2011 is coming to an end, and I’m already planning my rock’n’roll travels for 2012.
The biggest challenge right now is the preparations for my trip to Russia. Or maybe I should say my “possible” trip to Russia, cause I had no idea it would be so complicated to go to a country that’s not that far away and only for a short visit.
I’ve found myself in a paper-mess with visa-applications and special insurance instructions and what have you. To top it all off, they aren’t exactly helpful at the Russian Embassy, so if I can’t figure things out on my own, I’ll have to skip the trip.
But I would love to go for at least two reasons: Because I’ve never travelled in that direction before, I’ve always gone to the west, never to the east (if you don’t count Eastern Europe such as the Czech republic). So, Russia feels a bit exotic. :-)
Second reason being visiting my friend Vera, who I met at Sweden Rock Festival that she’s been visiting a few years because she’s been covering the festival for the Russian edition of Classic Rock Magazine.
It would be very great to visit her and go see a cool show. The band playing (I rarely go anywhere unless there’s a show, as I’m sure you know by now :-)) is Judas Priest.
I saw them in Tallinn, Estonia back in 2006, it was a pretty weird concert. The security guards looked like an army, very intimidating. The opening act was some embarrassing, goddamn awful local band… Just one of those places you never forget.
And now – maybe, St. Petersburg, Russia, if I get my papers in order!
But before that – Athens, Greece in a few weeks. Firewind playing. Check out my Firewind-tour diary from this summer here.
After the past summer, it has become my “house band”, and seeing them from now on is like coming home. I liked the gigs with Mats Levén singing and I liked the US-shows as well with Apollo back as the frontman.
Firewind may not be a Motley Crue-sort of entertaining band, but for a music-nerd like me, they give me kicks just by being amazing at what they do – each musician in his own right.
I love the new drummer Jo, he kicks major ass, unbelievably talented. Nobody cares much for bassplayers unless it’s Billy Sheehan, but only watching Petros‘ fast fingers gets you dizzy, fucking hell that guy can play...! Don’t even get me started on the Virtuoso-Duo Bob Katsionis and Gus G (keyboards, guitar)…!
[Instrumental “SKG” – amazing if you’re into virtuosity…!]
The reason why I even started going to all those shows was Gus G. He is unreal. He’s not just another guitar geek, he’s a true old-school ROCK STAR on stage as well, I could watch him do his thing every week.
Somebody said that “there’s a lot of Gus in your videos” after watching my uploads on Youtube from this summer. Of course there is. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be. The guy rules.
But I’m slightly nervous going to Athens. When I went to Thessaloniki back in July, I got lost after the show at the stadium – and took for granted that there would be buses back to the city after such a big event. Never been anywhere where there haven’t been buses after a sports- or music event at a large stadium.
Well, apparently, it wasn’t self-explanatory in Greece so I ended up wandering the streets in the middle of the night looking for the ONE bus stop where the LAST night bus was supposed to leave. Cause THAT particular day, taxi’s were on strike…..
It didn’t make things any easier that the signs were all written with Greek letters that I couldn’t understand, so I couldn’t get help from a Greek friend who tried to guide me over the phone. I got back to the hotel eventually, but it has taught me to be WELL prepared when going to Greece next time.
I got a tip from my friends in the JOP-camp, to contact a guy from Athens that they know from the last Oliva-tour. I’m lucky to know people in road crews, as they know the world very well – especially gig-related stuff. MY kind of “stuff”. :-) Let’s see how it goes.
And another thing that keeps me occupied right now is finding a fairly cheap flight to NYC at the end of January, because the coolest “poser-guitarist” ever, STEVE STEVENS is playing – with special guest SEBASTIAN BACH. Two guys I adore seeing live, sharing the stage?! Damn, I don’t want to miss THAT!
I’m out of vacation days until May, so I would have to go just over the weekend, see the show and then head straight back to work. Looks like the tickets aren’t even on sale yet. Guess I could ask Sebastian’s management, but when I’m traveling far, I still feel a lot better having a ticket in my hand, than the stress that always happens when you get to the box office and they go: “Hmmm I can’t see your name here…. what did you say your name was?” The classic. Happens even with bands I know very well, I guess I can always call someone, but sometimes there’s no time for that. So – old-fashioned tickets works fine for me.
Guess I’ll wait for the tickets to go on sale first – and THEN I can start looking for flights.
Started updating my tour-schedule for 2012, check it out, maybe I’ll see you there somewhere out in the world next year! :-)