Exclusive! Paganfest Tour diary: the experiences of Dornenreich’s Eviga

Thrown into the thick of 2010’s Finntroll-headlined Paganfest jamboree, Dornenreich’s Eviga puts a philosophical pen to paper to share some of his mild mannered memories of this truly adventurous journey. Forget mead drinking and a bit of good old-fashioned drunken banter though, this vigorously promoted tour represented a serious opportunity for the relatively obscure Austrian entourage to place themselves firmly in the hearts and minds of their waiting audiences. Bananas, garden gates and sleep deprivation aside, it seems that’s exactly what they achieved…


19 Feb | Pratteln, Z7
The tour started with one of the biggest shows. The Z7 was sold-out and thus crammed with people. Soon we were certain that this very tour would turn out to be a memorable one as for the fact that all the people involved in the tour seemed to be both friendly and professional. We were lucky to have a brilliant crew with us, these guys really knew what they were doing and consequently the change-overs were in time every day. In spite of the fact that we had not played live for some months our show in Pratteln was a fantastic experience due to the enthusiastic audience. We shared the bus with the tour-managers and the crew and headed out to the next show in a very good mood.

20 Feb | Linz, Posthof
The first night on a tour bus tends to be one with few hours of sleep for one has to become familiar with the bed on wheels. Moreover the big distance Pratteln – Linz made this first night even harder… However, we arrived in time and more or less relaxed. We were very curious about the first show in our home country of Austria – and our fans did not disappoint us. Looking back I’d say that this show was one of the best of the whole tour for us down to the mutual cycle of energy among band and audience.

27 Feb | Vienna, Gasometer
The first week of the tour had led us to many different venues, all with their individual charm. However, we were looking forward to Vienna as for the fact that many friends of ours would come to see the show. Besides, the Gasometer is a truly great place to stay. Not only the stage but also the backstage-rooms provide travelling musicians with all they needed. The concert itself turned out to be a big success for all the bands and we experienced intense aftershow-hours in a metal bar called Escape. In the morning I shared a cab with some of the ‘Trolls in order to reach the bus in time.

01 Mar | Graz, Seifenfabrik
After the experience of a truly passionate audience in Bratislava we did not expect that much from a Monday-Show in Graz, but this turned out to be one of our best experiences of the tour! The stage wasn’t that big and neither was the audience of 400, but the sound was great and the audience dived into our expression absolutely.

02 Mar | Bologna, Estragon
As we had expected, it was quite warm in Italy and have us a chance to get rid of the hoodies for one day. Without exaggeration the audience in Bologna seemed to be the most enthusiastic and dedicated of the whole tour when it comes to screams! The screams were incredibly loud as the bands entered the stage and all the bands had loads of photographs taken with the fans.

05 Mar | Leipzig, Hellraiser
Our last show in this club took place back in 2001 and in 2010 it still has the coldest backstage-rooms imaginable! We decided to go to the city by cab together with Arkona. In spite of a broken guitar-string the show was a good one and the crowd reaction was encouraging. After the show we had some time to speak to our old friends of Neun Welten.

Unfortunately, Winter made a sudden return and the bus drivers had to face snow and ice on the road. Around 3am we were just about to go to bed when our bus slipped off the street and crashed into a garden gate. Luckily, nobody was injured, however, the bus was damaged too badly to drive any further. Therefore we had to wait for a new bus, whereas the other two busses (including all other bands) made their tracks for Stuttgart. At around 9am we left Leipzig with the new bus, but we had lost a lot of precious time. Consequently, we arrived in Stuttgart just 40-minutes before our show. Well, I tuned the guitars, put on my stage-clothes, ate a quick banana and entered the stage…

06 Mar | Stuttgart, LKA Longhorn
Considering the circumstances we still managed to get our passion and energy across to the audience; at least that is what many people told me after the show and that’s what I felt on stage. To be honest I was very angry when we arrived in Stuttgart, lacking sleep and food for I was looking forward this very show, but I guess I was able to turn this anger into an intense performance after all. After the concert we had a good time talking to the other bands and fans.

08 Mar | London, O2 Islington Academy
As usual it was cold in London, so we reduced the tourist-duties to a minimum. However, the club itself was a good place to be and the transparent stage sound was very helpful during the concert. The audience reaction was great and the only real drawback of this short trip to the UK was that we had to travel by means of a ferry twice within 24 hours. In general it’s a memorable experience to travel by ship, but when you want to sleep while you’re more of less forced to be on deck at around 5 m after a long, long day, it’s more of a nightmare.

10 Mar | Paris, Elysee Montmartre
The first three bands including us had to use the balcony in the rear area of the hall as backstage, which turned out to be a big joy. Not only we all were given the opportunity to see all the shows from the best perspective, but we also felt like a horde of vampires in this place of blackness and dim lights. Spooky and apt – according to our pale tour faces. The concert itself was good as well. No broken strings, no bad monitor-sound, no lethargic audience. Our friend Neige from Alcest had come to say hello. Consequently, the hours passed by far too quickly…

14 Mar | Antwerpen, Hof Ter Loo
The final day. The circumstances were really good. The venue offered everything that one could hope for on the last day. The catering was tasty, the stage was in a good and professional shape and the pre-sales were high. Farewell was in our minds and we all seemed to be in the mood for a memorable final night. And memorable it was… During the Finntroll set nearly the whole staff of the tour came on stage and celebrated the end in a carnival’esque way. At around 2am the three buses made tracks for different destinations and Paganfest 2010 was over, but I am pretty sure that this special journey will be treasured in the memory of all the people who made the tour happen.

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