Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2017 week three:

Monday 6.3. Sevilla, Spain
Never been here before and the day started rather interestingly when we found out that the local rep didn’t speak english at all. Somehow everything worked with the help of google translate…well , sometimes that’s just life. During the day some of us took a walk around the city and enjoy the warm weather. Took a late lunch at a gourmet restaurant called Burger King ;-). 

Tuesday 7.3. Lisbon, Portugal
Woke up in Lisbon of all places. As far as I can remember we’ve only played in Porto before but I’m not a 100% sure. Spent the whole day walking around the city, skipped the soundcheck…partly by accident and no fault of mine. Got up to the castle etc etc , a really nice city I must say. In the evening we just enjoyed performing in front of our portugese friends and ended the night with some aftershow pizza and showers…as always btw.

Wednesday 8.3. Travel/Off-day, Pamplona, Spain
We had a rather long drive (over 900km) so we arrived in Pamplona late in the afternoon. After checking in in the really nice cathedral hotel we just hit the streets in search for food. Having filled our stomachs with a variety of dishes there was nothing left to do but get back to the hotel and call it a night. I did however manage to see the end of the Barcelona-PSG game and that was some serious soccer drama right there. Unbeliavable !!

Thursday 9.3. Pamplona, Spain
We had a late check-out at the hotel so we had a couple of hours in the morning to walk around the city and do some shopping etc, at around 1400 we left from the hotel to the venue and the soundcheck. Did some walking around before dinner but there wasn’t too much around. Some ice-cream from a gas-station and then we found a toy store and got some stuff for the kids as well. The show was a big surprise since we didn’t realize how many fans we have in Pamplona. Nice job showing up guys ;-)

Friday 10.3. Bordeaux, France
The drive tonight was really short so we got here early in the morning. Before soundcheck I escorted my gf to the airport and bid farwell for the journey home. We’re approching the halfway mark pretty soon but for now we still have a bit over 4 weeks to go. Anways, spent the afternoon catching up on e-mail work, didn’t get everything done but at least some of it….and of course typing this stuff as well. Now it’s dinner time !

Saturday 11.3. Toulouse, France
Once again we got to play in a new venue for us. Really nice stage and backstage area, probably one of the nicest venues so far on this tour. It was a nice sunny day but I didn’t want to go anywhere so I spent my afternoon reading…in the evening we did the show, ate our pizzas and headed towards Lyon…Actually something funny happened when we started the show. Somehow my keytar was off-pitch by a half step so the intro to Closer to an Animal sounded really horrific, luckily the problem went away when I rebooted the Vortex during the song but still it was weird….especially since I’ve made sure that I delete any controllers that I don’t use so this would basically have been impossible…anyways, sorry for the tech talk.

Sunday 12.3. Lyon, France

When I got in to the venue in the morning and had some breakfast I got the really good news, we only had 3 tickets left for the show tonight. What a perfect way to end this strech of shows before our off-day. I spent the afternoon on my computer and then I went out for a walk with Tommy…to the Golden Arches ;-)  The show sold out a bit later on in the afternoon and we were in for a really nice night. During the first few songs Pasi’s bass broke down, hopefully Tero can fix it before we go on…

cheers,
Henkka


Sunday, March 12, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2017 week two:

Monday 27.2. Zurich, Switzerland
Allrighty-o, here we go with the 2nd week of the tour. After getting started everything
starts to run like a well oiled machine, now we just have to keep this up until the
9th of April when the last show will be in Sweden. In Zurich we played a nice venue
but it did have a lot of stairs for we got some free ass workout during the day. I joined Pasi for dinner, we did eat at the international fine-dining experience known as
Burger King. Everything else went just as expected and we got over the “missing
Avenged Sevenfold” - thing.

Tuesday 28.2. Solothurn, Switzerland
Another new place for us, the venue was once again really good as was the dinner
and everything else. After the show we did some ab-wheel training with the support
band guys, let’s see how many will feel trashed tomorrow. There was also a foosball table in the backstage which I think at least Elias was playing some rather intense games with.

Wednesday 1.3. Lausanne, Switzerland
Nice venue, great food, good crowd..you’ve heard it all before ;-) After the show we did leave quite early to get to our off-day in time and make sure our driver could get enough rest.

Thursday 2.3. Off-day, Marseille, France
Didn’t really do much of anything, a bunch of us went to the city and grabbed some late lunch and walked around for a bit. A couple of guys from our support band Striker managed to get into some trouble though. Apparently they intercepted some dude strangling a woman and got to fight off a bunch of guys. Everyone is alive and well and as far as I can see, no bruises or anything. Nevertheless, we were told in advance that some parts of the city is not really safe…which proved out to be right.

Friday 3.3. Marseille, France
Still exploring new places. This venue is really nice, amazing catering and great stage, I’m sure tonight will be awesome as well. Spent the day enjoying some of the sun and just waiting…as usual ;-) 

Saturday 4.3. Barcelona, Spain
Nice to be back in Spain, we missed the whole country last fall when we did the first part of the European Tour.  In the morning we went to buy some cigarettes with Tommy and later on after soundcheck, some of us went to this really good burger place in the shopping mall….the club tonight is in the basement of a mall, of all things. We had some massages during the early evening but other than that it was business as usual. When we left after the show, somehow the powercable to the trailer broke and it took a couple of hours to fix that….I think…I was in my bunk watching a movie so I’m not too sure how long it took.

Sunday 5.3. Madrid, Spain

Arrived a couple of hours late which was a bit of a bummer but these things happend. I went to the aiport to pick up my gf who will be with me for a couple of days here, as to what we’ll do, it’s really none of your business ;-)  The evening went really great and we had a good and loud crowd once again. The next few shows will be in new places which of course is really interesting, hope everything goes well.

cheers,
Henkka

Monday, February 27, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Europe 2017 week one:


The Ninth Hour World Tour / Europe 2017 / week 1:

Sunday 19.2. Travel Day- Kemi-Helsinki-Frankfurt
For a change we had the opportunity to just hang at the airport in Helsinki for a
few hours instead of having to spend the night, which of course was a nice
thing for us who live up north. Other than that this was pretty much the usual, getting
to the airport, checking in and meeting up with the rest of the band & crew at the
Helsinki airport. In the evening we stayed at a hotel in Frankfurt and met the other bands as well. Our gear was sent to Germany straight after the Finnish Tour so there was no extra trouble howling that pile of stuff with us ;-)

Monday 20.2. Nurnberg, Germany
Got picked up really early to drive to Nurnberg and start setting up the first show of 
the tour. Being that we used the same gear and setup as in Finland there wasn’t any
big stress on getting everything to work properly, or at least not that I know of. We kept the same setlist as we have so far on this tour, with the exception of Misplaced which
made a return ;-) Nice show to start the tour with and now we only have 41 more to
go…

Tuesday 21.2. Zlin, Czech Rep.
As usual on these European Tours we drive through the night and waking up in Zlin in front of the Masters of Rock Cafe was a familiar feeling. We went walking around town a bit (actually we did that yesterday as well)…and went shopping for random items that one might need on tour. In the evening we played for a rather full house of excited fans and we got a nice hot stage as well. Slowly we start to get into the touring mode where the days just fly by…but not quite yet.

Wednesday 22.2. Vienna, Austria
Once again we’re at a familiar place, no worries though we decided to be active and headed for the city, taking the tram and going to the centre to walk around and get a late lunch. Found a place not too shabby, but the waiter tried to screw me with the change….no worries , I noticed it immediately and caught the bastard. The food was quite ok though. Took the tram back and did soundcheck, inteviews and what have you,
the show was once again a great one, but then these days most of them are so instead of repeating myself maybe I should just not comment on the shows at all…..at least
if I have nothing more to say than it was nice, ok , great or whatever ?  Same thing with the aftershow ritual: after the show we take showers, get changed, eat and then we leave….that’s pretty much the same everyday ;-)

Thursday 23.2. Munich, Germany
Still sailing on familiar turf. The walkabout today for me was just joining Elias for a short round of walking….there wasn’t really anything to see except a huge postal distribution center or something like that. The rest of the day was pretty much business as usual, which means it was a good day to be on the road !!

Friday 24.2. Modena, Italy
…and then it was time for the first new place on this tour. We haven’t played in Modena ever before and it was a nice surprise to find a great crowd showing up. Afterwards there was some weird disco with people dressed up like cartoons or something, I didn’t check it out but from the pics I was shown by some of the support band guys, it was a rather interesting freak show ;-)  Our friends from Trick or Treat showed up as well and it was really nice to meet all of them again and hang out a bit before we had to leave !!

Saturday 25.2. Rome, Italy
In Rome we played at a venue that was new to us. Previously I’ve only been here at a festival but I’m not sure if the band played here in 2000 or 2001. Anyways today was a really early show, we had a long drive ahead of us and appeareantly they also wanted us out of the way so the disco could start…sounds familiar ? After the show I met my pals from Secret Rule, I played on their last album and we’re working on something new together again. It was really nice to meet up even though we had to leave pretty much right after the show.

Sunday 26.2. Travel / Off-Day (Rome, Italy-Zurich, Switzerland)
A quite long drive, we left at around 2300 last night and checked in to the hotel just after
1500 today. Went for dinner with the guys and spent the rest of the evening doing computer work and hanging out in the room. Still managed to get out for an evening snack but this day was the most peaceful so far. We were planning to go skating but the place closed really early since it was a Sunday so we’ll have to try to do that another time….and just for the record we found out the next day that Avenged Sevenfold had a show on this day which I think most of us would really have wanted
to attend had we found out about this in time. FUCK.


Anyways, the night ended in an Irish Bar eating and drinking and hanging out.

cheers,
Henkka



Sunday, February 5, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Finland 2017

18.1. Lutakko / Jyväskylä

Back from the holidays ;-) Me, Tommy & Tony took the train from Kemi to Jyväskylä, a nice 9 hours of doing nothing…anyways, when we got to Jyväskylä we all got to test our new in-ear monitors for the first time. (those are the earbuds we use to make sure we hear each other during the show btw).  They sounded pretty amazing at soundcheck and we were all really happy and relieved that they worked so well. We had a couple of hours to rest at the hotel after dinner and then it was time to hit the stage. It felt interesting to play the new songs here in Finland for the first time, even though for us they don’t feel that new anymore since we’ve already played around 40-50 shows with the new songs in the setlist. The show went quite well and we had a good crowd as always in Jyväskylä. Afterwards we enjoyed the sauna backstage and then it was time to head to the hotel and get some sleep.

19.1. Rytmikorjaamo / Seinäjoki

Didn’t have to wake up too early, which was of course nice. We drove to Seinäjoki with the bus and then headed straight to the hotel while the crew went to the venue to set up the show. A quite normal day, soundcheck & dinner and then hanging around waiting for the show. One thing that did come to mind was that the ‘Ameriikan Juna’ tape we put on the piano here (and you can see on the Live in Finland dvd-extras) is still here on the backstage piano, it still sounds the same ;-) …how many years ago was that now, 6 or 7 or something, I think we should have some anniversary recording of it , if the tape is still in place when 10 years has passed from the first performance. Anyways, 
the show went well and afterwards we had a couple of beers with the Thunderstone guys before heading to bed at the hotel.

20.1. Terminaaliareena / Oulu

Got up really early, actually I almost overslept but somehow managed to rush myself to the bus in time and also grab some really quick breakfast on the way. I continued my sleep on the bus and woke up in Oulu in the afternoon. Spent the day hanging around the venue with my gf who showed up for the show tonight. We had a really good crowd and it was fun to play as always. After the show I drove how since it’s only a 90min drive and I do get to spend enough time sleeping in hotels or buses.

21.1. Teatria / Tornio

Spent most of the day at home since the show was only a 15min drive from where I live. We did the soundcheck and had dinner and then there was still time to go home for a few hours before the show. As usual we were a bit extra nervous since this was essentially a hometown gig. This was also the grand opening of this venue which made it really special. I think they did a good job and the venue is really nice, with a big stage which is high enough so everyone in the audience can see what’s going on. Once again we had a lot of people showing up and the show itself was a blast. I did however almost mess up after Fullmoon when I forgot that there was stil Among the shooting stars to be played before leaving the stage for the No more silence-intro tape. I was already on my way off when I realized that, but managed to jump back behind my keys to start the song in time. After the show me & my entourage got in the car and left rather quickly. Since the crew and Pasi & Elias who don’t live up here were anyway leaving with the bus, I figured there was no reason to stick around.

27.1. The Circus / Helsinki
For this weekend we flew to Helsinki on the showday. I spent the day walking around a bit and after soundcheck we had a nice dinner at the venue, a few hours of rest at the hotel and then it was time for the show. I have managed to break a bunch of keys on my Kronos but in between these shows I got the whole keybed replaced so it was really nice to play with a keyboard that works 100%. The show was really good and we had a lot more people than last time here. Afterwards it was time for a couple of drinks with our guests backstage, we had a lot of friends showing up so that was of course nice.

28.1. Apollo / Turku
Slept in the bus on the way to Turku, and upon arrival I got a big pizza from the place nextdoor to the venue…that was a rather large disappoinment though. Should have taken a picture….anyways, tonights venue was more of a nightclub with access to the stage through the crowd. However we sold the place out and had a nice and intimate show in the evening. Being disappointed with the pizza, it was really nice to have dinner across the street, which was awesome btw !!  The Turku show was quite early, which also was nice, afterwards I met up with my brother and his friends for a couple of drinks before it was time to go to the hotel with my gf (who was tagging along this weekend).
In the morning we had breakfast and enjoyed the 7 hour trainride back home. Now we only have one more weekend (3 shows) here in Finland before we take on the rest of Europe for a whopping 7 weeks. As far as our belowed homecountry, we won’t be doing any shows here until July during the festival season.

2.2. Katu-Klubi / Lahti
The last trainride for at least 4month or so ;-) We took the southbound train at 0711 towards Lahti. The day was spent as usual when you have to sit down, phones & computers and ipads… As soon as we got to Lahti we headed for the venue to meet up with the rest of the guys. The Katu-Klubi is a relatively new venue, nice backstage etc After the soundcheck we had this weekends best food at a local restaurant, which of course I didn’t check the name of ;-( In the evening we rocked out in front of a Sold Out crowd, which of course was awesome !! Afterwards I went for a couple of drinks with our manager before heading to bed.

3.2. House of Rock / Kouvola
It was great to have an somewhat early show yesterday and be able to sleep long this
morning. We left the hotel at 1230 to head towards Kouvola and what would become
a night of considerably less sleep. The showtime tonight is 0030, which is really late, hope our fans are still awake at that time….and us as well for that matter ;-) Tomorrow
we have to leave for Joensuu at 0800 so there’ll be no sleep, or hardly any… We probably sleep on the bus anyways so whatever. Did soundcheck in the afternoon as usual and then we decided to go to watch an ice-hockey game. Elias hometown team Tappara were vising and beat the home team KooKoo 5-0. It was nice to watch the game instead of just waiting at the hotel. We got back to our rooms around 2100 so there was still 3,5 hours to kill before the show. In the middle of the night when we hit the stage we got a full house once again and it was a lot of fun. Some women fainted in the middle of the set but I think she recovered, at least I hope so. After the show we headed straight to the hotel to try to get some sleep before leaving for Joensuu.

4.2. Kerubi / Joensuu
I did sleep a bit and then continued to sleep on the bus so when we arrived in Joensuu I wasn’t too tired anymore. Tonights show was also sold out, so it was a perfect way to end the Finnish part of the 9th Hour World Tour. As usual in Kerubi, the food was really great, the people friendly and the backstage really small ;-) It was a lot of fun, we ended the night with some drinks with the Thunderstone guys (which we will see again in Manchester when they join the European Tour) before getting some sleep and then driving home the next day.

Thank you Finland, see you in the summer on the festivals ;-) Next up is part 2 of the European Tour, 7 weeks and 40+ shows. Rock’n’Roll !!!

cheers,

Henkka

Monday, January 9, 2017

SA:On the road:The 9th Hour World Tour: Pics from North-America 2016


Random pics in random order from the North-American Tour we did at the end of last year !!



Let's start off with the typical food I ate on the bus....not really "quality food ".



Driving part 1, on our way to Colorado I think.


Driving part 2, Kansas City maybe ?


Driving part 3...no idea where.


Driving part 4, somewhere in Canada, I'd guess. As you can see I started taking pics from
the bus window instead of the usual plane pics ;-)...and this is of course outside the bus so
....well, forget about it.


Driving part 5 , no idea where.


Driving part 6, maybe somewhere in California...I guess..


I have no idea what this is supposed to be. Seemed important at the time.Probably.


In Austin, on our way to the eardoctor to take new imprints for our in-ear monitors.


Tero opened up my Kronos so that we could fix the broken keys. Scary stuff since I
didn't have any backup system.



Walked around in Lake Buena Vista, FL before the last show.


My typical view from the stage, just some audience and bandmates missing at the moment.


Strolling around in Niagara Falls.....


...the actual falls...


...and some more Christmas stuff.


As you can see, my off-day sandwiches are a bit better than the ones in the bus ;-)


Our home for the 6+ week tour we did.


Philadelphia, and some really important building.


...more from Philly...


...and a church...


...and something else...still from Philly...


...and finally we got tired of walking around Philly so we went back to
the bus at the parking lot, where I took this pic.


I think this was the last meal I ate before leaving the US from Atlanta.


Getting ready for the Alcatraz tour in San Francisco..


Pics from the boat...


The Rock...


...getting closer...


I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a cell like this.


Selfie time !


..and one without the dude blocking the view.


...more tourist pics...


I think Pasi took this one, still at Alcatraz.


San Francisco !!


Walking around in Washington D.C. looking for The White House.


..it's not this either..


..but here it is , too bad we couldn't get closer.


Then we found this thing...


...and this one...


...more of the same..


...and more, these pics look sloppy and dark btw.


..and another pile of stones ;-)


...oh here is this guy again...and a statue of Abe.


From here you could also see the Forrest Gump-pool...and the lightsaber ;-)


...and finally, at some point we went to dinner and I met a bear. 


Allrighty, next up is 9 shows in Finland before our 7 week/ 40+ shows in Europe and our 5 week Latin-American Tour. After that we still have the summer festivals and then we'll see what we can
come up with in the fall. Anyways, we'll be touring the whole year of 2017 so there'll be plenty more updates from the road. Next week we start our Finnish Tour in Jyväskylä, see you there !!

cheers,
Henkka