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Wacken Open Air 2011

Stadt / City Wacken 
Land / Country Germany 
Web www.wacken.com
Datum / Date03 - 06 August 2011 
Bildergalerie / Picturegalerie Wacken_2011 
Photos: Samira Alinto, Timo Pässler, Wacken Open Air 

Already a few months beforehand Wacken was yet again sold out. Unfortunately there was a slight shadow hanging over the festival during the first days as a truck ran over a group of youngsters from Pöln, Germany, who had stopped for a short break on the way to Wacken. Our condolences go to the friends and family from the deceased. Due to our late arrival on Thursday, we did not get to know if there was a charity or the likes done by the WOA organisers. If someone knows more, please post a comment under the review.

The line up for this year was brilliant, which is why there were so many journalists and photographers at the location. Unfortunately this year we did not manage to get our hands on a photo-pit pass as well as some of our colleagues, so we were not able to take photos of some of the bands, but we had to use the official festival photos when possible. Now come the many thanks to Sabine and her colleagues from the press tent, who ran from stage to stage with Samira and other photographers to get some pictures done. We hope to get some great photos of each band we write about next year, as accustomed. But, have fun with our Wacken review of 2011.

Photo: Samira Alinto

Thursday, 04. August 2011

Skyline (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Skyline-photos check here!
Skyline kicked off on Thursday on the Black Stage. In accordance to tradition, the short speech by the organisers was followed by the Gary Moore-cover “Out in the Fields” and “Over the Hills and Far Away”. Doro was moshing along at the side of the stage and averted most eyes onto her; she finally took over completely by taking the mike and performing the Wacken-hymn. How does a woman do that? 47 years old, still a real eye-catcher and all of this without any plastic surgeries. One would hoe –for the sake of the PETA-membership- that the leather she was wearing was imitation. Then there was a new song from her, which actually sounded like it had been a part of the Wacken tradition for some years already. Doro as usual. After her came Chris Boltendahl from Grave Digger with “Wacken Will Never Die”, followed by “Auf Nach Wacken” by Tom Angelripper. Udo Dirkschneider closed the set with the obligatory “Heavy Metal W.O.A” and the Accept songs “I´m a rebel” and “Princess of the Dawn”. With the annual medley brought to an end, one can only say that it was nice as always. (sa)

Photo: Timo Pässler

Bülent Ceylan (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Bülent Ceylan-photos check here!
Who is Bülent Ceylan? After being googled before Wacken and delivering a positive surprise at the press tent, the expectations were high. He already earned his metal festival-spurs at the Summer Breeze, but Wacken is quite a different game and the attendants are not famous for their clemency. I can still remember Martin Cesici –an Idols contestant- performing on the Party Stage for a whole lot of people, who literally turned their backs to him. That was intolerant and mean. But! But this disgraceful feat of narrow-mindness (the people could have just gone to see other bands and not have come to the show at all) is the past and the audience offered the comedian respect, laughs, and a good mood. His programme, which revolved around the theme shopping, was good, but not a milestone. Furthermore, the “I am Turkish and I make fun of myself because of this” has been seen and heard too often and quite worn down, but with the power of lots of beer and sunshine, laughs were laughed, cheers were cheered and the “first Turk to crowd surf with a rubber boat” was well played. Stand-up on the Black Stage works, go figure. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Onkel Tom (Bullhead-City)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Onkel Tom-photos check here!
A hot and humid wall of air welcomed the guests to the overcrowded Bullhead City Stage when Onkel Tom. The masses were not there just because of the 501 free pints given out to the people; two blond girls in traditional German dresses –or Dirndls- handed out the beers to those, who made it to the first row, even if most of the beer was being drunk by the musicians themselves. Which is the way it goes by an Onkel Tom concert. The band made the audience their own with growl-along-songs like “Diebels Alt”, Schnaps war sein letztes Wort” (Booze was his last word), and “In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus” (there is a beer hall in Munich). The people were growling, singing and sweating until the end of the show. One, two, drink! However before the tent could be emptied, Tom had a special announcement. Behind the stage his colleagues from Sodom waited to play “Ein Bisschen Spass muss Sein” (there has to be a bit of fun) with Roberto Blanko. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Sodom feat. Roberto Blanko (Bullhead-City)
Photo: Samira Alinto

First Sodom played the piece with Roberto Blanco for an advertisement for an Alzheimer-beneficence and now they had to do it again in front of the fans of Onkel Tom on the Bullhead City Stage. While Sodom waited in the sauna-like tent, Roberto Blanko took his time in the changing room and the audience started leaving. This went on until the “Masters of Comedy” were supposed to begin and there were only a few people. I also had to take my leave as the next band on out long list was coming up. I heard from more patient people that the clowns (the masters of comedy) were ridiculous and apart from the tv-cameras, there were maybe 30 people in the audience. As this was a surprise, nobody –except the protagonists- could be disappointed. (sa)

Maiden United (Wackinger Stage)
Maiden United hides some musicians from bigger bands, like Within Temptation, Threshold, and The Gathering. This Dutch allstar-group plays Maiden classics in acoustic form with various guest artists. With this in mind, I took off to the Wackinger Stage early Thursday evening. Those unfamiliar with the “new” Wacken festival area should know that the Wackinger Stage was not really in the festival area, but more in the camping zone. On the way there, we were “redirected” until the show was over. Thus, we unfortunately missed Maiden united. The various witnesses however assured us that it was a pretty cool show. Shame, maybe next time. (tp)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Helloween (True Metal Stage)
Photo: Wacken Open Air

Accompanied with the best summer weather, Helloween entered the stage with “Are You Metal”. Right from the beginning the sound was mighty –too mighty for the fuses and circuit breakers; already before the first chorus, the power was cut and silence filled the stage. The band took it in stride and with humour and after a bit, they continued where they left. The joy was short-lived, however, as the fuses were blown soon again. This time it took a bit longer to fix, but in the end Andi Deris & co. continued with “Eagle Fly Free” and without further problems. The set list was really well balanced even though they could not play songs from every album due to the short play time. Similarly difficult to comprehend were the long drum solo and the sing-along game, considering the previously mentioned short play time. Within this time they could have easily played two or three songs, which would have pleased the majority of the crowd much more. Then again it was really fun to hear songs like “March of Time”, “Dr. Stein” and “I Want Out” in Wacken! (tp)

Blind Guardian (Black Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Blind Guardian-photos check here!
Blind Guardian does it quite differently: The guys from Krefeld, Germany wasted no time with unnecessary pauses and did not even play the typical game with the encores. So they played 14 songs in only 90 minutes -three of them are even longer than 6 minutes: “Sacred Worlds”, “Wheel of Time” and “Majesty”. The set list was more than balanced, so that it satisfied even me, a Blind Guardian maniac and set list critic. I really appreciate that the band also played three songs form the last release. Also if it is exceptional to watch Blind Guardian at daylight in Wacken, the show is really enthusiastic. Even my friend Jonathan, a confessing non-maniac of Guardian, speaks of “a great show”. There is nothing more to say. Now let´s see if Ozzy can do the same. Ozzy, your turn! (tp)

Ozzy Osbourne (True Metal Stage)
Photo: Wacken Open Air

The only real surprise, which Ozzy delivered, was that he was disappointing. Looking at him performing, one could not help but think that he is simply too old for it; I felt like going up to him, thanking him, kissing his feet for all that he ever did for music and telling him that it´s enough, you don´t have to do this any more. One of the few positive aspects was the set list: with “Mr. Crawley”, “War Pigs” and “Bark at the Moon” in the beginning and “Iron Man”, “Crazy Train” and “Paranoid” at the end, there is little to no room for critique. Furthermore, another good bit of the concert was him spraying the security, with a white foam from a hose (after which he turned the hose on himself); it is unclear as to whether or not this was his intention, or just degrading eyesight. In the end the fact remains that Ozzy just could not reach the notes and when he did, he could not hold onto them. Another aspect which bugged me was that there was none of his old crew to play with; instead of having the likes of Zakk Wylde, a legend in his own terms, we were “entertained” by a 15-20 minute guitar & drum solo from the new kids on Ozzy´s block. From the old timers that performed at WOA, Ozzy got his ass kicked by Judas Priest. (oa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Friday, 05. August 2008

Ensiferum (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Ensiferum-photos check here!
These days Ensiferum can count on the stabile fan base in Germany and exactly due to this, they were the right wake-up for Friday morning. The area before the stage was acceptably filled when the Finns started with their Battle-Metal at 12 on the dot. Already ten minutes later, during “Twilight Tavern” the first crowd surfers were on the move. Even though the sound was all but brilliant (the guitars could almost not be heard at times) and there was too much being played from the records (intros etc), the audience became very jovial very fast. It was perfectly fitting when all hands rose as Petri asked the crowd who was going to get drunk. By the way, this was a band, which created long lines to the exit after the end of the set; I presume that Ensiferum´s fans don´t really like Suicidal Tendencies… (tp)

Ignis Fatuu (Wackinger Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

There was emptiness in front of the stage when the quintet Ignis Fatuu from Nurnberg began with their folk rock. The small but charming audience openly enjoyed being within spitting distance to the band and went along with the show during most of the songs. As I don´t know the band, I can´t draw a comparison to their usual performances, I can only say that they mastered their instruments quite well, even if the bagpipes sometimes sounded slightly out of tune. The guitarist as well as the bagpipe player did, however were vocally good. One should not pass on Ignis Fatuu if one is into bands like In Extremo and Subway to Sally because therein is talent. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Roleplayer & Knight Combats (Wackinger Village)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Roleplay & Medival photos check here!
After Ignis Fatuu the rest of the Role-Player Combat & Battle should have been on and to the end, Knight Combats, but instead of this, the knights and role players danced. This was nice to look at, but in the end I was so bored that I could not stay until the end to see when the fighting started. I am sure that it was pleasant to see and was probably more intense. It was, however, interesting to stroll around the Wackinger Village as there were curiosities, like the chastity belt for men. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Morbid Angel (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Morbid Angel-photos check here!
There was an airplane circling in the sky, pulling along a flag that said “I am morbid” and just that was coming up. The death Metallers from sunny Florida are back and brought along their 8th and newest album (Illud Divinum Insanus”. The band was content with “Nevermore” and “I am Morbid” and played only two of the new songs in the middle of the set. The rest of the time they were playing classics like “Immortal Rites”, “Angel of Disease” and “God of Emptiness”. They played without making a big fuss out of it, but also without a lot of interaction with the audience; the songs were chosen well, but the stage was set quite sparsely. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Bai Bang (Pressezelt)
Photo: Samira Alinto

There was a little live foretaste from the upcoming album from Bai Bang, “Livin´My Dream”. The Swedes fall around the category Glam/Sleaze and Hard Rock from the 80´s. What Bai Bang delivers doesn´t sound bad at all. The heavy rock-track “We´re United” really got stuck in my head, all the way to the W.E.T Stage. (sa)

Van Canto (Party Stage)
Photo: Wacken Open Air

Today Van Canto proved that a cappella is also fitting for Wacken. Whether or no the popular songs like “Rebellion” and “Fear of the Dark” are well accepted in a festival is beyond doubt, but also absent of bass and guitar, the songs work amazingly well. Also “Bard´s Song” works well, even when it does not stand up to the original, which was played two days ago. Amazingly, the original songs like “The Mission” and “One for All” worked also very well. Was it due to the good weather or the intensive touring of the last years? A splash of colour in the schedule at least! (tp)

Sodom (True Metal Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Sodom-photos check here!
Sodom definitely did not disappoint. Straight off the bat came the already popular song “In War and Pieces” from the latest album. There were tracks from the good old times like “Agent Orange”, “M-16” and the all too easy sing-along song “The Saw is the Law”. There was no rain, but unfortunately the wind was not only stealing the sound, but turning the speakers (which were hanging from the rig, but for some reason not fixed on the bottom) left and right, which made the sound waver for those, who were not directly in front of the stage. None the less, as one can see from the photos, it was evident that the musicians themselves were having a blast; furthermore, considering how many people were singing along and cheering the veterans of Metal, it is evident that the audience liked it too. (oa)

Trivium (True Metal Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Trivium-photos check here!
For a long time there was close to nothing heard from the American modern-metallers Trivium and then they came back with a new record “In Waves”. And what could be a better advertisement than playing it at the biggest metal festival in Europe? Trivium also knew the answer to that one and thus they started with the pedal to the metal. Matt Heafy posed like a madman –albeit with a modern short haircut- and could not wipe the grin off his face. Furthermore he didn´t get bored of emphasising how great his first time in WOA was as well as the awesomeness of the audience. With “Like Light to the Flies” and “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation” as well as an impressive moshpit, the guys left the stage. (cp)

Negator (W.E.T. Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Negator-photos check here!
Those, who read Stalker, know Negator for a while already because they were our Fresh Act of the Month. The Black Metallers from Hamburg were quite busy lately; they released three albums, changed members, and labels and now they are playing on the W.E.T Stage. The singer Steve “Nachtgarm” Marbs even replaced Masse “Caligula” Broberg as vocalist in the Swedish Black Metal band Dark Funeral. Any implications that this could suck out the energy from Negator were utterly erased by this performance. They played completely pure, without corpse paint, but evil looks about their faces and without pause throughout the 30 minutes. Unfortunately Negator had their sound really messed up, so that it was sometimes impossible to hear the vocals. Finally by the last two songs, the mixer woke up, fixed the sound and finally Negator sounded like they are supposed to: brutal, dark and aggressive. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Deadlock (W.E.T. Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Deadlock-photos check here!
Deadlock really should feel at home in Wacken. Not because they have played here so often, but because their hometown is just as small as Wacken. Nonetheless, the guys and girl were anything but shy and ran riot on stage. Even though the songs were overflowing with synthesiser arrangements and partially more Hardcore than Metal –which is not really fitting to Wacken- it all worked out all right in the big picture. The tent had been a lot fuller at times, but Deadlock did not let it disturb them and gave full gas the entire 30 minutes. (tp)

No Cradle of Filth but Triptykon (Black Stage)
Photo: CoF

Cradle of Filth cancelled due to injuries sustained by Dani Filth at the Selestat festival in France. None the less, there were not just a few people in front of the Black Stage as there was no warning in the program booklet. The old musicians from Celtic Frost –Thomas Gabriel Fischer and Vanja Slajh with their band Triptykon were more or less an emergency solution even though they were playing as headliner on Friday at the Rock Hard Open Air Festival. A big part of the audience buggered off during the first song, leaving the front of the stage quite free. The Swiss offered Doomish, melodic music, gloomy atmosphere with good lights, a nicely set stage and great sound to all those, who gave them a chance. It was a worthy replacement. (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Judas Priest (True Metal Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Judas Priest-photos check here!
Judas Priest is taking on the challenge with Ozzy Osbourne today; a challenge to proof who is the grandmaster this year. The basic conditions couldn´t be better (perfect whether, sound and atmosphere) and so the start is easy. “Rapid Fire” and “Metalgods” were great for it! Before the show I was quite sceptical about the current qualities of Rob Halford´s voice. In the past years, there were many critics saying that his best years are long, long gone. But Rob surprised today with a hell of a performance! It was even a sign of power, not weakness, when he let the audience sing “Breaking the Law”. By the way; power: I never heard such a powerful live version of the mighty “Painkiller” (neither by the Ripper, nor on CD). The Priest clearly wins the challenge against Ozzy easily!
But Priest does not only consist of Rob Halford. There is also Glenn Tipton, who was, is, and always will be a focal point of the show. In the past, this guy played in almost every venue and stadium around the globe. Therefore it is really surprising that he needs sometime today to warm up. It is really different with Richie Faulkner, the new man on guitars. He really is in his element, right from the first second. It almost looks as he would try to catch all the watching eyes today. As a benefit he may play a guitar solo today and in addition he is afterwards praised by Rob Halford himself. What an honour!

Photo: Samira Alinto

One final word to the set list: This could not be more balanced - every Album is covered today, except the two recorded with Tim Owens. There is actually much space for improvement here!
One final note: While Rob changed his dresses for every song, a girl did it a bit differently. While surfing on the crowd, she took her bra off – if by choice or not, this could not be seen from her facial expression… (tp)

Kyuss Lives (Party Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Kyuss Lives-photos check here!
I don´t know why Kyuss needs the extra “Lives” onto it´s name, it could be due to the fights with the ex-guitarist, Josh Homme, but if so many of the original members are back in the band, Kyuss should do. The pioneers of Stoner Rock are back and that it the most important bit because apart from me, there were loads of fans of the band in the audience, who didn´t think they´d ever see the band live again. John Garcia, Brant Bjork, and Nick Oliveri delivered a solid performance, but Bruno Fevery could not really fill in the shoes of Homme. Nonetheless, the evergreens like “Gardenia”, “Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop” and “One Inch Man” were all there and the sound was almost immaculate. It would have been nice to have had the band a bit closer to the public with a few talks in between, but even that couldn´t dispraise the great experience. (sa)

Skindred (W.E.T. Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Skindred-photos check here!
Skindred had been touring Europe quite actively since June and they were at the top of their game in WOA. They have just recently been awarded the “Best Live Act” by Metal Hammer (as well as the dubious “Devotion” award from Kerrang!) and judging from their performance in WOA, they truly deserved it. From the opening track “Stand for Something” they had the audience wrapped around their pinky. I doubt that so many people from the audience have been jumping simultaneously in a while. They indulged us with tracks off their latest record, “Union Black” (Doom Riff, Warning) as well as from their debut, “Babylon” (Pressure) and there was really no room for criticism. Perhaps the only real criticism one could give would have to be the hypothetical danger for a light-built asthmatic in the middle of the low-oxygen tent full of jumping maniacs, who are repeatedly pushed to the point of frenzy by preacher B. Webbe. Full points there, keep up the good work! (oa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Saltatio Mortis (Party Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Saltatio Mortis-photos check here!
The partisans of Middle Age Music were a bit sparse this year in WOA. Keeping this in mind, it was no wonder that there were people in abundance despite the late hour that Saltatio Mortis played on the Party Stage. Luckily Apocalyptica didn´t play that loud that the calmer moments would have been spoiled. The band managed again to have the public give out the last scraps of their energy and leave with smiles on their faces. This may also be because of Doro, who joined in with the band for “Salome”. At 03:00, when the show and the day were finally over, the people in the crowd now let themselves fall into their tents, or entered the Party Tent to go on with the festivities. (tp)

Apocalyptica (Black Stage)
Photo: Wacken Open Air

The Finnish cello-metallers took the stage (really) late Friday but the crowd was amazingly awake. Latest by “Seek and Destroy”, every single soul had come around to sing along as best one could –just about everyone was there for the chorus and surprisingly many sang and screamed throughout the whole track. The other two Metallica covers, “Nothing Else Matters” and “Master of Puppets” were also great sing-along tunes and Eicca himself said he loved to have his audience as his vocalists. The track from the latest album-7th Symphony- “Bring Them to the Light” was also played, much to the enjoyment of the crowd as well as the evergreen “”Hall of the Mountain King”, to which they ended their set and let the Metalheads go and recharge and refuel. (oa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Saturday, 06. August 2008

Moonsorrow (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Moonsorrow-photos check here!
Last year Dew Scented and Ektomorf were the ones to give the hung over public a musical wake-up-kick-in-the-ass. This year Moonsorrow did the same, but more gently and less effectively. Even though the Finns only played for half an hour, the Pagan Metallers couldn´t really get the crowd going. It was a real shame as the choice of set list as well as everything else on stage was working well. It was simply too early for the dark, soulful and meaningful songs. (sa)

Kataklysm (Black Stage)
Photo: Wacken Open Air

The northern hyperblast ensemble was absent from WOA for a long time, but at last they came back and the sizeable crowd reflected on how much they were missed. Even thought the sound was nowhere near perfect and on the long run it sounded a bit monotone, the tracks like “Push the Venom” and “Ambassador of Pain” thundered throughout the auditorium. That which was particularly impressive was when “As I Slither” was being played: Grunzer Maurizio Iacono went straight to the security barricade to sing and the crowd responded with sending forth a flood of crowdsurfers. Looking at this from above was more than great. After that the security must have been happy to have had everyone intact and more or less injury-free. (tp)

Photo: Samira Alinto

The Haunted (Party Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more The Haunted-photos check here!
The Haunted managed to get a circle pit going early on with their mix of new and old songs, despite their relatively small audience and early playtime. The Norwegians obviously had fun on stage as they played their latest songs “Never Better” and “Unseen”, which differ from their normal mishmash. The hits “99”, “No Compromise”, Dark Intentions” and “Bury Your Head” were also well received. The Haunted delivered a good show and vocalist Peter Dolvig summed it up with his great humour. Due to the recent events in Norway, he did, however take the opportunity to wag his forefinger, which was completely ok. Unfortunately the sound from Kataklysm found it´s way to the Party Stage to gnaw at our nerves. (sa)

Mayhem (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

For more Mayhem-photos check here!
Mayhem shows are always exciting and never barren. Unfortunately I must take my words back because it was boring this time. Attila and Teloch looked like they wanted to get off the stage as soon as possible –this is how lethargic they appeared to be. Necrobutcher was the only one to put in an effort. Being used to stage sets, like that from Gorgoroth in 2008, this one was really disappointing. Unlike their show in 2004, this time the sole prop was an upside down crucifix with a four-armed Jesus and a backdrop, apart from this, the stage was barren. Musically, however there was nothing to complain about. Also the set list left nothing mote to whish for; “Pagan Fears”, “Deathcrush” and the bomb from the last album “Illuminate Eliminate” were played. Attila and his men delivered a perfectly played set with gargantually evil singing. But with bands like Mayhem & co. it´s just not enough. Shame! (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Miss Wet T-Shirt (Bullhead - City Stage)
Photo: Ozzy Aikas

This was the first time I was in a wet t-shirt competition and I am very glad I got that done and don´t have to do it again. Murphy´s law prevailed and everything that could go wrong did. First of all, as the hostesses entered the wrestling ring -one of the dames had seen her prime a decade or two ago and the other quite likely used to be a man (see the pictures and judge for yourselves).
Photo: Ozzy Aikas

They brought a man on stage for a drinking competition and he got a lot of boos after he declared that he did not drink alcohol. The contestants, who came on stage, seemed pretty enough, but someone thought that the crowd would not like to see too much of them, so there came two men on stage to obstruct the view. In the end the winner was a girl, who had come from the audience to save the day, as she was the only one, who did not shy her puppies away from public view (I thought that was the idea, but evidently no-one told the other contestants this) and was almost the whole time topless. As WOA has grown into monstrous proportions, this kind of side events –however poorly executed- seem to be necessary to vent the pressure of people from single places in order to prevent stampedes; none the less, there is always room for better ideas. (oa)

Iced Earth (True Metal Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Iced Earth-photos check here!
These are the last shows that Matt Barlow will be playing with Iced Earth, so it is not only a shame, but incomprehensible that the guys had to play so early. A later playtime would have been much more dignifying. But so it was! Jon Shaffner & co. kicked off with the all-time opener “Burning Times”. It went on with a mix of the old stuff “Vengance is mine”, mid-old “The Hunter” and newer material “Declaration Day”. They also found some time to play really rare stuff like the really cool “Jack”. The fact that there were only a very few tracks from the two last records on the playlist was indeed surprising to me! Maybe Jon finally accepted that the majority of those songs can never beat the band´s classics. The show was over much too early. What will happen now with the band? Who will dare to substitute the great Matt Barlow? We will see what the future brings. (tp)

Sepultura (Black Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Sepultura-photos check here!
It is really the first time that the Brazilians get to play at WOA. Is it a coincidence, or is it the great new album and label? I don´t know that, but I do know one thing: Andreas Kisser, Derrik Greene & co. played most of what was to com alter today to the ground! Tracks like “Kairos”, “Troops of Doom” and “Territory” blasted so hard out of the speakers, that there was really just a sea of flying hair in front of the stage. The finale gave me foot-thick goose bumps! I hadn´t had that for a long time at a concert. For probably the rest of the audience as well as me –including the whole Stalker crew- this was THE surprise of the festival! (tp)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Kreator (Black Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

Kreator actually wanted to work on a new album after the Thrash-Fest-Tour. It seems that the guys got so bored in the rehearsals that they booked themselves to some festivals more or less spontaneously. The show (stage assembly, video projection, set list) is really similar to the Thrash-Fest-Show (see review here). This, however, did close to nothing to disturb the attendants, proven by the sizeable moshpits and circle pits, demanded by Mille. On the contrary, I found it rather boring to have the whole show really familiar. But what can you do? The mood was good and one can never get enough of songs like “Enemy of God”, “Voices of the Dead”, “Violent Revolution” or “Reconquering the Throne”. I am really keyed up for the new album. (tp)

Motörhead (Black Stage)
Photo: Samira Alinto

As always, if you have seen Motörhead so often, you don´t need to see it again, because nothing changes in this band, not even in 35 years of living on the stage. But it´s ok that was. Motörhead is cult, constant and purely brilliant. Lemmy Kilmister, Philip Campell and Mikkey Dee played 15 minutes longer than planned. Songs like “Iron Fist”, “Stay Clean”, “Killed by Death” and the innumerably copied “Ace of Spades” were played. Other than that, there is nothing to say. That´s Motörhead! (sa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Children of Bodom (Black Stage)
Photo: Timo Pässler

For more Children of Bodom-photos check here!
Since their debut in WOA in 2002, the Bodom-kids´ performance is always really anticipated. The stage assembly is also something to look forward to: Gangways with multiple keyboards and microphones, big pyro-boxes and awesome backdrops. When the rollercoaster began, Alexi Laiho & co. took us for a time-travel. They played at least one song from every album, apart from the debut, “Something Wild”. So this one becomes a real best of show, with one exception: “Children of Bodom”, which was played today, is a really rare one and a really cool one! It is really a pity that the show ends with the final “Hatecrew Deathroll” after only 75 minutes. All in all a great show, which was all in all (set list, show, energy level), only beaten by the mighty Sepultura. (tp)
Eläkeläiset (Party Stage)
Photo: Wacken Open Air

Eläkeläiset, along with their countrymen CoB, suffered the worst of the weather. During the first two and half songs, everything was fine; the music was funny, musicians even funnier and the (surprisingly big) crowd was happy as can be. But then the rain came and it didn´t just drizzle, but it came in bucket loads. Thus your unlucky Stalker had to save his very expensive camera and dash to the tent, only to find that the rain ceased once he reached his destination after the 30-minute track. None the less, he did manage to have a drink with the Finns as well as witness that the keyboards can be played by rolling over them. (oa)

Photo: Samira Alinto

Conclusion: Next year we will try to make it there already on Wednesday to WOA, in order to review all of the promising newcomers. Apart from that, there is a co-op with Metal.de being planned. We are looking forward to Wacken 2012, which –if the Mayans are correct- could be the last. So everyone go and secure yourselves tickets before it is sold out again! The first bands are booked already: Amon Amarth, Axel Rudi Pell, Cradle of Filth (second try), Endstille, Forbidden, Gamma Ray, Hammerfall, Ministry, Scorpions, Six Feet Under and U.D.O.

Photo: Samira Alinto

Samira Alinto (sa), Ozzy Aikas (oa), Timo Pässler (tp), Christina Pässler (cp)

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