Ensiferum, Turisas and Thaurorod at The Circus, Helsinki 4/20/2014
It was to be a more eventful Easter Sunday then most, as instead of the awkward family dinners and drinking binges at a dive bar, I was looking forward to spending an epic evening at The Circus in Helsinki for Ensiferum, Turisas and Thaurorod. There would from that moment on be only small amounts of the required holiday binge drinking at a respectable venue, and in well supplied company!
Though much of the city was quiet, even a half hour before the sold out show was to be played there was a line well outside of the club area, and extending into the square. Red and Black facepaint, and warrior costumes were the attire of the night, it was easy to feel underdressed in a sea of war paint and leather. Drinking horns were clipped to belts and kilts (ie acceptable man skirts), as the Vikings of the city came out to pay tribute to their heroes.
There had been a late announcement only hours before the show that Petri Lindroos was having some painful issues with his hand, and would not be playing guitar that evening. Luckily the day was saved by Jukka Pekka Miettinen (Jukkis) (ex-Ensiferum, ex-Turisas, ex-ArthemesiA) and the sold out show would still occur as scheduled.
Opening up this evening was Hyvinkää, Finland's own Thaurorod! These energetic symphonic metallers really set the tone for the evening. As people slowly filtered in through the entries, antics such as flinging bananas into the crowd had everyone pumped and energetic for the rest of the night!
Next to take the stage was Turisas. What had been a spacious scattering of people through the roomy venue, suddenly became a wall of people standing back to back and shoulder to shoulder to crowd at the foot of the stage. On the set list for the night was a good mix of songs from the new album, but also favorites that fans have come to expect from these theatric performers. Every member of the audience was singing along to songs off of "The Varangian Way", and these powerful voices raised in the chorus to join their heroes on stage. Violinist Olli Vänskä's bow was a blur on the smoky stage, sacrificing its precious horsehair to the greater cause of vicious expression and power. New songs off of the "Turisas 2013" release were also heavily featured and well embraced by the frenzied crowds. "Stand up and Fight" was one of the last songs of the night, and this is truly one of those songs that make your heart stop cold for a moment. The silence of audience members during the first verse is a testament to frontman Mathias Nygårds charisma, he has this uncanny skill to bewitch the audience and make them feel the words he sings. The set ended with an extremely energetic performance of Boney M’s Rasputin, during which it was impossible for anyone with a soul to keep their feet or body still to this particularly fun song!
Turisas is currently on tour in North America now with Korpiklaani, Turisas, Chthonic, Varg, and Winterhymn, so check the site for dates here!
video credit: Iiron rockvideo
Following up Turisas was the most anticipated act of the night, Ensiferum! They strode onto the stage with confidence and crescendoed into “In My Sword I trust”. Despite Petri Lindroos’s hand injury forcing him to go on without his guitar, it was still an amazing performance and Jukka Pekka Miettinen was a fantastic addition the evening’s lineup! The band appeared happy, confident and unfazed by the unfortunate circumstances, bassist Sami Hinkka and Jukkis were captivating to watch, both proper performers with their coordinated antics and pure happiness at sharing the stage again. One aspect of Ensiferum’s live performance is just how much fun they are having, and it is absolutely contagious. It’s the kind of metal show, where you just can’t help but smile, especially when the band members don huge sombrero hats and launch into an enthusiastic cover of Gipsy Kings “Bamboleo”. The set list was comprised of a wide span of material, from the very first album all the way up to “Unsung Heroes”. The last song of the evening was to be “Lai Lai Hei”, but the audience was just not ready to say good bye just yet! We were treated to an encore featuring Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”, which was probably the best possible way to end the evening, with drinking horns raised high and feet tapping to the frantic galloping of unseen horses. Check back soon for photos!
video credit: Iiron rockvideo
Rachel Roth has studied classical music and folk music at the University level, and enjoys studying Folklore in her spare time. She is an avid metal and folk music fan lucky enough to be living in Helsinki, Finland. Currently, she has expanded her love of music to include photography and freelance writing. You can see more of her photography here or at liliumphotography.com.
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