OK, so this blog has been kind of quiet during this week, but at least there's been a good reason for it. That reason is that I traveled with the band I play guitar for (My Turn) for a one of a kind show with TRIAL and ANCHOR in Sofia, Bulgaria on the 26th of September. In the following article I will write a few things about out roadtrip and especially about the awesome show we witnessed.
I will begin by saying that we left for Sofia on Sunday morning and we had just played a show the previous night (on the 24th). So I guess that we all were a little worn out even before starting the roadtrip. But everyone who's dedicated to the music he/she loves knows that the fatigue is definitely nothing compared to the experiences gained through this lifestyle. Anyways... so we started traveling north for about 5 hours and stopped at Thessaloniki, the second biggest Greek city which is situated not more than 3-4 hours away from Sofia (our destination). We met with our friend Nick from ETERNAL HATED, and we went out for food and chilled with some friends at a square somewhere in town. We then crashed at his house after chilling and talking. I slept on a bed with two of my bandmates that night. Classy, huh?
The next day we got up, washed etc and we went to get some food supplies for the remaining roadtrip. Being a vegan, it is not always easy for me to be on the road, so usually I have to plan beforehand. Off to the super market, then. We got on the road and after a couple of hours we crossed the Bulgarian border. I was already pretty psyched about seeing TRIAL that night. I was listening to their whole discography on my MP3 player in the car and was continuously getting more and more wired, while the eastern European landscape pictures constantly changed outside the car window.
After a few hours we we arrived at Sofia and found our way to The Box, the club the show was at. We were the first band to arrive, so we just unpacked and went to eat lunch and get some guitar strings etc. When we came back to the club all the bands were in the venue, setting up the merch so we got to work and did the same. It was 5 bands playing that night, so the dudes from the bands alone were kind of enough to create a pretty lively atmosphere. Soon enough, the show was ready to start and TAKING HOLD, the only Bulgarian band playing that night took the stage. These guys play tight heavy/melodic old school hardcore with nice melodies and super groovy beatdowns. They had a lot of friends with them who knew all the lyrics (they were singing in Bulgarian) and they put on a short but definitely awesome set.
We (MY TURN) got on stage straight away TH's show and had about 20 minutes to play as much as we could from our set, so we obviously had to axe some songs. It was the second time we've played in Sofia, and we kind of already had some friends and some people who knew us, so the show went down pretty well. We also had a crew of Greek hardcore kids who traveled for this particular show, and it was awesome to have them represent Greek HC, and see them in such a different and unknown context.
The reality of the matter is that I felt kind of relieved when we finished playing our show, cause then I could enjoy the rest of the bands without worrying about our shit. RUN WITH THE HUNTED took the stage and played their Deathwish-influenced, discordant hardcore. They honestly seemed like great dudes, even though their style of hardcore is definitely not my personal favorite style. Nevertheless, they were pretty tight and quite possibly the most extreme (musically) band of the night!
Run With The Hunted
As the night progressed, it was time for the bigger bands to take the stage. ANCHOR is one of the most well-known European hardcore bands these days, and I just couldn't wait to see what they had to offer. Moreover, being vegan straight edge myself, I was really proud to finally see a band which openly represents the values I believe in and that have shaped my life in such an important way. ANCHOR played a nice enough set, but I don't think it had the urgency and intensity that I expected from them. Maybe they were kind of tired or something... They had the awesome guitar work and the nice hardcore anthems that are worshipped on their albums, but in my opinion they needed something more.
We had reached the end of the show and it was time for TRIAL, the 90s hardcore legends. We had waited for a long time and the night was about to end, but with a blast. They typically started of with the symphonic intro to the song "Reflections", and then - like it usually happens at TRIAL shows - the whole place erupted. Greg Bennick must be one of the best frontmen that I have ever seen, with such passion and intensity and integrity. The things he says to the crowd in between songs are just pure gold, things that help you with your own life and that you can carry with you forever. So TRIAL delivered all their 90s classics which are as relevant today as they were back then. I honestly lost my mind and moshed my ass off during their show. I've been thinking that I'm a little too old to mosh sometimes, but I don't think I had another choice during that particular show!
And just like that, it was all over. In typical hardcore tradition, we hung out outside the club for a while after the show and we went to EAT like crazy. We were all kinda tired but we couldn't actually feel it from the excitement of the show. We went and sat down and everyone looked happy and full of the energy that only a hardcore show can give you. We devoured tons of food and Coke and it was time to call it a night and go to the places we were going to sleep. I slept at Niki's, the dude who put on the show and runs UGLY & PROUD Records. In his bedroom he showed me a drawer with lots of hardcore fanzines and I spent quite a few hours reading them, until I was utterly exhausted and had to just pass out. The next day we had a whole day of traveling in order to get our asses back to Athens. It is hard but I knew that an exhausting week full of work was waiting for me back home.
Special thanks to Natalia for the pix... check out her blog at: http://zombey.tumblr.com/