Have I ever mentioned how much I love Sonata Arctica? It is one of those bands that, no matter how much time passes, no matter what they do or I do, it will always feel like home. I was trying to remember for how long I’ve been listening to them and it’s been a while. The first song of theirs I heard was Tallulah, sometime about 8-9 years ago. That’s almost half my life J I am one of those strange people who started listening to them for their ballads (Tallulah, Shy, Mary Lou, Replica, Broken, Full Moon, Shamandalie, Letter To Dana, White Pearl Black Oceans and coming to more current songs such as Juliet, In The Dark, The Misery). Not that the power/speed-metal stuff is any less good.
Obviously, I jumped at the chance to see them. They don’t make it here quite that often. The only other time they came was in 2011 at a festival in Sibiu (this gorgeous medieval town in the heart of Romania). Being the first concert I ever went to, you can imagine it was pretty special. Trying to show Tony for half a song that there was a full moon during … Full Moon was priceless.
That being said, let’s jump to last night’s concert. Arenele Romane, Bucharest, home. *screaming internally* I am definitely more mature than at their last concert or when I started listening to them, but I’m still a fangirl at heart so getting to interview Elias and Henkka was something special. Interview to follow in Teen Art Out 32.
So, the concert. It might not have been sold out, but there were loads and loads of people there to see the guys. I can now say that I’ve been to my fair share of concerts, but I was really surprised by the loyalty of the Romanian public. There was this big crowd of people who knew the songs, who sang and clapped and screamed even without the band having to provoke them. For me it was a good surprise and just as Tony did on stage, I want to thank them all for buying a ticket sometime before, buying a ticket now or one in the future because this is how we get to see people like Sonata Arctica live.
The band has a unique style and chemistry. From the first note you knew this was going to be amazing. Tony appears in a joker shirt and quite similar make-up. He’s always been wild with his stage persona. We all know he is more of a quiet and private, but on stage he is transformed. That is a theatrical performance, so dramatic, acting out the slower, more emotionally intense parts. Of course, for the energetic ones, he will be all over the stage with random outbursts of energy. It looked quite dangerous at some point. He also practices a sort of strange pantomime, but it works for him.
Let’s take a look at the setlist:
White Pearl, Black Oceans… – this one is a great opener, bringing both softness and their characteristic metal sound
X Marks the Spot – a new song that is so much fun to play, with the rock sound
FullMoon – WOW. Like wow. I know we all love the song but it’s amazing to hear live. They might get tired of playing it, but until they do, the audience enjoys it.
Now we feature a little talk from Tony who says it’s the first time in Bucharest and he doesn’t know why it took them so long. We don’t know what took you so long, either, Tony, but we’re glad you’re here. He also adds that it was a really beautiful but hot day and he visited the city with the beautiful buildings and people, but now he invites us to visit … his land. Here comes My Land
Letter to Dana – This falls in the WOW category. There is already a video up. We love it.
I Have a Right – This is a song I listened for 100 times on repeat and then couldn’t listen to it for a year, but I love it so much. And it’s a great singalong.
Picturing the Past
Love – I know Sonata has a lot of soft songs, but no one is quite like this. It’s their only truly love song and it can move you to tears (it did it for some people)
Kingdom for a Heart
Tallulah – my absolute favourite song. This is where the crowd starts to sing before Tony does :)) priceless.
“Do you remember our first single?” There were some very, very wild answers from the crowd, but we eventually got to UnOpened
The Wolves Die Young – The energy blast single from Pariah’s Child. It makes for such a powerful ending. We know it, we sing to it. It is now that I realize frightened that we have made it to the end. Sure, the encore is coming, but wow.
So we shout and scream and ask for more and they give it to us: Destruction Preventer, Don’t Say a Word. It would not be a true Sonata Arctica concert if it didn’t end with: VODKA! We all need some vodka.
Now it really is over. A day later and I am still smiling from ear to ear, replaying the setlist, wishing I could do this more often.
Please, if you have the chance, go see them. Listen to their music, cheer for them and live it out for me! I know I loved every second of this show. Kiitos!