Archive for the Travels Category

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 5 – February 5th, 2018

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on February 5, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

I was not sure if I should even enlist this day as 70.000 Tons entry, considering it was basically just this, but I’ll let it slip.

So, as I was being told by the schedule that disembarkment would happen at 8, so I actually got up. I said good bye to Alyssa, one of the girls I shared the cabin with as she was the only one awake, and then met up with Sjorven in the Alhambra to have some breakfast in the only café that was opened. After some time, our numbers were called and we got off the ship.

When collecting out luggage, we ran into Sabaton again who came to greet Sjorven, and then, the long line to get out of the ship (customs kind of thing). And then.. finally out.

It really passed fast, the cruise, but it was good to be off and getting ready.

After some major issues with the car rental service, well, they don’t really know what service is, we finally got on the road toward Everglades City. We had chosen a rather.. more luxuary resort for our stay this time around. Right off the highway we found the place, and we checked into our little cabin.

By this time it was around six or so, and mind you – the last night, after Sabaton, I just didn’t bother and went to bed in my camopants, like I’ve done so many times before, so I’ve been living in these clothes for the past 36 hours or something, when we took the car out again and hit up some restaurant. We found this real nice truck stop kind of restaurant, so it didn’t really matter.

Great staff, great place and great food. After that, it was time to hit the sack.

And SLEEP.

// Sara

Advertisements

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 4 – February 4th, 2018

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on February 4, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the last day on board huh. Bittersweet in a way, when I very very tiredly again got up to the Windjammer to have breakfast for like, the last time ever. Bittersweet, really.

Once breakfast was done, I headed off to Pool Deck again and finding myself being fried in the sun waiting for Leaves’ Eyes. I had shoes on, which was too warm, so I took them off. Because it is okay to stand here in just your socks. Only problem is I stood on a metal plate. So I was choosing between the plague and the black death, and my feet were burning up regardless.

Leaves’ Eyes

Around 13, they walked on stage and started off with “Sign of the Dragonhead” with the sun shining high over the boat, making this gig’s temperature almost unbearable. “Across the Sea” was second song on the list, followed by “Edge of Steel” which is one of my personal favorites like ever.

“Swords in Rock” followed suit, and I’ll admit, the turn up for this gig wasn’t as good as it had been last time, but still a good deal. But the energy was dead. Probably because of the sun, you know.

“Fires in the North” was next on the list, and then it was time for my personal favorite, the song I had missed at the last set, “Riders of the Wind”. And I am so happy I got it at this set instead!

“Hell to the Heavens” followed up, and then “Sacred Vow” before they wrapped up the entire set with “Black Waters” and “Haraldskvædi”. The band thanked for themselves, and left the stage.

After that, I headed back toward my room to start packing up. I figured it’s something I’ll want to have done the night before getting of the boat rather than you know, doing it in the morning.

Went for some last swims, because you know, it was a pretty empty day, but also the last one on the boat.

The clock started to tick on, and it was getting later and later, and time to get back into Sabaton gear.. But stupid as I fucking was, I managed to put my Sabaton shirt right into a puddle of water, so all this time I spent on it getting dry, it got wet up. So I “had” to change into a Lordi shirt, because there is limits, you know, now how important it is.

Once changed into the gear, I got back down to Alhambra, where Sabaton played this time around, and I got down when Dark Tranquility was still on stage. I sat down in one of the chairs, waiting for them to be done… shifted position.. and then I heard a loud round of applauds and the band leaving the stage. Apparently, I’d managed to fall asleep throughout the entire set. Well.. why not?

Sleepily as I don’t even know what I dragged my way to the front row where Sjorven was and eagerly waited for Sabaton.

Sabaton

This time around, instead of “The March to War” which I absolutely love.. “Dominum Marcii Baltici” started whipsering out of the speakers. This intro doesn’t echo, it whispers, and then they opened with “The Lion from The North”

“Panzerkampf” made an entrance as the second song, heading straight into “Gott Mit Uns” in Swedish, thank God! “The Final Solution” was next song to be performed, launching us straight into “Winged Hussars”. Damn, I still love this song to bits.

As you have noticed, the set is completely different from the one we saw on Pool deck, which was very nice to see! Scottish revolution “Blood of Bannockburn” followed suit, with “White Death” close to it.

“Diary of an Unknown Soldier” and “The Lost Battalion” was ripped off, followed by “Resist and Bite” and “Screaming Eagles”. Sjorven’s homearena, I guess we could call it.

Another song in Swedish, “En Livstid i Krig” happened before it was wrapped up with the usual three – “Nightwitches”, “Shiroyama” and “To Hell and Back”.

But this time around, they closed it all with “In The Navy”. While both of the sets has been relatively good, I still, really, really, miss “Midway” and, or, “Wolfpack” in the list. Sabaton are usually very very good on making geographical setlists, and this would have been the perfect place to do the two boatsongs they have. But I guess not.

After Sabaton, we headed off to Windjammer for one final dinner. I was meant to go back to my room to get something, and as I was making my way back to Alhambra for the final show of the cruise, Sjorven had forgotten his towel in my room and made me go back and get it, which resulted in missing out on the first 15 minutes of Alestorm. Great.

Alestorm

So, as I arrived, they were wrapping up “Mexico”. Looking back on the setlist, I literally missed out on some of my favorite songs – “Shipwrecked”, “The Magnetic North” and “Mexico”. Oh well.

“Nany the Tavern Wench” instead became my first song, which was good enough. The place was packed, of course, it’s Alestorm and it’s the last and also only show playing. We found some real good spots on a balcony though, so I will not complain!

“Pegleg Potion” of the newest album was next, and I really love this song – I think it’s funny. And then the party started.

“Hangover” was next, which included Ducky being thrown out, but not only that – but also a CONGALINE! Two congalines going down the two staircases in Alhambra, right into an already packed venue. Sjorven even asked “Where do all the people go?” Who the hell knows?

Ducky, was also killed. Rest in peace, Duky.

“1741 (Battle of Cartagena)” was next on the list, before it was time for “Drink” again. But with a twist. Chris asked if there was anyone in the house who wanted us to hear a song for Dogs. And of course we did. And this is how we got “Drink” for dogs. I love this.

Then, they wrapped up not just their set, but the entire cruise, with the loudest sing a long I have heard on this cruise with “Fucked with an Anchor” before leaving their stage.

There is no more perfect band to end a cruiseship like this than a party pirate band. Even after the lights were on, the gear was off, people were still chanting “Fucked with an Anchor” for some time. That’s how you know you wrote an anthem, you know.

After Alestorm, we took one final stroll around the ship before retreating to our cabins to get some little sleep before getting off the boat, and toward the Everglades tomorrow.

// Sara

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 3 – February 3rd, 2018

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on February 3, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

Around 11 already I got up. Nowhere near enough sleep, but I really did not want to miss out day at the beach, and not to mention, to go aboard some place I may never visit again, or at least not in a near future.

A quick visit to Windjammer for breakfast before we headed off to the beach. And it was so beautiful. It was extremly warm, the weather was perfect, the beach was amazing and the ocean was… mesmerizing. Spent most of the time in the water or on the beachside to get some tan. We also walked around Cockburn Town’s centre, or the cruise centre, checking out all the shops and the places, picking up some souvenirs before sitting down with an ice cream a little bit before we decided to get back on board. We played it safe and went on about an hour earlier than needed, but better safe than being fucking left behind on an island.

Once back on the boat, I made a quick effort to get ready and hit up Alhambra for the first show of the day… Well… sort of… Which is… Battle Beast.

A bit of poor planning, huh?

Battle Beast

Just as this morning, they opened up with “Straigh to the Heart”, although the crowd was a wee bit bigger this time around. Great energy – as expected. “Bringer of Pain” followed suit, then “Familiar Hell” and “Black Ninja”.

The crowd was in a good mood, giving back a lot of the energy they got from the band, but I think personally I might have been a little.. Like I literally saw them 12 hours ago, it wasn’t too fun, but they still deliver, you know?

“Lost in Wars” was next on the list, followed by “Touch in the Night”. The seslits of the shows were not identical, which was pretty cool to see, even if MOST songs were the same. “Bastard Son of Odin” followed suit, before it was wrapped up with “King for a Day” and “Beyond the Burning Skies”. Battle Beast, thank you for these both sets!

Once this was over, we headed off to have some food, and pick up a coffee, because I was dead. Back to the little Pyramid Lounge to catch Amberian Dawn’s second set – which was identical to the set in Alhambra. Didn’t particularly mind it. It was a good show, and the place was packed.

We then went back to specifically Alhambra to catch Freedom Call, and at this time I was just so ready to hit the sack, spent most of the show sitting in the comfortable seats and sadly missing out on a song here and there from nodding away to sleeps beautiful land. But I did see most of the show, and that was great!

After that it was off to bed, and then… up again at 3 am to catch Triosphere.

Triosphere

So this was interesting. Ida coughed her way through the first song, and then explaining that she is still very sick, but that they’ll do their best to give us something. They played two songs instrumental, they had Siri singing one song and wrapped it up with Noora from Battle Beast playing a cover of W.A.S.P with them. And that was it.

It was an extremely short set, but seriously – ALL THE KUDOS to them for showing up, and making the best out of a very very shitty situation. Love you.

And then, it was bedtime again. I didn’t mind their set getting so short, after all. Tomorrow was the last day of the cruise, and it started early with Leaves’ Eyes.

// Sara

70.000 Tons of Metal: Day 2 – February 2nd, 2018

Posted in Concerts, Music, Travels, Uncategorized with tags on February 2, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, around 11 or so in the morning I got up. Getting these kind of interrupted sleep really suck, but it is what you make it, right? And I had to get up – the first show of the day was set to start at 13, and I need to get going.

I got ready in my cabin before heading up to Windjammer for breakfast. I forgot my earplugs at my cabin, so of course, I had to run down to pick them up, BUT, fear not as I made it back just in time for Alestorm to start.

Alestorm

They walked on stage just in time, opening up with “Keelhauled”. Am I the only one where who don’t exaclty love this song as an opening song? Regardless, they opened with good energy and the crowd had a good vibe to it as well.

They followed up with “Alestorm” and then the big partythrower “Drink” which is ALWAYS one big party, no matter where or when you see them. “The Sunk’n Norwegian” and “No Grave But The Sea” followed suit, and oooh how good this song is. And most certainly so live! “Bar ünd Imbiss” followed suit, before it was time for what is always the biggest party of an Alestorm show – “Hangover”. And I can now officially say, that I have seen Alestorm sing the lines “I’m on a ship” while being on an actual ship. BEAT THAT MOTHERFUCKERS.

“Captain Morgans Revenge” or the vengance of the Duck. The Night or well song, of the Living Duckies. It was very windy up on pool deck, and the gigantic duck had made it’s way toward the stage quite a few times. But in the spoken segment of the song, it made it’s final launch, hitting Gareth and knocking out Peter’s drumset. Chris stopped for a while to just assure us this was a serious metal show, before they continued on as if it never happened. So for once, Alestorm was attacked by their own duck.

They wrapped up their set with “Fucked with an Anchor” which gives you a sing along like no other, and Chris crowdsurfing his way to the hot tub. Because that is a normal thing here. With that said, Alestorm was over and done. Thank you!

We headed down to the cabins once again because quite frankly… this heat is not to mess with. Like, seriously. Quick break, change and awkward encounters with Korpiklaani later, we found ourselves back on pooldeck at the front line for Korpiklaani. At this point Sjorven had gotten his merch ticket, which was number 729 or something like that. I had 1247. Gee.

Korpiklaani

Sun was high. The heat was a pleasure and pain all at once, and the party was a fact. Kopriklaani belted out their entire selection of party songs which had the entire pooldeck dancing jumping and singing along (well…), even the hot tubs.

I would go into detail, but I’m afraid I can’t – since it was all just one big party party!

Once the show was over, we headed off to eat and have some wardrobe change. It’s Sabaton tonight, so camo pants and military boots on. And then we simply headed back toward the pool deck, again, like, all our shows are on pool deck here. We claimed our spots. Or well, Sjorven kept our spots. I had to go to a Battle Beast signing session. And to check on the numbers.

The signing session went quick and uneventful, this is the second time or so I’ve tried to have this “Bringer of Pain” cover signed so that was very nice. I checked the numbers too – they were at like 400. Since 7 in the morning. So I guess it was safe to say our number wouldn’t come up during Sabaton.

After Cannibal Corpse, which I only saw like the last few moments of, I claimed back my spot at the front and eagerly waited for Sabaton to begin.

Sabaton

And just as we waited for it.. it echoed out. “In The Army Now”. You know, the first few tones and beats of the song, when your inital shot of adrenaline straight through… And bliss. Once they reached “The March To War” and you feel your adrenaline pumping like nothing else, just to merge out in… “Ghost Divison”. Oh well. It’s still a complete outlet and outburst of all the emotions of excitment and what not that got built up during the previous five minutes.

“The Art of War” (God how much I love this song) followed suit very quickly, and then “Far from the Fame”. So pretty much same old, same old, but who really cares when it’s Sabaton? Especially considering that the oldie, but goldie, “40:1”. I really missed this song in the setlist, and over all, I miss this sound in Sabaton!

“Sparta” minus the spartans was next, another oldie but goldie from my favorite Sabaton album in the shape of “The Cliffs of Galipoli” made an appearance again, before launching into “Saboteurs”.

“The Last Stand” was next on the list, and I still love this song so much… I seriously love it to bits. And then came the next surprise. A real old, but gold, like for real, was next “Into the Fire”. And Jesus. I had no idea how much I missed this song until I heard it! Damn.

Some swedish pride for me, “Carolus Rex” followed by “Attero Dominatus”. This song is such a rush, you know? One of my absolute favorites “Uprising”, which I just cannot get enough of. “Primo Victoria next and then “Swedish Pagans” was last – but today it’s okay. People were not being oboxnious about this song on this cruise. So this is totally okay.

And just as on Sabaton Cruise, they wrapped it up with “My Heart Will Go On”. Because why the hell not, right?

Right after this, we jumped into the pool for a midnight swim before getting an ice cream and hanging out a bit before going to bed. You see, it was one of those nights again. Alarm was set to 4.30, because Battle Beast was going on stage at 4.45.

Battle Beast

So. 4.30 huh. I dragged myself out of bed. In my pyjamas. Once at pool deck, we noticed the hot tubs behind the stages were near empty, and while I’d normally never do this – it was 4.45. It was windy. It was cold. I was dead. I got into that damn hot tub.

For playing so later, or shall I say early? They had quite the crowd coming together. And they performed a fantastic set. It was the same set they had played throughout the European tour (no surprise) so no bigger surprises, but it was a very well enjoyable show.

But I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t wait to get back in bed, because you see, tomorrow, or today, depending on how you see it, was the day we went off the boat at the Turks Islands.

// Sara

 

 

Sign of the Dragonhead

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on January 30, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

And with that, the day that I’ve been waiting for, or rather, that we both had been waiting for, was upon us. I was leaving at the mere hour of 8(!!) in the morning, which is not too bad compared to other times I’ve traveled out. The plan was to meet up at Arlanda, and then take the plane over to Fort Lauderdale together.

I arrived quite a bit earlier than Sjorven, like, a few hours earlier, which is totally okay since I simply had some nice breakfast at Espresso House in the wait for him. Once he arrived, we headed off to the departure hall, checked in and got through the security. We found a nice place to have some sort of a lunch before boarding the plane together with a handfull of metalheads and bands who were obviously heading off to the same destination as us. It’s nice to have fellow people with you, isn’t it?

The flight per se was good. The problem for us was the man sitting next to us. He complained that we had to go to the bathrooms, and even accused the flight attendants it was their fault he spilled drinks on himself. Special type of guy, isn’t he? Especially considering HIS KIDS was causing a smaller commotion. I don’t mind kids on planes, but if you are going to complain – make sure you are not a problem yourself, huh? And the best part was that he didn’t even realize I was Swedish until I showed Sjorven on the map where in Sweden I lived. Horror in his eyes. Yes, I heard you trashtalking us for going to the bathroom ONCE ON A TEN HOUR FLIGHT. But the games onboard was fun!

Well. Once we arrived, was pretty uneventful. We ended up next to Sabaton in the line to immigration, and we spent a lot of time by the carousel to get our luggage, and like, everyone elses luggages too since people are apparently too slow or something. Found myself tripping over Sabaton because apparently they are in the way.

Once out of the airport, we got a Uber and got to our hotel, which was a real nice charming little typical U.S. Motel. I really liked it. We went for a walk for food later that night, and nothing more eventful happened.

// Sara

Typical British Weather

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on November 12, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the last day came upon us. Nathan went up rather early in the morning to catch his bus, which was well understandable. Already at 7, he left. Niki drove him to the busstation and then came back to sleep for another hour before we went down and had our last hotel breakfast for this time.

She was kind enough to drive me to the airport in Manchester, so we did spend a wee bit of time there. I went shopping, or more, looking for a specific item one last time, and then we had one last dinner at Pizza Hut before parting ways at the airport.

The flight was a little bit delayed because of you know, passengers being passengers, so I missed my bus by two minutes. Lucky me, there was another one in two hours, so I just sat down, had my favorite espresso house drink and then enjoyed a quiet and uneventful ride home.

This was a well needed vacation, and I can’t wait to do it again!

// Sara

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