(continued from http://lita77777.posterous.com/my-year-in-rock-retrospect-2012-part-2 )
OZZY & FRIENDS IN DORTMUND, GERMANY
The Ozzy & friends gig in Dormund was a memorable experience for good reasons and bad. I got to know a new friend, Suuded, and we had a great time. Remember a fantastic dinner in a restaurant right behind the Westfalenhalle, but I also remember the sky just opening and it was pissing down all day! We were forced to stand out in the rain by a sadistic power-hungry security person who made sure nobody was under the long roof in front of the entrance (there would have been PLENTY of room there for a lot of people). Anyway, we got in the front row eventually. Both Steel Panther and Ozzy were well worth the wait and the rain!
The story can be found here: http://lita77777.posterous.com/ozzy-sweden-rock-festival-part-1
Photos from that are on my Facebook-page: www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror
SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL….
Only two days later, it was time for the next annual event: Sweden Rock Festival.
This time I was joined by Vera, my Russian colleague that I got to know after bumping into her several times at press conferences at Sweden Rock. She was going to camp with her friends though (wild horses couldn’t get ME to do that camping-thing).
The full story: http://lita77777.posterous.com/sweden-rock-festival-2012-part-2
The next day I ran like crazy to make it to the first signing-session of the day, which was Satchel from Steel Panther. I had found this great tent where musicians hung out and various guitarists were doing signing sessions. But it didn’t seem like it had been widely announced anywhere, so thank god there weren’t those insanely long lines as to the “regular” signings.
When I walked in, it was still Andreas Kisser from Sepultura who was signing. I was first in line for Satchel, and I got my hoodie signed, and some pics. The message he left was of course very “Satchel-style”…! ;)
Vera and I also met a nice dude from Adrenaline Mob’s crew, who invited us to be his guests, so we spent the day hanging backstage and on various stages. That was perfect, if for no other reason than because it was raining all day, and we didn’t have to be out there getting soaked. Watched Ugly Kid Joe, Motorhead and Twisted Sister up on the stage for instance.
Press conferences I didn’t want to miss included Steel Panther and Sebastian Bach – but then I happened to walk in on a few more by coincidence. There is activity 24-7 at Sweden Rock, it’s nearly impossible to try to sum it all up. But check out the pics on the Facebook-page (URL mentioned somewhere above), that will give you a quick tour of what was going on on stage and back-stage at Sweden Rock Festival 2012!
Way too much to mention, I think I kept updating in real-time on Facebook because I wouldn’t have time to write an actual blog. Busy summer! :)
Next up was my other favorite festival: Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium!
[to be continued….]
Saturday was the best day for us – nice weather and super-VIP treatment! Spent all day on the main stage.
We got guest-passes from Rob, a crew guy who we met at Sweden Rock Festival (see, I haven’t even finished writing about THAT yet…!). When Vera approached the security, they didn’t even bother to check our passes, they just smiled and welcomed us in. We thought “wow, unusually friendly security people here!” but minutes later we learned that Rob had notified them that we were coming and instructed them not to give us any problems, lol! :-) So it was the freaking RED CARPET to the backstage area.
I didn’t want to go up on stage at first, it’s somebody’s working area so unless I’m explicitly invited up there, I’m not going. Vera went ahead and came back after a while – Rob was up on stage and we were invited. Evenso, I found a dark, secluded corner up there where I figured I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. My legs were aching, must have strained a muscle or ten at the Slayer gig the night before.
It was only a few minutes before Adrenaline Mob were about to hit the stage.
We missed them at Sweden Rock because they were playing an early slot. Those early slots at festivals generally suck, cause it’s difficult for a band to gather a large crowd at noon. You know…. Children of the Night or Up All Night, Sleep All Day…all that sort of thing. ;-)
It was the same this time. They were due on stage 12.15. I have to admit that I haven’t listened to Adrenaline Mob before, so it’s difficult to rate their show properly. Hearing songs from the stage doesn’t do the music justice. I sat there and watched Mike Portnoy more than the others to be honest. First of all, because I am a sucker for great drummers – and hey, I don’t need to tell YOU guys that mr Portnoy is without a doubt one of the best in the business! It’s a kick watching him kill those drums, so for me I didn’t need a lot more to enjoy the Adrenaline Mob-show really. :-)
I also like great singers and although I’ve never listened a whole lot to Symphony X either, I did go to check them out at Sweden Rock, simply because two of my friends – Jan and Taz were with them on that particular tour. So that was when I got to see and hear Russell Allen. He is a great vocalist, wish I could have heard him more up there but the stage monitors didn’t do him any favors. I couldn’t hear a thing. But basically, I love bands that are the best at what they do – and if you’re looking for “Crème de la Crème”-musicians, Adrenaline Mob is definitely for you!
Photos on my FB-page: www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror
Video – this is what I heard from the stage monitors (=not too much)
Next up – PRIMAL FEAR.
Those guys are cool as hell too. Met them for the first time at Z7 with Jon Oliva’s Pain back in 2007 I think. Super-nice guys. Then we hung out with singer Ralf in 2009 at Sweden Rock. My friend Kevin from JOP was in Sweden visiting and Ralf had missed the shuttle back to the hotel. So we drove him back to the hotel, got a nice chat on the way. Really a polite, nice guy.
Met him and Mat in the backstage-area after their show, they seemed to actually remember me (I never count on that…).
Most of all – I’m INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED by Ralf’s VOICE!! Jesus, there is no competition at Graspop 2012 that comes even CLOSE to that kind of range!
My jaw dropped several times, absolutely amazing! The whole band is rocking their asses off, not one quiet moment during Primal Fear’s performance. Their gig felt a lot shorter than it was. It’s not what I would listen to at home maybe, but I would definitely go see them live – any day! It’s well worth the money.
PRIMAL FEAR photo album on my FB-page: www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror
Check this out:
Next up was Thin Lizzy but we missed part of their show cause we were in the backstage catering. Good food, and nice to be able to bring a bottle of water with you without anybody keeping the bottle cap (not sure why they do that).
Forgot that keyboardist Darren Wharton is with them, that’s where he got his first break in the first place. The reason why Darren Wharton in particular is “special” to me is because he was one of the very first people I ever interviewed when I started out in this business.
I was 19 and thought that my English wasn’t good, so I printed the questions I had and gave it to the band beforehand so they could follow me during the interview. Lol! :-) My god... looking back now, I wonder what they must have been thinking.
Also, Darren was late for that particular interview, but I remember thinking he was sooo hot when he showed up in tight, bleached and torn jeans, leather jacket and his dark hair and blue eyes. That was enough to impress a young teenager like me..! :-)
His band back in those days was DARE and they had just released their first album:
Scott Gorham is also a funny guy. Many years ago when Thin Lizzy played in Malmo, he just walked out in the freezing cold – said he didn’t feel like waiting for the others to get to the hotel and asked if I could drive him back to his hotel. I told him that if he was cool with a small Renault, then sure…. He sat back there, in my tiny little car, looking around going: “Well…this is nice!” So, definitely no rock star attitude there, whatsoever. :-)
And then there’s Marco Mendoza – who’s played with every band it seems…. Whitesnake for instance. I think I’d better not comment on Marco at ALL, lol. :-) He’s a good bassplayer, that’s the main thing. :)
And current singer with Thin Lizzy – Ricky Warwick…. I interviewed him back in 1992 at Donington Monsters of Rock, I still have this CRAPPY recording from that (apologies for the bad quality, after all it’s exactly 20 years ago now…!)
This is only a CLIP – maybe someday I’ll post the whole thing…
So Thin Lizzy always brings back memories. :-) Wish I could have seen their show, I only saw the last two-three songs but it’s always a treat to hear the classics – The Boys Are Back In Town, Rosalie (eventhough that’s a cover…).
Next up –
Both require more space – so they will be reviewed separately. :)) Coming upppppp……..
THE GRASPOP BLOGS: