Paganfest 2013 – Effenaar Eindhoven.
Photo’s: Awesome-pix.de (Saarbrücken)
Paganfest doesn’t need an introduction anymore. For the 5th year in a row, a few pagan/folk/related bands are invited for an European tour and to provide the needs for an epic party. While this year the bands were more unknown than previous years, they definitely knew how to set up a wonderful evening.
Bornholm had the honor to start the evening. Already quite a lot of people were already inside, resulting in a pretty crowded concert hall. The paganblack of these gentlemen was aprecieted, because already from the start a lot of headbanging was going on, and even a moshpit was started. The sound was decent, though the vocals were a bit soft. Pleasurable start of the evening by this little known band.
After that, it was time for Wolfchant. While they were less good than their predecessor when speaking in a strictly musical way, the band excelled at their live-performance. Musically, they made quite a few mistakes, but this was soon forgotten due to the enthusiasm the band showed. Like a whirlwind the band performed, involving the audience greatly. Soon the spark jumped over on the audience, which resulted in the first crowdsurvers and several moshpits. The audience seem to like it, as long as they could party, jump around and headbang, and that was exactly what Wolfchant did.
If, long ago, the Romans looked just a slight bit like the guys from Ex Deo, it isn’t a wonder that they completely vanquished the Celts and the other tribes. Ex Deo came, saw and conquered. An almost perfect performance, with a decent sound which ensures the brutality of the songs was perfectly displayed. While the audience mainly headbanged during the show, the band found the time to do a wall of death. For me the absolute favorite of this Paganfest!
Thyrfing was today probably the band which exists for the longest time. However, the band isn’t that well-known enough to headline this years’ Paganfest. That this wasn’t a bad thing was ensured after the night, since Thyrfing was the only way of getting some rest this evening. Oh well, rest? Thyrfing proved to be the perfect band to listen, headbang and enjoy. Not outrageous, but beautiful and long songs. A solid show, and a welcome point of rest between all the pounding violence of the other bands.
The performance of Arkona dissapointed me slightly. I don’t know if this was due to the sharp sounds (the vocals were placed way to loud in the mix), or the fact that the show didn’t seem to be as energetic as I was used from Arkona. Nontheless, Arkona didn’t perform bad, not at all. It just felt less good than the other bands performing this evening. A pity, because I always tend to enjoy Arkona very much.
In my opinion, Alestorm always have two different sides. Either it’s really bad, or it’s insane good. More and more I recognize that Alestorm moves more towards the second. Also at Paganfest, Alestorm gave an almost perfect show, and they deffiniatly showed they can take it to headline a big tour like Paganfest. The band played energetic and clearly enjoyed it, the audience enjoyed it and everyone partied like there was no tomorrow. Only negative aspect I can recall from this show was that the sound wasn’t really good. Quite often you couldn’t hear the music properly, since it all sounded like one big blur. However, nobody seemed to bother. All classics were played, and though it was not really surprising, you can always ask yourself if you want Alestorm to be surprising? All in all the perfect headliner of Paganfest!
The conclusion for this Paganfest is simple. While the previous Pagan/Heidenfests tend to have the same bands all over again, this time the line-up felt fresh and new. 2 ‘headliners’ and 4 ‘lesser known bands’ work perfectly, and this should be done more often. Cool bands, awesome atmosphere, perfect party!