FESTIVAL REVIEW: WACKEN OPEN AIR 2018 Live at Schleswig-Holstein, Germany – Day 2 (Thursday)
When you’re camping at Wacken Open Air the nights are long and the mornings start early. The party never ends, even after the bands are done playing. Every camp site is playing music. Once 8am hits it’s too hot to stay in your tent, so you do what any responsible fester would do, you hit the pit.
Thursday was a big day. Hatebreed, Danzig, Behemoth and Judas Priest were all playing. One of the many high lights was crowd surfing to Hatebreed. Someone said something to me in German, and next thing I knew I was up in the air, rushing the stage like a bat out of hell. The crowd was going wild, beers were flowing and heads were banging. The moment they played “Destroy Everything” the mosh pit went nuts. It was at this time where a guy in a wheel chair went crowd surfing. Everyone was there to grab him until he made it to the front gate.
At Wacken we’re not just a community, we’re a family. Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta screamed to the crowd and we roared back. It was time to get dirty. Dust in the face, water down the back and horns in the air. Hatebreed finished their set with “I Will Be Heard” and trust me when I say they were!
I have never left my arms in the air longer than at Behemoth. They were playing on the Harder Stage, and they played Hard. There were two giant mosh pits around the sound equipment. One of the biggest pits I saw. I was in the middle. A pit to the left and right of me. In front a small lane of people. This was the crowd surfing lane. There wasn’t a break or moment when someone wasn’t up in the air. There is no rules to crowd surfing. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small if you can get a boost you’re set.
They opened with “Ov Fire and the Void” and finished with “O Father O Satan O Sun!” But from start to finish they blew us away. It was still light out, but they made the sky darker after their face melting set!
Then came the moment we were all waiting for. If there was ever a reason to come to Wacken (There are plenty) seeing Judas Priest on one of the main stages was it. You don’t know what 75,000 people look like until they’re all standing there singing “Painkiller” Rob Halford‘s vocals stood amongst them all. The 66 year old looked better than ever, sounded as good as he did back in the 80fs. This was metal, this is what we came for. The bull horn lit up, we got to see true firepower at Wacken Open Air. What an epic way to finish off the day!
The one thing I love about Wacken is how everyone becomes your family by the end of the journey. You make countless friendships and new festival buddies. I’ve been to plenty of festivals but Wacken is unique. It stands alone. Its in a small town with thousands of people attending each year. The festival will sell out before they announce any major bands. It sells out because we know deep down in our core that Wacken is home. It doesn’t matter which bands play. This is our metal sanctuary, it’s our place of meditation. Our metal vests and denim, our uniforms. The lyrics become our voice. We are home!