With Full Force, Germany

Our management had booked and prepaid extra luggage with Air Berlin for our trip from Stockholm to Berlin, but of course "something went wrong" and we had to pay for the luggage again at check-in. On our way back from Berlin to Stockholm with SAS, the same shit happened again! We had prepaid extra luggage in our booking and we even showed the confirmation that said "extra luggage confirmed" to the staff at the counter but it meant nothing at all. We had to pay anyway! So in the end we paid for the luggage twice i think. How stupid is that? And i must say the Berlin airport is one of the most ineffective airports i've ever been to, and believe me, i've seen a few... We check-in in terminal D, but when we had to pay for the extra luggage we had to go to terminal A to pay and then go back to terminal D to show the receipt and find our gate. Fantastic. Fortunately we were there in good time otherwise we would've missed our plane. Also, every restaurant in the airport is on second floor, with elevators too small to carry a luggage-trolley. Smart, as most people in an airport are carrying luggage...
Okay, enough airline complaints for now, i was just so fed up with companies that are not committed to their customers and can behave they way the want as they know no one will complain - as it is impossible to contact them and complain afterwards...
Six years ago we played With Full Force Festival. I remember it well: Slayer was headlining, it was raining in the evening and it was the last time we had our red/black flatline drumriser-drop as we unintentionally left it there afterwards. Funny, as this time Slayer was also headlining (but the day before us) and it was also raining, even though it stopped exactly when we entered the stage. Fortunately we didn't left anything behind this time. Sad to hear Lemmy is very ill and Motörhead had to cancel their slot, but it felt good when Phil Anselmo in DOWN celebrated Lemmy in front of all 30.000 fans and got them all to scream "Lemmy, Lemmy, Lemmy" just to show how much we all respect him. Phil is a great guy with tons of attitude, and i just love his vocals, both in DOWN and previously in Pantera. I remember when i saw the last Pantera show in Sweden back in 2001 and i said to myself "god damn this guy has more attitude than the rest of the audio industry together, and rocks the shit out of everone else". Nothing has changed there for sure!
We had a great show and lots of fun. The fact that i have been working out at the gym since january is really showing results. I have so much more energy than earlier, and a show at a big stage like this was not as tough as it was in the past. After our show we went to a big signing session with shitloads of fans. I was a bit surprised so many showed up as this happened at the same time DOWN was wrapping up the last songs on stage. Back in our backstage lounge again we met one of the guys behind the board game "Rock Science" and we all got our own copy of the game to bring home. That was really cool as i had been thinking of getting one ever since i heard about the release. I mean, a game full of rock questions only, it just cannot get any better, can it? Finally we can get together with a crate of beer and a board game that actually fits our intellect! hehe :-)
When the rest of the mob stayed at the backstage area to party with Phil Anselmo i went to the hotel to get some work done and some good nights sleep. The hotel was way down close to the bottom of my list - i thought there were no hotel rooms where you could smoke in 2013, but apparently i was wrong. My room smelled like shit and i had to keep the window open all night. They had even put an ash-tray at the bedstand! Anyway, next morning after breakfast (Breakfastpoints: 6) we left to Berlin again and flew back home to Stockholm. Well, only David, André and myself as Peter and the crew went to another festival with Hypocrisy.
Now a few weeks of well deserved summer holiday awaits and next show is another festival in Germany, July 26th. Until then, have a drink on me and don't pay for any extra luggage in advance at any time!
PAIN at With Full Force 2013 - Thank you! (Photo: Alex Becker)
Me at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
David at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
André at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
Peter at With Full Force 2013 (Photo: Alex Becker)
Packing my stuff the evening before the show - 200 picks? hmmm..
At Arlanda Airport parking with all our stuff waiting to get to the terminal
Standing in line for check-in, confused and tired gang as always :-)
Finally arrived backstage at With Full Force Festival after a boring ride from Berlin
The stage we played, but here is the band DOWN with Phil Anselmo playing after us
Our signing session accompanioned with AC/DC beers
Look at this beast i found backstage - the coolest bike i've ever seen!
Peter & André is doing an interview with themselves... well, you don't wanna know...
When i came to my hotel room this message met me at the TV set - Mr or Mrs Pain?
At Berlin airport about to fly back home to Stockholm again
David is boarding the plane back to Stockholm
The summary of this trip, with my absolute favorite: The "fritz-kola" beer opener! :-)

Kiev, Ukraine

It is not too often i am flying out to a PAIN show completely alone, without any of the other maniacs. First time i did this was at Metaltown in Gothenburg last year, second time was this weekend. Honestly i must say it's pretty nice :-)
But at Arlanda Airport i found some of the guys from TIAMAT who were also going to the same festival, so i was not entirely alone but had good travel companions. All other maniacs were flying in from other places for various reasons (like Sweden Rock Festival). After a short flight to Tallinn, we were heading for the connecting flight to Kiev. We had time for a few beers while we were waiting in Tallinn, and this is also were we should meet the rest of the gang, but no. Not until we sat in the plane in Tallinn and were about to close the doors, they all stepped in one by one in a line of guily late passengers. Now it felt like normal PAIN trip again...
We arrived in Kiev and went straight to our hotel, which was a floating boat-kinda thingy tied to the shore of one of the islands in Kiev. Cool place and a very nice atmosphere. As soon as i had left my bag in the room i went to the restaurant to get something to eat, and found our friends from Tiamat and Clawfinger there as well. After the dinner we (PAIN) were all picked up by a van and were supposed to go to the festival area. Well, supposed to. When we came to the other island where the festival was located, we were not allowed to pass throug hthe gates that were close to the stage... The strict guards didn't care at all that we were the band who were headlining the festival and just said to our driver that we have to take the same entrance as anyone else. Hehe, i thought this was really cool and we had to drive around the island through the deep forest until we finally hit the festival area. Of course it was impossible to drive through all people everywhere so our driver just opened the door and let us out. Surrounded by guards we had to squeeze ourselves through the crowd in the sand and finally arrived at the stage. Now, this was another really cool and unexpected sight, the stage was also (just as our hotel) a boat, tied to the beach with all 15.000 people standing by the beach with a few metres of water between them and the stage. I have never seen anything like it.
We were in Ukraine first time in May 2007 when we did a show in Kiev at CKM NAU. I think we have been there two more times so this must be the fourth time. You think you know what to expect in cases like this, but you don't. Really, and i mean that in a good way. Expect the unexpected, and i always do. The show was fantastic, one of our very best i must say. We had shitloads of fun on stage and i think we did a very good show, even though we hadn't played together for a few months now. The audience was totally crazy and probably one of the loudest ever in PAIN world. You never expect a living fish to come flying up on stage, and we had never expected that, but that also happened. Expect the unexpected. It is really priceless to be standing there in front of 15.000 screaming people on a beach, on a huge boat-stage, with the view of almost entire Kiev in the background and only a few metres of water between us and the audience in a nice evening in June. Okay, the sound on stage sucked bigtime as they didn't have any monitor console and we had some other minor issues, but that didn't matter at all when you are in a situation like that. If it sounded good out there in the audience, we are happy anyway.
After the show we were heading off to a signing session, again with about 10 bodyguards in a circle around us. It took almost 1,5 hours until every fan had got their autograph and we could jump into the van and go back to the hotel again. Me and Johan sat in the lobby bar with a few drinks and discussed music and then went to bed. I had a smile on my face when i fell asleep, as i had once again got myself a crazy experience. Expect the unexpected.
The next day i woke up by a sound like the whole hotel was falling apart. After a few minutes when i became a bit more clear the sound came again and i realised it was the flush from the toilets on the floors above me. We had our rooms on the bottom floor and i guess all pipes passed my room hence the noise. But it was fine, as i had slept for 7 hours which is luxury anyway. I had breakfast in the restaurant with Hede and the Clawfinger guys (Breakfastpoints: 5) and then got myself ready for the day. As our flight out of Ukraine was not until 8:20pm we had a full day to kill. We asked our promotor if we could go to Tjernobyl but were told it was too far and also not that easy to get in there with such short notice. Okay, so we asked if we could get a Kiev sightseeing and that was arranged for us with no hassle at all.
We got a van and a guide and we drove up the hills of Pechersk by the Dnieper river in Kiev. Here we spent many hours watching the wonderful view of the city of Kiev but also visiting the "Museum of the great patriotic war" that includes the amazing "Motherland monument" and the "Military Museum". The Motherland Sculpture monument is a 62m tall stainless steel statue (102m including the building it was built on) and is in fact the tallest in the world. The Military Museum is a memorial complex commemorating the German-Soviet war and was originally opened by Leonid Brezhnev on the "victory day" May 9th 1981. It was a fantastic experience (see the pictures) and a great day in 38 degrees as Kiev showed us its very best side of things. Unfortunately we almost got arrested when we had a cold beer in the sun which apparently was strictly forbidden... After our guide had been in a discussion with the law enforcement for a long time it was suggested that we had to go to the police station. But the guard suddenly got distracted and forgot about us when he saw someone who lighted up a cigarrette - that was also forbidden :-)
It all went fine in the end and after the experience on the hill we went downtown to have some local lunch from Ukraine, which was also very interesting. I cannot remember what it was called so i leave that part out, but we had a mixtire of soups (both warm and cold), bread and mixed dishes. We really got our share of Kiev and the Ukraine culture this day! This is a very cool city and by doing this sightseeing i know so much more about Ukraine and the history it holds. I like the fact that it resides a proud feeling amongst the citizens of Ukraine, and i believe they are happy people.
Thank you Kiev and Ukraine for having us as your guests once again, it was a pleasure as always. You always show us your very best side and we are treated better than we deserve. Looking forward to our next visit.
Packing my stuff the day before i went to Ukraine - took two RRX on this trip
With Lars from TIAMAT at the airport having a beer-break
Just arrived in Kiev Boryspil airport
The hotel where we stayed in Kiev - Bakkara Accord
Dinner before the show, with PAIN, TIAMAT & CLAWFINGER
The way to the festival area...
Very cool and different festival environment: boat-stage with audience on the beach
Priceless view from the backside of our stage: Kiev
Happy after a 1,5 hour signing session
Saying goodbye to TIAMAT when we went back home again
Another view of our hotel, from the bridge to the island
Me, David, Hede, Dennis & Emanuel in front of "Motherland Monument"
Watching the monuments of the great wars, huge and impressive statues
On the hill with the view of entire Kiev in the background
This was so cool - to sit in a MIG plane...
...and the view inside! :-)
In front of one of the tanks (it was military green on the other side)
Lunch in downtown Kiev
David was really tired on our way back home again and fell asleep sitting down...
My summary of the trip: "Basilur Cream Fantasy" sounds a bit odd...

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