||Japanese tour (18.7.-23.7.)
|18th of July, 2007. Arrival in Nagoya|
After a long flight we arrived in Nagoya around mid-morning. After departing Helsinki, we had made a stop in Frankfurt to pick up our tour manager, Jörg Michael. All in all, the trip had taken 13 hours of flying and a 4- hour wait (plus a two hour train ride I had to take from Tampere to Helsinki). I went about twenty hours without sleep, if you don’t count the few eyefuls of chemically-induced slumber I got between drinks on the plane ; )
Since it was morning when we arrived, we decided to try to stay awake and get into a normal daily rhythm. The first gig wouldn’t be until the following night. After freshening up a bit we got our hands on some cold Asahi at a store around the cornerand started getting situated. In the afternoon we had a production meeting with the local crew where we talked about things like the technical rider. The bunch of us was dead tired, naturally, but we stuck it out till the evening, rounding the dayout with a bite to eat at the Hard Rock Café Nagoya.
19th of July, 2007. Zepp Nagoya, Nagoya
Facing my first-ever gig in Japan (or anywhere outside Finland, for that matter), I was naturally a bit jittery, but luckily we got to take our time with the sound check, and the show itself went great. I got an awesome reception from the fans, for which I’m really grateful. Also in the crowd was a rep from Ibanez, so I was totally fired up! The set list (for this and all the shows) looked like this:
1.Intro In Black And White
2.Paid In Full
4.For The Sake Of Revenge
10.It Won't Fade
12.Guitar & Key Solo
15.Don't Say A Word
16.The Cage ~Vodka~ Nukkumatti
20th of July, 2007. Namba Hatch, Osaka
In the afternoon we found ourselves in Osaka after a few hours on the train. I was really looking forward to this evening’s gig. With a great show the previous night, I was feeling a lot more relaxed before the show, and I’m pretty sure it showed on stage, too. The whole band was in top form and the gig went great... and still another two rockin’ shows coming up in Tokyo! We celebrated a great day by grabbing dinner at the Hard Rock Café Osaka, where the staff honored us by playing Unia all the way through. They also closed off the store, so we could do some shopping undisturbed. Afterwards we popped into a small local rock bar for a couple of drinks. A bunch of fans had wandered in, along with some guys from Guns ‘n’ Roses. We had a blast!
21th of July, 2007. Shibuya-AX, Tokyo
Morning. Once again on the train, this time headed for Tokyo. We were staying at the Akasaka Grand Prince Hotel, which is a skyscraper in the true sense of the word, with views to match- although my room was “only” on the 21st floor : ) We did some promo stuff like photo signing and a video greeting for Creative Man. The venue was absolutely jam-packed with fans, and we had a blast both onstage and off! The night was topped off by dinner with the staff and directors of Marquee.
22th of July, 2007. Shibuya-AX, Tokyo
The morning’s schedule allowed for a bit of shopping, so Tony, Tommy and I decided to take the opportunity. While the rest of the band and crew were at the hotel recovering from the previous night’s shindig, Tony and Tommy continued shopping and I headed to the Marquee office, where I had an interview scheduled with Young Guitar Magazine. I also got a chance to visit the ESP Custom Shop. Talk about a kid in a candy store! The place was crammed with custom axes, effects, and all things guitar.
Emotions ran high, and the show that evening remains in my mind the best one on this tour. Later on, we dined with the crew and management of Creative Man at, you guessed it, the Hard Rock!
23th of July, 2007.Leaving for Helsinki
There’s a time for everything, and now was the time to go home.The way there would be long and arduous.The things I’ll remember about Japan are the hospitality, the awesome fans, the sheer number of people and how smoothly everything worked. The places we played were absolutely great rock clubs! There’s just one thing I didn’t quite get, though: heated toilet seats. I’m not sure if they’re all that necessary ?
I would like to thank my band mates, our crew, the local crew, our tour manager, everybody at Creative Man, everybody at Marquee and first and foremost, the fans!
Until we meet again, I remain