Tag Archives: blind guardian

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