I met Sami Jylhä, friend, band friend and sometimes-finnish-merch-guy,
on the night before the first festival day (I went to the site because I
was looking for some food..) Here Sami is explaining how happy he is to
be here and how the horrors of meeting my brother here last year is
still sending shivers up his spine...
I went up quite early (well, 10 in the morning <g>) the next day (August
4th) to check out some of the bands and get in the festival mood. Here
it's Vader, a Polish death metal band, that take the Black Stage.
The VIP tent is usually a somewhat fun place to hang. At this time of
day, VIP stands for Very Impotent People. Here's Flavio enjoying a
cigarrette while inspecting this year's batch of impotent people.
Here's the keyboardist André "the BEAST" Anderssen and drummer of Royal
Hunt during their set on the True Metal Stage (I'm not kidding, that was
the name of the stage.)
The catering on the 4th was quite OK, Mexican food! Here's Jukka pigging
out on what looks like.. well.. like a Taco or something.
Here's my half-eaten plate of Mexican-German food. Wacken, as you may
know, is in Northern Germany close to the Danish border (about an hour
north of Hamburg.) Somewhat impressive!
It was also great seeing the Rhapsody guys again. We spend almost two
months on tour together in the spring of 2000.
At that time, Luca Turilli (guitar) was a non-drinker. But here in this
picture, he's having a beer before going on stage.
BEFORE GOING ON STAGE!
Going on tour with scandinavians can be dangerous... just check
out what happened to poor André Matos of Angra.
Here's the audience as seen from the left PA stack during Rhapsody's
set. Our audience was bigger!!! <g>
Here's Luca on stage, imploring the audience to loosen up, rock out,
drop in, throw up, turn out, and tone up.
Here's Jukka frantically making late-minute adjustments to a microphone
behind the stage. Maybe if I move it one millimeter to the right I can
compensate for the 0.35 dB loss in the third midrange box from the top
of the left PA stack!?
Jörg late-minute fiddling with the drums. I
wonder, if I tighten the right bass drum head to where it almost breaks,
could that make it break 10 seconds into the first song!? Ooops,
Here's Alex Holzwarth of Rhapsody trying to confuse his bandmates
with a set of eighth-note-septuplets over the toms. (Old trick!)
Alessandro Lotta and Alex Staropoli, also of Rhapsody. (If you put your
face 15 centimeters from the screen and stare very closely to the
picture for 45 minutes an apparition of singer Fabio Lione will appear.)
Mighty Warriors in the audience, crossing swords! I hope they were plastic..
Jörg catching some sun in the grass outside the dressing rooms.
The production office is the nerve centre of any festival area. Because
of that, there's a constant flow of interesting characters passing by,
making it an excellent place to kill a few minutes. In Wacken 2000, it
was also situated nicely in the shade. Here's Jukka quite obviously
enjoying the sight of Schlanky on a bicycle.
Here's Martin M, who was stage managing the party stage if I remember
correctly, enjoying whatever natural-high-of-the-minute he has in his
vast arsenal. (I don't think there's a more positive person in
existence.. can I please have some of what this guy is on!? <g>)
The view from inside the production office. It was quite small! Note LSD
dispenser in background, cleverly disguised as water bottle. LSD enables
the Wacken staff to have a new level of understanding of the
prettily color-coded access wrist bands..
A.C. and Gerald. "Funny thing, we told all the bands that the ticket
price was 10 deutschmarks so we have 3 million extra lying around. Want some?"
Schlanky, refreshed after his bike ride.
Schlanky and Markku-the-pyro-guy hanging out people-watching.
You don't have to wait long outside the Prod.Off. for someone
interesting to swing by. Here's one of the guys from the band Immortal
(they're from Norway), ready to take posession of the Black Stage.
Looks like a very angry guy!!
If you're not Immortal, you're a mere mortal. Don't you forget it!
Here's some more Immortals. I didn't catch their set, but I'd say
chances are pretty slim they played any polkas or easy listening MOR
Here's Olivier Garnier, our French label head and marketing wizard, with
what I can only interpret as an expression of intense disbelief at the
levels of barbarism sometimes encountered in the wastelands east of the
Tolkki looking thru one of his patented "briefcases" (usually a plastic
bag purchased for FIM 1.- in Valintatalo!!)
That's how object transportation gets done WAY east of the Mosel. <g>
Here's Tolkki getting ready to shoot some video.
Then in the middle of the set, something goes terribly wrong.
At the beginning of the song SOS, Timo K goes to the drum riser to put a water bottle down. He puts it close to one of the pyro devices (a magnesium flash pod which has quite a lot of thermal energy but not so much pressure..) Markku-the-pyro-guy ignites it, either due to lack of attention or obstruction of his vision. This particular cue is when the double bass drums start in the song.
Timo's face and left hand is in very close proximity to the fireball. As a reward for his lack of respect for the pyro he gets second and third degree burns on two fingers and the back of his hand, a really funny hairdo, and a Hitler moustache. Luckily his eyes appear to have been closed due to reflex. He could easily have had a permanent and total loss of vision. Someone gaffatapes a bandage to his hand and he picks up the song on the second verse! (Some serious Viking blood in that Kotipelto!!) He goes to a hospital in Itzehoe (close to Wacken) directly after the show....
And Timo could have been a lot worse off. So no lawsuits or fired people. Hopefully the other "pyro greenhorns" (Timo T and Jari) in the band will have a lot more respect from now on. I think it's a safe bet that Timo K will...
Here is Markku-the-pyro-guy in the dressing room after the gig. Doesn't look too
happy, does he!? <g> He soothes himself with some Absolut Vodka
minutes after this, forgetting that he still has to climb up in the light
rig to remove his pyro ignition cables...
That evening and the next, we all go check out some of the remaining
shows. There were some great bands I've never seen before, notably
Nightwish and Zakk Wylde. Morbid Angel were cool as well.
And of course the obligatory checkup on the scene in the VIP tent.
Lots of Scandinavian people were backstage, all behaving in the manner
proper for people from "east of the Mosel and north of the Kattegat".
But it was difficult for me to get in a good mood...
Here are the lads from Sentenced. These guys know how to drink!
(They're from Oulu, FInland)
I think VIP stands for "Very Intoxicated Person" in the evening..
Here's Ville from Sentenced preparing to take a little nap on the floor
of the VIP tent. Perhaps it should be called the RIP tent!? <g>
The party's over, and here's Markku-the-pyro-guy after the van ride back
to the hotel...
Check the strato site for more updates on Timo if you're curious.
If you like this sort of little inane photo expo, why not check out this other one.