Özay: Our day 1 shift wouldn’t start well until 4 pm (Ross the Boss) but still we managed to get up early, having rested after a relatively light opening day. So we made the most of it by a lazy morning of acclimatizing and VIP tent relaxation.
Volkan: While hanging around at the press tent, we came across Mr. Thomas Jensen, the founder of W:O:A and after a brief greeting during which I have showed him Wacken Turk website, he asked me to join them in their tour across the festival area accompanied by some journalists. After they finished their filming, I had some more time with him giving him the details about the website for which he seemed very impressed.
Following this lucky encounter, we took our time strolling through the metal market to take a look at the metalhead clothing, accessories and records till a massive burst of rain raged through the whole festival area. We were fortunately in a tent which sold metal patches and had to wait for some time till the rain dwindled down a bit (see the video below).
Make no mistake; even dwindled down rain means massive mud all over the place from which we got our fair share although not as much as the guys below.
We watched a couple of songs at the Wackinger Stage by Fuchsteufelswild at the end of which we decided the band was not our cuppa tea. We, then, moved on to the infield to watch the first act of the day: Ross the Boss
Özay: Obviously one of the highlights of 2017, the Boss, one of the genuine 4 kings of metal himself reigned supreme, playing all the early era Manowar classics, previous to him being forced to leave the band. Granted we did not see Eric Adams or the “multilingual” Joey DeMaio on stage, but his band made it feel quite like the good old Manowar we grew up with. Except the over-the-top masculinity, that is. By the time it was “Battle Hymn” I was already in euphoria and lost a good deal of my voice but seriously, ending with Hail and Kill made the teenager metalhead in me cry tears of joy. The complete setlist is as follows:
- Blood of the Kings
- Death Tone
- The Oath
- Blood of My Enemies
- Kill With Power
- Sign of the Hammer
- Fighting the World
- Battle Hymn
- Hail and Kill
At the end of the show, the Boss was inducted in “Hall of Heavy Metal History” and “Global Metal Ambassador Award” by Thomas Jensen (in conjunction with Hall Of Heavy Metal History founder and CEO Pat Gesualdo) in an emotional ceremony. And we were there to witness it.
Volkan: I don’t have much to add here. It was my second Ross the Boss show and it always makes me happy to sing along to Manowar no matter who’s playing the songs. They did a good job, indeed. It was just the sort of fuel we needed to get us through the exhausting concert traffic of the day.
Özay: The Swedish rockers Europe is not your typical Wacken band, but this would not stop them from appearing every now and then. And the crowd shows such a liking to the veterans, who showcased their most Wacken-worthy songs and a respectable energy and dedication despite their age (you know who I’m talking about).
- War of Kings
- Hole in My Pocket
- Rock the Night
- Scream of Anger
- Last Look at Eden
- Sign of the Times
- Ready or Not
- Nothin’ to Ya
- The Beast
- The Final Countdown
Volkan: I admit that I am a The Final Countdown “Europer” (European?). I am not a huge fan but I respect them all the same. Their performance was real kick-ass and Joey Tempest still runs on full energy. It is always good to see such big acts delivering the goods.
Özay: This was a band I really wanted to see live, and I even convinced Volkan to miss the last few songs of Europe, including the quintessential final countdown. I have known the German black metal act for their atmospheric structure and stretched out songs but obviously they have opted to perform their more blast-beat filled headbanging tracks. Honestly, as much as we tried, we just couldn’t get ourselves going due to the ever-off-beat bass drums, which might also be due to faulty sound checking.
Volkan: This was probably my third Accept show and it was simply awesome. In fact it started as a regular show with the bands classics as well as the new songs from the latest album (The Rise of Chaos) which came out on the exact day of their performance. Later on came the special part of the show where Wolf Hoffmann took the lead and delivered a magnificent performance together with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. You all know Hoffmann’s inclination for classical music and this was probably the pinnacle of all his performances. He dominated the stage and the fans as well as leading the orchestra. Mesmerized, we (yes, even Özay) had no other option than to watch him in awe.
Such kind of specials shows is what Wacken is famous for. Savatage 2015, Samael 2015, and Amorphis 2015 are similar examples. I hope they will keep on doing special shows every year.
- Die by the Sword (World Premiere)
- Restless and Wild
- Koolaid (Live Premiere)
- Final Journey
Wolf Hoffmann solo with Czech National Symphony Orchestra
- Night on Bald Mountain (Modest Mussorgsky )
- Scherzo (Fryderyk Chopin )
- Romeo and Juliet (Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev )
- Pathétique (Ludwig van Beethoven )
- Double Cello Concerto in G Minor (Antonio Vivaldi )
- Symphony No. 40 in G Minor – K.550 (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart )
Accept with Czech National Symphony Orchestra
- Princess of the Dawn
- Dark Side of My Heart
- Shadow Soldiers
- Dying Breed
- Fast as a Shark
- Metal Heart
- Teutonic Terror
- Balls to the Wall
Özay: Again, I managed to convince Volkan to miss the last part of Accept’s setlist, to make it in time for Batushka. Quite frankly, this is what I came for. I was totally unaware when their sole full-length came out in 2015. Possibly nothing could prepare you for that. Then I watched some videos of their stage presence. Then I found out that they’ll be playing on the W:E:T Stage. I was happy as a kid at the last day of school. Brujeria was playing at the Headbangers Stage as we made our way as close to the front as possible and as they were wrapping up with “Macarena” (seriously) they were quite past their time and had curtains closed on them. Then appeared the band with three chanters, all in cloaks, on a totally darkened and fog-filled stage, among candles, skulls and Orthodox icons. My heart was pounding. The music started ever so slowly as the lead singer entered, swinging a censer, filling the tent with the smell of incense. He started by blessing all of his audience, and continued his ritual theatrics in every instrumental parts / between songs, with such self-esteem and profession. Pretty hard to put in words, but as they went their way through the entirety of their sole album with mechanical precision and energy, I felt uplifted. It was almost a religious experience, until the 8th “Yekteniya”, whose last bit was disgracefully cut short by closing curtains.
- Yekteniya I: Ochishcheniye
- Yekteniya II: Blagosloveniye
- Yekteniya III: Premudrost’
- Yekteniya IV: Milost’
- Yekteniya V: Svyatyy Vkhod
- Yekteniya VI: Upovane
- Yekteniya VII: Istina
- Yekteniya VIII: Spaseniye
Volkan: Napalm Death and Mayhem played one after another and we had to choose one stage-front to hold on to and the decision was rather straightforward: Mayhem. This meant that we had to watch ND from the very narrow angle in front of the next stage (see the photos below). ND was just like the drunk friend you can’t help liking: angry, friendly, straightforward and cool!
They played their classics among curses to this leader or that corporation as was expected of them. Barney and co. are still young as ever and it’s always nice to see them live.
- Silence Is Deafening
- Smash a Single Digit
- How the Years Condemn
- When All Is Said and Done
- Continuing War on Stupidity
- The Kill
- You Suffer
- Siege of Power
- Dear Slum Landlord…
- Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)
- Suffer the Children
Özay: I will refrain from saying anything about Mayhem. Or “De Mysteriis dom Sathanas”. Or the living legends Hellhammer, Necrobutcher and Attila. This was simply one of a lifetime event and we got to see all those. Hellhammer’s hypnotic battering and Attila’s mesmerizing stage presence and antics. Freezing Moon. Buried by Time and Dust. Funeral Fog. The whole deal. What a night.
Volkan: This was what I was looking for since the announcement of the band. Not only was it about seeing Mayhem live but also listening to probably the best black metal album ever in full. Wow! The performance was stunning. Especially listening to Hellhammers’s pounding was a thing to see. We were so lucky to have our perfect spots in the front row and the whole show seemed to me a huge piece of a puzzle filling a long-open void in my humble history of live show experiences. Funeral Fog, Freezing Moon and all the others… To top it off, I managed to catch Teloch’s guitar pick.
Özay: 3 totally overwhelming concerts tired the living matter out of us, and then it was Nile’s turn. By that time we were considering options to sit down. Still, we managed to enjoy the constant battery that is Nile, as much as humanly possible.
Volkan: We could only listen to a few songs, and then beat-up, we headed for the tent hoping that it hadn’t been leaking rainwater.