Baltic Sea, somewhere between Riga and Stockholm 9th November 2014
On Sunday, the boat arrived at Riga’s Tallink ferry terminal at 10:30 in the morning, which in Latvia meant 11:00. As the departure back to Stockholm was scheduled for four-and-a-half hours later, most people went on land to sightsee and get cheaper alcohol. Others, like us, also took the chance to have lunch. Now I wish I could tell you that we sat on a typical Latvian restaurant and had a very local meal, but we came across this flashy American-looking place, with a ‘60s-themed interior design, and we obviously didn’t go any further, ending up having burgers, pizza and Caesar salad. Ah well.
Back on board, the first band would take the Sky Bar stage 18:20 but I was interviewing The End Of Grace around that time, so I missed those blue-ish rockers Trainwreck Remedys. As after the interview I lingered chatting with the TEoG boys, I also missed the “heavier harder melodic hardrock” of Haven, who came next on the same stage. But for BatAAr, who was the other band of this cruise that I REALLY wanted to see, I made sure to be on the front row a few minutes before they hit the Starlight Palace stage, at 20:00. They kicked off with their latest single “Riskbreaker” and for the next half hour they delivered a dazzling mixture of sounds in an enthralling performance.
The choices began after BatAAr. Dismissing the Guitar Battle on Sky Bar, I just had to choose between InSpite and Kerbera. And since I was already on Starlight Palace, Kerbera it was. Terrible choice! There was a large number of people way before their gig started, so I thought they’d be good, and so the disappointment was bigger. I don’t know if singer Seike was just having a bad day, but he was constantly going out of tune! Now either people just didn’t care like I did, or that’s really his way of singing, as the crowd was all happy about it… After two songs I was sure it wouldn’t get any better so I gave up and went to the Club Hell stage, where I definitely should have gone in the first place – InSpite were kicking ass up there!
Then I went and indulged my rocker side by attending White Trash Heroes. But I still had time to drop by Sky Bar, where the Guitar Battle was still raging and shoot a couple of pics of Herman Frodit from Skitarg.
White Trash Heroes is not only the name of a band but also the title of the 5th and last album that Fatal Smile released before splitting up. Which is no coincidence as WTH, the band, was born from the ashes of Fatal Smile, featuring the three members that joined the latter in 2007 – Alx, Blade and Philty. With guitarist Snake, they’ve been performing the songs of the three Fatal Smile albums they’ve played on, but I think my broken Swedish caught a few words about something new coming up. Whatever the case, it was a great show.
Fearless would be on Club Hell for just five more minutes when White Trash Heroes were done on Starlight Palace, so I went straight to Sky Bar to catch the second half of the Black Magic Fools gig – their medieval-folk-meets-heavy-metal is always a treat.
Between Lizette & and Hellshaker, the first won my vote and there I went back to Starlight Palace. It was running late and Lizette apologized, but I didn’t understand what happened (broken Swedish, remember?). But when it started, it was worth the waiting. And their alternative rock was clearly quite popular among the crowd, which contributed to a very good vibe.
Pray For Locust was another band that I was eager to check out and it totally paid out. Plus, guitarist Jerry is leaving the band so it felt good being there supporting one of his last shows.
I wanted to check out Dynazty afterwards, but the whole up-and-down between stages (plus the trip to Stockholm from London, where I’d see Deathstars the night before) was starting to get a toll on me. Not to mention that the following day I had two flights and a 5-hour period between them until I returned home. So I called it a night, leaving also Warthog, Sideburn and Von Trath for another time.