Archive for civil war

Civil War – The Last Full Measure

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 29, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Swedish metalband Civil War is FINALLY back with their third album – “The Last Full Measure” following up the success of “Gods and Generals”. I have personally waited for this day to come, as I couldn’t exactly get enough of “Gods and Generals”, so this album could not have come sooner. And with the teaser in “Road to Victory”, the anticipation grew even bigger.

And I was not disappointed, or at least not exactly. While there were maybe one or two tracks, three if you include the bonus track, that felt a bit like transport, the rest of the album was well pleasing! The album has an epic opening with keyboards before launching into heaviness – bringing your thoughts back a bit to “USS Monitor”, at least to begin with. But seriously, I can’t get over the pre-chorus – I have a tendency to get stuck on small things that I like in songs, and for “Road of Victory” it’s the pre-chorus. Cannot love it enough.

Most of the songs are in the same vein as in “Gods and Generals”, and also “The Killer Angels” – it’s the big, epic songs with amazing vocals that we are used to. Some are heavier – some are a bit calmer, and the whole album is very enjoyable and most importantly – most of the songs are very headbang friendly, which is something that has become more and more important for me over the years as someone who loves going to live shows.

Then we have the two couple of songs that had me startled a bit – starting with “Savannah”. It’s a very good song – trust me, I enjoyed it a lot, but that vocal work Nils Patrik has going on in the beginning had me startled. I can’t exactly fingerpoint what it is – but it brings me back to those cocky 90’s kind of teenage singers when I hear, and I absolutely love it.

The second one is, as most of you might be able to guess – “Tombstone”. I literally sat wide-eyed when this song began. Sure it’s not superoriginal-never-ever-been-done-before, but seriously hearing Civil War go that distance, put a BIG smile on my face. I found myself bouncing around with a wide, very wide smile on my face and if that isn’t an accomplishment, then I don’t know what is. I love it.

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CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara

Powerwolf @ Frimis Salonger, Örebro, Sweden 21/10 – 16

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 21, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, this day could not come sooner, if you ask me. I had had some strong PCD right after the Stockholm show, so this couldn’t come any sooner if you ask me. And conveniently enough, this round was in Örebro, a tad bit closer.

I had originally planned to go somewhere around 13, but being a bit of a timeoptimist or something, I wound up leaving at, I don’t know, 13.30? Something like that, BUT, what made it perfect was the fact that for some reason, the mail were early today. And I saw my mum coming in with a brown CDON envelope, and I just instantly started growling “Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga”, because, I don’t know if you know, but Lady Gaga’s new album “Joanne” was released today. Like, the album I didn’t think would ever come. And it was so perfect that it arrived in time, it left me with new tunes to listen to in the car on my way to Örebro.

So, I packed everything into the Festival Van as I call it – in other words, when the backseat + trunk has been turned into a small caravan with matress, storing units, iPod speakers and lamps for someone to live in, and headed off toward Örebro.

And firstly… hearing Lady G’s voice again, on new tunes, after all these years were pure heaven. And especially the song “Dancing in Circles”, like, holy fuck. What a tune. But, I’ll get back to “Joanne” in my review of the album, but, yeah, I had a lot of fun passing cars and “screaming” to them that it “WASN’T LOOOOOVE, IT WASN’T LOOOOVE IT WAS A PERFECT ILLUSIOOOONNNN”

So, pitstop at my favorite Örebro-ing Subway on Västhagagatan, I had a fine dinner and blasted some Civil War in the car while getting ready for the show, and then heading over to the venue.

When I had looked at pictures, it seemed like it was a lot of parking spots, but upon arrival (and of course I drove the wrong way at first) I noticed pretty much all of them were reserved. Gladly, Paula came to my rescue and told me there were some unmarked spots where the others had their cars, so finally I could park.

And then, I could finally go and say hi to the gang, and starting with Madlen whom I haven’t seen since Clermont-Ferrand. It was nice seeing her again! We took off rather quick again, for Paula and Ted to have some dinner and for me to use a restroom. But once back again, we could properly catch up.

When we saw a large crowd approaching, we decided to get in the line, just in case you know, and once they opened the doors we, calmly, walked in and claimed the front row positions. I did look forward to actually seeing this show from the front for once, and with my babygirl with me as well!

After a fairly long wait with catching up with long time no see friends and just generally hanging out, it was time for Civil War to begin.

Civil War

I can begin here to say that the stage was very small. Like, there was literally about 50 cm or so for Patrik to be on, Paula actually asked me “They are four in CW right?” and I’m like “Nope, five” and she was like “Oh dear…” But you know, small stages, the intimacy with the band, it’s quite amazing don’t you think?

They started off their set with “USS Monitor” and seriously, it was just a go right away. Expect for one thing. A little before Civil War had arrived, one of the most obnouxious people arrived. Some drunk guy who felt entitled to claim space he actually came too late to get. And when I called him out on it, he started getting aggressive. Oh. What a start. If it wasn’t enough, he kept going all through Civil War.

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All that aside, it was an amazing set. I’m not sure if it was because I had been awaiting this day, or if it was because of the intimacy, but seriously, it was just sooo good. I can’t wait ’til this band go on tour again. Thank you, Civil War!

Gladly, right after this, the annoying guy and his entourage disappeared, and we could quickly reunite with our friends for the brief pause between the bands. Of course, this didn’t last for long becasue Mr Annoying were of course returning about five minutes before Powerwolf went on stage. Of course. What else.

And this is where it’s starting to get a bit heated. Like, very heated, between me and him. But it was just to shrug it off, because you can’t let someone like that ruin the show. Especially not when the lights finally went out and the intro started.

Powerwolf

And then you know… “BENEDICTUS…” It’s like you’re lost and everything disappears. Well, almost, except for Mr Annoying. But it didn’t really stop us at first. They continued on with “Coleus Sanctus” just as preciously, and in all honesty, the situation with the guy behind me started getting out of hand. They continued on with “Amen & Attack” and like I’ve told you so many times, this song is one of my absolute favorites live. And there was no exception for today. Except, you know.

It’s one thing to have a crowdpressure behind you, but this guy was just being a jerk about it. Trying to squeeze in between me and Paula, dryhumping me, touching me at a point… We called over the guards, and no less than three people put in complaints about the same guy, but the security simply said “this is what it is”. And this is the time I feel someone staring at me. And I soon catch the eyes of no one less than Roel.

With gestures, he’s asking me if I’m okay, telling me he also noticed the jerk behind me and that he’ll be watching me. How sweet isn’t that?

After still having no luck with the securities, and all three of us running real tired of his shit, I got Roel’s attention again, asking if I was ok, signaling I’m alive but this guy is just bullshit. He basically let me know he’s gonna handle it, and at first I was like… ok? Whatever, what can you do? All you can do is move on with the show.

So understand what an unreal moment it was for me, when the tourmanager of Powerwolf appeared, pointed the guy out and said to the guards “I want this guy removed from the venue”. Guards tried to argue a little, but the manager stood his ground, and a security guard came and evicted him from the area. I thanked Roel over and over again for this, and he let me know it was no problem.

And seriously. Can we just… I’ve never had anything like this happening before, and in all honesty, can we just appriciate this? For a moment? How they seem to really look after their fans to put up with bullshit?

Somewhere in the midst of this, songs as “Sacred and Wild”, “Army of the Night” and “Resurrection by Erection” was pulled off. From here, it’s a little bit of a blur because of the drama, but all was fine for “Armata Strigoi” although I felt like I wasn’t even there.

This was followed by “Dead boys don’t Cry” and “Let There Be Night”. And seriously, as you noticed, “Kreuzfeuer” is out of the setlist, but I love “Let There Be Night” almost as much, you know, it’s the feeling of this song when it’s played live… like you are lifted to higher levels or something. Right now I have no idea how to possible explain it.

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“Werewolves of Armenia” was next, followed by “In The Name of God”. They wrapped up the set with “We Drink Your Blood” and “Lupus Dei” before leaving the stage for a swift moment only to arrive again.

“Sanctified with Dynamite”, “Saturday Satan” and “All We Need is Blood” wrapped up an amazing set for the night.

Thank you Powerwolf for this amazing show, and thank you Roel and tourmanager for making it bearable. I said to Daniel after the show, that it’s something about this band – it’s just so addictive. For everytime you see them, you get the urge and need to see them even more.

We caught up with our friends for a quick picture, and then off to the merch where I got the chance to say hi to the guys in Civil War once more, and then later join my friends in the parkinglot for a last good bye.

Thank you, to everyone who was at the show for making it the best possible ever – Dani, Toni, Madlen, Paula, Ted, Robert, Powerwolf, Civil War and the unknown girl whom I fought the guy with – thank you all.

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Oh. I got some delicious bruises from the annoying guy as well.

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// Sara

 

Powerwolf @ Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden 15/10 – 16

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 15, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

The day was here! Finally! Seriously, like I said earlier, this couldn’t have arrived earlier. After a few ifs and buts regarding wardrobe, I went with the “Usual” clothes I’ve started using for this band, and started to put on my makeup when Robert came home from work. We had some improvised lunch based on popcorns before we got on the road and went to pick up Sindra before heading to Globen.

Once there, we met up with Michelle and had some quick dinner at Subway and then heading back to Fryshuset. We arrived exactly on the moment the doors opened, so it was nice. It was really, at least for me, cold outside so I was thrilled that we’d be let in directly. Especially since I also really really needed to go to the bathroom. So, after that was done we got into the venue and.. well. Started waiting. In the midst of everything, I get a text from Dani asking if you can pay the doors with cards… well.. no. Lucky for him and his friend, I had just withdrawn a lot of money so it was easily resolved.

So, once it, it was a bit of, I guess, catching up time. Haven’t seen these two since Clermont-Ferrand earlier this year, which, in some cases are fairly recent, but still feel like ages away. And very soon, Civil War started.

Civil War

So, right on time the boys went on stage and started off their set with “USS Monitor”… and seriously. I’ve missed this band so much. And that start off… It’s a nuclear attack right on. Seriously, having that particular song as a start off is just the most perfect start of what is to evolve into a perfect set of the night. The performed probably the longest set I have ever seen with them, and what made me superhappy was “Gods and Generals”. It’s one of those songs that I at first didn’t really notice, but as time went by, I started appreciating it more and more. I hoped they’d play it live, and they did. Made me superhappy.

They wrapped up the set with “Rome is Falling” – and I’ll be honest. having Noch Ein Bier being my first show ever with Civil War, I have always since then been wondering “Will they do Rome is Falling?” not because I think they’d exclude it, but because that anticlimactic moment stuck with me.

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But, the show was amazing. It was so good, and I’m so happy to see them again. After this, I went out to get some water and then eagerly waiting for Powerwolf. Getting water seemed to be a task done hard, and I was back with the people just a little bit before Powerwolf began.

Powerwolf

So. Lights out. Intro rolling. Band walks on stage. And then… “BENEDICTUS…”

It’s like time is stopping. I’m not sure how many of you readers have ever been to a Powerwolf show, but what happens when they start, is that time stops. Everything around you just seizes to exist – it’s just you, the band, Attilas voice echoing through the venue, before you absolutely just lose it.

They followed up with “Coleus Sanctus” and then “Amen & Attack” – this song, like, I don’t think I’ve ever considered this one my personal favorite, however, it’s my absolute favorite song live. And a bit to my surprise, there was a moshpit starting. Or actually, it was already in “Blessed and Possessed”, but again. I remember when I saw Butcher Babies, and no one did anything. But at a power metal show, apparently they do.

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“Sacred and Wild” was next song on the list, followed by “Army of The Night”. This song being the first song that really, like, caught my attention with this band, how can I possibly explain the feeling of Attila’s voice, “Mater Mariiiiiaaaa” echoing in the hall? The feeling of it? It’s indescribable. It’s a euphoric state of enlightenment, almost as you are lifted up, at least in spirit. Although it feels like you are levitating.

“Resurrection by Erection” was next, followed by “Armata Strigoi”. I must admit, while this may perhaps not be the best there has ever been, I still think there was a good reception from the crowd. They were with the band, singing, yelling, whatever, and I like that. It’s good to see an active crowd from up here.

“Dead Boys Don’t Cry” was next, and then… “Let There Be Night”. This song, on the other hand, is one of my personal favorites. Most certainly, the key segments. The segments after the choruses. We’re kind of back there with “Army of the Night”, but now it’s the work of Falk Maria’s finger that fills you up to the point where you feel like you’re about to burst. Seriously.

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“Werewolves of Armenia” was next on the list, and I would dare to say that our side, Attilas side, sort of owned Falk Marias. Not to be like that but… Suck on that one, people! “In The Name of God” was next, followed by “We Drink Your Blood” where we did our first pilot test for some new shenanigans to do at Lordi shows. Without saying too much, I can say the pilot went fine, and the shenanigan is now officially green lit to do in Ireland.

They ended the set with “Lupus Dei”, before they thanked for the night and went off. Or well, not really.

“Agnus Dei” started echoing, and as powerful as the first opening, “Sanctified with Dynamite” started echoing, and seriously, these songs are simply so well made for opening. It’s an instant slap in the face, the instant adrenaline shot you need to get started.

“Saturday Satan” and “All We Need is Blood” wrapped up the set, and they left the stage for this night.

It was a great set, and a great night. It’s so good to see them again, finally. It has really only been like, six months, but I still crave that mineral.

After the show, we hung around for a while catching up before Robert and I headed home.

Thank you, to everyone involved in this show! I can’t wait for Friday.

// Sara

 

 

 

Anti-Anthem

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 30, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Today has been an eventful day in music – Epica’s released their album “The Holographic Principle”, and if that wasn’t enough, there’s been a lot of other releases today from Sumo Cyco, Civil War and Steel Panther. In fact, Alestorm and Skálmöld also released their collaboration single today, but I have decided to postpone writing about that one for now. However, lets return to three aforementioned.

So, I guess all of my blog readers know what Sumo Cyco is by now. A Canadian band with Sever in the lead that I fell unconditionally and unrevokably in love with earlier this year, they even became the REASON I went to the Butcher Babies show in the end. Today they released their first single of their upcoming album “Opus Mar”, “Anti-Anthem”. As a pledger, I got access to the song a little bit before the public, and I love it.

It’s very typical Sumo Cyco – energetic, in your face kind of song, yet I’d say it’s a little more melodic than we got used to on “Lost in Cyco City”, though that might be just me. The lyrics are also very typical Cyco – outcast kind of song, but “we got no Anthem”… question is though, did they just get themselves an anthem?

So, secondly, Steel Panther.

Today they announced that their new album, “Lower the Bar” will be released on February 24th next year, and along with it, they released the first single and a music video, which is no less than a cover of Cheap Trick’s “She’s Tight”

I think the video is fun. I guess it wasn’t until I actually saw this that I realize how much I miss them, in a way. I don’t regret not seeing them when they were here, but it’s good to see that they are back. I enjoyed the song, I also enjoyed the video a lot. It was a lot scaled down compared to older videos, but the humor is still on top. Love it. I can’t wait for the new album!

And lastly for today, Civil War.

So, on November 4th Civil War will release their new album, “The Last Full Measure”, and today, as the two others, they released their first single “Road to Victory” and a lyricvideo together with it . (Video can be seen here)

So, well, this is very typical Civil War, but I like it, a lot. And what I love about this song in particular is the pre-chorus. Like the “Dogs of War, no one can tame us”, I don’t know exactly what it is about that part that speaks so much to me – perhaps it’s the word “utopia” and “euphoria”, but I think it’s more about it being headbang friendly. The whole song really is, but just.. I love when there comes certain extra heaviness in songs you know? And this one has it.

So, that was a little bit about some of the new releases. Like I said, I’ll get back to you regarding Skálstorm, because else I’d could be sitting here forever writing.

// Sara

 

HammerFall @ Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden 28/11 – 15

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 28, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, it was time for us to get going towards Gothenburg and what looks like to possibly be the last gig of this year.  For once, we actually got going at a good time – I guess I’m a bit of a time-optimist, and have the tendency to get going way too late, but for once, we got going early. However, that only lasted so long when first of all a GPS showed us the wrong way to a candy store, and then getting through one of the slowest Subway services to date. Seriously, I understand that you need to refill things sometimes, but if you are about four people, can’t another person go for you if you have a LONG line of customers? Oh well.

Well, despite these mishaps, we were still on time pretty well. A few pitstops later we were finally on a straight way to Gothenburg… until Michelle missed the turn. And we found ourselves driving in circles before finding out where to go. Once we hit the parkinglot, it was basically a streetrace to Scandinavium where we were put in the queue, and after a few if’s and but’s we finally made our way into the arena, where we ran around like chickens with a headache before finding our way into the arena and the floor, which we entered to the tunes of “Braveheart”.

CIVIL WAR

Yes, third song in the list. That’s what you get when you a) miss the turn and b) are put into a long, long line. But you know, at least we didn’t miss the whole show. Funny thing; when standing there watching the band, I notice that Rikard is waving to me. I was unsure at first if he was really waving to me, but I waved back. Then I looked around, and noticed there were barely any other person around me. Huh. Who would have thought he’d remember me?

Anyway. “Gods And Generals” were next on the setlist, followed by “Bay of Pigs”. The band was really energetic, the crowd… well, it wasn’t too bad. The only thing I sort of noticed is how little people there were. I mean, this is Scandinavium we are talking about, it’s a pretty big venue actually. And despite being ten minutes LATE, we still made it basically front row. So yeah, that surprised me a lot. But, the people who were there gave them a warm reception.

“I Will Rule the Universe” and “Rome is Falling” were the last two songs before it was time for Civil War to leave the stage. Seriously though, this was a great set, and a great way to start this evening.

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After they left the stage, the wait for Edguy began. Which wasn’t rather long – gladly, the passtimes were pretty short. Hallelujah!

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Right on time they began, and opened the whole show with “Love Tyger”. And now, my friends, the venue was getting rather filled, actually. At least where we stood. And the reception from the crowd was MASSIVE. Already before going to the show, despite not being into Edguy, I was unsure about them opening for HammerFall, getting slight Monster of Mora flashbacks.

The band was really on. They delievered a good set – seven songs long, 50 minutes and a lot of energy. Seriously, these are the kind of bands who you just love to see. Just look at me – I’m not into them, or more, I didn’t know a lot about them, and even I enjoyed it. I love the sassiness the singer had, by the way, when he scolded us for not sounding excited enough. Haha. I love sass.

There was one thing that frightened the hell out of me though. And that was the gigantic austronaut that they blew up right next to the drums. Seeing it getting bigger and bigger and filled with air was fucking traumatizing, I shit you not. While I found it scary as hell, I also found myself not being able to take my eyes off it. The human contradiction, huh?

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They left the stage, and here’s where my Monsters of Mora vibes showed to be true. You see, in 2007, HammerFall had this anniversary show or whatever, Steel Meets Steel 10 years of Glory or something like that, and they had three openers: Tryckvåg, Sator, Sabaton.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Sweden’s geography, I’ll put it to you this way: Mora lies in Dalarna, which is also the home county of Falun, which is the homecity of Sabaton. To make a long story short; despite this being before Sabaton’s big fame, half of the venue left after Sabaton. Despite it being HammerFall’s headline show. Oh dear.

And the same thing happened here. It got nearly empty after Edguy, most people obviously going to buy drinks. Michelle got us popcorn since we were getting really hungry, and then we manically ate the popcorn until the lights went out and HammerFall began their show with “Hector’s Hymn”.

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So, some people obviously came back, but not as many as when Edguy played, sadly. Not that it matters. The audience reception were INSANE, and of course, why wouldn’t it be? This was strongly followed up by one of my personal favorites – “Any Means Necessary”. It’s been what, like six years? Since it came out, and I’m still in love with the song, and the whole album for that matter. “Renegade” was next on the list, followed by “Bang Your Head”.

I must admit, setlist wise, it wasn’t a lot of surprises. As a matter of fact, there were no surprises. I guess I’m the one to blame a bit, who expected something else than the average World Wide (r)Evolution tour setlist. However, what I WILL give the band, is that they were ON FIRE. So energetic, so going for it!

However, there was one slight surprise. It was time for Oscar’s, David’s, Pontus’ and Fredrik’s solo, so I stopped my headbanging for a moment to catch something to drink when Joacim yells out:

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, STEFAN ELMGREN!”

I shit you now when I say I fucking dropped that juicebox and almost choked on the juice by the mere sight of my homeboy Stefan. I mean… It’s hard. I’m used to see him – since he was a part earlier this year, but it was so weird to see him on stage with the whole band. Not as a substitute, just as a secret guest. You know, I loved the gig so far, but this were the point where my face cracked up in a smile.

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He, and the rest of the boys played through the “400 Meter Medley” before he left the stage and the show went back to normal, continuing on with “Threshold”.

“Last Man Standing”, “Glory to the Brave”, “We Won’t Back Down” and “HammerFall” where the last songs to be played before the band left the stage.

Of course, as the audience cheered for them, they returned and continued on and started with “Templars of Steel”.

And it’s here, things get funny again. See, I’m standing there, minding my own business when I feel someone getting close to me. As the bitch I am, I narrow my eyes for a second only to realize it was Rikard! And then my narrow eyes turned to shocked and happy eyes and we hugged and chatted a bit, whenever the show was silent. He stayed with us, I might add.

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They continued on with “Bushido” before wrapping up with “Hearts on Fire”.

And with that, they left the stage for good this time.

Sincerely, HammerFall, Thank you so much for this show. Even though it was “the same” it was still great. It still gave me a slayer-neck. Thank you so much.

After this, we started talking a bit more with Rikard, where he also invited us to the afterparty.

But that, my friends, is another story that I’ll tell some other day.

// Sara

Powerwolf @ Trix, Antwerpen, Belgium 1/11 – 15

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

The D-Day was here, to see the mighty wolves. Would you believe – it’s actually the very first time I’d see Powerwolf on their own headlining tour. I’ve seen them twice before; once at Sweden Rock and then on Noch Ein Bier. So I was really, REALLY looking forward to this concert, more than I originally thought.

We started the day off pretty early with band rehearsals for Antoine. It sounded really good, that’s all I can say. After this, we picked up on the good old gasstation food and got on the road to Antwerpen.

We arrived a couple of minutes before the doors opened and we quickly realized we needed to exchange our E-Tickets for real tickets, so despite being halfway inside, we had to go back out again. Once we actually MADE IT inside, we hit the merchbooth and picked up on each a Powerwolf shirt. We got inside the venue only to discover that despite arriving late and needing to go out and in again, we actually scored pretty decent spots. We stood on the left side of the stage, meaning, Rikard’s if you speak Civil War, Amen’s if you speak Lordi, Clown if you speak Slipknot.

Exactly right on time Civil War went on stage and started off with “USS Monitor”. The band was energetic when they entered the stage, and delivered really good. However. There’s something extra and truly sad about the fact that the band had to tell the light guy to put some lights on them, because they felt like they were playing in the darkness.

And they were right. They had a constant red light on them until Patrik told them to put on some more lights, which improved a bit, not a lot, and you know… when the BANDS has to tell you your light sucks.. man. They should think about getting a new light guy. Because this is just pathetic.

Civil War’s set was about 40 minutes long, consisting of “Saint Patricks Day”, “Braveheart”, “Gods and Generals”, “Bay of Pigs”, “I will Rule the Universe” and wrapping it all up with “Rome is Falling”. The band was really good – especially if you think back to the fact that the tragedy that was Noch Ein Bier was my first encounter with them, this was QUITE the difference. The audience was a bit lame, in all honesty, but I guess it’s to be expected for an opener.

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So, they thanked for the set and left the stage leaving us waiting for Orden Ogan. And right on time, a quarter past 20, they started with “F.E.V.E.R”. Have I ever told you guys how much I love this particular song? They followed up with “Deaf Among the Blind”, and I’m not sure if the audience were just better warmed up or if Orden Ogan had a fanbase, because all of a sudden the crowd awoke.

But then again… the problems with the lights. Seriously. Whoever it was that did the lights that day should get a REAL call out. Seriously. You barely saw the band. What the hell.

They played for 50 minutes, and they truly delivered. I was very happy to see them again, and considering that they made me want to see them again right away kind of proves how good it was. The only thing I miss, was “Ravenhead”. For some reason they aren’t playing this particular one.

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(Photo by Antoine Grignard. This is what poor lightning gives you)

And after this… it was time for Powerwolf. At 21.30 sharp the lights started to find their ways all over the backdrop hanging in front of them, revealing the silhuettes of the band before joining together to enhance the Powerwolf logo, just before it all dropped down.

Flashing lights, heavy drums and “Blessed and Possessed” set off probably one of the more bombastic starts I’ve seen in quite some time. A strong opening was quickly followed up by “Coleus Sanctus”. “Amen and Attack” and “Cardinal Sin” followed, and then one of my personal favorites, “Army of the Night” was played.

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As someone who’s never seen Powerwolf on their own headlining show before, I was kind of… how do I put it… Impressive, I guess? I can’t think of a better word. Like I’ve said many times before, I’m a big fan of any band who has a strong image and concept, the way Powerwolf has. And what makes images and concepts even better is when they live it out on stage – like when Attila talks about how we celebrate the life and death of Christ, when he talks about the metal messes and so on.

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Or when he brings out the necklaces and starts preaching, the usage of the incensory in the last couple of songs, the wine glass for “We Drink Your Blood”… I appreciate things like this. Like, A LOT. I must admit I chuckled a bit when he made us shake our hands and scream in a possessed way. Humor is key, my friends.

They wrapped up the set with “Lupus Dei” before the crew came out and placed strings of fire all over the stage, and later returning (fairly quickly actually) to fire off three encores – “Sanctified by Dynamite”, “Kreuzfeur” and “All We Need is Blood”.

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After this, the wolves thanked for the evening and left the stage. As you probably understood from my previous writings, it was very good. And lights! There were lights! Thank God.

After the show I noticed Daniel on the other side of the venue so I left my company for a quick second to catch up with him and talk about the show. It was a bit hard to leave, since I don’t see him all that often. Eventually I got back to me peeps and we started to slowly head of the arena.

Halfway out, I notice the Civil War people was out and pointed it out to Antoine who wanted to have a picture with each of them. Once he was done with Patrik and Rickard, I leaned in and told them their show was good, but in Swedish. Patrik was like “Thank you so much.. OH WAIT SWEDISH! FINALLY!” Haha. I wound up talking to Rikard a little bit before coming with Antoine to take some pictures with the other members as well as them taking pics.

Before leaving, I figured I’d say good bye to Rikard, when he insisted I stay a bit longer. So said and done, I guess. And this lead up to about an hour of talking about everything and nothing, from Sabaton to Lordi to touring to beer. Eventually they had to leave, and so did we.

It was a really good night, better than I ever expected it to become, in all honesty.

Thank you, Powerwolf, Civil War and Orden Ogan for this night!

// Sara

 

 

 

Noch Ein Bier Fest 2015 @ Amphitheater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany 25/7 – 15

Posted in Concerts, Music, Thiz Izz Djermani with tags , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

Due to the heavy rain, there’s a slight lack of pictures in order to protect the camera. So I apologize on beforehand on the lack of pictures.

The D-Day was here! Noch Ein Bier Fest, Sabaton first attempt at a German festival. It it is a one day ”festival” hosting five bands – Bloodbound, Civil War, Korpiklaani, Powerwolf and Sabaton and was hosted in the Amphitheater in Gelsenkirchen.

The day… Well, we started the day with some quick shopping, which I will tell you all about another day, and then headed to the venue. We had originally planned to take the bus to the theater since we got free bus tickets from the hotel, but apparently German buses are wussies. Said to us the bus was full even though it could easily have fitted all of us in there, we people had just moved a bit closer. After further inspection, we noticed that the next bus wouldn’t go until 30 minutes later, leaving us missing out on the first band.

And fuck that. So we went back to the hotel and asked them to call a taxi for us. A nice bunch of guys offered us to go in their taxi with them, however, they apparently don’t carry minibuses here, so it was a no can do. The taxi arrived fairly quickly, and after an about 15 minutes ride we were at the arena.

And seriously, compared to Sweden, Germany is so cheap! The taxi cost us about 15 euros, that’s 5 euros a person! Like, 15 euros would be starting price per PERSON in Sweden. What a nice surprise!

Unlike yesterday, where it was so warm we almost melted despite having barely any clothes on, today was a different story. Rain, A LOT OF IT, and cold. You see, we had originally gone to Primark to pick up a raincoat for me, since I was in desperate need for one. The other two decided to get one each as well, and guess what was the best purchase of the day? Yup, the raincoats.

We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes or so before the door opened, and the line was… half full, now that I look back on it. At the time, it felt like it was A LOT of people, but after further inspection, we noticed the doors were closer than we thought they’d be. Anyway. The time hit 15 and…. nothing happened. At least not in the back. The time hit 15.30. Bloodbound was about to play, and I was so pissed, because, guess what? NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.

But on the other hand, I didn’t hear a band play either so all good. About 15.45, it started moving. Babysteps, one step at a time. At 16, we had maybe gotten three meters. Somewhere after 16, about 16.10 or so, we finally, FINALLY made it in.

The first thing we did was to get down to the arena in order to look for Antoine, and let me tell you this.

I was under the impression this was an indoor arena. So when Madlen broke the news to me about it being outdoors, my mood went from very high to very low, to put it nicely. So when I got in, I got even more of a shock. Basically, what I saw before me, was a smaller version of Dalhalla.

It was a small area infront of the stage, and then lots of stairs all the way up where we stood, where people would sit. So imagine our surprise to see there were very little people down there.

I’ve been to Sabaton shows before, and I know how it goes down. Pressed against the fence, and you can do nothing. Not fun. This is the major reason why I’ve started to withdraw more and more on concerts, because of the freedom to jump around and headbang without being pressed against a fence.

Just right after we got out Bloodbound got on the stage.

BLOODBOUND

So basically, to give you some perspective – Bloodbound was supposed to start at 15.30, and when they actually started, it was about 16.15, 16.20. We are talking almost an hour delay. Did this have an effect on how long their set was? I think so.

I didn’t track time exactly how long they played, but they played only about 4-5 songs. Despite this, the show was energetic. They started off with “Satanic Panic” and seemed to do the best they could with their short set. For my personal record, I’m just really happy they did “Moria”. Thank god.

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This festival did already from the beginning have a pretty tight time schedule, so already towards the end of the last song of Bloodbound did Michelle and I withdraw ourselves in order to catch some merchandise.

Which seemed to be near impossible. After trying to choose which one of the two merchstands we’d go to, we ended up doing the first one, and gladly, this was the very one Jaqueline was working at! It was so good to see her again, although a little odd to see her outside of Lordi, but you know, it’s a small world after all?

After this, we headed back to the “arena” and we arrived JUST as Civil War went on stage.

Civil War

I was pretty excited to see them – I’ve been in love with the band ever since I first heard “Rome is Falling” , so I got quite excited when they got on stage (not SlipKnot or Lordi excited, but excited). Just as with Bloodbound, they delivered a good and energetic set, which sadly came to an abrupt ending when they played “Bay of Pigs” and Patrik all of a sudden goes “That was our last song, good night”.

Like wait what. What just happened? Apparently they were supposed to play longer, but because of the delays they couldn’t. And I really missed “Rome is Falling” in the setlist, I must admit. Oh well, what do you do?

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Korpiklaani

Ok – so here’s the deal with Gelsenkirchen – when I arrived on Thursday, and also during Friday, it was hot. Like, MELTING HOT, it felt like it was twice as hot as it was in Sweden. Sun shining high, no cloud in sight, no wind, nothing. And then, when Sabaton came to town, apparently, they thought it was a good idea to bring swedish summer with them and POF – rain and thunder. So by the time Korpiklaani were to begin, we were all soaked. Like, through and through. Like I told you in the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of this being an outdoor show.

However, in the wait for Korpiklaani my SlipKnot-excitement starting coming to me, and me and Michelle were already bouncing around like rubber balls even before they started, and I may have cursed the short times between the bands earlier, but at this point I was happy. So, since we were already bouncing around, you can imagine what happened when “Viinamäen Mies” started. Yup.

That’s the thing with Korpiklaani – it’s just one big fucking party. Everyone is dancing, everyone is hopping around and everyone is moshing. I told Michelle “We should go in there the next time” and later on we decided to go for it in “Vodka” and so we did.

It was fun actually! I found myself tripping once, and got back up immediatley thanks to strong arms behind me, and this is probably something we’re gonna find ourselves doing a lot more. A sidenote to this: When I tripped, I hit my elbow and got really scared I had broken my new parkas. Gladly, I hadn’t. However upon further inspect, my Swedish Lordi crew shirt broke. What the hell?

But, back to Korpiklaani. The set was pretty similar to Graspop – and even though I love “Sumussa Hämärän Aamun”, I must admit it was a bit of a mood killer this particular day. But this gig DID make it clear for us that we will try to do both Korpiklaani days in September. Happy days!

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However, this festival, or perhaps Korpiklaani, started to take on my powers, so we decided to “sacrifice” Powerwolf (Madlen and Daniel are going to kill me now) and have a seated show and dinner. See guys – there’s the other perk of not being in the front. You wanna sit, you sit, you wanna stand you stand. So we went out and bought crêpes and got back in right when they started and sat on the side and had a calm dinner.

Powerwolf

Because of the weather, the band wasn’t able to use their stage props, so the stage was a bit weak compared to how you usually see Powerwolf, but it doesn’t really matter, in my opinion. They still put on a good show no matter what, and hadn’t it been because of my smaller leg injury I got in the pit, we would have been in the middle of the crowd for “We Drink Your Blood”. Trust us, we really wanted to (because at that time we had finished dinner, ok)

But you know, I don’t really know what else to add to this. It was a good show, they had good energy and delivered despite problems with the props.

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Sabaton

Rather sooner than later, did “The Final Countdown” start, and originally Michelle and I did plan to sit throughout the entire set, because hey, some day gotta be the first right?

Anyway. This show has been real hyped. Like crazy hyped. So many crazy things would happen, the best show ever and so much special and AHH! And then they go on stage and be like

“Hello Gelsenkirchen! We’re Sabaton and this is GHOST DIVISION”.

“Ghost Division”. Still. The. Fucking. Ghost. Division. After. Seven. Fucking. Years. Still. Fucking. Ghost. Division. 

Like, how about spicing things up a bit? “We’re Sabaton, and we are the lions from the north”??? Or how about, for this superextrahypersuperduper special show, why not go further back in time and open with “Panzer Battalion” (Peace&Love 2007). Seriously, none of you, my readers are strangers to my animosity towards “Ghost Division”. I really love the song, as well as “The Art of War” (competing in the top with “Carolus Rex” about best album) but I’m SO. OVER. THIS. SONG. Thank you.

Regardless of that, it’s a decent opener, and the crowd loved them as always. And by the time the intro for “To Hell and Back” came, I said fuck leg injury and we jumped (!!) off the stone staircase and went on the side of the audience (actually fairly close, but very much on the side) and joined in for the jump party. Didn’t feel shit in my leg, I’m happy.

“Carolus Rex” was next, and you know. It’s strange, the fact you feel the most patriotic when you’re not at home. And I still don’t know the English lyrics to it. And it wasn’t until now that the first real surprise came, or well, at least for me. “No Bullets Fly”. Nice! Not my favorite, but finally things are happening.

The crowd started chanting the intro for “Swedish Pagans” which naturally “forced” the band to play it already now, and I do like it, it’s a favorite of mine, followed by another favorite, “Resist and Bite”.

This far in the show, no major surprises had happened aside “No Bullets Fly”. The pyros were weaker than the stuff they had in Karlstad, and this MIGHT be because of the weather, but come on. Lordi has survived without pyros since like 2008, and they still put on a good show. Get creative guys!

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I am, however, gonna give them some creds for playing “Screaming Eagles” after, at least saying, they saw a sign in the audience requesting it. There was indeed a sign, I just really this is why they played it. But it was fun to hear it live, you know?

And it was right after this, the first real highlight for me came. A guy from the crew came out to “fix” the panzar that is Hanne’s drumset, and Jocke started talking about panzers, and about a song. I said to Michelle “I hope it’s ‘Panzerkampf’, because I really miss it, but it could be ‘Panzer Battalion'” BUT OF COURSE, TO MY DELIGHT, IT WAS INDEED “PANZERKAMPF”.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU. I’ve missed this song so much, I can’t even! Thank you thank you!

“Attero Dominatus” followed, by “En Livstid i Krig” (in Swedish, thank god!) and then a little.. surprise. “Coat of Arms”.

The thing with “Coat of Arms” for me is that the album as well as the tour is one big blur for me. “Coat of Arms” is one of the weaker eras for me when it comes to Sabaton, was never a big fan of the album or anything, BUT, I do love the song “Coat of Arms”. Maybe Sabaton should have opened with that one, to spice it up a little bit?

This one was followed by one of my all time faves – “The Art of War”. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t love this song can just stop talking to me right now. My hair had been dried, thanks to my intense headbanging, but then it got wet again because my hair kept hitting the ground and the water puddles. Because of this song.

After this, they brought out a song the German fan club had voted up, which is considered a rare song for anyone who doesn’t live in Karlstad and has a hockey-team whose fanclub is called The Wolfpack, because if you do, you are one of the few people who actually had the blessing to hear “Wolfpack” live QUITE a few times, only because of Färjestad. And I don’t complain, it’s my favorite song off “Primo Victoria”.

But to top it off, as what could possibly become the most exciting thing of the evening, was the temporary and very short re-union with Daniel Mÿhr, which started with a sexy dance ala Mÿhr in his military hotpants that showed more than it should.

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The performance of the song was beyond perfection, and to top it off even more, Daniel did indeed undress completely. Thank you Daniel, for bringing the humor. I love you.

And then it happened… a divine voice out of nowhere…

Pretty much so. I have one favorite song with Sabaton. This number one, that beats everyone else. Which one?

“7734”. I already told you how much I died on the inside when I saw it was the bonus track on “Heroes”, and my brother looked weirdly at me and was like “but everyone loves ‘7734’”, but that was never my impression. So the fucking fact that they actually played, they FUCKING PLAYED IT… makes me forgive them for opening with “Ghost Division”. Yup. I said it, and you heard it.

I fucking forgive them for “Ghost Division”, because they gave my “7734”. Lindyhopping the night away.

After this, they left the stage and the lights went bananas. Michelle turned to me and said “Nightwitches”? and I just nodded. Of course. What else. So first song of the first round of encores was “Nightwitches” followed by “Primo Victoria” and “Metal Crüe” and for the love of God, while we are at it to retire “Ghost Division”, can we also retire “Metal Crüe”? That one has been going on since I even saw Sabaton live the first time in 2006, and if you thought I was over “Ghost Division”, imagine how fucking OVER I AM THIS ONE. Come on! “Metal Machine” and “Masters of the World” are like 100 times better. And again, you readers are no strangers to my animosity for this one either. Ok, I’m calm. Even if I’m tired of it, it’s still fun. I admit it.

They were supposed to leave the stage, but came back again, this time starting with “Panzer Battalion”, and seriously, I love this song. They played “Saboteurs” dedicated to the Saboteurs and wrapped the whole thing up with “Gott Mit Uns”, or as it is renamed now, “Noch Ein Bier”. Haha.

Noch ein bier, vår konung har talat, hör vårt stridsrop Noch ein Bier!” Uhh. Hahaha.

After this, they REALLY left the stage and thanked for the night.

And ok, time to get serious. To be honest, I think this show was way too hyped. Apart from a few songs, the setlist wasn’t anything extraordinary, the stage setting wasn’t anything extra ordinary, and I even think I dare to say Daniel Mÿhr saved everything with his sexy dance.

But on the same time, I can never be thankful enough for “7734” so I guess it all evens out. Regardless of it all – it was an amazing night with amazing friends, and no animosities for songs or repeating setlists can ever change that.

Right after it was over we left off to say good bye to Daniel and we headed for Burger King for some late night dinner and then hitting home to the hotel where we had a smaller after party and then crashed.

Thank you all for this amazing evening, but a little more so to Korpiklaani and Sabaton. Thank you!

// Sara