Amon Amarth Pillages Helsinki, Finland with support from Profane Omen
Band Photo: Amon Amarth (?)
Tavastia is one of those legendary metal bars in Helsinki that goes all the way back to the 60’s. Hordes of metal bands have played there, and it’s one of those places that if you’ve lived in Helsinki long enough, it becomes a regular stop.
So it was much to my own amazement when I realized I had actually never been there! Truly I couldn’t have thought of a better night to be there, then when Amon Amarth would be taking the stage.
Finland’s own Profane Omen was opening up the evening for Amon Amarth. After seeing these guys three times, I have to say it really seems like they are blowing up, and they have had many a show these past few months. It says a lot for their devotion that I’ve not once seen the telltale signs of exhaustion. The energy and enthusiasm I’ve come to expect from Profane Omen was as ever present as always! Despite the fact that they were opening up for a Viking Metal band, the crowd loved them and Profane Omen left the stage to happy cheers. Just a mere four days after the chaos of Finnish Metal Expo, I would have expected a more lethargic audience this evening, but Profane Omen was truly the perfect choice to hammer the hangover away and get us awake and alert for the set.
One of the things I really love about shows with bands drastically different from each other is the turnout of their devoted audiences. This night I saw everything from camo pants and fishnets , to solemn blondes in Viking gear, and even a few shirtless blood spattered individuals wandering through the crowd. All eyes were one the dimly lit stage as we waited for Amon Amarth to start their set.
Finally our Vikings took the stage, and dwarfed the audience from the high set stage as the pillaging of Tavastia began! This is one of the most photogenic bands I’ve had the honor of being able to shoot, and my one disappointment was the massive amount of smoke that made it difficult to obtain a decent shot. Smoke aside, Amon Amarth is a band that makes you forget where you are, as the primal urge to headbang takes over, and one may not even notice right away that the big guy behind the pit barrier accidently just punched you in the back of the head. Highlights of the night included “Cry of the Blackbirds, and “Runes to My Memory”, which was accompanied by a chorus from the audience enthusiastically singing along to every word.
I ended up having to leave the main area after vacating the photo pit. Being of small stature in a packed bi level venue is somewhat intimidating when everyone seems to be at least a foot and a half taller then you! Luckily for me, the venue had great sound and I comfortably enjoyed the res t of the set near the bar.
After an hour long set, the audience was not ready to say good bye to Amon Amarth just yet, and they were quickly ushered back onto stage amid deafening cries. Finally, they played my personal favorite, “Twilight of the Thunder God” which incited the audience to a frenzy for the last song of the night: an epic performancee of “Guardians of Asgaard”. On the big screen broadcasting the performance all I could see was the humbling sight of a full room of fists raised in unison to salute the musicians onstage.
The evening ended on a high note, as we vacated the venue in cheerful spirits which were only dampened by the fact that most of us had to work in the morning!
Also, I would like to take a moment to dedicate this article and pending photo gallery to Tavastia’s legendary doorman Pokla, who passed away a few hours after the show ended. He greeted me with a friendly smile, and a wave; as I’m told that he greeted everyone in such a way since 1991 until his death last Wednesday night. And so we raise our pints to him.
Photos of the sets to be uploaded soon!
Rachel Pappila 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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