Wacken - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Skyline was, just like last year (and possibly more than that), the band which had the honour of properly opening the Wacken festival, as they played as the first ones on the Black Stage.

I must admit, I have still not been able to find any reliable facts about this band except for the fact that they themselves are from Wacken, but what may be unknown about the band itself is weighed up several times over by the fame of their guest vocalists.
Our main reason for going was the same as last time, Doro Pesch, and after two songs by the band themselves, the metal queen joined them on stage, first for her Wacken hymn We Are The Metalheads, then for the premiere of a brand new Doro song called Raise Your Fist (possibly followed by In The Air, but I’m not sure) which was a typical Doro type metal anthem, which of course should be understood as a good thing! Not surprisingly her guest performance was ended by the crowd-pleaser All We Are, which was loudly sung along by all who had shown up this early in the day (quite a nice amount actually).

After Doro, it was time for this year’s contribution to the official Wacken hymns, Wacken Will Never Die by Grave Digger. On stage with Skyline we could therefore see this bands charismatic vocalist Chris Boltendahl, but he wasn’t the only one with a mic up there...
You see, prior to the festival the Wacken organizers had arranged an online competition where anyone whom so wished could record themselves singing this very song (an instrumental version had been provided), and the winners would be given a special spot on the Karaoke festivities in the W.E.T. Stage. However, these plans changed somewhat when Boltendahl learned of them and instead invited to winners to perform the song together with Skyline and himself on the Black Stage, a deal I’m sure they were all more than happy with; it also provided good entertainment for those of us who were mere spectators.

Only one thing left now I thought, but to my great surprise the next vocalist was not who I thought it would be. Instead of Udo Dirkschneider, the obvious choice here, in came a tall, hairy figure whom I soon recognised as one Tom Angelripper, vocalist of the German thrash band Sodom. I instantly knew what was to be played, because I had by pure coincidence stumbled upon a video on YouTube shortly before the festival, where this man’s solo-project Onkel Tom played a song they had entitled Auf Nach Wacken (trans. off to Wacken). This wasn’t an official Wacken hymn, but clearly worked its magic upon the crowd nonetheless!

Now it was finally time for the German tank, Herr Dirkschneider, to take the stage with Skyline, and perform the hymn of last year, Heavy Metal W:O:A, and shouts of appreciation accompanied him on his way in.
After this, there lay two Accept covers in wait for us, but surprisingly Balls To The Wall was not one of them! Instead we were treated to the songs I’m A Rebel and Princess Of The Dawn; the latter with an additional guest artist, as Thomas Jensen (one of the main men behind Wacken) came in and played bass with the band.

Skyline is definitely becoming a welcome tradition when it comes to opening this festival with their celebrity guest artists, and their choice cuts of metal covers which mostly anyone can gladly sing along to. In addition to this, they had another special little trick up their sleeve this year; during a song (I can’t remember which, but I think it was the last one) they released five huge (and I do mean huge!) inflatable balls which they sent floating out into the crowd, a crowd which was only too happy to get an excuse to play around!
All in all, I had a great time with Skyline, and I already look forward to next year’s show.


Out In The Fields (Gary Moore cover)
Over The Hills And Far Away (Gary Moore cover)
We Are The Metalheads (Doro cover, feat. Doro Pesch)
Raise Your Fist (Doro cover, feat. Doro Pesch)
All We Are (Warlock cover, feat. Doro Pesch)
Wacken Will Never Die (Grave Digger cover, feat. Chris Boltendahl)
Auf Nach Wacken (Onkel Tom cover, feat. Tom Angelripper)
Heavy Metal W:O:A (U.D.O. cover, feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
I’m A Rebel (Accept cover, feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
Princess Of The Dawn (Accept cover, feat. Udo Dirkschneider)

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