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Metaltown 2008

Metaltown took place just over the bridge from our hotel. Although it was an interesting experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself at times, there were some problems. The first was that my ticket never arrived so I had to buy another one. The second is that the band I was most hoping to see, Opeth, cancelled due to Mikael Akerfeldt coming down with chicken pox. But the biggest problem of all is that I was sick and running on only about 8 hours of sleep in the prior 3+ days.

The final problem is with festival concerts in general. I think this was my last (of many). It just isn’t the optimal means to enjoy music. Too many bands and too many people in the audience do not make for the best of experiences. I wasn’t the only one spent after just three or four bands. How does one stay up (even with a good night’s sleep) for 10 bands over nearly 11 hours?

Dark Tranquility at Metaltown 2008

I was in the front for four of the bands (Dark Tranquility, Finntroll, Amon Amarth, and Nightwish). During the others I mostly rested. I was favorably impressed by Finntroll. The highlight, for me, was Amon Amarth who call their music Viking Metal. Satyricon filled in for Opeth. Lillasyster, Soilwork, and Nightwish didn’t do it for me. Dimmu Borgir did an amazing job of reproducing their highly technical and heavily produced (in a good way) studio sound live. I was expecting them to fall short in terms of sound, but that didn’t happen.

stages at metaltown in goteborg sweden

I should also mention that in addition to the two stages which almost always had a band playing (one at a time, switching stages, with a 15 minute break in between) there was a third stage which I never visited. Clutch played on that third stage. I met part of the band in the check-in line in Washington D.C. They came to Copenhagen on the same flight. After Metaltown they are playing at Roskilde this weekend in Denmark.

I ran out of Swedish Kronors early in the day and there were no ATMs to get more. This meant I could buy no food (other than a bag of chips). By 10:30 p.m. I had had no sleep, less than 1,000 calories, and had been standing or walking for the better part of 12 hours straight. I was also running a fever and felt like I would be a goner at any moment. With In Flames still to come I didn’t want to give up, but I had to in order to live to see another day. I left in the middle of the Nightwish set (which was boring me to tears).

(Plus, I was going to be very far from the stage when In Flames came on. I’ve become rather spoiled in the past year or so with being in or very near the front for concerts I’ve attended. This has now made the normal concert experience of being far away seem less than satisfactory. I was in the front row for several bands as mentioned above. I was only a few rows away from the stage for Satyricon. So sticking around to be far away to see In Flames just wasn’t going to cut it.)

A quick trip back over the bridge and I crashed on the Viking for the next 10 hours.

Nightwish playing at Metaltown 2008 with Hotel Barken Viking in background

As you can see from the above photo, the Hotel Barken Viking was not far from Metaltown. Although it was after 10 p.m. the sky had yet to darken. This far north, things don’t get dark until very late in the summer.

hot air balloon at sunset at metaltown in gothenburg sweden

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