le 6 août 2002
translate with the Sonja Willems's help
The night fell, the rain beat bodies and sheet (rags/ cloth) of what should be tents. Loudspeakers spat Zappa from cars and outside, rolling objects not always well identified, got it all wrong on both sides of a muddy axis which crossed the prairie.
The rain did not stop at night, it woke most of the survivors with its BPM nearly like Hardcore. On Thursday, day of the official opening of the festival, the landscape was gray and depressing; every blade of grass was stuck in mud and the unstable silhouettes tried to tear away from their embrace. The freak city (see the gallery - 60 photos) , its tents, its caravans, its teepees and the other different shelters, became established but were like wrecks or derelicts still trapped by the mud.
18h PM : official opening of the doors. A colorful crowd hurries up, leaves the city of plastic tents for a vast and still green esplanade, on three sides surrounded by the traders of the temple. The main scene appears far off between Che (!) and the message of peace and love, wanting to be hippie/ like the flower children.
It is Bob WEIR and the RATDOG who opens the fire with its blues Californian rock followed by STRAY (see the gallery - 11 photos) , JOHNNY WINTER's successful clone.
One " guitar hero " accompanied by a hopping bass player and a very good drummer offered a deserving show among the biggest with music which, without being original, Johnny's shadow permanently gliding over it, is worthy of interest. One could wonder if the floor was not white-hot. But, the climax of this first muddy but not rainy evening (and probably of the festival) was no doubt AMON DUUL II (see the gallery - 31 photos) . The survivors of German rock offered a grand set. The cohesion was total. The beneficent and generic complicity of this so personal and so current music could be felt all the time.
Eyes absorbed it just as much as ears. Renata wiggled, danced and passed from Lothar to Chris Karrer without forgetting John Weinzierl (guitar), Jan Kahlert (percussion) and Peter Leopold (drum kit ).
Lothar, with his rubber boots, paraded by towards a public, taken aback by the launching of real Fender sound missiles. Both guitarists liked to discuss with one another by means of solo blasts, some more crazy than the other, and by letting them shiver and vibrate under their magic fingers.
Chris Karrer applied even to make his guitar go out of tune unceremoniously to extract the quintessence of it. The drummer and the percussionist, when this last one did not take to its drum (logic for a German) and Renata at the front of the scene, together built up a rather crazy construction in order to let the high society feel themselves at home. One was far from their too limiting set-up at the Spirit of 66, which was nevertheless amazing.
After a very short foggy night in a setting, worthy of Bilbo the hobbit’s adventures where with a lot of effort zombies turned up out of nowhere, sun deigned to rise over freak city (see the gallery - 60 photos) in full tempestuousness.
Shadows of streets had been vaguely outlined, winding between tents, teepees and different accumulations serving as shelter. The sun slowly reclaimed and the smell of mud mixed with trampled spices. Workshops appeared out of nowhere shooting up like mushrooms while the forest was emptied of its dead wood to feed the first fires. The sound of chopping axes got mixed with the rhythms of techno or the sounds of hundreds of djembes and tom-toms. The heart of the freak city (see the gallery - 60 photos) was beating.
The day was rough. On the second scene, HIGH WHEEL (see the gallery - 8 photos) attacked very hard with a charmingly aggressive prog drawing his inspiration from the musical history of this genre a bit like the first SPOCK BEARD but in a more metal register with a touch of URIAH HEEP
Closely followed by the nice raga OVERPROOF and ROCKERS HIFI (see the gallery - 6 photos) allowing the crowd to pleasantly wait while the main scene was emptied of its dinosaurs.
But on the same stage one had to wait for the middle of the night to reach the must of the day with the appearance of JELLY PLANET (see the gallery - 17 photos) accompanied by Damo SUSUKI, one of the singers of CAN. It was a long series of musical frenzies combining the experimental, the space-krautrock and hypnotic rhythms. Mini Moog, guitar, jerky rhythm section, triumphant singer of a torrent of notes and a tortured psychedelic light show, made this concert another big moment of Burg Herzberg.
Survivor of the adventure CAN and Jehovah’s witnesses (unless they recently authorize me unbridled rock!) Damo SUSUKI does not stand still, inhales (sucks up) the microphone, becomes one with it accompanied by the visual hallucinations coming from the nothingness appearing on scene. Sometimes restful, sometimes spacey or sometimes inquisitive and voyeuristic, they seized without any trouble fragments of reason still unaffected by the sound wave.
It is a pity that JELLY PLANET was not able to seize the big scene, it was much more superior to the PETARDS, the local (?) group, which limits itself to the blues rock standards and its revisions. The only recollection of their performance was a fragment of FLOYD spat out by the sound system during an interruption.
Previously, on the main stage, MORPHEUS, without big interest, was succeeded by JERONIMO (to see the gallery - 3 photos) playing classical rock without really innovating and with a guitarist who seemed to work instead of enjoying himself.
After the happy interlude of JELLY PLANET, BIRTH CONTROL (see the gallery - 6 photos), of which only the drummer remains (Bern " Nossi " Noske) having well maintained muscles, took control of the main scene. With this group, it was time for nostalgia for the largest part of German’s 40 year olds or time for a documentary for the younger or the curious ones.
At the same time, my interest went to NOETICS (see the gallery - 12 photos) who settled down on the small stage. Certainly, this group go for the OZRICS TENTACLES’s music, but with sometimes techno and even jazzy rhythms. And lacking a flute, it is the violin which invites itself. Add to it a keyboard, of which the play and the set-up remind of GONG and an indefatigable drummer. No need to describe the atmosphere especially when two beautiful fire-eaters invited each other to animate a rather neutral light show.
The night ended with great pomp on the big scene colored and wrapped up by the volutes of smoke, with MILA MAR (see the gallery - 8 photos) , a sort of mysterious beauty straight from the mists of the Rhine. The languishing voice, the percussions and the touch of keyboards, fired a public, apparently fan and
floating in the bliss of new age.
At the same time, the singer of ÖSI OVEN LANE shouted on hard tendency rock but with a guitarist as stolid as a pole. He almost was an insult to their music which situates itself at the antipodes of the Dantesque or Wagnerian new age of MILA MAR.
The tendency of the blues rock which we had felt the day before became even stronger (so much the better for the amateurs of the genre). On the main stage, only groups of this style succeeded one another. Two exceptions came to disturb the beautiful organization : ANYONES DAUGHTER et MOUNTAIN. The first one playing a classic néo prog with an excellent black singer, which is rather rare in this small world.
The second are survivors (the other one was the guitarist) of the Regan years and play the heavy hard rock at your wish, nice to listen and look at. The drummer, one of the survivors (the other one was the guitarist), should be sponsored by a mark of drumsticks, given the number he broke or threw into the crowd.
The bass player seemed to enjoy himself very well and played as a Heavy guitarist. At the same moment on the second the second stage the unexpected happened with TRIGON (see the gallery - 9 photos) , a German group playing space rock like TRIBE of CRO or F/I with a doped guitarist and an astonishing rhythm section.
Every piece is only a prelude for yet another cosmic inspirations of removed guitars some more than others, surfing on the twisted comets sent by an excellent drummer and a bass player erased on scene but full of ideas. Divine surprise, TRIGON saved the day because the final on the big scene, LSD (for Late September Day), reminded that in rock, there is good and bad and they certainly belonged to the second group with their Italian pop ballads with accents of rock seventies has been. Regrettably, knocked out by sleep, I did not see the TROTTEL MONODREAM, Hungarians who seemed very promising.
Sunday, my last day
On this Holy day, the festival was reduced to one ' big mass ' of blues rock with great guitarists as Calvin RUSSEL or Mick TAYLOR. The second stage is not more than a recollection, groups which walked on it for the big pleasure of someone, are henceforth reduced to some images and to memorized sounds. ORANGE closes the day. They are percussionists worthy of being played in supermarkets. The easy listening reigns. The curtain falls.
Bit by bit, freak city (see the gallery - 60 photos) became depopulated. Shadows measured the immense ground, collecting here or there forgotten beers, heaps of shit, chairs, tables, what passes on a campsite during a week. Soon, the grass will have erased the tracks of this mushroom town. Only tiny creatures, doubtless traumatized by this human and sound breaker, will remember it themselves. It's time to return. Till next year.