Sunday was as normal a normal festival Sunday could be. I packed up my gear, threw out everything I didn't need, walked back to the festival for one last breakfast, then on and out to the bus to the train to the other train to Hamburg to walk to the subway to the right stop to walk to the hotel, where I checked in early, washed all the dirt and sweat off my nicely roasted skin, and fell asleep almost immediately, being on a bed rather than a mat on the ground.
Monday was a little more eventful. Waiting to get through outbound immigration, I saw Peter Steele walking down to another flight, but I couldn't get my camera out of my jacket in time, and my Vinnland flag was safely packed away in my pack, so I didn't really have anything for him to sign. SUCK.
Nine hours later, I was in Newark sweating through the bullshit that current meaningless security regs have imposed on Americans coming back from overseas and continuing on by air past the hub, then making a short run to the plane for a short flight back to Boston, where a short wait got me onto a quick train home. And I was back, but carrying Wacken with me in images, memories, stories, and merch.
Band scoring by day:
Thursday: average 3/7, total 3 points. This is not fair and is affected by environmental factors.
Friday: average 5.6/7, total 84 points.
Saturday: average 6.13/7, total 49 points.
total festival: average 5.67/7, total 136 points.
I saw fewer bands this year, but more of them were better; if I'd seen the last two bands Thursday instead of the first one, or rated the two bands I sat in the beergarden for on Saturday night, I'd have tied last year for numbers and reported down even more greatness. This was a fantastic lineup and the bands gave for the most part incredible performances, and I'm still burned up about missing Morbid Angel and Korpiklaani, among a few others, but you can't be everywhere all at once. Next year will hopefully be as killer if not better, and I'll definitely be on hand again. Blind Guardian, Immortal, and Saxon are already announced, and the run-up to '07 has barely begun. I'll be putting my wristband on my jacket over the weekend, but definitely still leaving space for future fests.
On the subway in Hamburg, I saw that there are 20 million traffic signs in Germany, about 1 every 30 meters. To say this is kind of insane is an understatement.
The clerk at the hotel when I checked out was a metalhead and a Leipziger, and as we talked about Wacken, and the bands, and stupid US security measures that don't help anything, and Saxony, I realized that I was just as nostalgic for that part of Germany as he was, and while extremely weird, it was at least understandable. When you really think about it, there is a lot that draws you back to Saxony, and for as long as I lived there and as good memories as I had, it does make sense that I can be homesick for Dresden, much more than anywhere I've used so far as a permanent address. Despite the occasional bad stuff like long hours and cars getting banged up, there's no better place to live, as long as unlike 13 percent of the population you have a job. I will go back at some point, probably sooner than later for work, but if the book hits, then sooner rather than later permanently as well.