The time of summer festivals was here again. With Flevo festival and all its descendants gone this year it was empty in the Dutch ‘Christian’ summer festival season. Luckily we can depend on yet another year of Freakstock in Germany not far over the border. For us the fifth time we attend. Yet again this year brings a great line-up with music, art, seminars and more. Freakstock always feels like coming home.
When we arrived Wednesday after having diner somewhere on our way to the festival we set up our tents and went to the opening seminar. The sermon by Rob Schellert was about building walls around yourself towards different people. But also applying this to the church and in between churches. It was great message to not alienate anyone around you.
Afterwards we watched and danced some DJ’s in the RaketenKlub. But not for very long because we still have a whole weekend ahead of us.
After a decent night of sleep we got some coffee and went to the Alte Schule JFI (the place of the Jesus Freaks International). There was Floor van de Poort already performing her theatric poems and song. We saw around 4 to 5 songs/poems, some in Dutch some in Englisch. It was a fun and creative performance and a nice start of the day.
After that Jens Borgaard
’ played some songs for us. I really like his low voice in combination with the apocalyptic folk songs. A great way to wake up!
After the lunch we went to the Mainseminar at the Herzstuck done by JF Giezen. The worship was nice although most of it was in German.
The first ‘normal’ band that we saw was the Dutch band ‘I Am Oak
’. It was the first time I saw them. Although their indie isn’t something we normally cover on this site. I really enjoyed there set. The end was really heavy with a noisy climax which was great.
The first heavy band was de German post-harcore band ‘Surprise Surprise’. I enjoyed their set. The band was still young and missed something different to set them apart from the standard in the genre. But it was a great starting band.
The band scheduled after that was Ascendant
but they were set to the Saturday. In the place of Today Forever
they had cancelled because their guitarist had a knee injury.
But now we had time to watch the full set of the Norwegian punk band ‘Korrupt’ at the Herzstuck (mainstage). The largely by hardcore influenced punk was well received. I loved the energy in the music. The fast songs had enough variation and the riffs were really catchy. Although the bandmembers all played in bands that I knew, this was my first real surprise from the festival.
Next was the Austrian metalcore band ‘Show Your Teeth
’. Their merch was really funny with a picture Suarez and somewhat like the Snickers slogan “You turn in someone else when you’re hungry” under it and their band name above the picture. I found it pretty funny considering the incident at the world cup. So I was looking forward to seeing them. What they brought was no nonsense metalcore with some grooving riffs. I really enjoyed it.
Headliner this evening in the Turbinnehalle (the place for the heavier bands) was the melodic hardcore band ‘Worthwhile
’ from the USA. The singer had an ankle injury but that didn’t stop them all to play a really convincing set. The band had really fun playing it was really apparent they loved it to play here in Germany. The crowdsurfers were flying around my head and the crowd was one big pit. It was the highlight of the evening!
We ended the day dancing with the heavy dubstep, drum & bass and house beats from ‘Snoeiharde Shit
We started the day with the Freakstock Gala. Freakstock already exist 20 years and that needs to be celebrated. They chose to recap the different years in different segments. In between the band played the worship ‘hits’ from all over the years. It was fun to see how Freakstock transformed into what it is now and the worship was really great this time in my opinion.
So the evening started with another performance from Jens Borgaard
. This time it was completely acoustic with no amplifier or microphone at all. It really added to the atmosphere and the crowd was extremely quit. He also played some songs from ‘Knifefight!
’ with their violist this time which was nice.
The opening for the Turbinnehalle was the German melodic hardcore band ‘Coasting’. They used allot of spoken word vocals which were really passionate. The band was really young and their inspirations were really evident. There was potential so I hope they will grow and continue.
Next another German band namely ‘Deadbeat Hero
’. They played hardcore with a bit of thrash influence but mostly allot of energy. But for some reason the music didn’t stick with me. But it was a great performance none the less.
’ another German band. But this band I’m more familiar with. After silence for a couple years they finally play live again and what a comeback. The mathcore from these guys is played with refinement and precision. Though it is mathcore it still has allot of atmosphere. It was an memorable performance.
Our Dutch friend in the band ‘J’Accuse
’ played some songs in the openstage. No nonsense hardcore with passion.
Then quick to ‘Callisto’ on mainstage. Post-metal with allot of atmosphere and an own sound. I had high expectations because I love them on cd. They delivered wholeheartedly and more. For me this was the best performance of the whole festival. There was almost no interaction between the songs. Nor was there any silence, it was filled with soundscapes that brought allot of atmosphere. Just let the music do the talking was their division and it absolutely did. One of the best shows I saw in a while.
We still had time before Pantokrator
(the headliner for the turbinnehalle that evening) so I saw some songs from ‘Strahan
’. Folk Psalmery by Strahan Coleman. I only saw 3 songs because I didn’t want to miss anything from Pantokrator. But these songs were really nice.
Time for Swedish Death metal from ‘Pantokrator
’. With their latest album Incarnate in their pockets they tried to win the audience. Although Freakstock has a more hardcore/punk oriented crowd than metal I think Pantokrator
won them a bit over this time. Singer Rickard Gustafsson brought allot of attributes to enhance their performance. Last time the songs kind of sounded like one song. This time it had more variation.
Afterwards we saw some of Loudturgy
on the Herzstuck made by some of our Dutch friends. The Loudturgy is a mix of different electronic music mixed with spoken word. It is kind of hard to explain but I love the fibe and the message from these Loudturgies.
To complete the day we danced on the Drum ‘n Bass from Bcee and DJ Beyond which is always great.
This time we started the day with talk from Street Pastor Max. About his work with the homeless in Ede the Netherlands. It was really encouraging to see what he did and an inspiration for our own life.
In the afternoon we went to the Coptic Pray Service. I really like their form of liturgy with allot of symbolism. Although this was a short version of a Coptic Service it felt fairly long and I have feeling a whole service would be a long sit for me.
The musical evening started for me with ‘Leonov
’ a Norwegian female fronted post-rock band. A fairly new band for me. I really liked their music. Although the music was dark it had a positive atmosphere overall. I bought their debut LP afterwards.
‘My Gorge Is Rising’was playing in the Turbinehalle. Old-school hardcore nothing more and nothing less. No compromises were made and thereby none of the songs really stuck with me.
’ from Denmark was another big surprise from this year Freakstock. The band plays modern deathcore with such conviction that it really stuck with me. The band had some problems with the sound at the beginning. But that didn’t slow the band down at all. Breackdown after breakdown, blastbeat after blastbeat, everything was played with such precision. I think we will hear allot more from this band in the future!
Another band from Denmark ‘Ascendant
’ was next. I was impressed by their debut album so I was looking forward to their set. That they were less core than the rest of the bands playing that evening in the Turbinnehalle didn’t stop them a bit. The death metal was played well and I really enjoyed their set.
Swedish post-rock band ‘EF
’ was playing on the mainstage and like last year the fire dancers were also there. Together they made a perfect atmosphere to end the evening on the mainstage.
Last the main act in the Turbinnehalle namely ‘The Great Commission’. The room was packet and everybody was ready. When the first note hit it exploded with a massive pit and stagediving people. After a few songs the energy went a bit down but vocalist Justin Singh said they didn’t travel for 17 hour for nothing and the energy was up again until the last note. The band played tight and was full of energy. They loved the scene over here in Germany and encouraged us all that we can be who we want to be and that we are loved people in the eyes of God.
We walked around the festival site to some different dancing and parties and after a few hour we called it a day.
Sunday morning we packed our stuff and went to the Family Seminar. The sermon was about different aspects of heaven. With every aspect the children from the Children’s Ground made a big drawing. A great sermon with depth and that brought me some new insights but understandable for everyone.
I want to thank Freakstock again for their hospitality and kindness. It was again a great year!
More pictures can be found here: