Monday, February 27, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2017 week one:

The Ninth Hour World Tour / Europe 2017 / week 1:

Sunday 19.2. Travel Day- Kemi-Helsinki-Frankfurt
For a change we had the opportunity to just hang at the airport in Helsinki for a
few hours instead of having to spend the night, which of course was a nice
thing for us who live up north. Other than that this was pretty much the usual, getting
to the airport, checking in and meeting up with the rest of the band & crew at the
Helsinki airport. In the evening we stayed at a hotel in Frankfurt and met the other bands as well. Our gear was sent to Germany straight after the Finnish Tour so there was no extra trouble howling that pile of stuff with us ;-)

Monday 20.2. Nurnberg, Germany
Got picked up really early to drive to Nurnberg and start setting up the first show of 
the tour. Being that we used the same gear and setup as in Finland there wasn’t any
big stress on getting everything to work properly, or at least not that I know of. We kept the same setlist as we have so far on this tour, with the exception of Misplaced which
made a return ;-) Nice show to start the tour with and now we only have 41 more to

Tuesday 21.2. Zlin, Czech Rep.
As usual on these European Tours we drive through the night and waking up in Zlin in front of the Masters of Rock Cafe was a familiar feeling. We went walking around town a bit (actually we did that yesterday as well)…and went shopping for random items that one might need on tour. In the evening we played for a rather full house of excited fans and we got a nice hot stage as well. Slowly we start to get into the touring mode where the days just fly by…but not quite yet.

Wednesday 22.2. Vienna, Austria
Once again we’re at a familiar place, no worries though we decided to be active and headed for the city, taking the tram and going to the centre to walk around and get a late lunch. Found a place not too shabby, but the waiter tried to screw me with the change….no worries , I noticed it immediately and caught the bastard. The food was quite ok though. Took the tram back and did soundcheck, inteviews and what have you,
the show was once again a great one, but then these days most of them are so instead of repeating myself maybe I should just not comment on the shows at all… least
if I have nothing more to say than it was nice, ok , great or whatever ?  Same thing with the aftershow ritual: after the show we take showers, get changed, eat and then we leave….that’s pretty much the same everyday ;-)

Thursday 23.2. Munich, Germany
Still sailing on familiar turf. The walkabout today for me was just joining Elias for a short round of walking….there wasn’t really anything to see except a huge postal distribution center or something like that. The rest of the day was pretty much business as usual, which means it was a good day to be on the road !!

Friday 24.2. Modena, Italy
…and then it was time for the first new place on this tour. We haven’t played in Modena ever before and it was a nice surprise to find a great crowd showing up. Afterwards there was some weird disco with people dressed up like cartoons or something, I didn’t check it out but from the pics I was shown by some of the support band guys, it was a rather interesting freak show ;-)  Our friends from Trick or Treat showed up as well and it was really nice to meet all of them again and hang out a bit before we had to leave !!

Saturday 25.2. Rome, Italy
In Rome we played at a venue that was new to us. Previously I’ve only been here at a festival but I’m not sure if the band played here in 2000 or 2001. Anyways today was a really early show, we had a long drive ahead of us and appeareantly they also wanted us out of the way so the disco could start…sounds familiar ? After the show I met my pals from Secret Rule, I played on their last album and we’re working on something new together again. It was really nice to meet up even though we had to leave pretty much right after the show.

Sunday 26.2. Travel / Off-Day (Rome, Italy-Zurich, Switzerland)
A quite long drive, we left at around 2300 last night and checked in to the hotel just after
1500 today. Went for dinner with the guys and spent the rest of the evening doing computer work and hanging out in the room. Still managed to get out for an evening snack but this day was the most peaceful so far. We were planning to go skating but the place closed really early since it was a Sunday so we’ll have to try to do that another time….and just for the record we found out the next day that Avenged Sevenfold had a show on this day which I think most of us would really have wanted
to attend had we found out about this in time. FUCK.

Anyways, the night ended in an Irish Bar eating and drinking and hanging out.


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 !!!