It was pretty much burnt into your memories the following months – those months you spent in need. What I’m talking about is the last concert you visited before the entire lockdown pretty much brought everything to a halt and ended any live music plans for an indefinite amount of time. I can still remember – my final gig was at the Don’t Panic – watching Lifetaker playing their latest release Night Intruder. After that, we planned to see Downfall of Gaia in Bochum, but it was only Thomas who went. And then there was nothing. Nevertheless, after quite some time the first gigs started taking place again, one of which was this one headlined by Destruction and brought to us by Shogun Konzerte (and we were even happy enough to present it). Finally – it was about time – live music again.
When travlling to the JunkYard in Dortmund, even the beginning of the concert was stained with the messy situation that is currently called our daily life. Tawan and I travelled by train, which means that we were on the road for about more than an hour continously wearing our masks (no offense against the masks, but it was a long time). We did not want to have this situation ruin any of this trip, which was why we already bought our first beers at the first main station and got going already – having a good time and talking about finally getting to see Destruction on the one hand (none of us had ever seen them before) and also, on the other hand, eventually listening to live music again.
A few beers later we eventually arrived at the JunkYard. As a matter of fact, I had also not yet been to this location, although there were a lot of decent concerts that took place there in the past. The question that was written in bold letters all the time was what the location would look like with regards to the Corona restrictions. We already had to enter our names and adresses when having ordered the tickets – which was the first aspect that was new. As is pretty much known already (going by the name of an “Abstandskonzert” [Distance Concert]), we also had to choose seats, since the gig was gonna take place on seats. The inside of the JunkYard thus had several rows in front of the stage, a bar, merch to the right (when facing the stage) and toilets to the left. While moving within the location, you were supposed to wear a mask and when arriving at your spot and sitting down, you were allowed to take the mask off. This was no problem at all – I did not give a fuck – I wanted to see some live music. Hence we grabbed two more beers, got to our seat and at that point the first band – Burning Witches – already started playing.
Shame on me but I did not know this band before. This was no problem, though, because the sound was convincing from the beginning on already. To be honest – it did not seem awkward at any moment to sit in front of a stage and listen to Metal. It just felt so damn good to eventually be able and listen to live play – I did not care about the fact of sitting and enjoying the music. It seemed as if Burning Witches felt quite the same, because they were visibly having fun playing their music on stage. Apart from that, this gig was a great opportunity to promote their latest album Dance with the Devil that came out in March this year – pretty much when hell broke loose. It’s probably good to finally be able and play your new music live – and who else can say that they played on a “Corona Tour.” Those women from Switzerland and the Netherlands were playing fast Heavy Metal with a strong nod towards Thrash Metal riffs. Throughout the entire set, they showed that they wanted to play their music live and full of energy – damn good!
When Burning Witches finished it was time to grab another beer – what else – and take a second look around. Comparably and to be honest – my daily ride on the bus feels way more uncomfortable. We met Joe from Shogun, talked to him for a moment and got back to our seats. After some time and before Destruction got on stage, there was one more announcement that – even though it might seem alluring – we still have to remain on our seats when the headliner plays. It feels a little weird to be sitting when a band such as Destruction sets on stage – but not wrong at any moment.
When Destruction hit the stage, it all went crazy. I guess that this pretty much was one of the first gigs where the setlist was of no importance at all. I wouldn’t have cared about what songs are and are not played (although they definitely played a great mixture of old and new) – it was all about the live energy and destruction. And it was delivered. From the first song on, you could feel that those guys absolutelty wanted to play, no matter if it happened in front of an audience going crazy or sitting on benches. After the first few songs, frontman Schmier also mentioned that he was told about the weird situation of playing in front of a seated audience as well, but he comes to the point when saying that playing live while the audience is seated might be different – but it is still a lot better than not playing live at all. And the sound was immense – there was so much pressure going on and the energy coming across was at overload.
Throughout the enire time, you could see that some people got up – moved on the setting (in accordance with the rules) and got back to their seats again. Although some might have felt that the energy should put them right in front of the stage – and I thought so myself – everything remained within boundaries. This is, unforuntately, one of the most important rules if you wanna keep concerts like these happening. The fanbase was aware of that, enjoyed what they wanted to hear on their seats and had fun nonetheless.
All in all, this format of watching a band while sitting on a bench did not feel wrong or like a bad experience at any point. The sound still hits you with a brick – just as you would wanna have your Thrash Metal. As long as venue gigs are not gonna take place – and it feels as if this is gonna take a little longer – gigs like these are absolutely recommendable. If you still struggle deciding whether to watch a covid-friendly open air gig or not because it is seated or anything similar – fuck it and go. Support what you love while you can.