Live Review: Take Over Daze Festival Day 1 // Free & Easy Festival @ Backstage Munich, Germany 23rd July 2016

I think I can speak for most of the progheads who attended the Take Over Daze Festival, but also for the bands that played on the 23rd July 2016 – only a few hours after the horrific Munich shopping center shooting, nobody really knew if the festival would even take place, as it was known that most events in Munich had been canceled this weekend. And even after the bands and the Free & Easy organization team announced that the show must go on, it wasn’t easy to choke my queasy feeling and drive to Munich. I decided, though, that we can’t let fear and shock have control over us – so I got in my car and set off to Munich.

Take Over Daze is a two-day tech metal/prog festival as part of the Free & Easy Festival at the Backstage Munich. On Saturday, the Take Over Daze Festival took place at the Backstage Werk (opposed to the Backstage Halle as initially planned), which is the biggest venue of the three concert halls on the Backstage area. Doors opened at 7 pm, that is one hour later than originally scheduled. Shortly after, the first band, Geist, started their set. Geist (english: ghost) are a German prog rock band from Cologne founded in 2000. They presented a various set of songs ranging from old to new tracks. And even though only few people had made it to the venue at that time, Geist made sure to give their best throughout their whole set. To me, the musicians seem very well attuned to each other. I’ve been quite impressed by their dynamic music and the vocalist’s ability to pull off very different vocal styles ranging from electric clean vocals to impressive screaming and shouting. All in all, Geist made for a great opener.

Alongside with Textures, Deadly Circus Fire is the reason why I had been looking forward to this festival so much. The London-based progressive metal group is an example of a band that deserves a lot more attention than it actually gets. Their most recent release “The Hydra’s Tailor” made it to the very top of my favorite albums of 2015 on powerofmetal.dk, so the fact that Deadly Circus Fire delivered a stellar live show really is no surprise. They chose some of their best tracks such as “Where It Lies”, “Rise Again” and “House Of Plagues” to play live. I also love how they use the bass as an active part of the band’s sound and not only as a base instrument. “Where It Lies” includes a beautiful bass solo as well as a great guitar solo. Additionally, vocalist Adam’s live performance showed his great talent and his qualities as a versatile and unique prog vocalist. To sum up, I’m very happy with Deadly Circus Fire’s powerful performance, but also with their well-compiled set list. Hats off!

It was now time for Destiny Potato to get on stage. I didn’t do any research on the band beforehand, so I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out that they play a mix of indie rock and pop with djent influences. I have to admit that they sound quite unique and they performed very well, but they couldn’t really win me over with their music. Considering their quite creative songwriting, though, I do believe that they have good prospects. It’s just not my cup of tea; feel free to check them out on Bandcamp, though (link at the end of the review). If you dig their music, you’ll probably enjoy their energetic live shows as well.

And finally, the mighty Textures started their show at about half past ten. Oh, and what a vigorous show they played! Textures kicked off their set with “One Eye For A Thousand” and “Regenesis”, then continued with some new tracks such as the catchy sing-along single “New Horizons”. “Awake”, a true Textures classic, has a very special place in my heart, and when the band started to play this beautiful track, everyone started to sing and shout along. A true highlight! Textures followed through with the interlude “Zman” and “Timeless”, another two new tracks from their latest record “Phenotype”. Lastly, they played “Singularity” and “Laments Of An Icarus”. All in all, I think this set list has been approved by both old and new fans, and Textures’ stunning live performance exceeded all my expectations. I haven’t experienced such skill and energy on stage in a while.

Altogether, I believe that this evening helped a lot of us to forget about what happened in Munich only 24 hours ago – we indeed celebrated life. It’s crazy how live shows can make people so happy. Looking at all my fellow progheads around me, I could clearly see happiness in their eyes. That’s why I’d like to thank all the bands that decided to play in Munich on the 23rd July and all the musicians who took their time to chat with their fans. Indeed, you helped us light a beacon of love and hope.

Check out the bands:

GEIST: www.facebook.com/geistrock // www.geistrock.bandcamp.com

DEADLY CIRCUS FIRE: www.facebook.com/deadlycircusfire // www.deadlycircusfire.bandcamp.com

DESTINY POTATO: www.facebook.com/destinypotato // www.destinypotato.bandcamp.com

TEXTURES: www.facebook.com/textures // www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about

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