Vreid And Vegard Bakken At Damnation Festival
I can’t recall a time when I’ve felt happier at a gig, or more at ease with myself. An hour before Vreid came on stage, I was hyped up, as if I’d swallowed 1,000 penny sweets followed by a litre of Coke. I was shaking slightly and holding my place at the front of the stage like Boudicca. I’d come to the festival alone, (I do most things like this alone nowadays,) and for a brief moment I despaired that I didn’t have any Vreid/Windir friends at my side. When the (far too short) set started though, I went fucking wild. I must have been the happiest metal head there, headbanging like I’d never headbanged before. One of the security guards watched me with a slightly anxious expression, as if my head might come flying off any second and he’d have to be the one to pick it up.
I had the pleasure of meeting the Vreid guys in person a few years back in London, and they were so fucking lovely. I remember making a bit of a tit of myself by getting extremely overexcited, but to be honest, I feel pretty sure that bands generally don’t mind that. I’d like to think that it gives them an idea of how passionate some of their fans really are and how much their music can mean to an individual.
After playing some old stuff, including songs from Pitch Black Brigade and Milorg and treating us to some newer songs, Vegard Bakken, the brother of Valfar (Terje Bakken) appeared on the stage, the Windir logo blazoned across his chest, and, well, that was it for me. I went fucking mental. It was the metal moments of dreams.
I’ve been to Sogndal numerous times, I’ve visited Valfar’s grave, I’ve hiked through the forests and up the mountains where he sought inspiration, I have been to the monuments that influenced so much of his music, I’ve talked to people who worked with him and knew him on a personal level, but this, having his brother on stage singing The Spritlord, a track from the Windir album 1184 bought him that bit closer to me. I discovered Windir shortly after Valfar died, and I can’t recall ever feeling surge a surge of regret for having not meeting someone in my entire life.
I was so in the moment during Vreid’s set. I forgot about everyone and everything. I became completely lost in the music. I don’t think anything will ever beat the incredible sensation I felt for the duration Vreid were on the stage and for hours afterwards…unless Damnation decide to give Vreid a headliner set…which they really fucking should.