Down – Live in Helsinki, Finland

April 6th, 2008
by Arto Lehtinen

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DOWN : The House of Culture

The 21st of March 2007

Helsinki Finland

Down’s second visit to Finland has been a long time coming since their triumphant debut club gig that happened a few years ago in Tampere. That gig was sold quickly leaving several people outside the club without tickets. That gig has been described as one hell of the most memorable, remarkable, and intense club gigs witnessed for years. Therefore, having two gigs on the current touring schedule was more than obvious to meet the demand of the Down fans.

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The House Of Culture was pretty much packed before the five piece arrived to ‘stone the crow’. Before Anselmo, Keenan, and company got onstage, thos in attendance got the opportunity of staring at the 60 minute long road movie featuring and presenting all kinds of crazy hassles of the Down guys and other so called wellknown names. Between these clips there were shown really old footages of several legendary classic rock bands of the 70’s such as Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Scorpions and of course Black Sabbath crowning the whole movie by being the last artist on it, which perfectly led to the known opening intro of the gig which was surprise surprise Black Sabbath’s Supertzar.

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Down was reported to have done a real asskicking gig in Tampere the night before Helsinki, therefore all expections were higher than normal which could be instinctly felt when eyeing the restless audience during the movie.

The almost two hour spectacle was kicked off by “Temptations Wings” and followed by a number of killer tunes. The acoustics of the venue have been criticized bitterly due to the construction being more suitable for oprah and other cultural events, whereas sounds tend echo viciously in the hall on a rock or metal gig. However, right after the first opening song had roared out of loudspeakers, the sounds were managed to sound amazingly great.

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A small amusing confusing moment was experienced when NOD was introduced as the next following song, whereas Kirk Windstein took a rapid glance at the set list and started playing riffs of “Pillamud”. The whole five piece wondered and made fun of this confusing and the audience was having fun about this small, but hilarious mistake. Whatever the band handled the situation perfectly. 

In general the night’s setlist had been a little bit fixed after the Tampere gig, but the basic frame of the set list had been built to cover a bunch of songs from each album for an almost two hour set. Above all “Lifer” received the priviliged reception as dedicaded to the memory of the late Dimebag Darrell. As for other songs on the set, a few examples can be picked up “Hail The Leaf”, “Ghosts Along The Mississippi”, Beneath The Tides”, “On March The Saints” and a helluva more. Of course “Stone The Crow” belonged to the set in the encore part.

Although Phil Anselmo is one of the most controversial metal frontmen, this night he was a perfect frontman who enjoyed being on stage in front of the Finnish audience. The man communicated with the audience and thanked the frontline kids by shaking their hands and let them take pics and shoot videoclips. Peppar Keenan appeared to be a tough and true wildman with the guitar as raging and moving all around on the stage. Rex Brown mostly remained in the background and let other guys take the main role on the stage. Kirk Windstein  brought his own dominating role and vibe to the Down gig and Jimmy Bower was sweating behind the drum kit.  

Both guitarists used to share duties well, but above all their jamming session was worth seeing when Windstein and Keenan jammed on the stage by which the audience was spellbound. 

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The atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and above all entertaining. It was quite rare to see these kinds of fantastic gigs like Down did in Helsinki. The whole gig could be summed up by saying Down came, ruled, and conquered. Obviously the band surprised themselves with the outstanding gig in Helsinki as the drummer Bower outspokenly praised the the gig in hiw own blog. It is 100% certain that this five piece will be seen on the soil of Finland sooner rather than later.

 

MORE PICS OF DOWN’s HELSINKI GIG

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The official DOWN site: www.down-nola.com

 

 

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