Archive for September, 2015

Girls

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So basically. The first thing that happens after a show, is to go back straight to work. I started out in the stable, moved on to distributing commercials. I’m sort of wiped out in bed now, but it’s what you have to do.

The contrast is facsinating though. Like, only 24 hours ago we were at Kulturhuset enjoying Korpiklaani, and now we’re here. And how fast it goes. And how we go from perhaps one of the best nights in our lives right back into the normal patterns of every day life.

This next week will be a killer. But I guess W.A.S.P could be fun.

// Sara

Korpiklaani @ Kulturhuset, Örebro, Sweden 26/9-15

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, this day started very interestingly, to say the least. At first, I struggled falling asleep because Michelle snored like there was no tomorrow. I kid you not – I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I would hear her snoring all the way out in the hallway. After I woke her up, she stopped. So it was fine. Then I’d wake up then and then, perhaps because of “new” bed.

And then, I woke up in the morning because of a lot of noise. And I was so pissed, because it says very clearly outside that it should be silent between 22-08, so I was so ready to go and complain about it, but I was too tired. Eventually, I woke up for real and checked the time.

10.35.

10.35. The check-out due is 10. We were supposed to get up at 9. We freaked out, to say the least. Gladly, the hotel was a bit over-seeing with it, and let us do a late checkout without any additional expense. Than you, Hotel Micro! This is why I keep returning to you, always and forever.

Anyway. We got out around 11 and hit up the first Espresso House we could find to have probably the most expensive breakfast we’ve had in a very long time. We started moving towards the buscentral, but we did a quick stop at Creole. It’s really one of my favorite stores in Stockholm, so I’m so sad to see them close. I managed to pick up a pair of earrings though, will be great when I get my second pair of holes.

We thought about going to Blue Fox, but decided against it. Which was great, because the bus was set to departure five minutes earlier than I thought. I guess it was good in a way that we had the “Miss the bus” protection on those tickets, after all.

This time, we DID get the good bus, with extra legspace, leatherseats and all that stuff. Helped me a lot to finish up writing about the show last day, and to prepare myself for a maybe Delain show. For some reason, Delain was the only thing I could listen to.

We arrived in Örebro around 16, and we, alongside some other Korpiklaani fans, got off the bus and then we headed downtown. We wanted to find some store to find elastics for my hair, but instead we ran into a friend of mine. I wasn’t sure at first if it was her, but it was indeed! It has been a few months since I last saw her, so it was really good to just bump into her! Sadly, she told us all stores closed at 16, so off to Burger King we were, and we sat there for about two and a half hours. And what did we do? Well, first of all, sloweat, because I’m a sloweater. We planned the night, drew up some drafts, re-booked bustickets and then we changed clothes and put on our make up and all that stuff. at 18.30 cirka, we headed over to the arena, which was ten minutes walk from Burger King, I want to add. Oh. I went for the straight look, for a change, by the way.

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So, we got to the arena and we sat outside for quite some time. They never opened the door. We didn’t quite understand why, I mean sure, we’ve been around for a long time so we have dealt with delayed doors time, like Noch Ein Bier for instance, but it felt so weird. When about 20-25 minutes has passed, a guy sitting at the open bar service mutters that the doors are around the corner, literally 90% of the people sitting at that open bar got up and left. So, we weren’t the only ones who were wrong, gladly.

The thing is, the place where the entrance was were also where the tourbus was. And since it was on a “backstreet”, we were pretty sure it was the backstage entrance, but apparently, it was both. We got downstairs, turned in our gear and the first thing we noticed was how small the place were.

We were in this location called “B-Salen” which I suppose is the smaller arena of the venue. It was as small as Knastret, the second hand record store we have here in town. It looked a bit like Knastret too – it had the same thing with the stairs, the decor, everything. Cozy. But we were surprised.

The only thing I don’t like with small venues like this, is the fact that the stage is almost floor size, which makes it hard for anyone who isn’t in the first three rows to see very good. So that was the only downside, but aside that, I can’t complain more. I like small places.

Just as in Stockholm, Grimner walked on stage a bit early. They were supposed to go on at 20 sharp, but got on stage somewhere 19.40-19.45. Again, I don’t personally complain, it’s more.. It isn’t too fun for the people who really believe they will start sharp.

But, lets forget about that for a moment. Grimner. The set was just as good and energetic today as it was yesterday, and it was a bit more exciting to see them today, as we knew a little bit more of them now. But yes, really good and really fun. The audience was with them too, gladly. Not as much as last night, but still in.

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(Because of lack of useable pictures of Grimner from Örebro, I serve you one from Stockholm)

Anyway, after this, the… fairly short wait for Korpiklaani begun. Last night, we had already witnessed them going on stage about 15 minute prior to their stagetime, and we were very… weirded out by the fact that the  host had set one hour between Korpiklaani and Grimner, when they only did 30 minutes the day before. They were said to go on stage at 21.30, so we had to wait and see, I guess.

Already when they check the last mics, I see the entire band – Jonne standing on the side of stage.

And then, the intro finally started.

And at the very time Matson entered the stage, the time was around 20.45. 

We are talking about 45 minutes. 45 minutes early, according to their original stagetime.

While this isn’t personally a problem for me, and I think everyone likes when bands doesn’t diva around and wait just because they can, being 45 minutes early is problematic. The most likely reason, is a typo from the host. That they meant 21.00 sharp, and not 21.30. What is remarkable, is the fact that they actually wrote TWICE that they’d start at 21.30. And that makes me question why on earth Grimner, and then Korpiklaani, would go on stage so early?

Anyway. Back to the show, they opened with “Viinamäen Mies” and despite it being a fairly small crowd, the welcoming was very big and warm.

The setlist was pretty similar to yesterday, so there is no particular point for me to break down the setlist song by song, but I will speak a bit about the atmosphere.

Nothing bad against Klubben now, because I love Klubben as a venue, but seriously. Korpiklaani in a small sized venue is something very, very special. First of all, Michelle and I were on the top of our game with our dancing, impressing people to the left and right during songs like “Sathi”, “Ruuminmultaa” and “Juodaan Viina”, but some of the most magical songs of the evening was found in, first of all, my all time favorite of course, “Sumussa Hämärän Aamun”, but also in a song I was never fond of, but has grown on me thanks to this very show; “Lempo”. Yes, I said it. I was never fond of “Lempo”, but I’m sold now.

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But my highlight of the entire evening was “Pellonpekko”. What? And instrumental song? What the heck? No see – this is fantastic. First of all, this is a fantastic piece of music. And second of all, in the midst of our dancing, a little crowd is approaching us, and before we know it, we are all engaged in a circledance which included probably half of the arena, and eventually the other few who didn’t participate had to move over so we could dance properly.

And yes, this is a big deal. Because even metalheads in Sweden – they don’t… really do this kind of thing. The Swedish myth isn’t a myth, it’s true – Swedes, or perhaps nordic people I don’t know, like to stick to themselves and their crew, and to see that many people spontaneously getting together warmed my heart a lot.

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The main difference from last nights set was the lack of “Happy Little Boozer”. We’re not sure if they did that on purpose, or if they forgot it, or if it was because of the annoying person yelling “Juodaan Viina” throughout the entire set who forced them to skip “Boozer”, but it was gone nonetheless. Doesn’t bother me THAT much, but still.

But all in all – despite lack of “Boozer”, and despite of annoying men yelling “Juodaan Viina” this gig was probably the better of the two, shockingly. Despite us seeing close to nothing, despite the small arena. I enjoyed it so much.

After the show was done, so many people came and complimented us on our dancing, using words as “enchanting”. Michelle said afterwards that, “This is what will make us famous”. She’s probably right. Or at least infamous. We even got compliments from the securityguards and the wardrobelady, which we had NO idea could actually even see us!

Of course, this forced us to once again not being able to walk. It took longer than it should to get to the parking lot where my mother would pick us up, but we got there eventually.

I seriously wanna thank all the people involved on this trip – Korpiklaani, Grimner and Michelle for giving me one of the most fantastic weekends this year. I loved every bits, and it ended way too soon, if you ask me.

Now, it’s time for us to recharge quickly, because guess which two are getting back to work in six hours? Yup, us.

// Sara

Korpiklaani @ Klubben, Stockholm, 25/9 -15

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 25, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

Finally, finally, the day we had kind of been waiting for had finally, finally, arrived. We got up around 10 or so and started running around like crazy hyenas trying to pack the last few things before going downtown to catch the bus, and for once, we were actually quite ahead of time. That doesn’t happen very often.

Much to our dismay, we got a replacement bus. Every once in a while, Swebus replaces their amazing buses with replacement buses which does NOT provide you with the internet, poweroutlets and everything else Swebus promises you when they advertise. I understand that this happen sometimes, but it’s starting to happen a lot. And it screwed up a lot for us, since we had planned to do some work on the bus but that can’t be done without internet so…

Anyway. Despite this, we did at least make it to Stockholm and since we took a bus that departured a bit later than originally planned, we had to hurry a lot. We threw on our clothes, threw on our make up and went down to Subway to catch some quick dinner or lunch or whatever you wanna call it – proper food at least, and then over to Fryshuset.

I’ve been here a couple of times before, seeing HammerFall, Lordi and Cinderella to name a few, and despite that, I struggle EVERY SINGLE TIME to remember where to go when leaving the subway. Gladly, the volunteers of the police were very helpful.

We arrived right when Grimner was about to start. So, as someone who’s not very familiar to Grimner, I can’t write too detailed about them, but I really liked them. They are the perfect opener for Korpiklaani, that’s for sure.

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And after they were done… we began waiting. For a very short time actually, Korpiklaani went on stage 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I like that, a band who actually GO ON STAGE once everything is set up and doesn’t diva around with staying off just because they can. And, to no surprise, they opened with “Viinameän Mies”.

They continued on very strongly with “Journey Man”, followed by “Pilli on pajusta Tethy”. They continued down the path of “Noita” by following it up with “Lempo” and perhaps one of our own personal favorites – “Sathi”.  I’m not sure if it’s like, their best song ever, but we sure as hell have SO MUCH FUN at that song. Traditional dances are the shit, seriously. I’m positive I could go to Scandinavian follk(metal) gigs solely for the reason to do traditional dances. And also. Some bands have a guitar solo, and some bands has an accordion solo.

I thought it would be safe to go get something to drink right after “Sathi”, because seriously, I was getting worn out, but of course, it was a perfect time for them to do “Ruumiinmulta”. Like, only one of my absolute favorites of them. Gladly, or perhaps sadly, depending on how you view it, it wasn’t a lot of people there and the venue is quite small, so it was easy to get back and forth from the bar.

“Petoeläimen kuola” was next song on the list, and then… then my friends.

“Sumussa Hämärän Aamun”

This is probably my absolute favorite of Korpiklaani. At first few listens, I wasn’t the songs biggest fan, I can admit. But as most things I dislike at first, it intrigued me and after a while… yes. What more could I even add to it. Okay, I need to get going, I’ll write more about my love for this song some other time, but to get back to the subject; atmospheric is a very good word to use to describe the feeling in the venue. Red, dim lights and Jonne letting his voice do the work… highlight. HIGHLIGHT.

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Instrumental time spelled “Vaaringpolka” was followed by “Viima” and “Kultanainen”.

Slowing down the set a little bit again with “Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon”, followed by another “Noita” song – “Ämmänhauta”. I love this song. It kinda goes hand in hand with “Sumussa”, don’t you think?

I haven’t really spoken a lot of Korpiklaani’s performance just yet. But I might as well just tell you – they were so on it. They very jolly on stage and delivering a flawless performance. “Kylästä Keväinen Kehto” was next song on the list and after this it was time for that one song the majority of the Korpiklaani crowd are waiting for.

“Vodka”.

We had originally planned to get into the pit for this one, but after observing during the night the people that participated in the pits throughout the night, we decided against it. There was one guy who was particularly violent to the people in the pit, like, to the extreme that people actually LEFT  the pits halfway through because of his violence, so we stood on the outside causing our own little mayhem with traditional dancing again.

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“Vodka” was followed by “Rauta” (seriously, this song!) and they wrapped up the set with “Happy Little Boozer”.

They left the stage, but really, they weren’t long before they were right back on stage starting off the extras with “Pelloonpekko” which invited to even more dancing. Seriously, can we have Korpiklaani every week?

Jonne joined the boys on stage and they wrapped up the entire set with “Joudaan Viina”. The band thanked for the night, blasted their cover of “We’re not living in America” and left the stage. After catching our breathes for a moment, we started to walk home.

Which was easier said than done. It has been quite some time since I was THIS worn out after a show – not even the five shows long Noch Ein Bier wore me out this much, that should count for something, right? I’m not joking nor exaggerating when I tell you this – when we were walking up a fair staircases, I had to grab onto the handle on the side in order not to fall down. My legs weren’t carrying me. Even when walking on a straight line, I had to hold onto a fence if there were any available. People must have thought we were drunk or something, but really, we were just tired.

We went back to the same subway and was greeted with the worst possible service, headed back to the hotel, ate and then passed out in bed.

Korpiklaani was absolutely amazing. I’m so thrilled and happy and glad and jolly and what not that we are going to see them again tomorrow. Fucking amazing. I can’t wait.

// Sara

Slå mig hårt i ansiktet

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

så får jag känna att jag lever

It’s a song by Thomas Stenström, and for all you non-swedish readers (that are indeed a majority), it says “hit me hard in the face, so I can feel that I’m alive“. I guess it kinda sums up my mood in a way. It’s 4am in the morning, we’re printing the last tickets for the upcoming days we have ahead of us with Korpiklaani, I rushed downtown earlier to pick up a new jewelry case to make sure my earrings never get ruined again when traveling and in all honesty..

I, as usual, have no actual enthusiasm about going. But I know it’ll come tomorrow. When we are on Swebus’ hopefully new buses, checking into our regular hotel and just crash on the bed. I’ll love that.

// SAra

REVIEW: Leave’s Eyes – King of Kings

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 23, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

At the top of the pack, as far as symphonic metal goes, Leaves’ Eyes has spent over a decade brining us world’s history set to music, and this time around, the lyrics are about Norway’s first king, Harald Fairhair. To create the magic that is this album, they’ve had help by the White Russian Symphony Orchestra, as well as the London Voices choir. If this wasn’t enough, the album also features guest-vocals by Simone Simons from Epica and Lindy-Fay Hella from Wardruna.

The first thing I notice about the album is the distinct atmosphere. While Leaves’ Eyes has a strong catalogue with enchanting melodies and epic arrangements, this one catches my ear a little bit more, as it has incorporated a bit of that medieval, or perhaps viking elements which helps setting the mood and tune for the entire album, which is set in the viking era.

The lyrics are well-written with a strong story-telling vibe. Together with this arrangements, it brings you right into wherever the songs may be set. And it gets even better by the occasional instrumentals. One thing that I really liked about this album, was that I didn’t really notice when the song changed. And unlike Butcher Babies, were all the songs would sound the same, this time it was all because of the instrumental which prepared you for the next song, and helped you get into the mood. I love these kind of things – when the bands or artists really make an effort to make it a listening journey, rather than just an album.

So let’s talk a bit more about the songs. I’m going to move straight onto my personal favorites – “King of Kings” – the epic, atmospheric bar-setting titel-track of the album which gives you a premonition about what is about to come, the more intense “Halvdan The Black”, the feasting song “Vengeance Venom”, the epic “Sacred Vow” and can we take a moment to appreciate “Edge of Steel”, featuring Simone Simons from Epica. And I guess Epic would be the right word to describe this song. It does make me think a little bit about “The Quantum Enigma”, so I’m not surprised I like it. The calming rhythms in “Haraldskvæði”, all of this wrapped up with the playful “Sword in Stone”.

But, to sum this up, I really like this album, okay. It’s a solid album with quality material. Well-arranged, well-written, well, everything really. It’s a step up from the previous albums, and even a tad bit better if you ask me. I hope they stay on this track in the future, but regardless – they should be proud of themselves as far as this album goes.

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(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara
Note; Lindy-Fay Hella guests on “Blazing Waters.

The Essence of Silence

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

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I randomly found this one earlier today. I’m almost ashamed to say I had completely forgotten I had it, so I was happily surprised when I found it on the dining table earlier today when looking for something completely different.

So, if you can’t really tell, this is a souvenir from Brighton from this spring when we were in the town for the very last gig of Tour Force One. It was the same city where ABBA had won Eurovision Song Contest on the very same date in 1979. What are the odds? Apparently pretty high.

It brought me back to the great times on the road. To Amaranthe in Belgium, Lordi in Spain (the ducks!) Steel Panther in Norway, Katy Perry, Lordi in Southampton, Steel Panther in Belgium and then wrapping it up with Lordi in Brighton. Which was one of the best gigs in my life. Or well, the gig wasn’t too good in all honesty, but everything surrounding it was.

But it’s not too long until I get back on the road. Starting it out very heavily with Korpiklaani this weekend, followed by W.A.S.P. A couple of weeks break and then I’ll head down in Europe for some shows, and then we have that one heavy weekend, or beginning of week, in November with Mötley Crüe’s final gig in Sweden ever. And so on.

And not to talk about next years adventures. Three new countries in three months, and one of these are out of Europe.

That, my friends, will be something special. Same bands, but new friends, and new experiences.

// Sara

The Fifth Guardian

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2015 by Sara Hammerzmith

When you wake up in the morning with a migrane and just want to tell the world to fuck off, it’s not a good start on the day.

And it doesn’t get any better when you need to do some of the WEEKENDS WORK on the ordinary workday when you have other work to do. But the only thing you can do, is to push through it, curse a bit to yourself, but on “The Quantum Enigma” which is my current jam and just do it. And then apply for a few more jobs.

It’s not really that I need more jobs, more that I want that “perfect” job, and I’m getting closer. I guess we will see what happens.

I have to apologize for all these nonsense I’ve been writing lately, I should really be writing more about things that matters – such as music. I promised you to write about Leaves’ Eyes a few days ago, and I promise you once again, it will come soon. I have a column on concerttickets coming up soon, and let’s not forget this weekends shenanigans – Korpiklaani!

I’ll get back on track soon. Just bear with me.

// Sara