As you maybe notice, for its 7th Edition and because of the complaints from the public last year, DesertFest Berlin changed its location from the RAW area to Arena Berlin ! Not that I want to talk again about it but apparently, Berlin’s public really want to see all the band and this year as the first years, here we are in this big place transformed for 3 days for fuzzy riffs in Germany with no overlapping shows ! Good to know now that Desertfest crew really paid attention to the public, so thank you
This year in the whole new venue, two stages were installed as you can see on the pictures. This time there was certainly enough space at Arena Berlin and two stages have been built up inside the hall, a main and side stage with adjacent backstage. Another part of the hall was the area for different merch stalls, tattoo parlour and a stall for the highly recommendable Doomster’s Monolithic Alphabet.
On the outside of the arena, you have a big place just near the Spree for every food truck, beers of all kind by the Brooklyn Brewery. Good to know, food trucks were really good and diversified like those wonderful pizzas or delicious oriental vegan plate. Don’t worry, we are in Germany so you can have a wurst at every time of the festival. The outside area was really comfortable and lucky we are, sun was here all time !
Bonus, live DJ sets were waiting for you in a corner near the river to stay in the mood and you could walk up the area to get a great view on the Spree. Too bad the beach and the Badeschiff were not included in the festival area, the sunny weather would certainly have tempted some people to jump into the water for cooling down (and some short-term treatment for sunburns), but actually, we didn’t really had time for that !
With only two stages for the festival line-up of 29 bands, it was again possible to see any gig – essentially, you just had to move your head 90 degrees. So no overlaps during the three days of this fine, fuzzy festival.
Church Of Misery
Mr Black Krakken and I are kind of big fans of Monolord ( especially live ) and sincerely, those men are really nice too ! They played at nine, if you took your dinner just before I hope everything was ok for you
This band has one of the best sound we could see live and they are on tour very often so good for us ! With Mr. Black Krakken we agreed that the first time you are listening to Empress Rising, even if you are not a fan of doom, you might express a little « Whatttttt »
Esben behind the drum pull the doom out of those cymbals and kick while Mika the bassist, and Thomas the guitarist, achieve his sentence with their own instruments. They have the art of riff in themselves. For me, they are made to be on tour and don’t hesitate if they are in your area ! (words by Mr. Evileye)
The headliner Monster Magnet in their 29th year of craftsmanship brought another dose of stoner rock to the Desertfest. You could feel the joy of playing throughout the whole concert, mindfucking the audience. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Weedeater was on stage to close that day 1 and let’s be honest, if you think their music is crazy, don’t look in the eyes of the bassist, Dave “Dixie” Collins, it’s pure Madness. 1st song gets you directly to what’s coming with the famous “Good Luck and Good Speed“! The audience went crazy on those heavy riffs and even if the show was on the small stage, sound was here ! Jack Daniels was here too, legend has to stay legend !
The perfect way to end this first day and then go to sleep with sweet doomy dreams of hell ! (words by Mr. Evileye)
Mr. Black Kraken’s favorite gigs of the day: Monolord, Pretty Lightning, Weedeater.
Mr. Evileye’s favorite gigs of the day: Monolord, Weedeater
Second day was almost if you were at DesertFest Sweden ! And I’m not complaining, Dead Lord opened the Main stage on this Saturday, Maidavale followed on the small stage. Horisont and the Headliner Graveyard was on the Main Stage while Lucifer and Yuri Gagarin hit the other one! We aslo saw High Reaper, The Necromancers and King Buffalo. (words by Mr. Evileye)
This year France was represented by The Necromancers from Poitiers. A four-piece band with vocals/guitar by Tom, Rob on lead guitar, Simon on bass and Ben behind the drum. They freshly joined Sound of liberation crew and if you never saw them, spoiler alert, huge things coming this autumn so be aware (like fucking good news ). (words by Mr. Evileye)
The Necromancers followed up with their take on Black Sabbath-inspired heavy Occult Rock. A pretty powerful performance with hymns to Father Lucifer, adorned by heavy patches of fog drifting over the stage, stealing the souls of the crowd. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Dead Lord entered the main stage and started the *Swedish Day* with a very energetic gig. 70s-inspired hard rock to wake up the last sleeping souls which the Necromancers did not grab. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
During this Swedish day we had the girls of Maidavale ! They were on tour with The Black Wizards and this combo is perfect ! The guitarist Sofia fitted perfectly in the psychedelic rock highway during the bewitched danse of the singer, Matilda and the bass/drums, Linn and Johanna keep you on the road to not miss anything about what they have to show.
Very good for the end of the second day afternoon before what was coming next ! (words by Mr. Evileye)
MaidaVale fascinated the crowd with their heavy mix of psychedelic, fuzzy and groovy rock and the bewitching dance of their singer Matilda. A very diversified and enjoyable set by a great band (which certainly could have been longer for Mr. Black Kraken). (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
One of the things you may ask yourself before your first Elder show is : Do they really do the same in live as in studio ?
My first time was in Sonicblast Moledo last year and I can confirm you with this Berlin’s live that they are f**ing amazing!
Their music is so well-made (as the sound atmosphere) that you obviously like an Elder’s show ! This almighty riff echoing inside your head followed by head-banging on the heavy part which let the place to some ambient psychedelic touches, that’s what you can experience with Elder. (words by Mr. Evileye)
Back to Sweden with Lucifer on the side stage. Heavy Magic Rock with three guitars on stage and Nicke Andersson on the drums! And a mesmerising Johanna to act as a high priestess for the assembled crowd. Amazing gig with a lot of energy. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Blues rockers Graveyard delivered a solid performance on the main stage as headliner of Day Two. Not as good as their gig last year at Desertfest Antwerp, but nevertheless enjoyable. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Ah Cassiopeia… maybe you were one of the fans stuck outside of this stage at the 2017 edition of the DesertFest Berlinbecause of the crowd in there…
During a year you prayed the lords and finally, as I said earlier, your voices came to DesertFest crew and here they are !
Yuri Gagarin took us to outer space this day ! As often in this kind of music the rhythmic section is right in place to let the others do their psychedelic craziness! (words by Mr. Evileye)
Mr. Black Kraken’s favorite gigs of the day: MaidaVale, Elder, Lucifer, The Necromancers
Mr. Evileye’s favorite gigs of the day: Elder, Yuri Gagarin
Third day, yes, already last day…. Desertfest Berlin is a really great festival where there are plenty of people around Europe and even the World who come for the peace of the Fuzz !
Headliner of the day : High on Fire! Matt pike found his way back in Berlin but with another band this time. On the side of the main stage we also had Freedom hawk, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Planet of Zeus, Eyehategod and for the small stage, The Black Wizards, Dopelord, Jex Thoth, Radio Moscow and to finish and close this festival Haik ! (words by Mr. Evileye)
The third day was opened by Lionize. Their very energetic mix of heavy rock, funk and even some reggae woke up the crowd. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
The Black Wizards
Portugal was here with the Black Wizards ! They were on tour with Maidavale and if someone still wondering if Portugal had something heavy to bring to the North well, here they are ! Helena the drummer and Joao the bassist take good care of the rhythm when the two guitarists, Johanna and Paulo throw you some riffs that you gonna be really happy about it. We can say that Helena beat her drum strongly but some of their riffs deserve that.
Good news, they announced a few days ago at SonicBlast Moledo 2018 in Portugal. If you have the chance to see them this summer, surely near the pool during the afternoon, you are going to have a very good moment (words by Mr. Evileye)
Church of the Cosmic Skull
Church of the Cosmic Skull, notably clad in white, held their satirical(?) sect meeting on the main stage. Knowing what bands to follow, it was a reminiscence of the calm before the storm – and ABBA. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Dopelord crushed the peace and brought stoner doom with a good dose of Electric Wizard-worship to the side stage. Also a top notch gig! (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Visually certainly the most appealing concert: Jex Thoth celebrated a high enjoyable black mass on the side stage culminating in occult rock. Pure transcendental atmosphere. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
Sludgers EYEHATEGOD were welcomed as heroes and stimulated the rage of the more and more ecstatic becoming audience. Pure, raw energy streaming from the stage. And it was nice to see Mike Williams up on stage. (words by Mr. Black Kraken)
They were a lot on tour those past years and you could clearly feel it right away ! The sound was really good and classic songs were here as “Rancho Tehama Airport” or “These Days” from the Magical Dirt album and even “250 Miles” from the Brain Cycles one.
This show was really good and as my first show of Radio Moscow I can say I was truly happy ! I was really impressed by how fast of the song were, and also by the way of playong from the guitarist Parker Griggs, I think theywent like 20 BPM above what you could hear in studio, yeah truly. (words by Mr. Evileye)
High On Fire
First time I saw Matt Pike was at DesertFest Berlin 2017 with Sleep ! And honestly my heart belongs to Sleep but a High On Fire show wasn’t disappointing at all ! For everyone here, it was heavy and they played a few of their first songs so the fans were very happy. (words by Mr. Evileye)
I am not always listening to the bands that I don’t know before festivals and that’s exactly what I happened this year for Haik as last year for Tschaika 21/16. Who also closed the festival.
What a surprise when I crossed the way of Onkel and Tim ( drummer and guitarist of Tschaika & Haik ) !
If you like music, you must like Tschaika, and Haik too ! (Did you hear about Rotor ?)
It’s different in a way because Haik is both of them plus a bassist and another singer/guitarist, but the base and the sound of these two are really impressive!
I don’t think I already saw a drummer playing like that in this kind of music and it’s really good ! The guitarist has one hell of a sound and they really made something great with the rhythm of their songs ! Here with Haik we have something very angry with the singing and heavier with the bass. I can’t say exactly what kind of music it is, something heavy metal / stoner / jazz maybe ?
Actually, I just wanted to say that Haik, Tschaika 21/16 or Rotor, or, apparently anything which is touch by these guys, is pure gold. (words by Mr. Evileye)
Mr. Black Kraken’s favorite gigs of the day: Jex Thoth, The Black Wizards, Dopelord, High on Fire
Mr. Evileye’s favorite gigs of the day: The Black Wizards, Radio Moscow, Haik
Seems like DesertFest Berlin is still on ! Well, with a quality line-up as that one we couldn’t have expected something else ! We can always argue about a festival in a big city where you can’t have camping but the organisation is perfect and you are sure to have a good moment here with people who love same things as you. The Arena is a good place, the stages are fine too and outside there were spots to chill for everyone. Maybe we lost a little bit of quality about the sound because the place is very large but we know it’s not a place for hi-fi listening!
Stoners, fuzzers and all of you, hope you spent a very good time in this 7th year of the DesertFest Berlin. I will be glad to be here again and fingers crossed for next year line-up ! (words by Mr. Evileye)