Friday, August 21, 2009

European Tour 2009 part 6: Wacken day 2

This covers all of day 2 except that part which is broken out as a special photo essay on Swashbuckle's set, because I took too many fucking pictures of them.


Day 7
31 July 2009
Wacken - Schleswig-Holstein - Germany

274. Perimeter of "Area 666", a self-proclaimed independent enclave entirely surrounded by the Federal Republic of Germany.

275. The Van of Death. Note the license plate as well as the stencil graphic.

This morning my tent was actually rained through, as in water dripping in through the rain fly and then through the ceiling. Fortunately, the information I got from the drunks in the breakfast tent was accurate, and the weather improved markedly the rest of the festival.

After taking the two pics above, I wrung out my socks - which had soaked up the water that I wasn't able to pour out of my boots - and got some breakfast. There I met and hung out with the above-alluded-to drunken German dudes; what else is new?

276. WTF?! Yeah, Germany? I'm here on behalf of the Italian-American community. We just want to let you know that your pizza privileges have been revoked. I'm sorry, but if you think tuna fish is an appropriate pizza topping, we have to pull your cert. It's for everyone's good, you know.

There was also some more alleged pizza in the breakfast tent. People were complaining that it more resembled flooring tiles and probably tasted worse. I don't know why anyone would want pizza at a German festival; there's enough not-godawful food - like sausages and doner and beer - to go around for everyone.

Neat: Vried soundchecking their guitars by jamming on "I Am The Black Wizards".

277. Outer infield, still holding up pretty well.

278. For tech fans: the back of one of the video walls. All together now: NEEE~RD.

279. Vried setting up.

280. This security dude's pants are SET THE FUCK UP. Seriously, where do I get a pair of these things?

Vried [6/7]
Nice hammer-to-the-face opener, like Zyklon back in '05. If Vried didn't invent black'n'roll, they've at least perfected it; now we've just got to get them to the States so that they and Hirudinea and/or Witch Tomb can demolish the Middle East.

281. Vried hit the stage.

282. Laying down some "Discipline".

283. Ese rips on a solo.

284. Continuing to tear it up.

285. More devastation.

286. Through pyro smoke.

287. "Svart" - hero shot.

288. Camera service.

289. Guitar Hero time!

290. The Pitch Black Brigade in close formation.

291. The line of battle.

292. "Speak, Goddamnit!" - and the crowd roars back.

293. The "Blücher" burns as it goes down off Oslo.

It's interesting to see this band here; a lot of their lyrics, as a Norge band with a military complex kind of have to, deal with the World War II resistance movement, and they're not apologetic at all: "We're happy that our peeps killed your peeps whenever they could." But Germany's pretty antifa these days as well - and hey, in the abstract, Nazis are up there with aliens and zombies as preferred grist for general slaughter.

UFO [5/7]
Break time! Rock'n'roll hair metal; is there even a Schenker still in this band? They're decent enough to hear while drinking and writing notes, but....

294. UFO doing some '80s-sounding song about drinking tequila and fucking Mexican chicas....from their latest record.

295. More stuff to whine about - you can't sit on the bars anymore thanks to this fucking fencing. This was always fun as shit in the past; made a lot of friends sitting on the bars in the infield rather than the benches in the beer garden late in festivals.

As always, dudes are just pissing wherever. I have no idea how Europe isn't constantly gripped with cholera epidemics in the summer. Then again, there's so little blood in many of the offenders' alcoholstreams that stuff probably comes out being completely sterilized.

296. Dudes are pumped for Endstille.

297. Endstille summons a warblast from the weather.

Endstille [5/7]
I know next to nothng about this band, but they provided a good set of satisfactory German black/war metal mostly following Burzum and early Satyricon while I was waiting for Gamma Ray to go on. More interest? Go see them yourself, man.

298. Yes, it's a dude in a rabbit suit. Are you seriously surprised by anything from this fest any more?

Gamma Ray [7/7]
A set full of classics? A new song that isn't even recorded yet? A full take of "I Want Out", and nearly all of "Rebellion In Dreamland"? What could spoil this? Well, maybe the fest only selling shit batteries that can't push a flash charge without dying, but aside from that, nothing. As noted, an incredible set list, from the first row, and if the fucking camera was dead, all the more time to thrash.

299. Gamma Ray attacks the stage.

300. Heavy Metal Universe!

301. Jamming out.

302. Doing the neck-swing-in-unison thing.

303. Henjo tearing it up.

304. Action shot.

Now, skipping Walls of Jericho and Tristania (how fortunate, zero bands missed) to try and go find some camera batteries that don't suck before Nevermore and Swashbuckle.

305. The Frisis in town. I met this dude on the train up; he's still got the megaphone and the relentless prankster attitude, bringing improv comedy and lunacy to amuse residents and festivalgoers alike.

306. "Last Gas Before Exit". It's funny because the German drunk driving laws are a lot stricter than in the US, and here Astra goes anyway.

I once wrote a character who had a bit of a complex about pistol ammo, always loading dozens of magazines and strapping them onto all parts of his body. This fest - and shitty festival batteries - have made me that guy, at least for camera "ammunition"; I've got the equivalent of five "clips" in the jacket, and one more "in the chamber". Another day and a half; not gonna fucking run out.

Nevermore [7/7]
I got back in time to get rail, and of course it was complete ruleage. The band was in high form, and the crowd was as brutal as expected. They played, oddly enough, the title cuts of the last three records - including the everlasting "This Godless Endeavor" and the mostly apocryphal "Dead Heart In A Dead World" - and closed with "Born", and... well, take a look at the pictures.

307. Jeff taucht auf.

308. Thrashing through the opener.

309. Warrel and Jim crush the crowd.

310. Jeff and Jim behind the smoke front.

311. Jeff and Jim bent double mid-headbang.

312. In close formation.

313. Jeff and some running stage divers.

314. Warrel agitates on "The Heart Collector".

315. Jeff and Jim banging their necks off.

316. Jeff taking a solo.

317. Warrel preaches it - "IS THIS JUSTICE? IS THIS THE AMERICAN WAY??!"

318. The bodies go up for "Born".

319. The melee on the stagefront.

320. "More bodies!"

321. "Bodies on fucking bodies!"

322. Van comes out to chuck his sticks.

323. DragonForce, frozen in time.

DragonForce [5/7]
They're doing a better job of staying in tune than the last time I saw them here, but the new stuff sounds pretty much exactly like the old. So DragonForce is DragonForce, but more than that, they have done effectively NOTHING in the TEN YEARS since their Valley of the Damned demo. Nothing except woodshed, never innovate. A band that treads water gets a water-treader score; even Amon Amarth and AC/DC will show some manifest change in the span of a decade.

Airbourne [4/7]
Speaking of AC/DC... when did they start letting coverbands play the "real" days again? Nostalgia, I guess, but everything this band has was written by the Youngs 30 years ago.

HammerFall [5/7]
Speaking of treading water.... This was a beergarden set, waiting for Swashbuckle to start, so I missed most of the carnage. They're still decent, still silly, still HammerFail.

Go to the Swashbuckle post here, then come back. We'll wait for you.

That's a total of about 60 pics on one band. Epic.

387. And then we get back to the festival ground proper and find this guy sticking beer glasses to his gut. W O Fuckin A.

Motorhead [6/7]
I organized these pics and hung out with some cool doods while keeping an ear on the Road Crew; a proper banging set, even half a klick back. Good shit, as always, and Mickey's drum solo was legendary-class.

Following this, I killed more time with new friends (Dutch lesbians with big black whiskey dicks ftw) and waited for Pentagram. In Flames and Doro went on during this time frame but are not rated here, and in some senses, didn't rate.

Pentagram [6/7]
First, I was gonna stick for four songs (2 in the morning, I'd been up since seven previous, did a lot of hiking and saw a lot of bands). Then five. Then, fuck it, I'll watch the whole goddamned set. Good call; this was 45 minutes of all-ruling sorreño thrashing death metal. Worth the drinking ban I'd put myself under to stay awake for it, and worth the Jäger powerups used to supplement such; worth it every second.

388. Pentagram's stage setup.

389. It's a Chilean bad lighting.

390. The crowd is pumped as the band steps out.

391. Pentagram in the shadows.

392. Anton on full thrashing power.

393. Backlit, kvlt, as it was.

394. About to get "Demented".

395. Wrecking frets and necks.

396. KVLT.

397. Juan-Pablo ripping a solo.

398. The intro to "Pigs". (Powerviolence bands, cover this!)

399. After the set; so brutal the lens flares are bouncing back weird.

400. Later; a light in the dark. Campground A.

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