17.-19.06.2022 @ Konzertfabrik Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
The Wild Dayz, organised by probably the most famous concert hall in Switzerland – the Z7, take place on a perfect weekend this year. The weather couldn’t have been better for a three-day indoor and outdoor festival. Three days of all kinds of metal music, two bars serving drinks and food plus a merch stand where you can also meet your favourite band in person and get autographs. In a familial environment with about 500 – 800 visitors a day, it remains a cozy festival where everyone still has enough space for themselves.
At up to 37 degrees, it’s almost a bit too hot to stand in the blazing sun and listen to the national and international bands in the line-up of the first Wild Dayz Festival. But Z7 wouldn’t be Z7 if it didn’t have a clever idea to cool down the guests: A hose installed under a parasol provides a pleasant brief cooling with a fine spray for all those who need one.
The Friday is dedicated to Symphonic Metal: first are Deep Sun from Switzerland around singer Debora Lavagnolo, followed by Aephanemer from France providing a mix of Melodic Death Metal with Classic elements. Blackbriar come from the Netherlands and their singer Zora Cock is also part of Morten Velands (Sirenia) Solo project Mortemia.
With Visions of Atlantis we are going on a trip to pirate island Tortuga, as featured on their «Pirates» album – the whole band has turned into evil corsairs and tell about their adventures at sea. Despite some tech issues, Clementine Delauney, Michele Guaitoli and the rest of the gang deliver a great show on the Outdoor stag.
Afterwards indoors the motto is «Lets burn some Witches» when the Burning Witches girls go on the Z7 stage: The first time I see the band with the new singer Laura and the new guitarist Larissa. Yes, the girls make good music, but unfortunately a lot of vocal variability has been lost with the departed singer Seraina Telli. Laura is also good, but sometimes she’s not quite in tune and it seems the older songs don’t suit her very well. It’s really nice to see an all-female formation, but sometimes you get the feeling that bassist Jay is really only the shadow of the guitarists, because she always stands very close to them and doesn’t move from their side, although the stage offers a lot of space. In the direction of stage show, there could be a bit more, but that could also be due to the unbelievable heat that the musicians have to endure on the stages this weekend.
The next band features a female singer just as a guest, namely Warkings. Melissa Bonny can be heard on the album but does not join Warkings on stage as Queen of the Damned, this part is taken on by Morgan Le Fay here. The Band delivers a great show with a lot of action and songs that get you into a good mood – the perfect festival act.
The last band tonight is more a stroke of luck and a coincidence. Actually Epica were supposed to play, but unfortunately they had to cancel because of Corona – get well soon! But I’m not that angry, because their substitute can do one thing particularly well: create a good atmosphere! Battle Beast get everyone rocking along. Singer Noora is the metal showgirl par excellence and she proves this anew at every gig. But also her musician colleagues are all top class – bassist Eero shows us today, with a rendition of Aladdin’s “A Whole new World”, how well he can actually sing. The Finns bring a good show to Pratteln and are also more relaxed and a bit funnier on stage than I have seen before. They do everything right. So thank you for the short stopover in Pratteln and the great performance.
New day and 37° – therefore I decide to watch the evening program only because my circulation cannot stand such heat. On this day it’s Death Metal with Mnemocide who start at 14:30, followed by Kassogtha with female Growler Stephany Hugnin. Silver Dust from Switzerland with singer Lord Campell have a more relaxed sound before Vexed and Ingested turn up the heat again.
The Outdoor stage is then entered by Dust in Mind from France with their Industrial/ Modern Metal and the vocal duo Jennifer and Damien; their voices harmonize very well.
Inside it continues with Orbit Culture from Sweden. Well, at least you can hear them, because of the lights I am not always sure whether someone is on stage or not. Death Metal isn’t quite my cup of tea but those guys aren’t bad at all and inspire the crowd despite the heat.
Coroner – Swiss Thrash Metal legends from Zurich and a Must See for the Swiss, but not my cup of tea. The pit is full but people seem tired already, although there’s still the headliner to watch.
Amorphis after such a long time of live absence, that’s a real treat, even if Tomi Joutsen’s voice doesn’t always sit quite right and he doesn’t seem to be in a good a mood at the beginning. Yet the Finns once again manage to create that special atmosphere in the Z7. It’s nice that Mr. Koivusaari also does some growls on new songs from the album “Halo”, which was released in February. Today, however, the gentlemen tend to take it a little easier, as does the audience, because it’s simply too warm and any movement would involve too much sweating. After almost an hour, Amorphis leave the stage after a great show, unfortunately again without any encore, but, as it should be, the last song is “House of Sleep”.
36° Celsius and it should get even hotter, not a breeze – the worst day of this festival weekend.
Paleface, As everything Unfolds, Caskets, Holding Absence and Trash Boot deliver their shows without my attendance, because I arrive for the indoor gig at 18.00 h with Silverstein from Canada, quite nice Post Hardcore act with a solid show.
The reason for my presence today has its gig afterwards: Smash into Pieces from Sweden. In my opinion one of the most underrated bands ever, as these guys are so great at what they do. The drummer one-man-show wouldn’t have been necessary and it would have been nice to take off the sunglasses, but their playing and especially their singing is always spot-on. The voice of Chris Adam Sörbye is top. They bring a certain brightness to the line-up, which I think quite a few people are grateful for after the rather heavier sounds of the past days. My highlight of the Wild Dayz alongside Amorphis and Battle Beast.
Indoors it’s time for Being as an Ocean, a guy on guitar with a huge voice, a singer who can be emotional or aggressive – not quite my thing.
The last band outside … Anti-Flag … okay, I suspected it would be very political – but like this…. Evil politicians….evil police….shit on this, shit on that…..A crowd of young people in front of the stage cheering them on, quite drunk, and a smell of a certain herb lingers heavily over the place. Punk’s not dead …long live anarchy. Somehow I feel like I’ve been transported to the wrong decade, but please, if people enjoy it – fine. With this heat, this smell and a mob that is beating in each other’s brains in the Circle Pit, I can’t approve – time to leave and say goodbye to the Wild Dayz 2022.
Thanks to the tireless Z7 crew, who stayed on the ball despite various line-up changes, finding such great replacements. For the people behind the bar, who worked 12-hour shifts to feed and care for the visitors, and of course to the stagehands, sound and lighting technicians, well – except for the lighting guy at Amorphis and Orbit Culture shows (I can do blue and red too😉) – and of course a big thank you to the security, who ensure the safety and well-being of the guests. Let’s hope we get to experience another Wild Dayz Festival next year.
The OpenAir series continues at Z7 with eg. Wardruna, In Extremo or Joss Stone – they will play in a Roman Amphi theatre. And on the square in front of Z7 you can soon see Amorphis, Toto and Co. Tickets are still available.