We had the tiler out this morning to put the backsplash in, and the kitchen is basically finished now. The bits above the cupboards still need painting, but in terms of every day use, it’s done, and looks brilliant! The plumbing and electrics were all hooked up yesterday, and you have no idea how delightful it is to actually have a dishwasher now after three-and-a-half years of not having one.
We’ve not used the new induction cooktop properly in anger yet, but we made pasta last night, I put the “Boost” mode on, and it took the water from cold to a roiling boil in five minutes flat. I also seasoned the stainless steel frying pans that we bought from IKEA and had written off as being useless because they stick (apparently seasoning is essential) though they’ve not been put to the test yet. The only casualty in the change to induction is the wok, which despite having a fridge magnet stick to the bottom of it, isn’t sensed by the cooktop. Kristina did a bunch of reading and the best type to get is a carbon steel one, so we’ve got one on the way.
I also saw Lacuna Coil live last night, for the first time in seven years (due to them not having toured here in that long), and they absolutely ruled. They played all the songs I was hoping for. ? I saw them back in 2007 as well, and was a fair bit closer then but with a significantly crappier phone camera (and also a far far higher tolerance for shitty photos, evidently). 😛 Irritatingly, I had to leave half-way through the last song or I was going to miss the last train home due to there being trackwork this weekend. I’m currently running on about five hours of sleep because I didn’t get home until just before 1:30am, and woke up at 6:40am because the tiler was coming. Note to self, don’t schedule things early on a Saturday morning in future.
We went to see Apocalyptica last night. For those that don’t know, the band consists of a drummer and three dudes playing cellos. And holy fuck they rock the hell out! I was seriously blown away. They play the cellos like they’re guitars, and the speed at which they play is just astonishing. Check out this video for an example. They were on stage for a solid hour and a half and it was goddamn awesome.
It was definitely one of the most impressive shows I’ve been to. They really interacted with the crowd and you could tell the loved the hell out of being up there and playing. At the end of the show they were genuinely grateful to everyone for showing up. I find bands that don’t interact with the crowd to be boring as hell.
There were a couple of annoyances though. First was security at the place being utter dicks. Before getting in they pored through every nook and cranny of my bag and were asking about what was in my pockets too, then told kungfupolarbear that she couldn’t bring her water bottle in, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS EMPTY. Then when Apocalyptica were playing I was taking a photo with my iPhone and this dickhead security guard told me to put it away, and was standing right next to us for the next ten minutes standing over everyone and looking everyone up and down. Way to ruin the mood, fuckwit. I can understand not letting people in with DSLRs who aren’t part of the official press or whatever, but who the fuck stops people taking photos on their phones of the concert they’re at, especially in this day and age?! Ugh. Definitely not going to the Hi-Fi again if I can possibly avoid it.
Secondly, there were a bunch of drunk fuckwits in the audience who were talking loudly through the quiet parts of the performance in the middle of the show. I didn’t hear them until the quiet bit, but apparently they were talking through almost the whole first half, and kungfupolarbear was about to explode into a ball of rage. :\
But other than that, wow. That show would definitely rank up there with the best I’ve seen! We’re going to see Warbringer in October (they were the opening band for Finntroll when we saw them in Boston the first time I visited), and I just found out today that Nightwish is touring in January next year. Woot!
I went to the Factory Theatre in Marrickville last night to see Devin Townsend and Meshuggah, neither of which I’d seen live before.
Meshuggah was the headlining show, and they were excellent, but Devin Townsend stole the show IMO. He had so much interaction with the crowd and you could completely tell he utterly loved being up there. I was right at the very front on the right side of the stage, and he made a point to come over to both sides of the stage and amp up the crowd. At one point he was individually looking at and acknowledging people and saying “Thank you”.
The songs were absolutely epic, and I was headbanging as hard as I’ve ever done before. It was absolutely one of the best shows I’ve been to. It ran a bit later than I expected, and so I ended up running more than half-way from the venue to Sydenham train station to catch the last train of the night (11:52pm), and I didn’t get home until a bit after 1am. I was definitely stiff today and I suspect will be even more so tomorrow!
Also, kungfupolarbear is the best wife in the world. I came home to this on the kitchen counter. 😀
The stop-over in Oberon ended up being unnecessary, as it was quite a bit closer to Bathurst than we realised. The place we stayed at was clean, but that’s about all that could be said about it. The bed was exceedingly uncomfortable, and poor kungfupolarbear ended up with a very sore back from it.
BUT! The farm stay more than made up for it. We got there a bit after two in the afternoon on Sunday, and the weather was absolutely perfect. The owner, Elaine, was really friendly, and we had free rein to go around and say hello to all the animals. They had horses, a pony, sheep, chickens, and alpacas, though we didn’t see the alpacas. There was also a very friendly border collie, who absolutely delighted in all the attention we gave her.
We fed the horses and the chickens, and kungfupolarbear got to feed the lamb and hold a chicken! I had relatives who had a farm when I was growing up, but kungfupolarbear has never had the farm experience before. It seriously should be something everyone gets the chance to do.
Tonight we went and saw UNKLE at the Sydney Opera House. Given they’re an electronic show, I was surprised at how much electric guitar and rocking there was. It was quite good though.
And now, it’s time to collapse into bed. Before I do, here’s a couple of my favourite photos from the farm stay. The full set is here.
We just got back from seeing them at the Manning Bar. I saw them in Boston for the first time when I was visiting kungfupolarbear, and they fucking rocked. They didn’t disappoint this time either. The two opening bands, Bane of Isildur and Claim the Throne, were excellent as well. SO MUCH HEADBANGING.
Of course, I’m not going to be able to move when I wake up tomorrow, but it’s so worth it.
Last night was fucking excellent. The first two bands (All That Remains and 36 Crazyfists) were very average, but Lacuna Coil and DevilDriver ruled. Getting there horribly early actually worked out pretty well, I was up the very front for the entire concert, and I was hanging out with two people that’d come up from Melbourne to see the show.
Lacuna Coil’s set was a bit short (admittedly with four bands playing no-one really gets a long set), but they played one of the songs from their upcoming album “Shallow Life”… if that’s any indication of the quality of the rest of the album, it’s going to be fucking awesome. (The song is “Spellbound”, it’s on their MySpace page if you’re interested). They said they were going to be out here again before the end of the year on a headlining tour! Oh fuck yes!
And DevilDriver put on an awesome show as always. They always look like they’re having a whole shitload of fun up there. And of course the music is headbangingly fucking AWESOME.
My god this is going to be a fucking awesome year for concerts. We have:
- Lacuna Coil — 25th June, at the Enmore Theatre
- Opeth — 6th September, at the Big Top
- Meshuggah — 13th October, at the Roundhouse
And I’m seeing Soilwork tonight at the Manning Bar at Sydney Uni!
FUCKING MESHUGGAH! They haven’t come out here before ever!
Holy goddamn shit.
And Sam Dunn of Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey fame was there, I shook his hand and my roommate got a photo with him!
Nightwish was fucking awesome. The new vocalist is extremely good!
I’ve uploaded a bunch of photos. The only disappointment — and it’s not even anything to do with the band — is that they actually divided the venue up into two… people who ordered their tickets early got directly in front of the stage, and those of us that got them a bit later were a reasonable distance back, and we couldn’t get any closer. 🙁 I was really looking forward to getting some good pics from the front, and good christ I wish I’d been in the moshpit, it was going off.
All in all through, I’m very fucking impressed!
There’s a handful of movies I took as well, I’ll upload them later. Right now I’m crashing into bed!
Oh, I forgot to post, we saw Amon Amarth Sunday night before last. I was in the second row from the front, it fucking RULED. Took a bunch of pics with my phone, but of the 35-odd I took, these were the only decent ones. (Sammi’s Sony-Ericsson doesn’t take particularly sharp photos, but they’re not overly grainy. My phone is a Nokia 6110, in good light it’ll take great photos, but for things like concerts most of the photos end up grainy as shit. 🙁 )
By the time the concert was over my t-shirt was absolutely drenched, you’d swear I’d just been through a tropical rainstorm or something. 😛