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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   BANG YOUR HEAD 2002
Slayer ©Nico Wobben Messegelände - Balingen (D)
June 28th-29th 2002

http://www.bang-your-head.de

This awesome festival is becoming more and more popular and that doesn't surprise me one bit. Even the last part driving down there gets me all excited because of the beautiful Swabian scenery. That and the relaxing atmosphere make this one-stage festival so unique these days. Although the amount of pre-parties and late night shows at the nearby WOM club are increasing. So far I've preferred to stay at the campsite for some good BBQ and beers with metalbrothers and crowd ©Nico Wobben -sisters from many countries /mp/\.jpgm/. But that first night I was very afraid I had to follow the whole festival from my tent. Just minutes after we arrived on thursday I sprained my ancle pretty bad - that night I couldn't go to the Wizard/Titan Force/Powergod show at the WOM club and the pain made me turn in early. Luckily it was much better the next day so I managed to hop around somewhat.. at least I didn't miss a thing of the actual festival!

FRIDAY

I never got around to actually picking up RIVAL's CD "Modern World", but from what I had heard I knew I shouldn't miss this Chicago-based band! Loved by all 80's metal fans, but it should appeal to all who love pure metal. Great songs (like "Tides Of Fate" and "Death Stalker" of the last CD), great vocalist, twin guitarleads, powerful drumming.. the finest US metal in the vein of Omen from a tight and enthusiastic bunch of musicians that deserve some success by now!

Rhapsody ©Nico Wobben It's hard for me to get something decent on paper about RHAPSODY, because I have a real hard time even listening to it. I apologize for that to those who were hoping to read more about the show. I can say it was very bombastic: big fantasy-backdrops, good stage-acting, several additional musicians, but the music was dominated by the keyboards and Fabio's vocals.

Gosh, just when you think he can't get any better, he does! I've been on my knees before, doing *I'm not worthy* signs to JAG PANZER's Harry "the Tyrant" Conklin, but again he amazes me. I'm either headbanging and singing to all the classics (like "Generally Hostile", "Black", "Iron Eagle", "Chain Of Command") or just looking and listening in awe and wondering how the hell the Tyrant manages to get even better than the last time. Well, let's not forget about the rest of the band hehe. Jag Panzer just are a killer live band, incredibly tight and fun to watch. Guitarist Chris Broderick uses the catwalk regularly, esp. when soloing. And of course there was the Tyrant.. but I believe I already told you about him, didn't I? AWESOME!

BONFIRE's traditional hardrock is not my cup of tea but they know how to entertain a festival crowd. Esp. considering they had to fill in for the much anticipated Symphony X who had to cancel due to Russel Allen having some kind of internal bleedings. Anyway, Bonfire's catchy songs and their homage to the German football team (who were playing the World Cup finals the next day) went down well with the crowd. And as if singing along to their own songs wasn't enough, there was also the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover "Sweet Home Alabama".

Titan Force ©Nico Wobben I'll try not to drool all over Harry again, but it'll be hard. TITAN FORCE offered to switch days with Candlemass because their gear didn't arrive yet, so Harry got to sing twice that day. And again flawless.. This time with a very different look, because for Jag Panzer he dresses up in leather and spikes usually, but now he just dressed casual, jeans and Jag Panzer longsleeve. Since I missed the show the night before, I was glad to at least catch this one, even though the set was much shorter of course. The Flores brothers had as much fun doing this reunion as all the old fans I'm sure. Classics like "Small Price To Pay", "Chase Your Dreams", "Master Of Disguise", "Shadow Of A Promise", "Fields Of Valor" and a few more were sung along by the crowd and Harry stayed on top of every damn note! In-fuckin-credible performance!

Overkill didn't make it to the festival because Bobby Blitz had suffered a minor stroke the day before (luckily we know by now he's going to recover just fine!) and GAMMA RAY got on stage earlier than planned. I suppose most people know what to expect by now from a Gamma Ray show. Good power metal and great musicians and they clearly enjoyed themselves today! I'm not so familiar with their songs, so I only recognize the Helloween classic "Ride The Sky" and "Land Of The Free".

FOZZY had been announced as the hottest act, with a wrestling star (Chris Jericho) on vocals, Andy Sneap on guitar and a lot of show elements, but in the end they were 'just' another coverband to me. OK, good musicians and all, but I didn't see what all the fuss errr fozzy was all about. Their set contained songs like "Stand Up And Fight" (Dio), "Stay Hungry" (Twisted Sister) and "Balls To The Wall" (Accept) so you get the idea. Nightwish ©Nico Wobben Nice choice of songs, but the gig couldn't exactly thrill me.

Finally I had a chance to see NIGHTWISH. Well, not that they had been on my wishlist, but I wanted to see and hear how Tarja is in a live setting. Maybe it would appeal to me more than it does on CD (I want metal vocals with my metal). Hmm, I can't say it did. Don't know how much the sound was to blame, but I thought she would have more power, I hardly heard her! Nothing wrong with the music, but as a total it can't convince me at all.

We enjoyed SAXON from a bit further from the stage, relaxing, sitting down. What can I say about these veterans? The only heir to the name for sure, and still one hell of a live band. The setlist was a greatest-hits show with e.g. "747", "Dallas 1pm", Saxon ©Nico Wobben "Motorcycle Man", "Eagle Has Landed", "Strong Arm Of The Law", "Princess Of The Night", "Crusader" and "Wheels Of Steel" and "Demin & Leather" to close the set with. Sigh.. and let's not forget the spectacular illuminated eagle coming down during the show: great!

I didn't go to the Shadow's Keep/Falconer gig, because of my ancle. Nico really wanted to see Shadow's Keep but was way too tired by then so we called it a night.

SATURDAY

The saturdays always start too early for me somehow, so I only heard S.A. ADAMS from the campsite. Their hardrock sounded fine and those who were there spoke highly of the show later on.

Since the folk-metal of MÄGO DE OZ is not our cup of tea at all Nico and I stayed on the campsite a little longer. This Spanish band is getting pretty popular though and they drew a good crowd that we heard shouting for an encore afterwards. This early already?? Maybe because they came to Germany for only this one show?

Tankard ©Nico Wobben TANKARD's gig was one of the funniest since they all came on stage dressed in their pj's!!! It was hilarious!! Might've been a hint that 11am is too early for them. Another hint might've been Gerre mentioning they should've been on at 8pm, but refused because they would be too drunk by then, haha! Whatever.. they put up a great energetic and fun show as usual, Gerre running around showing off his beer-belly, interacting with the crowd and even getting some fans on the catwalk. These guys know how to party and how to play and it's still fun after their 20+ years. Songs like "Chemical Invasion", "Space Beer", "Freibier" and the new (awesome) "Rectifier" guarantee a good time!

Vanden Plas ©Nico Wobben VANDEN PLAS was next and put up a great show, convincing the audience with their heavy progmetal. Not exactly standard festival music, but Andy and actually the whole band were moving around a lot, had fun and, as usual at this festival, a great sound. The fans loved it and sang along with all the chorusses. They started with oldie "Push", one of my favorites was "Free The Fire" and last song, actually that's just about everyone's favorite, "Rainmaker". Who'd think progmetal would go down so well this early (around noon) on the day. Can't wait to see them again at Wacken!

SHAKRA's music is oh so boring to my ears. So forgive me if it's hard to say much about the band. It was the first show with their new singer Mark Fox, so they didn't seem extremely confident yet. Not a bad show but not very inspiring to me either, sorry..

I wasn't the biggest CANDLEMASS fan back in the day, but today I was blown away by the power and the impact of the songs and Candlemass ©Nico Wobben most of all the masterly frontman Messiah Marcolin. What a presence, what a character and dog-damn, what a VOICE!! I instantly got goosebumps hearing him sing and watching him run around the stage and up and down the catwalk in his classical monk's frock-outfit! Most memorable moments: Messiah talking German (well giving it a good try anyway - "Bang das fucking Kopf, Mann!") and him doing the doom-dance during "Mirror Mirror". Best reunion since I saw Culprit at Wacken. Infuckincredible!!

IRON SAVIOR used to be one of those typical German sounding bands that I still liked and I was actually looking forward to finally seeing them live for the first time. No more.. I was disappointed, Piet wasn't singing well at all (or was it really just the bad sound??) and the whole band didn't have much charisma. Even songs like "Coming Home", "Iron Savior" and "Watcher In The Sky" nor guest-guitarist Uwe Lullis couldn't make my day. Bummer.

Rawhead Rexx w/GeoffThorpe ©Nico Wobben In-your-face heavy metal is what RAWHEAD REXX give you. Good melodies, good songs, heavy riffs, good and enthusiastic musicians and a great voice, ex-Glenmore singer Jürgen Volk. You can't go wrong with that formula. Next to e.g. "Town Of Sculls" and new song "Metal Wars" they covered "Heaven and Hell" and as if the pyros weren't enough for fireworks they got Vicious Rumors-chief Geoff Thorpe on stage to play the Vicious Rumors-hits "On The Edge" and "Abandoned" together! Cool!!

Nevermore ©Nico Wobben One of my very favorite bands NEVERMORE were next and it was one of best shows I've seen from them. Warrel Dane was in great shape and mesmerized the crowd, fired them up and got a whole bunch of fans on the catwalk with him. That was one helluva party! The whole band was having fun and running around. As a touring guitarist they brought Steve Smyth (Testament/Dragonlord) along, who of course had a blast to be able to play with his favorite band. The setlist mainly contained songs of "Dreaming Neon Black" and "Dead Heart In A Dead World" plus "Ride The Lightning" (Metallica) and the titletrack of the upcoming album "Enemies Of Reality". An awesome song that leaves you yearning for more new material!

Doro ©Nico Wobben Magnum cancelled a while back and DORO was asked to fill in. She is such a professional artist that I always like to see and hear her. She has a powerful voice and knows how to entertain a festival crowd. I've never been too crazy about her solostuff though, but she still incorporates a few Warlock oldies in the set, today she even started the set with "Hellbound", "Burning The Witches" and "I Rule The Ruins". I didn't know many of her other songs, but "Für Immer" and "All We Are" were hard to miss.

A legend to many but from a legend I expect a certain professionalism. A decent show, some interaction with your fans, regardless if you're having a bad day or not. Well I don't know what was up Rob HALFORD's ass this day, but his performance was below zero. I had never seen him live before so I had no reference, but he just walked up and down the stage, keeping an eye on his teleprompter, not ever using the catwalk until once at the end of the show and he didn't say a thing in between the songs. Didn't even look at his fans! IMO this was so disrespectful and it made me angry!! On top of that he didn't even sing all that well. Saddest thing of it all was that the kids still cheered at him because they think a celebrity like him can get away with that. Sorry.. I've never been impressed with anyone's status or fame so that's a no go in my book. Sad, very sad.

Luckily we had one more show to go and wham! was that ever a killer show! I hadn't seen SLAYER in so many years that I completely forgot what they were capable of. I was standing far away from the stage but the atmosphere was intense wherever you were on the whole Slayer ©Nico Wobben site. I started headbanging and not only to classics like "Raining Blood" and "Hell Awaits" but also to the newer songs that I didn't know (I haven't really been following the band for several years), it was all killer! And I bet it wasn't even just because they had Dave Lombardo behind the drumkit again! Then Araya said "if you live by the sword..." and we all shouted "...you gotta "Die By The Sword"!" I went absolutely nuts! At the end of the set we got "Chemical Warfare", "South Of Heaven" and "Angel Of Death" so this years Bang Your Head couldn't end in a more intense way. METAAAALLL!

submitted by Marlies 01.01.2003

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