Pic(s) from the Vault #9 - July 16, 2010: Obscene Extreme Festival, Trutnov, Czech Republic
Czech Republic, not a bad place to spend a few days. Mountains, Bohemian rhapsodies, world class beer, a city that still carries it’s Cold War charisma, and culture ripe with a central European flavor that screams “do-what-thou-willst.” We got the invite to play Obscene Extreme many years ago, but it just never worked out. The summer touring schedule in Europe always demanded some stop here or there, in another far flung corner of Euroland, and so we regretfully declined, time after time. 2010 year was different, we said yes, and decided not to do any other festival. Four days in the Czech countryside, among numerous friends, great bands, AND we get to play? Czech it! We are there.
The flight was unremarkable (as they all are these days, so long as we arrive in one piece), dropping us down in Prague for the pickup, followed by a three hour ride north to the town of Trutnov, near the Polish border. We met the drummer for DRI on the same flight, and together we found our “driver” and followed him to the death-cab known always as “the Limo ride to the Fest.” I say that, because invariably these guys who pick up bands are always some kind of tweaker-weirdos. They get paid to drive back and forth all day long in traffic, shuttling bands to and fro, all the while chain-smoking cigs, driving like the mohawk guy in Road Warrior, burning in and out of tiny little towns, looking for some family to wipe out (while we cringe in terror in the back). This guy was no different, and as always, they (conveniently) never speak English, so you are forced to sort of “sign” at him while screaming “SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!.” But alas, its all i vain. Say your prayers to Dio, cause its a 50/50 chance this goon will kill you.
Arriving in Trutnov, with shit firmly encrusted in our pants (after Mr. Toad’s wild ride), we drop the goods off at the hotel, and head over to the festival site. I am not sure how the festival was in previous years, but it seemed well organized and well maintained. I heard rumors of filth parades and mud-mess about this place (perhaps following the “freak friendly” notification on the flyer?). However, I would say that by the last night (Saturday), things certainly did get a bit filthy, but for the first two days, it was just hot, smelly and good times. We went right to the backstage bar and ordered three glorious pints of Gambrinus, one of the best beers available, AND fresh on tap. The “backstage” area itself was really this sort of open-air lodge that sat beneath some trees behind the actual main (and only) stage, which was in an outdoor amphitheater setting. The entire festival area was situated in a very forested area, in a park just outside the main town (itself primarily known as an1866 Prussian-Austrian battle ground). Also, the fest has a reputation of being the punkest of all the Euro fests, with nothing but 100% vegan food available, and plenty of low-priced drink and merchandise options. No disappointments!
Despite the excitement, I was severely jet-lagged and struggled to retain consciousness by that evening, so I cashed in by 9PM. However, I awoke early that morning in our hotel room, startled by my fellow bandmate’s very loud and obnoxious re-entry to the room. Needless to say, they had a rough morning. I am not sure what commenced over the course of the night but I went out at 6AM to check out a local park, and I returned to find Mark in my bed, somehow wearing Adam’s pants! I guess that Gambrinus went a long way… Still, we did not have to perform until the following day, so we enjoyed another day at the fest, more amazing bands live, and more good laughs. Highlights over the entire weekend included Doom, Warpath, Victims (see the picture of Adam and Jon in the hotel @ 6 AM), Catheter, and dozens of others.
We finally felt ready to play by Saturday. After sitting around all day, each day, talking, drinking and well…waiting, you eventually just want to get it over with (and that we did). However, Just prior to our performance on Saturday night, the skies opened up and the rain came down in droves. Mud piles formed around a lake in front of the stage, and things got soggy and even smellier for the attendees (if that was even possible). Nevertheless, we let ‘er rip, and had an enjoyable time. Afterward, we tried to cram as much last-minute celebration into the wee hours of the AM as possible, as the damn flight was leaving so early (we had a 5:30 departure that morning to drive to the airport). Sure enough, “death cab” (but no cutie) arrived on time, but at that hour we were much too tired to be scared, and passed out all the way back to Prague, hoping to arrive alive. A short but sweet weekend in Bohemia -mission accomplished! - JN