WGT 2019

With late Easter we also had a late Whitsun and thus a late WGT this year. Having booked a year in advance we had our usual apartment arriving on Thursday. Even more warm-up parties this year and again something that I wanted to see, so this day of driving, picking up ribbons and getting to the concert made quite a busy day again. Next year we are going again a day earlier.

There was again an EBM warm-up in the Felsenkeller with a noise-concert in a smaller attending room. Kommando would play, so… We arrived in time to see the weird previous act, the debunked and revived UK happy noise outfit Now Wash Your Hands. The silly films on the background were more amusing than the music itself, but the “synthpop” songs at the end were already more to my liking. Kommando was nice, but a bit repetitive.

Plenty of time on Friday to use our WGT ribbons to visit museums and no concerts that I really wanted to see, but we went to the Agra (of course the Heidnisches Dorf and the Agra market first) for Das Ich. Das Ich has been around longer than the WGT, this is their 30th year. They actually played the very first WGT 28 years ago. The show started wonderfully with old tracks and slowly worked towards more contemporary sounds.
Then we went to the Stadtbad were some minimal wave bands would play. As always this venue was way too crowded and hot. When we came in Tempers just left the stage (the band that I would have wanted to see) and after a long pause, Hante. played some alright songs.

Again nothing too high on my wishlist on Saturday, but there was a new stage that already had a program from before noon. This proved to be an open air EBM stage with bad facilities and boring music. I guess this replaces the EBM concerts that used to be held in the Kohlrabicirkus.
So, on to the Täubschental were the post-punkers Dystopian Society gave a descent show. The next band, Murder At The Registry, was less of my liking.

Sunday would be busier, things scheduled at the same time even. First we went to see Orange Sector in Haus Leipzig, a very nice ‘old school EBM’ band with annoyingly empty lyrics.
After this we lined up for the second show of Goethes Erben (!) in the Schauspielhaus (yes, they gave two concerts in the local theatre housing hundreds of people). As always Goethes Erben was beautiful yet depressive. Then I had to skip Christian Death, The Soft Moon and Winterkälte because I wanted to see She Pleasures Herself. Before they started we saw their label-mates Dear Deer who were more ‘electropunky’ than I expected. The show was nice, but, again, the lyrics somewhat empty. SPHS proved to be a great choice. They gothic rock show was great and I left with their latest album.

The final day would have the show I looked for the most, Am Not. He was strangely booked as the only noise act in the Kantine of the Volkspalast. Like the latest releases the sound of the show was a mix of brutal noise and more tranquil tracks and not the ‘structured noise’ that I like best, but the performance was pretty good. Hermann Kopp joined the stage for two tracks, in one he did vocals, in the other violin.
Somewhat surprising Inade was up in the big Kuppelhalle, apparently replacing Lustmord. The show was good, but Inade is a bit too monotonous for my taste. Back to the small room where Meta Meat would play. I thought they were some new IDM-type project on Ant-Zen, but this was way different. Was I watching Job Karma who were supposed to have played before we came in? A ritualistic piece of industrial with an enigmatic front man and energetic music. What a great show!
The closer of this year would be Tangerine Dream (!). I expected a light-show mostly, but besides their 1980’ies synth/rock sound it was mostly film on a big screen. Not too exciting, but good enough for a few songs.

The WGT has a fairly steady number of visitors, yet in recent years I always have the feeling that every single concert is stuffed with people, way too hot, impossible to move around or get a drink. I guess I made better (or at least: less popular) choices this year. Besides the overcrowded Felsenkeller and Stadtbad, we had plenty of room in the Agra, Täubschental, even in the Moritzbastei and the Volkspalast. Perhaps the organisation better managed to spread the crowd this year? It makes a plus for the festival though. Too few people at a concert is not good for the band, but too many is not good for the crowd. Having a weekend with a variety of concerts in a variety of styles, being able to jump into museums and bumping into ‘die schwarze Leute’ everywhere in and around Leipzig makes the Wave Gotik Treffen a wonderful festival.

We will be back next year!

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