Harvester of Sofia on tour in Italy

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Our journey began with an EasyJet flight from Sofia to Milan two days before the concert. We passed the afternoon in a brief tour of the main attractions in town. Sunday passed in a similar way: walking and sightseeing. Again we started from the square of the cathedral Duomo filled with countless other tourists, pigeons and street vendors who tied you a bracelet “For Free” and a second later they want 2 euros for it. Cathedral itself is remarkable and is a bit difficult to be described in words.

At 6 o’clock in the evening we had a meeting with the members of the Italian chapter of the Metclub – Zonametallica, who fulfilled their promise and take us to the pre show party organized by them. Club Rock `n` Roll is outside Milan and we traveled with cars around 30 minutes to there. We met one of the chapterheads – Mario, and a lot of the members of ZM, very nice and very friendly, we received great hospitality.

The singer of the tribute band SaD – Mattia, had a lot of similarities with James from the beginning of the 90`s – his vision and the faces that he was doing. They played ten songs and I must say that they were very great. After SaD`s performance the winners of the raffle organized by ZonaMetallica were announced. Of course, among them was a representative of HOS – Maria, who won several awards and unleashed her incredible luck. The next morning we found out that Maria won two tickets for the show and Meet and Greet. Events were turning out really great – three people from Harvester of Sofia at Meet & Greet in Milan.

After resting in the hostel we made it to the venue – Datch Forum. The guys from ZM have already occupied the entrance from 11 o’clock in the morning. With a blue sky and no clouds it was too hot. Thus, nearly three hours later, they opened the doors and let us in groups of several people – safety measures. After more then four hours bask in the sun, running to the front row was a sip of fresh air. Shortly after rushing at the stairs we clung to the fence at the short side of the stage where James and Rob changed their guitars.

I was glad that Mastodon and Lamb of God had really short sets because I didn’t like them and the awful sound made things worse. In the middle of the Lamb of God performance one of the lucky winners – Rado, found us and he was with a big smile at his face after he met God a.k.a James.

With the beginning of Ecstasy the long waited madness was released and I put all of the energy that was left in me. During the first two songs we have seen lasers that reflected in the glow of the guitars and they looked truly amazing. The crowd was louder than the speakers during The Memory Remains; we could make a BBQ at the fires of One, and hardly recognized My apocalypse because of the sound. In the middle of Sad but True guards took me out to the medics. I collapsed for few seconds, and thanks to the quick reaction of Ivo I was safe. Two bottles of water were enough to get me back in the crowd, but at a greater distance from the scene where the sound was better. I found the other two lucky friends.

The end of the set was а surprise for me and I was very pleased with both songs before Seek – Die my darling and Trapped under ice. Of course the venue was illuminated during the last song and balls began to fall right next to us. I got on one and started to swell it (which is not an easy thing, believe me) and at the end of Seek and Destroy we took a dive into the sea of people for guitar picks, which is twice as difficult. When Metallica went of the stage, we found our friend of HoS happy and one of them with a drumstick from Lars. Exhausted but extremely happy we left the arena… I was almost happy, a little bit sad and slightly angry at myself… Fatigue led us to sleep immediately, which was good because at the morning we had to get up very, very early to continue our journey to Rome.

At 5:30 o’clock on Tuesday morning we got up to prepare for our upcoming trip, which had planned to lead us in Rome at noon. The train was stopping at most of the stations, but in Bologna retained more than usual. Passengers began lively to debate about what happens, in the beginning we do not pay attention, because they are really noisy Italians but after several minutes all of them began to collect their baggage chaotically and leave the train. We cast a glance at each other and followed them; the train we had was cancelled and we immediately had to get on the next train for Rome. Successfully, after eight hours of travel we arrived in Rome at the Termini station.

Our apartment was very close to the station with a beautiful view and balcony with many flowers. We took some fresh air and a beer and got out for a walk. I needed to get out of my head the romantic idea of Rome. Everywhere was dirty, crowded and swarm of tourists who could barely walk past each other in the narrow streets. Once we saw the fountain Trevi and the Bulgarian church we continued to the square, but at the first street we sat down to have dinner.

However, we had to meet Tanya and our friends from ZonaMetallica. And then at the square Navona we met Zack (Rob`s bass tech) and Vicky (she works for Metallica too). Of course we were very polite and we congratulated them and wished them a great evening. After our brief meeting in the Abbey Theatre for a moment we lost our way to the apartment, but quickly found the right direction.

We spent the morning of June 24 in gathering our forces for the forthcoming concert. We hoped that if we go again around 3 o’clock at the afternoon we can be right in front of the entrance but this time some people had came at 4 o’clock in the morning, Therefore we decided to line up at the queue so we could continue getting sun tan. After less than an hour the crowd became thicken. 10 minutes seemed like hours under the burning sun in front of the entrances of Palalottomatica. For two hours the crowd crawled to the doors. At some point I saw that around me there were more than five people whose tickets are for the stands, and they waited to enter parterre.

Few minutes after 6 o’clock they let us go, and I found myself in the competition for places in the first row. We were at the same side of the stage like in Milan. We talked to one of the guards about the banner of Harvester of Sofia and whether there is a problem to hold it during the concert. At the same time Zack, who was taking some photosof the guitars, saw our banner and with a big smile of his face he nodded in approval. After several minutes Zack came to me and I he gave me few guitar picks in my hand. I grinned from ear to ear and put the priceless treasure in the bag. The venue itself seemed smaller and the stage was a “ground support” set-up. We survived trough the support acts and during Lamb Of God’s performance I have a cup Coke and some chocolate. Tonight should not be a repetition of the incident in Milan.

The beginning of the set was the same, during Creep I listened to the crowd, the voice of the audience led war with the speakers and the powerful “Die, Die, Die …” won. The songs overflowed from heavy into slow and from old into new and build the image of Metallica, full of energy and positive emotions. They gave and received back from the audience, one fadeless circle.

No Leaf Clover caught me unprepared and I was crazy from happiness at the beginning of the intro. The specialty of the evening was undoubtedly Dyers Eve, a song that does not leave us even to take a breath. Personally for me, Kirk`s solo before Noting else Matters once again proved to be a feast for the senses. James as always left the audience to sing the song and the result once again was unbelievable. The finesse of the NEM was converted into the energy of Enter Sandman and exploded with awesome pyro effects at the beginning. Stone Cold Crazy and Phantom Lord were a great ending for the evening along with the usual Seek and Destroy. We all had smiles on our faces, just as James was predicted at the beginning of the concert.

We left to our apartment whit a night bus that went right along the illuminated and majestic Coliseum. He gave us the beginning of our tourist walk of June 25. In Rome everything is in colossal size and makes you feel insignificant and small and wherever you look there is something to see and what to enjoy. All the spared time for Rome is never enough.
On July 26th at the morning we went to the airport “Leonardo da Vinci and at the afternoon and landed in the dark gray Sofia already craving for more concerts.

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