Slippery when wet in Scandinavia
I’m quite late with this blog, but I needed some time to think about releasing it at all, since my last travel was a little different than expected.
11.December: I started my travel to Scandinavia very early in the morning and with 2 stops, I arrived at my first destination Copenhagen at around 20:00. The travel was nice without any traffic jams or any other problems.
12. December: This is a day I will not forget so easily. I slept very well, but before breakfast I took a shower and sadly slipped away and felt very bad on my back. I had a very heavy pain and could not stand up for some minutes. Luckily I could feel my legs. I spend the whole day in the bed of my hotel and the pain did not disappear. I tried to do sightseeing in Copenhagen, but it was not possible, so I did not see much of this beautiful city. I also thought in going to a hospital, but then my concert travel would have been over. I could not sleep the night and still struggled between giving up the whole travel and continuing. I could not sleep very much and the pain was there next day as well, but I somehow brought my baggage to my car and could somehow drive. I decided to continue my travel and drove 300 km to Sweden for the first Christmas Metal symphony concert. At that time I did not know that the injury was more serious than I thought and I had a half broken lumbar vertebra.
13. December: I arrived after some hours in Trollhättan and had to fight with carrying my baggage to the hotel. I was not sure if I could make it to the concert hall, but it was only around 700 meters away from the hotel. With several stops, I made it there. When I arrived there were not so many people and in the end we maybe had around 500 people. Luckily there were sitting place which I took immediately. Cameras were forbidden in this concert hall, so everyone took pictures with his smartphone. Hmmm, a strange thing to forbid taking pictures with a pocket camera and allowing smartphones who often have the same resolution. Nevertheless the concert started at around 20:00. It started with an instrumental into and Chuck Billy was the first singer. Every singer made a block of his songs, so after Chuck left after 2 songs, Kiske started quite early with his part and was introduce by Chuck. Kiske started with ‘March of Time’, which really sounded great with orchestra. He had little problems in this song, which was maybe only because it was the first show. His voice was perfect as always. Then Kiske introduced ‘Longing’ as a track of his last Helloween album and that he was happy that CMS accepted his suggestion. The audience reacted great to this song. Then ‘I Want Out’ followed as the last song of his part, and he told the audience that it was requested by CMS masterminds. The finale was a little different than expected and a classic Christmas song ‘Silent Night’with almost all singers, also Kiske. But they quite messed up the lyrics. I went back to my hotel with many stops and also very tired.
14. December: The next day my pain in the back was sadly still there, but at least I could sleep a little better and after breakfast drove again around 300 km to Kristianstad, the 2nd Swedish concert. After arriving in this very nice little city, I could sadly do no sightseeing there because of the pain and had to rest in my hotel. Again the concert hall was only around 800 meters away from the hotel. When I arrived at the location, there were again only few audiences and in the end around the same amount of people than the day before. I was very happy that this concert hall had also sitting places which I needed badly. Another good thing was that there were no restrictions of pocket camera, so I could take some nice pictures. The audiences were a little calmer than yesterday and the sound had the same problems like yesterday. It was often too loud and the orchestra was hardly hearable. It also had some improvements and Kiske seemed to be in a little better shape than yesterday and I could not detect any little mistake. He also interacted a little more with the audience. After the end of the Kiske songs, the audience started with Kiske, Kiske callings and it seemed he was the one that most of the guys had been waiting for. Very slowly and with pain I made it back to my hotel, but I had at least a little recovery of my back and could sleep and sit with a little less pain, but walking was still terrible.
15.-17. December: Originally I planned to do a stop for some days in Hamburg for sightseeing, but skipped the idea because of my back injury. I drove around 1000 km back home from Sweden directly to my hometown. I also though again in going to hospital, but I feared that I would have to stay there, so I skipped this as well and took some more painkillers. I stayed some days at home for resting and also thought in cancelling some of the concerts.
18. December: I decided to try also the Bochum concert, since the concert hall was directly next to my hotel. I also met Basti there for the first time of this tour and again thanks for organizing something to eat for me. JI later went with Basti to the concert hall and sadly again also only too few audiences. This concert hall had no sitting places, but I was luckily allowed to enter the sitting places for handicapped people due to my injury. The concert started again at 20:00 and when Kiske appeared it was sadly hearable that he had a flu and he even mentioned it himself and that he will try the song with the help of the audience. And that ‘March Of Time’ is a ‘Bitch’ today. But also with flu, he sang good, especially ‘Longing’. This was also the first concert where Joacim Cans entered the cast with 2 songs. The final part of the show was again ‘Silent Night’ and this time it was much better done, with Orchestra support and also Joacim Cans joining Kiske, Floor, Udo and Chuck.
19. December: Then I decided to skip the next concert in Prague, because the distance was too long and I needed more resting for my back, so I drove home.
20. December: Originally I planned to cancel the next show as well, but since my back was a little better after resting, I decided to go to Obertraubling as well. It was a travel of around 300km and I arrived early there, so time for resting in the hotel. Later I met Basti there again and the concert location of Airport Obertraubling was a very nice location designed like an Airport. The concert hall itself was smaller than at previous shows, but it was really filled in the end. I could find a sitting place at some of the steps with a good view. Michael Kiske still has his flu, but he sang well despite this handicap. There was a little confusion at the beginning and Kiske didn’t find the entrance to the stage. Another funny thing was that Kiske wanted to drink something before he started ‘March of Time’, but the band didn’t notice that he was not ready yet and just started playing. It was the best reactions to Kiske on this evening and always Kiske, Kiske shoutings during the songs. Kiske even sad, sadly it is over now and that he is only allowed to sing 3 songs. He really enjoyed the audience. The setlist did not change from Bochum, with one little exception; Kiske did not participate in ‘Silent Night’ this time, for sure to have some more resting for his voice for the final show.
21. December: The next day I travelled a few hours to Balingen for the last concert of Christmas Metal Symphony. I did as well some resting in the hotel first before the concert and then drove to the concert hall with my car. It was done in a concert hall which is part of the Bang your Head Festival area. Luckily the concert hall was better filled than in the first shows of this tour. Sadly at this concert hall there were no sitting places and I had to sit down on the ground for around 80% of the concert, but it was ok, since I had already seen it 4 times. ;) I was only standing during the Kiske part and also for a few other songs of the set. When Kiske entered the stage, he made some comments about some of the shows less crowded and that he would have been happy avoiding the flu. His flu was hearable in the songs, but it was still a good performance, despite that he sounded rougher than used to. After ‘Phantom of the Opera’ the whole crew entered the stage and the organizers of Bang your head as well. Then ‘Silent Night’ followed and this time again with Kiske and a great tour was over.
This was also the end of my concert travel and time for more resting for my back and of course preparing for Christmas. After the tour I was at the doctor for X Rays and I soon have an appointment for an MRI examination to check if the broken vertebra heals without a surgery. Luckily I have no pain at sitting and laying in bed anymore. A little walking with the help of a cane is also possible again and I can manage my daily life. So hopefully for the next tour, I’m completely recovered. I'm very sure that I will manage this and everything else in my life, since I'm not a drama queen and shit just happens in life. ;)