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Gig Report : Wacken Open Air 2003

Wacken, Germany, 02 August 2003

W:O:A 2003 Photos

Saturday, August 2, 2003 - Big day at Wacken! Even though I recently saw Ancient Rites twice on the Generation Armageddon tour, I was really looking forward to seeing them at Wacken because Bart is back in the band and well, because it was Wacken, my first Wacken!! Even before they played, I was able to meet up with some of the people I met at the two Generation shows (Wim, Maaike and the guy from the Netherlands whose name I forget, sorry!).
I got to the Wet Stage Tent midway through the set of the band before Ancient Rites (Cryptic Wintermoon). I talked to Maaike and Wim for a bit and settled in for the wait. I got a good spot a couple rows back from the stage. By the time Rites began their set, the tent was full. Their set started out powerful and never let up. The setlist was similar to the Generation setlist and Bart more than held his own even though this was only his second show back with the band. Towards the end of the set, Gunther put down his bass and just focused on the mic. It was plain to see that he was feeling a lot of emotion from the reaction the crowd was giving the band. He even jumped off the stage and got up close and personal with the crowd. Too few bands are willing to do this and it is cool as hell to see. Ancient Rites have some of the most loyal fans I have ever seen, and we were all just going nuts. I even saw some of the Thyrfing guys hanging out backstage enjoying the show. This was the best AR show I have seen (Ok, it was only the third time I had seen them, but still it was the best) and I count myself lucky to have been there.

Kris Kubsch, Gilbert, Arizona, USA

From the moment I heard there was an Ancient Rites suportbus to Wacken I wrote myself in! After 15 years thé gods were going to play at thé cultfest Wacken! Hell yeah! I wanted to suport this event with heart & soul, so I made a banner for them with the most important statement they ever made on it; AR & The Hordes Will Stand Forever As One! Also we, me and thé Trooper, Wim, prepared ourselves with the making of special troopshirts that we all were going to wear to suport Rites on this special event!
Around 18:15 the intro started... that whole fukking tent was just full with troopers from over the whole world! Unbelievable! And then bAmmmm there they were, Exile! Okey, they made it allready clear, this was going to be hot in that tent! Shit allright! Such a power, such a strenght they released upon us! The crowd was just going nuts! All screaming, clapping and banging for Rites, really amazing what happend over there! I never in my entire life experienced such a thing! Unbelievable! The whole front was filled with golden banners from the Flemish hometroops, including a special self-made golden one from the ancienthordes. Really great that we all came so far to suport our pride! But hell, even people from Brazil, Portugal, Italy, France, The Netherlands, ...hell, from over the whole planet all showed up for Rites! And like Gunther many times mentioned, we all stood as 1! And thàt's the thing I like so much about their gigs! ...this was also the first time I saw a gig of them in a foreign country, and hell this won't be the last! Fantastic atmosphere! And this is what they deserve! Respect from those with that pure metalheart! Hell yeah!
It was also a delight to see the best line-up I could imagine! The best from the nowadays Rites; Erik & Davy, and the best from the old pact; Gunther, Walter & now again also Bart!!! Well hell am I curious towards that upcoming new album! At Wacken they showed us that they're more than ready to conquer this metalplanet! Let their prayers been answered! I'll be there in the front to bang their asses to the top! Hail Ancient Rites! 2/08/03 is carved in time! If everything goes honest, our ancient pride will be standing there again next year, 'cause they were the best asskicking live-band of that whole fukking international metalfest!!! & then on their deserved place; the true or black stage! Hell yeah!!! AR-Trooper 'til death!!!

Ares! \m/, Flanders

47 days had passed since I got in Europe, and 2 days of Wacken had gone forever when finally the so waited day arrived. After travelling for a month and a half, with thousands of kg less than when I left my country in the other side of the sea, without knowing a bed in almost half a month and getting a brown colour of skin because of the sun and my back yelling at me I made it!, I was there, I was there among all those metalfans from all around the globe, alone at first, then meeting some old friends and meeting new friends after, the energy started to flow since I saw the flags at the distance.
I won’t talk about all the inconvenience I had in order to buy the ticket, but hey! I never quit, because Ancient Rites would play there, man!, I got my ticket, I was there, so, enjoy the show ‘till A.R. plays.
It all started, on that Saturday, the final day of W.O.A. 2003, I listened to the rain falling over the tent very early in the morning, my two old friends were sleeping, and no other sound was heard but that sad rain on the early hours of the day, you know what I mean, if you have ever seen it with grey rays of light.
Anyway, when it stopped, I jumped off the tent, ran to the next store to buy a package of batteries, because last night my camera was empty, and ran back to the tent area, a quick breakfast and next stop was the metalmarkt, last day I heard there were some A.R. albums I didn’t have. But damn!, it was close at that hour!, the autograph session with the A. Rites would started just 15 minutes after. Fortunatelly, another shop was open inside the concert camp, there I found the ... And the hordes stood as one CD.
The hours arrived, I was in the front of the line talking with a Greek guy, and an Israeli one, all of us were at Wacken only for A.R., so we had a lot to talk about. But again, the bad luck couldn’t not leave me after a month and a half, the A.R. autograph sign session was posponed ‘till 9 p.m, or something.
By the time of the show, at 6 p.m., I was like a caged lion, going and coming, but the time arrived, half an hour before it started I run to the wet stage in order to get a front site, while everybody was leaving.
While I was on my slalom-way between metallers, I heard a Canadian guy saying “I have to leave, a train to Ancient Rites is leaving and I don’t want to miss it”. So I “joined” him, and we went together to the front, we had Erik just two meters ahead.
At my left a Canadian guy, at my right a spanish girl, people from everywhere was there, that made me feel good, I don't know why, maybe because I was part of a world small community. And perhaps because I hadn’t felt that way since long ago, you know what I mean, if not, I only have two words for you: Ancient Rites!!!!!
The concert was fucking incredible, with surprises like seeing Bart there, Gunther shaking my hand, and Erik doing the sign to us. And more exciting was hearing the thanks in my language, I really appreciate that, but it only last 45 minutes, I hope A.R. come some day to my country or I have the opportunity to cross the Atlantic again soon.
After it ended, I waited for signing my CD, and a few hours I had it!, five invaluable autographs were added to the booklet, and even better, Gunther pronounced my country’s name properly when I told him where I came from.
Like one hour and a half later, I was walking around and I found them enjoying themselves with some Belgium and Dutch fans, and when I approached, I was accepted among them, I spent a great time there, a day I will never forget, and it all comes to my mind when listening to Ancient Rites’ albums, maybe a melancholic way if you want, but those rememberings are mine forever, and I’m greatfull with Gunther, Walter, Erik, Bart and Davy forever because of it. Hail to everyone.

Raúl Fernández, Mexico

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