Category Archives: At the Festival

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.

PoiSonPaiNter

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
PoiSonPaiNter
 

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.

Pirates!

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. 😉
PoiSonPaiNter

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: dfppentertainment.wordpress.com).

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…”
“Yup.”

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.

Realizations…

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. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

At the Festival: Metalfest 2012

One day, when I skimmed through a magazine I saw an advertisement for the Metalfest festivals – a series of festivals throughout Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, etc.). When I saw the billing I knew I would like to go there. 2012 the Metalfest was twice in Germany: One in Dessau (Metalfest East) and one in St. Goarshausen (Metalfest West) and according to the billing Blind Guardian – a brilliant band that I had last seen in Wacken 2011 – would only play in the western version of it.
Long story short: I asked around who would like to accompany me to the Metalfest West/Loreley – even though it would be farther away from home than East. Luckily it isn’t that far from DarkFairy’s place, so she volunteered and we managed to finally meet again after three years.
As you might remember Fairy and I are working on a book project called „Warlords“ and this meeting proved to be really productive in meanings of planning and editing. So when we had decided to go for it we also decided that I would stay a bit longer so we could work on it and also have a look around Koblenz. And we worked a lot on it. We even constantly carried around a little black notebook to write down whatever ideas we had. and that occurred mostly during any songs that somehow fit our characters/stories, so we even sat down in the Festival Area and scribbled those notes done. We even made sketches on a serviette, but we will cover that separately on our blog: dfppentertainment.wordpress.com.

High above the Rhine Valley…

The Rhine Valley close to the Lorelei


A Castle in the Rhine Valley close to the Lorelei


The first day of the festival was a strange one.
It kind of put us in a roller coaster of experiences. It all started with Fairy’s satnav that calculated an interesting route to the festival area: The amphitheatre at the Lorelei (Loreley in German). Our route lead us straight through the Rhine, well basically it let us to a ferry to cross it. While figuring out what to do, we saw some other Metalheads and asked them if we were really at the right place and they told us, that we just had to take the next ferry as there were no bridges anywhere close by.
As we waited we had a chance to look at the amazingness that is the Rhine Valley…simply breathtaking beauty of nature and former craftsmanship of the wine-people. When we drove back that night, we found the way we wanted to go the first time on the other side of the Rhine, were we would cross the bridge in Koblenz. Really nice scenery on either side of the Rhine…
Crossing the river we then had to drive up serpentine like roads to reach the top of the Valley were the festival would take place. It was funny seeing as Fairy was used to it  – thanks to growing up in the Eifel – while others failed horribly and caused us to go as slow as them. When we finally reached the top, the next question became apparent: Where do we park?

A tractor mowing the remaining parking area.


We first asked some guy, that looked like he worked there and he sent us a bit further down to park there. But when we got down, another guy or girl told us, that we should park back were we just came from, so it was back up again…seemingly no one knew what the other did and unfortunately this was something that continued through this three days as the organization wasn’t the best one…
When we had finally parked and gotten ready, we saw something funny again: A tractor was still mowing the field for more cars to park.
The next thing was: Finding the way to the Festival Area. As we had seen something while we were mislead we tried that direction first and after some trial even found the bracelet booth.
And the queue, the awfully long queue, we might as well could have moved along the field you see in the photo to reach the end..

Standing in line…

Luckily for us we found one of Fairy’s fellow students in the line and after some contemplation joined them and managed to end up in about the middle of the queue and somehow it was the part where there was a nest of teachers or former teachers or those who aim to become teachers…all in all a weird bunch of people. When we didn’t move or at least only barely for quite a while, Fairy became restless and what did she do? She asked all those long haired males around us whether one would like her to braid his hair…and she indeed found a volunteer. 😀 Occupying ourself with our newly found companions in misfortune, we slowly moved down to the booth again. We talked about all kind of stuff, like school – teachers remember? – bands/music and the fact, that Fairy and I had bottles of water with us instead of beer or any other alcohol. Well, we wouldn’t be staying there over night so at least one of us would have to stay sober and it was pretty warm and sunny…
They wanted us to be their drivers whenever we came to their place, we kind of agreed if we managed to meet up again. Not much surprise here, that we didn’t. 😉
Anyway, originally we had planned to see Alestorm that day and even though we got there about two hours before their show: We made it into the area when they had just finished their set…
I think I complained quite a while about the organization of the booth – and still do – that had caused us to miss them…

Our local new friend =)


Well, this way we had enough time to look around the pretty small area. I mean, I am used to festivals like Wacken, but this was kind of „cute“ compared to it, even somewhat familial…
Above the theatre you have a lawn with trees were you can simply sit down and enjoy the view. The theatre itself consists of stone benches that lead down to the stage. Each bench had enough space to stand between or on top of them – and for the majority of people they became steps instead of benches. Just a brilliant and amazing setting for such a festival and some of the bands that we would get to see.
Some time during the day we just sat on the lawn and listened to whatever was on stage that time and we got a little company from one of the local residents. 😉 It seemed that he did not want to leave us after we had discovered him, but than he was just gone. Hopefully no one trampled or otherwise killed him by accident or on purpose…

Front row!

Besides this new friend we also found another of Fairy’s fellow students –  a former one this time – who was also at the festival and thanks to him, we kind of ended up in the first few rows of the Blind Guardian concert that day. As I mentioned in the beginning they were the main reason why I wanted to come to the Western Metalfest and I am more than grateful that he simple threw Fairy over his shoulder and jumped down the steps – except the fact that I had to rescue her from being strangled by her backpack, but it kind of was worth it. While the atmosphere in Wacken was amazing due to the masses of people, here it was awesome because of the setting (and our position to the stage) and come on: Who wouldn’t get goosebumps in a setting like in the video, when everyone is singing along (for what felt like about 5 minutes…we were kind of annoyed in a good way when we could finally stop).

This was one of several great experiences those days. Meeting up with her companion again we also were in the front rows for the Powerwolf concert the next day. As I told you in my concert review for last year, I had seen them in April in Berlin and now wanted to introduce Fairy to them and what can I say? They easily won her over, after the keyboarder had entered the stage. We both greatly enjoyed the concert and the companion again said something interesting about lead singers and the crowd: They are like dictators, they dictate what the people should do and then the people do it willingly without thinking twice. Well, there is some truth to that, but as long as this is just about clapping, jumping and/or singing along, who could blame any of them?
After their concert we noticed that Powerwolf would be signing autographs and again we stood in a queue…
Fairy got a picture of herself and her new-found favourite – the keyboarder, and I got an autograph for me and one I later sent Liathano as a memento for the concert we’ve been on together.

We’re sitting in the rain, just sitting in the rain…

The Side of the Stage between Rain and Sunshine


Shortly after that session the weather started to change. Luckily we had a large poncho with us to secure us from the rain. Weirdly there was this guy that first looked at us and than sat himself between us under the poncho starting a conversation. We felt kind of relieved when he was finally gone. Though we saw him again after that, but he wasn’t as intrusive as that time above. It stopped raining right before Edguy started their show. Causing a double rainbow to spread across the side of the Stage Area and also bathing the buildings in sunlight while the dark clouds still hang in the sky. It was a most impressive view and a good concert. Even though I would have liked them to play some more old songs and the singer not to make such bad jokes about their concert on the Metalfest East in Dessau. I have nothing against bad jokes – I make a lot of them myself, but I’ve simply had enough of jokes regarding the former GDR and so forth. Germany is reunited for more than 20 years now and people still judge the Eastern parts – and its people – the way it used to be. And that’s just childish and dumb and as good as the music is that Tobias Sammet creates, I can’t stand it when anyone makes jokes like that…
Anyway, the next day we hadn’t really had that many bands to look forward to. Only Ensiferum and In Extremo, but InEx where totally worth it. It was a brilliant concert, probably again thanks to the setting and a worthy ending for the festival. The bag pipes of this band are just great – so are the bag pipers, but that’s beside the point. 😀
As I with Edguy, Fairy had hoped to hear some other songs of Ensiferum, but instead we were met with the creepy sight of one of the guitarist shirtless and bearded. Seriously that dude has a beard that reaches nearly down to his belly and is cut like a rectangle. o.O
Weirder than that only were the dreadlocks of Equilibriums singer…and that dude that kick-danced to Fear Factory

But that’s not yours!

Well, we had some fun encounters throughout the weekend – beside the rain-guy.
The first day we were able to bring water bottles into the Stage Area, the next day we had to take them away, so we went to look for a place to put our bottles without having to walk all the way to the car.
Well, luckily for us, we found an aged couple – we called them „The J.B.O. people“ – not far away from the entrance and asked them whether we could place our bottles in their tent, which we could and that let to a fun discussion later on.
When we returned the next day their neighbors were present and watched us and when we were done drinking one of them actually dared to say:
„That’s bold.“ As we asked him what was, he said: „The water. Just taking the water out of the tent.“
As we told them that it is ours he replied: „No that’s our neighbors.“
To which we then told him: „No it’s our water, they allowed us to put it there.“
Where they only awkwardly looked at us and said they were sorry.

The Rhine from the Side of the amphitheatre

The Rhine from the Side of the amphitheatre


Another encounter was with one of the guards at the side. We just sat near the autograph booth and listened to the band that was just playing and saw that he was taking some photos of the Rhine from his position.
So we looked at each other and knew we had to ask him too. and thus the photo you can see on the side here came to existence.
Isn’t it just nice?
Oh, and before I forget it: We encountered Metal Tigger. A Winnie the Pooh plushy with Metal-vest that was appropriately decorated with badges. The mascot was on several festivals and managed to get pictures taken with tons of Metal fans and musician and now there is a picture of him and Fairy in the Gallery for the Metalfest Loreley. 🙂
Music-wise we listened to quite a bit while on the compound, some of it only partly as it didn’t fit us, like Tranquility, Legion of the Damned, Hypocrisy, Megadeth, Kreator or Moonspell – mostly because they are Death and/or Black Metal bands.
Some others, like Epica, we had to leave because the sound was not appropriate for the band or – Saltatio Mortis – where we discovered that they were much better suited for smaller stages.
Behemoth were we only saw the end of their set were especially funny, as they blasted black plastic shredding into the audience. Well, it was more fun to see all those helpers and their broomsticks trying to get rid of them before the next concert – we secretly called them: The Evil Shred Band („Böse Schnipsel Band“). 😀
When we waited for In Extremo we listened in on Kyuss Lives!, which are not bad, while having a hot dog and trying to figure out if Alea from SaMo had a secret side-job as hot dog vendor and watching some dudes playing with a Footbag. Yeah that was a nice evening.

And now for something entirely different…

Well, not just a nice evening, but also a great week(end). After a bit relaxing on Sunday Fairy showed me around in the pretty green Koblenz. We went sightseeing in the city and an old former fort as well as an area that had held a gardening show some years before, high above the city.
We also were at the „Deutsches Eck“ were the Moselle joins the Rhine. When we approached the large statue Fairy told me that it was for some kind of „Karl“, well as we came closer we could make out the letters and it started with a „W“, so it wasn’t that much of a Karl… 😀
We also waited for a watch-face to poke out its tongue, but not all of this in that order.
Still, this was a great week and if the billing would have been better this year, I guess we would have returned to the Metalfest.
We’ll see what next year brings. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter
© The rights of the video lay with Metalfest that has provided this over their Youtube-page.

At the Festival: Wacken 2011

This is the continuation of my first post about the Wacken Open Air (and you might want to read that one before you continue, as I occasionally mention something that had happened previously 😉 )

Incredible planning…

2011 was, like 2008, a year where I could stay the whole time, but the planning for it was nerve-wrecking…
I decided on going there with some guys from another forum I’m part of and the final planning was made the Monday(!) before Wacken.
In case you don’t know: The official start of the festival is on Thursday in the first week of August and this Monday is the one before that…
We decided that one of the guys (Drummpossessed), who would come first, would keep space for us, but it ended up in a completely different way…
As it turned out I was the first to arrive, as I had an appointment in Elmshorn on Tuesday and drove on to Wacken the same day. Drumm originally said, he would arrive on Tuesday evening as well, but they arrived Wednesday morning.
So that got me a day to spend by myself.
Earlier I had asked one of Nazguls friends from the year before, whether they would be there as well, so I met up with them after I got my bracelet. After spending some time with them I returned to my car and prepared my backseat-bed again.
Early the next morning came the message that Drumm and his mates had arrived at the camping ground and as I had suspected they ended up in a camping only area, meaning: No cars allowed. I forwarded this news to the other two guys and waited for them to arrive.
When Ian did I decided to re-park my car.
On my way there I even helped some other people carrying their stuff with my car for a bit. The (camping) area itself is like a maze so it always takes some time to get accustomed to it (again) and it is quite helpful to have some indications where you need to go, like toilets or Breakfast Booths as they are depicted with differently colored circles in the map.
The last one, Shinigami, arrived sometime during the day, but we hadn’t had enough space to let them stay at our camp as well.
So it was only Ian’s guys and I and not everyone as we had planned…

Of a morbid meeting and an awesome coat

Even though I camped with the other guys I barely saw them during the whole time. I did go with them, when they picked up their bracelets, but  then I just strolled through the area and stayed for the Horch concert in the Wackinger Village as it sounded fun when I passed by.
On the festival area there is also a place called Metal Market where you can buy all kind of trinkets and I found something I’ve been looking for for ages: A coat. Totally expensive, but awesome nonetheless.
Ever since I watched Buffy and saw Spike in his leather coat, I wanted to have one myself and after trying out several different ones the saleswoman showed me a cotton one: Black (for obvious reasons), half of the front with a zipper and above it are carabiner to close it once more. The back has three cloth-strips that end in large silver rings (they lie that close to each other that they clank while walking). From the hem of the coat up to the waistline (about where the zipper starts) are four laces and on the cuffs are rows of holestuds.
Anyway, when I finally decided I would buy it I gave her some advanced payment and went back to the camping side to get some more cash.
While doing so I was writing DarkFairy a SMS; telling her about the coat. Later on I wanted to write her something including the word „makaber“ (morbid), but I wasn’t sure how to spell it, so I asked people that I passed by. When I asked a woman (Julastika) that was walking on her own as well, I asked whether she would like to accompany me back to the market. And so she did.
It was a good I idea to ask her as we had a lot of fun throughout the festival, starting from that coincidental meeting.
As the coat was a bit too long we needed to shorten it. Fortunately Julastika was skilled enough to do so and even sacrificed her travel sewing kit for the cause.
With this the black coat got a quite colorful hem, as she had to use blue, white and I think green yarn alongside the black one. But that’s something you don’t see while wearing it; still funny though.
To get used to wearing it – which is one awesome feeling – we walked off to stroll through the market again and even found some more funny stuff.
As I returned that evening the boys had done what they seemed to do best: They got wasted. But if that wasn’t enough, no, within half an hour two other drunks game by our camp and asked for directions. Let me tell you: It was annoying and I was glad when I finally could hit the hay or rather: The backseat-bed. 🙂

„And here I cry for Tanelorn“….

When it was time for the first „official“ concerts on Thursday we went to see Skyline (the „band“ that’s always opens the festival) and afterwards the start for Comedy at the open air: Bülent Ceylan – A German-Turkish Comedian with the fitting appearance for such an event, but even though he has some funny stuff in his program, the wind didn’t play in his favor and swallowed most of his jokes.
Julastika’s „Baby“ (the minor she had to have an eye on) had joined us this time and we went to see Helloween together: They needed three attempts to start their first song, as the sound didn’t want to play with them. 😀 Say what you want, I consider the singer to be quite dislikable and I instead was all the more drawn into the charms of the singer of Blind Guardian: Hansi Kürsch.
It was my first time seeing them live and it was awesome. I’ve occasionally listened to them throughout the years and knew at least „The Bard’s Song“ thanks to Van Canto., but hearing this song sung live by all the people on the festival was an indescribable experience. You should try YouTube for a live recording and you even will get goose bumps from that one…
They also played other brilliant songs such as Valhalla, Tanelorn, Time Stands Still and so forth.

It was to stuffed for Pikachu as well.

It was too stuffed for Pikachu as well.


The last concert for the day was the one and only: Ozzy Osbourne. Julastika did the right thing and went to the back of the stage area, while Baby and I stayed within. It was awfully cramped and far too crowded and we soon fought our way out of the masses behind a mobile bar. We couldn’t see that much from there, but we could breath and had space and we still heard the music. Which was odd, as there was a long instrumental part; we later heard the theory that Ozzy was in the oxygen tent during that time.
We ended the evening with some mead and talking at their tent and with their neighbor and over the loud current generator of their other neighbors…

Back and Forth between the stages

Before the festival DarkFairy had asked me to listen to Ensiferum and Rhapsode of Fire for her and so I did or at least I tried.
I only saw the rest Ensiferum as the boys took too long to get ready that day.
Afterwards I went to see Van Canto with Julastika and her guys. We stood a bit farther away from the stage where only a few people were actually enjoying the songs, but we soon found someone else to sing along with. It was great and I’m really looking forward to seeing them on their own one day.
We decided to go with the other sing-along to see Rabenschrey at the Wackinger Stage, which I only could see for a moment, as I „had“ to return to the Stage Area for Rhapsody of Fire. We still had fun with him and his people – a family that had taken him in during the festival.
Rhapsody of Fire wasn’t to thrilling for me. The music was nice and stuff, but they didn’t play anything too special and/or memorable. Later on I also watched Deadlock on the W.E.T. stage – hearing so much about deadlocks in studies just made me go there. They weren’t that bad, but nothing too special either.
The highlight of the evening for the most people were probably Judas Priest. Great performance, good songs and awfully cold ground. I had watched it via the video wall outside of the Stage Area and shivered all the time.
I even managed to see a bit of Heaven Shall Burn before that. Though I was more fascinated by the Metal Bible I had acquired earlier and every time they spoke of the giant Circle Pit they had the people make around the sound towers I didn’t look…
Anyway, the ending concerts for this day were Apocalytica and Saltatio Mortis – at the same time. We kind of wanted to see both, but decided for Apocalyptica – as seeing SaMo again is more likely to happen, as they play a lot of concerts like those on the MPS. As it was cold and we didn’t really want to get into the Stage Area again we took chairs with us to watch over the video walls – as I had done earlier.

Even the Dragons were thirsty for the tasty "Wackinger Blut" (Wackinger Blood - Cherry Mead)

Even the Dragons were thirsty for the tasty „Wackinger Blut“ (Wackinger Blood – Cherry Mead)


Yet, the sound was against us or rather: SaMo’s bag pipes were just too loud for Apo’s cellos. So we went farther away from the Party Stage towards the Black Stage, but the bag pipes stayed with us. Therefore we decided that day that we were watching Apo Mortis.

Dragon boat? Which Dragon Boat?

Beside 2008 this year was the sunniest Wacken I had experienced. I even had bad sunburn on my shoulders/upper arms or at least on one of them.
So while having breakfast with Julastika, Baby and the Neighbor I tried to burn the other arm as well as one-sided suffering is no fun. 😉
Anyway, that breakfast I discovered something weird: On festivals they sell to-be-fried eggs in a carton and no, I am not joking about this: eggs in a carton, like the ones for milk, opened and then put into a pan for frying and Julastika eagerly waited for those things to arrive at the vendors place. Sometimes people at festivals are as weird as their customs, but great people nonetheless. 🙂
The concerts on the Main Stages are always quite loud so we even managed to hear Moonsorrow while we sat there waiting for the eggs in the carton…
As I might have mentioned: It is hard to find each other on the Festival area – mostly trying to phone/write each other and missing each other’s calls.
One thing I learned that Wacken was, that people do not read their messages very thoroughly – but probably I just write too complicated.
There are two Dragon Boats in the entire area: One in the Wackinger Village; one in front of the Stage Area.
Every time I wrote the people I’ve tried to meet up with that they should come to the Dragon Boat in front of the Stages, they went to the one in the Village…
For one I tried to meet up with the Chilean woman (Jasz) I’ve met the previous year after the Fiddler’s Green concert.
I think we somehow ended up at the same Dragon Boat at some point, but it took us a while.
So when we finally did we went off to see Kataklysm. We sat somewhat in the middle of the free Stage Area and talked a bit more than what we were able to last year.
I have to say that I don’t really like Black and/or Death Metal, so the evening became quite disturbing for me as we kind of went from one Black/Death concert to the next.
Including the Japanese Death Metal band Dir En Grey, which was pretty hilarious. We stood at the side in the front row and had a good look at those tiny dudes growling their lungs out and what not. The „singer“ even had to jump on a little metal cage to be seen from the audience and as the concerts on the Main Stages are recorded they had a camera man on stage that was nearly twice their size – though I might be exaggerating here. 😀
I couldn’t really take this concert serious; making jokes about everything the whole time, but even the fans we made conversation with – a German girl and a Danish one – laughed at some of them. They were fun too, as they were probably taller as the stars they admired….sorry…
Anyway, after the concert I parted with Jasz as she went to see Vreid later.
I accompanied the Danish girl for a moment as we continued talking, but even though we wanted to continue the conversation after the festival and I gave her my mail-address to do so, she never wrote. 🙁 Seems like I’m more suited for random conversation during random meetings than anything else…
Anyway, the other attempted meeting was between the guys from the forum.
Well, we kind of managed to meet up – just not every one of us at the same time. Well, at least I can say I’ve met all of them…
I’ve met with Shinigami and someone else, whose name I’ve forgotten, when I was about to watch Iced Earth. Though there were even more Pizza booths than Dragon Boats, I managed to find the right one quite fast. We then moved a bit so I could see Iced Earth better and talked through the first few songs. It was nice meeting them, seeing as they had plans to start similar studies as I am about to finish anytime this year, though they only stayed for a short moment.
Well, at least I had the concert afterwards, which was a pretty great one and among the best that year.
But my highlight was still about to come.
Sometime during the day Julastika wrote me that they would depart sooner as they originally had planned. I’m not sure whether they saw this amazing concert I’m about to cover now.
The concert I’m talking about and was looking forward to the whole time was Avantasia.
This time it was way more awesome than it had been 2008.
I mean Michael Kiske and Kay Hansen (founding members of Helloween) had joined the people on stage to play all these amazing songs and I’m still thrilled even thinking about it.
Songs like The Story Ain’t Over, The Scarecrow or all the old stuff from the first Metal Opera compilations were just amazing…
It is one thing to make a brilliant show, but it is a totally different to do so with a dozen of different musicians and an audience that has been through three days of festival, a ton of concerts and many other things.
And let me tell you, I am not that old, but after that concert, well, I needed a rest. With a grin spread across my face I made my way to my car and just wanted to lie down for a moment…as that wouldn’t be my last concert for the day, but definitely the best.
Writing all this made me decide to buy the ticket for their show in Berlin this April, which I was contemplating for quite some time now. I am more than looking forward to that. =)

The Dragon Boat no one was able to find at first try...

The Dragon Boat no one was able to find at first try…


The last attempt at meeting up with everyone was set out shortly before Subway to Sally would close that year. Well, it rained and I think only Drumm showed up and left not long after that. While waiting for them to show up I listened a bit to Motörhead and decided that while they are good, they aren’t anything that I would listen to over a long period of time.
When Drumm finally appeared it had stopped raining for a moment and then it started raining buckets and we found shelter in a food booth, but Drumm had other places to go to so it was only a brief last meeting.
The StS afterwards was kind of weird.
For once it still rained and for the majority of the show I was wearing a rain poncho to not get too wet. A lot of people have a dislike for the singer and I can kind of see where they come from, as he isn’t the most likable of people – still a tiny bit better than the one form Helloween, but it was fun watching him bounce while singing. Another thing I remember was when they left the stage and everyone started to sing Julia und die Räuber (Julia and the Bandits) and made them return for an encore.
Well, after that I then finally was able to get some sleep.

Memory gaps…

Which I needed, though it didn’t help me in the usual traffic jam the next day. When I was forced to wait for all the cars in front of me to move forward, so I’d be able to move as well, I kind of drifted off every now and again…
It was nice feeling the warmth of the sun through the window, hearing the music from the last few campers and not having to concentrate on anything but waiting, it kind of helped me through the four hours of driving afterwards, though I can barely remember those…
What I also can’t remember are when some of the things I still haven’t talked about, happened.
For example was there a third meeting of the forum people, where only Drumm and Ian (and I) managed to meet up, but I have no idea when that was…
Or when I strolled through the Metal Market again with Julastika and I bought some new shirts. Was it the same day we met? I kind of doubt it. Was it any day later? Probably. Which one? No clue.
Looking through the photos I’ve noticed that I tried spear and axe throwing in the Wackinger Village – according to the date on Tuesday, but I can’t really put it to that day and I think I pretty much failed at actually hitting the target. but it was nice of those guys there to show me. I also watched the Bruchenball tournament apparently…
I guess some things are just not that memorable enough to stay at the right place or to stay at all, but there are also things that I still remember but didn’t include, because that would simply make this post even longer.
And speaking of long, guess what: I am splitting the topic one more time and continue with 2012 at a later point. 😉
PoisonPaiNter

At the Festival: Wacken

As the billing for next year becomes better and better by each passing day I’m kinda forced to finally write the post I’ve postponed since August and just like the title suggests: This post is about the Wacken Open Air or short Wacken or even shorter the W:O:A.

Wacken, is that something you can eat?

For those of you who really don’t know what Wacken is – it is said such people still exist: Wacken itself is a small village in Schleswig Holstein and each year, for 22 years now, the number of inhabitants multiplies several times throughout the first weekend of August (2011 it were 4.885,85% or 4,885.85% of the original population) during one of the major Heavy Metal festivals in the world (they even claim it’s the largest).
This year (2012) was my fourth time – and the third one in a row – at the Wacken Open Air and I’d like to review these past years and share some of my experiences.

Back in the day…

I don’t really remember when or how it was that I first heard about this festival, but I do remember that I would have liked to attend it way earlier than I really did. It sounded like fun and a lot of good music, but apparently my parents thought I was too young at that time, so hitting the age of majority my very first Wacken was in 2008.

That year a childhood friend of mine (Blackwolf), two guys from my class back then, one of their girlfriends and I went there together for our first festival ever. Though the other three just tagged along for the ride and had their own schedule. Originally, I think, we planned on meeting up with IceWolf, as he is a friend of Blackwolf, but he couldn’t make it that year – and by now is not interested in this kind of festival anymore.

When you experience something for the first time it is always fascinating. I remember being all hyper and exclaiming: “We’re in Wacken. We’re really in Wacken” all the way to the booth where we got our festival bracelets. Halfway through Blackwolf became pretty annoyed by it, but I can’t blame her for that, as it was quite annoying in my excitement…

The area: From U to the stage area

The area: From U to the stage area

We planned on seeing so many bands, but unfortunately BlackWolf felt sick (which is no surprise as it was hot as hell…) and couldn’t really participate in all of them. Besides that did we camp at the end of the camping area (U – if this letter means anything to you), so just going to a concert wasn’t that easy as it took us about 45 minutes to even get to the entrance of the stage area.

If “U” is just a letter to you: The camping area for the festival stretches over several fields owned by farmers from different villages. So “camping in Wacken” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re camping IN Wacken. It might as well mean you’re camping three villages further away and area U is one of the farthest off areas.

Anyway, before Blackwolf felt that bad, that she couldn’t accompany me anymore we managed to see some fun concerts together.

Our longest day was the Thursday, the Night to Remember – as they called it back then.
It started with Sturm & Drang and Leaves Eyes at the Party Stage and though we hadn’t really planned on seeing them, the concerts were good. Leaves Eyes even had a giant Viking boat on stage.
Instead of Icewolf one of his friends accompanied us and as he is quite a tall guy it was really helpful when we went to Iron Maiden that evening and he “rescued” us from all those annoying Crowd Surfers.

On Friday we wanted to see Avantasia and I felt so bad when I went there alone, when Blackwolf decided to stay at the camping side and I still hope I could at least tell her about the concert in a way as if she had been there herself.
But before that we managed to see Sonata Arctica together. Sitting by the side at the end of the stage area and simply enjoying the music.
We also tried to get an autograph of the Avantasia guys, but the queue was too long and a lot of people stood there that were already waiting for the band after them, so we didn’t manage to get one. 🙁
When I later arrived at the stage area to see Avantasia, Van Canto just started with their show on the W.E.T. stage (a tent-stage), but as the other concert started just shortly afterwards I only could see some of their first songs before walking across the area for the main stages.
While waiting for Avantasia to start I even heard some of the last songs from Corvus Corax (Cantus Buranus). You can see that the main stages are quite huge, but if you see it packed with an orchestra, then you definitely know it’s enormous. And that’s what Corvus Corax did: One side of the stage was an orchestra, the other a choir and in the between the band itself, which are about ten people as well…so masses of people on the stage.
As Avantasia is a co-operational project with many different musicians, brought together by Edguy’s Tobias Sammet, they had quite a bunch of people as well, but not that many. When the first chords began to play, I knew that this was what I’ve been waiting for. It was an amazing concert and I still wish that I could have shared this experience with Blackwolf.

The hole

The hole

I can’t really remember what we saw on Saturday. I remember that we wanted to see Lordi and we returned from the stage area when Nightwish started and decided that the new – by now again old – singer wasn’t able to perform the songs to our liking. But I can’t remember what we saw before that…(Note: Looking through the pictures it seemed as if we even where in the stage area for Nightwish, but departed from there, when she started singing XD)
What I remember is that we watched the Wacken FireFighters (the brass band of the village). Though I can’t remember whether it was Saturday or Sunday morning, guess it was Sunday. (Note: It was Friday by the date of the photos XD) But when we returned we met with quite an unpleasant sight: The tent I had borrowed from my dad had a hole in its side.
And by our assumption that was caused by the remaining ash of the small barbeque we had, which toppled over and hit the outer tent. Which only could have been done by the guys from school…(or someone else, but rationality isn’t a common thing in such moments, so that was simply my first clue). And they of course played innocent. I was in quite a fit about it – and I had any right to be, as my dad is still holding it against me whenever it comes to his mind.
Well, when we left I urged one of the guys to cut out a piece from one of the tents someone else had left behind, so I would be at least able to fix the hole again.
On our way back we/I picked up Nazgul in Elmshorn, to show him around in my part of Germany. Little did I know I would return to that place so many times afterwards.

A Gap before the hat-trick

2009 would have been the next, but no one had time to accompany me. So instead I visited Nazgul in Kassel (the week I mentioned in my travel journal) and DarkFairy at her home. I had a lot of fun that year and DarkFairy and I made quite some progress planning our Novel, but as Wacken only had like three to five bands I would have liked to see, this was a way better way of spending my last official Summer Holidays.

The next year was not just my first year of studying, but also a quite stressful Wacken as the 2010 edition was just at the beginning of my semester. Which meant for me: I had to depart each morning for studying and return at the evening. Luckily Nazgul and I had a secure place in the camp of one of his old friends. Well, at first it didn’t look like we would actually meet up with them as Nazgul had her phone number in a different phone, but coincidentally she and her boyfriend stood at the bracelets booths just when we arrived there to get ours and we just had to re-park.
This time we arrived at Wednesday and were able to see the shows of Fiddler’s Green and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers (mind the last word, it’s not Peppers 😉 They have way better Bagpipes than the Peppers could ever have 😀 )
Two great concerts that even managed to play the rain away. After the Fiddler’s concert I’ve met a Chilean woman, who also waited for an autograph. We exchanged mail addresses, so we could send each other the photos from the concert and as life is busy and I am forgetful I sent my part short before the next Wacken, where we met again.
But back to this one.
When I arrived on Thursday with a fellow student we just hurried to the stage area to see Alice Cooper and – again – Iron Maiden. As Icewolfs friend was at the festival as well I had asked him if I could accompany him to those concerts – to have Crowd Surfer protection again. Somehow Maiden wasn’t as good as they were 2008, even though it was still fascinating to see Bruce Dickinson (the singer) run from one side of the stage to the other and back every few minutes, but it was somehow slower…
Alice was quite fun and it was interesting to see him die every few songs in a different way. =D

The Dragon Boat in the Wackinger Village

The Dragon Boat in the Wackinger Village


On Friday I had several attempts at meeting up with Feuerflügel, who spontaneously came to the festival, and Nazgul at the Wackinger Village. I think it was even the first time they provided this attraction: A more or less medieval area shortly before the stage area, with a stage for medieval bands and a field for Knight tournaments (without horses), Bruchenball, Highland games, LARP fights and so forth.
It also includes the best place to meet: The Dragon Boat (Meat bar).
But before I turned to the village to meet up with Feuerflügel I watched Die Apokalyptischen Reiter on one of the main stages and The Other – as suggested by a colleague of mine – on the W.E.T. stage .
We had fun from the Schelmisch and til the Letzte Instanz concert and simply sat there and talked the time away or alternatively enjoying the concert itself. Her friends who tagged along were a bit…different…though: One of them was fascinated by my teeth, the other claimed me as her property… o.O
Anyway, at some point I went off to see Grave Digger, as it was said they would have Van Canto in their anniversary show and they had. =) They played “Rebellion” with them and Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian. The show wasn’t too bad and had some interesting guest appearances. Funny was that the women I stood next to was, like me, simply there for this one song. On the Powerwolf concert I mentioned in one of my last posts I met someone who said, that he liked the songs with the guest stars better than the original ones – as he doesn’t like Chris Brodendahl’s voice.
This was also the first evening where I could drink with the others, but somehow everyone was either celebrating somewhere else or just too tired to sit too long, but I had an interesting conversation with one of the guys regarding his work in Japan and his knowledge about the language and culture, thanks to his studies. As evenings always do, they end at some point, just as this one.
Yet, the next day held some of the concerts I was looking forward to the most.
It all started with W.A.S.P. on the True Metal Stage, but as I was quite tired I simply sat throughout the concert while Nazgul took care of standing through it.
Afterwards we went to see Stratovarious on the Party Stage. It was fun, especially when they played “Hunting High and Low”. I was later asked if they managed to capture the audience like the old frontman did, but I couldn’t tell the difference as I only knew this version. I enjoyed it and that’s what counts for me.
My last concert that day were Edguy. I wanted to see them live for as long as I know them – which is approximately since Icewolf introduced them to me in 2005 or 6 – and the show was great. Nazgul later told me, that I was more excited with each concert, which isn’t much surprising as they were in an order that would lead to such a phenomenon. The Avantasia concert in 2008 was great, but seeing Tobias Sammet with Edguy is different, in a good way. He has an amazing presence on stage, he simply knows how to play with his audience. And for some odd reason the Metal audience doesn’t mind being insulted. They just roar to everything the singer says to them…
Still the concert was fun, though I would have liked them to play some more of their old songs, but you can’t have everything.

Tent-Trouble

Beside some great concerts my tent (a different one, as the other hadn’t been fixed in time) and I, could again not be put into a positive context. Though this time it was more or less my fault. When we arrived on Wednesday I set up my tent and spend the first – freezing – night in it., but when I was at study the next day it was bucketing down and in the trunk of my car was the top of the tent. As a result my tent swam more or less, though Nazgul at least managed to dry some of it until I returned, but some of it was still wet. Therefore I put it in my car and turned up the heating to dry the rest, but when it was dry I didn’t felt like putting it into the tent again so I made myself comfortable in the back of my car – and did so ever since. It is quite comfortable and warm and quiet in it. So no tent needed. 😉
Besides it let to one of the weirdest conversations I had so far.
When he returned from drinking with some random people from another camp, one of the guys from our camp and I engaged into a conversation. Well, a quite uncomfortable one for him, as he set with me on my backseat-bed, but that cramped that his feet fell asleep and he wasn’t able to get out of the car that easily. XD But it was a fun and interesting conversation nonetheless.

And as this is already a long read, I decided to split the post as I have so much more to say about the follow up festivals. So these are my reviews for 2008 to 2010.
The missing ones will be added later.
So stay excited for the continuation. 😉

PoiSonPaiNter

Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum 2012

I’m going medieval this time, as I’d like to introduce  a series of events that take place throughout Germany every year. Their known under the name of „Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum“ (Medieval Phantasy Spectacle, MPS for short). They’re events that do not wish to show an authentic version of the Middle Ages, but a phantastic one (According to their own advertisement). 😉

The phantastic Middle Ages

And that is basically it.
You see people in medieval-like clothings (in German I would say „Gewandung“, but I haven’t found an English-equivalent for that word so far…), Orcs, Elves, Pirates and other stuff that is pretty much unlikely to have existed in that period of time.
Besides that you have all kinds of artists: Ranging from simple Jesters and fire-eaters (and variations of that), over people in beautiful and phantastic costumes performing incredible shows, up to all kind of different medieval bands.
Next to all the entertainment you also have the chance to buy more-or-less authentic clothings and supplies, like drinking horns, armour and what not.
On the festival-side you can even see how people might have lived back then in the camps of LARPer or even reenactment people – not sure which group they belong to, so to not offend any of them I give you both terms. It is quite interesting, though a bit creepy if you stand there and look at their camp sides. It’s kind of like standing in front of someone’s living room window and watching them.
By the way: The booths aren’t allowed to use electric lights, which is somewhat ridiculous seeing as it would help them in the dark. Yet it would also kind of ruin the atmosphere at night, when all kind of bonfires are lightened, but they seem to manage without functioning light bulbs. 🙂

Spontaneous Camping

This year I’ve been at two „MPS“ – as it is commonly shortened.
The first one was in Sierhagen [Edit: As it is no longer a station for the MPS I had to take out the link], which is in the north-east of Schleswig-Holstein. Beside going to that place for the first time it also was my first time camping at such an event, ,hough it wasn’t the medieval camp, but the mere tent-camp. Well, it was supposed to be one. We kind of used our cars as tents…*cough*
Anyway, in Sierhagen the area includes an old manor/castle-complex that gave the whole thing a different atmosphere than what you experience at the other one I was at. The whole manor-complex is surrounded by a moat and even a small lake as more or less natural defences. Going from the outside into the court and out towards the lime tree park you have to cross bridges, where you can follow the stream. Within the court were booths and the fool’s-stage. In the lime tree park they had booths, the smaller stage and the medieval camp. It was kind of beautiful. Just to see that again I would return to that place. Regardless of whom I might have to drag with me. XD

A look into the Court in Sierhagen


The guys I’ve been with this time were rather funny company. For example: Two of them bought an Ocarina and while one was quite capable of playing it right away, the other failed at it, horribly. I’m kind of curious whether they have played ever since…(and if they’ve improved). Interesting was also that we had eggs for breakfast. I mean „grilled“ eggs, like in: Putting a pan on the grill and putting (scrambled) eggs into it and then waiting for them to be ready. Or…I don’t know…far too many things to remember, let alone explain.
Concert-wise we looked into Faun – and decided they were too creepy – and watched the night shows of Rapalje and Saltatio Mortis.
The funniest thing about Rapalje probably was how the guys danced or clapped to it. That was more entertainment than what the band itself created.
Previous to watching Saltatio Mortis I talked with one of the guys about the song „Prometheus“ – a song that DarkFairy and I were looking for its interpreter, but couldn’t decide/remember whom it was. Unfortunately he didn’t knew either, but in the middle of the concert, we both realized: It’s one of SaMo’s most brilliant songs and DarkFairy and I forgot it, shame on us.
Beside the realization that the song was by them, it also became clear to me, that they simply are a band for small stages. DarkFairy and I have seen them on the amphitheatre stage of the Metalfest Loreley and that was quite a bad/boring concert, if I might say so…
The atmosphere they created on that small stage in Sierhagen was way better than the whole thing in St. Goarshausen. Remember: If you ever have the chance to see Saltatio Mortis live, make sure they play on a small stage!

The lime tree park in Sierhagen


Still the best thing that happened in Sierhagen: The radio of my car got fixed! It now works like it should have from the beginning. It’s a good thing to have some capable people with you once in a while. 🙂
Oh and you can have a look at the official Gallery (click „Veranstaltungsrückblicke“, „2012“ and then „Sierhagen“).

So much green and many funny looking people…

The other MPS I was at this year was Hamburg – Öjendorf. That date had been in my schedule for almost a year beforehand. It was my second time there and a chance to see some people that I hadn’t seen for more than a month. It was great seeing them again, though I did not manage to meet all of them…
The area is within the Öjendorfer Park, so in difference to Sierhagen everything was on meadows instead of court-yards (Though Sierhagen includes meadows as well). And even if it isn’t too large, the thing you are doing the most, is calling each other to find the others location…
Surprisingly the first meeting I had went rather smoothly. My colleague told me were they sat and it didn’t take me too long to find them as I had parked pretty close to the entrance that was closest to their position. As I sat with them it didn’t take long till the next few people of the group walked by, coincidentally meeting us.
This MPS was funny and expensive….oh dear, it was…why, oh why did I listen to myself when I had the thought of finally getting my own „Gewandung“? I don’t regret it though and according to the people who saw it, it doesn’t look too shabby. (They used different words, but I’m more a friend of modesty. ;))

Some of the Elven-creatures in Öjendorf


Regardless of that Öjendorf is quite a bit larger then Sierhagen, so you had some more attractions there. Like fire-shows, acrobats, a knight-tournament, more bands and more stages (four instead of „just“ two). The tournament is most fascinating as night-knight-tournament (couldn’t resist that one, sorry…). I’ve seen that last year and it was great. This year we saw it by daylight and it seemed a bit slow and somewhat annoying – especially the herald, but his role probably was made that way. Ok, I admit, I like fire, so riders with fire is like way more interesting than a „simple“ tournament to me.

A Troll-thing from Öjendorf


Afterwards IronEve – whom had accompanied me on my quest for clothes – and I headed back to the fire-spectacle stage for the evening concert of „Feuerschwanz„. A horde of perverts, but totally hilarious ones at that. When we arrived they just started playing „Hurra Hurra die Pest ist da“ (Hurray Hurray the Plague is here). A song about a village that gets the diagnosis plague and just drinks and parties away everything they got and do some pretty kinky things, only to realize the chaos after the predicted three days had passed. Simply too ridiculous to be taken serious., but fun nevertheless.
After that we picked up Eve’s chain amour for her Gimli costume, which she will be wearing at the premiere of „The Hobbit„. I don’t want to swap with her wearing that thing. Together with the axe and the helmet she should better start working out before she gets struck down by the weight…
When she rejoined with her boyfriend and their part of the group I departed to watch the fire show with a common pal of us and another colleague of mine. After catching up during the rather uneventful show they left for the night-tournament. I stayed to see the first few songs of that SaMo-night concert on my own before they returned to watch the rest of the concert. And yet again they did not play the „Drunken Sailor„… I was looking forward to that, but they did not do me the favour in both of their concerts… 🙁
However, that concludes my most interesting MPS experiences for this year.
I’m not sure which one(s) and with whom I’ll be attending next year, but I’d like to include at least one in my schedule. It’s fun (and I still need the other half of my clothings…) and always a great time and atmosphere.
I wouldn’t mind seeing some more of those.
PoiSonPaiNter