Archive for the Australia 2016 Category

This Is How We Do

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 20, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

We started the day off with: LAUNDRY! You see, being a way for a while kind of makes the need for doing laundry, so today was the day. We’re leaving in sort of a week, so we figured it could be good to get some of our stuff clean for departure. After all, we are not going directly home to Sweden, we are going to Germany and France in between.

But today on the other hand, Ashleigh and Chiara took us to a cat café. Basically, it’s a café but you hang out with cats. And we were lucky, we were the only people who had booked that time, so we had all five – six cats all to ourselves. It was really nice and chill to hang out with the girls and the cats for a while, speaking mostly about cats but really anything.

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Once we got home, we caught a quick dinner and then we headed down to the cinemas to catch “Zootopia” on it’s opening day here in Australia. I don’t really wanna say too much of the movie since it’s pretty fresh, but it was a really good and fun movie! I’m usually not a fan of like, animals-pretending-to-be-human kind of films, but this one I really, really liked! Go see it if you can.

We wrapped up the night watching recaps of the championship of Cosplays which was in Chicago today, where Curt and Chiara’s friend won! Congrats to Sam Major Cosplay!

// Sara

Epica @ Max Watts, Brisbane, Australia 18/3 – 16

Posted in Australia 2016, Concerts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

 

So, this was it guys. This is the final date for us to do on the Ultimate Enigma tour down under, and it has got this bittersweet feeling to it really. I hate when tours get over way too quickly, and I think I feel… I don’t know how to put it in words, but to know there are two more Australian dates and three Asian, makes it even harder for me to deal with that it’s over, already.

Regardless.

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Same clothes, different city except: STRAIGHT HAIR! Apparently, there were some misunderstandings… Curt for some reason wanted to get in really quickly and were all up all of our faces when he came home about leaving three hours before showstart, as you might know, I don’t really queue anymore since I find it a lot more fun standing a bit in the back (or well, where there’s less crowded) than being pinned to the fence, and seeing neither me and Michelle hadn’t eaten because we were under the impression we were gonna eat before leaving, this did make room for a large confusion. Especially seeing I have to eat prior to a gig – if I don’t, I might have a heartfailure, unless of course I stand completely still the entire show, but why would I ever do that? Gladly, we sorted dinner out. But really, if anyone goes with me in the future – it’s okay to go ahead. No need to make my health condition stop you.

So, after a while we finally got on the road to get there, and we were a wee bit late, so we missed the first couple of songs of the supportband, but I do assume they started on time. The venue was… Well, it felt a bit fuller than it was in Auckland indeed, but on the same time I do think the venue was a tad bit smaller, so I can’t say for sure if it was more people or not. However, they did deliver a good set.

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After Voyager, we headed over to Epica’s merchtable to check out the merch. Apparently, the tourshirts had sold out during the VIP, which is superweird. I’m not sure if they have a batch for each show, cause in that case it should be double tonight since they missed out on Auckland, but really, how little tourshirts did they bring? And if they don’t have a batch for every show, then they REALLY misscalculated the demand… Like, REALLY BIG.

By this time, we made our way down towards the pit. It was crowded, but not tight, and I found a spot we could make a headbangerzone, so we were all good. Curt decided to come along as well, and pretty much right on time they began with “Originem”, opening the show up with “The Second Stone”.

I believe Epica has toured Austalia before, at least it seemed like it because the crowd responded a wee bit better than the NZ crowd, which I was pleased to see! Hell, I even saw mosh pits happening. And this, despite Max Watts forbidding “fight dancing”. Seriously, venues, get fucking over yourselves. Can’t take a metal venue seriously when they put up that.

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“The Essence of Silence” was next, and seriously, can we just take a moment and appriciate how much of a godess Simone is? Seriously, I could listen to this particular song, and especially her operaparts on repeat all day long. “Sensorium” was next, followed by “Unleashed”. “Storm the Sorrow” was the next song, and then Simone started talking about a song from the new album about not being able to sleep. Immediatley, one could figure it was “Chemical Insomnia”, I was just surprised seeing that they didn’t play this one i Auckland. All righty then! I guess this is somewhere around us noticing that Curt left us. Huh.

“Cry For The Moon” was next on the list, and seriously, this song is just pure magic. Especially live. Holy hell. Next up was “The Obsessive Devotion”, and I finally got to see some action. I’m glad to see the Aussies can mosh! Next up, “Victims of Contingency”, seriously, this song live is so fucking amazing. Beyond amazing.

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“The Last Crusade” and “Design Your Universe” wrapped up this amazing set, and the band left the stage. Coen soon returned and started off the intro to “Sancta Terra”, following up with mine, and apparently Simone’s personal favorite “Unchain Utopia”. Seriously, this song is so good.

After this song, we dumped our stuff on Curt (which we had forced to come back) and joined the wall of death for “Consign to Oblivion” and with that, the gig, and the final stop for us on this tour was over for this time.

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After the gig, we relocated Chiara and Curt and I headed over to the merch for Voyager to pick up another of their albums, and lucky me, the band were there so I got it signed as well. Went back to the crew, only to noticing they weren’t ready to leave so we got back to the band and started chatting a lot with the singer of the band, about literally everything and nothing – from the dedication to Epica for coming all the way from Sweden to see them, to that he encouraged me to do a Working Holiday in Australia to me doing bad imitation of what a “powerwolf” is. Oh well, at least he won’t forget it.

The band eventually had to leave, and so did we, so we headed off to McDonalds for some late night food and then got home.

Seriously, again. Thank you so much for this tour Epica. I’m already close to crying myself to sleep because I’m missing the rest of the dates, and missing out on the Asian enigma (that one is fucking annoying, because we are going to China THE DAY after…) just makes me supersad. Oh God. Epica, I love you guys more than life itself. Thank you so much for this.

// Sara

 

 

Victims of Contingency

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 16, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

I have decided to split this day in two, in order to capture as much as possible really.

So, today was Epica day! Woohoo, right? It is. I’ve been waiting for this for so long. At first I missed out on the Quantuum Enigma tour on the first leg in Europe, then the second leg in Europe, and when they originally came out two months after Soundwave, I cursed so fucking loudly. Soundwave cancelled, which is tragic as it is, but then again. Epica!

But, despite this being concertday, it doesn’t by any means mean rest! But no long travels, so I simply decided to go to Auckland Zoo.

It was a little bit of a hassle getting there seeing New Zealand (nor Australia for that matter) announces bus-stops, so I missed one stop, gladly, it only added about 200 meters of walking, which is nothing.

At first I had a hard time navigating the zoo, which happens easily for me when I get to big place, like an amusementpark, mostly because I don’t know where I should start. But once I worked out a route I could finally make my way around.

Just as with Hobbiton, this will be mainly pictures.

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About here, it started to rain superheavily, so I made my way into the Meerkat tunnel.

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After finishing the Zoo, I took a walk through Western Springs Park, which had wild rabbits and various birds. Beautiful location!

And then, it was home to prepare for Epica.

TO BE CONTINUED

// Sara

Epica @ The Studio, Auckland, New Zealand 16/3 -16

Posted in Australia 2016, Concerts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Once I got back, I got myself ready for the show and headed off. At first, I had planned to take the bus, but then I realized that it was really only a 30 minute walk right up Queen’s Street, I decided to walk instead.

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Once at the venue, me and a few other Epica fans learned that entrance would be on the other side of the venue, so it was just to make your way around. First thing I did was to get myself a bottle water. Destroyed by the European standards, or Nordic perhaps, I was certain they’d check your bag so I didn’t bring my own waterbottle. Jokes on me, I guess.

Checked out the non-existing merchtable before placing myself on the middle of the floor. It’s a small venue – a club, more exactly. It’s weird – I saw Epica on the Mainstage at Graspop this summer, and now I’m seeing them in a half-full club. So odd.

Supporters for the evening where the Australian band Voyager, out of Perth, to be more exact. They started right on time at 19.30 as they were supposed to, and I really liked their band I must say! They delievered a really good set, though the audience was a wee bit lame, but I guess that happens!

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In between the sets, I decided to make my way by the merchandise and pick up one of Voyagers albums. I might have to pick up the other one in Brisbane, I really liked their stuff!

Right on time, “Originem” started with the band going on stage, opening the set with “The Second Stone”. The crowd was recieving well and the band was, despite jetlag, on top! They continued on with “The Essance of Silence” and then “Sensorium”.

The crowd was good. It’s not the European crowds, I must admit, not too much action going on, but I guess it’s different. And if you’ve been waiting for 15 years to see this band, it might take you a bit by surprise.

“Unleashed” follow, which made the crowd very pleased, and they followed that one up with “Martyr of the Free Word”. This was followed by “Cry For The Moon” with a drumsolo on top of that! They held up really good energy and delivered flawlessly.

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“Storm The Sorrow” was next in line, followed by “The Obsessive Devotion”. For this song, the guys specifically asked for headbanging and circle pits, and much to my dismay… nothing happened. There were a few cool guys who actually did shit where I stood, but not a lot. I almost started to wonder if New Zealanders know how to do a proper circle pit.

Next in line, “Victims of Contingency” followed by my personal favorite “Unchain Utopia” and seriously. This song is so fucking massive live, I’m almost dying from the awesomeness of it.

Simone started talking about following your dreams before they wrapped up the set with “Design Your Universe”. The band left the stage, only to come back moments later and ripping off two encores – “Sancta Terra” and then “Consign to Oblivion”.

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I must just say something here. Somewhere around “Unchain Utopia” I started feeling really ill. I wasn’t sure why and how, and at first I thought it was simply bad food… until I realized that once I stopped to listen to the bandmembers talking, that I got better, but as soon as I started moving my head, I fell ill again. What I am saying, is that I have reached the point where headbanging makes me motion ill. Good riddance on me, I need to start taking motion illness pills before metal shows now.

But, all that aside, I was really happy, in “Consign”, to see that these people do in fact know how to do a proper Wall of Death, as well as a circle pit. Good on you guys, good on your for proving me wrong. With all of this, the band thanked for the night and left the stage for good.

It was a really good show. Like, REALLY. I enjoyed it so much, despite the illness. After the show, I met up with the two guys who gave this show a go – Jhonethon and Dan, from Christchurch to be more exact. It was really good to meet new Epica fans, and making some friends down underx2! It was nice meeting you guys, can’t wait to see you again!

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After this, I went back to the hotel, picking up some McDonalds on my way and then I crashed in bed after an amazing night.

Thank you, Epica for this night, I’m looking more forward to Brisbane than ever!

// Sara

Ex’s and Oh’s

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 15, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today, let me tell you, we got into our little Jucy car, got on the road and took the high and motorways down from Aukland towards Rotorua, or more exactly, Matamata. Why for?

Today was the day, we’d finally see the Hobbiton Movie Set.

We originally planned to go already at 10, but since things never seem to work out the hours we want them to, we headed off at 11.3o more like it, so we were on a tight schedule you could say. But then again.. when riding on highways, the driving is pretty smooth, so there were really no worries for us at all.

Once at Matamata, we checked in our booking and got tickets, and after a little bit of wait we got on the bus.

This was a guided tour with a couple of guides telling us all kind of trivia from the movies and recording as well as the scenery, but since there isn’t really.. much to say about it, I’ll just photobomb you all.

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At the end of the tour, we got to the Green Dragon were we all got a free drink of choice. I went for the apple cider, because I figured it was better to play it safe. It was a supercozy little tavern, that even had its own cat!

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During the break, we also befriended some cool UK guys. It’s cool to see some people from you know, our part of the world.

Sadly, this was the end of our tour, so we got back on the bus and went back the startpoint. Went through the shop, got out with a keyring, two pens and a postcard. We had one last ice cream before heading back home to Auckland.

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It’s been a real fun day, I must admit. Tomorrow: Epica!

// Sara

Ain’t No Good

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 14, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

First thing we did this morning, after sleeping in and some small issues, was to get our own set of New Zealand wheels. Our New Zealand wheels is a silver colored Hyundai called ELD, or, Fire, in English.

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After a late breakfast and some mishaps with the receptionclerk here at the hotel, we finally got on the road, heading down towards Piha, and firstly – Karekare.

And the road down to Karekare… was the fucking road from hell. Roads were narrow as fucking HELL, and not only was the roads super narrow, oh no, on the other side, the passenger side of the car, there was a fucking scarp / cliff, which probably was a a kilometer or two or three deep. Fucking hell. I had my heart up my troath the entire trip down and I even got nauseous thinking about how close death we were. Because, they do not, I repeat, THEY DO NOT have fences to protect your from falling… Every time we got a car from the other side.. Say your prayers…

But, it was all worth it once we got down. First we went to visit the black sand Karekare Beach, climbed a mountain and I ripped another wound on my leg. Seriously, this beach.. So beautiful. We got back to the car, looked at the map and walked the 250 metres up the road to reach the Karekare Falls.. And my lord what a sight. I’ve never before, believe it or not, ever seen a waterfall before in my life so this was sort of massive.

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Got myself a really nice cut while climbing. Always me.

After this, we headed down towards Piha Beach, but stopped a little bit before to embark on the Kitekite walk track, which would eventually lead us up to the Kitekite Falls. It was a long but rather nice track, we were probably a bit unprepared, but we had a view to die for when we stopped halfway to drink a bit.

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After drinkpause we continued up the hill and finally came to the amazing falls. Seriously, it was BREATHTAKING. We embarked on the Connection Track and made the way up on top of the waterfall. Seriously, I can’t tell you about the calmness and beauty that was to be found in this, but seriously…

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We went back on the Connection Track, found ourselves back to KiteKite and finished off the KiteKite track before we decided it was a good idea to head home… Not just yet! First, we were off to Piha beach to check another black sand beach.

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Lush Life

Posted in Australia 2016, Travels, Uncategorized on March 12, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

We started the day off with watching Melodifestivalen on SVT Play, because it doesn’t matter if you’re at the other side of the world – you do need to see the finale and see who wins. Frans will be representing us at the Eurovisions, congratulations! The girl I rooted for, Mimi Werner, wasn’t in the finale at all, so it really didn’t matter that much, though I must agree I’m a bit weak for Ace Wilder.

After this, we headed towards the central to first have breakfast at the cutest little café ever, and then continuing down to get our buscards, might as well get one, you know? We chased a beach bag without any luck for a while before getting on the bus towards Takapuna Beach.

At first we were a bit terrified that we had gotten off at the wrong stop, but it was solved really quickly when we found a sign towards the beach.

And what a view! The ocean! The beach! It was wonderful. And what was even more wonderful, was to take my first bath in a sea or ocean in 15 years. It was weird, but fuck I laughed most of the time, even when the salt came in my mouth and lungs. We tanned a bit on the beach, bathed again, sunbathed a bit more before we decided it would be good to pack up our stuff and talk a walk along the beach.

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It’s a big beach I’ll tell you, and… Well. There was this stone, with a rope, and I assume this is so you can climb the stone, so I figured I’d give it a try. Of course, what I do, is that I slip and rip wounds up on my legs. Both of them. Good on me, right?

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We kept walking along the beach and the amazing rocks you could climb, and once we decided to go back, the tide had gone so high that we LITERALLY had to climb the rocks to get back. The stone I tried to climb was almost covered in water. That’s how high it was.

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We wrapped the night up at The Burger Bach where we had each a delicious burger before going home, planning tomorrows adventures.

// Sara