Yesterday, I booked a couple of tours for when I’m in Iceland. Now I need to book a massage at the Blue Lagoon for my birthday and figure out what exactly is it that I want to do when I’m in Bergen; I’m leaving next week and still have no idea of what to see. The good news is that Bergen is not a big town so even if I don’t get to put together a tourist plan beforehand, I reckon it will be relatively easy to come up with one once I’m there.
Anyway, let’s continue with the Roskilde blog coverage:
Roskilde Festival, Day 2: I still haven’t seen anyone being peed on.
Saw Phillip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, front row. Powerful set that included “Hellbound”, “New Level” and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused”. Tremendous.
Discovered a band called SEEED, which apparently were pretty popular. Not my stuff but it was really entertaining in a festival context.
Rob Zombie was terrific! Killer dance moves and the band’s sound was perfect. Rolling Stones aside, this is by far the best show I’ve seen in the festival.
However, in my head, the second day at Roskilde 2014 will always come down to one single thing: meeting the legendary Phil Anselmo. I won’t bore you with the details, just know he was really fucking cool.
When this year’s line-up was announced, one of the bands that was instantly added to my “must-see” list was Phil’s new solo band, The Illegals. Last year, Phil played Copenhell with Down but I couldn’t go see them so this time around I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to finally see him live. I got to the Arena stage half an hour before the show and managed to get front row, central, just where I wanted to be.
At 1:30pm, the lights inside the tent went down and Phil appeared holding a candelabra. He explained that the letter “H” in his middle name stood for “Hansen”, which meant that he was somehow related with Denmark in some weird way. After a brief intro, they start playing and for the next hour and a half, it was all heavy riffs and loud screams. I loved it.
Phil was intimidating and funny at the same time. It gave me the impression that the image he has conveyed through the years, that take-no-bullshit-from-anyone attitude, was genuine but at the same time, he looked humble and thankful to be there. I guess you need to see him live to understand what I’m saying.
Once the show was over, I went for a wander and caught a bit of Les Claypol’s set, just when he was playing a cover of “Man in the Box”, one of my favourite Alice In Chains songs. After a while, the whole thing got a little bit boring and repetitive so I went to grab something to eat, walked around the festival site and finally headed to the Orange stage for SEEED, a band everyone knew about but me (I take that as a compliment). They are not the kind of thing I will listen to at home but I have to admit, considering the setting, their music was entertaining and perfect for a festival crowd. I enjoyed it.
The there was Rob Zombie, who to me is like the Michael Jackson of metal. Great frontman with some killer dance moves that got everyone in a party mood, despite the loud guitars and his rusty vocal style. Actually, in the pit, just in front of me, was a group of girls who danced their way through the whole set. One of them looked like she had been possessed by some sexy dancing demon; she mouthed every word, she headbanged and she did some kind of refined twerking, all at the same time. It was fascinating. At the end of the show I went up to her and told her: “I have never seen anyone enjoying a music show as much as you did, it was fun to see you dance”. She smiled and thank me, then we wished a nice festival to each other and parted ways.
Now, between SEEED’s and Rob Zombie’s shows, something amazing happened: I went with my friend Ana to check out Damon Albarn at the Arena stage but it was so packed that I thought my time would be better invested eating pancakes with chocolate and ice cream so I told Ana to stay where she was and wait for me while I satiated my craving. I walked to the kiosk, got my pancakes, went back to where I left Ana and, surprise, she was gone. I immediately realized there was no way I was ever going to find it in that crowd so I just texted her telling her I was going to the Orange stage for Rob Zombie and hoped we could meet there.
So, there I was, walking to the main stage and who do I bump into? Yes, the one and only, Phillip H. Anselmo. I freezed and my brain started asking questions. What should I do? Do I talk to him? Do I leave him alone? What the fuck do I do? Think quick for fuck’s sake, he’s walking past! You’re losing him! DO SOMETHING! – “Phil!”, I shyly yelled, loud enough for him to hear me but unnoticeable for everyone else.
He turned around to where I was and smiled the moment he saw me standing there, all start struck. He stopped and I walked towards him. We shook hands. I panicked. What do I say now? He was with another dude and a girl, so I really didn’t want to bother him. Eventually, I mumbled something. “Eh, it’s nice to meet you, man”. He smiled. I unzipped my jacket to reveal the “Vulgar Display of Power” t-shirt I was proudly wearing that day. “I’m a big fan”, I said. He threw a friendly punch at my chest accompanied with that classic Phil Anselmo expression on his face. He was approving. We had a quick chat, which basically consisted of me telling him how much I appreciated his music, how much it meant to me and how happy I was to finally meet him, while he nodded and thank me with sympathy, shaking my hand once again.
I soon realised I was getting overly emotional so before things got embarrassing, I told him that I knew he probably was tired to hear fans say the same thing over and over again, but that I really meant it and just had to take the opportunity to personally tell him what an honor it was to meet him. He smiled and hugged me, the way buddies do when drunk, and said: “It never gets old, man”. Then he kissed my head, shook my hand again and with a wink, he bid me goodbye.
Forget about The Rolling Stones, Rob Zombie and the Arctic Monkeys, nevermind the parties and the girls in revealing outfits; to me, Roskilde 2014 will always be remembered as the time in which I met the mighty Phil Anselmo. That moment alone was worth every disgusting cold shower I took, every morning I had to crawl out of my tent at 6am because it was too hot inside to carry on sleeping, and every dump I had to take in a shitty portable toilet while holding my breath. If I after I met Phil that night you would have asked me to leave festival and miss the rest of it, I probably would have minded. My job there was done.