It has been a while since Sonata Arctica has played a regular gig in Finland. Their last Finnish tour only consisted of acoustic songs and a faster-paced gig, apart from festival appearances, has been sorely missed, at least for me. So when this tour was announced, I was quite happy and waiting with great anticipation. For this event they brought along some interesting and diverse support acts, Reckless Love and Luna Kills.
Luna Kills is a band I had not heard of before, and even though I usually try to listen to at least some of the support acts’ songs beforehand, I did not get to it this time. However, it made their performance all the more of a surprise, and a good one it was!
The band from Kuopio starts their set with dark lighting and an industrial-sounding intro. As soon as singer Lotta Ruutiainen enters the stage, she commands the attention of everyone with her stage presence. She has a great and versatile voice, but above all, she is not shy and moves around like she was born for the stage. She is also not afraid to interact with the audience. It’s a pleasure to watch! The band presented mostly newer songs, and they are all performed with a lot of energy. Which I assume makes it a challenge to capture their set in pictures for the few concert photographers that have shown up early to photograph their set. All I can say is that if you missed this, it’s your loss. Go see this band live!
Here For The Drama
The second band of this evening was Reckless Love, and it was clear more people know them and their songs, as Pakkahuone is slowly getting fuller. We start off with ‘Turborider’, the opening song of their latest album of the same name. It sets the tone for another energetic set, which is quite heavy on songs from the aforementioned album. Not that I mind in the slightest, as all songs work well to amp up the audience. Singer Olli Herman moves around the stage like a true showman, every now and then entertaining us with legs thrown in the air or suggestive hip movements. While his bandmates stay a bit more in their spots, but their interaction with the audience makes up for that. One of the highlights of the setlist for me is ‘Kids of the Arcade’ with a very catchy chorus and as the title suggests it gives off old-school gamer vibes. Near the end of the set we get treated to some older songs and indeed it is getting really ‘Hot’ in here when the last song hits. And it seems singer Olli agrees with this and takes off his suit vest to show us some more skin. With this party sadly ending, I am totally ready for the headliner of this evening.
Kids of the Arcade
Like a Cobra
On the Radio
Night on Fire
Sonata Arctica opens with an intro we haven’t heard before, which makes me really impatient to hear their new album that should be out hopefully somewhere next year (pretty please?) We dive straight into the faster-paced song Black Sheep which I think works really well as an opener. The absolute highlight of this whole evening for me is ‘Cinderblox’. I have been wanting to see that song back on the set-list for many years, and it brings me immense joy that they finally went for it. This song is such an odd duck compared to their other songs, but at the same time it’s full of fun, and has a catchy chorus that makes me want to jump non-stop. After this song they could have played whatever they want, this evening had already been a success in my humble opinion. The set continues with a good mix of songs from most of their albums, although songs from ‘The Days of Grays’ and ‘Talviyö’ are missing. The atmosphere however is great, and the band seems to enjoy themselves a lot as we see a lot of smiles, especially on drummer Tommy Portimo. When starting ‘Full Moon’, singer Tony Kakko invites the audience to sing the first lines, and since this is a fan favourite, everyone gladly obliges. It’s nice to hear everyone remembers the lyrics! After ‘Full Moon’ the band leaves the stage, only to return after a short while for two more songs. But first, Tony wants us to sing some more. We try to follow his lead, only to fail miserably when he starts yodeling. Happiness ensues when ‘The Cage’ gets played, and it carries all the way through to ‘Don’t Say A Word’. The person next to me is happily headbanging, and I can only sing along with a big smile on my face. The set ends with the ‘Vodka’ song and after some high-speed clapping we all feel the hug Tony sends from the stage before the band takes their bow and waves us goodbye.
Wolves Die Young
Closer to an Animal
I Have a Right
Paid in Full
Don’t Say a Word
All in all, this was a highly energetic gig night which I will not soon forget. The support bands were excellent, and although I would have wished for a few more songs from Sonata Arctica, I was very pleased with their overall performance. It’s such a pleasure to see bands enjoy themselves on stage!
Check out all pictures from the show here.