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

Only for the Weak

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

At 9 in the morning the journey home began. It was bittersweet leaving, for several reasons I’m going to admit. Firstly, I haven’t gotten my sweater back. Secondly, the festival is over. And thirdly, this is the last time I’m going to Sweden Rock with this car, with my beloved BXW.

The journey was peaceful and quiet. No roadrage, found gasstations easily. It was rainy, and sunny and then rainy again. At the end, I got a bit rushed seeing I had to make it to XXL before they closed, on a Sunday.

Sweden Rock was great, and now I had to prepare for next weeks endaveours – Graspop Metal Meeting.

// Sara

Sweden Rock Festival Day 4 – Saturday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 11, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Early morning again for the last day at the festival. It’s always bittersweet, waking up the very last day of the festival, knowing that today is the last day whatsoever to be in this amazing place, waking up to the sound of music and knowing the day is, if I would do it, be filled by amazing acts.

Early in the morning I got up to catch Electric Boys in the morning.

Electric Boys

Electric Boys delivered an energetic and groovy set. I can’t exactly call myself a fan of the band as I merely just see them occasionally rather than actually listening to them on a regular basis, but everytime I’ve seen them I’ve enjoyed the show tremendously. And there was no exception for today. Conny Bloom knows how to get the crowd going, even at 12 in the morning. Thank you boys!

After Electric Boys I went around starting to pack… and I noticed my work out sweater was missing. Went to the showers by the campground to ask if they had seen it, and got the answer they had likely thrown it away. Apparently, they are the kind of people that throw away clothes rather than giving it to lost and found. Says a lot about them.

Kept packing up the camp – figured I might as well have it done, you know. I meant to see the Symphony Orchestra show, but I’ll be honest. I was really upset learning my sweater had likely been thrown away that I lost my mood. I don’t like losing my things, and even less when I can’t get them back.

Sadly, the distraction and packing sadly led me to also miss out on Rhapsody. It was when I packed the camp and heard some symphonic metal coming from the festival I realized they were on. Damn it. Damn me. I managed to see the last song though, so I guess I’ll just”redo and do right” on Graspop when it comes to them.

I took the time to do a last shopping round, picking up a piece of clothing and some other things before watching ARTCH.

ARTCH

The first, and so far only time I’ve ever seen ARTCH was in 2007 when they played together with Satyricon. ARTCH is the old, or well, current band of the old bassplayer from Wig Wam, so seeing him this year was a way to see some people that I once loved so much in the flesh again.

And it was emotional. It was very emotional seeing Bernt, or Flash, in action again on stage with this band. And Eirikur Hauksson on vocals is just incredible – I love him as a vocalist.  It was a great and small show, real cozy inside the tent. I loved every moment.

After ARTCH, I went to pick up some late night dinner and watching Venom while doing so. I had not planned to see this band at all, but I was happily surprised actually. I really enjoyed it. I will try to pick up on them somehow some day.

After this, I went out, picked up my folding chair, a bag of popcorn and a drink and sat down far way back at the site to watch In Flames from afar eating popcorn and drinking good Pepsi. After this, I went to bed and got ready for the long journey home tomorrow.

Thank you so much Sweden Rock for this year, and all the bands for being amazing. Thank you so much.

// Sara

 

Sweden Rock Festival Day 3 – Friday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 9, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Today I got up early in the morning and headed off down to the car, the computer and internet to do something very very important: Get Katy Perry tickets. It was a smooth process – no queuing or anything. It’s going to be good to see her again – first time I saw her was two years ago. It’s funny though – this is the second time out of two times possible that I find myself buying Katy Perry tickets while at Sweden Rock. How great is that? And even better – we’ll be leaving for Katy Perry right after, and right from, Sweden Rock.

After doing such and returning to the camp, I got ready, had nice breakfast and then started searching for albums. You see, I have a little book with CD’s I’m supposed to get – because most of the time, I get blank. To put some perspective on this – I save up all year round for the shopping spree I go on on Sweden Rock. So once I’m here, I just kind of go blank.  Because the thing I’ve waited for all year is here and now I don’t know what I want to buy. So, I have my book to help me set me straight.

At 14.30 I headed off to Rock Stage to watch the old heroes in KIX.

KIX

I have never been a superbig fan of KIX, but I do like some of the stuff they’ve made, and was excited to see them. What I really like with these “old” bands is that nothing has changed. They are still the same, looking the same, acting the same. Most of them – not all. They put on a really good show, I enjoyed every moment of it. Half way through I had dinner / lunch while watching, and I seriously love these little moments.

The next band on the other hand, was the big one for me today.

Gotthard

I went off to Festival Stage in wait for this band that I saw the last here at Sweden Rock in fact five years ago, which was the first time I saw them with Nic. I remember how hard it was, hearing the songs, but also happy to see them with a singer that takes so good care of them vocally.

When the intro started, which consisted of old Gotthard songs merged together like when tuning a radio (similar to what Amaranthe has) it hit me like a fist right in the gut. I haven’t listened to Gotthard for so long because of the pain, and hearing it like this just remembered me about it all. Just like a kick in the gut.

The band came on stage and opened up with “Silver River”. And it was like no time had passed. “Electrified” was next on the list before they went for an old school favorite in “Hush”. The audience was pretty good actually – about what I’d expect for them playing in the midst of the heavy sun. “Stay With Me” was the next song on the list before continuing on with another big favorite – “Mountain Mama”.

Something that has always got me with Nic, is that whenever they sing older songs, songs from Steve’s era so to put it, if you close your eyes, you could almost believe it was him. He both sounds similar, and if anything makes himself sound very similar to Steve. “Feel What I Feel” was next song on the list, quickly followed by the very beautiful ballad “Remember it’s Me” from “Firebirth” album. “Sister Moon” and “What You Get” was next, and then something very special, and most importantly, very heavy, happened.

On the screen, the big screen on the Festival Stage, as they started playing “Heaven”… Steve Lee appeard. And a recording of his voice echoed out in the speakers, as the band played and sang along to it. The video displayed Steve singing. It was as if he was there. I can assure you – my eyes were not dry, and I don’t think any eyes were. Here’s to another gut punch, but it was so beautiful to see him being with them still, in a way.

After this gorgeous moment it was time for some old hits – “Top of the World” and “Lift U Up”, “Anytime Anywhere” being absolutely amazing as per usual, and then they wrapped the whole set up with “Come Together” and “All We Are”. The band thanked for themselves and walked off the stage.

Seeing Gotthard again was so amazingly good. Like a blast from the past, without actually being from the past. I’ve missed this band, I have to admit.

After this, I headed over to the signing session with Gotthard. I waited in line for some time, figured it was for the best to just get it over with. Went back to the car to dump off some things before getting back to the site and witnessing RATT.

RATT

RATT… the last time I saw them was on Sweden Rock 2008. I was really excited to see them again, seriously. It feels like all these bands I once saw like once or twice are just coming back for me to see once again. I said it to my friends – the bands on Sweden Rock kind of rotates a lot, and they always end up coming back if they haven’t stopped all in all.

The band was good. It was an energetic set, and a very very very energetic crowd if anything! It made me extremely happy to see that they got so well recieved. Really good show, thank you RATT!

As per usual, I needed to rest my legs – I don’t know what has happened in the later years, but my legs get extemely worn out in to the muscles and bones, and it gets painful to walk. So I sat in my car and lazily watched Scorpions on the big screen and listening to the music. It could be worse, right? And then, I headed in to see the last band of the night, Running Wild.

Running Wild

So, I have a friend who really loves Running Wild. Like, he REALLY REALLY loves them. Sadly, he was not present at Sweden Rock this year, so as any good friend would do, I streamed the whole show as good as I could to him over messenger.

The show was very very good. I had listened a little bit prior to the festival, but I was completely sold during the show. A pirate band, again. Are you even surprised? Probably not. There was a good vibe all through the crowd, and the band was performing well. A perfect ending.

After Running Wild, I headed back to my camp and went to bed. Electric Boys went on early, so it had to be done.

// Sara

 

 

 

 

 

Sweden Rock Festival Day 2 – Thursday

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 8, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Okay so something seems to be up with my matress. I’m not entirely sure yet, but fucking hell, it deflates. Perhaps I just didn’t stick it in properly. Uh. Started the day off in the recordstore – I had finally gotten my tax refund, so it was time to get some albums. I picked up on Alestorm’s “No Grave but the Sea” vinyl and album, as well as Gotthard’s most recent and Adrenaline Rush’s “Soul Survivor”. After this, I met up with Sofia, Johanna and Malin for some lunch at Holy Smoke Bar and Grill, Sweden Rock’s own restaurant. I’ve always wanted to try it.

And it was good, like, well good. So good I actually didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day, haha. Convenient.

After this, I headed off to Steel Panther’s signingsession. It was really good actually to see them and meet them again, after all this time. It’s been way too long now already. After that, I headed back to the car, dropped off the merchandise and to chill out and rest abit for the upcoming heavy evening. And soon enough, it was time for Steel Panther.

Steel Panther

They opened up the show with “Eyes of a Panther” as per usual, and quickly followed up with “Going in the Backdoor”. It amazes me to see how this band has grown, fanbase wise. Like, they’ve always been somewhat big, but not on this scale. And it’s fun to see how it’s happening slowly – they aren’t a one night sensation, they just grow bigger and bigger. I wasn’t a very big fan of “Lower the Bar”, but I still… they are my boys, you know?

“Just Like Tiger Woods” off “Balls Out” was next on the list before what seemed to become a big moment – “Fat Girl”. Seriously, this is still one of my all time favorite songs with this band. “Death to All but Metal” followed suit, and it was so good to see them again. So many trips down the memorylane, you know? “That’s When You Came In” was next on the list, “Poontang Boomerang” followed.

“Community Property” was next on the list, and the whole crowd kind of exploded. It’s so good to see you know? They barely had to sing the song themselves. The jokes told on stage by the way, are pretty much the same old. A little bit new, and this time I actually chuckled instead of being slightly annoyed.

“17 Girls” was next song, followed by “Gloryhole” before wrapping up the entire set with “Party All Day”.

It was so, so so, SO GOOD to see the boys again. My boys. My Steel Panther. I enjoyed the show a lot, thank you guys!

Right after this, I turned the other way and watched Aerosmith.

Aerosmith

Ahh Aerosmith. I have sadly, never seen them before. The train was canelled in 2010 when I was meant to see them, so I was beyond happy to see them this year, and their supposed aero-vederci tour! Steven Tyler and the gang delivered an amazing set, I am at loss for words. It was good seeing a band that are really quitting at the top of the game, you know?

Thank you, Aerosmith!

Edguy

Right after Aerosmith, it was time to head back to Rock Stage, and as I did so, I thought to myself “why don’t these band have pyros, I’m so fucking cold”.

Little did I know Tobias Sammet would have me covered.

As they opened with “Love Tyger”, the band set off enough fireworks and various kind of pyros to put a smile on everyone’s faces, to heat me up and for the rest of the entire festival. Holy shit, it kept on for some time. The rest of the set however had no pyro whatsoever, ironically.

With that said, it was a great show. Tobias is quite the entertainer, and he’s very generous I’d say when joking about himself. It was the perfect way to end the night – thank you!

After this, I headed back to the camp and went to bed… tomorrow was a big day…

// Sara

Sweden Rock Festival: Day 1 – Wednesday

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 7, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So finally. The most wonderful time of the year is about to start. Finally, it is what we call, time to go home. I was going rather late this year – last year, I went up already on Monday, and this year, not until Wednesday. The original plan did though include me going up already on Tuesday in fact, but life happens.

I went on a bit of a deadline seeing Art Nation, one of the bands I pretty much came here to see was performing somewhat early. Not super early, but early enough to stress me. After a few ifs and buts, I finally made it onto the road and blasted some old mix-CD’s I made when I was younger. Seriously, I made them like six or seven years ago, and I still love them today. I guess it’s because it reminds me of old songs, don’t you think?

I was on a pretty good time schedule. It wasn’t perfect – I was set to arrive about an hour or so before Art Nation was about to go on stage, but it could most deffo be worse. I had the oppurtunity to stop by a beautiful stop-place, and I really need to try to make it a thing to stop here. Maybe use a disposable grill?

At 16.50 I had finally parked and gotten out of my car, and said good bye to the little bug that kept me company in the car for the last hour. It was a bit too heavy for him to crawl out, so he held on tight. I went to exchange my ticket first thing, where I met up with Sofia, Johanna and Malin. Sooner than expected, would you know! Already at 17.15 we had our bracelets, yellow and blue, which felt ironic to me considering “The Lion From The North” has been one of my most played songs on a daily basis.

Art Nation

But! With that said, we made it in, we made it to Art Nations stage and I was stoked, beyond stoked to get to see them for the first time as a fan. I saw them, as you guys might know, at Skogsröjet last year and I fell in love with them on an instant.

They opened their set with “One Nation” which for me, seemed to be quite odd for an opener, I had expected it to be something more you know… up beat? The song was quickly followed by “I’m Alive”. The first single of the album, “The Real Me” was next on the list, and I was happily surprised to discover how much heavier it is live! I loved it. I was followed by what I personally thought would be the opener, “Need You To Understand”.

The band was pretty energetic, but I felt that some, or may I say, most of the memebers, seemed to be a bit nervours or holding back a bit. But Alexander was slaying it. The crowd was… so so I’d say. Probably die hards at the front, but that’s about it.

“Kiss up and Kick Down” was next, and I really love this one. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I just do. “Paralyzed” was next on the list, followed by “Don’t Wait for Salvation”. Alexander spoke of how important it is to enjoy yourself, to dance, to have fun. And for this, they used “Start a Fire”… and you know… I like the song, not gonna lie, but on the same time this choice surprised me. It’s not a that fun of a song, in all honest. “All In” was next on the list, before they wrapped the whole set up with “Ghost Town”.

It was such a good show. It was so good seeing them again, and like this, and seeing a band being on the rise. It makes me happy. Til next time!

After this, I went back to my car to have dinner and to set up my tent at the camping. The weather here is pretty shitty not gonna lie – it’s been a bit small rain, but fuck. After getting some help from Sofia to get up some of my stuff, I joined them in their tent for some hanging out before going to see Grave Digger. In the POURING RAIN. Like, waterfall kind of pouring.

Grave Digger

I must admit, I have never really listened to this band, but I was intrigued to see them. They had quite the crowd, and they delievered a really, really good set. I enjoyed every minute of it, despite being caught in the rain from hell. Really cool to see Axel Ritt in action as well!

After Grave Digger was done, I hit up some of the recordstores to check out the supply. I was looking for “No Grave But The Sea”, but didn’t find the edition I wanted. I was so disappointd it’s almost patethic, but hey. What can I say?

I did managed to find some things to. The second Powerwolf box – “History of Heresy” and Sabaton’s “The Swedish Empire Live”, DVD the latter. It was a nice find, and a small start. I need to get the money to my bank, but I have my eyes on a lot of things…

Now, I’m sitting here in the car hoping the rain will calm down eventually so I can go back to the camping and cuddle down in my tent. As if, right?

// Sara

Treasure Island

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Just a few more days til Sweden Rock! It’s actually starting in just two days as I’m writing this, and it’s just so weird to think that something that you’ve been waiting for for this long is finally happening, that it’s just about to start. I can’t, for the life of me, really grasp it to be honest. And it’s always like this when it comes to a show or a festival – you simply wait, wait and wait, and then pof, it just happens. In the blink of an eye.

To make it even better, a set of necklaces from Forever21 made it in time for the festival! I was hoping to have them in time for Graspop, but they made it in time for Sweden Rock. Even better, don’t you think?

Talk about quick service, huh?

So right now, on the potential night before departure (I have yet to actually make up my mind about what day I’ll go) I’m in the charging mode… you know when you charge everything you possibly can, powerbanks, camera, phones, computers – you name it! I need to remember to print my tickets too… I have a lot going on it seems! I got myself some pink camo powerbanks – this way you will for sure know it’s mine, you know?

I’ve finished packing the clothes, well as good as anyway. Gonna go through the bandshirts as I finish this, and add socks and some extra pants. And then, I’m going to bed. There is never anything good in staying up TOO late trying to fix things you know?

// Sara