The clock is approximately 09:00 am when Teddy (from Loch Vostok) wakes me up for the Serbian passport control. To be honest I was actually quite glad to get up early for once. A couple of hours later we arrive outside of the venue in Belgrade, which luckily happens to be in the middle of the city centre. First mission - to exchange my Croatian Kuna into Serbian Dinara. That was easier said than done. I had to ask in at least five different exchange offices and banks before I finally found someone that was able to exchange.
Since the weather was slightly better than it had been for the last three days, it was a pleasure exploring the city. Belgrade was a much more modern city than I thought, although it had a post war’ish touch (especially outside the city centre). In the end of the main shopping street, we found Kalemegdan - The fortress of Belgrade. Kalemegdan was built in year 535, and is one of the oldest monuments in the area.
Tonight's venue was a venue worth mentioning. It reminded mo of an old museum both from the inside and from the outside. The first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the concert hall was: “How on earth can someone arrange a rock concert in a hall with these kind of acoustics?”. During the soundcheck I found out that my predictions was entirely right. What a mess!! I believe the room would be perfectly suitable for a classical concert, but for very rhythmical music like Leprous it was a complete disaster - at least on the soundcheck. The reverberation time was insane!
Luckily it seemed like the tickets were sold out this evening, which was a very good thing when it comes to the acoustics. The more people there to absorb the sound, the better the sound will be. When we finally entered the stage, we were met by an extremely enthusiastic crowd! Their enthusiasm affected us in a very positive manner, and after one day with reloading batteries we gave absolutely everything (although the temperature on stage was unbearable). It seemed like many people had checked us out prior to the concert, and quite a few people actually sang along on some of the songs. The sound seemed much better than on the soundcheck, and this ended up being one of the coolest concerts on the entire tour!
Since we finance this tour entirely on our own, we’re dependent on selling some merch on every concert. After some experimenting, we’ve found out that we often sell more merch by hanging around outside the merch stand after the show. It kind of reminds the people that we exist and that our concert (and music) was good! By standing there we also encourage the autograph hunters to buy CD’s for signing. Well, this strategy didn’t seem to work on this crowd. Of course there were some people who wanted to take a picture with the band, but nobody came for a signature on recently bought items. So he whole thing ended up being rather awkward.
On our way out to the bus, we suddenly found ourselves in a middle of a brutal fight between a guy with blood all over his face and the security guards at the venue. When I came, he ran towards the security guards to hit them, but ended up being being put back on earth. I did notice that Serbian security guards are way more violent than the ones we have in Norway. I almost felt sorry for the bastard when he was sitting in his own pile of blood, although everything seemed to be his fault.
Next stop - Hr. Botev Sports hall!!!!
All the best,