No, I was not at the Cybermummy conference in London on June 25th! Instead I was attending a two-day rock festival with Sexy Hubby and some friends close to the Loreley, in Sankt Goarshausen to be precise – yes, I know, I also said: “Hem… Where?” when Sexy Hubby suggested we went!
The location is absolutely beautiful, we made new friends who were staying at the same hotel as us, and the lineup was quite impressive: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Saga, Thin Lizzy, Kansas, Foreigner and Journey. I had been looking forward to listening to Survivor too for old times’ sake – who does not know “Eye of the Tiger”? – but sadly they cancelled at the last minute, to my great disappointment.
I also discovered bands I knew nothing about and enjoyed “Apart from Rod” – ex-Rod Stewart’s musicians – or Night Ranger. Bonfire, a German band, also performed, and the interesting anecdote here is that Sexy Hubby played at a concert before them with his own band many years ago.
The keyword with outdoor music festivals seems to be rain. Well, we had plenty of it. On the Friday Sexy Hubby and I, sporting standard rain jackets, accepted the offer of the kind people behind us who had brought along a huge sheet of plastic and huddled underneath with them. This kept us dry, but kind of stopped us from seeing anything from the performance of Stryper and Thin Lizzy. As the evening wore on it also got very cold. In the end, counting my bra, my pashmina and the blanket around my shoulder I had eight layers on and still did not feel comfortable. I have to say that this, added to the fact that eating two huge bretzels, the second “vegetarian option”, the first one being chips, and washing them down with a couple of cocktails, made me quite sleepy and I had trouble concentrating on Saga and Manfred’s Mann. I do remember my friend wondering why the latter was singing Bruce Springsteen’s and Elvis’ songs as they have so many of their own, though.
The next morning, the men went on a mission and came back with thick, olive coloured workers’ rain jackets and a painter’s plastic sheet too. Of course, we then only had about ten minutes of light rain but at least we are ready for the next festival! It was also thankfully much warmer and we were able to enjoy all the bands.
They were all incredible and it is hard for me to say which one was my favourite. I had a ball listening to Foreigner old and new songs and was impressed with singer Kelly Hansen who joined them in 2005. Did they sing “I want to know what love is”? Of course they did. Did Sexy Hubby and I kiss like teenagers while they did? You bet, and it was a fantastic moment.
The last act was Journey. Now I have to confess that when Sexy Hubby mentioned them I could not have named one of their songs but as soon as most started I immediately recognized them. As it happens, “Don’t stop believin” is the most legally downloaded track in history! What a fantastic show… I was bowled over by new frontman Arnel Pineda, who was discovered by Journey on YouTube when the band was looking for a replacement for Steve Perry. What energy, what an incredible voice! The perfect end to a brilliant festival.
The evening did not stop there. After walking downhill on uneven steps for about twenty minutes, then doing another kilometre or so by the river to catch the ferry back and driving to the hotel, we decided to celebrate my friend’s birthday as it was past midnight. Our new friends had bought a cake in the morning and we shared it with wine followed by tequila and cognac depending on personal taste, then more wine before we decided to call it a night.
Are we going back next year? Most probably, together with our olive rain jackets…