Since the early 1990’s, Korpiklaani has been writing, touring, and drinking themselves to their place as one of the biggest Folk Metal bands in existence. But as of late, they are bringing one of the best Folk lineups they could have chosen to tour the states with them. The alliance of Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, TYR, and Metsatöll is so powerful that even people who haven’t been to a show in years couldn’t resist attending.
Usually when an opening band leaves the stage, you hear some cheers and clapping…then the lights come on and everyone goes back to talking amongst themselves. But that night, the Rocky Point Cantina produced something I haven’t seen in a long time. For every band, the majority of the crowd refused to quit chanting for an encore until half of the equipment was off the stage. Personally, I’m used to a couple of people yelling for an encore before stopping after a few seconds once they realize no one will chant with them and that it’s slightly awkward.
Metsatöll was the first band on the tour to take the stage, and in my opinion, sounded better live than on their recordings. Throughout their set, Lauri repeatedly changed instruments to suit the song, which begs the question of how many instruments he knows how to play. The bagpipes, flute, and other traditional instruments enhanced the performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they gained themselves a room full of fans. Týr followed in suit, beginning with a traditional intro, then dove into playing with an energy that started a pit in the middle of the venue. Moonsorrow took another approach and created an atmosphere that was slightly different from the other bands thus far. The lights were dark and the members were adorned with fake blood, which drew more attention to them and the music that fit their theme.
Korpiklaani, overall, was a complete joy to see. If there’s one thing I learned that night, it was that it’s impossible to be in a bad mood while seeing them live. Although Jonne wasn’t playing guitar like he normally does (broken finger), it didn’t take away from their performance at all…half because the band did a good job compensating, and half because Jonne didn’t have anything stopping him from dancing around the stage. Normally people get slightly irritated when a band plays too many songs off their new album, but with a release like Manala, you hear no such comments. Their setlist comprised of a lot of their new release, but still of course was overrun by the “fan favorites”.
It’s always great to see a band you come to see enjoying themselves instead of thinking of the show as an obligation. There was nothing about that hour and a half that I can think of to complain about. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves and the crowd was smiling, cheering, and singing along in their best Finninglish. In the end, it only leaves the almighty question of “so when the hell are they coming back?”