I took a short little roadtrip from Malmo up to Halmstad yesterday (approximately 1,5-2 hours) to see an All Star-band featuring ex-Firewind and current Spiritual Beggars-vocalist Apollo Papathanasio. One of my favorite singers, without a doubt – a Swedish version of Tony Martin. Can’t go wrong with that!
When he was with Firewind, I would catch a whole bunch of shows each year, but after he left, the gigs have become a lot more infrequent. Just one-off shows here and there that you really need to keep track of 100% not to miss them..!
But we call eachother here and there and that’s when I get a little update on the “latest news”. The last time we spoke, he mentioned these two shows, a very unpretentious event at a local rock bar. Well, hallelujah! Like I had to think long and hard about that (not!!). I went! When I arrived it was really hot in Halmstad and lots of people on the streets.
It didn’t look like there would be a lot of people in the club at first, but that’s pretty common for summer indoor-gigs. There aren’t many people at those. Most people I know are out of the country in vacation now. But, as it started getting closer to showtime, the place was almost full. Not only full, but full of enthusiastic people. :) At some point when Apollo was looking at the crowd, he just laughed and went: “I think I know every single person in here!” I bet he does!
From what I heard, these guys never had much time to rehearse as they’re busy doing other things, so if you consider that, it was awesome. And for me it was like Christmas! It’s not every day you get to hear one of your favorite singers, sing songs by OTHER bands that I like (and SONGS that I love)! JUDAS PRIEST! WHITESNAKE!
The setlist was as follows:
And it was a cool lineup too – dudes that know their business:
Apollo Papathanasio – vocals (Spiritual Beggars, Firewind)
Chris Amott – guitar (Arch Enemy)
Ludwig Witt – drums (Spiritual Beggars, Grand Magus)
Pär Wallmark – bass (Last Tribe)
I loved the whole concept of it – small show, not widely advertised maybe, the guys in the band and the choice of songs. BINGO!
After the show, I just hung out for a bit, talked a little with Apollos wife. Not easy to have a conversation in all that noise but what can you do. :)
I had to get going, it was getting late and I had a bit of a drive ahead of me, so she went to get him for me. I’ve left gigs before without saying bye to an artist I know, but because the guest list was super duper mega exclusive (so few people on it, it was ridiculous) and I was on it, I at least wanted to wave and say bye-bye before leaving.
Anyhoo, Apollo came out from the backstage area and said he wanted to introduce me to “the guys”. The only person left by the time we got there, was Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars) who wasn’t in the band, but was talking to someone. Instead, we ended up checking out some photos from Thessaloniki, Greece on Apollo’s cellphone that I was in, and didn’t know about. :)
“Have you said hi to the guys yet?” he asked. I said that I hadn’t seen anyone, and it was okay, they don’t know who I am anyway, haha!
“That’s exactly why I want you to meet them”, he laughed. Well, I guess there’s some logic in that! ;)
Chris Amott and Per Wiberg (keyboards, Spiritual Beggars) were outside talking, so I was introduced to them. Didn’t stay long there though, driving in the middle of the night after having been up since 4 am, is usually not a good idea.
So – I took off. The whole show is on video by the way. Will be up here later, but here’s just a little preview! There will be one more show on the 19th – so guess where I’ll be THAT day? :D
Bang Your Head-weekend in Balingen, Germany, is over. It’s been two interesting days. Part one has been published in the Firewind-blog here.It’s not every day that you see Venom in the catering or Cronos walking around in his stage outfit in broad daylight (or have the dressing room across from the ladies room for that matter).
Swedish sleaze/glammers Crash Diet were like glued to their chairs in the backstage area all day on Friday. The only time they moved was when it started pissing down in the evening, and theyhad to move inside. After that, they didn’t move from the catering tent until god knows when. When I left after Venom on Friday night, they were still sitting there.
I forgot that Elize Ryd from Amaranthe was with Kamelot. She walked into the catering as well, right after Kamelot finished their set, being very particular with what was on the menu and what she could eat. :)Another piece of entertainment was seeing a few half-naked musicians both days when going to and from the ladies room (not my fault it was in the dressing room area, lol…!).
Some guys who were working at the indoors-stage were staying at the same hotel as Anett and me and one morning, at breakfast I heard them talking, in German (I can pick up on a lot of German as long as they don’t speak too fast or at the same time). One guy was somewhat upset about what had taken place the night before.
– I couldn’t believe it…! Four girls in the front row called EXODUS singer to come over, and when he went there, ALL FOUR of them FLASHED their tits in his face! What the fuck! This is a THRASH-concert, it’s not a fuckin’ STEEL PANTHER-show!
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a guy complain about chicks flashing their boobs, but this guy certainly didn’t like it, lol! :-)
I could enjoy listening to a “private show” on the stage right after Firewind, when Armored Saint‘s singer John Bush was warming up. Usually you hear singers warm up with scales, but he was singing at the top of his lungs, as if he was already on stage. Pretty cool. :)
Walked into the indoors arena on Friday afternoon, as they had signing sessions there during the day. Arch Enemy had a looooong line of fans standing in line to meet “Barbie of death” Angela Gossow and the guys.
Some fans were so taken by the situation that they just stood there like paralyzed staring at Angela and wouldn’t move. There were cameras and people everywhere. I left, couldn’t see much but could establish that the band was as popular off stage as onstage. :)
When Thin Lizzy hit the stage, it was raining again. The festivals this year have been haunted by bad weather. Ricky Warwick walked out on the runway, fearless of the rain and stated: Here’s the deal. YOU get wet – WE get wet! He stood by his word.
It was guitarist Damon Johnson‘s birthday that day and he looked like a happy kid in a candy store when looking out over the crowd. :-) Excellent show!
Went to the VIP tent after Thin Lizzy because the rain kept getting worse. But shortly after there was a loud bang and it was the beginning of Venom’s show. The rain was really pissing down at this point. When I came to the stage I was surprised – it was almost empty. I could easily walk to the front of the stage. There were fireworks and fire and god knows what else in Venom’s show but… the crowds were gone.
DAY 2. (Axxis, Primal Fear, Primordial, Sabaton, Gotthard, Pain)……….. coming up.