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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wacken: Next Time with Lenses - Pt.1

Last week I found myself in the Wacken Open Air festival. When you find yourself in a metal festival with an audience that is seventy five thousand strong...
Last week I found myself in the Wacken Open Air festival. When you find yourself in a metal festival with an audience that is seventy five thousand strong, all camping on the festival ground, and all here for drunken metal madness, it challenges your perception of reality. For instance, it challenges your tolerance for beer and other kinds of hard liquor. It challenges the time at which you think it's appropriate to drink: Did you know the Germans have a lemon flavored beer for mornings ? It helps you start your day happy and refreshed... Now where was I? Oh yeah, Wacken also challenges your definition of personal space. But before I get into all of this, I would just like to give a brief list of the bands I've seen perform in Wacken, you know, to show off !

Alice Cooper: Awesome theatrics, awesome performance, what can I say, they still got it.

Mötley Crue: I wasn't exactly a fan of the band, simply because I never really listened to them. Have to admit they sure know how to move a crowd, but that singer's voice is just... wrong for a man.

Iron Maiden: I crowd-surfed, I found myself in the front row for a while, I saw them and they were right there in front of me, I screamed my lungs out and sang with them all of those legendary songs, nothing, not even the fact that they performed thirty minutes less than scheduled or that Bruce's voice wasn't in top shape is going to take away this from me. I saw Iron Maiden in concert, and it was just... Legendary !

Mambo Kurt: Now from what I gathered, Mambo Kurt is a tradition in Wacken. This guy remakes rock/metal classics into funky synth songs, and he is just awesome. You haven't really listened to music, until you've heard this guy's funky version of Metallica's Enter Sandman.

Amorphis: A band I had only heard of. Even though they were performing at noon, they did well. Nice music.

Orphaned Land: Now there goes an absolute revelation. Yes I know it's an Israeli band, bas as far as their music goes, they make an excellent blend of Middle-Eastern music and Metal, and had me hooked throughout the performance. It was also quite interesting to see that their demeanor is quite similar to ours, the way the singer interacted with the audience was quite reminiscent of Lebanese performers.

Die Apokalyptischen Reiter: Some form of melodic version of Rammstein.

The Bosshoss: Now if you're wondering what's a country band doing in a metal festival, I assure you, they shocked me too. These guys could seriously challenge Iron Maiden in terms of audience participation. Throughout their performance, they had about fifty thousand metalheads dancing, screaming and jumping with them, especially during their rendition of "Ca plane pour moi". Definitely one of those bands you'd want to check out if they're playing anywhere near you.

Endstille: Oh my god what an awful awful band (with a socially awkward front man) I had to sit through while keeping my front row spot waiting for Arch Enemy. If you ever see a poster of this band, Run ! The other way that is...

Kamelot: Nice performance, if you like Epic metal. Not my cup of tea to be honest.

Arch Enemy: Anyone who knows me already knows this is the foremost reason I went to Wacken, and let me tell you, this band, along with its growling front woman, the magnificent Angela Gossow, delivered a hell of a show. I was lucky enough to be in the front row on this one (it's not easy getting there when the crowd is seventy-five people strong, or staying there for that matter), and that is going to be one of my favorite memories of Wacken.

Grave Digger: Great band, Great music, Great guest artists.

Slayer: There's a reason this band is legendary. I didn't get it at first, but then slowly it started to make sense.

Ihsahn: Now this guy was an absolute revelation. Mixing his black metal influences (He used to be in Emperor) with jazz and melodic progressive rock, the result is absolutely breathtaking. Definitely worth checking out!

W.A.S.P: Imagine KISS and Elton John had a baby, and they taught him how to play guitar, the result would be WASP. Very fun band to watch.

Delain: This is the only band I've seen twice so far, and it's not like I'm doing it on purpose. They're much better on tape than they are live, but that should only tell you that they're pretty good on tape. Hopefully by the third time I see them live, they would've improved their live show.

Edguy: Hair metal meets power metal. Result: Catchy stuff!

Stratovarius: I've been wanting to see this band live for some time, too bad it happened after Timo Tolkki (guitarist, founder, mastermind) left the band. They have a nice new guitarist now, and the performance was a nice effort, but not enough to impress me. Shame.

Immortal: I hope I never have to see them again. Much nicer than Endstille, but still...

Soulfly: Max Cavalera is awesome! It took one minute for him to destroy what the Wacken people have been working so hard to do during the entire festival. Every once in a while we'd get a "Please no Circle Pit" announcement on the screen, or some announcer between bands telling us that the bands and the Wacken management had agreed that circle pits and walls of death were a health risk, and therefore would not be allowed in this year's festival. The Max Cavalera came out and said "I want to see a big fucking circle pit right in front of me now". It didn't matter how long the "no circle pit" announcement displayed on the screen, the damage was done. Too bad, I'm really not a fan of crowd violence.

U.D.O: This was the last band to perform in the festival, and when you've been partying for three days straight, and a band manages to keep you jumping and screaming past 2:00am, they certainly have some merit.

Wow when I started out this article I didn't think I'd be writing so much about the bands.
Here's what: Let's wrap this up, say this article is my mini-coverage of the music, and say

TO BE CONTINUED...

comments

August 10, 2010 at 11:17 AM Tarek

Iron who?!?!

August 10, 2010 at 11:28 AM Fadi

You're dead to me :P

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