Our wake-up time was at 5 am Finnish time which means that the time in England was 3 am. Being nervous about the trip I barely slept at all anyway - not the best start for a trip of a lifetime. We got to Manchester ½ hour behind schedule and had to run to the train and guess what - we just saw it leaving when we arrived to the platform. An hour to wait till the next train. I tried to call Annie, she was part of the team who arranged Gods. Didn't get a hold of her. Finally the hour went by and off to Wigan we were.
The traintrip took about an hour and we arrived in Wigan at noon. I was already pretty upset thinking that we were going to miss some of the bands and didn't exactly know where our hotel was. We found our hotel easily though. It was just few hundred meters away from Maxim's where Gods was held. Time to check in to our hotel and guess what - our room was not ready. "What else is new", I thought. We left our bags at the hotel and off to Maxim's we went. We also put on our brand new L'n'C t-shirts .
We got there around 12:30 pm and the music was loud and I thought "damn, we missed someone". Luckily it was only the DJ's playing good music. There were stands where they were selling magazines, shirts CD's and all the stuff that one could want to buy. We walked around and had beers.
Finally showtime. Lost Weekend was the first one to hit the stage. Their set was really short but they impressed me with a really good set of songs. I hadn't heard them before so I thought "what a good start for the show", because the day really hadn't gone the way I planned. There were not that many people listening to Lost Weekend, which I thought was sad because they had really good songs.
Next to hit the stage was Street Legal. The guitar player looked like a Bono wanna-be and the bass player/singer reminded me of Waltari's singer. The played tunes from their Thunderdome album. The set list will be seen on our pages, I managed to get my hands on that. The best song that I think that they have is "Chasing The Rainbow" and it really kicked ass live. Some fists were pumping in the air but still the crowd was small and it really was sad once again.
Now it was over 2 pm and and the next one to hit the stage was Praying Mantis. The guys were having beers at the bar till the last minute and signing stuff and talking to the fans which was really nice. I even got some signings on a promoshot that I had with me.
We missed the show because we needed to check in at our hotel and made it back to the final last songs and they sounded great. Sadly we missed it. Oh, yeah our hotelroom still wasn't ready and we needed to wait another ½ hour extra.
Next to hit the stage was Teer, that I really wanted to see because they had gotten so good reviews from last year's show and their record is really good. The guys rocked and seemed to have fun again. Now there were more people so the the atmosphere was getting much better and people were getting more into the mood of the show. Teer is a really good band and they're really nice guys too. They're ones to watch for in the next few years. They need a support slot with a major tour because people really need to hear these guys. I have a interview coming up from Teer when they get back to States. Hopefully it will be really soon.
Ok, now it was time to hear Kip Winger and his guitar. Finally the floor was full of people and they were singing to the lyrics. Kip was really worth seeing. He played "Miles Away" and so on, and it was really nice to hear those songs live once again. Maybe a reunion coming because at least here the response was great. Kip stayed out and gave autographs to everyone who wanted to get something signed. The guy really wasn't an egomaniac. He was relaxed and seemed to enjoy the evening. It was one of those moments that I will never forget and I got my cd cover signed as well.
Johnny Lima with long hair, nowhere to be seen, just look at the pictures I took. Lima rocked and his songs were great. He even played "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. Who cares if one doesn't remember all the words... It was really good show by Lima and the guys from Teer were backing him up. Thge lights went down on Lima and I guess he got little upset about that, but still was a sport signing stuff and taking pictures.
Now we were really beat and barely stayed awake anymore. Next to hit the stage was Millenium and when I was looking at the other guitar player I noticed that it was the guy from Teer, he does play in both bands . Now people were really into the show and Millenium will be along with Teer a band to watch out for. Their singer Jorn is amazing.
Sadly I started to feel little sick and Tina could barely stay up anymore. We decide to go to the hotel and get Tina to bed. I thought I would get her to the hotel and get back to Maxim's. I guessed wrong. I laid myself to the bed just for few minutes and next thing I remeber I looked at the clock and it was 3 am. The show was gone and I missed my longtime favourite Poley. Man was I pissed.
The bands that I missed were Melodica (got a signature though), The Sign, ( Saw the guys arriving to Maxim's) Two Fires and Ten. There were people at our hotelbar and all I could hear that they will go in when Ten starts playing. I guess there were more people to see Ten but I was in dreamland.
What I have to say that I was a bit disappointed because 11 bands to see one after another and to try to report about them is a really hard job in a place where there is no fresh air. I know somebody will have a whole review of Gods 2000 but for me the nature took its' toll. Fosters doesn't keep me going on like it did when I was 20! The only good thing was that one was allowed to go outside if one wanted and still be able to get back in.
There were people sleeping around the floors and the most popular drink was Red Bull. The time Millenium hit the stage I saw so many tired people that I have never seen before in a concert where there is great music played. There were zombies walking around Maxim's. Maybe the 2 day event would be better and next time I will be there a day early because no-one can survive without food and sleep.
What made me happy was the fact that there were T-shirts from Finnish bands Nightwish and Stratovarius. Our t-shirts gained some attention, hopefully we'll get extra visitors to our site. I gave out few t-shirts and they went across the Atlantic.
Like I said it was not the thing I hoped it was but it was still worth every minute I was able to stay up. Next year I'll be there again but way better prepared.
the flying reporter
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