Wacken - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Carcass, the enjoyable gentlemen from Britain with an unsavoury interest in intestines, held the Party Stage captive for a moment Friday evening, the same time as their countrymen in Motörhead stood on the Black Stage and their other countrymen in Hell was on the W.E.T. Stage. Tough choices had to be made, and as you can see, Carcass came out on top. Was it the right choice though?

“We’re going to play something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.”
- Jeff Walker (vocals/bass)

The instrumental opening of their Surgical Steel album, 1985 (quite possibly referring to the year the band began, back then as Disattack), filled the speakers, and without rush the band members took the stage one by one, Jeff Walker being the last one to enter and looking slightly like he just got out of bed and the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet.
When the music began, this feeling was gone with the wind though, and the band showed itself from the best of sides – I didn’t immediately recognise Ben Ash even though he was part of the band the last time we saw them as well, but his performance was welcome and fit well with the rest of the rocking guys.
Since the sun was still up at the beginning of the show, and the fact that the band had a strong lightshow going, their stagedrop video production was nearly invisible to begin with, but as darkness fell throughout the concert it became more and more apparent, and the macabre imagery of flesh being torn asunder and other goodies helped build an atmosphere of uneasiness.

“This is the party stage, ‘cause everyone knows we’re a fucking party band, aren’t we?!”
- Walker (vocals/bass)

Walker, who now proved to be in a great mood, made for an excellent counterweight for the grisly musical content. With his dry yet highly humorous English wit, he led us down an entertaining path throughout the gig. He often returned to the question as to why people were here instead of watching Motörhead, but reached the conclusion that maybe the fans thought this was the last chance to see him, Walker, just as well as the very real risk of it being Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister’s swansong at the festival. Hell was never mentioned, even though they had been on tour together the previous year.
To be honest, I do think that a lot of people actually were at the Motörhead gig instead of here as well – Wacken is known for pulling too many people regardless of which stage is being used, but the audience for Carcass wasn’t packed at all, and getting a nice spot relatively close to the stage was no problem at all.
This doesn’t mean that the audience was lazy though, there was a lot of headbanging going on, and a nice, stable amount of crowd surfers were sailing by – one of them wore a morph suit with an anatomically correct skinned human body print, and I couldn’t think of a better show to notice this for than Carcass.
Coming full circle by using 1985 as an outro piece as well, the band members left the stage as calmly as they had entered, but not until after parting way with a score of water bottles, something that was certainly good for the audience considering the warm night and long lines at the water refill spots.

So, was Carcass the right choice?
Without knowing how the other bands were, for obvious reasons, I’d have to say that they were! I was a bit sad about missing out on especially Hell as they had impressed me with their show on last years’ tour, but I wouldn’t trade it for this Carcass concert. Somehow, they seem to get more and more in the zone for each and every time I see them!

Setlist (incomplete):

Incarnated Solvent Abuse
The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
Unfit For Human Consumption
Captive Bolt Pistol
Corporal Jigsore Quandary / Forensic Clinicism / The Sanguine Article

Latest uploads: