Running Wild Article

03.08.2018 Running Wild

Wacken Open Air XXIX

Wacken (Germany)

(Pentax K-5 with Sigma AF 70-200mm 2.8 EX DC APO HSM II)

The sails were hoisted and the buccaneers of Running Wild were conquering the Harder Stage. The band is one of the old hands of the German metal scene and meanwhile consists only of Rolf “Rock ‘n’ Rolf” Kasparek who is the only founding member still being active.
Originally founded in 1976 as Granite Heart the musical development settled thematically during the 80s in the pirates area and stylistically one plateaued in the power/speed metal area. This always recurring element is the only constant and characterized the extremely successful albums “Under Jolly Roger”, “Port Royale” and “Death Or Glory” which were released 1987, 1988 and 1992. According to that the guys around front man Kasparek entered in proper style wearing pirate outfits the stage and fired more than once their cannons. Fast riffs, driving base drum, lyrics inviting you to chant that was, what should characterize the upcoming roughly one and a half hours. Of course, classics like “Bad To The Bone” or “Port Royale” were heating up everything directly from the start. Again and again guitarist and singer Kasparek was grouping together with his co-guitarist Peter Jordan and bassist Ole Hempelmann to let genre-like speed the fingers. The setting was embossed by amplifiers which were fortress like arranged around drummer Michael Wolpers. Besides that it was a classic show, dominated by lights and fogs which was really nice looking at.
From music point of view it was ambivalent. As much as I appreciate the three albums mentioned above, so little was there a musical development during the other songs. It was really sounding like poorly copying of songs although there were pieces of nearly each released Running Wild album. Besides that everlasting brakes between the songs in which the band had to tune their instruments and generated breaks within the flow of the show. Not to forget a Kasparek, that always acted somehow arrogant and talking down to one during his short announcements. It was really a special thing which you could also find out due to the fact that in the beginning it was quite well filled in front of the stage but quite early there were larger migrations which I never ever experienced like that. Quite possible that it was due to being a very special “German” band but that was truly not the only reason. Also, I was quite nettled afterwards that Running Wild received this slot and not In Flames, that played directly after them, who would have been a much worthier headliner and showed how a proper show and interaction with the audience has to look like. So, the only thing that remains of this gig is, that one has heard some very good songs once live that were surrounded by a lot of petty songs and that one would not absolutely watch the band the next time. In my point of view unfortunately the only nadir of the day.


  • Fistful Of Dynamite
  • Bad To The Bone
  • Rapid Foray
  • Uaschitschun
  • Riding The Storm
  • Port Royal
  • Drum Solo
  • Metalhead
  • Blazon Stone
  • Raging Fire
  • Stargazer
  • Lonewolf
  • Under Jolly Roger

Encore :

  • Soulless
  • Stick To Your Guns