Nitzer Ebb were superb - the highlight of WGT 2006
The Legendary Pink Dots gave a psychedelic performance at Moritzbastei
Jörg Kleudgen of The House of Usher, complete with wine bottle.
Tilo Wolff of Lacrimosa
Wave Gotik Treffen 2006
Unfortunately it was the case with the weather. Cloudy, a little cold and a little rain from time to time isn’t exactly the ideal conditions for five days of drinking beer outdoors. But it wasn’t that bad, it didn’t rain much, and most of the concerts where indoors so there where plenty of opportunities to get away from the weather for those who couldn’t stand it.
As everybody who has been to the festival knows that the audience is half the entertainment. Everywhere people are doing their best to outfreak each other, truly a great show for both participants and bystanders. But, despite being a very nice festival, it is for the concerts you go to WGT, and this year showed an impressive line-up. Depending on which way your taste goes there where Nitzer Ebb, Combichrist and Feindflug; Deine Lakaien, Lacrimosa and Unheilig or Sonar, S.K.E.T. and Winterkälte. It is a gothic festival, so of course there were bands such as The Last Dance, The House of Usher, Nosferatu, Garden of Delight and plenty of death rock bands. With other words, a lot of stuff to watch apart from German goths at a fancy dress party.
The first night, Friday, was the obvious climax of the festival. Combichrist made an absolutely stunning performance in Werk II that was more than packed. The line outside the concert hall was well over hundred meters long the minutes before the show started. The title track of the new EP, "Get Your Body Beat", got the show going right from the start and Combichrist played it safe with almost only well known tracks from the “Everybody Hate You” album.
Another band that have more then their share of hits to choose from is of course Nitzer Ebb, who an hour after the Combichrist concert started their show in the big Agra Halle. Their first show since the early 90´s and to say that people where enthusiastic is no exaggeration. Even before Lacrimosa entered the stage as the last band before Nitzer Ebb, people at the front of the stage where shouting for McCarthy and Harris.
Ok, it was obvious that Nitzer Ebb hadn’t played together for a while. And Douglas McCarthy hadn’t changed much, or at all, since he toured Europe with Fixmer/McCarthy. But still, the songs are classics, McCarthy still has one of the absolutely best voices on the scene and using an extra drummer added a lot of movement to the set. They gave the audience what it wanted - lots of hits. Suppose there is no need to say anything more! As you might have noticed, I liked the show a lot. Only one small question, why didn’t they play any of the songs prior to "That Total Age"?
The second day was, at least to me, somewhat bleak. VNV Nation headlined the big Agra stage with bands like Cat Rapes Dog and SITD earlier in the evening. The Swedish industrialists Necro Facility gathered a good crowd early in the afternoon, but suffered from technical problems that ruined most of the show.
Sunday was powernoise day, at least at Werk II. Bands like Implant and S.K.E.T. made great performances. Swedish harsh industrial band The Pain Machinery had problems with the sound (as several other bands) but could still prove their reputation as a great live band. Winterkälte ended the night with a stunning performance, or at least that was what I was told. By that time I have moved over to the Agra Halle for the Deine Lakaien concert.
Like Nitzer Ebb two days before, Deine Lakaien had a huge and very committed audience. Unfortunately they suffered from rather dodgy sound and that took down the impression of that show a lot since few bands are so dependent of good and clear sound as Deine Lakaien. Nevertheless, they performed most of their hits and the people gathered in front of the stage seemed happy enough.
For those of us not too interested in the vampire romantic ethnogoth that had Agra in a firm grip, Monday was the day to visit Kohlrabizirkus. Kohlrabizirkus is a new stage for this year. A part of an ice rink, I believe, that has been made into a stage. Although it was a bit tricky to get there, it turned out to be a good venue. Except perhaps for the fact that you had to stand directly in front of the stage to get decent sound, both the bass and the treble made all sorts of funny reflections on the walls that where really annoying from everywhere else.
However, Tactical Sekt, Sonar, God Module, Feindflug and And One where on the program and most of them made what they where supposed to. Great for those already into it, more or less unbearable otherwise.
On Monday a lot of people had already started to head for their cars. If it was because the only wanted to see Deine Lakaien the evening before, or if it was cause people had to get home in time for work the day after, I have no idea but it did make the festival feel a bit deflated. A good festival with some great bands and some less great bands, lots and lots of nice people and just a tad to cold for all of us brave enough to camp.
Nitzer Ebb setlist:
01. Getting Closer
02. Let Your Body Learn
04. Hearts & Minds
05. Lightning Man
08. For Fun
10. Family Man
11. Control I'm Here
13. Blood Money
14. Join In The Chant
15. Fun To Be Had
/Ulf Lundblad (additional comments by JA)