FURY FEST 2005
AND SWEATY REPORT
For the last decade, I've spent a couple of weeks every summer working for our
local music festival called LES EUROCKEENNES. Though a nice experience I have
to say I have not enjoyed so many gigs, mostly due to the kind of music that
was presented. In spite of its name this rock festival has become more and
more mellow and true metal bands have become a rarity :( Sure we had big names
such as Metallica, Slipknot, Soulfly and even Sepultura back in 1996, right
before the band split...
In the meantime, a newborn festival started to rise, this time MAINLY based on
metal bands and after missing the 2004 edition, my brother and I decided to
attend the 2005 edition of the FURY FEST held in Le Mans from June 24th-26th.
For the 5th time this growing festival offered about 90 gigs over the three
days and there were an awful lot of big names : Megadeth, Motorhead, Slayer,
Obituary, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Samael, Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir,
The Exploited, Anthrax and many more ! Time to get started with that delayed
This event required some preparations : first buy the too expensive three day
ticket (ouch 110 euros !), prepare the route plan, book a hotel and above all
get there ! We decided to opt for the hotel since we thought that the camping
site was a bit too much for old people like us and we had no regrets :)
Everything was ready, I even cancelled some lessons to make sure we could
leave early on Friday morning. Some 600 kms -and 8 hours- later we were there.
It surely took us a lot of time to reach our destination but we had decided to
drive free roads only, hence avoiding heavy taxes on French highways. My old
polo did it well in spite of a weird noise in a tyre :(
Friday - Day One
After so many - boring hours on slow roads filled with fucking trucks - we
reached Le Mans at about 4 in the afternoon. Luckily it didn't take too long
finding our hotel which was about 6kms far from the Conference Center turned
into hell pit for 3 days. After dropping our gear in our room, we drove back
to the hot spot and plunged into real things.
The place was quite small - especially compared to the EUROCKEENNES - but
organizers expected "only" 33,000 attendants while the former can welcome up
to 90,000 freaks ! Open areas offered the usual shops selling different kinds
of food, from the plastic smelling sandwich to real and tasty stuff. Of course
there were many bars set here and there selling -not so- fresh beer, coke and
even cheap water what proved quite cool considering the unbearable heat ! Gigs
spread over 3 stages, all set in closed halls unfortunately :(
Nothing special happened on that day : we met some friends whom we knew were
to attend the festival too and I even met Hervv of MJJ PROD ! I was aware that
many Atarians like metal hence I thought I would eventually meet one of them
and I wasn't disappointed :) Too bad C-Rem did not attend since he is a total
metal freak as well (do NOT get abused by his "childish" look, he is a TRUE
monster ! :)
There was no real big name that drew us here on the first day, still we walked
around, talked to many cool people esp. from the Tattoo shops and here I have
to thank that nice girl who offered to give me some ointment for my burnt arm.
Stupid thing when you drive 8 hours with an arm hanging out of the car window
since you end up with a red arm while the other's still white like chicken
We could see ALL kinds of metal lovers : people who looked... normal, others
with metal tshirts and long hair and many goths with strange outfits. I really
loved the goths women and even considered abducting one of these succubas :)
We stayed there till the last gig, namely Anthrax as we knew the band at least
from name :) The show was pretty cool but we didn't know their songs therefore
it was quite hard to follow the crowd of supporters.
At about 2 in the morning, we walked back to my car, stupidly trying to go
another way which proved more a maze than a shortcut ! In the hotel we were
pretty happy to have a shower since the day had been VERY hot and closed
stages even added more dust and heat to it. Our friends were staying at the
camping site but from what we heard, things were quite messy : showers were
not working and there wasn't a SINGLE tree around ! Needless to say that
sleeping in an overheated tent was something we were glad to avoid !
Saturday - Day Two
In early afternoon, and another shower, we were back where things happened !
Oddly most bands we were waiting for were to be seen on Sunday, still we had a
good time meeting our friends again. It seemed to be even hotter than the day
before and the lamers at the entrance took our bottle of coke "mixed" whisky,
something we had to accept...
We could see traces from the first day as many glasses were lying here and
there on the floor. Sure, some people did not care move their lazy ass to a
trashcan but I can also understand them since trashcans weren't emptied in day
Something I didn't get was the organizers point of view : oki they offered 90
gigs, hence the very high ticket price but... Earliest gigs started at about
10 in the morning ! Who would be crazy enough to get up as such insane time of
the day ?? Sure we did not and I guess that the "non professional" bands that
played in the morning did not face big audience... Fewer bands and a cheaper
ticket would be a treat for next year if you ask me !
Unfortunately I couldn't get drunk since I had to drive back to the hotel but
I think it was a good thing since some people we saw would surely never
remember they attended the metal festival. Hey I didn't drive 8 hours to drop
dead on the spot !
There were not so many big names we were interested in this day, tho I have to
admit I was disappointed twice : first when trying to attend ENSLAVED gig. The
stage room was so small - for what is imho a famous band - that it was over
crowded even 30 minutes before the show started ! There was NO WAY we could
get in and when I managed to sneak in, the temperature made me draw back. Also
when DISSECTION played on a bigger stage, I was very sad to note that sound
was so crappy that you couldn't distinguish a voice from a guitar ! Indeed
bass were SO pushed that even 200 meters away from the stage, you couldn't
recognize a known song :( That's too bad especially since the band was trying
to "come back" after they stopped everything for several years :(
Our last gig on that day was a big time tho since we were to see MEGADETH !
The occasion was a bit special since only Dave Mustain was to remain from the
original band, still it was a GOLDEN moment being able to listen to so many
songs my brother and I had cherished years ago : anyone who holds "Countdown
to extinction" into his CD collection would have loved being there ! They even
played their only song featuring French lyrics ! Tho a bit "cheap", this song
still brought a LOT of atmosphere onto the stage ! Definitely a *GREAT* gig !
Once it was over, we drove back to our beloved hotel and after another shower
we went to bed having cool dreams.
NB : somehow Megadeth's gig was shouting "farewell" and we noticed Dave's deep
emotions when he thanked the audience. I guess it isn't easy to close such a
big chapter in your life...
Sunday - Day Three
THE day ! Above all, my brother and I wanted to attend the In Flames gig since
we had gradually grown real fans over the last months ! And we were quite
lucky since we could have missed the concert ! How come ? Well it seems that
some band had to cancel their show at the very last minute - cannot tell who
actually - hence bringing a * lot * of changes into the running order. As a
consequence In Flames was on stage TWO HOURS before announced time ! Unlike
previous days, this one was VERY busy and scheduled tight ! We moved from a
gig to another one, making sure we would be able to enjoy most of the show. On
that day we saw gigs of Dark Tranquillity (rules !) but also Samael (crappy
sound unfortunately), then we spotted Napalm Death in a very hot hall room.
At last, In Flames was about to perform !! About 20 minutes before the show we
got a decent position into the hall as we didn't know whether the room would
be over crowded or not... The show proved VERY VERY good ! In Flames truly
rocked on stage and that's when you can make real bands from wankers ! The
singer spoke a lot to the audience and guess what ? For a single song he even
offered supporters to go on stage and sing the song ! A first volunteer didn't
have the balls for it, another one did ! Sure he sang like a mad cow but the
crowd - including us - was crazy and we praised him as if he had been the real
singer ! Later on, I met the guy in the restrooms where he was greeted by
everyone ! Special greetings hence to Benoit though I doubt he will ever read
this report :)
The In Flames gig ended too early - as always with good things - but we had
stars in the eyes ! While my brother was peacefully "recovering" from a sweaty
show, I got back into the room ready to attend Dimmu Borgir's performance.
Not everyone will like Dimmu Borgir since this is a black metal band such as
Cradle Of Filth, but that's the kind of metal I mostly LOVE ! It all started
with an atmospheric sample before the band members showed up and blasted our
ears ! I was happy like a kid on xmas eve ! It was really great and sound was
soooo big ! After the gig my ears kept buzzing for 15 minutes at least !
On that very busy day we also attended parts of Obituary's gig as well as
others I have now forgotten :) Last but not least we were to move back to that
so small and overheated place where ENSLAVED had played the day before, this
time to meet the Swedish barbarians of AMON AMARTH ! To make sure we could
enjoy the gig, we were there about 20 minutes before the show...
Our last gig was no disappointment since the Earth started to shake when the
band played. They were just great, the air was hot and filled with electricity
while they were putting us on fire ! For years we had been yearning to see
them play live, after a few gigs cancelled, and really it was AWESOME ! Now
dried to the bone, while ironically so sweaty in our clothes, we made a final
return to our hotel for our last night...
The drive back home is not worth telling : boring and too long if you ask me
esp. since we both felt dead tired after so many gigs and so much heat! It was
really worth spending that much on a single festival though I wish that next
editions will offer fewer bands hence a cheaper ticket price :)
Well, that's it, the ONLY metal festival in France was over ! Definitely a
GREAT memory since metal has never been that popular in France :( Besides
fewer and fewer gig halls offer metal bands these days as if we were to put
fire everywhere... Indeed there was NOT a single fight nor ANY trouble with
the attendants of that festival, most of them even proved to be more open
minded that the average Joe down the street.
Now if you plan to attend next edition of the FURY FEST then drop me a mail
and maybe we can arrange to go there together or at least to meet there. Do I
have a last word for the * few * people who actually read this report ? Yes :
METAL RULES THE WORLD !!!!!!!! :)
STS for Alive, 2005-09-23