AC/DC Rocks Copenhagen, Part 1: Highway To Hell!

Quick note: My tale of my trip to the AC/DC show in Copenhagen is long and complicated. As my concert related posts usually end up getting a lot of hits from people just looking for show reviews, I’ve decided to split up this otherwise lengthy post. This post mainly chronicles my fun and troubles getting to the show, part two will be the concert review and part three will cover my getting lost in Copenhagen afterwards and stirring up all sorts of trouble.

Even at the ripe age of 28, it’s not often I’ve had the pleasure of feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve. But June 19 2009 was indeed one of those occasions. It was the day that Australian rock Gods AC/DC were to visit the country for the first time in some 13 years and it was the day I’d been looking forward to since first securing a ticket more than six months ago.

I hadn’t really had too much time to get excited beforehand owing to working on my thesis, traveling around Europe oh, and going to Rock Am Ring as well, but once the day arrived, I got my stokedness on like never before and found myself constantly going “I don’t wanna have to wait anymore!! Are we there yet?!”

Which is why I was reasonably happy that I had a lot to do during the day, seeing as the concert was in Copenhagen, some 150 minuts away by train, and I had a pit stop to make at my dad’s in Nyborg on the way.. So, I was actually out the door by about 11 AM to catch a train to Nyborg. Since Denmark is such a relatively small country doing any bit of traveling on a major concert date is always fun, because whether you’re by car, train or on foot you’ll always run into large crowds of band shirt clad men and women goofing off and drinking beer in stoked anticipation of the night to come.

So, even my 11:30 train was stock full of travelers, a majority of which were sporting some combination of worn jeans, black and/or AC/DC shirts with a lot of pony tails thrown in for good measure. I didn’t (yet) have the pleasure of owning an AC/DC tee, but still my “Who The Fuck is Mick Jagger” tee prompted a lot of laughs, thumbs up and horns amongst the aging AC/DC audience who of course hold Brian Johnson as the only true legendary front man of Rock N Roll.

As such, the first leg of my journey went down without problems, as did my small pit stop in Nyborg to throw off some stuff, do some laundry and just plain chill for a while. Things didn’t really get exciting before I boarded my 2:30 PM train towards Copenhagen’s Central Station from where I’d have to make my way out into the city all by myself and find the arena and what have you.

Where my earlier train had been reasonably packed to a point where I was standing up all the way amongst a host of other, sweaty guys smelling of beer (ah, the nostalgia). This train was literally packed beyond capacity, and we late boarders ended up tumbling around quite a lot as well as getting pushed around by annoyed train staff. It was during one of those sessions of being pushed around that I suddenly hear a familiar voice call out “Johan? Sup buddy?” and in a stroke of luck turn around to find my old school buddy Kenn happily chilling in a seat. So I walk back a few paces to talk to him and end up actually scoring the seat next to him as the nice lady in it was getting off at the next station. We spent the rest of my journey catching up and talking about past concert experiences before finally splitting up at Copenhagen Central Station where I’m off to get lost while he rides on a few more stops to hook up with friends.

I arrived in Copenhagen at about 4 PM, two hours before doors open at Parken arena, my end destination. Since I hadn’t eaten anything since around 10 AM, my main priority was to get some food, so I walk around the station for a while scouting out places, knowing that no matter what I’ll end up getting it will probably be crap, so I might as well just make the best of it. In the end it wasn’t really that hard of a choice. I decide on a largeish sports bar kinda thing which boasts burger platters, quality beers on tap and, most importantly, has AC/DC’s “Back In Black” album blasting over the speakers.. This I had to get me a piece of.. And so I did. The food was as every bit as bad as expected, the beer every bit as good as expected. The music, of course, was awesome, and the general atmosphere of some 200 AC/DC fans sitting around in mutual anticipation was plain awesome as well.

Having had my fill of food and a pint of Hefe Weissen, I found it about time to move on. My general plan was to catch a train onwards to a local station then walk the rest of the way from there. A seemingly uncomplicated plan that wasn’t executed entirely to perfection. My first problem came in operating the ticket machines for the trains what with one being out of order and the other prompting me to make my ticket selection based on a zoning map of Copenhagen which is darn near impossible if you don’t know the city. Having gotten some help in making my decision, the machine then refused to accept my VISA card, which prompted me to screw it and bolt the hell away from the line of irate locals that had gathered behind me and find a living, functional person to buy a ticket from.. Which I managed through ways of a small detour.

Then there was the small matter of a six minute train ride on to a station I’d never been at before and then finding my way from there to the arena. As I got off the train, I figured I’d just follow a couple of blokes in AC/DC shirts, a plan that went well until I realized that they, too, had no idea where they were going. Together we then stopped a few locals and asked them for directions and watched as they pointed with a smile towards the single file of thousands of metal heads wandering by that we had somehow managed to miss.. Right, okay.. Onwards then!

The rest of the trip to Parken, Denmark’s national arena, was a bit of a breeze, I just followed the general flow of metal heads and was there in no time, arriving shortly before the doors opened. Which meant I had some time for strolling around outside, finally purchasing a Black Ice Tour tshirt and watching the general mayhem unfold. My only real problems occurred when I was about to go inside and figured out I didn’t know how to get in. Until I noticed that the various entrances had letters and numbers painted over them and figured that hey, one of those numbers might match those strange numbers written on my ticket. So I got my ticket out and started playing a game  of match the entrance with the ticket. Which had me walking around almost all of the building before even getting a clue of where I was heading. This, though, had the small benefit of me bumping into Jesper, a local guy from the Uboat and a star player on the university’s football team, who was there with his dad.. Well, I assume anyways. We chatted for a bit about the irony of me being able to find my way to Brussels without a map but not to and (more importantly) into Parken. Jesper’s dad found this somewhat logical, though, as he argued that Brussels was just down through Germany and to the right whereas Copenhagen was fucking illogical. I could only agree before chasing on and finally locating my entrance..

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