I am actually rather apprehensive about the soon-to-be hiatus - how it will affect me. Last time they had a break was from September 2009 till early 2012 but for me it wasn't until June that I got to see them live again. So almost three freaking years. Of course this time it won't be quite that long for they are not making a movie alongside with the new album. Anyhow, the summer of 2014 will be drastically different from two previous ones. The problem isn't so much the lack of excitement derived from seeing one's greatest idols performing weekend after weekend as it is the fact that I am fully aware of how much emotional baggage I kind of channel into these occasions. Attending Nightwish's gigs is a way of getting myself so absorbed and intoxicated by the music and the atmosphere that I don't quite have any capacity to dwell in or reflect upon some mental locks that I might have either in an emotional or a cognitive level. I suppose it is good in some therapeutic way, to be able to put unwanted stuff beside for a while, but on the other hand, I'm not entirely sure whether I am avoiding or in fact, dealing with those unwanted things through my positive Nightwish experiences.
Well, I guess we will find out soon enough which way it is.
I remember having felt somewhat similar the last time Nightwish went on a break. During tour time you always try your best to fit together Nightwish-related activities and the rest of your life, and so the band and the events become an important part of you. When the tour ends it's like it creates and empty void that you'll have to fill with something else. And then there's the concern of the next tour and how are you then going to make room for that fangirl part of life that has been replaced with some other means of spending time. Especially now there is such uncertainty of life after university that I have no way of telling where I will be in 2015, what I will be doing then - and how on Earth I am going to continue the career of a fangirl. Now I'm still so much dependent on my parents that I don't really have an issue with having them pay most of my Nightwish excursions. Besides I'm on a holiday so I'm not tied into any schedules for the majority of time. Even in term time my timetable is quite flexible, and allows me to take off for a day or two.
However, I think I'm supposed to have a job at some point in life, probably quite time-consuming considering my area of study and interest. How could I then just drop everything and do what I love - queue overnight, scream for a couple of hours in the front row, go home and repeat? Not to mention paying for all of that with my own money that I will hopefully some day earn. And you know, I can't imagine ever wanting to ditch the ridiculous hours of queuing and fighting for the best spot in front of the stage - for me it is such a crucial part of the whole experience. So, no mum, I'm not going grow out of it.
Ladies and gentlemen, the practical problems of being a devoted fan.
The reason why I'm pondering these things today is that yesterday it kind of hit me that there really are only two more concerts to go and then a long time of nothing.
Also, I'm suffering from a concert hangover which, as its name suggests, has nothing to do with excessive use of alcohol but a combination of some soaked camping in front of the gates, very little sleep, no warm meals, screaming, jumping, headbanging and the usual plus yesterday's special: hanging out in a bar till midnight stalking certain musicians whilst enjoying our mineral waters. shh I wasn't supposed to talk about that......
Returning to the topic of queuing. There must be something severely wrong with me for I actually really enjoy it nowadays; the longer the better. Even stranger this is considering the fact that I always go to the queue by myself and my fair companion/s only follow afterwards. Take Saturday night for example: I left home way too early because I just couldn't sit still any longer. I rode my bike to the event venue but as the gates were only just being closed there was a huge mass of tipsy metalheads still crowding the area so I took a little tour d'Helsinki and returned in two hours when people had ventured towards the city centre and its bars.
I set myself on the ground with some bin bags, yoga mat and a sleeping bag, and started reading The Silence of The Lambs with a few interruptions from curious people who wanted to know why I was sitting on concrete alone past midnight with a book. Some heavily drunk guy thought our 30-year age gap wasn't too much at all, but I kindly hinted that maybe he ought go home and get some sleep.
More people came in at 2.00am and that's when I went to sleep as well, reassured by the safety of provided by company. Unfortunately though, it also started raining precisely as I'd managed find a snug position in my sleeping bag - and it didn't stop until around 6.00. And then there was the constant wind that tried to blow off my umbrella. Even so I did get some sleep in short periods. In the morning I was more or less soaked to the bone in my lower body that hadn't been under the umbrella, but the temperature had remained above 15 degrees Celcius over the night so I was never really cold.
My best friend arrived before 10 and I was able to get all of my night gear back home where I also showered, had some food and changed into proper festival look. Normally, I'm always so far away from home that whatever I take with me to the queue either stays with me through the concert or goes to someplace lockable nearby. Usually I also don't have the opportunity to use shower and other such luxuries. But even without showers and such, I do enjoy queuing. In Finland people don't really socialise a lot unless they already know each other but I think this time I gained some respect from this other bunch front row regulars by being the first one in the queue. I'm fairly certain they've never not been the first one there. So yeah, we chatted a little. Maybe we've reached the point where saying hi the next time we meet in the queue is appropriate.
Time to draw this ramble to a close. I actually feel like I'm just sitting here, in a library, half asleep and the only thing keeping me from falling off this chair is my fingers constantly typing.