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

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The Lost Battalion

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

One of the most refreshing parts about being on a tour, is the kind of… how do I even put this, how it inspires you, to change it up, to fix it, to pull your life together. That is what I really love. And I started off my monday NOT by unpacking, because who has time for that quite frankly? Sure as hell not me!

But I did get some work done. Or a lot of it, in fact. I hope the rest of the week can run as smoothly as this have, and then I’ll be superhappy.

Aside that, I’m still planning my upcoming November tours. And they are pretty insane, if you ask me, but they will be sooo much fun, I am sure. We have the Swedish Battle Beast tour with Dynazty at first, then Alice Cooper in Leeds, and then yet another Battle Beat show, but in Germany. It will be so much fun.

// Sara

Ge Mig Lite Mer

Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

And so the day had come. We got up around 7.30 in the morning to get ready to leave at 8. It’s really just about an hour or so to the airport from where Sjorven lives, however, we wanted to be out in good time. Could be handy, you know.

It was a very smooth ride – listening to our favorite roadtrip album “Prophecy of Ragnarök” as we made our way down south to Charleroi on the other part of Belgium. One last raid battle at the airport before I got on my plane.

Planeride was smooth, and then I had a nice lunch at Burger King before heading home. As you might remember, I drove my car to the airport so I could leave right away. That was so weird, and so nice at the same time.

Once at home, I picked up Adam and we went out to shop some supplies for the banana party we are to host on Tuesday. Will be great.

And now, finally home. Lazy. As usual. But this was a great trip nonetheless. Good seeing all my friends and all the bands again… I can’t wait to do it all over again.

// Sara

Afterlife

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

Late night called for getting up late the next day. Do you know how divine it was to actually sleep in, for like, once in your life? Absolutely amazing. That is what it is, I tell you. Everyone thinks this lifestyle is fun and games, and it is, most of the time, but it has it’s bad sides. Like going to bed superlate, and getting up early. Oh how I love it.

We started our morning watching yet another episode of “Zoo” and then… miraculously we got up. He showed me around his stuff, as well as his new house that he’s building, or, re-building I should say.

After this, we went into Gent as I had discovered the day before they had a NYX store. Like, a store, with only NYX products. What the hell? And it was right next to Primark, at that! So I asked if we could pretty please go there, and so we did.

Once there I got a new foundation, I figured it was time I tried something new, one of the Lingere lipsticks (Teddy) and two new glitters for the eyes. I loved the ones I already had at home, so it was natural to continue.

I got back into Primark for like, one last check and got out with some make up supplies, most importantly, this amazing LED mirror that lights up. Thank you! I needed that. No more putting up weird constructions to get a flashlight in my face. Hallelujah!

We were about to head down to The Body Shop, when we noticed a Suicune raid was about to happen, so we dodged over there to participate. Of course I didn’t get it.

We made our way to The Body Shop as well as Claires, I picked up a soap for my bathroom and a pair of earrings before we decided to find some place to eat, and decided on this beautiful little restaurant called Neptune.

He had a steak, I had a salmon and we enjoyed a pleasant dinner. We went out in the Gent night to play a bit more Pokemon, participating in yet another raid and, well surprise, again I didn’t get it. We took a leap around the park to catch some last pokéstops before deciding to head home, closing into midnight. I was leaving early in the morning the next day, so we figured we better get our sleep.

// Sara

Ascension

Posted in Travels, Uncategorized on October 20, 2017 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, up somewhat early. This hotel, or hostel, actually had a later check out than the others. Yay! And the way they dealt with breakfast was also different – what you did is that you prebooked your breakfast, and then it was left for you in the kitchen. This way, you could have breakfast any time you wanted in the day. This is so smart and perfect. No hours to check or anything! I loved it.

After this, I checked out and headed off to the train station to get toward Sjorven’s place. It was gonna be a couple of changes, and once I reached Brussels I took a quick stop to get changed and ready, and we decided we’d meet up in Gent rather than me getting all the way home to him, as I wanted to stop by at Primark. We don’t carry that shit in Sweden you know?

And being on the train to Gent, getting myself ready, reminded me of some of the things I love the most about tourlife. Getting changed in a trainstation, putting on your makeup on the train and just waiting for the arrival to your destination.

Once in Gent, I waited for Sjorven to arrive, which he did, and then we started making our way to Primark. Since it was on pretty much the opposite side of where we were going, he took the opportunity to show me around as well, while we were at it, you know.

So, Primark. I got in, got a pair of pants and a travel mug only actually. While in there, miraculously, Sjorven managed to arrange a table at the restaurant we already thought were full, but apparently someone cancelled. Halleuljah for us!

The place is a ribs place, and it’s an all you can eat kind of place. So whenever you finished your ribs, you just order in a new round. I finished one set personally, no idea for the other one.

After dinner, we walked around the city playing a bit of Pokémon… and we did this raid alright. I sacrificed my hardworking Abra’s for him, so he could get an Alakzam.. and it’s funny. Because I caught my Alakazam at 20.59, which means, I caught it right before the Halloween event went down, whereas Sjorven caught his 21.01, which means he got the benefits. On the other hand – I probably became one of the first people in the world to catch a generation 3 one! I guess it’s something.

After this, we finally went home to his place, watched an episode of “Zoo” before pretty much dying of exhaustion. It had been a long day, for sure.

// 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