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Wacken Open Air, Wacken, Germany
August 4th 2005
Nightwish, Oomph!, Candlemass, Tristania

Every year it is amazing to see how many metal fans can come together in such a small village who became famous because of this festival. Wacken is always on the top of the list when you want to have a good metal party: all the scenes are represented and there is always a band you discover on those days. Many people came already on Monday, but I was one of those who came very ‘last minute’ on the Thursday morning. With some nice sunshine it promised to be a good day and that is what it was. (SD)

Tristania (by SD)

The kick off of the 16th edition of Wacken Open Air is in the hands of Tristania. A good choice, because this gothmetalband from Norway has been very well known in this scene for a long time now.

With a dark intro they get the attention from the audience. With a lot of smoke and not such a good sound the band enters the stage and start with ‘Libre’ the first track from their last album Ashes. The grunts of Kjetil are impressive and luckily good to hear. Also some older songs like ‘Crushed Dreams.’ Their last song is the balad ‘Angellore’ and the voice of Vibeke is powerfull and is in a good contrast with the low and deep voice of Osten. The audience was a bit sceptic in the beginning, but halfway the set the new songs had enough impact and in the end everybody was singing along. The band played almost a perfect gig and they put it all on a higher level.

They had a difficult beginning, because there were some problems with the sound. Sometimes it makes band insecure, but that is not the case with Tristania. It seems to be even the motivation to do give everything. The performance is natural: there is a good balance between the melody lines, the voices of Osten, Kjetil and Vibeke. Especially the movements of Vibeke are really expressive and give more intensity to the songs. It was good to see that they were happy to stand on this festival and there was a good interaction with the audience.

Music 8
Performance 9
Sound 7
Light 6
Total 8 (8,0)

Candlemass (by RG)

In between the energetic sounds of Oomph! and the popular sounds of both Nightwish and Tristania there had been made some space for doom today. What better band to bring that then Candlemass. Even though it might be doom they bring it with a light touch of humour.

Doom might be considered slow and heavy but this music was quite energetic and even cheerful at times. The audience was dancing and singing along with hits such as ‘The Sorcerers Pledge’ but they were also treated to some new songs for instance ‘Forbidden Dreams’ during this song you could hear the emotion in the voice of Messiah Marcolin and you could see it on his face as well. Overall they brought an energetic show which had its emotional and fragile moments.

Their stage was decorated with white crosses and a backdrop with their band logo. An exciting intro sounded as the stage was filled up with smoke. The band entered the stage under a loud applause and then Messiah ran on stage immediately starting with the first song, full of energy. All through the show he kept up this energy, with his own dance moves, running up and down the stage. The rest of the band definitely has a minor role in this show. for his presence is huge, he takes over the stage.

Sound 6
Light 6
Total 7 (7,1)

Oomph! (by RG)

After having seen them perform in the Netherlands I was curious to see how a (mostly) German crowd would respond to this band. They have been played on MTV some times but in Germany their name is much more familiar.

Opening with ‘When Du Weinst’ immediately set the tone for this performance. Be aware, we are gonna blow your mind! This burst of energy took the entire audience along for a great trip. The sound was well balanced so all songs came to justice. Dero can spit out his lyrics but also carefully sing his notes, he has found a mixture between hard and soft.

Due to the falling darkness the light started to have some more effect, what also helped were the white suits of the band members which of course reflected the light. This way the lights, which fitted the music perfectly, were to be seen and enjoyed by the crowd. Oomph! has a special way of presenting them selves, jumping, jumping in circles, looking in to the audience as if they are escaped maniacs and… jumping. This is of course a great trade mark, it is recognisable, but on the other hand it gets a bit boring and after a few songs you start longing for something new to happen. Something I did not expect is for Dero to go crowd surfing (which he often does) on such a big crowd, but he did and all went well. He has great charisma, all he has to do is open and close his hands and the entire audience starts clapping. It is definitely a fun show to see.

Music 7
Performance 7
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 7 (7,3)

(by SD)

Nightwish stood on this festival before, but this time they are the headliner of the Thursday evening. That means that there is just one stage and a lot of German metalfans (and people all over the world for example Israel or Spain) who came together to see this gothmetalband. The consequence was that it was too crowded and some drunken guys made it not easier to follow the gig properly.

The band is touring a lot at the moment. They are back on European ground now to play one of the last gigs of the ‘Once’ tour. The set list is this time a bit different then usual. A lot of old songs were played. Like ‘Kinslayer’ and of course ‘Wishmaster.’ The last one with some beautiful fireballs.  Marco with his sunglasses was the one who talked with the audience the most. Screaming things like: ‘How you doing Wacken, it is great to be here!” Without Tarja they played the Pink Floyd cover ‘High Hopes’ a peaceful moment during the gig. When they play ‘Over the hills and far away’ everybody is singing along. The lights go down but they come back to play ‘I wish I had an angel’ and with the firework in the air. With a big smile they say goodbye.

The show is as perfect as always. Again they prove that they know how the arrange things: all the details were perfect. The lights created the good mood, but also the movements of every member showed that they now how to make a good show. Tarjas movements are natural and with her yellow skirt and black hair she is a mystic angel. Also Jukka in the back is good to see: it is amazing how much energy he got during the gig. Marco is more relaxed on stage, but there is Empu who is running around. Tuomas is in a trance. With his green cowboy hat, bend over to the keyboards. In the end it he is so sweaty that he changes his shirt. Before the show he was a bit nervous, because he doesn’t like a big crowd, but in the end he was smiling so it went fine.

Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 8 (8,0)

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