ROD'S DIARY - STOCKHOLM JULY 16
Sat in production office in Helsinki about an hour before we go on. Been a hectic couple of days in Stockholm. A bit behind again but a couple of days off soon so promise to catch up. Before final part on Twickenham and first few shows I thought it best to get up to date.
Bruce, H, Davey and Nicko were in the UK so we flew in together arriving in Stockholm about 5. The gig was at the 32,000 capacity Stockholm Stadium which is fairly central in the city. Stockholm has about a million population out of Sweden's 9 million total and has always been a great city for Maiden. We have played this stadium a couple of times before, its almost Medieval looking with some fine towers by the stage, one flying the Swedish flag and one the Union Jack -- nice thought from the promoters. (Although I do sometimes wonder what this flag stands for after the many actions and inactions of our government but lets not get into this minefield). The city itself is quite beautiful. No high rise buildings so its good to see a landscape with spires and domes which you don't get much in major cities anymore. And it is built around water with vast archipelagos not far away. Water, saunas and beer is a way of life here. Like all of the Nordic territories people are very friendly, very civilised, love their metal and definitely know how to have fun. In the summer the daylight hours last hours from about 4am til 10pm, and its never really dark. But of course it's the other way round in the winter so you have to know how to make your own fun when its so dark most of the time and of course cold. However the day of the show was a wonderful bright day and although rain was forecast it never arrived.
Along with Ullevi this show sold out in just over 2 hours last November. It is called the Maiden Religion here. We even get paparazzi who are cool if you let them take a quick pick in exchange for leaving you alone. Jan found this out when he went around the various pubs the night before the show, followed by a couple of cameras. They seem fascinated that such big "stars" here wish wander around the bars with no security and not a care in the world. We just think its natural.
Following Twickenham I thought this was another blinder of a show, and that may be the right word as it didn't get dark til near the end of the show. Even our blinders weren't very blinding. And all that money spent on lights!! The screens were daylight screens of course so all the audience got a great view and of course being so light the band got a great view of the audience, who were of course as terrific as they always are. The following morning I picked up the papers and had someone translate and they were stellar with massive coverage, along with pics of Jan in the pub of course.
The following day Dave, Jan, Gaddsy and I went out of town to a friends place. Barry was our merchandiser for many years and is a great mate. He has an amazing house on the waterfront (his wife is Swedish) and we went out there for beer and barbeque, ferried out there on a small motor boat past some amazing scenery. Had a relaxing day in preparation for big shows in Helsinki and Tempere. Dave even tried his hand at fishing without much success, although we were later unreliably informed that the rod he left on the quay with line hanging in the water did catch a fish but after we had gone.
More later, show starts in 15 min!!
(Hit the next pages for lots more photos)
Ian looks for inspiration while Bruce checks the racing results.
Don't think these fans are dressed for catering, but it is Sweden.
Danger - crew at work!
Don't let him get me, says Shaun.
Waiting for Lauren.
Steve hides to watch Lauren.
Take out your earplugs then!
Two union flags and mum I'm on TV! View from the sound desk.
Ready and waiting.
Where's that bloody boat?
There it is!!!
Our chariot arrives
On the way.
Look, no eyes!
Prepare to fish.
Sod the fish says Gaddsy, drink like 'em instead.
Dave, Gunnar, Jan, Barry and Gaddsy.
My arty bit.
A bit more art.
You work it out!