"One for all and all for one!"
Translation: Hanna Häßlein
|Organiser Ton Dekkers.
Under this motto, the Female Metal Event went into its second round as it was once again organized by Tom Dekkers who, as the organizer, carried most of the responsibility. The chosen boys and especially girls successfully raised the roof in Effennaar in Eindhoven on the 16th and 17th of October 2015 in Eindhoven.
This did not happen without the support of the audience which grew considerably during the course of each day. Thus, it was impossible to leave the catwalk in the big hall this year, as it was completely filled up at some point. No surprise, considering the endless coming and going of all the great bands on the two stages, a big one and a smaller one (the complete set list can be found here).
|Siegfried and Clémentine (Visions of Atlantis).
The doors opened on Friday at 5:30 pm, the festival at 6 pm by Whyzdom on the main stage and by Autumn on the small one. Generally, the line up was organized in a way so that there only were minor overlaps and in theory, it would have been possible to see all bands by switching between stages. In theory because, to the delight of the bands playing in the small hall, it was often too crowded to get in. Our concert day started with Visions of Atlantis, who performed with their old well-working lineup and two new singers, Clémentine Delauney and Sigfried Samer. They presented a skillful dual fronted show during which the protagonists performed well and which also had many old numbers on the set list.
|Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil).
After more shows, Lacuna Coil, as the headliner, finished up the first FemME-day in the big hall. The show had a lot of power, mainly coming from singer Cristina Scabbia, which rubbed off on the audience. This was due to her outstanding voice on the one hand and her emotional message to the audience about tough times and the only possible reaction, which led to a joined “We fear nothing!” on the other hand. At 12:15 am, with Aria Flames’s last note, Friday was over.
|Back to the ROOTS.
Shortly after noon, with just a little delay, Saturday was opened with a special highlight: Another fashion show by Ingeborg Steenhorst and her brand “I Style Stars”. This year’s motto was “Back to the Roots” with music written just for the show, a special concept with an eco-message that got under the skin. The catwalk phases were intercepted with musical and dancing phases or support by live music. Participating artists were, amongst others, Laura Guldemond (Generation Lost), Monique Joosten (ex Seventh Sin) and Lisette van den Berg (amongst others Scarlet Stories, Karmaflow) who was the highlight of the show with her old nordic vocal performance.
|Laura, Monique and Lisette.
|Lisette van den Berg (Karmaflow).
In fact, after the catwalk was taken down, the singer reentered the stage with some preceding musician colleagues wearing a Steenhorst-outfit for the now following show of Karmaflow, a music project for a video game which already took part in last year’s FemME. Artists from different bands got together for this and even Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania) had a short guest appearance. With the quality being just as good as it was last year, it was mainly the mixture of good music and skillful acting that made it so appealing.
In the course of the day, the event’s downer was announced when Xandria had to cancel their show (Drummer hurt), of all the things the band whose front lady was the face of FemME 2015. What already had been noticed online by a few on Monday was now announced by the organizer at the event which resulted in a few disappointed shout outs.
However, replacement was found in the form of Nymeria. Front man Marnix obviously was lacking both breasts and a female voice, but with keyboarder Nathalia there was at least one female element on stage. Not quite enough for one or the other friend of the genre, additionally the music was very hard and surely not for everyone. However, one must give the organizer credit for finding a replacement on such short notice and acknowledge the band’s courage to jump in last minute at such a big event.
|Dianne van Giersbergen (Xandria).
Those who were especially sad about the loss of Xandria at least got the opportunity to meet singer Dianne van Giersbergen on both days during the presentation of her own jewelry line which she mainly promoted herself: Beautiful unique pieces which partly were made from old guitar parts for a surprisingly low price!
|Marcela and Johan (Stream of Passion).
Finally, Stream Of Passion entered the stage at a way better playing time due to the cancellation. Since it basically was a home game for the musicians, their show was celebrated accordingly. It was a show full of fire thanks to the performance of front woman Marcela Bovio but also due to the wild gestures of bass player Johan van Stratum. Generally, the band seemed to truly enjoy their play.
|Lisette van den Berg (Scarlet Stories).
Aside from the shows in the big hall, the small was also very crowded which made it difficult to even enter it. A special highlight was the unconventional show of Scarlet Stories. The band that initially started out as a duo consisting of Lisette van den Berg (at this point her third time on stage already) and Bram te Kamp brought a mystic atmosphere and deep lyrics into the Effennaar which partly were coherent with the Steenhorst-Show. Here, nature played a role yet again.
|Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gentle Storm).
At 7 pm another highlight followed with The Gentle Storm on the main stage. It already was the second project by Arjen Lucassen on this night and it convinced completely. With Anneke van Giersbergen leading the way, whose smile and voice excited the audience and a tragic story carried by music which made their hair stand up. Furthermore, the already known faces of Stream of Passion delivered yet another skillful performance – Johan again raging with movement and Marcela with a voice and a show which harmonized perfectly with Giersbergen. Further band members such as the guitar player Merel Bechtold shone as well due to their heart filled dedication.
|Chiara Malvestiti (Therion).
After a rather mediocre show by Tristania, at 10 pm it was finally the hour of the eagerly anticipated headliner Therion. And, as it turned out after the first seconds of them taking over the stage, rightly so. Since I myself had never seen this classic live and only was moderately impressed by their CD, their act turned out to be this night’s surprise. It came in the shape of seven musicians who initially stood out due to their look but then also due to their stage show which was characterized by dynamic, there was movement and something to look at at all times – always in new constellations. Hereby, the overblown music did not cut short and the set list was full of stirring numbers but also included dramatic-calmer sounds. Exciting all the way through!
|Thomas and Lynnéa Vikström (Therion).
All in all, this year’s Female Metal Event was yet another success, even more so when looking at the large attendance. It is hoped that it will grow again next year. The third FemME will take place a little earlier but again for two days on the 23rd and 24th of September 2016. Starting then, Dekkers will be supported by JBM Events and widely known Phil (van Helsing), we can’t wait!
If time needs to be killed until then or the missed festival needs to be made up for, this can yet again be done with a DVD. Under the direction of Tom de Wit (Layered Reality Production), a film was created which will be available in stores shortly.
Our FemME-Interviews and concert reports with many photos will coming soon!