M'era Luna festival 2005
The travelling problems from last year didn't keep me from going with Festivalbussen this year again. And of course everything went a lot smoother this time, the kind of bad luck I had last year would be impossible to repeat without intent; this year not only the festival was fun, we had a blast on the bus as well.
Since we arrived to Hildesheim Airport, where the festival takes place, a couple of hours before the press check-in opened I sent my comrades to build camp while I waited on the parking lot. It wasn't that bad since I could enjoy the company of old Max Mix albums, a very nice festival official as well as a German lady sharing her bottle of Sekt with me.
Well, time flies when you're having fun and after accomodating myself in the tent it was time for the first concert, The Crüxshadows on the main stage. I've never understood what the fuzz is about, I think they're quite boring on record but have been told they're a good live act. However, my judgement is straight forward: they're not. Vocalist Rogue sounds even worse live and the live show, well my friend Oscar compared them to E-Type and that is quite striking. Except when I saw E-Type he had a becoming sparkle in his eye, Crüxshadows appear to be very serious. Another strange experience was Combichrist, what was the deal with the two semi-nude females in the back of the stage during the concert? I just don't get it. They didn't synchronize their moves to either eachother or the music. I know I'm getting old but on the other hand, isn't it when guys get old they begin to appreciate semi-nude women dancing on stage? Other than that the Combichrist concert was good, they got a good groove going in the hangar.
In between those concerts I took the oppurtunity to see The Neon Judgement which to me was loads of fun and brought back nice memories. They put on quite a show and included all my favourite TNJ classics, making at least the older part of the crowd dance like crazy. And since this is M'era Luna there are a lot of older people in the crowd. Which is one of the things I love about the festival, the people. They're nice, they're fun and they look great. Or at least different. I could easily spend an entire afternoon just looking at people.
After that it was time for the first of two mexican acts, Hocico, who played in the smaller Hangar stage. They put on an energetic show which made us in the crowd move like mad. At least in the front lines where I was.
Before I went back to my tent I saw a couple of songs with Skinny Puppy. After all, they are the ones most of the other acts have been inspired by, at least regarding the visual elements. For me it wasn't anything to get excited about, entertaining and political but not very exciting. And so ended the first day at M'era Luna.
On day two I woke up to the sound of rain, and that set the weather conditions for the rest of the day. Luckily we were prepared but still, rain and mud takes some of the fun away. Luckily Amduscia played in the Hangar, with a nice roof to protect us from the rain. Another advantage of this stage was that its walls make the crowd more compact, the downside that the sound wasn't very good in there. Amduscia, sounding like their compatriots in Hocico, was a nice surprise, hadn't heard them before but will surely check them out now.
One of the bands I was most interested in was Flesh Field. Unfortunately they didn't live up to my expectations, a poor choice of songs paired with a boring live show made me leave with a feeling of disappoinment. Another disappoinment was Deine Lakaien. Not because they didn't put on a good show but because I had heard so much good about their show in Arvika where they did an acoustic set with only piano and vocals. That wasn't the case here and though it was a good show it made me regret missing them in Arvika even more.
Since The Klinik played at about the same time as Sisters of Mercy the hangar wasn't as crowded as earlier. The Klinik has been around for a while and did a 75 minutes gig with songs spanning from their early works to the more recent once. Must've been awesome for the hardcore fans in the audience. I stayed longer than I had expected in the hangar and because of that I didn't manage to see all of the Sisters of Mercy show, but I think I saw enough. A pretty good version of "Temple of Love", a boring guitardriven instrumental (Hey, I'm here for Andrew!) and an earthshaking, extremely good version of "Vision Thing" that gave me goosebumps. With that good feeling I returned to the tent for some serious partying, the concert part of the festival ended as early as 10PM but we had many hours of fun left on the camping ground, and then some 15 hours on the bus.
M'era Luna is without a doubt a nice festival, albeit there are a few things that bother me. One of them is the fact that there, again, this year were so few points of entry, which of course makes you spend a lot of time in line waiting to get in. And as I previously mentioned the sound in the hangar wasn't exactly great. But I really shouldn't complain, it was an extremely fun and eventful weekend and I'm sure I'll be there in 2006 as well.
Photos by Mathias Rodstedt
Breakfast with the locals
The Neon Judgement
Rain, rain, go away
All the pigs, all lined up