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Monday, February 10, 2014

The best night of my life or the most epic concert that never happened

Good day.
Straight up, this post is going to be photo heavy and there will be lots of words. The TL;DR version is I went to Portland to see Moonspell in concert. Sadly, the shows ended up being cut short due to the city declaring a state of emergency. But I did meet Moonspell, got autographs and chatted with the ethereal and simply wonderful Liv Kristine from Leaves' Eyes. I also danced onstage with Atrocity. It was rad.

So Friday, Oregon got hit with a crazy winter storm. Snow, ice, you name it. It was nuts. I was freaked because I needed to get to Portland for Moonspell's show. My brother-in-law was amazing and drove anyway. Thank Bob he's used to driving in those kind of conditions but he also used to do Search and Rescue so the man is prepared for anything. We left Eugene around 11 a.m. after losing power at home thanks to the storm and snapping limbs. A 2 hour drive took almost four hours but we made it safely.

At 5ish we left out hotel to find the Alhambra Theater and some food. Shortly before 7 we made it to the theater after having some rad pizza and were going to hang out at one of the bars flanking the theater. Until I saw a bus pull up and I made everyone wait. Good thing I did because it was the bus carrying Moonspell, Leaves' Eyes and Atrocity. We watched people climb off and start unloading and my first wave of excitement hit when Liv Kristine walked by me carrying gear. And it kept getting better.

My brother-in-law got the nerve to ask her if she would like help and she declined. So we watched more and I saw Mike, Pedro and Ricardo from Moonspell and pretty much died. This went on for way longer and I was just a mess. So I finally let my husband, sister and brother-in-law coax me into the bar next door. As we were going to walk in, Liv is walking by us and Sean says hi to her. I tell her it's amazing to see her and then all bets were off. She stopped to briefly chat and we told her that we came a long way to see the show and we were so happy they made it. She was so nice to us and she thanked us for coming and said they were going to set up really fast so we could see the show. It was really funny because she seemed to really take a liking to my sister.

So we wait in the bar and have a drink or two. Waved at Mike through the window and threw up the horns.Which took him aback but he grinned, waved and threw the horns back. I was so antsy to get in that we left and made our way into the theater. The venue wasn't quite ready to let people in but they allowed the folks there to come in and hang in the lobby since it was so damn cold. Should one find yourself in Portland, I highly recommend seeing a show at the Alhambra, they are classy and cool. They made us coffee and tea while we waited and gave us snacks.

While waiting, Matt and I decided to step outside briefly for our very bad habit and we got to say hello to Pedro and chat for a couple of seconds. Then Mike came rolling by so we said hello and got to chat with him. The show hadn't even begun and this was the best night ever.
We go back in and the merch table is being set up and soundcheck is going on. I hear Liv and her voice is gorgeous. Awesome. While the merch table is being set up, we end up chatting with the tour manager and a roadie. Awesome guys and totally hilarious. We were the only people in the lobby who were talking to them, all the others were really mousy and quiet, it was rather odd really. Those are the people you want to chat up, yo.

Finally, they let us in to the concert space and Atrocity hits the stage almost immediately. Mind you, there was less than thirty people there. But damn Alexander Krull is a great frontman. He got the crowd warmed up and active right away. They were putting on a great show considering the circumstances. And then something really surreal happened. He asks for two women to join them on the stage. He picked a woman from the crowd and then asked for another volunteer. Next thing I know, Matt shoots my arm up and starts pushing me up on the stage. I'm greeted by the band and asked my name and where I'm from. And this is where I become a total ham because I'm so overwhelmed that I don't know what to do with myself. I freaking curtsy as I'm being introduced. Because that's a thing I do.

Anyway. So me and this other woman are asked to dance for the next song. All I know is I'm dying but it's really exciting and I'm dancing my little heart out. Matt took a lot of photos and I laughed so hard afterwards seeing them. But it was cool really cool and a once in a lifetime thing. Matt ended up making a gif and you should see it. It is stunning.


So, yeah. That happened.

We enjoyed the rest of Atrocity's set and then it was time for Leaves' Eyes. This is when things were still really cool but a little iffy. Liv Kristine comes out onstage while things are being set up and she started chatting with me, my sister and two other people. The upshot was that they didn't know if they were going to get to play, it looked like the shows was going to be cancelled. So they were waiting.
While waiting, she was just awesome hanging out and talking. She came off the stage and took photos and was awesome, awesome, awesome. I gave her a hug and thanked her for coming and being so nice to chat with all of us and we took a photo together. And it's blurry, sadly. But I have it.



Bummer but Matt did save the day when he had inadvertently taken this shot:


So let me tell you, if you get a hug from Liv Kristine, you get a hug. She does not shy away.  Now, I've loved her since the Theatre of Tragedy days and I was over the moon to meet her. I had no idea how lovely and gracious she would be and it's cemented my admiration for her. She would make Ronnie James Dio proud. Also, she's even more gorgeous in person and she wears a really lovely perfume. Just saying.

We hang out some more, chat with the drummer from Atrocity and our new pal, the roadie from Florida. Yes, it's terrible we did not get his name. But this guy was a riot and cracking us up and he seemed to be enjoying hanging out with us. Sure enough, the promoter and the tour manager come on stage to make the sad announcement that they have to cancel the show because Portland declared a state of emergency. The good news was the bands were going to come hang out and take photos and sign autographs and the bar was going to serve everyone a free drink.

This is where my night went into utter ecstasy. Immediately, Fernando was in front of me and I go to say hello. I had my book in my hand and asked him if he would sign it. He had the best expression of amazement when he saw my book and asked me where I got it. Matt and I told him we bought it from their official merch website and it was mailed all the way from Portugal. Seriously, Fernando was really touched by it. It's one of those things that isn't super easy for US fans to get and it was a cool thing to have.

I actually hung out with Fernando for the longest time and chatted. I think I really overwhelmed him because they really aren't that used to having fans like me in the States. Plus the Portuguese aren't overly demonstrative so there's that. We talked about how the tour had been going, what the drive to Oregon was like and he asked where I was from. When I told him Eugene, he responded that they had passed through but hadn't played there. I said that not many metal shows come through because it's a hippie town and it kind of cracked him up once he put together what hippie was. But I did ask that they do come to Eugene and mentioned Skeletonwitch had just been there. (Moonspell toured with them, which he said and I responded with a yes and I had been to Portland for that show in 2008. Seriously, my tour trivia was out of control.)

Fernando was really awesome and nice but clearly shy and I was just insane that he was really hanging out with me, Matt and my sister. I let him go so he could meet other people and I got Ricardo to sign my book and then surprised Aires and asked him to sign. It was funny because I really surprised him and it was evident that he was sooo stoned. But cool. 

Then me and Matt hung out with Mike and had a great time talking. He signed my book and he too got a taste of my crazy go nuts trivia but he took it in good stride. Then after that it was like hanging out with friends. It was unbelievable.

My sister checked to make sure I had autographs from the whole band and I realized I hadn't yet met Pedro. So she hits up Fernando to ask if he'll find Pedro while Matt asks Mike the same thing. Seriously, they both took off to find him, it was nuts. Next thing I know Pedro is out there looking for me and we meet up. He was so nice and signed my book and took a photo.

The whole thing was just crazy but Matt decided we really did have to go. So we begin to make our way out and I shake hands with the guys from Atrocity, say goodbye to our roadie pal and head into the lobby. Francois, the tour manager was there so I went to shake his hand and say goodbye and he gave me a hug and thanked us for coming.

We headed out the door and on the way out I tore down the poster for the show and we stopped outside the door to try and process just what the hell happened. I realized I didn't get a photo with Ricardo but I figured, next time. And then he walked up the street towards us. So I stopped him, apologized and asked him for a photo. He was gracious enough to agree and then we were out.

And that is the story of the best concert that never happened. It more than made up for the cancellation. But the best news was that they will be back in Portland on Tuesday to make up the show and I will be there. I will be hella tired the next day but it will be so worth it.

So now, photos:


L to R:
Mike Gaspar, Me
my sister and Fernando Ribeiro


Pedro Paixão


Ricardo Amorim


My autographed book


Francois let me have the set list for what Moonspell was to have performed


Me and Fernando



Aires trying to make it across the street

I did not get a shot with Aires and I will fix this on Tuesday. Seriously though, he was so stoned seemed kind of like a deer in the headlights so I really didn't want to overstimulate him more than I already had.

There ya have it. The best night of my life. Forever under the spell!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Moonspell are a very social bunch of guys.
    They did a seminar here in Portugal, a few years ago, about the influence of Metal music everywhere. Then they just hung around, chatted with everyone, we all had a few sandwiches, soup and beer together ( it was all the food there was available ).

    They really do make an incredible job.
    Glad you like moonspell.

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