Friday, August 26, 2011

Suomi Finland Tourkele part 5: For This May Be Our Last Quest

8/3 - København

Apparently, if you miss the train by seconds, your ticket's free. WTF? Ten minutes till the next one, so some catch-up.

So I got lost, but found my way again last night, got in to the hotel in good order, found out the SGD had actually beaten Leverkusen while I was in Finland, and didn't get stabbed watching Rovers lose to FC Kø. All in all, decent, and I still managed to wake up in time to get packed out and onto an early platform.

338. Homeless camp from the hotel.

339. Tribal advertising catches the light.

Drama with breakfast; a homeless guy in what looked like an epileptic fit, surrounded by station security, as I walked into the 7-11 to get my eats. Situation under control; still about 45 till I mount up for Hamburg.

340. Spire against the sky while waiting for the train.

I didn't notice at the time -- because shit gets habitually rounded off and many stores will refuse to give sub-kroner change on cash -- but I got a 50-øre piece in my breakfast change. Denmark complete. Fucking win.


Hamburg negotiated with a minimum of drama, it was on and out to the north again. Due to the early start, I got in around 2pm, but A was, as usual, filling up to the edges again. Time for beer and promi!

341. FMB giveaways reach new heights of ridiculousness. I guarantee one of these is getting chucked at someone by the end of the weekend.

The weather, as the cops and the Ärzte fan I took the train up with noted, is far too good for Wacken. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it never does.

video4: 30 seconds of beergarden, day. The plan was to do another of these at night, but it didn't happen.

People are picking up the Nocuous stickers and, predictably, turning them around to try and decide which way is up. If your band's stickers have a high degree of vertical symmetry, contact information can help not only with promotion but with orientation.

342. Blechblos'n gets out the KISS costumes for an encore.

Fucking drunk, let's spread stickers and fuck listening to shit.

It's a little lonely that I'm the only one who sees a Blechblosn member going through the crowd and goes "Prost, geiler Set, alter!" C'mon, DIY, dudes! Metal doesn't work without DIY.

343. An arch made of beer cups. Yes, this is only Wednesday.

8/4 - Wacken

344. "Wacken weather".

It gets easier from here. When there are bands playing, I don't generally drink liter after liter of beer on a pace that my aging carcass can't really handle any more. Last night was tough, but with the rain, I'm getting back into festival mode at last.

"Can" and "should" are different things. Though my kutte is so patched and dust/sweat-clogged as to be nearly watertight, when the downpour hit at breakfast, I still went into the tent after a couple minutes, when it was clear it wasn't just going to pass. It's a long day yet.

345. If there isn't an odalrune and/or an inverted pentagram on the other side of this sign (background), I'm calling bullshit. Dechristianize!

There wasn't. Again, bullshit; compare the town that hosted this year's Party.San. Also, the pic includes about the shortest ATM lines of the festival. Beer prices went up again to 8.50 with deposit (11.50 without), so if you were changing up beer and not-beer and didn't get a break on your water ration, or were drinking cola like an idiot, you could very easily blow through a hundred euros a day just keeping buzzed and hydrated. As a consequence, the queues got gigantic.

I'm not sure that I've seen so many people wearing keffiyehs here before. No idea if this is a trend generally inspired by the Arab spring, a reaction against Islamophobia, or if there are just enough Middle Easterners in Europe now that people are wearing them because their friends've convinced them of the virtues of this kind of scarf in hot weather.

(Further research in Berlin and at Party.San, respectively "many keffiyehs" and "no keffiyehs" samples, indicates that this is probably a trend, and says something about Wacken becoming less cult.)

346. Art rather than advertising; a welcome break from the ads plastered all over practically everything else.

Edelweiss [4/7]
Pretty much a beergarden-grade band; decent AC/DC covers with original German lyrics. Decent, and fit to the beergarden stage, but there's a definite ceiling to this kind of music, and they're right about at it.

Edelweiss played a couple more sets over the course of the festival, but they're ignored; mostly the same quality, and I wasn't especially paying attention.

347. This guy's vest is covered in beer caps.

348. In case you needed any confirmation about how trend Ghost is. They're playing here on the tent stage, but I dunno if I'm seeing them or not. (The answer to that turned out to be 'no'.)

349. Mobile tent. Somebody in a wheelchair is having a hell of a lot of fun at this fest.

To get rained on while holding a Maßbier, while Mambo Kurt covers Europe's "The Final Countdown" on a Würlizer is the essence of Wacken.

Dudes stripping on tables as a brass band covers Gaga's "Poker Face" -- this also is Wacken.

Frei.Wild [5/7]
Decent post-hardcore in German; they've earned their rep here, but it's not enough to get much past the No.Care on my part.

Helloween [6/7]
The heat's boiled off the clouds, so I couldn't last more than a song or two without hydration. Despite the sound cutting completely out whenever they tried to hit into the chorus of "Are You Metal?" they recovered well with a killer rendition of "Eagle Fly Free" and saved the set.

350. Helloween get shit going before the power went out.

Blind Guardian [6/7]
A little cut down by the distance, but this was a classic Guardian set, maybe a little shorter than on their last US tour, but with much the same content.

I was hanging around with a bunch of dudes from Aarhus, but it was only Dennis that went forward for Ozzy. Being inclined to adventure, I had to follow.

351. Crowd panorama.

352. Ozzy's band set up in bad light.

Ozzy [7/7]
Another classic set -- and if not as much Sabbath, this wasn't a Black Sabbath show, and we got a bunch of Ozzy's solo stuff that I never thought I'd see live. The start was better than the end, but this was all kickass cool shit, delivered at a surprisingly high level. Nothing is guaranteed in life; if you missed this, you may have missed Ozzy for the last time.

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