FESTIVAL REVIEW: ROCKHARZ FESTIVAL 2017 in Ballenstedt, Germany – Day 2 (Thursday)
The second day at the Rockharz Festival started with sunshine and a good, big breakfast at the breakfast stand. My first act of the day was Wolfheart. The mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen, known from Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon, founded this band as a solo project and evolved it into a full band two years ago. The start of the guys was really epic while they played the track “The Hunt” from their first album ‘Winterborn’. It was a quite hot day and the security guys took a water hose and spread water to the people in the infield. This was quite necessary. Overall, it was a quite nice start of the first whole festival day with fine mixed sound, a mighty, but like-able frontman and an awesome mix of their whole discography. The audience loved it and celebrated the show on stage with flying hairs.
After a break in the shade, Mantar stepped on stage. The infield was nice filled with people and they seemed motivated to party. Sound and setlist was quite nice – songs like “Spit”, “Cross the Cross” and “Era Borealis” made the audience crazy. Frontman Hanno Klänhardt wanted to support the craziness and ask the crowd if they drank enough. He get some offish reactions. So, he brought something to drink: He distributed a bottle of vodka to the first lines of the audience and I heard many laughter about this fact. Cool! It was big fun to see the guys on stage.
My next schedule was Lacuna Coil. Last time I saw them live was in 2009, so, I was curious about their show in the current days. They had a uniform outfit in white and painted face like ghosts or something similar except the front people Christina and Andrea. They focused on their newest record ‘Delirium’ and played only few older songs like “Heaven’s A Lie” and the Depeche Mode cover “Enjoy The Silence”. At least some stuff of the past days I really know. But all in all, the sound was nice and they did a really good job on stage. Especially the two likeable singers had fun performing and that caught the crowd.
Then it was time for some old-school stuff: Kavar began to play. The psychedelic rock band from Berlin plays relaxing music with a strong influence of 80’s music. Perfect music for the sunny weather! It was a fine mix of all their records with a focus on their self-titled, first record. But the bass guitar was quite quiet. In my opinion, it is on fundamental element in their music, too bad. Nevertheless, I saw beaming faces everywhere in the crowd. So, it seemed they rocked the festival and I had fun with the guys, too.
It was time for the headliner Arch Enemy. They started with “War Eternal” – the title track of their past record. The decoration of the stage was nice, the light show appropriate and the sound clear. It was an awesome start of the show and really mighty, but quiet in general. This stole some drive of the show and it seemed that the people around me felt similar, too bad. But the guys on stage had fun to play the show and this was inspiring at least for me. In general, they played many tracks of their newest record like “As The Pages Burn” or “Avalanche” and single tracks of their good, older stuff, e.g. “Ravenous”, “We Will Rise” or “Revolution Begins”. The show was awesome and the setlist well chosen. I have to admit I am not sure anymore which track, but they recorded a live video at the festival! The likeable Alissa White-Gluz motivated the crowd to scream for the video and changed her outfit. Cool, we can expect some new live video stuff from Arch Enemy! The last song “Nemesis” cause a big moshpit in front of the stage and let the people go crazy for the last time, nevertheless the show was quiet. Arch Enemy, every time a good choice for live shows and this time they preserve this statement. Awesome!
Last band of the day was Fiddler’s Green. Short and crisp: They withdraw the last energy of the crowd, made them dance and yell their texts. It was a big, funny party and it motivated us to drink some more beers with all the people around and have a good time together. The second day or first whole day of the festival was full of fun. The sun was shining, the beers were cold, the people had fun and the bands were really nice. Overall, a wonderful day!