Category Archives: Random Music

At the Festival: Wacken 2013

I don’t know why I put it off so long, but I finally forced myself to properly finish this post.
For reasons unknown to me do I seemingly have a thing for posting stuff at least a year after they have happened and so far I only managed to post an in-time review for one concert

Anyway, back to 2013ths Wacken, which for me was currently the fifth and last one I attended.

Part of a Journey

Last years Wacken soon became a part of my Journey through Germany as I went there with DarkFairy again and had to pick her up at her parents place. The days before it we spent preparing the car we borrowed from her parents, that we would not just use for driving, but for sleeping as well. You can find more about this part of the journey in the post above and on DFPP Entertainment.
Short version: With little actual talent for it, we cut cardboards to fit into the windows for shading.

For Fairy’s view on this Wacken you can also look at these posts:

Wacken 2013 or a Week of Chaos with the Co-Authoress Pt.1

Wacken 2013 or a Week of Chaos with the Co-Authoress Pt.2

We noted done where the pieces needed to be placed, can you guess where this is?

We noted down where the pieces needed to be placed, can you guess where „Hi Bei“ is?

Anyway, previous to the trip we made arrangements to meet up and camp with Laupi (the student two years below me, with whom I attended a Sabaton concert some years ago) and his friends, so they kept some space for us. Which was quite necessary, because even though we arrived on Wednesday, it was already quite full.

Still, it took us a while to get there and after six hours of driving, we finally arrived in the traffic jam close to the motorway exit for the festival. We already stood for about fifteen minutes when Fairy’s satnav announced:

„The route contains traffic congestions“
Which Fairy and I commented with: „Oh, Really?!“

Two hours later we entered the camp ground and called Laupi to know where we had to head. So we asked a staff where we were and where we had to go. The Map hasn’t changed that much over the years, so we were quite confused when he told us that „P was right next to X“ – which it wasn’t.
After a bit of driving around we then found Laupi and one of his friends at the spot we had agreed to meet. Though when we arrived at the camp, there wasn’t really space for us.
So the cars that were already there had to be re-parked and one of Laupi’s friends then manoeuvred our car into the slim open space.

That day we wanted to see Harpyie’s first concert and a special concert by Faun in the church of the village, but the only thing we did, was get our bracelets and call it a day.
The 8 hours drive had been just far too exhausting.

Kitties and a Pony with Horn

As a slow start into the concerts we had a look at Mysterious Priestess, a Japanese Melodic Death Metal band that Fairy discovered in the program. The concert was in the quite new Bullhead City Circus that we had skipped the year before. It was interesting and just like Dir En Grey fascinating to see how such, well, small people are capable of creating such strong music.

Next stop was the Wackinger Village for Feuerschwanz, the medieval band that I have mentioned one or the other time before. Throughout and after their show several funny things transpired that I’d like to share with you.
Feuerschwanz usually enter their stage with two dancers, their so-called „Mietzen“ (Kitties). At the Metalfest (2012) these Mietzen supported Powerwolf during their performance of „Ressurection by Erection“ (and yes, the song is as perverted as the title suggests…) to put emphasis on the rising with the help of lances. Back then I told Fairy that they belong to Feuerschwanz.
When Feuerschwanz entered the stage in Wacken Fairy told me:

„I was just about to say: Hey the Mietzen of Feuerschwanz are also with…Feuerschwanz…“

At least she noticed that they indeed are with them. 😀
Beside that their clothings were quite a topic between us.
Their violinist wore a short dress with a cape and looked pretty much like a super heroine and whenever she lifted one of her arms I mumbled „Up, up and away…“
It is not nice to make fun of people because of their way to dress, but I couldn’t – and still can’t – refrain from saying that…
Fairy, however, got a liking to their bassists vertically striped pants, that looked like those a (medieval) fool would wear. She has a thing for fools and buskers, even having her own fool robes and giving one of her characters in our book this profession.
Anyway, the concert was fun – as all their concerts are – and we continued to sit there for the Rabenschrey concert that followed.

When they had started Fairy noticed a pair of vertically striped pants and exclaimed while pointing at them:

„Look he has the same pants as…“ before she looked up and closed with an „Ooh…“ as it was the bassist himself that was walking past us. 😀

Only to be followed by the guitarist with the not-as-funny-and-memorable-as-the-others name and the supergirl. 😀

As we only watched half of Rabenschrey’s show, as it wasn’t really our thing, I am able to digress a little into what I just wrote.
The musicians of Feuerschwanz each use an intentionally ambiguous nickname. They are for example the Hauptmann Feuerschwanz (Captain, well Firetail would be the more literal translation, but meaning wise it would be Firedick) and the Prinz Hodenherz (Prince Testicleheart) and the not-as-funny Hans der Aufrechte (Hans the Uprightly or more fittingly and the only one that sounds more funny in English than in German: the Erected). I didn’t really think that the names sounded that awful in English…therefore I’ll leave out the translations for Johanna von der Vögelweide (supergirl) and the Knappe Latte (the pants-dude).
Afterwards we went back to the camp, which – as I haven’t mentioned it yet – was placed perfectly close to the stage areas: Right beside the Wackinger Village and just five minutes to the Main Stages. We joked that this was the reason it got the letter „P“: Perfect.

Our DF.PP Shirts and the far too short front Cardboard

This way it was easy for us to hear concerts while enjoying the comforts of the mattress we had in the car. We heard a bit of Thunder, before we left again to see Deep Purple on the Main Stage.
I don’t really remember if we watched via the Video Walls or actually sat inside to see them. It was nice, but Smoke on the Water was definitely the highlight as I don’t think they played Hallelujah.

What I remember, however, is that we then sat on a patch of grass to wait for Rammstein to start, when the Pony with Horn was born and accompanied us throughout the remaining weekend.
The band itself had a great show (pyrotechnics flying shortly above the audience, etc.) and played many of their well known songs, but it was still a bit unsatisfying, because they are well known for not interacting with the audience that much.
A nice experience: Definitely. Worth, to spend nearly a hundred Euros for a solo concert: Not really.
Fairy was even surprised to hear Till (the singer) talk to the audience at all.
Though it was mostly only to announce that they had a special guest for their song Sonne (Sun): The Volksmusik singer Heino, that had covered the song on his album Mit freundlichen Grüßen (With best regards).
It was an unusual and much discussed topic, but still quite interesting.
Due to the fact that that years Wacken was sold out as soon as Rammstein were announced, many people were there to see them and it took us a while to return, but less than the others thanks to our perfectly positioned parking place. 😀

In the Heat of the concerts

Where last years Wacken was muddy and wet, this one was dry and hot. Very hot. On Thursday we had acquired headbands, to not get too much sun onto our skulls, but on Friday even that wasn’t enough. That day we drank about five litres of water and talked a lot of ridiculous stuff. For example did we had a late lunch somewhere along the day and it felt like the Spaghetti we had, swam in a sea of water and thus we created the Spaghetti Fish in it’s natural habitat the tomato sauce…

Anyway, our first stop on Friday was at a Harpyie concert with our newly acquired DF.PP Entertainment shirts around noon. It was a fun concert and we even ended up in the recording for one of their songs.
Afterwards we had quite some time until the next concert and I do believe we had lunch first, either way did we by then know that we should always cook with a pot, which I exclaimed instead of saying we should do just that with a lid the day before.

As the majority of us wanted to see them we went to Powerwolf together and some of the guys of the camp turned their bare upper bodies into bandshirts by writing the name of the band on their chests – needless to say in the evening the shirts still remained.
That concert was my third time seeing them, but it was still fun and I do believe we surprised the guys that didn’t knew us, with our knowledge of the lyrics. Though I did re-interpret their song Kreuzfeuer when I wasn’t able to sleep on Wednesday, somewhat like this:

Original: My version:
Kreuzfeuer, brenne in der Nacht Kreuzfeuer, penne in der Nacht
(Crossfire, burn in the night) (Crossfire, snooze in the night)
Kreuzfeuer, sei entfacht Kreuzfeuer, sei erwacht
(Crossfire, be ignited) (Crossfire, be awoken)
Gott hat uns den Wahn gebracht Gott hat uns den Schlaf gebracht
(God had brought us the delusion) (God had brought us the sleep)

Anyway, after enjoying the Metal Mass, we parted from the others to have a look into Pretty Maids, where I knew the singer, Ronnie Atkins, from his cooperation with Avantasia. It was quite nice, but then they played a song that sounded really familiar. At first I thought it was by Avantasia, but then I recognized it as Back to Back from Hammerfall. Until that moment I didn’t even know it was a cover.

Later we wanted to see Sabaton with the others again, but somehow they interpreted „wait a moment“ as „go ahead“ and we enjoyed it by ourselves.
Before the concert started Fairy kind of vowed she will not jump, regardless of what they say on stage. It has been a long and hot day and both of us were exhausted.
But then Joakim asked the audience if they will sing and, most importantly, jump with them for their final song: Primo Victoria.
The song started playing, Fairy started jumping and loudly yelled: „You asshole!“
Luckily(?) as of this day he does not know about this. 😀

To occupy the waiting fans they sent in giant beach balls that are soon ripped to shreds...

To occupy the waiting fans they sent in giant beach balls that were soon ripped to shreds…

With our main acts done, we had a bit time on our hand to watch Corvus Corax meets Wadokyo while sitting comfortably at the back of the Stage Area. This band has too little vocals for my taste, but their version of Amon Amarth’s  Twilight of the Thundergod was still fun.

Afterwards we departed for the camp again. As I was too tired/lazy to return for the ASP concert during the night and we had already managed to hear quite a bit of Doro from where we were, I wanted to hear them from afar as well, but my plans were destroyed by Megabosh that played in the Village at the same time. Though played is too good a word for what that guy did on that stage. It was just awful and every last one of us just wanted it to stop. Even leading to an exclamation that someone should just do him the favour and shoot him, when he was loudly repeating the words „Shoot. Shoot. Shoot“ (or „Schieß. Schieß. Schieß.“ as I’m not entirely sure whether he sung English or German).
We didn’t like him, but we would have to suffer from him a littler more over the days.
The parking place was perfect for reaching the stages fast, but this was definitely a down point.

Though it was interesting to fall asleep to Grave Diggers night concert, only to wake up during Rebellion as that one featured Van Canto again.

One last pit

Because we could, we went to the Wackinger Village on Saturday again to see Harpyie one last time. Just like the day before it was fun, even though we were still exhausted.

Though that did not keep us from attending more concerts. This time the others waited for us and together we went to see Alestorm at the Party Stage.
At some point people around us decided to sit down and create a rowing pit and the guys thought this funny so we were quite literally pushed into the pit. Grabbing the shoulders of the person before you, you were then pushed back and forth by the one behind you – at least Fairy and I were because we did not have the strength to do any rowing ourselves.

Even more exhausted than before we just went to get something to drink during their last songs, while trying not to get involved in any more pits. On the way to the bar, we even passed one of my former fellow students (the one from the MPS) and had a very long conversation that pretty much consisted of the words „Hi“ and „Water“.

Refreshed we then contemplated to either participate in the signing session of Harpyie or listen to Die Apokalyptischen Reiter. We decided for the first and had some interesting discussions with a couple of people.
At first we wanted to know which row was the right one to enter. The guy from the staff looked at us and wondered out loud how much we had drunken that day and suggested we might start doing that when we told him that we didn’t had any alcohol during the whole festival.
Our next quest was then to find pen and paper to write down a note for Harpyie singer Aello, regarding their song Blutsbrüder and the Soundtrack of Warlords. Just when we found one and had already scribbled the note we remembered that Fairy had business cards with her and we changed it to that (The whole encounter can be read in link from above with the recording).

As it looked like rain we brought our newly acquired autographs to the car, thus missing out on Sonata Arctica, but instead we did not get wet when the rain poured down shortly afterwards.

This little rain caused some of our camp-mates to leave early. It was nothing compared to what we went through the year before and they lived far closer to the Festival than we did, still they went home and our group shrunk significantly. Though through this we had some time to get to know the remaining people.

Watching Wacken in Wacken...

Watching Wacken in Wacken…

When the rain was gone we returned to the Stage Area with our camping chairs. We did not feel like entering so we sat outside watching Alice Cooper, Nightwish and Lingua Mortis feat. Rage through the Video Walls.

The concerts were great and I have to say, that I quite enjoyed the then new singer of Nightwish, as she was better at singing the songs of their original singer Tarja than the one before her. Alice of course gave us a great show again, with his many on-stage deaths and also some new costume choices for our dear Lord of Hell.

Fairy really wanted to see Rage, but by the time they started it had gotten quite cold, so after their first (fifteen minutes long) song we decided to call it a day and hear their songs from afar, which wasn’t easy thanks to Megabosh, but later on we heard Subway to Sally while drifting off to sleep.

I choose you, Right Foot!

On Sunday it was time to leave again, but not without having a few last adventures.

A fitting symbol for the filthiest festival I've been at---

A fitting symbol for the filthiest Festival I’ve been at…

From all the Festivals I’ve been at, is Wacken the filthiest one and you can see that by simply walking across the Camping Area.

And if you have hours to wait until your car is able to leave the ground you can enjoy the view even more. Though I do have to admit that we later realized that we forgot to pack in the small gas bottles for our camping cooker we had stored beneath the car. Otherwise our camp was one of the cleanest.

Much unlike the chaos in our car, as you can see in the two pictures below. Everything was neatly stacked when we first arrived and everything was in utter chaos when we had to re-organize the car towards the end.

The inside of the car on the first or second day of Wacken

The inside of the car on the first or second day of Wacken

The inside of the car on pretty much the last day of Wacken

The inside of the car on pretty much the last day of Wacken

The traffic on our way back was not really better than on our way up.
The satnav said something about traffic congestions close to Itzhö – which we then realised to mean Itzehoe, the town close to Wacken – and everyone drove quite slowly, myself included.One of those slow drivers was infuriation Fairy. He seemed to simply be unable to find his gas pedal and just when she was about to pass him, he did indeed discover it.
And as we had spent our first drive with listening to the old Pokémon Soundtrack the following fight occurred:

PP: „A wild Gas Pedal appears. It wants to fight“
DF: „I choose you, Right Foot! Kick Attack!“
PP: „The attack was very effective.
The wild Gas Pedal uses Acceleration.
The attack was very effective.“
DF: „Ra..Pöng..pöpö…pöng… *rumble jangle getting slower*
The wild Gas Pedal fainted.“

After ten hours we then finally made it to Fairy’s home and told everyone who wanted and did not want to hear it our tales of the Festival.

Last year and this years Wacken was sold out quite fast (14: 48h; 15: 18h) so I didn’t went last year and don’t think I will this year either. Thanks to that I managed to have a look at some other Festivals that were quite nice and I know, I still need to give you a review about them.
Well, I don’t know when I will attend this Festival again, but I guess some day I might.


In Concert 2013: Die Ärzte – Rostock

After excessive Blogging throughout the Book-Week I really need to get back into a writing mood and as I do not seem to be able to finish my post for last years Wacken am I trying to change course by finishing this concert review instead.
Originally I did plan on writing this before the Wacken post anyway, as it was before it, but after the WGT.
Anyway, one of the bands I failed to mention in the Soundtrack of my Life are Die Ärzte. I probably mentioned them in one of my other posts and I have used some of their songs for the Weekend Guess, but so far I failed to express what they mean to me.

Everyone starts somewhere…

As impressionable young teenager did I listen to what my parents and peers where listening to, but somehow the things I enjoyed most had guitars and other proper instruments.
Then in 2002 or a bit later did I catch the broadcast of the „Rock’n’Roll Realschule„, an unplugged concert of some of their most famous songs and I got hooked. They became one of the first bands I ever had an actual interest in.
I tried to get my hands on their CDs and pretty much everything that sounded interesting (like their biography „Ein überdimensionales Meerschweinchen frisst die Erde auf“ – An oversized guinea pig is devouring the Earth). For my Confirmation I got a whole package of their old stuff from my cousins and listened to it over and over again. The unplugged album and 13 soon became my favourites. At that time I still haven’t had a MP3 player so I either used a portable CD player or even made my own mix-tapes for my portable cassette player. I think I still have those tapes somewhere…
Besides the main band each of the members has side projects and of course I listened to some of them as well. After managing to see Farin Urlaub twice, we – BlackWolf , a mutual friend and I – finally went off to see them in Rostock in 2008 during their Jazzfäst-Tour and it was a pretty fun concert.
It then took me five years to see them on stage again.

The Medics are in

I don’t really remember how I noticed that they would play in Rostock again, but I was thrilled when I read it and marked it as one of the possible concerts for last year. Discussing them with Black Kat and Mücke it was soon clear that Kat would accompany me for this trip.
Setting off in the middle of the week I picked her up and we made our way to the City Hall (Stadthalle) in Rostock.
The hall is constructed to have a middle (standing) area that is surrounded by tribunes on each side and as there were no cards left for the arena we had gotten some for the sitting area.
It wasn’t until we had found a proper place to sit that we noticed a couple of strange things:

  1. We were surrounded by mostly middle-aged to old people up there.
  2. The younger people in the arena partly looked like they were in a club.
  3. There were barely any Punks in the crowd (DÄ are after all a band with roots in Punk Rock).
  4. We felt like we stood out amongst the people with being dressed semi-punky and in black.

There is a lot of controversy that DÄ are too mainstream to be considered Punk any more, but they still make fun of that in their songs. Other than that does it seem that people are trying to get to a concert of them just to say that they’ve been at an Ärzte concert, before the band retires completely (The same phenomenon happens by the way with Rammstein, where you can see more and more normal people at the concerts).
Regardless of the weird people (who didn’t even move a muscle most of the time) around us and the minimal moving space we had, was it again a pretty great concert. Die Ärzte aka BelaFarinRod are just one of the most fun and ridiculous bands I know. It is not just their songs that give you a good time, but also their conversations on stage and the general atmosphere they create. I didn’t necessarily understand all of their jokes, but that doesn’t really matter as I still had a lot of fun and was pretty much grinning all the time.
What surprised me most, however, was that I still knew so many lyrics, even though I hadn’t heard most of the songs in years… Guess I simply listened often enough to the majority of the pretty well mixed (many old, some newer songs) set list back in the day. 😉

Definitely no lullaby

After a long day at work and a great concert we – or rather I – had to drive back to Neubrandenburg. The most problematic thing on those night rides is to fall asleep while driving. I might not have mentioned this before, but I can’t listen to music – especially not the band itself, though I currently don’t have anything of DÄ on my player, which I should change at some point again – right away after a concert. I need some quiet time to properly enjoy what I just heard.
Regardless of that do I need to listen to something to keep myself awake and that is when I discovered something weird.
When my shuffle brought a Feuerschwanz song to my attention, I thought, I might as well listen to the other ones as well. What I did not expect was that I became more and more awake the longer I listened. I started to actually pay attention to what they were saying, which is in most cases utterly ridiculous and pretty perverted. I do not know why it helped me to become less sleepy, but it did… Kat later said, that she doesn’t really like the singers’ voice as it sounds too faked and she has a point with that. To me it doesn’t sound bad, but I can hear some kind of fakeness in the way he is singing, as if he changes the sound of his voice on purpose. Maybe that’s what kept me awake. 😀
As I am now completely off topic let me give you a short version of what you just read:
It was a great concert with a strange crowd and I’d go right away if I have the chance to attend another of their concerts.

The Soundtrack of my life – excerpt

Instead of the 20th Weekend Guess, I wanted to finally cover something Fairy posted over at Darkfairy’s Senf a couple of months ago:

Which song stands for which chapter of your life and why?
(translated from the post)

As I already contemplated the different chapters of my life in a couple of posts and am able to think of a few songs, I guess I might as well do her the favour and write about it – instead of so many other things that are still unfinished, again.

Though instead of choosing a song that would best describe that part of my life in retrospective I chose the songs that have affected me at at those times, which is also why this is only an excerpt as I can’t remember all of them.

Live, PoiSonPaiNter

During my time in the Secondary School (Realschule) I was one of the most avoided people around, but as I described here, was there one song in particular that made me rethink my behaviour: Leb (Live) by Schandmaul.
In particular the lines were they describe a person barely straying away from the flock, unable to lift their head from the road before them and not seeing the nice things that life provides for them. I rarely looked up or went out on my own during that time as the few people I considered friends back then usually had to ask me out. It’s probably not a surprise that I know more about cartoons and anime from that time than about parties and celebrities.

When I changed to Grammar School (Fachgymnasium) my soundtrack changed as well. The defining songs that created my alias (see: link) became more and more important to me. Edguy’s Wash away the Poison and Painting on the Wall became synonyms for how I felt when nearly no one around even thought of interacting with me. During this time the interest for Metal that was spurred shortly before I learned about Leb was broadened to new bands, including Avantasia. This resulted into one of my favourite concerts at the Wacken 2008, my very first festival.

With Avantasia came new songs, most prominent amoungst them Memories. This song accompanied me into the beginning of my studying years, just as the instrumental song Reqiuem for a Dream and Invasion, Treachery and other songs from the Bleach soundtrack frequented my player. The epic-like scoring of the songs just made me re-listen to them over and over again. It just felt like with this „background“ music I could accomplish anything. Even though, in Invasions case, it is still misspelled in the play-list and I still mishear the lyrics …

Fear, Anger, Mighty Canines and Knight Shoes

Towards the end of studying more Metal came into my focus due to me attending a couple of more Wacken (2010, 2011, 2012) and the Metalfest. Through this I re-learned about Powerwolf and Sabaton, but also about Letzte Instanz that would provide me with a song that I can no longer listen to while thinking. For many people their studying years become the best years of their life, I can’t say the same for several reasons. One of which is the fear of losing my mum when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, which made Ohne Dich (Without You) such an emotional song for me.

On the opposite emotional scale did Alestorm’s Keelhauled provide me with the needed stress-/anger-relief whenever I turned up the volume while driving and sang along just as loudly.

Powerwolf and Sabaton on the other hand gave me songs that just grabbed me and took me along with so much energy that I do not grow tired of hearing them, even after seeing each band live for several times (six and four times respectively).
Prayer in the Dark and Saturday Satan also managed to get into the Soundtrack for the book project of Fairy and me: Warlords (its own Blog:, but the most defining one is Sabaton’s Carolus Rex. It not just perfectly portrays our Nameless King, the whole album reminded me of something I had forgotten for some time: My home town used to be Swedish during the reign of Karl XII. (aka Carolus Rex). 😀 Regardless of that do the songs of both bands, like Ruina Imperi and Amen & Attack, still hold enough power without additional (personal) meaning to them.

Currently my new soundtrack is still in progress, but To Hell and Back and Resist and Bite are some of the songs I currently can’t skip when they start playing.
In a way did my Soundtrack change from moody and relatively slow to fast power numbers with strong lyrics and rhythms. This is also portrayed in the way I am now, as I became more outgoing than I used to be a couple of years ago. I am no longer bound to a flock, I travel or attend concerts on my own and pretty much do things the way I want to do them. And I am fairly certain that music played a major role in this development.


P.S. If you are interested to have a go at this again, feel free to use my translation, but don’t forget to mention Fairy as original Blogger.

At the Festival: Wave Gotik Treffen 2013

As this years festival is drawing to its end I thought, I might as well finally finish my review for last year.

Black Leipzig

The Wave Gotik Treffen (Wave Gothic Meeting) or short WGT is a black festival that takes place on the weekend of Pentecost (Pfingsten) and stretches across the whole city of Leipzig (in Sachsen/Saxony). It offers many events, concerts and what not in every imaginable location like the Monument to the Battle of Nations (Völkerschlachtsdenkmal), the „Kohlrabizirkus„, the Moritzbastei, parks, cemeteries and many more.  To get there the ticket includes free access to public transport for the weekend, which is used by thousands of black or otherwise spectacularly clothed people (Goths, Metalheads, Cyberpunks, Steampunks) that flood the city and mostly the area of the Agra exhibition centre, that also holds the camp grounds. As last year was also Richard Wagners 200th birthday some of the attractions also included opera visits.

The Booklet, the Ticket and the (enlarged) bracelet

The Booklet, the Ticket and the (enlarged) bracelet

Many years ago, when I was still quite young, my family and I visited the newly renovated main train station in Leipzig during Pentecost. Back then I hid behind my mum or dad and watched those black people pass us with fascination and a bit of fear and now I am one of those people as last year also marked my first WGT. I accompanied about half of the Black Pack there and hadn’t really planned on attending until shortly before they purchased the tickets. I let them persuade me as it just sounded too interesting. The tickets were, by the way, white and plushy, which caused an emergency meeting after their arrival.
As we had to pack three cars for eight people we met up the evening before we set off to move luggage around and discuss the route. Our third car would arrive later as they would pick up their third passenger on the way and we planned on setting off quite early the next morning, though our actual departure was about an hour later. Interestingly as we made our first stop in Gransee (shortly before Berlin) the others caught up with us and we then continued together. But not without the realization that we are far too well prepared as Schnitzel or Anice offered Mücke Italian Herbs as he complained about an unseasoned roll with topping.

Camp Laziness and a panic attack

After several hours of driving we finally reached the camp ground without our third car as they did not have a parking ticket. When the supervisor had reached us he urged us to stick the parking sticker onto the front window and since then I have an upside down Richard Wagner head there. Thank you Black Kat
She, Anice and Kathy went ahead to find the other ones (not our third car) who already had secured their usual camping spot while Schnitzel and I assembled the handcart and secured the tents on it.
It was fun to see so many different ways how people carried their stuff to the camp ground as unlike Wacken this festival doesn’t allow camping and parking on the same ground.

The Schedule had to be folded twice to fit into the ~A5 booklet.

The Schedule had to be folded twice to fit into the ~A5 booklet.

As it was annoying to always take out the ticket to enter the camp ground we soon went to secure our light blue bracelets. In addition we also got a festival booklet, but not a small one like you’re used from other festival this one was a thick, hard cover book with similar ticket-plush on the cover. It also include a large schedule with every notable information for every location.
When we had finally finished setting up our camp a horrible question arose for me: „Where the hell did I put my car keys?“
Looking through all my pockets and the tent in panic I simply couldn’t find it and Schnitzel already offered to walk back to the park ground with me. When Kat tried to calmly talk me through every possible place again, I finally found them stuck between my blankets, air mattress and the side of the tent. After this fright I definitely needed a drink…
Though they had warned me of the laziness of the group I did not anticipate how lazy and how unwilling to do anything beside chatting at the camp ground everyone was. As a result I/we only attended a few concerts in the vast amount of stuff you could have done that weekend.
What we managed to do several times was stroll through the nearby Agra hall that was turned into a shopping mall for pretty much everything scene-related: clothes, accessories, toys and many more. Beside a semi-official festival shirt (with Zombies 😀 ) everyone kind of found something he or she was more or less looking for. With Schnitzel, Anice and me we also had three people, who couldn’t pass by the displayed gas masks without thinking „Are you my Mummy?„.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel…

Just in the adjacent hall was the closest indoor stage to the camp ground, where a couple of us started the trend of belatedly attending nearly every concert. Mücke and another person, where already there, but I didn’t notice their departure as I waited for others from the camp to finish. When we had finally entered the stage area to see Letzte Instanz I made my way to the two of them and we enjoyed the show together.
The second Letzte Instanz concert was in the so-called Heathen Village (Heidnisches Dorf) near the gate house Dölitz. A nice area for the medieval market with a stage in the middle.  This part of the area was also open for the general public (not just festival attendants) and was therefore quite full. Though if you already had your bracelet you could pass the waiting line and enter before them. Again Mücke and the other person went ahead and I wanted to go with Kat, Schnitzel and Anice, but as I said they have a tendency to dawdle and we started our way to the village when the band had already started. I was quite annoyed by this, but as soon as I heard the first chords of a song my mood lifted up.
We made our way to the side of the stage, as the whole area was filled with people, picking up some more of our fellow campers on the way and enjoyed the concert from that corner and Kat couldn’t help herself but to make several rather silly photos of us.
Luckily from where we stood we weren’t bothered by crowd surfers and other annoying people.
Stupidly when LI played their song „Ohne Dich“ I made the mistake to think and a couple of tears made their way down my cheek, as the songs theme by now is rather difficult for me to listen to. Afterwards I mentioned this to Mücke with whom I had discussed that problem on the way back from the LI concert we had attended together before the festival and he scolded me for thinking.

Catching a Bear and finding the way

As the festival started off with rain and coldness Schnitzel and Anice (and myself a bit) soon started to feel more and more sick. „Luckily“ had I brought self-made „Bärenfang“ (a honey liquor) that would help with coughing and illness so in the evening we warmed up a bit of it and drank it.

The location and the road map from the backside of the schedule.

The location and the road map from the backside of the schedule.

One of those times Kat and I then went off with a couple of others to see Crematory in the Clara Zetkin Park stage. To get there we had to use both public transport and our own orientation, which wasn’t really the best if I might say so, as the people we went with mostly only remembered how they did not find it some years before. Belatedly for Xandria we found our way through the net of trains and ways to the stage as the road map for the trains that was included with the schedule in the booklet wasn’t really helpful. The stage area was quite nice as it had large steps leading to stage and you could look above other people to see. The concert was again nice and quite different to the one in Berlin, as it had started in broad daylight and ended with „Perils of the Wind“ when it was already dark.
On our way back we stopped in the city centre to meet up with Iron Eve in a club, but getting there was again quite interesting. We took a taxi to get there and gave him the address, when he then set us off we couldn’t actually believe we had arrived. We went on a bit and asked around for directions, but they all sent us in different directions. As a result we went in a circle (passing by Auerbachs Cellar that is mentioned in Goethe’s Faust) to realize the taxi did set us off close to where we wanted to go.
The club was in an alley and consisted of two floors and several bars and dance floors. We got ourself a nice corner, a couple of drinks (e.g. vodka, lemon juice shots called „Gisela“ >_<) and waited for Eve. When they arrived we shared stories, as her journey to Leipzig was quite hectic and awful. A couple of circumstance let for us to call it a day rather soon after that and we took off in another taxi.

Sickness, Disappointment and late Recognition

One of the few concerts I was looking forward to, as I actually knew the band, were The 69 Eyes, but when I went into the Agra Hall with Kat and the first few songs played I got more and more disappointed. I barely recognized any of the songs or even understood the lyrics and it just felt like an odd concert. Kat soon returned to the camp, but I wanted to see the concert through, even though I didn’t really like it. During one of the last songs I returned as well, as I just couldn’t bear it any more.
As I mentioned in my review for „Kinder des Judas“ did I also attend the „Das Ich“ concert, but only a part of it, as it wasn’t really my thing I think, even though the clown-look of the singer was quite fun.
Until Monday Kat and I contemplated whether we should see „The Other“ and other Horror-Punk bands or Korpiklaani and Ensiferum, but as we would see The Other during their HellNights concerts we decided for the latter and thus made our way to the Kohlrabizirkus. Again we arrived quite late and thus only saw the stage-change of Wolfchant, the band before them, whom Kat and I had seen at the Paganfest and wouldn’t have minded seeing again, if only for their giant baby singer.
The Finnish „booze“-metal band (Korpiklaani’s songs somewhat centre around drinks and drinking) afterwards had us entertained quite nicely, just as the guys we had with us that were dancing to their songs. Korpiklaani also got the nickname of Korpidingsta as Kat didn’t want to remember which letters followed the „Korpi“ – „dingsta“ is roughly translated to „thingy“.
The only downsides of the concert were the not so great acoustic in the hall – that from the outside looks like two boobs rising from the ground – and the fact that we would leave just after the concert without seeing Ensiferum. Unlike this years Pentecost was it rather cold last year and as Schnitzel’s condition turned worse towards the end (he couldn’t even speak any more) of the festival we decided to leave during Monday night already.
So my first WGT ended with a night ride back home and this years festival was without Schnitzel, Anice, Kat and me.
I for one decided against it as it was too close between the Out&Loud (DarkFairy’s Review) I was at last weekend and the Metalfest (Review from 2012) I’ll be attending together with DarkFairy, her boyfriend and her sister the weekend after this. To not just attend the festival I also planned on travelling a bit through Germany again during the next few days, until I reach my final destination in Koblenz.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post anything during that time, but I think there might be some things that will get a separate post from the travel report.
See you around

In Concert 2014: Schandmaul – Berlin

Contrary to how I usually handle the reviews for concerts and festivals I’m giving this to you shortly after it has happened instead of after a huge delay (and yes, I do still owe you stuff from last year…).

Live The Last Dance…

Anyway, this years concerts started off with one of the bands that turned me into a Metalhead in the first place: Schandmaul. When Icewolf had sent me „Der Letzte Tanz“ (The Last Dance) and „Herren der Winde“ (Lords of the Winds) back in 2004, I believe, I started on a journey that has yet to end.
Their fascinating, funny and wonderful songs have stuck with me throughout the years; particularly „Leb“ (Live) that even made me reconsider the way I was going about my life and others that I just enjoy listening to. Many of their songs tell stories of finding/losing love, taking revenge or simply enjoying life, but also about legends (e.g. songs about Siegfried) and myths. All this is carried by different flutes or bagpipes, a violin or whatever other (medieval) instrument they choose to play the rhythm.
Even though this band is one of the first metal bands I ever listened to, it was only the second time I was able to see them on stage. The first time was only a short concert at the Wacken Open Air while standing in the rain and mud of the festival grounds (Read more: Wacken 2012).

A filled Chamber

Fortunately the concert was indoors in the Columbiahalle (or C-Halle – Columbiahall in English) in Berlin, so the only rain we – Mücke and I, as we gave him the ticket for his birthday – had to suffer through was on our way there. As we arrived in Berlin the rain had ceased and we had ample time for me to change into proper boots after driving and for us to file into the crowd waiting for the hall to open while having conversations about superheroes and joking with other people.

I really like this sign, unfortunately we don't have many of those in Germany

I really like this kind of sign, unfortunately we don’t have many of those in Germany

Finally inside we had a look at the merchandise stand before checking in our outdoor clothes (jacket and coat), as it was way to warm to keep them. After getting refreshments we stood at the side to see if we could see and hear well from there.
The hall, however, is shaped quite oddly:
There is a rectangular area in front of the stage with the speakers turning to the crowd.
There is also a rank like balcony, you’re not allowed to enter, surrounding that area. This not just reduces the room for the volume (as the speaker barely reach below the balcony), but also gives you pillars standing in your way while watching.
When the support act Die Kammer (The Chamber, not to be confused with Chamber) started their show we soon noticed that the acoustic where we stood wasn’t the best and we made our way into the area unaffected by the balcony. Though while the sound was better there, we now were amongst several strange people and had little to no space to move at all.
Die Kammer had just started playing when Mücke noticed the familiarity of their songs and one of their musicians. As an ASP fan a recognized their former member and decided to see them after the concert at their merchandise stand.
The music itself wasn’t too bad, though it was more country/folk than medieval/folk. It was nice to listen to and to see their different instruments interact (they had a tuba!) with the two singers. When the band members were introduced Mücke had already suspected the drummer to be another (as we now know) former ASP-member and was proven right when they said the name. We also learned that their violinist is the composer of the theme music of Löwenzahn (Dandelion), one of the most well known educational children shows here in Germany.

A sick bard and borrowed staff

After an awfully long intermission Schandmaul then finally entered the stage with a song I wouldn’t have suspected to become their opener („In deinem Namen“ – On your behalf, about the crusades if I’m not mistaken).
Only afterwards did we learn that the break was due to the singer not being healthy enough to sing (he had completely lost his voice during the afternoon) and the medicine he was given not kicking in fast enough. It is impressive what he managed to do even with his sick-voice and also a bit reckless.
His voice is the one thing that earns his money and he forces himself onto the stage. Of course he does it for the fans who are eagerly waiting for the concert, who have driven several kilometres (about 150 in our case) and just want to see the band perform. Still, there are several reasons why you would forgive a singer/a band for cancelling a show and being sick is one of them.
Aside from his illness a strange thing occurred during and after the first song. Usually the band has two women at their side, a flutist and a violinist. This evening, however, the violinist was a man, whom I soon recognized as one of the members of Fiddler’s Green, which I had seen live at Wacken 2010.
When the intro song was over Thomas (the singer) addressed the audience and pointed in the direction of the borrowed musician:

As some of you may have noticed: This is not Anna*.
*(their actual violinist)

This earned laughter from the crowd and he then proceeded to explain that she had given birth to a child earlier this year and was still at home with it (Just as I remotely remembered and told Mücke when I noticed the green fiddler) and he was filling in for her.

The Escape

The concert then proceeded with many great songs, some of which were picked out of an old chest. According to Thomas they had put a lot of old stuff into it when one of their mother’s had visited their studio and ordered them to clean up.
While he rummaged through the chest he – amongst other things – took out a folding chair that he tried to open with one hand. After a bit of struggle he actually managed to do it and sat down to properly read the paper he had just fished out of the chest. It was quite strange and pretty cool to hear „Der Kurier“ (The courier) being read instead of sung – and interesting to see that I kind of seemed to realize what song it was only from the lyrics while the people around us wondered what he was doing.
We could enjoy a good mixture of their older and newer songs, including „Leb“ and „Das Tuch“ (The Scarf – see this travelogue for more information on this one) until it got to crammed to even remotely clap your hands, let alone move at all. Signalling Mücke we then made our way towards the end of the hall (underneath the balcony) while one of my favourites from the newest album played („Kaspar„, about the tale of the Brandner Kaspar, a guy that strikes a deal with the drunken Death to continue living some more years).
Back there the acoustic wasn’t as bad as it had been at the side and it was definitely more pleasant to be out of the heat and bodies pressing against yours from every side imaginable…
Even the atmosphere was better as I had thought, as here the people actually were able to dance along with the music and enjoy it more profoundly.
Anyway, as we had stood through nearly the whole concert only a few songs remained, so we decided to already get the stuff we checked in earlier.
We nevertheless still managed to hear my other new favourite „Der Teufel“ (The Devil), where one of the assistants took up the parts originally sung by the singers of Russkaja and Fiddler’s Green, and „Walpurgisnacht“ (Walpurgis Night). Though I had hoped that they would play another faster song in the encore, but they kept it rather quiet with „Euch zum Geleit“ (For your company – a funeral song) and another song I can’t remember.
When they had said their good bye and said to return for autographs in a moment Mücke and I went outside to take a breather, have a smoke – in his case – and just sit down in the cool April air for a moment.

Autographs on the ticket, yay :)

Autographs on the ticket, yay 🙂

As you can see I managed to get four of six autographs from the musicians (Thomas and Anna being the exceptions, due to their absence). Mücke instead got the autographs from the former ASP members.
I also worked up my courage to ask one of them – drummer Stefan – if it would be all right with them if I tried writing down the stories they tell with their songs.
As I mentioned in the beginning do their songs tell different tales, which fascinates me and I would really like to try writing down the parts they left out and as I now have a „go ahead, try it“ from one of the band members, I feel a bit more encouraged to do so. 🙂
Regardless of the far too little space within the hall and the nearly unnoticeable sickness of the singer it was a really nice concert that I wouldn’t mind repeating one day – with less weird people surrounding me though.
And who knows, maybe I actually will try writing down some of the song-tales. 🙂
P.S. For some official photos and statements you can read/watch the tour diary here: Schandmaul-Tourtagebuch (German)

In Concert 2013: Avantasia – Berlin

As I said in the review for Letzte Instanz: I split apart what I wanted to write about the concerts I attended this year.
So here is the continuation of my reviews.

Journey to the Tempodrom…

For the next concert I did not find any company. I had asked a couple of people – even including a woman I know through giving lifts – but no one had time or was interested in it. Besides, with ~40 Euro the concert was my most expensive one so far. But it kind of was a reasonable price as the concert wasn’t only in the Tempodrom in Berlin, but also three hours long, with a good dozen of different musicians from all kind of bands. Well, if you read the list from the post above properly you know which concert this was: The long awaited Avantasia concert. 🙂 (Which I also mentioned in my review for their Album The Mystery of Time)

As Berlin is a bit further away then Rostock and I did not want to drive through the night I had asked Liathano if I could take up the offer she had given me for the Paganfest and stay at her place again, which I then did. When I was about to depart for the concert she and her boyfriend gave me instructions as to which train-thing (I think it was a tram) I needed to use to get there. I’m always nervous when I take these things alone and checked my notes a few times…

On my way to the Tempodrom a guy with an Avantasia shirt entered the train-thing as well and sat himself right across from me. I couldn’t help myself but to grin at him as we most likely would have the same destination. Especially as he even resembled Tobias Sammet – the mastermind behind the project – a little…
But before we exited the train I entertained a little kid that his mum had placed beside the scary looking black-clad person. He was moving around his stuffed doggy(?) and I was making faces accordingly. He even waved at me when they left. 😀
When we arrived at my final station Shirt-guy finally asked: „I guess we have the same destination?“ and we started talking about the band, it’s musicians and the question of where the hell we would have to go…
Let’s just say we struggled a bit with the actual direction, but in the end we did find the Tempodrom – after some asking around – on the other side of the road… 😀
There he said he’d meet up with friends and as they had tickets for the ranks and mine was for the arena itself I parted from him and entered the building.

The Tempodrom is a huge building which kind of resembles a circus tent. You have the stage on the far side, which is the entrance of the artists. In front of it there is a round flat area, the arena. And then the whole things is surrounded by the tribunes, with quite a number of seats. As I said, I had a ticket for the arena, so I made my way to a position where I could see well.

Soon enough the musicians entered the stage, but the audience didn’t really do the same. My guess is, that the arena was only half full, while the ranks were nearly empty. Tobias even claimed that a Berlin audience is always hard to catch and hard on the musicians, but that they still would give their best to turn the Monday into a Friday (or Saturday, I don’t remember, but it was something like that).

Pleasing the foreign audience

As he had seen a couple of foreign flags in the crowd Tobias also decided to use English for his (far too long) monologues. Well, I certainly don’t mind people from abroad to visit or be on concerts in different countries, but I don’t really get why a German musician would have to not talk in his native language just because of that. I don’t know if this counts as considerate on Tobi’s part or as simple misjudgement as to the amount of people with no knowledge of the German language in comparison to those who did. I mean, I don’t expect a musician to change into a different language, just because I’m waving a flag, showing that I am not native to this country. I go to the concert for the music, not for the ramblings of the artist – though Tobias is well known for long ramblings/rants…

To digress a moment I’d like to give you two examples of bands, who wouldn’t change the way they speak:
At the Blind Guardian concerts at Wacken and at the Metalfest the singer didn’t speak English, though he knew of the multinational audience. This might as well be due to the fact that he has quite a horrible accent, but still.
On the other hand, when Sabaton play in Germany they talk English with a few German words here and there, but if a German were to attend a concert of them in Sweden, I doubt they would do that throughout the whole concert. For a few things probably, but not for the whole thing.
In conclusion: I have no idea why he decided to switch to English, regardless of the people expecting him to use his mother’s tongue.

Three great hours

Regardless of that and the fact that he really talks a lot, the concert was great. Not as great as I had expected due to the weird atmosphere of a half-full location, but still great.
They played a nice mix of old and new songs – even some that are around 10 minutes long – and showed me that all those ballad-like songs from the latest album are indeed quite rock-ish (Black Orchid has become one of my favourites of the record). The songs just have so much more energy when played live, with all these brilliant musicians. I mean they had Kai Hansen, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Amanda Somerville, Eric Martin, Ronnie Atkins and more.

It was great to see and especially hear all these amazing singers.
It was also great that some of the songs where usually Tobias sings the main part in the vocals were sung by other people and I have to say that those sounded even better.
The chemistry between the musicians was also quite amazing.
Even when Bob had just finished his first part their wonderful duet The Story Ain’t Over and it was time for Tobias to sing his part, but he instead just started laughing, Bob took over for him. Ronnie and Eric joked about Tobias‘ endless monologues and so on. You could just see that, even though there were not as much people as they had expected, they still enjoyed playing for the audience. And it is always fun to see Catley perform. He is always smiling and moves his hand according to the rhythm of the lyrics. 🙂

During their song Stargazers, a song that I don’t like that much, I got out to get some water – only to realize at my return that there also was a bar within the arena and I wouldn’t have had to go outside…
Though it gave me the chance to see that there were still a few people standing outside, for whatever reasons, but they wouldn’t have managed to fill up the arena either.

Anyway, some of my highlights, beside the ones I’ve already mentioned, were definitely: The Scarecrow, Twisted Mind, Dying for an AngelThe Seven Angels and Sign of the Cross. Unexpectedly also What’s Left of Me, due to the amazing performance of Eric Martin.
On a side note: I shortly wondered why the actor Benedict Cumberbatch was sitting on the stage, when Eric had first appeared…
In my defence: I just saw the the short black hair and was strangely reminded of him. And I didn’t know the faces of all of the musicians. I rarely do, because it’s about their voices not their looks…

Well, after the concert when I went back to the station – which I found through following random people and again asking for directions – I saw the guy from before again, typing away on his phone. Until he had to get off the train we continued our conversation, this time obviously about the concert itself. He was positively surprised that they had played so many of their longer (~10 min) songs, but I assured him that they also did that during their performances at Wacken, which was much shorter than the concert here.
When we parted again he said that we’d see us again when Avantasia would return to Berlin, but I doubt I would recognize him again…I can’t even remember what his name was….

Even with all the slightly negative stuff I mentioned, I really enjoyed the concert and I’d like to see them again one day. Maybe in four years, as Tobias had promised during the concert. 😀


In Concert 2013: Letzte Instanz – Rostock

As I will not attend another stand-alone concert this year I’d like to give you a little review about the ones that I’ve been at. Like last year I wanted to write about them in one post, but it was soon clear, that that would end up being a horribly long post, so I split them apart.
At the end of last year I had made a list of concerts that sounded good/interesting:

  • Avantasia [were] returning to the stage for up to three hours of performance. I always wanted to see them alone and not “just” at Wacken.
  • Letzte Instanz play[ed] a concert in a small club in Rostock – far too close to resist.
  • Stratovarius (and Amaranthe) play[ed] in Hamburg, they’ve been great in Wacken (and Hamburg) that seeing them alone would be great.
  • Die Ärzte also play[ed] in Rostock and one cannot resist ones roots, especially if the concert is that close…
    (Edited list from: Concerts 2012)

It soon was clear that I couldn’t attend every concert I would have liked to. Especially as it looked like I would be writing my Bachelor’s thesis in the beginning of the year. That however soon changed, when I decided to take a breather from all studying related stuff and postpone the thesis until fall (which is now fast approaching).
Nevertheless I started asking people what they thought about the concerts.

Three’s a crowd…

During one of the Dark Noirs (Gothic-Parties I might have mentioned before) Black Kat made me talk to another member of the group Mücke (short for Brüllmücke/Roaring Midge), who had just asked her what concerts there would be in 2013.
He said that he wouldn’t mind seeing Letzte Instanz and Die Ärzte live and that I should write him the dates and the prices for both concerts.
Shortly after I did that another member, Kathy, asked if she could join us for LI and Mücke decided to only go to them as well.
So only a week after the Paganfest my first actual concert took place.
At our local bus station I picked up Kathy and Mücke and we drove to the M.A.U. Club in Rostock. As it was still pretty cold I had decided to take the motorway for the route, instead of  the – though shorter – country road, which was still affected by snow and ice.
The way there was a bit weird as I didn’t really knew either of them that well.
I had seen Mücke several times on parties and stuff, but I actually met Kathy the DN after I had agreed on taking her with us. So finding something to talk about was a bit awkward at first.
When we arrived in Rostock we decided to look for a place to eat at before the concert. Walking around the city harbor – were the club is – we found several high priced restaurants and the bar on the backside of the building. But eating at the bar that evening was only permitted to the band itself and commoners like us had to continue their search. We wound up in gas station on the other side of the road and I still get goose bumps when I think about, how we crossed it…

The invisible drummer

After we had a quite unsatisfying meal we returned to the entrance, only to see that it was not open yet and that only a few people were waiting outside. But as I learned that day: The club hasn’t been filled entirely throughout the last few years.
When we got in Kathy and I stopped at the merchandise stand for the obligatory tour-shirt, while Mücke made his way to the bar.
With the new purchases in the car and a drink in their hands (not in mine, as I was after all the designated driver) we made ourselves comfortable on one of the many couches at the side of the large room, just behind the sound technicians‘ weird and unsafe looking construction of a platform.
The concert started with the support band Lost Area which weren’t that good to be honest; not entirely bad, but I’ve heard better bands. Besides, their set list wasn’t that thought-out either as they constantly switched the style of the (cover) songs.
The funniest thing about their performance however, was that we couldn’t see the drummer. All the time we heard him, but we couldn’t see anyone. We even went as far and said that there was none and the sound played from a tape. Even when Mücke, who is quite tall, stood up and had a look, he didn’t find him. When I then stood up and looked, because I just couldn’t believe it, I saw movement on the far side of the stage. Quite up front there were arms being lifted up and down rhythmically. I declared that I had indeed found the drummer and revealed him to the others. 😀

Of barefooted cellists and jumpy violinists…

When it was time for LI to hit the stage we made our way nearly to the front row. It was weird standing that close and being seen by them as well. I haven’t heard many of their newer songs until then, so I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. But their manifold music made sure that I still had fun and the people around me played their part to that as well. LI also played enough of their old songs for me to enjoy. What is special about them is that they don’t only use typical instruments like guitars, bass and drums, but also a cello and a violin. Oh, and the majority of the musicians hopped around bare foot throughout the concert. 😀 (The cellist and the violinist even doing so on the wire mesh podium of the former.)
As his (full) nickname suggests, Mücke can be a quite loud fellow, so a few of his remarks even made it to the ears of the musicians. But as they are quite likable people, they did not scold him for it, but found it funny instead. They really knew how to entertain even as little as roughly a hundred of people.
Their most prominent members are by far the violinist and the cellist who joked around on stage all the time. And when they started to play a variation of their song Rapunzel (including Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes) the cellist stage dived into the audience and Mücke went further behind to grab him and carry him to the people a bit further away as well. The security guard was really anxious, while those two were making smalltalk in the crowd. 😀
Kathy had asked me, if we could stay a bit after the concert so that she would be able to get autographs for photos she had taken on previous occasions. And so we waited for the band to return from backstage.
When Kathy went to get the autographs she had asked me to watch out for her stuff and while she stood with them new photos were made by that days’ local photographer, one also of Mücke, Kathy and the cellist together. And being the shy person I am, I stood behind watching her stuff, as I had promised to do.
Soon after we made our way back and this time we definitely had much to talk.
Mücke and I talked about everything that we could think of, from old series and movies, over my book project with DarkFairy, about writing in general and so forth. The usual tiredness that settles in after a long day/concert didn’t stood a chance to surface. And Kathy slept through it all. 😀
To be continued…

In Concert 2013: Paganfest

This years concerts started a bit differently, as it was a mini-festival that provided them.
When I looked for possible concerts I noticed that one of the bands I like – Alestorm – would be headlining the Paganfest, which is a series of concerts with about 6-7 bands a day in different cities – that’s why I called it a mini-festival.
I had heard little about the Paganfest, only randomly seeing some shirts but nothing concrete, so I did not really know what it was like. I only knew Alestorm would be there and that the Paganfest would have a station in Hamburg and Berlin.
Soon I started asking around for company for this (and the other concerts I had found), as I had failed to see Alestorm at the Metalfest the year before.
From my initial question Liathano was the first to say yes, even offering me her couch again. But as Black Kat and my other colleague – from now on called „Schnitzel“ – had interest in it too I thankfully declined her offer and told her that I might be using it for the upcoming Avantasia concert – that I’ll be covering some time later.
But shortly before the festival a nasty cold befell her and she couldn’t make it…
Neither could my colleague and fellow student – Lil‘ kat from now on – , whom I had asked as well, as she had semester at that time.
In the end I went with Black Kat, Schnitzel and Anice to the one in Berlin .

Of early Fridays and frozen bottles…

For quite some time I was certain that the „festival“ was on a Friday, so I was confused when Kat and Schnitzel talked about taking a vacation day for it.
But when I realized my mistake I was too stubborn to take a day off as well and decided to just go to work the following day. This way it was also a trial for the concerts after this one as they were in the middle of the week as well.
Nevertheless we soon ruled me out as driver for the evening, as my car is simply too slow in comparison to Schnitzels….
As Kat wanted to have a beer for the way Schnitzel joked about still having a bottle from the WGT (Wave Gotik Treffen, you’ll read more about this later) the year before.
Only to realize that said bottle did NOT survive the cold (aka freezing) winter….
Its content was completely emptied into the door pocket, as the bottom of the bottle was split off (more or less clear cut) and the whole thing smelled accordingly…
It is kind of a surprise that Schnitzel hadn’t smelled it previously, but as it was March the last frost hadn’t been that long away and it still is unclear when exactly the bottle broke.
Anyway, before we could start we needed to clean up the mess. Fortunately the pocket was leak-proofed, so it really was only a stinking pocket and its swimming content. Lots of stuff was thrown away that day…
When we were finally done Kat „sacrificed“ herself and sat at that side of the car. I’m not sure if my sensitive nose would have survived the trip otherwise. Even though we had put disinfection wipes into the pocket it now smelled of both: The rotten beer and the disinfection stuff….
Still, what was most fascinating about the whole trip was for me to have a back seat again.
When you start driving and you have your own car it is rare that you are the one being driven. And it was a nice change. I could actually see a bit of the scenery between Neubrandenburg and Berlin and converse and drink with Kat. 🙂
When we reached Berlin it was close to the festival already starting, but before we could even think about that we had to find a parking lot. Which is no fun, if the car does not have a green pollution badge and the concert is in a green pollution badge area…
When we had finally found one we had to wait a short moment for Schnitzel to change into more appropriate shoes (Normal shoes at certain concerns just aren’t save enough for your feet 😉 ), before we then took off – the clock already saying that the first band had started.

Bands, bands, bands…

The concert was in the K17, where I last was with Lil‘ kat for the Crematory concert the year before. Having enough bands to count as a mini-festival I couldn’t quite imagine how they would pull off the schedule, as I had heard that there were several floors in the building and knew that bands usually played at the same time on a festival. But they instead just did the simplest thing: They let one band play after the other on the same stage. That at least explained the early start at about 17:30 h. So as soon as we had noticed this we mentally prepared ourselves for six bands in a row by buying Mexikaner shots. This is, by the way, a „cocktail“ made of tomato juice and vodka. As I drank it for the first time I asked if there were some noodles with it as well, as it tasted like the the sauce of noodles, just way spicier… The others than suggested to created a noodle-shot in the same manner, but I’m not sure if that would even taste at all…
The first band that evening were Thyrfing from Sweden and I’m not sure how much of it we actually saw, but I think it wasn’t that much as I can hardly remember them…
Next on stage were Wolfchant from Bavaria. I remember them a bit more as they had two „singers“ and one of them looked – according to Kat – like a giant baby. 😀
Well the bald head and the chubby body did not really help his case.
They weren’t bad, but with the baby in mind you couldn’t really take them serious, at least I couldn’t.
Number three was then Canadian band Ex Deo (which is a side project from the guys of Kataklysm as I have just learned). With their suits or parts of Roman armour they looked quite impressive on stage and the music they made wasn’t too bad either.
The last one before the ones we were looking forward to see were Bornholm from Hungaria.
At this point I was quite annoyed that every band they had picked had a habit of growling their lyrics. I think I already mentioned this in one of my Wacken Reviews, but I am not a fan of this way of „singing“. But as I learned later: Only a few bands that fall into the category Pagan Metal do NOT use growls as this genre derives from Black Metal, though also from Folk Metal, but they only use the instruments from there.
We didn’t completely listen to all of these four concerts, as none of us is that much of a growls fan, so we did spent some time outside were you could sit – and have Mexikaner. 😉

Wait, that’s a woman?

With Arkona from Russia there was finally a change in that pattern, as they are pretty good at combining both growls and clear vocals. And all that is done by one and the same woman(!).
Schnitzel and Kat had told me that they had seen them at the WGT the year before and the show there was brilliant. They had played indoors as well and the audience moved around that much that they caused the heat in the room to went up several degrees, even causing the sweat to drop down from the ceiling again. Every bit of alcohol the bars had to offer was gone, the people were exhausted – but content – and the main band hadn’t even played yet and all this, while the singer still wore a thick, hairy pelt around her shoulders. I do not want to know how much she could wring out herself after that gig….
Berlin didn’t get as hot as that, but they still managed to grab the audience quite well.
And it is really fascinating so actually SEE this woman change from growls to clear vocals in the blink of an eye. I can really understand why people would mistake her as a man while just listening to the records, but if you carefully listen, you will notice that it is the same voice.
By the time Arkona had started we all were quite exhausted from standing around all evening so we sneakily had grabbed a stool from the bar room next door and had carried it into the stage room. With this we took turns in sitting. Alternatively the wall behind us – as we stood at the end of the room – provided us with a free foot massage, as the vibrations of the music resounded in it. It was quit a nice way to lose the tension in your feet after standing for so long.


After them came the/my main reason to be there: Alestorm.
And they were just as much fun as I had imagined they’d be.
I can’t really describe what it was like to finally see and hear all these ridiculous songs live, but I know for certain that the other three looked quite questionably at me when I sang and moved along with most of them. We hadn’t been on a concert of one of „my“ bands before, so they didn’t knew what I was like during one.
Alestorm is not just funny because of their (pirate-themed) songs, but frankly also because of their singer. Christopher Bowes the skinny, short Rumpelstiltskin – again named by Kat – that has a voice as deep as any bulky guy could have; at least I imagined him to be taller and sturdier before I saw one of their videos for the first time.
Speaking of videos: Alestorm used a remix of their song Shipwrecked by Drop Goblin – that is just as much fun as the original – as Intro and Outro, which was pretty fun too and quite catchy…
It was totally worth waiting through all that growling Pagan stuff to get to this concert alone. It was just so much fun. Even when Bowes let the crowd carry him to the bar at the end of their set. 🙂
On a completely different note: I considered the Rumpelstiltskin remark even more fun as Kat had intended as I still had the image of Robert Carlyle’s portray of the character in Once Upon A Time in mind and you can’t really compare those two, even though they’re both Scottish…
To sum this up, I think, I can speak for all of us, if I say that we had a good time that evening.
Regardless of that we also concluded that it wouldn’t have been bad if we had arrived for Arkona and Alestorm only, as the other bands weren’t really ours.
But it was a nice starter for a brilliant concert and festival year.
And it even caused me to do something on our way back, that I usually do not do: Sleep in the car while driving – or being driven in this case. 😉

Weekend of Horrors 2011

To get me back into the writing mood for the several festival and concert reviews I still owe you, I thought I’ll write a bit about an event that transpired some years ago, to get back into the flow after my long break due to said festivals and traveling. Don’t worry you’ll get the reports and reviews later.

Of hidden Hotels and changed plans

This event was a convention, my very first ever at that and it wasn’t about Anime and Manga – which would have been the more likely thing to happen. No, it was a Horror-convention called the “Weekend of Horrors” (WoH) in Bottrop Germany.
The WoH claims to be the biggest convention for its genre in Europe and provides its visitors with tons of Horror-movie actors, merchandise and other stuff a Horror-movie fan would like to have.
Back in 2011 someone from the Marketing of the convention wrote a post in The Forum (the one I’ve mentioned so many times >_<) and it sounded interesting, especially as The Other – a pretty cool Horror-Punk band – where scheduled to play there. When I mentioned it to the colleague of mine – whom I’ll be calling “Black Kat” from now on – she found it interesting as well and we started to look into getting there.
It was in the middle of my semester back then so Kat had to come to Hamburg for me to be able to pick her up and on her way there she send me a pretty hilarious SMS about her status:

“No failure in the course of operation, no suicidal sheep on the tracks and no megalomaniac persons that are hopping in front of the train.”
(And yes, I still have it as I’m far too lazy to delete the old stuff, if I don’t need to.)

Anyway, after I’ve picked her up at the train station we made our way to Bottrop, which took us quite a while, as the motorway down there always has quite a bunch of construction sites and stuff.
So when we arrived we looked for a parking lot and our Hotel. We soon found both, though the lot seemed to be for short parking only and the hotel was quite hidden in the boulevard.

Our Hotel entrance hidden between different stores

Our Hotel entrance hidden between different clothing stores

Anyway, all the days before, we eagerly waited for the program to be released, but only after we arrived did we get a chance to look at it.
And to find out that the convention was already over for the day, as we had arrived more or less late (5-6pm and yes, already closed…).
What we also had noticed was that there would be a town’s fair right beside our Hotel…with horrible Schlager music (I won’t go into more detail here, just look it up if you want to know more, sorry)…so staying was not an option.
So we had to make some different plans for the evening.
We ran a search for Gothic or Metal bars, clubs etc. on the Internet and what we found was the Cage Club/Drachenlager (Dragon’s Lair) in Bottrop
On our arrival we had asked the receptionist for bus directions to the convention side, as we stayed a few towns/villages away from Bottrop and after figuring out which bus we would need to take and when, we made our way for it.
After searching for it and asking Kats „personal road atlas“ (aka her boyfriend) we even managed to find it.
As this trip was filled with mishearings we ended up creating the term “Keksboxen” (Cookieboxing) for the kind of dancing we saw on the dance floor that night. (The others were about freezers and tan somehow…)
It describes the way some people dance to quite electric Gothic music – which would be EBM and stuff if I’m not mistaken – it looks as if they are kickboxing against an invisible foe. And yes kick was misheard as “Keks” (cookie)…but we preferred the other term and still use it. 😀
Anyway, we stayed quite a while that evening, had a good time drinking and talking and when we returned to the Hotel the fair was already closed, so no disturbing music while trying to sleep.

Convention time!

As I said before I wasn’t sure whether my car was ok to be parked where it stood, so after waking up I stumbled down and checked again to find out, the place was free for parking at the weekend…
When I walked back I saw a coffee shop and asked Kat whether she’d like something from it. So I went back, again, waited for the thing to open and got us something to drink before the breakfast buffet of the hotel was opened. And let me tell you: I’m horrible at carrying full tea cups on saucers up the stairs…

The stamps we got for the days we've been at the comnvention

The stamps we got for the days we’ve been at the convention

Well, after we got ready for the day we went off to Bottrop again.
When we arrived at the convention we had a wonderful discussion with the employees as we only had a print out of a mail that said that we bought the tickets, as they  weren’t able to properly deliver them in time – just as they weren’t able to release a program in time… Let’s just say: At the end we even got the card for Friday and the stamp for the day. 😉

The convention itself was in an hall-thing and housed several meters full of DVD stands, well, basically each hall was stuffed with DVD booths, one ending into the other. Other than that were there booths for costume articles, one or two for jewellery, games, merchandise, an exhibition of Alien-masks and of course the autograph alley. I don’t know what it is like on big conventions but paying 5 Euro for one mere autograph and even more for a photo session felt pretty much like a rip off…
Across from their alley was the stand of The Incredible Blood Brothers and when we told the younger – looking – one of them that we had missed their show the day before he gave us a little show of what they did. He simply put a spoon and a nail into his nose and one of us hat to pull it out…
Afterwards he even gave us an autograph, for free. 😉
When we later returned and his brother was there we also got his. 😀
(By the way: As I mentioned in my Wacken 2012 Review, I even saw the brothers again walking around in the mud. 😉 )

The Spidey Bathrooms

The Spidey Bathrooms

I think we also chatted with the guys from the gaming booth and I might even have tried one of the games, but I can’t remember…too many zombie stuff anyway…
Ahh zombies! They had a zombie-walk! With the high amount of three zombies, but one of them was quite funny as he walked into a pole and did other ridiculous things and a zombie couple that looked more ridiculous than frightening…
Also more cuddly than frightening were the two Werewolfs that ran around the convention and with whom we even made photos.
And of course the decorations: Spider webs in the bathrooms, for example, to get the people into the right mood. Very Scary >_<

That evening was also the one were The Other would play, so we eagerly waited for that. The concert was pretty great, but having an indoor concert at about 16 o’clock with about 150 people was a really weird experience as well. It was my second concert of them, but with a friend a concert becomes way more funny. And if the band is giving out jelly eyes…well it gets messy, but fun nonetheless 😀
Before the concert we talked to a guy that just stood there and found out that he was the friend of the zombie-guy 😀 It also took them about the same amount of time to get there from – I think it was – Sweden as we did from Hamburg…it’s always sad to hear things like that…
There also was this other guy, weirdly dancing in the front the stage, wearing ear plugs – not quite Keksboxing, but close to it. We weren’t quite sure if he knew where he was though…
But the weirdest thing about this concert was when we left the darkened hall and walked into the brightness of the afternoon sun…
Bright daylight after a Horror Punk concert, just as weird as their Midday concert at Wacken 2010
Oh, and the convention ended that day after the concert. Really obvious decision to end a day of a Horror convention around 17 o’clock. Remember the bright sunlight I mentioned? Absolutely understandable…[/sarcasm]

The result of eating Jelly Eyes....

The result of eating Jelly Eyes….or rather being fed them…

On our way out of the hall we continued to talk to the zombie-guys friend, before they departed and we were stuck with an even weirder fellow. He was somehow keen on making his own Horror movies, meeting his stars and he talked a lot about smoking, and I don’t mean regular cigarettes…To get rid of him we decided to return to the hotel before returning to the club again later.
The only good thing about the fair was that we could get some food on our way „home“.
The second evening in the club wasn’t as fun as the night before. Even the other people we chatted with didn’t make it better, but it might have been the music that wasn’t as good as the day before.

Lady bugs and trains can make for scary stories…

Sunday was the last day of the convention and we only had one point left on our list: A reading session with Boris Koch and Michael Tillmann.
The day before I had talked to them at their book booth where they sold copies of a Anthology (Gothic – Dark Stories) that I had read some years ago – though I had to wait for the next day to actually get it alongside two others (Gothic – Darker Stories, Ein Gänsekiel aus Schwermetall [A Goose Quill made of Heavy Metal], all of them Anthologies). While talking I also mentioned The Forum and asked  them whether they would like to participate in a reading circle for one of their books. They seemed interested and I handed them a book mark with the URL.
Their reading session was then in the cafeteria of the building, only separated from it through a more or less thick, black curtain. So you heard the rustling and dulled noises from outside.
It still was fun as we were the only two attending their session and they read some quite interesting stories. I will never look at lady bugs the same way…will you after reading the summary below?
Boris read a story about a man that obsessively collected lady bugs to gain their „luck“:

To collect the luck the man ripped off the lady bugs‘ legs and wings and put their black bodies into bottles, jars and everything he could get a hold of. And it worked. He got riches, he got beautiful women and everything else he desired. When he died old and satisfied after a long and prosper life his coffin was led into the ground and crushed the last lady bug. Not long afterwards, the world ended.

And this is only the short version of it…
Let’s just say: It was weird to be the only ones there, but it was still fun. 🙂
(Besides we later did have a reading circle for Boris‘ „Der Königsschlüssel“ (The King’s Key). 🙂 )

With that ended an interesting convention and we returned to the hotel to watch one of the movies I’ve acquired. Which was obviously a Horror movie and an adaptation of one of the most disturbing books I own – and read: Clive Barker’s „The Books of Blood“ and its story: The Midnight Meat Train. A story that makes you reconsider taking the New York subway at night…
Well, watching this resulted in two funny things.
The first one being that when Ted Raimi appeared on screen I said: „Ha, we’ve seen that guy today!“ 😀
The other transpired after the movie:

It was warm in the room and we opened up some of the windows, but after getting ready for bed we soon closed them again as there were roof overhangs before them.
When every light was turned off, I saw a shimmer below the door and asked Kat whether she locked the door. She confidently replied with yes. Not three seconds had passed and she got up again to check the door. 😀

We weren’t afraid. No. We just did not want make the same mistakes all those people in the movies make. 😉

Final words

The next morning we had to get up far too early as I had to attend some lessons. Several traffic jams in Hamburg cause me to miss half of the first one…

Have a look at a building nearby the convention side for the closure....

Have a look at a building near the convention side for the closure….

But regardless of all the negative stuff I’ve mentioned throughout the text we still had a great weekend, that we wouldn’t mind repeating one day.
It was weird to have the Convention end so early and the only scary things being „shock“ moments during the movie and our own imagination, but it was still fun.

And mind you: All the above was in 2011. They had plenty of time and chances to work on all the things I’ve mentioned. I can’t say how it is “today”, all I know is how it was back then. By now they also changed locations (they are now in Oberhausen), so maybe they manage to stay open longer than before. Who knows…

And as The Other and some more bands were announced to play this year it has become interesting again and Kat and I shortly discussed attending again.
We’ll see if we actually do it or pass again.
Probably the later as they will also play at the Hell Nights that we at least have in mind to attend in November.

Stay scared 😉


At the Festival: Wacken 2012

As this year’s Wacken is approaching fast – only about a month left – I’d like to look back at last years festival.
This is the third part of my festival reports about Wacken. You can find the one for 2008/2010 here: Wacken and for 2011 here: Wacken ’11. You might want to read them before you continue.

Ticket trouble and stuff…

Last year’s Wacken was again different from its predecessors. When I finally decided on going there I had no ticket at all, but as the Wacken forum has a sell-area as well, getting one wasn’t too hard. I just had to check in with the forum frequently.
I’m not sure if I decided to get the ticket before or after I knew the “pal” from the Hina Matsuri – who is not Iron Eve (check out the „Cast“ page for more information) – would want to go there too.
I remember us talking about it on our way to or back from the Japanese feast.

A fan of tickets.

A fan of tickets.

Anyway, I got a ticket for her and myself.
While DarkFairy and I were at the Metalfest we also started talking about Wacken and she decided to come as well. So the hunt for a ticket started anew, but in the end I went from no ticket at all to having five tickets. Two of which went to friends of my colleague and fellow student.
Though as I hadn’t heard anything from the pal until shortly before the festival I still had her ticket when she said she couldn’t come and I had to get rid of hers. Let me tell you: It’s no fun doing that two weeks before the festival.
Everyone I replied to did not reply back, so in the end I was stuck with the ticket and 150 Euro unpaid by her until now.
Regardless of all that nonsense above, Fairy and I planned our trip there and as I was staying at a room in Uetersen at that time Fairy decided to try out the new train that goes directly from Cologne to Hamburg and stayed a few days longer than just the festival.
Unfortunately the week she stayed was also my first week in the new accommodations and upon our introduction I forgot to mention Fairy to my landlady. (Funnily we got an addition to our contract about giving away the WLAN key and people staying longer than two weeks afterwards. I’m kind of sorry the other two who lived there with me had to sign theirs as well, but it is kind of understandable for a landlord to do something like that.)
Needless to stay Fairy could still stay when I explained it to the landlady, but before she arrived there I picked her up at the train station in Hamburg Altona. It wasn’t fun getting there the first time as I somehow managed to find a rout – or rather my satnav did – that involved a lot of traffic lights and construction sides.
A half an hour ride by car took me about an hour, so I got hopelessly late when her train arrived.
Shortly after we finally found each other I started talking funny, like misusing/-pronouncing words and so on. We had the same effect during the Metalfest days and more or less each time we Skype and we will probably also have it when I get to her place before Wacken this year…
If you ever meet both of us together somewhere: Don’t expect us to be able to talk properly (be it in German or English…)
Well, the week of Wacken was also my first week of semester, again,  so I had to leave Fairy alone for some hours each day to go there and see what they wanted from me/us. It was also the first semester I was officially in a different group than before, therefore not being there in my very first week was unfortunately not really an option…
I am still sorry that Fairy had to put up with all this, but I am still grateful that she did.
During her stay we did some exploring around town and Hamburg, but I won’t be covering that in this post. Maybe in a post of its own, but I’m not sure yet.
As I had to go to my lessons each day and nothing special was in the Running Order we stayed in Uetersen until Wednesday and used the time to work some more on „Warlords“ our book project (Find more about it on this Blog:

A long and sunny day…

One of the Metall-creatures.

One of the Metal-creatures.

Thursday became our first day at the Open Air. We’ve been there pretty much the complete day – at least it felt like that, but we think we went there about noon.
As we weren’t staying in the Camping Area we had to use the Parking Area for a Day and we kind of drove in a circle around the village before we found it.
I think the first day it was already full, so we had to park in one of the streets nearby. We scribbled down a little note for the window, that said we were sorry that we had to use the parking spot.
It was a warm and dry day and it probably was the only day I could have worn my beautiful coat, but it was too warm for it. We used Thursday to explore the grounds to see the new attractions like the “Thrash of the Titans”-field and the „Bullhead City“ circus tent (which we never actually entered, as we found it weird to show the bracelets at the entrance). But also to have a look at the old stuff, as this was Fairy’s first Wacken. I think we even managed to get our festival-shirts that day.
Even though we did not really understand what the meaning of the Titans- field was, they did have some neat stuff there like the many robotic creatures in the form of a dragon, a horse and a spider. Seeing them move makes you want to know how they are controlled and programmed, at least if you’re a bit into IT-stuff as I am, for everyone else its a fancy show with robots and fire. For me too, but I still want to know how they did it…
Music-wise did we only fully listen to U.D.O., whom I wanted to see at one of the previous years, but didn’t because of the late schedule-spot. We just sat down in front of the Main Stage and enjoyed the concert. While we did so a random guy came up to us, to ask if we had a program and then continued to sit and talk with us for a moment.
I know U.D.O.s singer from his collaboration with Hammerfall on their cover of “Head over Heels”. I actually only discovered that it was this singer by coincidence as I heard an U.D.O. song in the Christmas calendar from the Metaltix-Homepage. The voice sounded familiar and I had to think of/remembered the song and then looked it up. So when that song was played I simply had to stop the conversation and actually listen for once.
Throughout it Fairy commented that the singer’s voice and appearance reminded her of a gremlin, I’m not sure he would like that comparison…
During this concert we by the way took the very first actual picture of both of us and we had met twice before this.
Afterwards we might have seen a bit of Saxon but we decided to get going anyway as we were somehow pretty tired and exhausted from all the wandering around.

The beginning of the end…

The crowd while entering the Stage Area for Hammerfall

The crowd while entering the Stage Area for Hammerfall

Friday was one of the days were we would have liked to get to the festival earlier, but couldn’t as I had to attend some lessons that went way longer than the concert we wanted to see, which was Oomph! around noon. We only managed to get there in time for Hammerfall and they had already started when we were at the entrance of the Stage Area.
It still was a great concert and the beginning of a muddy weekend…
During the night and the morning hours it had rained that much that the fields were so drenched that you couldn’t stand in one spot without moving your feet, without getting stuck,  every few seconds/minutes we had to lift a foot to free it again.
Fairy wanted to see Dimmu Borgir and Orchestra next, but somehow we seemed to only have seen a bit of it (as it was on my partly-list). We both can’t really remember why we went away. Might have been the sound, might have been hunger, might have been something entirely different…
What we did see, however, were In Flames with their school uniforms and Rock music and they were quite nice. As it was already late when their show ended we contemplated whether we should stay for In Extremo or call it a day. We decided for the former and we did not regret it. The show was the same they had at the Metalfest, but still great. It was streamed on television as well, so my colleague wrote me that she was watching it too.
We watched it from the sides where the Axe Festivalshowers stood and right beside us was this weird drunkard that, though he left us alone, was pretty annoying – especially towards the guards that stood there too. I can’t really believe that people would actually want to shower this publicly in those things…

Some decisions should better be made awake…

Anyway, when In Ex were done we made our way back to my car in the Parking Space for a Day. We had to walk through quite a bit of the Village for that – and this festival was the first time for me to see a bit more of it as we did not only park outside, but also had lunch or dinner in one of the many food places – and at some point we both – though completely sober – kind of started walking in wiggly lines, far too tired to walk straight…
When we finally got to my place after the concert it was about 4 o’clock Saturday morning, I think, and we had to get rid of the mud on our trousers.
Little did we know, that that was only the beginning….
So completely tired we hit the hay, keeping in mind that we wanted to buy groceries the next day before we went to see Gamma Ray or so was the plan…
When I woke up about 10 o’clock I went to Fairy’s room carefully waking her and asked what we should do. We had missed Oomph! on Friday, which she had wanted to see, and we were both far too tired to properly work. So we dismissed seeing Gamma Ray after we had made a very slow breakfast and went shopping afterwards. This actually led to one of the funniest experiences that weekend – except all the hilarious moments we had while editing our book:
We had invited some fellow students of mine for barbecue on Sunday, like some kind of closure for Fairy, so we went to buy the stuff to get the barbecue working and meat, Fairy also got herself a bread-thingy and we returned to the house.
One after the other had dropped out of the invitation, so only the guy from the MPS was left and we decided that we might as well have the barbecue at his place, with him and his flat-mate.
At that point we had the firm conviction, that we had everything we needed: Stuff for the barbecue and meat.
So we drove off to Wacken.
Well…it again had rained, so the mud was even deeper now and you had to be really careful with every step you took, unless you actually wanted to end up doing the splits.
We wanted to at least be there for Amon Amarth, but we came about an hour before it, so we started to listen to Cradle of Filth while struggling through the mud to flee from their pig-squeals towards the Wackinger Village. Yes, flee, as it sounded like they were slaughtering piglets on stage. Unfortunately Ingrimm were not able to drown out the entire squeaking…
So after a while we went back to the Video Wall to see Amon Amarth and we even found a more or less hard place to sit through it near the football field, which was still one of the rare spots of green. I think Fairy at that point read through the Metal Bible she had acquired. Just as I had done when I had watched Judas Priest like that the year before…
I’m pretty sure we even saw one of The Incredible Blood Brothers stalking through the mud. I had seen them in person – not in their show – on a Horror Convention (The Weekend of Horrors, about which I might add a post one day [Edit: Look at the bottom for the Pingback] )).
It was really interesting how everyone had different kind of techniques to advance. He had his shoes covered with a blue plastic bag. Others wore rubber boots – others none at all and we had our trusty boots to carry us through it; dirt in every gap of the shoe sole and mud nearly up to the knee.
When it was time for Schandmaul we wade our way towards the Party Stage. We had contemplated for a while if we should see them or The Scorpions that would be playing parallel on one of the Main Stages. As it was far more likely the concert of The Scorpions would be recorded and displayed, the decision was clear.
So when we found solid floor again we sat there until shortly before the concert. While we did so we took one of my favourite mud pictures, that even made it into the title-picture for our shared Facebook-Page (DFPPEntertainment), as well as my own (Poisonpainter) and my private one. I don’t really know why I like this picture, but it is somehow fun and the light in it is nice…

The best picture of muddy boots I've seen so far...

The best picture of muddy boots I’ve seen so far…

When the concert was about to start we moved on to find another spot to stand during the concert.
Two funny things occurred throughout it.
The first: While they played a thundery front was making its way towards the stage from the side. We watched the lightning and heard the thunder and when we had decided to put on our rain capes and had just finished doing that it poured down. Again.
The second is the final realization after our shopping earlier and went something like this:

“Um, [Fairy], we don’t have anything for lunch tomorrow…”
“Yeah, I know, but we didn’t buy anything that goes with the meat either.”
“We shouldn’t go shopping when tired…”

So we stood there partly wet (as we tried to clap along and the rain poured into the capes…), exhausted from all the walking through the mud, with no prospect of lunch the next day.
But the show was great.
They even finished before The Scorpions, so that we could watch the finale of their show on our way out. It made us glad we had chosen Schandmaul, as the singer of the Scorpions seemed old and tired – it was their retirement show after all. So that was a good choice there.
As surprise act they had announced Edguy earlier that weekend, but as we had just seen them at the Loreley (Metalfest) as well, we decided to go and not wait until 2 o’clock for their performance, besides: It would be recorded.
On some occasion when we stayed in the Wackinger Village we shortly listened to Vogelfrey, but I can’t recall which of their many concerts it was.


Anyway, on her Blog Fairy had also made some realizations way back:

– Dixis (portable toilets) are unfriendly. Even if you greet them, they do not make a reply. XD
– “Knee deep in mud…” Sabaton must have found inspiration from Wacken.
– Wacken is like Rock am Ring. Just better.
Full Post here: Erkenntnisse by DarkFairy (German)

Let me tell you a little about them…
The Dixis
In the forum Fairy and I know each other from was a guy (Nebelkrähe, I spoke of him in my post about Concerts in 2012) that asked us to send his regards to the Dixis. Well, upon arriving at the Village on the first day and passing by the first loo Fairy greeted it, but it did not respond at all…
Luckily no one was in there to hear her greeting and say something – though that would have been funny.
The Mud
I think I’ve mentioned the mud to quite some extend already, but let me tell you it was muddy and it was awful getting all the mud out of our clothes.
We were really happy that we had decided to not camp there…
After one of the concerts we passed by a tent that was completely surrounded by mud. We have no idea how anyone was able to enter or leave that thing…
The “Knee deep in mud” comes from Sabaton’s The Price of a Mile and might be slightly exaggerated, but it was pretty close to that at times. Besides the mud splashes went up the whole trousers leg and sometimes even further…
Still, we had fun cleaning off everything, because it was ridiculous how much mud was on those clothes/shoes…
Have some pictures for it:

Oh, and we saw a guy standing in the middle of a puddle of mud, having lot’s of fun. No idea, if he ever managed to get out of there…
Rock am Ring vs. Wacken
Well, Fairy attended the Rock am Ring the last few years and it’s one of two major Rock-Festivals in Germany (The other being Rock im Park) and therefore she could pretty well compare these two festivals.
Her conclusion was: The booths and everything are pretty much the same, but the music and the people are way better – for a Metalhead at least. 😉
So in conclusion: We didn’t really saw that many concerts as we were way more comfortable with sitting in the dry and warm house and working on Warlords, but the once way did see were fun.
Besides: It was muddy.
Until the very last day, we had decided that we would not attend the next Wacken and focus on some minor festivals.
And then came the trailer…
Sabaton, Rage and some other good ones confirmed right from the start and more and more added to that throughout the end of last year.
When Rammstein – one of Fairy’s most favourite bands – were confirmed, we finally bought our tickets and now we are looking forward to all those amazing bands that will play this year. 🙂