After the five preliminaries which took place in Malta, Belgium, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands it was now time for the semi -finals. And again this battle took place in the Netherlands, at TODO in Best.
In this semi-finals will ten bands battle for five places in the final. This final will take place the 16th of June at POPEI Eindhoven. The ten bands are the winners of the five preliminaries which, as I told you before.
Every preliminary had two bands which go to the semi -finals. One bands chosen by a professional jury and one band chosen by the audience.
So the ten bands are; The Guardian (Belgium), Mir zur Feier (Germany), Solitude Within (Belgium), Hillary Slaughter (Germany), Sounds of September (Estonia), Athaleon (Belgium), Setheist (Poland), GoneZilla (France), Seraphiel (Finland) and Elysian Gates (Luxembourg).
Yes, battles. They took place during two days. Saturday evening the 21th of April and Sunday afternoon the 22th of April. So five bands for each day. Before the weekend the bands already knew at which day they had to come to the battle. And for some of them it was a hell of a travel to come to the Netherlands, but they arrived all in time. Before the battle starts they had to draw lots to see which band will start, which one is second etc. After that’s done the battles can start.
On Saturday we can enjoy Sounds of September, The Guardian, Solitude Within, Mir zur Feier and Hillary Slaughter.
On Sunday there are GoneZilla, Athaleon, Elysian Gates, Seraphiel and Setheist. All the bands are doing very well. It is not easy for the jury and the audience to decide which bands are the best and can go to the finals. They all are playing the best gig of their career I think. It’s so nice to see and hear them play. And with great respect for each other. Supporting each other. I looks to me as one big music family.
And sure it’s a battle, but a battle I think with only winners. The bands and the audience. They all enjoyed it very much. And that’s what most important about music. With each other and for each other And how nice it is to see how people can change. When they are on stage they are dynamite and full of passion. And when they are not playing, kind and a bit quiet. They are such nice people.
I think they all deserve a place in the finals. But everybody knows there are only five who can and may go. So it’s up to the jury and the audience to decide which bands can go. And that jury and audience have a different meaning is for sure.
Not on the Saturday but on the Sunday. The jury choose Seraphiel and the audience Setheist. On Saturday they choose both Mir zur Feier. And because they both choose the same band the second choice of the jury goes to the finals also, and that’s Sounds of September.And then it is to Ton Dekkers, chief of FemME, to give a “wildcard”, to band number five, which can go to the finals. And that is Elysian Gates.
And so two lovely days of music came to an end. But the good news is that five of the bands are coming back to battle against each other in the Finals. And I’m sure we will see the other five bands also back some day. The are all great so I’m sure this is only the beginning.
Personally I have enjoyed it very much. I have met a lot of nice people. It was great to be there. And I have much respect for all the bandmembers, their crew and audience. But also for the people who made it possible. The crew of FemME and their “audience/friends”. It’s one great big family.
I’m looking forward to the Finals, that’s for sure!!