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Wacken 2014 Day 1 – Thursday Review

Day one at Wacken reviews include Hammerfall, Steel Panther and Accept.

Hammerfall by Iris:

WOA 8Of the four bands I would end up watching, Gothenburg, Sweden’s Hammerfall were up first. The five-piece band ‘opened’ the second stage in the late afternoon, with flash pot pyro set to “Child of the Damned”, a high-energy power metal classic. Minor sound mix issues were straightened out within a few seconds, and the band’s full range of musicality could be heard. This was my second time seeing Hammerfall, so I sort-of knew what was in store, and was not disappointed. The band played through a typical “festival classics” type set, and they brought out the props to complete the effect: a wall of un-miked Marshall cabs (plus, no amps), a 20+ piece drum set, and more black leather and chains then Judas Priest sports nowadays…

Vocalist Joacim Cans sounded good throughout the show with only minor technical issues – during “gang vocal” choruses, he was drowned out by the backing vocals several times. The crowd seemed fairly in to the band, warming up to their “German power metal from Sweden” within a few songs. With the “pyro-lite”, they may have been a better band for night-time – a lot of their visuals were lost in the glare of the bright sunshine. The band played at least two ballads to balance out all of the shreddery. Of note were the three special guests: Stefan Elmgren (guitar) during “Stone Cold”, Patrik Rafling (drums) during “Unchained”, and Jesper Stromblad (guitar) on “The Dragon Lies Bleeding”. As everyone was ‘wireless’, guests were able to walk on and off the stage without any hassle or time delay. They even premiered a new tune: “Bushido”. The entire set seemed smooth, fairly energetic, and well-performed. And these guys still have the best leather pants in the business.

Setlist:
WOA 7Child of the Damned (Warlord cover)
The Metal Age
Steel Meets Steel
Stone Cold
I Believe
Unchained
The Dragon Lies Bleeding
Glory to the Brave
Hammerfall
Any Means Necessary
Blood Bound
Bushido
Hearts on Fire

Steel Panther by Iris:

If Los Angeles, California’s Steel Panther is a joke, then it’s got the foursome laughing all the way to the bank. As one of Thursday’s headline acts at the 25th anniversary edition of Wacken Open Air, one of the largest metal festivals in the world, the band “got the joke” a while ago. They’ve upped the ante on their parody act several times since their formation. The band, composed of characters Michael Starr on vocals, Satchel on guitar, Lexxi Foxx on bass guitar and Stix Zadinia on drums, played an energetic 13-song set, with two music-free breaks for women to bare their breasts, while being called insulting names like “easy bitches” and “gold-digging whores”. Misogyny (and very willing fan-nudity) aside, the band’s set was paced well, with ballads roughly in the middle and energetic opener and closer songs. Their sound was somewhere between earlier Van Halen meets Poison meets Motley Crue – they’ve captured that 80s hair metal vibe well. Some of the guitar (harmony or doubling) and the keyboard parts were sampled and triggered from an unknown source – I didn’t see pedalboards onstage – so it wasn’t a 100% live performance, but it seemed close enough. This was my first time seeing the band, and from hearing my friends rave about them and how funny they are, I expected more adult satire and less elementary school bathroom humor. The lyrics were funny enough though, and the performance was entertaining, especially for a band who’s ethos seems to be “fuck all night, and party all day”. If you like 80s hair metal and remember it’s heyday, you will love these guys.

Setlist:
wasteland satgePussywhipped
Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
Asian Hooker
Just Like Tiger Woods
Gold Digging Whore
Girl From Oklahoma
Community Property
Eyes of a Panther
17 Girls in a Row
Gloryhole
Death to All but Metal
It Won’t Suck Itself
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

Accept by Dave:

A band with the pedigree of Accept has a lot to live up to when taking to the stage of one of the world’s largest metalfests and their home ground. There is talk in some circles of how this isn’t the real deal as they are without original frontman Udo. If history has taught us anything,it is that there can be significant life after an original has left the band. Mark Tornillo has been with the band 5 years and on the cusp of his 3rd release with the band and has bedded into the live environment seamlessly.

Tonight the band hit the stage with more aplomb than bands half their age and bashed us over the head with a new track “Stampede.” The band launched an attack of 18 tracks with 5 of those pulled from the new Tornillo era which have all the elements of the classics in particular “Pandemic “and “Teutonic Terror” are sing-along  headbangers which had the crowd punching the air in unison. Off course the crowd was pushed to fever pitch with the likes of “Princess of the Dawn”, Fast as a Shark”, “Starlight”,  “Metal Heart” and a double kicking at the end with “Balls to the Wall“ and “Burning”.  Accept proved again tonight why they have had such a long career, they have the songs and delivery which will stand them on good ground for many more years. True greats of German Heavy Metal.

Setlist:
Stampede
WOA 2014Stalingrad
Losers and Winners
Monsterman
London Leatherboys
Breaker
Shadow Soldiers
Restless and Wild
Ahead of the Pack
Flash Rockin’ Man
Princess of the Dawn
Fast as a Shark
Starlight
Pandemic
Metal Heart
Teutonic Terror
Balls to the Wall
Burning

About Sheila

Former Editor, Team Co-ordinator as well as PR, news poster, pass requester, Ex-Scottish Team Leader for PM since 2011 \m/ \m/ Also owner of the infamous Garfield L'arpie, who is a official mascot of RACPA UK. Check out RACPA UK (Rock Against Child Pornography and Abuse UK) http://www.racpauk.org/