- Saxon, Rose Tattoo, Circle II Circle & Blaze -
- July 3rd - Andernach, Germany -
I've been a couple of times to Andernach to visit club shows there, but this is the first open-air in Andernach I visit. The weather... Cloudy, windy... Some rain... And just about 30 km away in Bonn a huge festival - Rheinkultur - and a 1 hour ride away the Polo-Festival in Düsseldorf. The festival organizer got Saxon, Rose Tattoo, Blaze and Circle II Circle. The line-up was completed by Perzonal War - the youngsters were on tour with Blaze and Circle II Circle - and 10 Fold B-Low. The Nu metal band 10 Fold B-Low opened the festival. At that time just a hundred fans had arrived and many came for the more traditional metal bands and seemed to have problems with the Nu metal / melodic death metal melange. I can't tell much about the band, coz at that time - and still when Perzonal War entered the stage - I had some chit-chat with Zak Stevens of Circle II Circle.
Next came Perzonal War who are from Siegburg which isn't that far from Andernach and so the last show of the Circle II Circle / Blaze tour was like playing home. Friends and fans of the band came to see them and so their Metallica influenced sound got much better reactions. The band had just released their latest album Faces and so they presented songs from their current release like My Secret and Devil In My Neck as well as some from their last album - Different But The Same and Open My World. I think the band of singer / guitarist Metti can be pretty satisfied with the reactions of today's audience.
Then it was time for the former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley. Blaze came to promote their latest studio album. Last December they played here with Doro, but now they had new songs to play. Guitarist Steve Wray was assisted by Doro guitarist / keyboarder Oli Palotai. The set included Silicon Messiah, 10th Dimension, Ten Seconds, Futureal and Man On The Edge from his days in Iron Maiden. From the new album the title track Blood & Belief got the best response.
Circle II Circle - the band of former Savatage singer Zak Stevens - seemed to be the hidden headliner. The American singer came with a new line-up to promote their debut Watching In Silence one more time live. The opened the set with Out Of Reach followed by Lies and Circle. With One Child from Savatage's Dead Winter Dead they surprised the fans and after Sea Of White another Savatage song followed - Turns To Me. Beside the title track and Forgiven the sextet offered from Zak's musical past Edge Of Thorns, Taunting Cobras and Follow Me. Like a few days ago in Aschaffenburg they decided to present a new track - All That Remains - to give a little outlook of what to come next. Well done.
Then the Australian Rose Tattoo entered the stage. The AC/DC countrymen started with Scarred For Life. Musically the Australians didn't fit 100% into the billing, but their rock'n'boogie has a good time feeling and so they soon made the fans party. Singer Angry Anderson took the fans on a trip to a best-of program which includes One Of The Boys, Nice Boys, R'n'R Outlaw and Union Man... To name just a few. Perhaps it's an advantage that the rockers don't play here that often, coz the fans were hot to see them. It was something special for the fans and I think as well for the band.
A little late came the British Saxon who had all ready played a show in Düsseldorf at the Polo-Festival in the afternoon. The heroes of the NWoBHM opened their set with Heavy Metal Thunder. Their new album Lionheart will be in the stores a little later this year, so they weren't out to promote a new album. A best-of show was what they presented. The old men of heavy metal presented more then 100 minutes including a guitar solo and a drum solo of Fritz Randow who will leave the band after the festivals and will be replaced by Jörg Michael. Frontman Biff Byford stated that the Andernach festival is even better then the Polo-Festival where they have played earlier that day. They played one highlight after another including Dogs Of War, Strong Arm Of The Law, The Eagle Has Landed, Motorcycle Man, Dallas 1 p.m., 747 (Strangers In The Night) and Princess Of The Night which was the last one they played. It's amazing how much power these guys have! Two shows at one day that's something many younger bands won't be able to do. They still live metal. Great!
Resume: Well, the weather conditions weren't the best, but that's not in the hands of the organization. They did the best to make it special from fans and bands. Good bands, great audience - about 900+ metal heads come to Andernach - and a fair ticket prize - less then 20 Euro - what more to ask for? I hope that next year they will get together another interesting billing and that the weather will be better. And that everybody who was there this year will bring some new faces to Andernach.