Naturally, Sunday didn’t start out quite as expected. On top of the hangovers from last night’s idiotic attempt of teaching Germans how to drink, Tina naturally had a lot of pain in her hand and fingers, I was feeling like shit and struggling with a super bad conscience about what had happened and on top of that pretty much all of us were starting to develop some some sort of cold or sore throat at the very least.
Tina and I spent some time talking things through while regaining some strength, then catched up with the others, consulted a map and went down to the medic’s tent to have the unnecessarily tight bandage on her hand changed. Turned out to be quite a walk, but at least it wasn’t raining. On the contrary, it was quite hot, so we stopped for some water on the way.. By now I was kinda starting to think that 2.5 – 3.3 Euros for a glass of water was quite the ripoff, eh but what’re you gonna do? We located the medics, made it through security and walked in. I’d hoped they’d let me go in with Tina because I know she’s quite squeamish when it comes to blood, and I really thought that she’d already been through enough – no such luck, though, so I had to sit down and wait with the other friends. Gah! Oh well, at least they promised me they’d take good care of her and handed me some gummi bears to cheer me up.
As I sat there waiting, I noticed what I thought to be a water cooler and asked the nice lady if I could please have some water. Apparently my German was either not as good to sober Germans as it was to intoxicated ones or she was just too stressed out. At any rate, she just nodded, and I went to grab a cup, filled it up, chugged it down and immediately spat most of it back up.. Water my ass, this was scolding hot lemon tea! Why on earth the German Red Cross would be serving hot tea to injured festival guests, I’ve no idea.. Maybe it was just karma having a stab at me.
Tina soon emerged with a new bandage and we decided to get the hell out before I got myself in more trouble. On our way back to camp, Tina called and talked with Jakob for a bit which seemed to cheer her up quite a bit. All in all, I must say she did a pretty good job at keeping her head up considering all that had happened. On our way back to camp, we stopped by the camp of a German guy, Tobias, who had been of such great help to Tina last night to just basically say thanks, catch up and be grateful.. Man, was he my favorite guy that day and for days to come! 🙂
Safely back at our own camp, Tina laid down for some much needed rest and I went on to try and locate some sort of late breakfast for us.. Which ended up taking the shape of pizza slices as it was the only thing within reasonable walking distance.. Eck! Anyways, I returned to camp and chatted with the boys for a while before they haded off to watch In Flames on Center Stage, leaving a couple of single use rain ponchos behind. Tina and I, however, kicked back at camp for a bit to recover before eventually grabbing our ponchos and heading towards the stage area.
We made it to Center Stage just in time to watch Nightwish hit the stage and to test our newfound ponchos as we happened to walk right into a rain shower. Incidentally, this happened right after I’d spent another 6.6 Euros on water.. Eh, well, we hid behind some sort of trailer and overheard what can only be described as a below average performance by Finnish symphonic metal leaders, Nightwish.. Actually, my favorite part of the show was watching the guitarist chug Jäger on stage.. And, well, I believe they had the first pyro we’d seen that weekend.. Too bad they fired them off in bright daylight, eh? 😉
As Nightwish finished, Tina and I started struggling around a little, looking for a place to stand during The Offspring and Metallica.. Needless to say, these are huge bands which meant a lot of people which again meant potential problems for a short girl with an injured hand. After walking around for a bit and getting shown away from a few spots, we bumped into a really friendly member of the security staff who let us stand just off to the side of the steps that led down to the huge grass area in front of Center Stage. He was even nice enough to inform all his colleagues about our situation – meaning that we got to not only stand out of harm’s way, but also in a place where Tina could actually see something. From this new happy place, we watch all of The Offspring’s show which, according to who you asked, was either the best show ever or a huge disappointment. Dunkel later told us he found it the experience of a lifetime, the forum members at parkrocker.net are calling it a huge disappointment, I thought it was a pretty damn good show (though I’ll agree they had no contact with the audience which was sad because the crowd worshiped them) and Tina dug it, too, though she appreciated the shortness of the setlist. The fact is they played every song you could hope for, including my favorite Offspring song, Gone Away.
As The Offspring exited the stage with very few words of thanks on their lips, we settled in for a long wait and watched people pour in as Metallica started setting up. We talked a little with people who filed by including a couple of guys wearing big novelty glasses who seemed utterly fascinated by our blue ponchos and decided to file over to tell me that “your friend is very beautiful.. and blue!” a statement with which I could of course only agree. Of course, the crowd was growing larger now and keeping our spot on the stairs proved harder and harder, but after countless explanations of Tina’s condition, we were allowed to stay after all. Eventually, AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way To The Top If Ya Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll” sounded over the PA and for a second, I felt like the biggest Metallica geek in the world when I turned to tell Tina that they’d hit the stage afer this very song.
I was right, though, as moments later, their classic intro tune “The Ecstasy of Gold” blared from Center Stage, after which the boys hit the stage with their now customary opening trio of Creeping Death, For Whom The Bell Tolls and Ride The Lightning. Four Horsemen followed as did Bleeding Me which I would have to admit sounded pretty good in concert. During No Remorse things got a bit rowdy as newly arrived security was none too happy to find Tina and me plus a few others standing on the side of the stairs. While the others moved down (which was easier said than done as the bottom of the stairs were blocked), we stood our ground and argued.. Which proved a bad fucking idea as it would appear that the male bull of a security guard seemed more interested in shoving fragile women around than listening to common sense, So he grabbed Tina by the shoulders and started shoving her down the stairs and into the crowd. Yeah, way to go asshole!
I yelled out to him, cleverly leaving out the “you fucking assclown” part that her hand was injured and to be a little more gentle which he apparently took to mean that we should be booted off the stage area and be sent to the medics. A couple of confusing moments later, we somehow – either through words or action – I don’t really remember, reached some kind of consensus that we could move carefully down the stairs and look for a spot from which to watch the rest of the concert.. And so we did, actually finding a quite spot at the side of the stage where we could also chow down some horrible festival food while watching “..And Justice For All” . After about half a bowl of over priced noodles, I found myself wondering who in their right mind put rosemary on gyros and served it on top of noodles before deciding to just toss the remainder of the noodles. Tina apparently had the same thoughts and ideas, so we dumped our food and moved a little more to the center of the stage as the boys played a beautiful rendition of “Fade To Black” and then tore into “Master of Puppets. Motorbreath was next before Tina finally had her wish fulfilled of hearing “Nothing Else Matters” in concert 🙂
After NEM we seriously considered leaving, thinking about the chaos of the past two nights as people tried to exit Center Stage.. Not only did neither of us want Tina and her hand to get caught up in this mess again, but we also had a train to catch that night and so didn’t exactly have an hour to spare standing around. The super heavy intro to Sad But True put a stop to our thoughts, though, and we both agreed that we should stay for just one more song which turned into two as the gunfire intro to One started ringing out over Nürnberg. Knowing fully well what was to come, I asked Tina if she wanted to stay for Enter Sandman as well, and of course she couldn’t refuse.. So just one more song it was. But then we really did leave. Yea, I know that probably sounds like sacrilege to some fans.. But look at it from our perspective, we knew there’d be three encores and then all hell would be loose as 50,000+ people wanted out at once.. So off we went. And I wasn’t actually sorry we did. I got to hear Seek and Destroy as we walked over the now thinning and darkening camping areas and as we got back to our own camp site, the clock was actually pretty close to 11:30 with 0:30 being the deadline for our last train to the main station.. Now, to meet up with Dunkel at the tent as planned and get on our way.. Only problem was, as we entered the tent gathered our stuff in the dark and looked around for Dunkel, Dunkel was nowhere to be found..