Finnish Power Metal Titans Battle Beast Electrify Chicago: Live at House of Blues

Noora Louhimo Leads Battle Beast's First North American Headlining Tour: Live at House of Blues in Chicago...

 

Words and Photos: Kyle Mueller

 

For the first time in their history, Finnish power metal group Battle Beast is headlining across North America. Joining them in support for the entire tour is the Dutch symphonic/goth band Blackbriar. Stop number five: Chicago.

Blackbriar

Blackbriar took the stage first, right at 8 PM on the dot. Opening their 10-song set with “Crimson Faces” from their latest album, A Dark Euphony, they were ready to play.

Frontwoman Zora captivated the crowd with her whimsical dancing around the stage, making strong connections with the fortunate fans up on the barricade. She didn’t miss a beat in the short setlist, hitting notes that would make Amy Lee proud. Guitarists Bart Winters and Robin Koezen shredded their strings to build the hype. However, stealing the show was bassist Siebe Sol Sijpkens, with unmatched energy and twirling kicks—his feet hardly seemed to touch the stage. They definitely left a lasting impression, and I eagerly await their next visit to the Windy City.

Battle Beast

When the lights went out, a slow piano intro began, followed by what sounded like a war charge. Drummer Pyry Vikki was the first to take the stage, energizing the crowd. They kicked off with “Circus of Doom,” the title track from their 2022 album, and then jumped right into “Straight to the Heart,” almost blowing the roof off the House of Blues.

After a brief pause, lead singer Noora Louhimo reminded us why we were there—their first-ever North American headlining tour was off to a powerful start. Her vocals are unmatched—pure power and control. Everyone needs to see them live at least once to truly experience it. Wearing yet another iconic outfit, complete with horns, she stood a level above everyone else.

Bassist Eero Sipilä also interacted enthusiastically with the crowd, expressing gratitude to the fans and leading us through more favorites like “No More Hollywood Endings” and “Eye of the Storm.” Guitarists Juuso Soinio and Joona Björkroth were fantastic, each taking turns with impressive solos throughout the set—both masters of their instruments.

A standout moment of the night was between “Bastard Son of Odin” and “Russian Roulette,” when keytarist Janne Björkroth came out playing on a wheeled contraption, led around the stage by Pyry. He brought a stack of “Real American Red Solo Cups” to share a group shot with the crowd.

Chants of “BATTLE BEAST” rang out as the crowd awaited an encore. The encore began with the Björkroth brothers playing Star Wars’ “The Force Theme,” soon joined by the rest of the band to perform “The Imperial March.” They closed out with “Master of Illusion,” “King for a Day,” and “Beyond the Burning Skies,” the latter finishing with the Top Gun theme. After a group photo and one final bow, it was time to bid farewell to these masters of metal.

If you’re considering attending, I highly recommend you check out their show. It is pure fun from start to finish.

 

https://battlebeast.fi/home

Setlist:

Circus of Doom
Straight to the Heart
Familiar Hell
Armageddon
Place That We Call Home
No More Hollywood Endings
Eye of the Storm
Without You (Badfinger cover)
Where Angels Fear to Fly
Bastard Son of Odin
Russian Roulette
Wings of Light
Eden
The Force Theme/Imperial March
Master of Illusion
King for a Day
Beyond the Burning Skies (ending with Top Gun Anthem)

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