My days were spent relaxing on the surprisingly respectable stretch of sand just outside of town, working on transforming my skin to any color other than pure, pasty white. I eventually succeeded in getting a nice layer of freckles, but it was during the nights in Kavarna that the real excitement came. Walking the road to the local stadium was a journey into a completely different world – a world covered in leather and long, greasy hair, a world in which the blast of motorcycle engines continuously interrupted any attempt for conversation, and where the food pyramid is completely comprised of sausage and French fries.
Inside the stadium, the crowds gathered for three nights of pure, unadulterated rock. The first night brought us the sweet serenades of Vince Neil and his Motley Crue singing such unforgettable classics as “Girls Girls Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” (and didn’t they do that one song “Shout at the Devil?” Oh yeah there it goes…). It also brought us a drunk Tommy Lee attempting to tell the entire population of Bulgaria that he loves them, with hilarious consequences. The self-titled “Saints of Los Angeles” cranked up the volume right from the start and didn’t let up, save for one lighter-raising (cellphone raising?) power ballad. Nice Job.
The second night brought legendary group The Scorpions, whose concert, I must say, has entered my pantheon of favorite ever. Even though I had previously only known one of their songs (the incredible “Rock You Like a Hurricane”), the sheer energy present in the crowd made it worth it. This was one of those times in which the adage “They’re huge in Europe” is certainly true. Bulgarian flags waved, people chanted and sang along to songs we Americans had never heard, and we were informed by the band that they singlehandedly ended the Cold War with one of their songs (“Winds of Change”). This is to say nothing about the opening band, Blind Guardian, whose songs recounted epic Viking battles and the fight for Middle Earth. The whole experience added up to a night I will never forget.
Dream Theater – incredibly pretentious but nonetheless talented prog-rockers – brought in the 4th of July weekend with a bang. Even though it was a pretty rainy day, we were able to enjoy some appropriately American KFC and Subway, a homemade cherry pie, and a cake in the shape of an American flag. The presence of good food and good friends came together perfectly (as they so often do) to cap a weekend that will live on in my memory as one of the best and most memorable (if not at times incredibly bizarre) experiences of my time here in Bulgaria.
Until next time...