THE KOVENANT bassist/vocalist Lex Icon has posted the following account of the band's "Spinal Tap"-ish trip to Abtsgmünd, Germany last month for this year's edition of the Summer Breeze festival:
"(Time) 06:30 - 21.08.03:
(Location) Small Town 2 hours north of Oslo - Hamar
"We start driving towards the airport. People are very tired from last night's rehearsals, but the mood is generally good. Sunglasses all around! Sun is coming up! We drive for three and a half hours, and arrive at the misplaced airport of Torp (why couldn't we have flown from the national airport, it was only 1 hour away?! typical.)… After a surreal drive - with Küth crashing through the toll-booth station, trying to hit the money deposit in high speed - and various other mishaps. We managed to safely unload our stuff and check in without further incidents.
"(Time) 15:00 - Still 21.08.03:
"Touchdown in Frankfurt! No wait a minute… This isn't Frankfurt! This is some piss-crap-hellhole of a city named 'Frankfurt-Hahn'… conveniently located 2-6 hours from the festival. The driver - who was almost 2 hours late in picking us up - was a little vague about that. Hmm… not such a good start.
"(Time) 22:00 - same goddamn day:
"After what seemed like forever, we finally arrived at the festival. Met our old tour manager at the gates to the backstage area. Talked and laughed some, before we got a little grass, and then drove in high speed to the hotel. This also was conveniently located 30 minutes away from the festival…In the same direction that we just came from…DOH! So it was going to a 1 hour drive back and forth. Typical. Not much time to relax or do anything, before rushing back to the festival area. We stayed at the hotel for about 1 hour. Much to the dismay of our restless shuttle drivers, who had to make sure we were at the festival in good time. The hotel had also been booked wrong. They didn't have enough rooms available. So Brat had to sleep on Küth's floor. Since they actually didn't have anymore rooms, they just opened a single room that was already booked. (Probably what had happened to our last double room)? We had some German schnitzels to eat and a quick trip to the green fields of euphoria… We finally opened the after 1 hour of 'rest', and rushed back to the festival… By now I had gotten a few phone calls on my cell-phone - which I had promptly ignored in the traditional 'rock star' code of behaviour - and were pretty restless themselves. Probably cursing us all for being late…hahahaha! Let them shake….
"(Time) Around 24:00 (witching hour) - Summer Breeze 2003-09-07:
"Ok. What could I expect?! Once again I'm amazed at the stupidity of some people I meet. Our backstage was of course locked, but no-one had the key either… With the rest of the guys running to the stage, to set up our equipment and get everything ready. I had to find someone with a key to our backstage. Easier said than done… I was about to kick in the door after 20 minutes of waiting for that damn key. When a poor excuse for a woman-in-a-troll showed up with the keys and 6 towels. She didn't want to give us the key, and she wanted something as security for those damn 6 towels. Oh my fucking Me! What is the problem with people in the world today?! Here we are, 20 minutes to showtime. With no make-up or stage-clothes on. And this wretched creature, was putting on a grumpy old woman act. Psy had to give her his passport just so she wouldn't leave with the towels. And by now the 'stagemasters' or whatever fuck they wanna be called, knocked on the door. They were wondering if we were ready to go on stage yet. 'No we're not fucking ready to go on stage yet! Now take your goddamn troll here with you, and get the fuck out!' Hehehe…
"5 Minutes to put on all our gear and get ready. Of course we made it…even with 1 minute to spare…hehe. Enough time for the intro. We entered the stage and what do we see?! 12000 people shouting and cheering! Despite the fact, that we were more tired than a 70 year old prostitute still going at it. It didn't get in the way of us giving a great show. And the sound was awesome to. All credit to the sound and light guys as well. The lights were actually supposed to be done by a friend of mine from SAMAEL. But some mix up with the festival arrangers stopped that. They told him we're playing Saturday…When we were playing Friday… Anyway he got to do the lights for IN FLAMES. I'm always so amazed at how extreme our songs sound live. The 'SETI' songs also worked out really well… It was also cool to hear and see black metal people sing along on the opera vocal tracks. Hehe...corpsepaint and female opera impressions is a real sight. Especially when your tired, high, and running on pure adrenalin!
"Anyway… This was the set-list. We played for about 45 minutes. And finished around 02:30 - night time.
01. Via Negativa
03. In the Name of the Future
04. Chariots of Thunder
05. Hollow Earth
06. Star By Star
07. Mirrors Paradise
08. New World Order
"Well, to sum it all up for you all! This is what I learned from this whole experience…
"Never fly with RYAN AIR. Don't just agree to all travelling arrangements before double checking them. Never fly with RYAN AIR, always remember sunglasses and chewing gum, never fly with RYAN AIR, the body needs rest, bring something to read or do while waiting, never under any circumstances fly with RYAN AIR, everything is expensive at airports, don't use RYAN AIR to get somewhere, KOVENANT kicks ass. Summer Breeze crowd was excellent. RYAN AIR sucks.
"Thanks to everyone that managed to get to the festival, and to all our fans. And Greetz to my other partners in crime: Psy, Angel, Küth, and Brat. And to Bobo… -)
On Behalf of THE KOVENANT"