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I think WGT's masterminds understood this pretty well and even tried not only to celebrate this great date, but also to re-capture the first ever WGT's atmosphere, and to accomplish this mission a special pre-festival show was announced - with all the bands who've originally played at the very first WGT 20 years ago: DAS ICH, GOETHES ERBEN (replaced by Oswald Henke's band playing GOETHES ERBEN songs), SWEET WILLIAM etc. An anniversary 5-days-long Wave Gotik Treffen sounded extremely promising and it was no surprise this year's WGT broke all the attendance records. The whole festival was pure pleasure and fun, everything was perfectly organized and supported, the Dark Market and the Barbarian Village were generous with goods, food and drinks, the audience was beautiful, the guards were appropriate and the weather was simply very gentle. Is there anything else to ask for?
The concert took place on the main stage in Agra Halle. As I heard later there was also a cool anniversary gig in Moritzbastei club (with Torben Wendt and other well-known folks), but it was already too late. It wasn't stated in the official program and I think the information about that gig was spread in the Internet only, so it was not a big surprise I missed it.
DAS ICH was the first band to hit the stage, but the message displayed on the giant screen above the drums cooled the audience excitement off and made many people distressed: the singer Stefan Ackermann was very ill and couldn't be a part of the performance. His band colleagues visited him in the hospital and he was very sad he was going to miss the show, but he definitely wanted the band to play. It led DAS ICH to a simple solution - to perform a special show with the guest singers, which were beautiful Vic Anselmo and Myk Jung of THE FAIR SEX. It's safe to say they did a great job making the old DAS ICH anthems sound fresh and powerful and I hope all this energy went right to Stefan Ackermann to help him recover as fast as possible.
The second band was gothic-rock veterans SWEET WILLIAM presenting a slightly psychedelic and calm old-school rock. The band exists from mid-80s, released the last album just about a year ago and it looked like there were a lot of fans who enjoyed the performance.
An extremely energetic show of Oswald Henke's solo-project performing the old GOETHES ERBEN stuff was a real highlight of the evening! Herr Henke looked very inspired and ran across the stage like a comet, changing stage cloths and playing with various things like a king crown he extracted from an old-looking chest standing on the stage. The fans got everything they came for, all the widely loved tracks from "Nichts bleibt wie es war" to "Das schwarze Wesen".
AGE OF HEAVEN
AGE OF HEAVEN is a local band from Leipzig and it gave them a little bonus, the audience just loved them. Playing a solid gothic-rock that slightly reminds FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM they delivered a great show. The music varied from classic old-goth to melancholic sound with even very hard-sounding kind of industrial-metal songs in between. All in all great performance, but I was already kind of overdosed with events for the opening day and left right after this gig. 4 days of WGT XX were to follow after that!
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