Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, the German twin rock festivals, opened their gates once more.
Every year at the beginning of June, the festivals which take place at the famous racing court Nürburg Ring (RaR) and the Zeppelin Feld (RiP) attract thousands of festival goers to spend their weekend listening to their favourite bands.
This year’s line up consisted of around 76 bands spread across three stages with the headliners being Tool, Die Ärzte and Slipknot.
|Volcano (main) Stage||Beck’s Crater Stage||Alternastage|
|First Day||Wolf Jaw (former Badflowers)|
Alice In Chains
Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators
The Smashing Pumpkins
Against The Current
Cage The Elephant
Bonez MC & Raf Camora
Beyond The Black
While She Sleeps
Seiler Und Speer
Feine Sahne Fischfilet
Bring Me The Horizon
Three Days Grace
Marteria & Casper
Like A Storm
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Eagles Of Death Metal
Hot Water Music
Having had some difficulties getting to the venue due to badly organised day-parking possibilities, shuttle busses that were stuck in traffic and a lack of information that would have been helpful to have before coming to the event, I unfortunately missed the first few bands I wanted to see on Friday which were the American rock band Palisades and a split between Wolf Jaw and IDK How who played almost the same time. However, since I didn’t arrive as planned the first band I went to see was the American heavy rock band Halestorm on the Volcano Stage which were one of the highlights of the day. Especially Lzzy’s vocals are impressive and unique, and the quartet never fails to put on an amazing show. They played a good mix of their older and some of their new songs including a rendition of the beginning of ‘Familiar Taste Of Poison’.
Moving on, I went to the Alternastage to see Bad Wolves. The American metal band got the crowd moving and screaming the vocals back to the stage. They played a good mix of songs, including their rendition of The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’. The German symphonic metal band Beyond The Black were playing next bringing their mystical almost theatrical vibes, just before the British metal band While She Sleeps, one of the highlights, got the crowd hyped. Their energetic sets always see the crowd moving in circle pits and crowd surfing their way to stage while their anthemic refrains are screamed on the top of everyone’s lungs. They played a good mix of songs including ‘You Are We’, ‘Anti-Social’, ‘Brainwashed’, ‘The Guilty Party’, ‘Four Walls’, ‘Silence Speaks’ and the closer ‘Hurricane’ which saw the crowd go mental.
The Norwegian metal outlet Kvelertak played next and brought some heavy guitar riffs just before the American heavy rock band Beartooth, another highlight, entered the stage. Offering mainly screamed vocals accompanied by heavy guitar riffs that lead into anthemic rock choruses and release the tension they built with some heavy breakdowns, their sets are always energetic and see the crowd go mental. They played a good mix of their songs including ‘Aggressive’, ‘Hated’, a drum solo, ‘Disease’ and ‘In Between’ with which they closed the set. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves screaming the raw and emotional lyrics on the top of their lungs or releasing their energy in mosh pits which was highly appreciated by the band. The light and pyro show was impressive and added to the overall energetic but still intimate atmosphere. It was an amazing way to end the first festival day!
The second day started in front of the Beck’s Crater Stage where the American rock band Fever 333 were playing. Mixing different genres such as rapcore, post-hardcore, hip-hop and punk, they created unique sound. Jason Buttler’s mainly shouted vocals are a mix of spoken and sung, accompanied by soaring guitar riffs and energetic drums. The crowd went mental jumping around and crowd surfing their way to the stage. Even Jason joined the crowd and let them carry him to one of the technic stalls to climb on top and sing from there while guitarist Stevis Harrison climbed almost on top of the stage with his guitar.
Moving quickly to the Volcano Stage, Underoath just started their set. The American post-hardcore outlet opened the stage and brought a lot of energy. Unfortunately, the audience who was dominated by fans wearing Die Ärzte merch, was hard to convince and seemed to be still asleep. Nonetheless, Underoath played a great set and highly appreciated their fans’ engagement.
Going back to the Beck’s Crater stage, I Prevail just played their last song. As the American rock band played the same time as Underoath, I couldn’see their set but the fans seemed to have had a great time. Starset were up next and brought a space like show with them. Their mix of heavy guitars, strings and anthemic vocals created an electrifying atmosphere. Everyone joined in and sung along which was highly appreciated by the band. The American metal band Trivium played next and brought some thriving guitar tunes and anthemic melodies which the fans screamed back to the stage. They played an energetic set which was highly appreciated by their fans. Following Trivium, the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace picked up the energy and played a good collection of songs from all of their releases including ‘Pain’, ‘I Hate Everything About You’, ‘Animal I Have Become’ with a snipped of ‘Seven Nation Army’, ‘Never Too Late’ and the closer ‘Riot’. The fans seemed to have a great time, enjoying themselves in circle pits.
Unfortunately, Architects played the same time as Bring Me The Horizon which was definitely not well thought through as both bands have a similar fanbase. While Rock im Park changed the set times so fans could see both bands due to another band being stuck in traffic, the stage times at Rock am Ring remained the same. Nonetheless, I decided to see Bring Me The Horizon who played on the Volcano Stage. The British heavy rock band played a good selection of songs from their last three albums. They opened with ‘Mantra’, followed by ‘The House Of Wolves’ which got the crowd moving but not nearly enough as Oli Sykes asked the fans if they were even alive. With Lee dropping the first riff of ‘Wonderful Life’ the space in front of the stage divided into several mosh pits to the band’s satisfaction who seemed to have a blast on stage. ‘Shadow Moses’ had the crowd singing every word on the to of their lungs while ‘Suhar Honey Ice & Tea’ and ‘Happy Song’ got the crowd raving just before they slowed the set down a bit to play ‘Mother Tongue’ and the anthemic ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ of which the fans sung every word back to the stage. ‘Nihilist Blues’ got the crowd dancing just before they ended the set with ‘Follow You’, ‘Drown’ and ‘Throne’, leaving with a bang. Everyone seemed to have a great time and Bring Me The Horizon have proved once more how talented and versatile they are, adding both heavy and lighter songs which was highly appreciated by their fans. Their set was definitely one of the highlights and a great way to end the second day.
The third day started in front of the Alternastage where the German alternative rock band Blackout Problems before moving on to the Volcano Stage to see the first half of Atreyu’s set. The American heavy metal outlet opened the stage and were faced with similar problems as Underoath the day before. As it still was quite early the audience was fairly moving which is sad to see since the band created an energetic set and brought a mix of anthemic and melodic choruses, accompanied by heavy guitar riffs. Unfortunately, I had to leave their set a bit earlier as I wanted to see Coldrain on the Alternastage who played almost the same time as Atreyu. The Japanese post-hardcore band got the crowd moving with their mix of heavy guitars and alternating screamed and clean vocals which lead into anthemic choruses and heavy breakdowns.
After a short break I went back to the Alternastage to see the post-grunge band Like A Storm from New Zeeland. They mixed heavy baritone guitar riffs with anthemic hard rock melodies and digeridoo. Next up were the British glam rock band The Struts, followed by the German hard rock band Kadavar and the Swedish psychedelic rock band Graveyard. The quartet mixes classic heavy rock with blues, creating a dynamic between calm verses that burst into heavy and energetic choruses.
After Graveyard I went back to the Volcano Stage to see Slipknot. The American metal outlet is known for their crazy and energetic shows and didn’t fail to impress. They played a good mix of their repertoire including their latest release ‘Unsainted’ which had a slightly more anthemic vibe to it. Other songs such as ‘Before I Forget’, ‘The Heretic Anthem’, ‘The Devil And I’ and the closer ‘Duality’ saw the crowd raving and screaming the lyrics on the top of their lungs. Slipknot didn’t leave before performing ‘Spit It Out’ and ‘Surfacing’ as encores which was highly appreciated by their fans. Their wild stage performance, scary masks and pyro show were a great way to end the festival weekend!
Overall, it was a special time with great music and amazing bands. Even though, the weather was rather wet and cold, everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the festival atmosphere. The bands seemed to have a blast on stage and gave their best which was highly appreciated by the fans. Unfortunately, there was a lack of organisation which led to shuttle buses being stuck in traffic, chaotic parking situations and endless queues. Furthermore, there are barely any bin on the festival site and the few ones next to the food stall were constantly overfilled. There was not a big variety of foods to choose from as the main food stalls repeated themselves only offering Burgers, Chips, Pasta, Pizza and Wraps with barely any vegetarian and almost no vegan options at all. The fun curt also included some food stalls that offered limited vegetarian and vegan friendly options.
Nonetheless, it was a great weekend and everyone seemed to have a good time.