Archive for January, 2016

SlipKnot @ Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden 20/1-16

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

When we woke up in the morning, quite early, receiving a message from Robert that he’d left his residence in Stockholm towards Gothenburg, we simply laid there and didn’t really feel like going up. But you know, out of all the days I’ve used “XIX” to get myself to do shit, I guess this was the day it fit better than ever seeing we were going to see SlipKnot. “But I have to – so it might as well be today”. We still overslept a bit, but a little bit before noon we were on our way to Gothenburg and the second and sadly last date on this tour for us.

It was quite a nice ride. We put on some stupid old 90’s music, that isn’t really 90’s music, but people refer to it as, and discussing future plans that won’t probably ever happen, stopping by McDonalds in Säffle on our way down. It was a smooth ride until we reached Gothenburg and learned there had been a huge accident right on the road we were supposed to go, but gladly, we took the wrong turn and managed to dodge it all by a breath. We got to Focus, painted on our faces and then we went down to Scandinavium.

Robert had already left for the meet & greet once we made it, and when we got there we got numbers on our hands for the queueing system and then… we stood there. SlipKnot has this weird habit of always coming in the winter, and we always have the habit of being underdressed. Or actually, that is on purpose because I don’t wanna deal with the whole wardrobe thing. But it’s not so fun when it’s like -15 degrees or whatever.

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While waiting in line, there was this one guy who kept walking off and about, in and out of the line before he remained behind us in line. I observed him for a while, stared at him, narrowed my eyes to my fox-face and then I took a turn around Michelle and asked him if he was here alone. For the moment he was, but his friends were about to come. And this is the story on how we met an amazing person called Fritiof. Thanks to us starting to talk to him the hours passed by very quickly, and he held our spots while we got some hot chocolate to warm up. After a while his friends Sebastian, My and Jesper joined us as well and we had a hella good time before they let us in.

So.. at the gates I learned I may not be able to take my wallet-chain in. And the security must be a joke, because I asked him what the hell this was about, and he said “it’s new rules, all over the world!” so I made a snide comment about this not being the rules in Finland, in which he responded “But that’s Finland..” and I thought to myself, but hey, you said the world?! Isn’t Finland included? FOOL! Anyway, they let me in with the chain regardless, but I think they’ll want to have better information on what you can and cannot bring.

We went right into the venue and saw that all front rows were taken, but we figured we’d say hi to Robert at least. Then we met up with our newely-found friends, but we said good bye because we wanted to look at the merchandise and then we got popcorn and drinks and went back to our new friends and spent what must have been the most pleasurable wait for Suicidal Tendencies, which began right on time at 19.30.

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I must admit, I was feeling it a bit more this time around. Maybe it is because I already saw them once and therefore were a little bit more familiar, or if it simply was because they seemed to be in a better mood, I don’t know. They still delivered a good set, and the crowd was feeling it as well. There were even a couple of wall of death’s in the midst of everything! Says a lot I guess.

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After this, the wait for SlipKnot began which also went by very quickly. Due to the amount of moshpits and wall of deaths that had occurred already during Suicidal, we decided, Michelle and I, that we’d head back a bit in the venue like we did last year in order to not be stuck like packed fish. So once “Be Prepared for Hell” began, we head off backwards.

They opened up strongly with “The Negative One” and seriously. This is one of the best songs they have, I shit you not. Once this songs comes on it’s like I’m electrified right through the body. The build up, the heaviness… Seriously this song. I’m so happy it’s back in the set, but also a bit bummed that it’s the first track! When not being taken so much by surprise, I enjoyed it more as an opener!

“Disasterpiece” was the next song on the list and it was just as powerful as in Helsinki. The one major different thing is the crowd. The crowd was like… so much better than in Helsinki. No offence my amazing finnish friends, but seriously, it wasn’t… quite the same.

“Eyeless” and “Skeptic” – my two lovebirds on this tour was next on the list. Seriously, I’ve been so lucky with getting “Eyeless”.  “I am Hated” followed by the ever so melancholic “Killpop”. But seriously… the venue… hearing the crowd… it gave me chills. Hearing the crowd do the chorus of “Killpop”… seriously, the chills!

By the way. I don’t remember exactly where in the set this happened, but today was no other than Sid Wilsons birthday! So we all got together and sang Happy Birthday to him while he was running around on stage doing his thing. He’s seriously my spirit animal, and exactly the kind of show-person I strive to be, would I ever be on stage.

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“Dead Memories” again, it’s good you know, makes up for Michelle missing out on it last year. “Everything Ends” followed by “Psychosocial” my lord, what a rush! I don’t understand what was different – perhaps the band was in a better spirit, or perhaps it was the crowd, but something just simply made it so much better.

And then there’s “Wait and Bleed”. Now look – “Wait and Bleed” was actually cool already in Helsinki… but in Gothenburg. With this crowd… Oh my fucking God man, as Corey Taylor would put it. I’m amazed the roof is still on top of Scandinavium. It was followed by “Duality” which got the same treatment from the crowd.

“The Devil in I”, “Metabolic” and “(sic)” wrapped up this amazing set before the band left the stage and that Going to Hell dance-y hippity hoppity song came on which made pretty much everyone around us dancing and bouncing around.

The band came back on stage and started off with “Surfacing”. Ahh, the arena went wild. “Left Behind” was ripped off before the last, and the best part, of the entire show started “Spit it Out”.

Seriously, I am not lying to you when I tell you this – “Spit it Out” is my favorite part of the entire SlipKnot show, and I think you all know exactly what part I’m referring to. Seriously, you just feel the blood pump in your veins when you are sitting there and Corey is going down the verse before everyone in the arena just explodes all on the same time when the chorus hits off… And of course, this would be better if everyone actually sat down. Fucking hell, I don’t get people some times.

After this, the band said good night and left the stage for good. And with that said, the tour was officially over.

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We reconnected with Robert after the show, also said hi to Janie again which we had met earlier in the day before going to pick up our car. Focus closes at midnight, and we figured it’d be better if we moved it outside just in case. Robert drove us there, and when we got back to the parking lot I found this weird little muffin staring at me through the window of the door next to us. Seriously, Robert is that kind of weirdo we really need in our life.

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We went to McDonalds where we met up with our newely-found’s and sat down for a late night snack talking about music, life, everything, and Robert went over how the meet & greet had gone down and showed us his signed leg.

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One by one did out company start to drop out, and about half past midnight we also decided to start going home. It was insanely cold outside for someone so lightly dressed as me, and then began our ride home.

This was an amazing night. I’ve said this many times before, but seriously. I love the bands I have in my life, and I love the people I get to meet and have in my life thanks to these bands. Thank you SlipKnot for everything, thanks Fritiof, My, Jesper and Sebastian for the company and to Michelle and Robert. I love you all.

// Sara

 

Skeptic

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Unlike yesterday, we actually got up in time today. We packed our stuff, planned out a little bit on what to do during the day and when the cleaning boy came and knocked on the door we figured it was time to leave our beloved Omena Hotel once again. I just love it when you find THE hotels in the various cities and countries that you can return to, and now what you get and have as a safe place. I even refer to Omena Hotel as “the apartment” rather than the hotel nowadays.

We dumped our luggage at the railway station and headed off to Eurokauppa. I had seen a few things I wanted at the store, so we basically went in and out and then we went to Gina Tricot only for the reason of making time go by a little quicker before going to the airport.

And it was so chill. Like, no lines ANYWHERE. Security check was the chillest ever, like, for the first time ever I could actually put on my shit next to the conveyer belt instead of rushing away with everything. Once we were set, we started looking for the Duty Free for some candies.

So, I’m a person who stares at people. And if I catch someone staring at me, I’ll stare back even harder and sort of kill them with me eyes. And I got stuck in a staring war with this guy. After staring at him long enough I realized who the hell I was just trying to kill with my eyes.

Chris Fehn.

I was in a staring contest with no other than Chris Fehn. My eyes grew pretty big and I think he realized that I recognized him. I walked on a few steps where I grabbed Michelle and spat out “Chris! Chris! Chris!” and she thought “Daniel?!” (she’s an idiot, and Daniel, this one’s for you! Cheers!) and when we turned around the entire band was there. We just stopped and didn’t know what to do in all honesty. A part of me wants to go over and say something, but the fan in me tells me not to. So we continued walking when we get passed by Jim and Jay.

Somewhere along the road they turn around and I’m having Jay all up my face, basically. Kindly enough, he actually says hello and waves to me. I was a bit startled by this and managed to squeeze out a hi to him as well before we hurried down to our gate.

We waited a long bit for our plane, got on it, fell asleep… and then haha, Oh my god. So we started landing, and then the pilot goes “ehh, we can’t land because there are airplane parts on the runway, we’ll wait”. And I’m like, ok, I don’t wanna be in the plane that dropped the parts, that’s for sure! After that, we landed safely and when we went to collect out luggage, it turns out I hadn’t screwed on the cork on my Fanta bottle properly, so everything in handluggage was drenched. Most destroyed was sadly my The Hunger Games: Catching Fire book. That stung a bit. But I think we managed to save everything, gladly.

We took a big dinner at MAX before we got on the bus we are currently on to take us home to Karlstad where we’ll drop all our shit, repack quickly, grab a few tickets and tomorrow it’s Gothenburg and round two of SlipKnot!

// Sara

SlipKnot @ Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland 18/1 -16

Posted in Concerts, Finland, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

January 18th marked the first concert of the year, and it would be by no other band than SlipKnot. Ironically – Amaranthe was the first concert of the year last year, and it was only a by a breathe that Amaranthe didn’t become first gig this year. Hadn’t Amaranthe been first last year, SlipKnot would have been first. Isn’t it fun how faith works sometimes?

We woke up… way too late. Like, I don’t even fucking know what went wrong. We were supposed to go up around 12, seeing we came so late in with the flight that we got to bed really late and all of that. Despite this, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and headed out. We had planned to make a quick visit to Music Hunter to look for some hard found Epica albums. Despite being a recordstore that is filled from floor to roof with CD’s, those two albums were nowhere to be found. What a shame.

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We got back, picked up pizza at the pizzeria next to the hotel and started getting ready for the show. Called a taxi just to be sure to get there in time and all of that, and despite this, because of trafficjams, we didn’t get there and registered exactly two minutes before closing time. So, we got in, rushed to the cloakroom to leave our jackets and were then rushed to the room the meet&greet was going to happen.

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We stood in a little half circle around the hostess told us a bit about how this meet&greet would go down. We’d first take the picture with the band, since most, if not all, of them would attend, and afterwards we’d get our stuff signed. I thought to myself, sounds good, after all, this is how Lordi used to do it back in the days. So she asked us to form a line, and Michelle and I wound up first in line. Since I won’t really accept at all being first in line, haha, we moved ourselves backwards in the line. I’ve met many bands throughout the years, but I’ll always be a bit scared the first time around with a new band.

So, then, the band arrived, and to my surprise there were eight people joining us today. Corey, Clown, Alex, Jim, Sid, Jay, Chris and Mick. Our meet and greet had originally said only 3-4 would appear, so I guess this was an upgrade!

So the line moved on pretty quickly and before we knew it, it was our turn. Unlike the rest of the people we decided to go together, because why the hell not? And also, timesaving. Once we came up there about half the band cheered at the fact we were two, and Jim made some comments about two girls and one Corey. It was a fairly quick little session and then we got back in line for the signing.

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For the signing, they actually lined up, sort of like a table, like an actual signing session. Fast than you’d think we were already at the start, with Corey being first. Jim second. Clown third, and Sid fourth.

Sid was the only one of the members in SlipKnot I actually gathered up the courage to actually talk to. While Jim and I shared a laugh about something, Sid was the only one I dared to say something to. And do things to, all in all. I had barely looked at the other members, but with Sid I even leaned in and focused real hard in order to see through his sunglasses and meet his eyes. Sid is “my man” you see, he’s the one in SlipKnot if we say so. However, the only thing I actually said to him was that I liked his Mickey Mouse pants. He told me Mickey was cool. That was cool.

It was followed by Alex, Mick, Jay and Chris. See, I always had a bit of a problem with Jay, because of the impression I got of him from online, so imagine my surprise when he turned out to be extremely friendly. Alex was too, but that was no surprise really.

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After all was said and done, the band left the scene and we were allowed to go and leave our signed stuff in the cloakroom. Oh, right! The ‘special tour gifts’ was a lighter and a poster. I must admit I thought it’d be something different, but you know. I won’t complain!

We were taken down undergrounds to some secret entrance to the venue, where we were let in before everyone else together with the people who had early entrance tickets. Despite the entry and everything being a bit delayed, I was surprised to see Suicidal Tendencies entering the stage exactly at 20 sharp.

So, I haven’t really listened a lot to Suicidal Tendencies prior to this gig, and I never had a very good impression of them, and well… It didn’t really change either. The band was absolutely fine and delivered very well on stage, but this really isn’t my kind of music. It’s something about that style that just doesn’t work for me. BUT, they did a good job warming up!

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After this, the wait for SlipKnot began. And it was held pretty short. Of course, not without making jokes about how early Korpiklaani would go on stage, but still. About a minute late, “Prepare For Hell” started, and the band came out and opened with “The Negative One”.

Well… That’s a first I guess. That surprised me, like, so much. I was very happy, that “The Negative One” was back since I thought it was a big mistake not including it at Graspop, but I had really thought “Sarchastrophe” would be the opener. They continued on with “Disasterpieces”… and sadly… the arena… Damn. At least on our side, it was fucking dead man. I don’t even get it. Why do you get front row if you are just going to.. stand there? Oh well. “Eyeless”, my personal favorite was next in line before something… almost magic happened.

They played “Skeptic”.

This marks one more song I always wanted to hear live from “The Grey Chapter” that finally happened. Fuck… that was magic. Corey Taylor spoke a bit about it being 15 years since “Iowa” was released, and then they continued the set with “I Am Hated”.

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The tour this time was very scaled down. On “Prepare for Hell” tour, they had this big goat head in the background, fire and pyrotechnics until no end. But not this time. A normal television screen, sort of, playing various videos and backdrops and some lightbulbs here and there. And that’s it.

Next on the list was “Killpop” and I was as happy as ever to hear this beautiful piece of music again, and it all went so atmospheric. Blue and purple lights, toned down… It was magical.

And then… a big moment for Michelle to say the least, when the tones to “Dead Memories” started. I shit you not, she got completely silent. It was truly her night, song wise.

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“Dead Memories” was followed by “Everything Ends” which was strongly followed by “Psychosocial” and “Wait And Bleed”. Despite these two songs, the crowd, at least on our side, was still dead as hell. “Duality” and “The Devil in I” continued the set, followed by “Before I Forget” and then… this special little thing happened.

“Metabolic”.

“Metabolic” FUCKING HAPPENED. Who would have fucking thought? Need I tell you all how insane we went? Oh god. What a rush it was! They wrapped up the set with “(sic)” before they left the stage.

An interesting little song started, it was like, a folksong about going to hell, and the members came back on stage. They blew off “Surfacing” and “Left Behind” before, what for me is the best moment of an entire SlipKnot show – “Spit it Out”.

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Seriously. There is something truly special about the whole “sit the fuck down” moment, and this would be the first time I did it in the front row. I must admit, it was fucking tight to sit down, but the guy behind me and I managed to sort it out so that he sat around me, almost having me in this lap and then he could have his arms around me on the fence as well. And you know… how it’s pumping. How it builds up. And then how you all JUMP THE FUCK UP!

I thought it’d fuck up our spots, but it didn’t!

With that being said, the band thanked for the night and left the stage.

It was a really good show, they had great energy and I enjoyed seeing them so much. But on the same time… there was something lacking. Like, “Custer” for instance. And “People=Shit”. But most importantly… it felt so… intimate. Being so close to them… and the show being so scaled down… it almost felt like seeing them in a small club environment. It was… pretty sweet in a way. A band you consider an arena band, a band you have usually seen in a distance, now seemed to intimate, and so close… so… reachable.

And that is what made it all so worth it. I love this band so much.

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Right after, we hit the merchstand to pick up a tourshirt, and then we hooked up with one of the people from the Meet&greet, and then got home.

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This has, despite some mishaps, been one of the most amazing days in my life. I really needed this right now. Thank you SlipKnot, Live Nation and Michelle for this amazing day.

// Sara

 

 

Prosthetics

Posted in Uncategorized on January 17, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today we finally got back on the road again. It feels so fucking good to once again back down your life into a suitcase, get on the bus, and just go. For this particular trip we decided to instead of hanging out at Arlanda for a numerous amount of hours, to do a bit of a detour to Stockholm city to have some proper dinner. It’s usually very usual for us to just take Subway, but we felt celebration was in order. And perhaps it was for the best.

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Then we got to Arlanda and did some quick shopping – I finally got myself the neckpillow I wanted for so long, and I also got myself a book about things to see and discover in Australia. I figured it could be handy. Once we started to get back to our flight, we are met with the message that the flight is delayed. Just our fucking luck, huh? As if we weren’t already coming late to Helsinki…

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Despite this, the flight went good. And everything went fairly quickly – unlike Brussels Airport which is the largest fucking maze I ever seen, Vaanta is pretty small and you get through it quickly. And to make it better, the bus was waiting just outside, so I guess that once we actually reached Finnish grounds things got better.

Once back at our very much beloved Omena hotel we could finally breathe out after a unusually long day of traveling. Sitting here with a cup of tea, bread and SlipKnot echoing from the speakers makes a perfect ending to a perfect day. I also tried my new body scrub for the first time, which was AMAZING. Just saying.

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// Sara

REVIEW: Brainstorm – Scary Creatures

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 15, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

German band Brainstorm was founded in 1989 by Torsten, Milan and Dieter, but it was first in 1997, following a few EP releases and a lot of live shows they finally released their debut album “Hungry” which received a lot of good critics. Ten studio albums later, we find ourselves here with their most recent release – “Scary Creatures”.  Question: Will it be better than their previous, “Firesoul”?

It starts out pretty heavy with “The World To See”, and it’s a bit… creepy, you know, like Lordi creepy? It felt like a good start, so I had every intention to like this album. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.

The thing is, pretty much all the songs seem promising at first, but then they lose it all in the chorus. I’m not sure what it is – perhaps I had too much expectations on the album due to previous works and because of the label the label put on the album, but the album is lacking something – and it’s lacking in the choruses. But if we are going to look away from this for a moment – it’s a pretty heavy album.

But it’s not only bad. There are two songs that actually are pretty cool – “Take Me To The Never” which carried a pre-chorus to die for, and the titletrack “Scary Creatures” which was a really good track. Something that does bother me a little bit about the album is the mix. I can’t seem to get over how… I don’t like the mix that much, in all honesty.

So to sum it up. It’s a heavy album, but also a decent album. If you like Brainstorm you should most definitely give it a go, but it doesn’t outrun it’s proceeder, “Firesoul”

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(Label: AFM Records)

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// Sara

 

Edge of Thorns

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today Jennie and I went to see the last Hunger Games movie, “Mockingjay part 2”.

It was nice actually, getting out of the house and forgetting about everything for a while. Returning to Panem and, well, it was in the middle of the war so I’m not sure if I dare say it was going to some place good, but it’s always nice to lose yourself into a good movie.

So there we were. Popcorn, bacon crisps, top row, blankets and coziness in the tiny little venue. Sitting there up against the wall just being cozy. That’s lush life. I had to guide Jennie through the movie a bit, seeing she doesn’t really know anything about The Hunger Games at all, but it was fun regardless.

Aside that… I liked the movie. There are things I don’t agree on – you all know my problems with Prim replacing Madge’s role, and it felt rushed in some places, and I wish we had gotten to see the gang dressed up as capitol residents, but aside this it was fine enough. I really enjoyed it. Some things weren’t as I had pictured them, but then again – different visions.

Now we’re sitting here at Jennie’s again discussing the movie and weird laws from across the world. Did you know, in Alaska it’s forbidden to push a living moose out of a flying airplane? The weirdest thing isn’t the law, but rather that someone, or some people actually did this to make the law happen.

// Sara

REVIEW: Rhapsody of Fire – Into The Legend

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 13, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Italian symphonic metallers Rhapsody of Fire started their career already backin the ’90s, then under the name Rhapsody, but due to legal issues they had to rename the band. The band has a strong backcatalouge and and now back with their fifth album after the name-change.

The album opens up with a powerfull opening hymn, with a tint of premonition in what is about to happen, and it completely EXPLODES into the opening track “Distant Sky”. And my god, what a song. The build up with the pre-chorus, with it being stopped and continued and then exploding into the the gigantic chorus… Well, I guess we can simply say they made a great first impression.

And it only gets better. The songs are majestic and epic, they have great choirs and magnificent musical arrangements. The way they have inducted the strings orchestra and choir, together with amazing work by the talented people (The guitarsolo in “Into the Legend” is giving me eargasm after eargasm) in the band can’t be anything but closing to a masterpiece.

While the album has an amazing continuity, all songs are not the same – some songs has a more folk-element to them (“A Voice In The Cold”) and some are more aggressive and forward (“Winters Rain”) and then we have the long last experimental piece at the end – “The Kiss of Light” which is a 15 minute piece mixture of metal, opera and atmospheric music, showing off the broad talent of the band.

Than can I say other than this album being a pure masterpiece? Well, it’s perfect. I’m consider myself lucky to have been able to review this album, and I can’t wait to dance around the place to the tunes on this one.

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Label: AFM Records

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara