals. With 'Unleashed' from their latest album, they killed me standing there. And I was glad to be killed in that way. A total revelation.
After a strong hit by FLA, the DEATHSTARS gig began on the smaller stage. You couldn't call them insignicant boys! I wonder if anybody had ever estimated, whether there were more women or men at the festival. Let's say I will not take the 'third sex' into account. The intriguing 'stars' apparently attracted everyone. 'Cute' like DOPE STARS INC. but playing a hundred times better! From the faces of the German girls I could see they had to be heroes of numerous stories that were too explicit to be told. The music - really good, though I must say their looks helped a lot in keeping the audience in front of the stage. Am I right that someone once said the music should come first...?
NITZER EBB on the other hand surely didn't need any additional visual support. You couldn't expect them to let you down. I didn't expect such an ecstatic amok, though! Despite being quite far away from the stage, I couldn't help swaying my hip at least to one side. The band were also rulers at the AFTER PARTY, with their songs played really frequently. As for the AFTER PARTY itself... Those who didn't get there missed a lot. That huge 'industrial hangar' was a place to meet a lot of special people who created a very specific atmosphere.
I was never positive about THE GATHERING, and their concert didn't change my mind, even though my opinion is certainly unfounded. Contrary to my hesitation concerning their concert, the crowd was boiling before the stage. People moved rhythmically to the music in a heavy, wet mass. The band owned, but not me.
I stood unimpressed.
But BAUHAUS.. . The power of gothic roots ingrained deeply in the subconscious consideration of music, thanks to which such an alternative culture exists. A beautiful, atmospheric performance. Of course, the show wouldn't do without such songs as 'She's In Parties' or 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'. The omnipresent smoke strenghtened the peculiarity of the concert. The musicians disappeared and reappeared in the fog like phantoms. Peter Murphy in his long coat looked like someone who 'rises from the grave when a carnal moment comes'.
I love CLAN OF XYMOX's gigs. I have to say that: in my opinion the women from CoX are stunning! It is not the vocalist who is the star of the show. But their performance itself didn't surprise anyone. The band seems to be little too... confident of their stardom. I've got such a feeling especially after Castle Party.
I was nicely surprised by SOMAN. Now, that's what I call a revelation! Who would have thought about raging at 1:00 pm just as if it was happening the middle of a hot party night? A strong, fast beat, with raging masses that have just crawled out of their sleeping bags.
EPICA maintained the pace. Already during the first song they struck their audience down. They actually blew me away from under the stage. And they quickly caught the drift of the audience. LETZTE INSTANZ was not my cup of tea. Well... they do have the plaudits anyway, don't they? I must admit I couldn't take my eyes off the guy in red dreadlocks.. Playing an instrument reminiscent of some industrial version of double bass, he shook them mercilessly. That extremely unbridled object of my observation sat under a steel combination of a shooting target with a cross. ROTTERSAND was another powerful piece of beat. On the smaller stage on Sunday, everything was vibrating with fast, electronic rhythm. IN STRICT CONFIDENCE cooled the boiling mass of people, but that's a plus for them, of course. On the main stage, THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE showed the best of their abilities, as usual. What's really worth pointing out, you cannot often see the whole band, not only the vocalist, being so open to the audience. A mad massacre in an intriguing, but not overloaded arrangement amazed everyone, contrary to before-mentioned TERMINAL CHOICE and another star, APOTYGMA BERZERK. I wasn't the least bit impressed by their wishywashy concert. They failed to get in touch with the audience. Well, this is my personal opinion, for I'm not a fan of such poplike elevations, I admit.
Attention, ladies and gentlemen! MINISTRY!!! For me - the heroes of the day, if not of the whole fesival. They killed me at the very beginning. With every single song they killed me again. They smashed most of the 'goths' into the ground. Until now I've been wondering, if they had some kind of industrial rifles perhaps, shooting right ino the brains of the audience. I couldn't think clearly when thunders were reaching my spinal cord in the hardest possible way. They defeated all the rest. Mentally, I was on my knees. They knew how to do it. They had the key and they used it.
IN EXTREMO must have been one of the brightest stars of the festival, but not for me. Bagpipes, sharp vocal - interesting but mostly for the fans. The extraordinary image and vigor of the members kept me a bit longer under the stage. Similar feelings accompanied me during the performance of ASP. Although everyone in that huge crowd fought bravely for some space (I didn't manage, hardly getting halfway through the hall), I couldn't see what was so worthy of struggling so hard out there. I wasn't overly impressed by the concert. Nice vocal and the right beat, but altogeher - this wasn't it, to put it simply. What I always enjoy is an unforgettable show on the stage. An experience, not just a scarcely moving presentation of an artist's musical body of work. Unless this body of work kills you, as in the case of MINISTRY.
WITHIN TEMPTATION had a beautiful intro. A sublime beggining, as if the gates of a fabulous castle were about to open. The epic for the privy ones. A wonderful, sweet and strong vocal of an amazingly dynamic Sharon works excellently on the stage. As for the visual side, they prepared a surprise for their fans - a giant monument of an angel and visualizations, partly their videoclips. All this stuff made the expected impression. Additionally, enormous flames in huge numbers warmed the hearts of their greatest fans.
And this is how the fantastic M'ERA LUNA 2006 festival ended. There were the legendary 'Helga!' shouts among those at the campsite. A tear rolled from my eye as I gazed for the last time at that place, where thousands of fans from all over Europe came to gather. Fans who travelled hundreds of miles to join in that one, unique weekend and experience something incredible...
|11:00 - 11:20||Sono||11:20 - 11:50||Lluther|
|11:40 - 12:10||Northern Lite||12:10 - 12:50||Regicide|
|12:35 - 13:15||Gothminister||13:15 - 13:55||Midnattsol|
|13:40 - 14:20||Girls Under Glass||14:20 - 15:00||Dope Stars Inc.|
|14:45 - 15:25||Mesh||15:25 - 16:05||Liv Kristine|
|15:50 - 16:30||Funker Vogt||16:30 - 17:10||Unheilig|
|16:55 - 17:40||Die Krupps||17:40 - 18:35||Samsas Traum|
|18:05 - 19:05||Blutengel||19:05 - 20:00||Tristania|
|19:30 - 20:30||Frontline Assembly||20:30 - 21:30||Deathstars|
|21:00 - 22:15||Nitzer Ebb||22:15 - 23:15||The Gatering|
|22:45 - 00:00||Bauhaus|
|11:00 - 11:20||Mona Mur||11:20 - 11:40||Solitary Experiments|
|11:35 - 12:05||tba||12:05 - 12:35||XPQ 21|
|12:20 - 12:55||Clan of Xymox||12:55 - 13:25||Soman|
|13:10 - 13:50||Epica||13:50 - 14:30||Spetsnaz|
|14:10 - 15:00||Letzte Instanz||15:00 - 15:40||Rotersand|
|15:25 - 16:10||The Birthday Massacre||16:10 - 16:55||In Strict Confidence|
|16:35 - 17:25||Apoptygma Berzerk||17:25 - 18:20||Terminal Choice|
|17:50 - 18:50||Ministry||18:50 - 19:50||De/Vision|
|19:20 - 20:20||In Extremo||20:20 - 21:20||ASP|
|20:50 - 22:00||Within Temptation|
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