IRON MAIDEN – conquered Malmoe!

My hometown Malmö (Sweden) was graced by no other than the mighty IRON MAIDEN last night. I can’t say anything but just sum it all up in one word: AMAZING!!

These guys are the best at what they do, and if you’re looking for a live show that’s gonna blow your socks off, a show that’s gonna leave you with your jaw on the ground and a show that you’re going to be talking about for years to come - go see Maiden! 

This is really the “creme de la creme” of live metal shows. Kiss may have more props and pyro, but when you look at the actual ENERGY of the band and the show as a whole, nobody beats Iron Maiden. And I say that without even being their greatest fan, I’ve always been more of a Priest-follower. But I’ve gotta hand it to them – they totally RULE.

Bruce Dickinson flies all over the stage like he doesn’t know what gravity is, he’s got more energy than a guy half his age and he continues singing flawlessly like it’s nothing.

Jannick Gers is a one-man show, enough to keep you entertained for two hours, he’s flipping his guitar all over the place like a martial arts stick crossed with Yngwie Malmsteen poses and antics.
Steve Harris is incredible, but even if he didn’t do anything, it’s enough for him to just be THE Steve Harris, people worship him.

Dave, Adrian and Nicko are all great musicians, but they also have strong personalities, especially mr McBrain who always has a smile or ten to share – all in all, there is something for everybody and the energy that goes back and forth between Iron Maiden and their crowd is unique.

I drove down to the stadium eary in the morning because I know that when it’s Iron Maiden – people WILL be lining up early. If I wanted a front row spot, I had to get in line as early as possible.

When I got there, people told me to go speak to the guy who was first in line. He got there 9 am the day before and had already spoken to security to set up a system.

Whoever showed up before noon, the day of the show, would be on a list that security would let in 5 minutes before everyone else. I was no 64 out of the 79 people who were given that privilege.

It was tough standing there for so many hours, but worth it in the end – it’s the price you have to pay for that precious front row spot.

I’ve had laminate passes and access to the stage or in front of the stage where photographers and security normally stand, but it doesn’t give you the same kick. You wanna get into it, with a few other crazy fans and just feel it – the proper way.

[My laminate from the 99-tour]

I didn’t drink anything all day (no water, no soda, no nothing…) because there were no toilets anywhere, I barely even ate, but I’m used to that, I handle thirst by chewing chewing gum on occasions like this. ONE day is fine. But after the show, I was beat.

The whole city was “Maidenized” with thousands of fans everywhere. Didn’t go out, I was way too tired after the all-day-waiting.

[The press today was just as impressed as the rest of us - fantastic reviews everywhere!]

And just a short mention – there were also two opening acts yesterday. A band from the UK called Voodoo Six and the very popular Swedish band Sabaton.

When Voodoo Six walked out, I noticed something that has since made me change the name of the band to Wood-o Six….:

(noticed anything in particular about the guitarist…??) No?

Well, I’m sorry but that sort of had me lose concentration a little bit because I couldn’t believe he kept that throughout the whole show! THAT dude must REALLY love what he does! :)

As for Sabaton, they are awesome live. They definitely have some Maiden-elements in their live performance, such as a frontman who runs across the stage with such ease and just loves what he does. It’s contageous, the crowd loves these guys!

[Jump!!]

I had a great time, and my friend Bianca who came from Skovde to see the show was glad that she finally got to see Maiden for the first time ever. :)

They were amazing, absolutely amazing. Always worth the time, effort and money – and there are not that many bands nowadays that give you that kind of value for your trouble and hard earned buck!

Two thumbs up for Iron Maiden – they shone Brighter Than a Thousand Suns! :)

For PHOTOS from the show – go to my Facebook-page and check them out!

www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror 

My filming wasn’t the best yesterday because of the energy in the crowd, but I picked up a little at least.

And some older Maiden memories from years ago! :)) My first Maiden show (Donington), some backstage memories and whatever else…

11
Jul 2013
Posted by Daniela
Posted in CONCERTS REVIEWS
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Back to life, back to music

It’s been a little more than a month since I lost my dad. During that time, I really haven’t been in the mood for anything, least of all music. Haven’t listened to any new albums, haven’t been to any gigs, nothing.

I cancelled everything that I had planned before dad died - Whitesnake in Zagreb, Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium… Richard from the UK was kind enough to send me a few CD’s that I normally would have listened to right away with great curiosity. But I haven’t even taken them out of their sleeves yet.

But two days ago, I decided to try out my new Motörheadphones on my way to work, and my favorite album of all time - Screaming For Vengeance (Judas Priest) started playing. It was probably the most perfect way to get “back to life”.

Things are slowly going back to “normal”. My dear friend Bianca is coming to visit me on Wednesday for the Iron Maiden concert at Malmö Stadion. First show since SRF – and it’s going to be great, Maiden and the Swedish fans have a special relationship, it’s always a fantastic vibe at their shows here.

The opening act is Sabaton, another great live band that’s loved by the crowd over here.

But most of all I’m very excited about Lita Ford coming to Sweden later this month. I asked for an interview, still don’t know if it’s gonna happen or not – but either way, I can’t wait to see her live.

She screwed up her gig at Sweden Rock years ago, but it was explained to me later why it turned out the way it did, some things that had happened that day.

She doesn’t have that problem anymore so I know she’s going to be amazing. Seeing your childhood idol is something rather special, I’m stoked.

I miss my dad terribly. I won’t even get into all that, there’s no point bringing other people down with sad things – and not even my dad would have wanted that. His best friend told me that he used to say “when I’m gone, I don’t want to be cried over. Raise your glass for me and enjoy life”.

Dad is in my heart forever, he’s the most amazing, wonderful human being I’ve ever known. I’m gonna make him proud by looking ahead and start doing all the things that make me happy. That’s all he ever wanted, and I’ll honor that. He left a void that can never be filled, but he loved life too and he never let anything bring him down.

Dad – I raise my glass for you and I hope you’re here somewhere to toast with me from the other side….

06
Jul 2013
Posted by Daniela
Posted in REFLECTIONS
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Music heal my soul

Sweden Rock Festival 2013 was different from the “usual” festivals for me.

Maybe some of you noticed that I haven’t been posting or blogging in a while, except for a few photo-updates just to keep myself occupied. I just didn’t feel like writing or doing anything.

My father left this world on May 31st.
I was originally supposed to go to Croatia and visit him today, because that’s where he was – and as his birthday was on June 8th and mine on June 13th, we were going to celebrate our birthdays together. I was so looking forward to the trip so that I could see him again.

I never got to see him again. The last time I saw him and hugged him goodbye, was at Copenhagen airport when he left in early May. He was smiling, nothing was wrong with his health.
He’s always been a vital, strong man and everyone who knew him remember him as the guy who would take long walks through town every day- I couldn’t even keep up with him most of the time cause he was walking so fast.

He was in a cafe in Split, Croatia, with some friends one evening and in the middle of a sentence he just fell off his chair, and he was gone. Just like that. They say it was his heart and that it was instant. He never felt a thing.

My dad was 75 years old, he never made it to his 76th birthday, which was only three days ago. And I miss him so much that I could break in half. He meant so much to me, I can’t even begin to explain…

I didn’t want to go to the festival at first. But I felt an obligation to go because my friend from Germany was visiting and Sweden Rock was supposed to be her bachelorette party as she’s getting married soon. I couldn’t let her down. And the magazine couldn’t just find another correspondent to review all those bands I said I would review, so I took a deep breath and went.

The first day up there was bad. I couldn’t stand seeing all those happy people. Being there felt so wrong. I felt that my dad would think that I didn’t care about him because I was up there “having fun” (although I really wasn’t) and basically – it wasn’t a good day at all.

The next day was different. Somehow, I felt like my dad was walking beside me at the festival, and I was showing him my world. He never quite understood what my life looked like, he just knew that I loved music.

I would show him whenever something out of the ordinary happened – like my name in the Judas Priest biography “Defenders of  the Faith”, or my cover story for Sweden Rock Magazine (also Priest) or going to Thessaloniki, Greece to see a show and then ending up presenting gold plaques to Firewind. I showed him the video on my cellphone and he would smile but of course he had no idea who all those bands were.

The second day of the festival, he was with me. I could almost see him walking there next to me with his hands on his back and a curious smile, just absorbing everything that was happening. His only concern in life was always my happiness. I “talked” to him all day and being at the festival actually felt good. It wasn’t wrong – it was the only right thing to do.

The third day I just lost myself in the music. I felt good, I was singing, smiling, just being far away from the rest of the world, it was the most powerful healing I’ve ever experienced. Forget about pills and shrinks. Music is the strongest and most powerful medicine there is.

The fourth and the last day of the festival, I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to just stay there and be a part of everything that was not everyday life.

When you’re at a concert you don’t think about stuff. You just LIVE it, you feel, you experience, you’re going through emotions, you let the music take you away to wherever it wants to take you, there is no yesterday and no tomorrow. There is only the NOW.

I was so glad to see two bands who I really love, not only because of their music, but also because I like them for the great people that they are.

The Firewind-guys and crew on Friday and the Skid Row guys on Saturday. The Skids have been around for 24 years, I’ll always love those guys for being incredibly sweet.

Scotti was all smiles when he saw me, going: “Heeey! We were wondering if you were gonna show up!” Rachel and Snake were asking if I remember when we last saw eachother… I didn’t, it was way too long ago, seven or eight years ago probably.

And the Firewind guys are cool to be around, Kelly is a funny dude, had us laughing everywhere we went (backstage, VIP area…). Jo is lovely crazy in his own sort of way and Gus is probably the busiest guy I’ve ever met, yet he tries to make time to socialise any way he can. I really appreciate and respect that. A great guy.

Sweden Rock Festival is “home” to me. This was my 19th year there. It’s a place where I feel content and happy – surrounded by my kind of people and my kind of music. Somehow everything happened the way it should…

If Su hadn’t come to visit me I may have missed the festival and also missed the opportunity to feel good for a few moments. It was good to have her visiting, she’s a super nice girl and we get along great, so I was lucky that I didn’t have to be alone after the very difficult time that followed my father’s death.

Now I can’t wait to just lose myself in music and concerts again, the sooner the better. Everyday life is just too hard to handle without it. Especially now.

Music has always helped me through hard times my whole life and it’s no different now. I’m finding comfort and explanations to my questions in songs, things that make me feel better.

Dave Mustaine was right when he said: “Moving on is a simple thing. What you leave behind is hard”. My dad never suffered. For his sake we have to remember that he was spared from pain and illness and find comfort in that.

And I know that my father is with me now, sharing my life in a way that he never could before. I should just be grateful for that…

[My beloved dad, he was so happy when I came back from spending a year in the States 1997. Here he is waiting for me at the airport in Copenhagen... Somehow we will always be together, he'll be in my heart forever...]

[Dad and I, Christmas a long time ago....]

11
Jun 2013
Posted by Daniela
Posted in REFLECTIONS
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Euro(ck)vision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest 2013 is being held in my home town Malmö, Sweden – and there’s no way you can miss it! There are giant mirror balls and purple spotlights at the train station, there are stages and official ESC-merch in the heart of Malmö, people walking around with t-shirts and bags with the slogan on them: “We are one”.

I used to watch this so called “music contest” when I was little, it was a family thing. But back then there were only 12 countries, maybe up to 20 tops, but now it feels like every little godforsaken mini-country wants to be a part of it, and even countries that aren’t actually in Europe. It’s lost its appeal – it did years ago.

But this year, there’s a bit of rock’n'roll involved, which makes it slightly more interesting! :)

Two Black Sabbath-guys involved in one way or another.
Ex-Sabbath singer Tony Martin shared this pic earlier this morning:

Photo: I'm gonna be supporting my friend Bonnie Tyler In her Eurovision attempt this weekend. Wish ya the best of luck Bonnie ... Go get em!!!!! .. Love ya!!!

His caption: I’m gonna be supporting my friend Bonnie Tyler In her Eurovision attempt this weekend. Wish ya the best of luck Bonnie … Go get em!!!!! .. Love ya!!!

Bonnie Tyler’s song is written by no other than Desmond Child (does he even need an introduction???) and produced by David Huff – known from the 80′s hard rock band, Giant (I loved their “I’ll See You In My Dreams” and “Believer“).

Competing for Armenia is the band Dorians, with a song written by no other than the mighty Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath).

The Dutch rock-chick Anouk is competing for Netherlands of course, with her song “Birds“. We all remember her for THIS mega-hit:

And Iceland is sending Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson who’ll be singing ”Ég á líf” (I am alive). He’s a singer in an Icelandic progressive rock supergroup called Todmobile.

So – on stage or behind the scenes, there are rockers everywhere, even in the seemingly dorky Eurovision Song Contest.

Maybe gives it at least a little bit of cred…! :)

The Man On The Silver Mountain….

Ronnie Dio is probably one of those people who’s been in most rockers’ lives since the word go. He left this life 3 years ago, but rock’n'roll heroes never really “die”.

I remember Ronnie as being a very kind and polite man with a great sense of humor.

[Ronnie, press conference at Sweden Rock Festival 2005]

He was just one of those people who always had TIME for everybody. I never saw him brush off people without a very good reason (I never saw him do that at all, but I would imagine that if he ever did, there would have had to be a reason).

Many years ago we had an interview scheduled with Ronnie in Malmo and the band was late. When they showed up at KB, there wasn’t even time for a proper sound check, and we had almost given up on the idea of getting an interview.

I was convinced that we could just forget about it. Ronnie walked over with a smile, said that it was very tight with his time, but if we thought we would be able to do it in 5-10 minutes, then he would be happy to do it. And then he apologized over and over again for the situation being what it was.

He left his contact e-mail and offered to answer any questions that we still might have at a better time. He kept his promise.

Most artists would have told us that they couldn’t do it, and left it at that. Ronnie chose to find a solution, eventhough he really didn’t have to.

Years before that, I was at SAS Radisson Hotel in Malmö with some friends, and Ronnie came out of the elevator. I guess we all must have looked like a swarm of flies when we all tried to get an autograph before he left. He smiled, didn’t act stressed or annoyed at all, he just enjoyed meeting people. Always time for a kind word and for a photo or whatever it was people wanted.

Nobody is perfect and I’m sure that Ronnie wasn’t a ”perfect” person either, but I’ve only ever seen him as a kind and very professional man. On stage he always blew me away. He made everything look so easy. When he moved, it was as if he was walking on little clouds or something, he was just a very unique artist in every sense of the word.

I remember the day he passed, I was in Croatia and had very limited access to the Internet, and it was too expensive to call somebody in Sweden.
It was such a shock when I got the news, felt like a family member was gone. I couldn’t believe it, was so low all day and the worst part was that I had nobody to talk to about it.

My dad is great, but he knows nothing about music and you can’t explain to someone who’s not a part of this whole rock’n’roll lifestyle how it feels and why. To him, it would just be ”some artist” so why would that affect me at all. Basically, I couldn’t vent it anywhere. I got a text from a friend over in the States, I remember that much. It just said something like ”I’m so sad”, he felt the same way – as did the whole heavy metal community all over the planet.

It was a sad day. The King of Rock’n’Roll, The Man On The Silver Mountain, lost his battle against ”the dragon” – cancer.

But people like Ronnie never really cease to exist. They live on in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. I’m sure he’s up there having a great time with all the other greats who left us to join the band in the sky….

16
May 2013
Posted by Daniela
Posted in REFLECTIONS
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