WACKEN OPEN AIR 2023 – WHEN THE METAL GODS DECIDE TO PISS ON YOUR PARADE, METALHEADS FIGHT BACK BECOME ONE WITH THE MUD – FINAL DAY HIGHLIGHTS AUGUST 5TH, 2023

Despite the odds, the crap weather, the enduring condition, and the challenges this year's festival brought, it was another successful year on the holy grounds. So much so that...

 

 

All Photos: Wacken Press Pool

 

 

Last Day of Wacken 2023 has arrived and for anybody that has attended any festival, as many of us metal heads have in the past, the last day of a festival typically you feel beat up and the aches and pains of days of grind, music and being in the conditions just kicks you in the face and most are ready to pack it up and head back home. But in the spirit of True Metal, what the fans endure in his years Wacken, has to be truly praised. The weather was the culprit, but in the end like every fan that typically gathers at the sacred grounds, the love of music and the brotherhood forged during the week, ultimately makes things better and pushes people through the mud.

The last day at Wacken brings out every inch of energy you have left, mentally and physically. Things get started early with the power metal outfit Masterplan. Led by former Helloween guitar player Roland Grapow. For Metal purists you’ll recognize that Masterplan had a string of killer albums in the early 2000s, they’re most impactful today we’re their brilliant debut and their sophomore effort Aeronautics. At the time it was led by the vocals of Norse god Jorn Lande. Bit of a shame that they play so early not many metal heads are up yet to joy the set, but they still put on a killer show. One of those bands that probably deserves more credit for their contributions to metal, and glad Roland is still around today and Masterplan is still together. You snooze you lose.

The Dutch Metal band Delain on the Faster stage, and to be honest I have not kept in touch with them since their terrific former vocalist Charlotte Wessels exited after the band briefly disbanded. They were back this year with a new album and consequently a new singer in Diana Leah. The new record “Dark Waters” was positively received. Their set at Wacken was pretty good with some of their highlights coming in the shape of “Suckerpunch” “April Rain” and “The Gathering”. A band that many hated to see disband, but glad they came back and are still making music.

Next over is Ukranian sensation Jinjer. These guys have been touring relentlessly since their 4th album “Wallflowers” came out in 21… They are a unique story, not only because of where they are from, but the array of influences and styles in their music makes them a band many have gravitated to. Singer Tetiana Shmailyuk is something on stage, she brings it to life, with so much energy and you can feel every core of her body goes into their performances. Some of the most brutal cuts came via “I Speak Astronomy”, and “Speak Of the Righteous”. Their past albums have been very well-received in the Metal world, and their live sets are no different. Killer performance. Later we get Finnish folk metal masters Ensiferum who always put on a great show, getting the crowd going with some of their lively cuts. They warmed things up for more partying as the Harder stage gets Alestorm to P.A.R.T.Y. The Scottish pirate Metal group always has fun and so does the Wacken crowd. Everyone’s favorite “Hangover” alongside “Shit Boat” and the all-time classic “Fucked With an Anchor” lively up the exhausted fans who have been enduring the conditions all week. Don’t forget the rubber ducky, we love the duck!!!

We told you Metalcore was well represented, and that trend continues here with Metal veterans Killswitch Engage. Those guys always show up live and last day Wacken got a great set from them. Long setlist with 18 tunes including some of their career-spanning hits the likes of “This Fire”, “The Signal Fire”, “The Crownless King” and of course the DIO classic cover of “Holy Diver” which always gets the crowd going. Some more notables this day on the other states are Angus McSix conquering Wacken with its Sword of Power on the Louder stage alongside Metal veterans Kataklysm who bring the heavy without compromises. The headbanger stage featured some killer sets also from Metal cult legends “Jag Panzer”, who don’t get to tour much, and is a unique live setting for them to perform live. They put on a great show also. Evergrey comes in later and after singer Tom Englunds voice wears up, they deliver a super melodic performance, a band that is truly underrated in metal and always has been with a distinct and long catalog of excellent music. Good to hear them live.

A few others from earlier in the day we’re notable, of course, Marty Friedman and his solo band always bring tons of energy and punch, and his guitar shredding is majestic over at the W.E.T. stage, and late at-night UK sensation Sleep Token closes out a crazy weekend of amazing music on this smaller stage; as they bring their mysticism and emotions to a crowd that is running on fumes. Over at Faster, the fire comes burning a ton with German Metalcore legends Heaven Shall Burn. A full heart-pumping set closes Headlinerville with tons of power. Some of their best tunes come alive in “Black Tears”, “Forlorn Skies” and the intense “Tirpitz”. 

Despite the odds, the crap weather, the enduring condition, and the challenges this year’s festival brought, it was another successful year on the holy grounds. So much so that Wacken 2024 sold out in mere 4 hours. Maybe the thousands who couldn’t make it we’re eager to get in for next year. Whatever the cause, this proven Metal mecca of Epic festivals will forever be among one of the most thought-out music events on this planet. Festival organizers always do a tremendous job of bringing together all the genres and mixing in so much music to keep everyone happy. The logistics and the hard-working staff at the venue must be commended for the challenges faced this year, but it was handled well, and overall the event was completed without having to cancel any days. In the end, is all about the people who truly make Wacken great, so many come from all over the world to this massive event, and united they conquered the wrath of the heavens, and for that, you get applauded. A true work of epic proportions. We look forward to 2024 already!!!

 

 

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