What a show! What an audience! What a festival! THANK YOU WACKEN!

earMUSIC is delighted to announce the release of ‘Thank You Wacken’, a live recording and a video of the Kai Hansen & Friends show at Wacken Open Air 2016, on June 23rd.

Filmed & recorded on a muddy but vibrant summer evening at last year’s Wacken Open Air Festival, ‘Thank You Wacken’ is a unique snapshot in time as this was the first and only performance of Kai Hansen’s band, with whom he recorded and co-wrote his 2016 solo debut “XXX – Three Decades In Metal”. For this special occasion, Kai Hansen gathered a line-up of special friends to give the thousands of metalheads a once in a lifetime performance.

For thirty years now Kai Hansen has been one of the iconic figures of heavy metal, one of the most influential guitarists and singers to emerge from Germany. First with the ground-breaking band HELLOWEEN and later with his own creature: GAMMA RAY.

The choice of Wacken for Kai Hansen´s one off live show as the leader of his “solo band” was not a coincidence, as he explains: “1994 was the first time I played Wacken with my fellowmen in Gamma Ray… A small festival in an unknown place in the north of Germany, near my hometown Hamburg, with cows grazing on the neighboring pasture. Since then, we played again and again on a more or less regular basis of every two years, watching it grow into a monster of amazing dimensions.

I am happy and proud to still be playing this monster. This time with a great bunch of friends and fellow metallians and with a set list of – at the time – mostly still unknown songs but we got this fantastic feedback and support by an awesome crowd of dedicated metalheads. So thank you my dear friends, who were there by my side. And THANK YOU WACKEN!”

Hansen’s close relationship to Wacken was also expressed during the production of his solo debut “XXX”. While it was not recorded with a precise commercial masterplan but with the intention to just play music with the same spirit as in the very beginning, Hansen donated his advance for this album to the Wacken Foundation, a foundation which has helped and supported young hard rock and heavy metal bands for eight years now.

On the Wacken stage Hansen was joined by an unique line-up of musicians, who have also contributed to his solo debut: Alex Dietz on bass (Heaven Shall Burn), Eike Freese on guitar (Dark Age; and one of the most promising new talents in Germany in the recording studio as producer and engineer) Michael Ehré (Gamma Ray) on drums, Corvin Bahn on keys (Crystal Breed; who has also worked on records by bands such as Neopera, Lord Of The Lost & Beyond The Black), Clémentine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis) and Frank Beck (Gamma Ray) on backing vocals. A special treat was the performance of Michael Kiske (Helloween, Unisonic) who joined Kai on stage to perform Helloween classics that for a few minutes set Wacken on fire.

This memorable concert will be available on DVD+CD (Digipak), Blu-ray+CD including exclusive bonus tracks as well as on gatefold 2LP and digital.

The Blu-Ray edition of the album features some unique rarities in form of bonus audio content,
for the joy of all Hansen collectors: four songs originally sang in duet by Kai Hansen on the “XXX” album, here presented with the special guests vocal parts taking the lead: pure metal magic!

TRACKLIST

  1. Born Free
  2. Ride The Sky
  3. Contract Song
  4. Victim Of Fate
  5. Enemies Of Fun
  6. Fire And Ice
  7. Burning Bridges
  8. Follow The Sun
  9. I Want Out
  10. Future World
  11. All Or Nothing
  12. Save Us
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