06 June 2013

[Live Report] Freak Valley Festival 2013: Day 01

Freak Valley

Aaah Freak Valley... The enthusiasm and the chills of attending it, are still present and I doubt they'll worn out soon. I was waiting it for several reasons and when the day had finally come I was feeling like a little child into a candy store.
For those who might not be familiar with the festival, Freak Valley is a relatively new open-air festival (it was its second year), taking place near Siegen, somewhere like a warehouse area, however it doesn't  resemble an urban environment since it's nature surrounded. It's organised by Rock Freaks club - a union of music lovers from the greater Siegen area who I have to say make a great job with the concerts they're hosting.

This year FVF was initially planned as a two-day event, like last year, but it evolved into a three-day one... The more the merrier! So on Thursday morning we started our trip from Karlsruhe to Netphen. As we were heading north, the weather kept getting more and more threatening but it didn't mess up with our mood.

Freak Valley

After almost three hours we arrived at Netphen and more specifically the bus dropped us at Weiherdamm stop. The first thing that got our attention was the "Welcome To Freak Valley" sign! Slowly we took our way to the camping site, located on the hills between the festival area and Beienbach. It's a 15-20 minute walk from the festival area in a beautiful full of green place (it even has a horse farm nearby). If only the weather was better it would be picturesque.

Freak Valley

After assembling the tent and tiding up our things a little bit, we headed to the festival area which was easy to find thanks to the signs and the helpful crew. As we were waiting to get in, festival has already started with the mighty Bushfire, opening it with the best possible way. Unfortunately they were one of the bands I missed but from what I was able to listen from the waiting line they must have a pretty cool show. It was a pity I missed them but in such cases you inevitably loose some bands...

Freak Valley

As we were exploring the place, Katla were preparing to get on stage. To be honest I've lost touch with what's happening in the Swedish heavy rock revival scene and I hadn't research them a lot. The only thing I knew was that they're female fronted but they quickly grabbed my attention when I saw a Theremin on stage. After a while three guys and a girl made their appearance, reminding me a high-school band. I don't know how old they are but they look damn young - except their drummer who coincidentally has a beard...

Freak Valley

Their performance exceeded my expectations. By playing 70's influenced heavy rock managed to warm us up and helped us get ahead the shock caused by cold. The use of violin fits well with their style, especially in the slower, more atmospheric parts. What I really liked was the psychedelic guitar licks in the doomiest parts which give them a personality. Personal highlights were "I Will Hunt You" and "Horsehead" (which had some extensive Theremin usage-pleasure for my ears). Honorable mention: Katla's bassist could be the lost child or better grand-child of Angus Young, both in characteristics and way of playing.

Freak Valley

Katla prepared the ground for one of the main reasons I wanted to attend FVF.... which was another Swedish band, Asteroid. I really love these guys. They're one of the most special and unique bands of this Swedish neo-retro heavy rock wave. Being out there for ten years and having two albums on their back, they keep a more low, timid profile leaving their music speak for itself.

Freak Valley

Their performance just confirmed my opinion for them. I found them flawless, giving their songs' live versions an extra dynamic, making you loose yourself in their sound-space. I can't distinguish among their songs a better one but my favorites here were "Dissapear", "Doctor Smoke", "Karma" and "Garden..

Freak Valley

The double vocals of Robin and Johannes are combined with the best possible way and both of them have voices which infused in their music, makes you travel in far away places. Johannes' bass playing was excellent too, having a thick sound and playing a major role since Asteroid's songs give it a lot of space to breath. Overall one of the festival's best performances. Honorable mention: Barefoot Johannes playing on a carpet.

Video by CosmicShrine

The first day successfully came to its end with Long Distance Calling. We only managed to stay for a while since I had seen them live recently and it was a long tiring day.Taking into consideration though that they have a strong fan base in Germany, they probably gave their best self and pleased their fans. Asteroid absorbed my last drops of vividness so we headed back to the camping site for getting some sleep (although the night was even harder but I'll get back to it later).

Second freak day is coming soon...

by Thanos


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