Dynamo Open Air 2016

There was quite some ado in the weeks before Dynamo Metal Fest. Last years edition had some issues and people wanted to know up front if these issues were solved. The organization responded very well and prompt on each question online. Last years edition had a total of 5.000 visitors and this years edition was going to surpass that number big time! The lineup was very interesting, so when the weather gods would be gently this could be a hell of a festival, again!

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Extremities (NL)

This years winner of the Dynamo Metal Fest Battle is Extremities and won the right to open Dynamo Metal Fest. Visibly impressed by the (already) rather big crowd the first song is a bit shaky, but the nervousness is rapidly replaced by confidence and these students of the Metal Factory are playing for what they’re worth. It’s an interesting set of complex metal what Extremities plays, but the sound setting weren’t consistent, which made then sound quality vary quite a bit. Pity, but I am sure this isn’t the last time we see and hear Extremities! I’m interested!

Audrey Horne (NO)

If there is one band who understands how to party, it must be Audrey Horne. From the first note till the last, their set is one rock n roll galore. Twin guitar solo’s are almost a must in every song and the fun and joy is visible on each and every band member. Although the audience is used to a much more heavier sound, there is much appreciation for Audrey Horne. At the end of the set singer Torkjell Rød gets of the stage and is singing amidst of his audience. He must have liked it there, because it takes quite some time for him to get back. Later I heard he took some time to take pictures with some fans. How cool is that! Audrey Horne was not the heaviest band of the day by far, but is has a lot of catchy tunes which headbangers in Eindhoven enjoyed a lot!

Textures (NL)

This was the band I was really curious about! In February this year I reviewed their new album for Pitkings (http://www.pitkings.nl/textures-phenotype-album-review/) and loved almost every note of it. I know it’s difficult to play such complex songs convincingly live, so I wondered how Textures would do this. To be honest I was blown away. Sure the complexity and layering of a studio album can’t be exactly duplicated live, but what it might have lacked in complexity and layering, the performance made up for that in triplicate! What an awesome performance and what a craftsmanship to perform a complex album like “Phenotype” live. Textures raised way above my expectations, and they were quite hight to begin with… The first circle pits and occasional crowd surfer were during Textures!

Obituary (USA)

Before even reviewing Obituary, I want to say what a great bunch this is. Just a few days before Dynamo Metal Fest started, ‘Life Of Agony’ had to cancel due to an accident of their drummer and Obituary said “yes” to Dynamo Metal Fest question to fill in. This meant they had to plan a stop in The Netherlands on their way from Sweden to Spain in a matter of days and give up on a day of rest. So a BIG thanks from the Dutch crowd is in order here for saving the day! The gig itself was awesome. At Fortarock I didn’t saw the whole show due to programming, but this time I got to see them from start to finish. It’s contagious to see their enthusiasm and hear their brutal fast metal. In front of the stage there is lots of movement and there are countless crowd surfers. Even a guy in a wheelchair is hoisted up. If my memory serves me well, it was the same guy as last year when Alestorm played. Obituary is one of the bands you can’t hear enough at a festival. It might not the most spectacular show of the day, but it is solid, raw and loud!

Sacred Reich (USA)

The first band announced for this edition of Dynamo Metal Fest was Sacred Reich. At this point the venue is packed! There are quite a lot of fans in The Netherlands for Sacred Reich, even though they haven’t made an album for decades! The people in the first few rows know the lyrics by heart and the energy of the crowd reflects on the gents of Sacred Reich and visa versa. Singer Phil Rind smiles a lot when the audience is finishing the sentences for him and is reminiscing with some guy in the front row on when their first gig in The Netherlands was. The set is a trip down memory lane, but it’s a fast and loud one! Much too soon the last song is announced: “Surf Nicaragua”. Fist go in the air and heads are banging. Damn what a ff-ing great party!

Powerwolf (D)

Around Dutch diner time (17h-18h) Powerwolf climbs the stage for their metal mass. Therefor there are less people on the field in front of the stage, but during the show the numbers grew and grew, when people finished their meal. After the calm, almost serene intro the show kicks off. The brothers Greywolf are all over the stage and it only takes a few songs to have keyboard player Falk joins them. The latter has a keyboard on either side of the stage and changes between them and is quit often found on the edge of the stage too, cheering the crowd on. The Powerwolf songs have found their way to the Dutch fans, because almost every song is sung along. As a total package, Powerwolf is one of the best life bands out there. It’s action packed, lots of sing along and a feast for eyes and ears.

Metal Church (USA)

When Steve Unger enters the stage, the first thing which stands out (literally) is the item on the end of his base. From a small distance it looks like some sort of dildo, but when Steve stands on the edge of the stage is clear that is a kind of tripod for his Go-Pro camera. The dildo wouldn’t be that strange, based on the “Vagina” t-shirt he is wearing. The return of Mike Howe is said to be the return of the original sound of Metal Church and partially that’s true. One of their most successful periods was with Mike on vocals and his voice is very recognizable. Mike was bouncing around the stage with some sense of drama, but although he sounded not bad at all, it wasn’t totally convincing either. If it was because the sound settings or something else, I don’t know but to me the performance never reached above decent. Pity, because a few years ago they were quite impressive at Dokk’em Open Air.

At The Gates (ZWE)

Even before At The Gates is getting on the stage, it is notably less busy. That’s a pity, because there are still two bands left and two of quite some name too! The melodic death metal of these Swedes is catchy like hell and although there is not much of a show, the performance is great and the audience is going berserk! Crowd surfers, circle pits and a lot of head baning and singing. There is a lot of fun on the stage and frontman Tomas keeps pointing is microphone to the crowd, which sing with all their might. Tomas is grinning a lot when he hears his songs, sung by the Dutch audience. Super performance of these Swedes!

Anthrax (USA)

Right on time Anthrax is starting their gig. With a short -quite muzak- intro, they start playing “Got to believe” backstage and run to their position on the stage. What an entrance! Right from the first second the band is on the stage, it kicks ass and the crowd is going crazy. Even they are all pushing 50, or did push 50 some years ago, there is no doubt these guys are in the top league of thrash metal. Of course the old tracks receive the biggest cheers and during “caught in a mosh”, which is the third song, it goes really wild on the field in front of the stage and the band is visibly enjoying the sight in front of them. It’s a pitty a lot of people have to leave to catch their public transport, but the audience which stays behind are treated with a superb performance of these thrash legends. With “Indians” as the last song of their encore Dynamo Metal Fest ends in style.

Conclusion

With about 7.500 visitors, there were 50% more people than the first edition and it fitted well in the Ice skate venue. It was busy, but not too busy. The best part was, that the organization did listen to the complaints of last year about the toilet facilities and the registers for tokens. There were hardly any lines for the tokens and only during breaks it could get busy at the restrooms. The only point of complaint I heard was the availability of water. There was free water, but it was behind the checkpoint for the toilets, for which you had to pay… Maybe it’s an idea for next year to have a waterpoint like Fortarock had. But with that being the only point people had to mutter about, I would say this festival was great and had a super line up. The organization did a splendid job and the facilities were great. The weather was great too; nice warm but not too sunny and the volunteers were helpful an cheerful. With Testament being the first announced band for next year, I’m sure I will be in Eindhoven for the third edition of Dynamo Metal Fest!