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Wacken Open Air 2006 Part 2

Stadt / City Wacken 
Land / Country Germany 
Web www.wacken.com
Datum / Date03 - 05 August 2006 
Bildergalerie / Picturegalerie Wacken_2006_Teil2 
Photos: Melanie Haack, Maike Eisenmenger, Norman Sickinger, Samira Alinto, Torsten Volkmer 

Day 3 - Saturday, August 5th, 2006

After actually almost no sleep and a lot of partying (this time without Klaus Meine´s whistling in the head) the STALKER camp was tired but in good spirits and after a lot of coffee even ready for the first bands. But before that here´s a little comparison of last year´s Wacken with this year´s concerning the organisation. When between 40,000 and 70,000 people invade a little village then certain inevitable queues can´t be avoided. Those who already complained about queues at cash desks and cash machines last year were likely to be in despair this year. Already on the first day the festival site stank of urine, which was not because of too few portaloos and flushable toilets (they were okay and present in a sufficient number) but for that the pissers are to blame. Last year there was the great text message service that informed early on about changes, alterations etc – they had the same service this year too but only for WAP-enabled phones. Too bad because not everyone is a techie! This year the security staff was again very nice and as far as I can tell they had everything under control. When we wanted to take off our STALKER banner on Sunday morning we had to identify ourselves first. Very commendable because there were always some banners missing (I somehow don´t really understand who steals something like that and why?) Regarding the stages, apart from their enormous height there was nothing to complain about. The food was as usual horrible but we have already gotten used to that, haven´t we? (sa)

Saturday 12:00 – 12:45
Black Stage

Wow! It was really amazing that I found my way to the still quite scarcely attended festival area in that early hour and after those nightly frozen margherita excesses. The reason for this morning “ride” was the performance of one of the few death-grind formations. ABORTED invited the fans to squeeze the last drops of alcohol out of their necks. In contrast to many other bands ABORTED didn´t have to struggle with the elsewhere often prevalent catastrophic sound. The four gentlemen and the petite missy on bass could therefore draw on plentiful resources and used that chance to hit their technically demanding blast salvos on target which attracted even more people to the Black Stage over the course of the gig. ABORTED exhibited a confidence that was more than impressive for a band of rather smaller clubs. Even the small lady on the four-string warmed up bit by bit and honoured the appreciation of the fans with mosh attacks that got more and more wild. As one of the highlights the fivesome took the opportunity to pay homage to a legend and fired with “Heartwork” a perfectly played CARCASS cover at the crowd. In return for this tight performance they received a for that early hour deserved applause. (Norman – Metal.de)

Forum Band
Saturday, 12:00 – 12:30
W.E.T. Stage

The forum band “VICTIMS OF MADNESS” play the W.E.T. stage for years now but it all started with just a crazy idea. 12 – 16 people, alternately, play cover songs without ever having rehearsed together. They only rehearse, if at all, at home.

The only agreement is the song selection, which ranges from AC/DC over Maiden to some not so obvious ones. Here one girl has to read off the song text from a paper, the KREATOR intro “The Patriach” sounds so wrong that Mille would turn over in his grave if he would be dead, a somewhat chubby goth who looks like THE CURE purrs “Hi! I´m Bill and I love you all!” into the mic and shortly strikes up TOKIO HOTELs “Durch den Monsun” before the death shouter who was onstage before him starts an eye-winking fight that ends up in a duet with bra and panty showers. Awesomely weird! (sa)

Saturday 12:00 – 12:45
Party Stage

What a better way to open the Wacken Party Stage on Saturday with the US metal legends METAL CHURCH… They kicked off with the opener “A Light In The Dark” from their new CD of the same name. A moderately big crowd had gathered in front of the stage. At this early hour – no surprise! But already after the classics “Tons Of Bricks”, followed by “Start Of Fire” and “Save Us” the crowd had increased and was awake and into it. Singer Ronny Munroe was in excellent shape and delivered a brilliant performance with new and old songs. It may also be because of the newly arrived drummer Jeff Plate (SAVATAGE) that the guys were all extremely motivated and could be watched in top form. One of their new songs “Mirror Of Lies” was a good example that the band doesn´t want to modernize anything or become more quiet. Many bands of that genre upset their old fans with just those new tendencies. It must have felt great for METAL CHURCH to see not only old fans in the crowd but at least as many young ones who still had to exercise themselves in some morning head banging. If only more old bands would remain true to themselves – the metal scene would be a lot stronger. Just when I thought that the way too short 45 minutes were over the band came back to the stage, this time with a video camera to play “Mirror Of Lies” again in a special live version. (gp)

Saturday 12:50 – 13:50
True Metal Stage

What a debut for those young wilds on the biggest stage of the area. CALIBAN came, saw demolished everything that stood in their way during the 60-minute gig. Already at the beginning the guys seized dominion and prepared their following forcefully for what was to follow soon: the first wall of death. Dutifully the quite young crowd obeyed the guys from the Ruhr-area and split up almost biblically into two halves only to brawly crash into each other on command. An awesome spectacle, which was also a harbinger for a total power breakdown on the True Metal Stage. But instead of indulging themselves in star attitude they kept on jamming unplugged, to the delight of the crowd. The guys proved themselves to even meanwhile annoyed critics of this overrun genre and showed metalcore at the highest stage while putting many other imitators with loud racket to their place. CALIBAN are surely the best that the genre has to offer and not only in Germany. This band is ready for the big attack. Joy in playing, energy and also routine are present in abundance. Well done, boys!!! (Norman – Metal.de)

Arch Enemy
Saturday 13:55 – 14:40
Black Stage

Regarding the fact that ARCH ENEMY have become really big in the last months it´s quite surprising that they have to enter the Black Stage already that early on Saturday. 2 p.m. is really not the best time for a Swedish flagship to get the crowd going especially not when at least two days of festival party and unusually sunny weather have taken their first toll. Nevertheless the place was more than well filled, the metalheadz stood close-packed already at the sound tower. In amazement even Michael Amott´s guitar was out of air when he started to play the first notes of “Nemesis” and it only found little by little gasping for air slowly its way back to an acceptable sharpness that unfortunately way too rarely cut through the air in adequate volume. What the hell, in the meantime one had gotten used to the rather poor sound quality at this year´s Wacken and so ARCH ENEMY thrashed in a slick and not really exciting way a “best of” of their contemporary hits towards the crowd. "My Apocalypse", "Skeleton Dance", "Burning Angel", "Dead Eyes See No Future" and Angela Gossow´s self-professed favorite song “Ravenous” let the time pass quickly despite a maybe a bit too lightly taken performance and Angela´s occasionally annoyingly overdriven voice and thus could at the end of the set smoothly pass over to “We Will Rise” which in the meantime has become their standard get-out song and was gratefully taken up by the crowd. Not a really extra-ordinary performance but quite suitable as an appetizer to warm up for the last festival day. (Imperium – Metal.de)

Saturday 14:40 – 15:10
W.E.T. Stage

Admittedly, it wasn´t easy for the guys from the Saarland to fight against the superiority that FEAR FACTORY at least tried to conjure up on the True Metal Stage. But who cares, there was still a small but nice crowd that had made it to the tent to support the guys from INFINIGHT. However, the power thrashers didn´t quite succeed to get the crowd on their side, which in the end was the reason why the music was eaten up by the stuffy air in the tent and therefore unfortunately didn´t really show to advantage. INFINIGHT gave their all but had to struggle against quite unreal circumstances. Too bad, there was more in it for them. (Norman – Metal.de)

Saturday 14:45 – 15:45
True Metal Stage

Burton C. Bell and his cohorts of FEAR FACTORY entered the Black Stage on that Saturday afternoon very relaxed. By the moment they had taken their positions the show kicked off. One kick-ass song was followed by the next: "Machines Of Hate", "Cyberwaste", Demanufacture" and "Edgecrusher" were only a small part of the for a festival perfectly selected setlist. The heavy guitar riffs from Christian Olde Wolbers, the driving drums of Raymond Herrera and the brilliantly played bass of Byron Stroud left no FEAR FACTORY fan standing still. With this setlist the crowd didn´t have time to rest because when one song for moshing was over the next one to pogo to followed. Even during the clean singing parts of Burton C. Bell the people were continuously in motion. FEAR FACTORY have proved a long time ago that they are an excellent live band. At Wacken they proved once again that they can carry a whole festival crowd without any problems. (me)

Saturday 16:00 – 17:00
Party Stage

In view of the current political events a band from Israel is of special interest even though the band itself is far from trying to politicise. And that´s not the focus of this band because for that the musical range is way to dominant and thus they don´t have to push themselves to the fore with political power games during the hour. ORPHANED LAND are nevertheless a prime example when it comes to combining different musical cultures and roots in their music. Their very complex songs are quite often intermingled with oriental inlays and thus give their compositions a remarkable depth. Exactly this musical tightrope walk was gratefully accepted by the crowd and was accordingly honoured because only a few bands had such a fan – and cheering base like the Israelis. Facing such reception also the musicians were in full cry and visibly enjoyed the special flair that Wacken spread. A brilliant performance of a formation whose unifying forces should find imitators also in their own country. (Norman – Metal.de)

Saturday 17:00 – 17:45
W.E.T. Stage

Are SUIDAKRA really that popular or was an overdose of Kai Hansen in the last years responsible for it? Anyhow, it was full to bursting, muddy and sticky but this had no effect on the party mood of the crowd from the first song on. The melodic folk death metallers from SUIDAKRA took the opportunity to play some songs from their soon-to-be released album and instantly received a positive feedback. Alright, maybe it was because the new songs sound quite similar to the old ones but they are in no way bad. (sa)

Saturday 18:15 – 19:00
W.E.T. Stage

They came all the way from Down Under and I can only say it was worth it. Actually, I hadn´t heard of this troupe ever before and it would have stayed that way if my colleague hadn´t called my attention to a very boyish-appearing lady who trudged a bit lost through the backstage area. In any case, this sight had raised my interest and drove me to the Aussies into the tent. There one got a musical and optical treat in the form of front woman Michele who sprinted up and down the stage and pushed herself and her boys in a rocking, shouting and sometimes also sensitive way through the set. TOURETTES SYNDROME delivered a formidable performance and will probably, sooner or later, raise a lot of dust of which they have a lot in their native country. It was too bad that the crowd wasn´t as fiery as the band. Maybe it was because many of the heavy metallers stared in awe to the stage and just couldn´t handle the load of female power that was thrown at them for 45 minutes. (Norman – Metal.de)

ORPHANED LAND - Meet Your Stars with Metal.de, Powermetal.de and STALKER.cd
Saturday, 18:20-18:40 VIP/press-area

Alright and once again with the right touch. This time we somehow managed to pick the president of the Orphaned Land fan club France for this Meet & Greet! Also as a replacement but anyway… The organization on the part of the label was such that they didn´t have prepared much concerning backstage access but the band was willing to come with us to the festival area. This would have been super nice but we wouldn´t have been undisturbed much out there. After Norman and I were already mulling it over and over the salvation came from a STALKERian who wasn´t actually there for STALKER but helped us solving this problem. Thanks Konz! We were quite surprised that when we introduced the winner Yannick Wattiau (Paris – France) to the band, they already knew each other. Anyways, both sides were very happy to see each other again and so the 20 minutes passed way too quickly. Let´s hope that we will have it a bit easier at the Summer Breeze. A big thank you to Orphaned Land and Jan Hoffmann from Century Media (sa)

Saturday 17:15 – 18:30
True Metal Stage

After three long years Hamburg´s very own GAMMA RAY are back and rampaged on the True Metal Stage like furies. The obligatory instrumental opener was followed by a double bass assault in the form of “Garden Of The Sinners” which was then followed by “Man On A Mission” and Henjo Richters newest composition “Fight” from their new album “Majestic”. As usual, Kai Hansen and his men were in top form and entertained the crowd brilliantly. The next sing-along anthem was “Heavy Metal Universe” which sounded pretty much like Ritchie Blackmore with Henjo borrowing the guitar sound and Kai the vocals. What would a GAMMA RAY show be without a HELLOWEEN song? Nothing and thus this time “I Want Out” was chosen. The 75 minutes seemed to fly by with songs like “Valley Of The Kings”. Sadly there was no “Last Before The Storm” and “Dethrone Tyranny”. Overall, the sound was very good, the performance awesome and Dan Zimmermann´s thunderous drum play just brilliant. The show was a must-see for all power metal fans and for me personally the tightest show of the day. (gp)

Saturday 18:45 – 19:45
Party Stage

Exactly this band was this reason to set out on the burdensome journey to the Northland and brave the elements once again. It actually wasn´t that bad because the sun was shining and welcomed the band who were in hiding for the last 13 years. After exceptional bass player Roger Patterson passed away in 1991 they went on hiatus until, in 2006, they finally exhibited their skills again to numerous fans. Already before the gig I thought that this band could become the secret headliner of the festival – my expectation and many ATHEIST fan shirts foreshadowed this. That it would get that packed in front of the Party Stage exceeded even my most optimistic expectations for this awesome band. Strengthened by fastfinger Tony Choy on bass the guys sounded the attack and took the fortress Wacken by storm. It was as if the band had never disappeared from the big stages of the metal world and thus the exceptional musicians celebrated a firework of technical brilliance paired with solid heaviness. Songs like “Unholy War”, “Breathe” or “Retribution” smashed in such a intense way into the crowd that also the festival goers in the very back had to acknowledge that this band, even after many years of absence, still wears the breeches and knows how to easily outplay all those oh so trendy bouncing bands. With this memorable performance ATHEIST have proven that they are far away from calling it quits and that their allegedly greying music is maybe even more up-to-date than ever before. Killer!!! (Norman – Metal.de)

Saturday 18:45 – 20:00
Black Stage

Max Cavalera entered the stage in Wacken at a quick pace as if he could hardly wait to stand in front of a crowd again. The energy that the Brazilian radiated could also be found with the fans. Thousands of hands were stretched towards him and Max greeted the waiting mass with a loud “Hello, Wacken!”. The atmosphere during the gig was full of energy – on the stage as well as in front of it. At the latest when SOULFLY played the old Sepultura hits “Chaos A.D.” and “Roots Bloody Roots” also the people in the back rows couldn´t stand still anymore. But also their own songs like “Back To The Primitive” or “Babylon” made the crowd pogo and mosh. Of course the show wouldn´t be complete without the usual drum session from Max. This session and the cheers from the crowd seemed to incite Max Cavalera even more: he moshed extensively until the end of the gig as if he had never done anything else. Unfortunately the hour that SOULFLY were granted to play was way too short and even if they had probably wanted to there were no more songs to hear despite the loud encore yells of the fans. (me)

Saturday 20:15 – 21:30
True Metal Stage

Another classic rock act had come to Wacken: WHITESNAKE who had their reunion this year. To see founding member and singer David Coverdale and long-time drummer Tommy Aldridge, the legendary 80´s guitar heroes Doug Aldrich (ex-LION, HOUSE OF LORDS, HURRICANE and DIO) and Reb Beach (ex-DOKKEN) together with their new bassist Uriah Duffy and keyboarder Timothy Drury onstage was something very special. The first song of the set was DEEP PURPLE´s 1974 hit “Burn” which was combined to a DEEP PURPLE medley with “Stormbringer”. Next up were two top ten hits “Fool For Your Loving” and “Love Ain´t No Stranger”. Everyone who has seen the band in the 70´s or 80´s was taken back to that time by Tommy´s trademark – his with hands played drum solo and the guitar solo duel between Doug and Reb which somehow reminded you of the movie “Crossroads” in which Steve Vai played the devil. They also played a new song called “Ready To Rock” at that evening. Once again a band who remains true to their fans and still sounds like 20 years ago. Overall the performance and the stage show was as top as you would expect it from a band with such a long experience. Regarding the setlist the one hour and 20 minute show left nothing to be desired and thus “Crying In The Rain", "Is This Love" "Love Is No Stranger" and "Gimme All Your Love” were not forgotten. If the sound of the new song is anything to go by then nothing has changed in style and direction, which already makes their new album a classic before it even is a classic. All old fans of the genre who missed the 80´s should see them next time they are in the area. (gp)

Saturday 23:15 – 00:30
True Metal Stage

When a band over the last 16 years plays the same festival four times then it can be either very creative or very dull when only the order of the songs is changed. Sadly the latter applied to MOTÖRHEAD and thus this year´s performance differed from the last one only in the order of the songs they played. Since I go to the Wacken Open Air there was only one show that stood out from the others and that was the one in 2001 when a bomber was onstage. For more than 10 years now it´s always the same line-up, the same briskness and spirit like in 1991... I´m sure that they have other songs too and don´t always have to play the same ones with the exception of „Ace Of Spades“, „Bomber“ and „Overkill“ that are awaited by the crowd. 20 releases should contain enough material to put together a more various setlist. Sure, Lemmy (Ex-HAWKIND) is unique as a singer and with his microphone hanging tilted above his head and Phil Campell is an excellent, dirty rock´n´roll guitarist and then there´s Mickey Dee (Ex-King Diamond, Don Dokken and John Norum) who gives all old classics a good kick up the arse – they work and play brilliantly together. „Why change if it works?“ ask some „Why always the same set every year?“ ask the others. The music that MOTÖRHEAD make today is as good as the old stuff if not even more aggressive and appealing for the young crowd of today. I don´t really understand why bands still publish new material when they only play one song from it and the rest as usual because by doing so the band itself misses out on the chance that one of their new songs could become a classic as well. For all fans of the old songs and the unvarying shows it´s a must to see the band at their next concert. For all others it´s only worth seeing when it´s a special show. (gp)

Saturday 19:30 – 20:15
W.E.T. Stage

They are THE surprise band from Norway and in their home country they were already given all possible prizes. WE are known in Norway for a long time and now also in Germany it is noticed that the guys are a bit different. And that´s exactly what they proved at the W:O:A: on the W.E.T. stage: especially the slightly weird but charismatic frontman Thomas Felberg. One song of the Norwegians is called “Cosmic Biker Rock´n´Roll” and that´s exactly how one could perfectly describe most of the songs that the band played at Wacken. Those who like stoner rock, don´t mind a little bit of psychedelic rock and haven´t seen WE have definitely missed something. (mh)

Saturday 20:45 – 21:30
W.E.T. Stage

What a surprise! The Swedes were really banned to the tent and then also at the best headliner time because on the True Metal Stage WHITESNAKE had the honour to perform. But this shouldn´t do any harm to the gig of the Swedes because despite my long lasting Wacken experience I´ve never seen a tent that packed like on this warm summer evening. And deservedly so, because the melancholic songs of the guys were brilliantly staged and the orchestration of the single instruments together with the touching vocals of Daniel Brennare formed a moving symbiosis. Songs from the latest album as well as a fine selection of older treats were played. This band has, in any case, deserved more than meagre 45 minutes of playing time. (Norman – Metal.de)

Rose Tattoo
Saturday, 00:30 – 01:45
Party Stage

The Aussies from ROSE TATTOO played right after MOTÖRHEAD and at some point even we had to find something to eat and so I only saw the last song and the two encores. After a hard stroke of fate, the death of Peter Wells who succumbed to cancer in March of this year, the band wanted to give it another go but the tech seemed to put a spanner in the works because with at least three songs that I watched the sound was tinny, way too loud and Gary „Angry“ Anderson´s voice only noticeable with the high tones and there too loud, too. Ex BÖHSE ONKELZ guitarist Matthias Röhr aka Gonzo played his announced special guest performance. Do they all come back separately now? Oh well, each to his own. Because the sound on the soon-to-be-release single „Black-Eyed Bruiser“ will surely be more merciful all hard rock fans should, in any case, have a listen. (sa)

Saturday 00:45 – 01:45

Black Stage

„FINNTROLL – more Vikings?“ wondered some people at the W:O:A: when they read this name. No not Vikings but trolls, as the name suggests. Finnish trolls with Swedish singing to be exact – „Trollish metal“ like the band itself says. The mostly green light onstage put the final touches to the troll music and so you felt like being a part of their world. The six managed to create a quite special stage setting only with their music and a little light, which captivated the whole audience. At times the melodic but piercing keyboard from Aleksi Virta carried you to the world of the trolls, which you only realised when Mathias Lillman´s growls brought you back to earth again. The new singer of the Finnish band did well onstage and knew how to take the crowd. But not only Mathias understood how to interact with the people – also his band colleagues did their best to entertain everyone. In the course of the gig the crowd was animated and encouraged by the band to shake their hair. Also onstage you could see flying hair most of the time. FINNTROLL are, in any case, one of those bands who can translate their fun of playing music to the fans and thus create a very special atmosphere at their concerts. Why didn´t those guys make the soundtrack to the „Lord Of The Rings“ movies? (me)

Saturday 02:00 – 03:00
True Metal Stage

SUBWAY TO SALLY made it snow: The guys from Potsdam played at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning the last show of the festival and kicked off their set with the song “Schneekönigin” [Snow Queen, ed] from their latest album “Nord Nord Ost”. Fittingly they had artificial snow raining onto the first rows and turned Wacken into a little winter wonderland at night. The concert actually started already minutes earlier because, as usual for gigs of the septet, the fans got into the right mood by singing the cult song “Julia und die Räuber” and so also in Wacken the words "Blut, Blut, Räuber saufen Blut. Raub und Mord und Überfall sind gut!" could be heard. The medieval rockers around singer Eric Fish delivered an absolutely fantastic concert with songs like „Kleid aus Rosen“ and „Falscher Heiland“ but there was also a drop of bitterness: As nice as it is to play the last gig at the W:O:A: - the playing time is only one hour which is, regarding regular concerts of the band that last more than two hours, way too short. Of course, it´s not the band´s fault! It´s only too bad that they couldn´t really use that hour: after the obligatory encore „Julia und die Räuber“ there would´ve been enough time for another song. It´s too bad too that in one hour playing time it´s unavoidable that some hits have to fall by the wayside. But still: A song like „Veitstanz“ or another classic more in the seltlist hadn´t done any harm. Nevertheless the performance was a wonderful ending of the festival – still minutes after the band had left the stage and had come back in between to thank the crowd many people stayed and kept on singing: „Blut, Blut, Räuber saufen Blut Raub und Mord und Überfall sind gut…". (mh)

After an awesome closing-party with no real ending another great Wacken was over -very nice, monstrous but awesome. See you all at Wacken 2007 at which we surely have some cool raffles in the form of Meet & Greets again. Please write your ideas and suggestions for specials treats for 2007 in our comment field! (sa)

Samira Alinto (sa), Melanie Haack (mh), Maike Eisenmenger (me), Gabriele Palermo (gp), guest authors: Metal.de (Norman Sickinger & Imperium)

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