Archive for the Travels Category

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

 

 

365

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on October 15, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the tour has officially begun! Yesterday, or, Sunday, perhaps I should say, I started my journey from home onwards. Funny thing – and amazing – is that I was completely alone on the bus to Oslo.

When we asked the driver where he wanted my luggage, he said anywhere is good, because you are the only passanger. Like, WHAT? But I didn’t mind not at all. Had the best busride I probably ever had due to that, amazing conversations and everything. He was the best.

Once in Oslo, I hit up Jörgen for a quick lunch before taking the plane to Paris and quickly getting to my hotel and basically die.

Monday, on the other hand, was far better. I slept in for the first time in forever – aside from waking up all the time. I was on the phone with Vincent until close to midnight, and then just fell asleep right after. Woke up, got to bed “properly” and then at 4 am, my computer was like “lets spit out that The Sims 3 CD” so that started making noises. But aside that, good night really.

I met up with Laura around 14, and we started walking around Paris. When packing, I was so proud that I got everything I needed and still didn’t pack too much and all of that, only to realize that it’s basically summer still in Paris. And all I brough was my combat boots.

Our first stop was actually at the Sacre Coeur Cathedral. It wasn’t very crowded, so this time we could actually step inside it and see all the magnificency that is the church. They are seriously so beautiful on the inside.

We stayed at the plateu for really long to catch up on what is new in our lives. While we talk relatively often, it was a long time since we SAW each other in the flesh, and it was so nice. At this point, we decided to hit up an H&M to get me some colder shoes to wear (as to not die from the heat!) and then went to a Starbucks for a coffee. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon there, chatting and talking, and leaving just as they were about to close.

In the warm parisian night we decided to hit up Notre Dame, taking the Louvre on the way there. And seriously.. All these places are just so much more beautiful at night. In the darkness. When they light up, and you see all their true beauty.

There was a street musician playing close to the Louvre, so we sat down in the tranquility of the evening, the warm breezes and the low amount of people to just enjoy the moment. It’s easy to forget to do it some times.

We set off, had some dinner and then finally made it to the Palace of Justice – you know – the home of Frollo in the Disney adaption of the book, and later on the magnificency that is Notre Dame. No matter how many times I go there, the more I fall in love with the cathedral. It’s beyond anything else.

After this, we bid farewell to each other and both retreated home to our own. Tomorrow is a new day, with new adventures.

// Sara

 

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 5 – February 5th, 2018

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on February 5, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

I was not sure if I should even enlist this day as 70.000 Tons entry, considering it was basically just this, but I’ll let it slip.

So, as I was being told by the schedule that disembarkment would happen at 8, so I actually got up. I said good bye to Alyssa, one of the girls I shared the cabin with as she was the only one awake, and then met up with Sjorven in the Alhambra to have some breakfast in the only café that was opened. After some time, our numbers were called and we got off the ship.

When collecting out luggage, we ran into Sabaton again who came to greet Sjorven, and then, the long line to get out of the ship (customs kind of thing). And then.. finally out.

It really passed fast, the cruise, but it was good to be off and getting ready.

After some major issues with the car rental service, well, they don’t really know what service is, we finally got on the road toward Everglades City. We had chosen a rather.. more luxuary resort for our stay this time around. Right off the highway we found the place, and we checked into our little cabin.

By this time it was around six or so, and mind you – the last night, after Sabaton, I just didn’t bother and went to bed in my camopants, like I’ve done so many times before, so I’ve been living in these clothes for the past 36 hours or something, when we took the car out again and hit up some restaurant. We found this real nice truck stop kind of restaurant, so it didn’t really matter.

Great staff, great place and great food. After that, it was time to hit the sack.

And SLEEP.

// Sara

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 4 – February 4th, 2018

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on February 4, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the last day on board huh. Bittersweet in a way, when I very very tiredly again got up to the Windjammer to have breakfast for like, the last time ever. Bittersweet, really.

Once breakfast was done, I headed off to Pool Deck again and finding myself being fried in the sun waiting for Leaves’ Eyes. I had shoes on, which was too warm, so I took them off. Because it is okay to stand here in just your socks. Only problem is I stood on a metal plate. So I was choosing between the plague and the black death, and my feet were burning up regardless.

Leaves’ Eyes

Around 13, they walked on stage and started off with “Sign of the Dragonhead” with the sun shining high over the boat, making this gig’s temperature almost unbearable. “Across the Sea” was second song on the list, followed by “Edge of Steel” which is one of my personal favorites like ever.

“Swords in Rock” followed suit, and I’ll admit, the turn up for this gig wasn’t as good as it had been last time, but still a good deal. But the energy was dead. Probably because of the sun, you know.

“Fires in the North” was next on the list, and then it was time for my personal favorite, the song I had missed at the last set, “Riders of the Wind”. And I am so happy I got it at this set instead!

“Hell to the Heavens” followed up, and then “Sacred Vow” before they wrapped up the entire set with “Black Waters” and “Haraldskvædi”. The band thanked for themselves, and left the stage.

After that, I headed back toward my room to start packing up. I figured it’s something I’ll want to have done the night before getting of the boat rather than you know, doing it in the morning.

Went for some last swims, because you know, it was a pretty empty day, but also the last one on the boat.

The clock started to tick on, and it was getting later and later, and time to get back into Sabaton gear.. But stupid as I fucking was, I managed to put my Sabaton shirt right into a puddle of water, so all this time I spent on it getting dry, it got wet up. So I “had” to change into a Lordi shirt, because there is limits, you know, now how important it is.

Once changed into the gear, I got back down to Alhambra, where Sabaton played this time around, and I got down when Dark Tranquility was still on stage. I sat down in one of the chairs, waiting for them to be done… shifted position.. and then I heard a loud round of applauds and the band leaving the stage. Apparently, I’d managed to fall asleep throughout the entire set. Well.. why not?

Sleepily as I don’t even know what I dragged my way to the front row where Sjorven was and eagerly waited for Sabaton.

Sabaton

This time around, instead of “The March to War” which I absolutely love.. “Dominum Marcii Baltici” started whipsering out of the speakers. This intro doesn’t echo, it whispers, and then they opened with “The Lion from The North”

“Panzerkampf” made an entrance as the second song, heading straight into “Gott Mit Uns” in Swedish, thank God! “The Final Solution” was next song to be performed, launching us straight into “Winged Hussars”. Damn, I still love this song to bits.

As you have noticed, the set is completely different from the one we saw on Pool deck, which was very nice to see! Scottish revolution “Blood of Bannockburn” followed suit, with “White Death” close to it.

“Diary of an Unknown Soldier” and “The Lost Battalion” was ripped off, followed by “Resist and Bite” and “Screaming Eagles”. Sjorven’s homearena, I guess we could call it.

Another song in Swedish, “En Livstid i Krig” happened before it was wrapped up with the usual three – “Nightwitches”, “Shiroyama” and “To Hell and Back”.

But this time around, they closed it all with “In The Navy”. While both of the sets has been relatively good, I still, really, really, miss “Midway” and, or, “Wolfpack” in the list. Sabaton are usually very very good on making geographical setlists, and this would have been the perfect place to do the two boatsongs they have. But I guess not.

After Sabaton, we headed off to Windjammer for one final dinner. I was meant to go back to my room to get something, and as I was making my way back to Alhambra for the final show of the cruise, Sjorven had forgotten his towel in my room and made me go back and get it, which resulted in missing out on the first 15 minutes of Alestorm. Great.

Alestorm

So, as I arrived, they were wrapping up “Mexico”. Looking back on the setlist, I literally missed out on some of my favorite songs – “Shipwrecked”, “The Magnetic North” and “Mexico”. Oh well.

“Nany the Tavern Wench” instead became my first song, which was good enough. The place was packed, of course, it’s Alestorm and it’s the last and also only show playing. We found some real good spots on a balcony though, so I will not complain!

“Pegleg Potion” of the newest album was next, and I really love this song – I think it’s funny. And then the party started.

“Hangover” was next, which included Ducky being thrown out, but not only that – but also a CONGALINE! Two congalines going down the two staircases in Alhambra, right into an already packed venue. Sjorven even asked “Where do all the people go?” Who the hell knows?

Ducky, was also killed. Rest in peace, Duky.

“1741 (Battle of Cartagena)” was next on the list, before it was time for “Drink” again. But with a twist. Chris asked if there was anyone in the house who wanted us to hear a song for Dogs. And of course we did. And this is how we got “Drink” for dogs. I love this.

Then, they wrapped up not just their set, but the entire cruise, with the loudest sing a long I have heard on this cruise with “Fucked with an Anchor” before leaving their stage.

There is no more perfect band to end a cruiseship like this than a party pirate band. Even after the lights were on, the gear was off, people were still chanting “Fucked with an Anchor” for some time. That’s how you know you wrote an anthem, you know.

After Alestorm, we took one final stroll around the ship before retreating to our cabins to get some little sleep before getting off the boat, and toward the Everglades tomorrow.

// Sara

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 3 – February 3rd, 2018

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on February 3, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

Around 11 already I got up. Nowhere near enough sleep, but I really did not want to miss out day at the beach, and not to mention, to go aboard some place I may never visit again, or at least not in a near future.

A quick visit to Windjammer for breakfast before we headed off to the beach. And it was so beautiful. It was extremly warm, the weather was perfect, the beach was amazing and the ocean was… mesmerizing. Spent most of the time in the water or on the beachside to get some tan. We also walked around Cockburn Town’s centre, or the cruise centre, checking out all the shops and the places, picking up some souvenirs before sitting down with an ice cream a little bit before we decided to get back on board. We played it safe and went on about an hour earlier than needed, but better safe than being fucking left behind on an island.

Once back on the boat, I made a quick effort to get ready and hit up Alhambra for the first show of the day… Well… sort of… Which is… Battle Beast.

A bit of poor planning, huh?

Battle Beast

Just as this morning, they opened up with “Straigh to the Heart”, although the crowd was a wee bit bigger this time around. Great energy – as expected. “Bringer of Pain” followed suit, then “Familiar Hell” and “Black Ninja”.

The crowd was in a good mood, giving back a lot of the energy they got from the band, but I think personally I might have been a little.. Like I literally saw them 12 hours ago, it wasn’t too fun, but they still deliver, you know?

“Lost in Wars” was next on the list, followed by “Touch in the Night”. The seslits of the shows were not identical, which was pretty cool to see, even if MOST songs were the same. “Bastard Son of Odin” followed suit, before it was wrapped up with “King for a Day” and “Beyond the Burning Skies”. Battle Beast, thank you for these both sets!

Once this was over, we headed off to have some food, and pick up a coffee, because I was dead. Back to the little Pyramid Lounge to catch Amberian Dawn’s second set – which was identical to the set in Alhambra. Didn’t particularly mind it. It was a good show, and the place was packed.

We then went back to specifically Alhambra to catch Freedom Call, and at this time I was just so ready to hit the sack, spent most of the show sitting in the comfortable seats and sadly missing out on a song here and there from nodding away to sleeps beautiful land. But I did see most of the show, and that was great!

After that it was off to bed, and then… up again at 3 am to catch Triosphere.

Triosphere

So this was interesting. Ida coughed her way through the first song, and then explaining that she is still very sick, but that they’ll do their best to give us something. They played two songs instrumental, they had Siri singing one song and wrapped it up with Noora from Battle Beast playing a cover of W.A.S.P with them. And that was it.

It was an extremely short set, but seriously – ALL THE KUDOS to them for showing up, and making the best out of a very very shitty situation. Love you.

And then, it was bedtime again. I didn’t mind their set getting so short, after all. Tomorrow was the last day of the cruise, and it started early with Leaves’ Eyes.

// Sara