Tagged: manchester

No terrorist will ever stop me from living

Music, life

I wasn’t going to write about the Manchester terrorist act, because I just don’t want those who do it to get more fuel and more attention. It seems like that’s their way of getting their message across, in a sick sort of way.

But I will say this.

I’ve been asked: “Aren’t you at least a little bit scared?”

I go to concerts all the time. It’s my life. It’s what I live for.
A wise person once said that you should live for something you’re also willing to die for. And music is exactly that.

I’m not afraid at all. I’m not saying that to convince myself or anyone else or because I want to pretend to be cocky or whatever, I simply just…am not scared.

There is not one sexually frustrated, mentally disturbed terrorist on this planet that will make me stop going to the next concert – or the next. And if they blow me up, well so be it. Just do the job properly asshole. I’m not going to spend my life at home, being scared of traveling or going to an arena to see my favorite band. If I do, I might as well shoot myself right away, because that is no way to live.

I’ve been a “railrider” (all the way up front at concerts) since I was a teenager. At times, it’s been very tough standing there in the front row. You think you’re going to be crushed to death, suffocate or be beaten by some drunk or by someone who’s high and thinks you’re in the way.

My friend and I went to a W.A.S.P-concert in the late 90’s and it was ruthless. She decided to give up, cause she had bruises all over and couldn’t breathe. I didn’t blame her. But I stayed. My attitude at the time was, that if I die here tonight, at least I will have died happy.

And that’s what it’s all about.

I will probably be scared if someone shoots me and doesn’t do the job properly, but nothing will scare me from going to concerts, that’s my point.

I just read that Kiss cancelled their show in Manchester, and I understand that it’s just not the right time or place – eventhough it’s for other practical reasons as well. I’ve been to that arena, because I prefer Manchester to London for gigs. It could have been me.

To think that some confused individual who believes in fairy tales and is convinced that blowing up people is mega-cool, killed CHILDREN… who know nothing about political or religious beliefs…

What can you even say? 

I’ve already seen enough hatred and speculations in social media, I’m not going to add more to it since it really makes no difference what anyone thinks. This shit will continue, cause there are enough airheads out there who have nothing better to do with their worthless existence than blowing themselves up.
I just wish they could do it somewhere far away from other people.

All we can do is set a statement by what we choose to do and how we choose to live.

And I choose life – and living it to the fullest. That’s what rock’n’roll has taught me. It gave my life meaning and I will stick to it.

Until the very end.

WHITESNAKE – here I go again!

I have no idea how many times I’ve seen Whitesnake, I stopped counting a long time ago – but after every tour I can’t wait to see them again. It’s a “feel-good” type of band. You ALWAYS leave a Whitesnake concert with a smile. So, you keep coming back for more. Year after year.

I took the flight from Copenhagen to Manchester early in the morning and walked from Picadilly station to Printworks, Arndale, Hard Rock Cafe – just the area around the MEN/MCR Arena. It was freezing cold, wasn’t prepared for that. It was warm and sunny back home. And I got lost.

I was walking all over the place, couldn’t find the hotel. Went to Park Inn and asked for directions. They told me it was hidden BEHIND the Crowne Plaza, no wonder I passed it three times without seeing it….
Thanks to that I finally found my hotel and couldn’t WAIT to kick off my shoes, take a nap and just relax.

[Labelled pillows – do you prefer firm or soft?]

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The hotel had free WiFi so I quickly updated my Facebook status, mentioning that I was going down to Hard Rock Cafe later on to grab a bite. Before I knew it, I had two responses from two fellow Whitesnake-fans who were in the neighborhood and said they would try to make it down there as well.

I like social media for that reason, it gives you the opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world.

Went to Hard Rock, ordered the BBQ chicken and was served by a pretty boy with long hair, can’t complain. :) Just as I was in the middle of massacring the chicken (with that reddish BBQ-sauce, it looked like I had slaughtered the chicken myself…!) I heard a voice going: “Daniela?”

There was Ania and her boyfriend Alex. It was the first time we met, and there I was, leaving a wonderful first impression with my mouth full of fries and a massacred chicken on the plate – must have been such a classy sight…! ;)

They joined me for dinner, and it was a really great afternoon. Really nice people, easygoing, interesting to talk to. One of the greatest things about travelling and meeting people through Facebook or Twitter, is that regardless what profession people have, their age or what country they’re from – we all share the same passion for music. So I truly enjoy meeting people and hearing their stories. :)

On our way out we met Jen, the other girl who I thought had changed her mind about Hard Rock – but she had been down at the bar, we never even saw her from where we had been at.

Ania and Alex went back to their hotel and I went to the arena to check what was going on. I’m used to there being people hours before, but there was not a SOUL…! On top of all, it started raining. I never travel without my rain poncho-  especially not England, so I was prepared.

Found a McDonalds at Victoria Station, and killed time with their free WiFi. That is the best thing about McD, no matter where you are in the world, you KNOW that you will at least be able to get online at McDonalds. :)

Ania showed up shortly thereafter and we went in. Much to my surprise, the arena was almost empty when we got in. Never seen such a big arena so empty when the doors open!

[This is what we walked into… Impressive arena, but totally dead at 5.45, fifteen minutes after they had opened]

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She had a spare ticket in her section, it was closer to the stage than my original ticket reservation and it was defnitely a lot nicer to be able to sit and chat a bit than being alone trying to kill time (which is my usual deal. I don’t mind but when I’ve got the choice it’s not hard to decide :) ). Thank you for that Ania.

The arena was filling up slowly but surely, when after a little while, a friend of Ania’s and Reb (Beach) came out for a short chat. I was pretty much minding my own business, observing the activities on stage and in the arena in the meantime. A guy walked up to Reb and asked him if he could wave to his girlfriend “up there” (and pointed in her direction), cause she could not believe it was actually HIM.

Might have been because Reb looked like “the guy next door” in his blue hoodie, just being very “normal” and blending in perfectly with the audience. Reb not only waved, but he also offered to come over and say hello. I think that’s very sweet, cause I’m sure that the girl now has a great memory. Great attitude, I like that.

I saw Jen briefly as she was passing by our section on her way to her seat. And Ronnie was sitting two rows behind me – which I learned AFTER the show as my cellphone delievered all his text-messages the next day, when I was back in Sweden…!

The intro of AC/DC‘s “Thunderstruck” started playing (very loud) and the lights went out. First out on stage – THUNDER.

Okay… So I haven’t seen these guys since the days when they still had HAIR (Donington 1992 to be more precise…) so when these men with short, gray hair walked out on stage (with two exceptions to be fair) I was wondering who the hell that was. But the minute Danny opened his mouth and started singing, there was no doubt that it was THAT voice..!

In short (no pun intended) – they blew me away. What a brilliant live band. Absolute perfection with heaps of heart and soul in their performance. I absolutely loved it!

It’s not often that you see a band that doesn’t rely on any of the usual “props”: looks, image, lasers and bombs, no schtick, none of that stuff – yet manages to get the crowd ecstatic!

Great songs, great musicians, a sincere love for that they’re doing and a great sense of humor. That takes them all the way to people’s hearts! And it goes not only a long way – it goes ALL the way.
I enjoyed every minute of it – and already looking forward to seeing them at Sweden Rock Festival in about a week!

Danny Bowes – what a powerful voice, he was just belting it out, not missing one single note! I’m still looking for my jaw that I dropped on the floor somewhere at the MCR in section C…!

And, Manchester got to enjoy this epic song as well. Make sure you watch the whole thing for the sing-along…:

When Thunder left the stage, I was convinced that Journey were up next. I should have checked first I guess, but it never occured to me that Journey would be considered a headliner when Whitesnake was on the bill.
Yes, yes, I know, I know – it was a shared headliner bill and somebody has to go first but still – it never even crossed my mind for two seconds that Whitesnake would NOT finish the evening.

So I sat down, thinking that I could relax for another hour or so while Journey were on….

When the lights went out and the music started playing it took a few seconds before I went… “Wait a minute… I recognize that…!” Next thing I know, the spotlights lit up the band and a VERY familiar figure in a white shirt..!

I flew out of my chair like a catapult and got the camera rolling, jesus christ, I nearly missed the intro…! That’s what you get when you don’t bother checking things in advance.

I’m not going to review Whitesnake. I can’t. When I go to a Whitesnake-concert, I know that I’ll either be smiling till every muscle in my face starts aching, or I’m going to be moved to tears.

When Bernie and Adrian were the “secret guests” that walked out on stage to join David and the others, at Sweden Rock Festival a few years ago, we were all surprised.

And I don’t know why, but it moved me so much that I was bawling my eyes out for hours. I just couldn’t stop the tears, I thought it was just one of the most powerful, touching things I’ve ever seen on a stage.

With Whitesnake it’s just always an inspiring experience – it’s a celebration of life, love, the past and the future, music, friendships, just all the good things in life. You leave your troubles at the door (if you had any) and you walk out of there rejuvenated, with a big, fat smile on your face.

That’s what Whitesnake is about to me.

Yes, the critic in me still hears the flaws, and yes, maybe David doesn’t sound the same in 2013 as he did in 1983 or 1973, but it just doesn’t matter – he makes up for it with his charsma, and he’s got TONS of that! He makes every single person in a 23,000 seat-arena feel like he’s singing just for them.

And you look at the guys – they are in great shape and they look great. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – rocker’s don’t age. They mature like a fine wine. And frankly, where else but in rock’n’roll, do you get to see men in their 50’s or 60’s looking like Doug Aldrich or David Coverdale?

With Whitesnake you know that you will get the very best of whatever you came to see or hear. Tommy Aldridge always reminds me of “Animal” of the Muppet show! He’s a fantastic drummer, the ultimate wildman who KILLS his drums every night. His playing is powerful and entertaining.

A video of Tommy for your viewing pleasure:

Two guitarists with their own distinct styles, among the best at what they do – the bluesy Doug Aldrich and the technical Reb Beach. It’s all covered for all guitar nerds out there to enjoy. :)

Bassist Michael Devin and keyboardist Brian Ruedy are not taking up as much “space” as the others, but with that many people on stage fighting for attention, somebody has to keep a lower profile, and those two guys are cool enough to be perfectly fine with that.

And David – there is a reason why millions of people worldwide love that man. He is so passionate, so vivacious, just full of energy and LIFE! He is one of the people in this world that I find extremely inspiring.

I will say one thing about their show though – without giving anything away – it was a great and surprising set list. Some of those songs I’ve never heard him perform live (I think my first Whitesnake show was in 1990 at the Monsters of Rock tour, but I’m not sure) so it was a treat to hear so many classics from the earlier Whitesnake years as well!

Speaking of which – Bernie Marsden walked out on stage to play on two songs, and it was great to see the two “old snakes” on stage together, once again. Bernie looked almost overwhelmed when he saw the crowd’s response. It was just a great moment.

After THAT, I really didn’t have ANY desire whatsoever to see ANY other band. I don’t care who they put on that stage, it just couldn’t compete, and I wanted to leave the arena with “THAT” feeling of joy. It was the perfect show and the perfect ending. Thank you for the music, my dear snakes. :)

Spoke briefly with Ronnie and his friend before leaving. I was starving so I dropped by this place on my way back to the hotel:

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Ania and Alex also went to “meet some friends” so we parted ways :))) And next week it’s time for London and Wembley!

I prefer Manchester when it comes to concerts though. And I might even write a little more about that pretty soon. It’s the perfect city for visiting concert-travellers!

Two more Whitesnake-shows to go! Wembley and this one, in Zagreb, Croatia. I guess it’s time to start excercising those “smiling muscles” in my face again. :)

Photos from the show: http://www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror

I did film a lot of the show but as David has explicitly asked people not to share too much info and ruin someone else’s experience, I’m not posting anything more for now. Maybe in a few months time. :) There is 1 clip on the Facebook-page though, check the timeline/wall!

Whitesnake, Manchester and other thoughts…

Third move to another blog provider. Let’s hope I won’t get any trouble with this, and thanks to Metalpaths for the kind offer to help out when I was struggling trying to get the other blog to work.

Those of you who used to subscribe and get the updated posts directly in your e-mail (a service that was offered by Posterous) – you can do that now, as WordPress offers that service as well. :) Just scroll down a little and you’ll find the subscription button to the right.

Today is a day off. But my “to do”-list is still long, tomorrow I’m off to Manchester for the Whitesnake (Journey/Thunder) show at MEN Arena. I’m as excited as ever about that, I just don’t like that it’s a seated arena.

Everything is “seated”. I just don’t think that the floor in front of the stage at a ROCK concert should EVER be seated! I want to stand there in the front with a bunch of other maniacs and feel the PULSE, the ENERGY and just get into it. At least at a Whitesnake concert I do. You can’t get that feeling in a CHAIR. :-/

Keep the seats for the Symphony Orchestra, and give the rockers space to go wild.

Other things that are on my mind today are all the losses in our rock’n’roll extended family…

This week has been a sad one for many fans of the Doors and now also for the fans of Uriah Heep.

Ray Manzarek – founder, keyboardist/bassist of the Doors, died of cancer in Germany, Monday evening, at the age of 74. I’d say that the credit for the sound of the Doors goes to Ray. Another historic rock icon has waved farewell.

Uriah Heep‘s bassist Trevor Bolder lost his battle against cancer at the age of 62 yesterday.

English: Uriah Heep's Trevor Bolder, Live in M...

English: Uriah Heep’s Trevor Bolder, Live in Milan, 09 November 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems that we are losing one after another now.

There’s probably going to be a lot more in the years to come. Hard rock/heavy metal was invented in the seventies, if you don’t count the bands and artists that inspired the development of it, back in the sixties.

The Black Sabbath or Deep Purple guys were young back then – in their early 20’s, and they are hitting their 60’s now, at the very least – and although 60 is not old for a rocker, it’s still an age where many are beginning to battle various health issues. Doesn’t have to be lethal but our heroes are simply not going to be around forever.

And it’s just now that this is beginning to sink in, cause we grew up with these guys, they are such a natural part in our lives. Much like parents, they’ve always been there, it’s hard to imagine the day when they won’t be, eventhough you know that that day WILL come.

Just makes you think. I’m going to as many shows as I possibly can – especially by the great legends of metal, because you never know how long you’ll have that privilege. Might be 10 more years, might be tomorrow.

Sad thoughts aside – hectic times ahead. Whitesnake in Manchester, UK tomorrow, Megadeth in Copenhagen on Saturday, Whitesnake at Wembley next  week, and then shortly after that – 4 days of metal madness at Sweden Rock festival. A week after that – Whitesnake again in Zagreb, Croatia.

But it’s the kind of “busy” that I love! See you all out there, somewhere! :)

Community Asian Fat Tiger Woods (or something…) VIDEOS

A video says more than a thousand words – or something like that. ;)

Feast your eyes on THIS – from last night’s STEEL PANTHER party at O2 (Apollo) in Manchester, UK! 

(review/blog here: http://lita77777.posterous.com/you-wanted-the-best-you-got-steel-panther)

 

 

More to come…. :)

You wanted the best – you got STEEL PANTHER!

I had an absolutely perfect day here in Manchester, UK, yesterday. Arrived around 10 in the morning and had the whole day to enjoy the sunshine and the many happenings, markets and fairs down in the city center.

There was music everywhere, everything from karaoke (a little girl was singing, I remember her having a wonderful voice – hopefully a future star!) acrobats, dancers, street art and walking soda cups. Anything you could imagine. There was BBQ’ing and it smelled so good, food from everywhere, cajun, indian, traditional… And home made cupcakes. Too bad I’m on a low carb diet, or I would have tried a few of those, they looked delicious.

My feet and my back were killing me after the hours of walking, I just went back to the hotel for 10 minutes to get some rest, then walked off to O2, Apollo. There was already a line, 3,5 hours before doors even opened.

What I don’t like about O2 though, is that so called “priority guests”-line. People who BUY their way in, they get in before everybody else and can choose their spots. So all the other people who have been standing there all day freezing their asses off, getting tired just as much as anyone else, gets to stare at somebody’s back instead.

I ended up behind two teenage girls who were giggling and talking the WHOLE time, except for when they were updating their Facebook-statuses of course, or texting…

Anyway, the hours spent out there in the cold were still worth it. At least as soon as the opening act Falling Red got off the stage. The difference between Steel Panther and bands like Falling Red is that at least Steel Panther is doing it as a JOKE, as a parody of what the glam and sleaze era was all about.

Falling Red IS the kind of band that they are joking about. When they started shouting about who in the audience was a sex addict or a drug/alcohol addict, as if it was something cool to scream a “yes” to that bullshit, I just thought “please get off the fucking stage you beehived Motley Crue wannabe losers”…

If they meant it as a joke as well, it just wasn’t made the right way, come on, it’s not the 80’s anymore.

But if I erase those 30 minutes of the show out of my head (believe me, it won’t take long) and move on to the Steel Panther show… 

Steel Panther is – hands down – the BEST live band there is, anywhere, right now. They take ALL the elements that makes a great show, mix them all together and put a label on it that says STEEL PANTHER. Absolutely fucking AMAZING.

You get great music, played by extremely talented musicians (a fact that tends to be overlooked because of the parody label) you get four guys who are working their asses off on stage with their poses and their moves, oh, and they’re hot too. 

There’s the 80’s outfits, the smoke, lasers, confetti…! It’s like Christmas and New Year’s all on one. And on top of all that, the icing on the cake – the jokes. You get to laugh too. There is no better entertainment package anywhere right now. They are doing this so right, and they’re leading their crowd into a mass psychosis pretty much.. :))

Chicks go to their shows, PLANNING to show their tits. One of them had painted something on her boobs last night, and tried everything to get noticed by the “titty cam” – and was the happiest girl in the world when she got up on stage and could lift up her home-made shirt “look everyone, I’ve got boobies!”. Well it’s just bizarre sometimes to watch the whole spectacle. 

The only downside is that when you’ve seen Steel Panther a few times, some of the jokes tend to get a bit…old. :) That’s just because you’ve heard them before so it’s more like “yeah yeah, Michael is 65 years old and had a hip replacement and takes Viagra – gotcha”.

Other than that – I love this band. I will definitely travel again to see them, because it’s the one band where you simply can’t go wrong – you’re guaranteed to have a great time!

Thanks – again – Steel Panther!

[Photos here: www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror]

[More VIDEOS here: http://lita77777.posterous.com/community-asian-fat-tiger-woods-or-something ]