My first year as a journalist at the Zappanale, the previous years I’ve always been part of the team (except the one year when I had to see Mumford & Sons live in Berlin and therefore was a prestigious guest at the festival). It was exciting and pretty cool to have the time and calm to wander around, take pictures and not worry whether the office needs me or not (because obviously I am so important that they always need me, I am pretty much the Batman of the office).
However, because I was there on business, I have to write two official articles about the festival which is why this entry right here will only deal with some random things.
1. The audience is getting younger and more attractive, which is nice. However, I kind of missed the old fat dudes in jeans shorts because even if there was no shortage on old fat dudes, the shorts were missing and even though they are horrific, their sight has become tradition.
2. Jerry Outlaw – who was there playing with Bogus Pomp – totally reminded me of British Comedian Bill Bailey. At first I was wondering who he reminded me off and as soon as I had it, I could not take my eyes off of him and had to giggle along.
This is not Jerry Outlaw
3. Apparently a somewhat cult-band from Germany, “Faust” performed under a weird pseudonym, probably not to take all the hype from Motorpsycho (my personal favourites this year) who were the main act. Faust had a messy stage show to say the least. During one song, the singer took a big puffy stick and banged on a cymbal that kept on falling down. Seemingly the musical genius, he kept banging on it while a poor stage hand tried to fix it (I can imagine that it is frightening to hold a cymbal that some bearded man in a flower blazer tries to hit as hard as he can over and over again – geez, lay it off old man, I am done in a second!). They also had another gimmick where the drummer would take a big iron pipe and throw it in the air to bang it with an iron stick. As I was sitting directly in the front row to take pictures, I saw my short life flashing in front of my eyes as I imagined that pipe smashing my head in. However, the main reason why I decided to leave were phrases like “avantgarde is dead, the industry killed it, only you can bring it back – Geronimo!”. I have no problem dying in the front row due to industrial instruments crushing my skull but I am not going to sit there and listen to 68s hippie talk.
4. My big musical surprise was DeWolff. I knew from a friend that they were pretty good but they were in fact quite brilliant. They even convinced a gross heckler (greasy hair, red face and batik shirt) behind me who tried to ruin the show for everyone for the first couple of songs but after their first psychedelic song was won over and shut up. And given that they are sponsored by Converse and therefore were seen as the commercial, sell-out enemy, they proved themselves worthy for all the money a shoe company put into their promotion and brightly lit band name on stage. Plus, someone had written “Slayer” on the dusty back of their tour-van which I thought was pretty cool.
5. Motorpsycho might not have all the cool moves of youngsters like DeWolff but they still are one of the best live bands to ever grace this earth.
6. We had a vegan/vegetarian catering service this year because most bands were vegetarian and even though everyone liked the food, a lot also talked about digestion problems. It’s the soy, people, you gotta be careful with all the soy!
7. Gary Lucas is a fantastic guitar player and was the first act I saw that I really enjoyed. He seemed to be an incredibly calm, nice and laid back person and I hope he’ll visit the festival again (he did before, so no reason not to).
8. I hope that Die Reise (English: the journey) at some point organize a special event on a bus, so that we can be traveling while listening to them because…just because.
9. I was repeatedly asked why I didn’t really drink that much. You know why I didn’t? Because being drunk is very overrated.
10. On Saturday night, some random drunk* dozed me in glitter which – as you might know – never ever leaves. So I spent the next day sitting in the train talking to a fellow traveller about Obama and his problems with the Republican congress while my face looked like a fairy had sneezed on it.
11. Alice Cooper was to play the day after the Zappanale (it was kind of part of the festival and kind of not) and I took a picture of his exclusive Backstage tent. I didn’t get to see him because I left for Berlin on Sunday but I do know that all the backstage toilets were closed on Sunday because of him and I even held three packages of Wurst for his buffet. So, maybe I held the Wurst that the Prince of Darkness would eventually eat. Hot stuff. A Zappanale crew member whose name I unfortunately don’t know quipped that they called him “Coopi” which I will do from now on and I hope this can take off.
I would have stayed if the muppets would have been with him.
*Ok, it was not a random stranger but a friend who spread glitter like a madman. It was like the set of “Heads will roll” and it was also hilarious because he also involved some absurd routine with shouting at the moon which I think is the main scenario how cults start out.