Last day. Time to do some merch, pass out the contents of my coat, and see the most concentrated stretch of "front" of the festival. From the start of Kampfar at 2:30 until Immortal wraps at 11, I probably don't sit down. Way it should be, but that's seriously 9 hours. How did I rate this fest as uninspiring again?
292. I have a serious problem. Bootleg patch addiction ruins lives and empties wallets. On the plus side, though, I get to fill in any and all empty spaces in both of my live jackets.
Special: A Word About Kuttes
This article was in the festival news this morning; in that context and with the "problem" alluded to above, it seems like this year's special is on the use and construction of patchjackets.
It's up for debate whether the kutte as we know it was invented by German bikers or by English tailors' apprentices in the NWOBHM era, but it inherits from both, and both only reinforce the DIY ethic. German bikers swap local club patches at meetups, leading to the vest covered in many small patches. The big backpatch, though, is probably a descendant of fan DIY embroidery, which was itself probably inspired by the meaning-laden backpatch configurations of outlaw biker clubs. And now dudes can make Hammerfall jackets, but what the hell.
More important is the idea of 'souvenir'. Your kutte is self-expression, and also a self-authenticating record, a tattoo that you can take off and use as a pillow if your pack gets lost. Every jacket will have a story to tell -- and if the construction is true, it'll be authentic and worth hearing.
The kutte is also the ultimate paradox: on the one hand, it is an old, dirty, sweated-through pile of fraying fabric with rusting metal bits jammed into it that by definition never gets washed, no matter how much mud, blood, sweat, and beer it soaks up, but on the other hand, as personal history and from sunk value (cost of patches and time spent sewing) it is literally beyond price. With flights and festival tickets figured in, the time is coming soon when my jacket will be worth more than my still relatively-new car. Fucked up.
What this all comes around to, in the end, is that people are apparently eBaying kuttes out there, and some people are apparently buying them. I almost can't process that. DIYing a jacket together to field readiness takes a shitload of time; when I first got my original to a good state, I figured about $300 in parts and labor. No way you can make money like that.
And that's just build to sell -- I can't even imagine selling your own "used". It'd be like selling one of your legs; something so inseparable from yourself and seriously, you might need that sometime. Better just to stow it.
Everything, though, is down to DIY in the end. As long as it's necessary to build your jacket yourself, the only people who build them out worth a damn will be the ones who similarly will never want to get shot of them.
And on that front, it's not necessary to go to Germany or silkscreen your own kvlt logos to get started building. All you need is something that covers your torso, needle and thread, and a plan. You can build a true jacket out of shit off the racks at Newbury Comics if you do all your own work, by your own rules, not anything inherited from '80s liner sleeve collages, and the kvltest of pieces will not save you if you take shortcuts or, god forbid, buy stuff preaffixed.
Needle, thread, jacket, parts. Beer cap thimble and some kind of football on the TV. Only this is true, and fortunately, like metal itself, it's available to everyone who's willing to take the leap and do the work.
293. The firefighters' band warming up the morning crowd.
Stasis by definition, basically unchanged in the last four years. Then again, theirs was a mature style on Instinct; Soulfly put a lot of time and effort into developing it.
I could be seeing Nightmare, but that nine-hour stand looms; easier to sit around and take what comes for now.
294. Not just the scourge of anime conventions any more. However, in an interesting move for the patheticness implications, hugs are not free, even on the sign.
295. DIY sofa. 2x bench + 1x table, + 1x inspired idea = 3-seater bench with back support.
This was later upgraded with another bench to include a footstool.
Mittelmässig komplett. Metalcore is ossifying, and this is what flesh that is turning into living stone sounds like. I'm about to go to sleep here -- if it has to be this genre, give us something from the NBL.
Worth every bit of the year wait, and more besides. This would have been better at night, but "Hymne" and "Ravenheart" will bring even the sunniest, dustiest day back to the fogged and gloomy fells of Nordaland.
296. Kampfar setting up.
297. Checking guitars.
298. A dust cloud rises from the main infield.
299. Kampfar take the stage.
300. Drums and banner.
301. The drone yields to roar.
303. Not a Bergtatt fog, but a Bergtatt feel.
304. Thomas lays it down.
305. Band jamming.
306. In with a fuckin BANG!
307. Dolk thrashing.
308. Full band.
309. En hymne til Wacken.
310. Evoking the white waterfalls.
311. In the grip of the music.
312. Choir for the intro to "Hymne".
313. Roaring up the crowd; a thanks for waiting.
314. Ripping some old shit.
315. 'Forgotten' drumkit.
316. Between the flames.
317. Feuer frei!
318. More fireblasts.
319. Jon heroshot.
320. The Ravenheart banner goes up.
321. Full normal banner as the crew tears down.
322. The firefighters spray down the stagefront to cut down on the dust.
323. The ground just devours the water.
324. What front and center looks like.
Not as good as inside, but a crapload better than the last time I saw them here, even if they didn't break out "Old School". However, they of course don't care what I say, and told me to fuck off a couple dozen times surrounding a cover of their namesake Motorhead tune. ;)
325. Wacken to the core.
326. We are the Wacken Crew.
327. D.D. kicking ass. (Sorry, ran out of song title puns.)
328. Bobby screaming at the crowd.
329. We don't care what you say!
Lock Up [6/7]
A good, finely tuned return performance for these grindmasters, paying tribute to Jesse (R.I.P.) while showing themselves as a band, now with Anton from Pentagram (the Chilean one) stepping in on guitar, capable of moving forward. Nothing new here just yet, though, but those two records are so good that the large, fired-up audience was just glad to hear them again, crunched out in a worthy fashion. "What do you reckon, Mr. Barker? Another fast one?" Of course it's going to be another fast one, the great virtue of this band is that fast, brutal songs is all they have.
330. Barker on the throne.
331. Anton gets tuned up and settled in.
332. "What do you reckon, Mr. Barker? Ready to go?"
333. Shane and Tom pounding it out.
334. Lock Up, locked in.
335. Full band in action.
336. Tom belting it out.
The band's still got chops, and Blackie still has the pipes, even if he looks completely past it. But the music....yowza. Completely useless L.A. pop metal, almost throughout, and that, time does not heal.
337. W.A.S.P., far enough away that Blackie's jowls and poodlemullet are not immediately apparent.
W.A.S.P. were kinda boring, aso Dennis (who was also doing an Overkill-through-Cannibal-Corpse rail powerstand) and I played spot-the-CC-member as they set up.
338. Pat tuning up.
339. Paul bringing his drums in.
340. Detail shot of the cowhead sculpture, since I was literally right under it.
341. Rob getting warmed up.
Cannibal Corpse [6.5/7]
Maybe I was a little close for maximum effect, but this was a crushing set of premium death metal by any measure. The pit was immense, but injuries minimal, and the crush up front not bad at all. Dust got to the point where you'd think that someone'd thrown a smoke bomb, but what really filled the air, even more so, was all-crushing death metal.
342. The band hit the stage.
343. CC unleash devastation.
344. Corpsegrinder growling doom.
345. Full band, full bang.
346. George and Pat wrecking necks.
347. FOR TEH HORD LOLZ. There were "Explode me" signs out in the crowd, obviously unclear on the difference between grinding and explosion.....and that Fisher's been down since beta yo, so his main is probably not a fucking skillknight.
347a. Detail, but still not sharp enough.
Corpsegrinder's WoW fandom, of course, is no secret. However, not many uberfans have managed to get themselves put into the game. If you a) play this game and b) did not get the death metal sweatpants from this guy's quest and then keep them forever, you fail. (sure, a lot of people would just stop at a) on that assessment, but these people are on George's list of people to punch in the face, and that's not a good place to be.
348. Curto always looks on the bright side of life.
Rather than stay in the crush for Edguy and Immortal, I pulled and went to get a drink with Dennis' crew. On the way, I got grabbed by Mária, and then we all hung out together for a while before the Germans went back to their camp. I barely saw/heard Edguy, but found out I'd been hanging out with Sobo from Jack Slater for the past three days. WTF?! Small damn world, great fuckin fest.
349. Edguy atmosphere.
350. That's no moon....it's a lightglobe.
After Edguy, we tried unsuccessfully to get into the circus show, hung out in the beergarden for a bit, got dinner, got Sobo and Paula found again, then got in to see Fear Factory from the side. This is how it goes when you're in a group; a lot of waiting, meeting up, doing in many ways everything but seeing bands. It's only insaniacs like me, alone and self-sufficient, whose only choice is rail, bar, tent.
Fear Factory [5/7]
If I'd heard in advance that Dino was back in, I'd've been more interested earlier. Still, though, Fear Factory is Fear Factory: decent, solid, with an unquestionable appeal, but not really interesting to me.
351. Fear Factory, super wide.
While we were sitting here taking in the schedule, Curto noticed that Gene was playing all to the outside, rather than crossing over like other drummers. So I dusted off Aaron's old fat drummer theory, and now that has crossed over, across continents and languages.
352. Stage lit in Demanufactured Blue. (See if Lowe's has a chip for that!)
353. Pyro on the spotlight towers = awesome.
354. Big board already in operation. In a first, they moved one of the video walls over to the bus gate to track coming departures. Technology, for good? Who knew? Disruptive, yes, but useful.