Posted on Tuesday, 12 December 2006 at 20:11.

Last Sunday I went to Opeth. It was a day full of contrastful bits of good and bad luck.

Hakan, Nazli and Selin, exchange students from Turkey whom I was going to the concert with, decided not to come, so I went alone. I arrived in the afternoon, finding my way to Hard Club (the venue) using the map in a bus stop and a nearby tourist office. Once there, I shook hands with Mikael Ã…kerfeldt, who was waiting for the sound check to begin. Yes, that’s right.

At night I had dinner in a nearby restaurant called República da Cerveja, where, you guessed it, Opeth went and had dinner as well. I had some bread, butter, soup, chicken salad, a Cerveja Natal (Christmas beer), and a “Hot Magnum”: chocolate ice heated into a hot-cholocate-like drink. Not bad.

Also saw a girl sitting alone at a table, who, judging by her clothes, was going to the concert as well, and walked up to her and asked if she was okay, which was the beginning of a nice conversation. Sadly, I lost sight of her during the concert and never saw her again. Next time I go to a concert, remind me to exchange email addresses *before* the concert, instead of exchanging promises to do so *after* the concert.

The concert itself was very nice. It took a while to find a place where I could actually see what was going on, but the sound was excellent. My earplugs were horrible, but the music wasn’t as loud as is usual back home, so I ended up not using them much. Nice lights as well. All in all, a very enjoyable experience. Or as one of the guys who gave me a ride aptly put it: foi um concerto de caralho!

After the concert I had to find a way home. I couldn’t go with the Turkish people, and I couldn’t go with Helder either (a Portuguese guy who lives in Santa Tecla) because he didn’t have any free seats in his car. I decided to walk to a nearby youth hostel, then figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask some random people from the concert if they happened to go to Braga. The fourth attempt was successful, and I got a ride back home with a friendly bunch of rockers. I think that’s the luckiest thing that’s happened to me so far here in Portugal.

Less then an hour later I was safe back home and in bed.


By Illusori on Tuesday, 12 December 2006 at 21:02:

Great photos, you should speak to the club and band to see if they’re interested in using them for publicity, they’re a lot higher quality than the photos on most band websites. And blagging a ride home with no planning at the end of the night? Classic gig experience. ;P

By Martijn on Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 01:07:

Classic indeed, and an experience I’d rather not repeat. =)

By Jelmer Vernooij on Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 03:38:

Opeth always rocks live ! :-)

By Tiago on Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 19:04:

Hey Martijn!!!

You welcome to have a ride with us again anytime!!
Pedro (the driver) is a kind of “godfather” of metal in Braga, cuz he helps out the bands that are starting and he is a great friend. So I know that he doesn’t mind giving you a ride (as long as there’s space in the car).

Hope to hear more from you.

Stay well.

By Martijn on Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 19:35:

@Jelmer: I believe you. =) Will have to see them again to make sure, of course.

@Tiago: It was nice to meet you, Pedro and Clara this way. I’m very grateful. :-)

By Martien on Saturday, 16 December 2006 at 14:20:

Hi Martijn, really love your story and beautiful photos. Feels like we’re there. And brings back a lot of memories from our youth, when we hiked to places to experience the great concerts then.

About your photo’s, there is something very authentic about them. Can’t put my finger on it. The colors. The composition. Perhaps it’s the sunsetting atmosphere? Anyway, keep on taking them. Looking forward to see Opeth using a few of them in their future collateral.

Love—mom & dad.

By Martijn on Saturday, 16 December 2006 at 19:05:

Well, you really are almost here. :-) Really looking forward to that. And of course I will keep on taking pictures. <3

By antonio on Tuesday, 19 December 2006 at 15:23:

hey Martin!

I just found this website… I’m happy you could see Hard Club at least once… as you probably know by now, it will be shut down to open a restaurant.. just what we needed most in Gaia.. :-(

anyway, it was good to see Opeth on my last concert at Hard Club.. I just hope there’s a new “Hard Club” soon, because we need those kind of places in Porto/Gaia!

I’ll have my own photos pretty soon on my website.. I took about 260 and chose 150 to upload, lol…

Take care!
Antonio (aka abducted)

By Martijn on Tuesday, 19 December 2006 at 16:38:

Hard Club is a very nice place. :-) It’s a shame they’re going to close it. And 260 is a lot of pictures! Looking forward to see them. :-)

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