By Fondas SumerSon
When I started getting involved with guitar oriented German Goth Rock back in the day, it was 5 or 6 bands that turned me into a huge fan of the genre. Age Of Heaven was definitely one of them!
Having in mind that Age Of Heaven do not play live that often, I quickly decided that their special 25 years anniversary gig, in their hometown Leipzig, was not to be missed. Especially since their special guests would be the legendary goth rock heroes of the underground Still Patient? and Aeon Sable, one of the best new bands of the Goth scene.
Well, let’s see things in more detail… Although I try to attend gigs and festivals across Europe, I never had the chance to visit Leipzig until now. So this gig was a fine opportunity to explore this beautiful and historic city, with the precious help and guidance of my good friend Ingo from The Escape. I can certainly admit that Leipzig is one of the most beautiful German cities!
The concert would take place at Moritzbastei – a brilliant venue of 150 to 200 people capacity – with a circle-like stone-scared roof. It reminded me of a catacomb, thus being an ideal location to host a real goth gig! We arrived around 19:30, did some merch-shopping and had a little chat with good old German friends before Still Patient? hit the stage…
Around 20:00 o’clock lights went out, thick smoke filled the stage and a female voice introduced Still Patient? by saying “Ladies and Gentlemen, now Still Patient? are going to play some proper Goth Rock for you”. Needless to say this sent chills down my spine…That was exactly the reason why I was there after all!
One by one the guys came on stage with Andy being the last one. Without wasting any time, they began delivering their killer Goth tunes! They chose “Chameleon” as their opening track, an old school cult anthem that was released 20 years ago. The song had a great effect on the crowd which started to show its appreciation instantly!
They played a 50 min set based on their over-of-2-decades history, including classic goth dynamites like “Agoraphobia”, “God & Satan”, “Anavryn”, “Mascara Osiris” or “The Sun”, along with more recent tunes like “Seconds of Fame”, “Impact”, “All is Well” and of course their latest brilliant video clip “Swallowed”, as well as a very interesting cover on Schwefel‘s classic “Metropolis”.
All 4 guys were in great mood on stage and seemed to enjoy themselves very much! Steve Pogue and Bec Kes – the killer guitar duo – created a strong and solid sound by mixing modern elements with classic old school goth riffs! Guido‘s bass lines made the band’s sound heavier and more groovy, while Andy’s voice and “goth” attitude on stage, is always one of the highlights! He is quite imposing without the need to be over-reactive. A great front man indeed. This was my second SP? gig and I have to admit that these guys are getting better and better as time is goes by!
Seconds of Fame
God & Satan
Metropolis (Schwefel cover)
All is Well
After a small break, it was Aeon Sable’s turn to spread their “wicked” tunes around the place. While Din, Jo and Quoth were plugging in their instruments, Nino (with a hood covering his head) was moving across the stage, throwing some kind of dust as part of the “ritual” that was about to begin… a “ritual” that started with the mystical “Aequinoctium”. I honestly couldn’t think of any better way.
I have written about Aeon Sable a couple of times in the past, but I’m going to say this once again. I consider them the best band from the new era of “dark” music. They are an absolutely versatile band that combines so many music styles in a unique way. And if you add Nino (vocals) -whom I consider one of the best “performers” of the scene- to the equation, you get an amazing band that will blow you away! Α amalgam of “dark-art” that captures the audience with its dance floor groovy goth songs as well as with its mystical occult themed anthems. This band transcends the boundaries of traditional goth rock.
Since it was a festival, they had a limited time of a 50 min show, so they chose to play more tunes from their latest album (Elysion, Garden of Light, White Snow), which I consider one of the best releases of 2016. That worked out really well for me because this was the first time I had the chance to listen to the new songs, although this was my 4th Aeon Sable gig.
They also played classics like “Dancefloor Satellite”, “Algorythm of None” or “Visions” that were really appreciated by the crowd, but the highlight of their set (according to my opinion) was “Exodus”, a song taken from their debut album which they had only played once in the past! Cracking tune! The guys put up a great show with Din and Jo working wonders on the guitars, Sebbl rocking the audience with his rhythmic bass lines and of course with Nino’s unique performance on and off stage. Of course I shouldn’t forget to give credit to Frank for his great light-show… Outstanding work!!
Garden of Light
Algorythm of None
Lights went off for the last time and roses-covered microphone-stands appeared before us! Age Of Heaven, the headliners of the evening, were about to conquer the stage.
When the smoke cleared out, I saw Yvonne reciting the lyrics of “The Secret” (intro to their “Garden of Love” album) and Heidi accompanying her on the keyboards! What a feeling! They created a genuine Gothic atmosphere that took me back many years… And when the guys, one by one, filled the stage and started playing the title track of the same album, I thought that I was back in the 90’s!! Ju was dressed like the way he used to dress back in 1996 (“Garden of Love” era). He was singing every word with great passion and expressiveness. He easily mesmerized the audience into following him through a romantic goth rock journey! Torsten and Christian on the guitars were the perfect companions for that goth revival! The goth super team was completed by the one and only Tommy with his distinct and rhythmic bass lines and Heidi whose keyboard-playing added a medieval-ethereal touch to the traditional goth-rock sound of the band!
Since Age of Heaven haven’t released a new album in 20 years, they had plenty of new, unreleased songs to play. I am thrilled to say that their new songs are nothing less than true masterpieces. These songs that could have easily been released 20 years ago, but at the same time they sound fresh and up to date! “To the Clouds”, “Tonight”, “Love is Just a Lie” or “Strangers” offer the same feeling that their “old” songs did! No electronics, no trendy elements, just pure romantic old school goth rock!
They played for an hour and a half, performing around 10 brand new songs without leaving out of the set classic anthems from both their albums. Tunes like “The Providence”, “Armageddon”, “Garden of Love”, “Red Roses”, “Broke the Chain”, “In the Mirror” or “It Comes the Night” (personal favorite from their “Garden of Love” album) were received enthusiastically by a crowd which obviously appreciated old-school goth rock!
One of the highlights of their performance was definitely the amazing cover version on The Mission‘s classic “Garden of Delight”! Many bands have covered this track, but none like Age Of Heaven! Actually they had planed to play an acoustic version of it on their acoustic special set which would take place the next day at darkflower, but after my request Ju decided to play the electric version of it on their Friday gig too… Thanks my friend!
The Garden of Love
Broke the Chain
Consolation (new song)
This is the Country (new song)
In the Mirror
Your Hidden Mind (new song)
Tonight (new song)
To the Clouds (new song)
It Comes the Night
Strangers (new song)
Love is Just a Lie (new song)
She was Living for (new song)
Lethal Poison (new song)
Garden of Delight (The Mission cover)
The Providence (extended)
Over the Seas
Concluding I would like to congratulate Age Of Heaven for such a memorable anniversary gig and for choosing 2 great acts as their special guests!
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your first 25 years! Thank you for being loyal to Goth Rock all these years, without changing you values! We are eagerly waiting for a new release. Until the next time…. Long Live Goth Rock!
Pics By Oliver Krapp
Videos by Fondas SumerSon & Oliver Krapp