I've decided to start a category on my blog titled "Things that happened" or in other words, remotely interesting stuff that happened a while ago but I never got a chance to write about. So today I wanna start with a really cool event that took place on 17th October this year. My boyfriend and me got tickets for the Apocalyptica concert in town, but not just any tickets - I bought the VIP package back in March before the release of the new album Shadowmaker, which included two signed copies of the CD (I gave one to my mum because she also likes their music) and a VIP ticket to the concert, meaning we actually got to meet the band!
I left work a bit earlier that day and was so incredibly nervous I hadn't eaten anything all day. After getting home, showering, dressing up etc. we drove to Vienna and of course got into a fucking traffic jam. We were super nervous about not being punctual! The venue actually has two entrances, one from the outside and one from inside the shopping center in that building. We arrived at the inner entrance at first, but nobody was there. So we ran to the other entrance, met a couple of other people on the way who had waited inside before as well, and together arrived at the outside entrance and were all let in together. So everything went well in the end, phew!
After a short wait inside the concert hall, the band members arrived and we had some time to chat! There were not many VIPs, perhaps 25 or so, so everyone had a really nice chance to get photos, autographs and get to know the guys. We also took some photos, and my favorites are the ones with Perttu and Paavo!
Perttu is so much fun to talk to! He's really great with his fans :D Can you believe that guy is more than 10 years older than me? He looks like he's my age or younger XD
I look like I'm about to murder someone with an axe XD But I was just so happy and totally overwhelmed by everything! Paavo is such a nice guy, he was the first band member we talked to and he was so relaxed it really helped my with my nervousness to some extent ^^ also, he commented on my shirt, which is from their Worlds Collide tour, but I customized it by cutting off the sleeves and turning it into a top and fingerless gloves :D
Unfortunately, the light was really bad inside, so only those two photos turned out good! But anyways, what's far more important to me than having a photo or autographs is having had this great opportunity to meet four of my favorite musicians in person ♥ Some girl brought a book of Wagner sheet music and asked them to sign it. It reminded me how badly I wanna start playing an instrument again myself. I sometimes feel like I'm too old and that ship has sailed - especially considering how little free time I get now anyway.... the thought kinda makes me sad even now and also back then I could not help but feel very melancholic somehow.
After the guys had left, we had some waiting time until the door opened for the other guests, so we chatted a bit with other VIP guests and got something to drink. I have an unfortunate habit of not keeping myself hydrated properly at concerts and I didn't wanted to make that mistake this time ^^" I forgot the name of the supporting act by now, they were pretty good though so I feel a bit bad for that... I guess supporting acts for Apocalyptica will always have a hard time to please the whole audience simply because their fans are such a diverse group. Like at previous concerts, there were Metalheads, Goths, more Rockabilly-like people, many "normally" dressed people and lots of 40+ people. Some people obviously went to the concert directly after work and still wore their business suits and ties.
I only realized how lucky I was to have such a great spot when the band themselves went on stage and I could see their instruments up close! It is so incredibly, amazing and impressive how they play. I have no words to describe it!
The concert itself was, of course, totally insane and amazing and definitely their best that I've been to so far. Might also have to do with the fact that I was in the very front row and surrounded by cool people who had a great time also! Nobody was pushing or pulling my hair or making an angry face when I was head banging or shoving me. Everyone had a blast but stayed civilized. Totally my kind of concert!
I can't put the set list back together from memory anymore but it was very similar if not identical to this one. I had correctly guessed a few songs, the intro and outro - I was particularly happy to hear Not Strong Enough, one of my favorite songs from Worlds Collide, that I had really hoped they would play. I also have to point out here that Franky Perez did a fantastic job. In general, I loved the new album a lot and the songs he sang live that were not from the new album also fitted his voice perfectly. So yeah, no surprise that we got to hear I'm Not Jesus, though I wouldn't have expected Hope Vol.2. I wonder if I will see them live with a female singer one day, or a male singer performing some of their songs with female vocals!
This was my outfit for the concert. My concert boots - which I really only wear to concerts, ever - have like 15cm plateau soles to compensate for me being vertically challenged :D Had I known that I would get such a nice spot in the first row I wouldn't have needed them though ^^
One particular ingenious moment happened when they played Bittersweet. Many people sang along and after the last chorus, when the song was about to end, they instead accidentally started to "loop" the song and played the chorus all over again! It was hilarious, particularly because we were close enough to see their faces as they looked at each other and realized what was happening, laughing so hard! Eicca told the audience after the song that this would often happen to them when they played together but I guess it was the first time that it happened on stage. I hope I'll get to meet them at another meet & greet in Vienna one day and ask them if they still remember that performance ^^
I was kinda anxious about whether or not they would play Hole In My Sole. I half expected it, but I also though they might play Sea Song instead because I though it would also make a good live song... In the end, it was Hole In My Sole that was played and of course I nearly started crying. Out of all of Apocalpytica's songs I think I will never be able to hear this one without being brought close to tears, because I first heard it on my way to my father's funeral earlier this year, and the lyrics hit really hard. But ultimately, I am happy that I got a chance to hear it live. It is even more powerful to actually watch them perform it, to get to have eye contact with the musicians who made a song that gives you these strong feelings, it's some kind of comfort, to know that you are not alone with this feeling that this song describes.
I remember I had a somewhat similar experience with Beautiful form their album 7th Symphony. I wanted to tell this to Perttu when I met him because he wrote the song, but of course I forgot - but when I first heard the song, after I had just put on the record without looking at the titles yet, I heard that song and I just thought "Beautiful." It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard and this was the first and only word that came to my mind. And to think that something admittedly as abstract as a song - I mean, we all know that people like to interpret art in different ways, based on their previous experience, associations, memories etc. - can evoke such a universal response, such a "feeling" what this song could be about. When I later realized the actual title of the song was Beautiful, I was left speechless, touched, and very impressed.
But enough philosophical blabber. I guess after I got to know the luxury of meeting one of my favorite bands in person and getting to talk to them about their music, I hopefully get another chance to meet them again some day to tell them what I forgot to say when I was so nervous that I could barely talk for more than two comprehensible sentences at a time. Also, I wanted to brush up my super rudimentary Finnish skills - well, next time, hopefully...
So that was it. Definitely one of the best concert experiences I ever had. This makes Apocalyptica the second band whom I've got personal autographs from (the first being The 69 Eyes at Nova Rock 2013) and the second concert where I've stood in the first row (the first was HIM at Greenfield in 2010). And I sure as hell hope to repeat this amazing experience in the near future!
Hopefully, the band enjoyed their stay in Austria as much as we enjoyed the concert and we will see them again soon! ^__^