Helloween Unarmed

Helloween Unarmed

Helloween Unarmed

I’ve read and heard really bad reviews about Helloween’s new album Unarmed. I can say that I understand those reviews but I disagree with them. The album was not made for ordinary people. It’s a 25th Anniversary album and It was made for the fans. And even if you are a Helloween fan, you still need to have a very open mind to like and even understand the album.

First of all, let me tell you why I like the album. I liked it because it was a brave album. The band had to have guts to release it. It just proves how creative they are and have always been. They took all some of their hits and re-recorded them in a variety of styles ranging from jazz to metal with bits of folk and blues, and they did it with help from some gifted musicians around the world.

Here’s a song by song review: (more…)


Last night I lost the opportunity to attend Whitesnake’s gig because of a mobile battery that went down. A friend of mine from São Paulo who is in Rio had free tickets but couldn’t phone me because my number was on her dead phone. This same friend also has free tickets for today’s gig, but not for Whitesnake, today Queensryche will be rocking Rio. All I know about them is that they’re a pretty solid band from the USA and they’ve been rocking since the 80s and they have Geoff Tate as their singer. Geoff is one of the best Rock singers in history, so watching him sing makes the night very worthy. I’ve listened to their material before, it’s good, but I can’t say I’m a fan.

This morning I was thinking about all the gigs I’ve attended in almost thirty years of life. They weren’t many, I’m afraid. I wish I could have watched more gigs, you know? sometimes I missed gigs because I didn’t have money, or because I wasn’t in town, or because I didn’t have anyone to go with me, or simply because I was too lazy to go. I’ll now try to list all the gigs I went to:

Iron Maiden (1996, 1998, 2001 & 2008), Helloween (1998, 2001, 2004, 2006 & 2008), Bruce Dickinson (1995, 1996, 1997 & 1998), Gamma Ray (2003 & 2008), Dream Theater (1997), Blaze (2002), Paul Di’anno (2005), Eric Clapton (2001), Rolling Stones (2006), Tribuzy (2005, 2006 & 2007), REM (2001), Red Hot Chilli Peppers (2001), Guns ‘n’ Roses (2001), Skid Row (1996), Motorhead (1996), Dio (1997), Scorpions (1997), Halford (2001), Foo Fighters (2001), Silverchair (2001), Dave Mathews Band (2001),  Masterplan (2003), Sepultura (2001), Dr. Sin (2006), Jeff Scott Soto (2005) and Queensryche (2008).

As you may see, not an impressive list. I wonder if this list can be improved in the future with some huge names on it. This year I’ve already missed Whitesnake, Ozzy and Deep Purple. Let’s hope I won’t miss any good gigs anymore.

Me, myself, without Irene (the day after)

Left work, took my car, faced a huge stressful traffic jam to have a fantastic night! And am I feeling good? Not really! I’m pretty down, actually.

Half an hour before the gig I stopped at a restaurant to have dinner. Ate a very nice pasta as fast as I could, coz I was getting late for the gig. An interesting fact about this fast pit stop at the restaurant was the waitress. Not because she was cute or hot, but because I was wearing a Helloween t-shirt and she said: “Are you going to the gig?” And I said: “In a matter of fact, yeah, I am. I’m a bit late actually. I kind of need the meal asap.” The fact that she actually knew who Helloween was, is great!

Anyway, I arrived at the venue 30 min after my meal and 30 minutes before the gig. The venue is under a mall, so since I was alone, I decided to go for a walk in the mall to see if I could bump into someone I knew. I couldn’t find anyone, so I decided to enter the venue. As I put my feet inside it, I bumped into Sylvia, someone that I know from the music studio where I often hang out. In fact, we just said hello and she didn’t seem very excited to see me, so I said bye bye and told her I would talk to her later (I was lying, of course!). Some minutes later I saw 2 guys who I once knew from a galaxy far, far away. So, I pretty much didn’t talk to anybody during the whole gig, nor during my way back home. Actually, I only talked with someone when the phone rang this morning and it wasn’t for me!

Well, I did open my mouth! I just didn’t open it to talk, but I opened to sing all the songs, hehe! I also shook my body in some occasions hehe! As for the gig itself, it was AMAZING! I already knew Gamma Ray was able to deliver a very energetic gig! Energy was something that lacked Helloween in their 2006 gig, and that was the reason I was a bit, let’s say, not so excited about it. But, it was a surprise after all! Helloween is a band again! It appears the’ve finally gotten over all those internal problems and the new (not so new anymore) members are totally integrated with the original band members and the fans! The Helloween ‘spirit’ is alive again! It was the best Helloween gig (considering stage, setlist and band ebergy) I ever saw with my very own eyes! Even better than the 98 gig when they supported Maiden. Oh, and I was almost forgetting to mention the fact that Kai Hansen went on stage to sing/play the last 2 songs with Helloween. Kai left Helloween in 89 to form Gamma Ray, so watching him on stage with Helloween was a dream come true. It was a chilling moment. I actually got the chills for more or less 5 minutes! Amazing!

And now I go back to the first paragraph of this post. I’m feeling down. Really am. Not having anybody (colleague, friend, relative or girlfriend) to share this special moment is very depressing and sad. Instead of being a nice and talkative (full of comments about the gig) drive home with friends, it was a long, cold, and silent one.

Me, Myself, without Irene!

No real reason for me being absent for all this time. A lot has happened in this meantime. My brother came with his girlfriend to spend 10 days here, we went out almost everyday and we even went for a short road trip towards the mountains region of Rio. We had a nice time, I only wish we could do this more often, but you know, it’s kind of difficult when you live more than 2.000 km away from each other.

Not so long after he went back to his hometown, Recife (northeast of the country), I went there! In fact, I was going to my father’s house, which is in a city called João Pessoa, 120km away from Recife. So, I took a plane to Recife spent the morning there and went to my father’s house with my brother by car. The real reason for this short trip to a distant place was a surprise. A surprise for my father, who was going to be honored at the City Hall. He received a very important title for improving the industry of tourism in João Pessoa (yes, my father works with tourism!). Anyway, the surprise actually worked! You should have seen his face when we arrived there. He had no idea we would be there! Really, really nice! Anyway, the ceremony was good, simple and fast. I was a bit worried, thinking it would take lots of time and lots of politicians would speak for ceaseless hours. But thankfully, I was wrong. After the ceremony, we went to the hotel where my father works for a very nice cocktail that lasted a few hours. I spent 3 more days there, enjoyed my little brothers, went for a swim in that huge swimming pool, and some other stuff. It was a nice time to relax, I needed that.

Came back to Rio two weeks ago, and since then I’ve been working. A guess that’s what normal human beings do, right? They work! Anyway, nothing much has been happening in my life. Well, actually there’s this new girl at work, she’s not Monica Bellucci, but she’s interesting, cute, the type of girl I like, you know? And I’m tottally terrified of talking to her, of presenting myself. Jeez, what happens to me? I’m a lost case!

Tonight Gamma Ray and Helloween will rock Rio! Am I excited about this? Not really! I’ve been going to Helloween gigs since 96 and although they’re my second or third (really don’t know) favourite band, their gig is not new to me, so I know what to expect: I’ll go there, watch the gig, enjoy the music and I’ll leave the venue very satisfied. And that’s it! Now the Gamma Ray gig is kind of interesting. It’s their second time in the city. I went to their first gig (2004?) and they rocked! Watching Kai Hansen on stage was totally worthy it! I haven’t followed Ray’s career since ‘Somewhere Out in Space’, but I know their material is good and they will play 2 or 3 songs from ‘Land of the Free’, so no doubt it will be awesome! And what is THE most important thing: Gamma Ray + Helloween, (one band that originated from the other) are playing together for the first time after years of fights and accusations in the press. Seems things are ok with them now, let’s hope it stays like this for a long while. One thing that is bothering me is the fact I’m going to the gig alone! alone again! Or should I say alone as always? A few people said they would go with me, but at the last moment they gave up with different excuses. I really don’t give a damn if the excuses are true or not. They’re not going and that is it! I’ll do what I do best: enjoy a nice meal, enjoy a nice concert, enjoy a nice drive by the coast back home, all by myself! Me, Myself, without Irene!

To go or not to go?

Ozzy Osbourne has confirmed his South American dates and he will play here in Rio next month. When I heard rumours about this show I decided that I would not see it. Ozzy? Come on! The guys is dead and he still doesn’t know!

I remember back in 95 when it was the last time he played here in Rio (if my memory isn’t playing tricks on me). It was a hell of a show! I didn’t go at the time (don’t remember why), but I know a few people who went and for what they told me, I really regretted not going! Really did! And this regret is what is trying to convince me to go this time! But I honestly don’t know! I don’t think Ozzy can perform on stage anymore, can he? In what condition is his voice?

Money is THE big issue! I have just spent loads of money going to see Maiden in São Paulo (plus a mini holiday) a few weeks ago. Helloween has confirmed its gig here in Rio with Gamma Ray as special guests (and this is a MUST GO) next month. So, going to see Helloween probably means not going to see Ozzy. Not necessarily if I withdraw money from my saving accounts. The question is: Is Ozzy still worthy it?

Edit: I just saw this video recorded in Toronto last January. See it! Oh better, don’t see it. It’s a waste of time. Ozzy is totally out shape, he can’t even sing the high notes anymore. It’s sad how he destroyed one of my favourite songs. I could have slept today without watching this video. No way I’m going to waste 200 bucks to see him. That’s very sad indeed. :-/

Gamble With the Devil

Gamble with the Devil, the new Helloween album due October 31st, has leaked and I downloaded it last night (don’t worry, I’m going to buy it). My first impression after listening to it quickly was: What the fuck is that? Can’t believe they made this shit!

Now I’m listening to it as I write here and my second impression is: What the fuck? How could I think this was a shit? Am I stupid? It fucking rocks!