28. & 29.07.2023, Meppen, Germany
There once was a sunny day in Meppen…sounds promising, and that´s also how the festival started: a totally relaxed situation when it comes to parking the car, a laid back crowd waiting for doors open – but unfortunately also with a delayed doors open which led to the situation, that the first band, EQUINOX, was already on stage when slowly but steadily the people were entering the area. Things like this are always sad because every band deserves a nice audience, even though I need to state right here that the band could not really get the audience into the mood for the festival. The band consists of quite young members, and performs covers of known rocksongs – but unfortunately they often looked like they were in distress and insecure – and they had no reason for it, because they just sounded great. Putting a bit more visible passion into the show, and it would´ve been a great start into the day.
It then continued with KEON – and they were quite a musical contrast compared to the first band. Full power ahead, the stage was being rocked well despite the audience not having found their way in front of the stage. Honest music, lovely guitar sound, strong vocals and red bengalo lights – what a mix. And with this, they were probably more of a real start into a day full of rocking and partying.
In between, but clearly no makeshift, you were able to watch ACOUSDICK on the side stage – full of humor and entertaining as hell, they clearly made the time between the sets on the mainstage well spent. Great idea to make time pass like this, and honestly: 15 or even 30min of good entertainment can be over so fast if you´re enjoying it!
Entertaining, but again very heavy if not even punk-like it continued with MARATHONMANN. And they even had their very own fanbase with them, who loudly sang along and visibly celebrated the band´s performance. But also non-fans just have to move along when you face a band with so much passion and energy on stage – no chance to just keep standing there without moving. Small festivals also mean in this case: during the last song, their singer had a nice trip into the crowd to perform the song and rock out with everyone down there. That´s how to have a great time!
Quite different in terms of music, but still with a lot of fun on stage, HI! SPENCER presented themselves – and at this point of the day, we´ve reached a fair amount of people that dared to approach the area right in front of the stage. Despite some health troubles within the band, they made it to be playing that evening, and they created a great mood and atmosphere with their German lyrics and sweet guitar riffs. The first rows were heavily occupied with dancing and singing along, seeing how much fun the band on stage and the people in front of it had a was a nice thing.
In not any less happy faces you were able to look when MONTREAL entered the stage as last act of this first day. Humorous stories for the songs, a nice mix of older and newer pieces – that´s what the audience visibly enjoyed. Clapping, dancing, singing along and giving away the last bits of power still left in the body – also seen with the (for me useless) crawosurfers that kept the security busy. But you know, things that the audience can do, the bands also can do: the band´s drummer dove into the sea of hands and with a cute umbrella and a flower pot made his way to the beer stand, because there´s no better place on a festival. And of course. he also managed to get back, to finish the set. A fully fun way how to end the day – the people left with a good mood and a smile on their faces, humming still the songs of the band.
Whilst on the first day, the weather gods were still kind with everyone, the second day was becoming to be more challenging. Doors opened (on time), and not only the first band of the day, AGAINST RANDY, greeted the people with nice rock music, but also the sun had appeared to send its greetings. The dark clouds had not yet dared to approach the festival area, it was just waiting for the right time. But during AGAINST RANDY , it stayed sunny and was a great start into the day – not too soft, but also not full speed ahead – just how it should be to start a day relaxed to slowly but steadily get into party mode.
The mood of the audience was good, they went along with the sounds, one or another already celebrated the early afternoon with a first beer or one of the non-alcoholic cocktails. And once more you were able to see how diverse the audience was – little kids standing next to grown up heavy metal lovers – and it was also nice to see how many more people were around already at the earlier hours of the day.
100% heavier and totally contrasting it continued with A PLACE TO FALL – Metalcore at its best for eyes and of course ears. And I have to say: this was right into your face. You were able to see the fun they had on stage, and that just colors off onto the audience – and that despite being able to see pretty earily who´s rather in for pop-rock and who´s in for the heavy tunes. Of course there´s been overlaps, but still you were easily able to spot how the audience changed with the change in music. The band did a great show, even though I guess they´d have created a better effect during the later hours of the day.
As we all got used to heavy musical changes, JACK POTT were not coming as a surprise – with their fun time on stage, entertaining performance and a lot of humor, the softies were able to recover from the previous metalcore experience. The sun was laughing from the sky in a competition with the band on stage. and the audience found their way to the stage to finally make it more crowded. Time flew by, but the huge amounts of clouds that came over us did not fly by but came to stay, whilst everyone had enjoyed the show and had their share of sweat whilst dancing.
Whilst then RAUM27 were on stage and playd their song called “Sommerregen” (summer train), the clouds opened up and it started pouring – those unable to find shelter or those who thought to be prepared well were nicely cooled down and fully showered, no need for doing laundry for socks and underwear either. Whilst the band first had been hiding on stage whilst everyone was dancing in the rain (the mood did not suffer from the rain), later on singer Tristan joined the dripping wet crowd. Drizzling rain? Heavy rain? Doesn´t matter, as long as the technical things were still workung – and you can just say “thumbs up” for so much passion and love for the audience. After all, those who did not start sweating under their rain capes and coats probably are not easy to be impressed anyways.
It really got crowded once it was time for LOSTBOI LINO – in a pretty pink vest and a lot of energy he didn´t only manage to get his fans enthusiastic, but also those that didn´t know him before couldn´t stand still anymore. It´s slowly gotten back to dry weather again, and dancing through mud and puddles has been the thing during the show. The fans just didn´t care, they just wanted to have a good time – and the once clueless ones simply joined in.
Once your clothes had more or less stopped dripping from the rain, you were able to trade it in for dripping from sweat during BLACKOUT PROBLEMS – a bit of a circle pit, the first rows all sucked into enthusiasm, everyone sang along loudly whilst the bass was blowing your mind without mercy (in a negative way). The band wasn´t scared to get close to the people from the crowd, the safety barrier was passed quickly as there was none and then it was time for some muddy fun! Quickly performing from the beer stands? No problem. Musicians, that climb up the side parts of the stage? All included. Clear and needed statements for some fans going topless and being over the top? Right there. A band that did not only convince me with their music, but also as the people they are.
The really final band of this festival was then ROYAL REPUBLIC around singer Adam Grahn, who – just like his band colleagues – started a firework of energy and joy of paying from the very first second on until the bitter end of their show. Talking about bitter – it´s been extremely bitter for the fans when once again it started pouring from above, it´s been a test how passionate they were. Did that cause anyone to even think about leaving their spot? No chance, noone did and everyone just continued partying to the nice mix of songs off their albums – and just like previous bands, they also dared to leave the stage. It´s become a habit that they open up a little B-stage at the FOH, and that also happened at Kleinstadtfetsival – and the audience was presented with two acoustic songs – before they fought their way through the mud and back onto stage again.
All soaked but with a smile on their face everyone left to their cars, public transport or campers – no matter to where, it just had to be a dry place – and then the festival was over as suddenly as it had started. Did it lack anything? Yes and no at the same time: because you can´t influence the weather.