Friday, August 11, 2017

Guren Ichinose Preview

Hallo~

I'm back with some more photos of my Guren Ichinose (Seraph of the End) costume, as I promised in my last post. This is a preview photoshoot just so that you all can get a better look at my costume and my awesomeness, kekekeke that I got from Cosall. Big thanks to them for sponsoring me once again! <3

I also want to add some thoughts about the character here and why I cosplay him; First off, I still need to finish the manga I'm currently reading (Samurai Deeper Kyo for those interested and it's legit good!) so that I can finally start watching Seraph of the End. Yes, I only watch/read one series at a time, so that I can give my 100% concentration and interest to it. However, don't get me wrong, I have read a little bit about Guren's background (I liked what I read *insert feels here*) and from all the pictures I saw of him (while searching for official references) he really seemed like the type of character I would fancy. So yes, I do have some minor knowledge about Guren and the series but this is gonna change once I get to watch the anime.

Besides, I have always loved Seraph of the End's character design (especially the uniforms) so even if I -for a reason or another- would end up disliking the series more than liking it; I would still cosplay Guren purely for the backstory and awesome design.

Anyway, you peeps most likely came here for some photos so let's roll them out, shall we?

Cosplayer: Frozen Angel (Guren Ichinose)
Photographer & editor: Shiro Samurai





Myself, I'm happy with these photos and I look forward to learn more about the character and how I should pose for him. These poses are all thought-up-at-the-moment kind, hehe. Seriously, it's hard to pose for a character you don't know that much about, yet.

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Guys, is it just me or do you also feel that something important, like the essence of my blog, is about to be left out? My blog has felt different lately and somehow "less me" do you peeps understand? Wait, hold on now, I will try to figure it out as I almost got it on my tongue for a split second *intensive thinking*

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RIGHT! I REMEMBER NOW! IT'S NOT MY BLOG WITHOUT THE BEAUTY OF MY DERPS! :DD


Enjoy or run faaar away! Whichever you choose, this beautiful face will follow you all the way to the end of the world... in your mind! *evil laugh*

... okay okay I'm out dudes :DD

Saturday, August 5, 2017

[Sponsored] Cosall Review: Seraph of the End Guren Ichinose Cosplay Costume

Hello everyone!

On 22nd of April 2016 something I really didn't expect happened and I got very excited about it! You see, on said date the cosplay costume store Cosall (they are a sister store to the more popular CosplaySky) contacted me and asked if I would be interesting in a sponsorship with then and review one of their costumes. I of course, as a cosplayer and someone who wants to help the community and people in overall, took this chance and we spoke through the details soon enough. I looked also through their store (which used to be smaller back in the days) and checked through all of the costumes I would be interested in and in the end, I ended up picking their Guren Ichinose costume from Seraph of the End or Owari no Seraph, if you prefer the Japanese title.

Even if this is a sponsored review, my thoughts and opinions will always be 100% genuine and my own. I despise dishonesty of any kind and I strongly believe honesty to be the best policy towards my sponsor(s) and readers in the long run. I will never compromise my honesty as I want others to learn and grow as a business/person. Thank you for understanding.

Now let's get on with the review!

The costume was made and sent to me somewhere around early-mid May and I received it on late May or early June (going after the photos and mail dates, this is long time ago). To my surprise the costume came directly to my mailbox when it arrived which meant I didn't need to walk to the other side of town to pick it up, which is always appreciated! It was packed in a turquoise-green plastic bag with my address on it and when I opened the bag, I found the costume along with the measurement sheet in a costume bag with a resealable zipper. The costume looked really nice in the bag and I must say that the costume bag idea is great! I personally feel it's a safe way to keep the costume undamaged and clean during long distance shipping. Because this is a sponsored costume, I didn't pay for the costume nor the shipping and had it made in my own measurements.

Photographer: Shiro Samurai

Original packaging the costume came in.
Costume in its costume bag.
I tried the costume on at Shiro Samurai's place to see how it fits and the uniform jacket fitted well but the pants were a bit too broad for me at the waist, so I needed to fix that once I go to mom's. I have to say that all the details on the uniform jacket is pretty and on-point! I really liked it and the only two misses I noticed that they did, was that the school emblem logo (correct me if I'm wrong, haven't watch Seraph of the End yet) that should be below the horizontal mark with green, red and white, was completely missing. The other one was this gold colored medal/mark/whatever he has just under his collar, located in the middle of his upper chest. In the official art it's clearly golden and has the shape similar to that of a star with five spikes. On the costume, it is made out of some kind of metal and looks more like an actual medal/mark of some sort. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Myself, I don't mind these two minor details being different and missing, but I think it should be mentioned because there are those out there who expect online costumes to be 100% true to the official art. As these two are small stuff, they are easy to fix/replace when you have some basic sewing knowledge and of course, time. Can't sew to save your life? Google and Youtube are your friends man ;)

Here is an official art of Guren Ichinose (Seraph of the End) for reference:


The costume fabric at Cosall's said costume page is marked as "cotton" and "uniform cloth" but for me they feel like this medium-weight synthetic fabric. Since the jacket is lined it is more sturdy to the touch, compared to the pants making it feel more uniform-like, which is great for both quality and look. Great choice! When it comes to the lower part of the uniform jacket, I had to take in some centimeters from the belt as it was too long for me. This was an easy fix and all I did (at mom's later) was to re-stitch the existing straight seam and make the belt length shorter without cutting off the unnecessary length, just in case. On the pants, I had to do a bigger experiment as they were too big on my around the waist so I had to take in some at the sides to make them fit better. I could have used a belt too but even if I did, it would still look off around my waist as the size was just too big. It was better to fix it right away, mom also agreed to this idea. Since the pants had loop holes for a belt, I had to make sure to not screw any of those over while sewing the excess fabric in.
With both of these sizing mistakes I learnt and figured out, with the help of Shiro Samurai as well, that do not add extra centimeters to your custom measures as Cosall adds that. I have only myself to blame for this and it's not their fault at all - they did it correct.

One thing that had me a bit surprised/disappointed was the belts around the costume's left leg. The material choice was decent (some kind of faux leather-ish fabric, it fit) and the color of the belt buckles was gold, which is what you want accuracy-wise, but what bugged me was that both the belts only went halfway around the leg. Halfway. Belts never go just halfway around something, as far as I have seen in anime and manga but also, of course, reality.

This became easily the biggest fix for me in the entire costume. It was sad to see Cosall have such a clear miss on such a beautiful, good quality costume otherwise. I really hope they do something about it in the future, it's just really sad to see such an obvious miss, that just shouldn't be there in the first place. I'm sure they know how belts work on costumes and that's... just not the way, sadly. Their stock photo of the costume showed this miss too but you could barely see it, unless you checked the back photo of the costume. However, I gotta hand it to Cosall and say that they did an amazing job getting you the very same costume that their stock photo images showed at the costume's page. It was 100% accurate to the image so big points and thumbs up for that!

Because this entire "belts only going halfway" was bugging me, I, of course, took this project to mom's again (end of 2016) to well, fix it. I fixed it on the same go as I sewed in the pants. First I had to remove the belts from their original seam, take out the buckles from them and then cut out two new pieces of "belt stripes" from the fabric I wanted to use. At mom's, I know we have this white faux leather fabric (which I had used in the past) and from that, I cut out the two pieces in the desired length. Mom helped me to get the right fit for the belt circumference and I just had to insert the buckles to the right place and sew the new belts on top of the original seam. It took its time for me to fix this but it was all well worth it and not that much of a hassle, in the end. The costume looked much more complete after this fix and aside from it, I was really satisfied and happy with the costume I got from Cosall.

The photos below are taken on 2/8 2017 (with the costume fully fixed) at Shiro Samurai's place and first off, I really want to apologize to Cosall that this review is so late. You guys have no idea how much my conscience have nagged and chewed at me for over a year because of this. I feel really terrible for doing this so late (hello my ISTJ conscience :DD) but man, am I grateful and relieved that this is now finally behind me. I also want to deeply thank Cosall for their patience and understanding of my situation, as I have had so much going on lately and in short; my life did a complete 360 degree flip on my head and since then, I've been extremely stressed and busy from then to today to get things back in order. It was also difficult to get a time that worked for both me and my photographer, le bro, as he has also been really busy lately. To top it all off, we also needed good weather for this review, something that was a challenge in itself.

Below you find photos of the costume. I will also write a list of what was included in the costume and what was not.

This is what was included:
- Uniform jacket
- Arm badge + safety pin for it
- Gloves
- Belt
- Pants
- White dress shirt (not shown in review)

This is what was NOT included:
- Wig
- Belt for pants
- Sword
- Shoes

Cosplayer: Frozen Angel (Guren Ichinose)
Photographer & editor: Shiro Samurai

Front.
Left side.
Right side.
Back.
Link to Cosall main page: Cosall Online Costume Store 

As you peeps can see, this is a very solid and beautiful costume right down to the details. I love it and I can't wait to take it with me and debut it to a con! The sewing quality is good and clean throughout the entire costume and the golden buttons are sewed well in place, along with the rest of this costume's details. Yes, it's actually real buttons and not those fake ones you often see, which means that you really have to take your time and press your buttons (pun intended) to put on and take off this costume. Personally, I like that Cosall used real buttons for this cosplay, as it feels more authentic that way, because well let's face it, real uniforms have buttons.
 When it comes to the gloves, I think the fabric is cotton as they're really soft and comfy to wear, same goes for the belt but that's a more sturdy type of cotton. The red stripes on the sleeves and the collar seems to be satin band and it even looks good! Yes, I just said that satin can look good. To my positive surprise the black fabric used for the arm badge was thicker and more cotton-like than the one used for the cosplay. It felt more sturdy, which is good, and its white sides felt like either some kind of very thin PVC-like material or faux leather.

What I'm trying to say, is that I like their choice of materials, colors and the attention to details. I think Cosall did a great job on this costume. I don't feel that I need to worry about something to start ripping, fraying etc in the near future when I move around in this costume and that is great! The costume fits me well (after the changes), is nice to the skin and to the touch, comfortable to wear and is just overall pleasant to look at. I love its color scheme to pieces! <3

Here are photos of costume details. Enjoy!

Front close-up.
To show you more buttons and how you take it off.
The medal/mark below the collar that I mentioned above.
Decoration zoom.
Collar, notice the buttons on it. Sleek!
Epaulet zoom.
Arm badge. It's fastened with two safety pins to keep its place.
Gloves and sleeve end.
Belt.
The more hollow metallic buckle is pressed on top of the other one to close the belt.
Lower uniform jacket "skirt".
This is what the belt looks like before I fixed it. As you can see, it stops at the side seams.
I think that's sums it up pretty well but I also want to say that the customer service I got from Cosall (when they contacted me through mail) was really friendly, professional and the replies fast and in good, understandable English. They are also fast to sew the costume, usually within 2 weeks, so you're going to get it fairly fast.

To sum it all up (short version):

Cosall is a China based online cosplay costume store with over 5 years of costuming experience. They have customers from many different countries and are trustworthy with great, friendly service. Their costume variety has grown a lot since they contacted me back in 2016, so now you can find many different series ranging from popular anime titles to book and comic characters, if you're into that. The costumes have good value and you get a decent and solid costume for your money and their prices are also affordable. When it comes to shipping, they have the regular shipping (which is slow but free) and an express option that will cost a bit extra but is really handy if you need your costume within 2-4 days. Costumes may have minor faults, for example, details can be missing so one should keep that in mind. If you order a costume in your own measures, make sure to not add extra centimeters as Cosall takes care of that or you end up like me, sewing and fixing that afterwards. However, measurements are tricky stuff so it's very easy that something, somewhere, might be a little bit off. After all, it's really difficult to sew a costume for someone you can't measure right at the spot; so keep that in the back of your head and be ready, that you might need to adjust/fix some measures to get that perfect fit to your costume. To put it shortly; having basic sewing knowledge will make your already good costume perfect.

Sometimes Cosall have sales on specific costumes, so it's definitely worth checking them out every now and then! Especially if you're a cosplayer or one-to-be when hunting down a specific character costume. Myself, I felt really safe ordering from Cosall, as soon as I was told by them, that they are a sister store to CosplaySky (whom I have bought from in the past).

Final Grade (from A-F): B+
Recommend to others:
Yes

In the end I'm really happy with my costume and that Cosall contacted me. I look forward to help them out in the future and I also want to deeply thank Cosall for making this review possible and for sponsoring me a fabulous costume! Thank you! <3 ^w^

If you haven't checked Cosall out yet and want to buy something cosplay related or know someone who is interested, by all means check them out! If you find something in their store tingling your fancy, don't hesitate to use the discount code CACAFA to get 15% off on your purchase. I will personally return to Cosall to do business in the future.

That's all for this review and thank you for reading. I hope this was helpful to you and if you have questions or comments, send them my way! My e-mail can be found at the left side of this blog, just under the "Disclaimer" note.

Stay tuned for a preview of this costume in its full glory within the coming days! ;)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pokémon XY TCG - EPIC PULLS!

Hello Pokémon fans!

Today I went to the local toy store to grab that Giratina promo blister pack that I had my eyes on ever since I walked out from the same store a few days ago, with a Black Kyurem blister pack. I bought the Black Kyurem one mainly because of the 3 XY-Evolutions booster packs in the blister, as I heard from my bro, Shiro Samurai that it's basically the very first Pokémon cards since 20 year ago (that started the craze and was a big part of my childhood) re-printed and updated to keep up with the TCG cards of today. The nostalgia hit me in the face when I opened the Evolutions packs a few days ago and I got my favorite Pokémon of all time in reverse holo along with some other goodies, yaay! I think it was a decent pull overall but it's nothing to compare to what I got from those three Break-sets booster packs (still generation 6) in that Giratina blister from today. Holy shit! My jaw dropped all the way to the floor and it even took me a minute or two to realize how amazing pulls I just got! O__O

The best part? These six booster packs were also my very first booster packs of generation 6. I understand now why my friends call me Gladstone (Donald Duck) every now and then! Call me lucky! ;)

Oh and I stopped collecting Pokémon cards ever since the 5th generation of cards hit the market, as I just lost the interest to continue collecting. Nowadays I only buy blister/promo cards with Pokémon that I really like and if the artwork of the card applies to me as well. Yes, I'm just a collector so Energy and Trainer cards and the like have no value to me. I might start collecting the XY-Evolutions set but we'll see about that, as I still find the originals the best. #genwunner

Below you find the two blisters I bought, the booster packs of each and the rare cards I pulled excluding the common and Trainer reverse holo(s). Enjoy!

If you are interested in Trainer/common & uncommon reverse holo cards, e-mail me! I can sell/trade them along with other cards :)

Photographer: Frozen Angel

Black Kyurem blister pack.
Three Evolutions booster packs.
The rare cards of each pack.
The two most valuable cards. Notice that Exeggutor is a secret rare as its card number goes above 108.
Giratina blister pack.
A Fates Collide, BreakPoint and BreakThrough booster pack.
The rare cards of each pack.
MOTHER OF GOD! O___O
Last but not least, I bought the blisters for their promo cards respectively:

Promo Black Kyurem and Giratina along with each blister's coin.
That's it for this post and while you go all jelly over my pulls, I go and freak out somewhere else :'DD

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Green Hero Process Part: 8

Hello gamers and nerds of every color!

I have fought my way through the silence and here I am, bringing you peeps the next progress post about everyone's favorite hero in green - Link! Yes, I have finally been working on that particular sucker again!

Some reasons for my absence has been that I have been working plenty in the cinema the last months and a big chunk of my time has been spent on planning and getting "everything to work nicely" for my latest vacation, which was an almost-one-month long trip to Germany. I had plenty of fun there and I also got some cosplay stuff done too! The trip just gave me so much emotionally, spiritually and physically as well so a big, heartfelt Dankeschön to all of you wonderful people who helped me in different ways or spend time with me during my stay in Germany. I would so visit again! <3

Now to that green hero of time... whom time almost forgot, whoopsie! :'DD

Before I get to the "main progress topic" of this post, I just want to say that I did actually do something for about a year ago, to kick this project a little bit forward. What I did was that I attached the cross-shaped ribbon (that I sewed in the past) to the v-cut collar on the front of the shirt. This was the final touch to the shirt which meant that the only thing remaining now, sewing and clothing-wise on the cosplay, was the shoe covers.

Photographer: Frozen Angel

The shirt is finally done! DA DA DA DAAA! ~
Done looking? Good, let's go back to a more recent date then *plays hysterically Song of Time over and over again*

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So, during the end of May this year or more exactly on 28th of May, I continued working on this forever-project of mine and a few days before the 28th, I went to mom's place because that's where all things cosplay happens! For the longest time (since my last progress post à la Link) I have wanted to do those light brown, shoe cover... things... the character has. See image below for reference:

See them? Those light brown ones below the knee of the character.
Luckily, since the last time I worked on Link mom put away a little bit of a mocha fabric that I wanted to use for the making of those shoe cover things. I really like the color of the fabric (not picture accurate though) as it would go really well with those dark brown knee boots that I bought during spring this year! Which was also an excuse reason that I haven't worked on this cosplay lately, as I haven't had the proper boots to model the shoe covers after. Legit.

The making of the shoe covers was rather simple and straightforward once I got the hang of it!

Mocha fabric and elastics of two different sizes.
I started out with measuring the circumference of the boot (when I wore it) to get the correct circumference for the shoe cover and once done with that, I also measured the desired length. Mom came to take the final measurements to make sure that I got it right, which I did, mostly. I can't remember the measurements anymore but it was a bit funny because somehow, mom and I, managed to miscalculate the fabric for the second shoe cover so we ended up cutting out twice as much as we needed! We epic facepalmed afterwards for the dumb mistake and got the laughter of the day as a bonus.

With the fabric pieces cut-out, I zigzaged some of the corners to prevent them from fraying, as usual. Then I kept sewing and folding the thing until it started to look more like a tube than a piece of fabric. Every now and then, I went to show mom the progress I've made and she told me how to continue when I got stuck or when my brain decided to hit standby mode. The more I sewed and followed mom's advice the more said piece of fabric started to look like a tube and mah boy, did I like it!

Corners zigzaged to prevent fraying.
Sewed one of the sides in and folded what I could fold at the time being. It looks like a tube now!
Sewing.
One side done (bottom) on the first piece of shoe cover. Neat.
Shoe cover from a distance.
Once done with one tube, I took the next one and just repeated the process. Much folding and straight-stitching going on here but I enjoyed it, so I surely didn't mind!

Both "tubes" done, now it's only the elastics left!
The elastics, duh!
Then it was time for attaching the elastics to the upper corners of both the shoe covers to make them well, elastic and adjustable. I had to keep in mind the width of the elastic when I folded and sewed the upper corner in place, to make sure the elastic would fit inside the fold. The width wasn't the only thing I had to keep track of. You see, I also had to make sure that I left an opening/hole that was big enough in the fold seam, so that I could use a safety pin to pull the elastic around the top of the shoe cover. I have a hard time to explain what I mean, but I hope the photos below gives you peeps an idea of what I was trying to say!

Straight-stitching the "fold seam" aka "tunnel" so that I can pull the elastic through it to its place.
Elastic pulled through with a safety pin. It's sewed together at the ends to keep them in place.
Both shoe covers completed. Eff yeah!
With both of the shoe covers done, there was only one thing left to do - namely try them out! So I dragged myself to the entrance of the house, put on the boots and pulled the shoe covers on top of them, all the way to their respective places.

Totally satisfied man!
Oh and I continue with Link once I can find that darned sword of mine, as it has been moved from the place where I put it last time (as mom did a big clean-up of the house) and now I have to find its whereabouts before I can continue with this project. Great, just wunderbar.

Anyway, that's it for this time and I leave you all alone with this guy until next time! ~

So, what's up next guys?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Luleå Goes Metal - Sabaton Concert!

Hello fellow metalheads!

I just came home from Luleå, where I went yesterday to see Sabaton, my favorite band. I bought my Sabaton ticket fairly late and was really happy to see that they were still available! The reason why I didn't buy my ticket earlier was because I was put face-to-face with a really tough choice for metalheads like me. You see, I had to choose between my two absolute favorite bands and I could only pick one! I could either go and see Stratovarius in Tornio, Finland (which would be really close to me) or Sabaton in Luleå and close-ish to my hometown. Drat, hard choices like this shouldn't be allowed to exist! xD

I thought about it for a few days and in the end I picked Sabaton. I just had to go with what my gut was telling me because I knew deep within all the time, that if I didn't go and see Sabaton now, I would have regretted it. These are the reasons why I picked Sabaton over Stratovarius:

1) Sabaton is my favorite band and has had a very positive impact on my life.
2) I've wanted to see them since I started to listen to their music back in 2009.
3) Sabaton plays very seldom in the north, last time was at Kiruna in 2013.
4) I've already seen Stratovarius in the past.

I just hope that Stratovarius will come to northern Finland again in the near future while they still play live. These guys are getting old by now as they are pioneers within their type of music and the band was formed in 1994. I'd love to see them again! Stratovarius has also been -just like Sabaton- a band that has helped me a lot through life, especially through difficult times. There is not much more I can do except for holding my thumbs and checking their tour dates every now and then.

Now to the actual concert day and story. You guys with me? Great! Let's rock 'n roll away then!

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My journey towards Luleå started around 16:30 local time but a few hours before I headed towards the cinema, where I would get a free ride from one of my cinema buddies' relatives, I tried and put on my so-called "outfit of the day". Those who knows what kind of lyrics Sabaton's songs have or me as a person, already knows what to expect. But those of you who have no clue, let's just say *inhales* I HAVE A UNIFORM AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT! :DD

- If you have an issue with my outfit below, I seriously wonder why you are even reading this post ;) -

Photographer: Shiro Samurai

Sabaton is love, Sabaton is life. Go figure! ;)
I mean, when I for once have the perfect chance to wear an uniform to a concert without having people there giving me weird looks or staring at me like they have never seen a human being before, I'm so taking that chance! <3

We all arrived at Luleå a bit past 18:00 but we weren't in a hurry as the first band (out of 3) would start playing first at 19:00 and Sabaton at 21:30. The first band to perform was Twilight Force and the second one was Accept. I heard from my buddy that many came just to see Accept, which didn't surprise me when I heard how big they are. While Twilight Force was playing (I haven't listened to them, unless I came by a song by random chance somewhere) I went to see what t-shirts were up for sale. I thought it would be wiser to buy the t-shirts first to ensure that you get the print you want in the right size too. I found a Twilight Force t-shirt for bro (he asked me to look for their t-shirts at the concert before I left) and a really cool Accept t-shirt for myself. Yupp, I instantly fell in love with said t-shirt design when I saw it. So it was an easy pick and I didn't buy anything from the Sabaton stand as nothing there tickled my fancy, sadly. After that I had done my shopping I went to see what was left of Twilight Force's performance and the last song they played was Twilight Horizon. I found it really cool that the band members wore fantasy/magic inspired clothing, I remember that one of the guys had a robe and a purple staff and one had a sword or some kind of knight/hero outfit. Sadly, I don't have photos from their performance as I wouldn't have had time to get a decent photo with my shit-of-a-phone-camera, as I came in when they played their 2 last songs. Yes, there was a rule at the concert that forbid cameras, so I had no choice than to leave mine at the storage area. Luckily I didn't need to pay a storage fee for it, as it was just one small thing.

What I'm trying to get at, is that all the concert photos below are taken with my mobile phone's camera, which is not exactly a high quality one as it's an old model by now. I also want to say that I had a really hard time to even get a decent photo because of the darkness in the concert hall, the constant motion of the band members and of course, the crowd. My short height certainly didn't make it any easier as I kept getting taller persons standing in front of me and blocking my sight to the stage! At one point, I got enough of not seeing jackshit and moved my butt to the right and left side of the concert hall, so that I could at least see something. It wasn't as crowded at the sides compared to the middle area. Now you know why many of my photos are taken from the angle they are.

Once the clock hit 20:00 it was time for the famous German band, Accept to enter the stage. I personally haven't listened to them but at least I recognized their last song which was Balls to the Walls and I must say that I really need to check these guys out now! They rocked my socks off! \m/

Photographer: Frozen Angel


Wow... I'm blown away by the singer's voice and how high up he can go. Keeping in mind that these guys have been rocking since somewhere around the 1970's O_e
Since I don't listen to these guys -yet- I sadly can't tell what songs they played but I loved them! But I'm sure that at least two of them were Stampede and Stalingrad as I heard those really clearly sung at the refrain several times during the songs. When Accept had finished their last song, I took my chance to visit the bathroom before Sabaton would conquer the scene, as there was about 20 minutes left before they would begin. It was very clear that when Sabaton began playing their songs that many had been waiting for just them as people kept cheering, clapping hands, whistling and shouting "Sabaton!" before they even entered the stage. Such a crowd. All songs that Sabaton played were familiar to me and of course they started with the classic Ghost Division from one of their older albums. I heard they use to do this at their live concerts. I really enjoyed that their performance had some realistic elements from well, war, such as on-scene fireworks, song-related video/image playing in the background, fire shooting upwards (like the smoke on the photo above) and those soldier helmets and dog tags hanging from their microphones. The extra stuff that makes it clear that you're listening to a band whose lyrics are taken and inspired from real historical battles fought throughout the centuries.

Joakim (singer and Sabaton's front man) performing Sparta.
Some of their songs had people dressed up as soldiers of different kinds, like these guys as sparta soldiers. Horn up for the extra coolness! \m/
The guitar player to the left is from Boden (close to Luleå) and Joakim joked about the "norrlänningar" (people living in the northern part of Sweden) taking over because there are so many at the concert (duh!) and one in their band too xD



Sabaton performing a very beautiful ballad version of The Final Solution. They dimmed the light (hence the quality drop) and the audience waved with whatever lightsource they had at hand. It was so beautiful... I legit cried! ;__;
Some of the songs that Sabaton performed at Luleå were The Lost Battalion (the feels!), Carolux Rex (Swedish version), Swedish Pagans, The Last Stand, Lion From the North (Swedish version), To Hell and Back and Shiroyama. Sabaton was AMAZING! But after they played The Final Solution I really had to leave the concert hall for the remaining few songs, as I got in such an emotional state that I had to give myself some time alone and just calm down. During this time I also tried to call my friends and relatives if they could give me advice/possible pick me up from Luleå as I was really in the shit. You see, I had nowhere to sleep during the night and the concert was ending soon. I was really close to book this one local hostel in the heart of Luleå but I kept getting the feeling that I shouldn't, so I didn't. The peeps I arrived with had already a place to sleep at and they couldn't take in one more, my cinema buddy was nice enough to ask around but didn't get a positive answer from anyone. Sadly. I appreciated the help but once the concert had ended, I was all on my own and this is where I started to loose my cool and almost panic. I kept calling friends and relatives over and over again and no one answered until Sacchan at one point, called me back. I explained the situation to her and she couldn't sadly help me out, even if she'd love to, but that was okay. I was happy enough to have someone to talk to, so that I could calm myself down a little bit. Later Shiro Samurai called me and told me his suggestions over my situation and so did my aunt (yeah, I actually called her) and she said the same as bro. I had 3 choices that I could act upon and after having all of them who answered me suggesting the cheapest option, I rolled with it, as I was -after all- really low on money.

At one point soon after midnight, I called the local taxi and before the taxi arrived there was this one fellow metalhead guy who was in a very similar situation as me (who also had his phone dying on him) and asked if I could help him get a taxi. We took the same taxi to Luleå city and from there we tried to find a hotel that was not fully booked or closed. We went through 5-6 hotels and he was sounding like he was giving up but I was sure that we'll find something. I kept having the feeling that we will. Later we found a hotel called "Arctic Comfort Hotel" and its doors were locked but there was this one guy opening the doors for us. We asked if there was any rooms left and at first he said that there wasn't but he double-checked it. To our luck, there was this one customer who had cancelled their stay at the hotel so there was a 2-bed room available. The two of us took it and paid 50-50 of the price which was 375 SEK per person and the receptionist guy was so kind to even give us a discount from the full price! I know you guys think I'm crazy now for sleeping one night with a stranger from the concert but hear me out; if I wouldn't have helped this guy out, I don't know if he would even have found a roof over his head. In the worst case scenario he might have gotten lost in Luleå or frozen to death somewhere. I felt somewhere in my gut that I had to help him find a place to stay at and this might have been why I didn't book that hostel earlier. Anyway, who knows?

He was very likely a little bit drunk from the concert as he kept saying things like "Do you want to share a room with me at the hotel?" (I don't know how to take this) and "Do you want to go to a bar with me?" and such things that bugged me and made me feel slightly uncomfortable. But since I have very good control over myself and really high confidence I didn't let that discomfort shine through. I kept holding my guard up and countered effectively whatever he tried to do or say that went against me. Whenever I told him to quit whatever he was doing/saying (even if something very small), he did quit immediately and apologized for his behaviour. It was nice that he had great respect for others and the night went well at the hotel. He gave me my personal space and didn't try to do something weird/stupid (I was still on my guard though) and we had a conversation about metal music and he shared his dream about climbing Sweden's highest mountain, Kebnekajse. Which was interesting.

Today on the morning I woke up at 06:30 and left the hotel (after having breakfast there) to hop on the first bus back to my hometown, as I just wanted to get home as soon as possible to rest. I hope the guy will be alright but it's not my duty to babysit anyone but one thing is for sure - my gut had led me to get a cheaper hotel price (375 SEK at a hotel instead of 500 SEK at a hostel) and doing the "good deed of the day" for a fellow metalhead, who might not have made it without my help. I'm safe and sound at home now writing this post and I feel really good about my goodwill towards that fellow guy.

Now when I'm home I want to share with you guys the two awesome t-shirts that I bought from the concert:

Twilight Force for bro and Accept to myself.
That's it for this post and thanks for reading! Hope you heavy rockers out there enjoyed it! \m/

...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! I was very surprised to notice when I arrived at the concert building, that I was the only flippin' one person wearing an uniform! You see, usually there are at least some people wearing uniforms during a Sabaton concert because hey, it's fucking Sabaton. I heard from my good friend Firith, who saw Sabaton in Helsinki this year, that there were people in uniforms there and that you often see them at the concerts. You can imagine our faces when we kept going "What the actual fuck man?!" when we spoke with each other.

I guess I was the only handsome guy at Luleå with balls... eiku :DD