Tag Archives: European Tour 2011

STORIES FROM STOCKHOLM

So often we wait anxiously for something to happen for long time, and when it arrives, it’s so short and intense, all of a sudden it’s all gone, and you’re again back to your routine. Stockhom was to come, and now it’s gone. It’s been a great experience, and the city as such, I’d recommend everyone to visit.

First part of the trip, marked as a quotation, was written at an annex lounge to the actual theater, just before JTE delighted me with his show.

Here I am, sitting on my own at the Södern Teatern, waiting for Justin Townes Earle to start his show. Still don’t know whether he’ll play solo or with a band. To tell you the truth, I don’t care.

I’ve reached town a couple of hours ago, and already have some impressions I want to share, regarding Stockholm inhabitants, and the city

It’s cold indeed, but more bearable than expected. 1-3Cº. You really feel chill when you reach the gates, and because Sodermälm is a kind of slope, the breeze is noticeable if you’re not moving.

People working in anything related to customer service are very nice and very  attentive in general, can’t say the same regarding security crew at the venue, hooligans like.

I’m having a beer, name Abro. 52 sek has cost the motherfucker and is not great at all. I was warned about this. I, an avid beer drinker, sure I’d suffer the outrageous prices, but you know, again, today I don’t care.

I don’t reckon people are so friendly here. Many couples, a couple of groups of rocker boys and girls. Nobody has told me anything while queuing despite the fact that at least 3-4 people have noticed I’m not local. I’m flipping right now because they’re so talkative, the venue is pure buzz.

Guess my previous experience with Swedish people was different due to the background. We were all hanging in a neutral field, so to speak, back in London days. Same in Barcelona.

Let’s see if during the gig my luck changes…

Most boys and girls are good-looking, but, and I’m talking serious here, the handsome guys, are most definitely more stunning than women. Gotta say average Swedish girl is a type I really like: tall, strong and consistent.

A couple of months ago, a Swedish guy showed me his dislike towards Stockholm people, for being too fashion addicted, trendy and “cool”. Well, this is a catwalk of fashion trends right now. Guys are rockers or late 70’s like. Girls are Elle and Vogue prototypes.

Regarding the city, only possitive words can come out from my mouth. Having plenty of time, I’ve decided to have a walk to the venue. Unfortunately at 6,30pm, it was superdark already, and most of shops closed. Anyway, starting point was Upplandsgatan, in the city. Crossed the first bridge and walk by Gamla-Stan, which is a beautiful neighborhood, full of beautiful shops, cafes and pubs. Buildings are ancient and nice. It was like being in a tale, everything was so cute…Tomorrow I’ll check it out again, in daylight and most likely have lunch there at a veggie restaurant I’ve discovered. I might change the planning order a bit approaching light and go to Moderna Museet afterwards.


Have I told you this is my first time at a backpackers hostel? Well, it is, and I’m delighted with my corner, I’m not sleeping in a bunk bed (hate them). In the middle of the city, close to the station, very nice. Facilities are more than enough, everything’s supper clean, and I’ve had a crush on one of the attendants at the reception desk. Uhmmm, very very nice guy hahah! Well, in direct competition with the information guy at the information desk at the airport. Charming, to say the least.

Well, enough for today, 10 minutes to the show… Yay!!!

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, SÖDERN TEATERN, NOVEMBER 17TH

Last night show was a great one. He finally played a solo acoustic set, similar to that one I saw in NY in 2008. Obviously it was completely different, as this time he was headlining and was supported by 3 good albums.

Despite the venue was quite packed, and these Swedish are towers, I was lucky to manage to move to first row on the right side. Earle’s focus point was right where I was, so he was looking in my direction, it wasn’t me, of course. I had the suspicion that something was going on between him and a blonde super skinny girl by my side. She was kind of excited, her friends were gossiping in her ear, and when the gig was over, she stepped aside in a waiting attitude.  Serious, something weird was going on.

Justin focused on his latest album, Harlem River Blues, but didn’t forget about his previous stuff. He didn’t have any set list, and seemed that improvising according to the audience mood and his jokes and stories, he was playing with the order of the songs.

Very talkative and in good mood, the young Earle seemed to be enjoying the show and the enthusiasm of the audience.

Yeah! It was a great night, and no, I wasn’t lucky, nobody talked to me.

*******

Friday started with some wi-fi connection in my room corner, finding out on Twitter (glad I opened an account last week) that Black Sabbath are playing in Azkena Rock Festival 2012. The day couldn’t have better start.

My friend Joaquin wasn’t supposed to join me till the evening, thus, I had plenty of time to wander by the city. With my warm hat, and many clothes, I was ready to hit the road.

Thanks to the previous night walk I more or less knew where to go, thus I only had a map in my pocket and started walking towards Gamla-Stan, very beautiful area full of antique shops, pubs, restaurants and really nice corners, several churches and the Royal Palace.

Eventually I ended my first 3 hours walk at the Moderna Museet. There was an exhibition of late paintings by Monet, Turner and Twombly and there were waves of old people queuing to get in, thus I decided to have a coke and start writing my first travel notebook.

It’s shocking the honesty and correctness of people overseas. In Spain we’re more cheating and tricky. This often shocks me whenever I visit other countries, and this time, at the museum, there were two remarkable things I have to mention. On one hand, no security was at the entrance, of course I paid my ticket, but when I got in, there was no one to check whether you had purchased it or not. On the other hand, there were lockers, but not enough for all the visitors, and cloakroom was unattended. It didn’t matter, everybody was leaving their coats there, even bags and luggage, without feeling uneasy nor thinking of the possibility of getting stolen at all. This reminds me also that, the night before at the theater, I was carrying a backpack with my reflex camera and nobody bothered to check it. Unbelievable!

I didn’t like the exhibition so much, like both Monet and Turner’s earlier paintings, and regarding Twombly, seemed like a joke to me. I really don’t understand his work, and cannot figure out how this kind of paint can be successful and praised.

EN ANNAN HISTORIA / ANOTHER STORY, MODERNA MUSEET

Moderna Museet’s photography collection is said to be one of the finest in Europe, with material from 1840 up to date.

The concept of the exhibition started with the idea that an art collection can’t remain static, in order to stay alive and even evolve. Thus, by arranging the collection from a radically different point of view, it renews energy, and highlights other aspects previously unnoticed.

First step of the presentation, Possesed by the Camera, contained pictures from 1970 to 2010. Camera is used not only to emphasize the reality, but also to build identity by means of role-play. Artists such as Cecilia Edefalk, Annica Karlsson Rixon or Hirogi Sugimoto, and photos belonging to the collection New Topographics. Photographs of a Man, were exhibited.

See the World (1920-1980), had to do more with photo journalism , documentary, and surrealism. This was the part I liked most. Famous photographers such as Nan Goldin, Irving Penn, or Diane Arbus, were present. I was really shocked by the Tulsa Series by Larry Clark, portraying real white trash, full of junkies shooting and scum. The super underground atmosphere and such realism eventually turn into fiction, as our daily lives are not familiarized with such environment.

To finish, Written in Light (1840-1930) reveals the birth and infancy of photography, including mostly portraits, landscapes, nature and architecture, typical in those early years.

While moving from one area to another, there was a compilation of daily living pictures submitted by visitors and people interested in the museum activities, because, according to the philosophy of this exhibition, everyone can be a photographer. A point of view don’t think is shared by most of professional photographers.

As a photography lover I am, and starting to dig into history, names and information, this exhibition really was worth seeing.  It was long time since I hadn’t gone to a museum, and am glad I did it.

***

Joaquin came to pick me up to the hostel close to 7pm. The plan was having a walk and some drinks and go to Nalen Klubb to see three Swedish rock bands there. I knew of one of them, Marulk, because the guitarist is also an Instagramer and we follow each other. As soon as I knew his band (from Gothemburg) was playing in Stockholm on my free night, the plan was set.

We complain about not supporting local nor national bands, and it’s true, but seems that this is a common disease everywhere. It’s hard to get a name as to move 100 people to a venue, especially if raining.

The klubb night was named Pussy A Go-Go & Who Killed Marilyn, and the bands playing were Propane Propane, Lanfinger and Marulk. The first ones were like Kyuss, the second ones reminded us of The Hellacopters, and Marulk sounded more like 70’s hardrock. Gotta remark that the level was really high and musicians were awesome. Guess Dregen was right when he was saying, there was nothing else to do but playing, when he was a teenager.

It was a good night, and we got quite drunk too, but definitely we had fun, and yes, we talked to people. Surely they thought we were nuts.

***

Saturday was a very looooong day. To start, I had massive hangover. Haven’t told you at the hostel I met 5 German kids in party mood who gave me a can of beer after taking them to a 7Eleven, so had gone to sleep at 5, and girls I shared the room with woke up at 8 and were nonstop talking till I yelled at them.

We headed to the Vasa Museet to see this old vessel recovered from the sea, and had another beautiful walk by the river, because it was a very sunny morning. But after crossing a gate, we started to see record shops and couldn’t resist such temptation, and went for hunting, forgetting about the museum. Beside we had to eat something and meet some acquaintances in Södermalm for the pre-show.

Buying spree was awesome in terms of stuff, but will eat pasta, rice and lentils till the end of this month. Everybody pays the price, right?

THE HEAD AND THE HEART / MY MORNING JACKET, MÜNCHENBRYGGERIET, November 20th

Finally the day had arrived and we were attending the last show of the Americans in Stockholm, no less!

It’s curious in both shows I attended, most of the audience got in the venue as soon as doors opened.

The place was beautiful, venues there haven’t anything to do with those we are familiar with. This was a former brewery, completely reformed inside. Architecture and decoration are fileds in which Swedish are outstanding. It was fabulous. The hall maximum capacity is of around 950-1000, and obviously tickets were sold out.

The Head and The Heart were responsible for warming the audience up, but wasn’t very difficult, as many people seem to know them well already, and the response was really enthusiastic. I had only heard they belong to this new American folk wave, such as The Avett Brothers, so I was eager to discover what they were up to. So impressed I was, right after the show, I went to the merchandising stand and got a copy of their album. Not only they reminded me to the North Carolina guys, but also to Dr Dog and others. It was a very beautiful and intense show they offer. Very emotional.

At 10pm sharp, My Morning Jacket came onto stage, starting the show with the same song as Circuital, Victory Dance, which I particularly find hypnotic and really atmospheric.

Most of the set list was based on their last work, including 8 songs, but they also squeezed Z and Evil Urges most memorable themes, and 4 of It Still Moves were also included.

Some song before the encore, I had already convinced the security guy to bring me the set list, and he really did it!

Jim James wasn’t talkative at all, and wasn’t much communicative either. Considering the way these Swedish people are, probably this wasn’t any inconvenience to them. To be honest, the singer is kind of a divo, very pretentious and theatrical. I’m not questioning his talent at all, but is his attitude of I-am-freak-and –proud-and-cooler-than-you, what gets on my nerves.

We were in first row on the left, so we could see Carl Broemel perfect, and I enjoyed lots observing his guitar tech, a more than 60 year old man, tuning both guitars and bass guitars, selecting from the gear case for each song, and what was incredible, was how fast to put the guitar belt to Broemel. We are always aware of what’s going on on stage, but, back, or in this case, sidestage was as interesting and fascinating as the show.

Broemel was the real hero of the night. He really spreads elegance and class when playing any of his instruments, guitar, saxo, and pedal steel. Focused, professional, he, and the rest of the band, in a discreet position, were executing song after song with severity and perfection.  They were perfect.

It’s really taken me a couple of days to digest and analyze what I saw on Saturday. Not only because I was overwhelmed by the quality of the show, but also because the comeback, at 6,30am and what such departure schedule implied, was really hard stuff.

It’s a pity such awesome bands are not visiting us, so we have to arrange these crazy contingency plans to see bands we love. Of course, this makes the experience more intense and fulfilling, but it’s sad, we are stepping back as crabs, and Spain is returning to the era when it didn’t belong to the European tour circuit, so we were missing most of the American bands shows.

I’m very glad for having visited Stockholm and sure I will come back in the future. Beautiful city, I strongly recommend you.

AN ACT OF KINDNESS ALWAYS ENDS WITH REWARD

Never talked much about my job. It’s not very exciting, although is characterized for being quite dynamic and sometimes unpredictable, usually implying a certain degree of anxiety and stress. I’m involved with logistics, handling with two more people a huge textile account, of a very famous Spanish empire I’m not gonna name but sure many of you could guess easily.

While crisis is affecting the whole country, and rates of unemployment reach and affect 20% of population, this company is growing nonstop, which means I gotta work more and more. I don’t complain though, and feel very lucky after all, for both having a job and the environment I work in. the team gets on really on well and some of us are developing a quite strong camaraderie, even friendship.

Basically my job consists on assisting my clients in bringing cargo from the factories where clothes you might wear are manufactured, to the facilities owned by the company, from where distribution to stores and rest of the world is arranged.

Think of anything, the tiniest piece of whatever, and I’ll tell you it’s being moved from one point to another via sea, inside a container. It’s unbelievable, really.

Most of my day I’m fulfilling the needs of my clients, with uncertain luck, and very often I get pissed off.

I must say I’m not the aiding volunteer kind of person at all, but one of my main targets in life is to help and make my closest ones happy. And I’ve been trying to do so all my life. Outside my universe, that’s different stuff, although I walk in the line of politeness as much as possible.

Believe it or not, I’m not very interested in getting to meet tourists for having fun, but it’s true I usually assist people regarding addresses and that stuff. think of it, you’re in a foreign country, different language and culture, streets are different, sense of orientation is crap out of town… it’s always glad someone willing to help. Best example was last year in Japan. People didn’t even speak my language, nor English, but tried to communicate so hard, they even took me to the place I was looking for. Awesome! This really impressed me so much, I felt like I should be kinder to alien people.

The reason I tell all this is just because I feel like telling you a situation I lived two days ago.

After work, I went to the hairdresser’s, no big deal, usual stuff. Once  I got one of these insane stylish moments, decided to have a walk home. Evening was very pleasant, and observing things and people isolated from noise thanks to the Ipod is pretty cool.

10 minutes from home, I had some inspiration and felt the urge of buying a mouse for the computer, so I got inside a store. When I was queuing for paying, right before me was  an old lady in her seventies trying the cashier to show her an address, but the girl didn’t speak English (same shit in this country, desperating). I thought, well, let’s see what’s going on, if I manage to help them, I won’t have to wait so much and will head home cause I gotta do plenty of stuff and it’s getting late. So I spoke to the lady to get the situation.

Age is been always said to be accompanied with wisdom and experience, but there’s some kind of barely noticeable remark which states age also turns people carefree and a bit, with all due respect, stupid.

This lady, she was really sweet and polite, was exhausted. So was her husband. They were looking for a hostel someone has given them the card of, in order to rent a room for that night. I was wondering how the fuck this couple have arrived Barcelona without booking accommodation in advance. She started to tell me the story, and I swear on whatever, that, despite it might sound absurd, it’s real. They of course had accommodation, a real nice apartment with a small patio, in a neighborhood I had never heard of. They had arrived the night before and had rested quite comfy. So in the morning, so excited for discovering the city, they just went out as any given tourist. The problem, or the root of the problem was that they hadn’t written down the address of the apartment, didn’t have any contact phone, hadn’t paid much attention to any possible references to get the track back to the place nad had spent several hours wandering without finding the final point.

I really felt sorry for them, as well as was completely shocked by such spiral of inconveniences. Cheap and decent accommodation in Barcelona for the very same night is almost impossible. They had this card, but a hostel? In September? Sure was fully occupied. I suggested them to go to a hotel, depending on the budget. They were so desperate they didn’t give a shit whether it was a 5 stars hotel as long as they could get some sleep, and wake up the next morning fresh enough as to focus on finding the damn apartment.

When I offered to go to an area full of hotels, close to my Hellhouse, they were flipping, praising my kindness. There was a funny moment when the woman said, God bless you with… a tall brown hair guy. That wouldn’t be bad, I answered. And she started telling typical nonsense stuff about having done such a good thing would eventually have some kind of reward. Again, i wouldn’t mind.

At a certain point she mentioned she had booked the apartment via internet, and I was even thinking of taking them to my place so they could check the mail to find anything, I’d put them in a cab if necessary, and then I remembered my phone has internet, so when I was telling her to check right there she said once she had the email confirmation, she just printed it to delete it immediately. At that point, her husband, a smiley quiet man, yelled What??? I almost started laughing. Poor guy!

We tried a couple of hotels, and they were all packed, and then I took them to another and aid goodbye, after giving them my phone number just in case they needed something, and warning them of the dark side of the city, because they were very good pieces to hunt at night.

What can I say? The situation was weird. It was like, how could you do that? What were you thinking? Unfuckinbelievable.

Right after that, I came back home to discover something that personally pissed me of, related to my ex. Not worth telling about it, personal stuff that, again, shows lack of respect towards me. But hey! Again I didn’t waste too much time thinking about it, i had to check my mail.

Surprise surprise, my temporary moment of super bad mood vanished as soon Ias I started reading the subject of the last mail I had received.

I started to subscribe to bands mailing lists not so long ago, a year and a half? a bit more perhaps. Sometimes I don’t pay much attention except when new releases, tour dates or merch are updated. And this time the mail was telling about more tour dates added in the US and also in Europe this fall.

Started checking, and European dates were remarked. First thing I look for is Spain, again no luck. Fuck! Then I started checking again, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Sweden… blah blah blah. Hold on a sec! he’s playing in November. Uhmmm! Gothenburg, Oslo, Mälmo… shiiiiiiiit! November 17th my beloved Justin Townes Earle is playing in Stockholm. That is, two days before My Morning Jacket gig I’m attending… and I don’t have the flying tickets yet! You bet I’m gonna make it. I’m so so excited! Two gigs in Stockholm, two bands I love playing.

You see? The old Canadian lady was right! My act of kindness got its reward! These days that I been a bit down, forgotten in just a minute.

Again my friends, ain’t life sometimes Grand?

THE CHERRY ON THE CAKE, THIS FALL…

Summer is being a very tough season for me this year. In previous jobs, it meant very few work load, 8 till 3 shift, and some spare week of vacation, with sporadic visits to the beach.

For two years in a row, it’s just the opposite, especially at the current company I’m working for. Our key account business peak season is just now, and I’m working overtime on a daily basis, not because of the company targets or requirements, simply because nobody is able to handle and coordinate all the tasks in just 8 hours. Bookings, containers, incidences, vessels…hours pass by in front of a computer and constantly bothered by stupid annoying phone calls, most of them unnecessary.

At the time of arranging holidays schedule, I’ve been the less demanding, for two main reasons: I’m single, thus I don’t have to agree on vacation with anyone, and I’m short of dough, which means I cannot afford a long trip which requires certain dates.

I’ve been taking breaks for little getaways this year: Azkena, meeting my nephew, a roadtrip to Madrid…not much to be honest.

Being single has advantages and cons. I’ve named the second due to my current shitty situation, but options are wide if you work for a company whose policy regarding vacation schedule is quite flexible.

Thus more than 2 free weeks are remaining and there are some plans, most of them cheap as hell, like going to my parents, others imply more money, such as the other festival I’m attending at the beginning of September in Benidorm named Turborock, with D-Generation and Urge Overkill (how could I miss such bands?).

It’s been 30 minutes since I got confirmed part of the most important getaway in Fall and I’m super excited and happy. I’m going to Stockholm to see My Morning Jacket live at a venue and will spend the weekend there enjoying the city and just taking pleasure in peeping the male monuments inhabiting the city 😀

Since The Hellacopters and Backyard Babies came to my life, I’ve had this strong need to go to Sweden….hahahah! That, and my great experience with people from this country, very friendly, polite and really nice, I got acquainted with during my London years. Sverige är brä!

I don’t know I’m gonna make it, period of heavy payments is coming (IRS, motorbike insurance…) but really, I couldn’t care less. My Morning Jacket aren’t coming to Spain, same happened with Ryan Adams, remember? Thus I will have to move my ass once more… I told you it wouldn’t be the last time, and really didn’t expect to repeat a flash trip so soon, but dear friends, MMJ is one of favorite active bands nowadays, and I MUSTN’T miss the chance to see them.

We’ve already bought tickets three friends, I’ve just heard another acquaintance will also attend that evening…feel free if you wanna join us, gig will be on Saturday, and if you don’t or prefer some other destination, here you are the European Tour dates…you shouldn’t miss them!

 
 

DATE

 

CITY

 

VENUE

 

11/2 Glasgow, UK ABC  

11/3 Birmingham, UK Institute

11/5 Leeds, UK Academy  

11/6 Manchester, UK Academy

11/7 London, UK Roundhouse  

11/8 Bexhill, UK De La Warr Pavilion

11/10 Antwerp, BE Trix

11/11 Luxembourg, LU Den Atelier

11/12 Koln, GE Luxor

11/14 Amsterdam, NL Paradiso

11/16 Berlin, GE Festsaal Kreuzburg

11/17 Lund, SW Mejeriet

11/18 Oslo, NO Sentrum Scene

11/19 Stockholm, SW Munchen Brewery

WHEN WEEKENDS START ON THURSDAY…WITH THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM

Sorry for not having posted in so many days, let’s say last weekend, christened as the Gipsy Wedding Weekend, was so much party animal one, I haven’t yet recovered properly. In fact, I’m in the middle of developing flu or something similar, got fever, my throat sores and feel dizzy sometimes.

I got lot of work to do and many ideas, talk about joints, experiences, the album of the past week…but I’ve preferred starting to talk about the show I was waiting for so long: The Gaslight Anthem.

I knew before it happened the show was going to be a blast, and didn’t get disappointed, the band covered my great expectations for the night.

I love being excited before a show, and even more, not being the only one in such state. Cuque came from Madrid, Joaquin was as nervous as me, and Agnès’ dinner scheduled for that night much in advance, had failed, so at the very last minute, she also joined the crew, ready to see the guys from New Jersey. A few beers before it, we missed the supporting band, and arrived so on time, the opening music of Springsteen was already heating engines.

Although the venue, Apolo, definitely one of my favorite ones ever, was quite crowded, we could settle in a comfortable area, able to see the stage without any problem. You know girls we have so much trouble, I usually tend to move forward to the first rows to see something, and of course, to get into the show as much as possible.

Fallon and the rest of the guys seemed to feel quite comfortable with the venue and the audience, which was very cheerful and in party mood. Gotta say, the weight of the show, the interacting with the audience and the presence on stage had to do with him only. He’s charismatic, something I cannot really say about the rest of the band.

The beginning of the show couldn’t be better, 6 hits as 6 bombs, High Lonesome, Stay Lucky, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and two very special moments for me with The Diamond Church Street Choir and my beloved and praised Old White Lincoln, mixed with Manish Boy by Muddy Waters. And then The ’59 Sound. I thought I was dying of pleasure.

Then I had a break, some more relaxing songs, till Film Noir started…I love that song, and then turn for more hits.

We were jumping, dancing, yelling, involved in a teenage spirit I haven’t felt with a “new” and young band for long time.

I’ve been reading in forums people criticizing the average age of the audience, very young people in their twenties. Don’t think this fact is bad at all, eventually this moment had to arrive sooner or later, get to an age you’re older than the members of the new bands you like. Remember The Black Crowes, 20 years ago they were kids, and so we were. What happens now? Many of us are proud parents, even divorced, but still feeling passion, same as the musicians.

It was so amazing when during the encore they played a cover of my favorite song of Pearl Jam, State of Love and Trust! Only the old rascals in our thirties were getting mental at that point. Someone said something like Pearl Jam are in the status of classics…hope The Gaslight Anthem share the same position in 20 years, I’d hate they’d become a hype.

Another interesting thing I observed among the audience was that there were many people from overseas. I wouldn’t assure the balance was 50-50, but pretty close. The fact is that bands such as The Gaslight Anthem are huge overseas, performing sold out shows in venues with capacity of 3000 people, but here, in Apolo, this band was playing for 500 the most. On one hand I love this fact, on the other though,  I hate the lack of musical culture and tradition in this country once again.

And the closing song was Great Expectations… show was over, and we were happy, hugging each other, quite drunk and in a party mood, so much, Friday was a terrible day at work, but after all, as I lately say very often, there were no regrets.

I’ve found the set list, to be more accurate and for you to get an idea of what we witnessed, I feel sorry for the people who attended the show with the band opening for Foo Fighters, sure it was great, I love the Foo’s, but just barely 10 songs of The Gaslight Anthem is not enough.

  1.  High Lonesome
  2. Stay Lucky
  3. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
  4. The Diamond Church Street Choir
  5. Old White Lincoln (w/ Manish Boy by Muddy Waters)
  6. The ’59 Sound
  7. We Came to Dance
  8. The Spirit of Jazz
  9. Señor and the Queen
  10. Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
  11. Wooderson
  12. Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
  13. The Patient Ferris Wheel
  14. Film Noir
  15. The Queen of Lower Chelsea
  16. Casanova, Baby!
  17. Bring It On
  18. Miles Davis and the Cool
  19. American Slang
  20. Here’s Looking at You, Kid
  21. The Backseat
  22. Meet Me by the River’s Edge
  23. Say I Won’t (Recognize) (w/ House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals)
  24. State of Love and Trust (Pearl Jam cover)
  25. The Navesink Banks
  26. Great Expectations

THE RYAN ADAMS EXPERIENCE

 Hope this time what I write doesn’t end erased. I’ve been telling my story for 10 minutes and all of a sudden everything has gone to hell for no reason. I haven’t got used to modern technologies applied to mobiles yet, kinda pissed off right now.

Anyway, again, I’m having my second coffee in a sidewalk café outdoors, enjoying sun, which unfortunately took the day off yesterday, allowing Londrino weather, as locals here call this horrible smooth but constant leaking rain, be the main protagonist here in Oporto.

Sorry to disappoint some of you, I missed the chance to get a picture with Ryan Adams just for few seconds, although, cross my heart it’s true, we eye-contacted, enough for me, yet probably a scary experience for the artist, seeing a girl with a red umbrella with teddy bears smiling widely at him. Yeah, I was shocked and so excited and amazed to see him so close, I probably looked like an idiot…he looked goooorgeous though, with his usual messy and dirty hair, in a leather jacket.

After these seconds of mayhem under the rain, we met two guys in the very same state, so we kept on living our experience together. David from Madrid, was the luckiest one, we got a picture with Adams and Malin, and his CD books were signed. John, an English in his mid 40’s, a mixture of Midnight Cowboy John Voight meets Crocodile Dundee, We had seen him earlier at the airport queueing right behind us and, although Veronica didn’t believe it, I was positive his purpose in Oporto was the same as ours. Apart from Adams, he was the most looking guy at the venue…hahaha!

Anyway, we’ll try to stay in touch via mail, in order to share musical wisdom and update on gigs and that kind of stuff. There was good vibe among us without forcing the situation.

Apart from the eye contact incidence, you can imagine the level of excitement of 4 diehard fans about to see one of their idols. We weren’t the only ones to move our asses to Oporto to see him. We met many people (you know how this goes, people from overseas are more outgoing and are willing to talk to anyone… I include myself too), a couple from Australia planned their holidays to Europe schedules based on that particular show, 3 Irish guys had seen him in Dublin already, 2 others the night before in Lisbon…

Doors finally opened at quarter past eight, and as the seats at the theatre weren’t assigned, we had to queue. We found seats on second row, next to the only people I didn’t feel like being close seated to…some of you might have guessed immediately. Anyway, we were ready to start the night with Jesse Malin.

I had seen Malin with band in November and loved the show. He was in a more rockin’ attitude, and songs sounded terrific. Few months ago, D-Generation reunion dates were confirmed, and the band will be headlining Turborock festival in September. I told you about this already.

Jesse did a great show last night, with long introductions to songs, in a stand-up comedy style I particularly enjoyed, getting this close to the audience state. His repertoire included songs of many of his albums, Broken Radio, In the Modern World or Going Out West, Dowliner were present… I think he played most of The Fine Art of Self Destruction, among other reasons, mainly because of this special vinyl edition and also due to Ryan Adams’ involvement as the producer. Loved when he played his cover of Hold Steady, You Can Make Them Like You. With Malin, the stupid theory affirming acoustic sets are a compilation of slow tempo and deppresive tunes, definitely was disarmed. It was a pity we had to remain on our  seats… I was clapping, stomping and headbangin’. I had bought Ryan Adams’ 7″ before the Moltisanti of Rock’s  show, and kept thinking I needed the first one in vinyl, which was included in his merchandise. After the show, went straight for a beer, then to the merch stand convinced on buying it and… Jessie suddenly was by my side and as per my request he was giving me the album himself, asking for a pen for signing, and eventually as per someone’s suggestion, posing with the album and me for a picture. We had a quick chat, and when I said I’ll be seeing him in September, he replied quite enthusiastically “Oh great! Turborock!” . He was very nice.

After this, a beer, a quick smoke and a visit to the loo, we were there, hysteric, trying to calm down, waiting to the best part of the night.

 Lights down and there he was, carrying a huge folder with all his songs, with no apparent setlist prepared, although he’s been concentrated on certain songs varying list slightly. Sweet Carolina was the chosen one to open the night. Huge ovation, you could feel everyone at the venue was in Heaven.

He didn’t say much for the first three songs, so we thought he wasn’t very talkative, it all depends on the mood he is in, something unpredictable and threatening.

Nevertheless, once he opened his mouth for talking, he didn’t stop. Away from Malin’s style, he whispered (OMG), kept on telling jokes, made fun of the audience, of himself, telling about the issues with his harmonica he had to face the previous night in Lisbon which really affected him right in the first song…and he blew his nose, telling and singing about Mr. Bugger. Honestly, I laughed a lot, not because it was Adams’, definitely Yankees know what entertainment is about.

Ryan Adams has had a lot of meaning to me, if he knew how much I’ve been feeling identified with his songs he’d be amazed. I’m speaking for myself, of course, I met a bunch of people yesterday in same situation. My point is, thinking first that music is my greatest passion, Adams’ stuff has helped me a lot to overcome certain situations, and to describe the way I felt then.

I think Veronica started crying right at the first song, she’d never seen him before and was like in shock, he was so close to us, so real and human…I did cry too, there’s no reason to deny something I knew it was going to happen at some point that night. Probably MY moments were when he played Everybody Knows, Carolina Rain, If I Am A Stranger and Two. By the time he was closing the show with Blue Hotel, I think I was even sobbing…

Lights were on, and we were hugging each other, we were so merry for what we had just witnessed, it was a great great great show, for real.

At the end the gigs, most people always comment subjectively on what songs were missing. Well, if he had to play what we all wanted, we’d still be there…so many beautiful songs, and probably hundreds of others still remaining in the cabinet…

Sometimes I think to be less innocent than the rest of people. After the show Malin went to the merch stand again, and everyone thought Ryan was about to do the same, but me. I thought this was a trick for leaving the venue unnoticed. He’s a freak guy, gotta say. Gets really nervous when fans are around, and always tries to get the hell out of any venue. This time wasn’t an exception, thus we were waiting for nothing, but had a great time anyway, everybody excited commenting…went to bed at 3 AM. Our hotel, just by chance I swear, was right in front of the Theater.

So here I am now, back in town (didn’t have enough time to finish this post at the Café, sorry, still in bliss, while listening Malin’s record, and recalling all the memories from last Friday, a day I won’t forget ever. It was magic. And you know, he’ll never come back to Spain, so, when in a year and a half or two (according to my personal estimations), he tours back in Europe, give me a call…I will go anywhere to see him, and pawn whatever if necessary. Ryan Adams is worth it.

By the way, here is the setlist which took me to Heaven

READY FOR A FLASH TRIP

I knew it! I knew this was going to be the night Toi is so nervous she can’t fall asleep.

In just 10 hours I’ll be sat on one of these horrible and uncomfortable low cost seats inside a plane heading towards Oporto to see my beloved Ryan Adams, with another diehard fan, Verónica.

I reckon I’ve been nervous for the last week more or less, basically listening to all the albums recorded by this man, solo, with Whiskeytown or with The Cardinals, to make up my mind I’m gonna see him for the third time in my life, but this time as a pure and truly whorshipper.

This is a flash trip, not the first time though, and probably not the last one either, just to see a band or an artist who probably won’t tour in my country, and reckon  I mustn’t miss the chance. It’s worth it, to be honest, doesn’t matter money when you spend two hours being the happiest in loooong time.

Luggage is a joke, we’ll spend barely 30 hours in that city, so I’ve just printed a couple of essential travel mini guides with maps included, so we can hang around,, enjoy the sites and take some pictures. My carrier bag is filled with underwear and basics, a couple of tees, my two cameras (also batteries and memory cards), the Ipod, cigarettes and ibuprofen just in case, pens and 3 Adams’ CD booklets…you never know, a miracle can occur and I need to be ready.

Apart from that, all are a bunch of emotions.

I checked some of the setlists just to get an idea about what he’s up to, but stopped checking. I need it to be a surprise and now I know it’s gonna be a great show, so, who cares? Whatever Adams touches turns into marvel.

I’ll be back on Saturday night, but probably will go out for some drinks, so I’ll tell you about the experience by Sunday I guess.

Friends, hope you all have a great weekend, and enjoy the most whatever you do. I’m trying to get some sleep because tomorrow will be one of these long days, in which many things will happen. Unbelievable the subjective time can be, don’t you think?

WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU’RE LONELY… RYAN, I’LL FOLLOW YOU

2009 started awfully for Ryan Adams’ fans. He announced his retirement from music, mainly because of a problem of hearing loss and balance issues. We didn’t know whether this was a temporary stage or it was a definite decision, but it was a great blow.

Approximately a  year before I had gone to London to see him at Hammersmith Odeon, and it was magic. I’ve just found the setlist for that incredible night:

After that, the idea was to see him every time he was touring Europe, but unfortunately after holidays, I couldn’t make it for Cardinology tour, you know how this goes, at the end of the day money talks.

When the official announcement reached me first I felt devastated, but after thinking for a while I concluded reckoning I’d see him again, because he’s a workaholic and loves music above everything, and is definitely his channel to express himself.

Last year he offered two treasures: limited edited Orion and III/IV with The Cardinals, I luckily managed to buy on vinyl. Moreover, he was constanly updating about his composing cycles in a positive way, so the step for his coming back to stages was getting closer.

And yes, eventually as if nothing was happening, he left this message posted on FB:

I wrote some new tunes this winter on my acoustic guitar. I think I’d like to play them for whoever wants to hear them. Please don’t yell at me

Friday, June 10, 2011 Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
Saturday, June 11, 2011 Oslo, Norway Folketeatret
Monday, June 13, 2011 Malmö, Sweden The Consert House
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Copenhagen, Denmark Koncerhauset
Thursday, June 16, 2011 Lisbon, Portugal Aula Magna
Friday, June 17, 2011 Porto, Portugal Teatro Sa Da Bandeira
Monday, June 20, 2011 London, UK Barbican
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 Brighton, UK Dome
Thursday, June 23, 2011 Manchester, UK Bridgewater Hall
Saturday, June 25, 2011 Glasgow, UK Academy
Sunday, June 26, 2011 Oxford, UK Oxford New Theatre
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 Amsterdam, Holland Concertgebouw

Again, no dates in Spain, shit! What’s the problem??? Plus Azkena Rock Festival close…Am I gonna miss him again??? Noooo Waaaaay!!

Trying to figure out how to manage to see Adams, an angel, Verónica, even a die harder fan of the singer, encouraged me to move my ass anywhere to see him.

Where would the final destination be? I’d love it was Stockholm or Oslo, be surrounded by gorgeous tall and blonde people, and have some time to recover and get ready for the festival, but in the end, my friend worked very hard and found flight tickets at ridiculous cost, thus, once everything been set and arranged, we’ll finally see Mr. Ryan Adams in Oporto, hell yeah!!! Can’t wait!!!

I feel weird though, for it’s been the first time in my adulthood I haven’t arranged anything regarding the event. Veronica has organized everything and the only thing pending is the accommodation. During my relationship I bought every single flight, booked every hotel and bought most tickets, being this the first time I don’t have to do anything makes me feel uneasy somehow, but very very grateful to my friend. Veronica, I OWE YOU! And yess, it’s great the two of us go together, I won’t feel so ridiculous when I get hysteric or start crying   🙂

Tickets are still available, would you like to join us?