|Astral Doors and the Friar set out for some|
breakfast and hair of the dog!
This happened to be the day after the infamous Berlin pub crawl (see their March 9th entry) in which Ulf noticed something 'funny'. Earlier in the trip, you may have remembered that I thought the boys were being more than a little stoic. Well, this day proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are human, have emotions just like you and me, and each and every one of them is what MAKES Astral Doors so special.
|At least Johan's GF couldn't smell|
that track suit thru the phone!
So I got up this day, unaware of their all-nighter the previous night, determined to make the guys live a little and get them out to see the sights and for a great photo op. I started to get that "Oh we're gonna sleep all day" thing after their all-nighter, but the Friar was NOT taking NO for an answer. Undaunted, and invited to drop by the tour bus to say hi anyway, I made my way to where the bus was parked in the courtyard at K-17.
The whole band were hungry anyway, so we headed down the road to Johan's favourite - the local purveyor of Donair-Kebabs. Everybody got something to eat and I yarded beers all round for everyone from the place's fridge. While everyone was getting organized and seated, I surreptitiously paid the bill and bought Astral Doors breakfast and beer! Perfect! It gave me so much pleasure to give back to these guys a little bit for all the great shows I had witnessed.
Patrik takes care of himself. During a tour, he will tend to isolate and be quiet. He takes care of his voice. Feeling a cold coming on, Patrik immediately had hoodies up all the time, towel wraps around his neck and head, etc.In other words, he did an amazing job of protecting that million dollar voice of his so you, the fan, could see and hear singing perfection every night of this tour. This day was no different. So Patrik, did gracefully come out for the breakfast and beer part. I mean, everybody has to have their beer! Yours truly included - except mine is 0.0! He then returned to the tour bus to rest and take care of that voice!
|What is this stuff, Mummy? It burns:(|
Well, I did try it, despite the fact I had quit smoking September 19th, 2011 after 41 years. I found it stung on your gums, so it didn't last long, with me, anyway!
|Beer on the subway! Yaugh!|
While I did not mean to assume the role of tour guide, the boys asked me to since I had been to Berlin 3 times before. The next stop was the ATM, and then we were off!
First, let me say that this was the first time I heard that the whole musical end of Astral Doors all work at the local SSAB steel mill in Borlange. Now that is fucking Metal, all the way! Never in my life, did I see that one coming.
|Ulf makes sure no patrons are following|
him from the night before!
So we walked for bit and came upon the department store where you can buy supercars like the Bugatti Veyron and Bentley Coupe.
|Track suit being childish:)|
So we arrived at the Checkpoint Charlie area. There is the cabin in the center of the street, a museum, and one of the remaining pieces of the wall where people can take pictures. Astral Doors are used to be around history all the time since they live in Europe. But, this day was making them stop and take notice. Berlin is easily the most moving city in the history of Europe. History was all around us. It is just about taking the time to notice and appreciate it.
So after the Checkpoint, it was off on the U-Bahn again to the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor). Coming out of the U-Bahn, we crossed the secure area of the British Embassy like it was nothing. The street beside it is blocked off to vehicular traffic with Barber Shop Poles that come out of the ground, but pedestrian traffic seems to be no problem. Anyway, the security cams were everywhere and I am sure the British security had other things on their minds than a bunch of Swedes and a Canuck that were just out for a good time.
We did a whole shitload of pictures here which you can see are quite funny. It was our collective imagination that made us think that Alexander the Great's chariot atop the Tor was being driven by Patrik, since he is the conquering hero of Astral Doors anyway.
|A well earned break over a beer!|
When we finally got back to the last transfer point at Ostkreuz, nature was calling for some of the drinkers (basically everyone save for me since I don't drink). A couple took off to find a lawn or washroom or something. I collapsed in a heap from a panic attack that was setting in. I couldn't even read my map anymore. The boys know why, I know why. This is why it can't be printed here, but suffice to say that I was having an involuntary overreaction about basically nothing, but that certainly made me question my observation skills.
|The U-Bahn got rocked!|
- indeed, great with their fans.
- giving of themselves freely.
- a hell of a great bunch of guys.
I, for one, was and am completely blown away. This was also a stark contrast to the environment during the last day off in Geiselwind. My God, what a hole that was - rain and no fun and sickness and all.
Berlin again blew me away. This was becoming one of the best documented tours in the history of rock, next to say something Scott McFadyen and Sam Dunn would have done, judging by the sheer number of pictures I had taken - my dubious qualities as a photographer aside. I am a fan and Astral Doors is my favourite band. Any band is NOTHING without their fans. They are are the ones that buy the albums, songs, merch, and concert tickets. Astral Doors realize this in spades. One only has to look at them and the way they have embraced social media. They are one of the most accessible bands on the planet. They are to be commended.
|Patrik the Conqueror watches over us all!|
We were stunned by Berlin - the beauty, the history, the magic. Next up were the final gigs behind the former Iron Curtain in Poland. I had changed my ticket because at the time the tour was set up the Polish dates hadn't been negotiated. Now I was going to be there for the whole ball of wax. This country had fanatical fans (and gorgeous women everywhere) just waiting for us. Solidarity had, indeed, been lived between this fan and his favourite band this day!
|D'oh! Where are my pants?!|