Finally! Three years without seeing Evergrey live was much too long and luckily they finally published a new album and started touring with Finland once again being the starting point. This time they also made it further east than last time, but still not all the way to our home turf. So we had to cheat on Kerubi and go to the neighboring town’s rock club, Henry’s Pub.
I had no expectations whatsoever on how large a crowd we could expect in Kuopio, but the town surprised us and the place was full enough. And the audience knew their stuff and sang along when needed. There was no photo pit in the place so most of my photography was done from right under Tom’s nose. The benefit of a low stage was that the photographs aren’t nostril shots :)
This was also the first time that I got to see Evergrey play with Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl who took a few years off from the band. And now it seemed like Evergrey was back home. There was something missing from the previous album which was again present on Hymns for the Broken and even more palpable live.
It was great to hear song throughout the bands career. And of course knowing some of the staples of the set meant that photography was quite a bit easier since I knew to expect certain things. This time I especially loved the lighting for I’m Sorry and how Tom managed to look almost evangelical on stage.
And despite the small and cramped stage and the fact that Jonas and Rikard tried to hide behind the smoke screen through most of the gig, I managed to get several good photographs of both of them.
It felt like the the vibe of the band on stage was joyous and they enjoyed playing for us and let us enjoy almost two hours of music in the Land of Grey. I just hope that it won’t be another three years before we see them live again.
An unexpected thing happened, and Sabaton sold out Kerubi about four months before their gig. I’m fairly certain that no band to date has sold out the venue that long before their gig, but luckily Anna and I managed to get tickets (thanks Hannes :) ). I was also able to get a photo pass for the gig. And it turned out that it was a good thing that I asked about the photo pass beforehand since contrary to most gigs at Kerubi, this time a photo pass was required to use a SLR, let alone get access to the photo pit.
As someone who spends most of his time listening to either death metal or country (don’t even ask, I’m not sure how that happened), Sabaton is a bit out of my normal repertoire. But ever since Hannes left Evergrey and joined them, I’ve been keeping a closer eye and ear on the band.
Don’t get me wrong, as power metal goes Sabaton is a prime example and a very good representative of the genre. And they do make good workout music. But most power metal is simply too happy for my taste and the gloominess of melodic death speaks to me more. And I also have a problem with Sabaton’s lyrics. Mind you, the problem isn’t that I am in any way offended about their use of war in their lyrics but the fact that I start binge reading Wikipedia for the historical articles behind their lyrics destroying any productivity I may have had. And yes, it happened to me several times while editing these photographs.
This was the second time we’ve seen Sabaton. The first time was when Hannes was still playing with Evergrey and both bands were touring the US. Pictures of Sabaton’s gig can be found in our old gallery. In fact, two of the photographs I took during that gig were printed and given to Joakim during this gig since they were something special that I’ve never seen in a metal gig so far.
This time around the years and hundreds of gigs that Sabaton has thrown showed. And the experience showed itself only in a good and positive way. I loved the way Joakim and the rest of the band interacted with the audience and goofed around with each other on stage. I have no idea how routine most of their tomfoolery is, but it was much appreciated.
And I’m certain that Joensuu and Kerubi let Sabaton know that they are welcome in town again!
Oh dear, it really has been about six months since Arch Enemy graced the stage of Kerubi. I didn’t try to get a photo-pass, but luckily there were no limitations to photography from the audience and I managed to get quite a good sample of photographs of the band amidst all the head-banging, jumping and singing along that I did.
Arch Enemy is a band that I’ve long liked for their melodies and guitar work, but have for some reason kept my distance to for a long time. Finally the previous album, Khaos Legions made me a convert and War Eternal has me hooked even more. And of course it helps that the band’s home town is basically our little Swedish import’s home town as well.
I don’t know who was behind the lighting of the show, but it offered wonderfully many opportunities to take good silhouette photographs of Alissa against the lights. So many that I really can’t choose a favorite. But I do know that I’m a sucker for a good silhouette.
I must admit, getting the photo-pass to shoot Sabaton last weekend was the final catalyst to get these images edited and our for the world to see.
On the Eve on New Year’s Eve (i.e. December 30) we got to see Amorphis at our local rock club. We got there early enough (less than an hour before the gig started) to get front row spots so I’ve got many a picture with Tomi’s dreads hovering over the camera. It was also the first gig in which I tested my Fujifilm X20 in a dark rock club. More on its performance later, but I can’t say that I was disappointed with it.
Sweden’s metallers Amaranthe finally made it all the way to Eastern Finland in support of their new album The Nexus. Amaranthe is one of those bands that metalheads without a sense of humour love to hate going as far as describing them as E-Type metal. Admittedly, when I first saw the video for Hunger from their first album associations to E-Type came easily, but the backbone of the Gothenburg sound was also easily heard. Keep reading for more thoughts and photographs, but also check out our full gallery of photographs from the gig.
While the sound is definitely pop-metal, the use of three differently styled vocalists combined to the catchy and mainly happy songs is a good combination. And the fact that the whole band can pull off a live gig without any issues in vocal harmonies is a testament to the amount of skill on stage.
To me Amaranthe has always been a refreshing burst of positivity in my Gothenburg playlist among all of the various death metal acts from Southern Sweden and of course Evergrey. And Amaranthe has its own connections to the Gothenburg scene.
The challenge in photographing Amaranthe came from the fact of having three vocalists on stage who moved around actively and had to be captured every now and then all in one frame when they were signing harmonies. It was a refreshing challenge and great gig to photograph since they really interacted with the crowd and photographers.
And, it was the first gig that I have ever seen in which hearts are made on stage and in the crowd :)
I wasn’t the only photographer present, Rami Saarikorpi was there shooting several 360 panoramas of the gig (you can spot me in most of them, just look for the camera and Evergrey shirt). The following two photographs are taken at about the same time that two of the panoramas were made from.