Actually, everything could have gone so well – atmosphere good, bands good, fresh mini-donuts good and even the rain clouds held back on this first day at Rock in Vienna – hardly a drop fell from the sky, even the sweltering heat of last year was spared this time for the visitors on the Danube Island.
Perfect preconditions for a successful festival day. Seen like this.
Organizational mishaps on the first Rock in Vienna day
However, the organizational side of things was anything but perfect. Especially at the arrival in the afternoon the heart of many a souled music fan slipped into the pants, because the queue at the entrance had gigantic proportions.
A good hour of waiting time was unfortunately unavoidable for many unnerved visitors who only had a day ticket for Friday. Some people who were looking forward to bands in the afternoon like Pain or Anthrax (who could actually enjoy headliner status) had to forfeit those performances.
Let’s see if everyone with the day tickets will still see Rammstein today. o_O #riv2016 #langeschlange #rammstein pic.twitter.com/VbpRGTXb8K
– enemy – music magazine (@enemy_austria) 3. June 2016
The rush was actually not surprising – especially for the headliner Rammstein, who already managed to sell out the Vienna Stadthalle within minutes, the crowd of (according to the organizers) 45.000 people on the Danube Island was actually predictable. Actually.
There were also long waiting times at the beverage outlets. So the 5,- Euro per beer (excluding deposit) hurt a little bit more – especially when the price was reached shortly before 21:00.00 o’clock some of the stands had already run out of beer. Not to talk about the waiting times to get into the Wavebreaker. From an organizational point of view, there is still a lot of potential for the next two Rock in Vienna days.
Successful start of Slayer, Apocalyptica and Co.
For this the first bands got off to a worthy start. The Californian cult band Slayer served up the finest thrash metal and got the fans in the right mood for the rest of the evening with hits like "Angel Of Death" or "South Of Heaven". "We’re grateful to be here today, you guys always make it all worthwhile," thanked the gray-haired frontman Tom Araya, while the long beard waved around his bass.
Also the string trio of Apocalyptica was definitely a highlight of the evening, the Finns with their cellos heated up the audience with their own compositions and Metallica covers like "Master Of Puppets", so that the bows were bent and the long hair was just roaming. Here was promised a soon reunion in Austria – please gladly.
And then Babymetal came
And then of course … Babymetal. The Japanese Idol Group, which presents itself as a three-member girl-metal dance troupe, is not for nothing a secret tip of the festival – yes, infamous. Rock in Vienna project manager Werner Stockinger once put it aptly: "Either you hate Babymetal or you love them, there is nothing in between." In Lolita dresses and with acrobatic stamina, the kawaii trio delivered its shrill dance sing-song hard rock performance, accompanied by technically highly accomplished live musicians who thumped their instruments in kabuki getup. Whimsical? Yes. Disturbing? Yes! But in any case something different. And you have to give credit to the three posing ladies that they have a lot going for them both vocally and as entertainers. Even Rammstein might belong to the pro-baby metal faction:
Yes – No – Rammstein!
Which brings us to the big headliner of the evening: Fiery "Neue Deutsche Harte" (New German Hardness) was the grand finale for the Rock in Vienna visitors, because Rammstein’s live shows are known to involve a lot of pyrotechnic tricks. Fans were not disappointed this time either. Frontman Till Lindemann is not only a lyric artist, but also a trained pyrotechnician, so the man knows how it works. Some kind of explosive belt exploded around his belly, instruments burned, fire shot out of flamethrower masks, from the FOH, from the stage floor, backstage … actually, it burned everywhere. And that’s exactly how fans want and love their Rammstein shows.
There will be no talking to the audience, the provocative and brutal lyrics speak for themselves. And there was also a successful smorgasbord of hits, ranging from "Feuer frei!" (eh klar), "Ich tu dir weh", "Du riechst so gut" and "Mein Herz brennt" (was of course here again literally recreated) to a soulful "Seemann" with dreamlike bass intro. The 53-year-old Lindemann hardly reached the high pitches here, but the articulation rolled along as usual.
Acoustic session at the end on the Danube Island
The show fireworks (yes, there were fireworks, of course) ended with the perennial favorite "Sonne" – and a short microphone breakdown for Lindemann, before Rammstein rounded off the concert with a moving sit-down acoustic session of "Ohne Dich" at the edge of the stage – and finally the grand finale with "Engel" followed and the island choir could thus be sent on their way home satisfied.
In terms of music, we can expect especially punk and indie warhorses on the second day, among others Juliette& The Licks, Mando Diao, Biffy Clyro and "Godfather of Punk" Iggy Pop on the program – the exact time-table is here.
>> The best photos from the first day can be found in our slideshows.