Tag Archives: letzte instanz

#Buchpassion: Literary Readings

Through the Nornennetz (Nornnetwork) (where I’m a norn, too 😉 ) I learned about the #Buchpassion, a promotion event for readers, authors and publishers celebrating books together, organized by Janine of kapri-zioes.
This years topic is „Favourite Authors“, but as I can’t decide which one I’d choose, I’ve instead decided to talk a bit about some of the more unusual Literary Reading Sessions (Lesungen) I participated in over the years. Because what’s better than having someone – maybe even the author – read a book to you? 😉

A completely idiotic reading

I do believe it was my eighteenth birthday when my Mum and I went to the Reading Session of Tommy Jaud’s „Vollidiot“ (Moron) as read by actor Christoph-Maria Herbst (e.g. Loki from Mara and the Firebringer). It was fun, even though I still haven’t read the book yet (or saw the movie), but the thing I remember most about it was afterwards at the autograph table:
He was signing a picture card when I asked him if I could get a second one in the book because it was my birthday. As reply he gave me a Kinderriegel (chocolate bar by Kinder) and offhandedly told me that no one had had told him about it, otherwise he would have brought something more. I doubt the sincerity of the words, as he was quite busy, but it’s a fun gesture in a hectic situation – and it’s my own fault for bringing it up anyway.
I never ate the Riegel, it might even still lie somewhere in a shelve…

Outdoor reading

Back when The Forum was still a thing the self-made publisher Torsten Low announced that his reading tour would make a stop in Zislow, a village more or less nearby. So I took a friend from school with me and off we were trying to find it somewhere in the wilderness of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern…
It was nice meeting Torsten in person and have him read from the anthology Lichtbringer (Lightbringer) and watch him binding a book and talking about it. They only had a small table with their products and it was only the two of us sitting on the wooden benches before it, listening to him, but with the medieval-ish market around us and the phantastical stories it was a great atmosphere.
During the encounter I interviewed Torsten and it later appeared on Literatopia, a German literature portal: Interview with Torsten Low.
Back then the Verlag Torsten Low, was still relatively small. His series Dunkel über Daingistan (Darkness over Daingistan) and Lichtbringer were more or less the whole program. By now they won several Deutsche Phantastik Preise (German Phantastic Prices), have several novels and anthologies, even regular authors and a lot of authors know about him and his publishing company. It’s pretty cool to have been a part of that, even a minuscule one as a listener and reader.

Exclusive Reading

Another quite exclusive Reading Session was by Boris Koch and Michael Tillmann at the Weekend of Horrors:

Their reading session was in the cafeteria of the building, only separated from it through a more or less thick, black curtain. So you heard the rustling and dulled noises from outside.
It still was fun as we were the only two attending their session and they read some quite interesting stories. I will never look at lady bugs the same way…

Six years later I still remember the story mentioned in the other post and the feeling of dreadfulness Boris created through reading it.

Spontaneous Reading

One of our Christmas traditions is to go the the Christmas market in Neubrandenburg at least once. After one of those times, I read messages between Anice and Black Kat about a Reading Session of Letzte Instanz‘ (Last Instance) Holly Loose. In our local English Pub he was to read stories from the fan-anthology (fans wrote stories for their songs) „Weiße Geschichten“ (White Stories). Of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity.
Although I still haven’t gotten around to read the volume I got at the session (again…), the stories he read were quite emotional and well chosen. It’s always fascinating what music can inspire you to write, even if you’re not entirely following the lyrics. It was also nice to hear short acoustic versions of some of them.
We got to chat a little with the woman who organized it and Holly himself and it was a really nice evening.

A Game of what now?

One of the largest Reading Sessions I ever attended was when bookstore-chain Thalia invited Tom Wlaschiha, known as Jaqen H’ghar from Game of Thrones to read part of book book two (Clash of Kings). He chose the part, where Arya tells Jaqen the names of the people he should kill and he read it amazingly. He also talked a bit about filming and teaching Maisie Williams German between takes (according to him her favourite word is „Bahnhof“ – train station 😀 ).
But the most hilarious thing about it was the audience and especially that one guy not capable of pronouncing Game of Thrones correctly. As is more or less commonly known do Germans have problems with the English „th“, but what some make of the word „thrones“ is weird even for German ears. I mean Game of Trons makes for an entirely different franchise…

Lesebühne

As I’ve mentioned before did I attend a couple of Lesebühnen, Reading Stages, these past few years. And as this is about authors, why not talk about those that stand in front of an audience and read their works to them?
Doing that is thrilling and terrifying and fun and brilliant and every person ever daring to do something like this deserves the utmost respect, be they professionals like the people mentioned above or more or less amateurs like the people from the Lesebühne I occasionally attend.
This particular Lesebühne in Neubrandenburg (in the pub mentioned above) is organized by local students and is without any kind of judgement, everyone gets applause for simply going on stage and reading. Therefore it’s not as strict as a Poetry Slam, even if lots of the readers participate in those as well and sometimes read their texts from those times. Other stages only allow members of certain groups or a registration long beforehand, but here you can appear on time and your name gets added to the list, or even use the open mic afterwards.
I’m one of a few that reads short stories, mostly from the Your Picture – A Story project and I’m always nervous when I do it and am barely able to look up from my sheet of paper. My heart is pounding like crazy and it makes breathing while reading quite difficult at times. But I’m getting better, I guess, I even manage to get a few more words out before and after the texts, even if they sometimes sound way better in my head… I still have a lot to learn…
Still, it’s incredible to read for someone else or to be able to listen to others read a story to you. The most annoying for the person sitting on the stage is an audience that won’t shut up. It’s rude and disrespectful, and makes them question themselves even more then they already do.

So, iff you ever attend a Reading Session, be it professional or amateurish: Be quiet and listen!

And maybe among those you will find your favourite author. 😉
PoiSonPaiNter

The Soundtrack of my life – excerpt

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

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

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

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

Live, PoiSonPaiNter

During my time in the Secondary School (Realschule) I was one of the most avoided people around, but as I described here, was there one song in particular that made me rethink my behaviour: Leb (Live) by Schandmaul.
In particular the lines were they describe a person barely straying away from the flock, unable to lift their head from the road before them and not seeing the nice things that life provides for them. I rarely looked up or went out on my own during that time as the few people I considered friends back then usually had to ask me out. It’s probably not a surprise that I know more about cartoons and anime from that time than about parties and celebrities.
When I changed to Grammar School (Fachgymnasium) my soundtrack changed as well. The defining songs that created my alias (see: link) became more and more important to me. Edguy’s Wash away the Poison and Painting on the Wall became synonyms for how I felt when nearly no one around even thought of interacting with me. During this time the interest for Metal that was spurred shortly before I learned about Leb was broadened to new bands, including Avantasia. This resulted into one of my favourite concerts at the Wacken 2008, my very first festival.
With Avantasia came new songs, most prominent amoungst them Memories. This song accompanied me into the beginning of my studying years, just as the instrumental song Reqiuem for a Dream and Invasion, Treachery and other songs from the Bleach soundtrack frequented my player. The epic-like scoring of the songs just made me re-listen to them over and over again. It just felt like with this „background“ music I could accomplish anything. Even though, in Invasions case, it is still misspelled in the play-list and I still mishear the lyrics…

Fear, Anger, Mighty Canines and Knight Shoes

Towards the end of studying more Metal came into my focus due to me attending a couple of more Wacken (2010, 2011, 2012) and the Metalfest. Through this I re-learned about Powerwolf and Sabaton, but also about Letzte Instanz that would provide me with a song that I can no longer listen to while thinking. For many people their studying years become the best years of their life, I can’t say the same for several reasons. One of which is the fear of losing my mum when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, which made Ohne Dich (Without You) such an emotional song for me. On the opposite emotional scale did Alestorm’s Keelhauled provide me with the needed stress-/anger-relief whenever I turned up the volume while driving and sang along just as loudly.
Powerwolf and Sabaton on the other hand gave me songs that just grabbed me and took me along with so much energy that I do not grow tired of hearing them, even after seeing each band live for several times (six and four times respectively).
Prayer in the Dark and Saturday Satan also managed to get into the Soundtrack for the book project of Fairy and me: Warlords (its own Blog: dfppentertainment.wordpress.com), but the most defining one is Sabaton’s Carolus Rex. It not just perfectly portrays our Nameless King, the whole album reminded me of something I had forgotten for some time: My home town used to be Swedish during the reign of Karl XII. (aka Carolus Rex). 😀 Regardless of that do the songs of both bands, like Ruina Imperi and Amen & Attack, still hold enough power without additional (personal) meaning to them.
Currently my new soundtrack is still in progress, but To Hell and Back and Resist and Bite are some of the songs I currently can’t skip when they start playing.
In a way did my Soundtrack change from moody and relatively slow to fast power numbers with strong lyrics and rhythms. This is also portrayed in the way I am now, as I became more outgoing than I used to be a couple of years ago. I am no longer bound to a flock, I travel or attend concerts on my own and pretty much do things the way I want to do them. And I am fairly certain that music played a major role in this development.
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. If you are interested to have a go at this again, feel free to use my translation, but don’t forget to mention Fairy as original Blogger.

At the Festival: Wave Gotik Treffen 2013

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

Black Leipzig

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

The Booklet, the Ticket and the (enlarged) bracelet

The Booklet, the Ticket and the (enlarged) bracelet


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

Camp Laziness and a panic attack

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

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

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


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

Rapunzel, Rapunzel…

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

Catching a Bear and finding the way

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

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

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


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

Sickness, Disappointment and late Recognition

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

In Concert 2013: Letzte Instanz – Rostock

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

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

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

Three’s a crowd…

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

The invisible drummer

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

Of barefooted cellists and jumpy violinists…

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