Earlier today I was on my way back home after I dropped off a friend at the airport.
Said friend is Chris Pate whom I met through music.
Almost four years ago I started blogging, I started going to gigs regularly and I started making friendships which I am so thankful for.
In May 2012 a band called The Arkanes supported my friend Jim Kroft on tour.
It didn't take much more than a few chords for me to fall for the band's music.
After the gig I messaged the band, they messaged me back and we stayed in touch ever since.
Over the years I documented 12 of their gigs, went on tour with them, was adopted as the "fifth member", sang Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" with them, reviewed their debut album, conquered their practice room and well, the list could go on.
Unfortunately the band broke up, which meant losing a fantastic band. It didn't mean losing friends though and I'm very happy about that.
A couple of weeks (more like... days) ago former Arkanes singer Chris messaged me saying he's got a gig at one of our favourite venues, Riffelhof in Burgrieden.
Fast forward to arranging flights (and trains...), sorting a few things and eating tons of pizza at my place, Chris and I went off to Burgrieden.
Below you'll find tons of impressions from our journey, soundcheck, the gig itself, our hiking trip, a session and a very exclusive performance.
I hope you enjoy!
HITS on Instagram: "Joining this kid for his gig in Burgrieden today. Responsible for the train journey, so we might end up somewhere else. #tourfunsies #takingsnapsandnaps"
Chris on Facebook: "En route to Burgrieden with my temporary manager and all round life saver, Mrs Jetwash."
Whilst our seats and standing spots weren't quite the best, the view was incredible.
German Autumn at its' finest.
Who needs leg space anyway?
Because "it would be boring if things worked out as planned" (fantastic quote there, Mr Pate!), things didn't work out as planned. Missed our bus in Laupheim, so we decided to go on a 90 minutes walk to get to the venue.
It was absolutely lovely and turned out to be a fantastic decision. Had wonderful conversations, exchanged opinions, shared wisdom and did some sight seeing.
Arrived at Riffelhof and felt at home within a few minutes. I cannot recommend this venue enough.
If you're ever in the area - please please please visit Riffelhof in Burgrieden.
After main act Dokken finished sound check, it was time for Chris to tune his guitar, jump on stage and set up his equipment.
Below are a few snaps from soundcheck.
We then got spoiled with fantastic food. (Can't recommend Riffelhof enough!)
Chris started writing his setlist, I continued taking pictures.
Below are quite a few photographs of Chris' set, enjoy!
Taking the step from being the frontman of a band to doing an acoustic solo set can be frightening and I do believe that it takes a lot of guts to get up on stage on your own.
I wasn't surprised when Chris sounded fantastic, probably because I've known him for years.
But what really stood out to me was the passion he showed.
The way he sang his heart out left a lot of people speechless, including me.
This set just showed how Chris is playing music because he needs to.
His set of 40 minutes including two covers ("Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and "Ace Of Spades" by Motörhead").
With the main act, Dokken, being a glam-metal-rock band from Los Angeles, the crowd was very metal orientated.
Chris won the fans over by playing honest and handmade rock tracks.
Burgrieden - you were fantastic.
It's incredible how welcoming everyone at Riffelhof is and it's beautiful to see people being passionate about music.
A massive thank you to the owners and staff for making us feel at home and for supporting music!
You are brilliant!
And thank you to everyone I met before and after the show, it was a pleasure having a few laughs and beers with you!
Can't wait to be back!
The day after a gig can be very interesting.
Walking a few miles and shouting things at each other in different accents in the middle of the night certainly does leave its' stains.
Chris - this trip was well worth it and I've had such a fantastic time. Being the tour mum, the annoying little sister and pengweng in crime is an absolute blast! Keep going, kid!
Can't wait for the next adventures.
Travelling Germany in Autumn can be breathtaking!
Just because the 90 minutes walk wasn't enough, we hiked up another hill.
Filmed a brilliant performance in a tower above the town, just scroll down to watch it.
Watch this exclusive performance of "High Above", an unreleased song.
I can't wait for everyone to hear what's coming up!
Thank you for reading and watching!
Credits // Text, photography & videography: Vanessa Jertschewske