Electrowelt.com keeping up with its tradition this year too presents the most important moments of the 23st Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany. For the 23rd consecutive year, the biggest worldwide music -and not only- gothic festival took place in Leipzig and managed to gather about 21.000 fans of the new & dark/ EBM/ Industrial/ Gothic scene from all over the world, despite the general financial depression, making it again the biggest international gathering of the dark family. Furthermore, the festival occurred at more than 50 venues all over the city, more than 200 bands performed plus a fully diverse program like the exhibition “Children of the Night” at the “Runde Ecke”, which was extremely interesting and presented the life of Goths in former East Germany, the art exhibition at the AGRA café with works of Sarah Horwath, Marcus Kauth, Paul Koudounaris, Marko Bennin, Sylke Ennen and Giovanni Perna and of course like every year there were readings held by various authors like Christian von Aster, Mark Benecke, Lydia Benecke, Markus Heitz and many more, as well as movie presentations at the cinema and the classic autograph sessions. To our satisfaction, due to the increased interest of the audience last year, also this year’s festival offered wonderful classic music and even opera plays too. The visitors painted once more the city black and had the chance to attend the medieval market, many parties at the wonderful Moritzbastei, Agra and celebrate the scene with many different kinds of music from goth, EBM, industrial to future pop, industrial and noise. Leipzig and its citizens gave a big and warm welcome for once more to all us black dressed and weird creatures!
It must have been one of the hottest WGT we visited, not only because it was a fantastic festival this year too, but because it was extremely hot with 35 degrees temperature or more in Leipzig! The weather helped the visitors who wanted to camp at the Agra festival campsite with the Obsorgekarte. Free use of all public transportation for all WGT visitors really helps too, as long as they present their WGT bracelet or band in German, which also applies for all WGT concerts, performances and all other WGT scheduled shows. So convenient, instead of buying tickets all day long, so that you can attend concerts!
For the opening concert the organizers had a special event planned, a revival of Apocalyptica’s “Wagner Reloaded” at the Arena Leipzig, where a specific number of seats was reserved especially for the WGT visitors.
A very special chance and highlight for me was to attend the Zeitgeist exhibition at the gallery Sansvoix dedicated to the creations of the amazing HR GIGER, who passed away in May 2014. We will always admire and remember him through his unique work. Thank you WGT for this amazing opportunity.
The minute you set foot at the city, the image of hundreds of fans, who cross the streets running to get to the venues in time and catch their favorite live gig, takes you away immediately! After all the necessary procedure, our first gig was the legendary deathrock band Christian Death at the Agra, we had the chance to catch a few songs, but Christian Death is Rozz Williams and his talent for me, so I was not especially impressed. With Valor Kant and his friends, they sang songs of Catastrophe Ballet too. Moving on to the very good ebm band Rotersand at the Kohlrabizircus, a lot of synthpop ebm fans enjoyed themselves dancing to their hits “Merging Oceans” and “Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy”. Next stop was the Volkspalast and the Kuppelhalle for Joy of Life, where we were amazed by the vocals and performance of their leader Gary Carey, their set was great, with “Warrion Creed” and “Sense of Freedom” as their highlights. We had a break in order to catch Desiderii Marginis and their act at the Kantine, only to come back to Kuppelhalle for the much anticipated live act of my beloved 6 COMM. There was a delay due to technical problems, Patrick Leagas entered the stage and had a difficulty performing with his trumpet, when an eager fan at the front offered to help him with the instrument and our musical journey commenced. As you probably have already catched on, I am an avid Death in June fan, but I love 6 Comm equally, although DIJ are more prominent. Magical, one of the best WGT editions for me because of the 6 Comm gig. We listened to tracks from the NADA period of DIJ, “Torture Garden”, “Foretold”, and of course the magnificent “The Calling”. I loved Patrick’s voice and approach on stage, he also performed the magnificent 6 comm tracks “Content with blood”, “Neiflheim”, it was an amazing live performance from a great artist and his band. We returned to Agra Gelaende for White Lies midnight special performance, starting their show at 1:20. The venue was not packed, but there were many people eager to see their show, since the band’s international success has been steadily growing. Since the release of their debut album in 2009, British press calls this band the “successor of JOY DIVISION or THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN” and puts them on the same level as EDITORS or INTERPOL. Having a new album, ‘Big TV’, released in summer, WHITE LIES were on tour in spring, entertaining an excited crowd. At their WGT show, they had first some sound problems, but during the show they were fixed. The WGT audience enjoyed themselves, especially with their hit “To lose my life” and singer Harry McVeigh seemed to be really happy about the positive feedback. Afterwards, we headed to see our dear friend and super Dj Peddy, who djed at the Agra 4.2, great party, we danced to very good old school ebm tracks. Excited for our first WGT day, we decided to pay a visit to Stadtisches Kaufhaus for the “Dunkelromantischer Tanz” party. There were not many people at the club, we listened to gut music, but the atmosphere was not so festive, as we expected.
Our day began with I-M-R at Altes Landratsamt, a continuation of IN MY ROSARY, a dark wave band that started in 1992. They started at 17:00; it was extremely hot, so not a lot people attended. The melodic sound of e-guitar, acoustic guitar and saxophone, it was quite romantic. Other special sounds were created with a guitar being played with a violin bow. The audience was excited and the band left the stage with big applause. We listened to “Why we cried “, “Little Death”, “Poisoned Eyes”, “Uniforms”, “Believe because”. Quickly at the Agra venue, where we stayed for the rest of the day and change of the music scenery with the legendary old school EBM band Poupee Fabrique. The Swedish duo was impressive as usual, the audience was very enthusiastic and there was a lot of pogo dancing as always. My anticipation grew, as we were waiting for the old school EBM legend, Placebo Effect. They don’t appear often, I had never seen them perform live, although I travel 3-4 times per year to festivals, so we were very eager to see them live. This German dark electro / EBM band makes music similar to Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy. At WGT 2003, the band played their last concert and since then, all members had moved on with their own individual projects. In 2011, they released “Gargoyles & Galleries” with Infacted Recordings, an album with re-mastered material, tracks having from their first album “Galleries of Pain” (1992) and the rest of the songs from the demo tape “Gargoyles” (1990). On this year’s WGT, Axel Machens (vocals, synth, harmonizer, drum computer), Christoph Kunze (vocals, synth, sampler, percussions) and Achim Windel (vocals, sampler, sequencer, synth) delivered a onetime show, exciting for old and new fans. And the band, especially front man Axel, really know how to present an innovative and artistic show and to create an atmosphere within the songs. Placebo Effect was definitely one of our festival highlights; the band also presented new material. We listened and danced to Devoid of Soul”, Mistress”, new songs “Nothing to Cry” and “Slave”, “Galleries of Pain”, “Pinhead”, “Decay”, “ Last Walk”, “Slashed Open” and the fantastic “Move”. Next was Dirk Ivens with The Klinik, from Belgium, another grandmaster of electronic music. We are fans of their shows, there are no surprises whatsoever, when you see Klinik live. They are always great, their performance and atmosphere are awesome, and that’s why they are considered to be one of the most influential Belgian bands from that genre. The duo of Dirk Ivens and Marc Verhaeghen established its reputation with the release of albums “Face to Face” (1989) and “Time” (1991) in the Electro / Industrial genre. Their live shows are always spectacular and impressive with both musicians performing with their heads wrapped in gauze, wearing long black leather coats. This time, we all agreed that Dirk Ivens was more energetic and aggressive on stage. We listened to “Murder”, “Bite Now Bite”, “Quiet In the Room”, the classic “ Black Leather”, “ In Your Room”, “ Pain and Pleasure” and all the fans danced like crazy with “Sick In Your Mind” and “Moving Hands”. Excellent sound, atmosphere and performances. After a 20 minute break it was time for Front Line Assembly. I like 3-4 songs of theirs, but I don’t find them impressive in stage. I acknowledge their history in the genre, Bill Leeb collaborated with Skinny Puppy, but this time was no exception, they were just ok. Highlights were the tracks “Provision”, “ Mindphaser” and “Plasticity”. As for the midnight special concert, we stayed for three tracks for Vitalic, it was not our cup of tea, after all the old school EBM legends was a little underwhelming. We had no further strength!
It was again extremely hot, so we started our last festival day with Ost+Front at the beautiful green Parkbuehne. I personally didn’t know them; they were very impressive, sounded like Rammstein and had a lot of red paint, smoke and spectacle on stage for the pleasure of the audience. They were very well received, although it was almost 40 degrees hot! We rushed to Taubchenthal, new venue for us for our fellow countrymen Nano Infect. They were joined on stage by a German musician, they seemed a little nervous, as they were very excited to be performing at the biggest festival of the scene. They had some problems with the synths and the sound. The audience cheered them up and gave them strength; it was a quite good industrial gig. Highlight and their best moment was the cover of Suicide Commando “Hell raiser”. Next was Fabric C for the industrial party to get going, they were very good, they rocked the venue with their hit “Chinese Food”. We had to leave immediately, in order to catch Imminent Starvation at Altes Landratsamt. It was quite packed; unfortunately we had time for 2-3 tracks. The sound and lights, the atmosphere was awesome. Many fans were arriving for This Morn’ Omina. The front man performed barefoot, had great contact with the audience, and was very energetic; one of the most worth while checking bands and live performances of this genre. Highlight “the ninth key”. We left the venue for Agra and the live act of Umbra Et Imago. It was a nice show. The Germans love them; they had a huge attendance, since they are very well known for their impressive costumes and nude girl shows on stage. I liked “Sex statt Krieg”, since I have seen them a few times in the past, didn’t have to offer anything new. We stayed at the Agra for the last show of the well known Slowdive. They are a more alternative band, but for many WGT visitors is nice to have some different bands on the roster. “Catch the breeze” and “Crazy for you” were very nice performances.
Actually we wanted to see PSYCHE at K3 Lounge afterwards. But sadly, this basement club – which is btw really nice – was so packed that we could not get in. I really would have loved to see them, playing in a larger location since so many people wanted to see Darrin Huss and his band.
Unfortunately, we had to return on Monday due to our work schedules, so we stopped by Μoritzbastei to get together with friends from Leipzig, Berlin, London and others from all over the world for all the closing parties, where we renewed our dark gathering for next year!
Excellent organization and planning this year too, big event diversity for all tastes, great memories.
See you all again in dark Leipzig next year!