Sunday, February 5, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Finland 2017

18.1. Lutakko / Jyväskylä

Back from the holidays ;-) Me, Tommy & Tony took the train from Kemi to Jyväskylä, a nice 9 hours of doing nothing…anyways, when we got to Jyväskylä we all got to test our new in-ear monitors for the first time. (those are the earbuds we use to make sure we hear each other during the show btw).  They sounded pretty amazing at soundcheck and we were all really happy and relieved that they worked so well. We had a couple of hours to rest at the hotel after dinner and then it was time to hit the stage. It felt interesting to play the new songs here in Finland for the first time, even though for us they don’t feel that new anymore since we’ve already played around 40-50 shows with the new songs in the setlist. The show went quite well and we had a good crowd as always in Jyväskylä. Afterwards we enjoyed the sauna backstage and then it was time to head to the hotel and get some sleep.

19.1. Rytmikorjaamo / Seinäjoki

Didn’t have to wake up too early, which was of course nice. We drove to Seinäjoki with the bus and then headed straight to the hotel while the crew went to the venue to set up the show. A quite normal day, soundcheck & dinner and then hanging around waiting for the show. One thing that did come to mind was that the ‘Ameriikan Juna’ tape we put on the piano here (and you can see on the Live in Finland dvd-extras) is still here on the backstage piano, it still sounds the same ;-) …how many years ago was that now, 6 or 7 or something, I think we should have some anniversary recording of it , if the tape is still in place when 10 years has passed from the first performance. Anyways, 
the show went well and afterwards we had a couple of beers with the Thunderstone guys before heading to bed at the hotel.

20.1. Terminaaliareena / Oulu

Got up really early, actually I almost overslept but somehow managed to rush myself to the bus in time and also grab some really quick breakfast on the way. I continued my sleep on the bus and woke up in Oulu in the afternoon. Spent the day hanging around the venue with my gf who showed up for the show tonight. We had a really good crowd and it was fun to play as always. After the show I drove how since it’s only a 90min drive and I do get to spend enough time sleeping in hotels or buses.

21.1. Teatria / Tornio

Spent most of the day at home since the show was only a 15min drive from where I live. We did the soundcheck and had dinner and then there was still time to go home for a few hours before the show. As usual we were a bit extra nervous since this was essentially a hometown gig. This was also the grand opening of this venue which made it really special. I think they did a good job and the venue is really nice, with a big stage which is high enough so everyone in the audience can see what’s going on. Once again we had a lot of people showing up and the show itself was a blast. I did however almost mess up after Fullmoon when I forgot that there was stil Among the shooting stars to be played before leaving the stage for the No more silence-intro tape. I was already on my way off when I realized that, but managed to jump back behind my keys to start the song in time. After the show me & my entourage got in the car and left rather quickly. Since the crew and Pasi & Elias who don’t live up here were anyway leaving with the bus, I figured there was no reason to stick around.

27.1. The Circus / Helsinki
For this weekend we flew to Helsinki on the showday. I spent the day walking around a bit and after soundcheck we had a nice dinner at the venue, a few hours of rest at the hotel and then it was time for the show. I have managed to break a bunch of keys on my Kronos but in between these shows I got the whole keybed replaced so it was really nice to play with a keyboard that works 100%. The show was really good and we had a lot more people than last time here. Afterwards it was time for a couple of drinks with our guests backstage, we had a lot of friends showing up so that was of course nice.

28.1. Apollo / Turku
Slept in the bus on the way to Turku, and upon arrival I got a big pizza from the place nextdoor to the venue…that was a rather large disappoinment though. Should have taken a picture….anyways, tonights venue was more of a nightclub with access to the stage through the crowd. However we sold the place out and had a nice and intimate show in the evening. Being disappointed with the pizza, it was really nice to have dinner across the street, which was awesome btw !!  The Turku show was quite early, which also was nice, afterwards I met up with my brother and his friends for a couple of drinks before it was time to go to the hotel with my gf (who was tagging along this weekend).
In the morning we had breakfast and enjoyed the 7 hour trainride back home. Now we only have one more weekend (3 shows) here in Finland before we take on the rest of Europe for a whopping 7 weeks. As far as our belowed homecountry, we won’t be doing any shows here until July during the festival season.

2.2. Katu-Klubi / Lahti
The last trainride for at least 4month or so ;-) We took the southbound train at 0711 towards Lahti. The day was spent as usual when you have to sit down, phones & computers and ipads… As soon as we got to Lahti we headed for the venue to meet up with the rest of the guys. The Katu-Klubi is a relatively new venue, nice backstage etc After the soundcheck we had this weekends best food at a local restaurant, which of course I didn’t check the name of ;-( In the evening we rocked out in front of a Sold Out crowd, which of course was awesome !! Afterwards I went for a couple of drinks with our manager before heading to bed.

3.2. House of Rock / Kouvola
It was great to have an somewhat early show yesterday and be able to sleep long this
morning. We left the hotel at 1230 to head towards Kouvola and what would become
a night of considerably less sleep. The showtime tonight is 0030, which is really late, hope our fans are still awake at that time….and us as well for that matter ;-) Tomorrow
we have to leave for Joensuu at 0800 so there’ll be no sleep, or hardly any… We probably sleep on the bus anyways so whatever. Did soundcheck in the afternoon as usual and then we decided to go to watch an ice-hockey game. Elias hometown team Tappara were vising and beat the home team KooKoo 5-0. It was nice to watch the game instead of just waiting at the hotel. We got back to our rooms around 2100 so there was still 3,5 hours to kill before the show. In the middle of the night when we hit the stage we got a full house once again and it was a lot of fun. Some women fainted in the middle of the set but I think she recovered, at least I hope so. After the show we headed straight to the hotel to try to get some sleep before leaving for Joensuu.

4.2. Kerubi / Joensuu
I did sleep a bit and then continued to sleep on the bus so when we arrived in Joensuu I wasn’t too tired anymore. Tonights show was also sold out, so it was a perfect way to end the Finnish part of the 9th Hour World Tour. As usual in Kerubi, the food was really great, the people friendly and the backstage really small ;-) It was a lot of fun, we ended the night with some drinks with the Thunderstone guys (which we will see again in Manchester when they join the European Tour) before getting some sleep and then driving home the next day.

Thank you Finland, see you in the summer on the festivals ;-) Next up is part 2 of the European Tour, 7 weeks and 40+ shows. Rock’n’Roll !!!



Monday, January 9, 2017

SA:On the road:The 9th Hour World Tour: Pics from North-America 2016

Random pics in random order from the North-American Tour we did at the end of last year !!

Let's start off with the typical food I ate on the bus....not really "quality food ".

Driving part 1, on our way to Colorado I think.

Driving part 2, Kansas City maybe ?

Driving part idea where.

Driving part 4, somewhere in Canada, I'd guess. As you can see I started taking pics from
the bus window instead of the usual plane pics ;-)...and this is of course outside the bus so
....well, forget about it.

Driving part 5 , no idea where.

Driving part 6, maybe somewhere in California...I guess..

I have no idea what this is supposed to be. Seemed important at the time.Probably.

In Austin, on our way to the eardoctor to take new imprints for our in-ear monitors.

Tero opened up my Kronos so that we could fix the broken keys. Scary stuff since I
didn't have any backup system.

Walked around in Lake Buena Vista, FL before the last show.

My typical view from the stage, just some audience and bandmates missing at the moment.

Strolling around in Niagara Falls.....

...the actual falls...

...and some more Christmas stuff.

As you can see, my off-day sandwiches are a bit better than the ones in the bus ;-)

Our home for the 6+ week tour we did.

Philadelphia, and some really important building.

...more from Philly...

...and a church...

...and something else...still from Philly...

...and finally we got tired of walking around Philly so we went back to
the bus at the parking lot, where I took this pic.

I think this was the last meal I ate before leaving the US from Atlanta.

Getting ready for the Alcatraz tour in San Francisco..

Pics from the boat...

The Rock...

...getting closer...

I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a cell like this.

Selfie time !

..and one without the dude blocking the view.

...more tourist pics...

I think Pasi took this one, still at Alcatraz.

San Francisco !!

Walking around in Washington D.C. looking for The White House.'s not this either..

..but here it is , too bad we couldn't get closer.

Then we found this thing...

...and this one...

...more of the same..

...and more, these pics look sloppy and dark btw.

..and another pile of stones ;-)

...oh here is this guy again...and a statue of Abe.

From here you could also see the Forrest Gump-pool...and the lightsaber ;-)

...and finally, at some point we went to dinner and I met a bear. 

Allrighty, next up is 9 shows in Finland before our 7 week/ 40+ shows in Europe and our 5 week Latin-American Tour. After that we still have the summer festivals and then we'll see what we can
come up with in the fall. Anyways, we'll be touring the whole year of 2017 so there'll be plenty more updates from the road. Next week we start our Finnish Tour in Jyväskylä, see you there !!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: North-America 2016 part 3

Try to remember what the hell happend on the last shows, when you’ve been
home for a few weeks…shit I’m getting lazy. As far as I can remember we did
finish the tour without too many problems. The show in McAllen, TX was cancelled
and unfortunately I’m not in the liberty of telling why but it was totally beyond our control and sucked ass big time. Here are the last shows we did:

The Last Part:
6.12. El Paso, USA
8.12. Englewood, USA
9.12. Kansas City, USA
10.12. Dallas, USA
11.12. McAllen, USA
13.12. San Antonio, USA
14.12. Houston, USA
16.12. Lake Buena Vista, USA
17.12. Atlanta, USA

…I’ll upload some pics in a separate post as soon as I get around to it. We have around 70 shows before the summer so there’ll be plenty more to write about….and yeah, Happy New Year everyone !!!

Thank you US & Canada, Leave’s  Eyes and Omnium Gatherum, it was a great tour, hope to see you all again very soon !!



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: North-America 2016 part 2

Still alive !!
Some more days has passed and everyone is still alive and in good spirits. We still have a bit over a week to go before heading home for christmas. The rest of the Canadian part went really well after Calgary. We had an off-day in Kamloops and were invited to a really nice dinner at some relatives house. It was really nice to spend some hours away from the bus. After that we ended the Canadian part in Vancouver before heading back to the US. In Portland most of the band went to the apple store to check out some stuff. Later on I met up with some relatives of mine for a nice dinner before the show. Once we got down to San Fransisco a friend of ours had arranged tickets to visit Alcatraz. What an amazing experience that was, really nice to spend some hours there during the day….and happy to be able to leave as well ;-) 

In Anaheim my wireless midi was not working properly so I had to switch to wire which sucked since we had a big stage and it would have been great to run around. The next day in Tempe I managed to somehow open the batterycase at the back of the keytar during Abandoned so that caused some hassle, luckily it was only for half a song.
Tonight we’re in El Paso, Texas. Pasi, Tommy & I went out for burgers and a short walk and we just got back. In a few minutes we’ll do the soundcheck. After tonight we still have 8 more shows to go. I’ll post some pics when I get around to it….as usual.

Here are the shows we did since Calgary:

26.11. Edmonton, Canada
28.11. Vancouver, Canada
29.11. Seattle, USA
30.11. Portland, USA
2.12. San Fransisco
3.12. San Diego, USA
4.12. Anaheim, USA
5.12. Tempe, USA

…and last but not least, Have a great Independence Day Finland !!



Friday, November 25, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: North-America 2016 part 1

Heading out again !!

Allrighty then, we’ve been out for 3 weeks now and I’ve been too lazy to jot down some lines so let’s see what I can remember:

On the 4th of November we did the usual drill: Flying to Helsinki, having some beers and sleeping at the Aiport Hilton in order to catch the morning flight towards the USA.
This time around we managed to check in all our gear and stuff in the evening so the morning was a lot easier than usual. We flew to Charlotte via London, UK so that took awhile. The travel was mainly uneventful with the usual crap of watching movies and trying to sleep as much as possible. Well upon arrival we went to watch Ghost perform at a club nearby in order to try to stay awake as long as possible and avoid the jetlag or at least minimize it. We did stay up but it didn’t really help, got up early in the morning and had breakfast. The next day we had totally off, since Hillary Clinton “stole” our venue forcing us to cancel the show. That was a major bummer. On the 7th of November we played our first show in Silver Springs….and we were officially on our way. A couple of the first shows on this tour were combined with the Dark Tranquillity one so there was a lot of bands on those nights. On the 8th we played in Clifton Park and some people showed up even though I think most were at home following the Presidential Election. We did also check it  out, interesting times I must say. From there on it’s been the basic stuff, playing shows, trying to entertain ourselves during off-days and shopping at Wallmart. Some of us have been watching a lot of hockey since back home it’s on in the middle of the night. So far we’ve played the following shows:

7th, Silver Springs, USA
8th, Clifton Park, USA
9th, Philadelphia, USA
11th, New Jersey, USA
12th, Hartford, USA
13th, Montreal, Canada
14th, Ottawa, Canada
16th, Kitchener, Canada
17th, Columbus, USA
18th, Westland, USA
19th, Pittsburgh, USA
21th, Milwaukee, USA
22th, Minneapolis, USA
24th, Regina, Canada

Tonight we’re in Calgary and tomorrow in Edmonton. So far it’s been going good, somehow the airport people managed to break the last 3 keys of my Kronos so I had to do some programming to get around that since so far we hadn’t have the time or energy to open up the damn thing with Tero and check if we can fix the problem. Apart from that our gear is mostly working so no big concerns here. I’m thinking that I could sell one of my keytars during these last shows…not sure though, whadda think ?

We’ve been getting to know our support bands a bit as well, mostly hanging out with our Finnish friends from Omnium Gatherum…a great bunch with the same sense of humor as we have.

Anyways, the Jets-Predators will be on in a few minutes so I’ll have to check that out. I drop some more lines when I get around to it…as well as pics at some point.

cheers & see you at the shows !!