Amaranthe @ Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium 15/3-15

Alrighty folks! Here it goes. The start of my big tour week. Or well, big and big… It’s the biggest so far! Maybe not the most concerts, but it sure as hell is the most COUNTRIES in one week.

And first stop? Belgium, Vosselaar, Amaranthe. Started out early by going by car to Karlskoga to take the bus to Örebro to take the train to Stockholm to take the bus to Bromma and then, finally, board the plane to Brussels. Once in Brussels, an acquaintance picked me up at the airport AND we got in the car to travel to Vosselaar.

It has come to my attention that I MIGHT be spending a lot more time actually TRAVELING than seeing the shows. Haha.

Oftenly when I go out of the country a lot of people tell me ”Oh my god, you have to tell me everything about the country!” and the thing is, most of the countries, at least ”up here” look pretty much the same. And so did Belgium.

Until we got closer to Vosselaar, and I noticed people in Belgium have donkeys in their backyards.

Like. What? DONKEYS? And we are not talking countryside here, we are talking like in a populated area! Fucking insane! And then we passed a very exotic house, it had palm trees and statues of bulls and EVERYTHING. It’s literally all over the place!

Eventually, we reached Vosselaar and got out of the car, and for the first time since like 7am, I could actually STRETCH OUT. And get some ”fresh” air. How fresh it now can be in the middle of a city with a high way.

Anyway, we walked over to Biebob (the arena, that is) and found two friends of his – Cyril and Laura. Cyril I was aware about from before, since he, as well as the driver, was present at the Amaranthe/DAD/Sabaton show here in Karlstad.

So yeah. Then  began the ”queueing”, so we stood there and talked a bit and watched Amaranthe run in and out of the bus, and also how many people just kept coming. Cyril and Laura + two more (I think) was the first ones to the crimescene, so you could say, we arrived just in time before it started to get crowded!

But. Then, the clock striked 18.30, and it was time for me to leave? Where you may ask?

TO THE MEET&GREET WITH AMARANTHE.

I did not tell you this on the blog in advance, mostly because I don’t want to jinx things, but the truth is, two weeks prior to the show I got the email from the fan club telling me I had won a meet&greet with the band here in Vosselaar! Yay me! In the end we were four people who went to the greet and we were taken inside the arena where we traded in our tickets and waited for the band.

While waiting I got to finally meet the boss of ye olde fan club, Mr Danny Jacobs who’s ever so lovely! Handed me a poster, nice dude. Chatted a little tiny bit with the Maffe, the merchguy before the band arrived.

The first person to approach me was Morten, if I’m not mistaken, my mind is a little bit all over the place while writing this. Later followed by Johan, Jake and Henrik and last but not least Elize.

You know, it’s always fun when you’re in another country and meeting a Swedish band, because they ALWAYS get so confused when you talk Swedish to them. I love this. And not in a mean way, it’s just fun. You know. With that said, after getting a few signatures on my Massive Addictive CD Elize and I got a bit caught up in discussing Melodifestivalen (ESC pre-selections you know) discussing app-failures, song qualifications and what not!

I must say, it is BEYOND FUN to find someone, in the metal community who are ALSO as much a fan or well, at least like the event as much as you do yourself.

After this, we went over to take the (what seems to be) mandatory group picture with all the meet&greet people, and the picture ROCKS people. After that, we kept talking a little bit, but this time about Boda Borg, since apparently we’re both getting hysteric when we are there. After a while the band had to leave, but before they did so, she made sure to introduce me to Tim, and I’m glad she did! He’s an AWESOME dude, I’m glad I got to meet him!

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(Pic belongs to Amaranthe Official Fanclub)

They ”finally” let the other people in and Cyril & the gang was able to join me and Tim up at the front. We talked about fandoms and photography and bands and what not up until Santa Cruz started playing.

It has been about five years since I last saw Santa Cruz live, but that time as one of the openers for Stala&SO. at On The Rocks in Helsinki, Finland. It was good seeing them live again, and I loved the energy they had on stage. The crowd was maybe not THAT energetic, and even myself are guilty of charge for this, but they did a real good job never the less!

santacruz

The lights went off again and the talking continued. Seriously, have I ever been this chatty before? I don’t think so. It must be something in the air here in Belgium. Maybe I’m getting high on Belgian air too – we already established Norwegian air isn’t good for me, HAHA. Before we knew it, Engel entered the stage.

So, I saw Engel as the support act for Amaranthe back in Västerås earlier this year, and I liked them A LOT, so I was actually rather excited for the show! Again, I’m gonna have myself be guilty of charge for not maybe being the best front rower ever, but DAMN they put on a good show! And I’m personally REALLY glad they played ”Question Your Place”, which is my favorite song off ”Blood of the Saints”.

The crowd was A LOT better this time around, but I can kinda see why. Santa Cruz is a bit of an odd support act for Amaranthe, in all honesty. No offense at all, just… it’s a clash in the musicstyle, if you like!

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Engel went off stage and the waiting for Amaranthe began. Now I was getting REALLY excited but also a little nervous. You know, pre show nervousness? He he he.

Before we knew it, the intro started and the band entered the stage with Morten in the lead and kicked it off with ”Digital World”. Something was up with Henrik’s mic, didn’t seem to be turned on or whatever the issue were, but you know what – shit happens, and they still kept on delivering as if nothing happened. And this, my friends, is what marks good entertainers. The show must go on, you know?

They followed up strongly (And with a functioning mic) with ”Hunger”, of course, which is quite a set off for the audience! And I was very delighted to see how the crowd reacted to the whole thing – I was worried they were just gonna stand there, but gladly – NOT! ”Invinceble” and ”Razorblade” was next on the list, and the energy was basically out the roof!

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I have lost words on how to describe this show, or any show in general, but I guess it’s because what is there to say? There are really no better feeling when you are being with your friends, at your favorite bands show dancing and jumping and singing and what not to your favorite songs. ”1.000.000 Lightyears” and ”Serendipity” was being ripped off before it was time for a new song – ”Over and Done”.

Seriously, this is so horrible, but I’m NEVER Going to forget when Jake forgot the lyrics in Västerås, so both this time AND in Helsinki I couldn’t help but to wonder ”will he fix it?” Jesus christ, I’m awful, BUT – of course he nailed it. What else? This song is so incredibly beautifully arranged – a lot thanks to the amazing vocals of Elize and Jake and it’s PERFECT live, or well, BETTER live than on the CD. It’s amazing.

The latest single, ”Trinity” was next before it was time for my personal favorite song – ”MASSIVE ADDICTIVE”. Seriously, the song is massive and addictive and the BEAT PEOPLE. It’s so heavy, without being brutal, you know? Whoever it is that are ACTUALLY responsible for the arrangements in this band – GOOD ON YOU. This is not just good songwriting, this is about having a good eye, or ear, for how to push music and sound beyond the limits and hearing what would get good here and there. And this band excelles at it. The crowd? Headbanging. So hard. You can not not headbang to this one.

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”True” was the next song on the list before it was time for ”Afterlife”. Another personal favorite of mine followed suit, ”Electroheart”. It kinda comes close to heart, with my heart-condition and everything.

I’m just gonna stop here to say something. So, the deal with this place is that there is no fence. We literally stood right by the stage, I even had my stuff ON the stage in lack of better place to put them. And it’s always a bit awkward when this happens – you get so up and close to the band, and if they are not too careful (read: Engel) they might end up hitting you with their micwire. Of course, it’s nice and all to be close to the band, but when you feel like you are looking up Elize’s skirt only because you’re trying to look at her, it gets awkward, HAHA.

The band left the stage to give Morten his 15 seconds of fame in the shape of a drumsolo, which was as cool as always! The band came back out and started off with ”Leave Everything Behind”. Cheesus, that’s a good song.

Elize took the stage for a moment and told us about a couple, a bit in the back, who had fallen in love (or met perhaps) thanks to Amaranthe, and that they on this day also celebrated their fifth month together. It almost brings me to tears to think about all the ways music connects people to each other. Like, hadn’t it been for Lordi I wouldn’t have known some of the BEST people in my life. You do realize at this point how much of an impact music has on your life. She dedicated the following song to them, yes, ”Amaranthine”.

”Call Out My Name” was the last song for the evening, and the band went of stage. No, not really. Johan came out back on stage to give us his little… comedy routine? I’m not sure how to call it, but I do know that whenever it happens I always end up laughing, hahaha.

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The rest of the band eventually joined him and they started off the encores with ”Automatic”, which was followed by ”Dynamite”. They wrapped up the encores with ”Drop Dead Cynical” and of course, ”The Nexus” before they said thanks and good bye for the night and left the stage, this time for good.

Like I said earlier in this very blog, what is there really to say you know? Being at a show like this with some of your best friends ever, it cannot be anything else but good. I know I’m supposed to look at it critically and point out everything they do, but it’s really hard to do so when you end up lost in the music. And all the stage interactions I had with Elize just makes SO SO glad. Like I said, it’s better for every time. She’s really the sweetest person. I can’t even remember how many of the songs it were, but it was A LOT of them. Henrik too, of course. It’s almost as if it’s mandatory by now, HAHA. Because yes, it was during ”Dynamite” again. Hihi.

Once the show was over we chatted a little bit more with Cyril and Laura before it was time for them to leave and for me to hit the merch to score some Amaranthe stuff. Went over the merchguy and told him both me and the band survived, and the joke was on the table, or how to put it. Haha. Anyway, I got myself a tourshirt and then we chased the Engel guys. Mostly because I wanted their CD, but also because the driver wanted a picture with them. And after MANY if’s and but’s, we got there.

And it didn’t end there. We ended up spending quite some time chatting with them and even having a beer with them, discussing traveling for bands, touring, music business and everything in between. It’s nice you know. These kind of things. Beyond amazing. Eventually everyone had to leave, and before we left I made sure to say good bye to the merchguy (he’s the best really) and when we got into the tiny car and left the place.

The drive back ”home” to Brussels was quite a long one, probably because we were both very tired and we had a… not so good GPS, which told us to to drive where we could not drive. What on earth is up with that.

Well, what else is there to say. We checked in at the hotel and then basically crashed into bed immediately. It was a long day for sure.

BUT. It was a good day. A REAL good day, and I’m glad I did this. Everything happens for a reason, and this day was beyond needed. Thanks to Amaranthe, Engel, Amaranthe Fan Club and just everyone for this AMAZING day. Thank you.

// Sara

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