Review and pictures by Kalli Isborne
A very wet Saturday evening saw Sonata Artica fans queuing in the pouring rain to gain the best positions at the barrier for what would be a cracking night ahead. First on stage to warm up the crowd, and let’s face it the crowd were still wet and cold from the queue outside the venue, were Power Quest.
The power metal playing six piece were soon creating a great atmosphere opening with For Evermore before powering through the rest of their five-song set. A set that was over far too soon for the majority of the audience, who were soon steaming with a warm glowing feeling.
Next up, Twilight Force, and what a set they performed. Their Adventure, ancient tales, brand of power metal had clearly brought some existing fans to the Empire. Brandishing blow up swords and singing along as the Swedish six piece blasted their way through their set, the previously soggy crowd were most definitely warmed and cosy, jumping and bouncing along to the high energy, fun set. Front man and main vocalist Chrileon had the audience eating out of this hand from the very first note. These guys finished their set to a very large cheer, and I’m sure I’m wasn’t the only one wondering how the headliners tonight were going to top the sets of both the support acts.
As the opening bars to Closer to an Animal began to pipe through the Empires speakers, each of the 5 Finnish band members emerged on to the blue lit stage to rapturous applause. Sonata Artica were most certainly in the building. For the rest of the set lead man Tony Kakko ruled the stage with his natural stage man ship. Each side of the audience was included, as well as those who were seated in the upper tiers of the venue. With a mix of songs from their back catalogue, this show pleased both the newcomers and veteran Sonata Artica fans alike. Sonata Artica are a clearly well-rehearsed and professional group of musicians and showman. With the first 11 songs of the set flying by ion what seemed like the blink of an eye. Before we knew it the band were back on for their encore, with the band coming back on to remind the gathered audience that we are all required to keep live music going but attending gigs and purchasing merchandise.
Judging by the many band shirts on show in the audience I fear Tony was preaching to the converted. Two songs later and the set came to an end, and despite the rain at the beginning of the evening a good time was had by all. With the most difficult question of the evening being which of the 3 bands produced the best show. My opinion is that all three were equally as good as each other, although if I had to pick a winner, just for shear showmanship and theatre, Twilight Force are just the band of the evening, and definitely worth catching again.
1.Closer to an Animal
3. Wolves Die Young
4. In Black and White
6. Fairy tale
7. Full Moon
8. Among the Shooting Stars
9. No More Silence intro + Abandoned. Pleased
10. We are What We are
11. The Power of One
Keeping Live Music Alive Speech
12. I Have a Right
13. Don’t Say a Word