Blind Guardian, Amon Amarth and more at Scheinfelder Strasse (2014)

Scheinfelder Strasse (Geiselwind, Germany)

Blind Guardian, Amon Amarth, Powerwolf, Doro, Behemoth, Saxon, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, Ensiferum, Legion Of The Damned, Moonspell, Rage, Vader, Sepultura, Flotsam And Jetsam, Hail Of Bullets, Freedom Call, Arkona, Grave, Suicidal Angels, Majesty, Paradox, Milking The Goatmachine, Xandria, Delain, Arven, Arcturon, All Will Know, Bleeding Red, Bloodspot, Hate, Blue Pills, Nocte Obducta, Orden Ogan, Burden Of Life, Necrotted, Parasite Inc., Soulbound, Spirit Of The Future Sun, Dust Bolt, Black Messiah, Stormwarrior, Legacy Of Vydar, Rotovathor, Sasquatch, Diabolos Dust, Sundown, The Last Hangman, Shattered, Mynded
  The summer festival season is officially in full-swing, and I had the pleasure of […]
By Erika Kuenstler
May 29, 2014


The summer festival season is officially in full-swing, and I had the pleasure of spending this past weekend in the very idyllic and tranquil village of Geiselwind, at the Out & Loud Festival. Previously known as Beastival, but having undergone a name change due to a similarly named festival in the UK, this festival was a debaucherous affair lasting four days. With the opening party heating things up on the 28th of May, the festival ran from Thursday 29th of May, a public holiday, to the 31st of May, guaranteeing an epically long weekend filled with all things metal. But the price to pay for such a scenic setting was that the closest train station was 30km away, making getting to the festival slightly difficult. But here the organisers made sure that several options were available, including a shuttle bus and a taxi service with special flat rates for festival-goers.


Upon arrival, each person received a little programme booklet which contained all the information that one could possibly need, such as the running order for the different stages, maps of where everything was located, brief information on each of the bands playing the two main stages, as well as the times at which various bands were having signing sessions. This little book soon became my bible for the festival, and was extremely useful in helping me take full advantage of everything that was on offer at the festival. I unfortunately only arrived at the festival on Thursday, so I missed the warm-up party the day before, the highlight of which was an acoustic set put on by DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, which I heard was very good.


Wandering up the hill, one suddenly sees a massive camping area sprawled across picturesque hills fringed by green curtains of forests. Thanks to this wide spread of the camping area, even latecomers to the festival had the opportunity to camp near enough to the stages, which was great, as this meant you didn't have to factor in half an hour just to get to your tent after performances. Along with a hotel situated in extremely close proximity for those who did not wish to camp, there were also a variety of facilities located within a very short walking distance from the festival area, including a wide range of fast-food places, a pharmacy, and a shop. On top of this, the three stages and numerous food and merch stalls were also set ideally close to each other, so that one could amble about from one place to another without missing much. The only gripe with the indoor stage was that the mist machines were used a bit too enthusiastically during some sets like the performance by DELAIN, meaning that all you could see from the back was a stage of glowing fog.


All well and good I hear you say, but what about the bands? This festival had a really outstanding and diverse lineup, ensuring that there was something for everyone. One of the crowd favourites on Thursday's bill was legendary German Heavy Metal titans DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER. After having put on an amazing performance at Beastival last year, 2014 saw them gracing the stage in Geiselwind once more. But this show was extra special, marking the release show for their upcoming double album. The crowd went absolutely mad for this band, with the first crowd surfing I saw going on during their set.


However, one of my personal favourite bands of the first day was HATE. This Polish Black Metal outfit really knows how to deliver a resounding performance. Their good music combined with an exceptional tightness born of relentless touring this year mans that this band really knows what they are doing, something which is immediately apparent in the ease with which they enthral the audience.


SEPULTURA also put on an excellent show, with this year marking the 30th anniversary of this Brazilian Thrash/Groove Metal band. Despite having a few technical difficulties with their sound, such as feedback and a sudden surge in the volume of the guitars, they nevertheless put on a very good set that quite literally had the frontman steaming, performing a wide range of songs from much of their back-catalogue. This first Out & Loud Festival also saw the 30 year anniversary shows of both DORO and RAGE, both of whom had the crowd practically salivation in anticipation before the shows.


The prize for the most elaborate stage setup definitely goes to POWERWOLF, the headliners of Thursday's lineup. With an ostentatious keyboard-stand shaped like a bird mid-flight, extravagant outfits and corpse painted faces, along with billows of mist and columns of flames, all in front of various backdrops that gave the stage the appearance of a sepulchre chapel that had been plunged into depths of depravity, these German Power Metallers blew the crowd away. But given that this was their 10th anniversary show, this was more than fitting that the band celebrated in redolent splendour. Fans of this band lined the first few rows of the audience, with their faces painted to resemble the style of corpse paint worn by POWERWOLF. Playing anthems such as "All we Need is Blood", "Sacred and Wild", "Amen and Attack", and "Resurrection by Erection", POWERWOLF literally had the audience howling for more, accompanied by wave upon wave of crowd surfers; definitely one of the more memorable performances of the festival.


Friday also had a slew of fantastic bands in wait. Polish Black Metal leviathans BEHEMOTH also put on an exceptional show, drawing a massive crowd. Even Clémentine Delauney, female vocalist of SERENITY, stood watching from the side-lines. Perhaps my favourite moment of the entire festival was when Nergal, the infamous frontman of legendary Black Metal band BEHEMOTH, shouted "Hail Satan!", his voice echoing forth from the flame-engulfed stage. With his black cowl partially obscuring his corpse-paint besmeared face which framed his wildly staring eyes, Nergal had the appearance of some demonic miscreant spewed forth from the bowl of hell. To understand the sheer delicious irony of this moment, bear in mind that this stage was set up practically on the doorstep of a church. With a rain of blackened snow-like flurries at end of their set, they also definitely left their mark on the festival.


The masters of British Wave of Heavy Metal, SAXON, were the headliners of this day. Geiselwind showed these Brits the true meaning of hospitality: when frontman Biff remarked how cold it was, the more chivalrous-minded members of the audience immediately threw jackets and waistcoats adorned with SAXON patches onto the stage, which he sportingly wore for a few songs each before returning them at the end of the show. This all prompted a bra to be lobbed at the stage, which Biff then hung from his mic stand, whilst chuckling that the 80s era was supposed to dead. This combined with an amazing setlist including "The Eagle has Landed" had both young and old members of the audience completely captivated.


Saving the best for last, Saturday's lineup was nothing short of phenomenal, resulting in much conflicts as to whether one would rather stand in line and wait for the meet and greet with the various epic bands, or whether to watch the performances of the star-studded bill. Fortunately however, the signing sessions took place just to the side of the main stage, ensuring that those waiting in line had some entertainment whilst waiting to meet their heroes.


Converse to POWERWOLF's elaborate stage, the prize for the least presumptuous stage setup must go to the Polish Death Metal juggernauts, VADER, who took to the stage as part of Saturday's amazing lineup. No backdrop adorned their performance; no special stage props were used, allowing their music to speak for itself. Their long history in the business was clearly apparent in the ease with which they completely captivated the audience. With their latest album "Tibi Et Igni" having been released the day before, this was VADER's first performance since the album's release.


FLOTSAM & JETSAM also had something special up their sleeves, with their set to include tracks from their 1988 masterpiece "No Place for Disgrace", which had the indoor stage completely packed. However, thanks to the multi-tiered structure of the hall in which this outstanding performance took place, everyone was able to have a clear view of the stage, no matter how far back one stood.


Finnish Folk Metal band, ENSIFERUM, also put on a really good performance that had something for all their fans. Starting off with "In my Sword I Trust", their setlist contained a variety of songs from different albums, including anthems such as "Lei Lei Hey" and "Iron". This coupled with their beautiful backdrop, war-painted faces, and shield that adorned the keyboard stand made for a performance that was great not just aurally, but also visually as well.


This was all taken a step further by AMON AMARTH, with pyrotechnics, explosions, glowing runestones, a massive Thor's hammer yielded by the legendary Johann Hegg, and stunning backdrops that conjured images of warfare among gods. One of my favourite moments during this performance was when they played the song "Embrace of the Endless Ocean" a huge swathe of the crowd sat down with legs outstretched, making rowing motions, giving the impression that they were aboard a long-ship rowing through the sea of cheering metalheads, hailing this Viking-influenced Death Metal band with a forest of horns.


The headliner of this day was the legendary band BLIND GUARDIAN. This band is most likely the most famous German Power Metal band, and was probably the reason why most of the people who had just bought day pass tickets for Saturday were there. BLIND GUARDIAN hands down had the largest crowd of the entire performance: whilst there usually was enough space at the side of the stage such that you could clearly see everything whilst still having plenty of space to headbang, this was not the case during BLIND GUARDIAN's performance. With a very long set that gave them plenty of time to play all the crowd favourites, BLIND GUARDIAN definitely ended the festival on a high note, ensuring that everyone went home well-satisfied with an amazing performance.

A special mention must also go to B.O.S. Security, who did an excellent job of manning the event. I often saw the security team speaking to festival-goers, making sure that everything was alright, or doing other things that went beyond what their job necessitated of them. Rumour has it that one of the security was injured whilst helping crowd surfers down during the AMON AMARTH, and if this is the case, I wish him a speedy recovery.


Overall, this was a very well organised festival set in a stunning setting, and with an absolutely phenomenal lineup that had something for everyone. This year's festival was marked by numerous highlights, guaranteeing a delectable and debaucherous party for all. I'm sure I speak for pretty much everyone at the festival when I thank the organisers for doing such an outstanding job!


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