What Lies Beneath

Hey folks! 

Last week I had the opportunity (along with very few people all across the globe) to be on a Rival Sons meet and greet at 4 Sound in Stockholm, and be one of the very few to have a hearing session of the new album “Feral Roots”, that is going to be released in the beginning of 2019. 

The experience was beyond cool, as I had the chance to pre order the new record and also be a part of an “interview” session with Scott and Jay. Rock Sverige was also present to shoot these special moments and also shoot us, the lucky ones, who had the chance to have a chat with the band and take a picture after the hearing session and the interviewing took place. 

Myself, I was amazed by how good and well made this new record sounds. I know that every time an artist releases a new record, it is “their best one yet”, but to use exactly Scott’s words “if they don’t say that in every record they make, they have no fucking idea what they are doing.” 

I had the chance along with almost 25-30 people to listen to four of the new songs, and after that to ask a question that Jay and Scott would gladly answer. But first things first; 

The Sons are releasing a new record in the beginning of 2019 called “Feral Roots”. Why would this record be any different than the ones already made? Because in my opinion, this record sounded much deeper than the previous ones. For me, the Sons have an imposing style and sound, and I cannot really think or name any other band that they can be compared to. It is not for an instance like you can say, “hey since you like this band, I’m pretty sure you’re gonna like how Rival Sons sound”. I cannot measure their art this way. So, having that said, if I wrote here, “the new album sounds like this, or like that, would it really do it any justice? If  you write some good words about the sound in a piece of paper or in a blog post would it do it any justice? I don’t really think so. Every artist has a vision,  and different styles of music and sound awaken emotions you never knew they existed. So how about saying this, that the very few songs I got to listen to, have been the internal soundtrack in my days, since last Friday. I absolutely love it when an artist, lyrically or musically touches the heart of an individual in a way that you never expected they would. But at the same time, musicians and artists in general are there to serve the art, so if they manage to do that, then they most certainly reached the absolute level of success. That’s always what I personally believe. 

After the hearing session, we had the chance, to ask Jay and Scott any question that would pop into our minds. I had of course a question myself but didn’t do it during this time, but later on when I got to meet them in person. 

Sweet and gentlemen as always, they welcomed me with open arms and warm hearted smiles, willing to answer anything that I would ask. A lot of times though, my concerns and questions have nothing to do with what I actually see and hear but with what lies behind. The mentality of a focused artist for example. We all know that the carrier of the Sons keeps going only upwards, so my main concern was this; what does an artist like them do in their every day life, in order for them to keep focused, be on the right track, and be productive. Any every day habits, rituals, or anything else that helps them feel focused on their goals, the main one of which is to serve their art. 

Well, as we were having a small chat with Jay and Scott, it made me realize that the answer lies beneath a lot of things that we all do in our every day life. First of all Jay really pointed out that we need to be gentle with ourselves. Don’t be too hard on them. Love them and don’t point out our flaws. As human beings, we are all flawed. But this is not the point. The point is to be gentle and love yourself. Secondly, take care of yourself, in terms of eating healthy, working out, praying and meditating. That way you will not keep falling for temptations like alcohol, late night stays, etc. “We all fell for that”, added Scott, but the more you grow up, the more focused you stay in the things that you love, so as they both mentioned, it is not about anything like this, and one of the most important things as well, is to surround yourself with good people and people that lift you up. 

In general, it’s been really a night worth remembering. I have never been up and close with a band like this before and this made my excitement and anticipation for the new record and the new tour double as much. 

What are your thoughts regarding music like this? Do you like the Sons? Have you ever seen them live? 

If not, feel free to click on the links below about previous posts of mine including live pictures, show reviews and plenty of Rival Sons material! 

https://theurbanside.com/2017/03/03/rival-sons-show-review-annexet-stockholm-2017-03-02/

https://theurbanside.com/2017/08/19/a-music-experience-in-an-enchanted-land/ 

Have a great, powerful rest of the week! 

Xxx, 

Irene 

That Makes Them Larger Than Life

Hey folks! 

I know it has been a while, but I am back with some super cool and exciting news. Last night I became a part of Live Nation’s campaign promoting Backstreet Boy’s new tour DNA! 

It is going to be their biggest Arena tour in 18years starting in May, and they are visiting Sweden with 2 tour dates in Gothenburg and Stockholm on the 31st May and 2nd of June. 

It is going to be massive! 

Tickets are being released via Livenation.se tomorrow! 

Are you going to secure yours? 

Hope to see you there! 

Have a great, powerful rest of the week! 😀 

Xxx,

Irene 

Backstreet’s back alright! 

“Rescue Me”

Hey guys! 

As I have mentioned it about a hundred times now, last night 30 Seconds To Mars were in town! Their show in Stockholm was a part of the Monolith Tour 2018 and lucky us, it is not going to be the only one for this tour in Stockholm. On the 20th of August they will be back in town to play at Gröna Lund, again as a part of the Monolith Tour. 

I applied about probably 10 times or even more to get photo access to the show, but Live Nation denied my application due to “Limited photographer access”. I have been wondering though since Annexet is a pretty big venue and suits at least five photographers, why did I really get shut down, while there were only three of them shooting. 

I didn’t really let this pull me down, as nothing can hold me back when I am about to see on stage the man that saved me countless times. And by “saved” me, I mean both literally and figuratively. 

The Monolith tour started in the beginning of April in Europe exactly when they released their new album “America”, their fifth studio album and highest Thirty Seconds to Mars charting album ever. The tickets for the tour were released in November but I didn’t have the chance to buy some in the first place. So I spent all of this time thinking that I will only see them this summer in Gröna Lund, as Live Nation announced that the show is sold out right a couple of days after the ticket release. On the other hand, I tried to find tickets in some really lame websites that charged each of them about 3000 Swedish crowns, something which is to be honest completely ridiculous. I knew though that “Sold out” on Live Nation tickets means that “we are actually going to announce that it is sold out and then about a week before the show we are going to say that there are still tickets available because the show wasn’t sold out in the first place, we just felt like saying it, that’s all.”   

So after all of this up and down emotions, I couldn’t settle down with the idea that I got this band tattooed in my skin and will not be able to se them when they are in town. So luckily, I wasn’t impressed by the so-called marketing tricks and once they said that there still are tickets available,  I rushed to buy some in a very reasonable price. And so the day had almost come. 

If you have ever been in a Thirty Seconds to Mars show before, you will probably know that it is a colorful paradise, combined with Jared’s angelic voice and Shannon’s compelling drum beats. This time Tomo was missing from the tour due to family issues as they announced before the tour start. And so, in an almost fully packed Annexet, about 9 at night, the provocative Jesus hit the stage along with his rebellious brother and a few lucky Echelon members who were with them at the stage throughout the whole show. 

First song of the night was “Up in the air”, a song that hit straight to the bone not only me but every single soul in that room. This is the part when the adrenaline rushes straight into your body and you cannot believe that this is actually happening. You will believe it eventually but not straight in the first song. Jumping up and down, heavenly screams, huge balloons, and colorful graphics, a taste of what was about to take place downtown on a Sunday night. 

Eventually like I said, it will hit you. That this is actually happening right before your eyes. For a lot of people this breaking point never comes, as most of them are there to enjoy the music and the handsome presences of Jared and Shannon. But not me. Or anybody who sees these guys from the same perspective. The tears kept running hot out of my eyes like I had been suffocating the whole time and not I was able to breathe again. All I kept thinking at this deep moment was “The man who saved me, the man who saved me, the man who saved me”. At some point I could really sing along, but at some other one, I wasn’t even able to do so. It is like this moment when you feel the absolute completeness and there is nothing more missing from your life. It is almost like you have started a new one. Like you have felt the touch and essence of what it would be like in a “brave new world”. The little girl who was locked up in a room in a shitty place, a shitty reality and a supposedly profound shitty future, was finally able to breathe. She found someone to “save her from the demons in her mind”. 

Sometimes I still believe that I am the little seventeen year old girl. And then I remember that I was saved. Saved by him. And his art. And after this, the story went “on and on and on.” 

Have you ever felt this way? About someone? Or something? About music? Or a higher belief? If so, then you know exactly what I am talking about. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get good pictures even though I have been trying to do so, so I thought about sharing a few that I think are the most decent ones, and also a few “stolen” from the 30STM story on Instagram last night. 

I hope that you will enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I truly hope that you feel this way about something higher, about maybe music, or arts, or sports, or anything that serves a meaningful purpose in life. I believe that this is when you truly discover yourself and your path in this world. 

Have you been part of the Monolith Tour so far? Are you going to be? I would love to hear your Mars experience! Until then, feel free to take a look at these pics! 

And remember “Whatever you do, don’t ever lose your faith”.  🙂 

Xxx,

Irene 

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New Touch

Hey friends!

I figured the other day that it would be a good idea to share here my Spotify lists in case you’re looking for new music and inspiration. I have lots of them but not too many, some of them with old songs, some of them with new ones. Feel free to take a look! 🙂

Have a great Sunday guys and an even greater blessed new week with lots of music!

Xxx,

Irene

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/0lbtgFu3JNKX77J5YOpW7n

https://open.spotify.com/user/1160101621/playlist/1iV3oFCOGCz8tvSXXbtB4X

https://open.spotify.com/user/1160101621/playlist/6JjDWpdDhjAjQnQalbCzTe

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/5q4P2WDeztTyG11CSrIP0q

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify__sverige/playlist/6Vhshb6ci7shXkxNRKLgDV

https://open.spotify.com/user/1160101621/playlist/6s6iFb62zLzkwbZJJk3Uor

https://open.spotify.com/user/1160101621/playlist/4p3r44ARZhrbPUPNliSLB7

https://open.spotify.com/user/rivalsonsofficial/playlist/5AUDrQDf2wDP8GDvGHzXgH

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/2YbfuxUyuOhtb5z7J1H3ak

 

 

 

 

 

I am the Echelon

Hey friends!

A few days ago, I had a new tattoo done and decided to share the story. I’ve always wanted to dedicate some ink to these three guys that have helped me to not lose my faith. I cannot even remember since when I started loving their music, but the more the years passed, the more I realized that this is way more than music. It is Love, it is Lust, it is Faith and it’s my Dreams. I grew up watching Jared’s movies, thinking when the time will come when I will be blessed enough to see him for the first time. And when the time came, it was all like a beautiful lie. I saw him, I jumped on stage with him, I believed that it was all true. And if I can do it, that means that anybody can. So here is to the whole Echelon family and to everybody who has the same vision like me in life. Here’s to love, to lust, to faith and to our dreams. For all of time, forever. I love you Mars, I am the Echelon. ❤

Have a great new year beautiful friends, have fun, take care and enjoy the music!

Xxx,

Irene

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Ten Little Soldiers Screaming in my soul

Hey Friends!

Today feels like a Mando Diao day. What is your favorite Mando Diao song? For me it would be hard to just pick one, but there are a lot of times that I recall their first albums and some more blues songs like Mr. Moon for example. How about you? 🙂

Have a great weekend lovely music people, with lots of positive energy and smiles!

Xxx,

Irene

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“Memory, your lamplight is burning holes.”

Hey dear music friends! Sunday today, for a lot of people the seventh day of the week, the day when you are supposed to relax and take it easy. I wish that this could be how it goes for me. Or maybe not. There is no rest for the wicked, a friend of mine always mentions. 

As most of the time I am fighting to feed the ruthless music hunger of mine with new material, and as summer tends to be lonely sometimes, I often visit the local record store downtown, and I still buy records and vinyls, a habit that has been under my skin since I can remember myself. I know that most people tend to buy their music online nowadays, probably with Spotify sessions or incredibly cheap prices over a song on iTunes. But at the end of the day I have never settled down with a lot of today’s music- technology demands, and I still buy physical records. I do not agree with buying a song cheaper than you buy a cup of take-away coffee from the coffee store in your neighborhood. I want to believe that keeping this habit of mine alive even in an age when most young people do not or have never learnt what a physical record might be, is a way that I can show my gratitude to the music artistry.  

Yesterday evening I took a ride downtown. The city was really crowded and the sun was shinning extremely much. It was probably one of the hottest days within the year. As some of you might have noticed, I wanted to connect the afterglow of my last live music experience with my ride downtown last night, so I decided to spend my money on a band that I only have seen live once before. The band is called Volbeat and it was one of the supporting acts that were with Black Sabbath and Monsters of Rock a couple of weeks back here in Stockholm, at Friends arena. 

The main question that has been rolling in my head since I saw them live, was “How can you tell when you really like a band?” Is it something on the way they play music that differs them from all the other bands that you have already been listening to? Is it something about they way they perform live? Is it something in their lyrics that speaks to you in a way that no other music does? Or maybe in the way they handle themselves up on the stage? Maybe it might be because of their looks? And you are hoping that they may notice you amongst the endless crowd? Blink an eye or point at you at the end of the song? Or in the main chorus? Is it because their music is a part of your every day routine, and makes your reality a little more pleasant and bearable? 

How can you tell when you really love a band and you choose to support their work? A couple of questions that constantly roll in the never resting mind of mine, and hopefully in every mind of an always-seeking music lover. 

To start off and relate all the above thoughts with a band like Volbeat, let me start by being really honest, as I think that this is the most valuable quality of this blog; It would not be fair from my side to say that I have been supporting their music since day one, simply because I had not heard of them. It may sound crazy I know. But even when the time came, and I did find out from a classmate of mine that there is a band from Denmark, and they are called Volbeat, it still hadn’t clicked inside of me. So how can you really tell that somebody’s work can be really something that speaks to you in a way that nothing else does? 

Here is how it works for me; Most of the time, the music finds me, instead of me seeking out music everywhere. Because what I actually think is that there really are ways for the music to find you, for the answers to find you, instead of you wrapping your head around something that might not represent you. Most of the time, the answer is already there. What you need to do, is listen close. And you will find it. 

So one day, on my way to work, I let a new music playlist on Spotify play along and see if there is something that would “click” in me. There was this song called “For evigt” by a band called Volbeat. I already knew the band name. But did I really know their music? No. So I let the song play. A touch of the Scandinavian culture (since the main chorus and the song’s name are Danish) kicked right through my ears and made it more interesting than the rest of the songs that Spotify tried to promote. Danish. I can speak and understand Swedish, but not Danish. It feels kind of similar but not really. But maybe that was the whole point. You hate some songs because you don’t understand what they are talking about, and you absolutely adore some other ones, completely ignoring the fact that you don’t understand any of the words that are said. That is the time when music speaks to you more than any other level. That is a moment of realness and clarity; 

“For evigt, måske for evigt, skal vi sammen, samme vej. 

Og når i morgen får øjne, og natten hviler sig

Skal vi for evigt måske samme vej”. 

I let the song play, then I pressed play again, and then once more, as I was sitting in the car and could hear only the sound of the wind, in a very warm June evening. And then there was something. Something after the second chorus and before the bridge of the song. Something about the sound of the acoustic guitar, and the words that came after it. Something that seemed so close to me, something right there, something very true. And then I heard the click. Right there. A pure moment of happiness, just like those moments when you do not really know what it actually is that made you happy, you only know this feeling. This feeling that sometimes you are so desperately seeking to find, and some other times that it comes so naturally and reaches out to you. That’s when I knew that music finds me. 

A couple of weeks later, I combined this feeling with the anticipation that seemed to take over when the days came closer for us to be there at The monsters of Rock festival. But then it hit me; What if they are not that good live? What if Micheal Poulsen is not as good vocalist as he is on the recorded versions? I cannot hide the fact that I have been to a lot of shows where my expectations regarding the artistic performances were really high, and all I returned home with was well provoked disappointment. I prayed that the day when I would see Volbeat live for the first time, would not turn out to be one of these days.

 Right after the Rival Sons and before Sabbath, the curtain fell down once more and Volbeat filled up the stage. Starting off with songs from their latest record “Seal the deal & let’s boogie”, as I was standing really far from the stage and could only see them through the big screen. A moment that was both unreal but at the same time perfectly real. His voice was not only exactly like the recorded versions but maybe even better. Their set was longer than probably any other sets that I have seen in a rock band. Every tune that was played there that day was like glitter stardust among an endless crowd that felt so free as an ambitious eagle in the greatest heights of the sky. A series of moments surrounded by pure artistry and nothing more. And that was the real sound; The sound that sometimes you are trying so hard to hear, but you really can’t , and some other ones it is right there in front of you. The sound of your spirit being lifted among all the crowd, among the stage, among the music itself. All you can do at that moment, is open your arms and embrace it with the most gracious welcome that you hide in your heart. And then you will know. 🙂 

When their performance was over, and a couple of minutes before Sabbath hit the stage, I knew that once they come back, they are absolutely worth my dedication, my time, and my money. True artistry always shines through and against all the washed up and mainstream promotions that the different commercial ways are trying to pull you into these days. But once you are able to hear, see and tell the difference, you will know. And you will feel sure about a band like Volbeat. 

Micheal Poulsen seemed so true, so real, so down to earth performer as he kept thanking the crowd at the end of each and every song. To me, as a humble human being towards another human being, this action of his tells me that he indeed felt grateful for all the people down at the public that day. It also shows that he is most likely one of the artists that had to work hard for each and every step towards their wanted carrier and didn’t take none of us for granted that day. Most of the time in my opinion, these two rare qualities combined with the natural music talent are what make someone a true entertainer. 

All of this connected with my ride downtown the other day, I felt like I wanted to buy their album on a physical record except from listening to it on Spotify. I actually bought it on a vinyl version to make myself feel more “sophisticated” and “music-dramatic.” I do not belong to the vinyl generation, I do not own a vinyl player and I barely know people who do. I am a CD child that is born in the 90’s. But you might have already understood as this posts reaches out to its end, I will do anything in my power as a music supporter and consumer to show my appreciation to bands like Volbeat. 

Sight- sound- smell- taste and touch, our five basic senses and each time I discover a new band, I make sure that all my senses are active to their fullest. I want to see and understand the artwork hidden behind the record. I want to listen to the actual record, and let the music taste do the rest. I want to smell the freshly new print of the creative and promising artwork and I want to be able to touch the record, feel its realness and authenticity in my hands. 

I absolutely believe that each and every one of us has the power to bring to light every creative soul/ band that has the ability and talent to shine in this world. And I also believe that it is our duty and obligation as human beings to support the seriously talented people that live among us so that they can uplift and thrive great messages through their art for the whole world to see. 

As this Swedish summer evening is leading towards its end, all I can add to this perfect weekend experience of mine would be for you to take a walk to your local store next time you are downtown. Whether you are feeling lonely or not, frustrated or not, seeking for something more, something new or not, let the music speak to you. Let it come to you naturally, and you will see your whole future flashing right in front of you. And it will be beautiful. I can guarantee you that. 

“We are the birth

We are the end

We are the souls

We have a name

We are the rising and fallen ones

We are the spirit forever more” . 

Have a great Sunday my friends, with lots of music and positivity, and an even greater new week! 🙂 

Xxx,

Irene 

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