I spent majority of yesterday feeling like absolutely crap. What seemed to be like a 24-hour flu bug had its grasp on me and although I made it through my day job, it was less than delightful. That being said, after going home, downing my fifth gallon of hot tea of the tea and taking a little nap, I was feeling much better and, as they always say, the show must go on. It’s not that I had to go to the show last night but more than I really really wanted to. The hype around the bands performing is something that I’ve never quite understood but their legend precedes them and I just had to check it out for myself.
Finnish metal group Battle Beast took the stage but a combination of my need for a quick nap and confusion on the start time for the show (depending on where you looked, the start time ranged from 5pm to 7pm leading to a lot of confusion and frustrated people) meant that I missed their set. At first I honestly didn’t mind, the sleep I got was probably the only reason I was feeling better and, therefore, the only reason I had the energy for the show but then I saw one of the members standing at the merch table wearing an elaborate headdress thing complete with horns. I couldn’t help but speculate about how amazing their set was and, after confirming that thought with my photographer, it was clear that although I needed the sleep, Battle Beast is one of those bands that I will absolutely have to catch the next time they come to the states. My sincerest apologies to the band.
After a short wait, Sonata Arctica took the stage as the audience clearly readied themselves for what was going to happen. Although I knew nothing about Sonata Arctica, I have seen their name over and over again and, with them being from Finland, that means a lot. Sure, you can say that international groups seems to always have a bit more when it comes to promotion but it was so much more than that with these guys. I feel like they make stops in the Twin Cities fairly often and, although I’ve been meaning to catch them, last night was my first real chance to do so without having to miss something else. Vocalist Tony Kakko took the stage with the rest of his band and I instantly felt a sense of comfort. There was something very honest and real about Tony but, as soon as he kicked into their eight song set (it felt longer than eight songs due to the length of each song), there was no surprise as to why this band is such a name in their scene.
Bridging the gap between theatrical and power metal, Sonata Arctica’s music may not have been completely my thing but they energy they had was. Not only did Tony’s attitude scream positivity, but there was something radiating from the rest of the band that also made it clear that they were pouring their heart and souls into the music and truly just having a great time while on stage. With ten full length albums dating back to 1999, it should have been no surprised that their show was flawless and professional but I think the amount of passion I got was a bit surprising. I mean, come on, after doing this for so long you would think some of the magic was gone but not with Sonata Arctica. They closed their set out with a bang and although their music wasn’t quite my cup of tea, them ending their set with the words “We need some vodka” sung to the tune of Hava Nagila sealed the deal and although I will never be a die hard fan of these guys, they definitely gained some points when it was all said and done.
Much like Sonata Arctica, headliners Kamelot have one of those names that I have seen time and time again but just haven’t put the time into digging into them. Although only two members of the group are original members from when this band started back in 1991, there’s no denying the power and cult that they have. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call them legendary when it comes to their scene but they have also somehow remained somewhat underground leading to a very devoted fan base that was clearly out to support them last night. I was one of the few people in the audience not able to sing and shout along to the words while pumping my fist in the air but being able to watch everyone else around me do so was more than enough to keep me captivated by the show.
Kamelot’s twelve song set, with a two song encore to follow, was nothing short of electric. Every note, much like every movement on stage, had a place and a meaning. Although the members of Kamelot definitely had the same sense of passion that was felt during Sonata Arctica’s set, there was something very planned out and particular about their performance. From the way vocalist Tommy Karevik addressed the audience to the way he would disappear into the fog allowing the other members to steal the spotlight (which was more than deserved), there was something very calculated about the performance that made it clear that Kamelot knows exactly what they’re doing and they are going to continue to do it flawlessly. Just like Sonata Arctica, I had always been intrigued by Kamelot and now, having finally seen them live, I get the hype and although their theatrical power metal sound may not be for me, I totally appreciate their talent and creativity.
I feel like me saying that the music from last night’s show was not quite my cup of tea is a bit of a cop out but that’s the honest to God truth. I just don’t get the theatrical metal scene unless it comes with pirates and vikings but, after catching both Sonata Arctica and Kamelot last night, I definitely have a new appreciation for the talent and creativity it takes to be a band in this scene.
Venue: Amsterdam Bar & Hall
Sausage Fest Meter- 7.4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 37
Crowd Surfers- None
Mosh-Ability- 1.2 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 6.9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Avril Lavigne
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