Dokk 'em Open Air fills the gap that the Waldrock festival left behind. With more visitors than last year (3500) and an excellent organization, the festival will definitely become an annual one. The weather was a lot better than last year and that probably helped too. The question for the next years is: do they want to grow again to become an even biggger festival, or are they satisfied with what they have become now?
Due to other obligations, I could only pay a visit on Saturday. After a pasta meal at Gabjuh's (a metal friend), we picked up another metaldude (the backpacker) and arrived at the festivalsite at about 13.30. We missed the first 3 bands and arrived in the tent expecting Eden's Curse. But instead, the band Wormrot started. Later on it became clear that they couldn't find the Eden's Curse singer fast enough. He was wondering around the fields or something like that. Fortunately he arrived later on, but the band had to skip a song or 2 (I think) due to the inexorable time-table. The band Wormrot is not my cup of tea, so I had to wait for Eden's Curse to become a bit excited. The band did a decent job and vocalist Marco Sandron is a good gain for the band, but a good watch would not be redundant.
The first band that got the crowd wild was Pro-Pain. Their metalcore grooves got the audience jumping up and down and the first pit of the day was a fact. Another band that didn't make my piss boil is Glorior Belli. The evil sounding music just doesn't match with how the members dress and look. The members just don't look evil enough to play this style.
Trail of Tears took the stage, and got the crowd going, but a lot were waiting for Hail of Bullets to errupt their heavy warcrushing music towards the crowd. Martin van Drunen's charismatic performance got the audience wild again and moshing around. The Gathering, for me the band that created a whole new genre/sound and inspired a lot of bands, played their debut album 'Always'. I was looking forward to that, but due to a horrible sound, thier gig was a little disappointing.
After that, Ancient Rites and Moonspell did their thing.
I was never excited about Obituary, but they served us a tight gig, that surprised me a little.
Highlight of the evening was Jon Oliva. The man that looks like a mountain and sings like a king came, saw and conquered. Perhaps his vocals were not in shape for a 100 percent, but that couldn't spoil the evening. Starting with some Savatage songs like Gutter Ballet, Sirens etc. the band played the album 'Hall of the Mountain King'. One highlight after another and they finished the concert with "Believe".
The festival closed with Arch Enemy. For me Jon Oliva's Pain was the headliner and there is no doubt about the quality of the Arch Enemy show, but I would have liked it the other way around.
Final conclusion is, that it was a great festival, with excellent weather and great bands. The only thing that could improve next year is the ability to get some food. At times, the people had to wait rather long to get a snack. For the rest, thumbs up and on to DOA 2013.
Attending: Reinier de Vries