Wacken Open Air - Wacken, Germany, 4th August 2007
|Event:||Wacken Open Air 2007|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Wacken Open Air 2007 - Wacken, Germany, 02-04 August 2007 by Promonex (4)
Wacken Open Air - Wacken, Germany, 2nd-4th August 2007 by Baz Anderson (110)
Barry: After returning back to my tent a very happy person the night before after the night's performers, I could also enjoy that the first band I really wanted to see on the last day started very late on, in the middle of the afternoon, and so had no pressure to wake up early. I still did though, and once again my consciousness was greeted by a very very hot tent and no escape from the blazing sun shining down outside of the tent. I took the time in the morning to try and eat a little bit of food, and then wander off into the metal market of which covers a big enough area a small festival could just be held there. I ended up browsing and purchasing a few shirts before preparing myself for the day of music ahead, as I planned to, and successfully carried out my plan of staying in the front area of the audience from the afternoon until after the last band.
Barry: So I was awake and as I became aware this was one of the first Sacred Reich shows for ten years and so I thought I would go up and see what they were like seeing as I was awake and had nothing else to do. I didn't get so close, I just stayed quite back because my little endurance test had not quite begun, and watched the band perform their set. It was quite clear that there were some fanatical fans in the crowd down at the front and maybe I would have been one of them if I were ten or so years older. Apparently the audience made "a bunch of old men very happy" as they must have been chuffed at the response they got. A cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" also found its way into the set of rather enjoyable, mostly old style thrash metal. I wouldn't have been crying if I missed the set but for me I was just waiting for the bands to come.
Barry: The first band of the last day that I had really looked forward to seeing because I knew these guys would have the experience to put on a great power metal show for us. I was waiting for a band to grab the Wacken bull by the horns and shake us all like Napalm Death did to get us kicked off the day before and I was hoping Stratovarius would be the band to do it in their own way. They half did and half didn't, I think my problem with Stratovarius live is the same problem I have with them on CD, and that is that the slower songs with not much going on just lose my attention, but of course their faster, more up-tempo songs are really great to listen to on CD and are of course fantastic live. The band didn't do a whole lot of faster stuff live but there was some stuff, they also played us a new song from their unreleased album which seemed to go down well as well. The songs that made this a great set for me though was the epic ten minute "Visions (Southern Cross)" and the song they closed with, "Black Diamond" that greatly pleased the vast audience as well as myself. Stratovarius are one of those bands that you would love to go and see live if you could put together their setlist for them, but don't quite trust them to do it exactly how you would like yourself. Still, they put on a great show and given the opportunity I would see them again.
Dir En Grey
Barry: The only Asian band that I would be seeing at the festival and already being a fan of this band I was extremely intrigued to watch them perform but also because they hardly ever make their way over here to Europe, and when they do, their shows sell out very fast. I knew this would be an interesting show and I wasn't wrong. If you are a fan of Dir En Grey and not a fan of blood and watching people do things to themselves then you are pretty stuffed. The performance was a mixed bag of different styles of songs from quiet and uneventful songs to fast, explosive songs. "The IIID Empire" and "Obscure" sounded great but the main thing to give your attention to is the frontman Kyo's energy and angst and stage antics. This guy is crazy on the stage, he throws himself around and screams into the microphone with such anger. Not only that though, but his shock tactics on the stage, first he stood on his box at the front of the stage and started ripping at the inside of his mouth in what appeared to be an attempt to rip a tooth out or something, real or not I don't know but what appeared to be blood started pouring out of his mouth to which he wiped on his body, and not just that but also later in the set he appeared to have a blade and started slashing at his body with it. Now this did look real as the blood oozed itself out of his body but maybe no one knows if it is real or not, however the point is it looks real and its shock tactics work, the security watching the show at the front looked utterly horrified as to what was taking place on stage. This is definitely a band that doesn't do things by halves, and because of this puts on a very entertaining show indeed.
Barry: Rage have always been a band in the back of my mind that I have never really checked out properly but always known I would probably like them if I did look into them. Well this would be my opportunity to look into them by quite literally looking at them, but I was wrong, as this was not going to be a typical Rage show at all. Rage were to perform their entire set with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra situated at the back of the stage, so you can imagine I was a little surprised when I was stood there expecting some kind of hard hitting power metal show but was hit by an incredibly symphonic experience instead. This doesn't mean the show was bad at all, in fact it was much the opposite, it was very very good. The band really impressed me, it was totally not what I was expecting music-wise but it was powerful at times, beautiful at times and also a little progressive and musically eyebrow raising at times. I wish this show was recorded because it was one of the most interesting out of all the bands I saw at the festival and I would be very interested in hearing it again.
Barry: Before arriving at the festival and learning of the ways of being able to stay at the front, I had written I was going to go off and see Turisas right now but I didn't want to leave my comfortable place around the front area of the audience and because I also really wanted to see Destruction, I made the desicion to stop there and watch this set. I am pretty confident in saying I made the right choice as well because this set had everything from butchers chasing young women dressed up as I don't know what, lots and lots of fireworks, lots of ex member guests and of course a fantastic thrash metal set. Surprisingly the band played nothing from the "Metal Discharge" album that seemed to be somewhat of a comeback, but focused on the older material brought about by fans voting for the setlist on an online poll, of which I am not familliar with, but this didn't stop me having a great time. The band seem to have a more double bass drum style than their fellow German thrashers Sodom that were on a couple of days before which sounded absolutely great through the monstrous speakers. It seemed somewhat like some kind of party was going on on the stage, ex members and other guests such as Oddleif Stensland of Communic, Brian Ross of Blitzkrieg, Tom Angelripper of Sodom and Peavy Wagner of Rage all joining in on the action, there was even three drum kits set up on the stage and were all played at the same time during some songs. From hearing quite a few people talk, this set was the favourite of quite a lot of people that saw the show. The best bit being anyone that missed the show will be able to watch it again anyway as the whole show was recorded and will be released onto DVD in the future and myself for one will definitely be purchasing that!
Type O Negative
Barry: From here on, all bands I saw apart from In Flames, I had seen earlier in the year and so there may be a few more comparisons. Here we were again standing as the sun was setting and about to watch Type O Negative, I was hoping this time Pete wouldn't find anything to complain and throw a stop about but even though he didn't complain much he was still standing there on the stage as drunk as anything with a bottle of red wine or something next to him through the show. The band took way way too long inbetween songs and at times Pete was just saying his parts with no emotion or no meaning because he was so drunk. He kept throwing his wine over the poor camera man that was next to him just doing his job and also sprayed it on the audience saying "the power of christ compels you" over and over again. This was slightly amusing but even though Pete said he was having a great time on the stage, they could have given the audience such a better show. The set of course finished with "Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)" which is always a good sort of sing along, and although it was good to see the band live again, I couldn't help being a little annoyed at the amount of effort they put into the show for us the audience. Still, we had much bigger fish to come and I could put this to the back of my mind.
Barry: Immortal, probably the band behind Cannibal Corpse that I wanted to see most at the whole festival. I had been told some time earlier in the year that Immortal can either give a really really great show or a really bad show. When I saw them earlier in the year it was a great show, a really great show but unfortunately what I was told was true and this happened to be one of their bad shows. We had all the usual songs that we would want to hear; "Withstand The Fall Of Time", "At The Heart Of Winter", "One By One", "Sons Of Northern Darkness", "Battles In The North", "Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)", etc. but for some reason the band just seemed disinterested. Abbath kept swearing in innapropriate places and there was lengthy gaps between songs, but I really can't think of any other reason why they left such a negative impression on me and most of the other people that saw them. The music was great at times but I think it just lacked some of the energy they had had earlier in the year, it wasn't as fast and piercing, it seemed maybe more like a job. But still there are positive things to take away from the experience of seeing Immortal again, Abbath once again showed his crazy, quirky personality by posing and toying with the audience as well as thrusting "himself" towards the moving cameras inbetween songs as well his usual firebreathing performance. I find it hard to be negative about Immortal because I do really like them a lot but this performance unfortunately was quite a let down.
Barry: Now I will be honest, I used to be such a huge In Flames fan a couple of years ago but since then I seriously lost interest in them to the point where I was just not being nice about them at all. Because of this I decided to stay at the Black stage at the front where I could still see the True stage from the side and also have the huge screen if I needed it to get a good place for Cannibal Corpse. I can admit though that I was very wrong once again, after not expecting a great show from In Flames, I was blown back by their performance that was actually very very good and made me remember why I used to like them all that time ago. Hearing songs like "Episode 666", "Pinball Map", "Only For The Weak" and all the other ones from the later albums I used to like really made me think. Anders walked down across the middle of the stages to come and say hello to us nearer the other stage and during the whole show seemed like a happy, smiley guy. He told us that when they played Wacken 2003 it was one of the best shows the band have ever done in their lives and he wanted Wacken 2007 to be even better. I don't know if it was in his opinion, but in my opinion it was a really really great show and I felt bad for saying whatever bad things I had said about the band prior to seeing them live. Newer songs "The Quiet Place" and the even newer "Come Clarity" sounded really great live, it was a great moment. He told everyone in the festival ground to jump up and down and it was one of the most remarkable things I have seen as however many thousands of people jumped up and down, and also how many people got their lighters and mobile phone lights and whatever out for the "Come Clarity" ballad. This was definitely one of the biggest surprises of the festival for me and so now I am looking forward to seeing them again, and would advise anyone that has turned on In Flames to go and see them live, you will soon change your mind.
Barry: So this was what I had been waiting for for pretty much the whole festival and I felt like the guy that had got his hands on the holy grail as well because for the first time at the festival I got my arms over the metal barrier right at the front ready for an unfortunate short set of one hour compared to the previous bands, still, it was one hour of brutality that we were in for. It only just dawned on me that this was Cannibal Corpse and we were in Germany, the country that banned them from playing anything from the first three albums anywhere inside the country. Thankfully the ban has now been lifted and so for the first time the band got to unleash their older material unto the ears of people standing in Germany. A couple from "Butchered At Birth" went down very well as well as of course "Hammer Smashed Face" and "I Cum Blood". I have said it before and I will say it again, this band is a monster, a machine live. I have not seen such a bulldozer of a band on the stage before, they just get up there and destroy all. "Fucked With A Knife", "Devoured By Vermin", "Make Them Suffer" and of course closing with "Stripped, Raped And Strangled" the band put on an amazing show. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I think I might have enjoyed myself a little too much spinning my hair around down there at the front because it is actually harder for me to remember what actually went on during this set even though they were the band I wanted to see most. So there is a lesson for you all, if you want to remember everything about a band's set then don't go totally crazy! Still, until you have seen Cannibal Corpse live you don't know what the full experience is like, the experience of total, unstoppable, crushing death metal destruction.
Barry: For me personally the worst clash of the festival was Cannibal Corpse and 1349 playing at the same time, so I decided to go and see Cannibal Corpse and then get Vital Remains on the W.E.T. stage to finish the festival off for me. This was not to be though, Vital Remains for some unknown reason decided not to play and so 1349 took their place and finished the festival off for me instead which quite frankly I was ecstatic about although a little miffed about not getting to see Vital Remains. It was my first venture into the W.E.T. tent and it is quite small in there, especially when you want to fit as many people in there as as many wanted to be in there. From where I was standing which wasn't exactly a million miles away from the stage, the sound sounded rather bad, the guitars drowned everything else out including the amazing drums that are the best thing to listen to when you see 1349 live. Also quite frankly I had no energy left after my epic day of standing at the front of the two main stages and going crazy with Cannibal Corpse and so I definitely could not enjoy 1349 as much as I would have liked to, but they stood up there and gave us an amazing show like usual. Drums drowned from where I was but I could still hear them in there somewhere blasting away like I don't know what, guitar sounding as menacing as always and of course the screams of Ravn. "Manifest", "Riders Of The Apocalypse", the amazing "Legion", "Chasing Dragons", "Nathicana", "Sculptor Of Flesh", all the usuals, I might have heard it before in a better environment but this was still a show from one of the very best bands I have seen live and so of course had to relish hearing them live. Unfortunately the show had to stop some time, around 03:00 sort of time and that was it, the end of the Wacken Open Air 2007 for me, but what an experience I had. Quite possibly the best thing I have done in my life.
Barry: There is only one Wacken Open Air and unless you have been to one, you will quite simply never have any idea what it is like to be there. From the moment you step out onto the festival ground and see its vast expanse to the last band stepping off the stage you will be constantly amazed, entertained and be having a great time. The organisation is obviously so experienced the festival ran so smoothly although there are a few things I have to raise points about. Firstly the amount of people there are in the festival site compared to the size of the actual grounds. I don't know exactly how many people were in there but even when I was trying to walk from one place to another a mile away from the main stages, there is still nothing but people and more people and more people that you unfortunatly have to squeeze and barge your way past to get to where you want to be. Secondly the entrance/exit of the Party stage was not fit for its job at all. People were trying to get in and out of there at the same time, and a lot of people as well, not just a few. Especially after and before some bigger bands play there, we just ended up in a traffic jam unable to move and then impatient people start pushing from the back and it all gets very ugly. Thirdly the W.E.T. stage tent was way too small to fit that many people in there and was awkward getting in and out. Lastly but least significant, but still it got annoying a few times, at the front of the main stages there is the metal barrier to stand on and behind that there is like a five inch drop, and so if you happen to be that close to the stage but unfortunately not stood on the metal barrier, unless you are the tallest guy in the world you wont see anything at all. Other than these though, I think I can say I had the best time of my life at Wacken Open Air, so many great bands but as well as that a fantastic crew that organise the whole thing, and a fantastic audience and atmosphere. You can say hello to anyone there and have a friendly conversation, everyone is so friendly and willing to help you if you need it. I don't think there will be any question as to if I will be there at Wacken 2008 or not, you quite simply cannot miss the biggest metal event of the year that brings and unifies people from nations all over the world, all in the name of metal. If you haven't been, consider Wacken Open Air one of the things on your list of things to do before you die.
Thanks go to Britta and Nick for the press accreditations, as well as the whole Wacken crew for an amazing festival.
Written by Barry, with additional writing by Daniel and Jerry
Photos by Barry, with additional photos by Daniel
||Written on 15.08.2007 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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