Wacken Open Air 2023 – When The Metal Gods Decide To Piss On Your Parade, Metalheads Fight Back Become ONE With The Mud – Friday Highlights August 4th, 2023

Living Metal Legends Iron Maiden headline on this third night, and there is not much that I can tell you about their performance that hasn't been said so many...

 

All Photos: Wacken Press Pool

 

 

At that halfway point on en Epic journey that for most Metalheads they look for every year. Friday’s lineup could be said it’s one of the best days of the whole festival. So many top-tier bands playing is impossible to cover them all.

The Swedes in Power Metal outfit Amaranthe get things started on the Faster stage with a highly enjoyable set. The trio of vocalists all mix their styles into one huge wall of sound, speed, and electronic elements that had made a name for themselves in the scene for years now. They put on a good set with key highlights being “Digital World”, “Stronger” and “The Nexus”. They also announced the release date for their new album “The Catalyst” early next year. Big fan of Nils Molin and Elyze Ryd they are both really good vocalists. Nice set.

English Metalcore band While She Sleeps was another highlight for me, their intense set featuring the crazy energy from their front man “Loz” Taylor left a mark. The genre was well represented in the festival, with plenty of fans around at the said stages for cool performances. In between sets, we check out the folk sounds of Germans Santiano who not that familiar with, in their early 2000s they guys had some notable tunes in their native country. Over at Louder, the Symphonic Metal band Leave’s Eyes makes a cool Viking Show even cooler, joining the party crowd who is still gearing up for a long day of rock. Because what’s an Epic Metal festival without some fuggin Vikings!!!

Megadeth gets things ready on the Faster stage. The metal veterans keep on churning our records and touring the world. Dave Mustaine has built a pretty nice career for himself since the faithful Metallica years. An older and wiser Dave at a different point in his life, has the band more focused and just doing what they do best. Keep the spirit of Thrash Metal alive and well. A bunch of the classics gets a call, “Hangar 18” opens things up, “Angry Again” a personal favorite, but not to be outdone Marty Friedman is at the festival (playing last day) and makes a special guest appearance on “Tornado of Souls”, which he just shreads on. We saw him live in Nashville opening for Queensryche play that iconic chords that night, and it was epic. He also guests his guitar wizardry on “Symphony of Destruction” and “Holy Wars”. A cool set and nice to see Mustaine and Friedman on stage again, long way long overdue.

A quick note on Trivium, they somehow manage to make the festival, despite their bass player Paolo Gregolleto having to have emergency hernia surgery… they found Malevolence Bassist Josh Baines to fill in, learn the tunes in a few hours and they killed it live. Nice job Josh.

Living Metal Legends Iron Maiden headline on this third night, and there is not much that I can tell you about their performance that hasn’t been said so many times over. Maiden is everything that is still great about Heavy Metal. The inspired lyrics, and their historic longevity that only a few can attain. Their set pieces, their energy still at their age, and the ability to keep touring. You can say what want about the quality of albums, and that is true to a certain degree, but in terms of performances, they always put on a great show. Their music is generational and every metalhead will surely want to take their kids to at least one Iron Maiden show before they retire for good. For a more detailed review of their “Future Past” tour, check our write-up here of their London date.

Lord of the Lost is a band that has been making waves in the genre ever since their Eurovision appearance, but the genre-fluid band from Hamburg is big news in Germany where they’ve built a considerable fanbase over the years. With their unique costumes and stage performances they seem to be back in the limelight and are everywhere. We caught them on the tour with Maiden as openers, and to very positive reviews, they put on a great show at Wacken at well late at night. Some of their big tunes get played here as well with “Blood and Glitter”, “Blood for Blood” and “La Bomba” getting treatment. Front man Chris “Lord” Harms is an interesting dude that isn’t afraid to put on a show and or image, his way.

The night ends on the other stages with Wardruna, Bloodbath, and Icelandic post-metal band Solstafir. Congrats Wacken you have made it to the last day of once again another Epic year on the holy grounds. What would the last day bring?

 

 

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