Frequency Festival 2015

After skipping the Frequency Festival for a few years (here are my past Frequency reviews), this year the program drew me back in, although only for a day. Puzzledpeaces and me took the train to St. Pölten to enjoy one day of the Festival – basically the light version.

Before we got there, though, I realized that I had forgotten the tickets at home. Stupid print at home tickets that I had in my agenda which I left at home with a smile because I won’t be making any appointments at the festival now, will I. And once you printed print at home tickets, there’s no way to re-download them or anything. Which meant that we spent our first fifteen minutes pleading with a ticket officer and giving her every number we could give her until she relented and printed our day passes for us.

After this exciting start, we only caught about half of Krautschädl‘s set – an Austrian band. I didn’t really know them before, I only knew of them, but puzzledpeaces recommended and she was right to. Krautschädl gave a fun performance, the crowd (still rather thin at this point) was in a good mood and the energy levels were high. Now that’s the way to kick off a festival.

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Sizarr (Support: Vin Blanc/White Wine)

Sizarr are a German band who came to the Arena for a concert. They were supported by Vin Blanc/White Wine.
Seen on: 22.04.2015

I didn’t know Vin Blanc/White Wine before that concert and I have to admit that the concert really didn’t blow me away, either. There was just a weird energy in the room and barely any energy at all on stage.

Listening to them on youtube a bit, I like them better than live, but I don’t think that I’ll be spending much time listening to them any further.

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ELVIS – The Musical

ELVIS – The Musical
Cast/Band: Grahame Patrick, Alexander Gregor, The Stamps Quartet,
Seen on 12.4.2015

ELVIS – The Musical takes us on a small tour through Elvis Presley‘s (Grahame Patrick) life and his music, accompanied by original photo and video footage.

ELVIS – The Musical was a great tribute concert, but an abysmal musical. Why they felt the need at all to turn it into a musical, I will never understand. But if you ignore that part and instead just enjoy the music (which is the main reason I want to watch a show like this anyway), you’ll have a wonderful evening.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar
Director: Werner Sobotka
Writer: Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Tim Rice (lyrics)
Cast: Drew Sarich, Alex Melcher, Nadine Beiler, Mark Sampson, Tobias Bieri, Benjamin Sommerfeld, Marc Clear, Peter Kratochvil, Armin Kahl
Seen on: 05.04.2015

Jesus (Drew Sarich) has become really successful and has gathered quite a following. Among his apostels is Judas (Alex Melcher) who has grown more and more discontent at the direction Jesus is taking the group and he’s also suspicious of the cult surrounding Jesus as a person. As the rift between them becomes bigger, Jesus knows that his time on Earth as the son of god is drawing to an end and that Judas will play a big part in that.

Almost every year around Easter, they show a limited run of a Jesus Christ Superstar production in Vienna that isn’t quite a full-sized musical/opera. It’s been years that I saw it and last time I did, it actually was just a concert, with five or so singers taking on multiple roles. By now the production has grown quite substantially, has costumes, choreographies and a rather big cast. It’s still not the most complicated play, but I’d say, it is a complete show and not just a concert. And it’s good.

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Alt-J (Support: Gengahr and Wolf Alice)

alt-J is an English band. They came to play a concert in the Gasometer in Vienna on 16.02.2015, supported by Gengahr and Wolf Alice. It was a cool night.

I had heard neither of the supporting bands before the concert but when I heard who would play, I gave them a listen and pretty much immediately decided that Gengahr wasn’t my cup of tea. Since they were up first, puzzledpeaces and me decided to skip them and only caught the last song or so of theirs, which didn’t change my mind.

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Elbow are a British band. They played a concert at the Arena Wien.

Many years ago, when I was still young enough to go to Festivals (e.g. 2011), I went to the Frequency Festival. One of the main reasons I and puzzledpeaces wanted to go there was that Elbow was playing. And their concert was awesome – and lasted for about 15 minutes because a thunderstorm from hell made it impossible for them to continue.

And then they never played a concert in Austria again (at least not one we heard about) until this August. And even though my strongest Elbow-fangirling has abated and even though their newest album isn’t really the strongest they ever did, it was clear that we still had unfinished business – and finally the chance to finish it.

The concert itself was nice, but I still would have preferred to see the concert way back when. The show just wasn’t quite as good as I remembered, especially the interaction with the audience.

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Manu Chao (Support: Systema Solar and Irié Revoltés)

Manu Chao came to Wiesen at the end of June, supported by Systema Solar and Irie Révoltés.

I’m not a huge fan of any of these bands, though when I was 15, 16 I listened to Manu Chao a lot for a while. In fact, I hadn’t heard any Systema Solar or Irie Révoltés prior to the concert and I knew that by now, I don’t like Manu Chao that much anymore either. But the concert became a bit of a family outing, with 3 of my sisters, my brother-in-law and my mom going (and my brother and his wife wanted to come, too, but unfortunately had problems with their tickets), so I decided I would like to go too, enjoy the Manu Chao nostalgia and maybe discover some new music.


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Così fan tutte

Così fan tutte
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (music) / Lorenzo Da Ponte (libretto)
Cast: Anett Fritsch, Paola Gardina, Andreas Wolf, Juan Francisco Gatell, Kerstin Avemo, William Shimell
Part of: Wiener Festwochen

Ferrando (Juan Francisco Gatell) is engaged to Dorabella (Paola Gardina) and Guglielmo (Andreas Wolf) to Fiordiligi (Anett Fritsch) and both couples are very much in love. They are staying with Don Alfonso (William Shimell) and his wife Despina (Kerstin Avemo). Don Alfonso is convinced of the fickleness of women and Ferrando and Guglielmo agree to a bet with him: They will dress up as strangers and try to seduce the fiancées of the other guy. But will that end well?

This production of Così fan tutte is extremely slick – from the stage design to the costumes, from the acting to the music, everything is just really glossy and smooth. For me, it hit a couple of wrong notes (no pun intended), but it was beautiful.


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Bill Bailey: Qualmpeddler

Bill Bailey came to Vienna with his Qualmpeddler program.

Bill Bailey’s show is a mix of music show, normal stand-up and utter lunacy. He is a proficient musician and really uses that for his show, creating surprising musical numbers with a lot of knowledge and respect of but not much reverence for genres. And he’s just a smart man with a lot of funny stories.


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