Archive for Graspop Metal Meeting

Graspop Metal Meeting Day 3 – Sunday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on June 18, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So today was the day. The last day of Graspop, and it was also the day for the highlight of the festival for me: Sabaton. But first, I had to get through the day, which was easier said than done when you wake up in a motherfucking sauna. So, I was planning to get down to Alestorm alreadt at 11, but I think I made it there around 12.30 or so? I mean, better late than never.

Once at the crowd, I rejoiced with Stephen, Jonathan and Dieter, and I was also introduced to some new friends of theirs. Never before have I heard someone introduce themselves with saying “My name is like the little girl on the island with her dog”. You know, Astrid Lindgren’s character Tjorven. If you are familiar. But this one spells with an S. Well, that’s one for the books right?

After this, the small wait for Alestorm began, which was basic torture. The temperature was hitting 30 degrees, and the sun was up right over us. I told myself that everything would be alright once Alestorm starts, as music has a tendency to actually make you forget everything… and then… it started.

Alestorm

After the intro, the band started off the show with “Keelhauled”. The audience kind of exploded, which was good to see, but to be frank… the energy didn’t really stay for long. Which I can understand – I even found myself not really being able to jump and headbang as much as I wanted to. “Alestorm” was the next song on the list, followed by “Magnetic North”. And seriously…

Like the band was really good. But I felt myself just kind of losing it… it was seriously just too much. The heat was too much. I felt myself WANTING to headbang but being unable to. Because of the heat. “Shipwrecked” and “Mexico” was next on the list, followed by “Th’ Sunk’n Norwegian” – or as Stephen and I have dubbed it – “The toilets at Graspop”. Because why not.

“Drunk” was next on the list, followed by my personal favorite “Fucked With An Anchor”, and then “Hungover” and wrapping it all up with “Captain Morgan’s Revenge”.

With that done, the band thanked for the day and left the stage. The show was amazeballs as usual – it’s Alestorm for gods sake, but I’m sure it would have been… more enjoyable if it wasn’t for the damned heat.

After this, Sjorven and I stumbled toward the fence and the front row to secure our spots for Sabaton. Yes, I was really willing to spend all day there. Because Sabaton. As we sat there, Steel Panther started on the opposite stage, and I watched it as good as I could

Steel Panther

So, on the stage my boys went and they opened up with “Eyes of a Panther” and quickly followed it with “Goin’ in the Backdoor”. Well, to be frank I wasn’t seeing a whole lot as I remained on my side of the stages, but I was happy to see Michael come over to our side once in a while!

The crowd response was amazing though. That I can admit. “Just Like Tiger Woods” was the next song, followed by “Death to all but Metal”. They slowed things down a bit, “That’s When You Came In”, and honestly – I’ve come to really really love this song. I won’t deny that. It’s so nice.

“Poontang Boomerang” was next on the list, and then “Community Property” with the proper sing along to. They brought up 17 girls on stage for “17 Girls” before wrapping the set up with “Party All Day”. The set was a lot shorter than a Sweden Rock, I’m personally missing “Fat Girl” for instance, but it was a good set.

The only critique I really have is the jokes. It’s obviously the same jokes, but they might wanna look into it a little bit, seeing they said “Opening for Aerosmith, we met Steven Tyler”. And Aerosmith wasn’t even playing Graspop. At least make it a little believable, right? Aside that, good and energetic set. But what else to expect?

After this, I headed off to a signing session with Alestorm while Hatebreed was playing our stage, and got back in good time for it to end. Thanks to the stranger keeping my spot!

Mastodon

So, after being at the signingsession and all that – Mastodon started. It was a nice set… I guess. To be honest… I was really gone. I actually had to sit down at the front row, with Sjorven, Stephen and Jonathan bringing and pouring water on me. It was.. an experience I shall say, I spent the first 30 minutes of the show just standing trying to focus on one thing. I either the rhythm of the music or my body. But after a while I just gave up and sat down. I felt my legs weaken, and it was a good thing. I saved myself from a lot.

I looked a bit at the band through the holes in the fence, and I did enjoy the show despite never being much of a fan.

After this, I laid down in Sjorvens knee to rest a bit properly before the next band – which was going to be Rob Zombie. And I was really excited for Rob Zombie, not gonna lie. It was nice lying down and listening to Evanescence. By the way, I want to direct a large thank you to all the people, all the strangers, that brought us waterbottles throughout the day. So nice of you. I love you.

Rob Zombie

I’ve only seen Rob Zombie once before, at Sweden Rock, which was the show I discovered him on. So I was happy, even though it was hard – he played at the same time as Gotthard, which sort of killed me. Like a lot.

But despite that, I’m happy that I stayed for Rob Zombie. I really enjoyed the show, and John 5 is simply eyecandy. We even got his towel, in fact. Thank you, Sjorven!

After this… the eager wait for Sabaton began. Lazily listening to Scorpions which played the other stage, and the crowd started to gather. Once the sun went down by the way, the temperature shrank.

Once Scorpions was over… It started. “In The Army Now” echoed through the air and then followed by “The March To War”…

Sabaton

And they hit it off with “Ghost Division”. Is anyone here shocked? I was however, taken aback by the second song of the setlist – “The Art of War”. How long has it been since I heard this one? Probably last year, but it feels like an eternity.

“Blood of Bannockburn” was next on the list, followed, surprisingly, by “Attero Dominatus”, and then, as you know, my personal favorite “The Last Stand”. I can honestly not get enough of this song. At all. Whatsoever. I felt that the crowdparticipation, at least where I was standing, wasn’t that great to be honest. I’d expect more from Belgium, but oh well.

Another beautiful and welcome surprise, “Panzerkampf” was next on the setlist, quickly followed by “Sparta” sans the spartans. Still an epic live track though, mind you that. “Screaming Eagles” was next on the list, followed by of course, the greatest moment of the show “Carolus Rex”.

Seriously, I don’t even know what it is and why it is, but “Carolus Rex”, or any song of the “Carolus Rex” album just… It simply is the best moment. Really.

Another not so great moment followed in “Swedish Pagans”. I hope one day we will not be tortured with this song. Anymore. “Diary of an Unknown Soldier” soon cut it off and we got to embrace the beauty that is “The Lost Battalion”.

So ok. “Resist And Bite” was the next song on the setlist, and I was expecting to get something here. But no. Nothing. I mean, if you see the Swedish crowd during the “Carolus Rex” songs, you will notice the kind of pride that goes into it. It was lacking that, like, big time, on Graspop for “Resist and Bite”. Come on people.

“Winged Hussars” and “Nightwitches” wrapped up the set. The storming of Normandie started, followed by “Primo Victoria”. “Shiroyama” and “To Hell and Back” wrapped up this amazing set. The band thanked for themselves, and left the stage.

We retreated a big to the back to watch the last fireworks ending this years Graspop before I collaposed on a grasspot trying to grasp time and space again. It happens when I see a band I really love – like Sabaton or Lordi that I lose grip of time and space and I need to “come down” from the high, so to speak.

Sjorven and I spent the rest of the night, frankly running around the festivalsite and talking about music and pretty much everything before deciding to go to bed. At you know, 5 am. And I was getting up at 7. How awesome, huh?

// Sara

 

 

Graspop Metal Meeting Day 2: Saturday

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags on June 17, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Saturday was here! In all honesty, Friday passed on so quickly, I’m positive this whole festival will pass as quickly. Today however, was a real slow day for me. In fact, there were only two bands I really wanted to see – Avatar and Rhapsody. Avatar played already at 11.30 in the morning, so early up I was getting, and into the festival arena to watch, yet another, swedish pride.

Avatar

Right on time the circus arrived and even though I hate the playtime they got – Avatar is best seen at nighttime or inside a club in my opinion, but I guess it is better than nothing. The boys put on a great show though – I always love seeing them. And I was happy to see they had quite the upshowing too, despite the early set.

After Avatar, I headed over to the food courts to pick up some breakfast  – something you simply can’t do if you try to reach a show – and then I met up with Jonathan and Stephen for Rhapsody.

Rhapsody

So, remember how I said on Sweden Rock that I completely missed out on this band? Well, this time I made damn sure I was not going to. And I did not. With the company of two great friends, I witnessed a great show from this legendary band. It was good seeing it.

After Rhapsody, Jonathan and I hung around and lazily watched Danko Jones, before checking out the shoppingarea. To my delight, they have removed the fee to enter. Thank heavens! To be hones though, the heat of the day made it hard to focus – yes you heard me – I had a hard time focusing on what albums I wanted and did not want to buy.

Rest of the day I was chilling a bit in the tent before heading over to Camp Ellen to hang out, and then head off to Deep Purple which Ida, amongst others, wanted to see.

And I won’t put its own thing here for Deep Purple, because I honestly think that Elias was the only who actually paid any sort of attention to the band in question, whereas the rest of us were too busy playing around with other things.

We lazily watched In Flames after the show, before Dieter, Stephen me and Elias decided to go back to the camp to get Stephen an aspirin and to check on Jonathan who had mysteriously left. All was well – and we had a nice night chat before going to bed.

 

Graspop Metal Meeting Day 1: Friday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 16, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, first day of Graspop! It was a cloudy day, but I was hopeful. I got up somewhat early today – Battle Beast was scheduled to start already at 13, which is, well, not super-early, but early enough. Got ready, headed out of the tent off I went to the festival grounds.

Battle Beast

I arrived at the stage a little before the show began, in order to get a good spot. Which was somewhat impossible, seeing the front row had been claimed by Rammstein fans. Oh well, shit happens I guess? Second row works fine – especially since it wasn’t any pressure or so. A lot of people, though.

Right on time the band entered the stage and opened with “Straight to the Heart”, and quickly followed it up with “Bringer of Pain”. The band was good, Noora is insane, but the crowd… Perhaps it’s because of my location, but you could tell the people around me wasn’t exactly there for Battle Beast, to put it that way.

“Familiar Hell” was next on the list, and then “Black Ninja”. The last one is a song that has started to grown on me quite a lot lately, and I was very happy that they did “Lost in Wars”, following this. For “Bastard Son of Odin” I was pointed out as one of the very few ACTUAL sons, well, daughters, of Odin in a crowd full of… whatever they are. They wrapped the set up with “King for a Day” and “Beyond the Burning Skies”.

It was a good show – a good start on the festival, if you will. However, I really, REALLY miss “Touch in the Night”. It’s mine and Laura’s song, and even though she wasn’t there, I miss it.

Right after the last song, I hurried of REAL quickly to the Jupiler stage to catch AS IT IS.

AS IT IS

AS IT IS did in fact start while Battle Beast was still playing sadly, so I missed out the start. But I just can’t leave Battle Beast, you know?

By the time I got there, they were already at “Concrete” in their setlist, so that became the first song for me as far as AS IT IS goes. “Cheap Shots & Setbacks” was next on the list, and the band was very energetic. “No Way Out” was next, followed by “Soap”.

The crowd for AS IT IS wasn’t superbig, but the crowd that attended gave off good vibes. Sometimes you know, a smaller crowd is better than a bigger one. “Austen” followed suit, and then “Can’t Save Myself”. And then… You know.

There are two songs I really like with this band – “Pretty Little Distance” and “Dial Tones”. I’m not going to go in on further details as to why, I just do. I was convinced that “Pretty Little Distance” was going to be the opening song, but on the same time, I had no clue – I have never seen this band before, I don’t know their habits. So imagine how happy I was when they announced no other song than “Pretty Little Distance” was the next song.

“Hey Rachel” was next on the list, until they wrapped up the set with “Dial Tones” and I was in pretty much a euphoric state. It was such a good show – such a rush to watch.

After AS IT IS, I headed back to the mainstages to attend Battle Beast’s signingsession… which was cancelled. I did instead get the oppurtunity to hang out a bit with Cyril, which was awesome.

As this happened, I walked around the grounds for some time, hoping to make it to Epicas signingsession… which didn’t happen. What the hell. Oh well, I went back to the camp to rest and deal with some things before I headed back to the festivalgrounds to see Epica.

Epica

So Epica – I arrived a bit late, just before they started, so I was walking to their stage as “Eidola” was echoing through the air, and as I arrived, “Edge of the Blade” started echoing out. It was quickly followed by “The Phantasmic Parade”.

Epica had a big crowd for the day – bigger than I remember them having the last time I saw them play at Graspop, so that was good to see. “The Essance of Silence” was next, followed by “Ascension”. Despite the big turn up, I actually have to admit that the feeling in the crowd wasn’t… really that great. I’ll admit that I was standing pretty far away from the stage, so perhaps it was better closer, but it didn’t seem like it sadly.

My personal favorite “Unchain Utopia” was next in the set, followed by “Cry for the Moon”, and then.. “Sancta Terra”. Which was… at first somewhat unsuccesful when the keyboard wouldn’t really work. And.. I’m not sure if it was technical problems, or simply a bad day, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard Epica be this untight. Like… I rarely feel like I’ve experienced bad gigs, but this was not exactly a gig I’d tell the grandkids about, so to put it.

“Beyond the Matrix” and “Consign to Oblivion” wrapped up this, relatively short set of Epica, and despite all the issues – I thank them. I did actually miss seeing them.

Europe

Right after Epica, I headed off to the other mainstage to witness Europe, a band I haven’t seen in ages. It was a really nice show, but it got even better when I managed to meet up with Ida and Adam from Camp Ellen again. Europe delivered a real good set, I was happy to see them.

After this, we headed back to the camp grounds of Camp Ellen and hung out, associating with each other and just… chilling before we headed back to the festival grounds to catch Rammstein.

Rammstein

So, I’ve always been fond of Rammstein, but never considered myself a fan. But I really looked forward to see them – and what a show it was! I enjoyed every single minute of it, even though I have to admit I was going for “Trink Capri Sonne” rather than “Hier Kommt Die Sonne”. Yes. I went there. But really, amazing show. Would see again.

After the show, we headed back to the camp and to bed, preparing for next days endaevours.

// Sara

 

Graspop Metal Meeting – The Journey

Posted in Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on June 15, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

It’s been only a couple of days since Sweden Rock, but it’s like they say – go hard or go home right? Very last minute I decided to repack everything because it just wouldn’t fit in the backpack, after all. No harm done, though. I got on the train to Gothenburg, which was… Well, train is just very interesting to go on when you travel with festival luggage. There’s never any space to put it, so you simply have to improvise. Gladly, for once, we were only 15 minutes late! I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not.

Once in Gothenburg, I locked up my luggage and headed off to Forex to exchange some currency. Because why would I ever do anything in time? That’s not my groove, and you know that by now I’m certain. Once done with that, I got off to have some dinner and went over some shops – because why not when in Gothenburg?

After that, dinner and then I headed off to the spot where the bus was to leave. Some people were already waiting, which was reassuring for me. It’s been so long since I last traveled with the festivalbus, and that was only from my town on top of that.

So I got on – claimed a good spot. Right in front of the toilet. Very important, especially for this long busride. Eventually people started to drop in, and FINALLY I saw a familiar face in Elias. The bus got, well, somewhat, full and we began our journey towards Dessel. It was a fairly peaceful journey… until the sunken Norwegian passed out in the bathroom. After he you know, puked all over. The police actually came in Germany but we simply left… well, you know. Don’t want troubles!

We arrived safely and a little sore in Dessel, got off the bus and took our luggage. We meant to go together, all of us, but yeah, that didn’t happen. We were a group of people that got a bit lost and behind, and normally, what happened, is that we formed a group. Elias and I had pre-purchased tents that were already built, but the others camped together and we were invited to join. We spent a few hours waiting – some waiting, some carrying luggage to make it go somewhat fast and easy and smooth for us. It was very nice actually, bonding with each other. People that at one point were complete strangers were now helping each other out. And oh, I shared a Sabaton beer with Jonathan, which was nice.

The first thing, I will not deny, that I did was to take a long nice shower. Well, it wasn’t that long, but it was nice. But the thing is with Graspop Metal Meeting – it might be called grass, but it is really the sahara desert. So after walking 10 seconds I was already covered in dust. Again. Oh well.

In the evening I pretty much just chilled, listened to music and took it easy. Preparing for the next coming days.

// Sara

Graspop Metal Meeting – Day 2

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 20, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, last night ended pretty late because of Marilyn Manson, but it was sooo worth it! Got up a bit later the next day, and I took it fairly slow, seeing my first band wasn’t until Korpiklaani, but no rest until your dead, right, so I got up and figured I’d spend the day checking out the metal market and the shopping. I had a few CD’s, or well, a lot of CD’s I was looking for, so why not?

W went around a bit looking for Kittie albums, met up with Robert and Mie and then headed over to Exodus. It was nice seeing the guys again, despite not calling myself a fan.

Right after this, I headed over to Korpiklaani.

Korpiklaani

So, here’s the deal. Without being fully informed of every band in this world, I believe there are two bands, no matter what band you put up next to them, no matter how much you love or hate them, you will, wheter you want it or not, have fun. The first band is Alestorm, and the second one, is Korpiklaani.

The set lasted about an hour, but seriously, it felt like it was shorter. I’m not sure exactly what it is with this festival, but it feels like everything just ends faster. Gladly, unlike Butcher Babies the crowd had a lot better energy and like I said above… Ultimate partyband. I don’t regret going for them over Lacuna Coil.

After Korpiklaani, I wandered off to the market in order to first of all pick up some pins, one Ghost one for Michelle and Alestorm, Sabaton and Steel Panther for me. I sent my mother a picture on Facebook of the SlipKnot t-shirts as I couldn’t make up my mind.

You see, I went to the merch booth so determined to get the Korpiklaani tanktop and the yellow (so to put it) SlipKnot shirt, but once at the barrier I noticed this other shirt that wasn’t freaky-freaky, with all their masks in the shape of an S AND a skull, which wasn’t a tour shirt (opens up possibilities) and with that, my brain was messed up, so I got at first only the tanktop and uploaded the picture. I can’t send actual photo messages with my phone, so uploading is the best option. Only annoying thing is that everyone and no one keeps liking the pic. And I’m like, people. It’s just shirt. A bunch of them.

But, like Johnny Depp once said, “If you are torn between two women, always go for the second one. If you loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second one”, said and done. I went for the S / Skull shirt and I’m pretty pleased with my choice. I already have a tour shirt for Prepare for Hell so I’ll live.

This took longer than you think it would, and I headed back to Mainstage 2 to catch God himself play, with other words, it was time for my annual Alice Cooper show.

Alice Cooper

The started off the entire set to big cheers with “Department of Youth” before continuing with “No More Mr Nice Guy” and was quickly launched into “Under My Wheels”. Alice Cooper shows progress pretty quickly thanks to the lack of mid-speaking. I love mid-speaking when it’s Ola Salo doing it, but most other bands could really just shut up since most of them don’t have anything worthy to say anyway.

The show was just as fun and eventful as usual, but I need to highlight one particular event.

Which is “Welcome to my Nightmare”. I LOVE, maybe it’s me who have forgotten, but I love, love, love how he’s brought back the… how do I put it? The Welcome to my Nightmare costume? The big hat and everything. All I need now is the dancers with the bloodfilled bag on their heads, and the song will be perfect. But it is just as good right now.

I’m not gonna go over this much more, due to me wanting to keep these entries somewhat short, but I can only say two things – Alice Cooper never fails to impress nor entertain, and Nita Strauss is a queen.

graspopalice

After Alice Cooper we headed over to the Metal Dome to see Alcest. I must admit I was a bit torn between Alcest and Korn, but feelings decided against Korn in favor of Alcest.

While I do have quite a few friends who enjoy Alcest, I can’t say I’ve myself ever been a fan, but I did enjoy the show. Atmospheric, and despite being metal, there was this certain kind of calm over everything. It was very nice.

graspopalcest

After Alcest was done, I headed over to Mainstage 1 to wait for what was the band I looked forward the most to see, SlipKnot, and thanks to Graspop’s good taste in stage-placing, we could catch Judas Priest from where we stood.

I was really worried. I sat down for most of the Priest set, feeling really tired, and tried to drink in case it was because of dehydration, but it didn’t help. And it pissed me off a bit, since I hate when I don’t sleep properly so I end up tired for the things I’m excited for. But when Judas Priest started playing “Jawbreaker” I kind of woke up a bit, and after that… I couldn’t stand still.

graspoppriest

I just kept jumping around in small jumps to the point Antoine even pointed out to me that SlipKnot hadn’t even started yet, but you know, that doesn’t stop me. Once I’m up I’m up, you know?

SlipKnot

BUT, then, “XIX” started and internally, I kind of exploded. I guess this is what it truly feels like being REALLY exicted for something. Most of the time, I feel excited, but it has been some time (last time was probably Madrid or even Prepare For Hell tour itself) where I’ve felt like my organs were about to explode. And when “Sarcastrophe” began…

First of all, it took me all up to now to realize the song is actually called “SARcastrophe” and not “SCARcastrophe”, so I’ve basically spelled it wrong for over six months. Nice.

But aside typos, I kind lost it. Like you always do at SlipKnot shows. Or at least the two I’ve been with before. Since I completely owned my company I sort of half assed teamed up with some other guys and just you know… like the guy said “You’re in the headbanger zone!” And yes, they were. My hair even got stuck in a guys backpack. Oh dear.

Oh right, the show. After “Sarcastrophe” they continued, just as previously with “The Heretic Anthem”, “Psychosocial” and “The Devil in I” before the first surprise of the evening came – “AOV”.

Like… I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of that particular song, but it was cool to hear live. Not the best, but it’s fine, you know? And then….. DING DING DING DIIIIIINGGG

Vermillion“.

The horrible part of me wished for this NOT to be “my” setlist, because I didn’t wanna give Antoine that satisfaction, but I’m also very very very very secretly happy they did “my” setlist. When I’m saying “my” setlist, it means they play “Vermilion”, “Eyeless”(these two are my two fave songs of SlipKnot) and “Wait and Bleed”. Michelle’s setlist is the one that includes “Dead Memories”, “Disasterpieaces” and “Opium of the People”.

After “Wait and Bleed” Corey started talking about some new video they made. And that is basically what made my eyes pop. The only, ONLY SONG I missed during Prepare for Hell Tour earlier this year was “Killpop”, and hearing Corey say in an interview that Clown dislikes playing slow songs, I didn’t ever see them actually playing this piece of art live. But as soon as that man started talking about a new video clip, I knew what was coming.

The moment, the only moment I missed earlier this year happened now.

Killpop“.

And by this, right here right now, the festival was complete. I didn’t need anymore than that, but again, who am I to complain for some more? “Before I Forget”, “Duality” and my personal favorite “Eyeless” (seriously, how can you not go batshit to that song?) followed by “Spit it Out”, and as you guys know, “Spit it Out” is my favorite moment of the entire show. Wrapped it up with “Custer” and left the stage.

DSC02416
(This is literally the only decent shot I have, haha)

For encore they did the “(sic)”, “People = Shit” and wrapping up the entire set, and for my part, the festival with “Surfacing”. I’m not gonna lie when I say I was SO TEMPTED to go in the mini moshpit that was behind us. Maybe next time.

And with that, they left the stage and I left the arena. Or actually, I bounced. I’m running on pure adrenaline after a show like that, and even thought I can’t recall actually SEEING anything off the show, more than my own hair and a few dots moving on the stage, I can’t help myself but to keep bouncing around. I need to get rid of the energy, you know? Oh, I also said goodbye to the two guys who just for the moment became my SlipKnot brothers. A shame I never caught their names. Bummer.

Got back to the camp, ate a bit and fell asleep with Dionysus in my ears. Even though I never liked the idea of going home on Sunday, SlipKnot helped me feel content.

// Sara

 

Graspop Metal Meeting Day 2: Friday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

First day of the festival started off…. at 7am in the morning. My tentbuddy, if you like, thought it was a good idea to arrive early in the morning on Friday, forcing me to get up abnormally early to help him find the spot. Lazy as I am I just stood up outside the tent and let him find his own way, which was.. pretty simple since our camp was close to the entrance.

Spent the next couple of hours what I do best – not socializing with anyone, slowly eating and slowly getting ready. Seriously, anyone who ever plans to travel with me – there is no point in trying to rush me to eat. I’m a slow eater. Around 12 I realized that it might be a good idea I head down to the festival area, which is one minute away to catch H.E.A.T, starting at 12.20.

Here’s the deal. My friend gave me the impression that queueing goes so quickly at Graspop, so I figured, against my better judgement, that it should be no problem “only” arriving about 20 minutes before showtime. I was dead wrong.

I was still in the line when I heard “A Shot of Redemption”, presumably second song of the set, and I was pretty much… Let’s just say, it was a good thing for people in Dessel that day that it was H.E.A.T and not Butcher Babies that was the band I was missing out on.

In the middle of “Tearing Down The Walls” I finally made it in and I ran faster than I have ever done before. Seriously, I’ve never considered myself a fast runner, but two places in this world – Boda Borg and concerts, brings out the marathon runner in me.

I thought to myself that as long as I make it to the stage for “Mannequin Show”, I can slow down, so once I was almost there I slowed down for a moment to not completely drain myself and of course… the melody to “Mannequin Show” started. Oh well then, right back onto it!

Made it to second row (where are all the people?) and got to enjoy the last 20 minutes of the show at least, consisting of songs as “Beg Beg Beg”, my personal favorite “Emergency”, “Breaking the Silence” and wrapping it up with “Living on the Run”.

But you know, despite missing a lot of the show, I enjoyed the bits I did see. Erik Grönwall is an entertainer, even though I must admit it felt a little bit as he held back this day. This might be a direct response to the not so energetic crowd, what do I know. But damn, I love these men.

graspopheat

Butcher Babies

Right after H.E.A.T, who doesn’t even get a headline because of the mishaps, and with only a mere ten minutes between the sets I had to hurry a little bit, despite the stages being next to each other. I made it pretty far in, about second or third row or so, which was pretty good, if you ask me.

And… you know that feeling when you see a favorite band live for the first time? That feeling with “Oh shit! It’s really them!” That’s what I thought when Chrissy walked on stage as first person. I was like “Dude. That’s him. That’s actually him, whom I’ve seen only on photos on the internet before”. Jason and Henry joined followed by two of my heroines, Heidi and Carla.

Like. THEY ARE REAL. THEY ARE ACTUALLY REAL.

They opened up energetic with “The Cleansing” and look. You can say whatever you want about the ladies, about the groups intention, about how they are not “true”, but what you can never take away from Carla nor Heidi is that, just as Erik Grönwall, they are true entertainers.

“The Mirror Never Lies” was the second song on the list, and I must admit, I was surprised, but also glad to see how many people around me were just as, may I use the term “die-hard fans” as I was. I never really heard much about them having a fanbase here in Europe, but I’m glad I was wrong.

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“Goliath”, third song of the list followed by “Beerdrinkers & Hellraiser”. I must admit, when seeing them I kinda come to notice that the three men in the band, don’t really do a lot. They stand back, play their things and leave the show up to Heidi and Carla. I don’t mind, in all honesty, let the ladies do what they do best. Still baffles my mind why people discredits them.

A bit in the set it was time for the new song, “Monsters Ball”. I have never been too much of a fan of this song, as it kinda feel it’s just… pounding through. I always cared more for their melodic songs, but I have to admit something – this song, and especially the chorus works wonders in a crowd. “You can’t stop moving, no you can’t stop moving..” no, we really can’t, haha.

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After “Monsters Ball” it was time for a personal favorite of mine, “Crazy Horses”. “I Smell a Massacre” and “Magnolia BLVD” was the last song of the sets where the babies left the stage for this time.

God. That was a rush. Seeing a faveband for the first time is always such a rush.

Headed over directly to the merch to get a hand on a shirt and a poster before moving on to the Classic Rock tent and catching the first out of three The Lounge Kittens sets.

Most of you who’ve read my blog in the past knows about my small obsession with The Lounge Kittens ever since the Steel Panther tour, so getting the chance to see the Kittens not once but twice during this festival was awesome.

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After their set I headed over to the signing session for Butcher Babies, which was completely in vain. I guess Graspop lacks a bit here – It is never, NEVER a good idea to have the signing session begin neck in neck – there should always be a break inbetween to make sure that in case there’s a heavy flow of people or in case the band is late. It’s more sad for the Aborted fans who were kept waiting PAST Aborted’s signing time because Butcher Babies took so long.

Second thing, it’s never a good idea to allow people to take pictures at signing sessions, and I swear to God – I curse every, single, one of you who ever takes pictures at a signing session. Seriously, fuck you people. I do realize I sound bitter right now, but lets put it this way – there’s a reason Sweden Rock started to forbid photos. After they did so, twice, or even three times, as many people managed to get into the signing sessions after doing so. Also the major reason if I ever get into a band, I’ll never allow people to take pics at our signings. Never. Rather satisfy the many than glorifying the few, you know?

I come off very bitter here, and a little bit bitter, yes. But I’m more bitter about the failure in organization rather than not making it to the signing. Giving a mainstage act only 30 minutes is bad to begin with (Sweden Rock gives at least 45 mins even to the smaller stages) but yeah. Maybe they will learn, maybe they won’t. Spent almost an hour in that line for nothing, and if you hold on to your horses a little bit, I’m gonna demonstrate a bit further in this entry my point, but before that, Epica.

So, thankfully, Epica was starting on the mainstage in the time to make me feel better, and it sure does. Singers like Simone Simons makes everything better.  “Unchain Utopia” was just pure perfection, and I must admit, I’m not sure if the sets are really much shorter here or not, but it was over so quickly. I don’t understand why.

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Right after Epica, I headed over to the classic rock tent again to catch the last our of three The Lounge Kittens sets (one of the sets were during Epica).

The set was just as energetic as fun as you’d remember them, and the set was a little bit different from the previous one, but still including “Rollin'” which I’ve always considered more of a favorite since I love the choreography.

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Now, I’m going to get back to Butcher Babies signing sessions. The Lounge Kittens stopped their set at about 18.10, or a bit after and I thought to myself, hey, why not go to Epica’s signing session? Why miss out on an oppurtunity like that? But what to get signed?

So around 18.10, I head over to the metal market, and go through the hassle to get a wristband, go to the first recordstore I see, pick up a random Epica album (The Quantum Enigma) and slowly started walking toward the signing area. I reached the line about 18.20, and they had signing time until 19. So, I wanna put this into perspective. I made it to Butcher Babies signing session 14.50, and they started 15.00, and they STOPPED signing at 15.45-50 (Epica had already started when they stopped), and this had them going over time by 15-20 minutes.

Here I actively come 20 minutes too late to a session, and guess what. I. Made. It. In. by 18.50 I was in to meet them band, hurrying through of course since I saw the grim reaper coming out (the lady who walks out and asks who everyone is there to see to estimate how many more can get in) and because the faster I get out, the faster more people can get in.

So, what was the difference? They didn’t allow photos. They. Did. Not. Allow. Photos, so I guess they DID learn from earlier on. Of course, some people still took photos, hell, even I took a pic of a guy and Simone. But there is such a difference when ten people take pictures rather than 100, you know?

After the session I headed back to the camp to drop off all the merchandise, or well, all and all, but the poster got in the way and I kept losing it.

Spent some time in the tent resting, drinking and eating before heading down to the festivalsite again, and this time it was time to see a band I haven’t seen in quite a few years: KISS.

They opened the set with “Detroit Rock City” and the show was a fact.

KISS…. KISS is quite the show. I’m not gonna say this in a surprised matter since I’ve seen them live before, but I mean, DAMN. If it wasn’t fireworks it was confettis, if it wasn’t that it was pyro and lights and elevators and Paul did his little ride and God only knows!

I’m not gonna write a lengthy bit about this, since it will be way too long, and I don’t really have a lot to say. What do you say about the best band in the world?

The only thing I HAVE to say is that I completely owned my friend. Nailed to for see every single song, while he could be soooo off. Love it.

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After KISS was done I headed over (alone) to the second mainstage to wrap this long day up with Marilyn Manson.

And seriously, the last time I saw him was in 2007 and I had forgotten how good he was. Not only live, but also musically. He’s not typically the first I turn to when I wanna listen to something, but that sure is about to change. Loved every single minute, and by every song I made it closer and closer to the stage and I found myself almost having the same spots as on Butcher Babies, despite arriving after the first song has started. Thanks for the evening, Manson.

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After Manson I went back to the camp and went directly to bed. Saturday was gonna start fairly late in concert speaking, but I wanted to check out the market properly, as well as catching up on some sleep.

// Sara

 

 

Graspop Metal Meeting Day 1: Thursday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 18, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

After a few ifs and buts and re-scheduled trips, it was time for me to head down under to Belgium for the third time this year, but this time there were no Amaranthe nor were there any Steel Panther. The occasion this time was no less than Graspop Metal Meeting.

Trip started early, already at 7 with the very best Swebus heading to Stockholm. Once in Stockholm a pitstop at Subway was mandatory before heading to the airport. Interestingly enough, gazing out the window on my way to Arlanda, I spotted a very familiar face walking down the street, which was no one less than Eric Rivers, guitarist of H.E.A.T. I was a little surprised, I wouldn’t expect to see him here, I thought he was on tour you know? But oh well.

Once at Arlanda, I checked it all in and got to my gate. I got pretty much on time – not too late, nor too soon. And while I sit there, looking at potential Graspop goers, five very familiar men walk into the lounge.

Erik Grönwall, Eric Rivers, Jona Tee, Crash, Jimmy Jay.

We are talking about the entire H.E.A.T. In my lounge. H.E.A.T is gonna be on the same plane as me. To Belgium. HOW OFTEN DOES THIS HAPPEN? Never.

Got to sit next to a sweet girl who had been to Sweden Rock, and we talked for a while. Also made friends with the older woman next to me, seriously, I’ve never been so social on a plane before. Holy shit.

Eventually we landed in Brussels, and after a few difficulties, me and some other swedes and other nationalities found the bus that would take us to Dessel and Gpop. The busride took a rough two hours, and after waiting in line for a long time to get my wristband I met up with Robert, and eventually Quentin who showed us the way to the camp.

Dumped my stuff and went with Robert to his camp and met up with some new people. Spent the rest of the evening talking about music, music and more music and travels and expectations.

Went back to my camp (with help from Robert haha) and set it up and got to sleep. All this travelling takes it’s toll, 14 hours is a bit.

// Sara