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Greger Andersson: ”Dirty Woman” is so freakin fun to rock to

In November 2016, I went to see Pain gig in Helsinki. They played in Nosturi and needless to say, it was a sold out concert. I had a pretty decent spot to watch the concert, on the balcony. When the concert was about to end, a drunk guy (or so I thought) came next to me, climbed on the railing and wanted to jump down. „Damn, if you want to kill yourself, please do it without spilling my cider“ I thought. Yes, it took some time for me to figure out, that the guy on the railing was actually Pain’s new guitar played Greger Andersson. And yes, he performed a perfect, and really crazy, stage dive. It was awesome!

Greger, have you always been such a daredevil?

Haha.. I really can’t say that I have. That stunt was probably the craziest so far. The crowd and the atmosphere was freaking amazing, so I guess I just went with it without really thinking. The dive went surprisingly well for me, but I’m not quite as sure about the audience’s hands and heads though… I hope they’re still able to headbang and shredd back home. It was a memorable moment indeed.

You’re still a relatively new guy in Pain. When and how did you end up playing there?

Don’t forget the YOUNGEST! Ha ha. Yeah, back in early September I got a message on Facebook from an old friend who was also De Vans old manager, asking if maybe I would be interested in trying out for, and eventually joining, the band. Of course that was a pretty solid “ that sounds pretty cool”, while inside my head it was more like “HELL YEAH!“, but I tried to act like the cool dude, “You know?“. Don’t tell anyone though 😛

So, later I met the guys in Stockholm for some beers, where I got to know the plans that were ahead for the band. I guess I was a cool/social enough guy, and got the OK to start practicing the songs the day after. 2 weeks later I visited Peter’s studio in the deepest forests of Borlänge for a session over the weekend, and 3 weeks later we had the tour’s opening night in Berlin. Pretty freaking cool!

Was it easy to learn Pain’s guitar parts?

Nah, I wouldn’t say easy. In fact, not at all now that I’m thinking back. The songs aren’t super technical, but when you get like 26 song thrown at ya at once, the songs seemed to sound all the same, in like a big blur.

The tricky part was to separate them. I wanted to try all the songs at once since I was so excited, but realized I had to practice one song at a time to really let it “sink in” so to speak. I wanted to genuinely know the songs like the back of my hand to be able to really deliver on stage and have fun, instead of concentrating too much on the songs by looking down on the frets.

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Pain @ Nosturi, November 2016

I must say, I really love the new energy you bring to the shows. From all the lineups I’ve seen, the current lineup seems the most perfect. How do you feel about the line-up, and how do you get along with others?

Oh that’s cool, thx for saying that!

Get along? Hell no! Especially not with Peter cause he`s really the pain in my arse, bitching about this and that like aaall the time..

HAHAHAHA, kill me I’m so funny..

No, jokes aside, we´re all getting along just fine! It’s an ABSOLUTE honor playing with these guys, and being a part of the whole PAIN-CREW. Everybody is chill and awesome. I’m enjoying every minute of it, whether it’s on stage, off stage, or on the crappy tour bus heading for next venue, drinking the holy water…fucking love it!

Did you have any “welcome to the band” rituals backstage as well?

Can’t remember if I’ve really had any. I think it was André who tried something once but I got eyes on the back of my head, so I managed to evade that one, haha. 😛 Maybe I haven’t been drunk enough yet. It’s only a matter of time I guess. :O

Pain has released 8 full length albums. Which one is your favorite, why?

Damn, that’s a tough one. I would have to say “Coming Home”, as I’ve been pretty into that one, the last few months, the most. Next in line I think would be “You Only Live Twice”, as ”Dirty Woman” is so freakin fun to rock to!

Greger, tell me a little about your other bands? I know you play in a band called De Van?

Aah, De Van… AWESOME band . Yeah, I’ve been in that band since 2009, and we´ve released 2 albums over the years, “PLANET BOTOX” (2010), and “CURRENT END OF DAYS” (2013)

The current status though is kind of “on hold”. Pretty deep down in the freezer actually, I’m sorry to say. But it’s normal, I guess, when kids are being born, work and life takes more and more time, and members spread throughout Sweden. None of it really makes it easier, but some plans are still in motion, and maybe some NEWS will be announced in the near future..

Thank you and good luck with the upcoming tour! It’s been over 10 years since the last time Pain played in Estonia, well it’s about time! 😉

THANK you! We will rock your socks off in Tallinn, I promise!!

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Dark Tranquillity ´Atoma´tour – an enchanting concert in Tallinn!

If I was forced to name only one metal genre as my favorite, it would probably be melodic death metal. The Gothenburg style. So, when Dark Tranquillity and the ´Atoma´ European tour arrived in Tallinn, staying at home was no option.

Unfortunately I missed the first opening act, Nox Vorago. Everyone I met later said, they were really good. Oh well, powdering my nose took longer than expected. Speaking of powdering, I probably should have packed a pair of earplugs to my purse as well, along with the powder and lipgloss. Like, seriously  – speaking about the second opening act, Nailed To Obscurity, was their sound engineer a drummer by any chance? The sound was killing me, I had to watch the band as far from the stage as possible, because my ears hurt. Maybe it was their music in general, that needed more low tunes. Anyway, the first couple of songs I watched from the audience were interesting. I mean, not my cup of tea, but the music and the way only back lights were used, so only foggy shapes of bandmembers were visible, it was kind of mesmerizing.

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Nailed To Obscurity

Speaking of the headliner, Dark Tranquillity has always had strong live performances. They are really, really good on stage. No exceptions.

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This time, the first thing that struck me, was their sound. Wow! Such a clear sound, almost perfect! The way you could hear all the little details, keyboards, guitars, incredible!

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I think Mikael Stanne has such a good voice, even his growls have this undefinable clarity in it, during live concerts as well. The music and his voice, well, they were in a perfect harmony.

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Now when talking about Mikael Stanne, damn, he is such a powerful frontman. The way he captures the audience, it’s outstanding. Small gestures, smiles – the guy owns the stage!

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Dark Tranquillity

Actually, everything was capturing. The background videos added a nice finishing touch. Guitar players, despite being new ones, fitted nicely into the band. They tried really hard, and suceeded. I was there for the show and the show was great!

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In conclusion I’d say, for me it was probably one of the best concerts of the year! Band members, songs, sounds, show, everything was in place. So here’s my suggestion – when DT arrives in your town, make sure you go see them, even if you’re not a fan. They will engage your attention and I’m sure you will like the show. It’s simply enchanting.

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Dark Tranquillity

For two days now, I’ve been singing:

It was solid
Yet everchanging
It was different
Yet the same
So I starve myself for energy…

Thank you Tõnis & Bad Promotions!

Text and photos: Bitch Hard Girls Squad

Pain – ´Coming Home´concerts in Tallinn & Riga

I have a confession to make. Know those groupies, constantly going to some band’s concert, throwing bras on stage and perhaps even following the band’s tour bus for no reason. Well, that’s not us! 😛 But we do love Pain, so here’s another gig review! 😀

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So, Pain had a gig in Tallinn on April 17th and the next day they played in Riga. Needless to say, we went to both concerts. Well, when Pain is in your hometown, you simply cannot stay at home. In Riga, the truth is, we just love the venue, club Melnā Piektdiena, and also a little vacation was more than welcome.

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Everything was just great. The guys were in a good mood, the crowd was in a good mood – need more Mondays like that.

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And of course – Peter Tägtgren is such a rockstar on stage. Purely awesome!

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The vibe was good and Jonathan, who was covering for André, really blended in. Good job!

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The setlist was a bit different than on the Helsinki gig, where we went last year. More old songs, or so it seemed.

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Again, guys were in a good shape and I think, the audience loved every minute of the show. Some more crazy ones even started a mosh pit, modest one though.

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In Riga, it seemed that the guys were having more fun on stage. Little gestures, facial expressions. For the balance, audience was more serious I think. No, they did like the gig, just that in Tallinn it seemed more fun.

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And it’s always a pleasure to visit Riga. We love Melnā Piektdiena club! It has a nice stage, comfortable area where to sit and watch the shows (and drink afterwards), nicely supplied bar and clean restrooms. Seriously, I think it is one of the nicest clubs nearby.

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So, thank you Tõnis, thank you Sergejs  – for organizing the concerts!

Thank you Pain, it was just awesome to see you again! You guys rock! \m/

Text and photos: Bitch Hard Girls Squad

Pain. At its finest in Helsinki – a gig review

Kitty: I’m always quite sceptical when one of my old favorite bands is about to release something new. Usually the old gold is tough to beat and in my eyes it hardly ever does (mind Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, COB and Katatonia). It’s hard to create something even better, once so much awesomeness has been released already. There are few exceptions, of course. Latest album from Pain, for example  – can’t say that this one here is lame, cause it’s not! I do have long wires (note: Estonian aphorism, means that information takes a while to process), so I need some time to get used to it and might just „get it“ by the time for their next release.  Therefore, I’ll skip the audio and focus on visio.

Pandora: As I’ve mentioned before, Pain is the only band whose albums I would buy before hearing a single new song first. For me, Pain represents a certain level of quality and I’ve never seen them giving a crappy show. Pain seems to be quite popular in Finland – five sold out concerts out of six, not bad! I wonder how many fans we have here in Estonia? Not many, I’m afraid, which is odd. Step up, step out, wherever you are, we must get that band here at once! It has been more than 10 years since they played here! About their latest album – I did „get it“ and it gets even better with every run.

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Kitty: Our squad has been following Pain for about 10+ years now. Gone to concerts, taken pics in backstage. Somehow it turned into sort of a tradition, to take pics with the band or just Peter. Quite a few of them has piled up by now and I must say, browsing through those pictures, that although we have aged somewhat gracefully (some less), that dude has not aged a day. Fucker. Coming back to the gig in Nosturi, once more we did not walk out disappointed. I think Peter will be jumping up and down on stage at the age of 60+, or at least I hope so. Much like Blackie Lawless – can’t really tell that time has taken a toll on him. And to think that off the stage he is such a normal, leveled guy. Very decent. Broad-minded. Not a diva.

Pandora: Sorry, you meant his stage performance, I believe? If at WASP gig I would prefer to gaze at the stage from afar, in Pain’s case I could not be close enough. Peter Tägtgren is in such a savory shape, I must say. Perfoming while ill, he had plenty of steam to fill the stage. Even vocals did not fail, since the sound is somewhat hoarse on the new album anyway.

Kitty: I did mean the stage perfomance, yes. Band gets better every time I see it. This time it might have been due to sharp young temp drummer or guitarist? Power was immence and nothing overlooked. Where the hell is that steam coming from? Although Nosturi was sold out, we managed to find best spot possible, on second floor. Highlight of this whole event was of course the second-storey stage dive performed by no other than Greger Andersson, fabulous Ragnar Lothbrok look-alike, their new guitarist (our video is available on Bitch Hard Girls Squad FB page, do check). Mistaken by us for a drunken Finn at first, followed by high-pitched screams a second later, he dove down into the crowd. That was insane!

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Pandora: Band did have fresh wave of energy, it was purely awesome. Take Andre Skaug, for example. Some bass players just waggle there, plucking their strings… but not him. He showed a true meaning of stage presence. Watch and learn, boys, watch and learn. Sebastian Tägtgren, who was temping for David Wallin on that tour, started off somewhat modest at first, but picked up quickly as the gig went on. Well done! And then Greger Andersson, new guitar player – that guy is just nuts. Fits in perfectly. When he got upstairs to do the dive, I didn’t see who he was at first and was like – wtf, who are you, why are you trying to kill yourself by climbing over the railing and spilling my drink at the same time. When I figured out who he was and what he was up to, started to remind myself what the local emergeny number was. Classy AF! In a nutshell –  my favorite concert in 2016.

Kitty: Concert ended way too fast. Instead of getting our traditional photo together, we ended up just hanging out at our hotel lobby until 5 a.m. Some of the brave ones headed to the afterparty, but for us, hotel lobby with a fony fireplace and good company seemed so much more inviting.  After bar stopped serving us, lobby stopped serving us, a bottle of Valhalla from across the sea ran dry, it was time to call it a night.

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Thank you, Pain, thank you Helsinki! It was such a perfect night to remember!

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Text and photos: Bitch Hard Girls Squad ©