Tagged: germany

50th Gus G-show lies ahead….

The next stop on my personal Gus G/Marty Friedman tour, is Munich and Hannover, Germany.

After that, London. And the London show will, funny enough, be the last date for me on this tour and the 50th time in 3 years that I see this guitar “wonder child” do his thing.

I remember pretty much every single gig and the details surrounding it. The trips, the people, the disasters, the adventures, the trips, hotels, venues, cities, shows….

I looked at the list of shows yesterday just to see if there was anything I might have forgotten. I’m probably lucky because I’ve been blogging about everything, so I tend to remember for that reason.
I have pics, stories and videos from every single place. Except for the Madison Square Garden gig with Ozzy because I didn’t want to risk getting my camera confiscated, so I never brought one.

[THIS was the first thing I saw, and here I am now, shitloads of shows and thousands of travelled miles later…!]


I did get a few clips on my bad mobile phone but those serve only as a memory, not as YouTube-material (I hate clicking on a live video on Youtube only to find that the audio sucks and that it’s been recorded by some drunk, jumping person in the crowd, with his/her BAD phone. Don’t upload it unless it’s at LEAST decent quality…!)

That gig got the ball rolling. The dude with the guitar left me absolutely speechless. I remember sitting at JFK on my way home, killing time, browsing the web for info about the new Ozzy-guitarist. Then I saw a video of The Fire And The Fury and that sealed the deal.

There I was at the airport, running that video multiple times, because I couldn’t believe how anyone could play like that! Just watching that pinky finger move like it was made out of rubber, was fascinating!

On New Year’s Day 2011, I was once again out there on the web checking out more stuff, when I came across info about a one-off gig for Firewind in London, at the Relentless Garage. Within five minutes, I had clicked my way through buying a ticket to the show and a flight ticket to London. :) Didn’t require a lot of thinking.

I remember that day in London as being grey, rainy and cold and I hadn’t booked a hotel. I just flew over, saw the show and went straight back to the airport and back to work.

But the show, once again, blew me away – and the minute I got home, I started checking for more gigs.

The journey has taken me all across Europe for the past 3 years. I’ve flown to places I barely knew existed, I’ve rented cars, driven in all kinds of weather, from one club to another, in the middle of the night, early in the mornings, getting lost… Or using the car as my “hotel” on a few occasions just to be able to afford the trips.

Sleeping in the car is not a comfortable thing usually. It always gets cold and damp in there at night, but I’ve done it because it meant being able to see yet another show instead of spending the dough on hotels.

I’ve visited several cities/towns/villages in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Luxembourg, Greece, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland, a few states in the US to catch a few of the US shows and last year I took that trip of a lifetime to Australia for the Australian tour. I had a blast in every possible way and it’s a journey I’ll never forget.



And the highlights with all these gigs? The reason why I started doing this was because I was totally blown away by the live performances and the high level of musicianship. But I’m also hooked on the travelling itself, just being on the go to anywhere. I’ve never been much of a stay-at-home kind of person. Hanging in front of a TV works for maybe a few weeks in the winter, but after that I get bored and restless and I need to get on the first flight, train or bus to wherever. It’s usually been to a Firewind/Ozzy/Gus G-show because they simply tour a lot. :) Suits me perfectly.

I’ve gotten to know the guys in the band and their crew, and I love these guys. They are awesome. If I had had to deal with a bunch of assholes it wouldn’t have mattered HOW good Gus or the band was, I would have found some other band or artist to go and check out. I’m lucky that the whole “package deal” has been perfect. :)

As for the highlights from the gigs, I guess I could easily pick a few to put on my Top 10-list:

1. Ozzy – Madison Square Garden – New York City – December 1, 2010

2. Firewind – Relentless Garage – London – UK – January 7, 2011

3. Firewind – Fuzz Club – Athens – Greece – January 14, 2012

4. Ozzy – Malmö Stadium – Malmö – Sweden – June 2, 2012

5. Ozzy – Westfalenhalle – Dortmund – Germany – June 4, 2012

[Steel Panther opening, had a great time with my friend from Germany, Su]

6. Firewind – Mylos – Thessaloniki – Greece – July 18, 2012

[I presented the band with a gold record for their sales of  Wall Of Sound, in Sweden]

Mylos gold record

7. Firewind – Knust – Hamburg – Germany – September 28, 2012

8. Firewind – 8Ball Club – Thessaloniki – Greece – December 15 & 16, 2012

9. Firewind – Rock In Den Ruinen  – Dortmund – Germany – April 27, 2013

10. Firwewind – Corner Hotel – Melbourne – Australia – November 3, 2013

There are many more, such as Ozzy at Sweden Rock and Graspop festival, Firewind at Sonisphere, and Kaftanzoglio stadium / Stop That Sound 2310 festival in Thessaloniki, many of the club gigs…. It’s hard to pick just a few but those did stick out for sure.

And now another page is being written, with the solo gigs across Europe.

So, on May 21st,  in London, UK, I celebrate that 50th Gus G-gig since that Madison Square Garden gig. Will that mark the end of this journey or will I add another 50 shows to the list? I don’t know. I guess time will tell, but one thing is for certain, it’s left memories that will stay with me for a very long time.

Here are some of those highlights:

Ozzy & Friends – Graspop:

Gus G – my first interview , from Sweden Rock:

Gus G – second interview, from Thessaloniki, Greece:

Stop That Sound Festival in Thessaloniki, with Whitesnake and Judas Priest – a VERY very veryyy hot day in Greece. I almost passed out from the heat.

Bang Your Head festival 2012 – recap

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!

[Birthday child]

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. 


Ozzy & Friends ticket hell

Yesterday really put my patience to the test (not that I have a lot of that to begin with…). 

Ozzy & Friends in Dortmund, Germany. Steel Panther opening. Perfect gig
Except for having to stay awake through an entire Black Label Society dead boring gig, but that’s the deal, what can you do……

I hadn’t decided whether or not I was gonna go, until an online friend asked me about my plans. She wanted to go and figured we could share room and go to the gig if I decided on Dortmund. Sounded cool to have company for a change and meet a new fellow music fan, so it didn’t take a lot of persuading to get me to decide. I was going!

So, after working out our plans on the phone, I went straight to Westfalenhallen’s own website, as they were the only ones selling tickets at face value.

I spent TWO (yes 2, two, zwei, två, deux, dos, due) freaking hours, trying to buy an Ozzy ticket!

The Van Halen ticket-hell that I went through a few months ago was a walk in the park compared to this. 

So, this is what you’ll have to deal with, if you ever feel like ordering tickets from Westfalenhallen’s website:

The website is not available in any other language than German. Great.

There is a link that says Tickets. When you click on that, you get three other links that sound similar, and if you don’t speak German very well, it’s pretty hard to understand the difference between the link “Tickets“, “Ticket-Store” and “Ticketing Westfalenhallen“…….. So, I clicked on the first one. Took me to some sort of search-page. Typed “Ozzy“. Got one result – just some sort of info-page about the artist in German.

The page didn’t include a link to any tickets. It just said that you could purchase tickets by clicking the link/button “Ticketinfos“. Just my luck that neither the link or the button was on the page yesterday. :-( (they had fixed that the next day, no wonder I was going nuts for not finding it!

I was searching everywhere on the page and it took me an HOUR only to find some kind of ticket-store on that page!

I FINALLY tried clicking on any other artist on the page and it opened some outdated, old Java-applet that looked like it was left from 1987 or something…. After clicking my way through THAT I finally got to the last stage where I could buy the tickets (HALLELUJAH!!). Right.

First I had to REGISTER as a new customer. Fair enough. Then it wouldn’t accept the password – so I kept requesting new ones. I ended up with a mailbox that had no less than SEVEN new passwords! 

NONE of them worked! (black smoke coming out of my ears at this point…)

I started over, registered again, used another mail address, realized that you couldn’t print the ticket and it cost 15 euros to get them to send the tix outside of Germany, so… *sigh*  I had to go back and change my customer info and use Nadine’s address instead.

And after TWOOOOOOOOOOOO HOURS I had the effing ticket!! I was ready to throw the PC out the window, one of the most frustrating online ticket-purchaces I’ve ever experienced!

But now it’s finally done. Trip booked, hotel booked, concert ticket taken care of, so the show better not suck. :-) Not after the ordeal I had to go through to GET the ticket!

Somebody asked me why I didn’t just request a press ticket. Because – as good as it is with freebies, they never send you those tix in advance. And the list gets there in the last minute, usually. So, you are always risking ending up way in the back because you have to WAIT for it.
I don’t have the patience for that. I want my ticket at hand when I get in line.

I’m still into the music and the gigs – I’m not and I never will be, the bored journalist who’s standing way in the back with a glass of wine talking to colleagues or just checking out the show from the soundboard looking slightly blasé.

I want the experience, the sweat and being part of a jumping, wild crowd – the actualADRENALINE. That’s what I live for. So, no freebies for me if it’s a band I really like (unless of course, it’s a laminate that will grant me access to anything or I’ve seen the band lots of times already and need to just write a review). :-)

A month from now. June will be a kickass-month! So looking forward to it.

[From one of last year’s OZZY-shows. This one is from Ergo Arena in Poland. I was sick as a dog, 39 degrees C fever, had spent all day in bed at the hotel trying to recover. Yet I forgot all about it at the show – it kicked ass!]