Tuesday 30.7.2019 275km 3h30m - km Total: - km
An absolutely tear-jearking reunion with my brother from another mother (ok, that might possibly be a mild exaggeration).
The Bear has been a granted a temporary leave of absence from his dad-duties and joins me once again to reconquer the holy Wacken lands for the festivals 30th anniversary.
The journey to Gothenburg was an absolute orgy in dullness but at least it was good not riding alone.
We had lunch at a pizza-place in Mellerud which was the only stop we made on the way down.
The weather was just perfect, no rain and not exceedingly hot.
I just hope we'll get something along those lines for the festival as well.
We get to board the ferry in plenty of time before departure which is good as the Bear and I are very much alike in that if there where no time restraints we would probably spend the entire sailing on car deck tightening just a tiny bit more and adding just one more strap to fasten the bike.
We settle in the cabin and hit the tax free before finding a bar to compare gigs for the festival.
Meet the new Tiger, not the same as the old Tiger.
Wednesday 31.7.2019 73km Total:348km 1h08m Total:4h38m 9.47km Total: 9.47km
Since it's a very short trip from the ferry port to the hotel we arrive very early for check-in.
I knock on the door and is at first very confused by the fact that Anthony Hopkins opens the door but soon realize that it's Thorsten who has grown a god-like white beard since we saw him last.
He shakes our hands with just the firm grip a beard like that dictates and continues by critiquing my choice in clothing as I'm wearing an Indian Motorcycles t-shirt.
When he hears I bought it in Thailand he looks like I just force-fed him a lemon.
A t-shirt like that is bought in the states, and after you've ridden one. Something he himself has obviously done (Thorsten is also bitten by the travel-bug).
He is a really cool dude Thorsten but we can tell he doesn't have the energy he used to as the hotel is looking a bit worse for wear since last we where here. Not run down, but worn.
Hardly surpring as Doris has had to move south for health reasons so he's managing the whole thing by himself now, how he does it is somewhat of a mystery as he hardly slept during the festival as it was.
Without asking for it Thorsten goes to get tarps for us to put over the bikes for the rest of the week which was a real nice touch.
By now I'm starting to get a migraine so heading straight for the festival isn't in the cards.
I take my meds and hit the sack for a couple of hours which worked wonders.
Soon after 3PM we're in Thorstens car heading for the lunatic asylum called Wacken.
At the festival ground we don't recognize anything from any of the previous visits, they've changed absolutely everything.
After a very rudimentary security check we walk across the entire grounds before we get to exchange our tickets for the wristbands and from there we have to get our bearings on where everything is as we are at a complete loss.
This time around there are several security checks as apposed to a perimeter checkpoint and a security check to get into the main stage area.
Unfortunately they've moved the two tent stages inside the main festival area as well which is probably the reason why it feels a lot more cramped this time around, if people have gone to the bother to get through security they stick around instead of spreading out more across the grounds as they used to.
During the evening we saw part of or complete gigs with The Damned, Sweet, The Sinderellas and Sisters of Mercy.
The Damned was a nice surprise as they where Bears choice and not something I was previously familiar with but those geezers rocked the ass off the place.
I really looked forward to Sisters of Mercy as I never really went with the great Metal vs Synth divide and continued listening to Sisters and other Synth bands in between grinding Twisted Sister.
Hearing the intro for Temple of love was a grand moment even though the entire gig was plagued with terrible sound quality.
The bikes securely packaged fot the rest of the week
The Holy Wacken Land.
On the site ground but outside the security check there is a pretty well stocked supermarket.
On second thought it's really more like a well stocked liquor store that also sell groceries, they know their consumer base well.
The Sinderellas where more of an audiovisual experience with a heavy bias towards the visual.
Thursday 1.8.2019 - km -h-m 5.45 km Total: 14.92km
Another change from previous years is that they hade fairly recognizable acts on wednesday as well but this is still the first "real" day of the festival.
There's nothing on a continental breakfast I can eat so I slept in and decided to eat when we got to the festival.
But depending on how you look at it I guess you could call the Fireball we had before we entered the grounds breakfast.
After giving the Fireball some rice and chicken as company we do a lap of the merch-street before the first gig of the day.
We make our way to the Louder stage and Versengold, a German band which I guess is a kind of a folk-rock band, at least that's the best description I'm capable of.
Regardless of what you call it it's catchy as hell and the audience response was completely unbelievable for a band at Wacken that's isn't really metal.
It was definately the first time I've seen a nyckelharpa (keyed harp) at Wacken.
After that we just needed to move one hop right to the Harder stage where Beyond the black was about to play.
A flock of dorks found some people similarly challenged and formed a mosh-pit right in front of us but fortunately tired quickly.
I have no idea what they had smoked or ingested because I'm a fan of the band and it was a nice gig but mosh-pit material it certainly is not.
The gigs where pretty much back to back today so we head straight for the Faster stage and the next gig.
Krokus played classic rock in it's most refined form and you really can't fail with that recipe.
Hammerfall on the other hand at least fail to impress me every time I hear them, I just don't get them at all.
But it's a Swedish band so I guess it's our patriotic duty and Bear likes them even though he wasn't impressed by this particular gig either.
Next up is a band that hit me like an adrenaline-injected side of beef right in my face when I first saw them at Wacken in 2011.
Airbourne is a show not to be missed and they certainly delivered this time as well.
Joel O’Keeffe is not only a skilled master on the guitar but also plays the audience like a finely tuned instrument.
It was a real crowd-pleaser and an awesome gig.
The last show of the evening was with our Swedish heroes Sabaton.
The expectations where high as Sabaton had both the Faster and Harder stage at their disposal for an anniversary show and as far as I know no band has ever had two stages for a gig before this.
We where just lucky to have chosen the Faster stage as that's where the show actually was, on the Harder stage Per Sundström (the base player) had a short monologue and few former members of the band showed up around mid gig but apart from that nothing very interesting happened on that stage so the people who hade squeezed to the front of that where probably pretty disappointed.
Even though we had expected a bit more of show it was a great gig musically and Swedish Pagans with Tina Guo as guest was awesome.
Last night we took a taxi back to the hotel but tonight we had arranged a pick-up from Thorsten.
We could have saved ourselves the trouble as he was a no show.
The taxi was €30 compared to the €20 we pay Thorsten so there and then we decide to opt for a taxi back the rest of the festival.
On the one hand we won't have to conform to Thorstens rather pressed schedule and on the other we won't risk having to share the ride with the Franschhhischhhhiskaner-Norwegian who as far as I know still manages to get absolutely shit-faced every day.
The advantages for Thorsten is that now he's doing everything by himself and is pressed for time he doesn't need to waste any by showering if he's driving that clown around, when the inevitable drunken conversation starts he'll be completely awash with both narcissistic delusions and saliva.
One of the security checks
Beyond the black
You really get to see everything at this festival.