Nova Rock 2013 – Nickelsdorf, Austria | 14.06. – 16.06.2013
Well, after the last year’s Wacken we’ve decided we weren’t so much the camping fans, so we stayed in Mosonmagyar?v?r, Hungary, not far from the festival area. As soon as our whole gang was ready, it was time for us to get there and we actually had to get 2 taxi cabs and pay 25 Euros because they had no car big enough for 7 people.
Our first impression was a little confused because the the festival logistics seemed kind of strange – we had to walk for about 20 minutes just to get to a stage from the parking lot. You’d actually need exactly the same time (if not even more) to walk between the stages!
After some gentle security check-out (you’re not allowed to bring any glass bottles and jars in) we finally got our festival wristbands and trash coupons. By the way the festival garbage tradition is worth an extra paragraph. When you enter the festival territory you pay 5 Euros in advance just in case you’re going to litter on the field. They give you a coupon and a trash sack. After the festival’s over you can gather this sack full of garbage, give it to the security guys at the entrance and get your 5 Euros back. They have some trash-eating machines that would press the garbage into bricks. But if you got really wasted or just too lazy, you’d just leave those 5 Euros to cover the trash disposal costs. If my memory serves me right the trash refund was 10 Euros at Wacken, but it was included into the ticket price.
We got there right in time to see KREATOR. I wasn’t really a fan of such music, so I just used the time I had to explore the area. The people was just having some rest on the grass…
…having fun at the amusement rides…
…eating the classic festival food, i.e. anything one could freeze and then fry on the oil (so I didn’t eat anything at the festival just to be on the safe side)…
…and drinking the special festival beer called Ottarocker.
While roaming here and there I was listening to the old hits like “Violent Revolution”, “Phobia”, “Enemy of God”, “Phantom Antichrist”, “Pleasure to Kill” and others coming from the stage. Too bad that not so many fans made it to be there so early.
The next one were FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. The set-list consisted of “Hard to See”, “Under And Over It”, “Burn it Down”, “The Way of the Fist”, “White Knuckles”, “Lift Me Up”, “The Bleeding”, “Bad Company” and of course a traditional potpourri with “Walk”, “Sweet Dreams” and “Smoke”. That was the point when the people started to get crazy and rocking. Looking at this madness rising I decided to refresh myself with a glass of frozen yoghurt. That was a marvellous picture – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH was rocking their butts off and here I am, having a nice strawberry yoghurt. Probably the sight was too unmetal, because a stoned Austrian guy approached me and told I was wrong. Very wrong. Even radically wrong. He said my yoghurt sucked and I should get a beer. Probably someone heard him, because the next day there was no yoghurt sold at the area. Or may be no one just bought it except me :)
After FFDP left the stage we had a break till the WITHIN TEMPTATION gig, so we just went ahead and inspected some shops. A little confusion here – the prices were quite high and the variety of merchandise was rather poor. By the way, if you’d like to have a Nova Rock festival t-shirt you really should do that on the first day, because they are limited.
WITHIN TEMPTATION on the stage.
WITHIN TEMPTATION gig started 15 minutes late and the band had to apologize for that, they said the flood was to blame. I thought they’d come by air, but it looked like they had to use a tour bus this time. Anyway the gig was shorter than usual – only 8 songs:
1. Shot in the Dark
2. In the Middle of the Night
4. Stand My Ground
5. Ice Queen
8. Mother Earth
Obviously that was a best-of set-list, including “Mother Earth”, which had actually been my very first WT’s song I’ve heard. The show was short, but still great. After it was over we had about 2-hour break before the main headliner – RAMMSTEIN. To our fortune we’ve met our friends who lived at the camping and had enough time now to pay them a visit.
Worth to mention the open fire and cars were strictly forbidden at the festival area, that’s why the air was fresh and it was relatively calm and quiet at the camping. And even clean! There were happy people sitting at the tents everywhere, they played games, drank and had a good time. The camping atmosphere was very cheerful, but I’d better prefer to come here as a guest :)
Well-fueled with wine and sausages we finally left to find some good places the stage to see RAMMSTEIN. It took us about 30 minutes to get there from the camping. The time has come and the bacchanalia broke loose! The curtain fell and we saw Till wearing a pink gay-style fluffy coat.
The show was truly awesome as usual – with all the bang, boom, pyro and mocking at Flake :) The band worked as hell, there were 15 songs in the set-list:
1. Ich tu dir weh
2. Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?
3. Keine Lust
5. Asche zu Asche
6. Feuer frei!
7. Mein Teil
8. Ohne dich
9. Wiener Blut
10. Du riechst so gut
12. Links 2-3-4
13. Du hast
14. B?ck dich
15. Ich will
They left the stage clearly expecting the fans to ask for more and of course they did! Suddenly a piano appeared on the stage and Flake and Till performed an acoustic version of “Mein Herz Brennt” only to make a final blow with “Sonne” and “Pussy”, while Till rode a huge penis-cannon and poured the whole lot of foam over the audience. “Engel” wasn’t performed this time… too bad, I love Till’s wings. In general every RAMMSTEIN’s gig is spectacular, but I’ve seen them 3 times in a row and was going to make a break till they prepare a completely new show.
That was the end of the 1st festival’s day, but at the same time only the beginning of our journey. The problem was we had to call for a taxi from another country where nobody spoke English or German and we were probably too tired to choose a right exit from the festival area. At 2AM we found ourselves in a middle of nowhere in a field and only an Austrian taxi bus who accidentally drove there saved our souls. He took us home for the reward of 120 Euros, but we couldn’t care less at that time. So we got to the hotel and fell asleep instantly.
We woke up early in the morning and went for a little walk in the town. It was Saturday, the weather was fine, birds were singing and to make the day even better we found a nice trade fair. You could but anything there: home-made wine, honey, fruits, fresh meat, various smoked foods – you name it. The local people enjoyed it all very much, but we had no time to join them – our way led us to a supermarket to get enough wine for another festival day :) We were in Hungary for god’s sake, Tokaj wine was flowing like a river! Then we were ready and called for a taxi to the festival ground, because we wanted to catch THE 69 EYES at 2PM and we got there right in time to see them starting. That was a short (30 minutes) but still cool gig, the band managed to play all their most important hits like “Brandon Lee”, “Gothic Girl” etc.
That was a hot day (in both literal and figurative senses), +35 degrees and not a single cloud in the sky.
Then I saw those giant jugs they served beer in and got an idea how I could fool the sun and cool myself a bit – it felt so-o-o-o-o great to spill a good liter of cold water right on the head! A true relief! It just let us survive through the whole day.
Let’s get back to the music though – after THE 69 EYES I was happy to see a young band from Sweden called AMARANTHE, because it was one of the acts I was really looking forward to see live. Their first album was in my play-list for the whole last winter and it counted. May be I expected too much, but the reality wasn’t so interesting, there were some decent sound problems that were solved nearly at the end of the band’s performance. I can’t say it surprised me a lot, ’cause it’s usually much harder to make a really good sound at a festival, especially since there are three singers in the band! On the other hand AMARANTHE clearly had some budget and an own sound engineer at the desk who probably could make it better. During this gig I also attended a signing session of THE 69 EYES. Honestly I’m not really a big fan, but I was sort of caught by a “follow the masses” feeling :) At close sight the band didn’t really look like shining rock stars, more like real people, so I got a postcard and also my own body signed :)
The next band was a dark metal legend from England CRADLE OF FILTH. On a lyrical note I’d like to say it was probably a shame for such a band to play at 3PM, taking into account their glorious past of course… Looks like time’s cruel with Dani Filth, who had to run on the stage in his leather outfit in such a heat. Set-list left me with a lot more to be desired:
1. Tragic Kingdom
2. For your Vulgar Delectation
3. A Dream of Wolves in the Snow
4. Summer Dying Fast
5. Born in a Burial Gown
7. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
8. Her Ghost in the Fog
How about the song everybody was obviously waiting for, “From The Cradle to Enslave”? Well, thanks for “Nymphetamine” and “Her Ghost in the Fog” anyway.
We were already almost lifeless, so we had to escape for the camping site to have some food and rest and come back at 8PM for one of our favorite bands – AMON AMARTH!
The beginning was slightly spoiled with the sound problems, but then the show went right on smoothly. I’ve seen AMON AMARTH for I don’t know how many times and I would see them again and again, because every time it’s close to legendary! I can’t express all that power coming from the stage and I love the charming way Johan interacts with the crowd with. The set-list was also awesome:
1. War of the Gods
2. The Pursuit of Vikings
3. Destroyer of the Universe
4. For Victory or Death
6. Free Will Sacrifice
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Cry of the Black Birds
9. Death in Fire
10. Twilight of the Thunder God
11. Guardians of Asgaard
After this viking invasion we could finally relax and listen to HIM. Years ago I’ve listened to a couple of their songs, so I was happy to have this live experience. All in all it was rather boring, ’cause Ville Valo was kind of sleepy and soft for some reason. The sound was solid, though I didn’t like any of the new songs at all. It was actually strange they played right before the main headliner…
The set-list consisted of 15 songs:
1. All Lips Go Blue
2. Buried Alive By Love
3. Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
4. Right Here in My Arms
5. The Kiss of Dawn
6. Hearts at War
7. Join Me in Death
8. Your Sweet Six Six Six
9. Passion’s Killing Floor
10. Tears on Tape
11. Wicked Game
12. It’s All Tears (Drown in This Love)
13. Soul on Fire
14. Into the Night
15. The Funeral of Hearts
That was the time for the headliner everybody was waiting for – KISS. I was already very well informed about the band’s new show and I even watched their cult movie “Detroit Rock City” again before my Nova Rock trip, so I was eager to see the LEGEND to say at least! And I don’t know how to describe the miracle I saw – my emotions leave virtually no space for words. Those grandpas rocked so hard that all the other bands could just possibly run away to save their asses in the dressing rooms!
1. Psycho Circus
2. Shout It Out Loud
3. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
4. I Love It Loud
5. Hell or Hallelujah
6. War Machine (Gene breathes fire)
7. Heaven’s on Fire
9. Say Yeah
10. Shock Me / Outta This World
– Guitar and Drum Solos (Tommy Thayer / Eric Singer)
– Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies)
11. God of Thunder
12. Lick It Up
13. Love Gun (Paul flies over crowd)
14. Rock and Roll All Nite
15. Detroit Rock City
16. I Was Made for Lovin’ You
17. Black Diamond
Incredible show, incredible sound, incredible songs! The second day of Nova Rock came to an end with lots of fireworks and we ran away for a taxi to Hungary, but that was another story.
On the third day I was going to be there by midday, right in time to see DIR EN GREY from Japan. Unfortunately no one from my gang, except Masja, wanted to join me, so we just went together. This time with a train, not really because we wanted to save money, but rather to have some new adventure. We wanted it – we got it. We were on the Hungarian-Austrian border and “hi” was the highest English skill level we could expect from people around us. On the other hand now we could practise our German, because somehow we need to explain the cashier where we wanted to go. As soon as we came the cashier smiled and asked immediately: “Nova Rock?” We smiled back and she sold us a couple of tickets to the town of Hegyeshalom. “You’ll have to go “zu Fu?” about half an hour from there”, she said. We were totally ok with that and went to the station. The Hungarian trains were true miracle, clean and nice-looking, they even had the special spots for bicycles and suitcases. Well done, very well done.
Once we stepped down to the Hegyeshalom station we noticed we were alone there. There was no one to be seen around, no one to talk, no one to ask for the right direction. We felt ourselves in some kind of a desert and practically had to go by the sun :) We’ve been walking for 30 minutes and still saw no one except a family on the bikes. We’ve been walking for 30 minutes more… and 30 minutes more…
We thought we were finally 100% lost, but suddenly saw the Hungarian-Austrian border in the offing and the festival area was about 2 kilometers away from it. There were several cars with the festival people driving by and some of them cheered us like they were happy to see us. The feelings were mutual :) Our salvation has got us by surprise – a middle-aged lady brought us to the area, but guess what – we’ve missed DIR EN GREY.
I was right in time to see the very beginning of ASKING ALEXANDRIA gig. I love those guys and they really didn’t let me down – they were rocking groundbreakingly hard and the crowd was headbanging in spite of the heat.
And the next band was my personal top discovery of the year – PAPA ROACH. I’ve heard them before without real care, but I wasn’t prepared to see such a brilliant performance! They literally teared the audience apart! Now I’d like to attend their regular show some day.
2. Still Swingin’
3. Blood Brothers
4. Between Angels and Insects
5. Where Did the Angels Go?
7. …To Be Loved
8. Getting Away with Murder
9. Silence Is the Enemy
10. *not sure*
13. Dead Cell
14. Last Resort
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE played next, but they were way too soft and wimpy for my taste, so I could use this time to have some food and fresh myself while waiting for KORN.
In my opinion KORN are not truly the festival kind of guys. Don’t get me wrong, I still had some hard slam and even lost a couple of earrings in the moshpit, but the band looked kind of strange for me at a festival… Their set-list was great though and the band played very powerful.
5. Falling Away from Me
6. Dead Bodies Everywhere
7. Narcissistic Cannibal
8. Coming Undone
9. Did My Time
10. Shoots and Ladders / Somebody Someone
11. Helmet in the Bush
12. Need To
13. No Place to Hide
14. Here to Stay
15. Get Up!
16. Got the Life
17. Freak on a Leash
That was the end of Nova Rock for me. All my friends love VOLBEAT and of course I stayed with them for their performance, but personally I don’t really get the reason why these Danes are so phenomenally popular… All their songs sound the same to me and honestly I’m not into this kind of voice. I think it doesn’t suit the band’s music too much, but this is only my opinion – the people loved them.
1. Hallelujah Goat
2. A New Day
3. Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
4. Pearl Hart
5. Heaven nor Hell
6. Sad Man’s Tongue
7. Lola Montez
9. 16 Dollars
10. Mary Ann’s Place
11. Dead but Rising
12. Maybellene I Hofteholder
13. The Human Instrument
14. The Hangman’s Body Count
15. Still Counting
17. Doc Holliday
18. Cape of Our Hero
19. The Mirror and the Ripper
20. Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza
All in all it was a nice Nova Rock ending, thanks! If I should make a conclusion I’d say we liked the festival very much. Organization, security etc – everything was fine. There was more than enough of food and drinks and the infrastructure was reasonable. The cars were banned in the camping and that was also great. The entrances and exits could be closer to the stages though, but I hope it could be easily made.
Text : Kateryna Gubanova
Pictures : Kateryna Gubanova & friends