torstai 9. helmikuuta 2017

"Let's keep live music alive!" - Sonata Arctica @Apollo Nightclub Turku, Finland 28.1.2017

On January 28th came the day I had been waiting fro so many agonizing months: Me and my two good friends would head on to a little road trip to Turku to see one of our favorite bands, Sonata Arctica. I haven't even counted how many times I've seen that band but, I can say, almost without an exception, that we 3 have pretty much always gone to this band's shows together, that's why we've started to call ourselves "The Sonata Trio" lol. 

Anyway... They picked me up around 2 pm, and we started making our towards Turku. We blasted music from Spotify and I had a couple of drinks on the way, I have always thought that one of the best parts of these road trips are the car rides, and the journey to the destination. At some point along the way we stopped at a gas station to get ourselves coffees, and then the journey continued. We arrived in Turku around 5 pm, I think, took our stuff to the hotel and then went to find a place to eat at. After a while of searching, we found this cool place, had some dinner and then we went to the grocery store to get some pre-show drinks, and headed back to the hotel. We had some drinks, and started getting ourselves ready for heading to venue - which was pretty across the street from our hotel. Lol! A little bit after 8 pm, we finally headed out there.

When we got to the place of the show, there was already a good amount of people at front row, but we decided that hell, let's at least try to get to the front. And we did, I managed to squeeze myself between two women right in front of Tony's microphone :'D 
Yup... a PRE-TTY good spot!

Lol, and my friends got spots behind me. We were under the impression that Thunderstone was supposed to warm up for Sonata Arctica, but when we got there, we noticed that all SA's gear and background sheet were already there, and we were a little confused, are they gonna play their show with SA's stuff? But then, a little before 9 the SA boys walked on the stage, and started their show with no warm up band. A little strange but hey, we sure as hell didn't mind! I came close to tears seeing one of my favorites after almost 2 years, and the show really kicked some serious ass. But before I get into the set list and the show itsself, I'd like to say something about the venue. First of all it was called Apollo Nightclub, and it was, well, pretty much as it's name says, a nightclub, the stage was a lot smaller and we got a lot closer to the band than what I'm used to, I'm someone who's seen SA in festivals and bigger venues so this was a whole new experience for me with this band. But I can't say it was a bad one! It felt nice to get closer to the band that I've ever gotten before, they were so close I could've almost touched them lol. And the mood and the atmosphere were a lot different than in the bigger concert places I've been to, so much warmer and well, like I already said, closer. I've noticed Sonata Arctica has done a lot of shows in smaller venues lately, which is something I've been rather surprised of. 

Alright, now to the show it's self... Man. It was without any exaggeration, one of the best SA shows I've ever witnessed. They have never pulled a bad show, they're one of the best, if not the best live band I know, but this was something else. Of course they played a lot of songs from their two most recent albums, but there were classics from their early albums "Silence" and "Winterheart's Guild" such as "The Power Of One" and Tallulah from Silence and "Abandoned, Pleased, Brainwashed, Exploited" from WHG. The last one mentioned was a very pleasant surprise for me, as that was the very album that got me to fall in love with the band back in the day. They started the show with "Closer To An Animal", the first track of their latest album "The Ninth Hour". I like how it works as the beginning song of the show. Then of course from the same album they played "Life", and then at least "We Are What We Are", "Among The Shooting Stars" and "Fairytale". And of course the beloved classic from their first album "Ecliptica", "Fullmoon. All in all the set was great, but I would've liked if they played more of the good old classics instead of focusing more on their recent stuff. Not that I dislike it, of course lol. During one song, I don't remember which one, I almost fell on my back when Tony suddenly turned to look at me, and gave this big, happy looking smile at me. And yeah I know what you're thinking, "you just think he was looking at you" but I can tell you my friend saw it as well so HA. Lol. I still can't get over it! 
Finally came the saddest part; The show was over. After "Don't Say A Word" came the legendary Vodka song, which has been a tradition at the end of a SA show for like, always. 
"Is there something you need?" "VODKA!!!" Yup, was so awesome to chant this song again after such a while, well, then the band left the stage, one of my friends got a fist bump from Tony and I hate him for it (no not really ha ha). I was suffering from a slight dehydration, so the first thing I did was to get water, then I had a beer. We stayed at the club for about two hours after the show, had a couple of drinks and just chilled, then finally we headed to the clubs downstairs, intending to finish the drinks we were having and then leave. We sat on a couch, talked about something, I was looking at my phone, then I raised my head, about to say something to my friends and who do I spot? The SA bass player, Pasi Kauppinen. My heartbeat rose, my hands and feet started trembling and I started panicking if I could go talk to him or not. Typical fan girl reaction, ha! But eventually I knew if I didn't go, I'd regret it like hell so I gathered my courage, walked up to him and asked if we could take a picture. We took a picture, I thanked him for the show and told him how amazing it was, and he thanked us from coming. Such an amazing guy he was. We went back to the couch, I took a while to realize what had just happened and get over it, lol, then we finished our drinks, got our jackets and headed to the hotel. All of my muscles hurt like hell, my feet were sore and my head hurt a bit, but I went to sleep extremely happy and satisfied. This band just never lets you down. 

The next morning, around 9:30 we woke up, I was still very sore from all around my body but I didn't care, I had had the best night of my life and even met one of the members of one of my favorite bands. We packed our stuff, checked out and headed to a near by grocery store to get something to eat and then we started making our way back to Tampere. I was dead tired, and the moment I got home I pretty much just collapsed on the couch. That trip was so awesome, I can't even find words to describe it. People need more of these kind of road trips, with good friends and live music. I still look back at that trip with a huge, wide smile on my face and really can't wait for the next one. Thank you Sonata Arctica and thank you my awesome friends who I shared this experience with. Until next time!

In close, a couple of (not so great) shots from the concert;

Aaaand here's the picture of me and Pasi. I look so terrified! 

Alright, thanks for reading! <3

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