Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Euro Tour 2010 part 6: The Sun Was In My Eyes



This morning I learned an important lesson. When you ask overworked breakfast shop guys for "whatever", they give you the fucking dregs, in the form of two rolls with raw Hackfleisch and onions. Pig sushi for breakfast, awesome. Next time, ask for specifics.

Today is decent for bands, not great, but there's going to be a lot more time by the stage than in the beergarden. I also want to see if I can hunt up a torc, but the vikingism of the stalls I've seen so far leans heavily against it.

243. Danish promo. I've seen Obliteration, of course, and (at this point I still thought) I'm seeing Nominon next week, but I don't know many of the rest. All the more reason to go -- if, of course, I was still going to be in Europe in a month's time. If you can get to KBH, go support!

For more information, go to killtowndeathfest.dk.

244. The Luftwaffe get to get in without a ticket.

245. Dew-Scented setting up and checking.

Dew-Scented [6/7]
Just as expected; raw, powerful, trad-driven but never hidebound thrash fucking meta, perfect for getting geared up properly with. They squeezed every last drop out of their allotted set time (by the usual thrash trick of playing wicked fast), and kept a small but lively pit boiling in the center almost throughout. Hammer.

246. Looking back over the ground.

247. Dew-Scented doing an extended soundcheck that essentially added another song to their set.

248. More "checking" -- but nobody's complaining about three full minutes of full-band thrash blasting.

249. Security playing with a toy cow that "Harry Metal" didn't throw far enough off the stage to hit the crowd.

250. Jetzt gehts richtig ab.

251. Dew-Scented pounding the crowd to dust.

252. Arise from the fuckin grave!

Amorphis [5/7]
Decent, but I don't feel I missed a whole lot by sticking Black Stage-side to wait for Orphaned Land's return. The sound was doubled over to the other stage, and this was a set tilted towards their later stuff (exactly as expected), and thus of relatively less interest.

253. Orphaned Land set up, unfazed by the Finns blasting next door.

254. Yossi tunes up.

In between bands, there's music videos on the big screens at the sides of the mainstages. Iced Earth's video for "Ten Thousand Strong" is playing right now, and the point of this note is that Jon Schaffer apparently doesn't do irony at all. Seriously, go watch it again, thinking about his politics and current events in the real world.

Orphaned Land [6/7]
It wasn't as magic as last time, maybe due to the larger setting or the prominence of the playback elements, but the band got steadily better through the set and got the crowd (none of whom did anything politically controversial) pumping. Good stuff, and they managed to run out a bunch of extras thanks to the larger platform to the approval, at least, of this old kuttenträger.

255. The drummer pumps up the hype.

256. Full band.

257. Smashing start -- "The Three Sons of Seven".

258. Yossi -- hero shot.

259. Kobi in unearthly light.

260. Mostly-traditional, not-unusually-provocative belly dance to music based on traditional melodies? No Fun Brigade approved, and not hard on the eye either.

261. Ahriman and Ormuzd. The black-clad dude is Izzy from Bartholomeus Night, in to do guest vocals on "Halo Dies".

262. The crowd bounces for "Norra el Norra", kicking up a duststorm.

This pic also includes the super-hawt South Asian (? -- I wasn't anywhere near close enough, and while I think I saw her again in Berlin, I wasn't going to fucking go up to her on the S3 platform and ask "hey, did you spend Orphaned Land's set on someone's shoulders with your shirt off, and by the way, what's your ethnic background?") woman who will likely be the "face" of this set in the commercial media, but she's kind of behind some people's arms and a shitload of dust.

263. There's something seriously wrong with this picture. Near field: waiting for Voivod. Far field: watching Ill Niño. They've got good instrumentalists, most of whose tracks on Roadrunner United I enjoyed, but collectively the band is shit.

The Party Stage, fortunately, is still in a sonic shadow, and the PA here isn't doubling the mainstage, so I don't have to hear them on the wait.

Voivod [7/7]
Even from the soundcheck, this was going to be amazing. The band delivered, as they seem to be in the habit of doing, but with a little extra boost that can only come from the stage. Ensiferum in '05, Atheist in '06, Enslaved in '07, Cynic and Primordial in '08, even Borknagar last year, and now Voivod -- just something about the place, wherever it happens to be placed. Full out amazing set, top marks from the first note to the last.

264. Voivod checking.

265. Blackie gets dialed in, wearing an Acrassicauda shirt.

266. Another full-featured soundcheck.

267. Snake and Chewie fucking around on mic check.

268. Repeaters and antennae top the Raiffeisen tower now.

269. The crowd starts to fill in some more.

270. Voivod doing their secret warmup dance.

271. The Bloc has made it overseas for their heroes.

272. The band take the stage.

273. Thrashing around like a SoCal hardcore band half their age.

274. "Voivod" -- four mostly graying Canadians possessed.

275. Snake, Blackie, Away; only one original member not pictured, but of course wherever Voivod go as a band, Piggy is always there with them.

276. The one and only M. Belanger.

277. Chewie, like he's been here forever.

278. Blackie Theriault, a true original.

279. Snake setting up one of the weirder ones.

280. Full band, full zoom.

The Bosshoss [4/7]
Half-listened to, but while it wasn't bad, it wasn't terribly inspiring either. Besides that, why? Why here? Like Volbeat, but without, um, the metal parts.

Schlemish [5/7]
Decent overall, but they did a fair bit of genericized Celtic stuff, and I'm always wary of that -- that music comes from somewhere, and the issues that go into the originals are, unfortunately, still alive and relevant in Celtic Britan. Those who concern themselves with being authentic revivalists ought to pay more attention to stuff like that. Also, they didn't do "Rabenballade", which was a shame.

281. Schlemish in action.

282. A better view of the band.

283. Atmosphere; the stage this year is larger and on the other side of the Medieval Markt.

After this set, I went over and bought into the new model for live recordings. Thirty euro is a little steep, but Voivod today was worth it, and the code may be good for more than one set; who knows.

Not-hearig Kamelot right now; the schedule got fucked and Grave Digger, who I want to see, are playing against Equilibrium, who I HAVE to see.

284. It's a balloon WHY IS IT A BALLOON. With the only supermarket in walking distance of the festival grounds, Edeka doesn't exactly need to advertise.

Among other biergarten amusements in this dead space: dudes in bikinis, Bayer, and some guy in the fuckin Bumbles!

285. Shaking it to FantaK.

Fantasia Kalashnikov [5/7]
A jazz band covers metal standards. Exactly as clumsy and as cool as you'd expect, but my Latin as well as Celtic heritage has been awakened, and I enjoyed the fuck out of it.

286. FantaK and firedancer out front.

287. Fantasia Kalashnikov wraps it up.

Equilibrium [6/7]
Amazing, as expected, but this was the last stage that they should have been booked on. This is what happens when people don't buy records -- the organizers can't say, shit, 2500 people are going to show up in an area with no crowd control, we better move this band. Oh well; gave up three songs in to try and catch Slayer, but that was even worse packed....until Pitu took control, that is.

288. The bigger-than-expected audience, and the stage in the distance.

289. Epic viking entrance, 100% -- but it would've been better on the Black, nu?

I went back to the beergarden to see a bit of Slayer, and ran into Curto et al again. He and Mária were turning in, but Pitu and Paula were headed down front.

Slayer [6/7]
This was a good set back even in the beergarden, but it went great as we surged our way up. Pitu punched through holes that didn't even exist, and we got "South of Heaven" and "Angel of Death" from less than 50 yards back with almost no effort. Skill; and Slayer were as crushing as expected. Just, though; it's not a Slayer set if Tom doesn't forget some lyrics somewhere -- and as noted, a real Slayer set doesn't fit into an hour timelimit.

And now to the right; even if it's Anvil, if you can get close to a band you haven't seen before, why go back?

Seriously, Pitu is the man. If you're drinking with this dude at some fest and he suggests "vamonos a escena", FUCKING DO IT. No matter how packed it looks, there is always a way through.

290. Fuckin Slayer!

Anvil [5/7]
They may have finally made it after their movie, but Anvil is still Anvil, the music is still the music, and they had problems getting traction for 30 years for a reason. Decent thrashy '80s metal, but not really worth staying up for, and we pulled after a couple songs.

291. Anvil in nearly enough light.

Despite the undercurrent of "meh" in the air, this was quite a good day of music and metal culture. Wacken, it seems, is still Wacken after all.

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