To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first album Escapextacy, Poisonblack announced a small tour in Finland, organized by Fullsteam Agency. Apart from playing the Escapextacy album in its entirety, the band will also play some songs from their other albums. Of course all the shows on this tour were sold out quickly, so they added some more shows, and I was happy I was able to attend one of them in my hometown Tampere.
I have never seen Poisonblack live before, nor have I listened to their music before, except in preparation for this gig. So I am going in with no expectations at all, which is refreshing and quite relaxing.
Even though it’s a weekday, the show is sold out. Half an hour before the band will start, it’s getting warm inside as more and more people enter. I find a good spot and wait for the gig to begin. An intro starts playing exactly on time (very much appreciated!) and the band appears on stage. There’s actually quite a few of them, I count 7 different artists throughout the whole gig, although not all of them play all the time. It turns out that for this special anniversary tour they got quite a few of the band members together again. We start with Home Is Where The Sty Is, followed by Mercury Falling. The first songs are sung by Ville Laihiala, who also plays the guitar and does an excellent job at both. The band sounds tight and looks very focused on their playing. Since I am standing quite close to the stage and there is no photo pit for some extra distance, bass player Antti Remes is blocking part of my view. Only during the third song, I notice there is also a keyboard player (Marco Sneck) present. After this song, guitar player Antti Leiviskä leaves the stage and Janne Markus is announced. He seems to be a bit more active and also seems to loosen up the rest of the band a bit, which is good, as there has been little interaction with the audience so far.
Soon the stage clears, and some quick changes are made on stage. It’s time for Escapextacy. Another change in band line-up is made: guitar player Antti Leiviskä is back, singer/guitar player Ville Laihiala is now only playing guitar and has moved to the right side of the stage. J.P. Leppäluoto has a different style of singing and the music of this album sounds a bit more goth, which works well with his voice. Because he does not have to worry about also playing the guitar, he can move around the stage a lot more, sometimes almost bumping into some of the other musicians. His interactions with the audience also help to get the audience a little more active.
Since I am not Finnish and as of yet haven’t mastered the language, I unfortunately do not understand most of the little speeches the band gives to the audience. There are quite a few laughs, and I tell myself I really need to work on my Finnish.
This album clearly contains a few fan-favorites, I see more movement, some headbanging and more arms in the air when Exciter, Lay Your Heart To Rest and Illusion/Delusion are played. I especially love that you can hear how good of a singer J.P. is during the intro of The Kiss Of Death. Too soon, we reach the end of the album and the band leaves the stage.
We get three more songs as an encore, in which the line-up is changed around once again. A very nice surprise is the band playing the song Say Just Words by Paradise Lost.
Home Is Where The Sty Is
Soul In Flames
The Living Dead
Bear The Cross
The Glow Of The Flames
All Else is Hollow
Lay Your Heart To Rest
With Her I Die
The Kiss Of Death
Say Just Words (Paradise Lost cover)
I really appreciated all the different band line-ups, so we could hear the songs in the original style as much as possible. I enjoyed listening to both singers equally, as their styles are so different but so fitting for the songs they sang. All in all this show was definitely worth seeing and hearing, even for someone that doesn’t know Poisonblack from back in the day!
You can find all pictures from the show here.