Archive for July 20, 2019

U-Rock @ Umeå, 20/7 -19 Part 1

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 20, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Alright people.

You all know I’m dumb. Like, real, fucking, dumb. It’s completely normal for me to be like “Hey, Sabaton plays there, I oughta go!” so I riled up my tourbestie Toivo by whispering that also Raubtier was playing, and with ifs and buts and like last minute decisions, we now found ourselves en route to Umeå.

From where I live, it’s a bit over 900 kilometers, and even further for Toivo. We had a drive time of eight hours – seeing that I first drove an hour to pick Toivo up along the way. So for me, a bit over nine hours, for Toivo around eleven. At this moment, while it isn’t the furthest I’ve ever gone for the band, it sure as hell is the longest we have ever driven for a band.

So… I left for Örebro to meet up with Toivo, and despite being the biggest time optimist, I actually made it there just a little time after his train arrived, and most of this was due to traffic and perhaps his train being a little early, which, by the way, never happens in Sweden. Upon arrival we dumped his stuff in the car and headed into the city to pick up some dinner and then head onto the road.

It was a long drive. But, it was indeed a fun one. We worked our way up through the country, about halfway before we found a nice little resting spot close to a diner with pretty much everything you could possibly need. And a few weird fish and snail signs. At this moment, it was around 2am, and we figured it was a good time to go to bed.

We planned to wake up at 9.30 to coninute our journey, but around 8.30 we woke up and pretty much realized that fuck this, we are dying in this basic sauna and kicked the doors open to the car and got up. Toivo cooked us some noodles for breakfast, and trust me, we had the most scenic view to have our breakfast too. Turns out there is a giant lake next to this place with a walking trail. Loving every second.

But, alas, we had to continue our road upwards and so we did. With new energy and a lot of excitement, we continued upwards and hilarity ensued. Various new songs such as “Umeå” in the vein of Alestorm’s “Mexico” and “Highway to Umeå” was written and a lot of other things.

Just 30 minutes after our initial plan of arrival we roll into the parking lot of the Festival, seeing the most confusing parkingsigns ever and catching up with some of Toivos friends who had arrived for the festival as well.

So, upon arrival we got ready the last bits and then got into line. There was already a bit of a line, but it wasn’t too long. So we weren’t worried. We met a few nice guys who stood behind us and we mostly talked about the difference between Norrland you know, our part of Sweden.

We took the chairs at first, and about half an hour before doors opened we ran back to the car with the chairs, or well, one of us did. And.. a little late the doors opened. But first they had the VIP people entering, and gladly for us, the VIP people were mostly older people or families who simply wanted some seats, and after some running and franticness, we made it to the front row of the stage where we’d spend the rest of our day.

And with that, it was time for the first band of the day

Pretty Maids

So, Pretty Maids is a band I’ve never listened much to ever. A band I never really fell for. I’ve seen them at least once before as far as I can remember, but despite that, they put on a fun show and it was enjoyable. At least the show.

Less can be said about the crowd. I had a mid 50’s man behind me, and despite it being like, 30 people there, he still felt the need to push around and rub up against me. Little did I know, this was only the beginning.

But, with this said, the band left the stage, and in just an hour, it was time for our own personal highlight, or the first one at least.

Raubtier

Okay so this doesn’t start well. The crowd starts getting closer, which isn’t so weird since this is BASICALLY, almost, kind of, a local band, or local heroes. So a big crowd. Here is the problem.

Behind us we get Alexander 22, who is as much of an it-guy as you can be coming from a town like Umeå who partied a little too much on the moonshine, but being “cool” by liking a band like Raubtier. Him and his gang. We already know from the start this is going to be an issue, so when the band opened with “Det Finns Bara Krig” (There is only war, fittingly enough) we might have exaggerated our headbanging a little bit just to establish dominance.

Actually. Just wanna mention one thing. The intro they used for their show is a song called “Be Mig” by folkband Nordman. Which is… Where do I begin about this? Nordman has been a favorite band of mine since I was a child. And “Be Mig” Specifically, has been my favorite song of them, also since I was a child. So that one, went straight to the heart.

So, anyway, that’s how they started and they very quickly followed up with “Från min Kalla Död Hand”. I am not sure if I’ll even keep translating the band names, but anyway. Third song on the list got out as a tribute for everyone from the nordic region of Sweden, “Bothnia Blod” and then straight jumping into “Vittring”, which is one of my personal feel good songs. But because of Alexander and his gang, there was a mild disruption to everything. And it was about to get worse.

“Achtung Panzer” was about to come up, and for some reason, Alexander felt very very entitled to this particular song, and to the front row spot, so he, without a single doubt in mind, leapt for us, and said “I HAVE TO GET FORWARD”. But Toivo, being a long term Raubiter fan and pretty much doing this drive for them, and me, being a rabies infected Sabaton fangirl who will kill anyone, told him to fuck off and kicked him back.  So that was that. The song though, was amazing.

The band was. They really delivered. Next song on the list, was the new single “Ovtjarka” which made Toivo extremely happy. For some reason Alexander didn’t react much, proved my point about his state.

“Dieseldöden” followed suite before it was time to calm things down for a moment with “Polarvargen”. For several reasons this song is difficult for me, and I’ll not deny I teared up the direct moment I tried to sing along, but in a weird way I guess I was happy they played it? Does that even make sense?

“Besten” followed up, and then it was time for “Sveriges Elit” – And Toivo – it was Hulkoff who said it, that I was Sweden’s elite. They wrapped the set up with “Dobermann” for now, and swiftly left the stage only to return moments later to fire off “Världsherravälde”, “Kamphund” and lastly “Låt Napalmen Regna”. Well, there was no napalm rain, but it sure as hell was burning hot during the day. But not by the stage though..

With that said, Raubtier left the stage for the next band to take over. I think this might have been my second time seeing them, and I thought the show was really really good. I am really looking forward to seeing them later this year.

Toivo tried for a long time getting the setlist, and after some ifs and buts he got one. And funnily enough.. Some time later they threw out another one. So both of us now had one. Great huh?

To be continued

// Sara

U-Rock @ Umeå, 20/7 -19 Part 2

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , on July 20, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, with Raubtier being done, we now had a bit longer wait for our next band of the day – Sabaton. Yes. We pretty much drove this entire way simply to see Raubiter and Sabaton. Fucking come at me bro! We drove a 1000 miles for them, and we’d drive that again to be with them. Themesong of this trip really IS “1000 Miles” by H.E.A.T.

Anyway, enough with the jibberjabbish.

Next band to enter the stage was Nocturnal Rites. Interestingly enough, Raubtier was only meant to play for an hour, but wound up playing 75 minutes. I guess Nocturnal Rites gave up some of their setup time, or something, because they were still on time on stage.

Nocturnal Rites

So, this is another band that I may or may not have seen live before – after about 12 years of touring it’s hard to keep track on every single band you see at a festival or show. But, they delivered a very good set, very enjoyable, and the crowd had a good vibe to it – not an idiotic vibe, gladly. I really enjoyed their set!

So, after them, the wait for the last band before B-Band started and it was time for U.D.O

U.D.O

I always mix up if it’s U.D.O or Dirkschneider that is the Accept tour, but I worked out pretty quickly that this was not the Accept one. I’ve had the oppurtunity to review some of U.D.O’s albums in the past, but besides that, it’s not something I’ve been listening a lot to.

The band did do very good though – they delievered more than okay, and put a smile on my face.

There was one thing though that I noticed.

And it took me some time.

I was looking at one of the guitarists, seeing his guutar clad in the Swedish shield. Three crowns and a lion. And I didn’t get it. Why would a german guitarist have a Swedish shield guitar? But then again, why not? What do I know about this band, maybe they have it for all countries.

And I kept staring for a few good songs before it hit me. And perhaps it didn’t even hit me until I saw the other stringbenders with instruments clad in city camo paint. Then it hit me.

This was not their guitars. This was Sabaton’s guitars. And in case I hadn’t worked it, Udo himself would mention it a little bit later. I really am stupid, aren’t I?

But with that said, after a really good show they wrapped it up and it was time for us to wait for the main act.

And seriously. As the crew started assembling Sabaton’s stage, which is somewhat similar to trying to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture, for some reason, the people in the crowd would do nothing but scream for Sabaton. And not just scream their name, but be like “Why aren’t you starting already??” Well probably because the stage is still basically a manual and some screws? What do I know?

And this kept on. And remembering how I in my last entry about this, wrote about how things was just about to get worse? Well this was the part. Firstly, a lady comes from behind and start acting very elitist, worse than me. Proclaiming she’s been here for hours (haven’t seen her before?) and upon us telling her how far we drove and how long WE’VE been staying she calms down and instead starts talking about how she’s at least see them before. Honey, this was my 32nd Sabaton show, but please tell me more?

Second problem was a lady from the side. Her boyfriend or something had stayed next to me during U.D.O and he was fine. But her? She started talking about how she was going to push us away during Sabaton so he could stand next to her instead of behind her. Fuck that. And I figured, to myself, that it’d be the other way around. She’d be the one who is gone. It usually happens like that.

The endless screaming went on and on for a good half an hour to 45 minutes… Until the intro started rolling. At this point, no one cared. No one noticed. Except me. I remember even saying to people like “Look, it’s fucking starting now why aren’t you screaming?” Funny people, really.

Sabaton

So, the eerie new intro… haha. No. It’s not eerie, who am I kidding? The new intro is a bit silent, much like “Dominum Maris Baltici”, but eventually it picks up it’s pace. It’s a similar intro as to “Nightwitches”, just that now it’s “Ghost Division”. So there goes my long wishes about getting rid of “Ghost Division” as an opener. Oh well. Maybe another tour.

So, as you probably understood, “Ghost Division” was indeed the opener, and again, to practice some kind of dominance I might have burned out my neck at this point – and as the “Winged Hussars” arrived, all the annoying people were gone.

For the third song, Jocke wiped out a guitar and it was time for “Resist and Bite” because apparently that song is now a steady one, as opposed to a Belgian regional. Or perhaps its just for now. Somewhere here, supposedly accidently, the propaganda flyers were sent out. Well, why not?

After this, it was time for Sweden premiere of “Fields of Verdun”. Still, this really isn’t one of my favorite song, but still – I enjoyed it. “The Price of a Mile” was next on the list, and much to my dismay and almost disappointment, the choir is not joining the ranks.

And while speaking of that, a lot of other things were lacking as well. The trenches weren’t there, just the pyro thing. The grand The Great War sign was missing as well – felt like this was just a between show. And to make things worse, the screen didn’t work properly either. And you guys knows what that means, right? If you don’t, I’ll get back to that later.

And after this… it was time for a live premiere. As suspected, we beforehand suspected “Great War” and “Red Baron” would be premiered today, and it was time for “Great War.” Jocke spoke of being nervous for playing this, and evidently he should have been as he completely blanked out the lyrics.

Well, lucky Sabaton that they had us, Toivo, me, Elli and her friend. We all raised our voices and sang instead of him until he got back on track. But, it was magical nontheless! This is slowly becoming my favorite of the album.

Right after this, they fired off “Shiroyama” before embarking on “Bismarck” which was as epic as always. But due to crowd, we couldn’t start off our planned rowpit.

It got silent, and the lowkey intro for “Lion From The North” started coming out of the speakers, and the band got back on stage running out and firing off the song, launching them straight into “Carolus Rex” and later on “En Livstid i Krig”.

And there are two things I want to talk about here. Firstly, the incredibly epic singalong. It was LOUD. LOUD. And the second thing, remember how I talked about that the screen behind them not working?

This also means there was no baby bears. The baby bears is the only reason I enjoy this song live, and the only reason I accept this song live, is because of the baby bears. And if there is no baby bears, is there even a song? Is there even a point? I could almost cry. Baby bears are life.

The band left the stage and then the red blinking lights and sirens started going off alerting us that the “Nightwitches” where near, and such was the next song. “The Lost Battalion” was fired off before it was time for the next livepremiere, which was just as suspected, “Red Baron”.

They performed the song without an intro, much to my.. dislike. I guess I had an idea in my head on how you could have done this intro, but maybe for the tour? I improvied my swingdancing as well – wasn’t meant to but as Toivo asked how I thought about it we figured we would. And everyone probably hated us.

My personal favorite “The Last Stand” came next, thank god, before wrapping the set up as usual – “Primo Victoria”, “Swedish Pagans” and lastly with “To Hell and Back”

With that said, the band left the stage and we were left there. High on life, not sure what we had just witnessed. It was a very predictable set but nonetheless, they performed it very well. Thank you so much, Sabaton!

// Sara