The First Live Trick Diary - 2003-11-08

or "A small step for mankind but a giant leap for The Grand Trick"!!!

(November 8th - 2003)

The First gig with The Grand Trick according to Michael Karlsson (Guitar)

We had our first gig last night at THE ROCK in Linkoping. In short it was very good. The general thing, the actual performance of the band and I also think the audience received it well and their response was healthy to us on the stage. But, of course, it was also a nightmare of sorts. We were out of tune most of the time which is strange because we actually took between the songs to tune up… It didn’t matter obviously. The sound on stage as well as that coming out of the PA system was not exactly great if you know what I mean. It was very loud. Close to unbearable. Now, loud is good of course but it needs to sound good as well. Which is not the easiest thing in the world, I know. I also find it very strange the equipment that we use almost daily in our rehearsals didn’t sound the same on stage at all! I mean, what’s the point with having your own equipment brought down to a gig and "playing with a sound that you know" when it turns out so deranged? I know that it is like that and that it always will, but never the less it’s strange.

Can you believe that the place had their burglar and fire alarm and stage light on the same circuit as we had our amps and such! This gave my Stratocaster an extra high pitch note that came on as soon as I turned the volume knob up which I was doing most of the time! This sort of thing is very annoying. I mean, the sound I was getting was not exactly pleasing in the first and then on top of that – that constant high pitch wailing. I think you get the picture… Anyway, they’re going to fix this problem some day they say and I hope they will.

But I shouldn’t complain: I’ve had worse. Besides, the whole day had been such a great day and I was pretty blasted too (ea. I was drunk) so these little things couldn’t really ruin it.

We meet up at rehearsals at half past 3 to do a short final rehearsal before the show and then we packed our equipment into our cars. Sounds very easy, don’t you think? Believe me it wasn’t quite as easy going as that. We actually meet at 1 o clock to rehearse but D. Larsson (the drummer) had to buy some drumsticks and something for his snare that he needed to be able to perform on the drums. Me and him went down to the local music store (Musikcentralen). When came back the ‘thing’ didn’t apply to the snare so he had to go back to the music store to replace it… That done, we played through the set list very quickly and decided that it would do and no further rehearsing was needed. We drove away to eat and buy some beer. We were very stressed and it was late afternoon on a Friday it’s not too hard to imagine a lot of people going nowhere and everywhere at the same time. We barely had time to eat before we had to go back to pack our equipment… We were short on cars so I wired my good friend Martin Jonsson and he had the good manner to turn up and give us a helping hand. This was at 1800. Soundcheck was supposed to start at 1900. We were there at The Rock in ample time but the soundcheck was in typical fashion postponed until 2000. We had a supply of free beer so we didn’t complain… The soundcheck was mess most of all because of the inadequate sound of my guitar (see above). S. Johansson (guitar) was lucky enough to break a string on his strat so he had to do with his backup guitar an Ibanez. The Ibanez didn’t emulate that high pitch burglar alarm (also see above!) so he was lucky because of that, I think. We had some unwanted feedback on stage but that was solved rather easy. We also had some monitor problems considering backup vocals and D. Sandberg´s lead vocals because it was drowned in the other instruments. Did I mention it was loud? It was. We had satisfactory solution to our problems.

Then the gang of super heavy which is The Grand Trick of course left the place and retreated to S. Johansson´s place to drink some beer and watch the wonderful "Snickeriet". The idea was to relax some before the show but we didn’t have time for that because of the tight time schedule. But it was fun anyway. And NO we didn’t have sex with each other, we leave that to other bands. S. Johansson and D.Sandberg played their version of "California Dreaming" which was great. We’re gonna start rehearsing some covers soon and that song is a good candidate. Martin gave us all ride back to The Rock.

ROAD from Malmo (also Sweden) got on stage just before midnight and they played their stonerrock type of music. I think they were great especially the drum solo was cool and a little unexpected. They didn’t get much response though which is a little sad.

THE GRAND TRICK entered the stage shortly afterwards. I did some noises on the guitar as a sort of intro or a lack there of… Then we literally stormed into "Never Felt So Good". We had a slight collective misfortune during the first the riff but I think it came across pretty well. The rest of the song was great and it sounded quite great as well. Great solos from S. Johansson and myself, I think. D. Sandberg sang great, at least from what I heard. Most important in this song is however the rhythm section. J. Malmqvist on bass and D. Larsson on drums providing a loud stalwart playing. The next track was the instrumental song "The Grand Trick". Once again, the rhythm section is absolutely vital. The riffs meet a good response from audience. The bass/drums jam worked really good. Then the solos… My Blackmore interpretations got along smootly to my satsfaction. I didn’t hear S. Johansson but it looked ok. And the audience was nothing short of amazed by our egocentric performances. He he he. Tuning afterwards, of course. We skipped the "Norrland" intro and I did my blues thing right on before we headed into "Rollercoaster Ride". D. Sandberg was up on stage again. Ex-member Christian "Stinga" Bingmark (ex. Morifade) did a guest vocal performance on the first verse and chorus on this track. It was great fun, I thought. But maybe not that fun for D. Sandberg. An evaluation is a must considering this. The track worked really fine, it’s a real party hit, and it was great fun to play. We rounded of with a thunderous version of "Black Hills". Slightly out of tune here and there, but a wonderful song to end a show with. It’s a potential hit if you ask me.

All in all, the whole thing was really great and fun, drunken and a little disorderly. Considering that it was our very first ever gig as a unite we did a great performance and managed to deliver some true 70s heavy rock without no stoner, garage, hippie or punk inputs which is the goal for this band.

There’s a very good, positive spirit in the band and we managed to keep that up the whole day through which is nice. A big thank you to roadie (and great fan!) Martin Jonsson, Stinga and Mia for snapshots of performance and before and after, the engineers Janne Höjerstam you did great! Thanks also to the staff at The Rock and not forgetting the crowd who had come down to see us. Thanx! That’s all for this time. Take care! Bye!

Ps. D. Larsson later ended up in a fight and broke his right hand rendering him unable to play for several weeks… He also received a new nickname "Boxarn" which is "The Boxer" in english.

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