03/04/05-08-2007, Wacken (Germany)
By: Wouter van de Kamp
Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) is the biggest, largest and therefore also greatest (in my opinion) metalfestival of Europe and this was their 18th edition. Wacken is a small town in the northern part of Germany with only 1.750 inhabitants. For five days per year the population multiplies by 40 to have Wacken Open Air. I was talking to some locals before we could get in and they all said they really loved the festival. They liked the atmosphere and they were really friendly. Some of my friends went to Wacken before the campsite was opened. They were allowed to put op their tents in the backyard of the guy whom I was talking to. It might be that part of the interest of the locals in W:O:A has an economical basis. THere are many little stands with food and drinks in the town itself, put up by locals and next to that the two supermarkets. According to the official W:O:A website this year’s edition counted 60.000 visitors leading to 72.000 participants (including press, inhabitants, guests, etc). A huge number, but never did I have the idea that that was too much except perhaps for the huge queue on the highway and the direct road into town. Good organisation. No big problems. No queues for food or in front of the (always well cleaned) toilets.
I was travelling with a touring car with friends from my hometown Utrecht to Wacken
festival in the northern part of Germany and the trip went actually quite succesful.
Up until we saw this big queue.
Fortunately we entered it at the point where there was an exit so we took that
one. We found a secondary road that also led to the festival but more people found
it. The queue was that harsh that people took out the chairs from their cars and
just opened a beer to enjoy the weather
which was pretty good. I and the organiser of the trip decided to walk the last
7 kilometres to at least collect the tickets. In the end the bus had found a short
cut and we could finally enter the festival. I was too tired to check out the
bands of the preparty. I went to the metalmarket with some friends and drank some
beers to go to bed in time
to be sort of fit for the coming days.
I didn’t have many bands I wanted to see, but first one is Neaera.German metalcore
and therefore quite popular amongst the crowd. I just
know their music pretty well and I like it, but I haven’t taken the
time to really analyse the band and besides that I didn’t pay much
attention to their show either because I just wanted to mosh. That was
a great idea of mine. It went quite loose in the pit for a band like
Neaera. After the show I was al bruised and had scratches on my arms
and all. Nice experience. That was the only band I really wanted to
check out. The rest of the day I spent drinking beer and having fun
with friends on the campsite, which I quite managed.
And then it was Friday. I wanted to see just two bands. The bad thing
was that the first one was the opener of the day. And the other one was
to be the last band of the day, which left me over 14 hours to try to
THe Black Dahlia Murder is again a metalcore band. This time from
Detroit. I wasn’t fully awake yet, but the moshpit woke me up properly.
I actually was a bit disappointed by the show. Maybe it is that I don’t
like the big stages on a festival unless a band REALLY knows how to
play them. Or maybe metalcore bands are more impressive on small stages
in general. To me the show went by like any other band. Nothing really
I will save you the 14+ hour story and go directly to
the Samael performance.
I was really looking forward to this show. I have seen them live twice
already and both times I had a brilliant night. Also their 2007 release
Solar Soul was very promising to give a good show. And again… the
show couldn’t really convince me. Perhaps the size of the stage was
again my problem. The performance was great. The sound was good.
Brilliant lighting as well. I am not the person that is into songtitles
but they played their classics Shining Kingdom, Baphomet’s Throne and
The One’s Who Came Before. Of course they played Slavocracy from their
new album as well and the ended with Rain. Brilliant ending once again.
Although it was less than I expected I stil went back to the tents
with a satisfied feeling. And since I had been sober all day to see
Samael properly it was time for some good partying.
I found my tent when the sun had risen quite some time. And then it
went wrong. I was ill. I could only lie in my tent and feel enormously
fucked up. I couldn’t get myself to drink any water. Had to go to the
toilet but no “excrementory grindfuckers” to donate to the
chemical toilet. I definately had to see Immortal and I grabbed myself
together with the smallest of ease… But I really had to. And that
paid out. I had a hard time walking there to get there but I managed. I
couldn’t go to close to the stage because the sound hurt my head. But
thanks to my illness I saw them twice, because each time I tried to
really focus the stage split up in two again before my eyes. They
played all my favorites.
From the top of my head they played Tyrants,
One by One, Damned in Black, My Dimension, Sons of the Northern
Darkness, The Sun No Longer Rises, Blashyrkh Mighty Ravendark,
Withstand the Fall of Time, At the Heart of Winter and Unholy Forces of
Evil. They played a brilliant show with even better lighting. They
played the slower songs like Tyrants even more downtempo than on the
album which gave a great atmosphere. Also there was a lot of pyrostuff
and fireworks on stage. And as always there was the firebreathing,
which from such a distance is not really impressive, but Immortal can’t
do without that!
Next I wanted to see some Municipal Waste just because some of my >
friends were continually talking about that band. They started of
letting the crowd scream “Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up” which
was what my friends were shouting all the time at the campsite as well.
So that wasn’t really new to me. I liked the band but I couldn’t keep
standing. My eyes closed themselves continually and I decided to go
back to my tent to go to sleep. It was a cold night, perhaps because of
that I couldn’t fall asleep. I didn’t start feeling better until
halfway our trip back home. I have never felt that good after a
festival. Full of energy. I wanted another week of Wacken. But I guess
I have to wait for another year. But I’m looking forward to it. W:O:A 2008 here