First of all, for those who doesn’t know where Izmir is,its a beautiful city by the sea in the middle of Aegean district.. You can get extensive info from wiki if you’ll like.
Now, back to topic, this is the band’s second Turkish tour, they had single performances over the past years and got a core fanbase here. As far as i know, Eicca studied in one of our well known art universities for a year, so they’ve been performing in Turkey basicly since the day one. Which is a good thing ofcourse.
They made their first step Ankara during this tour, secondly Izmir and finally Istanbul. It was the beginning of april, the time that has all seasons in one.
It was a dull, cloudy day on 4th of april in Izmir, which is pretty unusual. We have absolutely no snow here in winter and middle march is always nice to have a walk. But now, while a nice warm sunny day would be great to welcome Apocalyptica gang,instead we’re having this! No way! By the midday we begin to see shy sunlights, and in a couple of hours it becomes a nice shiny blue sky. Once again the universe couldn’t fight our powerfull wishes from deep inside of our black little hearts. By 15.oo we leave our houses to catch a boat to the South coast..(Sea transportation is the best way if you live in a city like this.) At that time, i get a call from one of my friends, asking if i wanna attend the autograph session. Damn! We had no idea that was about to happen. Furthermore, the session takes place in a totally different direction from the concert’s venue. Its impossible to get to the venue on time if we wanna be at first row. We make a hard decision and dont go to the signing. Sacrifices had been made for the photos you’re about to see (or saw on the apocello.ru gallery).
When we step down on earth again, we decide to have some drinks and stuff.We spend the next couple of hours wandering around. And we get to the venue’s front door by the time 18.00. A few dark guys and girls are already making a line. But not too long. The concert is +18 so no kids running here and there ;) There’s a restaurant kinda place right opposite of the venue, so i decide to pull a chair. Why would i be bothered to sit on cold stones anyway :D. Plus, there’s a guy sitting really close, who looks foreign and carries a crew pass. In a few seconds,i proove right, the guy talks in German to the other. I’m thinking he was Apocalyptica’s tour manager or something. While they chat in german, i curse myself for not paying enough attention to german classes. (Oh well). Then another guy comes near and they start to talk in English. (Thank God! Finally a language i understand) The new guy is Turkish organizer, i figure out. They talk about food. The food that band required to their tour bus. Some Turkish butter (there’s a special name for it but stupid to translate) and salami is what i can catch between other things. I turn my head and make a generous move,to see the full list, there are ticks next to food names and there are so fuckin many. So I cant name them all. After the food discussion, they talk about tour bus coming to the back door after the show and carrying the band out. The back door is not hidden or somewhere in the back actually, we prepare ourselves for any kinda attraction ;)
By 20.oo we make a proper line at the venue door and get in. One of security guards give us some nuts,we can eat as we wait so we wont get bored.We talk about the band and metal gigs. I guess he liked us for being in a chatty mood J (The next day i find out that Apocalyptica guys had made a little walk by the sea, the time we were about to get in. And venue is only 5 minutes away from the coast. Ouch! Now that hurts..) 20.30,we’re in. Dj throws out some rad ballads, such as Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Metallica and Pentagram(a beloved Turkish heavy-metal band). Everyone is on the mood, and i get a chance to take a quick picture of the stage.
Yes, it’s small. The venue is small. And I think that’s the best. Eyeball to eyeball. The band and the audience can share their energies very easily this way. By the time 22.oo we hear the first note of Worlds Collide. A wave of enthusiasm surrounds the audience, followed by screams ofcourse. Smoke machines work very vell, we can not see a single thing. Just some black silhouettes. Then lights go on and there they are,Apocalyptica. Perttu rocks with his bowler hat and everybody has a feeling that he will take off that waistcoat of his, pretty soon.
Eicca looks hyper and friendly as always. Mikko is bam bam and Paavo is dum di dum. Antero is cool. Only sign of him being alive is the notes he plays. Salute them all!!
Refuse/Resist, the Sepultura cover, is the breaking point. The band and the audience is now hot and more than just alive. And some of us, who sees Apocalyptica for the first time live, is shocked by the way they are playing, no, dancing with their instruments.
After this rocking ballad, Eicca grabs the mic and welcomes everybody. Talks about how they are happy for playing in Izmir again and stuff, and presents I’m Not Jesus. It’s so strange that, even though i know the lyrics, i cant sing properly. Its the 3rd song and i should be over shock. But later i see, this amusement of mine never ends.
Grace, is the 3rd song they’ve played from Worlds Collide. Everyone seems happy, including the band. Then, Perttu has the mic this time. He talks about the hot evening we are having and something that connects us Turkish people to them, Finnish people. I don't understand what that exactly is, ’coz everyone around me is screaming like crazy. I cant blame them but it’d be nice to know what he said ;)
Master of Puppets, finally a Metallica cover. This time everyone sings aloud and it feels nice to be a part of this union. Long live Metal, is what i can only think.
And Perttu has the mic again. This time he talks about Sibelius Academy, their education life.
First year they'd tought Greek classics (i guess he said that, could be something else, and screams dont help! but i’m sure about the rest of his speech).
Second year Bach. Third year, they’d kicked out. And appearently that is the unfortunate reason why they are Apocalyptica. I cant help myself thinking, God bless those who kicked them out. :D
Ion, is the following song. Everybody seems on the mood and taking photos etc. with huge smiles on their faces.
Eicca takes the mic, and presents a song, which they have collaborated with an Italian singer. (the audience is: "Cristinaaaa, Lacuna Coiiil") But, Eicca has not finished yet. He says: "We are sorry she is not here with us, but lucky you, we have someone who’s much more hotter than her." Well,i’m sure everybody has a personal choice about who that is.. But Eicca, points his bow to... Antero. And cracks everybody up, for sure. I personally expected a comment from Antero, but he, as always, remained cool. A polite smile is what you can get the most. Not a big laugh, no sir. Here’s that moment.
There’s something i wanna mention especially, maybe this was our luck, we were so close to the stage. A perfect spot for eye contact. Eicca, keeps looking people in the eye and this is something only 2 person can feel, happened to me twice. One of them was the moment, that i guess i was the only person who were screaming "anything but loooove", and he saw me and smiled.
I smiled too, this is one common thing everybody kept doing during the show anyway. I’ve been to metal concerts before, and been at the front row, but i can easily say that not everyone makes eye-contact with their fans. I dont think the band would remember us the next day, but it feels great and heart warming, and i think, its a sign of preciation.
Bittersweet, is the second song that everybody sings aloud. I guess its their big hit here in Turkey, and people loooooooooove the song. Another moment that scraped in our minds.
Fight Fire with Fire, was another song that blowed us up, I, personally love the beginning of it, don't you?
Now, another fact to be mentioned. I found that out after the gig, while i was looking at the photos i’ve taken. Dear Mikko, was not there where he supposed to be, during some songs, which don't have drum parts i guess. Then I checked my videos, he dissappeared more than once.
Yet, I have a theory why he was off the stage that often. 1-Free beer at the backstage. (possible) 2 - Beautiful girls at the backstage. (equally possible) 3-Both. (gotcha’)
Helden, which is one of my favourite songs in the album, was played beautifully. Then Eicca grabs the mic once again. He says he got lost in the wrong song. (what? I bet noone noticed that) But not everybody is ok with it.
Only thing we could hear right after this confession, was Perttu’s evil laugh. Poor Eicca tries to defense himself, pointing at Perttu, "he gets lost sometimes too, c’moon" . Everyone is happier than ever ‘coz they are not only in a musical heaven, there are also nice comedians who are willing to entertain.
Some time, they all left the stage without saying a word, Yeah that’s a tradition. The audience screams and yells at top of their lungs, then the band climbs up to the stage for last couple of songs. So that happened.
Life Burns!, Last Hope, Seek and Destroy. They were all awesome. But with Seek and Destroy, finally Paavo stands up and joins to the action too, they put quite a show during that song.
Enter Sandman, was one of another super awesome performances. Everyone sings aloud too, but different this time. The power of Metallica, true metal, lights up our souls once again. This is when Eicca became a maestro, and directed the crowd. Makes a real good picture.
Sad but true (no, not the song, the situation we’re in). Their last song, Inquisition Symphony. Its unbelievable that how this last 3 songs pass. I think those were the headpoints of the gig, final cut. During Inquisition Symphony, this hype was beyond clouds. Paavo comes near and plays the first notes with a huuge smile on his, and ofcourse our faces. Then they make it triple ;) while Perttu plays along, a hopeless chase begins. Eicca sneaks after Paavo. I dont think Perttu is aware of the happenings, but crowd is out of any sense because of laughing too hard.
As they left the stage, the audience were not seemed to accept that fact. We yell and scream 15 minutes more, then, that dude at the restaurant who speaks german, comes up to the stage and makes a "cut" gesture. They start to tidy the stage up.
Are you curious about the tour bus coming to the back door and carrying the band out? Well, so were we! We spent some more time around the back door. But noone shows up. Then, me, shaking because of the cold, see the security guard who gave us nuts. He says "no need to wait here any longer, the band is long gone". Oh well, time to leave then.
Time to head back home with nice cello sounds in our ears, as the moon shines upon us with a naughty smile.
© Gökçe Koray, 2008
Apocalyptica, who has performed in our country countless of times and also collaborated with Sebnem Ferah on the song "Perdeler", has a core fan base in Turkey. They’ve also performed as guest artists on Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Helsinki.
With their newest album "Worlds Collide" - which is pleased most of the fans in Turkey - they made another Turkish Tour on 3rd, 4th, 5th of April including Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul. The signings orginized just before the gigs, caused big crowds.
After their Turkish concerts,the band will begin their US tour with Las Vegas on 11th of april and will perform more than 30 live gigs on the new continent including Canada.
© www.apocello.ru, 2008