Festival report: IMPERICON festival (Munich, April 30th 2017)

Festival report: IMPERICON festival (Munich, April 30th 2017)

- in Reviews

Text by Sebastian Bramböck, pics by Tina Burgstaller.

Impericon does it again. Tickets for “” 50 Euro presale they offer this huge amount on bands on this sunny Sunday in Munich. Indoor Festivals usually don‘t have the same, certain Festival feeling as their bigger brothers have with their camping sides, the 2 to 3 stages and the food-and-beer-trucks.
But as we arrived, we already had common images around the area.
People sitting in the grass, sleeping on the ground, some guy in a superman-bathrobe and all kind of adolescent antics as we approach the venue.

Inside was half of the room parted for merchandise, an autograph area, a stall where you can test various Ibanez-Guitars and even two consoles for videogamers were available.

But most of all we were here for the bands. And there were plenty of them.


First band of the day was one of the many German-based bands that have been there and started off with their straight forward Punk/Hardcore -styled Sound. Yes, AYS was a big surprise considering the type of bands we were about to experience. But they did one hell of a show. It doesn’t happen that often that an opening act has such an impact on the whole crowd but they definitely had. Just like the first half of all artists, AYS only had 30 minutes to perform and I can honestly say there was no single boring moment in it.


The side Project of Stick To Your Guns- Vocalist Jesse Barnett put us in a much calmer atmosphere but still had lots of hard tunes to ease the mood and fit perfectly in the main idea of this festival. Doubled Clean Vocals had this harmonic tone and created a comfortable zone right before the more aggressive parts set in again.

Just the right place to put this band because now we go on with…


A perfect typical Impericon artist with core-scream-vocals and clean-chorus parts. But they definitely had the audience in seconds. At this point the violent dancing and the mandatory circle-pits started. Some smaller microphone-problems at the beginning it was a completely round set and great show of a band will hopefully will hear of again the sooner or later.


Another straight-forward gang of Germans. lots of potential and energy spreading out. From the first second they hit the stage. Wolf Down felt much more like a Punk than a Hardcore group but did both aspect really great and performed on a high standard. Their charismatic vocalist was the first in a row who got off stage and let the audience sing along with him, and they loved it. But even those who saw Wolf Down for the first time had an awesome time with the frequent song work and their expression.
More moshing than before and even more violent dancing. Everything increased.

But then there was:


Usually I step aside from talking bad about other musicians, but in my opinion, these guys are nothing but no musicians at all. The first song was not even played by them- the DJ on stage just pressed play and “Killing in the name” from Rage Against The Machine was played. I mean- who does that? You have only 30 minutes to perform and play a record from someone else. Not even covering it, or a remix or something – No, just press the “play”-button.
But then they started playing their selves and I just wished to go back to the point where we just heard some other band from a record. I say this with all respect I can procure. This was crap – for real.


Here goes another Metalcore-Highlight of the day. The sound and performance felt a lot more mature then what we seen until then. A high technical standard in the musical and vocal division. Miss May I renounced from crowd surfing and other contact with the audience but still had lots of motion going on stage. They just didn’t need to. The songs worked very well for them and the people right in front of the stage were constantly giving everything for their performers.


Finally a band with the certain amount of brutality I sorely missed until then. Canrifex literally destroyed the whole scene. With an unbelievable cruelty in their vocals and not lesser the guitar- and drum section, Carnifex came to maim. Death at its finest.
Everysingle song hits you like a sledgehammer right into the face. And not only that they had a sheer perfect performance their selves with all the songs the crowd expected and happily appreciated; they covered the “heretic anthem” of Slipknot, which strangely fitted in the sound amazingly.
For the last song of a flawlessly arranged show, they had the in official  Star of the tour Chris „CJ“ McMahon of Thy Art is Murder to sing with them.


As I just mentioned was “CJ” of Thy Art Is Murder the catchy part of the Impericon Festival. He was in the Audience before the show started had the longest line of people for an autograph and the appearance with Carnifex. He was just everywhere, but most of all he did the best job on stage of all the amazing artist that day-  he was just supreme.
And don’t get me wrong, the rest of the band too. Thy Art Is Murder was brutal and energetic. Every note physically hurt you but left you just wanting to hear more of them. Nobody was standing still during their set and when the last song was about to come  the mighty “CJ” invited everyone to join him on stage. And they did. There were so many people up there; we barley were able to see the band anymore. It was pure joy to see so many people enjoying this event at its fullest. And Thy Art Is Murder was probably the biggest part of that feeling.


Now it was time to settle down a bit. And the crowd needed that. There was an exhaustion going on that had to vanish before the next full-energy artist hits the stage, so Impericon decided to get in a calmer mood again and brought us Being As An Ocean.
The sound and atmosphere was 180° from every other artist of the festival, yet it fitted in just right. Long, moody guitar parts and harmonic clean vocals with power and emotions. After the first half of the set, their singer almost remained entirely in the audience, walked within them and sang with them. A very familial morale occurred and made the crowd feel as one working organism. Very artistic and impressive.


So here’s the highlight for the many Punk-fans that have been there and I can honestly say this was one of the most fun shows I’ve seen in a while.
Every member was in constant motion, shaking, kicking and riffing through the whole set list. You can feel that Anti-Flag enjoys playing and how that fun is transported to the listeners, letting them sing along every single word with passion. Also this band had a big finale, taking the drum set and placing in right in the middle of the crowd, playing the last song on it while the bassist also stood on the drums to perform. Very unexpected, but very cool.


The second and final round for Jesse Barnett started with him and only him playing an acoustic guitar. Very untypical, but Stick To Your Guns had the people choose the entire set list vía Internet and that’s what they decided.
From that point further, the set was straight-Metalcore as you would expect it and that was just right. Some more drunk and exhausted people in the audience had a lack of moshing coming along, but those who still could stand did their best to party with the band as good as possible.
Maybe also because Stick to your Guns was in the city just a few weeks ago but with all the effort, this was still an amazing show.


The local based Emil Bulls, a crossover; alternative or whatever-Core band from Munich did quite a change to the audience. From the moment they started we saw a lot more mature listeners and no more violent dancing and other stuff alike. They show itself was really fun. Kinda old-school, but in a fresh modern way.
Almost everyone I saw standing around me knew every word of every single song and likely sang along. Emil Bulls was also the first band of the day that had quite a built on stage. Pretty decent though with a few yellow mic-stands and steaming cases to stand on, but still enough to have a different setting then the other bands before them.


Here we go with the final artists of the festival. German-based again but known throughout everywhere: Caliban.
Just like Emil Bulls but a lot bigger was their background setup in here. Huge, glowing cubes that formed the band name were placed to put the drum set on it and the lightshow completely set the mood for every song by itself. A highly professional and well-conceived show.
The songs they played and how they did was insanely impressive. If this isn’t your type of music ok, but it’s definitely worth seeing musicians at their best, performing on such a high level without any technical issues or problems on stage. This couldn’t have been better even if they would have played the record instead.

It was a long day, with so many great bands to see and review and keep in mind that when Caliban had their last song played, everyone left in the venue was so satisfied yet so wasted. This could have been going on for forever, but with all this energy and motivation experienced in only one day most of the people didn’t have much left to give.

As we left we saw plenty of drunk people lying on the floor next to the merch booth and sitting leaned to the walls with their heads lowered.
But overall this was just one hell of a festival and extremely intense for just a day of playtime.

A very special THANKS to Impericon and Target Music for making these Festivals happen – see you next year!

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