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05/08/2010 - 07/08/2010, Wacken Open Air 2010, Part 21 – Wacken – Germany

It has become a tradition for us to attend Wacken Open Air, in order to review the event for Venezuelan metal magazine “Mattey Magazine”. And so, at the beginning of August, we made our way to the village named Wacken situated approximately 70 kilometers north of Hamburg, Germany. Eugene was there to photograph the bands, the review was written by Talitha, Martina, Eugene, Majelle and Anton. With 75,000 paying visitors, the W:O:A 2010 was sold out like in the last couple of years. In addition to the visitors, there are artists (107 bands, about 1000 persons), guests, inhabitants  of the surrounding villages who have free entry to the festival, crew, emergency- and security services. The number of all participants was about 82,500, and that for three days in a row. So it’s safe to say that Wacken is the biggest metal festival of Europe. Besides many Germans, a whole host of headbangers from various European countries flock to Wacken.


When we arrived at Wacken early on the Thursday morning, we found an already completely packed backstage camping area, no sign of the credit-crunch here! Even in this area it was hard to find a free space. The 21st edition of the Wacken Open Air festival was bursting at the scene with around 80.000 visiting metalheads. After setting up camp, we were ready to embark upon a weekend packed with music, partying and beer. This year’s line-up was a good one for us, with headliners like Iron Maiden, Mötley Crüe and Slayer, so we were stoked to be there. Like other years, many people had been waiting at the Wacken plaza until the festival grounds are opening. There is a lot of stuff to do to spend your time while waiting.  Most of them had managed to entertain themselves at the sizeable metal market right next to the festival area. If you ask me if you manage your time between concerts you will probably want to get some rest until the next one, so than you have to go the “Beer Garden”, were you can order drinks (beer of course) and relax in the sun. Furthermore one of the things you can do is participate to some sport activities that take place in the a true medieval village, called Wackinger Village. And what exactly is the Wackinger Village? Well it is an area inside the Wacken plaza where you can eat, drink, learn how to make swords (by Blacksmiths guidance of course), play strong men games like axe-slinging, watch Knight Sword fights, participate to role playing games and many other things. Moreover, a stage has been placed in this area as well, where acts such as Tyr, Orden Ogan, Equilibrium, Svartsot  and Torfrock can be witnessed. The atmosphere in this medieval corner of Wacken is especially brotherly.  



At three o’ clock, the gates to the Wacken festival area finally open and in no time the space before the two main stages is filled with metalheads. Exactly at four, the German band Skyline has the privilege of opening the 21th edition of Wacken. They were also present last year and at the very first edition of Wacken Open Air in 1990, hardly a surprise as Skyline is Wacken initiator Thomas Jensen’s band. Today they have invited special guests on stage, they are joined by beauty Doro who warms up the crowd with the special Wacken Hymne “We Are the Metalheads”. After this first highlight of the day, the crowd is treated to a number of good old covers such as Warlocks  “All We Are”, Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” and Dio’s “Holy Diver”. Then super German Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) steps up for a number of songs and the band closed their set with Accept’s “Balls to the Wall” much to the pleasure of the crowd. All together this was a cool kick off of the festival.



Personal highlight of the festival was the show performed by Alice Cooper. This man may be old, but still gives you a hell of a show. All the drama and theatre are great to watch. This man’s voice still sounds good, but here and there, he fails. But he is like a million years old, so we forgive him for that!!! They start off their show with classic songs such as “School's Out” (partly), “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “I'm Eighteen” he gets everybody excited! This band still has got it, the show is incredible. The crowd loves everything this band does. The band is not getting tired and the joy and fun all the members has, is amazing. We get to hear monster hit “Poison” followed by “From The Inside” and “Be My Lover”. Then it’s time for the beautiful “Only Women Bleed”. The band is still going strong and they play so many songs, here are a few more “I Never Cry”, “Vengeance Is Mine”, “Dirty Diamonds” and “Billion Dollar Babies”.  This show already made me happy, this was the reason that I came to Wacken again this year. After “Killer”, “I Love The Dead”,  the classical songs “Feed My Frankenstein” and “Under My Wheels” the band leaves the stage. But then they suddenly return for the encore. They give us their best with the songs “Elected” and “School's Out” and then say goodbye. Awesome show.



Another band that I really wanted to see was Mötley Crüe. The live shows from these glam rockers can be either very good or terrible (like last year at Graspop). There is no other way. But as soon as they kickoff their set with “Kickstart My Heart”, I know today will be a killer show! They are in good moods and they look like they are having fun. They shoot “Wild Side” at us followed by “Shout At The Devil” and the crowd goes mad. These guys rock the Wacken festival. Sometimes it looks like singer Vince Neil is doing gymnastics but all together it sounds and looks good! We get to hear new and old songs like “Saints Of Los Angeles”, “Looks That Kill” and “Live Wire”. The sound keeps getting better and the field is pretty much packed with people. Everybody sings along and the band goes on with killer songs such as “Same Ol' Situation”, “Mutherfucker Of The Year” and “Ten Seconds to Love”. The funny thing is that we see all kinds of dressed up (over the top) glam rock fans in the crowd. It’s hilarious! After playing “Primal Scream” the band gives us the two most famous songs “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” before they leave the stage. Mötley Crüe didn’t deliver the kick-ass stuff as they did in the eighties, but they can still move a crowd to shouting along way down in the back. So to be short, it was a show to remember.



Iron Maiden recently played some shows in the USA, and now they are back in Europe to play some festival shows. And again, like in 2008 they did play the Wacken Open air festival. You know they are professionals and they want to please the crowd. The field is way over packed with people, it’s getting scary now. Maiden starts with a bang with “The Wicker Man” followed by “Ghost Of The Navigator”. After hearing “Wrathchild” and new one “El Dorado” we wonder what will follow. The set list is kind of strange, they played a lot of songs from their most recent album like ‘Brave New World’, ‘Dance Of Death’, ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’, along with their new album ‘The Final Frontier’. The new album seems to be science fiction- themed, judging from the cover and the stage tonight. So we we’re wondering if they will play their classics tonight. But first we got to witness some newer songs like, “The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg” and “These Colours Don't Run”. The quality is very good, but that’s what you expect from a band like Iron Maiden. Murray, Smith and Gers exchange intricate, beautiful leads, as Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain ground the whole thing to their steady, signature, galloping rhythm. But it’s Bruce who steals the show, he never ceases to surprise. He is unstoppable, running and jumping around for two and a half hours, joking and rallying the crowd and making everyone feel at home but the most amazing thing is his voice, which is still as powerful as ever. The crowd sings along to every lyric and when Dickinson dedicates “Blood Brothers” to Ronnie James Dio, it is a genuinely moving moment. This was very impressive, after that we also hear “Wildest Dreams”, “No More Lies” and “Brave New World”. As we are getting a little bit bored with all the new stuff, we still waiting for some classics. Also, lets be honest, Iron Maiden last albums are not equal to their classic period (although dedicated fans might disagree). Next song is  “Fear Of The Dark”, but after that the band leaves the stage. We do hope they will come back for more, and after screaming for the band, they do come back to give us some Eddie with “The Number of the Beast”, followed by “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and closure “Running Free”. Then the band disappears in the dark, at which point, the gigantic buffalo skull towering above the stages spits tongues of fire, warming us up like a pagan idol and ending our first day on a high note, so finally it was and a night to remember!




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Friday 06/08/2010
Saturday 07/08/2010