tiistai 14. elokuuta 2012

Kerubi, Joensuu & Jurassic Rock, Mikkeli, Finland 10-12.8.

Friday 10.8.- Kerubi, Joensuu
The last trip for this summer, it actually already feels like fall but what the hell. Entering the bus at around 10
in the morning and starting to pick up the rest of the pack....nothing new here.Some 500km, a foodstop and some cigarette breaks later we arrive in Joensuu (or Joe's mouth, as it's translated in the Lonely Planet Guide....well maybe not..). This remainds me of a couple of hitch-hikers we picked up somewhere in Finland like almost 10 years ago or something. They had this travelguide-whatever to Finland with them and of course we had to check out our respective hometowns at the time and what it said about them. About Kemi there was something like: Small Industry town by the sea, nothing to see there and if possible please skip it....my laughter ended when it said something pretty similar about my hometown back then, Kokkola. Their book may have been right but what the hell, it went out the window anyway....in conclusion, don't believe anything you read.
                                          This is what our techs do in the bus. What ???

...back to the task at had: 
Hotel arrival, afternoon nap...you know the basic drill. When I went to the venue everything was as I remembered, totally excellent food, really friendly staff...I mean this place is really great. We worked up a good sweat for about 90min and the sold out crowd seemed to be really into it so, allez gut as they say.
After the show we had a couple of drinks (why does this sound soo familiar) and I really enjoyed watching Marko and Elias sign a whole bunch of autograph-cards. (I did my part during the busride :-) ). We also met Samuli from our webshop and talked about some future merch-ideas....it'll be great !!.

Saturday 11.8. - Jurassic Rock, Mikkeli
I didn't really have it in me to go for breakfast when I woke up but Marko made me do it. Thanks man it was
totally worth it. Jumped on the bus at noon and headed for Jurassic Rock in Mikkeli. Some hours later we check in to the hotel and take a nap. Waking up just before 1800, I was starting to feel a fever rising, what the hell, I was just sick for a couple of days some weeks ago, what is this shit ? Anyways we headed off to the festival site to get something to eat. Not to put anyone down but this was the worst dinner this summer. The backstage snacks and drinks were however really good so no harm done. By the time we went on stage the temperature was around 5 degrees celsius, which is not that cold, except for when you try to execute fast passages on your instrument :-). We all managed to survive and next time I'll be sure to always have a long-sleeved shirt as backup....just in case. After the show there was some warm chicken-soup waiting for us backstage, this again tasted bloody amazing !!!! Thanks a lot !!. About 30min after the show we had a sauna ready as well and it was time to start celebrating the end of the summershows. From the sauna we went to the hotel, just got get rid of our bags before we headed across the street to a bar where a cover band (which appeareantly were Elias buddies) rocked out. Enjoyed the music and overall noise.....eventually we all faded into our beds. This summer went by really fast, and it was quite easy...the schedule was very light and everyone in a good mood....during the fall we have a lot of work so it's nice to have a couple of weeks off before we start the rehearsals for the fall tours.
                                          The summer boys, new supergroup !!!!

Sunday 12.8. - Travel Day (Mikkeli-Kemi)
The sauna & drinks didn't appeareantly help me get better so I slept the whole way home, Got off the bus
just after 1700 and was back to sleep some 3 hours later :-) Next up is the Finnish club tour. See ya.


Pics by Tommy

maanantai 6. elokuuta 2012

Kokkola Rock & Sotkamon Syke, Finland, 3-5.8.

Friday 3.8. - Kokkola Rock
Got picked up around 1430 in the afternoon to head out to the town that I grew up in. Some hours later we arrived in Kokkola and checked in to the hotel. Since our showtime was rather late (2345) I spent the evening at my friends house playing ps3 and catching up on things. Good times indeed. A bit later when I  went to the rainy festival area, I checked out Matti Nykänen's performance for a couple of songs. For those of you who don't know, he was the most successful ski-jumper ever....and after doing that he's been a tabloid hero in Finland. Divorces, fights, jail....he's pretty much done it all. Anyways, the show went ok, no big issues and we were all enjoying it. Personally it felt really special since this was the first time we played in my former hometown with SA....after all I've been in the band for almost 10 years now so it was not a moment too soon. Had a few drinks after the show and met up with some people, nothing major though.

This is Tommy's Corner before the show....

...and this is his corner the next morning. Go Bananas :-)

Saturday 4.8. - Sotkamon Syke
Breakfast at 10:30 and the straight to the bus. Spent the ride playing bass and fiddling with the computer. Quite boring actually. In Sotkamo we went to the hotel and I started watching the Olympics but passed out for a couple of hours. Later on I met up with a friend of mine and we checked out Battle Beast together. In fact I used to be in a band with Nitte the singer like 5000 years ago or something, playing Deep Purple and Whitesnake. I enjoyed the show and then it was time to get ready for ours, listened to Finntroll a bit while getting ready.Hell Yeah !!! Our own show went along just fine until the intro of Fullmoon where I somehow lost my train of thought completely and fucked it up. I realized that I dropped the ball when Tony started laughing. Well, we're not a fucking Ed Sullivan show so I just gave it another shot and we were back on track. Rock'n'roll baby !!!  We had the sauna at the hotel ready after the show (the gig started at midnight btw) so we had a late night Sauna before heading down to the bar, just in time to have one drink before the last call. I hate playing these great slots in the middle of the night but what can you do ? I think the last two summer shows have decent showtimes so I'll stop whining right now. At least about that.

                                          Somewhere in Sotkamo a dude is missing his pants....

Sunday 5.8. - Travel Day ( Sotkamo-Kemi)
Almost missed the bus, I pressed the snooze button on my phone one time too many. Once in the bus I slept the whole ride home....guess I'm getting old :-) Next up is Joensuu and Mikkeli and then we're done for the summer.


Q-stock, Oulu, Finland, Tuhdimmat Tahdit, Nokia, Finland & Rock in Rome, Italy, 27.7.-1.8.

Friday 27.7. - Q-stock,Oulu,  Finland
Got picked up by our new bus from home (which is always convenient) just after 12. Had the time for all the morning rituals without having to hurry (also a bonus). Picked up some of the other guys and headed towards Oulu. Most of the gang wanted to go straight for the festival, but since I was feeling a bit tired I opted for the hotel and a couple of hours of rest. At around 1700 it was time to go to the festival, hit the dinner table (2nd breakfast for me :-) ) and get ready for the show. We decided to play the same set that we did in Zwarte Cross last weekend, we only changed the intro to I have a right a bit to make it more dramatic when the band kicks in. If you know the song you'll know what I mean when you hear the new live version. If you don't know the song then you're probably lost on the wrong blog page or whatever :-P Not that I mind....everyone is welcome here !!! Be that as it may....I shall remain on course and:

 As usual, the weather was great, the show was great and everyone was happy. Somehow I forgot that
The Last amazing grays is one of the songs we use pyrotechnics in, so it should be in the set during the summer in Finland....as Ari our pyro guy pointed it out I told him to use the flames in the chorus of Alone in Heaven instead. Well....not the best idea but we did it. It was quite a challenge to sing heaven while the flames from hell bursted out but somehow we managed to do it withouth rolling on the floor laughing. I'll make sure to remind everyone that the last amazing grays should be in the set for the rest of the Finnish festivals....or figure out another spot to use the flames.

Afterwards we got to check out Apocalyptica and it was nice to meet the guys again. It's been a while since we last hung out. At the hotel I went for a beer with Elias and that was pretty much it for today. Tried to get a good night sleep 'cause as you may guess, again this weekend there will be one night without any sleep again so....you take what you can get, right ?

Elias jamming on the way to Nokia.

Saturday 28.7.-Tuhdimmat Tahdit,Nokia,  Finland

Up at around nine and having hoovered the breakfast buffet it was time to get into the bus and head towards Nokia. During the 8 hour drive we spent checking out acoustic stuff....can't say more about that though. You'll see. The bass player from hell will return :-)  The only other event during the busride was a lunch-stop and that's about it. Arriving in Nokia we see a tent in the middle of the city (or village if you will) and that's where the festival is. We just grabbed our bags and headed for the hotel for rest & showers as well as watching the olympics on TV. It was quite hot outside and in the room it wasn't much better. Well, in a few months I get to complain about how fucking cold it is. The show in Nokia was a lot of fun, it was still very hot inside the tent but everyone was excited and it felt much more like a club show than a festival, with the audience being close to the stage. As we blasted through our 90min set we also decided to make some changes for Rome since the setlist seemed a bit too slow in the beginning. We'll see how that works out. After the show we signed a few things and took some photos before the bus left for Helsinki and the airport hotel.

Sunday 29.7.- Travel Day (Helsinki-Rome)
So this time I managed to sleep for the whole of 30min before it was time to get up and get moving. Need I have to say that I slept the whole flight to Rome ? Well I did and it was goooood. A short shuttle drive straight from the airport to the Hotel and then it was decision making time. At home my plan was to check out the city on the first day, however the reality hit me after a badly slept night, so instead I hung out at the bar with Elias and Marko....what a surprise. I had to take a daytime nap in between and the evening was also spent back at the bar. Good times :-)

                                            A demonstration of how tired yours truly felt in the morning.

Monday 30.7.- Rock in Rome, Italy
After a good nights sleep and a great lunch we headed towards the venue for the soundcheck. We're talking late afternoon here folks. Our show was at this gigantic race-horse track-thing, really interesting in fact. Anyways, during the soundcheck everything worked fine and we also managed to get some dinner down before the show. The weather, for those of you who are into that kind of thing, was hot as fucking hell....some 35-36 degrees celsius = far too hot for any of us northern boys to be functioning normally. Luckily it dropped to around 25 when we went on stage so it was "just" a hot show and not Dante's Inferno. The show was ok and I have to give the loudest audience of the summer award to our fans here in Rome. OMG or whatever the kids say these days. It was a truly great night, thanks a lot !!! Our festival summer ends in a couple of weeks so there's stil a chance that someone is louder but I doubt it. (challenge accepted, anyone ? ). Drinks, general chatter and hanging out on the hotel patio ended the night. Laughter and stupid jokes, I think you know how it goes......if not....imagine :-)

Our backstage, the local polo club or something.

Tuesday 31.7.- Travel Day (Rome-Helsinki)
Ok, so now's the last chance for me to actually drag my lazy ass to the city. I checked out the hotel breakfast for the first time on this trip, well to be honest it was shit. Sorry for being so blunt, but what can you do ? We got a bunch of guys together, some romecityvirgins and some that already checked things out on the arrival day. Spent most of the day walking around, subwaying around (is that actually a word ? shit, it is now, let's at least agree on that). and naturally having sports drinks (=beer) to keep the energy level up while swirling around like idiots under the hot sun. We found all kinds of places, shops and whatnot. Bought a bunch of stuff for the kids and even took a couple of pics. Sweated like pig btw.

Tommy on the way to become a gladiator...

At some point we were done, got back to the hotel, in fact me & Masi our drumtech (yeah, we have many and even I get confused sometimes) took the local bus back to the hotel. Nice, easy and cheap......packed our bags, one last caipirinha (it might have been 2 or 3) at the hotel and then it was off to the airport. I think today was the longest and most unorganized security control in a while......
....I hit the lounge, stuffed myself with some snacks and Jack & coke and boarded the plane to Helsinki. (just for the record, it was late but we don't care about things like that at this point do we ? ). Since I'm writing this as we go, right now we're on the plane and the ending might change but at the moment it looks like this, provided we don't crash....i.

Landed in Helsinki &  got our stuff, went to the airport hotel to get a good nights sleep before going home. Isn't it great that we live only one one hour flight away from Helsinki but somehow we always have to spend the night there at the hotel........well, that's rock'n'roll nightmare logistics. I think I should run for major in Kemi and make our tiny airport an international hub so we can fly straight to anywhere in the world 10 times a day.  Yeah, I agree....it's time to sign out....to be continued.

Wednesday 1.8.- Travel Day (Helsinki-Kemi)
Spent the morning just chilling in my room, relaxing and enjoying the solitude and silence. In the late afternoon we checked out, went to the airport and grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant, which was the Irish type sports bar at the airport. The food was really great but the service was unbeliavable slow, usually at airports the restaurants are way faster than anywhere else but in this case the opposite was a fact. It was a good thing that we got there early so there wasn't any hassle. At the moment we're flying home and provided that all goes well, our next show is in the town were I grew up, Kokkola, on Friday. So we have one whole day at home :-)