The Circus, Helsinki
8’TH of March 2013
Review and photos by Marko Syrjala
The legendary Finnish thrash/speed band Stone was originally formed in mid 80’s. The band released four studio albums and one live album, before disbanding in 1992 to pursue different musical directions. In year 2000 band reunited briefly and in 2008 they did five shows including appearances at the Ruisrock and Tuska festivals. Last autumn, the band announced, somewhat surprisingly, that it intends to make a small-scale tour in the spring of 2013. It seems that at present there is a huge demand for the band. Five sold out shows and over 5000 tickets sold is an impressive achievement for any band in Finland. Official reason given for this comeback was the release of new Stone box set, but yes, perhaps the band just decided to respond the audience’s call and gave them what they wanted. Please welcome one more time: Janne Joutsenniemi, Roope Latvala, Markku “Nirri” Niiranen and Pekka Kasari, GET STONED!!
A massive backdrop with the band’s classic logo was proudly displayed behind Kasari’s back. The logo still looks cool and it brought back memories for many who once dressed Stone logo-equipped denim vests in the 80’s.
There was a strongly nostalgic atmosphere in the Circus when the band appeared on stage at 11 PM and started their set with the legendary “Get Stoned”. “Meat Mincing Machine” and “Real Delusion” followed and the audience was totally sold. The band sounded really tight from the beginning and the stars on stage seemed to be more than satisfied with the nearly ecstatic reception which they received from the crowd. It must be said that there’s definitely less hair on stage nowadays but otherwise the band’s appearance has not changed much of the past. Vocalist/bassist Janne was still wearing his old denim vest and man looks as mean and credible as ever. His personal vocals still sound pretty much the same as before but damn… his bass was uglier as hell 😉
Guitarist duo Latvala and Niiranen represent the extremes on stage. Latvala, who currently plays with Children of Bodom, looks almost exactly the same as he did 20 years ago. His playing is just as impressive, and the man is the most active member on stage. But short haired Niiranen’s appearance brings to mind more of a furniture retailer than a metal guitarist. The man is almost invisible on stage but most importantly, his playing skills have not gone anywhere! Drummer Kasari, the man is entirely its own story. His playing was so accurate and powerful that it’s really hard to believe that he’s really been completely retired from music scene for years.
The set list was built upon the first two albums when both were present with 6 tracks. The highlights were, as expected, the tracks from the debut album. “Get Stoned”, “Real Delusion”, almost hypnotic “No Commands” and venomous “Overtake” sounded almost ridiculously good. Also the combination on “Finlandia hymn” / “Sweet Dreams”, epic “No Anesthesia” and “Small Tales” from later albums got a great response. Fortunately set wasn’t just the obvious choices because there were some rarely played gems included. It’s true that “Concrete Malformation” and “Light Entertainment” did not get the whole audience into climax but certainly those did feed the hunger of demanding “diehard” fans.
Well, there’s not much to add. This show was pure greatness by one of the greatest bands ever coming from Finland. The band was still able to capture the true spirit and atmosphere of 80’s speed/trash music scene which was briefly ruling the world back then (or at least the world of ours, the fans). And now we all, both old and new, left home or bar well satisfied and happy. Many people do say that this show was just about nostalgia but I have a slightly different view, at least in one respect. Stone’s music sounds today as fresh and exciting as it did back in the day and in fact their influence can now be heard in many current metal bands music and without them the Finnish scene of today might look a lot different. In a way it’s disappointing that the band never achieved greater popularity outside of Finland. If this truly was the final farewell, with the exception of one off festival show coming on June, then it can be said that this band goes out with honor. Thank you Stone!
Edit. The 30’TH anniversary of Stone’s formation is coming in few years … Is there any chance that then… you know?
2.Meat Mincing Machine
5.Back to the Stone Age
10.The Day of Death
12.Finlandia / Sweet Dreams
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT STONE !!!