Dienstag, 22. November 2016

Concertreport + Photos: Female Metal Event III (2016) (English Version)

Hier klicken für deutsche Version!
FemME Fatale – A hot weekend in the Netherlands!
Translation: Hanna Häßlein

Femke Fatale.
It got really hot from September 23rd to September 25th 2016 at the Female Metal Event III. This was not only due to the front women but also due to the corresponding men, obviously the music as well as the fountains of fire for the headliner.

For the first time, it wasn’t the organizer Ton Dekkers who hosted the festival this year but the tattoo-model Femke Fatal. She was able to fill those big footsteps and did a great job with announcing every single one of the 26 participating bands who performed, as per usual, on two stages. The large audience, which had the opportunity to enjoy this event for three days in a row, was clearly satisfied. 


Judith Rijnveld (Kingfisher Sky).
The festival was opened on Friday at 6:45 pm by Kingfisher Sky who performed on the Large Stage. They had already been participating last year, however, with only a regular show. The FemME-Friday was an exclusive acoustic-spectacle. This was also true for the Dutch whose theater-show was a lot calmer compared to other bands and almost reminded of Irish folk-bands.

Janika Groß (Molllust).
They were followed by Molllust, who revisited the theater-topic with their theatrical opera metal which contained comedy-elements as well as aggressive numbers and passionate-sad classical pieces. With this, the band showed their harmonic and also their dissonant side which had well deserved cheering as a consequence.

Marcela Bovio (ex Stream of Passion) was the first festival highlight with her new solo project – especially since she didn’t only perform with a keyboard but also with a string quartet. This made for an original album constellation. She shone with exceptional vocals, soulful strings and showed a lot of emotion – maybe because on this very day her debut album “Unprecedented” was released.
Marcela Bovio mit Streichquartett.
Furthermore, Sleeping Romance performed on the Aardschok Stage and the solo artists Vic Anselmo and Moran Magal took turns performing on the Large Stage. 


Marieke Bresseleers (Circle Unbroken).
Saturday started at 2 pm with the first band on the Aardschok Stage: Circle Unbroken. The Belgians delivered a solid performance – which was expected after their clean-sweep during the battles – which got on without a band and showcased the madness of some band members. However, they still didn’t miss out on emotions.

Micky Huijsmans (End of the Dream).
The Large Stage was opened by End of the Dream who presented a very female side. Hence, it was songs such as “All I Am” which were performed with an extra amount of energy. An interesting fact is that the band already was part of the FemMe last year – however only on the small stage. Their success with the audience brought them back.

Following them, Ex Libris and Dianne van Giersbergen took the stage. Unfortunately, however, we missed the performance due to a video-interview. Yet, since the interview was a success, the regret was very short-lived. 
Zuberoa Aznárez (Diabulus in Musica).
The festival was continued by Diabulus in Musica on the big stage. Unluckily, they had to perform without their bass player (this year’s festival virus) which was played from a recording instead. Unfortunately, the recording was used a little too much as some choruses didn’t get any live support at all. This was a great pity, since especially the harder passages were rather appealing.

Kobra Page (Kobra and the Lotus).
After another performance by Sleeping Romance, my personal FemMe-surprise took place at 6 pm on the Large Stage: Kobra and the Lotus. Everything the band did, they did right: An all around strong singer who still didn’t mind giving her boys enough space to create the perfect relations between vocals and instruments. This combination made for a Heavy-Metal-Show that packed quite the punch!
Peggy Meeussen (Bliksem).
The Aardschock Stage was now occupied by Bliksem who had already raised the roof at the Wacken Open Air with their Trash Metal. And they didn’t tone it down one bit for the FemMe.
Emmanuelle Zoldan (Sirenia).
The band Sirenia had a very special performance, as their new singer Emmanuelle Zoldan had her debut. For those familiar with the band, it should not be an unknown voice as she has sang choruses and harmonies for previous albums. According to her own statement, she was rather nervous during her first life performance as the bands lead singer, yet she managed the whole situation without any problems.
The day was finished by The Charm the Fury, The Birthday Massacre and Eloyse. Unfortunately, we were not able to see them.  

Models mit der Kollektion "Freak Chique".
Lisette van den Berg.
It is a tradition that the FemMe Sunday is opened by Ingeborg Steenhorst and her brand I Style Stars. The annual collection’s motto was “Freak Chique” which was based on the album title “Out of the Freak Show” by Cirrha Niva, who accompanied the show with their music. The many female and few male models presented Haute Couture as well as wearable fashion on the runway which was partly decorated with artificial blood. According to the motto but against the expectations which the motto and the view of the band initially raised, it was not an all around dark and mad circus show. Rather, Steenhorst used her creation yet again to criticize current events, this time especially focusing on human nature and it’s violent tendencies. The show was underlined by an impressive digital show created by Tom de Witt who also was responsible for last year’s DVD production.
Anny Hou.
Furthermore, the band was supported by two guest singers, Laura Guldemond (Shadowrise) and Lisette van den Berg (Scarlet Stories, Karmaflow, etc). The latter also delivered a satisfying solo performance on the catwalk which was, next to the charismatic hand-fan dance by Anny Hou, seen was one of the show’s highlights.
Claudia Michelutti and Co. (Valkyre).
On the small stage, steampunk-band Valkyre continued, in a sense, fashionably. However, this is only true for their clothes as the music was a crossover of multiple styles which were carried by a very female voice and yet, did not get lost in the metal-roar.
Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards).
With a slight delay, it was now time for the performance of a band which, just as we had predicted, turned out to be the festival’s strongest band: Ancient Bards. The band got the audience all fired up with a fantastic singer and five musicians who all knew exactly what they were doing with their instruments. With their symphonic epic power metal, the band delivered a well-made mixture of bombast and emotions. The Italians were currently on their 10 Bardic Years Tour which lead to them having a very special set list. All in all, this was an outstanding performance which led to remarkably much bawling amongst the crowd.
Laura Guldemond (Shadowrise).
Subsequently, Shadowrise and Nightmare performed, which unfortunately we were not able to see. Shadowrise is the band of the singer Laura Guldemond who also had an amazing performance during the fashion show (for the second time) – this made our missing her other performance even more unfortunate.
Vicky Johnson (Winter in Eden).
It went on with Winter in Eden who, contrary to their band’s name, brought a lot of heat to the Aardschock Stage. Aside from the contention, that the band was produced by members of the band Within Temptation, the band from the UK also brought strong female fronted metal which spoke for itself and filled the entire room effortlessly.
Dianne van Giersbergen (Xandria) und Publikum.
Dianne van Giersbergen with Precious-Metal-Jewelry.
With Xandria came the performance, which the FemME-audience had been waiting for the entire past year. At least 30% of the audience had been wearing the band’s shirts the entire day and the symphonic metal band had an easy game with the audience, which had shown up in great numbers and thoroughly motivated. In return this lead to the band getting to work euphorically and delivering one of their best performances yet. All band members were full of enthusiasm and their usual bombast. Additionally, Dianne had already performed on Saturday with Ex Libris on the small stage and, just as last year, presented her self-made jewelry brand “Precious Metal” at her jewelry booth. It was one of many booths, which brought a whole other side to the festival and provided another incentive, especially to the female visitors.
Lena (Infected Rain).
It was a rather hard cut that was made with Infected Rain, as this band opened the hardest part of the Female Metal Event. However, one can’t really refer to the Moldavians as warm-up since the lifted the roof and scudded across the stage wildly and dynamically. The combination of bad girl and screams gave the performance the necessary x-factor.
Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy).
At about 10 pm, the hour of the Arch Enemy approached. The headliner transformed the stage into a place of fire and wind fountains. In all this, front women Alissa White-Gluz did not lose her presence but shone with her stage presence and switched between grunts, audience animation and the waving of flags. However to those, who know Alissa from her time with The Agonist and other projects, it may have been slightly disappointing as the singer presented herself a little less vocally versatile. It was, however, rather obvious that most of the audience – almost all of the festival visitors had gathered for this show – were more than excited about the show. This also goes for the rest of the band which were at their best.
Michelle Nivelle (Hell City).
The last show of the festival was given by Hell City. The band, that called themselves the new wave of Belgian metal, performed music with a drive to it that was something in the Hard Rock family. This drive lead to a great atmosphere and made for a successful festival-finish. 
The third volume of the Female Metal Event was just as successful as its last performance. Influenced by various genres and bands from all over the globe, the festival 2016 offered even more diversity than last year. Hence, the bands’ and staffs’ and, most importantly, the audiences’ mood was on top. Even though the audience had grown this year, the cozy and familiar atmosphere at the FemME could be maintained – very special, considering all the big names in the Line-Up. We are already very excited to see what the next year will bring – cheap Early Bird Tickets are already available!
More pictures of the bands as well as video-interviews will follow soon!


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