….as you may have noticed…

20 10 2008

…there is a change in layout to marvel at on this page. Instead of the Philadelphia skyline as seen from the Schuylkill Expressway, you are now looking at a panorama of the ‚Altstädter Kirchenplatz‘ in Erlangen. This has to do with the fact that I am now back in Erlangen and after two weeks of getting everything back in place (most of all my sense of day and night), there’s nothing really new to mention. The town still looks the same, the people I’ve met up to this point haven’t changed and it seems that time might just as well have been suspended for seven months in Erlangen while it went at a faster pace elsewhere. It’s really hard to think back on half a year of new impressions, new encounters and life-changing experiences when you come back to just the same old dull crap and all that you’ve seen seems to be overshadowed by this uncanny reluctancy to evolve. But before I get too philosophical, let’s look at the good things: I’m back in the arms of mother S, and apparently, I’m being missed somewhere…Just admit it, there’s simply no cooler person than myself 😀

Meanwhile, school has started again and it already seems that all my good intentions (study more, harder and more efficient) were only intentions and not implementable in everyday college life. I’m already now way behind in my reading assignments and I’m taking way too many classes. Some will have to be postponed to a later semester because with all the other stuff I’m up to – working, playing music, working in the shop at the airfield in winter, preparing my lesson for the winter gliding theory course etc. pp. – there’s not really time to devote enough attention to ALL the classes I wanted to take. We’ll see how it works out, latest in January, when I’m drowning in work for my term papers.

Oh and by the way: M, you need to update your blog more often…you don’t want me to get outta touch, do ya? Anyway, I’m off to the library now, I need to get a grip on all this reading material somehow.

Peace, I’m out.


An evening with….

18 09 2008

Sometimes, you wonder what the odds are in things that happen to you. And yesterday I wondered a lot. I announced in my previous entry that there was an Opeth gig coming up at the Trocadero in Philadelphia. So we went there yesterday and after…well….enduring the two opening acts on the elevated tier area of the theater (the Troc obviously used to serve as a theater, judging from the interior), we ventured to the balcony bar on the first floor level and stood around for a while before we were going to move on to the downstairs pit area. Suddenly a bunch of people walk past us, headed for the VIP lounge area to the side of the stage. I thought: ‚Hey, that one guy looked familiar‘ … next thing you know, 5 minutes after that happened, a guy walks up to me and says something like: ‚Cool T-Shirt, was a hell of a show‘ – I was wearing my „Progressive Nation 2008“ tour t-shirt. Then he adds: ‚Did you see Mike Portnoy is here?‘ – And then it struck me: the guy who looked so familiar WAS in fact Mike Portnoy, drummer of the world’s best band, DREAM THEATER.

Now, it’s not a secret that MP is an Opeth fan – Opeth played on the Progressive Nation tour, and Mikael Akerfeldt did a guest appearance on Dream Theater’s last album Systematic Chaos (the spoken section in ‚Repentance‘). Also, Mike and Mikael did a video log for the Progressive Nation tour, where they discussed their affection for Prog Rock, the beginnings of their musical career and how they came to be fans of each other’s bands. Of course, both bands are signed with Roadrunner Records.

So far, so good. Witnessing Opeth live was again a great experience. The sound was mixed very well, the songs they played spanned a time from the ’96 album ‚Morningrise‘ to the 2008 record ‚Watershed‘ and even some more mellow tunes from ‚Damnation‘ made it into the set (only one, for that matter – ‚Hope Leaves‘). Singer and guitarist Mikael Akerfeldt’s announcements in between songs were short and meaningful, as usual.

After the show, we were just about to exit the building when Mike Portnoy crossed our path once again – only that this time, I yelled „Hey, Mike!“ – so he turns around, sees my shirt, says hello, shakes my hand and agrees to have a picture taken with me 🙂

So here it is…the proof that I met one of the greatest drummers in rock history, one of the most creative songwriters of our time and simply one of the most influential figures in modern rock music.

Of course, everyone was in a hurry and I didn’t get to ask any questions or appropriately express what meaning DT’s music has for me – but I’m sure he got that I’m a fan. Thanks Mike!