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Korpiklaani Brings Feelings of Midsummer Back to Cold Helsinki

I was quite tired walking to DOM from work this past Friday. Long week and lots of rain had taken their toll, but soon I relized: Who cares how long and dragging the day is, when you know damn well you will be seeing Korpiklaani in the evening! You’d think after seeing them 6 times, it would begin to feel routine, but not the case- Korpiklaani is an experience that should be repeated over and over again; and as often as possible.

Upon arriving at the venue, it’s a load off my shoulders to see all these happy smiling Finns, armed with drinks and just patiently (some not so patiently….) waiting for the night to start. After a pre show interview and beer with Jarkko Aalto, I’m more than ready for the set to commence!
The first band this evening is Frosttide; 2010 Finnish Metal Expo winners of the Underground Act of the Year award. Based in Jyväskylä, these guys live up to the title. Their stage presence is charismatic and energetic though they are quite young! Singer Joni’s deep growls provide perfect companion to the heroic sounding guitar lines and blast beats.

The crowd erupts into loud cheers as Korpiklaani takes the stage, they open with “Hunting Song” and this is the cue for enthusiastic fans to grab the nearest partner and wildly dance and sing with undisguised fervor. “Päät Pois tai Hirteen” was next on the list, followed by another song,“Tuoppi Oltta” (Pint of beer!), off of their latest release Ukon Wacka. With every song Jonne Järvelä looks like he’s having the time of his life on the colorfully lit stage. The crowd feeds off this energy , it only adds fuel to the fire. Three songs in and it seems as if everyone in DOM has packed themselves at the feet of Korpiklaani.

The audience absolutely lost it for the cover of “Juodaan Viinaa”. I found myself myself being lifted and spun around by random Finns, everyone was having a blast this festive evening despite the cold weather outside. At a Korpiklaani show, the name of the game is have fun! Their energy is contagious, the movement on stage rivals the dancing in the audience and the interaction with the audience only feeds the craziness of the whole event. New violinist Teemu looked right at home, and his playing is quite flawless this night. I’ve been told he only has a few shows with them under his belt, and that the test will be the upcoming North American tour. Well look out North America, because Korpiklaani is coming, and they are better than ever!

Highlights of the set included “Tequila”, “Vodka” and “Wooden Pints”. The energy is fantastic, not one person standing still, as security looks on in a rather bemused way. This was an evening that we did not want to end; and the crowd protested mightily as Korpiklaani walked off the stage to dim blue lighting.

Just as soon as the set ended, the encore began. Here is where we really get to hear Teemu! The encore begins with the happy and heavily violin influenced track “Pellonpekko”, off on one of Korpiklaani’s older albums, “Spirit of the Forest”. At this point your neighbors beer became your beer also, there was no such thing as personal space at this moment. Following this was “Kipumylly”, during which the audience passionately joined Jonne for the stirring chorus. The last song of the night for me at least, was the bands own namesake track, “Korpiklaani”. All the vigour and high spirits of the evening, packed into one song. With a smile on my face, and feet that wouldn’t stop dancing; I made my way home from the venue, the sounds of Korpiklaani following me for at least one more happy block!

Photos will be uploaded to the gallery soon. Read an interview with Jarkko Aaltonen here

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