Sunday, May 21, 2017

SA:On the Road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Latin-America 2017 part one:

Here we go again:

2.5.-7.5.
We left home on the 2nd of May, flew to Buenos Aires via Helsinki and London. As usual the long flights were just spent watching movies and trying to sleep. Our first two shows on this tour were in Argentina, and both were sold out so it was a really nice start to the tour. Even though I do remember how entousiastic our audiences are down here, it still amazes me every time. From Argentina we went to Chile for a one off-in Santiago, this one was also packed with about 2000 screaming fans welcoming us back, we filmed the show, let’s see what will come out of it once we get the material and we can figure out what to do with it. It will however not be a full DVD show from that concert. We’ve also been recording our shows in Europe and Finland and have a bunch of other live material collected as well but we’ll see how these things progress….at the moment we don’t have a definite plan for the next live-cd or DVD.

8.5.-11.5.
Anyways, from Chile it was off to our 2 weeks in Brazil. We’re doing 10 shows and a lot of them are done in the way that we fly in the morning and play in the evening, which of course is quite exhausting, especially when you have several shows in a row. It’s a lot harder than touring with a bus, when you just go to sleep and wake up in the next place. Even a short 1 hour flight takes us up to 6 hours, with all the gear and the driving from hotels to airports etc. Be that as it may, we signed up for this and it’s not our first time doing hectic tours. At the moment we’ve done Porto Alegre and Curitiba with a 17 hour travel day before that ;-) Today we’re flying to Recife via Sao Paulo and that will basically take this whole day for us. Next up is Recife, Fortaleza and Belem, with the latter two having morning flights on the showdays. So far the weather here in Brazil has been a bit on the colder side but tonight when we get to Recife it should be warm enough. Yesterday here in Curitiba there were some problems with the PA breaking down but in the end we managed to finish the show.

12.5.-16.5.
Well, Recife, Fortaleza and Belem where hot as hell and really humid as well. Nevertheless it was some great shows and in Belem I think we’re one of the first if not only European Metal band who has played here, correct me if I’m wrong. From Belem we flew to Belo Horizonte to start our next stretch of 4 shows in a row. For this part we have a couple of busrides so instead of flying in the morning we just drive. Even though we have to get up really early it’s still a lot easier this way ;-). 

In case you wondering why I’m bitchin about this travel + show thing just as an example: 
When the show starts in the evening around 2200 that means it’ll be ready by midnight
at around 0100 we might be back at the hotel, if we’re lucky. Then you try to get to sleep which will happen around 2 or 3 in the morning since you’re still worked up after the show. The alarm will ring about 3 hours later and it’s time to get up and get going…and of course the next evening you have a show as well ;-) …just in case you wonder why grown up men try to take afternoon naps, here’s the reason…
At the moment I just finished watching Canada beat Finland in hockey and I’m waiting to get the call to get downstairs and go for soundcheck here in Belo Horizonte. There have been some tech problems, that’s why we’re still at the hotel even tough it’s around 1800 in the evening. Usually we do the soundchecks in the afternoon. Luckily we have an excellent crew and I think they’ll sort this out, whatever it is. I’m trying to think about stuff that has happened on this tour but it’s all a blur of shows, airports, vans hotels and dinners. I did manage to go out for some runs and did some swimming as well. Finally I got the word, have to be downstairs in 20mins. Later.

17.5.-20.5.
After Belo Horizonte we drove to Juiz de Fora, another new place for us. It was an interesting show and the venue was quite good actually…from there we continued by bus to Rio de Janeiro where of course we’ve been many times before. The place we played at was partially outdoors and we had to postpone the beginning of the show since the was a protest of some kind and the police shot some teargas-stuff or something so we couldn’t go outside for awhile. Well, we did hear some loud bangs from crowd-control grenades but that was about it from our part. The next morning we flew to Sao Paulo. Because of the horrible traffic jams we missed our soundcheck, the drive that was supposed to take around 60min took about 2,5 hours. Be that as it may the show was good and it was really nice to end the 4 shows streak with a great crowd.
In the morning we drove to Limeira, watched Finland lose against the Swedes in hockey and then went for the nearby mall to get some food. Tomorrow is the last show of the Brazilian part of this tour and then we’re off to Peru, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico before heading home.

cheers,

Hank

The shows played so far:
4.5. Teatro Vorterix, Rosario, Argentina SOLD OUT
5.5. Teatro Vorterix, Buenos Aires, Argentina SOLD OUT
7.5. Teatro Cariola, Santiago, Chile SOLD OUT
9.5. Teatro Amrigs, Porto Alegre, Brazil
10.5. Music Hall, Curitiba, Brazil
12.5. Clube international du Recife, Recife, Brazil
13.5. DS Club, Fortaleza, Brazil
14.5. Botequim, Belem, Brazil
16.5. Gran Finos, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
17.5. Cultural Bar, Juiz de Fora, Brazil
18.5. Circo Voador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
19.5. Aquarius Rock Bar, Sao Paulo, Brazil









Friday, April 21, 2017

SA:On the road: The 9th Hour World Tour: Pictures from Europe 2017




Allrighty, here we go with some random pics in random order as usual ;-) Enjoy:



Driving through the alps......


...still driving....


....and the last one.


One of the venues on this tour, in Switzerland.


...same city....


Off-day in Marseille.


Driving through Spain.


Lissabon, Portugal.


...still the same place, went up to the fort and took some pics...


...what a beautiful day ;-) 


Pamplona during the off-day. This is some kind of bull running statue I think.


The cathering in Bordeaux is always a bit special, the food was excellent though !!


Besancon, France, Off-day walking up to another fort.


...more of the same.


Same city, walking back to the hotel and found this nice little house.


Running somewhere in France.


A nice cemetary somewhere in the UK, no I didn't run inside the walls.


Still in the UK, running somewhere....


...and finding some cityswans ;-)


The Caves of Nottingham, went there with Larry & Toffe. Kinda small.


Got myself a minibar for my bunk, from one of the ferry-rides.


Running somewhere, I think it was in Cardiff...


...yeah, it was, this is from the same place.


More running, Belfast waterfront and really nice weather...


...as you can see ;-) 


I think this is still from Belfast but I'm not sure.


Setting up the show somewhere, impossible to remember which one of the
41 shows this was.


Off-day outside of Aschaffenburg...this was the view from in front of the hotel...


....and then I went walking to the city....


...and saw this thing.


Greek dinner during the off-day in Bochum...guitar players are crazy.


More running somewhere...


...now I think I remember...


...these pics were from Bochum, I went out in the morning on the showday.


Cool SA tattoos part...something.


The Castle in Ludwigsburg...


...still the same, went for a morning walk on the showday.


...and finally, one of the many gifts I got during this tour. A keytar-playing Koala - magnet for the fridge.


That's about it, in a week or so we head out to Latin-America for 5 weeks. Until then...actually there'll be some KS2 news next week but the SA camp will remain silent until we head out.

cheers,
Henkka









Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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

Monday 3.4. Off-day / Bochum, Germany
Since two of the shows on this tour got cancelled, the promoter went bankrupt, 
we did manage to book an extra show in Bochum to try to somehow make it up
for the fans, furthermore we managed to make the deal in such a fashion that
you could use the already purchased tickets for the cancelled Cologne and
Herford shows to get in. It was a really shitty situation and we did the best we
could to sort it out. It’s really frustrating when something like this happens.

Anyways, we spent the Off-day in Bochum at a hotel we’ve been to a couple of times
before. They have a nice sauna and swimming pool so it’s the perfect spot to relax.
I just took it easy and rested and in the evening a whole bunch of us went to a Greek Restaurant for a long dinner. It was really good and after that I was really ready to
sleep.

Tuesday 4.4. Bochum, Germany
Woke up really eary and then went for a run and breakfast. It was really interesting
to see if anyone would show up since we announced this show on such short notice
but in the end we got a good crowd and played a very hot show. Now we’re on the final streak with 6 shows in a row. 

Wednesday 5.4. Ludwigsburg, Germany
I went for a long walk and checked out the local palace from the outside and did
some shopping before heading back to the venue…then it was business as usual,
after the show we hung out on the parking lot for awhile since someone had opened
a bar from the back of their car. We didn’t have that much time before it was time
to leave for Leipzig.

Thursday 6.4. Leipzig, Germany
Today I managed to lose my shoes, I went into the wrong backstage and then when I went to our, it seems that I left my shoes behind ;-) …at the time I didn’t know it but these shoes will resurface later. Anyways, today our bus went to the get some service since it wasn’t working properly, the part that they needed had to be sent from Belgium or something so that ment that we’d get a new bus tonight to get us to Sweden in time. I left some stuff on our bus that I neede so me & some of the crew took the support band bus and drove to the service place to pick up said stuff from our bus. The place was so far away that when we came back we missed dinner….while starving our TM did order us some food and about an hour later everything was alright. Except for the fact that I was getting sick. As usual on tour the flu starts somewhere and then in begins to circulate among the tourparty…now it seems it was my turn. I decided not to take any pills or anything if I could avoid it, in order to let the fever rise and get me well asap….I have no idea how these things work but it has before so let’s see….on stage I felt kinda shitty….. In the middle of the night the new bus came to pick us up...and off we went towards Sweden.

Friday 7.4. Malmö, Sweden
Got woken up quite early, we took a ferry from Rostock to somewhere in Denmark and I hit the tax free shop on the boat. Still feeling sick but somehow managed to survive, the rest of the day I spent sleeping and resting whenever I could. The show in the evening was once again a bit of a struggle. Tonight we had to wait until 0400 for our "old" bus to catch up with us and after that it was straight to bed for me. Great to be back "home".

Saturday 8.4. Örebro, Sweden
More resting, I think I sweated most of the crap out last night when I was sleeping, let’s see…I was feeling closer to normal during the show, still not a 100% but close.

Sunday 9.4. Göteborg, Sweden
Back in business, apart from a bit of a runny nose I was more or less ok. The usual 3 day tourcold was gone. Spent the day packing up my stuff etc. In the evening the shows featured a bunch of pranks as usual. The Striker show got invaded by a bunch of dudes working out, Thunderstone had Tony brushing his teeth…On our show, we had a pervert wolfman showing up during Among the shooting stars….Tony totally lost it  since it was so funny….during Don’t say a word a table was brought in to the middle of the stage with our support bands taking a seat and drinking beer. There were also some huge balloons flying around….it kinda got out of hand a bit. At the end of the show all the band took a bow together and then that was it. The tour was over. Actually one more thing happend, Elias played guest guitar on Until we touch the burning sun, the last song in Thunderstone’s set.
…After the show we hung out and had some beers and wrapped the tour up. The Triosphere drummer and FOH also showed up btw.

A really huge thank you for our brave support bands, Striker, Triosphere & Thunderstone…and of course to all you crazy fans showing up at the shows and supporting us !!!  41 shows in 7 weeks , that was a tough one.

Monday 10.4. Travel Day, Göteborg-Helsinki-Kemi
Since we live in the middle of nowhere it took all day to get home. We were at the airport at around 10 in the morning or something….flew to Helsinki at 1300 and then we hung out in the lounge until 2345 when the flight to Kemi left…arriving at 0115 on what was technically Tuesday morning. Now we have 3 weeks to rest and do other things (like recording the final 3 songs for the new Secret Rule album). Before it’s time to hit Latin-America with 5 weeks worth of shows. I update some pics from Europe when I get around to it…

cheers,

Henkka

Thursday, April 6, 2017

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

Monday 27.3. Off-day / Manchester, UK
Started the week with an off-day. Spent most of the day just resting in my room,
went out to eat at some point but that was about it. Luckily there’s only 2 off-days
left on this tour because most of the time, these are just plain boring and pointless, 
at least for me. We got 3 stretches left. First 2 shows in a row (with a lovely ferryride in between) and then 3 in a row…and the last one will be a streak of 6 shows which will end in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Tuesday 28.3. Wolverhampton, UK
On this last day in the UK we headed out to a pub for dinner, hang around the venue
and eventually got around to do the show. One of our fans proposed to his girlfriend
during the show, everything went well and I wish them the best of luck…and she said
yes , how could she not ?  After the show it was time to head to the ferry.

Wednesday 29.3. Lille, France
I thought I was going to be woked up to get out of the bus but that didn’t happend so I just slept right through the ferry-ride, of course I woke up for some minor bumps and what have you but not enough to actually get out of bed. Anyways, back to the mainland and the last show in France on this tour. This was a rather normal day, in a place we’ve been to many times before.

Thursday 30.3. Off-day / Aschaffenburg, Germany
Stayed at a nice hotel outside of the city. Really great weather and nice views, I walked down to the city and around for a bit. The rest of the day was just spent chilling and enjoying the sun.

Friday 31.3. Aschaffenburg, Germany 
During the day I went to the media markt and got some new headphones, then just hung around until the show. We could get to the venue with the buses so I tried to take a nap on one of the couches backstage and it kind of worked ;-) The show was a very hot one but it went rather well.  

Saturday 1.4. Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Once again , old places and new faces ;-) I went out for a walk with some of the TS guys in the afternoon, got some stuff for my kids and then spent the rest of the day
at the venue. We had a short meet & greet in the afternoon and I did an interview as well. Nice and easy….of course I had to prank the guys a bit since it was April fools day so just before Fairytale I whipped out a Donald Trump - mask and used it during the song, it was a bit difficult to play the tune since I couldn’t see shit but it was totally worth it.

Sunday 2.4. Utrecht, The Netherlands
Another really nice venue and an easy day….quite uneventful actually. I had a massage in the afternoon which was really relaxing…and the food was amazing as
always.

cheers,

Henkka

Monday, March 27, 2017

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

Monday 20.3. Nottingham, UK
Had a nice day getting lost in the venue a couple of times. What a maze. Me & Marius
completed our ab-wheel challenge that we agreed upon and after the shows we all hang out at the bar downstairs and bid the norwegians farewell. Until we meet again !!

Tuesday 21.3. Off-day / Nottingham, UK
Started the off-day with a run and then it was time for Five Guys once again. Later on a small group of us went to check out the some of the caves, which was interesting. In the evening we had a bigger entourage and hit a really good indian restaurant before it was time to call it a day.

Wednesday 22.3. Manchester, UK
Once again hitting a place we’ve been before and having a good time once again. It
was raining the whole day which made me really lazy so apart soundcheck and the show etc , I spent the day in my bunk watching movies.

Thursday 23.3. Sheffield, UK
Eat, Run, Soundcheck, Dinner, Nap, Interview, Show, Pub, Bed.

Friday 24.3. Glasgow, Scotland
Pretty much the same as the day before. The buses were parked some 4km away so we spent the day at the venue…you see how lazy we’re getting, it seems like the tour fatigue is setting in and the most that you can do is play the shows and then just relax the rest of the time.

Saturday 25.3. Belfast, Northern-Ireland
After the soundcheck the band went to eat together and then it was time for a nap. After the show there was some hellish disco going on so it was quite impossible to get some sleep since the bus didn’t leave until 0830 in the morning.

Sunday 26.3. Dublin,Ireland
Home of Guinness ;-) Some of the guys took a tour of the brewery during the day and we had dinner at HRC later on. The show tonight was really good an since the upper balcony was closed I managed to check out most of Strikers set and the Thunderstone set as well. Really good bands and it was nice to finally get to enjoy their shows. After the show we had to catch the ferry in the middle of the night so I didn’t get to bed until 0600 in the morning when we arrived…somewhere….We then drove to Manchester for the day off.

cheers,

Henkka

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

Monday 13.3. Off-day / Besancon, France
Woke up really early…and was pissed off because I would have wanted to sleep longer. Anyways, we went for lunch with some of the boys and then back to the hotel. I’ve been looking for a sports store to get some running gear and I found one but it was closed today. At the hotel I spent some time doing nothing before I got really bored and decided to walk up the hill to La Citadelle as it was called. The walk wasn’t too long but quite steep uphill so I worked on a good sweat…When I was up there admiring the view  I run in to Larry our merch guy, we headed down together hitting some churches on the way and eventually went for dinner. Well back at the hotel I was just chilling, trying to stay awake (this was around 1900 so a bit too early to go to sleep), when Pasi asked me to go to the movies with him…well, why not. He’d found a movie that wasn’t dubbed so we could enjoy it….hence, we checked out Kong: Skull island or something like that, it was fun, and in 3D as well. I don’t think it would have been a movie I’d watch back home but in that moment it was the perfect thing. Afterwards I joined some of the bar hopping gang in the hotel lobby for some time and ended the night with some netflix.

Tuesday 14.3. Besancon, France
Got up just before breakfast ended and then I hit the sports store, got my stuff and went for a nice run. It felt really weird, I think the last time I ran was over 10 years ago…well, it’ll get better I’m sure. Enjoyed some online time (yeah, e-mails) at the hotel before it was time to head to the venue. Pasi, Tony & I went to do some laundry before the
 soundcheck and after a nice dinner and a nap it was once again business as
usual.

Wednesday 15.3. Nancy, France
Another new town, same procedure as everyday though ;-)

Thursday 16.3. Rennes, France
More of the same…. early in the morning we took the ferry across to the UK. It
was a rather long ride and there was plenty of time to get breakfast, do some shopping
and get really bored…only 3 ferry rides left….

Friday 17.3. Southampton, UK
Since we spent the morning at the ferry the rest of the day was spent sleeping more or
less. Once awake we met up with a friend of ours and me & Tommy went to Five Guys to have some burgers. Good stuff.

Saturday 18.3. Bristol, UK
I thought I just drop dead when I got into the Marble Factory, nothing against the
venue or the nice staff but fuck it smelled like mould here, like really bad. We all decided to spend as little time inside as possible, of course the crew couldn’t do that
poor guys. After the soundcheck some of us went to Five Guys again, still tasted good.
The show went really well but we could definitely feel the air afterwards….hopefully we
don’t have too many of these kind of situations anymore.

Sunday 19.3. Cardiff, UK
Really nice venue today, big & clean etc. Did some interviews with Pasi, checked out the city a bit and later on Pasi, Tony & I went to Jamie Olivers Italian restaurant for
dinner. It was really good ;-) Show in the evening as usual and then off-we went. Tomorrow is the last show before the off-day, that would be number 7 in a row which is a new record for Sonata, the most we’ve played back to back so far has been 6. It’s also the last show for Triosphere before they head home and get replaced by our
finnish friends Thunderstone. I’m sure we’ll have some goodbye drinks and such.

cheers,

Henkka

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