Wacken Open Air - Wacken, Germany, 31st July 2009

Event: Wacken Open Air 2009
Written by: Baz Anderson, GT, Promonex
Published: 26.08.2009

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Wacken Open Air - Wacken, Germany, 30th July-1st August 2009 by Baz Anderson (165)
Wacken Open Air 2009 - Wacken, Germany, 29 July - 01 August 2009 by Promonex (50)


Vreid

Barry: Vreid kicked off the second day with quite a bit of fire. These Norwegian black metallers put on a show that lacked intensity that you might have expected, but nevertheless the set was enjoyable and worth staying for even though it was not a memorable one.



Napalm Death

Gorm: Knowing my taste in music it might surprise you to find me writing about these guys. I can assure you that I did not plan on seeing them, but Suidakra and ND apparently switched places. So I was expecting something quite different. Unfortunately the concert didn't change my opinion about them and I found it really bad and therefore left after a couple of songs.

UFO

Barry: Clearly a band for the older members of the audience, long-time hard-rockers UFO took the True Metal stage and played to a somewhat bemused young-ish audience. Phil Mogg seemed taken back by something, either the vastness of the arena, or perhaps some alcohol, but either way he openly showed us he had to have the lyrics in front of him for one new song and that he didn't know which albums his songs were from. Still, the band put on an enjoyable, if not slightly confusing set.



Gamma Ray

Barry: German power metal princes Gamma Ray had the Main Stage next and soon had the arena in more of a party frame of mind going straight into a set of favourites, and better yet not dragging "Heavy Metal Universe" out for twenty minutes. The band put on a great show with a set hitting almost all albums, including a song that has apparently only recently been written; it hasn't even been recorded yet. This song was some bland metal-worshipping number though that hopefully won't make any significant Gamma Ray release, although looking at their latest album it probably will. This aside the band were genuinely fantastic closing with the explosive "Somewhere Out In Space" with an encore of the absolute fan-favourite that sometimes criminally drops under the radar "Send Me A Sign".

Gorm: Aiming for some cheesy power metal I ventured to the True Metal Stage to see Gamma Ray. I wasn't disappointed and though I don't have the biggest Gamma Ray knowledge I still enjoyed the show. The "non-recorded" song Baz talked about was pretty average, but still quite enjoyable and I can only agree on his statements about the closing and encore.



Tristania

Daniel: Tristania however were a huge disappointment. They already had quite a bad start with a terrible sound for their opener "World of Glass" and continuing with a brandnew, that is unknown song, might not have been the wisest idea either. New female vocalist Mariangela Demurtas had quite a strong stage performance, but it was obvious that Vibeke Stene's shoes were just too big for her. Surprisingly she performed best on the band's early songs "Angellore" and "Beyond the Veil" while she sounded nearly obnoxious on the post-Morten Veland era songs "Mercyside" and "Shadowman". This might in part be also due to the sound problems which didn't seem to get solved throughout the show. All things considered this gig hasn't really shown the most positive outlook onto the future of this band with its glorious past.

Nevermore

Barry: Things were just getting better and better though, seeing as Nevermore were back at Wacken on the True Metal stage. Whenever these guys take a stage, they absolutely own it and then they own all of you. Nevermore are such an incredible force live that just cannot be matched. It was either Wacken 2007 or 2008 were "Narcosynthesis" was constantly played over the system on an advert in between bands to the level of torment, well this just felt like such a moment to hear this from the people themselves. Even though if you have seen Nevermore any time after the release of the new album, this set was pretty much the same as all the others, but every time you see Nevermore live they stick in your mind as one of the very top bands of the festival they play at. Nevermore at such a high quality band that never cease to amaze.



DragonForce

Barry: Over on the Party Stage it was time for Dragonforce to play their set of up-tempo power metal for those about to party. They might not have been on a main stage, but they pulled an audience like they were at one. The Party Stage was at one of its busiest points in the whole festival and the wildly over-emphasised set was being received well. It has all been said before about how this band aren't to be taken seriously, it seems like people have finally realised that if they don't want to see these crazy people play their music, then they don't have to.

Gorm: Next up for me was even more cheese as DragonForce was playing on the Party Stage. And a party we got. The show was a gimmick and the keyboard player in particular, sprinting and jumping around the stage in his bright green tights. The music was…well DragonForce; fast, happy and really good for sipping beers in the sun. The crowd was entertained and so was I, but not really impressed. I prefer these guys on CD and in small doses. The sound was as was the case with D-A-D not the best and at times actually really bad.



Hammerfall

Barry: On the True Metal stage once more, Hammerfall had pulled an immense audience. These Swedish guys must be more popular across Europe and the world than first realised. Hammerfall put on one of the most cringeworthy performances of the whole festival though. There is something about Hammerfall that is just plain fake. Either they are trying too hard to be liked, or it is all a business ploy with purposely catchy songs to rake in the cash. Apologies if you don't see the same thing, but at this Wacken show Hammerfall came across as the power metal for the idiots, neither good one way or the other.

Gorm: Continuing with the power metal Hammerfall was next. I was really hoping that they could impress me being dangerously disappointed the last time I saw them. They couldn't! The show was boring and as last time it just didn't felt like they enjoyed playing, their stage show being really stiff and mechanic and giving the impression that their choreographer was one found in the world of talent show pop.



Whiplash

Barry: Finally a journey to the W.E.T. tent took me to the first thrash of the festival with the reunited U.S. band Whiplash. Down at the front row there were some insane people banging their heads away who obviously have waited a long long time for the opportunity to that old eighties stuff. They sure did put on what seemed to be quite a head-liberating set of thrash metal, hopefully the people behind the fanatical first few rows enjoyed the show just as much.



Motörhead

Barry: Motörhead might as well set up home here, because they have seen Wacken more times than most other people. Once again though; "We are Motörhead, and we play rock 'n' roll." If you've seen Motörhead live, and then gotten over the initial excitement and see them again then they could be seen to just put on the same show every single time they play. Wacken though, an unfathomable people watching this band, some inevitably have never seen the band before and enjoyed the set immensely, who wouldn't, also with the added inclusion of some half-naked girls prancing around the stage. One way or another though, Motörhead are one of those bands that you wouldn't be able to bear life without knowing they still made music and always end up entertaining whether it is through music or Lemmy's speeches in between songs.



Ingrimm

Gorm: After spending some time checking out some of the festival area where I hadn't been with Promonex, we ended up at the Medieval Market where German Ingrimm played on the Medieval Stage. Never heard about this band before, but the play folk metal with a medieval touch. It was actually really nice and a band I'll be checking out in the future.

Daniel: The most interesting thing about them however is that they aren't as jolly as most other bands of this genre. Instead their songs are heavy and pervaded by a certain creepiness, achieved by crushing guitar riffs, double-bass drumming and occasional growls. If you think medieval metal would be interesting if it wasn't that mellow (and shallow), give Ingrimm a try.

Epica

Gorm: After spending a few hours away from the main stages throwing down a few beers I returned to see Epica. And I will never regret doing that. For once I was standing fairly well and had a good view of the whole stage. The sound was spot on as well and the band delivered the best they had…and that was really good. Actually everything was pretty much perfect. The tracklist, the interaction with the crowd, the lighting, and pyrotechnics. This was without a doubt the best concert of the festival for me.



In Flames

Barry: In Flames are also getting quite comfortable at Wacken being here only two years ago, and playing at quite the similar time-slot as well. This year however the band decided to take their band name and turn it into something very real. There must have never been so many flames blasting out of different parts of the arena and fireworks during one show apart from perhaps a KISS show. Thing is though, is that KISS put on a live show well worth seeing and worth the fire and flames, In Flames on the other hand appear to be a band that got way too popular for their own good and it seemed as though all this fire was just for the hell of it, or "just because they can"-kind of thing. One highlight of the set however was "Dead End" of which the band had only played once live before ever, due to requiring a female singer. Over all however the set held no surprises apart from the odd face-blast of fire. Disappointing seeing as two years ago they impressed me so much as to give them another chance.



Doro

Barry: Numbers were getting low now, or low as far as Wacken audiences are concerned as it was getting late. Doro made the most of her time on stage and even though the bulk of the audience either didn't care about the set or were waiting for Amon Amarth next, her music was actually quite enchanting in an unknown way. She pulled a few Warlock songs from the hat as well as a Judas Priest cover of "Breaking The Law" as a way for remembering her first big solo tour with them. On the whole it was actually an enjoyable set, it just wasn't received as well as probably hoped.



Amon Amarth

Barry: And this is why people had stuck around. Last band of the day, on at a very late time, Amon Amarth parked their Viking ship onto the stage and invaded Wacken. Also along with people wielding weapons and hitting each other with them, the set was visually very nice. The sound however was something different, for some reason it sounded like they were playing from inside a giant paper bag. It was all quite muffled and the bass drums, although quite clear, were probably a bit too overbearing. The set included a lot of new material initially, but the band did inevitably resort back to the tried and tested favourites. Good set, if not riddled with a few setbacks such as the sound quality.

Gorm: Still totally pumped after Epica I ended Friday night with Amon Amarth. Not much to say other than they put on a great show playing both new and old material. I didn't notice any sound problems. Maybe because of my position or because I was having too much of a blast to care. Too bad the show was only an hour; that was just not enough. But a perfect way to end a good day.






 




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Valentin B - 26.08.2009 at 22:21  
Hell yeah, Nevermore rocked everything. i actually forgot what songs they were supposed to play and was surprised when i heard The River Dragon Has Come and This Godless Endeavor. Jeff Loomis = god.

i can see why there's nothing about Airbourne hahahahhaah what a shit sound,(BASSDRUMTHUD BASSDRUMTHUD BASSDRUMTHUD BASSDRUMTHUD yeaaahhahaTHUD THUD THUD THUD) i can't believe how many people were enjoying the gig though.

nothing about Bullet For My Valentine? that's a shame, they put on one hell of a show, playing only heavy songs(except for Tears Don't Fall) and far faaaaaar surpassing both in performance and "metalness" Hammerfall(which was single-handedly the band that got me into metal and i was still really disappointed in them, they rely way too much on show and not enough on their unbelievable first 3 albums)

Motorhead i couldn't enjoy as i was just so tired of headbanging to BFMV i had to take a rest and eat some overpriced overspicy asian dish lol, In Flames was pretty good but i was too fucking cold and had to go back to my tent for a short while.

AMON AMARTH was the shit. by far the best band on the second day. i went totally insane during "Live For The Kill", it's a shame their set was so short though.
corrupt - 30.08.2009 at 17:03  
Promonex, I remember meeting you at the Tristania gig whining my ass off about how disappointed I was while you told me how much you actually enjoyed the concert. How did you end up on my side? Tristania was one of my most anticipated appearances of this year and ended up as the most disappointing one.

And man was I disappointed when I heard of the Napalm Death <> Suidakra switch LATER that day. What the fuck? I really wanted to see ND and I don't give a crap about Suidakra. But instead of using the huge screens everywhere to announce something as crucial as this, they rather played ads all day and celebrate their being and what they call metal with this insanely ridiculous 'hymn' by doro. Did I wish not to be called a metalhead when hearing that? Yes I did. Awful!

Otherwise I agree with most of this. Nevermore played the best show I've seen by them so far, Epica really were a jewel, Motörhead as boring as always and Amon Amarth, apart from their really annoying teen-audience put on a better show than I expected.

Nothing about Endstille though.
Baz Anderson - 30.08.2009 at 17:06  
Yes, I do have to say I was really annoyed to find out about the Naplam Death switch the next day when I went to the Party stage and ended up finding something I would have rather not.
Promonex - 31.08.2009 at 20:29  
Written by corrupt on 30.08.2009 at 17:03

Promonex, I remember meeting you at the Tristania gig whining my ass off about how disappointed I was while you told me how much you actually enjoyed the concert. How did you end up on my side? Tristania was one of my most anticipated appearances of this year and ended up as the most disappointing one.

And I'm surprised it ended up as one of your most anticipated gigs. Didn't you say back then that you wouldn't expect anything from them anymore now that Vibeke is gone? Anyway, I didn't enjoy their show that much and I'm by far not as harsh as you were, but ultimately it was probably Epica's mindblowing performance the same night that made Tristania look awfully bland.

Written by corrupt on 30.08.2009 at 17:03

Nothing about Endstille though.

As Iblis was replaced by Mannevond I don't think I've missed a lot to be honest.
Promonex - 31.08.2009 at 20:32  
Written by Valentin B on 26.08.2009 at 22:21
nothing about Bullet For My Valentine? that's a shame, they put on one hell of a show

A shame indeed. I actually wanted to see them as well, but totally forgot about it. I only got to hear "Eye of the Storm" and "Scream Aim Fire" from afar which both sounded really great, but as I haven't really seen them on stage I'm not able to make qualified comments about them.
Valentin B - 31.08.2009 at 21:10  
Written by corrupt on 30.08.2009 at 17:03

Promonex, I remember meeting you at the Tristania gig whining my ass off about how disappointed I was while you told me how much you actually enjoyed the concert. How did you end up on my side? Tristania was one of my most anticipated appearances of this year and ended up as the most disappointing one.

yeah same with me for Hammerfall... though i should have looked at some youtube vids or something from the festivals so at least i'd know what to expect.... fuck... lesson learned.

@Promo glad to see i'm not the only one praising BFMV, from where i was standing for like 20 minutes i could have heard some drunks yelling "Shit Emos!!!" in German. i wouldn't have been surprised if i'd have seen them rocking out during the new In Flames songs later that day though imo new In Flames is 100 times more "emo" than Bullet.... but i didn't hear anyone boo them.

IMO, from a non-German point of view, i found most of the not-huge bands that still brought up a huge sea of people boring, like Schandmaul, In Extremo(sore disappointment, i know they wanted to play something different but not almost a totally uninspired set with a 15 minute version of Villeman, including a 4 minute bongo intro ), half of Hammerfall's set i was almost asleep, Airbourne was the definition of crap at least sound-wise, i couldn't hear anything apart from the thuds that i described in my first post here. the frontman is one crazy motherfucker though.

and yeah Motorhead was sooo boring, there's just no energy on stage.. Lemmy is a damn good musician but apart from their most energic songs like Overkill, Iron Fist and Ace of Spades(i was sitting in an abandoned shop place at the opposite corner of the festival area trying to eat something and i got up to see them during AoS only for the lulz), i pretty much failed to be entertained and i have no idea how such a huge mass of people could have enjoyed that 1 hour wankfest(i swear 75% of the songs they played sounded exactly the same). plus they should fucking play more stuff from Ace of Spades(a european tour next year playing the whole album would be a genius move on their part to celebrate 30 years, after this experience i'd only go and see Motorhead if they played the whole AoS), it could have been a brilliant show but nah, they chose to just turn everything loud as fuck, get some strippers on stage, and voila! totally uninspired set problem solved.
corrupt - 31.08.2009 at 21:19  
Written by Promonex on 31.08.2009 at 20:29

Written by corrupt on 30.08.2009 at 17:03

Promonex, I remember meeting you at the Tristania gig whining my ass off about how disappointed I was while you told me how much you actually enjoyed the concert. How did you end up on my side? Tristania was one of my most anticipated appearances of this year and ended up as the most disappointing one.

And I'm surprised it ended up as one of your most anticipated gigs. Didn't you say back then that you wouldn't expect anything from them anymore now that Vibeke is gone? Anyway, I didn't enjoy their show that much and I'm by far not as harsh as you were, but ultimately it was probably Epica's mindblowing performance the same night that made Tristania look awfully bland.

Was I that harsh about it? That must have been my initial frustration Most anticipated means that, although I didn't expect much, it was most curious about it. Most of the other bands I had already seen at least once and therefore kinda knew what to expect. But after this much of a lineup change I wanted to see what they are like now (kinda like Dimmu Borgir since today ). Only, since I did peek into their youtube videos of Mariangela performing a few of the old songs I really had no big expectations. But there was a chance that the year (or so) that passed since she joined the band left her enough time to practise. Seems it did not.
One thing she really should change however is her clothing. Yes, Cristina Scabbia can pull that off but she's also singing in a 'casual' band. Tristania thrive on atmosphere. And there it's really disturbing if the frontman/woman wears a garbage bag as trousers (or whatever that was supposed to be). Vibeke at least knew how to pick the right dresses for the occasion. And added to all this I still wonder if it was Østen Bergøy we saw. If so, that guy really has put on weight!

Written by Promonex on 31.08.2009 at 20:29

Written by corrupt on 30.08.2009 at 17:03

Nothing about Endstille though.

As Iblis was replaced by Mannevond I don't think I've missed a lot to be honest.

I didn't even know that till after the festival (huge complaints in the official WOA forum). But looking back it seems your view should be about right.
corrupt - 31.08.2009 at 21:25  
Written by Valentin B on 31.08.2009 at 21:10

and yeah Motorhead was sooo boring, there's just no energy on stage.. Lemmy is a damn good musician but apart from their most energic songs like Overkill, Iron Fist and Ace of Spades(i was sitting in an abandoned shop place at the opposite corner of the festival area trying to eat something and i got up to see them during AoS only for the lulz), i pretty much failed to be entertained and i have no idea how such a huge mass of people could have enjoyed that 1 hour wankfest(i swear 75% of the songs they played sounded exactly the same). plus they should fucking play more stuff from Ace of Spades(a european tour next year playing the whole album would be a genius move on their part to celebrate 30 years, after this experience i'd only go and see Motorhead if they played the whole AoS), it could have been a brilliant show but nah, they chose to just turn everything loud as fuck, get some strippers on stage, and voila! totally uninspired set problem solved.

Motörhead really kill in a small venue. Yes, all songs sound alike, but the atmosphere is really intimate then. And Lemmy's jokes work better if he can interact with the people. The WOA stage, though maybe appropriate measured by number of fans or albums sells, is way (WAY) too big for their sound.
Bad English - 31.08.2009 at 23:25  
Barry - quasten, how does those german bands , (more first day review) talked whit audience, in german, ir english? How did Doro n Running Wild?

Hammerfall more I look to pics more I see why they call them selfs Swe IM , nah since Steave has West Ham logo on bass, to be 100% HammerFall shood put IFK or GAIS logo on guitar
Baz Anderson - 01.09.2009 at 00:59  
All German bands spoke either all in German, or mostly in German with some in English. Doro and Running Wild at least made the effort to speak some English.
Bad English - 01.09.2009 at 14:12  
Written by Baz Anderson on 01.09.2009 at 00:59

All German bands spoke either all in German, or mostly in German with some in English. Doro and Running Wild at least made the effort to speak some English.


Well I would understand it if there be 90% german fans, but IMO 50% was foreners, so its not so nice, but even we all go for music
Abattoir - 04.09.2009 at 14:26  
I see that Epica realy put out a hell of great show. Damn, when I will be able to see them live...cause it would be definitely a dream come true.
Ernis - 09.10.2009 at 22:47  
Doro indeed is an enchanting performer....guess indeed the timing was not that suitable given the late hour and the fact that most people that remained in front of the stage were desperately waiting for AA....

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