Just got home – after having been “on the road” for well… 29 hours in total – including hanging at airports just waiting and waiting for the next flight. The destination was São Paulo and the reason for the trip was of course the annual MONSTERS OF ROCK festival.
I went there to see Ozzy, that was my initial reason for going. And he didn’t disappoint me, he never does. But I’m happy to say that TWO bands/artists totally made my entire festival, and one of those bands was totally unexpected.
The first artist that totally blew me away was The MASTER: Yngwie Malmsteen. I’ve been a fan of his since the 80’s, and I always get a smile on my face when remembering the meetings/interviews I had with him back then, including a very spontaneous, informal radio interview live on the air when he was visiting Sweden back in the early 90’s and he just got engaged to his then girlfriend Erica Norberg.
Anyway, I’ve loved his music since god knows when, but I don’t get to see him that often, and so when he ran out on stage at the Monsters of Rock in São Paulo it was a treat like you wouldn’t believe. But what shocked me, was something that happened that was totally out of my control: I felt how I got all teared up….before I knew it I was crying like a baby!
I just don’t cry in public EVER, it totally ruins my image. :) And it freaking ruins my makeup too. Yet there I was in a crowd of a few thousand people, bawling my eyes out cause it was just so beautiful, so amazing, just so ridiculously BRILLIANT that I couldnt help myself. It touched me. One thing is for sure – that doesn’t happen often at ALL.
The last times I remember it happening was back in 2000 when Halford came to Malmo to perform with his own band Halford – and he started singing Victim of Changes. Somehow that just made me snap, hearing my greatest hero sing THAT song, in my home town, only an arms length away. I was crying like a kid – tears of joy. :)
Second time was Whitesnake at Sweden Rock Festival when Coverdale had a surprise. Well TWO actually. First he brought out Bernie Marsden on stage, which only THAT was enough to make me feel moved. Then he brings out Adrian Vandenberg as well and oh boy I cried and cried like a total FREAK and probably looked like a bad version of Alice Cooper with my makeup running down my face…! It was just one of those moments that grabs your heart. And now, it was Yngwie.
I don’t care that people call him “sloppy” when he plays live, cause even on his WORST day he’s better than anyone else, he simply doesn’t have ANY competition! There might be technical wizards out there, you’ve got the Steve Vais and the Paul Gilberts, and I love those guys, but when it comes to the WHOLE package – the music, the technical skills, the songs, the performance, the unique sound, the heart and soul in every single note he plays…
There is a reason why Yngwie is worshipped by every guitarist out there, and has been for decades. He’s just the Master, the One and Only and the best of them all. The biggest dream of any Strat must be to end up in the hands of Yngwie Malmsteen, that’s the ultimate honor. :) Basically – if ANYTHING touched me deeply and for REAL at that festival, it was Yngwie. He’s amazing and he brightened my day! I can’t wait to see him in Bucharest, Romania soon!
[Not sharing any of my own videos, as I hear that Yngwie is one of those artists that has “people around him” who love to report YouTube videos and get accounts closed down. I’ve had enough of that shit with Manowar, thank you very much. So, I’m stealing a video from someone else :D]
The absolutely biggest surprise though, was UNISONIC with Michael Kiske on vocals. Why was that such a surprise? Simply because I’ve had a Kiske-allergy most of my life, since I heard him with Helloween and developed an absolute resistance against that German galoping-style metal and Dickinson-wannabe vocals. And his vibrato got on my nerves, I just could NOT listen to Kiske or Helloween, not my cup of tea at ALL. That, of course led to that I ignored anything he did, cause I already “knew” that I didn’t like the guy.
Well… He totally turned me around. I have now officially resigned and can willingly admit that Michael Kiske is unbelievable. OR should I say EXCEPTIONAL?? :D
Somebody jokingly commented on my sudden change of mind with: “He just needed a couple of decades to mature and get over the helium phase for you, eh?” And yeah, I guess that pretty much sums it all up. :)
I love what he does now, his voice is a pleasure for the ears, and it’s impressive what he can still do – and nail it effortlessly LIVE! I found myself sitting at the airport in São Paulo digging through interviews and videos on YouTube to learn more about the vocalist that I’ve spent the last two-three decades being allergic to. ;) I’ve got some catching up to do!
Not only did I get blown away by Kiske’s vocals and presence on stage, I was also impressed to learn more about him as a person through interviews and essays he’s written. Holy cow, he’s not an airhead, that just adds to the plus side. I’m glad I was stuck there in the front row and I’m glad I got to see Unisonic’s show.
Kiske is a great commander of a stage and a big crowd. There is a Halford-element there, the very cool, laid back style that still exudes strength and confidence – yet also shows a great boyish sense of humor and self-distance. The whole band came to São Paulo, rocked a few thousand crazy metalheads, and could leave with a sense of pride and accomplishment! THAT, ladies and gentlemen, was just AMAZING!
I don’t need to sit here and talk a whole lot – just see and listen for yourself. This kicks major ass, and I can’t wait to see these guys live again, wherever and whenever! Alright…. “I Want Out” got over 12 000 views, but THIS is the song I want to share first, because I absolutely love it! Holy f***!!
And…the video that most people have wanted to watch cause it’s a classic…
There will be plenty of material from the Monsters of Rock festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil. But today, I was thrown RIGHT back to the 80’s with a bang.
You know the time, like 30 years ago, when there was something called “bootlegs” that was HIGHLY illegal, that you had to buy from your local record store, somewhere in a dark corner when nobody was watching? Cause GOD FORBID that the artist might maybe not make a buck off of it? Like ANYONE would rather buy a shitty audio-bootleg instead of the real deal? Like it wasn’t for FANS who only bought bootlegs because they already HAD everything else?!
Talk about being absolutely clueless about your own fans… That was the 80’s – this is 2015. Today YouTube is a MARKETING TOOL. Blabbermouth picks up on my videos, and select artists and bands have gotten that extra exposure and free publicity that bands desperately NEED these days.
By sharing videos in social media, they are being seen by thousands of people who maybe wouldn’t have given two fucks about them otherwise- and they don’t have to pay for advertising either. With the way the industry works today, that’s exactly the kind of PR you NEED as an artist.
This (see pic below) is what I found when I logged into my YouTube account today. Not a civilized message asking if I could be so kind to remove the video because the band thought they looked or sounded bad or whatever. No – a report that threatens to close down my channel.
For 1 (as in o-n-e) video that I thought would be beneficial to the band. Why I would even bother, I should have known better. It’s MANOWAR…?
So – ALL of you out there who have happily wanted to share your Manowar-experience with others, make sure you remove it from YouTube right away, or you will have these dangerous WARRIORS killing your accounts with their swords – or something. WTF?!
So, in translation, this is what it says – my account, that has been of good use to modern bands and artists that USE YouTube as a TOOL, is now in “bad standing” and I’m unable to use some features. Thank you so much Manowar. If anyone wants to buy my Manowar-CD:s they’re now for sale.
I’ve talked about this whole YouTube-bullshit in other blogs before. It’s 2015 – you have a SEA of thousands of cameras and cellphones in front of you. Are you going to declare war against ALL of those people? THOSE are the people buying your merch – is it a smart move to alienate those people?
Many years ago, I had a similar experience when a video of Pretty Boy Floyd – and a really GOOD one too I might add, had been online for OVER A YEAR – suddenly got one of these “strikes” out of the blue.
I contacted one of the members of the band and asked him what the f*** he couldn’t just have sent me a message for – I would have taken it down in an instant. The fact that it was even up there was because it was a good performance and it was a clip with good audio (I hate the shitty cellphone-videos with distorted sound) it’s for the bands to use for their own pleasure, music is my passion.
Turns out that he had no clue what he was doing – their attorney had recommended them to report EVERYTHING that was Pretty Boy Floyd-related on YouTube, INCLUDING their own fans performing covers of their songs. The reason being that they were planning on releasing a DVD and didn’t want ANY other material to be available out there.
Well, I guess you don’t need to be Einstein to understand that if you’re pissing off the people who are your potential buyers, you might not be doing the right thing. Did they even release that DVD by the way..? I don’t know. In all honesty, the guy apologized for getting me in trouble, it wasn’t his intention and he was only following orders.
Manowar – a band from the 80’s, still living by the 80’s rules. It was stupid to think for a SECOND that they would appreciate being seen and heard – something that most bands want.
So, I’m writing this just to warn others – do not share anything Manowar-related, or you will get freaking SUED. Warriors – and all that. It’s just that “Hail and Kill” in their book is now about striking down videos on YouTube.