Children Of Bodom

Wacken - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Children Of Bodom at Wacken isn’t always as fun as it could be. The main reason for this is the enormous crowd the band pulls, which usually makes it impossible to get a good place for the show, unless of course you stand and wait for a long time prior to the concert, something that we are not in the habit of doing.
On the other hand, their recent show in Tolmin promised good things, so we decided to give the band a go anyway.

“It’s been what, eight fucking times, and every time is a pleasure!”
- Alexi 'Wildchild' Laiho (vocals/guitar)

Being played such a short time after, it didn’t really feel like anything had changed from the previous show we saw them perform, not technically.
It was, however, surprising to see that the band was off to a slow start with the crowd. You shouldn’t read this as a bad start though, that’s something completely different. The show itself, after the intro that is, shot us with Needled 24/7, so the power of the music surely wasn’t lacking. Still, the action in the crowd was quite calm compared to what I had been expecting – people were headbanging well, but nothing else was going on. Even more surprising was that even though people were just headbanging, they were still ripping up a storm of dust from the ground! If someone had had a windmill close by, I’d be interested in the result...
Sort of the same tendency could be seen in the band; they weren’t in their wildest mood, but were still delivering a quite powerful, if somewhat predictable, performance, so no big complaints there either. The setlist, being very much the same, yes probably identical, to what we had heard before was still offering up a nice selection of songs, all worthy ass-kicking anthems that set the mood for the show.

“Jesus fucking Christ, I love every one of you guys!”
- Laiho (vocals/guitar)

Little by little, the tempo picked up in the crowd though. It didn’t take too long before the first crowd surfers sailed by, and even though it kept relatively calm for a few songs, Children Of Bodom kicked it up a notch when they came to Halo Of Blood, and shortly after, in Hate Crew Deathroll to be precise, the audience reaction followed in a big way. Crowd surfers were now seen all over, and when Laiho initialized a sing-along for the “we are the hate crew...” passage, the Wacken ground resounded with the voices of many tens of thousands of fans letting their vocal chords rip.
Heat was apparently rising on the stage, so much in fact that Laiho felt compelled to shed his shirt, and to let off a different kind of steam, there was the usual prank-playing by Janne ‘Warman’ Wirman who surprised in the way that this was the first time I remember him playing a song that’s actually from the metal genre – Stratovarius’ Black Diamond was what was given a short playtime, and although the two bands doesn’t have much in common with each other musically, they do have history together as Stratovarius’ keyboardist Jens Johansson is reputed to have created the signature COB keyboard sound for Wirman.

Despite the fact that this show lived up its predecessors here at Wacken with having a much too large crowd, it was still a very good experience in my book. Not the best, but definitely worthy of my time and interest.

Setlist (incomplete):

Needled 24/7
Bodom Beach Terror
Halo Of Blood
Hate Crew Deathroll
Lake Bodom
Angels Don’t Kill
Are You Dead Yet?
Towards Dead End
Hate Me!
Bodom After Midnight
In Your Face

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