Blackguard Recaps Ensiferum Tour
Band Photo: Lazarus A.D. (?)
Paul Ablaze of Montreal's Blackguard has checked in with the following recap of the From Afar tour, headlined by Ensiferum this past fall:
"Another tour in the Bag , Another notch on the belt , and Another round of good times were had by all.
"For a tour that seemed destined to fall apart on itself just before it's start, I believe it exceeded all expectation by a long shot. With Ex Deo pulling out for the majority of the tour and Hypocrisy having to bail all together, the future looked very bleak. But at the end of the day it was Ensiferums call to bite the bullet and pull ahead with the tour, and for that we cannot thank them enough.
"As disappointed as we were not being able to tour with those two amazing bands, their absences proved to be a blessing in disguise. Being bumped up to direct support might have been one of the best things to happen to us, and with the addition of Lazarus A.D we got to become friends with some of the most badass people we've ever met.
"Although the crowds might have been smaller overall, we got to play to more people every night and our new position on the tour certainly motivated us to step up our game.
"This tour being quite the contrast to our last tour (Summer slaughter) in pace and scale, it was a little more relaxed and offered us some more down time to breath. That being said here are some of my more memorable moments from 'from afar'
We were lucky enough to have a day off in Orlando so Kim, Etienne and myself decided to treat ourselves to an afternoon at Universal studios. I hadn’t been there since I was 9 or 10 and I’m pretty sure I felt the same way back then as I did when i walked through the gates this time. Amazing rides, gigantic Turkey leg vendors everywhere, overpriced crappy beer, this was truly heaven. Tearing it up with our new buds in Lazarus A.D made the day that much better.
Our first experience with the great state of TX during the summer slaughter was less than encouraging, so for our second time around I wasn’t expecting much. This time however seemed to be the opposite and I can finally see why every metal band I know raves about TX. I was particularly blown away by the show in Austin. It’s not every day you get a crowd reaction in a different country that reminds you of a hometown show.
"Houston: The Marcy Playground experience
Regardless of what you think of the band Marcy Playground, there’s still a good chance back in high school you rocked their only hit song “Sex and Candy” (I know I did). So when we arrived in Houston at the Meridian and found out they were playing one of the other stages, we had no choice but to investigate for nostalgia sake. Parking lot hang outs after the show was much cooler than I expected. Hats off to them for keeping it going as long as they have.
Went to the Rainbow (again) after the show, didn’t see Lemmy(again), this is getting discouraging. Post show parking lot party was amazing. I didn’t realize vodka and apple juice mixed so well. Gotta love those finns and their crazy drinking.
"Winnipeg bro deo:
Day off in Winnipeg resulted in massive hotel party. The party quickly had an influx of naked people but nobody really cared.
Added note: When you get back from tour and co-workers jokingly ask how many chicks you got with, then you realise you saw more naked men (see above) than women, you start to question why you go on tour at all.
Last day of tour. From afar tour get put back to back with California love tour (Winds of Plague, Stick to your guns, Sleeping giant, Oceano , Circle of contempt) at the Blender theatre .
"Now despite what you might think of the above bands we were all very excited about this show, specifically because Winds of Plague were some of our best tour buddy’s on Summer Slaughter and being able to spend time with friends is always nice.
"I watched the entire California love tour back to front and I must say how much I enjoyed the entire show and I would like to show respect to each one of the bands that played.
"So to our Finnish label mates in circle of contempt, these guys give a great energetic show and deserve big things.
"To Oceano for having one of the most violent and intense crowds I have ever seen. It had been a while since the last time I felt worried for my safety at a show and it brought me back very effectively to the shows I use to go to back in the day.
"To Sleeping Giant for having the guts to be as open as they are about their faith and trying to share it with the crowd. They have more balls than most 'tough' or 'brutal' bands out there.
"To our label mates Stick To Your Guns, for having one of the funnest shows I’ve seen in a while. A great group of guys who I look forward to meeting again.
"And finally to Winds! For having one of the best live shows, being some of the coolest dudes and letting use steal Bowser again(WOP teck) and making him do our lights.
"P.S Bowser you still rule and your light show completes our band lol.
"A huge thank you must go out to all the Ensiferum band and crew who were a pleasure to work with and went out of their way to accommodate us on multiple occasions. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We’re looking forward to this next time!(sooner than later hopefully)
"YEAR END REVIEW:
2009 saw us entering the international metal world, we toured North America 3 times, got taken off one European tour (the pirates will pay for that), and have grown more as people and musicians than I ever thought. Of course none of this would have been possible without all the amazing people who have been supporting us at the show and rocking out with us every night. So cheers to anyone and everyone of you, can’t wait to see you all in 2010.
"Of course we can’t forget all the people behind the scenes who make this machines run as smoothly as it does. So to Maurizio and Steph at Hard Impact management, Shawn, Ash and Hugo at Sumerian Records, Jaap and jakob at Nuclear Blast, thanks for all the killer work and here’s to 2010 being bigger and better!
"Our 2010 schedule is already booked almost to Oct, with some amazing touring opportunities and a new record that is currently being honed to perfection. This is shaping up to be a darker, more bombastic record and we’re all very eager to start playing these songs live.
"See you all in Jan-Feb with Epica and Threat Signal!"
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