In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the post-hardcore artist, ALESTI, shares one of his stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
It was a late Monday night in November 2013. Me and the guys of my previous band ‘Silver End’ just got word that we were requested to support Papa Roach at their gig in Oslo, together with their tour companions Glamour of the Kill. The gig was set for less than 48 hours later, and everything had to happen immediately. We needed transportation to Oslo the next day, and with mountain passes closed because of snow and crazy weather, going by car was not possible, and so we booked our place on the next train. We obviously brought a ton of gear, and it was a 7-hour ride, in the middle of the night. It was quite possibly the worst train ride I’ve ever had, and hardly the best way to get ready for such a huge gig. Several of the guys in the band, myself included, had always been huge fans of Papa Roach, so we obviously wanted to make it the best gig of our lives.
Reaching Oslo at 7am in the morning of the day of the gig, we went to our “hotel” to get checked in and to hopefully get a few hours of sleep before getting to the venue and start prepping. It was literally a 6m2 room, with 2 bunkbeds placed in each of the corners. The floor was no longer visible due to the sheer amount of gear we had brought with us into the room. But we slept.
With the time nearing our expected time of arrival, we had to get going, but as we reached the venue, neither Papa Roach nor Glamour of the Kill was anywhere to be seen. Because of the order of appearances, we would have our soundcheck last, as drum sets, guitar amps, guitars, and keyboards would have to be removed from stage one set at the time, and with Papa Roach headliners, their kit would need to be at the very back of the stage. And this was a TINY stage, at least for the purpose of hosting 3 bands on the night.
We started getting nervous as the 2pm arrival of the bands had now stretched to 5pm, and with the doors opening at 8pm, would there even be a chance to plug in our instruments and see if everything would work?
At 5:30pm both bands come jogging through the venue door, with an entourage of people following them. An entire bus worth of equipment was introduced to the venue, and they started filling up the stage. As both bands went through their soundchecks, and it was finally our turn, at 7:30pm, we started to rig ourselves up. We had around half a meter left to move in at the far front of the stage. Luckily, everything worked. Possibly noticing how this could be a stressful situation for a newer band like ourselves, Jacoby Shaddix (lead singer of Papa Roach) took the time to come up to us on the stage and greeted each one of us with a smile. The superstar himself. It was a huge honor to meet him, and he set the tone straight for us that very second. We would perform to the best of our abilities despite everything we had been through the last 48 hours.
And the doors opened. We made our way to the stage and did our thing. It was incredible. The tiny venue was STACKED with people. People could barely move, and it was so loud. I’d be glad to say we delivered and could enjoy the rest of the night amongst the audience for whom we played, and participate in the gigs of Glamour of the Kill and Papa Roach as fans. It was an incredible night.
We met up with Jacoby in the artist tunnel after Papa Roach left the stage, to say our farewell. One sweaty hug later we packed our things and went back to our hotel. One of the strangest 48 hours of my life had come to an end.