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12.10.2008. NORTHER Tour Report - Canadian Tour 2008

ShutterBLAST long-time partners Norther have written up a tour report on their journey to Canada in September 2008.

Bassist Jukka Koskinen and drummer Heikki Saari teamed up to write a complete tour diary for us, edited by ShutterBLAST for flow.


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It was 3:32 AM when I found myself in a cab on my way to our rehearsal room and made my first notes to our tour diary-to-be. Our bassist Jukka and myself used the cab to collect all our gear from the rehearsal room. We continued to the airport via Kride's place, to pick him up and  Petri and Tuomas arrived with separate cabs.



Everyone felt more or less fine, apart from the early wake-up at 3 in the morning.. We got ourselves in the plane to Amsterdam, then to Detroit and again to Montreal... A total of 26 hours to Canada.



The next day started a bit better than the previous ended. We had some good sleep, and went to a place to have a good healthy breakfast. 



After today's hotel check-in we went to meet Nefastus Dies, our opening band on this tour, at their rehearsal room. We stayed there for an hour, until the drums came in from Pearl. I checked everything with the Pearl delivery guy and everything was as my rider indicated, so we were ready for the tour! :)



The first show of the tour at Trash Bar went really well. The venue was filled, and since, it was a very small place, it was very intimate since the stage was on the floor level. Already during our sound check the support band members started a moshpit and when we started playing it was something disastrous but in a positive way! Playing in a small places like The Trash Bar is always a good change to have a very close feeling with the audience.



Next we played at a venue in Montreal called National. The place is an old theatre and has been operating as a club for sometime now. National has a capacity of over 600 people. The day started nicely until Kride decided to eat  sardines which caused such a stink so huge after opening the can that we had to throw ourselves out from our backstage. Thank you Kride for being a fish lover! After a few hours of gaging and gasping for air we were able to go on stage. This time the stage was A LOT bigger than at the Trash Bar, so we actually could fit in, the band could move around and have fun, and I could set up the kit the way I wanted it to. :)



After the show we had to hurry a little  to pack all our stuff and get out from the venue, since we  had a long travel the next day and an early wake-up. So, we got out of the venue and found out that we had a little hotel-booking-mishap .. The problem was that we didn’t actually have a hotel at all because of our unprofessional organizer! We spent about two hours driving around Montreal looking for a hotel with free rooms. We found one, slept… Did we sleep that night? Hmmm maybe...






On the 21st of September we played in Chicoutimi. From Montreal it takes about 6 hours to drive to Chicoutimi, so it was a long 8 hours sitting in a van. Looking out of the window in hope of seeing a beaver or something.  So far everything was going pretty well. We'd had two successful shows and still five to come! The venue in Chicoutimi was called “The Bunker”. The place wasn’t a bunker after all. 



Nothing special to say about the show, but the audience was totally out of their minds! There weren’t that many people, but damn.. Those who attended were totally crazy! After a quick pack and load out we headed to our motel. It was a really nice little place just a couple of kilometers away from the venue. We drank a few night beers and then crashed ϑ





We woke up at 12, on the  22nd of September. We went to a little café kind of place to have our breakfast and it really was great! Some eggs, bacon, bread, a little salad, beans and death unlimited coffee!! Sweet… After the breakfast we headed back to the car and travelled towards Quebec City. The place was  a fantastic looking venue called I’Impérial. It is a large venue with a capacity of about 800 people. When we arrived to the venue, we heard from the local crew that (thanks to our schedule) we were running about 5 hours late. So we set the stage up very fast, and had about 10 minutes for our soundcheck (without Jukka since he sat our tour manager in a chair, gave him a glass of red wine and did all the arrangements by himself since our Canadian beaver monster was being totally helpless again) and left to give room to our local support.



We did try to delay opening the doors to have some more time for sound checking, but it couldn’t be done for some reason. 



This time we actually had catering! We got to choose from eight different meals. Many of us (in Norther as being good friends with rabbits) preferred salad, since most of the time it’s not possible to have any decent catering, but only buyouts. With the buyouts there’s always a little problem, because usually we don’t have enough time to go to restaurants that would meet our standards of a good meal, so the guys just have to grab the nearest poop available next door. That results as a full stomach yes, but fastfood crap two or three times a day isn’t really good for your health (a lot more people should see the movie Super Size Me to know what that shit does to you by eating it every day).





When Nefastus Dies goes on stage, we start our “backstage rituals”. Usually Pete entertains everyone with a bunch of crappy hard rock or death metal riffs, that always end in crazy laughter. If that doesn't happen, our DJ bass-god Jukka (since he in charge of the portable amplifier) plays good music to get the mood on. Artists especially like violent latin drug rap The Psycho Realm, September, The Haunted, Slayer, Fun Lovin’ Criminals or others that gets us all in good mood is a must for us all before the show.




We rushed to the stage to kick off with 'My Antichrist' followed by 'Down'. This would be the exact description of unleashing hell. Everything was a mess, instantly, already from the very beginning. The Norther guys were turning their heads left from right since nothing was working.  This was definitely the worst show for us on the whole tour.



No words to describe the feelings. Everyone was totally pissed off. Probably the best venue on the whole tour and this happens...  We still made it and the crowd enjoyed the show a lot (although in the beginning there were a lot of big stares watching us like “What the hell are those guys doing!?!”.







After Quebec, there was no fear at all that the next show or venue would be better in every way. We arrived in Ottawa one hour ahead of schedule! This was actually the first (and the last) time we were early, on time and we had also some free time. Maverick’s Bar isn’t really the biggest venue with a capacity for around 300 people, but it was a nice surprise that the stage was actually pretty  big.



There was a little room upstairs backstage upstairs called the “band room” with a table and three chairs, which is kind of weird, since we are five people altogether anyways. I was feeling really good already during the sound check. Before the show everyone was feeling great, so we managed to pull off a great show in this intimate venue well packed with people. The people around Ottawa know how to enjoy a band! That was totally nuts! People almost climbing over each other just to get to the front row! And the moshpits. I must say, that these people know how to have fun! This was so far the best show on this tour. 








On Wednesday the 24th of September, we took a trip from Ottawa to London

The venue was called The Embassy. Sounds fancy right? Unfortunately that is far away from the truth. No decent stage monitoring, or PA- system in the venue, no fancy in-ear monitoring, stereo keyboard or guitar sounds or anything like that. Probably a legendary venue but now it seemed to be totally something else. The  concert area was on the ground floor of the whole building. Upstairs was something completely strange since people who look like Rio de Janeiro’s carnival people with super red eyes and scarred faces isn’t that scary. Or is it? Well these people were going their apartments upstairs using the door next to the stage. Let’s say that pulling through this show really needed some extra punk attitude! Running late on schedule AGAIN we arrived 45 minutes before the doors opened Our tour beaver monster manager did it again, being a pro!



Since it was our second to last show on this tour, we decided to solemnize and visit the local store and grab a few liquids. The receipt read $426. I must add, that we did have some leftover beers the next day. There was no way that we could have destroyed all that in one night! But hey, at least we tried, and did our best! 



Our plan was to leave from London to Toronto for our last show at 01:30pm, since we had to be there at 4pm to set up the gear up. Well, we arrived at least 3 hours late AGAIN. Nefastus Dies guys had already been there for 1½ hours, although they left only 30 minutes before us and their own van broke so they had to rent two smaller vans on the way to make it. And yes, our beaver monster manager decided we took a shortcut, so we had to turn back on the highway.



Today was our last show on the tour! In this venue we had a sort of co-headlining show with Cryptopsy. It was a good show I think. We were in a bit of a funny mood since we were the pop band of the evening, playing at the same festival as Cryptopsy, Origin, Nefastus Dies, etc. It went totally great since at least someone brought something totally different to the festival! Our show went nicely with a lot of crazy “whirlwind moshpit” people. After we played to 2/3 of the audience who remained. However a lot of fans came outside to hang out so it was great meet some fans.





On the 26th of September, we had our last travel day. We arrived to the hotel last night around 3am, so everyone went to bed to have a good night's sleep and wake up fresh to a new day.  We had evening flights, so we had some extra time the next day. We visited Toronto, the CN Tower and looked down 400 meters through a glass floor!!



Our journey went through Amsterdam in the morning and then continue to Helsinki, Finland in the evening. We had absolutely no other choice, than to grab a couple of day rooms from Ibis airport hotel in Amsterdam and get some sleep. We didn’t want to spend 8 hours waiting at the airport either…Another 26 hour journey but this time to home!!



Eventually we got back to Finland. Home sweet home, it always feels good to be back! In the end, this tour was a success. We had a lot of fun and played some good shows! Thanks to all the staff, special thanks to Nefastus Dies and biggest thanks to all our fans who showed up! Rock on! We’ll see you next time!


Jukka and Heikki




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