Nuremberg 22 july 04  + camping

FIRST DAY 23 july 04   second day g

Autohof Strohofer area - GEISELWIND - GERMANY 







 review by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo

- all pics © by Stefan Vogelaar

The public use of these photos  is strictly prohibited without written permission
















Franken!  Franken is that region of the German land Bayern (Bavaria), whose main city is Nürnberg. We are directed there now! Geiselwind, where the Earthshaker fest 2004 will take place for 2 days, lies around 50 km's from Nürnberg, therefore is a must for the Swiss editorial group of GM to take the occasion and to make a short visit of this well known city, from the moment that the camping of the Earthshaker opens a day before the beginning of the open air. Ok, on the road with our metal van, let's reach Nürnberg together, on 22 July, early in the afternoon, and then let's pitch the tents in Geiselwind. A hot and sweltering summer day awaits us.

Nürnberg (or Nuremberg in English) is a beautiful town, worldwide famous for its Christchild's Market and unfortunately for the Nuremberg Trials too. Among Nuremberg's famous citizens you can count also the Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. Already the first impression is excellent. To tell the truth i didn't expect to see so an inviting combination of modern look and tradition. Nevertheless it is not completely the  classic South German town, it is indeed very gothic, with a Romanic medieval monumental touch à la Barbarossa and , above all, it is very to say ... well  Nürnberg sprays a religious flair. Cool churches like the Church of St. Lawrence or the Church of Our Lady, many statues of angels and saints look at us from  the house-walls, enchanted corners in the green, a picturesque historical centre between sacred and profane, between incense and bier, among cool cafe's where to have good food , drinks and rest at a cheap price, nice markets and expensive shops. Under this hot sun,  i terribly enjoy the fresh breeze that at time helps and saves from gasping.  If you are following a diet, Nürnberg becomes one of your worst "enemies", because of its typical and very famous "Lebkuchen", which  are a major temptation: they taste simply fantastic. you get weight just only looking at these cakes, sniffing their smell coming out from the confectioners' and baker's shops of the centre. You can imagine how things are... when you sink your fangs into them...

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After a couple of hours it's time to leave Nürnberg and to drive in direction Geiselwind, in the full sweet green of the Steigerwald. Once arrived at the Strohofer area we get our passes, then we and pitch our tents in the camping. This camping is situated very near to the festival area so that you easily reach the concerts walking only few meters. The meadow is wide enough, only minus points are 1) the motorway: too close with its never ending traffic, and 2) the closet- boxes, which are, as far as i know, too few. Perfectly clean and armed with paper too, still today evening, they rapidly make you cry  the day after. Fortunately Geiselwind is a pleasant village with many hotels that can offer much hospitality and comfort without asking expensive prices, moreover an omnipresent Burger King is strategically present between camping and fest area, while a shower support is present in the adjacent service car area. I would like to underline that the festival is rather good organized: though we were not blessed with streams of infos, we can work well , because a fresh large room (event hall) in the Strohofer center near the stage is available for press and allowed visitors  : there you can organize yourself, cheered by those comforts who allow you to do your job in a professional way for your readers. We enjoy also meeting possibilities with colleagues and artists. Medical support and a continuous but effective and discrete police control give to all the feeling to be protected. Though 2 girls have an accident on Saturday in the camping area (fortunately they are better now and soon the accident and hospital will be only a  remind of a bad adventure) , we can say that everything's under control.  So, back to our tents  and to this first afternoon. The situation is really agreeable or, at least it should be, the first groups of Metalheads have pitched tents, gazebo's tables, camp chairs and bottles of beer. you know: those metal guys who are the die hard front . Those who proudly point at their gazebo's listing you all the open airs survived, like were war campaigns... or trophies. "Look at this tent: it is with me since that Wacken bla bla.. and has done these festivals bla bla in the year 19..bla bla, 2.... bla bla". Oh gosh! in the meanwhile, the heat becomes really too oppressive, my good mood fades slowly away. There is also no access to the festival area and its stalls. A bit bored and no longer fine i just wait for tomorrow.


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                                EARTHSHAKER FESTIVAL 2004 - FIRST DAY


New hot day,  Friday 23rd. The Earthshaker fest 2004 begins with mighty bass chords from 16 Hell Ventiler, the first band on the stage at 15:50 that introduces itself, greeting the first audience promising much Rock. Doors opened at 14:30; finally the moment of the access to the fest area Autohof Strohofer , which shows a quite wide asphalted square, surrounded by stalls for varied metal merchandise and needs, included places for piercing and tattoo's and  a  great multifunctional complex of stage, hotel and event hall ...and ... oh yes you won't believe... a church. This combination of Rock/Metal and  cross has its fascination. It is the  Motorway Church: private ecumenical, now looking at  the sons of darkness. Supporter and partners of the festival provide for many services , from drinks to signing sessions. 16 Hell Ventiler are none of my targets in this festival, nevertheless i cannot ignore that they carry on their cadenced agreeable and resolute music, trying their best to arouse the interest of the first visitors in this lazy  hours. Here some pics of the band, and of the festival area just few minutes after gates are opened with attentive security controls. Very soon the zone will be good crowded... 
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THE TRACEELORDS   the traceelords

My targets of this first day  are Mnemic, Disbelief and Fear factory; actually Atrocity would have been included in this personal list of mine, but they had their reasons that made them cancel their show, unfortunately. 

Atrocity are substituted by Disbelief indeed, so i cheer up thinking that Disbelief are anyway a good band to be observed . I didn't see them during their tour this last winter, but today it happens the possibility. Therefore, at the moment, i'm not much interested in the Traceelords in spite of their booming at a certain level. Actually not the music for me, and when i hear in the press room the echo of the cover "Daddy Cool" (abominable to make such covers imo) i can only come to the conclusion that not to attend their concert was the right choice for me. Anyway this cover must have gladdened the crowd judging by the dimmed waves of claps and approvals filtering out the walls . As far as i can presume and perceive The Traceelords impact well with a sparkling spirit of Rock'n Roll mixed with Glam and Punk Rock. Good for their admirers... here the pics!

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DISBELIEF     disbelief


Punctual at 17:55 Disbelief hit the stage substituting Atrocity. And indeed Karsten "Jagger" Jäger will introduce the band telling that Atrocity don't play and that he hopes Disbelief can act as a good replacement. The crowd is still not that huge but  a very good number of visitors are attracted by the extreme metal band. Disbelief are very determined, energetic, meticulous in the execution, resolute in the vocals. It is the third time i see them live and i must say that this time is the  better so far. Though their music sounds always very acid, today they are able to underline well their melodic passages and the good loops, maintaining the right aggressiveness of the hardest passages. The crushing guitar riffing support Jagger who looks like being less bored and much more alive. Though bassist Jochen and guitarist Olly at times betray some  traces of effort  (let's not forget we reach around 30 °C and that the 2 lads are so active and headbanging on the stage), the musical execution and the show are not affected in the least. In few words Disbelief show maturity and how good their tracks are. Welcome in the number of the bands appreciated by GM! I enjoy the gig a lot with much surprise. I didn't expect it in this measure. Among the tracks presented: Spreading the Rage, To the sky, No Control, Misery.
The final "ciao!" from Jagger and the "zugabe" (encore) request expressed by the audience close a brilliant gig, unfortunately without encore of course.

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MNEMIC           mnemic

Ok people! They are much awaited, cause they are one of the modern sensational bands coming from Denmark, state that is proposing itself as the new land of infinite metal possibilities. Mnemic, together with Raunchy, Hatesphere, Withering Surface, Koldborn , Aurora, Illdisposed and Invocator, just to name few, form a tough die hard group of the new Scandinavian horizon that have no intention to joke. Each one, in its genre, makes no prisoner, presenting moreover such valid ideas. Consequently it's no strange that vocalist Michael Bøgballe - vocals, guitarist Mircea Gabriel Eftemie and fellow bandmates
hit the stage like a tornado of energy and dynamism. And just think that their drummer is also not totally fit. Mnemic describe their music as Fusion Future Metal (!), and what i listen to, now, is a legion of merciless attacks that really can be seen as a punch in the stomach, situated somewhere among Nu/ Modern and post Thrash with Cyber colours. Nevertheless , from this mix, which is not melodious at all, come out ,in an awesome way, short rays of enthralling melodies. If it's true that the new upcoming album will propose a better attention to  the melodic aspect using also the new technology called 3 Dimensional Sound, the future for Mnemic looks like being very exciting. Fact is that a) this frontman Michael Bøgballe provides for mighty relentless shouting and biting vocals with a strength that doesn't know the meaning of the word tiredness. "To be tired" must be an obscure way of saying for him, whose explanation needs the help of an encyclopedia. Full of energy and life and showing a perfect mobility (shared by guitarists and bassist too), armed with a well calibrated and nice ability to entertain and interest the crowds, and with its recurrent phrase "All right!!!", he is the frontman that other Modern /Nu and Post Thrash bands must truly fear. Mnemic don't completely match my personal taste, though the preview of the new album (which will be called "The Audio Injected Soul" ) presented today, with prolonged melodic loops and winning groovy vibes seems very tempting. 

One thing remains  certain 400% (sure enough eh?), Michael and Co. are a force of nature and an optimal live-band, much appreciated at  the Earthshaker 2004 . Tight (this is the word) and implacable, they pump up the crowd adding heat to heat. By the way, so Michael:" it's fucking hot today but we don't give a fuck!!!" and tell me that Scandinavian people don't love hot temperatures ;)! The ultimate moment of glory comes when Burton C Bell from Fear Factory makes a guest appearance, unleashing a duet with Michael on the notes of Self Bias resistor (Demanufacture)  (Mnemic are engaged in a mini tour with Fear factory). Among the other songs proposed: the violent and shouted Liquid and Blood Stained.


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PRIMAL FEAR              primal fear   


Finally the  moment for Heavy/ Power Metallers. Though i'm  impressed by Primal Fear's latest album "Devil's Ground", they  are no target for me this evening. But judging by the voices and impressions i gathered later, they must have done a show which has not disappointed their fans, proposing their best hits from previous CD's as well from the new one. Here many photos.

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FEAR FACTORY             fear factory    


The weather is promising nothing encouraging. Change of schedule. Fear Factory play before Rose Tattoo at 21:40. This is to say exactly when the waters of a major cloudburst decide to bless the moment. Our Stefan, though the objective of his camera begins to collect drops on drops, is successful to take some photos, even because fortunately the photo-pit provides a kind of small shelter for some minutes. But the intensity of the rain is such that i even cannot follow the first notes of Slave Labor, trying to run in a hurry the couple of meters towards the event hall, after a first  try of  getting shelter under a  banner near the photo- pit entrance. It really pours cats and dogs... and bears.  The unpleasant thing is the real serious menace of dangerous lightning's.  The organization reacts well: there is not other choice than to interrupt the concert and to allow many soaking wet fans to enter the event hall that becomes now the only refuge for many from the deluge. The tents too are in the hands of the violent shower accompanied by strokes of wind, everyone who is encamped fears the worst...and with reason. But this  excellent moment of solidarity in the event hall  is also a  moment of relief , of beer and smile. Rose Tattoo will play tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

dalia di giacomo  

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 second day

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