Noch Ein Bier Fest 2015 @ Amphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany 25/7 – 15

Due to the heavy rain, there’s a slight lack of pictures in order to protect the camera. So I apologize on beforehand on the lack of pictures.

The D-Day was here! Noch Ein Bier Fest, Sabaton first attempt at a German festival. It it is a one day ”festival” hosting five bands – Bloodbound, Civil War, Korpiklaani, Powerwolf and Sabaton and was hosted in the Amphitheater in Gelsenkirchen.

The day… Well, we started the day with some quick shopping, which I will tell you all about another day, and then headed to the venue. We had originally planned to take the bus to the theater since we got free bus tickets from the hotel, but apparently German buses are wussies. Said to us the bus was full even though it could easily have fitted all of us in there, we people had just moved a bit closer. After further inspection, we noticed that the next bus wouldn’t go until 30 minutes later, leaving us missing out on the first band.

And fuck that. So we went back to the hotel and asked them to call a taxi for us. A nice bunch of guys offered us to go in their taxi with them, however, they apparently don’t carry minibuses here, so it was a no can do. The taxi arrived fairly quickly, and after an about 15 minutes ride we were at the arena.

And seriously, compared to Sweden, Germany is so cheap! The taxi cost us about 15 euros, that’s 5 euros a person! Like, 15 euros would be starting price per PERSON in Sweden. What a nice surprise!

Unlike yesterday, where it was so warm we almost melted despite having barely any clothes on, today was a different story. Rain, A LOT OF IT, and cold. You see, we had originally gone to Primark to pick up a raincoat for me, since I was in desperate need for one. The other two decided to get one each as well, and guess what was the best purchase of the day? Yup, the raincoats.

We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes or so before the door opened, and the line was… half full, now that I look back on it. At the time, it felt like it was A LOT of people, but after further inspection, we noticed the doors were closer than we thought they’d be. Anyway. The time hit 15 and…. nothing happened. At least not in the back. The time hit 15.30. Bloodbound was about to play, and I was so pissed, because, guess what? NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.

But on the other hand, I didn’t hear a band play either so all good. About 15.45, it started moving. Babysteps, one step at a time. At 16, we had maybe gotten three meters. Somewhere after 16, about 16.10 or so, we finally, FINALLY made it in.

The first thing we did was to get down to the arena in order to look for Antoine, and let me tell you this.

I was under the impression this was an indoor arena. So when Madlen broke the news to me about it being outdoors, my mood went from very high to very low, to put it nicely. So when I got in, I got even more of a shock. Basically, what I saw before me, was a smaller version of Dalhalla.

It was a small area infront of the stage, and then lots of stairs all the way up where we stood, where people would sit. So imagine our surprise to see there were very little people down there.

I’ve been to Sabaton shows before, and I know how it goes down. Pressed against the fence, and you can do nothing. Not fun. This is the major reason why I’ve started to withdraw more and more on concerts, because of the freedom to jump around and headbang without being pressed against a fence.

Just right after we got out Bloodbound got on the stage.

BLOODBOUND

So basically, to give you some perspective – Bloodbound was supposed to start at 15.30, and when they actually started, it was about 16.15, 16.20. We are talking almost an hour delay. Did this have an effect on how long their set was? I think so.

I didn’t track time exactly how long they played, but they played only about 4-5 songs. Despite this, the show was energetic. They started off with “Satanic Panic” and seemed to do the best they could with their short set. For my personal record, I’m just really happy they did “Moria”. Thank god.

2015nocheinbierbloodbound

This festival did already from the beginning have a pretty tight time schedule, so already towards the end of the last song of Bloodbound did Michelle and I withdraw ourselves in order to catch some merchandise.

Which seemed to be near impossible. After trying to choose which one of the two merchstands we’d go to, we ended up doing the first one, and gladly, this was the very one Jaqueline was working at! It was so good to see her again, although a little odd to see her outside of Lordi, but you know, it’s a small world after all?

After this, we headed back to the “arena” and we arrived JUST as Civil War went on stage.

Civil War

I was pretty excited to see them – I’ve been in love with the band ever since I first heard “Rome is Falling” , so I got quite excited when they got on stage (not SlipKnot or Lordi excited, but excited). Just as with Bloodbound, they delivered a good and energetic set, which sadly came to an abrupt ending when they played “Bay of Pigs” and Patrik all of a sudden goes “That was our last song, good night”.

Like wait what. What just happened? Apparently they were supposed to play longer, but because of the delays they couldn’t. And I really missed “Rome is Falling” in the setlist, I must admit. Oh well, what do you do?

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Korpiklaani

Ok – so here’s the deal with Gelsenkirchen – when I arrived on Thursday, and also during Friday, it was hot. Like, MELTING HOT, it felt like it was twice as hot as it was in Sweden. Sun shining high, no cloud in sight, no wind, nothing. And then, when Sabaton came to town, apparently, they thought it was a good idea to bring swedish summer with them and POF – rain and thunder. So by the time Korpiklaani were to begin, we were all soaked. Like, through and through. Like I told you in the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of this being an outdoor show.

However, in the wait for Korpiklaani my SlipKnot-excitement starting coming to me, and me and Michelle were already bouncing around like rubber balls even before they started, and I may have cursed the short times between the bands earlier, but at this point I was happy. So, since we were already bouncing around, you can imagine what happened when “Viinamäen Mies” started. Yup.

That’s the thing with Korpiklaani – it’s just one big fucking party. Everyone is dancing, everyone is hopping around and everyone is moshing. I told Michelle “We should go in there the next time” and later on we decided to go for it in “Vodka” and so we did.

It was fun actually! I found myself tripping once, and got back up immediatley thanks to strong arms behind me, and this is probably something we’re gonna find ourselves doing a lot more. A sidenote to this: When I tripped, I hit my elbow and got really scared I had broken my new parkas. Gladly, I hadn’t. However upon further inspect, my Swedish Lordi crew shirt broke. What the hell?

But, back to Korpiklaani. The set was pretty similar to Graspop – and even though I love “Sumussa Hämärän Aamun”, I must admit it was a bit of a mood killer this particular day. But this gig DID make it clear for us that we will try to do both Korpiklaani days in September. Happy days!

2015nocheinbierkorpiklaani

However, this festival, or perhaps Korpiklaani, started to take on my powers, so we decided to “sacrifice” Powerwolf (Madlen and Daniel are going to kill me now) and have a seated show and dinner. See guys – there’s the other perk of not being in the front. You wanna sit, you sit, you wanna stand you stand. So we went out and bought crêpes and got back in right when they started and sat on the side and had a calm dinner.

Powerwolf

Because of the weather, the band wasn’t able to use their stage props, so the stage was a bit weak compared to how you usually see Powerwolf, but it doesn’t really matter, in my opinion. They still put on a good show no matter what, and hadn’t it been because of my smaller leg injury I got in the pit, we would have been in the middle of the crowd for “We Drink Your Blood”. Trust us, we really wanted to (because at that time we had finished dinner, ok)

But you know, I don’t really know what else to add to this. It was a good show, they had good energy and delivered despite problems with the props.

2015nocheinbierpowerwolf

Sabaton

Rather sooner than later, did “The Final Countdown” start, and originally Michelle and I did plan to sit throughout the entire set, because hey, some day gotta be the first right?

Anyway. This show has been real hyped. Like crazy hyped. So many crazy things would happen, the best show ever and so much special and AHH! And then they go on stage and be like

“Hello Gelsenkirchen! We’re Sabaton and this is GHOST DIVISION”.

“Ghost Division”. Still. The. Fucking. Ghost. Division. After. Seven. Fucking. Years. Still. Fucking. Ghost. Division. 

Like, how about spicing things up a bit? “We’re Sabaton, and we are the lions from the north”??? Or how about, for this superextrahypersuperduper special show, why not go further back in time and open with “Panzer Battalion” (Peace&Love 2007). Seriously, none of you, my readers are strangers to my animosity towards “Ghost Division”. I really love the song, as well as “The Art of War” (competing in the top with “Carolus Rex” about best album) but I’m SO. OVER. THIS. SONG. Thank you.

Regardless of that, it’s a decent opener, and the crowd loved them as always. And by the time the intro for “To Hell and Back” came, I said fuck leg injury and we jumped (!!) off the stone staircase and went on the side of the audience (actually fairly close, but very much on the side) and joined in for the jump party. Didn’t feel shit in my leg, I’m happy.

“Carolus Rex” was next, and you know. It’s strange, the fact you feel the most patriotic when you’re not at home. And I still don’t know the English lyrics to it. And it wasn’t until now that the first real surprise came, or well, at least for me. “No Bullets Fly”. Nice! Not my favorite, but finally things are happening.

The crowd started chanting the intro for “Swedish Pagans” which naturally “forced” the band to play it already now, and I do like it, it’s a favorite of mine, followed by another favorite, “Resist and Bite”.

This far in the show, no major surprises had happened aside “No Bullets Fly”. The pyros were weaker than the stuff they had in Karlstad, and this MIGHT be because of the weather, but come on. Lordi has survived without pyros since like 2008, and they still put on a good show. Get creative guys!

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I am, however, gonna give them some creds for playing “Screaming Eagles” after, at least saying, they saw a sign in the audience requesting it. There was indeed a sign, I just really this is why they played it. But it was fun to hear it live, you know?

And it was right after this, the first real highlight for me came. A guy from the crew came out to “fix” the panzar that is Hanne’s drumset, and Jocke started talking about panzers, and about a song. I said to Michelle “I hope it’s ‘Panzerkampf’, because I really miss it, but it could be ‘Panzer Battalion'” BUT OF COURSE, TO MY DELIGHT, IT WAS INDEED “PANZERKAMPF”.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU. I’ve missed this song so much, I can’t even! Thank you thank you!

“Attero Dominatus” followed, by “En Livstid i Krig” (in Swedish, thank god!) and then a little.. surprise. “Coat of Arms”.

The thing with “Coat of Arms” for me is that the album as well as the tour is one big blur for me. “Coat of Arms” is one of the weaker eras for me when it comes to Sabaton, was never a big fan of the album or anything, BUT, I do love the song “Coat of Arms”. Maybe Sabaton should have opened with that one, to spice it up a little bit?

This one was followed by one of my all time faves – “The Art of War”. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t love this song can just stop talking to me right now. My hair had been dried, thanks to my intense headbanging, but then it got wet again because my hair kept hitting the ground and the water puddles. Because of this song.

After this, they brought out a song the German fan club had voted up, which is considered a rare song for anyone who doesn’t live in Karlstad and has a hockey-team whose fanclub is called The Wolfpack, because if you do, you are one of the few people who actually had the blessing to hear “Wolfpack” live QUITE a few times, only because of Färjestad. And I don’t complain, it’s my favorite song off “Primo Victoria”.

But to top it off, as what could possibly become the most exciting thing of the evening, was the temporary and very short re-union with Daniel Mÿhr, which started with a sexy dance ala Mÿhr in his military hotpants that showed more than it should.

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The performance of the song was beyond perfection, and to top it off even more, Daniel did indeed undress completely. Thank you Daniel, for bringing the humor. I love you.

And then it happened… a divine voice out of nowhere…

Pretty much so. I have one favorite song with Sabaton. This number one, that beats everyone else. Which one?

“7734”. I already told you how much I died on the inside when I saw it was the bonus track on “Heroes”, and my brother looked weirdly at me and was like “but everyone loves ‘7734’”, but that was never my impression. So the fucking fact that they actually played, they FUCKING PLAYED IT… makes me forgive them for opening with “Ghost Division”. Yup. I said it, and you heard it.

I fucking forgive them for “Ghost Division”, because they gave my “7734”. Lindyhopping the night away.

After this, they left the stage and the lights went bananas. Michelle turned to me and said “Nightwitches”? and I just nodded. Of course. What else. So first song of the first round of encores was “Nightwitches” followed by “Primo Victoria” and “Metal Crüe” and for the love of God, while we are at it to retire “Ghost Division”, can we also retire “Metal Crüe”? That one has been going on since I even saw Sabaton live the first time in 2006, and if you thought I was over “Ghost Division”, imagine how fucking OVER I AM THIS ONE. Come on! “Metal Machine” and “Masters of the World” are like 100 times better. And again, you readers are no strangers to my animosity for this one either. Ok, I’m calm. Even if I’m tired of it, it’s still fun. I admit it.

They were supposed to leave the stage, but came back again, this time starting with “Panzer Battalion”, and seriously, I love this song. They played “Saboteurs” dedicated to the Saboteurs and wrapped the whole thing up with “Gott Mit Uns”, or as it is renamed now, “Noch Ein Bier”. Haha.

Noch ein bier, vår konung har talat, hör vårt stridsrop Noch ein Bier!” Uhh. Hahaha.

After this, they REALLY left the stage and thanked for the night.

And ok, time to get serious. To be honest, I think this show was way too hyped. Apart from a few songs, the setlist wasn’t anything extraordinary, the stage setting wasn’t anything extra ordinary, and I even think I dare to say Daniel Mÿhr saved everything with his sexy dance.

But on the same time, I can never be thankful enough for “7734” so I guess it all evens out. Regardless of it all – it was an amazing night with amazing friends, and no animosities for songs or repeating setlists can ever change that.

Right after it was over we left off to say good bye to Daniel and we headed for Burger King for some late night dinner and then hitting home to the hotel where we had a smaller after party and then crashed.

Thank you all for this amazing evening, but a little more so to Korpiklaani and Sabaton. Thank you!

// Sara

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