We left Berlin for Wacken early enough so that we wouldn’t have to rush. Everything went smoothly until we arrived at Wacken main gate. As we were supposed to go to the press check in point to get our press passes – which is about 4 kms away – we took a taxi. We gave the address to the driver and asked if he knew it. That was because not many people go to that check point and we just wanted to make sure. He said he knew it in the most confident way. As you can imagine, he was lost many times but still refused to listen to our directions. He did not even have sat-nav on board. Long story short, we arrived at the checkpoint – which is actually a 5 minutes’ drive – after about 45-50 minutes.
Özay: The journey to Wacken is such fun. We usually do the shopping around Hamburg’s train station, but you may wait until you get to the town of Wacken and save yourself some energy. Mind you that this is a risky move and if you can’t reach Wacken really early you will find the single store pillaged by fellow metalheads. Once you reach Itzehoe by bus, you will see the line for the Wacken shuttle after a brief walk. And that is most of the fun. The passengers, as yourselves, will be quite pumped up and at least ten “Wacken” screams may be expected.
We got the passes and the next step was to go to the camping area which was again about 20 minutes on foot. We hit the road and were doing well until the wheel of Özay’s trolley suitcase literally melted away on rough surface (Ö: yes it did). That slowed us down even more and it was late enough when we finally made it to the camp. We would like to thank Liese and her friend, whose name we could not catch, for their company and help carrying our bags.
Özay: Travel light, children. If you prefer wheelies, make sure they can withstand the abuse. Large silicon covered wheels should do the work.
We quickly set up the tent and got settled. No matter how quick we were at settling in, we were already too late and we missed a couple of songs at the Flotsam and Jetsam show.
It was the first act we wanted to see. It does not mean much for Özay but he had nothing better to do. I had wanted to see this band for so long and finally they were on the Headbangers stage. They had a very short stage time and they delivered their best to make the most of it. The setlist was as follows:
- Life Is a Mess
- Hard on You
- I Live You Die
- Iron Maiden
- Dreams of Death
We missed the first three songs and started with Hard on You. It was true. The journey to Wacken was rather hard on us. I went totally wild on all songs. No Place for Disgrace is my favorite Flotsam and Jetsam album the show included 4 songs from this excellent release. It was an awesome opportunity for me to finally watch them. As far as the American thrash metal goes, it was probably the only band I had not seen live and now I get to put a check next to their name. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a Dark Angel reunion and seeing them live to complete the American Thrash metal list.
I am sorry for having to resort to a cliché but Jeff Waters is a true one-man army. The way he interacts with the audience, his kind Canadian manners, coupled with his top-notch guitar skills blew me away once more. Their setlist featured all-time classics and one new song (Twisted Lobotomy) which was jaw-dropping.
- Suicide Society
- King of the Kill
- No Way Out
- Set the World on Fire
- Twisted Lobotomy (new song)
- Alison Hell
- Encore: Human Insecticide
Now you all know the classics. No need to go into much detail. But Twisted Lobotomy deserves some extra mention. Jeff introduced the song stating that
“I played ballads and slow songs once. But as the time passed, I realized that I don’t wanna die playing soft songs. I want to thrash”
Well, it is not the exact wording but it meant something like this. And when you hear this from Jeff, you would normally expect some speed/thrash fury like human insecticide and so on. But what came out was truly shocking. It was the fastest and most brutal Annihilator song I have listened to. It sounds like Sodom’s Obsessed by Cruelty or Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill! Jeff sings in harsher vocals than we are used to hearing from him. It is so old school, neck-breaking fast and catchy. I guess it would be a permanent song on Annihilator’s forthcoming setlists. I hope the whole new album would be that good. In case you are wondering, you can listen to a video-shoot of Twisted Lobotomy from Rockstadt Extreme Fest 2017 here:
Özay: Annihilator did just what was expected of them, thrashing the stage with such fun. And he even apologized for that, in true Canadian fashion.