“You said your life needed something special, well here I am.”

Hey dear music friends! 

I have been thinking a lot before creating this post, but I finally decided that I want to share it. I do believe that some things are better kept for very few, but just like I always do, I wanted to publicly share one more night in my music life. 

I am not sure if what I am about to write will get personal, or too personal but this is what I know; Creating a post about one of the people that have convinced me to believe in myself, and creating it from where I stand now, is as personal as it can get. 

About ten years ago, around my fifteenth year of age, I finally realized that no matter how life turns out to be, I will try my best to put my life in the music path. That was a thing that I got really made fun of, mostly by my teachers at school. Saying to a middle school teacher back in those days that you want to work with music management, was a thing that most of them wouldn’t understand. And as a consequence of that, they would make fun of it. 

Around this time, a new TV series started playing on the television. A series that to its most part was based in art and music. The series was called “One Tree Hill.” And there was this girl I loved in that show. She had curly, blonde hair, she always had on a Ramones or Guns N’ Roses t-shirt on and she lived in her own reality surrounded by music. In a reality that she created for herself because she couldn’t bare the one that she was living. She was always lost in her own world, drawing sketches, filling her room’s walls with endless tunes from her vinyls. The Doors, Cure, Queens of the Stone age. 

It was a character I couldn’t relate more really. She believed in herself, in her power and her ruthless hunger to meet people who actually create this art in the first place. As a part of her character was also to find new local acts and help them play in any local scene she could find. And when she reached a point when she couldn’t make it happen, she created the chance on her own, and created a new music scene where all the local acts should be feeling free to share their art with the world. 

The music created for this show was officially released on records by CW, something that I rushed to find out about. There were so many good music acts, acts that made you believe that it is not going to be easy maintaining the steps forward. But it is going to be worth it. It is going to be okay. Even if you are the only one believing in yourself and your abilities. 

One of the acts that I have really loved was an artist called Tyler Hilton. He was also part of the series at some point, playing an artist named Chris Keller. Tyler Hilton’s talent was something that you could instantly sense once you took a glimpse in his music. He convinced you that it shouldn’t be anything more than that really, but a talented person up on a stage, with a guitar in his hands and his voice to let your imagination fly away and take you anywhere you possibly want. Make you believe all the things that you want to believe, make music be about what it should be. Authentic and real. Moments in the show that I have been wishing to be a part of in real life for more than ten years. I used to always think that it could be possible at some point, but how could it be when I am sitting in a room on the other side of the world, having no idea what music really is, or how it actually works. How, when, could it really happen. Three words that I have been asking myself for so long. 

As the years have been passing by and with one way or another I am where I am today, there is still a part in me that wants to believe in that girl’s passion in the show. Like she is a part of me and I can relate to her through music. There is this connection that not all people can understand. And a part of this connection is also the fact that I wanted to see and meet all the artists that she did when she was like me. 

Last Thursday, a teenage wish of mine came true. Tyler Hilton was in town. In a music scene that I have never been before. It  was all new. I didn’t know how I should feel except from the fact that I felt I was a part of One Tree Hill. Just like I have been wishing for ten years now. But besides that, should I really be crying through all of his show? That would be a bit weird wouldn’t it.. So I tried to hold back my tears, at least for as long as he was playing up on that stage. 

He said that he has been making music longer than we would know and he used to travel from country to country in Europe playing music on the streets for coins. Most artists nowadays don’t really like talking about “the struggle”. It is not pretty, it is not fun, and as a part of the new- trending -washed- up artistic “Life style”, it is not interesting. But he is not like that. He is a humble true artist, that wasn’t afraid to share his struggle with us that night. Real and authentic. And that is what constantly attracts me in artistry. I couldn’t relate more to his words this night. The struggle. It hides secrets, dark ones, but it also hides the truth, the pain, and the reason why you stand where you stand today. To me, this is what matters. 

As he was standing up on that stage and I was constantly trying to hide my tears from falling, I was thinking that I want to talk to him after the show. I want to share my story, even if I have to do it in thirty seconds. He has to know it. This kind of story telling can be very inspirational for an artist. At least I have heard so. 

Before the last song of his, and as it was one of the “One tree hill” ones, he jumped down from the small stage and came right in the middle of the crowd. He said “Now you will all have a taste of what I did in the streets of Europe a long time ago. I am not going to use any microphone so try to be really quiet.” 

He came in between us and we created a circle around him. The lights were really dim, and you could only see the camera lights of people’s phones gathered around him. He took a deep breath and scratched his guitar; and then “Dancing when the stars go blue….” A clear moment of pure happiness. 

After that last song, he left his guitar on stage and came around us. He said “I want to hang out with all of you and meet you all in person. Let’s do it.” 

I was there waiting with my sister for the rest of the kids to take a picture with him and at the same time I was thinking, should I really tell him what’s on my mind? But then.. The next thought of mine was, that he was real with us, so the least I can do is return this realness back. 

As I reached out to him and gave him a hug, I told him, “Hey Tyler, my name is Irene, I am greek, not really from around, but I have known you and have been in love with your music for more than ten years now. We have been waiting for you to come here all this time, we are so glad that you finally made it.” 

He couldn’t believe his ears; “Are you serious? Wow, I can’t believe it. I am so glad you guys came to the show. I will try my best to be back soon.” He seemed so surprised. Like how can music actually be this powerful to travel all the widths of Earth. I know. I ask myself the same thing every day. 

After we hugged and said goodbye for the night, he reached out to us again, and thanked us again for joining the show, with a big smile wrapped around his face. 

When we walked out and I was finally able to cry, I really did feel like I was a part of a show. Like this wasn’t us that night. It was definitely Jesus. Or maybe it was us. Because we never stopped believing that something like that could happen. A lot of people might tell you, or you may see it written somewhere “Nothing is impossible.” But do you really believe it? Because from my life experience, if you are not the one that believes it to its chore, nobody will do it for you. And when your mind finally clicks, and you start believing, everything will be put on its place. Everything will make sense and start being beautiful again. If you don’t believe it, take this post as an example. And use it anytime you feel blurry. At the end of the day, this is why I decided to publish it. 

I am sitting here in my balcony in this Swedish summer evening wondering if it really happened, and I remind myself that it did. I have the pictures as a proof. You can do the same someday. It is not that hard once you start to believe. 

Tyler Hilton’s music to us was a distant light somewhere in that tunnel. But we managed to reach out to that light and make it ours. Kind of like the symbolism of hope. I really hope and wish for you all to be able to do the same if you feel this way about music. 

Here are some pictures that we took that night. They were not taken the “professional way”, just in a way that music helped two girls change their stars. 

Have a great new week my friends, with lots of music, and take care. 🙂 

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Stockholm Rocks May 2016

Hey Music friends! 

Last night in case you might have noticed, Stockholm Rocks Festival took place in Debaser Medis. We basically watched all the performances there, (Avatarium, Grand Magus and Inglorious) but we would like to focus mostly in this post on the Allegiance of Rock. 

Allegiance of Rock is a group created with Gus G. on the guitar, Mats Leven on the vocals, Anders Johansson on the drums and John Leven on the bass. In case you follow my posts, you will already know that as a blogger my very first interview was done a little more than a year ago with Gus G. He was the very first artist that I ever interviewed. Ironically enough, our home towns are so close to each other but I guess I had to be living here to get to know him. That’s the beauty of music. Last night the Allegiance of Rocks covered Europe songs, Scorpions songs, Firewind songs and not only. 

I rarely write about people that I know personally because I believe that when you do so, your judgement lacks impartiality. I mostly prefer to write about artists that I don’t know in person, because then my opinion will be as honest as possible. But then again, sometimes this is how it goes. When you love your friend’s art, you are going to support it. And this is exactly what we did last night. 

Even though I might not have been around live shows as many years as I would wish, but with the experience that I have on my sleeve I can say with the most certainty that Gus is one of the most talented guitar players that I have seen live. I highly admire and respect the artistic passion that he has for his music. The way he plays makes you feel that he is a moving fireball up on the stage that never stops moving until the lights shut down. It is almost like he is not real at this point. I think the way he plays hides a deep authenticity and rawness, something that most individual artists but also bands lack nowadays. 

To be honest, I have not been paying attention to his whole background carrier, both with Firewind but also as a name himself, but like I always say, at the end of the day you don’t really need to be a super expert to understand somebody’s boundless talent. 

It was a very beautiful night last night and this is the part where I thank Sun Hill Productions for our VIP passes. Now the clock is ticking for the next wave of Stockholm Rocks Festival. 

Feel free to take a look on the pictures below and also to comment anything musically related. 🙂

Have a great new week my friends with lots of music! 🙂 

Ps: If you ever see a girl with extremely high heels, long hair and a camera, that’s me, come say hey! 🙂 

Xxx, 

Irene 

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Rockbladet 5 Year Anniversary Party

Hey dear music friends! 

As you might have already noticed, last night was rockbladet’s anniversary party here in Stockholm in Göta Källare. We have been so many times on that venue for so many different music events. The bands that performed live were Grand Theft Culture, Smash Into Pieces and Corroded. 

Smash Into Pieces

Smash into pieces is a band that we have seen twice live before, one of which was acoustic. If we could describe their music in a few words would be a rich combination of Daughtry, Shinedown, Lifehouse and 3 Doors down. I really enjoy listening to it mostly because it hides behind it this bittersweet feeling that I had through all my childhood. 

There is only this thing every time we are in a live performance. You could say that most people are there to party and have a good time. We on the contrary are there for a completely different reason. We are always analyzing, exploring, observing . This is just how some minds are when it comes to music. We are constantly searching for new music sources to fill our Spotify lists as a way to keep us company through the every day reality. 

And then there is this two element piece each time we watch a band live and the analyzing thoughts start hitting us hard; on the one hand you record your music, which allows you to edit it and produce it just the way you want it to. But on the other hand there is the live performances as well. It is the way to communicate with people and also the way to show your raw talent. When it is you, your band and your microphone up in there. A way to really express your true talent. Now if to some people the live performances don’t really play a crucial musical part, I would say that it can mostly be the only way to show off what you truly have in your sleeve. Each live performance can be phenomenal, or completely uninteresting. I would only add to this that it is your job as an artist or an entertainer to shine the light to it in the way you want to. If you find it correct to play your music playback and lip-sync, I will respect your vision. But this wouldn’t mean that I would support it as well. 

All of this prologue comes down to a couple of things that we observed as Smash into pieces were taking off the scene; This time their performance was completely different than the last time we saw them on the exact same place. If you pay close attention to the pictures below, you will see that their performance is richer than the last time. There is more concept and more elements into it. First of all, you can clearly see the “Apocalypse DJ” on the back of the scene with a light mask on. I can assume that the S-I-P on his face is the band’s logo and it stands for S-mash I-nto P-ieces. Then there is the background graphic instillations as a front part of the Dj’s set, which was not an electronic set, but a drums’ set. You can see their logo on the screens on the right and the left of the scene, and lastly there was this thing that completely confused us. Having seen bands before performing live and putting electronic elements on their music with the special effects, but this time there was something about the sound that I particularly didn’t like nor understood. It felt at some point that the music was both being played playback from the Dj and also live from them. Another fact that caught my attention, is the fact that each time a song finished, their performance and the dj’s performance did not finish at the same time, something that made me think twice and wonder, were they really performing live? And one last thing, when Elize Ryd was on stage with them, it really sounded like they were singing on a song that was already being played from the speakers. I may be completely wrong on this one, but there were a couple of things that made me think twice. Such as the fact at some point at the end of a couple of songs there was still a guitar sound floating in the air and their hands were not up on their guitars playing. Having been around live music for more than four years now and having observed so many live acts, I think that we all can agree on the fact that at the end of the day, you don’t need to be an expert to understand or trust your ears. 

Lastly, some could say that they lost the game somewhere at the execution of their idea and concept. Initially there are five band members, two guitar players, a bass player, a vocalist and a drummer. On the new concept, the drummer is the Apocalypse Dj, who is on the highest part of the scene, almost like you see a dj on an electronic set, then there is the graphic elements right in front of his set, which at some point were also playing parts of the band’s videos. Then there is the two guitar players, the bass player and the vocalist, and then there was also another DJ, with a macbook on the right of the scene where there was not really any lights, yet you could say that he stepped out of a House music dj set. Maybe there was too much going on on the scene and they made it kind of hard for the audience to keep up with what was going on. One part was the live performance, then there was the Apocalypse Dj, to whom they bowed to when they finished their act, (obviously a part of the new creative concept), then there were parts of their videos already being played on the graphics, then the band itself right in front of you, their logo and name on two other parts of the scene, and also another dj on the right of the scene. 

I liked the idea of combining the DJ  element into a rock-considered band, but to me, they missed the point somewhere at the follow-through of their performance creation. There is always of course space for improvement. 

Feel free to take a look on the live pictures below and also feel free to let us know what you think about their performance if you were there, or their music in general if you support their work.  🙂 

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Corroded 

Corroded is a band that we had never seen live before. Last night they were the last band to perform in this beautifully made rock and roll anniversary party. If we could describe their music in a few lines it would be a full edgy pure hard rock sound. Elements of bands such as Metallica, maybe ACDC and/or Slayer. 

When they came up on stage you could instantly realize that their music is going to shut the place down. I actually believe that they are much better live than any recorded song version you can find on Spotify. 

Their streams there have quite a remarkable number, yet only very few of them are new material. Watching them perform live and with their fashion sense, made me think a lot like I was part of a Sons of Anarchy episode and all that there was missing was a couple of Electra Glide Harley Davidsons to complete the whole mood. 

The only thing that probably shouldn’t have happened during their performance was this girl that felt like she should get up on scene with them while they were playing, push through them and not want to get off of it. A guy who was probably a technician kindly took her by the hand and pulled her down, yet this didn’t stop her and she jumped on the stage twice, while the second time didn’t even care that there were people on it who were actually performing, and she harshly pushed the guitar player named Tomas, because she felt that she wanted to crowd- swim. The technician guy tried to stop her but she didn’t even look at him and her friends actually applauded her while she jumped and crowd-swimmed. Extremely rude to interrupt a band like this when they are playing live right in front of you because you are so wasted, you don’t really understand what is happening right in front of your eyes. Some people might call it the beauty of a rock show. I would say, if we only tried a little bit to be kind to one another and especially to people who are creating a spectacle in front of you, our world would be a better place. 

Feel free to take a look on the pictures below and let us know what you think about Corroded.  🙂 

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All in all, these were the impressions that last night left us with. At this point I really want to thank Jonas Lööw for allowing us in with our VIP passes and also for offering us tickets for our drinks. 

Thank you Rockbladet and happy birthday! Many more years of rock news to come! 🙂 

Have a great new week my friends, with lots of music! 🙂

Xxx, 

Irene & Friends 

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