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Bangkok, Activ Square
23rd September 2011


Those of you who were at the Download Festival this year will no doubt remember the heavens above opened up on the Sunday and turned the site into a Metal Battle Of The Somme, with many already running for cover long before headliners Linkin Park came out of the trenches.


Now you would think that playing an open-air gig in Bangkok, it would be the ideal situation to splash on the suntan lotion, put on some cool shades and stroll around in shorts and flip-flops. However, one thing someone forgot that, in late September/October, it's the rainy season in the Land Of Smiles, and although the monsoon rain won't put a dampner on things, it certainly slowed down the intake of Chang beer.

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The Thais are very good at knowing when to make a quick baht, and someone had been keeping an eye on the weather forecast with a stall selling 'official' rain macks with the 'Linkin Park Returns To Bangkok' logo emblazoned on it for a cool 200baht. I have to say, though, that my expat friend James, who has a bald head, looked like a giant condom in his. Myself, I was braving the rain and soon dried out in the humidity of the Bangkok heat once the rain had stopped - luckily, just before the beginning of the Linkin Park set.

Some 40,000 natives were here to witness the return of Linkin Park, the third time the Californians have performed in this country. The show was held on Activ Square, the car park outside the main Impact Arena, a good hour's drive away from central Bangkok.

Unlike outdoor shows in the UK, the sound is routinely pristine and loud, and there's no noise curfew to worry about, even though there are some high-rise buildings directly behind the stage area.

There were a few Thai rock bands opening up the proceedings, including hardcore thrashers Ebola who, despite having one of the evilist names in rock and going down very well with the locals, will never break down the borders to be successful because they sing in their native tongue. It really is speak English or die.

Linkin Park got a hero's welcome, even though, tonight, they had to surrender Dave 'Phoenix' Farrell due to some Indonesian junk that was going round two nights previously. His place was taken by Ted the bass technician (sounds like a Deep Purple song).

From the off, the petite Thais were bopping up and down singing along to every word. (It's understandable why their rock bands stick to singing in Thai...). A mammoth eleven songs from their latest album 'A Thousand Suns' were included in the set, with the single, 'What I've Done', getting the first real big cheer of the night.

Although there wasn't much interaction with the crowd at first from rap metallers Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, they still held a commanding stance. Razor sharp guitarist Brad Delson looked like one of the characters from the Cheech & Chong movies.

Behind the band was a full screen replaying all the action, with some cool graphics intertwined with clips of Oppenheimer and Martin Luther King.

There may well have been a large chunk of the new album in the set, but there was no shortage of hits either. 'Numb', 'Crawling' and 'One Step Closer' were all highlights of the main set, before the band returned for a five-song encore, including the transforming 'Iridescent' and 'New Divide', before a blistering 'In The End', when the band finally got to seek some action from the already ecscatic crowd. Shinoda and Bennington bowed to give their 'wais', which was much appreciated in this heavily dominated Buddhist country.

After this, it won't be long before Linkin Park have to book their fourth visit back to this welcoming country.


The Requiem
Crying From You
Given Up
What I've Done
Empty Spaces
When They Come For Me
No More Sorrow
Jornada del Muerto
Waiting For The End
Burning In The Skies
The Radiance
Breaking The Habit
The Catalyst
One Step Closer


Justice and Love
New Divide
In The End
Bleed It Out




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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