[RECAP] Scandinavian Tour Blog #2

Posted 10 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes ago by Tonedeff

HOME SWEET HOME

So, we’re back in the states.

I’m so happy to see my bed again. It was a mere 2 weeks, but goddamn that was a lot of traveling. That 6 Hour time-leap really fucks with you when you wake up the next morning.

The QN5 Scandinavian Tour was a complete success. We sold out 4 of the 9 shows, with the remaining five shows packed to the gills and even doubling the expected attendance on a couple. It was amazing to see the reception CunninLynguists received out there. If only media outlets in the states could appreciate them the way the Scandinavian press does – I’m talking national radio appearances, the front cover of newspapers, etc. It was pure insanity.

I was grateful to be a part of the tour, finally able to reach out to a growing contingent of Scandinavian blue schoolers who managed to snag copies of Archetype along with all the CL cameos and have the songs memorized and spit back to me verbatim as I was on stage. It was an incredible feeling and I just wanted to say that I got mad love for everyone who came out to the spots and supported QN5 for these shows – especially those who copped merch.

ARRIVAL IN DENMARK

NOTE: In the car, Deacon began reading Ray Charles’ autobiography.

EUROPEAN ODDITIES

Although, this European excursion was devoid of any Police Dog attacks, it had its share of surreal moments. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I felt like a complete idiot in Scandinavia due to the simple little things that you wouldn’t expect to trip you up.

Babel Is Hard To Understand As IsFor example… pulling the Danish currency out in a crowded Burger King…in Sweden and not being able to tell the difference (all the while being snickered at by the chick behind me in line). Or going to a movie theater to see Babel, sitting down with some popcorn, only to realize that 75% of the movie is in sub-titles. And then realizing they are Swedish subtitles.

Or pushing the wrong exit door, on some “Midvale School For The Gifted” type shit, simply because they’re on the opposite side of where they normally are in the states. Also, Like… Why are there more 7-11’s in Scandinavia than there are McDonalds or even gas stations. It’s uncanny.

Regardless of all the customary differences… the best shit is always the off-kilter signage you stumble upon.

Such as this cool cat food:
Best Cat Food Ever

Or this fine magazine:
Pause Magazine?

Possible Gay Sex Club?
Gay Sex Club?

And of course the translation for “Speed” in Swedish:
Speed = Fart

(Makes you wonder what Keanu Reeves’s movie on the action bus would be called in Sweden?)

I MISS MY TRANS-FAT

Tone Attempts Chicken Pasta Salad There is one constant threat on tour – getting sick. There’s nothing worse then being deathly ill in a foreign city/country, shitting your brains out or feeling like your head is going to explode and not being able to lay down to rest because you have to perform in 15 minutes. So, as a preventative measure, we stock the fuck up on all types of vitamins, herbal teas and cold medicines. Hell, I even ate vegetables on this trip – something I regrettably never do – but stomached just long enough to get some nutrients out of it.

Natti Confused That Applesin is Actually Orange Juice Natti definitely caught the worst of it, especially in Trondheim, Norway. He came through for sound check, and broke out early with the shivers. But homeboy is definitely a trooper and he held it down something EXTRA that night. Dude was on some acapella-murder shit that night – the crowd was loving him. I think with some more material and some time, more blue-schoolers will start to see his big personality start to shine through. Natti is easily one of the funniest motherfuckers I’ve ever met and a super cool dude.

NATTI’S IMPROMPTU VW COMMERCIAL

Of course, we had to pull some pranks at Natti’s expense, including the impromptu creation of a Volkswagen commercial he unwittingly stars in while sleeping.

It was rainy, the music (by a group called Under Byen) was playing and we were rolling over a bridge. This is the stuff anti-lock brakes were made for. Kno called for the cameras to roll and viola! Instant-Natti-VW Commercial.

THE FIRST COUPLE SHOWS

Tone @ Train

Straight from the airport, we headed off for about 4 hours into Aarhus, Denmark. Our first show was a spot called Train. This was a really kick ass venue with great sound and a ritzy restaurant/club in the back. I wasn’t sure what to expect once I got out there.

Natti & Kno Killin ShitYou can always tell when a crowd knows who the fuck you are, by the amount of noise they make when the show host says your name. It’s just one of those natural gauges built into the format of any given show. If your name is called and you hear crickets…you know you need to bring you’re A-Game… cause they’re gonna make you work for every ounce of applause you get.

When the wailing strings of “Ridiculous” played and I heard a small section of about 7-8 cats cheering, I knew that tonight I was gonna have to do some serious showing & proving. By the time “Pervert” and “Case Closed” came around, I had the crowd and was able to set it off correctly for CL, who proceeded to body it.

The Man with Chico On The Wheels

In Lund, Sweden, I fared MUCH better with the crowd’s familiarity with me. They were yelling like a muffucka when my name was called, and were even chanting for songs out of the catalog. It got to the point where Kno was like…“They keep asking for ‘TNT’, so let’s let ‘em have it”. Mind you, this was after our regular closer-tracks. Hell, I even crowd surfed. In the words of Borat – “Very Nice!”

I definitely had a blast in Lund.

COPENHAGEN HEATSTROKE

Anytime the road to the venue consists of an alley strewn with debris, a flaming barrel and more potholes than De La Soul’s lawn… you know you’re in for a wild night.

Deacon Baking To Death In CopenhagenThe club was packed to the gills, but it was one of those 6” Inch elevated platform stages (aka the “Cheeesburger Stage” as Kno likes to refer to them). These types of shows are a bitch, because it’s difficult for anyone NOT in the front 2 rows to see anything – Which is a tad problematic, due to the heavy crowd interaction @ QN5 Shows. I like to see the entire audience and engage people however I can, so it was tough.

But we made it work, regardless – even though it was SUFFOCATINGLY HOT – trumped only by a show we did in a spot called Bitoz in Anchroage, Alaska where it was so hot that the walls were dripping with the sweat of the crowd. The heavy smoke and weed didn’t help either. Hahah But we still did the damn thing and the crowd was amped. We did heavy damage with merch that night.

[See If You Can Translate A Review Here]

BURGER KING TRASH-BIN KICK

Now, I don’t know if the temperaments between the occupants of the USA and Sweden vary wildly…but from what I could gather at a local Burger King we made a pitstop in after our show in Copenhagen – people’s patience out there is definitely stepped the fuck up.

Burger King Is GullyLong story short – A drunk dude was causing a lot of ruckus in the spot (we’ll refer to him as DRUNKO)– insulting folks, being rude, etc. Some cats stepped to him to chill out and dude shoves them – HARD. No punches thrown yet. Some other dudes come over, Drunko is acting wild again… Drunko straight up SLAPS this other dude in the face. No punches thrown.

All of us are watching the whole thing in awe that no one has been stomped out yet.

Drunko wanders into a crowd of seated eaters…talks more shit…someone shoves him into people’s trays, which sends food flying. FINALLY the violence begins.

Some dude in pointed Giorgio Brutinis’ hops up on the Trash Bin/Tray Stand and straight up KICKS this dude in the head to the sound of a collective “Ohhhh” from our table. The cat hops down and bounces from BK, after which the cops come and arrest Drunko.

Moral of the story? Don’t fuck with a Swede’s dinner.

A PERMANENT IMPRESSION IN GOTHENBURG

QN5 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Although we didn’t get a chance to really explore it…based off my initial impression, Gothenburg was very fresh. They had this massive art museum I didn’t get a chance to peep, and a fuckin Theme Park. I dunno about y’all…but if there’s a theme park in your city, that’s pretty much grounds to live there indefinitely. We saw 1 black dude.

Deacon begins reading the autobiography of Marvin Gaye.

This show was definitely on and poppin. It was one of the smaller venues on the tour, but it was sold out and the energy was tremendous. I pulled a PackFM @ The QN5 Megashow maneuver and climbed the railing up to the second story of the club, dangling above as I kicked “Champions”. I wasn’t psychotic enough to pull the subsequent stage dive (as Pack did @ CBGBs), cause I wasn’t sure if my insurance would work over there.

SaraQN5's Porcelain TattooWe were forced to sell our merch outside of the club, so there was a lot of foot traffic and we got to speak to a lot of the Swedish blue schoolers. One of which was this blonde chick who shows me her ankle tattoo… which upon further inspection… is an inscription of the last line from “Porcelain”.

“Even The Hardest Hearts Break When They’re Dropped To The Floor, Like Porcelain”.

Wow. Just fuckin wow.

This shit totally blew my fucking mind. It’s one thing to get props or dap for a line, but to see your words immortalized on a woman’s body is a pretty trippy experience. Needless to say, I thanked her and told her to send a pic, so I could prove it. Thanks to SaraQN5 for hookin up the photo. Be sure to give her props on her MySpace page.

To top it off, we received a 5/5 show rating from the local paper.

[Peep The Review Here]

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

Beautiful Stockholm

Of all the cities we ran through on this tour, Stockholm was VISUALLY my favorite. It’s literally the cleanest big city I’ve ever seen. The shit is lit up like NYC, minus all the dirt and garbage. It’s also right on the water, and there are parks with docks, piers and boats all over. This is some primo-romantic shit, fellas…so if you ever need to dampen your ladies on some fly European shit…allow me to suggest Stockholm.

Deacon & Natti in Stockholm, Sweden

The show that night was interesting, cause it was to be broadcast on Swedish P3 National Radio. We were warned that Stockholm crowds were a little harder to please, as they were a bit “spoiled” when it came to hip-hop shows because it was a perennial stop on damn near every euro tour known to man. Being no stranger to hostile crowds, thanks to years of experience in the northeast, I knew I had to diffuse the situation and get people off their guard. I did what I do and the crowd seemed to snap right into place.

Also, we had the chance to rock “616 Rewind” for the first time with Kashal-Tee, the Swedish rapper who’s on the original. Maybe one day, we’ll manage to pull it off with ALL the players. (The odds of which are equal to that of seeing something like “Obligatory Posse Cut”, “Quotables” or the Juice Crew doing “The Symphony” with all the verses).

Kno Holdin It Down In StockholmThere were some odd folks there though. This one tall white cat kept begging for my sweat-soaked hat. I kept telling him ‘NO’, and he kept asking…until finally accepting my peace offering of a rubber band I had on my wrist from the merch table.

This one girl was HELLA mad that we didn’t perform “The Gates” from APOS. Which to me, is an odd request, considering it’s a story piece and doesn’t really strike me as a performance track, but maybe I’m wrong. (What do y’all think?) Regardless, she went home mad. Lol

Hearing one broad call Kno a “Handsome Wigger” without the slightest bit of hesitation was also just another one of those blaring cultural differences that catches you off guard. Lol (Later hearing a random chick refer to Deacon as a “Pretty Negro” in Norway and then seeing a white dude refer to Kno as “Whitey” in Aalborg was equally hysterical).

Overall, it was a dope show and I must admit that Shish Kabobs in Stockholm at 2:30 AM are on point. It’s a beautiful city, and I hope to be back at some point soon.

Deacon's 3rd Book

Oh, and Deacon started reading the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. At this point, Natti jokes that by the end of the tour, Deacon will have read every written autobiography on black figures known to man and will be scraping the bottom of the barrel for books about Todd Bridges and the like.

STATIC OBSERVATIONS IN OSLO

Kno On A Bad Day In Oslo

On top of some really kick ass graf pieces and art, the crowd in Oslo was VERY diverse. Including this cat who literally stood in the front row – completely catatonic for the entire duration of the show. It’s funny, cause Kingsize Magazine snapped some photos of him and pointed him out as well – cause he was like a statue the entire time. The entire crowd would be rolling and out of the corner of my eye, I’d catch this one static figure. I’m not sure if he was extremely high or mute. I THINK he enjoyed the show though. lol

Stoneface in Oslo

This show was off the chain. The more I perform pervert, the more I realize that I want to re-release Archetype with a Pervert/Porcelain single. People just latch onto those songs…and oddly enough, women seem to dig Pervert more than the dudes.

Broads In OsloI pulled this one broad on stage for “Pervert”, and her foot got caught in the gap between the barricades holding the crowd off the stage. For a moment, I thought I might have broke her ankle or some shit…but she was a great sport and managed to stumble back to her feet and wiggle her jigglies for the song. Hooray for good sports.

Oh, yeah, props to Kingsize Magazine for holding it down with the pics and hiring 17-year-old girls to hold down their merch booths.

[Check Out The Oslo Gallery Here]

7-11 ZOMBIES IN TRONDHEIM

The next morning we hopped on over to the airport, for a flight bound for Trondheim, Norway. Once there, we zipped over to a pretty swank hotel. I was a little disoriented cause the population seemed very ethnically diverse, with alot of cats out there on some NYC shit from 2 years ago (ie. Fitteds and throwbacks). It was like being caught in a time warp – only in another language.

7-11 Zombies In Trondheim, Norway

Apparently, 7-11 is the SPOT in Trondheim after 1 AM. It was literally like a scene out of a Zombie movie, except the zombies wanted beer and not brains. I ran into Kno in the elevator, who informed me that a bunch of unruly drunk cats were trying to act belligerent, so I rolled back outside with him and the zombies were gone. Dang it. I wanted to play Ving Rhames in Dawn of the Dead.

On a sidenote, I have to say…I was quite disappointed in the Pay-Per-View porn the hotel provided. Being a constant traveler, I’ve been privy to some pretty kickass digital selections in the various hotels I’ve stayed in. THIS was by far the WORST ppv porn ever in the history of hotel ppv porn. I’m pretty sure the movie was circa 1987. It was on an extremely shitty 5th generation VHS feed with squiggly lines and fucked up tracking. The chicks looked like they were being humped by the Michelin Man in a microwave. And to top it off – they showed absolutely ZERO close-up action! WTF! How you gonna make people pay for that? Hell, even a shitty Holiday Inn Express in Boise, Idaho can show a clam getting pummeled in 2006. I’m supposed to shell out my hard earned Nordic money for extended shots of a bobbing skull retrofitted with a 1987 hairspray hair-waves and a camera that’s 15 ft away? NO. Even Cinemax trumps this shit.

This is not up to so-called European standards, folks. I was very disappointed. STEP YOUR PPV PORN GAME UP, TRONDHEIM!

I know, I’m sick.

As for the show…it popped off alot better than I thought it would. A good mixed crowd, good energy and Natti on a flu-ridden rampage yet still managing to keep it gully on stage. We met some cool folks out there, including a local act called G.O.D.S. who had some tight production, etc. Overall, it was a positive night. Aside from the Zombies & shitty PPV.

HELSINKI HYSTERIA

Props to the promoter, a producer named Kool Ski, who drove over 10 Hours to get us at the airport and set the show up. Dude did a great job and there’s nothing better than a promoter who goes out of his way to make sure the show goes smoothly. Of course, beyond his control was the sound and yet another cheeseburger stage.

The venue was a spot that was traditionally a dance club, complete with two Go-Go stands for exhibitionist/dancers and two floors of madness and video screens. This was another sold out show in a gigantic club. So, I did my best to make sure that the crowd had never seen a bouncing hat perform better than that. ;)

Tonedeff & CunninLynguists Grubbin In Helsinki, Finland

After sound check, we headed out to grab some pre-show grub. It took a minute to find something that wasn’t completely foreign to us, but we eventually tracked down a fresh chinese restaurant. It always surprises me how no matter where you are on earth – there’s a chinese restaurant. I’m not complaining though – even though they didn’t know what Egg Rolls were and had some odd menu items.

Such As:

After dinner, it was showtime…and man – the energy in that place was palpable. I’m extremely susceptible to crowd frenzy, so of course I had to lose my mind and lead the audience in a furious rendition of “Issawn”. I basically zoned the fuck out during the “Tear This Bitch Down” break and climbed to the top rail of this 15+ Ft. Tall Go-Go stand and launch myself into the crowd. Thankfully they caught me, and surfed my body back to the stand in a smooth sweeping motion. It was seriously one of the best moments I’ve ever had on stage, and OF COURSE there are no photos or video clips of it.

With that said, if anyone reading this attended the Helsinki show has ANY of this on cell phone, camera, video, etc… PLEASE for the love of god, send that shit. I wanna look back on that when I’m 64 and say, “Yessir. I lived.”

CunninLynguists absolutely bodied their set that night, regardless of how they may feel about it… I could see the crowd in a frenzy as I was holding down my psuedo-DeeJaying duties and FELT the energy they brought to the show.

Kno Drunk In Helsinki
I managed to get myself drunk that night (I’m a lightweight drinker), lose my glasses and wander out on the streets with an equally drunk Kno looking for food stands at 3 AM. All we managed to find was a lady at a Hot Dog stand who spoke no english whatsoever. Funny enough, when Kno asked her if we should try the other vendor across the street instead, she said “NO!!!” I guess commerce truly is a universal language.

Of course, the next morning, we wake up at 11:10 AM for our 12:50 PM flight.

We made it though (obviously), but I wouldn’t suggest anyone chance that kinda close call at a foreign airport. Especially when you’re carrying huge merch bags.

THE FINAL STRETCH

So, we’re 8 shows in with 1 left to go.

Deacon's Had EnoughWe fly back to Copenhagen from Helsinki, un-showered and unrested, and hop in a van from the airport for the 5 hour ride over to Aalborg, Denmark. The spot was called 1000Fryd, and apparently it’s a big Punk/Hardcore spot which has seen the likes of Green Day and Turbonegro, and was definitely the smallest spot we ecountered thus far. After the show there, we’d have to hop back in the van and ride 4.5 hours back to Copenhagen Airport and hop on our flights back home.

With exhaustion setting in, we managed to conjure up some magic once we hit the stage, resulting in a freestyle cipher with Deacon, Natti & Myself, playing off the crowd and generally wilding out. I remember Deacon saying… “I just feel like rapping”. I really felt that statement…cause here we are…exhausted as fuck, filthy, and hoarse from screaming for 2 weeks straight…and the overwhelming urge to RAP is still there. That, my friends… is true love of the game. Lol

Props to Deac, whose name I cite instantly whenever I’m queried who my current favorite MC is.

IN CLOSING

Props to everyone who rolled through to all the spots. Also, I just wanna give props to Johan from Bad Taste Events for holding us down on the tour management tip and doing all the driving. Dude definitely held us down in the utmost professional manner possible, and for that, we’re extremely grateful. (Thanks for all the new Music, mane!)

BTW – SONG OF THE TOUR: Quit Your Dayjob“Wasted”.

God willing…we’re looking to roll back through Europe in 2007, with an expanded tour, more than likely hitting up the UK, France, Italy and Germany as well. All I can say is that if Scandinavia is any indication, then there shouldn’t be any doubt that QN5 is quickly shaping up to become one of the top movements in Hip-Hop music.

I look forward to seeing y’all at the next shows.

Hollerate!
Tone.
sig

(PS. Buy PackFM’s album).