"Blood is thicker than water - and much tastier."
AUDIOVISUAL PRESENTATION OF TRADITIONALLY
LONGITUDINAL WAVES EXPERIENCED INTENTLY
by Richard Karsmakers
Although I haven't been to quite as many concerts this time as
in the previous issue, there have still been the odd one or two
that I considered worth writing something about. This is
especially the case because among this issue's concert reviews is
one of the best concert I've ever been to in my life.
In November 1988 I saw Queensrÿche and Metallica playing, which
was my second concert so far and one that made a deep impression
on and a Metallica fan of me. It took until 1990, when I saw
Queensrÿche (supported by Lynch Mob) at their Hannover concert of
the Building Empires Tour, that I really had the feeling of
having been to another concert that beat all those previous. It
was magnificent, most particularly due to them playing "Suite
Sister Mary" and "Roads to Madness".
But in February of this year even that concert was surpassed by
a whole day of Dream Theater experience. It started off with an
interview (see elsewhere in this issue of ST NEWS) and ended with
the concert itself (supported by the brilliant Fates Warning)
that was witnessed partly from the photo pit (although all Dream
Theater pictures might be artistically brilliant but otherwise
all gone horribly wrong).
After the show I was very emotional because I had wanted very
much to have Karin with me to enjoy all of this, the girl that
had, without knowing it, gotten me so deeply into Dream Theater
and their latest album, "Awake". Every song on that album, and
some lines of lyrics especially, bring lumps of sweet remembrance
to my throat. When I came home and went to bed my body just
couldn't handle it any more. Out come the hurt I had inflicted
upon Miranda, out came the frustration of having Karin do a 9
month extra-curricular period abroad. I cried for the first time
in many years.
Vredenburg, Utrecht, February 15th 1995. Support act Fates
Two years ago, Dream Theater had performed at the same venue
but, due to circumstances beyond my control, it had been
impossible to find out about it before all tickets had already
been sold out. This time, however, possibly also because there
were two concerts now, I was in time.
I went on the second of the two days, but not until I had spent
the evening of the first day waiting outside the artists' exit
with my electric guitar and a bunch of CD liners to hunt for
signatures. By the time Dream Theater had finished playing, all
Fates Warning members had already passed several times so I had
reached my goal there. I was joined by a few fellow hunters that
I had met at multiple instances before (with Satriani and
Malmsteen concerts primarily). It took a very long time until
keyboard hired gun (now permanent member, ED.) Derek Sherinian
came outside. A Japanese penpal had sent me a Japanese tour book
with all the signatures except for Derek's so I got him to sign
that. The next one to come out was Mike Portnoy, who is probably
the most relaxed of all Dream Theater members. He talked for the
fans for about 15 minutes and was happy to sign anything we'd
care to put under his nose. He also signed bootlegs, even, and a
number of really ancient LPs when he was still in his really
The two Johns (Petrucci and Myung) came out a bit later, and
Petrucci was happy to sign my guitar. My aims set for the evening
had been reached. Because it was kinda cold, condensation on the
guitar has assured that the signature is not quite perfect, but
you can't have 'em all, I guess.
Singer James LaBrie didn't come out through the regular exit, so
at 2 AM we found out he had left elsewhere so we all went home
with the loot as it were.
The next day, after interviewing both Dream Theater and Fates
Warning, at about 7 PM the press gathered in the backstage area.
It was all quite relaxed despite rumours that the Dream Theater
members and their management were making things hard for
everybody. I got a quick 10 minutes with John Petrucci around
that time, and not much later - at least it seemed like that to
me - Fates Warning went on stage. Dream Theater and the roadies
were watching a video of a US TV show called "Barbarians" then.
Fates Warning played a great show. They played all my favourite
songs, including some material off their new "Inside Out" of
course (that I don't have personally). The first three songs,
during which pictures could be taken, contained "Monument" and my
all-time favourite Fates track, "The Eleventh Hour". Although
they didn't do much in the way of stage presentation, the songs
came out the way they needed to. "Guardian", "Eye to Eye" and
"Life in Still Water" were among the other songs they played, but
I didn't recognise all of the other songs.
After Fates Warning we all went backstage again. The roadies
were now watching some kind of horrible live performance video of
a guy called Gigi. James LaBrie said, "I will never want to see
this again" and walked away, abhorred. My interest stirred, I
started to look more closely. I was just seeing Gigi having
crapped on the stage and eating it, stuffing handsful of it in
his mouth, throwing it at the audience which was rapidly leaving
the hall. This guy was running around naked, masturbating,
jumping into the audience and kicking everybody he could.
Gosh that was really the filthiest shit I ever saw. I mean I've
seen Gwar but that's just ridiculously funny. This wasn't.
Someone said he had come on the audience, too. Real come. Someone
else said that this Gigi character was dead or something.
I felt a bit nauseous because of the filth I had just witnessed
(this just goes to prove that roadies would do anything to kill
time) when I went out to Dream Theater. I had in the mean time
got a 3200 ASA film because my 100 ASA film would likely not be
good enough to take pictures without flash (it was pertinently
not allowed to flash). I just hoped they would work out (I should
have hoped harder, for they didn't, at least not quite).
Dream Theater kicked off with "Pull me Under", followed by
"6:00" and "Take the Time". Somewhere in the middle of "Take the
Time" we had to leave the press pit already, damn! I hurried back
to join the crowd somewhere in front of John Petrucci - my guitar
hero - when I fell into Portnoy's drum solo in "Caught in a Web".
There was sufficient space to play air guitar, air drums, and
bang my head, and sing along too. The concert was really quite
beautiful an experience. Sometimes my voice broke with emotion,
especially with the songs off "Awake" that I had so often sung
along with while writing to Karin at home, thinking of her. And
"The Mirror" and "lie" caused me to flip out even more utterly.
Dream Theater are just too brilliant. Further songs included
"Lifting Shadows of a Dream", a guitar solo (nice acoustic bit,
followed by an electric bluesy bit), "Damaged Inc." (the song by
Metallica, played without vocals but incredibly heavy),
"Surrounded", a keyboard solo (quite OK though thankfully short),
"Erotomania", "Voices" and "The Silent Man". By then I had had at
least three instances of sobbing with happy sadness, sad
happiness. They came back for an encore that, according to the
set list, was "Funeral/Love Lies", which someone said were off
Elton John. Didn't do too much for me. Then they left, at 23:25,
and I wondered where the hell "Metropolis" would be?
They came back for a second encore and, indeed, did
"Metropolis". It took the gig to an awesome climax. I had not
thought Derek could pull off the keyboard bits, but he did.
Although the concert was, at least emotionally, the best concert
I'd ever been to, it could even have been better. They could have
played "Learning to Live" and/or "Scarred" and leave out "Caught
in a Web" and "Lifting Shadows off a Dream". And, of course, they
could have played the most beautiful song ever recorded by any
band in the entire world, the hauntingly moving and chillingly
brilliant "A Change of Seasons". This song had been performed
live at several occasions during the "Images and Words" tour but
has not been played at all during the "Awake" tour.
The main reason why I intend to see Dream Theater again on July
8th when they play at BosPop, together with Karin this time
(YIPPIE!), is because I hope their fourth occurrence in the
Netherlands (they played those two nights and one further one
when I was in Bristol with Karin) will cause them to play rare
songs like the ones I still had on my wishing list. If they'll
play "A Change of Seasons" I will die crying...
Kikker Theatre, Utrecht, May 27th 1995.
Orphanage are one of the Netherlands' most promising new bands
since Whistler Courbois Whistler, The Gathering and Altar. They
play a kind of doom metal with really haunting riffs, a
female/regular/grunt vocal setup and keyboards, in a vein similar
to but a bit heavier than Celestial Season (which is also an
excellent Dutch band that recently released their new "Solar
Lovers" album). The Netherlands are really beginning to be a damn
good metal country!
Oprhanage's debut CD on Displeased Records (see CD review
elsewhere) was to be presented at the show, and that was exactly
what happened. Even before the show had started I had already
bought it because earlier performances and listening to their two
demo tapes had already convinced me of their high quality.
I was a bit disappointed when I saw their lovely background
singer Martine had been replaced by a rather less lovely female,
but other than that it was a great concert that lasted about an
hour including the two encores, repeating "Chameleon" and "In the
Garden of Eden". They played most of the stuff on their CD,
including "Weltschmertz", "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward",
"Druid", "Sea of Dreams" and "The Collector". They also played at
least one excellent song (title unknown to me) from one of the
demos that for some reason didn't make it onto the CD.
After the gig I was signature hunting with a few fellow members
of "VIRUS" (Dutch acronym, approximately, of "Society of
Intensely Rocking Utrecht Students").
A really nice gig it had been, with a great atmosphere and good
music. There should really be more like these in Utrecht!
Dynamo Open Air
Eindhoven Airport, June 2nd-4th 1995.
I really can't remember all of the bands that played on the 10th
Dynamo Open Air Festival. I do know, however, that it was the
first festival I largely spent the nights sleeping in a tent of
and, probably as a result thereof, getting a major kind case of
throat ache and running nose.
This year, Dynamo was a truly huge affair, even huger than the
earlier two years, that is. The camping site was so big it was
quite impossible to see the horizons on any side if you stood in
its middle. It was later estimated that 120,000 people had
visited the concert, which made it more than twice as big as the
Pinkpop festival which always gets around 9 hours of continuous
coverage on national TV and which is generally considered to be
"the festival to go to". Apart from the mentioning of traffic
queues around Eindhoven, nothing came out in the national media
about Dynamo. Just shows to say how unpopular hard rock is here,
even though, apart from a few rowdy Germans, the whole thing went
smoothly and was like the biggest family on earth.
Well, anyway, now to a festival report.
In the afternoon several "VIRUS" members went to Eindhoven.
There were quite a few headbangers in the train, and at Eindhoven
Central Station it was literally crawling with them.
Ghettoblasters blared forth Slayer and Machinehead, and slowly
the ground got covered with empty beer bottles and flattened beer
cans. I observed that I'd rather have hundreds of headbangers
than hundreds of European football fans, because all of it went
really orderly with the exception of a few really young (<16)
guys who were obviously new to the scene and thought they'd had
to behave like a bunch of retards to somehow belong. Dozens of
buses drove to and fro the festival site. After I had secured a
place to sleep (cheers manifold, Wilco!) I went to check out some
of the bands that performed in the 10,000 capacity circus tent
that had been erected at the camping site. The first interesting
offering was Brazilian band Overdose, which come across very
lively and really kicked some serious ass with some of the
coolest songs off their debut CD "Progress of Decadence" (I think
I remember them having played at least "Rio, Samba e Porrada No
Morro", "Street Law", "Progress of Decadence" and "Favela"). The
audience was very enthusiastic, and I got fairly up front where
it was just bearable for me.
Hours later, at about 22:30, the next interesting band played,
Skyclad. They've got a new guitarist and violinist/keyboardist,
and especially the latter was a big improvement. The previous one
was a frail girl that didn't have much stage presence. The new
one is a rather voluptuous young woman who really properly banged
her head off (I do like seeing that) and looked a lot better in
general (we're talking big boobies here). Incidentally, she could
also play a mean bit of violin. Skyclad, a band that I still
somehow think is very much underrated, played some of the songs
from their new CD, "The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea", including
"Art Nazi" and "Another Fine Mess". Some of their classics were
crammed in their short set, including "Cardboard City" and
"Spinning Jenny". A really nice concert, and even though I was
much further in the back than I'd have preferred to be there was
plenty of horizontal and vertical crowd movement and I had a
really good time.
Right after that (and about half an hour), My Dying Bride was
on. I had looked forward to this the most, because their new CD
("The Angel and the Dark River") may end up as my favourite 1995
CD. They kicked ass from the word "go". I got a bit more up front
though I was quickly forced to seek refuge a bit more to the
right. It was the best band to perform on DOA '95, or at least
one of the best, and it was my finest experience at the festival
as a whole. Although they didn't do my favourite new song, "From
Darkest Skies", they did play "The Cry of Mankind" (with the soft
bit cut off), "A Sea to Suffer In" and "Your Shameful Heaven".
Older material played included "The Songless Bird" and the
encore, "The Forever People". The set was short, alas, so songs
like "Symphonaire", "The Thrash of Naked Limbs" and "I am the
Bloody Earth" were sadly lacking. I hope I'll see them during the
forthcoming club tour.
Tiamat was next, but I was getting sleepy and went to the tent
instead. It was almost claustrophobically tiny and I slept like
shit. I had brought nothing to sleep on so all my ribs hurt by
the time I woke up, at about 7 AM. The sun was shining and the
atmosphere was really relaxed. Loud music was already blaring
from the festival tent that was now used as a kind of disco, but
everywhere there were bodies wrapped in sleeping bags, sometimes
not covered by anything other than the morning air. Sleeping
heads had dropped onto parked car steering wheels, legs hung out
of windows, and a few early birds were catching the worms.
I went to my parents' place in nearby Helmond to get something
extra to lie on for the next night, for it was clear that I'd
have to spend the next night at the camping, too: No way could I
go home with public traffic after the last band, Paradise Lost,
would stop at 00:30.
The sun was shining brilliantly when I came back. People were
still waking up or just lying lazily in the sun, getting a bit of
a tan. The "VIRUS" group (about a dozen people) were breaking
their fast and reading a wide variety of books (I spotted
Forgotten Realms, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Pratchett, while I
myself had brought along Joseph Heller's "Catch-22"). The actual
first true festival day had started, although no band had taken
to the stage yet. I felt really fresh because I had also showered
at home, on the contrary to the others that looked around with
unshaven cheeks and hair dishevelled. In the end I exposed myself
to rather too much sunlight, leaving me with burned arms, neck
and bald patch.
At around 1 PM the first band started playing. None of them were
good enough to go and really check out. As our tents were located
quite close to the festival stage anyway, we just remained
dozing and chatting and having beers, waiting until the first
rather more interesting band started. We got a lot of mileage out
of the "Sie haben etwas verloren - Der Krieg" joke on Germans
(though usually behind the back if they looked stronger than us).
At almost 7 PM, Grip Inc. started playing. This was ex-Slayer
drummer Dave Lombardo's new band, and they played rather
straightforward thrash of which only the drums were worth noting.
We checking them out from the back of the festival terrain. Only
during the Slayer cover "Raining Blood" did a few of us -
including myself - find it necessary to move our heads and bodies
severely and zealously. And with that one song, as it would later
turn out, passed the most flip-invoking song of the whole
Dog Eat Dog were next. They are pretty boys that play a kind of
Beastie Boys metal with loads of jumping and shouting of "yo yo".
Too much like East 17 and Take That for my taste. I was sortof
half in the front at the side to I decided to sit it out there
(well, stand it out, actually, because sitting would have
involved having to put my butt down in a mixture of urine, vomit
and half-degraded bio-degradable food containers). What a load of
bollocks they were, anyway. Lots of girlie fans, anyway.
Type-O-Negative were next, after a (humorously intended?) false
start. I don't give a hoot about the extremity of Peter Steele's
utterings and his supposedly racist remarks and the fact that he
was member of Carnivore, but the music the band makes is quite
simply excellent and very, very atmospherical. However, because I
just didn't feel the need to get wet, a rain that started at that
moment drove most of us back to the tent. We could still check
out the sounds, sitting in the tent, enjoying whiskley-laced Coke
and whatever beers were left (by now we only had Heineken left,
which is generally considered to be rather crap beer, only
surpassed by Bavaria; it beats me why foreigners always think
this expensively imported stuff is better than their own, it must
be something between the ears I guess). Most "VIRUS" members who
had chickened out of the rain were now gathering in one semi-
largeish tent that was now really getting crowded. The smell of
feet was growing directly proportional to the line of various
army boots that was standing outside the tent, soaking in the
I actually only recall the name of one song T-O-N played,
"Christian Woman". Although it must be said I really liked the
rest they did, too, and they played quite a few more songs off
their latest CD, "Bloody Kisses".
Next in line was Paradise Lost. It was still raining, and only
two or three rather more devoted Paradise Lost fans among us put
on rain-repellent gear and went to see them more up close. A good
thing I had not chosen to defy the rain, either, because the
performance was mediocre indeed as far as we heard it. At least
four or five songs off the forthcoming CD "Draconian Times" were
played, which didn't somehow cut it. I think the new material is
too simple and is a bit of a letdown when compared to their
previous albums. Still, I have yet to get the CD to let the songs
sortof soak in to me so I can't judge. The older stuff I
recognised included "Eternal", "True Belief", "Embers Fire",
"Pity the Sadness" and "Remembrance". No "Gothic", unfortunately,
but at least they included "As I Die" in their encore, so before
we knew it the tent was full of banging heads and people grunting
along to the lyrics. Really quite special, and creating a special
bond of comradery.
Within minutes after Paradise Lost had left the stage the sky
lit up with the most magnificent display of fireworks I've ever
seen. Not the one-after-one kindof display, but a genuine
cacophony of coordinated sound and colours that painted the sky
and filled everyone with awe. Many people had resigned to their
tents already, but in the changing colours of fireworks exploding
I could see hundreds and thousands of people around me popping
heads out of tents and ultimately arising completely. And when,
after about 10 minutes of intense awesomeness, the sky was filled
only with smoke and the gathering drizzle, from the >100,000
people present there arose a thundering applause, strengthened by
hundreds of cars horns hooting. At that moment everybody had
forgotten there were Germans, Frenchies, Belgians and Dutch
people. We were all one, one enormous metal loving brotherhood.
Death metal fans applauded along with the fashionable skater
scene. It was quite amazing.
The early night featured another few bands in the large circus
tent, but none of them seemed interesting to prejudiced me. So
what followed was my second night ever in a tent. It was raining
constantly and my mind was filling itself with visions of tents
floating away on muddy soil, me ultimately running around in the
cold rain wearing nought but my undies, socks and T-shirt. On top
of that I was becoming aware of an increasing cloggedness of my
nose and an increasing feeling of ticklishness in my throat.
Yeah, sure, I had spent one night sleeping not as much as I
should. My natural body's resistance instantly nullified, it
happily absorbed the first germ within a square mile's radius.
It's always the same with me.
So far I had wished I could share the tent not with Wilco but
with Karin instead, but now I was glad I was launching the audio
of snorts, sniffs and coughs at him instead of her.
This time I got up at about 10 AM. My ribs didn't ache, but I
felt shit anyway. I had a cold within me, and less than a week
later I would see Karin again for the first time in seven weeks
and for the first time for the rest of our lives together because
she'd go back to the Netherlands for good. I didn't need this
cold, but I had it anyway. Warmer clothes next time. And an extra
sleeping bag to put under me.
The second festival day would see performances of quite a few
bands again, of which only the last two were of interest to me:
Machinehead and Biohazard, before the festival would draw to a
close at 9 PM. The weather was really unsettled; at times the sun
would pop out and make all clothes except for shorts and a T-
shirt utterly superfluous. But within seconds it would rain again
and the temperature would drop by 10 degrees at the least. I
decided to skip on the rest of the day, together with quite a few
others. I went home to have a really hot shower and spent the
rest of the day and the day after in my pyjamas watching
television and drinking hot tea.
All in all it had been a fairly OK festival, especially because
you only have to pay 25 Dutch guilders for it, including the
camping. Had the second day's weather been better it would have
been more enjoyable, and I was quite fed up with the fact that no
absolute top bands had been contracted for this 10th anniversary.
No Pantera, no Slayer, no Metallica, and not the rumoured Venom
(who decided to go for Waldrock on June 24th instead, of which
remarks should be found in the next issue of ST NEWS). With
120,000 people paying 25 Dutch guilders each, and with sponsors
throwing in even more money, I should think even better bands
could have been hired. I saw some members of Orphanage at the
festival site and I am quite sure they would happily have played
in the camping site tent for a very moderate fee indeed.
I am not sure if I'll go next year. I might.
More concerts - including some really interesting festivals this
summer - will be commented upon in the next issue...
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.