VENOM Live & Backstage at Wacken Open Air Festival, Germany 2000

The year 2000. A very special year it was, with several huge events for us. The biggest and greatest happening of that or any other year was the birth of our most awesome Daughter, the greatest gift that anyone could ever have! Anything else can only be a bonus, but 2000 certainly brought us some VENOMous magical memories too.

VENOM had exploded back into action with the absolutely mind-blowing RESURRECTION album. And the day that Mr. Postman popped the package through the letterbox was one of those moments that will stay with us for the rest of our days. Opening a package that you knew contained a new VENOM album was always an adrenaline and excitement-filled occasion, but this time was to prove even more special. Because while looking through the booklet of the RESURRECTION album, there in the Thanks list is John & Daniela. We were both so honoured, humbled and down-right overjoyed that we just sat there speechless! And what an album RESURRECTION was and still is. VENOM were back with a vengeance, and it seemed sure that V-domination was yet again assured. Little did we think then that RESURRECTION would prove to be the last classic VENOM album ever released, sadly….

And then came the announcement that VENOM were going to headline the Wacken 2000 Festival in North Germany.  We were invited to travel up and spend the day backstage with our heroes, which was an offer just too good to refuse! So we decided to travel up and down as quickly as possible, as this was the first time we had been away from our Daughter. Some good and trusted friends were given babysitting duty while we were away for around 18 hours, So Daniela and myself, together with my Brother Andy boarded a train bound for Hamburg and the journey began…

Quite a few hours later and after some train and bus changes, we found ourselves outside the Wacken Festival site. Met some security people who, after checking their lists, presented us with those coveted Venomous passes – Fuckin’ Hell Yeah!! Almost immediately, we bumped into Kostas and Lena, the people who were running the Official VENOM Fanclub, a club which we were, of course, very proud members. Was so cool to be meeting the true Die Hard Legions, and Hell Yeahs were duly exchanged. Although there were some other great bands playing that day, being backstage with VENOM took priority and we did not see any other bands play live that day. We entered the backstage area and stayed there all evening. VENOM were yet to arrive, so the first hour or so was spent chatting to our friends IMMORTAL and their crew, and we also bumped into another old friend, the great Tom Angelripper. And a quick hello with Mr Dee Snider of TWISTED SISTER was also a nice touch. But we did not stray far from the cabin which had VENOM written on the door, and never more than a few seconds passed between glances to see if anyone from VENOM had arrived.

Photos 1-3: VENOM's dressing room backstage area. Photos 4-7 MANTAS arrives
Jeff MANTAS was the first of the VENOM arrivals, and as he arrived at the VENOM cabin, we were there to say our HELLo’s. There was a stinking cesspit of a toilet not far away, so we walked with Jeff to a nearby beautiful clean and sparkling WC. I must admit to recently having a giggle, as the cool VENOM Roadie Geet Dave did not know about the nice clean toilets, and was using the dirty one all evening (sorry for laughing, Dude!)

Some Venomous talk and photos with MANTAS, and we then decided we would head out to try and get prime position for the VENOM concert. It was already pretty packed with rows of Legions awaiting the big V moment, but we battled our way to the front, and stood our ground till the VENOM intro tapes rolled in…… this is it!!!

VENOM Live onstage at Wacken 2000

Before and after the opening song, RESURRECTION, the crowd were chanting VENOM. After BLACK METAL, the crowd were chanting for ANTTON, as the Legions welcomed him to the VENOM fold. DIE HARD, WELCOME TO HELL, FLIGHT OF THE HYDRA and THE EVIL ONE keep the VENOM flowing. 7 GATES OF HELL and COUNTESS BATHORY mean some pyro abuse, and the brilliance of the atmospheric tracks BURIED ALIVE and IN NOMINE SATANAS lead us to THIRTEEN and WARHEAD, at which point the band depart the stage. The frantic screams of the Legions see the band return for a blistering encore of BLOODLUST and WITCHING HOUR. The stage turns black, and as the cries of VENOM slowly fade, we gather ourselves and return to the backstage area….

Various photos of John, Daniela and Andy Parry, backstage Wacken 2000 with VENOM, the VENOM Road Crew, Kostas, Lena and Antton from The Official Fanclub, etc.

The VENOM lads, the road crew, The Greece Legions, Iscarriah from IMMORTAL and ourselves, all packed into the cabin. A couple of hours of beer guzzling, laughs, autographs and camera abuse ensue. Terrific fun, which is all too soon over, as it is the middle of the night. Band and crew depart, the Greece Legions leave, and we make our way to the train station. Manage to sleep off some of the beer on the train, and it is weary and tired Legions that get off the train and arrive home. However, it is also very happy and satisfied Legions – VENOM at Wacken was an incredible experience, the concert absolutely slaughtered the Wacken crowd, and for long-time Die Hards like ourselves, the backstage with VENOM experience was totally out of this fuckin’ world!! Happy times, that remain strong in our Venomous memories.

Looking back, there was nothing that could have been better that day. But as mentioned, it is sad to think that we never got the follow-up to RESURRECTION, which could only have been another out and out classic VENOM album. And the line-up of MANTAS, CRONOS and ANTTON would go on to play only one more concert – one of the greatest crimes in Rock’n’Roll history!
Words by nhoJ - 2013
These photograph are reproduced here for entertainment and informational purposes only.
All photographs were taken on our camera, except photo number 15, which was donated to us for inclusion.
Site Of The Hydra is a non-profit fansite, and will in no way benefit financially from these images.
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