Stones Grow Her Name World Tour Scandinavia, leg 2013
Jan 26, 2013
Review and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The melodic/power metal act Sonata Arctica is making fans in Scandinavia happy. Usually, the band performs in their native country of Finland and on festivals around Scandinavia, so it was quite surprising to see the Finns on a stage in Denmark. The tour began last summer and they toured throughout Finland and they did a shorter tour in Europe, America, Canada, and festivals in Europe. Last summer the band released the studio album STONES GROW HER NAME and it is the bands seventh album since their birth in 1995. STONES GROW HER NAME is (in my opinion) a really great piece of work. It takes a while before it settles, but its worth the time and effort. The venue of choice this night was Pumpehuset which is located near the central station in downtown Copenhagen. No support act was revealed and the band was scheduled to be on stage at 9 o clock. I was really looking forward to see Sonata Arctica perform on a much smaller stage than I had seen them before.
Pumpehuset is a place that is located on two floors and has the capacity to host 600 people. The place went bankrupt a while ago and I was really glad when I read that the venue was re-opened again. It’s a great place for concerts and I have been visiting the place numerous times throughout the years. The doors were set to open at 8pm, but I was outside already at 7pm and with me there were a few other fans waiting as well. Once inside I could see that the audience was pretty mixed but the majority of people there were young girls. In fact, there were more women at the show than there were guys which was quite odd for a metal concert.
On stage hung a backdrop portraying the cover art work of the new album and I could see no signs of a support act. At about 9.05 out went the lights and it was time for Sonata Arctica to enter the stage.
The band arrived on stage to the tones of “Wildfire, Part: III – Wildfire, Town, Population: 0” and the fans greeted the fans warmly. Then followed “Only The Broken Hearts (Makes You Beautiful)” and “Alone In Heaven”. Sonata Arctica consist of:
Tony Kakko – lead vocals
Elias Viljanen – guitar
Marko Paasikoski – bass
Henrik Klingenberg – keyboards
Tommy Portimo – drums
Kakko thanked the fans for being there and announced the next song “Shitload Of Money”. The stage wasn’t big at all and the band had a lot of gear so the members didn’t have a lot of space to move around. It was mostly Kakko that connected with the fans and it was extremely hard to take pics of the band because of all the raised hands of the fans and the lack of fence in the front of the stage. The sound was also a bit crappy at the front of the stage and it sounded much better when I stood a bit further away from the epicenter. “The Gun” was complete with sing a long from the crowd. Kakko said that the band were not aloud to say “shit” in the US and that somebody could have mentioned that to the band earlier. That was probably why the band hadn’t got a break over there said Kakko, who then laughed, and raised his glass and screamed CHEERS to the crowd. Before he drank, he said that he didn’t have any alcohol in his glass only pepsi and honey. It was now time for the band to play one of the oldest songs in the set list and it was “The Day”. I don’t know if Kakko joked when he said that because this song is from the new album.
Paasikoski and Klingenberg sang backing vocals and Kakko sat down on the drum podium and sang the first verse of “I Have A Right” a capella. I couldn’t but be amazed by the band members co-operation on stage and it was obvious that this band knows exactly how to manage a crowd. And even though Kakko suffered from a sore-throat, it was nothing that could be heard. Kakko said that even though the band has a wolf on the cover’s and as their “mascot” they hadn’t got a song about a wolf until they wrote “The Last Amazing Grays”. Then followed “Last Drop Falls” which was, as Kakko said, a song where all the guys usually head for the bar to get a beer and a song that all the ladies loved. This was a ballad of course.
After that, it was time for a guitar solo by Viljanen and all of the members besides him and Klingenberg went off stage. The solo went into “Paid In Full” and the band came back. Klingenberg had a keyboard hung around his neck and jumped down on the stage and traded places with Paasikoski. Klingenberg did his solo at the front of the stage and he was greeted by warm applause. Kakko asked if the fans wanted to hear more and of course they wanted more. Klingenberg and Viljanen traded places and Klingenberg did another solo in “Loosing My Insanity”. If the show began a bit trembling and stiff it ended in the opposite way. The good mood on stage was contagious and the crowd began to smile and jumped around cheering for Sonata Arctica. It felt like the fans liked the old stuff as much as the the more current one and sang a long in most of the songs. Kakko said that he liked the winter time but not now when he had such a sore-hroat but without the fans had he been broken he said and of course followed “Broken”.
As soon as the song ended the band went off stage except for Klingenberg who kicked off the song “Full Moon” with a shorter solo before everyone returned again. Kakko let the fans sing the chorus and it felt like everyone in the venue sang from the top of their lungs. It felt like this was THE song that everyone had waited for. Kakko urged everyone to give it up for Klingenberg. The crowd pleaser “Replica” followed as well as “Cinderblox”. The last one is taken from STONES GROW HER NAME and is one of the most strange songs the band has ever recorded. It contains banjo and is really special. The last song for the night was “Don’t Say A Word” and it was followed by the usual Vodka outro and Kakko thanked everyone for coming to see the show. The members went to the edge of the stage and thanked the fans in the front. The audience screamed for encores but the Vodka outro was the definite end of the show.
It was a real blast to see Sonata Arctica in a small and more intimate place like Pumpehuset compared to big stages at festivals. The show began a bit trembling but felt more solid towards the later parts of the night. I missed some personal favorites songs and thought that they maybe played a little too many newer songs. The last songs were excellent and I wished that the band could have kept the same mood the whole way through. The only thing that I wished for was a longer show, 90 minutes felt a bit short especially when there was no support act. Otherwise, this was this a brilliant show and a great way to begin 2013.
Wild Fire Part 3 – Wild Fire Town Population: 0 – intro
Only The Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful)
Alone In Heaven
Shitload Of Money
I Have A Right
The Last Amazing Grays
Last Drop Falls
Paid In Full
Losing My Insanity
Don’t Say A Word With Vodka – outro
Thanks to Markus Wosgien at HQ of Nuclear Blast Germany for help with press/photo-pass to this show.
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