Archive for the Travels Category

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 2

Posted in 70000 tons of metal, Concerts, Music, The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 19, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So it was upon us! The second day of the cruise was upon us, and it started pretty early with a merch sleepover. Thankfully, it was all worth it as we got all the merch we wanted.. How great, huh? And then, Trollfest already starting at 10. But you gotta go hard, not at all, am I right?

They put on a real fun show, and I’m officially a survivor of the worlds longest congaline! Or at least this cruise longest congaline. After the show, we decided to go grab something to eat and work out a little bit before getting ready for the highlight for us on this cruise, or at least the first thing for us: Bloodbound

Bloodbound

They opened up strongly (as always, am I right?) with “Battle in the Sky” and then quickly continued on with “In The Name of Metal”. Amazing as always. I have a feeling I dont see this band even half as often as I hope to. After having a little chat with the audience we continued on with “The Warlocks Trail” which is a song they live premiered on Sabaton Open Air last year, and I’m SO. SO. SO. happy that they continue to have this song in their live roster! It’s fucking amazing, and probably even the best song on the album, despite what I might have said before, and the crowd seemed to love it as much as I did.

“Stand and Fight” was next song on the list, tightly followed by a common crowdpleaser in “Moria”. I love the fact that they’ve “chaged” the lyrics to “Show me the HORNS of Moria” instead of Roads. Loving it.

For whatever reasons, Daniel Sjögren couldn’t attend for this show, so instead former Follow The Cipher drummer Karl Löfgren filled his shoes, which is kind of half ironic considering Daniel is the new drummer in Follow The Cipher (as well as Bloodbound).  He was doing an AMAZING job filling in, don’t believe anything else!

“Dragons are Forever” was the next song they ripped off before diving into the epicness that is the titletrack of the latest album, “Rise of the Dragon Empire”. And what a RAGE this song is live? It’s the absolute bomb. More of this please!

At this point, sadly, I had to leave as Leaves’ Eyes were starting the same time Bloodbound was set to end, and them being on the Pooldeck, which is you know, 8 floors up from where Bloodbound played, it’d be quite the run. But, I made it just as the intro started rolling.

Leaves’ Eyes

The epic nordic folk kind of intro rolled as the band then headed straight into “Sign of the Dragonhead”. It was quite a small turnout, but I’m guessing this could have to do with the Liv drama, or early in the day, or Bloodbound. Either of the ones, but I don’t exactly complain, more place for me to be honest!

They continued on with the new single “Serkland” which I’m assuming will be on the upcoming album before continuing on the previous path with “Across The Sea” which simply just is the perfect song for this cruise, am I right or what?

And also, can we talk about how perfect Elina Siirala is? Seriously. It’s such a shame for her that this bands suffers so from the drama, she doesn’t deserve that because she is AMAZING.

“Swords in Rock” was the next song on the list, before staying on the same album and doing “Edge of Steel”. A part of me had hoped Simone would join them, but that was hoping for too much I guess.

And.. You know it’s funny. Besides the addition of “Serkland” I can swear this must be pretty much the same setlist they had when they played the boat two years ago as I could even predict them playing “Riders of the Wind” on the pool deck, much like they did then. But I don’t mind, that song is just a party.

“Hell to the Heavens” followed afterwards, before wrapping up with “Beowulf” and “Blazing Waters”. Another amazing set was made by this amazing line up, and I am so happy that I got to see them again. So far, highlight.

After Leaves’ Eyes we headed down toward the Playmakers sportsbar again to attend some signing sessions. I was really lucky actually, all of the bands not only me but both of us wanted to attend happened to be on the same time, or at least closely related. Lucky, huh?

So, we went down for the first signing, which was Epica. It was a bit of a line when we arrived, but much to my surprised they worked very quickly through the line, and after a mere 20 minutes it was my turn actually. Was relatively uneventful, except from the bandmembers complimenting my collection of festivalbracelets as well as Mark greeting me by name which he knew from reading my stateroom card which happened to be placed in a very visible way.

Right after this, we started lining up for Bloodbound, and it was just like, one person ahead of us, so no problems. Ivan had a clinic he wanted to attend, so he was a bit stressed. But it turned out to be no issue, as the signing moves along quickly. So, quickly grabbing the autographs of Bloodbound and Edenbridge before hitting up pool deck.

A lot of running back and forth yeah. Haggard was a band I had gotten a little hooked on when listening for the bands before the cruise, so I figured I’d grab a few songs with them before Leaves’ Eyes signing at 17.

They experiences some issues and were late with the soundcheck and had to redo the first song twice, but such things happen you know? The little timeI did watch them though, was pure magic. I remember especially the moment when they played “Awakening the Centuries”. THAT, was NOTHING but pure magic. I was really sad that I had to leave relatively early to attend the signing of Leaves’ Eyes, but it is what happens.

So imagine how disappointed I am… to see that the band, or more to be exact, Alexander, arrives late. First and foremost, there was barely any line. There was technically no one before me but I let someone pass because I’m shy as hell. And then Alexander was like 10-15 minutes late. Which means that I could have easily seen all of Haggard, and still had my signed vinyl in a reasonable time. Goddamnit.

But that aside, it was nice meeting the band and getting the signatures! After this, back to the cabin for a quick clothing change, you know, it’s getting late and colder, and then off to the Theater for Epica’s first set.

Epica

We made it there pretty good on time, not too early and not too late. Perfect timing, if you like. The intro rolled and they started off with “Sensorium”. I can tell that is has been what at least feels like ages since I saw them, and I guess more importantly since I saw them in this kind of intimate setting.

The band delievered as they always do, and the crowd was just as much on fire as the band continued on with “The Obsessive Devotion” which is really, and excuse me for overusing the word, but the bomb. “Storm the Sorrow” was next before it was time for the ever beautiful “Cry for the Moon”, and it’s about this time I realize how much I missed seeing this band live.

“In All Conscience” was next on the list, before Coen came upfront and started off “Sancta Terra” with his amazing keyintro, and seriously, nothing but perfection.

My personal favorite off “The Holographic Principle” ” Beyond the Matrix” followed and then they wrapped it all up with “Consign to Oblivion”, with a wall of death and everything.

Another amazing show by this amazing band, left us tired enough to drift away to sleep, preparing for the adventures in Mexico… But.. with a little stop in the night, as I just HAD to witness the biggest pillowfight to Origin. Which was epic. I tell you.

// Sara

 

70.000 Tons of Metal: Arrival and Heavy Metal Beach Party

Posted in The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized on January 15, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Early on enough, it was time for the BOAT again. This year, the boat was laid almost a month earlier than normal, but I guess that was all for the better in the end, considering the normal dates for the cruise would have been midst Sabaton tour, and that would.. THAT would be one for the ages of tour hopping, that is for sure.

Anyway. Off we went. First off to the airport by the shuttle who came when it came, kind of thing, then a loong line to check in, and then finally – finally – on the plane. I love flying Norwegians Dreamliner. Like, we literally traveled from Paris specifically because I wanted the Dreamliner. It’s kind of… haha, I don’t know, obsessive, but I got the obsessive devotion I guess for that (bonus points to anyone who gets that reference, by the way). We had a nice flight. Tried to sleep a bit and I think I did as I made my way through “Toy Story 4” as well as half of “Endgame”. I still haven’t seen “Infinity Wars”, sue me.

And then, we arrived in the states, again, good old Florida. What I didn’t expect this time… Was the long process of the bordercontroll. We supposed it was since we arrived earlier than usual, but we spent a good 2,5 hours in there. I’ve never spent THAT long in a bordercontrol before. But oh well, we survived. Then awaited another long wait for the shuttle to the hotel, and.. finally there.

It was late. I was excited we were gonna arrive early this year, so we could do something. But by the time we were checked in, it was closing in on 21. So we just hit up some fancy restaurant and then went home to go to bed. After all, tomorrow was the day for the beach party so.

But. A disturbing thing was noticed. I had left my little bag of emergency stuff. Like, toothbrush, toothpaste, ALL MY MEDICATION… decided that I liked the dreamliner of Norwegian so much it didn’t even want to leave the plane. Because, it’s not like I needed the meds right? Before people worry too much, it was “only” painkillers and motion illness pills. But I get easy motion ill, so yeah. Great. Great start.

The next day, we went up relatively early, got to the bus station.. earlier than I though. Greyhound apparently lists BOARDING TIME, and not departure time. So we came 40 mins. Beore Boarding time. I wanted to smash my head against a wall. It’s like, not even the first time I go by Greyhound. How have I not learned this?

The busride was relatively uneventful. Gladly, I didn’t get motion ill like I thought I would. From the busstation we made it down to the Clevelander where we could reunite with our heavy metal family, have a nice meal and then the massive groupshot on the beach.

After the photo though, we departed the party and took to the shopping streets of Miami to enjoy our day a little bit more. A little bit of shopping was done, a pair of sunglasses, shorts and leggings. So, not a lot but a little. And a lot of Pokemon.

Busride home was also pretty uneventful, except that we had the most charming busdriver ever. She was amazing. I wish Flixbuses, or Europes, drivers were like her.

Once back, we packed everything up and got to bed. Tomorrow, we embark!

// Sara

 

Burst

Posted in The Great Tour 2020, Travels, Uncategorized on January 4, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

And with that, The Great Tour has begun.

This has been long in the making, and a few hiccups here and there has shaped this tour a bit different from what was originally planned, but improvise, adapt, overcome, am I right?

As I’m writing this I’m currently on a bus toward Paris. Two days ago I landed in Belgium as a first pitstop and getting stuff organized.

The flight here was relatively uneventful to be honest. I checked in my two bags (a month and a half long tour, together with a festival in the carribbean requires a bit of a closet) and had a snack before take off. Slept through most of the flight, and then arrived.

Headed home to Antwerpen where I had a few couple of calm days, mostly consisting of me repacking stuff. Stuff necessary for the tour here in Europe aren’t necessary in the US and so on. Looked like something exploded in the apartment.

Today has been slow and stressful, both of it. I had all the day to pack, but exceeding weightlimits is what I do best, but after a few ifs and buts I got it done. I made sure to take everything downstairs and noticed my bag can even slide of the carpeted stairs. PROFIT!

Then.. Going to Antwerp Central Station seemed to be a bit of a difficulty though. For some reasons we ended up on several detours, but gladly made the train in time.

What awaits in Paris, is one good nights rest and Sushi!

// Sara

Sabaton Cruise X – The Battle Ship: Part 3

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized with tags on December 13, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So we were.. Or more like I was, woken up early in the morning by the ship starting to dock. I’m an incredibly sensitive sleeper, and how on earth I survive festivals I honestly do not know, perhaps I’m just so worn out from an entire day?

So, a little before ship boards I wake Misa up, I jump in the shower, wake the boys up and we all start getting ready to disembark.

A little later than originally planned (due to me forgetting my passport, among other things) we finally get off the boat and set foot in Tallinn. Toivo joined his friends on whatever journey they went on, whereas the three of us – Me, Ivan and Misa sought out a nice café to have some sweet breakfast.

And oh boy was it sweet! Being used to Swedish customs, we ordered a double sandwich each (Misa and I) and a coffe each as well. But the sandwiches were huge! Had we known, we would have taken a single one. And it was so pretty as well!

After this, we started out walk towards the Old Town, as we figured our time in Tallinn was rather limited and we wanted to make the most out of the little time we had. On our way there we first passed by Lush as Misa loves it A LOT, and I had to debate if I wanted to get the bag or not. After this, we reached the Old Town where we walked around for a while, checking out various tourists shops before we ended up on a medieval torture museum which was really interesting!

Sadly, I had to cut my visit rather short as I had to visit the restroom (Which they did not provide there) but found my way easily. After this, we met up again in another tourist shop where we got some gadgets before continuing our walk through the scenic area.

Took a walk around the Christmasmarket before making our way back to port, stopping by at Lush to indeed get the bag. I always get a little anxious when it comes to boats. I don’t like being there just before boarding call, because they sure won’t wait. We stopped by a supermarket to buy some goodies and then took a well needed rest in our cabin.

We talked for hours and hours, swung by the merchandise to pick up some patches and posters, played some more magic and then started getting ready for tonights show. Today Sabaton was on first, which created a bit of a stressmoment.

Gladly, we found some decent spots, and the wait for the band began…

To be Continued…

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

Metalfest Open Air 2019 – Day 2: Saturday

Posted in Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 1, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Do you want to know something?

This is the first time, obviously, that I’ve been here at Metalfest. But at this point, there is already one thing I truly love about this festival. Their stage times. First band starts somewhere around 11 in the morning, and the last band ends at 23 at night. Which means that, technically, you are already in bed by midnight if you so want. How amazing isn’t that? Especially for us elderly people who can’t be out partying all night.

I really, really, appreciate a long nights sleep. So plus points, more than plus points, to the festival for that. So, got up relatively early as per usual, ate my breakfast, died in the heat again. Eat, sleep, repeat, right?

After a few ifs and buts, when it got a bit cloudy on the sky, I pulled myself together and applied my Beast in Black make up. When playing around with outfits and make up, I always take inspiration from the latest album or some song. So my make up for Beast in Black is simply a green smoked eye with some gold dust here and there. Done! I was also premiering my new Mala Noche top, but none of you who reads this gives a fuck about that, right?

Anyway. I made my way back into the venue close to Elvenkings show as an old aquaintance plays in the band, and I figured it’d be good to see him on stage again. I arrived somewhere half through their set, so it wouldn’t be fair of me to try to judge them on that, but the few songs I saw was really good!

One of the major reasons we had gone in this early was to see Gus G. I want to say that I’ve seen him before but it is possible I’m mixing him up with some other guitarist.

Gus G

So, the show started like clock work – they are very good at keeping the times at this one. The show was great – it was a nice mixture of his instrumental stuff as well as his stuff with vocals, and the crowd was loving it. I sense a bit more dedication amongst the crowds outside of Sweden – but this isn’t the first time I say that, is it?

The show came to an end, and we then began waiting for the Beast in Black.

Beast in Black

The time has come! And it was here! Beast in Black entered the stage and opened with “Cry Out for a Hero”, and the crowd went mad! “Unlimited Sin” was next song down the line, one of my personal favorites off the new album – in fact – “From Hell With Love” as an album is just pure excellency.

“Beast in Black” and “The Fifth Angel” was next on the list, and wow. The reception. It was absolutely crowded, and I can’t help but wonder if they shouldn’t have been given a different time slot? “True Believer” and “Heart of Steel” was ripped off next, and Yannis energy – it never, ever hits wrong. He, as well as the band, delivered beyond control.

The sun was burning all of us alive, with a temperature closer to 30 than 20, and in a way I pitied, and everyone else I guess, the poor men on stage clad in complete leather uniforms form top to toes, but I guess at least they aren’t Lordi.

“Born Again” was next on the list, I guess we all wish we were after this heat, before heading into the headbang fest of the show with “Repentless”. Single “Die By The Blade” hit next, and then one of our most raging favorites – “Crazy, Mad, Insane”. Szilvi and I tend to go loose on this like cray cray.

“Sweet True Lies” followed, and then my own favorite of the whole album, the titletrack, “From Hell With Love”. I cannot get over this song. Like, ever. And then, “Blind and Frozen” before wrapping up the entire set with “The End of the World”.

That was an amazing show as usual. They really know how to deliver, don’t they?

We had managed to score pretty good seats being here so early, so we decided to simply remain put so we would have these awesome spots for Amon Amarth later tonight. So, we got to lazy watch the rest of the bands, first one being Stratovarius.

Stratovarius

I will admit upfront that I don’t know a whole lot about Stratovarius as I have never really fallen for the. But it was really great to see them live, at least once, and they put on a great show!

Cradle of Filth

I’ll admit that this is really not my type of music. I’ve tried several times to give them a listen so to speak but failed miserably. But still, they put on a show and I’ll give them some credit for that!

And at last, it was finally time for the band we’d been waiting for – Amon Amarth.

Amon Amarth

I have heard about this band so much. And it feels like every single metalhead male in the universe owns an Amon Amarth hoodie, making me question how commercial they have really gotten. Doesn’t affect their music though, just an observation.

Well, the show was incredibly impressive. I would I guess, expect a band of this caliber to have this kind of stage show, but I was really impressed and blown away, and they just made their way into my library this way! I really loved the creature during “Twilight of the Thunder God”. Intimidating, but oh so cool.

And with that, the second day of the festival was over and we all headed back to bed.

// Sara

 

 

Metalfest Open Air 2019 – Day 1: Friday, Part 1

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 18, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! The festival has officially begun! Or at least it’s about to, and that is excitement! Got up relatively early, I guess, for being a festival day and having some breakfast and chilling. Toivo had chosen campspots with morning shade, which was great, but as soon as the shade was gone it was the kind of heat that’ll seriously burn you alive. So I spent pretty much half my morning laying outside my little tent with a wet towel over me, trying to you know, not die.

First band of the day for me today was Majesty. I want to say that it’s so long since I last saw them, but I’m probably lying. Last I saw them was two years ago when they supported Battle Beast on their Bringer of Pain tour – at least as far as I can remember. So I was pretty excited actually, to see them again. I had dusted off the old albums I owned, and heck yes. I will admit defeat and tell you that I did not bring my camera to this fest. I wasn’t sure regarding the rules, and figured it was safest to leave it at home.

Majesty

So, they started off strongly with “Die Like Kings”. The crowd wasn’t huge – but still more than I perhaps would have expected. Good to see! “Hail to the Majesty” was followed next, and the energy on stage was amazing! At first, I’ll admit I didnt recognize the singer and turned to Szilvi durng the show like “Is it the same guy?” and she just nodded and said he cut his hair. Imagine, so little can change so much!

My own personal favorite, “Rebels of our Time” was third of the list, and hearing this magical song again.. Seriously. Majesty may never really have been a favorite band of mine, but this song has truly been a favorite of mine.

“Hellforces” was next on the list before it was time for a live premiere of a new song – “Wasteland Outlaw”. This is a song from their upcoming album, and I liked it sooo much! And the energy and response from the crowd was amazing!

“Thunder Rider” from the album with the same name was next, a big favorite I can tell, and yet another new song, “We are Legends” got its premiere today – how awesome isn’t that, to be honest?

At last, they wrapped up the set with “Metal Law” and left the stage. The show was so great, despite the heat and sun killing us, and I’m so glad I got to see them again after all this time! Thank you!

After this, we remained in our spots because in only 20 minutes, Kissin’ Dynamite would be gracing the stage.

Kissin’ Dynamite

Finally! While it wasn’t THAT long ago since I last saw them – only about seven or eight months, it still felt good seeing them again. I guess at a certain point all time feels long, no matter how long it actually is, right?

They opened the show with “I’ve Got The Fire”, which also happens to be the opening track on the most recent album “Ecstasy”. The crowd had grown quite a bit since last band, not surprisingly. The vibe and energy on the stage was amazing, as they continued with “Sombody’s Gotta Do It” from the same album.

“Love Me, Hate Me” followed suit before it was time for an oldie but goldie, if I may use that term. “DNA”, one of my personal favorites was fired off. Still, with an amazing chemistry on stage.

“Sex is War” and “Waging War” followed suit – not sure what to make of this selection right after each other, at least not namewise, but still, the show was so good at this point.

Hannes got up to be on the throne places on stage, full on with the cape and crown, and “I Will Be King” was performed. Always the biggest party, if you ask me.

The set was wrapped up with “You’re Not Alone” and “Flying Colors” before leaving the stage for the next band. Very average setlist, but I guess it is what to be expected of a festival gig. It was still beyond enjoyable!

After Kissin’ Dynamite, I headed out to the camp to rest a bit. This kind of heat isn’t kind on me, and I felt I wanted to lay down, eat something small and just take it easy. Something that I did, which I am pretty proud of haha, is that I invented my own little sofa, or chair.

I put my suitcase behind my matress, and thus could sit up, while resting. Loved it.

I got back toward the venue somewhere before or during Amorphis. I took company with Szilvi and Marci, and ate a small panncake to simply get SOMETHING in my system. We made our way all the way, or halfway, up the amphitheater to get some nice spots for Powerwolf, but also the next band – HammerFall.

To be continued

// Sara

Metalfest Open Air 2019: The Journey

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 12, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Oh hey here we go! A little over two weeks since this happened, but better late than never, am I right?

So, the journey began for my part on Wednesday already, and Toivo had already made it to Prague the day before or so, if I’m not mistaken. My journey started very calmly and peacefully with a three hour drive to the airport. Seeing as this festival lied so close to Sweden Rock, my travel options were limited. Normally I would have loved to take the bus down to it, but. Time management.

As I get older, I also get wiser, or in this case, I have less time optimism. So I had actually left home in a good and decent amount of time. Despite various obstacles along the road, I made it to the airport a little bit before the check in opened, so everything was chill. Except for the fact that I had acquired an illness prior to leaving, but oh well. You just gotta roll with it, you know?

So, going through the checks and everything, feeling pretty chill and then I almost fall over my feet when getting to the gates as the first thing I see is one large wall of Sabaton. There was this magazine, Sverigemagazinet, which made an interview with Sabaton about their festival, and it was all here to get. This trip was off to quite an amazing start, huh?

Flight was pretty uneventful, and I landed relatively safely in Prague in time. The flight had been changed in time prior to going, so it was rather late. I made it into the city and met up with Toivo who helped me to the hotel to drop off my stuff before heading out for dinner in the city.

We went to a restaurant called Vytopna in the central of Prague, which has your drinks delivered to you by train. It was an extremely cozy restaurant and a nice meal. After that, we took a stroll home and went to bed. Tomorrow was time for us to head over to Plzen.

Thursday

We went up.. Relatively early. Not super early, but relatively. About 8? We went downstairs to check out the breakfast at the hotel, but decided it wasn’t really worth it. So off we were, off to Prague railway station to lock up our stuff and then head off to a medieval restaurant called U Pavoka in the central of the city. Great food and great setting, and Toivo wants to emphasize he had some mead.

Once finished, we headed off to some sightseeing. Astronomical clock and the Karlsbridge was a few of our stops before FINALLY getting on the train to Plzen. Was a nice, calm train ride, and at the trainstation we met up with Alexandra, one of my good friends frm Czech Republic.

Together with her, we took the tram as close as possible to the festival and then walked what felt like forever until we found the festival and the camping and went to set up our camp. Once tents and all was set up, we headed off to an Albert to pick up the essentials for the festival. Everything is ridiculously cheap in Czech, at least for us so I guess we overshopped a bit? Our hands were hurting like hell afterwards, haha!

Once back on the camping, we chilled out for a moment, went to see some of Toivos friends before meeting up with Szilvi and Marci who were just coming in from Hungary. The rest of the evening were spent with with them, catching up on everything and anything.

Tomorrow, was the first day of the festival.

// Sara

Dr Sin is In

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on October 20, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

The last officially two days in Paris was spent rather calmly actually. On Friday, I treated myself to a stroll in Jardin de Luxembourg, I love this park. Taking in the sun, and the nature, doing some pokemon. I spent the evening catching up at work, which was great. It felt good to make up for some lost time.

On Saturday we went to the place where Victor Hugo lived a part of his life. On my last long stay in Paris, I made it there, but never got the chance to go inside since I ran out of time, so it was obvious that this time we just had to do this.

It was really nice actually – to go inside and see how he lived, or in general, how people lived in that century to begin with. Very beautiful place.

After this, we headed off for a dinner at a pizzaplace, and later discovering one of those rooftop gardens. We wrapped up the night rather early, considering tomorrow, we were set to go to Belgium to attend the Female Metal Voices tour.

// Sara

Lordi @ Le Petit Bain, Paris, France 17/10 – 18

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , on October 17, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

THIS BLOG DOES OF COURSE CONTAIN SPOILERS – so if you wish to be surprised during Sextourcism, don’t read this just yet!

So it was time! First gig of the tour for me, and what better band to being with than Lordi themselves? No better band if you ask me. We started the day relatively late though, I’ll admit. Once meeting up with Laura we headed off to Starbucks for a quick breakfast / lunch / dinner (you know how it goes on tour – it’s all pretty much the same meal) and then stopped by a bakery to pick up some cake.

You see, it’s Nathan’s birthday today. And three years ago, we met Nathan because we were celebrating Paula’s birthday in the line, and offered him cake. So naturally, we had to do the same for him right?

Upon arriving at Le Petit Bain, we noticed he was together with Paula and Martine, so good thing we picked up a lot of cake! We gave him, them, two pieces of the cake and then we stood around and talked for a long time, all the time until the doors opened actually. Was really nice catching up with Martine and Paula whom I haven’t met in a long time. When the doors opened, we got into the venue and Laura and I placed ourselves on the “balconies” or however I should call them, for a really good view of the show.

So, a little sad thing going on. Egokills entered the stage when it was set to be their play time, only to tell us they would not be performing tonight. One of the guitarists had injuried his wrist so badly he was unable to play, but we still gave them a big round of applause. Must have sucked though – a sold out venue and everything.

However, nothing bad that doesn’t bring something good with it. This gave Silver Dust an even long set to play!

Silver Dust

Silver Dust, the swiss metal band who was the opener for Lordi last time on their Monstour as well are back, and this time they got their new album “House 21” in the baggage with them. The show had changed a bit since last time I saw them – and the show has been elevated a bit. The new show includes a lot more interaction and incorporation of the magic mirror, which makes it all to a new level.

The show on the other hand was really good. They performed a good set – got the crowd going – well, a french city would love a band who sings almost exclusively in French no? Despite having a mishap with Kikis guitarsolo, they got it through really well. Kudos to them!

After over an hour (!) they left the stage, and preparations for Lordi began. It’s funny, how even the smallest of waits like this can feel like forever. I guess it’s because I got tired. I’ve been very sleep deprived this whole week, I guess it was catching up with me. Not to mention when I finally sat down, haha!

Lordi

But finally, “God of Thunder” started echoing in the speakers, and seriously, there is something absolutely numbing as well as adrenaline kicking whenever this starts. Intro started rolling, bandmembers walked on stage and they started off their set with “Sexorcism”.

To my.. I want to say big, but I have to say EXTREME surprise, “Would you Love a Monsterman?” was second song of the setlist. It’s pretty much set me off. I just stared at Laura like “what on earth are they doing?”. It’s like back on the Scare Force tour, when they had “Hard Rock Halleujah” very early in the set. I dont even know what to feel about it, I was just “ok..” the whole time, pretty much.

THEN. THEN my dear friends. “Missing Miss Charlene” was brought out. Seriously, I mean, the more they play from “Deadache” the better of course, but still, this was such a nice surprise. The song faded over in “House of Ghosts”, with a new trick that actually made me walk backwards straight into the people behind me – as they launch off the chorus in “House of Ghosts”, a ghost will jump out, straight over the crowds heads, from the door opening on the stage setting they had. Unexpected, and scared me enough to have my primal instincts getting myself out of there. Well done!

While on the subject of theatrics, lets take a moment to talk about the stage. It was massive. The set up. It’s closer to the castle from “The Arockalypse” than anything, but still very different. It’s like a.. cellar? I guess? A castle, but the inside of it? A chamber? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but it had the detail of the castle.

“Your Tongue’s Got the Cat” was next on the list, and seriously, this one really is a treat live. It’s so nice. The song launched into a pretty nice drumsolo, that apparently had tricks in it that I either didn’t pay attention to, or didn’t see at all because of my location in the venue, but all the same, it’s nice to see Mana in action.

“Blood Red Sandman” was next, and THE CRIB IS BACK. THE FUCKING CRIB IS BACK BABY. Oh yes. I’ve waited for this. Or have I? I don’t know if I have, but I’m glad it’s back. This time around, it is quite a theatrical show actually.

“It Snows in Hell” was next song – I must quickly admit something – this is the second show around now where I just can’t do my upside down thing, and it FEELS SO WEIRD. After all these years it’s just plop, gone! What.

Next up was Hella’s keyboard solo, which also, contained tricks that was impossible for us to see becasue of from where we were watching the show, but the solo itself was really cool.

The next surprise in the setlist was “She’s a Demon”. A song from “Scare Force One” that was very well liked, and it’s finally made its way into the setlists. And it was soooo good! It was unbelievable!

“Naked in my Cellar” was next on the list, and it was a rioter. Well, actually, the crowd has been pretty crazy all show I’ll say. This is why I almost prefer European shows to Swedish, the crowd is just that much better.

And then. Lights started flashing all around the hall, reminding me of the lights in “Night Witches”, and sirens calling and “Rock Police” started playing. THAT is a song I’ve wanted to have back in the setlist for so long, and seeing it make a comeback, without the electric chair though, is soo good. Wow, that was so awesome.

Next up was OX’s bassolo, which is a bit of an upgrade since last time – a little different, but conceptually the same. The song did however not erupt into “Bite It Like a Bulldog” this time, but rather “Hug You Hardcore”. Yeah, I may or may not have my own opinions of this song, but it is damn good live.

“The Riff” was the next song, always a pleasure. Amen’s guitarsolo was up next – and I noticed a little pattern in both OX’s and Amen’s solos, with a female voice over kind of selling the solos in a more sexual way, which was interesting and nice, I guess.

“Who’s Your Daddy?” was the last song, surprisingly without the sperm-machine or whatever you wanna call it, but it’s not the end of the world you know.

The band left the stage, and later returned to fire off “Devil is a Loser” With a NEW SET OF WINGS. I could tell right away that this was not the same wings as before – and they look so good! They are a lot higher, almost making him look like a bat, at least on a smaller stage like this. Seriously, amazing.

“Hard Rock Halleujah” was the last song of the show, and the band thanked for themselves and left the stage.

Wow, this show, I’m telling you! LORDI IS BACK BABY! At least that is what I’ve pretty much been walking around saying ever since. Ok, they never really left, but it’s been a long time, very long time, since I last saw Lordi have a show like this. It was amazing. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a Lordi show this much since.. Deadache tour? Can it have been that long? I think it truly has. This was so good to hear, made me effervescent and my little heart almost burst with love.

After the show, we headed over to the meet and greet. It was Nathan’s birthday after all, so we set up a meet for both him and Laura. After some time, we finally got in, and it escalated in a way I could never have imagined, with the band actually singing to him. Did I mention my heart bursted with love? Well if it hadn’t already, now I’m dead. Like I said before, Lordi is the love of my life and this is exactly way.

Paula and Martine was kind enough to get the merch for us, and once out we headed out of the venue and spent the rest of the evening by the tourbus with Silver Dust, Lordi, and a lot of epicness and laughter all the way until 4 am in the morning when we all went our separate ways.

Thank you all of the people who were involved in this evening, you are bloody amazing. Each and everyone of you.

// Sara