Sunday, September 08, 2013

Contest - I won!

A big thank-you to all of my readers and Twitter followers who helped me win by clicking on my Jamplify link.
I won the contest to see HIM live in concert, which means I was able to take a friend with me who hadn't bought a ticket.

If you're interested in winning tickets like this for yourself, check out Jamplify - a tool artists can use to amplify their fanbase.

Fan rewards

While on the topic of fan rewards - what do you think about contests like these? I was chatting with a friend, and our conversation went to the idea that the fans who  really want to promote the band and the show probably already have tickets. Her thought was that fans would probably like other incentives and rewards - like meet & greet passes, VIP access, a concert t-shirt when the fan got to the venue, etc...

I totally agree - my ideal fan reward (within reason, of course!) would be a press pass - access behind the barrier to get awesome photos for the first three songs. (When I've had press access at concerts before, typically you only get to shoot the first three songs, and no complete song video...) Getting to bring my 'good' camera to a metal show would be amazing for me.

However, even though a huge fan would probably buy tickets on the first day they went on sale (or pretty quickly thereafter to avoid the chance of a sold-out show that he or she would miss) but might have friends who were on the fence about going - friends who might not be as enthusiastic of fans, but might just get on board after being won-over by a fantastic live show.

So, what do you think?

What would be your dream reward for this kind of thing - tickets for your friends? VIP passes? Advanced entry? A phone call on your birthday? A free digital download of a single before the album comes out? A signed poster? A Skype conversation with a band member? A hand-written note? Autographed sheet music? A piece of memorabilia like a shirt or hat worn in a video, drumsticks or guitar pics? What would make you feel really appreciated as a fan, and encourage you to spread the word even more about your favorite bands and artists?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Contest - Help me win!

On HIM's LA street team Twitter feed (, I saw a contest through Jamplify where you can win tickets to see HIM along with Volbeat, All That Remains and Airborne if the Monster Rock Allegiance tour comes through your city... (Or, in the style of Throwing Horns Abroad - through a city you want to travel to!)

Help me win, by clicking  - each unique click earns me points towards winning. THEN you can sign up for your own account, and spread the word about the show while earning points towards your own chance of winning free tickets.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Helsinki - Sons of Winter and Stars

Band: Wintersun
Venue: Tuska Open Air Metal Festival at the Suvilahti event field
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Date: June 28, 2013

I've seen Wintersun once before, at home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada when they played The Republik with Eluvitie and Varg.  The show was awesome (despite the small stage and small venue) but the fans were the really remarkable element of the show.

They were insane!

The Wintersun audience was probably the most energetic audience I've ever seen, with a great circle pit developing and a big push forward towards the stage almost immediately.

I expected nothing less when I was lucky enough to see Wintersun in their home country of Finland, at the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival.

Wintersun at Tuska in Helsinki

Wintersun took the stage at 4:15pm on the first day of the show, and was one of the first acts I saw at the festival. I've never been to a festival this large before (Tuska brings in 20,000 - 30,000 metal fans per year) and Wintersun was an amazing way to start the experience.  The fans were just as energetic (despite the early hour and the hot sun) and the band seemed to really be having just as good of a time on stage, as we were all having in front of the stage.  

Wintersun at Tuska in Helsinki

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Upcoming show - Rock Allegiance Tour 2013

One of the next multi-band shows that I'll be attending is the Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour 2013 which will play in Calgary, Alberta on September 9th.
Other Canadian stops include:
  • Hamilton, Ontario
  • Abbotsford, BC
  • Edmonton, Alberta

The tour features Volbeat, HIM, All That Remains (for most dates) and Airbourne.

The full tour dates are as follows:
8/23 St. Paul, MN @ The Myth *All That Remains will not be playing this date.
8/24 Twin Lakes, WI @ Shadow Hill Ranch Festival
8/25 Cincinnati, OH @ US Bank Arena
8/26 Hamilton, ON @ Copps Coliseum
8/28 Sterling Heights, MI @ Freedom Hill
8/29 Bloomington, IL @ US Cellular Coliseum
8/30 Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
8/31 Tulsa, OK @ Convention Center Arena
9/03 Salt Lake City, UT @ Maverick Centre
9/04 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
9/08 Abbotsford, BC @ Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Center
9/09 Calgary, AB @ Big 4 Building
9/10 Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
9/15 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Music Festival
9/16 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
9/18 Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre @ Grand Prairie
9/19 Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
9/21 Gulfport, MS @ Jones Park CPR Fest
9/22 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
9/23 Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum
9/25 SAYERVILLE, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
9/26 Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage @ The Mann
9/27 Lowell, MA @ Tsongas Center at UMASS Lowell
9/28 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Waterfront
I find it interesting how a few of the dates have the tour coordinating with another music festival (Shadow Hill Ranch Festival in Twin Lakes, Aftershock in Sacramento, CPR Fest in Gulfport).

Luckily, I'll be able to see this show right here at home, and won't have to travel for it. If you are going to see the show, where will you be seeing it? If you could travel to any one of the cities on the tour, where would you go?

Stay tuned, I'll hopefully have photos from the shows later on in September!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Throwing Horns Abroad is now on Facebook

I'm just starting out on Facebook, but if you're interested in travel and music, come join me on Facebook and share your stories!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Toronto - Wall of Sound

Band: Firewind
Venue: The Mod Club
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: Feb 9, 2012

I first heard of Greek heavy metal band Firewind because they featured Apocalyptia on a song on their most recent album.  I actually wasn't overly keen on the song, but it turns out that it didn't really represent all of their music (at least not to my ears) so it was interesting to see them live.

(note: Apocalyptica isn't actually visually in the video, much to the complaints of Apo-fans!)

Firewind is the 'side project' of Gus G, best known as the guitar player for Ozzy Osborne.  Firewind started as a demo project to showcase Gus's talent and earn him a recording deal, but has since evolved to a stand-alone project.  For the tour, Firewind also had Kelly Sundown Carpenter standing in on vocals, after loosing their original singer Apollo Papathanasio (who reportedly couldn't keep up with the band's touring schedule.).  I didn't actually know this when I saw the show, but even then sort of felt as though the singer was somewhat detached from the rest of the band, not unlike when Apocalyptica has a guest singer come along when they tour. It looks like Kelly has subsequently joined the band, though Firewind has not reported plans for their next studio album with the new singer according to Wikipedia.  A live album is set for release in 2013 according to their website.

Gus G and Bob Katsionis

 The band played 8 songs, including:
  1. Wall of Sound
  2. Head Up High
  3. Destination Forever
  4. Few Against Many
  5. World on Fire
  6. The Fire & the Fury
  7. Mercenary Man
  8. Falling
Gus G. - founder and lead guitar for Firewind

I enjoyed Firewind, and have listened to them a bit since the show but I was glad that Turisas was the headliner, as I enjoyed them considerably more.  Still, the audience was filled with more than a few people who were there for Firewind, and considered Turisas to be a 'nice addition' to who they were really there to see. I'd definitely say that Gus G (along with keyboard player and rhythm guitar player Bob Katsionis) was an amazing showman.  Although he sometimes seemed absorbed in his own world, he really knew how to perform, and it was hard to stop watching either musician.

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Monday, August 05, 2013

Toronto - To Holmgard And Beyond

Band: Turisas
Venue: The Mod Club
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: Feb 9, 2012

Right after booking a trip to Hawaii, I found out that one of my 'top-6' favourite bands was coming to Canada... at the same time I'd be in Hawaii.  Normally I'd head out to much closer Vancouver for a show, but that wasn't going to work because I'd be 5,000 kilometers southwest when the band was in Vancouver.

I considered other cities - perhaps Denver, were Emilia lives - the woman who had first introduced me to the band - but that date too was a no-go because of my pre-existing Hawaii trip.

Instead, I looked east, and figured that if I flew out on Friday and flew back to Calgary on Sunday... I could catch the Toronto show before flying off to Hawaii on Monday.

... I didn't anticipate a crazy snowstorm hitting Toronto the day before I left...

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So... where do I go?

After taking a cab to the venue (much easier than trying to take transit in the crazy snow) I wasn't entirely sure where to go... this is the problem with unknown venues (which will always be the case when traveling for shows) and little/no/late signage, I'm never terribly sure where to go.  I was going to ask one guy standing around, until I realized he was waiting for a van to unload - he was one of the members of the opening act bands!  The line up was short when I got there, but I chatted with some folks, and through random conversations, those of us with the pre-shop meet & greet passes all got together, and eventually got in before the show to meet up with the band members.

Turisas' Guitar player Jussi Wickström

The meet & greet was filled with chatting, laughter, photos, autographs, and more than a little teasing and joking, before we headed back downstairs to wait for the official doors opening.  We got the chance to check our coats before everyone, and got in for front-row-center spots for the show.

Fanatical fans

The show was awesome, of course.. (I wouldn't bother writing about it if it weren't) and I was surprised to see the number of fans in black and red 'warpaint' or dressed up in the same style as the band.  I didn't anticipate that!

Turisas also had the chance to meet up with Sharon Ehman from Toxic Vision. Although I didn't see/recognize her, based on the photos she published a few days later, we were standing almost right beside one another - I remember her camera from the show! (I rarely see big DLSRs at the front row of a metal show!)

Vocalist (the Warlord) Mathias Nygård

I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have printed set lists for me to photograph/snag as a souvenir and to share with you, but instead I'm posting some of my photos!

On violin, Olli Vänskä