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With Full Force Festival, located at the (unpronounceable) airport Roitschjora near Leipzig, has been among the classic summer destinations for Metal pilgrims for a couple of years. How does a – still pretty exhausted - survivor of those three days feel? Here you can read Christian´s festival impressions...
With Full Force – I was there this year... and I´ve heard only positive feedback from many other people, so perhaps only fans surrounding us were – err – extremely challenging... In my opinion, however, a 1600 km journey is too much for
- pretty aggressive people
- Metalheads who do not know when it´s enough
- good bands who are forced to play after 4 o´clock in the morning (Moonsorrow, Pungent Stench, Pain etc), and then the sound person cannot even manage to get rid of feedbacks
- prices that are way too high, despite gaging 2 Euros for the beer cup – and every stand had their own, so that didn´t make sense anyway, and it was so easy to lose the cup in moshpits – they charged 4.30 E for a beer
How much money I spent I don´t want to mention here. But it is difficult to make it with 250 E, incl. Travel costs and WFF ticket. Food and drinks were excellent, though!
All bands on the main stage – e. g.Slayer, Korn, Cannibal Corpse, Sick Of It All, Children Of Bodom, Amon Amarth - were excellent, too, and spirits were high. There was always some Wall of Death going on, which usually develops in the mosh pit: people withdraw, so that a big empty space is formed within the moshpit, then usually the band´s singer gives a signal, and everybody starts running towards each other ... very dangerous.
Here you can see two videos, but start with this one first, as it was easier to follow from a distance:
And here is my camera right in the center of it:
Still for me this is not quite enough, because a festival is also about the surrounding, and this is what I found poor. It´s OK to have some drinks, but most WFF visitors seemed to be totally wasted all the time, and this wasn´t good for keeping a peaceful climate. Just imagine that:
Someone was so stupid to drive his car – probably after getting completely wasted – in the early morning hours across the area. I just heard a thumb and honking, next day I heard that the car indeed hit a tent and a person sleeping inside, if it was rolling over or just swiping by, I never found out. Yet I heard that nobody was injured, and the driver got immediately kicked out.
Another disgusting aspect were people shying away from those – indeed disgusting and hardly ever cleaned – dixie toilets, so they defecated anywhere, right beside the roads or cars – brainless!!
But now a bit about the bands:
Swallow the Sun were great as always, yet singer Mikko could express himself a bit more. One Man Army were quite good, too. As I Lay Dying and Hatebreed had appealed to me a bit more a couple of days before the festival in Austria, they seemed to be tired. Ektomorf are always good live, but personally I detest this Bugs Bunny jumping. Brujeria I found much better on CD, still I could finally see them live but I was not able to identify all those mummed musicians. After this disappointment Cannibal Corpse were really appreciated and received many cheers.
I did not want to seeKorn because I don´t like the band, and I did not visit Tentstage on the first day, because I had seen Crushing Caspars only recently and I was not into the rest of the line-up. Yet the evening program was interesting, I found the Black Metal bands (e. g. Satyricon, Naglfar) rather funny, growled with Vomitory and suddenly a positive surprise, Pungent Stench replaced Mayhem (who I wasn´t interested in anyway). Last time at another festival they could play only 4 songs, so this time I got lucky.
The following day started for me with Benediction, a great band I can only recommend and I will try to see again soon. Lamb Of God are the Wall of Death kings, there is no gig without WoD. Static X were unknown to me and therefore interesting, but they had cancelled their show. Instead of Caliban I preferred to check out Walls Of Jericho and their beautiful front woman on Tent stage ;D
Amon Amarth I might have seen too often, I was not really impressed and preferred to check out the shops. Children Of Bodom, however, were a band for me, who I had followed and admired for quite a while but never had a chance to see them live. Therefore I felt indeed euphoric, and they ended their show with fireworks, an impressive ending of my day, too.
In the early morning I also checked out Peter Pan Speedrock and Moonsorrow, the latter seemed to be pissed off in the beginning, because the audience seemed uninterested. But no wonder at 3 o´clock in the morning... yet at some point the fatigue was gone and the band was real fun, first class Doom Humppa.
On Sunday I planned to check Unearthed but somehow I drowsed away. Sonic Syndicate seemed interesting because they had so many good magazine reviews, but unfortunately they could not pull it off live, I found them rather bad, although they seemed to have elastic springs in their shoes. Pro Pain were much better, and I had not seen them live for a while.
Ill Nino were not quite my taste and so I ignored them, I was rather looking forward to see the Irish Folk band Dropkick Murphys with their great live show. Finally Slayer appeared as headliner of the day.
Summary: The festival as such is quite good, well organised, many nice shops and great bands. Only some fans spoiled the picture, therefore I might not come back. I had been to many festivals and therefore can compare the mood, and WFF was the most aggressive festival I had ever experienced. I did not enjoy the location, too, just a flat field and nothing else. Therefore I´m rather looking forward to holiday-feeling festivals, like Kaltenbach and Metalcamp!
More WFF impressions:
Festival live photos: http://www.inmove.de/deutsch/reviewset.html