Heavy X-Mas, Switzerland (Friday the 13th…)

Friday the 13th. Yepp, and even if i am not superstitious at all, it was still a PAIN show on that date so you cannot really expect anything less than chaos...
This time we were all divided in separate travels for various reasons, so i was travelling alone from Stockholm to Zürich. Johan was travelling alone from Copenhagen and Bruno from Lisbon. Emanuel was travelling with Sabaton. But Peter, David and Hede travelled together and went into real troubles caused by bad weather conditions in european airports combined with Air Berlins unability to perform customer satisfaction. The guys managed to go from Stockholm to Berlin, then from Berlin to Düsseldorf and the finally from Düsseldorf to Zürich. Cancelled flights, re-booked flights and running around in the airports played the major part of the guys day. I heard all this through SMS contact during the day with a smile on my face as i was still safe at home... So after they had been flying around europe for ablut 10-12 hours it didn't really come as a surprise that most of their luggage never arrived in Zürich. Peter's guitar came, but everything else was missing.
While the guys came to Zürich without luggage, i only had troubles getting my Eleven Rack and Line 6 wireless in as handluggage with Swiss air in Stockholm, so i had to check it in and had no idea if it will make it in one piece. But on the other hand, i was lucky to go direct from Stockholm to Zürich without any weather problems at all in just about two hours and the Eleven Rack and Line 6 wireless came in one piece as well, fortunately! Surprised by the fact that Zürich airport doesn't scan the bar codes of incoming luggage, i realised i had to go and ask for my guitar when it never showed up at the luggage belt. Airport staff: "Do you miss any luggare?" Me: "yes, a very big guitarcase, don't tell me it never came?" Airport staff: "where are you flying from?" Me: "Stockholm" Airport staff: "no problem, we will get it for you, we didn't know you were waiting for it". Me: "eehh..., okay.. thanks..?" By then i realized that the other guys will never see their luggage in time for the show. I mean, how would they even know the luggage has arrived if they don't even perform a arrival scan? Scary...
I met Johan at the airport entrance and we jumped in a taxi and went to the venue. There we met up with everyone else and heard all the stories about their crazy day, and also realized it was only about 45mins left to showtime. Okay, David had no cymbals, no tech gear such as in-ear's and no stage clothes. The backdrop never came either, just as an example. Now we have to act fast and find solutions and replacements if possible. We have to do the show, no matter what!
Just face facts; we could easily end up in a situation where we had to cancel the show, especially if the guys didn't arrive in time, so it was "better than nothing" that we did our set, even if it was shorter than planned. We had to cut several songs as we started too late and we couldn't change the schedule for the rest of the bands of course. I can only apologize to the fans that came there to see us, but we managed to give you the major part of our set anyway, even if it became shorter than planned and it was really out of our control. But i have said this before (many times) and i will continue to say it: Don't fly Air Berlin, and try to avoid Berlin/Tegel airport if possible. Otherwise you are just asking for trouble!
The show itself went fine and the crowd treated us very well. David playd in his underwear (what other choice did he have?) and he also borrowed cymbals and other stuff. We only had a black backdrop and most other technical stuff was okay. I almost dropped my pants as the button broke (getting too fat maybe) so i had to run backstage and Bruno borrowed me his belt right before the start of "End of the line". I actually played the first 4 bars of the riff while he was putting on the belt on me, hahaha!
After the show we hang backstage with a few beers, had dinner in the catering and then we went to see Accept. I just love the old Accept albums and had never seen them live. I was totally blown away! What a sound, what a performance, and what an action of the old bastards! The guitarplaying of Mr Wolf Hoffmann is so special, he has his signum and everything he does sounds like Accept in his own unique style. It was fantastic to hear old masterpieces like "Breaker" but when "Restless and wild" came on, i just hit my peak: this made my day completely. Up until this point it was a regular friday the 13th in regular PAIN manner, but this was the perfect encore!
There was many other Swedish bands around at the festival, and some of them i haven't met in many years (like Morgan from Marduk) but it was no time as we had to go to the hotel after the Accept show, when we had our booked transfer. Finally at the hotel i was crawling around in my room udner the bed looking for power outlets to charge my phone. This seems to be the only hotel in the world with no power outlet anywhere!
Next day we were all sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for taxis, when all missing luggage showed up. "Better late than never" was not the right sentence this time, but it felt stupid to sit there and watch the luggage that we needed so badly the day before. Right now it didn't matter at all. We all went into a few taxis and drove off to the airport. We were really late for our flight and was almost caught in a Police-control by the road. That would've made us miss our flight back home, but fortunately they drove off right before us and we came in time to catch our flight. Only a few problems occured at check-in when we realized our promotors had forgot to book us the luggage we needed to get back home... Well, it is a regular PAIN trip after all...
Finally back home after a crazy PAIN weekend as usual, i opened a nice bottle of "Kiss" and relaxed. It actually feels good it's over for now. No more shows for a long time now, and next big happening is christmas and new years eve. Feels just great! Then in January i will spend more than two weeks in California on holiday, but also visit the Jackson Guitars factory if possible. But most and above all, I will become a grandfather in the end of January, which will be a fantastic event in my life! So right now the weapons are all hanging on the wall, resting in peace until next war. But that will not be until the spring has hit us and the trees are sparkling green again.
I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year, and thanks for all great memorable shows in 2013. Take care of each other and don't fly Air Berlin.
White and red weapons of choice on the christmas show :-)
Landed in Zürich 2:30 before showstart in Dietikon - easy! 
Accepts gear lying around backstage before the show, classic metal design :-)
As the luggage never arrived David had to do the show in his underwear!
Accept made my day, completely! During "Restless and wild" i almost cried...
If a duck in the bathroom means "hotel spa included" then i got it all wrong
Better late than never? Not sure it really mattered this time :-(
Heavy Metal Maniacs at the "Heavy X-Mas festival" show in Dietikon, Switzerland
Our last show of 2013 became shorter than we planned
Backstage pass
Back home again, relaxing with a nice bottle of Kiss :-)

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