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MessageSujet: Wacken 2012    Ven 3 Aoû - 8:46

SEPULTURA - Pro Shot Video Of Complete Wacken 2012 Performance

Yesterday - Thursday, August 2nd - SEPULTURA performed at the
prestigious Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. Professionally filmed
video footage of their entire set can be seen below. The band was joined
on stage by Les Tambours Du Bronx, featuring 16 drummers from France.

Sepultura's next show is August 3rd in the Czech Republic. Their complete tour schedule is available here.
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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Ven 3 Aoû - 13:17

SAXON, SEPULTURA, U.D.O., VOLBEAT Storm Wacken On Day 1! has landed at the Wacken Open Air festival, being held
in Wacken, Germany this weekend (August 1st - 4th). Last night
(Thursday, August 2nd) featured headliners SAXON, SEPULTURA (& LES
TAMBOURS DU BRONX), VOLBEAT and U.D.O. with special guests.

For Biff Byford and Co., Wacken is their second home and the singer
exclaimed that whenever the band announces a final show, it will be on
the Wacken Holy Land. The British staples performed yet another
top-notch greatest hits set which featured the likes of 'Denim &
Leather', 'Motorcyle
Man' and 'Crusader'.

U.D.O.'s career-spanning set featured a slew of ACCEPT (the
brilliant 'Screaming For A Love Bite', 'Princess Of The Dawn', 'Head
Over Heels'
and of course the closer 'Metal Heart') and the duet with
'Dancing Like An Angel'. But the singer dug deep when he invited
former members (Andy Susemihl, Mathias Deih, Thomas Smuszynsky) and his
son (Sven Dirkschneider) for the band's early classics like the
unforgettable 'Heart Of Gold', 'Animal House' and 'They Want War'.

Volbeat rocked the house with the enviable stage time (10:30 until midnight) and the crowd soaked up material from

2008's Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood and their latest,
Beyond Hell/Above Heaven including 'Fallen', 'Heaven Nor Hell' and their
latest single 'Still Counting' which closed off the night.

Sepultura were joined by the Les Tambours Du Bronx featuring sixteen
drummers from France who beat 225 litre barrels with beech wood bats or
even axe handles. The pairing took the Brazilian's percussion to
another level as such classics as they stormed through 'Refuse/Resist',
'Territory', 'Roots Bloody Roots'
and of course 'Ratamahatta'!

We're gearing up for Day #2 which will include OPETH, OVERKILL,
and the headliner DIMMU BORGIR
& ORCHESTRA! Chatting with one of their entourage, the band had
booked 60 (yes 60!) rooms in Hamburg for all the performers!!!!
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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Sam 4 Aoû - 17:01

DORO Performs With U.D.O. At Wacken Open Air 2012; Pro-Shot Footage Available

On August 2nd, German metal queen DORO PESCH joined U.D.O. on stage at
Wacken Open Air 2012 to perform 'Dancing With An Angel'. Pro-shot
footage is available below (Doro hits the stage at the 7:00 minute

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Sam 4 Aoû - 17:03

Wacken In The Mud ... Somebody Find Me A CORONER! Day 2

By "Metal" Tim Henderson

Here's a snippet of day two (Friday) of the Wacken Open Air, being
held in Wacken, Germany this weekend (August 1st-4th). Yesterday was one
of those rare days that thankfully we've only heard about, but haven't
witnessed. It was close to the perfect storm. Actually a pair of them!

Following an American trio of sorts - OVERKILL (Blitz truly as one
most charismatic frontmen EVER!), SACRED REICH (Phil Rind's presence
enormous) and SANCTUARY (two new songs couldn't scuttle the reunion
jitters) - the sky darkened and the ultimate light show turned into a
page from Noah's Ark as the downpour turned the dry earth into a mud
bowl. I will never look at two of my fave desert foods - chocolate
pudding and chocolate icing - in the same light ever again! What a mess,
the ultimate balancing act, almost akin to walking through winter's
first major snowfall. That was the sloppy/soupy feeling.
Feet/shoes/everything below the knee looking like I'd walked through
tar. But when you travel thousands of miles to witness arguably the
greatest festival on the planet you just deal with it. So when the brave
debate whether or not we could make it to the highly-anticipated
CORONER set on the far-away Party Stage was finally decided, we (myself
and Bill Peters from Auburn Records/Cleveland's famed Metal On Metal
radio show) ventured into the muck and blackened swimming pools not
knowing if we'd return.

And when 'Serpent Moves' grabbed the soaking wet audience by the
throat, there was no turning back. The genius that is this Swiss trio
was competing with OPETH (a few hundred feet over on the Black Stage),
but a couple of thousand faithful witnessed the second coming of
forward-thinking perfection. If the time/place were more kind to Marquis
Marky (drums), Tommy T. Baron (guitar) and Ron Royce (bass/vocals),
Coroner wouldn't be just this hidden progressive metal gem. By the time
the audience had succumbedpast to 'Die by My Hand' and 'Masked Jackal',
all weather ills had been forgotten. So with rain coat on and bourbon in
hand we soaked in the glory as the skies eventually cleared.

And up next was the Norwegian phenomenon DIMMU BORGIR complete with
the 60-piece Czech National Symphony Orchestra. You can't make this shit
up. Close to 80,000 black metal devotees enthralled in a
classically-tinged spectacle. I'm truly at a loss for words as extreme
metal did battle with a genre normally relegated to upper class
snobbery! But upon seeing violinists/flutists/choir members etc... in
formal attire WITH FACE-PAINT, you could only shake your head in awe as
the band stirred the audience with renditions of ‘Progenies Of The Great
Apocalypse’, ‘The Serpentine Offering’, ‘Kings Of The Carnival
Creation’ and ‘Mourning Palace’. Truly classic(al)! My muddied feet are
still shaking..

And I just peered out my window in Gluckstadt (a good 45 minutes
from the festival grounds) and the rains have started again (as
predicted). Go big or go home...

and AMON AMARTH close off
today's adventure!

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Sam 4 Aoû - 17:04

EDGUY Announced As Surprise Closing Act For Wacken Open Air 2012

The organizers at this year's Wacken Open Air have issued the following update:

"We can proudly announce that this year's Wacken Open Air surprise
act will be no other than EDGUY. At 2:00am Sunday morning, Edguy will
close this year's issue of the world's biggest Heavy Metal festival as a
very special surprise act on the main stage. Despite Tobias' injuries
sustained from his accident (at the Bang Your Head Festival) the show
will take place as planned. The full show will be shot by the German TV
channel ZDF and broadcast in the near future!"

As previously reported, during Edguy's set on July 14th at the Bang
Your Head Festival in Balingen, Germany, frontman Tobias Sammet fell off
stage during the band's fifth song and landed in the photo pit. In
spite of suffering a fractured nose and several contusions he held out
and the band completed their planned set, which lasted another hour.

Sammet checked in afterwards with the following update:

"Thanks for your kind wishes. I am alright. I do not have a clue how
it happened. The stage wasn't damp, my shoes were alright, I do not
have to mention that I was completely sober as this must have been
obvious to everyone. I have no clue how it happened. I just fell and
suddenly there was blood and a little pain, which got worse song by
song. I didn't know you can squeeze so much blood out of such a little
nose (well, it‘s not exactly little at this point...). The doctor just
said the nose will be fine in a few weeks. Anyway, there was too much
adrenaline to stop the show. The fans were so great, it just felt wrong
to stop the show, so we decided to just go on and have the doctors
repair me afterwards. I am okay now, looking terrible and hurting, but
who cares... I‘ll be fine. Thank you for your wishes and for making the
show a great show, despite the little incident."

The clip below was shot before Sammet fell off stage.

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Lun 6 Aoû - 8:28

HAMMERFALL - Pro-Shot Footage Of Entire Wacken Open Air 2012 Show Online

Pro-shot video of HAMMERFALL's entire Wacken Open Air 2012 set, which
was broadcast in Germany this weekend via the NDR network Livestream,
has surfaced on YouTube. Check it out below:

Hammerfall - Live Wacken Open Air 2012 [Full Concert]

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Lun 6 Aoû - 8:29

In the midst of celebrating their 15th anniversary of the album Glory To
The Brave and the subsequent taking of the metal world by storm,
HammerFall recently announced that they will take an extended break
immediately following the festivals this summer.

"It has been an unbelievable first 15 years, to say the least," says
guitarist Oscar Dronjak, "and now we are taking a pause to ensure that
we have another 15 years ahead of us."

There will be no HammerFall activities in 2013, but the band
promises to return strong the next year. "The plan is to use the year
off to recharge our batteries and come back more vital than ever with a
new album in 2014,
" explains singer Joacim Cans.

Anniversary shows: Therefore, the two biggest shows of the year will
be Dalhalla in Sweden, on July 28th, and Wacken Open Air in Germany a
week later, and the band will celebrate their 15 year anniversary
properly at those two events.

Says Joacim: "Obviously, the gig to attend is the one in Dalhalla,
that will be the biggest and most special show we have ever done! Two
hours of music, special effects and guest artists! But we will not
forget that it all started at Wacken for us once upon a time."

The German festival was the first show HammerFall ever did outside
of Sweden, and marked the beginning of the long and passionate
relationship the band has enjoyed with the German metal fans.

"This is why we have decided to pull out all the stops for these two
shows, and really make them special," Oscar says. "It will be a fitting
end to the first 15 years of our career."

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Mar 7 Aoû - 15:37

OVERKILL - Pro-Shot Video From Wacken Open Air 2012 Online

Thrash veterans OVERKILL performed at the infamous Wacken Open Air in
Wacken, Germany on August 3rd. Pro-shot video from the band's set is
available below:

Overkill - Hello From the Gutter - Wacken Open Air 2012

Overkill:Old School (LIVE WACKEN 2012)

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Mar 7 Aoû - 15:39

Overkill - Elimination - Wacken Open Air 2012

Overkill - Wrecking Crew - Wacken Open Air 2012

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Mar 7 Aoû - 15:42

Overkill - Rotten To The Core - Wacken Open Air 2012

As reported earlier, Overkill will play an exclusive show at this years
Olympic Games in London, England. The show will take place at legendary
punk rock concert venue, 100 Club, on August 9th.

Following up on the announcement, Overkill singer Bobby "Blitz"
Ellsworth offered this update exclusively to BW&BK/
"Phelps, Phelps, Phelps! It should be a great thing to be involved in,
because there's profile involved, which will spread out to our normal
(metal) community. Beyond that, to be attached to it is awesome! It's
great for guys who've been around for 30 years to be recognized on that

The concert is sponsored by the British division of the Converse
sneaker company and the New Jersey band is really the only metal act
onboard, playing alongside British institutions like TOOTS & THE
MAYTALS, and headlining over the likes of DISCHARGE, ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE
and UK SUBS.

The frontman continues, "It will be in this old jazz club that in
the 70s became a punk club, lots of names played there. Anyway, they're
putting this thing together, different entertainment each night and one
of the guys is a big Overkill fan, so he says, 'What about them?' People
didn't really have any idea, so it was like, 'What are they? Metal. OK,
then we'll have a metal night.' The place holds like 350 and there are
no paid tickets. It's invite-only. Supposed to be for press, sponsors
and I guess there'll be some giveaways via Facebook. I got Nuclear Blast
(European label) involved so that some fans might get in. It will be
packed anyway, but they want some metal people to be there."

"We're contracted as the headliner, so we'll probably do 90
(minutes). It's good to be attached to this, even if it's by chance.
We're over doing Wacken and a festival in Portugal anyway, so there's
only a few days we have to hang around, during the Olympics, in London,
which isn't really the worst thing in the world," his sly sarcasm
punctuating the words. "We'll stay in Portugal and extra day, but I
think this gig is on a Thursday and we'll head over to London on
Tuesday: grab a hotel and try to scam some tickets from scalpers. Watch
some archery or something... After all these years, it's still great to
be involved."

It will be a rare club show, the only stop, and even though this
fell in their laps, they're not looking to add a solo Overkill gig in
the area.

"I don't think we will. We only have a few days and we've got a full
scheduled tour in October. We don't want to piss off the promoters who
invested in that. I don't think this will piss anyone off. It's only 350
and invite-only/giveaway. We come back and do Heavy To and HVY MTL the
following weekend."

Nonplused about how easily it all came together, Ellsworths says,
"It really wasn't that difficult. They (booking agent) came to us and we
said, 'Are you out of your minds? Of course we'll take it!' It's not a
paid gig, but isn't it kind of cool that we can make some noise during
something that's making the most noise in the world, at that particular
time. I guess tenacity pays off, in that degree. This was the long-term
plan," he jokes, having apparently missed the cut on all the previous

Overkill have announced the dates of the European run of this years
Killfest tour, in support of their most recent effort, The Electric Age,
which was released earlier this year.

Commented legendary frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth: “It’s the
Electric Age and you’re invited! See you on tour this October, let’s
tear it up together, AGAIN!”

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Mar 7 Aoû - 16:04

HAMMERFALL - Wacken Open Air Performance To Air On TV Tonight

Tonight (Tuesday, August 7th) you can enjoy the HAMMERFALL show from
Wacken Open Air 2012, on National TV in Germany. From 5:55 – 6:55 PM,
CET there will be a 1 hour special, including interviews with Joacim
and Oscar Dronjak, on ZDF Kultur.

If you miss it, you can watch the special as a stream for the next seven days at the ZDF Mediathek here.

A video interview with frontman Joacim Cans and guitarist Oscar
conducted by ZDF Kultur at Wacken Open Air is available below.

Pro-shot video of Hammerfall's entire Wacken Open Air 2012 set,
which was broadcast in Germany via the NDR network Livestream, is also

HammerFall Interview - Wacken Open Air 2012

Hammerfall - Live Wacken Open Air 2012 [Full Concert]

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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Mar 7 Aoû - 22:11

SCORPIONS Rock Wacken With A Hurricane; Part III Report

By "Metal" Tim Henderson

Here's the third installment of's continuous
reporting from Germany's world famous Wacken Open Air which was held in
Wacken, Germany this past weekend (August 1st-4th). Of course this
report is delayed due the consistent weather issues that plagued this
year's event which turned what is normally dry conditions, into an
only-to-be-believed-in-person mud bowl of mass proportions!

Of course it was not a pleasant sign when we (Mark Gromen and
myself) entered the grounds on the final day (Saturday, August 4th) and a
crack of thunder rang high above like an unwelcome mat. Drizzle shortly
followed as we threw on our cheap but effective rain covers, but got
lucky as we had hit the tail end of the ominous looking system and the
mid day shower only lasted a few short minutes. Of course we headed
straight to the grounds to see two things; the mess and how organizers
were dealing with it.

And yes there was an incredible brown mud bath and it appeared
organizers were slow to action as only minimal hay/wood chips - the only
solution in this climate - had soaked in the sloppy mess. Perhaps with
that many people on the grounds (80,000-plus) there was no way of
accessing the problem. One thing for certain, it was topic of
conversation when founders Thomas Jensen and Hübner tried to address the
issue with press and media that afternoon.

There was a bit of a lull before TESTAMENT's set was to begin,
perfect timing as Dark Roots Of The Earth had just been released. I make
my annual venture to the market area to get my fix of CDs, t-shirts and
assorted metal related paraphernalia that is nowhere to be found at
home. The only worry was would I make it back to the main festival

Shoes were already a write off. Actually every year we begin with a
throwaway pair, no matter what the weather throws at us. The night
before my shoes had been rinsed off in the tub so the day began with wet
feet. Not a big deal, but the worry was the muck, and moreso the
suction as your heels were grabbed by mother nature's unforgiving grip
and leaving your show behind! But with shoes laced beyond tight, I
tippy-toed towards the vendors and the Metal Market. Each step thinking I
would topple over in the soupy mess. I didn't even dare to concentrate
on a cocktail at the same time! As the photos attest the vendors took a
major hit as it took forever to walk through the numerous tents and many
patrons just threw up their arms in either frustration or disgust. For
me it was mission accomplished and as my feet made their way back in
slow motion, Testament frontman Chuck Billy's roar took over the open
air field and it seemed to carry as far as the Bay Area! Although we
were hoping for a more greatest hits set, the band stormed the crowd
with the likes of 'The New Order' and 'The Preacher' before the
blast-beat ridden newbie 'American Hate' threw the crowd into a frenzy,
Gene Hoglan's skin beating echoing through the massive crowd. 'Practice
What You Preach', 'Over The Wall' and the speedy 'D.N.R. (Do Not
Resuscitate)' toppled, the seasoned guitar duo of Eric Peterson and Alex
Skolnick fretting madly.

It was the Viking's turn to pillage and AMON AMARTH may have been
one of the largest crowds ever witnessed in the daylight, Johan Hegg and
his not so merry crew invading the crowd with their mission of death
tinged power metal mythology. 'Cry Of The Black Birds', 'The Fate Of
and 'For Victory Or Death' sent roars throughout the crowd, fans
raising their drinking and evil horns high! The encores of 'Twilight Of
The Thunder God' and 'Guardians Of Asgaard', swallowed the Wacken
faithful and you could silently hear the the crowd wishing the band
would sweep them up from mud in their Viking ship and take them to
higher ground!

The SCORPIONS appear 15 minutes late which is quite the rarity at
this festival. In fact Mr. Gromen noticed one of their crew in a mad
rush from the Wacken mid-field obviously trying to rectify some sort of
sound/lighting situation. For us the confirmation of the Scorpions was a
bit of a non-event for a coupla reasons. The band are currently on the
never-ending Final Sting World Tour (kinda like THE WHO!) and it was
unclear if this would be the German icon's farewell Wacken show. We were
fortunate to have witnessed one of the greatest highlights on these
grounds when the band asked fans to vote for the set list and invited
Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker and Herman Rarebell back for the
celebration in 2006.

It was a predictable greatest hits setlist with the likes of 'The
and 'Coast to Coast' hitting the crowd between the eyes early, the
latter still carrying immense weight for an instrumental track.

All I kept thinking was an outsiders suggestion. Surprise fans with
Blackout in it's entirety. Or perform Side A each of Blackout and Love
At First Sting. But the clouds overhead which the the strobes easily
highlighted and velocity of the cold winds jolted me out of my dream
state as the perfect storm (again) swarmed the grounds like a hurricane
had hit us. Most of us running for cover as the band continued on with
Dynamite', 'Big City Nights', Blackout
' and the encore of 'Coming
Home', 'Still Loving You'
and the fitting 'Rock You Like a Hurricane'!

Stay tuned for a full report with more photos this week as we dry off!

(Scorpions photo above courtesy of W:O:A/Olaf Malzahn)
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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Ven 10 Aoû - 8:23

Hard Rock Cafe Inducts CIRCLE II CIRCLE

There are several honors that can come by way of a successful career as
a band. There are awards given, there are gold and platinum records
handed out, and there is the privilege of being counted among the best
in music’s illustrious history through special inductions. On Sunday,
August 4th, and after an amazing performance at the prestigious Wacken
Open Air Festival, the Hard Rock Cafe recognized Circle II Circle as
being a prominent part of music history and as such created an awe
inspiring display to pay tribute to their achievements.

“It was a phenomenal week in Germany for CIIC. After an arduous day
of travel, we had two incredible days of rehearsals in Hamburg before
setting out to rock Europe’s largest, loudest, and heaviest music
festival; Wacken Open Air. Four days later we were inducted onto the
memorabilia wall of the Hard Rock Cafe Hamburg. Autographed shirts,
guitar picks, and a cymbal will now be part of the same collection that
houses iconic items from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Sting, Keith
and many others. We want to sincerely thank everyone at Wacken
Open Air and the Hard Rock Cafe Hamburg for an unforgettable week and
the amazing hospitality” – Zak Stevens.

Circle II Circle continues on with nine more dates for the Tour Of
Magellan before coming back to the USA when plans of a three week tour
and dates will be officially announced. Their US and Canadian manager
Frank James
, president of Rage On Stage Management says “I can’t believe
that CIIC keeps evolving and stays on track with their fans. Staying
relevant as a band is probably the single most difficult thing to
accomplish and I’m still seeing another 10 or 15 years of life in this
band. It truly amazes me!!”

Circle II Circle is:

Zak Stevens (Vocals)

Mitch Stewart (Bass)

Bill Hudson (Guitars)

Christian Wentz (Guitars)

Henning Wanner (Keyboards)

Adam Sagan (Drums)
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MessageSujet: Re: Wacken 2012    Mer 15 Aoû - 20:15

Wacken Open Air 2012 – Reign In Mud

By Mark Gromen and "Metal" Tim Henderson

‘Hell Or High Water’, ‘Slip Sliding Away’, ‘Void Terra Firma’ and
‘The Deluge’
were all songs considered in attempting to describe Wacken
2012, but only the play on SLAYER’s best known title gives the
appropriate picture! Feel sorry for anyone at the festival for the first
time, as they weren’t able to live the full experience (although
certainly got more than for what they bargained). The ticket does say
“Rain Or Shine,” which includes playing through thunderstorms! What’s
the probability lightning will hit a giant metal tower, with electricity
coursing through amplifiers on otherwise barren farmland? A week of
rain, leading up to the event, had already made the mucky soil unstable
(so much so organizers forbid the usually eager campers from arriving on
the grounds on their customary Monday). While no one can
predict/control the weather, they can take precautions or try remedies.
Unlike 2005, when bales of hay were strewn across the massive grounds to
not only help absorb some excess moisture, but stabilize footing, the
W:O:A organization appears to have been caught unaware (or worse, not
caring), as neither cedar chips (used to minimize spillage and over-runs
around the open-air urinal/trough) nor any of the aforementioned hay,
was forthcoming. For the record, that included the backstage VIP area,
which was also a dicey quagmire to navigate, the viscous sludge
threatening to de-shoe you with every step. Perception is a powerful
tool and giving the “appearance” capital improvements were being
attempted, however futile in the face of the on-off downpours, would
certainly have gained favor, if not given W:O:A a bye, against Mother

Even such obstacles couldn’t deter the beer drinking camaraderie and
some fantastic performances. It all started on Thursday evening, which
offered the likes of SEPULTURA, U.D.O. and the headlining SAXON,
although our first step across the threshold was greeted by the sounds
of MICHAEL JACKSON’s ‘Beat It’ emanating from the VIP area. ‘Billy Jean’
was also aired! Why? Just shows where some industry types’ musical
“tastes” lie.

SEPULTURA made the rare following-year return to Wacken, but they
came armed with the Les Tambours Du Bronx featuring sixteen drummers
from France who beat 225 litre barrels with beech wood bats or even axe
handles. The pairing took the Brazilian's percussion to another level as
such classics as they stormed through 'Refuse/Resist', 'Territory' and
and of course 'Ratamahatta'. But it was the over-the-top 'Roots Bloody
Roots' finale where we witnessed the extreme metal visionaries push the
envelope that much further, Sepultura a rare breed which certainly stick
out in the massive festival format that is the Wacken Open Air.

Under the backdrop of the sinister, smiling, Joker inspired Rev
Raptor, the irrepressible Udo Dirckschneider (ex-ACCEPT), wearing almost
as many chains (albeit silver, not gold) as a US rapper, ran through a
career spanning repertoire, complete with a couple of surprise guests.
Both Udo and guitarist Igor Gianola wore black-on-white camouflage
paints, while Accept drummer-turned-U.D.O. guitarist Stefan Kaufmann
sported a traditional camo jacket. There was a 5x2 stack of Marshalls on
one side of the stage, 4x2 on the other. ‘Leatherhead’, ‘Screaming For A
Love Bite’, then the plodding stomp of ‘Vendetta’ and ‘Princess Of The
Dawn’, might not be Accept (current line-up or otherwise), but
Dirkschneider is a special gift for all metalheads. Pink lights
introduced ‘Head Over Heels’. Nice to see him change up which of his
former band’s songs are performed, with some obvious (ahem) Acceptions!
PESCH joined Udo, the stage fittingly royal purple, for a duet
‘Dancing Like An Angel’. Almost 110 years of Teutonic vocal metal
heritage in one place! For ‘Animal House’, the man welcomed back the
Mean Machine line-up (guitarist Mathias Deith was also on the solo
debut), his son Sven (who plays for a band called DAMAGED) on drums.
Actually, they all stuck around for a while, including ‘Heart Of Gold’
and ‘They Want War’. Next, it was the costumed Finns’ namesake, Mr.
Lordi, for ‘Break The Rules’, the stack heeled monster towering above
the diminutive singer. The current U.D.O. line-up returned for ‘Man
& Machine’ and the concluding ‘Metal Heart’. A quick encore saw ‘The
Boogeyman’ and the requisite ‘Balls To The Wall’, where all the guests
filled the stage. Fun!

While managed by Thomas Jensen, one of Wacken’s owning partners,
Saxon deserve the headlining slot anyway. As the plethora of recent live
releases documents, as well as a t-shirt on sale at the festival
proves, this was the Brits’ fifth Wacken. Although it was 8:45, had
never seen them in daylight. ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ rang out as the
opener, Biff Byford in black jacket, Wheels Of Steel tee underneath.
‘Hammer Of The Gods’, ‘Power And The Glory’
followed, bassist Nibbs
Carter offering up a toast with the same Becks exclusively available
throughout the festival grounds (would think bands had the option of
another/better grade of beverages). Fog covered the stage for ‘20,000
Ft’, Byford on the drum riser, shaking his blond mane and perpetually
chomping on gum. ‘Never Surrender’ saw steam shooting skyward at the
front of stage, fire behind. For ‘Gods Of War’ and ‘Motorcycle Man’, the
video board showed the front row behind the barricade populated by kids
with blue dreadlocks or wrestling masks: not the stereotypical Saxon
fans. Biff’s two-fingered whistle punctuated the red staged ‘I’ve Got To
Rock (To Stay Alive)’, the frontman quipping, “When we decide to
retire, we’ll play our last show here, at Wacken 2045!” Don’t take him
seriously, do the math!

A whammy bar happy ‘Crusader’, then ‘Rock The Nation’ where the drum
riser (ala KISS/Peter Criss circa ’75) lifted vertically, sparks
falling from above and lit up Nigel Glockler’s last name across the
backline cabinets, for his solo. ‘Battalions Of Steel’ gave way to a
deep blue hued, fog covered stage to introduce ‘The Eagle Has Landed’.
Paul Quinn got down on bended knee at the front of the stage. ‘Wheels Of
Steel’, with blazing plumes firing atop the cabs throughout, saw Quinn
and second guitarist Doug Scarratt on the same side of the stage, for
the first time. As the song ended, Byford hitched a ride on the
automated, robotic camera that traverses the length of both massive
stages. He almost stayed on too long, headed for the dormant stage
next-door, as he joked, “I’m going to London, man!” He jumped off just
in time, the band needed him for ‘To Hell And Back Again’. ‘Denim &
Leather’ brought the proper set to a close. They returned, Nibbs riding
(ala Angus Young/ AC-DC) on a roadie’s shoulders, for a trip to the
front of the barricade, while the rest of the band remained onstage,
playing ‘Strong Arm Of The Law’. ‘747 (Strangers In The Night)’ and
‘Princess Of The Night’
brought the relatively short (90 minute) set to a
close. Damn shame more North American audiences don’t get the
opportunity to see these guys. What a back catalog and still delivered
with such youthful exuberance.

VOLBEAT's star has risen high in a very short time and are poised
for greatness in both North America and Europe, hence the enviable stage
time (10:30 until midnight), with the crowd soaking up material from
2008's Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood and their latest, Beyond
Hell/Above Heaven including 'Fallen', 'Heaven Nor Hell' and their latest
single 'Still Counting' which closed off the night. During their set,
Volbeat were joined by NAPALM DEATH's Barney Greenway, KREATOR mainman
Mille Petrozza, MERCYFUL FATE legend Hank Shermann, and Mercyful
Fate/KING DIAMOND guitarist Michael Denner, for the song '7 Shots'. You
don't attract that kind of metal elite unless you've got your proverbial
shit together. It was epic!

Friday, August 3rd

Early risers got a chance to hear SANCTUARY play a pair of new
tracks, ‘The World Wired’ and the world debut of ‘I Am The Law’.
Afterwards, bassist Jim Sheppard told us the band has enough music ready
to record, which they hope to finish this fall. The aforementioned
tracks were demoed for labels and the band is checking their options.
The remainder of the hour was all classics, including ‘Future Tense’
‘The Mirror Black’, their cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘White Rabbit’
(OK, maybe they’re not ALL classics) and the concluding ‘Battle Angels’.

KAMELOT, who also aired an as yet unreleased tune (‘Sacrimony’),
were the first to feel nature’s wrath. While their set (like Bang Your
Head, three weeks before) was characterized by volumes of fire (octet of
flame throwers on opening ‘Rule The World’), it was also the beginning
of the day’s rain showers. No time for ‘Karma’ today, but new singer
Tommy Karevik once more acquitted himself well, as North America will
soon see for themselves. By the time OVERKILL came on, the precipitation
had (temporarily) stopped. Guess the Big Guy Upstairs prefers
old-school thrash! Was the NJ band’s first show in Germany for The
Electric Age and they were easily the best act of the day. Kicking into
the prophetic ‘Come And Get It’, the stage was covered in fog, so much
so it appeared to be on fire, but only the band was. ‘Bring Me The
Night’, ‘Elimination’ and ‘Wrecking Crew’ followed, frontman Bobby
“Blitz” Ellsworth communicating to the multi-national crowd through
expressive hand gesticulations that punctuated the lyrics. ‘Electric
Rattlesnake’ brought a little BLACK SABBATHy riffing to the party.
‘Hello From The Gutter’ could have been re-christened “the sewer,” given
the aesthetics laying before them. Guitarist Derek Tailer was shirtless
by ‘Ironbound’, which was followed up by ‘Save Yourself’. It was an old
school finish, beginning with the song of the same name, ‘In Union We
Stand’, a resurrected ‘Rotten To The Core’ and the obligatory ‘Fuck You’
finale. The Kill came to shred the mud-filled landscape.

Attired in white BW&BK logo emblazoned t-shirt (which stands out
like a billboard in a sea of otherwise black clad masses), makes Mark
easy for friends to spot. Felt a bit like King Arthur in the muck
farming scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. People probably thought:
“Must be a king, he ain’t got shit all over him!” Especially with many
in the crowd, inadvertently (if not purposefully) wallowing in the ankle
deep mire. Even the two-story stainless steel staircase to the
backstage area was caked with several inches of goo on each step (until
late Saturday, when a lone guard decided to clean the piles away).

Speaking of shit (the grounds not the band!), it was an easy
decision to put CORONER on the priority list above OPETH (sorry Mikael!)
as we couldn't miss this reunion set. So "Metal" Tim and accomplice
Bill Peters (of Auburn Records/Cleveland's famed Metal On Metal radio
show) took to the task of zig-zagging through the muck and blackened
swimming pools without a lifeline! And when 'Serpent Moves' grabbed the
soaking wet audience by the throat, there was no turning back. The
genius that is this Swiss trio connect on so many different levels, and
kinda like ENSLAVED (current example) and VOIVOD (classic example), rise
way above the head of most. If a different time, different place, we
may have seen these progressive metal monsters on one of the main
stages, but today they appease a few thousand in the rain. While Marquis
Marky (drums), Tommy T. Baron (guitar) and Ron Royce (bass/vocals)
performed gripping renditions of 'Die by My Hand', 'Masked Jackal' and
'Grin (Nails Hurt)', all weather ills had been forgotten. So with rain
coat on and bourbon (Tim) and beer (Bill) in hand we soaked in the glory
as the skies eventually cleared.

The Infected warning buzzer calls the fans to attention, as
HAMMERFALL took to the True Metal stage, opening with ‘Patient Zero’.
The sun was shining brightly again, as the Swedes, all attired in black,
treated the fans to what will be a rare live appearance, both this year
and none scheduled for 2013, which included a large dose of their
initial two albums: ‘Heeding The Call’, ‘Steel Meets Steel’, ‘The Dragon
Lies Bleeding’ and ‘Let The Hammer Fall’. Flames burst across the front
of the stage in ‘Any Means Necessary’. Threshold was the only studio
album not represented. Joacim Cans addressed the crowd at “the world’s
best heavy metal festival,” then played ‘BYH’ (aka Bang Your Head),
inspired by another Deutsche festival! For ‘Blood Bound’, the singer
said, “If you know it, sing along. If you don’t know it, close your eyes
and think of something else.” Personally, hard to believe it will
probably be sometime in 2014 before we see these guys again.

Been a decade since we invited Silenoz to be a guest at our first
BW&BK 6-Pack Weekend, obviously having befriended him years earlier,
so like proud parents, we watched as he and DIMMU BORGIR strolled
onstage, fronting the Prague National Orchestra and a couple dozen voice
choir, in hooded robes (the classical entourage required 60 hotel rooms
near the Hamburg airport, an hour away, the only location that could
accommodate them en masse). Masked behind a translucent curtain, with
the Abrahadabra artwork, the maestro could be seen egging the crowd on,
his hand to his ear, calling for more pre-game noise. Some in the
symphony painted their faces, similar to the Dimmu guys and a few
(particularly one trombonist) could be seen on the electronic video
board headbanging violently! Close-ups revealed the instrumentalists
were playing from sheet music, so someone had to transcribe the
Norwegians’ music for trained professions, a major undertaking, even
though everyone rehearsed in Prague for five days, prior to Wacken. Some
parts of the 90 minutes were entirely orchestral; others saw the band
join in. Early on, the now bald Silenoz addressed the crowd, saying,
we’ve played here five times, so we decided to do something special,”
which was basically re-create the still forthcoming DVD from Oslo. The
band had new stage outfits since I saw them in the UK, last winter,
Shagrath in a black overcoat with long, dangling fringe. ‘Gateways’
turned into a fiery duet with Agnete Kjølsrud, the female singer who
appeared on the aforementioned album, as a shower of sparks rained down
from the lighting rig. Even though they began at 9:30, the sun was just
going down, but it took with it any semblance of heat because suddenly
you could see your breath. Onstage, much of the evening was a blue hue,
although ‘Ritualist’ was lit a sinister green. Their signature tune was
offered as a strings laced (oft pizzicato) operatic treat and a full
metalized version. Even in these muddy conditions, fans crowd surfed.
‘Vredesbyrd’ (“Are there any Norwegians here tonight? Then this one’s
for you), ‘Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse’, ‘The Serpentine Offering’
and ‘Kings Of The Carnival Creation’ were delivered with just one
symphonic break, leading up to ‘Puritania’ and the climactic (literally
explosive)‘Mourning Palace’. Was a pleasure to witness this special
event, in-person.

Saturday, August 4th

The autobahn was gridlocked, thousands of campers leaving Saturday
morning, unable or unwilling to endure another soaking rain. Staying so
far away from Wacken has its drawbacks, especially trying to get there
early enough to see GAMMA RAY, or PARADISE LOST, but the later will be
touring over here shortly. With rain falling once again, we set foot
onto the grounds while AXEL RUDI PELL was onstage. The Blackmore
inspired guitarist is legendary at home in Germany, having never set
foot in North America, despite possessing one of the best (and truly
underrated) singers in business, American Johnny Gioeli (HARDLINE). The
man knows how to trot out the festival hits, often melding the long
songs into a medley, so fans can hear even more favorites in the
restrictive hour time limit. Such was the case here, stringing together
‘Masquerade Bell’, ‘Casbah’
and ‘Dreaming Dead’, with a bit of LED
’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ or the closing pairing of ‘Tear Down The
Walls’ and oldie ‘Nasty Reputation’. Speaking of cover tunes, the blond
haired, black Fu Manchu moustached Pell worked DEEP PURPLE’s
‘Mistreated’ into his own ‘Mystica’. Good stuff!

In contrast to a golden oldies/festival faves set, TESTAMENT took
the opportunity to introduce fans to their just released Dark Roots Of
The Earth CD, opting for a quartet of fresh material. Even though there
might be 50,000 fans in front of you, that doesn’t mean they’re all
gung-ho enough to have already bought (or even illegally downloaded) and
learned the lyrics already. Leading off with ‘Rise Up’ which also opens
the new album, Chuck Billy came out wearing sunglasses and recognizing
they were once more unnecessary, discarded them before the song had even
begun. Alex Skolnick played his guitar vertically, much of the time.
Old-school pairing of ‘The New Order’ and ‘The Preacher’ gave way to
back-to-back newbies, first single ‘Native Blood’ and ‘True American
Hate’, the second without introduction, although Billy did reference it
as new, upon its completion. ‘More Than Meets The Eye’ saw Chief, as the
singer’s nametag reads, (in obvious reference to his Native American
heritage and similar stature to the behemoth character in the film One
Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) air guitaring in the wings, as Skolnick
solos center stage. The current title cut is slower, more melodic,
almost a ballad, which was quickly remedied by Billy taunting, “I see
all you muddy motherfuckers. See if we can’t stir it up even more.”
Bang, it’s ‘Into The Pit’, barked backing vocals by guitarist Eric
Peterson. ‘Practice What You Preach’ a fierce ‘Over The Wall’ (wonder
how mud-caked the bouncers up front got on that one!), ‘D.N.R. (Do Not
Resuscitate)’ and ‘3 Days In Darkness’ (unwittingly, a fitting epitaph
for Wacken 2012) finished things off. Looking forward to the
co-headlining shows this fall!

Good sport award goes to AMON AMARTH, who were unceremoniously
“bumped” from their nighttime slot, yet went on to slay, regardless.
Strolling on to a classical influenced intro tap, Johan Hegg points to
fans in the front row and boom, a flash of fire and smoke as the Swedes
tear into ‘War Of The Gods’. Fire plumes ignite in succession, like
falling dominoes across the stage, as the band headbangs. A downshift in
energy for the second song, crowd shots of ‘Runes To My Memory’ show
inflatable sex dolls (of both sexes) and a four foot blow-up phallus.
Not the runes intended, I think. As if to prove the point, security
eventually confiscates the giant appendage (probably didn’t want that
showing up throughout the live TV stream, nor after-market video
footage). It appears the drinking horn affixed to Hegg’s side and the
Thor’s hammer medallion around his neck have both gotten bigger than
when seen last summer, at Tuska, in Finland. Today, the stage is covered
in scrims and Surtur Rising album backdrop, making the stage look aglow
and the prodigious use of fireballs only compounds the effect. ‘Death
In Fire’ fittingly sees four flame cannons explode simultaneously and
repeatedly across the stage front. ‘Live For The Kill’ sees an interlude
of classical strings compete with the fire plume, while ‘Cry Of The
begins with a statuesque Hegg throwing the horns skyward,
playfully flicking his tongue. As ‘Fate of Norms’ began, the bushy
bearded frontman put that oversized ale horn to good use. The Vikings
were afforded an extended, 75 minute set, which allowed them to change
the scrims. During the sing-along for ‘Pursuit Of Vikings’, Hegg told
the crowd, ‘Doesn’t matter if you don’t know the lyrics. It’s death
metal and no one will know the difference.” ‘For Victory Or Death’
actually saw a fireworks “rocket” shot from floor to ceiling, as opposed
to usually cascading sparklers, but then Vikings enjoy living
dangerously, challenging death. The two-song encore was pomp filled,
with Hegg wielding and oversized hammer to intro ‘Twilights Of The
Thunder God’ (flames, clouds and onstage lightning that were dwarfed by
what we experienced, for real, the day before) and concluding ‘Guardians
Of Asgaard’.
Damned, these conquerors need to return to these shores
again, soon!

SCORPIONS: These old-timers pulled rank and somehow made the
organization flip-flop their time with the aforementioned Swedes. Even
worse, to a chorus of whistles and cat-calls, they were 15 minutes late
in starting (a no-no at European festivals). Have a feeling they were
waiting for the guy in Scorps triple A (All Area Access) laminate who
passed me, to make his way through the slop to his lighting or
soundboard position on the infield. Navigating the sardine packed,
typically body-strewn grounds, in the dark is difficult enough, add the
possibility of unsure footing… well I think I know who was responsible
and why. The wait would have been worth it, had the German institution
delivered anything resembling the classic 2006 performance. Granted,
this time they were allotted only half the time (90 minutes), but this
began as a drab, sleepwalk through albums that anyone other than the
most ardent fan doesn’t care about. In-ear monitors, teleprompters, my
how things have changed, although Matthias Jabs looked tan and rested.
What happened to Blackout? Metal Tim suggested they do something special
and play that album in its entirety. Would have been more welcome to
our ears than the opening ‘Sting In The Tail’ and ‘Is There Anybody
There’, up third, or the boring stretch of ‘Rhythm Of Love’, ‘Raised On
’ and ‘Hit Between The Eyes’. OK, we didn’t have to hear ‘Winds Of
or ‘No One Like You’ and the early triumvirate of ‘The Zoo’
(Jabs on squawk box), driving video accompanied ‘Coast To Coast’ (third
guitar courtesy of beret wearing singer Klaus Meine, who ditched the
wrap around shades two songs in) and slower than normal ‘Loving You
Sunday Morning’ hinted at better things to come. Alas, this was an
Americanized set, which ain’t a good thing. They’d only had one other
show in the three weeks since the US tour ended, think they’d work
something else up. Did get to hear ‘Dynamite’ and the title cut from
Blackout. What they lacked in musical punch, they tried to compensate
for, utilizing flames, fireworks (even shooting them atop the shelter)
and a giant onstage video board, behind two story tall, elevating drum
riser bound James Kottak. Speaking of which, please tell me that his
last name tattoo, across his pecs, isn’t permanent? By the end of the
predictable encore, have a feeling that many more than just these two
old North Americans were disappointed.

Although (announced at the last minute) “special guests” EDGUY were
only afforded about half the set they’d played less than a month before,
at Bang Your Head, the infamous night singer Tobias Sammet fell
offstage and broke his nose, but continued anyway. Scaled down, much of
the 2am set was old school favorites, including ‘Tears Of The Mandrake’,
‘Lavatory Love Machine’
and ‘Babylon’, with a couple of newer tunes in
the mix.

Wacken 2013 has already announced some major players, including DORO
30th anniversary show, ANTHRAX, DEEP PURPLE, NIGHTWISH, acoustic set
from AMORPHIS, SABATON ARCH ENEMY and RAGE, with orchestra. It will be
held Aug 1st-3rd, rain or shine (of course), but as our hotel
proprietors said, upon our departure, “We can guarantee you better
weather next year!’ To which Tim replied, “Yeah, couldn’t be any worse.”
Hope to see you there!
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UDO - Wacken Open Air 2012 - Full Show

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