ELFENTANZ FESTIVAL #3
@ Rodon Club in Athens, Greece - May 9th, 2004by Panayiotis Papandreopoulos
The series of gothic Elfentanz festivals have started at the end of 2002 featuring famous bands such as Deine Lakaine and tends to become established. Tonight the Athenian audience had the opportunity to attend the 3rd festival. Since most of the bands that participated were rather irrelevant to the majority metal fans my review will be focused on the Gothic Rockers “Elusive”. They consist of the heroic singer Jan K.Barkved, and two guitarists who were former members of Tristania (Kristian Gundersen), and Theatre Of Tragedy (Tommy Olsson) (ex member was also Sirenia's Morten Veland). By having released only one amazing depute album they managed to make so much noise around their name. And absolutely justified since they are genuine musical offspring of Sisters of Mercy And Fields of the Nephilim.
The Festival begun at about 7 with the Greeks High Level Statik, which is a synth /ebm band and well known to the electro fans. One can easily understand why I deliberately missed them!!!
The audience was eager to see the next band, Elusive, who appeared on stage Nephilim look alike at about 8 starting off with the dynamites “Last Night” and “Tomorrow Gone”. The beginning was impressive and very exciting. The audience was delighted and cheered with enthusiasm. The pace slowed down a bit with next song “Lonely Satellite” and then adrenaline was risen with the beats of “Gemini”. They made a small surprise by playing the nice track “Louis” Although I have never listened it ( and don’t know if it is a new song or a cover), it sounded great. Then it followed “Asylum” (which unlikely to what many believe, I consider it as their weakest track). However the enthusiasm of the audience launched to the top with 3 consequent dynamites “Shadow Dance”, the hit “Circle Never Ends” and my favourite “Susana”. I don’t know if all the audience had listened to Elusive before, since many have come to see the headliners, but I bet that almost everyone was delighted by Elusive’s live performance. Their show finished with the cover “Rebel Yell”. It is not exaggerated to say that it was played better than Billy’s Idol heydays. The show was over. Although they played for only 40 minutes it was enough to make our head blow away. The only drawback is that since they have a rock orientation it is very restrictive for live show improvisations to have a pre-recorded drum and bass set (Elusive’s Dr Avalanche?) instead of real musicians.
There was a small misfortune in the programme since “Das Ich” performance was cancelled due to a health problem of a member of them. The next band was the British “And Also The Trees”. Although they were rather unknown to the Greek audience they managed to spellbound them. They have a variety in their style, mainly influenced by the 60ties psychedelia, avant-garde and the noir films. The dark wave mode was not so obvious, however rather smouldering. They played tracks from their latest and more rock releases. All members seemed to be well musically educated and trained but among the others the most remarkable members were their guitarist Justin Jones, who was very good and influenced by Spanish style, the expressive singer Simon Huw Jones, who drew attention not only for his vocal abilities, but also for his theatrical “spastic” movements and above all the drummer Nick Havas, who was amazing. He played drums like a real instrument. They ended with the dark wave masterpiece “Valentino”.
Since “Das Ich” didn’t play, the pauses between the bands became longer, but the pause between “And Also The Trees” and “Wolfsheim” lasted too long. And the worst thing is that during the break the DJ played boring bloody electro!!! Anyway Wolfsheim begun at about 11:30 under general approval. Rodon Club was absolutely packed. What impressed me was the simple dressing of Peter Heppner and Markus Reinhardt, in contrast to the weird and eccentric look of the majority of their fans. Also in front of Reinhardt there was a laptop, which he used before the beginning of each song, and in front of Heppner there was a bookstand with the lyrics of the songs, which he peeked from time to time since their lyrics are huge. Nothing special one might argue, but we are not accustomed to this image. After some tracks a guitarist and a drummer appeared and participated at some songs, then disappeared after a while in order to come again later!
Wolfsheim played for more than 90 minutes all their famous hits. They respected absolutely their audience and made two encores. The member who was more anxious was the singer Peter Heppner, who although remained almost static, sweated more than everyone else! Amazing for a cool style singer. They left a nice sense of pessimistic relaxing feeling. Peter Heppner has invented a unique way to sing and to transmit "purple" feelings, assisted by the keyboards of Markus Reinhardt. However according to my humble opinion this becomes a bit boring after a while. A sort of Wolfsheim's rap.
Elfentanz finished after 1 a.m. Tired though I was, I was pleased by the show, because I had the opportunity to attend bands, which I haven’t seen before, were completely different from my usual metal liking, and yet performed pretty well for their standards. Apart from the expected "gothic rock-et" performance of Elusive, the experience of this "different" sort of music left me unique impressions. If we always attend metal shows we 'll rust.
|©2001-2004 Vincent Eldefors||BACK|