Sonata Arctica

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SONATA ARCTICA – 15th Anniversary Tour

Time:    30.01.2014 19:00-20:55

Venue:  Tampere-talo / Main Auditorium, Tampere, Finland.

Concert halls made mainly for playing classical music - and with seats on which the audience is expected to sit and applaud politely when appropriate - are not your typical venue for rock concerts. However, Sonata Arctica had chosen to do just that on their 15th Anniversary Tour in Finland. The Main Auditorium at Tampere-talo is highly acclaimed for its acoustics and if it is good enough for the likes of London Symphony Orchestra, rest assured at least the sound quality will not be an issue.

The plan was that on this tour the band will play songs throughout their recording career including some new ones and those never been played live before. Given also the promise of extra long concert, the expectations were very high as to what favourites among all my favourite Sonata Arctica songs they had chosen to play.

Although I cannot recall the set list in its exact order, what followed the new song opening the concert certainly fulfilled the expectations in every possible way that mattered. In addition to the song never played live before (In the Dark), just imagine 1h 55min of great fun and a set list including the following:

  • Ecliptica: My Land as the second song, Replica, FullMoon (yes!!) and very rare Kingdom For a Heart
  • Silence: Black Sheep, Sing in Silence, Wolf&Raven, Tallulah and Last Drop Falls as the last song of the actual set before a break and encore
  • Winterheart’s Guild: Victoria’s Secret and of course “Häkki **rrrrkele!” (i.e. The Cage for you English speakers) as the second song in the encore
  • Reckoning Night: Paid in Full, nothing but awesome White Pearls, Black Oceans and Don’t Say a Word to end the encore, followed by their traditional “Vodka, we need some vodka!”-singalong to finish the concert.
  • Unia: no songs. Good choice for a concert like this.
  • Days of Grays: Flag in the Ground
  • Stones Grow Her Name: Losing My Insanity as the third song, I Have a Right and Cinderblox to start the encore

     

The vocalist Tony Kakko really put effort to the show right from the start. He moved constantly around the stage, rolling his microphone stand, playing it as if it was a guitar, fooling with his bandmates, coming often right to the edge of the stage to take contact with the audience, making them cheer, clap and sing a line here and another there as invited. The effort paid also off. It is said that Finnish are laid back to a fault, but by the time Victoria’s Secret was kicked off, every ass in the audience was off their seats taking part of the fun. Also the drummer seemed to enjoy himself throughout the concert, especially with fastest tempos when he got a chance to really abuse his drum kit.

The concert was also the first chance for me to see their new bass player live in action. What is there I could tell about him? Well, he’s tall. His name is Pasi. Very slim. Lots of hair. Plays bass.

Having been their fan since the first album, there are a way over 10+ concerts by Sonata Arctica I have witnessed. Some have been good, some great, but if dementia is not yet kicking in, I think this was the BEST ever Sonata Arctica concert of those. At least until they come back on tour supporting their new album Pariah’s Child, that is.

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