Day II was the best day in my opinion – absolutely amazing!
We were going to sneak a peek at the Heidevolk show – a band which I don’t know, but I figured may be similar to my beloved Eluveitie. Sadly they had been placed in the metal dome, which was not big enough for all the people who wanted to see them. Many were standing outside and listening, I didn’t even see as much as a hair of Heidevolk.
At least this meant we were able to hit marquee 1 early for the Alestorm show. Those of you who have been following my ramblings for a while already know that I love these guys – and this show only reinforced my conviction that Alestorm is pure pirate awesomeness! The show was basically a bash of 50.000 – everybody was partying and singing along to Alestorm classics like Keelhauled, Rum and Nancy the Tavern Wench.
As it was Christoper Bowes’ birthday, everybody also sang “Happy Birthday”, followed by a triple “Hurra!”. The band put on party hats for the occasion – who said metal has to be evil all the time?
Afterwards of course we had to live up to the reputation, as Christopher told us in a distorted voice: “It’s time to get eeevil! Show me your hands and squish those invisible pineapples!” and everybody held up their hands like claws – it was hilarious! They played ‘Death Throes of the Terrorsquid’, which is indeed particularly evil for an Alestorm song, since it has a black metal component.
For ‘Captain Morgan’s Revenge’ they split the entire crowd to form a gigantic wall of death.
On the Saturday the weather was so good that we were actually able to lie in the sun while enjoying some Primal Fear and Thin Lizzy.
Finally it was time for Eluveitie, who never cease to amaze me with their skilled use of historic instruments and their musical diversity.
As the band gave their all as usual, the audience went nuts and in spite of the official ban there was lots of crowd surfing. Somebody kept waving a Swiss flag. Chrigel also designated someone, who was apparently wearing a really cool shirt, to lead the circle pit and promised that if he did well, Chrigel would have a beer with him outside after the show. I’m very much interested in whether this actually happened – does anyone know?
Singer Anna Murphy excelled herself, which was actually unnecessary, as she had enormous of support by the audience. Especially on the Eluveitie hymn Inis Mona, when Chrigel was silent to listen to the crowd sing the chorus all alone.
Fear Factory had a lot of technical issues. After the first song there was a power outage that lasted several minutes and the band left the stage. On their return singer Burton C Bell commented: “Looks like Fear Factory blew the power of this fucking tent!”, then they resumed playing. Sadly things still didn’t seem to be quite right, since the audio quality was horrible, especially on the vocals. This resulted in our early departure from marquee 2. Luckily all the other bands I was interested in were on the main stage or in marquee 1 anyways! You can see a video of the incident below:
Twisted Sister had not been in Belgium for thirty years, which is a shame, because they are definitely worth seeing live! I can not believe that their singer Dee Snider is 57! He was more energetic on stage than any of the relatively “young” frontmen/-women I’ve seen during this amazing weekend. He jumped and rolled around on stage like crazy and his vocal performance was flawless.
He informed us that GMM is at 90.000 visitors the biggest festival in Europe this year and thanked us for supporting metal in spite of the economy. Well, I can’t say that I personally have been affected by the crisis so far, but I know that especially during bad times people should party once in a while to take their mind off things! And a party was what Twisted Sister delivered. The festival ground was full during their slot on the main stage and everybody was singing along to their songs. During “We’re Not Gonna Take It” Dee said that we didn’t even need the band, because we are “loud motherfuckers”. During “I Wanna Rock” (I love the song!) he played a little game with us. He made us yell “I Wanna Rock!” and then “I Wanna Fuck!” to see which would win. Not surprisingly, people were way louder yelling “I Wanna Fuck!”, lol.
After the great time we had with Twisted Sister, Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir asked us if we were “up for a night of godless black metal”. Was I? Hell, yes! Even though especially Alestorm, Eluveitie and Twisted Sister were perfect, I’d say that Dimmu Borgir was my favorite show of the day, if not of the entire festival. I had a blast seeing them perform and “singing” along to songs like “Dimmu Borgir” and “The Serpentine Offering”.
Shagrath, who had three outfit changes (!), jumped on the drum kit after the last song and tore it up!
After Dimmu Borgir, Limp Bizkit were scheduled on the main stage, but we decided to leave. First of all we don’t like that kind of stuff in the first place, second of all, Dimmu Borgir is not a great opener for Fred “Let’s Get This Party Started” Durst. I was really, really not in the mood … 😉
Watch my video recap of Day II here: