Wacken Open Air 2011
For the second year in a row, we were welcomed at Europe's biggest rock and metal festival: Wacken Open Air. With the amount of rock bands hailing from the 80s strip scene coming back in the picture, the organization honored us with a ticket to view and review the goods:
After a late start, apparently due to the fact that they're not the youngest bunch of rockers anymore, Tokyo Blade hit the stage. That is, the Andy Boulton version of Tokyo Blade. Nicolaj Ruhnow, John Wiggings, Andy Wrighton and Steve Pierce accompanied him, contrary to the line-up of Ages Of Metal.
The singer was plagued by bad luck in the first half of the show, with his vocals too low in the monitors and his not being able to read the set list, once again apparently due to his glasses gone missing. Did I mention they're not too young anymore?
As was expected on a summer festival, most of the set list can be predicted, and we were treated with songs like "Midnight Rendez-Vous" and "Heaven Is Hell", which were also the standout songs of the set.
You can expect to see them on Headbanger's Open Air as well this year!
The flag bearers of the Swedish Sleaze revival were on next, for a decent 45-minute set.
They opened the True Metal Stage, which is one of the side-to-side main stages, at around 3 in the afternoon, and shamefully had to share 15 minutes with Girlschool, which caused us to miss part of another band we should not have missed...
In the short time span they had, hits rained down on us: "Breakin' The Chainz", "Down With The Dust", "So Alive", "Riot In Everyone", "Armageddon", "In The Raw", and oh so many more.
True to their Sunset Strip forefathers, the encores "Rebel" and "Generation Wild" only started after Simon rode his chopper on-stage. After which it failed to start again, so it took them an extra five to get off the stage again... Small Spinal Tap moment, but a good show nonetheless!
Girlschool played the Bullhead City Wrestling Stage, off the main festival grounds, at 14.15, which is too early and on a stage way too small if you ask us...
The numbers to point out in this set were "Screaming Blue Murder", "Hit And Run", "Not For Sale" and "C'mon Let's Go".
Needless to say, they looked good as always, and deserve plenty more recognition than what they got.
We had to leave this show early, to go catch the beginning of Crashdiët's set.
Ozzy headlined the True Metal Stage, right after Helloween's set, and appeared to be in a very jumpy mood compared to previous shows.
Everyone has his/her highlights of an Ozzy show, but here's what we basically got:
"I Don't Know"
"Bark At The Moon"
"Road To Nowhere"
"Shot In The Dark"
"I Don't Want To Change The World"
"Mama I'm Coming Home" (encore)
Contrary to last year, only two veritable glam rock bands graced this year's edition, and next to Crashdiët, Pussy Sisster was to be found on the W.E.T. Stage at 13.50.
The best songs of their set were definitely "Back Again" and "Way To Nowhere", proving their level of efficiency.
These German glamsters have toured the States already, and it's beginning to show that they're one of the powers to be in the glam scene.
In conclusion, last year was a better festival for our kind of music, with Lizzy Borden, Mad Max, Crucified Barbara and the almighty Crüe, but still Wacken is one of the year's rock holidays, and will continue to be for a whole lot of years longer. Rain or shine!