Wave Gothic Treffen XIV in 2005

The Agra Hall in Leipzig, Germany

by Travis Baumann

For me, seeing Tanzwut the second time was worlds apart, both in terms of photo opportunities but also in over-all enjoyment. The crowd was even crazier than last time but the security was much more chilled out and not pushing people around like two years previously.

I also had become way more familiar with every album of theirs and had even gotten to meet the entire band at a signing in the Orkus Cafe. They were all super cool guys and we talked for a while.

Tanzwut's specialty lies in their powerful blend of traditional instruments such as battle pipes, a very large and loud form of bagpipe used in the days of old to lead warriors into battle, along with modern instruments such as keyboards, samplers, elelctric guitar and bass, and harsh German vocals.

Their skill with lutes, horns, and bag-pipes is now legendary, having been asked to play "Carmen Baratta" and other classical pieces for royalty as their other project Corvus Corax. They have also proven to be talented musicians with the more modern instruments and when combined to form their own musical pieces, it is amazing.

The band consists of Meister Selbfreid on bagpipes and backing vocals and Rabensong as the other bag-piper who also lent his voice to chorus sections. They stood in the back on a raised section of the stage.

Wim is on bass-guitar also singing in the chorus. Wim is the master-mind who hand-crafts all of their medieval instruments and is an amazing bag-piper himself when they play as Corvus Corax. For the Tanzwut project he handles laying down the heavy bass-lines and is upfront on the stage.

Patrick plays guitar and sings in the chorus with all the other guys. He usually just looked stonily forward, an expression of grim determination on his face but from time to time you could see a smile or an exchanged look with another band-mate which revealed the enjoyment he received from playing live.

Hatz had several drums around him and also played keyboards and handled the electronic portions. He was also on a riser in the back to the left of the stage.

Norri played an arrangement of drums surrounding him; a mixture of ancient and modern percussionist tools including huge stretched-hyde style drums and gongs in addition to more modern kit pieces. His riser occupied the right rear of the stage.

Teufel, "The Devil", stood front and center - his trade-mark red "horns" standing out from his head. He animatedly sang in his deep, harsh voice, pretty fitting sound for how he named himself. Although parallels could be drawn to Til from Rammstein due to the deep voice and German language, a few times listening to them will dispell the similarity as Teufel sings with a gravel-edge to his voice and has a completely different tonality.

They all had metallic make-up on their bodies and faces which gave them an inhuman sheen in the stage-lighting. Their costumes were all futuristic leather and metal ensembles and even their instruments had a sci-fi feel to them.

These guys have a really cool image that backs up their even cooler sound. They all look like some sort of Dark Future warriors in a sci-fi post-apocalyptic setting:  a mixture of leathers, chainmail, and other feudal-era trappings but with a blend of technology and futuristic science fiction styles. It is awesome and fits my mentality perfectly. It is like walking into a club out of "The Road Warrior" or some other great film which portrays a time when technology exists but mankind has fallen from its graces and once again must fight for survival or become extinct.

My German being what it is, I have a hard time translating the lyrics but thankfully Babelfish exists. Problem is, the translators are not very good at subtle play-on-words, sarcasm, or irony and I imagine there is a lot of that going on in their songs. Their songs run the gambit of all sorts of different subject matters but generally fall in line with their overall image and demeanor (songs like "The Devil in Paradise" or "No, No!" for example).

They put out their third full length album, "Ihr Wolltet Spass" shortly before this festival so we got to see a lot of the material from that album but they also covered the first two discs in equal share so the audience was very happy with the selections.