After playing the Oldies Pub in Sibiu sharing back line with Amorphis and having no backstage besides our beloved bus, the time has come to kick everything up a notch (or more like ten). Arena Armeec Sofia, as the name implies, is a huge indoor arena just outside the city center of the Bulgarian capital. In the morning hours, everyone had their opinion based on "facts" how many people could fit in here when fully seated. The debate is now over, as I've found the official number: 19,000! That's right.
Two good-looking stray dogs were in the bus parking spot when we arrived, so Carsten (our fantastic driver), gave away some bread to these small, nice, hungry friends to keep them busy somewhere else. These guys had their own cardboard boxes, so the new arena seemed to be their home. As we go through the enormous gates to this place, we realize this is something entirely different from what we played the night before. Actually, we've never played something even close to this, except the huge outdoor festivals we've done with Ihsahn (Brutal Assualt in Czech Republic had 15000-20000). So we're not complaining. The stage set up on the floor looks really nice, and we really can't wait to get on and play the best show possible. Like every sports arena, this place has a whole bunch of showers and dressing rooms so we're back to having our very own again, which feels great. This time I actually get a cable rather than Wi-Fi, which is much better, and I have plenty of space to set up my nice practice amp from Blackstar called HT1-R. For those of you who didn't already know, Leprous is now endorsed by Blackstar amps (www.blackstaramps.co.uk). I have the Series One 104EL34, which is probably the best-sounding amp I've tried, so I'm of course a very happy guitar player now!;D I bring the small 1W HT1R to practice and to have fun backstage ;)
The show was probably the best so far for everyone in the band. The sound on stage was great and the huge crowd really made some noise! We felt welcome, and as always, we tried giving them the best show we could ;) You be the judge..
After the show, we met up with two awesome guys we first met in Bulgaria last year. They once again took us to a good restaurant and we had a nice meal and a chat before we left at 2PM with the bus to head for another familiar place: Thessaloniki in Greece. Here we come!!