Wacken - 2008

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Actually, Rokken played at several occasions at this year's Wacken, but we chose only to review one of the concerts. Partly because we, very sadly, didn't have an opportunity to watch all their show, and partly because at the other shows we did catch we chose just to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Rokken is a live karaoke band, which means there is a band which plays possibly all the metal classics we all know and love, and they invite members of the audience to come up on stage and sing for them. As I said, it didn't seem like there was an end to the songs they knew, so anything your heart might have desired it was possible to come up and perform. Having such a great amount of singers to choose from of course meant that the quality varied a lot from song to song; here I mean the technical quality, because the entertainment was at a 100% at all times. As Lunah said, you could probably build a whole festival on this concept alone and it would still be a smash-hit!
If ever there was a moment of pause, one of the two, or both together, compeers would take the stage and sing a song just to keep things running. Not that it seemed necessary, almost all the places were filled, and with good reason. Drunk at the biggest metal festival around, and given the chance to get on stage and perform your favourite track before an excellent crowd of like-minded people, who would say no? Who could say no? Not very many, let me tell you.

Some moments that really stuck out in the show, in our opinion, was the guy who performed Raining Blood (Slayer); he sung pretty good, but what made him extra cool was that he helped the guitarist out with the solo. Impressive!
There was also Sebastian and his friend (whose name escapes me at this point) who went on stage to perform Fear Of The Dark (Iron Maiden) as a duet, which were really good entertainers as well.
Oh, and let's not forget the guy who came on and started off by letting us in the audience choose from two alternatives which song he should perform. Great idea, even though he ended up coming back later in the set to perform the other song as well.

Everyone who performed got a special Rokken t-shirt to take home as a memory, but since they ended up having to many shirts left after the last concert, they handed them out among all those who had come just to watch as well, so we both ended up walking home in a brand-new smashing shirt branding us as Rampensau (my German is a bit limited, but I would translate it something like Stagehog; if someone's got a better suggestion feel free to send it a comment).
A fantastic sound which we all loved, this is how simple and effective it should always be. And it was a plus with all the Maiden songs which gave a good warm up for the real deal later in the evening.

Setlist (from one show):

Ace Of Spades (Motörhead cover)
Raining Blood (Slayer cover)
Refuse/Resist (Sepultura cover)
Painkiller (Judas Priest cover)
Fear Of The Dark (Iron Maiden cover)
Poison (Alice Cooper cover)
Livin' On A Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
Creeping Death (Metallica cover)
Aces High (Iron Maiden cover)
The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)

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