M'era Luna. Day 1 (8 August, 2015)
In 2015 ASP, Rob Zombie and Nightwish were announced as the official headliners; the first two teams leave me calm, but I was eager to see Nightwish because I have been their fan for 10 years. Also I was happy to see Blutengel, Deathstars and Lord of the Lost etc. In fact, there were numerous talented musicians on the festival, and each of them is worth attention.
The long way to Germany is already left behind, and now I'm standing at Hildesheim airport with a ticket in my hand. Thus, the festival is held at the airport, and you can imagine the size of its territory. By the way, it's easy to get lost there. The queue at the entrance is long, but moves fast. A guard checks the ticket and puts on a special wrist bracelet that you are not allowed to take off until the end of the event. Then they check your bag, and if there is nothing dangerous or prohibited inside it, in a few minutes you are on the main area. It takes 7-10 minutes to reach the main stage (there are two stages at the festival). I am in a hurry: Lord of the Lost start their show in 20 minutes. A few words about the audience: everybody is very polite. If you want to get closer to the stage, everyone will let you come as close as you want. Guards, unlike Ukrainian ones, do not frighten anyone, they just maintain order, give free water and even support female fans who are mad with happiness.
As I was late and arrived only at 2 p.m. Lord of the Lost was the first band I saw. It was the first time I saw them live, so it was even more interesting. The leader and vocalist Chris Harms was giving all his energy, although he was messing up from time to time, but who cares, if he, the idol, is here, in a few meters from you? Show began with a new and very incendiary composition Full Metal Whore. Chris was wearing bright make-up and was trying to look menacing, especially when he was waving with a cello bow. We did not know at that moment that from the backstage Chris’s son was watching his dad :) Different songs were performed, including the hit Die Tomorrow, which has already become classics, relatively new Six Feet Underground and Kill It With Fire. Unfortunately, they didn’t sing Credo, but the impression was still excellent. Fans were thrilled when Chris broke a guitar, and even jumped off the stage into the fans’ hands, who were trying to tear their idol into pieces.
Deathstars were the next ones on stage, and they were no less remarkable. These charismatic Sweds have enough fans, but if there were people unfamiliar with them (if any), they were easily charmed, I'm sure. As for me I couldn’t look up from incredibly charismatic Andreas Berg (Whiplasher Bernadotte) during the whole show. He was moving with a cat's grace, smiling charmingly to the fans, thus bringing them up to hysterics.
After Deathstars’ show I had to move away from the stage and to go towards the Sonic Seducer tents: people have already formed a queue for Lord of the Lost signing session. I was surprised to hear Russian language spoken nearby: there were two girls from Moscow. Not only did they make a pleasant company for me while we were waiting, but also took a photo of Chris and me, turning my dream into reality, and I am very grateful to them. At 6 p.m. sharp the guards let us come closer, and fans rushed to the table where Chris and his team were sitting proudly. The first thing I felt was shock. Outrageous guys did not want to show up in a “normal” or even onstage clothes. Well, it's Lord of the Lost, with their very special sense of humor. Guys were patiently taking pictures with everyone, not forgetting about jokes. And I can not avoid mentioning charming Bo, whose smile and wink improved my mood, which had been good even before that.
After the signing session, I rushed to the stage, because soon the true gothic king had to turn up. His name is Chris Paul, the leader of Blutengel. When he and his faithful companion Uli appeared on the stage, I realized why everyone respects and loves him so much. His charisma and energy literally flooded everything. Moreover, clouds suddenly disappeared and sun rays lit the stage. It seemed that the nature itself was happy to see Blutengel. According to the tradition, there were lots of hot girls and sinful nuns among the backup dancers;)
After Blutengel I went home. Well, to the hotel. I should mention that M'era Luna is an open-air festival, however, not everyone wants to live in a tent, so they book suits at hotels and hostels. As a result, six months before the festival almost all accomodation in the town and its suburbs was booked. Near the exit there were lots of taxis, so I quickly reached my cozy hotel near the center of Hildesheim, fell on the bed and fell asleep immediately.
M'era Luna. Day 2 (9 August, 2015)
I woke up early and decided not to miss the opportunities to see the town itself. There are things that are worth seeing. Quite alike, but very nice and neat houses, clean streets and almost complete absence of people - it was Sunday morning. I walked for a few hours, then returned to the room and started preparing for the meeting with my beloved ones - Nightwish.
Recently, fans (or so-called fans) have been criticizing Nightwish a lot. However, the number of their fans has not decreased, it became evident when we with my friend came on the second day of the festival. There were 25,000 people and probably every third one was dressed up in something with a symbolic of the band. I realized that if I wanted to be present at the signing session, I had to stand in a queue, although 2 hours were left. What can I say… I had to come 3 or 4 hours earlier. Thus I was far away from the beginning of the queue. In fact, I reached the tent with the band only in 40 minutes after the signing session began, although the queue was moving very fast. The organizers were also impressed by the incredible size of the queue of Nightwish fans (the queue was great both in length and width, which, of course, is not good). The queue was moving fast because it was forbidden to take pictures with the band members and ask for more than one autograph from each musician. I was greatly saddened by this news, because it was my dream to take a picture with Maestro Tuomas. The guards were strict, and they were reminding us about the rules again and again. Even the band didn’t want to take risks and Marco politely refused to write something longer than his own signature, explaining that it would take more time. Although in general the guys (and Floor) were very nice. Troy was the first one and he was giving each fan a friendly smile. Incomparable Floor Jansen looked even more impressive than in the photos. Then I saw Marco, Kai, Emppu and finally Tuomas. When I was standing in line and watching the strict guards, I began to doubt whether I would be able to give the band a gift from the Ukrainian fan club: Nightword of an outstanding design and a cover letter. When I saw that Tuo had nothing to do, I called him and asked if I could pass a gift. He was ready to take it, but the distance was several meters, so he just smiled modestly and said: "Yes, of course." When my turn came and I was standing near Emppu and Tuomas, there was a fog in my head because of excitement. Then I left Emppu a paper to sign and immediately gave Tuomas a gift, claiming that it was for the whole band from the Ukrainian fan club called Nighthearts. When Maestro heard the word 'Ukrainian' he was very surprised and unpacked the gift at once. His face reflected surprise once again, eyebrows rose and he said something like 'Wow, cool'. It was evident that he really liked it. I was extremely excited and said it was my dream to take a photo with him. Emppu understood me, asked where he should click on my phone, and voila, he was taking a photo of us with Maestro. The joy of the moment intertwined with fear that security would see it. But this did not happen. Completely stunned, I said in a strange voice that I loved Emppu too and they with Tuomas burst in laughter. I flew out of the tent like a bullet, where my friend was waiting for me. I was so excited that I was about to burst into tears, and it took me half an hour to calm down. I must say that I was not the only one who was photographed with Tuomas by Emppu, this proves once again that he is not just funny and nice, but also a very kind person.
As I wrote above, there were lots of Nightwish fans, so while I was coming around, my friend pulled me to the first rows of the fan zone. There were a few hours left before the show, but people were trying to get closer to the stage. Once again I want to mention the audience: everything was very peaceful and in a civilized manner. Nobody was pushing, shouting at each other, and nobody was drunk. Smile and respect - and pleasant atmosphere is ready. These things are often missing during the shows here in Ukraine.
Finally the show begins. On this tour Nightwish don’t change their traditions and start performance with Shudder Before The Beautiful. Pyrotechnics explode immediately and heat pours on the first rows of fan zone. But people just scream with delight. The band is received very warmly. Well, here we go. Floor’s voice sounds purely and loudly, she copes well with all songs. New songs were performed along with the old, favorite hits such as Ghost Love Score and She Is My Sin. Twice as nice is to hear Storytime, I Want My Tears Back, Amaranth, Last Ride Of The Day again. Elan and Yours Is An Empty Hope are performed perfectly. And this is not the entire list. I was standing exactly in front of Emppu, so I had time to thank him for his photos, he was giving wink and smiling. Everything was on a higher level, and the time given to the band, only one hour and 15 minutes, flew by very quickly. Unfortunately, the band did not come for encore, even though we were calling them long and loudly.
The two days of the festival passed very quickly, but they left an incredible amount of impressions and emotions. I am happy that I managed to get there, managed to become a part of this huge event. I do not have any complaints about anything that happened during these days inn Germany. Everything was perfectly organized, I was surprised and pleased with kindness of people and beauty of the country. I will remember these days with warmth for many, many years. Next year I'm going to visit this wonderful festival again. If somebody also wants to go, but doesn’t know what to begin with, click here orchitravel.blogspot.com, or contact the Nighthearts fan club ;)