Life is really weird and unpredictive, you’ll never know when and what’s gonna happen, but just keep on livin’ and keep on dreamin’. Sounds cliche, I know but it’s fucking truth. If someone would come up to me like even 8 or 9 months ago, and said ‘you will travel again, you will meet new people, hell, your life will change’, I would never believe it. I felt stuck. Really stuck. But it did happen and all thanks to this petite woman but with an enormous heart & a huge voice.
I didn’t think anything will top my London experience, I was going to Ostrava without expectations, I just wanted to go and have fun, to listen to LP’s amazing voice and to witness her presence once again. Frankly, I was feeling really low that day, I had to take my ‘chill’ pill already on train, as neurosis really kicked in again. I think the stress of the last few weeks got to me. When I arrived to Ostrava I met my friends of LP Pleasures and we all travelled to the venue,
The venue, wow, it’s like taken from some post-apocalyptic movie. Because festival is held at Ostrava’s Dolní Vítkovice site in the zone of a protected former ironworks, mine and steelworks. The ironworks were named after the owner Rudolph smelting plant and were founded in Vítkovice in 1828. The Hlubina Mine, coke plant and blast furnaces formed a unique complex starting with coal mining, a milling plant, coke production right up to the manufacturing of pig iron. So, to sum up, if you’ll get a chance, do visit this place, it’s incredible and gigantic.
When we arrived we were worried about waiting in line like on the 1st day of festival but thankfully it all went really smooth. First, we were looking for Reflex Stage at which was supposed to be an interview with LP, moderated by Petr Vizina. Well, we were walking for around 30 minutes if not much longer and took many wrong turns until we’ve finally arrived at place. We were lucky, because we were still quite early, it was perhaps noon and interview was to start at 2 pm. There were only like 5 people before us, so we took our places in line and waited.
While waiting I really didn’t feel well, I felt like fainting few times, the heat didn’t help as even in the shadow it was like 30 degrees. But somehow I survived and when they finally opened the door I was lucky to sit in a second row, first row was taken by VIPs, and some other people anyway. When LP arrived, when I saw her, with that huge smile on her face, I forgot about everything. It was an hour of listening to her voice and her stories. The interview was titled “Life is a journey”, so LP spoken about her life, her ups and downs, record deals and music.
It was really interesting to hear, and though the moderator was really nice, and kind and seemed like LP fan, most of the questions we’ve heard before, but it was still interesting to hear and share this experience. I forgot to mention, that when the interview started the place was full, we were asked to scoop/squeeze as still many people were waiting behind the doors, and to tell the truth due to the security reasons many had to stay there as you couldn’t fit even a needle. The place was so full.
As for the interview alone, cameras were rolling all the time, people were forbidden to make videos or even take pics, I snuck only few. I hope this interview will be posted online – I did ask, but haven’t received a response yet. I have found an article (in Czech language), that sums up really well the whole meeting, so with google translator you will get most of it. For article click here. There is also a nice gallery of pictures. Right after the interview ended, LP was taken from the venue as she had many more interviews planned during that day.
We left the venue, and there I was reunited with my friends from Total Freedom LP fans & Magda of LP Germany. We wandered a bit around the venue, got to eat something and we moved to the main stage where LP’s concert was to start at 6.30 pm. Frankly, when going there, I was thinking, ‘no, I’m not going to head for the first row, I think I will stay this time somewhere in the back’, but when we get there it turned out the access to the barriers on the right side of the stage was quite easy, there weren’t many people yet, so I’ve decided to stay… Again, in the front row! Lucky me.
At stage at that time was Aneta Langerová, Czech singer, and I must say we all really enjoyed her voice and songs and the whole performance. If you’ll get a chance do check her out. After her concert ended we saw Darren and Matt preparing instruments for LP and the band. Darren was really nice & sweet, we shouted “sing Darren, sing”, but he didn’t want to 🙂 And now for that magic part… When it was like 5 minutes to the concert I got a message, that never, ever in a million years I would have expected to get… I was being invited backstage after the concert by LP…
What you don’t know, because it was supposed to be a surprise, I wanted to do an interview with LP a little bit earlier, but we weren’t going to meet, it was going to be an email interview… So I sent my questions a while back (maybe a week or so), with note, no need to rush, as I totally understand how crazy busy it is… So imagine my surprise, and look on my face when I realized that not only I was getting this kind of invitation, but also ability of doing the interview personally with LP. Well, my friend Monika saw me and she got scared that I will faint 🙂
But first, the concert…. OMG! You know, when you think LP cannot possibly top herself, she does it again… It’s incredible to witness her live, to see how the crowd is ‘pushing’ her to give not 100 but 1000% of herself. She really tries to acknowledge each and every fan during her performance and her interaction and connection with people just blows my mind! You can see it in her face, in her gestures, moves, she takes the energy from the crowd, transfers it through her voice and body and gives it back with even bigger power.
|photo: LP via Sandra Sanecznik 🙂|
The concert started with Muddy Waters and the crowd went wild. Truthfully I had no idea HOW many people there were until much later, when seeing movies and pictures. The place was full! But I must say it was really nice, people were really friendly, there was no pushing or pulling. One minus, do not ever wear white to this place, especially if you’re going to stand next to the barriers. I don’t think I have ever been this dirty in my whole life. I was really worried if my LP t-shirt will survive the experience. PS – it did!
|photo posted with kind permission from photographer Tereza @tbeckova via Instagram|
As mentioned above LP did started with Muddy Waters but the set and songs were in different order, than in Oświęcim. LP started with songs where she was more in the background of the stage, grounded by guitar etc, but after ‘Other People’, when singing ‘Tightrope’, she has taken her microphone and went to the front of the stage to be much closer to people. Already during this song, when LP moved closer to our area, she noticed me in the crowd and waved at me. You know, such a simple gesture, but when you know it’s only for you, when you see the recognition in her face, it really is priceless.
Then were ‘Up Against Me’ and ‘Strange’. During ‘Strange’ LP was back closer to the crowd, clapping, waving and shouting ‘You guys are amazing’. You could feel the energy. Then were ‘Into the Wild’, ‘Death Valley’ and ‘Levitator’, so because of intruments LP had to stay closer to the back of the stage. But the whole crowd was singing with her, myself including. I was singing all the time, every song, and every word I know. During ‘Levitator’ funny thing happened. I noticed Magda crying, and then it hit me. Wow, I haven’t cried today yet!!
Worry not, next was ‘You want it all’, and there were tears… But this time those were more because of the joy, excitement and awe of LP’s amazing vocal… This song gets me every time. I also like the story behind it. I love how through lyrics LP is sharing her life and experience… She is not afraid to look deep down into her soul… To write about the good things, but also those not so good things that happen to everyone. Maybe that’s why I/we all feel so connected with LP. Ah, I do love this song…
Then were ‘Suspicion’, ‘Tokyo Sunrise’ and ‘No Witness’ during which LP killed the system and us. What she did with this song is unbelievable. You know, when I heard this song first only on CD I didn’t get it, I liked it, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It was only after I’ve seen it live for the very first time in BBC during live show, and then in Oświęcim, it really hit me. I was enlighten. It’s a masterpiece that must be witnessed live to fully appreciate its glory! Now it’s one of my favourite songs and it’s always something I am looking forward. LP – thank you!
The concert ended with ‘High’ and ‘Lost on you’. Before the final song LP played with the crowd like in France and Athens. It was incredible to be part of this and to just see LP really enjoying her time on stage despite the heat and sun shining straight into her eyes. Just wonderful. ‘Lost on you’ was sung by, I think, every person in the crowd. It’s like an anthem now. Sadly with this song we knew this amazing journey is coming to an end. And it’s something really hard to accept. Because time flies way too quickly and it’s really hard to get back to reality afterwards…
For encore was ‘Someday’, to give us hope, that we will meet another time someday again… Not sure when it will be, but hopefully sooner than later! When concert ended my friends and me went to the meeting spot and after receiving clearance from the security, we were taken backstage, straight to LP. And this time, for the first time, finally I was able to speak. Perhaps it was because I knew such opportunity may never come again and I must appreciate fully what’s happening… After really lovely welcome by LP, my friends got to sit accross the room and I got to sit next to LP and to really interview her.
Can you believe it?! I still really can’t. But I do have proof in like 3 copies. It’s like a holy grail… Because LP kindly agreed to record the full interview. I even asked if she was sure, but she said, yes of course, go ahead. So off I went with my questions, very nervous at first, but LP and her voice did the trick, I was under her spell again. LP didn’t rush, she took her time and answered each and every question I have prepared… For the interview, you will have to wait, just a little bit. It needs a bit of editing, but not much – Artur you did really great job. And most important, despite the concert in the background, LP’s voice is clear…. Mine not so much, so I will prepare subtitles. But LP, she was truly brilliant.
It was experience of a lifetime. LP – I can only say thank you. Thank you for taking time, for being so thoughtful and kind. For talking so openly and honestly, like we’ve known each other for a long time. It was something I will cherish forever. And just being able to sit next to you, to look at you, to hear your voice and your stories, it was something extraordinary. Thank you for the concert and for everything you do. I’ve had the best time, I hope my friends too… They sat so quietly and were looking at LP like she was some kind of an amazing picture… It was so sweet, I remember at one point, when looking at them I felt like in a kindergarden, but with very well-behaved kids. Also huge thanks to Darren and Elias, it was great seeing you and talking even for those few moments. Monica and of course to you too. You have helped with everything and took care of it.
|photo: LP via Insta-story|
Thank you also to my readers, for your kind comments, for reading what I write and appreciating it. Without you my work would be pointless… So thank you! Christina – thank you for your “Life is a journey” ship necklace – it brought me luck! Oh, and I just remembered, I got a ‘thunder’ necklace, because I love so much the one LP is always wearing, and LP noticed it, which was really great and she said that it was a gift from a fan in Italy – whoever you are, really well done!! And that Lauren, when LP got it, couldn’t believe that she didn’t come up with such idea herself sooner. But Lauren, you have chosen a perfect ring for LP. I’ve got to see it and it suits LP perfectly.
|photo @eve_vavrova via Instagram|
I think that’s it… Like I’ve said, keep on dreamin’. But also do good, and be good… Good always comes back, sooner or later. Sometimes it takes a while, it can be really hard, you can hit rock bottom, but never give up. LP – thank you…
For gallery of pictures & tiny article click here. For interview with LP recorded during festival, click here.