Wacken Open Air - Wacken, Germany, 7th August 2010
|Event:||Wacken Open Air 2010|
|Written by:||Promonex, corrupt, Valentin B|
Wacken Open Air 2010 - Day 3 by Promonex (124)
Wacken Open Air 2010 - Day 2 by Promonex (146)
Wacken Open Air 2010 - Day 1 & Miscellaneous (NSFW!) by Promonex (55)
Metal Train 2010 by Promonex (120)
Table of Contents
3.3 Die Kassierer
3.5 Lock Up
3.9 Cannibal Corpse
3.14 Rotting Christ
Thursday, 04.08.2010 featuring Apocalyptica, Altar, Skyline, Metal Hammer Awards, Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Gojira
Friday, 05.08.2010 featuring Amorphis, Orphaned Land, Job For A Cowboy, Ill Niño, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, The BossHoss, Blaas Of Glory, Endstille, Evile, Kamelot, Arch Enemy, Tarja, Grave Digger, 1349, Slayer, Ihsahn, Anvil
The last day of the festival was even sunnier than the previous days. Three days of Wacken and no mud in sight! Definitely a first, which has also surprised Overkill's Bobby Blitz. Ideal conditions to summon dust storms for Cannibal Corpse and Lock Up. It also promised to be a mild summer night for Tiamat's special Wildhoney show.
corrupt: Like them or not, they will play everywhere, where there is a stage and electricity. Germany's masters of generic repetitive metalcore were once again back for a show of whiny simplicity. And how could I miss that? The first thing you always notice when coming to their shows is the masses of people. A kindergarten of at least 20,000 people was cheering at their idols, and the band did their best to serve them the most mediocre sound of the festival. To begin with, their singer, who either grew a beard or replaced his head since the last time I've seen them, openly complained about the circle pit and wall of death ban, which naturally led to the crowd forming a spontaneous wall of death. And as expected for a band of this much importance, nothing happened. Unlike Job For A Cowboy they weren't interrupted. The video walls displayed the famous Please No Circlepit signs here and there but other than that, the show went as expected. Thousands of drunk children moshing in front of the stage. The show itself was really loud. Maybe because it was the first show of the day and they still had last night's settings running, I don't know. But other than that it was boring as hell and so extremely out of place that it felt like another festival.
corrupt: These Norwegians folk/black metallers were of the bands I've heard much about, but never got into. Without expectations I found a nice spot in front of the stage and was then blown away by an awesome and completely unexpected show. I didn't know any of their songs, but when listening to that, my first question was: Where is the folk in all that? To my ears, we were listening to a black metal band. And a really good one. The band was in a good and chatty mood. They told us how they, being Norwegians, despised the sun that was fiercely burning and they played a song they hadn't played in years and hadn't rehearsed for, just to check if it still works. It did. As did the whole concert for me, sound problems aside. Unleashed, playing on the black stage, were so loud that their sound dominated Kampfar's announcements. And Kampfar's sound, in turn, had too much emphasis on drums.
Solid black metal, played by a congenial band. More of that and with better sound please. Even though it seemed like only a few thousand people were there.
3.3 Die Kassierer
corrupt: Germany's punk legend Die Kassierer played on the W.E.T. stage, which, completely unforeseeable (notice the irony), made it impossible to even get into listening distance. Wacken scheduling at its best. Just book as many bands as possible and let them play somewhere. No Kassierer for me then.
corrupt: Time for another legend. USA's thrash machine Overkill were set to play a nice show in front of an immensely huge crowd. They were in a good mood, joking around and laughing a lot. The sound was really nice, clear through and through. But we were standing close to the sound tower and there was no wind. A good show by a good band. Not really my music, but still recommendable and I would definitely see them again.
Valentin B: After a break which seemed to last forever, the Wrecking Crew took over the stage and destroyed everything. Opening with the excellent epic "The Green And Black", they provided an hour's worth of mad thrashing, headbanging and epic sing-alongs.
Promonex: "There's no rain or mud or shit. This doesn't feel like Wacken at all!" Bobby Blitz brought the general amazement about the best weather Wacken ever had to the point. But also Overkill's show was quite amazing. Their new album "Ironbound", the 16th full-length in the band's history after all, might just be the best thrash metal album of the year. And live the new songs rocked even more! But so did their classics as "In Union We Stand", "Wrecking Crew", "Rotten to the Core" and of course "Fuck You", during which middle fingers were thrown into the air all over the place. An excellent show which would have been even better at a later time slot.
3.5 Lock Up
Promonex: The deathgrind supergroup featuring Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates), Shane Embury (Napalm Death), Anton Reisenegger (Criminal) and Nick Barker (Benediction) from Stockholm, Birmhingham, Santiago, Sheffield respectively might have been the most relentless act of the whole festival. Their whole set was brutal, rapid and right in your face, with a minimum of variation. Actually the only variation consisted of Tomas Lindberg's announcements with his distinctive sense of humour, but that was alright as the songs themselves were that rapid that you didn't find the time to complain about the uniformity of the set.
Valentin B: I watched the grindcore supergroup from in front of the True Metal stage as I wanted to get a good spot for the following band. I am not a fan of this kind of music, but they sure as hell rocked the 3,000-4,000 people gathered to see them. Comprising of members of other well-established grindcore or death metal bands, they made for a very brutal and grinding hour of music. Their vocalist is also pretty funny, contrasting the brutal nihilistic sonorities with such humorously pompous introductions as: "Ladies and gentlemen, we will now present a new song... on 2, Mr. Barker", before the blastbeats commence.
corrupt: Well, take a woman, put her on vocals, add heavy keyboards and there you have
corrupt: Between Delain and W.A.S.P. I decided to dare a little Metsatöll. Having no prior experience with this band, I had no expectations and was just curious. I entered the tent, thick of smoke of course, just to see bagpipes on the stage. That almost made me leave. Any cool folk metal band today needs bagpipes. It seems almost like an initiation ritual into the world of mediocrity. But I stayed. And they kept on riding stereotypes. Next up, a flute. A flute, that the guy played air guitar on while he didn't have anything to pipe. If you're so desperately wanting to play guitar, just play guitar. It would certainly attribute to the, otherwise really simple, sound of Metsatöll. After the flute they had some kind of weird board with strings that was played like a violin in the position of a contrabass. This just wasn't a band for me. Their sound was good, some 100 people were there and actually seemed to enjoy them, but I can't stand this kind of music. After about 20 minutes, that was it for me.
corrupt: Another one of those bands you should at least see once in your life. Old school borderline hair metal rock with a lot of fun on stage. W.A.S.P were definitely benefiting from the Cannibal Corpse audience that was slowly assembling to get a good spot. So they had a lot of people there and did their best to keep them entertained. Again, not the right music for me, but nice to watch nonetheless.
Valentin B: One of the bands I was looking forward to the most, W.A.S.P. were amazing. Having passed up the opportunity to see them in my home town back last autumn because of the high ticket price, I now would gladly pay twice as much to see them again. Blackie and co.'s music really comes alive the more people are there. From the absurdly awesome chorus of "Hellion" on which I nearly destroyed my lungs, to the chilling intro of "The Idol" on which Doug Blair's notes scream emotion from the depths of Jonathan's wounded soul (if you don't know what I'm talking about, please either listen to The Crimson Idol or die), everything was simply too good to be true. Once again I purposefully didn't look up a setlist online and boy was I surprised at their near-perfect choice and order of songs to play. One of the best shows of the whole festival.
3.9 Cannibal Corpse
corrupt: Due to Wacken's incredible scheduling, I now had the choice between Cannibal Corpse, Stratovarius and Debauchery. I missed Cannibal Corpse for Haggard last time they played, so I decided to pass on Debauchery and just stay here. I wasn't disappointed. I can't call myself a real fan, their sound is far too generic and most songs too simple for my taste. But I do like to listen to them every once in a while and such time had come. I guess for an old fan there wasn't really anything new to discover. They played a solid set of songs from all their eras and Corpsegrinder's announcements were funny as usual. "We'll play an old song now. What, you don't care? If you want to hear an old song, you better scream right now!" "You better go crazy down there or I'll come down and kill you myself!" Also, their sound was amazing. They had the best drum sound on this festival so far. And as a bonus, the cameras really showed the work of the musicians. If there was a solo, the guitar would be shown on the video wall. This has become so rare in recent years, on concerts and even DVDs alike that I decided to make a special mention of this here. It is just awesome to see the work the musicians do. Please give us more of these awesome camera works. Another thing, that those of you who read the whole text might have expected, is Corpsegrinder's demands for mosh and circle pits. I don't think anyone could keep him from doing that. And as any other big band before them, they weren't interrupted. Not even the sign was shown on the video wall. Maybe they didn't dare. "This is the last song. What? Well, since you put it that way... it's still gonna be the last song!" After one hour, the magic was over. Definitely one of the best shows of this year's Wacken.
Valentin B: Cannibal Corpse were fucking brutal, and that's all you need to know. If you are even slightly into extreme metal, but have never listened to or seen CC live, please die before Corpsegrinder personally comes over to your house and rips your arms off. "You know when I said that was the last song? I LIED!! This one is 'Stripped, Raped, and FUCKING STRANGLEEDD!!!'"
Promonex: Sólstafir is the kinda band you don't really want to see at Wacken. At least they got to play in the twilight rather than under the burning sun and their crowd in the W.E.T. stage tent was fortunately rather small, while people outside were gathering in front of the True Metal Stage waiting for Edguy. Still, Wacken's understanding of music meant that these Icelandic avant-garde metallers got to play a whopping three songs. But then again you couldn't place the blame only on the Wacken organizers as Sólstafir opted to totally overdo their 15 minute epic "Ritual of Fire" by expanding it to twice its length and pathetically failed at interacting with the crowd. Guys, your music works best on its own, when it can unfold its wings and take the listeners on a journey through the Icelandic landscapes. Instead they tried to get the audience involved, which is a nice thing in theory, but not if this completely trivializes their sophisticated brand of music, especially if this is done by diluting their magical "Ritual of Fire".
corrupt: "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the freak show". But don't expect Edguy to start with "Mysteria", even after that intro. The first two songs were from either of the last two albums. Since I didn't have any hopes for this concert to be any decent, this came as expected. But boy, was I wrong. Yes, they did play a lot of the last album. But there also were a few classics that I didn't expect to hear that day, like "Tears of a Mandrake". The Royal Hairforce (the latest Edguy T-Shirt actually says that) were in a perfect mood. The roughly 50 meters wide stage almost gave enough room for Tobias' ego to fit on it and their sound was just perfect. Tobi had some of his usual jokes there, like the mandatory remark to Europe's "The Final Countdown" before playing "Vain Glory Opera" and a lot of spontaneous stuff that was more or less funny. As always when he is on stage, the best thing is just to say "well, he's trying", and concentrate on the music. The highlight of the concert was the appearance of Helloween's Markus Grosskopf for a few songs, amongst them a version of "Lavatory Love Machine" with three guitars. As it turned out, Grosskopf was there to cover for Tobias Exxel, since he and his wife were expecting and it wasn't clear as to whether he could make the concert. But as both were there, they decided to at least give Grosskopf a small stage appearance. All in all a surprisingly good show by a band I used to adore when I was a teenager. The sound was awesome, the people and the band in equally a good mood and apart from the few new songs and not playing "Out Of Control", which is inexcusable, it was as good as in the old times.
Promonex: I personally didn't have any expectations towards Edguy. I like some of their songs, but I'm not really that much into power metal anymore. Nonetheless Edguy easily managed to entrance me. There's something special to Tobi's stage presence which makes Edguy and Avantasia shows appalling even for aficionados of extreme metal. Speaking of extreme metal, once again the Please No Circlepits signs were flashing, and as you can guess it led to people doing the opposite, namely forming a circle pit. Reverse psychology at its very best!
corrupt: Do I even need to comment on this? OK, so last time they played in Wacken was their reunion show in 2007. Abbath had put on quite some weight but the show was awesome. Perfect choice of songs and a brilliant sound. This year, they went on a whole festival tour (basically to every festival in existence) and brought a new album. So one would expect them to have had a little practice and time to fine-tune their stage appearance. Let's have a look at it then. Abbath chose to conceal his manly body in a leather outfit that made him look like a small black version of the incredible hulk. That alone looked quite funny. But Apollyon managed to top that by wearing a black Bathory shirt with a yellow (yes, yellow) goat head print. So instead of fiercely corpse-painted Immortal, we got black hulk and Big Bird. Only fierce and corpse-painted. To get to the actual concert, Black Hulk And Big Bird played a lot of songs from All Shall Fall. From what I remember, there were at least "All Shall Fall" (they opened with it), "The Rise Of Darkness", "Hordes To War" and "Norden On Fire". Those alone are half the album and didn't leave much room for more in a 60 minute slot. Their sound was, well, mashy. We were standing in a distance of, say 30 meters away from the stage and still the arrangements were lacking depth. Even though I knew the songs, it took up to a minute to figure out which one they were playing when they started. That is never a good sign. Other than that, thanks to the incredible Wacken scheduling, they were overlapping 15 minutes with Rotting Christ, which I didn't want to miss for the world. So after 40 minutes, I started making my way to the back of the festival area to reach the W.E.T. stage. But then they started playing "Beyond The North Waves", a song that is so incredibly beautiful, I missed the first two minutes of Rotting Christ, just to listen to it unfold. After that, it seems they only played one song ("One By One") and were gone. All in all, a just above average show. Abbath actually had a few announcements that, unlike 2007, didn't end on "Motherfuckeeeeeeeers", choice of songs and sound were OK, but all in all no match for 2007's magical show. And no "Blashyrkh."
Valentin B: The winners of the only band clash I had this year between them and Immortal, Candlemass put on a great show with a very good choice of tracks (especially the first three), but their incredibly dramatic and serious music felt slightly spoiled by Lowe's stage presence and heavy/fake Southern accent. During one of my lesser-favorite tracks by them I hopped over to see the main stage screens. They showed Abbath in corpsepaint trying to touch his nose with his tongue, then came back.
3.14 Rotting Christ
corrupt: One of my highlights of the festival were granted all of 30 minutes on stage. As I already said, I missed the first two of those minutes because Black Hulk And Big Bird were finally playing good stuff. As it turned out, I missed "Aealo", one of the few Rotting Christ songs I don't like at all. So no loss there. The second song was "Eon Aenaos", a better choice. And as I finally found a nice spot in front of the stage, it immediately became apparent how awesome their sound was. Everything was there, every riff, every sample, and all the vocals. And almost all of it live. I had never seen them live before, so I was quite stunned how many parts of their songs are actually sung even though they sound like sampled on CD. To give an example, take "Athanati Este", which they played next. Big parts of the song are low chants in the background that most bands would just sample live, but Sakis sung all of it. Apart from the already talked to death thick smoke in the tent that was starting to attack my throat as soon as I entered, this was my personal best concert of the festival. The guys didn't lose much time on words and rushed through their setlist, but it was worth it. The biggest favor they could have made me was to play either "Enuma Elish" or "Phobos' Synagogue" and they played the latter. It was awesome beyond words. The songs I didn't mention yet were "Fire, Death and Fear", "The Sign Of Prime Creation" (which was just awesome) and "Noctis Era." They quickly thanked the few hundred people who were there and were gone. And I was happy. Coughing, but happy.
corrupt: After the awesomeness of Rotting Christ, next up were Max Cavalera and his crew. Max once again looked like he hadn't showered in weeks. But that shouldn't distract from the concert. I never got into Soufly, Sepultura or any of his projects. It's just not my music. And that was how I experienced this show. A few songs I actually did know, like Sepultura's "Roots Bloody Roots" but most of it sounded all alike to my ears. Another thing that I mentioned countless times now and didn't get less annoying was the circle pit warning sign. Max Cavalera did call for a circle pit (or a moshpit, it wasn't really clear). And of course, seeing how big the band is, he wasn't interrupted. Instead they showed the circle pit sign on the video walls again. But this time they left it there so long that for at least one song, nobody standing far back could see anything happening onstage. And it's not like the warning helped much. All in all it was an OK show for me. Good sound and a few old highlights. But nothing too exciting for my ears.
corrupt: This should be my last concert of this festival. Tiamat were set to play a special Wildhoney show and we were pretty excited about what that would look like. Turns out, they played the whole album, beginning to end. From "Wildhoney" to "A Pocked Sized Sun" without a single announcement or any kind of audience interaction. Under normal terms I would rate them down for that. But in this case it was the only way to go. Apart from parts of Fear Factory playing on the black stage that came through here and there, there was nothing to distract from the album's intense atmosphere. About 20 minutes into the show it started to rain just so slightly it was almost not noticeable, but just enough to give the setting an even more intimate feel. The show went along smoothly with that little bit of rain. They had some funny effects there, like playing on a guitar with an empty glass bottle for certain sounds. And the more the show progressed, the more psychedelic it became. The audience was completely silent during the songs and only mildly applauded in between. After about 50 minutes it was over. It was one of those unique shows you don't want to have missed.
Valentin B: One of the more interesting shows of the fest and probably a once in a lifetime opportunity was to catch Tiamat's rendition of their album Wildhoney. Which apart from some very long interludes went from crushing doom metal in the beginning to relaxing atmospheric music, perfect to just sit down and chill to, which is exactly what me and Promo did. The ambience, namely the area around the Party Stage which was very poorly lit aside from the stage lights was also perfect for the show. Some relaxation was most welcome before the final show of the festival, which proved to be worth the wait.
Promonex: The very last show of the festival. I've never really been to fond of Udo Dirkschneider, neither with Accept nor with U.D.O., but I still had some time to kill before the shuttle bus would bring me back to the Metal Train, so I opted to join Valentin B for this show. Initially I had expected a one man show, but fortunately I was proven wrong. Udo gladfully stepped back at times to give room to his instrumentalists in a show which has obviously been choreographed from the beginning to the end. Every movement seemed planned, every band member knew when he had to stand where, which stripped the show from any traces of spontaneity, but made it look very professional indeed. The music was very entertaining as well, not really my taste, but well executed and a great finish for a great festival. It should be interesting to know how Accept perform nowadays without Udo on vocals though.
Valentin B: One of the bigger surprises of this fest for me, U.D.O. was the very last band on the bill. Starting with the two opening tracks from the last album Dominator, they went on playing some of the kickass U.D.O. material until, after "Vendetta", Udo left the stage, leaving one of the guitarists which started... what the hell? Sweet merciful Jebus! That's the intro to the sacred Accept classic epic monster of a song named "Princess Of The Dawn!" I half expected them to play "Balls To The Wall" at the end, but not this! Needless to say, for a full 8 and a half minutes I was rocking out like a madman living in an animal house. My reaction was also as incredulous, childish and frightening for Promo each time they played one of the no less than three more Accept classics, namely "Midnight Mover", "Metal Heart" and "Balls To The Wall", which once again proved is one of the best concert ending tracks in all metal, let alone Accept or U.D.O.'s combined discographies. And to answer your question, Promo, Accept is still better live, but that's only because they are seriously one of the best live heavy metal bands around (almost on par with Maiden) and Udo is 6 years older than his comrades in Accept.
Valentin B: 2010 made for another glorious year in the history of Wacken Open Air, with an extremely solid lineup, near-flawless organisation - I say near flawless because of the lack of crowd control when Maiden was playing - and great weather (apart from a small storm on the first day and very cold nights). And with the likes of Suicidal Tendencies or Blind Guardian announced for next year I'd say we can expect another excellent full metal festival.
Promonex: This year's Wacken Open Air was different from the previous editions in two regards: firstly the awesome weather! Without puddles of mud all over the place you could actually walk around without having to look down to the ground all the time. Hell, you could even sit down on the dry grass during Tiamat's gig! Normally all traces of green are gone after the first day already. The second thing is less positive. Guys, what the hell did you think of when you decided to ban circle pits?! And why do you have to pack it into such pathetically sugar-coated announcements, reminding the crowd all the time that they are the best fans in the world and that only healthy best fans in the world are better than plain best fans in the world? And that we, as best fans in the world, should "support" the best bands in the world by not having some physical fun at their gigs. Seriously, just say that the authorities have imposed stricter rules after the Love Parade disaster instead of licking the fans' arses in a way that would even put Joey DeMaio to shame. I truly hope by next year's the organizers have decided on a straight line how to proceed with walls of death and the likes. Apart from this nuisance it was a great festival though, well organized as always, a friendly international crowd and a surprisingly good overall sound. And with Avantasia, Blind Guardian and Suicidal Tendencies already confirmed for next year's edition, 2011 promises to be a great year in Wacken again.
corrupt: Wacken will never go back to be what it was six years ago. The masses of people it attracts, the huge fuss about anything but the music, the aggressive promotion of big brands (new in the club: Coca Cola) and an increasingly poor choice of bands have become the definition of the biggest festival in the world. Still there won't be an edition without me anytime soon. The festival nourishes an atmosphere that is unequalled anywhere in the world and still different every year. After 2009's reaction to the really bad lineup it seems that below all self-praise, the organizers did sit down and think. This year we've seen a bigger number of good bands and less experiments. I for one wholeheartedly condone that. At least as long as those experiments lean towards the young hard- and metalcore audience the festival has been attracting lately. There are still, and probably will always be major flaws in the organization though. We've heard about the smoking problem, the security was really unfriendly this year and they seriously should hire a guy to do the scheduling. But in contrast to the last two years, they definitely did some work on the sound. Also food prices remained pretty much constant over the last three years, despite all economic excuses they could have used to drain us some more. Keep it coming, Wacken. Watch your bands carefully, work further on your sound and for god's sake: Bring us Emperor back!
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| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
| Valentin B
| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
| Bad English
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