It’s now 5 years that I’ve done live sound engineering for Necrodeath … and wherever it’s possible I always follow these guys … they are a war machine on the stage and the madmen behind the scenes. … I always have great fun with them because they can split well the professionalism with rock n roll ….
When Peso (the drummer of Necrodeath and Ghostrider), throwing into the game the monicker “Ghostrider”, told me about this possibility to go to Finland for a weekend in the company of Ghostrider and Brazilian Vulcano, I didn’t think twice but I accepted right away. The flight from Milan Malpensa was on Friday 29th, early in the morning.
The Day 1.
After the usual three hours flight to reach Helsinki – Finland, we finally are here: We expected a cold and rather frightening weather to greet us, but instead there was a bit of sunshine, the one that there wasn’t in Italy, which was buried by a hood of clouds.
Outside the airport the promoter, Mr. Henry of Metal Warning, was waiting for us, on time. He accompanied us to Tampere, a city about 200 miles from Helsinki and where tonight, we will have our first Ghostrider-concert on the Finnish ground.
On arrival to Tampere, we immediately go to the hotel to leave the extra luggages, heading then to the concert-place which is only 10 minutes drive away. The place is small but cozy (Vastavirta clubi), with a good audio implant, worthy to receive the small metal festival which will take place shortly, but at this point we are attacked by a strong dose of hunger which overwhelms us, and directs us all towards the dressing room for a well-deserved hamburgers, filled up with potatoes and more.
Between a sandwich and another one, we meet with the other bands of the festival, the historical Brazilian Vulcano, as well as the local band Thrashgrinder, all full of cordiality that makes this moment even more fun and magical, these are the elements that are perceived only when you are doing something with passion. There is no time to do the sound check for Ghostrider, but it’s not a problem as they trust on their sound engineer, that is me….
… in a few moments, the Finnish band begins, and I must say that this was a surprise for me, it doesn’t happen often to find a local group, which opens the concert, so well prepared and able to engage in all infallible manner.
At the end of their show it’s our turn, I head straight to the mixer for audio change and all the parameters that we do during a quick line-check that should make the sound of Ghostrider different from the others, with more impact and power. Tonight Ghostrider will offer all the songs composed by Peso & co. in 1984, revised and corrected, of course … and some new songs as well!
Here we go, the first notes of The Exorcist are given already a prelude that tonight there’ll be a catastrophe of malignant black metal horror, the riffs follow each other in a fast and addictive way. … Songs like “Curse of the valley christi” or “The return of the ghost” are involving the entire audience in order to generate chaos in the front rows. The songs follow each other in devastating way and with a right crudeness of the trio that doesn’t need too many frills to show who is Ghostrider… and I must say I had a lot of fun for both their performance and for the sound I wanted for them. Even their new look with white overalls and skull masks attracted a lot of attention and people seemed to be pleased with “our” show!
The icing on the cake comes with the grand finale, Black Magic, a Slayer-cover that is causing the delirium among the audience and gives the show a truly overwhelming final. The satisfaction of all of us was great because it was only the second gig after Ghostrider’s reunion.
Of course, we enjoy a good relax after the concert assisting the performance of Brazilian Vulcano, that closes this very exciting evening, for sure, to be remembered because in these times it’s not easy to have anything similar around. After Volcano, we take the opportunity to drink some more beer, before returning to the hotel to enjoy a well-earned rest that will help us to regain energies for tomorrow’s gig in Helsinki.
The Day 2.
…… A long night of snoring is gone and we are ready for the new day, that greets us with overcast sky that does not bode well since the snow is easy in this part of theworld, however it is also our stomaches rumbling and in fact we do a “clean square” of all that we can find in the fridge and then prepare ourselves for the trip, which fortunately is not very long, only a couple of hours from Tampere to Helsinki.
A highly customized van was waiting for us with the promoter and the driver, and after loading the luggages, we start to head towards the capital of Finland. Obviously we couldn’t miss the snack break at a motorway where I filled the bags with candy fudge and all sorts of crap, that everyone appreciated during the onward journey, colored by several jokes that any self-respecting tour has.
On our arrival the first thing to do is to go to the hotel and relax a bit because we still have too much accumulated fatigue from the trip the day before, everyone is thrown on the bed that deems appropriate for themselves and obviously I take the mattress that was attached next to Peso, and throw it on the floor so I can sleep in a corner of my own, in fact I did a favor to him ahahahahah.
I think I slept 3 hours because when I wake up it was already dark and it’s time to go to the concert place (Darkside Club), which fortunately is near to the hotel, and right away the guys begin to fix the instruments and merchandising as usual.
Our concert will be in a few hours so I and others decide to go for a ride around the city and visit some pubs and I must say I found them very interesting, because here the metal is at home, and in Italy of course we’re not used to have all the pubs like these Finnish ones.
Well, it’s time to return to base and on our arrival we see that the Thrashgrinder are already playing, and my first reaction is to put the earplugs on because I have to keep my ears fresh for later on, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to distinguish a guitar from bass and for a sound engineer it would be a real disaster.
It ‘s our turn, we approach the stage to accommodate the different instruments and sounds, in fact I have to do almost everything because we were not going well with the previous settings. The speed is our strength, in fact soon we finish the preliminaries, 2 minutes break and here comes the 3 ghosts, that in a second have managed to bring the entire audience closer to the stage, creating a strong involvement right with the first song, The Exorcist, and the audience is in a frenzy! Helvete incites the crowd to come increasingly close to the stage and Zarathos with his guitar takes no prisoners… behind them there is always Peso who more concentrated than ever doesn’t miss a beat… The 3 Ghostrider have scored another fantastic evening confirming the effectiveness of the trio which, I believe will have a bright future.
The evening will be closed by great Vulcano, which we greeted hoping to share the stage with them again, perhaps in their part of the world!
The Day 3.
The next day, we have to return to Italy , tired but happy with this trip that served to Ghostrider to put in order their live shows in anticipation for the upcoming come-back-album and for so many other concerts in Italy and abroad where certainly they will be noted!
Live Report by Cristian “afasol” Scarponi
Ghostrider are G.Helvete F. (vocal and bass), M.Peso.P (drums) and A.Zarathos B. (guitars)
For more info: http://www.myspace.com/ghostriderweb