Review: Nova Rock 2015 – Day two.

Day Two at Nova Rock and the sun is just as relentless. By 7am everyone flees their tents to find some shade or refreshment in order to kill time before the bands take the stages on this Saturday.

The first one to play over on the Red Stage are The Answer (★★★★) from Northern Ireland. Bringing their blues-rock to the masses, lead singer Cormac Neeson sure gives off a psychedelic vibe, something the crowd is not prepared for but seem to enjoy nonetheless. It can be hard for the first band to get the early birds going but it’s a pleasure to watch them, and they certainly help them ease into this second day of the festival with strong guitars and distinctive vocals.

Asking Alexandria (★★★) bring a whole different vibe. After Danny Worsnop’s departure from the band back in January, their new vocalist Denis Stoff, who has only performed a handful of shows with them, has big shoes to fill. However, he does a great job. Although his stage presence isn’t as strong yet, the effort is there; the crowd listens as he encourages them to open the pit up while guitarists Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell have a couple of riff-offs. Due to a delayed start, their set is short and the band performs mostly songs from their previous albums. It’ll be interesting for the fans to watch Stoff grow into the role of the frontman.

Not into metalcore? Over on the Blue Stage Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls (★★★★★) are inviting the crowd to sing, clap, and dance along to their acoustic rock. Frank Turner is as charming as a young man with a guitar can be, talking to the audience between songs, making jokes, and trying to convince people of his non-existent German language skills. Unsuccessfully. But it’s okay. Him and the Sleeping Souls play a solid set, led by Recovery. Fan-favorites such as The Way I Tend To Be, Get Better, and Four Simple Words keep a smile on everyone’s faces until Frank & Co leave the stage. 

German indie/punk/rap band Kraftklub (★★★★) take over after a rather chill afternoon of folk and alternative rock. It’s easy for them to get the crowd going, and soon everyone is jumping up and down. They learned from the best, having supported Beatsteaks, the headliners on friday. It’s fun to watch them, especially when the whole band takes their shirts off and decides to crowd-surf and race against each other. A festival first? Definitely a Nova Rock first.

The sky darkens and the wind picks up speed as Papa Roach (★★★★) start their set with Face Everything and Rise. In between old favorites and new tracks, vocalist Jacoby Shaddix riles up the crowd, throwing his fist in the air and flashing smiles. Having played so many shows, especially in Europe, the band is at home on stage and with the fans, a delight before the storm.

German Hip-Hop at its best! Die Fantastischen Vier (★★★★) from Stuttgart have been delivering the tunes since 1986, and they have yet to tire. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the tornado that is Michi Beck, Thomas D, Smudo, and And.Ypsilon. The Fanta 4 are an institution, everyone knows their songs, everyone loves to sing their songs. They’re full of self-mockery, calling their performance ‘Fairytales of the Hip-Hop retirement home’ and joke about not copying Kraftklub and keeping their shirts on. Not that it’s necessary; no one even bothers to leave early even though there’s a huge storm approaching.

Luckily, it moves on quickly, only some light rain accompanies the first few songs of In Flames’ (★★★) set. The band appears from a red and green fog, and start thrashing immediately. Anders Fridén, lead singer of the Swedish quintet, could have delivered a better performance but who cares? The melodic synth sounds as well as the gloomy stage show with which the 80-minute long set is presented still has the crowd captivated and enthralled

A lot of German bands at this year’s Nova Rock! Headlining the Blue Stage are Die Toten Hosen (★★★★), punk legends from Düsseldorf. Their name is literally translated to ‘The Dead Pants/Trousers’ although the German expression ‘tote Hose’ means ‘nothing is going on/everything’s boring’. Which is funny because this band is the absolute opposite of ‘tote Hose’. Looking back on an over 30-year long career, you’d think that Campino & Co are worn out and have taken it down a notch. No chance. They’re as energetic, bold, and compelling as they always have been. The crowd even gets out lighters instead of iPhones when the band plays Nur zu Besuch (Only visiting). Goosebumps!

Nightwish (★★★) headline the Red Stage. Although the big crowd is still watching Die Toten Hosen, vocalist Floor Jansen is all smiles as she raises her arms and enchants the fans with her voice. She owns the stage. Flames burst up in the air, sparks emit left and right, explosions interrupt melodies. The band sure knows how to put on a show. It’s certainly a rock opera although there’s something missing. Anyhow, Nightwish are a spectacular end to day two of Nova Rock! Want to check out all of our photo sets and Nova Rock coverage? Just go here!

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