HOA Day 1 @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE)

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PRETTY MAIDS / SUICIDAL ANGELS / PARAGON / NIGHT DEMON / BLACK HAWK / BÄD INFLUENCE / ROHBAU

'Headbangers Open Air Festival, Day 1'

Date: 27th July, 2017
Venue: The Garden
Tickets: €59 (3-day) ($69)
Promoter: Headbangers-Open-Air.de
Photos: Erika Wallberg


It was time to burn the garden again which has been a very nice annual tradition. Well, not literary of course but it sure was a hot line-up for the 20th anniversary of the festival. Neither that is any surprise of course. There's always a lot of great bands playing.

Opening this anniversary version of the 'Headbangers Open Air Festival' was the first band who ever played at it. German ROHBAU got to kick things off this year too. The opening slot is very beneficial since everyone present is in the mood for a party and eager for the festival to start. Even if ROHBAU didn't look all that comfortable on stage they gave a nice performance and delivered traditional German Heavy Metal. Nothing more nothing less.

In a way it feels like the 90's never got hold of the German scene. The band was formed in 1995, at the decline of Grunge and the rise of the Core/Goth era but we're still talking about classic Metal. I like that and I quite enjoyed to watch ROHBAU play as well. All in all, this was a good start of the festival.

ROHBAU

ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) ROHBAU @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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One who doesn't have any issues being on stage is Mark 'Vicious' Brühning, vocalist of BÄD INFLUENCE. This is also a band which has been a part of the early days of the festival, and performed, if not on the absolute first, at least the following few. I think it's really cool to have them participate in the anniversary. Also, it's a lot of fun to watch BÄD INFLUENCE play and style-wise they stand out among the others. First and foremost, because of Mark's vampire outfit with eye-lenses and fangs, the thing though it works. It's fun in a tongue in cheek kind of way. And with a song as the very hitty “We Bite” it all made sense. Also musically BÄD INFLUENCE stand out. It’s more of the 90’s style which isn’t very strange since they’re a band from the 90’s. And who the hell has a didgeridoo as a standard in their music. But that too works and it gives both depth to their sound as well as make them stand out even more. BÄD INFLUENCE's session on stage ended with the great “Invisible Sun”, title track from the 2001 record and summed up the gig in a very good way.

BÄD INFLUENCE

BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BÄD INFLUENCE @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Then I had mixed up BLACK HAWK with another band as what hit the stage wasn’t at all what I had been expecting. I don't know how I could mess it up this band but since this band, the actual BLACK HAWK sounded better than the band I had in mind it really didn’t matter much. Opening “Dragonride” was a good melodic piece of Heavy Metal. I really liked the different passages, the combination of the sections created a good energy in the music. It was the same thing with heavy “A Mighty Metal Axe” also. A little odd structure but that I find intriguing and it keeps it all interesting. A very cool song it was.

Then, a track like “Fire In The Night” is bound to work on a festival like ‘Headbangers Open Air’. A speedy track with a good sing-a-long chorus-line. What's not that to like? And to wrap things up with a version of the KISS-classic “Detroit Rock City” was genius. I normally always prefer originals but after half a day hanging out with friends and good music a song like this always goes down well. So yes, it wasn't what I had my mind set on before the show started and it all turned out very good.

BLACK HAWK setlist:

01. “Dragonride”
02. “Streets Of Terror”
03. “Killing For Religion”
04. “A Mighty Metal Axe”
05. “Scream In The Night”
06. “Nothing To Lose”
07. “Fire In The Night”
08. “Detroit Rock City”

BLACK HAWK

BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) BLACK HAWK @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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No surprise with NIGHT DEMON though. That was exactly what I’d been expecting… Full speed ahead and a lot of fun to watch. It really doesn’t matter how many times I see them play, it’s always a pleasure and I’m stunned by the bands energy and it’s good to see a new band getting the support NIGHT DEMON get each and every time. Their hard work has paid off and it sure is well deserved.

For “Welcome To the Night” it was full focus trying to catch the guys within a frame. I thought the daylight would do the trick but it still showed to be easier said than done. It always seems to be something moving and out of focus in each and every picture. Nothing I would change of course. After “Maiden Hell”, with “Curse Of The Damned” and “Full Speed Ahead” I could start focusing on the show for real. Again, the fury in the NIGHT DEMON show is crazy and the bands before them had to see themselves a bit run-over by the frenzy put on by the band. “Black Widow”, the latest single from the “Darkness Remains” album, has become a favorite. It works perfectly live. But the absolute best is still “Hallowed Ground”. I love the groove and melody in this song.

One more thing I haven’t really thought about until now, when getting Jarvis Leatherby’s bass-amp straight in my face, is how mean his sound is. I guess this is one of the reasons why NIGHT DEMON’s sound is as full as it is despite them just being a trio. The distortion fills out behind Armand John Anthony and it still has bottom to ensure a solid foundation. It sure is a powerful machinery.

The NIGHT DEMON set also featured two covers; first out was the GOLDEN EARRING classic “Radar Love” which went down really well. Then, to wrap things up after “Screams In the Night”, “Dawn Rider” and the band’s trademark track “Night Demon” came IRON MAIDEN’s “Wasted Years”. It felt a little dare-y to do this. First of all, they’re just a trio and also considering the vocals on the original is no bull-shit lines to pull off. But that too sounded great and if the bar wasn’t set high before… Yeah, the bands on after would really have to work hard to live up to NIGHT DEMON’s standards.

NIGHT DEMON setlist:

01. “Welcome To The Night”
02. “Ritual”
03. “Maiden Hell”
04. “Curse Of The Damned”
05. “Full Speed Ahead”
06. “Black Widow”
07. “The Chalice”
08. “Heavy Metal Heat”
09. “Hallowed Ground”
10. “Radar Love” (GOLDEN EARRING cover)
11. “Screams In The Night”
12. “Dawn Rider”
13. Night Demon”
14. “Wasted Years” (IRON MAIDEN cover)

NIGHT DEMON

NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) NIGHT DEMON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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But it surely continued very good! Another band who played the very first version of the ‘Headbangers Open Air Festival’ together with ROHBAU was PARAGON. They of course played the four first ones and been frequent visitors since. Last time I saw the band they did a great gig at ‘Metal Magic Festival’. It was tight and professional but not all that well-received by the 'MMF' crowd. Now it was a lot better. German Metal in Germany always works. PARAGON did basically the same as last time which made this a fantastic show. Their music really comes to life on stage. And what a treat it was to, from start and halfway in get the first half of “Law Of hte Blade” with heavy “Armies Of The Tyrant” and speedy title track, “Law Of The Blade” as the absolute favorites. Andreas Babuschkin’s voice feels more dynamic live as well which is just beneficial. Then I really enjoyed “Hell Beyond Hell” as well. PARAGON sure have been consistent over the years, you know what you'll get but here that's not a bad thing. Or actually, one song that stands out a bit from the rest is “Hellgore” from “Screenslaves” with a more melodic chorus line. Well, it's still the raw hockey-choirs and same drive as the rest but the vocal line breaks things off a bit which came in good towards the end. PARAGON sticks to their standards and this one clocks in at the same level as last time I saw them.

PARAGON setlist:

01. “Abducted”
02. “Palace Of Sin”
03. “Armies Of The Tyrant”
04. “Law Of The Blade”
05. “Across The Wastelands”
06. “Rising Forces”
07. “Hypnotized”
08. “Hell Beyond Hell”
09. “Impaler”
10. “Hellgore”
11. “Thunderstorm”

PARAGON

PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PARAGON @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I was a bit surprised to see Greece’s SUICIDAL ANGELS as high up on the bill as they were. When they’ve been around up north it always have been as opening acts for some other band. I’ve never actually managed to see them play which can be one of the reasons for the surprise. Judging by their appearance though, they fully earned their spot on the list. Again, tight and professional and a hell of a drive.

Opening “Capital Of War” set the mood immediately and even if “Division Of Blood” holds a slower pace it really didn't take down the intensity in the show. A bit of a groove always works when it comes to Speed and Thrash Metal. Both are from the band’s most recent release “Division Of Blood” which is a really nice one. Then the furious riffs of “Bloodbath” and “Bleeding Holocaust” are crazy. The latter of the two is perhaps not my favorite from the band but it sure is cool to hear it live and very fascinating that a riff in that speed just doesn't become a mess live. Then, I like the dark and dynamic “Seed Of Evil” better. The drama in the riffs is fantastic and the song broke the whole thing off. A show needs contrast and that SUICIDAL ANGELS surely had.

What I like with SUICIDAL ANGELS is their ability to combine old-school and modern sound which this song is a perfect sample of. Well, “Moshing Crew” is as old-school as it can ever be, primitive and raw but it surely is a booster. So, this was a very good first encounter with SUICIDAL ANGELS and I sure hope it won’t be the last.

SUICIDAL ANGELS setlist:

01. “Capital Of War”
02. “Division Of Blood”
03. “Bloodbath”
04. “Bleeding Holocaust”
05. “Seed Of Evil”
06. “Image Of The Serpent”
07. “Front Gate”
08. “Eternally To Suffer”
09. “Moshing Crew”
10. “Apokathilosis”

SUICIDAL ANGELS

SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) SUICIDAL ANGELS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I was really looking forward to seeing PRETTY MAIDS here at ‘Headbangers Open Air’. Mainly because of the crazy weather which messed up their show at ‘Helgeå Festivalen’ a few weeks before this event. PRETTY MAIDS is a favorite live act, they’ve always been very good and those yearly events in Sweden and Denmark towards the end of each year has been some true highlights of the concert-season.

But this wasn’t turning out as I expected and most likely not as the band expected either. Being in the photo-pit for the first three songs it was very hard to hear what song they were playing. The only reason for figuring it out was bits and pieces of melody coming through here and there. Then, it was all feedback and just a massive buzzing sound. So opening “Mother Of All Lies”, “Kingmaker” and “Heaven’s Little Devil” got lost with that. Backing out I was actually very surprised how good it sounded. “Red, Hot And Heavy” and “Yellow Rain” went down really well. The latter of the two is a favorite and Ronnie Atkins’ vocal effort in this one is always phenomenal. How he did it this time is beyond me, unless the sound severely improved after the first few songs. It sounded good at least.

And it was the classics that went down the best with the ‘Headbangers Open Air’ crowd which made “Rodeo” while “I.N.V.U” and “Little Drops Of Heaven” weren’t received as well. I still like the tracks very much but there sure were difference in the response between this and the, for PRETTY MAIDS, hometown gigs I’ve seen lately. It all turned upwards for the great ending with “Back To Back” which closed the main set and the encores consisting of “Future World” and “Love Games”. The first of the two is one of the greatest Heavy Metal songs ever released I think which makes it a pleasure to hear live. It also ended the first night of ‘Headbangers Open Air Festival’ in a great way. And what a start it was!

PRETTY MAIDS setlist:

01. “Mother Of All Lies”
02. “Kingmaker”
03. “Heavens Little Devil”
04. “Red, Hot And Heavy”
05. “Yellow Rain”
06. “Rodeo”
07. “Walk Away”
08. “Pandemonium”
09. “I.N.V.U.”
10. “Bull's Eye”
11. “Little Drops Of Heaven”
12. “Back To Back
13. “Future World”
14. “Love Games”

PRETTY MAIDS

PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) PRETTY MAIDS @ The Garden, Brande-Hörnerkirchen (DE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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