Wacken: Open Air, the German heavy metal festival, thought to be the biggest in the world, paid tribute to late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, who died in Dec. 2015, with an equally massive singalong on Aug. 5.
The gathering of 70,000, held in a small farming village 50 miles from Hamburg and founded in 1990 by Thomas Jensen, adopted Motorhead’s cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” as the official anthem of the 2018 edition. Motorhead had played the festival many times, first headlining in 1997.
Said Jensen from the “Harder” stage, as a crew member positioned a mound of bloodied dolls behind him: “There can’t be a Wacken without Lemmy, we all know that. He wanted this song to be on the latest album [Motorhead’s “Bad Magic,” released in Aug. 2015], so let’s make it so he can hear us.”
Implored to “raise your fist and voice for the great Lemmy,” the international crowd did as ordered and, with the help of subtitled lyrics, delivered an impassioned tribute to the man who influenced scores of rock legends, including Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine.
Watch video from Wacken below: