Open Mind Festival - Warsaw, Poland, 12-14.08.2010

Event: Open Mind Festival
Written by: jupitreas
Published: 20.08.2010


Open Mind Festival - Warsaw, Poland, 12-14.08.2010 by jupitreas (101)

The Open Mind Festival is the latest attempt at creating a bona fide annual festival here in Poland since other such endeavors like Metalmania and Hunterfest seem to have failed. I quite like the idea of an "open mind" festival personally, where The 69 Eyes play right before Obituary. Hopefully, we'll get more such cognitive dissonance in the future and although this first edition of the festival did have its fair share of problems, they were not caused by the organizers. Bands played on time, the sound was good and everything went according to plan. Unfortunately, the actual performance by some of the bands left a lot to be desired and the audience was probably not as large as the festival organizers had hoped it would be. Therefore, I suppose next year's edition is still a big question mark... Time will tell.

At first, it was planned for the Open Mind Festival to be held as an open air event outside just outside the town of Szczytno. For reasons that I am not aware of, a decision was eventually made to move the festival to Warsaw as an indoor event, held at the well known and liked Stodola club. Due to all this, none of the facilities that are needed for an open air festival were needed here and need not be mentioned - the club has decent toilets. The only thing that made this event different from an ordinary convert held at Stodola was that there was a little outdoor beer tent with grilled food available just outside the club. The food was OK; however, the beer was a little too expensive at 9 PLN (2.3 EUR) per pint. Usually, beer costs only about 6 PLN at gigs in Poland.

Day 1 was kicked off by the local band Stray. They played post-grunge with a Pearl Jam vibe and obviously tried really hard to pull off that poetic, introspective performance style that the Seattle band is known for. It didnt work particularly well. The band needs to find their own voice since they will never be as powerful as their heroes.

The Boogie Town
The Boogie Town, another local band, was a little more worthy of attention and fit well within the "open mind" values of the festival. Although predominantly a rock band, The Boogie Town often ventured into soul, funk and (you guessed it) boogie territory. Ula Rembalska's poppy voice fit the band's shifting sound fairly well. Nevertheless, this is a band clearly aimed at commercial success and universal appeal. This means that their music definitely lacks the kind of power and punch that I'd like to hear at a rock festival. The Boogie Town should play at festivals focused more on pop in the future.

The well known Corruption made sure to bring day 1 back on track with their energetic, sludgy and groovy slab of Black Sabbath worship. Moshpits erupted as beckoned by the band's excitable vocalist and the male part of the audience definitely enjoyed the short erotic dance performed by two girls on stage during the last song (that I sadly didn't manage to get on camera). Without a doubt, Corruption's set proved to be the highlight of day 1. Well done.

The Cult
Naturally, I didn't know that Corruption was to be said highlight just yet. First, I wanted to experience The Cult playing live, something that I've wanted to do for a long time on account of this being one of my favorite bands. Sadly, The Cult proved to be the biggest dissapointment of the festival, even though they had easily the largest audience. The crowd's enthusiasm clearly did not infect Ian Astbury who looked tired, annoyed and maybe even shy. Whats worse, Ian's voice was really not up to par this night. He was unable to perform any of the more high-pitch, bellowed refrains that this band is known for, instead pointing the mic at the audience in an attempt to hide his own lack of effort. Meanwhile, the rhythm section was pretty mediocre and the only positive about this set was Billy Duffy who offered some meaty riffs and enjoyable solos. For this reason, the heavier songs such as "Rise" and "Wildflower" worked best. With this said, The Cult was still a big disappointment live.

Day 2 was kicked off by Carnal; however, I missed that show. I did manage to catch the final bit of None's show though at even though I don't particularly like this groove-thrash band, they were doing a good job at warming people up. Not much to say here except that the vocals sounded particularly vicious during this set.

The 69 Eyes
Finally, one of day 2's two headliners, The 69 Eyes, stormed onto the stage and boy, did they surprise me. All of my prior knowledge of this band came from some horrible, vapid, kitschy goth videoclips that I've once seen on TV. I was fully expecting for this band to offer nothing but watered-down teenage girl pleasing pop-goth but instead, The 69 Eyes sounded a lot more like Motley Crue with a bass-baritone vocalist. Sure, they were still there for the pussy but they didnt get it by being pussies themselves - their music had lots of rock fire and genuine power. In fact, they were a better rock band than The Cult was the day before! How's that for a surprise? I still won't be buying any The 69 Eyes CDs in the near future; however, I certainly wouldn't mind seeing them live again.

Finally, after a worryingly long break, death metal monsters Obituary walked onto the stage. Apparently, they were running late due to bad travelling arrangements and as a consequence, there were some technical difficulties during the first few songs of Obituary's set. Everything sounded fine for the audience but I think the band's monitors might not have been working. Either way, Obituary offered a nice, compact set with nothing but heavy-hitting material. Their show did not feature a lot of lighting effects or on-stage decoration and the band instead focused on delivering a strong performance. They did well and this made day 2 the stronger day performance-wise, even though the audience was dissapointingly small.

Day 3
Epica and Ill Nino headlined day 3 of the festival; however, I unfortunately had to miss this day due to unforseen circumstances.

I'd say that this year's first edition of the Open Mind Festival was a pretty successful endeavor. There were some minor issues here and there; however, for a first attempt everything went very smoothly. For the next edition, I'd suggest a different arrangement of bands so that each day has a star of more or less the same caliber headlining. This year, most people obviously went there to see The Cult and this caused bands like The 69 Eyes and Obituary who played on day 2 to not take advantage of the bigger audience. Besides this small issue, everything went fine and I am sure I'll be more than happy to attend next year.


Written on 20.08.2010 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 116 users
21.08.2010 - 08:56
It's interesting that The Cult was the biggest disappointment for you as they are my biggest disappointment ever for a live band, and I saw them in 1987 when they were in their prime and they were the most bored looking band I have ever seen on a stage. Billy Idol outperformed them so badly it wasn't funny. I'd love to see Obituary.
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