Rise Against trip to London & Cardiff, 20th-23rd November 2009

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Dic 11 2009, 23:55

Our London & Cardiff trip for RISE AGAINST, 20th-23rd November

It took me one week to realise what happened the last weekend. I know I said this quite a few times after a cool show but this has really been the best time of my life.

It all started on November 20th at 3:30 AM when I had to get out of my bed and catch the flight to London Stansted at 6:30 AM.
So my parents drove me to the Hannover airport and everything was just fine.
I hate flying, but hey, as long as I am seeing my favourite band the next day and the day after, I don’t mind. :)
So when the plane arrived at 6:55 in London, I had absolutely no idea where to go to and I just followed the crowd. There must be some information desk where they could tell me how to get to London Victoria, the place where I was going to meet my friend phaa. <3
At 10:15 AM the bus finally arrived at the Victoria Coach station (30 minutes later than scheduled), where my friend already waited for me.
We were really hungry so it was about time to find some nice place to get food.
After that we thought we could try to find our hostel and try to check-in already. But we were too early and had to wait til 2pm for it.
Our plan for this day was to check out the famous shopping mall Harrods.
So when we finally check in we relaxed a bit at the hostel and got ready to see Harrods. I was pretty shocked when I saw the prices over there. 8 pounds for a small teddy bear? No way!
At the end we didn’t buy anything there and thought that it’s better to keep the money. Back at the hostel, and all I wanted was a shower and fuck off to bed.
This was a problem since the hostel showers were probably the most disgusting that I’ve ever seen. It was dirty and no place to keep your fresh clothes on. Ugh!
But somehow I managed to survive the shower in this hostel and get my sleep, tomorrow would be the first gig!

9:00 AM, time to wake up and start our first gig day with a “nice” breakfast. At least that’s what we were hoping for but big fail, the breakfast was almost as awful as the showers. No plates and no knives, I thought they were kidding me! and the only good thing that you could get there was the jam with some toasts.
So at 11:30 we got on the bus which drove us directly to the Brixton Academy in London. We arrived there at 12 but we weren’t the first ones!
There were already 2 girls waiting who actually only came for the support band Thursday (I’m so thankful that Rise Against picked this amazing band to be their support, more about it later on ).
I wanted to check out the area to see where the tourbuses were standing and so we walked around for a bit. Then we got back to the girls and sit back in the queue. One of the things I had always wanted to do when I come to London was to eat my very first Fish and Chips, the day before we didn’t really find a restaurant where they had F&C on the card. Just in this expensive area around Harrods (9,95 pounds for Fish and Chips, this is definitely not cheap! >.<).
But we find a Döner Kebab bar and I finally got the food I wanted. :)
Around 2pm my friend and I saw that some people were standing around the band entrance and we thought that these people could possibly be band members of Thursday. “Let’s go there and talk to them” I thought. When we got closer I could definitely see that these guys were from Thursday and I started smiling like an idiot. Piia talked and I could really tell that these guys are freaking nice, especially Geoff. He was really impressed when we said that we are from Finland and Germany. So of course I had to ask them for a photo.
Haha so after that we got back to queue and wait for the entrance. We asked the girls if they could hold our spot, cause we still tried to meet Rise Against before the gig. And we were lucky! They arrived at about 4:20 pm and we shortly talked to Tim. He’s an amazing dude who always takes the time for his fans.
Entrance was at 7 pm so we decided to finally take our place in the queue and wait til we finally get in the Brixton Academy. The weather pretty much ruined it, just typical English! :P
When we finally got into the hall (we were the first ones) some security told me the wrong direction and I was afraid that I might lose my spot at the front, luckily my friend was already at the barriers and we had the best spot ever – front row dead center! Fuck yeah!

Poison the Well entered the stage at 7:30 pm and started the show with “Botchla”. They’re a really cool live band and know how to rock the big Brixton Academy! My friend and I were mostly looking forward to PTW’s song “Prematurito el baby”, which was played as the 4th song. Here is the full playlist:

1.Botchla
2.Zombies Are Good For Your Health
3.Antarctica Inside Me
4.Prematurito El Baby
5.Apathy Is A Cold Body
6.Sparks It Will Rain
7.Letter Thing
8.For a Bandaged Iris

We had a great time during their set, it seemed like that not too many were familiar with their songs. Anyway, we had to wait for about 20 minutes ‘til Thursday entered the stage! :)
I’ve already seen them 10 days ago at their show and Bremen and knew that these guys are a great live band. But this time they seriously blew my mind!
Unfortunately they had a shorter set than in Germany (7 songs; 9 songs in Germany) and it was the first time ever that I was sad that a support band has this short time to play.
My highlight was during “Division St.” when singer Geoff jumped in the crowd, directly in my face. Everyone started to push from the back, like they all wanted to touch him. I just grabbed his hand while he was hanging in the crowd, for about 20 seconds. Awesomeness. ♥
If they come back next year for a headlining show, I’m definitely going to be there! Here’s their playlist:

1.The Other Side Of The Crash / Over and Out (Of Control)
2.Understanding In A Car Crash
3.Resuscitation Of A Dead Man (feat. Tim McIlrath)
4.At This Velocity
5.Division St.
6.Circuits Of Fever
7.Jet Black New Year

So now it was all about Rise Against. All people started pushing again, and you could feel that the crowd was excited to see RA so soon.
It was 9:20 pm when Rise Against started their amazing live show with “Collapse (Post-Amerika)”. You could easily feel their passion for what they’re doing on stage. Tim is an amazing live singer and definitely knows how to put on a great live show.
It was great to see all people’s fists in the air during “Chamber the Cartridge” when Tim wanted us all to sing “RISE! RISE! RISE!” with him.
Also had a great time when they played their only “old” song, “Blood-Red, White and Blue” which is one of my all time favourite songs by Rise Against. I just wish that they would play more older songs at the shows, all fans love their old stuff, they just don’t know that. ;)
This was for me definitely my favourite Rise show this year, even though the setlist was a bit disappointing for me (they didn’t even change one song from the list which they play since more than 3 months)

So here’s their playlist for London and all the other shows:

1.Collapse (Post-Amerika)
2.State of the Union
3.Re-Education (Through Labor)
4.Paper Wings
5.Long Forgotten Sons
6.The Good Left Undone
7.Chamber the Cartridge
8.Drones
9.The Dirt Whispered
10.Audience of One
11.Blood To Bleed
12.Savior
13.Survive
14.Blood-Red, White and Blue
15.Prayer of the Refugee
16.Swing Life Away
17.Hero of War
18.Dancing for Rain
19.Give It All
20.Ready To Fall

After this hot & sweaty show we still wanted to wait for the bands. We got to meet some nice girls there and also my chatfriend Janina who I met for the first time ever before the show, stayed with us at the tourbuses.
It was midnight when my friend had to leave to catch the last bus, but we thought “when we’re already in London, we’re gonna wait til the bus is gone.”
Most people disappeared after one hour of waiting and we were about 10 people in the end.
First band dude we met was Jeff from Poison the Well and told him how much we liked the show. Especially when they were playing our favourite song “Prematurito el baby” and he was smiling.  We made a photo and he went back to some crew dudes to have a beer.
Then Geoff came out and I acted like stupid fangirl AGAIN and I’m still mad at myself cause of this! But he’s still one of the nicest dudes I’ve ever met and he gave me a big hug, and we made 2 pics. I tried to calm down but it was just not possible, ugh! :D
It was getting later and later, and about 1:30 AM Tim McIlrath finally came out of the building and came over to the remaining fans, we were only like 10 people left. I am still impressed of how kind, amazingly nice this guy treats his fans. We were standing there like friends and he told us stories about his dogs and other personal things. Later the guitar player of Poison the Well joined us and told us a bad story about 30 Seconds to Mars. He was sooo funny!
We had an awesome talk with Tim for about 20 minutes, you could really tell that he likes the contact with the fans  He’s just an adorable person.
We told him that we’re also going to the Cardiff gig the next day and that it’s time to get back to our crappy hostel (where the nice showers were already waiting for us). When I said how disgusting the showers are and that I wish that I also had some pair of flip flops (like he had!) he told me that showers in venues are also not the nicest. It’s just awesome to have a talk with your favourite singer who’s seriously a guy who cares about his hardcore fans. ♥

We managed to get the last bus together with the nice people we met after the show and it was after 2AM when we finally got back to our hostel.
Tomorrow would be a hard day, waking up at 6 AM to catch the bus to Cardiff where we were going to see Rise Against, Thursday and Poison the Well again at their last European show this year.

After 3 hours of sleep we had to get up and start our final tour day.
It was too early to get some breakfast from the hostel (which was not really sad cause it sucked anyway) so we went to a Sainsbury’s and buy some food there.
Somehow I lost my coat at this store and realised it when it was already too late. It was 7:45 AM and our bus would arrive in a few minutes, so no chance to get back to the store and ask for the coat. :/ I was majorly pissed off!
The only thing that I was hoping for was that it won’t be too cold in Cardiff.
The ride to Cardiff was okay, the bus actually needed 20 minutes more than scheduled but it was still early enough.
I took a small map of Cardiff with me so it would be easier for us to find the hostel. It was like 25 minutes walk away from the venue and I gotta say: If I would come to Cardiff again, I’ll surely not stay another night there.
They didn’t even had some lockers for the clothes you have. So we had no other choice but leaving our stuff unsafe in the hostel room, where pretty much anyone could come in and steal our things.
Anyway, we tried to find the way to the Great Hall and we had to ask other people for the way. There was no one waiting when we arrived there, we already thought that this was the wrong building?
We just had to be on the right side, the tourbuses were parking right in front of the place where we were waiting.
We got to meet Joe and Tim before the gig, and Tim was a sweetheart as always. He was happy to hear that we have this “international” friendship, since we met at a Rise Against show. “I love fanstories like this”, he said. :)

The waiting before the show wasn’t as boring as the shows before, we met some nice people who were also big fans from the old Rise Against stuff.
It was 7 pm when they let us in, and I ran the way to the barriers. And yet again, we had the best spot in the whole hall. Front row, dead center.
30 minutes later, Poison the Well entered the stage and started again with the song “Botchla”. My friend and I started our own “moshpit”, it was just so much fun to see how annoyed the other people looked at us while we were having the best time.  The greatest part of their performance was when their singer Jeff suddenly dedicated our favourite song “Prematurito el baby” to us, saying “This song is for the two ladies” and he pointed the finger at us.
We couldn’t believe it!! How awesome was that? So we gave our best to show our big appreciation for their music and danced like wild .
Their set ended after 30 minutes and we had to wait 20 minutes for Thursday.
I already fell in love after seeing them in London but this time it was even better. Their stage presence just blew me away. This time they also played “Paris in Flames” which they had to cut off from the London set.
The greatest part of their performance was when some PTW dudes came on stage during “Jet Black New Year” and were acting like if they were fighting with the guys of Thursday. They just looked hilarious!
PTW’s bassplayer Bradley also wrote “Fuck Thursday!” on his chest and painted a middlefinger under these 2 words.
You could definitely feel how much fun these guys had together.
Unfortunately Thursday only played 8 songs. But still, they were pretty amazing. I’d love to see them again next year as a headliner. :)

But now we had to wait for the last time this year to see Rise Against.
It was great to experience another RA show in such a small venue with only 1500 ppl. I still remember the show in Hamburg in February when they played in a sold out Sportshall in front of 7000 people.
Their setlist was the same as the day before in London, but before they were playing their last 3 songs (Dancing for Rain, Give it All & Ready to fall) the two support bands Poison The Well and Thursday started dancing on stage, while the intro of Dancing for Rain started. It was hilarious!
Then finally Tim came on stage and said “What. The. Fuck?!” and the last 10 minutes of the show were running. I don’t know how to describe that feeling but it was odd when they played “Ready to fall” and know that this will be the last time for the next 7 or 8 months?! Anyway, they really rocked the Great Hall, though I have to admit that I liked the show in London more.
Maybe because the Brixton Academy is a cool venue for concerts, or they seemed to have more fun at the London gig?!
For me it was my 9th RA show this year, I’ll probably never get the chance to do this again but I had an amazing time at all shows, though I would say that the London gig was my highlight of this year.

Anyway, after the gig we still wanted to meet the guys for the last time this year.
We sat at the walls of the hall when suddenly a guy from Poison the Well came over to talk to us. “Hey, you girls are awesome!” he said to us and we were really happy to see that the band appreciated us freaking out to their music. 
“I’m Bradley, what are your names?” he asked and we had a nice talk going on for about 5 minutes.
Then also 3 of the Thursday guys joined our little group and their nice bass replacement player Lukas also said that we were fucking awesome at the front, rocking out in the dead center. Fuck yeah! “It was a pleasure to meet you girls! Have a safe trip home!” Thank you Brad, you were awesome too! 
Then we saw 3 Thursday fans standing in front of the RA tourbus, talking to a black dressed guy who looked like Geoff.
So I thought let’s go and check out if it’s really him. And I was right, again.
I shortly said “Hi” cause I didn’t want to interrupt him with the fans. But he looked at me and said “Hi” like he recognized me from the show yesterday. You could really tell that I was SO nervous again around him and I know he felt it too. So what did he do? Came over to me and gave me this huge hug.  I was so surprised that I started to talk , again!
My friend asked him some stuff about twitter and he was smiling all the time. It’s awesome to see a band guy with such a charisma like him. <3
He thanked us for the support we showed them during the shows and we made 2 last photos before he disappeared in the bus.
Last but not least, Tim finally came out of the venue and it seemed like everyone of the crew was ready to leave Cardiff. Were they really so hurried that they don’t stay at least 10 minutes here for a last talk?!
Oh well, they almost pulled Tim in the tourbus, the only thing we could still tell him was how much fun we had during the last weeks of the tour.
You could really see that Tim didn’t want to leave us so fast, but I think they had to catch their early flight back home in the morning from London Heathrow.

It was 0:30 and we decided that it’s now time to get back to our hostel. We had to leave really early in the morning and drive back to London Victoria.
I was just glad to see when we came back to the hostel that all of our things were still at their place. No one stole anything. 
We got to sleep ‘til 5:30 AM and we had absolutely no idea where the bus stop was. We had the little map with us but it was just no where to find.
My friend asked lots of people, “yeah just go there and there…” but it wasn’t as easy to find as the people told us. The weather was rainy, the streets were muddy but we managed to arrive at the bus still in time. I was already worried that we would miss it. :/
The ride from Cardiff to London Victoria was, however, 1 hour late and we got there at 12. We had to hurry up and get the next bus to the Stansted airport, Piias flight was leaving 2 hours earlier than mine.
But before we hurried to the next bus, I was wondering if the supermarket have kept my coat. There was a small (really small!) chance that I might get my coat back. We got there, I asked for it and they made a big effort just to look if they have it in their bureau. And what a surprise, they had the coat! I felt like the happiest person on earth. 
Now it was really time to catch a bus to the airport, it’s a 90 minute drive from Victoria to the airport!
The only thing that I still wanted to do was to get a nice souvenir for my mum, I promised her to bring some typical English thing from London.
We went to a nice shop, bought an English Teddy Bear and decided to finally go through the safety controll.
It was a weird feeling when my friend and I had to say goodbye to each other, now that the tour is over we don’t know when we’ll meet again. So she walked away to her gate and I still had to wait 2 more hours until my plane to Bremen was leaving. The time passed by and I finally went to the gate.
The plane departured at 6:30 PM as scheduled, I gotta say that I seriously hate being on an airplane. I felt sick to my stomach almost the whole time, but I survived the flight. I was just glad when we landed in Bremen and my parents were waiting for me. That was the end of my UK trip. :(

But what’s left to say…
This trip was the best out of all trips I made this year for Rise Against, I had so much fun at both gigs. Thanks to the two amazing support bands Poison the Well and Thursday who made these gigs memorable. Rise Against was great as always and I can’t wait to see them again the next time.
I also got to meet some new awesome people in London and Cardiff but my last thanks go to my friend Piia, who organized everything for this trip and did it together with me, even though I was sometimes not the easiest person to deal with. You are awesome! ♥

Thanks for reading my review, if you find any mistakes, keep it to yourself.
I put all my heart in writing this story.
Julia
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Commenti

  • Wexzer

    Waurw, what an awesome experience you guys had, Haha I envy you...Very nice journal entry, it's definitely awesome that all of the bands show their appreciations towards you, and wanted to talk with you, respect for that. I can clearly understand why this trip has been the time of your life, you sure experienced a lot in short time in UK :D Rise Against = Awesomeness, always :D

    Dic 29 2009, 23:15
  • sparky321

    Wow, just, wow!

    Mar 16 2010, 0:18
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