Twisted Sister, Destruction and more at Volksbank Arena (2010)

Volksbank Arena (Balingen, Germany)

Twisted Sister, Destruction, The Haunted, Queensryche, Nevermore, Quireboys, Fates Warning, Treat, Hades, Sacred Steel, Bullet, Savage Grace
The clouds floated over the sky in a sinister way right from the start and […]
By Erika Walberg, Maria Kallinikou
July 17, 2010

The clouds floated over the sky in a sinister way right from the start and it was just a matter of time before it was gonna start raining. There weather in Balingen has been a hot topic over the years and with the storm five years back still a little too fresh in mind it was with a split mind the last day of the festival kicked off.

Maria : That is the fate of some bands when they have to play early in the set. It is really hard to attract the attention of the people. SAVAGE GRACE, were having an average sound and sadly was not the band which in a way or another would attract the fan's attention. One more thing, since the whole festival was dedicated to Ronnie James Dio, wouldn't be nice to have a DIO cover instead of a JUDAS PRIEST one?


  1. "Bound To Be Free"
  2. "Into The Fire"
  3. "After The Fall From Grace"
  4. "We Came We Saw We Conquered"
  5. "Master Of Disguise"
  6. "The Dominatress"
  7. "Signs Of The Damned"
  8. "Exciter"

Maria : It is the second time watching BULLET live. Every time is getting better and better. Not only they are hitting the stage with an incredible lust to rock the crowd but also, they played really tight and had an amazing stage appearance. Three quarters full of rocking riffs and headbanging. They played "Stand Up And Shout" from DIO and went on with tunes like "Heading For The Top", "One Deal With The Devil" and ended with "Bite The Bullet". Well, the crowd wanted more, and the band had the time for two more songs, "Roadking" and "Bang Your Head".

BULLET setlist:

  1. "Pay The Price"
  2. "Stand Up And Shout"
  3. "Dusk Til Dawn"
  4. "Turn It Up Loud"
  5. "Heading For The Top"
  6. "One Deal With The Devil"
  7. "Rambling Man"
  8. "Bite The Bullet"
  9. "Roadking"
  10. "Bang Your Head "

Erika : SACRED STEEL is a band that really raises mixed feelings in me. I think the music is extremely good and everything is well played. Then there's Gerrit with his really odd voice. Sometimes he sounds terrible but at the times he sounds good he is amazing. And his absolute greatest strength lies in his performance; he sure is an extraordinary front man. Unfortunately the sound is more forgiving on smaller places when flosses get drowned in the rest of the music. So no, in one way this wasn't the best SACRED STEEL performance I have seen. Looking at the rest of the band in the crisp and clear sound served from the stage it's clear how damn good they are. They have that little "whatever" feeling over it but their performances are flawless. Perfect isn't always the best, the music still must be alive but SACRED STEEL are very much so. Looking at it that way this was one of the best I've seen. Another thing I like with SACRED STEEL is that they use all the Metal clichés but it never feels like a parody, it is true to the bond and really as much Metal as it get's. Who can not but love "Heavy Metal To The End" or "Wargods Of Metal"? Then title track from latest release "Carnage Victory" sounded amazing but perhaps they should avoid covering Dio… It wasn't the best version I've heard of the RAINBOW classic "Kill The King"! But apart from that SACRED STEEL really did a good gig.


  1. "Metal Is War"
  2. "Battle Angel"
  3. "Open Wide The Gate"
  4. "Heavy Metal To The End"
  5. "Denial Of Judas (Heaven Betrayed)"
  6. "Maniacs Of Speed"
  7. "Kill The King"
  8. "Carnage Victory"
  9. "Slaughter Prophecy"
  10. "Wargods Of Metal"

Erika : The coolest thing with seeing bands you really like and perhaps a few that have passed by quite unnoticed is that you never know which of them will do the greatest impression on you. HADES has never really gotten stuck on me, I think the records are ok but they never caught my interest hard enough to really get into them. But of course, since Alan Tecchio is an amazing vocalist and I'm a fan of most other things Dan Lorenzo (NON-FICTION and solo albums) has done this was absolutely something I had to check out and I'm absolutely glad I did. I can't say that they did anything special but the songs worked awfully well live. I actually feel a little bad about not giving the records enough time but this is absolutely the best thing that can happen, when bands just blow you away. Like, when you wasn't even planning on seeing the whole thing and then realizing the show is over already. But HADES sounded good, looked good and rocked hard. What more is there to make a great concert? Perhaps some sun and beer? Yep, check on that too! HADES was absolutely one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the Festival. Next time, I will have done my homework graded A+ because if a band can sound that good live they must have something going on with their music too.

HADES setlist:

  1. "Exist to Resist"
  2. "Widow's Mite (Chapter Eleven)"
  3. "The Leaders?"
  4. "King In Exile"
  5. "I Too Eye"
  6. "Rebel Without A Brain"
  7. "Voodoo"
  8. "Opinionate"
  9. "On To Iliad"
  10. "Nightstalker"

Erika : Swedish classic hardrockers TREAT made it back to the top again. They were a favorite band of mine growing up and getting into the Hard Rock scene and they blew me away watching them the first time in a small folks-park in a godforsaken town up on north latitudes. Of course, it was the coolest thing I ever seen but even as the years have passed they've continued to convince me they're a great live act. Most impressive is Robban Ehrnlund's vocal effort, he is one of those who's voices just have grown over the years and nowadays he sounds better than ever. Sure, a lot of bands manage to find the energy and will to kick ass on stage, far less manages to create an album to be reckoned with. TREAT's comeback "Coup De Grace" sounds modern but still within the same sound they had back in the 80's. That's the way it should be. Still I was a little hesitant how the crowd would receive them. Sure, it was raining most of the time the played but even lurking indoors in the Volksbank Arena the screams for "Too Wild" and "Get You On The Run" drowned the buzz from the people inside. That's really cool. Yep, I admit I watched the main part from inside, a bit away from the stage. Unfortunate in some way I think because TREAT really deserved full focus but from where I was I thought it sounded and looked amazing.

TREAT setlist:

  1. "The War Is Over"
  2. "Ready For The Taking"
  3. "Paper Tiger"
  4. "Rev It Up" / "Party All Over" / "Too Wild"
  5. "We Own The Night"
  6. "Sole Survivor Play"
  7. "Get You On The Run"
  8. "Conspiracy"
  9. "Skies Of Mongolia"
  10. "World Of Promises"

Erika: FATES WARNING was one of the bands I was most looking forward to see live, first because I haven't watched them a lot and second, they've been amazingly super good the few times I've managed to catch them. I was a little disappointed that it was pouring down when then played. The yard/field in front of the stage was quite empty since people were seeking shelter from the rain. There was no way I was going to miss this though and a few other devotees did their best to keep the spirit up. It's actually fascinating how a band with as complex songs, catchy yes, but the song structures are far from ordinary, can create this intensity and drive. Then, even if it's the way it's supposed to be, Jim Matheos looks anything but thrilled to be on stage, he looks so grumpy on his edge. Ray Alder bounces around enough for everyone though. Even if it is a strange set up it works, it creates an atmosphere very suitable for the music and it is very special for FATES WARNING. Of course it was great again, one of the best gigs of the Festival. The only downside is that there's no way a short Festival gig this band real justice. Returning with the "Parallels" line-up, half the set was from that album. It's always a dream come true to get to hear "We Only Say Goodbye", "The Eleventh Hour" and "Point Of View" live. So no, I wouldn't have wanted them to exclude any of the songs but because of this all first four albums was gone from the set and just a sparse selection of tracks from the other. That's just not enough when it comes to FATES WARNING. I'm not saying they have to play from the John Arch era, even if he was special and all those albums are amazing I think the latter part of this bands history, with Ray at the microphone holds just as high standard. So despite the rain and the way too short setlist this was one of the best gigs of the Festival.


  1. "One"
  2. "Life In Still Water"
  3. "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey: Part III (Shade of Gray)"
  4. "We Only Say Goodbye"
  5. "The Eleventh Hour"
  6. "Point Of View"
  7. "Through Different Eyes"
  8. "Monument"

Erika : Let the mind go and let the beer flow. That's easy to get stuck in when QUIREBOYS is playing. The groove is in the house (oh well) and damn, this band rock. It's so nice to have a band just walk out on stage looking totally relaxed and just start jamming. There's no doubt why this band survived over the years, even after Hair Metal disappeared from the map. Good musicianship will pay off in the end and I'm happy that QUIREBOYS got another chance. There's not much left of what was happening during "A Bit Of What You Fancy", the MTV adjusted, teenage Idol hit songs (which absolutely were great too) has changed into some mixture of country-boogie-woogie-Hard Rock in a way that works really good, rain or shine. It's a little ironic that the sky cleared right after FATES WARNING and now the sun was shining again. The only downside of this though is that it's hard to stay focus on the music when it's just so nice to go with the beat and swing a pint of beer with good friends. I guess that's not that bad but I think QUIREBOYS could gain even more with a little bigger stage show. They do it right for a small club but it takes more for Spike and the band than swinging the mike-stand and strike some traditional Rock poses to keep the crowd focused on a big festival.

QUIREBOYS setlist:

  1. "Intro: Instrumental Jam"
  2. "Bite The Hand That Feeds"
  3. "Misled"
  4. "The Finer Stuff"
  5. "Tramps And Thieves"
  6. "There She Goes Again"
  7. "I Love This Dirty Town"
  8. "This Is Rock 'N' Roll"
  9. "Man on the Loose"
  10. "Starstruck"
  11. "7 O'Clock"

Erika : NEVERMORE was another band I was very much looking forward to watch and even if I prefer to see them at a club rather than a big festival some of the best gigs I've seen with them as been on huge stages. But talk about anti-climax for this one. The sun was out again and the party mood boosted. The band came out, kicked off harder than a bulldozer. Warrel Dane moved over the stage like a cat-predator on a chase and charged to kick off "Beyond Within" and NOTHING happened, not even a little squeak. This must be the worst thing that can ever happen to a singer. Of course it's unfortunate that a thing like that happened and no, that wasn't Warrel's finest moments. There were just a few moments when he sounded the way he normally do, everything else was soar, forced and strained. The thing though, Warrel sort of gave up, looked extremely annoyed (with all rights of course) and just wandered around on stage. A little more dedication from his side could have saved the show a little at least. NEVERMORE released long-anticipated "The Obsidian Conspiracy" earlier this year which I think wasn't the same hit as their previous albums. The little lighter song structures worked extremely well live though. So even if this was a real low-point for NEVERMORE the gig served a little good for me because I absolutely enjoy their latest release a lot more afterwards.

NEVERMORE setlist:

  1. "Beyond Within"
  2. "The River Dragon Has Come"
  3. "The Termination Proclamation"
  4. "Born"
  5. "This Godless Endeavour"
  6. "The Heart Collector"
  7. "Your Poison Throne"
  8. "The Obsidian Conspiracy"
  9. "Inside Four Walls"
  10. "Enemies Of Reality"

Erika : I don't think there's anyone out there who's been having the slightest interest in QUEENSRYCHE can't but look upon them with mixed feelings. There sure is a long way between "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Tribe" and the attempt to go back to the roots with "Operation: Mindcrime II" has been widely argued as a success or turkey. Though I must say that I was truly impressed by "American Soldier" and even more so, with Geoff Tate's efforts in the live shows after the same release. He's vocal efforts has always been really good but he has been feeling much uninspired on and off the last decade. I must say I was impressed by QUEENSRYCHE this time, even if they didn't play the songs that I know. No, that's right, I've never been a fan of QUEENSRYCHE but what happens on occasions live I'm really about to change my opinion about the band. They always sound good, at this festival the sound is great all the time but there was something more here. The band delivered and it worked perfectly with the live-lineup since they really want to play. I think bands should do like QUEENSRYCHE did with the setlist, a few of the classics and then a wide span of songs over the career. I missed some really old ones though. Even if Geoff can be explosive from time to time the most of the movements on stage feels very soft and soothe still the whole performance feels very intense. It's easy to just stand there and drift away with the music. I love when that happens and especially when it's a band I didn't reckon with. I guess it's never too late to change once mind… We'll see if it's too late!


  1. "Hit The Black"
  2. "Sacred Ground"
  3. "Man Down!"
  4. "The Hands"
  5. "Damaged"
  6. "The Thin Line"
  7. "Breaking The Silence"
  8. "Silent Lucidity"
  9. "The Right Side Of My Mind"
  10. "Neon Knights"
  11. "I Don't Believe In Love"
  12. "Jet City Woman"
  13. "Empire"

Erika : The schedule got extremely tight at the end of the night and there was only time for a few songs with THE HAUNTED before it was time to run to the outdoor stage again. It never feels good to leave right in the middle of a good concert and THE HAUNTED really sounded awesome, as always. I doesn't matter how many times you catch some bands live, you know exactly what you gonna get, you know exactly how you gonna feel watching it and it never fails. THE HAUNTED is one of those bands for me so the clash in the schedule felt really unfortunate. But the few songs really boosted the mood for what was to come out on the main stage at least.

Erika : Say what you will about Dee Snider but anyone with the slightest interest in music can't deny his skills as an entertainer. This was no exception from that and on these occasions it's very hard to stay focused and professional in the photo pit. You really just want to go crazy with the rest of the crowd. A lot of people wanted to "Come Out And Play" with TWISTED SISTER on this lovely Saturday night. It's really amazing how much energy Dee has and how damn good his voice still sounds. He hasn't lost one bit. That was very clear in "The Fire Still Burns" and "I Am (I'm Me)" and not to be forgotten "The Price". Ok, it can be questioned if it was necessary to re-record the first album twenty years after it's release and frankly I really prefer the original. No matter what, the songs still holds today and the support this band has in Germany is amazing. Sure, ask anyone anywhere and they say they'll like but the reaction from the crowd in Germany is something really special. It's really amazing they can come back year after year and people still go nuts when they hit the stage. But the band absolutely deserves it because live TWISTED SISTER is better than ever and actually preferable without the make up. Sure, Dee Snider perhaps still gets away with it but I wouldn't say the same for the rest. Everything was full on, the crowd singing and screaming, the lighters in the ballads, dancing, cheering. The best thing with this band is that they do have songs that isn't really mainstream too, "Captain Howdy" and "Under The Blade" for example but that one worked equally well as "We're Not Gonna Take It" or "I Wanna Rock". It really felt like the gig was over in no time even if they served a really fat set. It's an Festival ending like this one that will make you say Hell yeah when people ask if you're coming back next year.


  1. "Come Out and Play"
  2. "The Kids are Back"
  3. "Stay Hungry"
  4. "Captain Howdy"
  5. "Shoot 'Em Down"
  6. "You Can't Stop Rock'n'Roll"
  7. "The Fire Still Burns"
  8. "I Am (I'm Me)"
  9. "We're Not Gonna Take It"
  10. "The Price"
  11. "I Believe In Rock'n'Roll"
  12. "Burn In Hell"
  13. "I Wanna Rock"
  14. "Under The Blade"
  15. "Long Live Rock'n'Roll"
  16. "S.M.F."

Erika : After TWISTED SISTER it was time for DESTRUCTION to close this year's 'Bang Your Head' festival on the indoor-stage. I'm sorry to say that even if DESTRUCTION is a very good live band they really didn't have a chance after the outdoor headliners. Schmier looked cool and Mike rocked hard, sure DESTRUCTION was great but as many other bands on the bill, if you've seen one show you know what to expect. And after a massive setlist as the festival had this year it's hard to get really charged for "normal". That was the downside with them tonight but they would have needed to put on a real spectacle to give TWISTED SISTER a match and I absolutely wouldn't want to have it that way either. Don't get me wrong, DESTRUCTION did what they normally do and sounded as great as always. That's not bad at all, perhaps just a little too hard run-over after three days worth of Heavy Metal.

So after three amazing days it was time to pack up and go back home. On the way back to the hotel a bunch of middle aged German men walked by singing, or rather screaming out TWISTED SISTER tunes really trying to boost everybody for the last chance to party. They actually managed really good, at least they fed a great laugh, I quote "We're not gonna take it, HELLO, we ain't gonna take it"
Next year? ABSOLUTELY!!!

(photos by the leader of the pack Erika)












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