The Stücke (2008), Tank Goodness (2012), Breaking

The
concert that I watched on YouTube is a metal music festival called Wacken Open
Air and it takes place every summer in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The
festival that I saw is from 2016 and it had big performers such as Iron Maiden,
Blind Guardian, Testament, and many more. The specific band that I decided to
watch is Panzerballett, a Jazz-Metal band that originated from Munich, Germany.

            They were one of the most unique
bands that performed at the festival mainly because of their combination of the
two music genres and the fact that they do not have a vocalist in the band. Since
their formation in 2004, they have released five albums: Panzerballett (2005), Starke Stücke
(2008), Tank Goodness (2012), Breaking Brain (2015), and X-Mas Death Jazz (2017). They played a few songs from their older
albums like “Jadoo,” “M. W. M. I. O. F. R.,” “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut,” and
“Friede, Freude, Fußball.” Since the festival took place in 2016, they mostly
played songs from their 2015 album, Breaking
Brain.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

            They have mentioned that their music
that they compose is influenced by Classic jazz artists, but did not specify
who. However, they did mention that they are also influenced by Meshuggah and
other progressive metal bands. It is also speculated that they have an
influence by Deep Purple, The Scorpions, and Pantera because Panzerballet
covered “Smoke on the Water,” “Winds of Change” and titled one of their most
aggressive songs “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut.”

            Since these guys are a jazz-metal
band, the instruments used to make their content matter tremendously. It is
actually not too special, it has the instruments that are frequently used in
metal bands like the Electric guitar, Bass guitar, Rhythm guitar, and drums.

The instrument that they use to throw in the jazz element is the Saxophone.

Just because that is the only jazz-like instrument does not mean that the jazz
element of the band is lessened. The Sax is a very notable part of the band and
the player is tremendously talented.

            The band has had past members, but
its current six members are: Jan Zehrfeld (Lead guitar player), Heiko Jung
(Bass player), Sebastian Lanser (Drum player), Joe Doblhofer (Rhythm guitar
player), and Alexander von Hagke (Saxophone player). Their music style changes
very frequently within the same songs between an aggressive style and a passive
style. The lead guitarist, Zehrfeld has noted in the past that he enjoys making
angry music because it is a reflection of how he feels. I appreciate that he
makes angry music because it is genuine and it gives off an angry feel when I
listen to their content.

             I have always been a fan of angry, fast, and
aggressive music such as Thrash metal and Hardcore punk because of the energy
that it delivers to the listener. Panzerballet is not thrash nor punk, but
their music does deliver the same energy that thrash and punk do. I also am
thankful that I came across Panzerballett because they are the reason why I
find myself listening to jazz now. Jazz is a genre that I would not listen to
because I thought it was way too outdated and I was just stuck on angry music,
but I actually really enjoy jazz now after listening to Panzerballett.

            Like I said earlier, one of the unique
attributes of this band is that no vocalist is present, which is unheard of for
a metal band. From what I was able to see and hear from the video, the Wacken
Open Air crowd was very respectful when Panzerballet played, some may even
consider a little too respectful for a metal loving crowd. A typical metal
festival crowd is energetic, wild, and all over the place; this crowd was
actually pretty calm. I’m not sure what the reason for this might be; I think
it is either a great portion of the crowd is not familiar with Panzerballett or
maybe because there is no vocalist in the band.

            If there were to be a vocalist, then
that would be a little unfortunate for me and other jazz-metal lovers that only
understand English because they are German and do not speak English. From the
concert, all I understood was when Zehrfeld was said “Pantera” and “Vulgar
Display of” right before he began to play “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut.” Even
though I would not understand the lyrics, I do think a vocalist would be a
great addition to Panzerballett. There is music with lyrics from another
language that I still enjoy because I can vibe with it. Understanding the
language is not a requirement in order for anybody to appreciate music.

            The image of all the performers in
Panzerballett are not notable, except for Zehrfeld. Lanser and Doblhofer both
have long hair, but that is not rare in the metal community. However, Zehrfeld
is the goofy looking one because at the festival and other of his concerts he
will wear a Rasta wig and teashade sunglasses. He looks like an absolute
goofball, but I appreciate it and would not be happy if he stopped because it
is part of his character now. Zehrfeld is also known for making exaggerated
facial expressions while on performing on stage, despite it being difficult to
find him do one from the festival.

            Watching
them perform from YouTube was a cool experience and I’m sure it would have been
better if I was there live. Some things that I noticed about the concert are
the crowd reaction, stage, lighting, and audio. I could not get much of an
insight about the venue because the cameramen were focusing on the stage and
the band more than anything else. Like I said earlier, the crowd’s reaction
actually caught me off guard because I’m not used to seeing calm crowds at
metal shows. What I noticed about the stage is that it was not all that big, I
expected a bigger stage for a festival that had performers like Iron Maiden and
blind Guardian