Amorphis Plays Sold Out Show In Helsinki, Finland
When I woke up on Friday morning I knew it was going to be a fantastic day, regardless of the pouring rain, and the new found hole in my only unpacked shoes. After all, it is not often that one has the privilege of being able to attend a sold out Amorphis show at Helsinki’s historic venue, Nosturi. The venue is in an old cargo building, atmospherically located right on the sea. Truly, a perfect place for the mythic Kalevalan inspired music of Finnish metal heroes, Amorphis.
The air is tense as I walk up to the dark building; people are lined up in a queue that stretches from the doors of the venue all the way down to the docks where black water churns ominously. Some people arrive at the door only to realize the sign proudly proclaims “Sold Out!” They mutter “Vittu! Perkele! or Saatana!” (essential Finnish Phrases! ) and dejectedly walk away.
Walking inside, its standing room only. The place is completely filled to capacity; people are standing back to back and shoulder to shoulder as we all eagerly wait for Amorphis to take the stage. Both the front of the stage and the rail on the second floor have been taken by early birds since the doors opened, and these people will fight to the death for their vantage points. The air is thick with anticipation and I already hear the impatient and excited crowd chanting for Amorphis, though they still have a half hour until the set starts. The excitement is understandable: following the release of Amorphis’s latest album "The Beginning of Times," which received outstanding reviews and enthusiastic audience response.
Finally, Amorphis takes the stage, accompanied by chants and cheers and begin to play “My Enemy,” one of the hits from the band's latest album. Tomi Joutsen’s famous dreadlocks epically swing percussively to the delight of the screaming crowd.
The set was a well balanced mix of old and new songs, with favorites off of earlier albums not forgotten. Though Nosturi isn't a huge venue, the sound mixing was fantastic, every intricacy in Santeri Kallio’s keyboard playing was heard clearly, and Tomi Joutsen’s vocals were crisp and acoustically perfect even in such a symphonic setting.
Highlights included the performances of "You I Need," “ My Enemy,” “Mermaid,” “Vulgar Necrolatry,” and “Majestic Beast.” Not one head remained stationary when under the influence of singer Tomi’s vicious growls and powerful clean vocals, nor for drummer Jan Rechberger’s epically pounding double bass.
Every time a song was finished one could sense the tension in the audience, would this be the last of the night? Amorphis did not disappoint, and after an hour long set, we were gloriously rewarded with an encore performance to rival all others before it. It was a beautiful experience to see heads banging in synchronicity, all united and lost in the whirlwind of Finnish folklore. Three songs filled the encore, “Silver Bride,” “My Kantele,” and “House of Sleep.” The volume went up and the crowd went completely nuts for the performance of “My Kantele.” Men and women of all ages shouted the lyrics back to Tomi, thrilled fans reaching towards the stage hoping to make contact with their idols on the ethereally lit stage. Their passion is utterly contagious, and filled the air as the evening wound to a close. Having the privilege of seeing Amorphis live is a unique experience, and what stands out from other bands is their unique ability to bring the audience together and connect with each and every person involved.
Now there are just six shows left in Finland and Russia for Amorphis on the schedule, and then November kicks off the start of their seven week European tour.
Photos from the Amorphis show at Nosturi can be viewed here.
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 fan lucky enough to be living in Helsinki, Finland, where she now studies social work. Currently, she has expanded her love of music to include photography and freelance writing. You can see more of her photography here.
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