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Barren Earth Posts New North American Tour Report

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Band Photo: Barren Earth (?)

Finland's Barren Earth has checked in from the band's North American tour again with a new road report. You can check out the report below.

"…and then it was time for Canada, again. This time we were in the eastern part of Canada; the Province of Ontario and the city of Toronto. The Toronto gig took place at a venue called the Opera House. During this tour I’ve been constantly referred to as Kasper the Friendly Ghost by the drum technician John. I do not mind this. However, in Toronto I made it clear that the ghost references would have to be upgraded. As we were at the Opera House, I was to be referred to as the Phantom of the Opera. To stress this point, I played a bit of good ol’ Andrew Lloyd Webber with high volume on the keyboards in the echoing auditorium.

"Later on, we learned of the grim history of the Opera House. The building had actually functioned as a real Opera house earlier. But a tragic fire with numerous victims had put an end to the activities. Indeed, one could still smell smoke in the corridors. In addition to this, we heard rumours that the house was haunted. But walking down the corridors, I did not meet my phantom colleague. And maybe that was for the best.

"As the conditions in the tour bus are often quite cramped, there is a danger of getting a bit claustrophobic. The perfect cure for claustrophobia presented itself in Toronto on a visit to the CN Tower. The CN Tower looms 553 metres high in the centre of Toronto, and offers great views of the surrounding area. As it was a sunny day, one could really see far. An additional bonus was the glass floor. Walking on a glass floor on an altitude of 342 metres, whilst looking down, truly removed every symptom of claustrophobia. On the other hand, it did introduce a whole range of symptoms of vertigo…

"Midway through the first song in Quebec City, the audience started to applaud for no apparent reason. Upon watching the performance later on video, the reason became clear. Unbeknownst to us at the time, Mikko’s microphone had been muted, and the vocals became audible only in the middle of the song. That, if any, is a perfect reason for applause, and had we realized at the time what had happened, we would’ve probably applauded too.

"It was a very good thing that the three last Canadian shows (Toronto, Quebec City, and Montreal) took place towards the latter part of the tour, since the venues were the biggest, and the audiences the most enthusiastic so far. It was good to have been playing more or less the same set for weeks before entering concert situations of this magnitude. The concert in Montreal in particular, with its 2000-seat auditorium almost full, was most exhilarating.

"After Montreal, it was again time to cross the border to the US. As before, it was a time-consuming affair, since our merry traveling party seemed yet again to arouse the suspicions of the border officials. Investigators of the canine breed were employed, as commands such as ‘step out of the bus!’ and ‘get your hands out of your pockets!’ echoed in the chilly borderline air at 5:45 in the morning. Some people had gone to sleep prior to the border check, and had been woken from deep slumber. Others had been awake all night. But everybody was knackered to the full, and therefore our appearance probably did very little to mitigate the guards’ suspicions. However, as we are law-abiding citizens of the highest order, the canine snoopers didn’t have anything to work on, and eventually our bus was back on the road.

"Then the bus broke down. Then it somehow got fixed. Being fast asleep at this point, I don’t know what happened, nor do I even want to know anymore. Problems with the buses have become so frequent, that they are almost part of the daily agenda. With less than a week to go, we are just hoping that our bus will somehow hold together for the final leg of the tour.

"We have mostly been playing the same set throughout this tour. As 30 minutes seems to be the norm, the set has usually been as follows: Piano Intro, Forlorn Waves, Flicker, The Leer, Cold Earth Chamber and Floodred. With repeated performing, this set has formed into a kind of a tour de force, and we could probably play it back to front right now. However, for the last two gigs of the tour, a change will take place. As Marko must leave on Thursday for a Moonsorrow tour in Europe, the drummer of Finntroll, Beast Dominator, has kindly offered to stand in for the two final shows. This means that from now on, the setlist will be altered, so that Beast Dominator (or Beasty D. as he is known in the hiphop world) can better learn the songs he will eventually be playing.

"In Rochester in Upstate New York on Friday, we played the ‘Beast Dominator-set’. But so accustomed were we to playing the ‘classic’ set, that Oppu started playing the old numbers by default. As we moved into ‘Our Twilight’, Oppu was happily playing ‘Flicker’, and it wasn’t until 10 seconds into the song, that an angry ‘Oppu!’-shout to the mic from Marko brought him back to the right song. Tour de force? More like a tour de farce… Fun gig, though."

A recent video interview with the band is available here, or you can check out the previously uploaded tour blog at this location.

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