On our way to Andernach we already got an idea about what to expect, changeable weather, so we passed rain showers and get a little sunshine here and there. We arrived early and it seemed that some who survived Wacken came to party with the local metal fans. As we didn't know where to queue we ask someone from the security, but the harsh reply didn't help at all and so we tried to figure it out on our own and found the right queue.
With a 10-minute delay they opened the doors and soon we were on the festival site and got the chance to take a look at the merchandise booths and snack bars. Food and drinks were offered for a reasonable price. A number of porta-potties were lined up, but the later it got the more obvious it was that some ignored them and preferred the open space behind the booths.
At 2:30 PM the first band should enter the stage of Summer's End Open-Air - the symphonic metal band Sons Of Seasons. During the opening a girl in a bridal dress joined the guys on stage and so it reminded me a bit of Krypteria who's singer Ji-In opens the show dressed like a bride. At the drums a familiar face, today Epica's Ariën van Weesenbeek was replacing Daniel Schild. Even if the slightly rain couldn't keep the fans of symphonic metal away and so they gathered to listen to the dynamic drumming, thrashy riffs and mystic keyboards. The fans braved the rain shower and got rewarded with songs like A Blind Man's Resolution, Fallen Family and the title track of their debut Gods Of Vermin.
During the short break we impatiently waited for Mono Inc. who just released their EP Comedown the previous day. It's not the first time we experienced the likeable Goth rock outfit from Hamburg this year and as soon as they hit the stage fans were cheering - wherever they played. They kicked off with This Is The Day and singer Martin Engler was always in motion, whirling over the stage euphorically. Today the audience took a bit longer to warm up with their sound, the majority of the audience was more into metal, but Engler is an experienced frontman and so he hooked up the fans to the Mono Inc sound with his charm. Mono Inc. - as Sons Of Seasons - had to adjust their sound during the show - and still they hadn't a perfect sound. They presented songs like Temple Of The Thorn, Comedown, Bloodmoon and Forgiven. Martin picked up the acoustic guitar for the Iggy Pop classic The Passenger and let the fans sing along Lalala - first the girls, then the men. After Katha Mia's short drum solo they offered Voices Of Doom and Get Some Sleep before they were running out of time.
Next in line Schelmish with their mediaeval sound. The band used every inch of the stage, no surprise as they are an octet. For the Mittelalter rock band from Bonn were the local heroes who used the typical band instruments plus bagpipes, bouzouki, a hurdy-gurdy and a shawm. Their sound draw more people in front of the stage to sing along and dance. The octet played mainly songs from their latest releases Die Hässlichen Kinder and Persona Non Grata.
Something totally different was offered by Fiddler's Green who are celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2010. Their speedfolk is based on Irish and Scottish traditionals, something really unique. The guys from Erlangen enchanted the audience with their mix of folk, ska, punk and metal. It was party time. In their songs they also embed Irish jigs, reels and polka elements. Fiddler's Green showed with their music how much they love the green island and everybody was having a good time. Even people standing at the beer booth were linking arms and started to dancing around.
And then the devil arrived, Corvus Corax frontman Teufel and his band Tanzwut came to conquer. Time to dance! The band who combines Mittelalter rock and electro sounds offered a set which featured Toccata - the opener -, Ihr wolltet Spaß, Labyrinth der Sinne and Meer. Frontman Teufel cheered up the audience to go crazy for Wieder am Riff, Merseburger and Seelenverkäufer. A hellish performance which everyone attending will remember for a long time.
Loudly the fans welcomed Epica who entered the stage at 8 PM and delivered a bonfire of heavy riffs and epic keyboard melodies. Their symphonic metal is spiced up by Simone Simons mezzo-soprano and guitarist Mark Jansen's growls. Unfortunately Simone's vocals weren't loud enough to shine and so the male vocals seemed even more powerful. The Dutch delivered a great show incl. songs like Cry For The Moon, Sensorium and The Obsessive Devotion. It's obvious that the band is very experienced, but far from being bored.
Before Die Apokalyptischen Reiter entered the stage Epica singer Simone Simons showed at the photo pit for some photos and autographs.
It could more crowded in front of the stage and there was no space left when Die Apokalyptischen Reiter stormed the stage. During the intro Dr. Pest swung his whip before taking seat on his metal swing. The opener Wir sind das Licht seemed to energize the audience, it got heavier and a pit opened up and fans started to pogo. Blastbeats and heavy grooves dominated the sound completed by Fuchs' vocals. Like a whirlwind tracks like Revolution, Friede sei mit Dir and Unter der Asche came over the audience. Visually they supported the show with Bengal fireworks and it seemed like Dr. Pest wanted to whip the Reitermaniacs to give their best. During songs like Es wird Schlimmer, Boten einer neuen Zeit and Adrenalin fans started keeping up fly flaps, flags, beer mugs and hobbyhorses. The fans wanted more and so DAR played Seemann and Reitermania as encores.
A quarter to 11 PM the intro announced the headliner Subway To Sally, the band played Andernach frequently and so they easily convinced the fans. They opened up with Henkersbraut, Germany's most successful folk metal band delivered a professional set spiced up with pyros and pillars of fire incl. Kleid aus Rosen and Feuerland. Fans sang along and singer Eric Fish easily conducted the masses. Songs like Kleine Schwester, Die Schlacht and Puppenspieler followed, and with Maria, Judaskuss, Sieben they played what the fans were longing for. Everybody in the band was playing his part and animated the fans to clap their hands, dance and sing. The septet will be back to Andernach in October for 5 exclusive premiers of their DVD Nackt II. And in December they will hit the road with Saltatio Mortis and Letzte Instanz for a tour called Eisheilige Nacht.
Resume: Great day full of music, even if the first bands faced some rain showers. Its said that 2,000 people attended the small festival and even if some security guys been a bit harsh and some younger fans didn't behave properly, but well. Good billing and fair prices make up for minor inconveniences.