Ok, I know show in Munich had been more than 1 month ago, but since then I never had a chance to write something properly so, take a seat and enjoy...
We (myself and my wife Marion) travelled to Munich from Parma (Italy) on Friday: we got snow on the motorway approx. 60 kilometers from the Austrian border and we were very close to stop, but as soon as we were in Austria snow was over, so the rest of the journey was fine.
On Saturday we spent the morning visiting the city center, ate something at Viktualienmarkt and then moved to show location.
It was approx. 2 p.m. and we were looking for the place when we got in front of a poster of the show with a big white piece of paper saying (in German) the show had been moved to Tunhalle. That was really disappointing, I was worried the new location would be on the other site of town, but after a few minutes we found a man that explained us Tunhalle was just on the other corner (my wife is half German, so it was quite easy to get in touch with locals).
We found out that the place was in the middle of a dismissed industrial area, reconverted in some ways to a kind of amusement area full of clubs, pubs and all that sort of things.
Nobody was there, and since it was 2.30 p.m. I thought Staind had already got inside, so we were circling around the place when Marion noticed from the windows there was somebody in a small cubicle, and there he was, Mike, playing with his mobile.
I felt a little bit funny and stupid, but took out one of the pictures I had with we (I shot them in Milan during last tour) and got in front of the window trying to attire his attention: one of the other guys told him, he noticed, and with his hand showed us to wait a second.
Unfortunately we didn't even have a chance to be happy, one of the security staff came to us and told we couldn't stay there (let's say he was not a gentleman by doing so, even if he was right...). We moved back to main entry, stayed there in a sad mood for a while, then we realized that we could wait in the back without annoying security, so we went back again, and there was Jon, pulling is trolley on the bus.
I felt thrilled, we've got so early to have a chance to meet with the band, and now one of them was in front of us !!
We did wait for him to finish is job, then got to him saying "Hi", camera and pictures in our hands. We told him we were from Italy and that we've got to Munich just to see them, and Jon was really so nice !!
We took pictures together; then he tried to sign the pictures and "So far away" lyric I had with me and when he realized my pen was not that good he jumped on the bus, searched for a minute and then came back to us with a proper pen that he left to us.
I can't say how happy I was, me and Marion were still commenting how Jon had been nice so to us, that a men appeared, his back to us, eating something... Marion asked me if he was one of them, and I had only the time to say "I guess he's nobody" that he turned to us and to my big surprise was Aaron !!!
I guess he also was surprised, nobody else there, probably he didn't expect fans to be there so early.
We greeted him, and then took pictures (he dropped half a bretzel to do this, with me saying he shouldn't stop eating for us !!), got pictures and "Pardon Me" lyric signed. We had some time to talk together, when I said "tour very close to the end, time for you guys to get back home" he said that was true, they had been touring for some time and were looking to be back, but then he would start his own tour. He also mentioned that (big surprise to me !!!) they would be back to Europe on summer and maybe after summer, which to me meant they wouldn't do only festivals !!!
By the time being, also Mike appeared, he told us he was sorry (jeez, he was sorry, from how many rockstars can you expect something like this ???) cause he came out of the cubicle to meet with us but didn't see anybody. So we did explain him the security guy kicked us away and that he shouldn't be sorry at all !!
I was so happy, only Johnny was missing, but I know how shy he is so I was ready not to meet with him :-( anyway it was also a little bit strange, I wanted the guys to understand how important they were to us, but at the same time I didn't want to appear as a crazy fan or somebody annoying people with stupid requests...
The guys were a little bit worried the show had been moved to a different location, but when we explained them that the original one was very close and the new location was clearly displayed on the posters they were relieved.
I was so excited I was unable to find out where the letter I did prepare for the band was, but finally I managed to find it, so when Aaron was back and heading for a walk I did approach him again explaining it was not my intention to bother him anymore, but that I had a letter for them. I told him "this is for you and the other guys, I know you read letters you get" and he replied "Yes I do" so I did continue (I wanted to explain the reason why I knew) "I read one of your italian fans gave you one and you actually read it" and Aaron said "It's Smilla" and this was more an assertion than a question so I said "Yes, it's Smilla" and this left me without words, he not only did remember what happened in Ireland, but also remembered Smilla’s name !!! I was only able to tell him the letter was my way to say to all of them thank you and then left him leaving.
We felt kind of "job done" and got back to the main entry, still nobody but us there. After half an hour security setup the barriers, two small entries, I've got one and Marion the other to make sure we would be front row. Time passed and a girl, a few guys did arrive. When Aaron came back from his walk I immediately saw him, but didn't want to piss him off, for the others it was such a surprise, they jumped on their feet heading to Aaron for some pictures. One of the guys asked Aaron to make his autograph on one of his arms (didn't ask him later, but I guess the idea was to use that for a tatoo...). Aaron was with them for a few minutes, so I thought I could ask him a question about his solo album. He replied that he's working on that, initially he said could be finished by next summer, then said that probably we could see it by the end of this year, beginning of next year !!
By the time (7 p.m.) gate was open there were a lot of people waiting in queue (I have to say this here: in Italy at this time it would be a kind of fight, pushing people, fighting each other, looking for the best place in the queue and so on… Here everything was so... civilized, as an Italian guy I felt so bad thinking about how many bad experiences I had in my own country...): I was the first to touch the barrier, exactly in front center stage, the guy with the autograph on his arm on my left, Marion on my right.
To be honest I didn't expect nothing special from the guest band "Enjoy Destroy", so I have to say they were a good surprise: couple of songs did remember me songs from other bands, anyway they were pretty good !! Good energy, good sound, I really enjoyed them !!
It took approx. 30 minutes to prepare the stage, then it was the time everybody were expecting for…
I should say I was a little bit worried: last time show in Milan was good, but I felt something was missing, maybe it was just my fault but you know… Anyway, the guys got onstage, started the first song and... everything was fantastic, perfect, I started singing, screaming, totally commited, the guy on my left at the same level, which was perfect cause sometimes you get close to assholes just staring at the show without even knowing a single song.
The show was terrific, setilist same as the previous shows in Germany (so slightly different than Ireland), energy from Aaron and the others was fantastic. Aarond did a couple of mistakes (the first one a little bit of disappointment on his face) but who would care ?
Somebody wrote he should drop his guitar cause otherwise he’s unable to express his energy… believe me, even with a guitar standing in front of the mic his voice was tremendous, incredible, a wide range from brutal to soft. Crowd was ok, not pushing too hard, just a couple of girls had to leave (one probably with a broken nose).
Mike moving up and down on stage as you would expect from him, I wonder how he can play while he’s moving that way, Johnny standing still on Aaron’s left, Jon on the drum partially hide by Aaron from my point of view.
It was great to listen to some old songs and new ones during the same show: Outside (which for Marion and myself has a special meaning) was great; Tangled up in you was so beautiful, being there with my wife made it perfect; the hard songs drove me crazy, I had to stop singing during one of them being very close to collapse for the intensity I put in.
After Mudshovel I had my fingers crossed… after a couple of minutes Aaron came back onstage, smoking a sigarette (that was so cool): he asked us to be really quiet, and then started singing Intro without any mic, just acoustic. It’s a shame the memory of my camera was very close to be full, so I was able to record just a minute, anyway this was the perfect end !!
Aaron voice was… don’t know which words I should use, let’s say it was from his soul and he was touching our souls…
When everything was finished, we went to buy a t-shirt and had the chance to get our ticket signed by one of the Enjoy Destroy guys so we had the chance to tell him we really did enjoy their music.
Left the area, went to a pub for a beer and some chips: my legs shaking, I was barely voiceless, but hey, this had been the show of a lifetime !! Thank you Munich, thank you Staind !!!!!