Sweden Rejmyre Part II: The lost report! 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 10:51 PM
Yes, my babies, it took some coaxing but my secret guest reporter decided not to leave us hanging in suspense. I bring you this special edition part II of the Sweden show, courtesy of our mystery writer. --yours--Armadillo--

Postscript:

I’ve been told that it is customary to include details of an actual show in a road report. I reject that analysis (based on previous road reports) but if you insist…


7/27/13-Somewhere in the wilds of Sweden [Yes, it was indeed NORRkopping…picky picky]

Skeetkjet Festival is different from the other festivals TS has played in a couple of significant ways. It is much smaller, having only a few major artists on the bill, with a slew of indigenous bands taking up most of the time. And it is run as a not-for-profit event, for the enjoyment of the community. Apart from the non-Swedish artists, everyone working there is a volunteer; and upon our arrival, we could be excused for thinking that the freebie concept extended to the production suppliers as well.

What do we mean by that? Well, for starters, we suspect that the cause of the muffled stage monitors (more on that below) must have been because the PA company didn’t want to donate actual horns to put into the wedges. What else do we mean?

We mean that the stage was small. Very small. Very very small. How small was it? Well, when Mark got a headache, AJ had to take the aspirin (Bad-dum, bum!) How small was it? It was so small you could have used it to drill a pilot hole for a real stage (Bad-dum, bum!) How small was it? It was so small I saw a hunchback mouse (Bad-dum, bum!) How small was it? It was so small the moths (see part 1) had to get tower clearance just to land (Bad-dum, bum!)

Ok, maybe the last one was a tad overstated, but this stage was small. Like Hole-in-The-Wall small. And walled-in on all sides. Just the sight of it would have sent most bands into a “We’ve already been paid, so lets get this thing over with asap” mentality. Most bands.

But if you’re reading this, you already know…TS ain’t most bands.

In spite of the postage stamp sized stage. In spite of the low light trusses that allowed only the top half of the banner to be visible*. In spite of the horrendous monitors (so bad Dee had to address them during the show, an unheard of occurrence). In spite of all that, or perhaps using all these issues as fuel, and buttressed by the arrival of their instruments (if not the rest of the bags, see Dee’s twitter feed for the full saga on that one) the boys proceeded to turn in a performance to remember.

*-The backdrop brought to Skrewjet was the UTB Album Cover. To understand the rest of this paragraph, take a moment to pull that cover out from your collection, and note the positioning of the five bandmembers. Given the height problem, this meant the backdrop could not be fully raised, and therefore the band worked their evening’s magic at Sploogejet under the watchful eyes of just Eddie, Mark and JJ. AJ could only partially be seen (peeking through a metal TS pyro frame). And Dee’s image spent the night staring at (the real) AJ’s butt.

Here are some (but by no means all) of the highlights from Sturbojet 2013. Keep in mind that unlike your usual reporter, this reporter 1)-Couldn’t take notes live, and B)-Had other stuff to concern me so I surely missed some musical standout stuff (solo’s etc.). In fact the only solo I heard from my location was JJ’s on Shoot ‘Em Down, and it was a beaut. But I’ll leave the remaining fretwork and music reviews out and disqualify myself on that count, other than to add that perhaps due to how close everyone was to each other, on stage at least it sounded ultra-ultra tight.

It was physically ultra ultra tight as well in that little bandbox, and this led to some hysterical stuff.

Sharp-eyed SMFs have long been aware of the physical interplay (abuse really) that goes on in the background during some songs. Well A’s babies, at Swampjet that interplay was taken to a new high/low.

Given the lack of room, JJ, Eddie and Mark started early on to use the necks of their instruments as lances to create a path to cross the stage. Soon the jousting began. Mark speared JJ. JJ speared Eddie. During I Believe in R+R, Mark lined up Eddie in his cross hairs. But Mr. O was waiting for him. Timing his ripost perfectly during the stop section, in one move Eddie downstruck a chord, then grabbed Mark’s shirt with his right hand to hold him in place, then used his left to piledrive the headstock of his guitar deep into The Animal’s unclothed shoulder, then upstroked the next chord without missing a beat. It was poetry in motion; and it was effective. Despite the crew’s best efforts at triage, it took most of the rest of the set for the ensuing blood flow to cease. Bandmates inflicting pain upon each other. Ah…good times. And Mark seemed to appreciate it more than anyone. Although if I were Eddie, I’d be staying on my side of the stage for a while.

And bloodsport wasn’t the only thing engendered by the small stage. Since Shananajet took place in Sweden, in Twisted-world, that means pyro (don’t ask, it’s a complicated explanation). Combine pyro and small stage and what do you get (apart from an intro announcer practically diving out of the way after skittishly performing his duties)? That’s right folks; you get singed hair.

On two occasions during Burn In Hell (or The Fire Still Burns, I forget which), when Dee headbanged (headbung?) forward, several blonde locks were incinerated. The incidents did not go without on-mike comment from Mr. Snider, who was in particularly fine comedic form on this night. More on that shortly.

Dee also had another trick up his (imaginary) sleeve as well. [and so do I. Here comes the Faulkner sentence].

The audience at Semmeffjet required so little prompting during I Wanna Rock (they got all the way to rock+fist+jump in a single bound, in spite of the bizarre topography of the field they stood upon, which seemed configured to make any sudden movement, never mind jumping, end in a lawsuit) that Mr. S became inspired to rearrange his own signature composition for the occasion. As the crew looked on with a mixture of terror and awe, Dee inserted 8 additional Rock’s into the outro, and the band followed the lead as if they had been doing it that way for 30 years. It was a new ending for I Wanna Rock!! And it was great (albeit a tad reggae tinged, according to several sources).

Show me a band that can improvise, live and on the fly, a new ending to one of their biggest hits, after playing it the same way for decades, and I’ll show you…I’ll show you…hmmm, I can’t think of anyone else to show you; just our guys.

I doubt they’ll ever do it again though. This was a one time thing. And you missed it, Terry. [OK, that last bit was mean, but your absence has now cost me a lot more time than I thought it would, so I gotta make you suffer, Ter].

Back to the aforementioned comedy moments. I wish I could remember them all, but at my age, I’m lucky if I remember where I live. So you’ll have to be satisfied with the two bon mots that I managed to retain.

Pre-SMF, those in the crowd who had just waited for the encore and not cheered were sent away with the message “Head on back to your tents, losers; and get an early start on your masturbation”!

And since the TS Random Sampling Rock or Fuck survey was started in Sweden a year ago, SplishsplashIwastakinabathjet was the spot where the worldwide results were announced…Fuck-50, Rock-0. Its official. People would rather fuck than rock. [Personally, I woulda been the one guy voting the other way, unless you count blowjobs. But there I go digressing again].

Before regaling you with a final highlight, let me restate that I don’t wish to minimize the musical aspects of the show. From where I stood, it sounded exceptionally energetic, tight, and inspired. But unfortunately I can't give more details because from said vantage point I only heard fractions of things. There’s a lot going on up there (sonically and otherwise), as you well know.

Anyway, there was one joke that didn’t work on this particular evening. But it led to a moment that bears mention.

It went something like this (forgive me Dee, for butchering your prose):

After JJ pointed out how few bands were still out there with all their original members, Dee picked up the point, stating (and I’m really paraphrasing; it was much better done than this)---

Q-“You know the secret to having all the original members in your band?”

A-“Nobody’s allowed to die!”

It was funnier than that, I swear it was. But that’s not the point. The point was the NO ONE in the audience laughed. These Swedish SMFs, who hitherto had been hooting and howling at every punchline (English is taught as a mandatory second language in all Swedish schools) did not so much as chortle. If there was a any reaction at all to speak of, it was essentially the Swedish version of a collective-

“Tru dat!”

OUCH!

But ouch with results. Soon after that moment came time for band introductions. But before he went into the intros (say THAT three times fast) Dee spoke words to this effect:

“The reaction to that joke about not dying has caused me to reflect”. And then he dropped all hint of sarcasm, turned around to face the rest of the band, and said “Its an honor to share the stage with you guys”.
---------------------------------------------------------

Well, there you have it. I hope you're happy with yourself, Terry. Don’t ever make me do this to you again. You’re on double secret probation.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

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