Wacken Open Air 2006 Day 1
|Event:||Wacken Open Air 2006|
Wacken Open Air 2006 Festival Review
Wacken… How can one write about the biggest metal festival in the world (over 60,000 people this year!!!) in a serious and objective way? Well, let me tell you - it's impossible. Wacken Open Air is simply an unreal experience, a metal Mecca, a great party that anybody who considers themselves a metal fan should come to at least once in their lives. The individual performances of the bands become meaningless when we think about the sheer magnitude of the event and about all of the insane fun that it offers for fans of any genre of metal. For this reason, I'm not even going to bother describing in detail each of the over 70 different shows that Wacken was offering this year. It's physically impossible for one journalist to see all of them anyway. Instead, I will simply describe Wacken as an experience and why we should all strive not to miss it next year.
It all began on August 3rd. I came to Wacken by train from Hamburg and already on the way I was astonished at just how many people were also going to the festival. The train was literally packed with metalheads and every wagon was a de facto metal party with boomboxes set on 11 and everybody happily providing the other, 'normal' passengers with the occasional growl or high pitched scream. That was just the beginning though. When I finally arrived at Itzehoe (a city very close to Wacken) what I saw was a sea of black t-shirts and long hair, all waiting for the shuttle buses to take them to the festival site itself. Wacken is a fairly small town (actually, more like a village) about 15 kilometers away from Itzehoe, with a population of around 1,700 people. Of course, now it was filled with the thousands of metalheads that come to Wacken every year. I quickly managed to find the press area and set up my tent and I was ready to start mingling, meeting Metalstormers and enjoying the show.
When I entered the festival site itself, it became very apparent to me exactly what sort of an event I was dealing with here. The atmosphere in Wacken is simply superb - everybody is extremely friendly, open-minded and free. There were no signs of aggression or inappropriate behavior from anyone. Instead, we were all enjoying the great Wacken beer (brewed especially for the festival), chatting about metal and waiting for our favorite bands. It is also notable to say that even the more left-field bands that found their way to Wacken this year - Ministry, Danko Jones, Tourettes Syndrome, Fear Factory etc. - were treated with as much respect as the 'real' metal bands that most of the people came to see.
Day 1 was in fact "Scorpions Day". All of the major performances this day were by artists connected to this legendary German hard rock band. The first to play was a band called Faster Inferno, featuring Tyson Schenker (Michael Schenker's son). The German hard rock/heavy metal band Victory followed and offered some more traditional, retro metal to the growing audience. When Michael Schenker and his group started their set, there were already thousands of people around the True Metal Stage. Finally, the stars of the night entered the stage. This was indeed a very special day for Scorpions fans since the band performed a very long set consisting of many old classics ("When The Smoke Is Going Down", "Virgin Killer", "Speedy's Coming" etc.) and with guest appearances by most of their past members, including Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and drummer Herman Rarebell. Although some fans were complaining that the band was not necessarily in top form, I still think this was definitely a 'night to remember'. Towards the end of the Scorpions set, a mechanical scorpion entered the stage. I'm all for theatrics but this scorpion was just so small that the only thing I could think of was Spinal Tap. I was waiting for the midgets to come out and start dancing around it but they never did…
NOTE: All photographs used by permission of Rolf Klatt / metaltix.com. All rights reserved
||Written on 25.09.2006 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.|
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