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 !!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Pics from Europe 2016

Here are some random pics from the European Tour 2016, enjoy:

Setting up the first show in Norway....

...checking the smoke...

...and playing in front of a Sold Out crowd !!

Backstage, somewhere...I don't even know why we took this pic ;-)

Our home for this tour !! Same bus as we had on the Ecliptica over Europe tour...

Healthy snacks backstage.

A nice setup for the dinner somewhere in Sweden. Good food as well.

Elias rockin' out backstage !

Smoking booth backstage in Tilburg.

...same place...

...and we even got a cake to celebrate the Sold Out show !!

Another backstage in Holland, the view from the balcony.

Hanging out with our friend Kristian, who took some awesome pics
from our shows, once again.

This is how I connect my keyboards, or actually Tero does since I'm not allowed
to mess with the system.

Outside of the backstage in Mannheim, cool wall !

Merchbooth pic 1

Merchboot pic 2 , don't ask where these were since I have no clue.

Took a pic from the Eiffel Tower during my off-day in Paris...

...found this painting in a Museum...

...fooled around outside...

....and another pic from the Tower ;-)

Pekka being foggy, and blurry as well...

The setlist in the beginning of the tour, sorry if I spoiled it for someone.

Fooling around on the ship on our way to London...

The cliffs of Dover, I suppose...

....more posing...

...and a nice night-shot to end these pics.

As usual I've been quite lazy taking pics so these are just random shots from here and there. Maybe I get a bit more active on the North-American Tour....but probably not. See you in a bit !!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2016

Hi There,
since I was to lazy to write on a day to day basis on this tour, I’ll have to pick up the pieces and try to remember at least something ;-) I try to be more, on it during the US tour…but let’s see…I guess old age is kicking in…haha…nevertheless, let’s see what I can remember:

We left from home on the 6th of October, despite the afternoon flight from Kemi we didn’t have to stay the night in Helsinki but continued straight to Oslo, Norway,  where we got ourselves and our stuff on the bus and headed towards Trondheim and our first show of the tour, actually the first two shows: 7.10. & 8.10. in Trondheim and Borlänge, Sweden were sold out so it was a very nice way to start the tour. As always it’s really exciting to start a new tour with lots of new songs in the setlist but thanks to the tour rehersals the beginning was really kinda smooth. After our next show 9.10. in Huskvarna we headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for our first off-day. It was pretty much the usual, hanging around and going to eat and drink, as well as trying to beat the support band guys at NHL hockey. On this tour we were sharing a but with our friends from Sweden: Twilight Force which was of course a lot of fun. Anyways, after the off-day we played in Copenhage on 11.10. and from there it was 12.10. Hamburg, Germany and 2 shows in Holland: 13.10. Haarlem and 14.10. Tilburg, which was Sold Out no.3 on this tour. So far so good. At some point we dropped a couple of songs from the setlist, let’s see if they make a comeback, as always our setlists seems to have a life of their own to some extent even if we try to keep it static sometimes.

After the Sold Out show in Tilburg, we had to get up in the middle of the night to get out from the bus when we crossed over from Calais, France to Dover, UK. A few hours of sleep on the bus and then it was time to get dropped off at the 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. I really don’t like the drop and go’s , those are the ones where the bus can’t park close to the venue so it has to go away. That always means that we don’t have a chance to go and take a nap in the bus if we’re tired…and when you have to cut your sleep into pieces like last night (getting off the bus at the ferry)…that sucks. Well, whiny whiny…and on with it. The show in London on 15.10. was allright and then it was time to do the whole ferry-thing again….and once in Paris we had another drop-off ;-) . We have played the Machine du Moulin Rouge before but I think it was called La Locomotive at that time, the crowd was really loud and we sold the place out so it was a great night. For the off-day on the 17.10. the bus picked up the rest of the guys and headed for Strasbourg. I stayed behind in Paris with my gf but that’s a whole other story. On the Strasbourg showday I took the TGV from Paris and arrived there a bit before soundcheck.The show on the 18.10. there and the next day in Pratteln went on without any troubles. In Alcatraz, Milano on the 20.10.  we had a signing session at a record store during the day, the crowd was as always, loud and after midnight I could start to celebrate by birthday a little bit. In Mannheim on the 21.10. we continued the celebration after our show. Our TM Merle had arranged to get a cake and the guys got me a nice little gift that you’ve probably seen on instagram already. We didn’t really go that crazy since we had the last show of this tour coming up in Zeche, Bocum the next day. As I remembered the food was excellent there and of course it was nice to end the tour with another Sold out show. We pranked each other a bit with Twilight Force since it was the last show of the tour, if you find some pics you’ll get it, i’m not gonna try to explain it in words…I simply just can’t…

On the 23.10. we were dropped off at the airport in Dusseldorf, Germany to fly home. This was a nice little run to start The 9th Hour World Tour which I have a feeling, will be a long one. Now next up is some time back home before we head out again in little over a week. Keep your thumbs up that we get our equipment back in time and our visas to the US delivered without a hitch. I’ll post some pics when I get around to it….as usual.

Thank you all for a great bunch of shows !! It was fun, we’ll do it again in the spring of 2017 !!



Thursday, September 29, 2016

SA:The “Summer” part 4: September

2.9. Friday - Travel Day

Allrighty folks, we’ve been here before, and now for the last time this summer:
We flew to Helsinki and went to the Hilton Airport to spend the night, as we
always seem to do.

3.9. Saturday - Travel / Hell Rock, Spain

This time around we actually got to sleep until 0530 which sometimes is a luxury
during these festival runs. A flight to Munich and then onwards to Madrid and we were
ready for a new adventure. Took a van ride to Ciudad Real, I think it was called. A small 
festival in the middle of nowhere. Our “hotel “  this night was a villa-type of thing which was really nice. We went to the festival real quick to get some dinner and then drove back to the villa for a couple of hours of sleep, since the show tonight was gonna be
rather late. Just before midnight it was back at the festival and some 25min late (because of technical reasons) we got to start the show at 00:25… about 80min later the show was over and it was time to pack it in. Well back at the villa we had some showers as well as some drinks and celebrated the end of the summer. It was however  a rather lame party by our standards, due to the fact that we had to get up again at 0530. Somehow I didn’t manage to get to sleep but didn’t worry too much about it since
I knew I could sleep in the car on the way back.

4.9. Sunday - Promo Day / Madrid

….Most of us slept in the van to the airport and at around 08 we were there. The thing now was that the rest of the guys went home and Tony & I were left behind for a week of promotion-stuff. Namely interviews. Since we knew which hotel we should go to, we felt a bit adventurous and took the metro instead of the obvious choice of getting a cab.
…We didn’t get lost and soon found ourselves in the hotel lobby. The check in wasn’t however until 1400 so we spent around 4 hours just trying to stay awake and waiting for the room. Once we got our rooms we went to bed….there was a slight mishap since Tony’s room was for some reason booked under Tommy’s name so we did have a really hard time finding it…..well…shit happens, I guess. Some hours later it was time to get
up and start with the interviews. We were supposed to have around 2,5 hours of inties but somehow ended up doing 4,5 hours…when we were done we met up with the Epica guys for some food and drinks which were very good indeed. Some time later it was time to go to bed, quite exhausted.

5.9. Monday - Promo Day, Madrid & Travel

The day was spent doing interviews at the hotel and then going to a couple of radio stations as well…straight from the last intie we headed towards the airport at around 1800 to board our flight towards Paris…a few hours later we were being picked up at the Charles the Gaulle - airport and headed towards the hotel and some sleep.

6.9. Tuesday - Promo Day, Paris & Travel

The thing on these promo-trips is like it’s somehow feels like Groundhog day, first you talk to people for 6-8 hours and then you go to the airport and fly somewhere, arrive in the middle of the night to be there for the same thing the next day. The scenery changes but there’s no chance to see much more than the hotel and the way to and back from the aiport. Anyways, did interviews the whole day at the hotel and then headed for the airport and  Milan….got picked up in Milan and went to the hotel to get some sleep. I knew that the Epica guys where there as well so I called Marc but since they were at a different hotel and I felt really tired (for a change ;-) ) we decided to leave the evening beers for another day. Which was a good decision.

7.9. Wednesday - Promo Day, Milan & Travel

More of the same ;-) The exception here was that our lunch at the hotel wins the “the best food of this trip “ - award. We also had a meet and greet and got some gifts as well as got to sign a bunch of stuff. Again the day ended around 1800 with a ride to the airport, two flights, first to Copenhagen and then to Stockholm. Upon arrival we did only have the hotel adress but no other info so we took a cab there only to find out that the hotel was fully booked and there was no rooms for us….interesting. Anyways at 0130 in the morning we didn’t have the stamina to start to figure out what was wrong so we just took a cab to another hotel and went to bed. Let’s see what tomorrow will bring.

8.9. Thursday - Promo Day, Stockholm & Travel

Had a nice breakfast and no rush ;-) Eventually we found out that there had been some miscommunication and our promo stuff here were scheduled for Friday,  our local rep
was very quick in rearranging some stuff and we managed to make around 5 hours of work before it was time to head towards the airport and the regular evening flight,
this time towards Helsinki and the last day of the promo-tour. Just to let you know, these are not the only inties we’ll do, but the rest of the stuff will be done via e-mail, skype and phone from the comfort of our own home. I do however prefer to speak with people in person, so this has been a nice thing to do….more stuff will be done during the tours so be sure to keep your eyes open online if you’re interested in hearing us blabbering about our new album and touring and other stuff.

9.9. Friday - Promo Day, Helsinki & Travel

The last day of this promo tour started a bit later, around 1130 which was nice of course so we could finally get some more sleep ;-) Spent the day at some radio stations and doing some extra interviews as well. Afterwards we met up with Masi before it was time to head towards the airport and fly home. All in all it was a nice trip and I think we had a whole bunch of great interviews on the way. On a personal note though: I think it’s a lot more exhausting than doing the touring stuff, plus of course, on tour we get to do the main thing which is playing our music. 

26.9. Monday - Tour Rehersals

Sometimes I wonder who makes up these crazy schedules, sometimes the blame is to
be found in the mirror though….anyways we got on the train at 0700 in the morning and headed for Tampere and a couple of days of rehersals. Today was a “band” day, meaning we only checked through the new stuff as well as the older songs we’re bringing back amongst ourselves with only Tero from the crew being present. Tuesday and Wednesday will be full rehersals with the whole crew, and we’ll more or less run through the show as a whole….or at least that’s the plan. One of the songs that we will play on this upcoming tour…that I can reveal, since Tony & I already gave it away at some interviews is: The power of one. We played it in Kemi this summer and since it worked quite well and people seemed to enjoy it very much, it’s back on !!! As for the other older stuff I better keep my mouth shut….This time around we’ve built a setlist that has some changing parts in it but the core will remain the same for this autumn, unless we get bored, which happens from time to time…let’s see how this turns out, at the moment it feels very interesting, to say the least.

Nevertheless, we got to Tampere around 1300 and headed for the hotel and lunch before gathering at the rehersal facilites and starting to work….it took us some hours to set everything up and at some point we even got around to actually play. We did run through all the stuff we haven’t played in years except for 2 songs. We’ll check them tomorrow. Anyway, sometime after 22 we were done, got some pizza somewhere and headed for the hotel and sleep.

27.9. Tuesday- Tour Rehersals
Got up and had breakfast around 10 but didn’t go to the rehersal place until just after noon. Our crew needed some hours in the morning to set up the rest of the stuff that was needed to for the complete stagesetup. The afternoon was spent playing through the setlist…which we realized didn’t quite work so we changed it around a bit. We ended the day with some snacks and beers before heading to bed.

28.9. Wednesday - Tour Rehersals
Went to rehearsals after breakfast and run through the re-adjusted setlist. This time it worked ;-) Let’s see how things progress but I think we pretty much figured out how these autumn shows will be. At the moment around 2/3 of the setlist are songs that we haven’t played before or in the last 9-14 years, so it sure will be something different from the last world tour. Anyways, we spent the evening at our drumtech Pekka’s house waiting for the train and playing NHL13. The next morning we were back home to enjoy the last week before the tour starts.

Allrighty then, we’re ready for the tour, hope you are too !! Let’s see what happens, see you in a few days, Trondheim: You’re up first !!!