M'Era Luna Festival 2006 Flashback

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18 aug 2006, 21:29

Ok, a few days have already passed since the M'Era Luna Festival 2006 (Mera Luna Festival), but I still try to give a short summary for all who wanted to be there but couldn't for various reasons and to organize my memory a bit... ;) Everything I wrote is just my personal views and impressions and I don't pretend to be particularily good at reviewing festivals, but I think this journal entry has at least a higher quality than the thousandst uncommented A-Z-list... ;)

The Mera Luna Festival, one of Germanys largest "schwarze Szene" festivals, took place last weekend at the small Hildesheim Airport, near Hannover. The lineup consisted of 40 acts which where sheduled to play on Saturday and Sunday. The years before, the festival was visited by well over 20,000 guests.

A friend of me and I planned to do camping at the airport and we started from Aachen (near the border to the Netherlands and Belgium) by car on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately we grossly underestimated the rush-hour traffic on the Autobahns just before the weekend and so it took us well over 6 hours (instead of the expected 4) to get there. When we arrived it was quickly getting dark and the camping area was already pretty crowded. Fortunately the tent we chose to take with us for the camping was rather small and we managed to find sufficent space to pitch it.

We spent the rest of the day with examining the festival area and piling up with hundreds of other people in front of the disco hangar, without even the smallest hope to be able to get in... ;)

The next days we extensively attended the different gigs, examing the different dark culture shops which were present with their tents near the stages or bought some food from a mobile chinese takeaway which was painted in a bright yellow color and thus could easily be found amidst of all the black-clad people around it... ;)

At Mera Luna Festival the artists play on two stages, the open-air main stage at the manoeuvring area between both of the airport's hangars, and a smaller secondary stage in one of the hangars.

On Saturday, the acts playing at the main stage where mainly / , while all bands where sheduled for the hangar stage. In general, electronic music was in the majority at Mera Luna Festival 2006, but a few well-known bands (and some less known ones) where also present.

We headed for the hangar stage this day. Lluther opened the festival in the hangar, but in my eyes had obvious problems to warm up the crowd.
One reason for that might have been the terrible sound mixing at that stage, which the technician wasn't able to get under control the whole day. All bass sounds where so much amplified that in most cases you couldn't really hear the singers' voices. Of Tristania's songs only noise was left - even of the songs from the Beyond the Veil album that they played - and I can proudly announce that I saw Liv Kristine - I just wasn't able to hear very much from her... After all, the bad sound in the hangar was the most disappointing thing at this festival, as I had really been looking forward to both aforementioned performances.
Anyway, some bands where better able to cope with the difficult environment at this stage, Regicide being one of them. They really managed to interact with the crowd without creating the appearance to having all dialogs just memorized before. Their violinist even made a break in her parental leave to support her collegues during the live performance.

Unfortunately I cannot say the same from Midnattsol - as expected, they played some pleasant songs on stage, but as Carmen's voice is, like her sister's, relatively thin, the bad sound quality in the hangar totally killed the music. That was sad, but it got a bit ridiculous when Carmen addressed the virtually silent crowd in the hangar, saying "Yes, M'Era Luna, you are the best!" in a voice as if she just meant the opposite or was simply totally bored...

We made a short break on the outside of the hangar, listened a bit to Mesh on the mainstage and returned to the secondary stage to see Liv Kristine. As I already said, "to see" is the correct description as unfortunately you could not really hear very much of her... Her appearance was quite nice nevertheless and she even called her sister Carmen onto the stage to perform some kind of duet.

Unheilig was pretty much a contrast to that, as the music is rather more electonic than metal, but merges elements of both, and Der Graf could be heard... ;) I don't really like Unheilig's studio albums, but their live performance was absolutely cool and everyone was cheering and shouting; it was a completely different athmosphere inside the hangar.

We skipped Samsas Traum and took another, more extended break instead, just to return in time for Tristania. Tristania's gig was really sad, their songs which normally live from the contrast between the heavy guitar laden and the athmospheric, melodic parts just drowned in an ocean of noise. The obvious effect was that noone really reacted to the music which I consider to be the cause for the band's premature leaving, 10 minutes before the scheduled deadline.

After listening to the rest of Frontline Assembly's performance and Nitzer Ebb we where back in the hangar to enjoy The Gathering. From their looks it was probably the worst-fitting band at the festival - the guitarist even wore yellow-white t-shirt, while probably 98% of all people present wore just black (the other 2 percent wearing neon-pink...;) - but I was positively surprised by their performance. Their studio albums also never attracted my interest, but their live performance was pretty good.

The last act performing this day was Bauhaus, who we were not too impressed about.

On Sunday we slept a bit longer and started the day with Clan of Xymox and Epica at the main stage. There's not as much to say about Sunday as there was about Saturday in my eyes, we mainly enjoyed the acts at the main stage where the sound quality was much better, and in general enjoyed all of them more or less. :-) As a -addict I liked Epica's perforance pretty much, but Clan of Xymox, Letzte Instanz and Apoptygma Berzerk where also quite good. I think Ministry forgot to attach their instruments to the amplifiers, at least that stuff sounded remarkably like white noise... ;) I think that's not my personally preferred music style.

In Extremo was extremely good, although I personally do not like their music that much, their show just forced one to join and party... They also had nice pyrotechnics, just like the act which followed them:

The - in my eyes - absolute highlight of the festival was Within Temptation, the festival's second headliner and final act. I'm really lacking the words to describe their performance, it was just plain cool. They really interacted with the crowd, had impressive fireworks, played great music ;) and generally left the impression as if they really cared for their fans.
Their show wasn't free of problems, either: When Sharon accidentially breathed exhaust fumes from one of the firework's flamethrowers and couldn't sing for a minute Robert looked really irritated for a moment. However, nothing bad happened and Sharon could continue the concert after a few deep breaths of fresh air off-stage.
Within Temptation also played a new song, "The Howling", from their upcoming next album for the first time in Germany. It's difficult to judge a song one has heard only once and played live, but it really sounded promising and makes one looking forward to the release of the new album. To summarize, the show of Within Temptation alone was worth the travel to M'Era Luna, even if the rest wouldn't have been.

Besides that everyone (especially everyone who camped at the airport) was also lucky concerning the weather, Saturday as well as Sunday the festival's organisers got a weather warning from the meteorological service but it stayed dry nevertheless.

Altogether is was a really enjoyable weekend together with - according to the official homepage - more than 22,000 people having fun and I'm looking forward to see all bands I missed live at Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2007 in Leipzig or at the next Mera Luna Festival.

See you there!

Kommentarer

  • theBlackDragon

    We kinda had the same problem like you getting at the festival, except that we started from Belgium (near Gent) and arrived somewhere after 21h, luckily we could still get tickets:) Well, I preferred In Extremo over Within Temptation, but I guess that's a matter of taste, both bands were great:) Gothminister's performance was also very good, I had seen them before in Gent performing before Lacrimosa and while they were enthousiastic the installation was so badly tuned that their music degraded into beat-noise so I was pleasantly surprised:) Girls Under Glass put up a great show with lots of guest artists to celebrate the band's birthday. Mesh was a pleasant surprise, I'll have to keep an eye on that band:) Blutengel was a dissaptointment, people had told me they put up a great show, but I found it rather kitch to be honest... Dope Stars Inc. weren't too great, but it is very well possible that this is due to the terrible sound in the hangar... Deathstars put up a good show which would probably have been even greater if the sound had been better... The Gathering didn't dissapoint, though I found them to become a tad monotonous after a song or five, again, the sound? Probably as they have a lot more variation on CD... Apoptygma Berzerk was a pleasant surprise, I'm not too much into electro but their performance was just great:) I thing I can agree with you on the other bands:) All in all we had a lot of fun at M'era Luna, it was the first time we drove there and it will on doubt not be the last time either :) I do hope they fix the sound in the hangar though...

    25 aug 2006, 20:25
  • Interneci

    [quote]Well, I preferred In Extremo over Within Temptation, but I guess that's a matter of taste, both bands were great:)[/quote] Right - personally I never understood the saying You cannot argue about taste, in my eyes there is virtually nothing else you can argue about as much... ;) [quote]Mesh was a pleasant surprise, I'll have to keep an eye on that band:)[/quote] ACK, Mesh was rather cool. However, I checked out some of their CDs in the meantime and wasn't nearly as impressed as I where at the festival. They seem to be better performing live. [quote]Blutengel was a dissaptointment, people had told me they put up a great show, but I found it rather kitch to be honest...[/quote] I didn't see them, but knowing some of their songs I immediately believe you. ;) [quote]Dope Stars Inc. weren't too great, but it is very well possible that this is due to the terrible sound in the hangar... Deathstars put up a good show which would probably have been even greater if the sound had been better... The Gathering didn't dissapoint, though I found them to become a tad monotonous after a song or five, again, the sound?[/quote] Maybe it helps to write a polite mail, letter or fax to FKP Scorpio, asking them if they can do something about that for the next time. It probably won't help, but I did anyway. I was so much disappointed by the sound in the hangar. :-( [quote]Apoptygma Berzerk was a pleasant surprise, I'm not too much into electro but their performance was just great:)[/quote] ACK. [quote]I do hope they fix the sound in the hangar though...[/quote] :-/

    28 aug 2006, 18:15
  • Tantamount

    Thank you, Interneci, for the nice report of the festival! We have been there, too, and my memories are very similar. Espacially what you wrote about Midnattsol, Liv Kristine and Within Temptation! The biggest surprise for us was Regicide, we enjoied their perfomance on Saturday morning very much! We haven't seen them before... And we liked Elane, the Sunday morning act on the main stage, even if they didn't have the performance for the main stage yet. However, it was good music. Hopefully next year again!

    11 okt 2006, 20:17
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