This post covers the whole day, the venue, the bands, the food, transportation and the vibes surrounding the event.
The line up for the event was modified a few months earlier with The Sirens being replaced by Delain. This was my tipping point and as soon as I heard I went and bought VIP tickets, no less, for the gig.
The weather forecast had not been good. A week prior it was promising rain all day. On the eve of the event it had brightened up to rain only for a few hours – but heavy including thunder storms. Dilemma number 1: what to wear?
Armed with a light rain jacket we went to the Jämsänkoski petrol station to get picked up by a bus. Rain was really heavy and there was indeed a thunder and lightning storm. Through the journey though, about 30 minutes it cleared up… and that was that for bad weather.
We were dropped off at the gate to be met by a larger queue for the VIP access than the normal entry. It didn’t take long to get our passes and we started to wander around the venue.
The VIP area was covered and has a tremendous view of the stage and the crowd area, so we stayed there for the opening act, Silentium.
Silentium are a local band to the area. I found it quite ironic that this was probably the bands biggest gig to date yet their lead singer was at home – she was pregnant or had just had a baby.
Her replacement was adequate, and the band seemed to enjoy themselves. They were quite well received. I’m not familiar with any of their music so I didn’t really get in to it, but they were an OK start to the day. Battle Beast would have been a better opener but that is a topic of another post.
Next up were Delain. This was a band I really wanted to see. I’ve been waiting to see them for years now and this was their 2nd visit to the country. They had played at Tuska earlier but with the other bands and the schedule I couldn’t justify solely going to see them.
Delain were truly awesome and despite them not playing my favorite song, April Rain, they played a brilliant set, with Nightwish looking on from backstage and Marco singing on one of their songs. More details of their set coming soon.
Sonata Arctica were on stage next with an acoustic set. The crowd was swelling and their was quite an atmosphere in that area. I’ve seen them a few times before, the last time being last year at Ratina again with Nightwish.
Again their music only appeals to me when I’m in a certain mood so we went to the VIP food tent and got some scran during their set. This was a massive tent area and since we went during a set it was not too busy and we managed to get food and drinks pretty quickly.
Back to the music and next up was Arch Enemy. This band were a bit of an unknown to me. I knew they were growler type music but was thinking that it may have become a bit lighter with the addition of a female vocalist in 2014. I was wrong.
Alissa White-Gluz growls. At the beginning you could actually hear her too well but as the set went on it became apparent that melodic death metal was in fact what it was – though not that melodic.
The crowd was lapping it up though. She is a good front (wo)man and certainly played the crowd. One of their songs towards the end was a great stadium track with the audience going nuts, singing (or shouting) along and jumping around like crazy. Again not my thing.
We went to get drinks to take back into the crowd for Nightwish and it was hard to get back to our spot. This seemed a lot more busy than Linkin Park last year. We made it though and prepared for the greatest show on earth.
They absolutely did not disappoint. Full review coming up soon. Towards the end, as they were about to enter their finale we moved out of the main crowd area and towards the exit. Because the venue is on a slope the views are good from almost anywhere. We saw the fireworks and the stage from a different perspective. Incredible though I have to say that the firework show does draw your attention away from the band / performance a bit.
As we were at the back of the arena, and had nothing to collect from the cloakroom, we made our way quickly out and jumped right onto a bus to take us back to Jämsänkoski. Picked up from the station we were home before 1AM I guess. Satisfied!
So a great day out at a pretty excellent venue. Whether the VIP tickets were worth the extra money is still open. I can imagine had it been raining more that it would have really been beneficial, but I don’t regret the upgrade.
#wewerehere – were you?