Monday, August 24, 2015

SA:On the Road: More Than Fest, Slovakia & Tampere, Finland

Friday 21.8. Travel & More Than Fest
Our last weekend together this year and the end of the tour as well so this was
bound to be an interesting one. Well, no sleep until the holidays, right ? Got up at
0500 back home for the 0520 cab ride to the airport. Met up with Tony & Tommy and
got to Helsinki alright. We had a tight 1,5 hour change but since the rest of the guys already started with the check-in of the luggage before we arrived, we had plenty of
time to have some breakfast…and beer. A couple of hours later we landed in Budapest.
Our 200km vanride was taking quite long since we had a flat tire but luckily the driver had all the right gear and a spare one so we got to the festival without any other problems…so far ;-) It was somekinda amphitheatre, outside as is the custom during
the summer. Other bigger bands on the bill where Helloween and Kreator….Since our 
show ends at 2130 we have to get to our hotel in Budapest straight away in order to try to catch at least a couple of hours of sleep. Our lobby call tomorrow is at 0400 so you can imagine how that’s like ;-)

Anyways, the show went really well and we watched a couple of songs from Halloween before we left. Upon arrival in Budapest the driver of course got lost and we spent over an hour driving around the block…thank you very much ;-) At 0225 I got into my room after making sure everyone got their keys and our shuttle was ordered for 0400.

Saturday 22.8. Travel & Tourending show @Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
0400 after one hour of sleep (mind you the other boys did maybe sleep 10min more at the most so we were all at the same situation. Of course the shuttle was too small even though we specifically asked told them that we have 9 people and around 20 bags. No problem we took an extra cab on the side and headed for the aiport. The usual hassle, nothing too bad and we were on our way. Slept a bit on the first flight from Budapest to Munich…and then some more on the flight to Helsinki. Well in Helsinki we were picked up by our bus so we had the opportunity to sleep. Of course there was a bunch of things to take care of for the Tampere show….I did that and then tried to rest for a bit.

The Show in Tampere was a really special one, just as planned. We played for about 2,5 hours. The whole of Ecliptica for the last time, some acoustic stuff and most of the Pariah’s Child material that we’ve been playing during this tour. In addition to that we had the Preacher doing live speeches which was funny as hell…at least to us ;-) Eventually the show was over and we spent the next 2 hours having drinks and saying goodbye to everyone. This was also the last show for Punky, he’s moving on to other things. At 0115 we went to the night-train for the last time this tour. Since the restaurant car was closed we went to bed, tired but happy. In the morning we woke up in Kemi and this World Tour was over and done with.

So, thank you all who came to the shows and made this the best World Tour for us so far. We did a lot of interesting shows, some really special ones and went around the globe….almost 160 shows in 1,5 years…I think the total count of countries was close to 30. We’ll be off the road until February when we head out to the US & Canada with Nightwish and Delain. The Next SA update will probably be when we start working on our next album in January….until then there will be some Silent Voices stuff going on as well as Klingenberg Syndrome 2…which will be finished by the end of this year at the latest….more about that later…

For now and on behalf of the Sonata Arctica band and crew, Thank you all 
very much !!! See you soon again !!


ps.yes, I’ll post some pics from the summer shortly ;-)

Monday, August 17, 2015

SA:On the Road: Runnirock, Finland & Sabaton Open Air, Falun, Sweden.

Friday 14.8. Travel & Runnirock
The busweekend for a lifetime, coming right up ;-)  Tony & Tommy & I took the morning train to Iisalmi, in Ylivieska we were joined by Pasi. When we arrived we got a cabride to the Genelec-headquarters where we met up with the other guys. We got a 2 hour tour of the facilities as well as some gifts and then we also got to check out some of the speakers in action. A really interesting way to start off our working day. When we were done with the tour we headed for Runni and the Runnirock festival. Spent the evening hanging out and eating (great food btw) and at 2330 it was time to hit the stage. This time of the year it’s quite cold outside so it was a bit of a pain in the ass to get the show going but once we warmed up it went really well. After the show we took some quick showers and boarded the bus with a vengeance since we had some 1300km+ to drive
to Falun.

Saturday 15.8. Travel & Sabaton Open Air
Spent the day in the bus, still driving. After 16 hours total we arrived at the festival just 10 minutes before our signing session was about to start. We had to delay the beginning a little bit so we could freshed up. After the signing we were supposed to have an interview but there were some mixup so that fell through. No worries though, were here to play, not to talk ;-) Once again it was a bit cold but not as bad as yesterday. The reason I’m bitchin about the cold weather is because it’s next to impossible to play fast stuff and piano noodeling when your fingers are freezing. Just take a computer keyboard and go outside during the winter and try to type a letter and you’ll see what I mean ;-) Nevetheless no big mishaps during the show. We did film and record it for future use…No there won’t be a DVD from this tour but we might use some of the stuff as bonus material somewhere…have yet to see how it looks though…
After the show we took some quick showers and packed the bus and once again it was time to hit the road.

Sunday 16.8. More Travel ;-)
Some 1000km later I got home, this was probably the first time I’m the one who gets dropped off first ;-) It was just after noon so it wasn’t too bad either. The rest of the boys, especially those living in the south had some more driving to do but everyone got home before midnight…I think…Next up is the last 2 shows on this world tour in a few days. The last show in Tampere will be a very special one since we’ll play the Ecliptica thing for the last time…we’ll also throw in some acoustic stuff and whatnot…no support bands, only SA. This will also be the last show this year and we won’t be playing in Finland before the summer of 2016 so get your fix now, while it’s still available ;-)



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

SA:On the Road: Leyendas del Rock, Villena, Spain

Wednesday 5.8. - Travel Day
Actually we all got to the hotel in Helsinki on Tuesday night already, some earlier and some later. At around 0400 it was time to get up and go to the airport to do the check-in etc. Everyone was a bit tired but the check-in went rather smooth even with our pile of baggage that we drag around with us. I fell asleep as soon as we got on the plane and woke up more or less when the wheels hit the ground in Alicante. Some hassles with finding the shuttle, and the way to the shuttle and the guys that should go in the shuttle….anyways we ended up in a couple of vans and headed towards the hotel. After checking in I decided I needed a break so I went to my room and stayed there for the next 24 hours. No I won’t explain. The rest of the boys splitted up in groups and went for walks, drinks, dinner and what have you.

Thursday 6.8. Leyendas del Rock, Villena, Spain
Got up around noon and went outside and OMG it was unbeliavably hot. Intolarable almost…some 37-38 degrees celcius. In the afternoon the shuttle picked us up and we went for the festival…still hot as hell. Luckily the backstage container had some sort of AC so we could get down the heat a few degrees but it was still hot as hell. Checked out a few songs from Amaranthe and then me & Elias did some interviews and stuff. By the time we hit the stage it was 36 on stage but as Pasi pointed out, just like a regular club show in South-America ;-) The show went quite alright except for a few mishaps. The sustain pedal on my rented keyboard played some tricks before giving up and Tommy almost had his fingers chopped off by a flying cymbal. Our computer failed at one time…but then again, who needs a computer anyway ;-) After the show we had some dinner before we left for the hotel. I stayed up awhile with Pekka our drumtech but got tired pretty quickly and went to bed.

Friday 7.8. Travel Day
Up again just before 0400 for the lobby call. About a 30-45min…hell if I know, drive to the airport and then the check-in and off we go hunting for breakfast. The crew already got their hopes up when they saw the Burger King sign but it wasn’t open at this hour, so sandwiches for everyone !! Got on the plane and some hours later we landed in Helsinki at 1210. The glory of living up north is that the connections are great, for example today our flight back home from Helsinki leaves at 2135 so some 9 hours to enjoy the airport….or not. A friend of ours picked me & Tommy up and we went to another friends tattoo place and I got a new picture….yey me ;-) Later we had some dinner at this great italian place nearby and even got to ride around in Helsinki for a little while (oh the joys of being a tourist). Got dropped off at the airport and headed for the flight home….in the plane there were some older dudes (60+) getting drunk and talking like hell…I hope we don’t end up like that…or maybe that’s the whole point. Anyway I got home at around 2330 and watched some netflix before I went to bed. Next up Runnirock & Sabaton open air + a shitload of driving !!!



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

SA:On the Road: Tampere & Kuopio, Finland

Friday 31.7. Travel & Ratina Stadion, Tampere
In the morning Tony, Tommy & myself jumped on the train in Kemi…at the Kokkola
station Pasi joined us and soon enough we were in Tampere to take part in Nightwish biggest show in Finland yet. The Ratina Stadion is quite huge and the setup was spectacular. NW were also filming this show (for a DVD I suppose). We spent the day just hanging around (or actually the few hours we had between arrival and show)…but minutes before we were supposed to go onstage the FOH desk stopped working. In laymens terms, there were no sound coming out to the audience. Some minutes later we got another one instead and managed to go on just some 15 or so minutes late. The show itself was quite ok, my wireless midi was being a bit nutty at times as well as the soundswitch pedal but it just goes to show that the tour is about to end since the gear have had enough ;-) I just hope my stuff will hold up until we’re done. Next year I get something new and it’s ON again. After the show we partied for a bit and checked out the nightlife as well….or at least some of us did.

Saturday 1.8. Travel & RockCock, Kuopio
Got up at some point…missed breakfast…jumped in the van and it was off to Kuopio and the other gig this weekend. Once we arrived we spent some time resting in the dressing room….eating candy and other unhealty crap. The show was a bit better for me since there was no gear hickups. After the show we watched Haloo Helsinki! Which really worked great in a live setting, cool show etc. Headed out to the bars with some friends and had a really good time. The guys left for home in the morning but I went Southbound since the next trip would be already early Wednesday so I decided to have some time off in between… a vacation if you will, but that’s a whole other story. Next up Leyendas del Rock in Spain.