Archive for the Music Category

Stone Sour @ Annexet, Stockholm, Sweden 16/11 – 17

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

So, three weeks of weekend tourings has reached the start of the end, and so I went on the train, again, seems to be a new normal for me, and headed off to Stockholm for a pitstop and then onwards to Germany. But this must have been the trip to hell.

On my way to the trainstation, it dawns upon me that I have forgotten my SL card, buscard for public transport in Stockholm. Which I had topped up specifically for this. While seated on the train, I realize I have forgotten my carry-on pouch which contains my toothbrush and toothpaste, and then a day worth of necessities, in case my checked in bag would get lost. Oh well. Fuck my life. And then I realize another thing.

I forgot the concert ticket at home.

There were a few frantic moments of panic, until I could read on the ticket in my mailbox that it’s fine to scan it directly off your phone at the entrance. Thank. Fucking. God. On top of that, the train got delayed.

So, once in Stockholm I went back to Birka Hostel, my new “home” in Stockholm, and conveniently enough, I had the exact same room as I had earlier this year when I saw Sabaton. How awesome? Ran off to a convenience store to buy my now third travel toothbrush and some paste and then down to Sergels Torg to once again meet up with Robert.

This time around though, we chose to have dinner at Burger King instead. Why not you know. We headed off to the arena and got a bit lost at first. It’s a bit confusing, seeing the venue is Annexet, which is not really Globen, but still is Globen. Eventually we found our way in, made the bathroom break and then headed off to the merchandise. Robert picked up a shirt of each band, and then into the venue.

It was somewhat empty in fact, to my surprise but also to our joy, I guess. Ida and Adam soon joined us, two of the people I met while at Graspop, and it was BEYOND to see them again. And then.. lights out and show starting.

The Pretty Reckless

First time for me to see this band, and I listened a lot to their “Going to Hell” album at the time it came out, but after that I kind of lost track of them? If that makes sense, but I was very happy to finally see them.

They walked on stage and just stood there, almost as if in pain, and then started off with “Follow me Down” which is the perfect mixture of both subtleness and in your face kind of thing. They followed it up with “Since You’re Gone” and “Oh My God”.

“Hangman” was next to the list, and even if the crowd might have been a little bit thin, it was still a good vibe coming from them. The band was delivering as well, so it was all good. “Prisoner” was next, followed by one of my personal favorites “Sweet Things” before they cranked out their big hit “Make Me Wanna Die”. Or I don’t know if it’s their big hit, but it was the first song they released anyway. Somewhere here, Robert manages to drop our beerglass. ALL OVER MY NEW BATTLE BEAST HOODIE. And Ida’s hair and dress. Oh well.

Guitarsolo was ripped up before “Heaven Knows” which is also one of my own personal favorites, it’s the perfect crowd song, if you think about it really. “Going to Hell” and “Take Me Down” wrapped the set for this time, and the band thanked for themselves and left the stage.

While I enjoyed the show, I still found it a bit dull. Musically they delivered, but I wish to have seen more energy in them, I’ll admit.

After this, I headed out to the bathroom, and still miraculously made my way back where we were, and Robert was nowhere to be found. What the hell. Turns out he’d gone too, after all, so I made my to the side of the crowd rather than in the middle of it. And before Robert even returned, the intro started rolling..

Stone Sour

As they came on stage, they opened the set with “Taipei Person / Allah Tea” and the crowd… sort of lost it, I guess. It’s not exactly as I’ve seen it happen before, but the place had gotten packed and everyone was in a good mood, and the band seemed to be too.

“Knievel Has Landed” was the second song on the setlist, and Corey was… he was good. He was energetic. I’ll leave it at that. “Made of Scars” followed suit, and “Reborn” was next. The crowd was decent, but not really there yet. BUT – when next song was announced, they woke up a little bit

“Say You’ll Haunt Me” took place, and I do personally love this song a lot, so I was more than happy. “30/30-150” followed suit, and then “Hesitate”, which he fittingly enough dedicated to all of us ladies. Thank you for that, Corey. I love this song.

“Tired” was next, and the thing is… The band performed. And delivered. But I miss that energy. They lack that energy that I wish to see in a live band, which surprises me. Even Corey Taylor was a bit calmed down, and it felt like it was just another day at the job for them. Which it was, in a way.

“Rose Red Violent Blue (This song is dumb and so am I)” from the most recent album followed suit, alongside “Do me a Favor” and “Cold Reader”. At this point, the crowd had warmed up a little bit… but still not entirely there, you know?

“Get Inside”, “Song#3” were done and then… Corey started singing, and the whole arena more or less exploded. Yeah, I guess you can guess. “Through Glass”.

After the song, they left the stage and the intro for “Gone Sovereign” started echoing, and they returned to finish of the song. A screaming competition between the sides emerged, to set the intro for “Absolute Zero” and FINALLY the crowd woke up. Well, for a second anyway.

The whole set was wrapped up with “Fabuless” before they, for real, left the stage and said their good byes.

Robert and I hung around for a while, and we both managed to score setlists despite not being in the front, and he also got a pick. How awesome, huh. We hung around for a while to make the line go down, and then got out and got home to our respective places.

It was a good night with good friends, and I loved that. Tomorrow, Germany.

// Sara

 

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Alice Cooper @ First Direct Arena, Leeds, United Kingdom 11/11 -17

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

So it was time. It was the D-day. Lazy, I guess, as we were, we got up as late as possible to still make it to breakfast, although we made it in different… times. Niki was first down, then I followed and I really tried my hardest to make Nathan come, but he was too tired or something.

So, Niki and I enjoyed a nice breakfast, and we were indeed joined by Nathan at the time. He came last, but also left first so he could take a shower. You readers may remember, Nathan takes a few hours or so in the shower.

Once everybody was done and ready, we headed off to town to check out the city. There was a German christmas market going on, and as well as some additional shopping. We then settled for Wagamama for some dinner, which was delish! We made our way back to the hotel – even if it was a bit of a walk, it was a fairly easy way, gladly. In the elevator there were some people we thought were going to Cooper, so Nathan said “Let’s play a game, everyone seeing Cooper tonight raise your hands” and we got it confirmed. Was in fact a lot of Cooper people in the lobby.

Got a quick change and make up done at the hotel and then we headed back the same way toward the venue. The whole area surronding the venue was cut off, and it was extensive controls before getting in, but do you know what I love? The feeling of no rush or stress to get in. We had our seats, and we didn’t have to worry about a damn thing.

We headed straight for the merchandise and Niki and I picked up some merch before heading into the venue to find our seats and casually looking at the supportbands. I’m sorry, but I won’t be writing about them as I wasn’t really paying that much attention. The Tubes and The Mission was the support bands though!

Before Alice Cooper, or perhaps it was before The Mission, I did a Katy Perry and went outside to get popcorn and a cola. I mean, if I’m gonna sit here I might as well make the most of it right? Except on Katy Perry I didn’t have any seats, I just had the popcorn in front of me.

We saw the backdrop, or perhaps the curtain, for Alice Cooper being risen and we just got so goddamn excited. This show, we knew it was going to be one hell of a show.

And then.. the arena went dark and the intro “Spend the night” started echoing.

Alice Cooper

He opened up with “Brutal Planet”, much similar to earlier this year, and then continued into “Under My Wheels”. Seriously, Alice Cooper is indeed among the bands I’ve seen live the most, but for some reason I get childishly excited whenever I see him. Perhaps it’s because of the rarity.

Backdrop change, and next song “Lost in America” was delivered to us in a perfect way, and then continued with “Pain”, which was a bit of a surprise if you ask me! This was such a dream, this show. It is nothing but amazing to see Alice Cooper live.

We had seats quite high up, in the back, but I honestly didn’t mind. The seated people on the floor ended up standing up, so it was probably just as well that we were sitting this high up to be honest. “Department of Youth” and “The World Needs Guts” followed suit, by “Woman of mass Distraction”.

And after that, Hurricane Nita got to show off her skills, and seriously – this woman. She’s something else. I love her stage prescence and showmanship. She’s amazing. The guitarsolo wound up in “Poison”, and later one of the more amazing surprises for the night – “Halo of Flies”, which also featured a drumsolo by no one less than Glen Sobel.

“Feed My Frankenstein” was next on the list, followed by “Cold Ethyl”, and to my big surprise, and happiness I may say, “Only Women Bleed” was next. It was not yesterday I heard that song live, that is for sure.

“Paranoiac Personality” off the new album followed suit, and then “Ballad of Dwight Fry”. As you can see, a pretty normal setlist of Alice Cooper with some occasional easter eggs. “Killer” and “I Love the Dead” followed suit together with the execution… and then the arena went black.

And Nathan just hit my leg and was like “YOU WANT TO KEEP THAT CAMERA ROLLING” so I turned it on again. Which was great, because this was the entrance of the original members.

“I’m Eighteen” is usually a song I have a hate love relationship to. Because this was the only song that I repeatedly rehearsed with my band. But tonight? With the original bandmembers? Magical. Absolutely magical.

“Billion Dollar Babies” was next on the set, followed by “No More Mr Nice Guy” and “Muscle of Love” before also the current line up joined the originals to end up an amazing show with “Schools Out”. What a line up, what a set up. It’s hard to grasp, you know?

Seriously… this was beyond magic. Hearing Alice Cooper introduce all the bandmembers, all the current as well as the OG’s…. that was just. I can’t believe I got to witness this. It’s beyond me, really.

After the show, we headed straight back home, had one last drink together in the hotel bar before going to bed.

// Sara

Battle Beast @ Folkets Park, Huskvarna 3/11 – 17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 3, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, back in the saddle and on it again. Or more like, back in my wonderful absolutely amazing little tourcar, and heading down toward Huskvarna. This is a city and a venue I’ve never been in before, but after driving to Sweden Rock so many times, I actually almost found my way to Jönköping by default. How amazing isn’t that huh?

The drive was quite uneventful to be honest, a lot of headbanging and just cruising to my destionation, which was a MAX hamburger restaurant in Jönköping. I had gotten a lot of those discount coupons, and for once, they arrived at the time when I was actually IN NEED of them – like actually going to use them. How amazeballs isn’t that?

After a quick food and make up break,  I headed off all the way to Huskvarna. You know, those all long five minutes it takes to travel from the specific restaurant in question to the venue.

Once at the venue, I was lucky enough to get a parking spot right at the venue and from there I was just very very confused. It has like a gazillion buildings, or well, three, so I had to send Jonathan photos of everything like “where do I go from here” and eventually I found the little house, where I found some people working that told me that that specific building was the venue, and that the doors open in two hours. So now we wait.

Jonathan and his friend showed up rather quickly, and we hung around for a bit. They went in to check out the merch, some more friends joined in and we had a jolly good time before the doors opened. Once the doors opened, we ran, well, more walked in and took our spots in the front row of this tiny little venue.

It is like one of those vintage dance halls in facts, round in shape and all in wood. I loved it. Time passed quickly, and Rexoria stepped on stage.

Rexoria

Rexoria is a local band from the area, Jönköping to be more exact, and they delivered a pretty good set. You could kind of tell they were from the area as they had quite som fans in the crowd. I enjoyed their set a lot, and on top of that they played a new song from their upcoming album.

After this, the wait began and sooner rather than later, Dynazty took the stage.

Dynazty

They opened up ever as energetically with “Run Amok”, and the response from the audience was pretty good if you ask me. They followed rather quickly with “The Northern End”, which, as you know, is my personal favorite song of them. I could seriously travel all over just to see them play this song. Over and over again.

Just as previously “Raise Your Hands” followed suit and then “Roar of the Underdog”. The energy and mood seemed to be quite a little better today if I may say so, as “Incarnation” roared out of the speakers. I love this song no less as I did a few days ago – perfect for live.

Artistic break followed by “The Human Paradox”, “Titanic Mass” and then wrapping the set up with “Startlight” ended the, for me, last show with Dynazty for this tour. I can’t believe it’s already over. I wish and hope they start touring a little more soon. I can’t get enough of this band.

And once they were done, they started shifting the gear, which was a little bit smaller today, which isn’t so weird – smaller venue you know. What I really hated this time, was the douchebag who showed up about when Dynazty was done, and started pressing in, almost squeezing Susanna out of her spot. COME IN TIME PEOPLE. The people in the front has usually waited hours, so leave them be!

Battle Beast

In estimated time, they came on stage and opened strongly, probably stronger than in Stockholm, with “Straight To The Heart” and then launching us into “Bringer of Pain”.

And there was a very, very good vibe in the audience, already from the start, and it got even better for “Familiar Hell”. Stockholm got nothing on these Jönköping-people.

“Into the Heart of Danger” was the next song, then followed by “We Will Fight” which seemed to be quite the crowdpleaser, before we lost pretty much all of the control we might have had in “Let it Roar”. The audience was a bit.. well, drunk I guess. A lot of annoying people, but I guess you just have to live with that right?

“Black Ninja” was next song to be ripped off, and seriously, this song live is nothing but amazement. There’s nothing quite like just stopping for a moment and the absolutely losing it in a deep headbanging beat. There’s a few bands who has songs like that, but there’s nothing quite like it.

Beautiful little moment in “Far From Heaven” before returning to seriousness in “Lost in Wars”. This song has come to grow so much on me, the more I hear it. Not only live, also just at home really.

And you know… you know how some bands, when you hear that one note or tone, it’s like everything inside you simply explode? That is the case for me when the keynotes of “Iron Hand”, after toying around with some Abba, echoes through the speakers, and you could tell and feel on the audience that I was not the only one… holy hell what a song it is!

“Bastard Son of Odin” was next on the list, and it is very true that for once in a while, they actually don’t speak bullshit when they say this is the song about us. Real vikings. And then…

So, as I might have mentioned in my previous post, Robert was set to host the afterparty with Battle Beast after the Stockholm, and in Huskvarna it was my turn. I even had to say my name in the mic and everything, which is very much a first for me. This was of course the intro for “Touch in the Night”, which STILL, is not the same without Laura there… but soon enough I’ll be seeing them with her!

They wrapped up the set with “Out of Control” and it was good to be at a place with people who did go out of control. I was a bit, hm, how do I put it. Not amused perhaps? Upon noticing how I’d been levitating more and more to the right. I started out in the middle in front of Noora, and now I was more and more on the right. Oh well.

The band returned to the stage with “King for a Day” before ending the entire set with “Beyond the Burning Skies” The band thanked for the evening and left the stage.

Jonathan managed to catch a drumstick as well as a setlist, and he was kind enough to give me the setlist. Which was so sweet of him, he didn’t have to do that.

After the show, we got ourselves some refreshments, headed to the merchbooth and then hung around the venue for some time simply to hang out, getting to know each other and for Toivo to get all the signatures from the bandmembers.

Once we “disbanded” I headed back to the same MAX restaurant in Jönköping for some travel food before embarking on the three hour drive home.

This show was pure amazement. Thank you Battle Beast, Dynazty, Rexoria, Jonathan, Toivo, August and Susanna for an amazing evening! Until next time!

// Sara

Battle Beast @ Klubben, Stockholm, Sweden 1/11 – 17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 1, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

At 12.18 it departued, my train toward the capital. If that sentence had been written in “The Hunger Games” it would have had a completely different meaning and cause than what my train has. For a change, I was going with the train rather than the bus, and enjoying the spacious seats they have.

Once in Stockholm,  I checked into my hotel and got ready for the evening. For the occasion, I was meeting up with Robert, an old friend I hadn’t seen in some time. We headed off to the closest Subway and had a sweet dinner before heading to the venue.

Once there, it wasn’t much of a line – and I saw a lot of coats. For those of you readers who are not from Sweden – up here it is mandatory, at least at most concert venues, to leave your jacket in the wardrobe, they will literally not let you pass without dropping off a jacket, and this is why you will never see me queue with a jacket. Because having to put away your coat in the closet is exactly what lost half this little tiny line in front of us their front row spots. But no issue for me and Robert, since – we did not take our jackets with us.

And you know, it’s not bad I’d say to end up in the frontrow arriving maybe only 15 minutes or so before the doors open. It wasn’t a whole lot of people there in the end, about the front row and maybe 10+ more as Dynazty entered the stage.

Dynazty

They started off the show, as energetic as you’d expect from a band who’s a bit rusty, with “Run Amok” and the interest from the audience was pretty…. yeah, cold. That is really the best word to describe it.

They continued very quickly with my personal favorite song, “The Northern End” and seriously… I could go to every single Battle Beast show in this tour only to see this song be played every night. I seriously hope Dynazty starts touring with Amaranthe.. please…

After this, they went back in time for “Raise Your Hands” before launching into “Roar of the Underdog” and then continuing on with “Incarnation”. I honestly love this song live, It’s so perfect for live – heavy, interactive, and has some melody to it. Amazing. “Unholy Deterrent” followed suit, before band took an “artistic break” and then returning with “The Human Paradox”. Another song that I love beyond.

They wrapped up the entire set with “Titanic Mass” and “Starlight” before leaving the stage.

Well, that sure as hell was worth it. It’s a real special feeling you know, when you get to see a band you see so damn rarely. Right at the end, I dodged for the bathrooms just for safety, and since I dogded so quickly – you know, I’ve been doing it for some time. Getting back in was not too hard either, despite it starting to fill up with people.

Right in time, Battle Beast’s intro started to echo and the show started off.

Battle Beast

Battle Beast started off as energetic and powerful as always with “Straight to the Heart” and my insides pretty much exploded. Not my organs, but inner emotions and any sort of self control just went out the window. Jesus Christ, this band knows how to deliver energy. Also, Noora and I had a little moment here. Which was amazing. There’s nothing quite like being the die hard fan at the front.

“Bringer of Pain” was next song on the list, and then thrown right into “Familiar Hell”. The reception was better than for Dynazty, I’ll give you that, but I felt they were still warming up a bit. Or at least in my opinion they could have done better.

“Into the Heart of Danger” was next on the list, and seriously, this song is so amazing live. It’s just… I don’t even know how to describe it properly, but it’s a perfect setting. “We will Fight” was next on the list, followed by the powerpackage that is “Let it Roar” and then into the epic “Black Ninja”. It’s just a whole segment and package of headbanging and jumping, a complete discharge of energy.

Gladly, we got to “relax” a little as “Far From Heaven” was next on the list, then followed by the extremely beautiful, yet powerful, “Lost in Wars”.

The epic tunes of “Iron Hand” echoed through the hall, and you know, there is something truly majestic about this specific song, don’t you think? It’s like, as soon as the intro starts, it’s like everything just levitates.

And again, as last time I saw them, this time speaking about viking warriors, they were not in the wrong by stating it considering that we ARE truly the bastard sons and daughters of Odin. I guess the next song doesn’t need more introduction than that. Again, a complete discharge of energy.

That is pretty much what this band does to you. The band is beyond energetic as it is, and it just rubs off on you. We feed off of each other. Time to slow it down a little to dance to “Touch in the Night” before, for real this time, losing all sense of self-control we all might have had for “Out of Control”.

Anecdote. At the point of one of these songs, Noora simply said that “It’s okay to take your shirt off you know” and naturally, Robert did. And they pointed out that he was a big contestant to have the afterparty at his place because of this.

The band left the stage, the crowed cheered as per usual, and they returned to wrap up the whole set with “King for a Day” and “Beyond the Burning Skies”. One last time to get rid of all that last pieces of energy you had lying around in you.

The band thanked for the evening and left the stage. And we were left completely dehydrated and dead. We remained at the venue for a long time, just to catch out breath and take a moment to get back to reality.

We left the venue, and I got back to my hotel, and Robert went his own way. Thank you Battle Beast, for this incredibly amazing evening.

// Sara

Twilight Force @ Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium 19/10 -17

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 19, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, up in the early morning… well, around 9. The practical thing about packing before you go to bed is that you don’t have to give a shit about that when you get up in the morning. And for someone like me, who isn’t really a morning person, this is golden.

So, off I went at 10, went to the trainstation to lock up my bags and then I hit the shopping streets. What I was looking for in fact, were soles for my shoes. Something in them has broken, and because of that, they give me blisters UNDERNEATH my foot, and it just got worse and worse. So I walked up and down the shopping street without finding anything reasonable. I hit H&M quickly to pick up some small items before ACTUALLY heading off to Turnhout. I was going to stay at a hostel there, which is just like a busride from Vosselaar.

It was a pretty nice trainride. One straight ride until I ended up in the little town on Turnhout. I did the same walk here – trying to find somewhere until I, at last, ended up in a pharmacy and got one of those pricier gelsoles. Hopefully, this would solve it!

It got close to check in time, so I headed off to my hostel and was greeted by the owner. It’s a cute little restaurant and hostel with only four rooms, the most precious ever! It’s called Resto BnB in Turnhout. Very central, too.

Once there, I placed the gelsoles in my shoes and my god. That was HEAVEN. I could walk, without feeling anything – actually, it was more painful walking without the shoes than with them! With that said, I rested a bit before starting to get ready for the show, and then took my little walk down to the bus.

Of course, this scared the hell out of me. Sounds weird to say perhaps for little me, but really. Going on a bus, in a foreign city without anywhere really to know when to get off or so – and even worse, the bus was ahead of my maps. Aaah.

But gladly, I managed to figure it out, and even better so, there was a fellow metalhead on the bus which I could take following with. So, I got off the stop and started making my way to Biebob. Once here, it wasn’t too hard to find. Actually, just walk straight.

I arrived about an hour or so before doors were being opened, so a small line had started to form. Which wasn’t weird. However, I was completely alone. All the people I knew of going there had gotten stuck in various forms of traffic, so I stood there, in my loneliness, until a woman started talking to me. Appears she had been working at Graspop Metal Meeting for many years, and was very excited for the show tonight. Oh the people you meet.

The doors opened at 19 as expected, and as I got inside, I found Alexandre at the front, unexpected but on the same time not surprised, so I went over to him and remained by his side. I noticed a few of the people from Sabaton Open Air, Ivan and Piggy, was also there, and said hi to them, but since Alex had front row in the middle kind of spots, I simply remained.

After some wait, that was longer than I expected it to be, Twilight Force entered the stage.

Twilight Force

The intro started echoing in the speakers, Blackwald marching on stage first followed by the rest, and they kicked off the set with “Battle of Arcane Might”. I was very glad and happy to see that there was quite a lot of Twilight Force supporters in the crowd, despite them being “only” the supportband. It was an energetic start, and Tommy delivered!

“To The Stars” was next on the setlist, followed by “Riders of the Dawn”. “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon” was next song on the setlist – and it was about this time that Sjorven and Stephen FINALLY arrived. So at last, all my friends were gathered. And right at the climax of this amazing piece of a song… the electricity died. Like, literally, in the most critical moment… power shortage. Oh well, that happens, right? Awkward moments are coming in.

Once the power was back, after a bit of fizzling, they moved on to “There and Back Again”, and then the normal duel between singer, in this case Tommy, and Blackwald emerged.

This was an interesting moment. As Tommy was getting his crowd to cheer, he yelled out “for the unborn children of Sara Kohler”. And I just stood there like “what on earth did he just say?”, because quite frankly – I have never in my life, and I mean never – interacted with any of the people from Twilight Force, or Tommy more than the signing sessions. Which made it all a bit weird and funny.

I have no idea what side actually won, but “Gates of Glory” emerged before they wrapped up the whole set with “The Power of the Ancient Force”. The band thanked for the show, and left the stage. While I want to congratulate Tommy on his amazing performance, I want to ask what the hell was wrong with the sound? I could barely hear ANYTHING, let alone even try to engage in the show. Some times it was better, but other times it was like, is there even a band here? I can see them, but I can’t hear them? I don’t get it.

After Twilight Force, we made our way out of the pit as well, we were dying from the heat, and truth to be told, I was going there primarily for Twilight Force, so we figured being a bit in the back wouldn’t hurt us. The others went outside, and I stayed sitting down listening to Dragonforce played until I went out myself to catch some air. It’s not like me, I know.

The rest of the show Stephen, Sjorven and I spent by the bar, casually watching the mainband play before it was time for us to get going. We went to eat at some street kitchen, and then Sjorven dropped me off at my hotel and went home again. And same procedure as every time – I start packing and getting ready for the next day.

// Sara

Epica @ TRIX, Antwerpen, Belgium 18/10 – 2017

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

So, minitour. At 4 in the morning I left my place at home in Karlstad and drove all across the country (well…) to the airport. Yes, I know. Me. Driving. Truth is, I couldn’t really find a bus that would allow me to get on the plane in time, hence, this happening. I normally prefer to go by public transit otherwise, because you know, then it ain’t my problem.

Got to the airport in pretty good time, you know, around an hour or so before the plane was gonna leave – my style you know. The ride was quite uneventful, some stupid people refusing to listen to the cabin crew – if you so dearly wanted to sit together, then perhaps you should have pre-booked your seats. Idiots.

Landed in Brussels, took the train toward Antwerpen pretty instantly, because really, what is the point at staying here? Brussels is all nice and cool, but mayhaps another time. Once on the train I felt content, scared, and a bit excited. It’s the normal mixture of emotions you always get when going some place new.

Now, I’ve been in Antwerpen once before, but I was driven here by someone, and we were only here for the show. And well, I was only here for the show as well, but this time I had to you know, find my way to a hotel and everything.

It was quite easy to find, which made me really happy. What I didn’t realize is that I had managed to end up in the highly orhtodox Jew neighbourhood of Antwerpen, which was quite interesting to see. To see the differencies from different part of the city, and to discover their culture a bit.

For this stay, I had chosen Ambassador Suites Antwerp, and since I decided quite last minute, I got a big room. A room to fit four people. The kind of room we’d need for a Lordivacation, to be more exact.

Got ready in the room, and then I awaited Sjorvens arrival to have some dinner, and then head off to the show. I had decided, and yes, you will all hate me for this – to skip out on the supportbands and head straight for Epica, as this gig was really more of a “oh they are playing here so lets just go” kind of thing.

Sjorven was stuck in traffic, but eventually he made it, and we made it to, the ever so usual, McDonalds for some real on tour cuisine. But, you know what they say – time runs fast when you are having fun. So we had to rush back to the hotel, to pick up my phone that I forgot, and then to walk to Trix.

And got a bit lost, or something. So we got delayed. Like, very delayed. When we finally arrived at the venue, I heard “Essance of Silence” echoing from the inside, and not only that, but my favorite part of it. Of course, right? But on the plus side – there was no queue! No line! No waiting time! We got inside just in time for the song to be over, and “Universal Death Squad” starting.

Epica

So, as I said, “Universal Death Squad” was next on the list, which was amazing. I’m still not too big of a fan of this song, but what can you do? “Ascension” followed lead, and then “Dancing in a Hurricane”, which I love so much. That song has come to grown so much on me. And not only that, but the mood it sets in the venue. I saw several people just starting to dance. I love the oriental elements to the song… seriously.

“Victims of Contingency” was next on the list, throwing us right back into “The Quantuum Enigma” era, and my personal favorite “Unchain Utopia” was next on. I still cannot decide if it’s the band that is untight, or if I’ve fallen out of synch with this band. But it’s something that is just not right when they play it, and it has been so lately.

They wrapped up the set with “Cry for the Moon”, which always makes for a huge sing along. The venue is not that big, but it felt like it was thousands of people in there, let me tell you.

The band thanked for the show, and left the stage. Coen very soon came back in, starting off as he usually does with his handheld keyboard – apparently all the other keyboards fell down, and for once, he was left with only this.

“Beyond The Matrix” was on the list, and the whole arena bounced. It’s good to see a show down on the continent, where the audiences are actually good, you know. And pyro! They wrapped up the entire set with “Consign to Oblivion”. Sjorven joined the wall of death, and then he never came out. I sort of panicked for a second. TRIX isn’t THAT big, how the hell does someone vanish like that?

After the song, the band thanked for the evening, took their mandatory picture and left the stage for good this time. I went off toward the front row to try to find Cyril which I knew would be here, and gladly, after finding him I also found Sjorven. Who had gotten me a setlist, what a precious person.

After saying all of our good byes and all, we walked home toward the hotel, which took a lot longer than it should. We were stopped on the road asking if we had cocaine, so we were like, yeah, lets just get out of here.

Eventually we made it back, I got up to my room and Sjorven went home. I packed up my stuff and prepared for the next day, as I was heading off toward Vosselaar.

// Sara

Epica – The Solace System

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 28, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

One year after the release of ”The Holographic Principle” Epica releases a six track long EP called ”The Solace System”. The six tracks featured are songs that got left over from the writing process of the last album, yet songs they did not want to go to waste. And now, we have this EP.

The EP opens quite powerfully with the opening track ”The Solace System”, which is somewhat what I’d expect of any Epica album. The EP continues with a heavier and rougher track in ”Fight Your Demons” Before exploding in the epic and greatness that is ”Architect of Light” before going back into the heaviness and roughness. There’s a beautiful little breakdown with ”Immortal Melancholy” to break off the pounding before tying up the album with ”Decoded Poetry”. It’s following the same theme of quantuum physics kind of lyrics, so no real new surprises there.

I like the EP. I think it’s a nice break off from The Holographic Principle, and I understand that they had a hard time not releasing this, and I’m glad they did as I really enjoy it. It’s very much the same old that we are used to with Epica – epic arrangements, bombastic song and catchy melodylines. Sadly, as far as this EP goes, nothing really new for them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, now does it?

Favorite song: Now You’ll Never Know
Least Favorite:
Dance-friendliness:  2/6
Headbang-friendliness:  4/ 6
Crowd-friendliness: 1/6

// Sara