Well, the five week tour is over. Boy, do I have some stories to tell – not to mention photos to show.
In fact, the first set of band photos from Party.San day 1 are up on Metal As Fuck right now, featuring French black metallers Merrimack, Dutch black metallers The Devil’s Blood and Swedish black metallers Watain – it was a very black day indeed!
I’m not finished writing up my tour diaries yet – we’re still trying to cope with jetlag and the strange decrease in blood alcohol levels – but as soon as they’re done, I’ll be posting them here.
We’re already thinking about next year. I would really, really, really like to go to Metalcamp in Slovenia as I’ve previously posted, but because it’s so much earlier in the year than the other festivals, we’d need to take a completely different approach and maybe miss Wacken altogether.
Today we have a guest post from the fabulous and always stylish Zoe Zombie. You can also read more of her stuff on Quite Lovely.
My experiences from Wacken 2008 will forever stay with me. Not bringing trousers was THE worst mistake of my life. Apparently, the only trousers they sell at the Wacken markets are leather and I wasn’t about to fork out the dosh for a pair. So I shivered the nights away. Next time, I thought as I was moments away from freezing to death (I’m being dramatic of course, it makes for a good story) I am not going to put myself in that position again. So now I am going to be smart about it and take my years of festival experience into consideration and PACKACCORDINGLY.
Metal fashion is completely male-centric. That usually leaves us with shirts that are too big or we go the complete opposite way — fishnets and tits. I’m totally fine with women doing either but I don’t. I don’t believe that looking trashy is necessary (because not everyone loves seeing that pimple on your ass being squeezed through those fishnets). On the other hand, looking and dressing like a dude shows complete lack of self confidence.
So ladies, I hereby introduce to you someone you may know. Her name is Sarah Connor. Not Sarah Connor Terminator 2. Or even Terminator 1. OHGODNO — THEHAIR. I’m talking Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Why? Because it’s a little more modern, it’s not slutty and it’s not too manly. It’s a perfect example of how you CAN dress at Wacken. Not just for looks but for practicality. That’s right, I’m not a completely shallow woman. If you’ve never watched the show, I suggest you activate some downloading action now. And if you have watched the show and perhaps have a few episodes legally or illegally lying around on your computer have a quick look at them now.
Sarah’s clothing is quite military (which is apparently super-duper in right now): boots, trousers, tank top and sometimes a leather jacket. There are always variations, there may be belts here or there. Her boots change but they are always boots. And she’s either wearing jeans, leather pants or pants with lots of pockets depending on the day. So here’s what you can take from dressing like a fictional character and convert it into Wacken Wear.
Layers: These will save you from the crazy weather which has been known to go from boiling hot to freezing cold and raining in not much time at all. A couple of tank tops, a shirt, long sleeved top and jacket. Easy to carry around with you and stops you having to go to your tent during the day to make (what I like to call) costume changes.
Bottoms etc: Jeans are only practical when it’s not raining. Otherwise, if it looks like rain I suggest trousers that dry easily or work the tights-under-shorts combo. It’ll also help keep your undies dry if you don’t have a garbage bag to put over yourself.
Boots: Boots are a must and the higher up your leg, the better. If it rains, you could very well find yourself in mud. Sarah usually wore boots with buckles or exposed zips but over-the-knee options are always fun. I would stay away from PVC or patent leather unless you want to look like a stripper. Sarah’s boots are always FLAT. Don’t wear heels unless you want to help aerate the grass or sink in the mud. Wedge/platform boots to be worn at your own risk (the ground isn’t exactly flat). And most importantly, make sure they are comfortable as you will be standing for long periods of time. Ones that you can pull on or zip up are the most practical.
Accessories: I am not really one to accessorize at Wacken because this requires effort and more luggage. Also, no one cares. But if you must, I would stick with belts and very minimal jewelery.
Bags: Bags at festivals annoy me but if I’m going to be out all day I need a place to keep my water, medication, passports etc. And I am NOT one to wear pants with lots of pockets. Make sure it’s a bag that goes over your shoulder and you can keep it close to your body so you don’t bash people with it. Sarah rarely uses bags (she’s cool like that) but if she does, it’s a brown leather messenger bag.
Yes, you can look awesome and be practical at Wacken. It just takes thought, consideration, multiple tank tops and episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
On the one hand, it’s Soulfly and as far as I’m concerned, little Max Cavalera can do no wrong.
On the other hand, I like Despised Icon a lot and they’re said they’re calling it quits after their current touring commitments.
But Soulfly are touring Australia in September. And I’ve seen them live at least twice before.
But we’re seeing Despised Icon at Summer Breeze, which was supposedly their last ever show until they announced Trois-Rivieres Metalfest in Canada in October. And even if they announced more shows, it’s unlikely we’ll see them in Australia.
Both bands have a tendency to be maligned by metal elitists — Soulfly for their nu-metal leanings and Despised Icon for being totally unashamedly deathcore. But I really don’t care — I love both bands and I’m crushed that they’re both on at the same time.
Some videos to help you decide: Soulfly’s new video for Rise of the Fallen which I absolutely fucking love love love:
Good news for one member of the Blitzkrieg camp this week – my Wacken media accreditation came through, with photopass! This means I can take my SLR camera everywhere and take a TON of photos for Metal As Fuck and that makes me very, very happy indeed. Now the mighty Tish is going to line up some interviews. I’ve ordered a fancy pants new digital recorder which will hopefully work a bit better at filtering out background noise than my dodgy MP3 player did last year.
She’s also trying to get accreditation for Party.San and Summer Breeze. The Party.San online application came back with some funny and confusing messages including “your entry is now waiting for our go” and “You will receive an email if we have processed it”. So now we wait — for their email and their “go” (maybe).
Unless you can get in line when the Wacken merchandise stands open on the Wednesday afternoon before the festival official starts, your chances of getting the Wacken tshirt of your choice in your size (unless you’re an XL man) start to dive pretty rapidly. Problem is, everyone has the same idea and it’s not uncommon to wait in a hot crush of stinky people for 45 minutes or more (the photo above is me doing just that in 2008). Hot tip: make sure you have a beer or two with you.
As for other merch, the Wacken online Full Metal Shop has you covered for a pretty bizarre range of items. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Just the thing for your full metal cuppa. I can actually see myself using something like this (although not dragging it home from Germany in my luggage.
Or, as we prefer to call them, thongs. Question is, can the Germans be trusted to make cheap thongs with the same precision as the Aussies? Mind you they probably all come out of the same factory in China.
Last Saturday night at Casa Goatbeast: an intense meal of Goatlady specialty chili, followed by an intense Blitzkrieg planning session, followed by an absolutely satanic chocolate berry baked cheesecake, courtesy of the Full Metal Campground Chef Vagrant and his lovely lady.
The end result? Some very full bellies and a tour diversion: after Party.San, we spend one night in Stuttgart, cross the border into France to stay one night in Strasbourg, then over to Switzerland, for a night in Zurich, before heading back into Deutschland for Summer Breeze. In ten minutes we managed to double the number of countries we will be visiting.
Three countries in three days is a tad intense, but we’re a discerning lot and the prospect of the diversion of French pastry and Swiss chocolate before heading back for more German beer is very appealing. Operation: Croissant will be accompanied by the soothing sounds of Gojira, while Operation: Chocolate’s soundtrack will feature the unholy Fischer trinity of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Triptykon.
Help us out: what must-see and must-do things are there near these spots?
With much trepidation we checked off the bands we absolutely had to see and saw what it spat out. For me personally, it was not bad at all. Small disappointments are inevitable, but fortunately many of the bands we’ll miss in clashes are playing at Summer Breeze too – 1349 (clash with Slayer), Unleashed (clash with Crucified Barbara), Suicidal Angels (clash with Orphaned Land), and Despised Icon (clash with Soulfly). We’ll need to miss either Candlemass or Immortal, and Enstille are unfortunately playing the same slot as Voivod and also Evile.
However, there’s nothing in there I need to throw myself over a cliff about. Yay! Until I see the Summer Breeze running order, that is…
Gojira overlaps Iron Maiden, but that doesn’t bother me… I wasn’t bothered about seeing Maiden anyway. Fear Factory’s slot is right where we hoped it would be – where is absolutely should be — in the middle of the night! That is going to be one killer set.
Stu and some randoms at the Hamburg Ballroom prior to Wacken 2008
Beer and metal go together like… err… well they go together well. A fair amount of it is consumed at metal festivals, or so I’ve heard.
A little while ago some of the Metal As Fuck team got together and built One Million Beers For Metal, a blog and Flickr group to try and document no fewer than one million beers being drunk in the name of metal. Anyone can submit photos and we post ‘em up and keep a tally.
We have a long way to go – we’re not even up to 1% of the way so far — but I’m guessing the Blitzkrieg tour will get us well on the way. Bottoms up!
If you graphed my general mood over time the last few weeks, no doubt the line would mirror a similar graph of the currency exchange rate, Australian dollar to Euro. Sad but true, the amount of fun we can have on Blitzkrieg Tour 2010 largely depends on how much beer our measly Australian pesos can buy.
Last week were on a high – the Euro had tanked against the Aussie dollar, no doubt due in part to the problems with Greece’s economy and the suspicions that Spain and Portugal were likely to follow them into bankruptcy. 1 Australian dollar was buying 71 Euro cents, at its highest.