Date: April 22nd, 2016
Venue: The Button Factory, Dublin
Line-up: Korpiklaani + Moonsorrow
Dubbed the “Finnish Folk Metal Mafia”, this co-headline tour see’s two of Finland’s biggest folk metal bands, Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow, together for what promised to be an entertaining night. While both bands are at opposite ends of the musical spectrum they couldn’t have complemented each other any better.
Moonsorrow kicked off the preceding’s at fairly early point in the night with the title track from their fantastic new album Jumalten aika. Their sound was big and powerful matching the equally mammoth scope of the songs, not many bands can say they only managed to play eight songs in a ninety minute set. The crowd were a little passive in the beginning, something that vocalist/bassist Ville Sorvali was quick to pick up on, commenting that the band hadn’t been to Ireland in a long time and that it didn’t sound like they were missed. This little comment helped pick up the crowd and their energy levels for the remainder of their set.
The decidedly epic “Rauniolla” had the crowd chanting along with the soaring cleans of guitarists Henri Sorvali and Mitja Harvilahti. The set was quite heavy with new material (4 out of 5 of the albums tracks were played) but its equal parts of folk and black metal kept the crowd entertained and singing. Korpiklaani vocalist Jonne Järvelä made a guest appearance for some chanting for the stripped back sections of “Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän päivän kansa”.Before their closing track “Sankaritarina” Ville declared that he wanted the crowd to sing the song as if they were screaming at a football match, and sing was what they certainly did, filling the crowd with its anthemic harmony.
Despite their rather serious and dark approach to their music and pagan inclinations, at the end of the day they are still musical performers. They were very passionate and down to earth as evidenced by Ville’s back and forth reactions from the crowd. After what was an amazing performance from the epic Moonsorrow, it was hard to forget that we would soon be treated to a performance from another equally impressive live act.
Ruttolehto incl. Päivättömän päivän kansa (with Jonne Järvelä)
Ihmisen aika (Kumarrus pimeyteen)
The band which I’m talking about is of course Korpiklaani, possibly one of the happiest looking bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. They’re a rather eclectic bunch of individuals boasting in its ranks both an accordion and a fiddle player, bassist Jarkko Aaltonen dressed like some sort of monk happily prancing around the stage bare feet, guitarist Cane Savijärvi looking like a travelling journey man and not forgetting vocalist Jonne Järvelä and his distinctive long blonde dreadlocks.
It didn’t take the crowd long to get moving, with the crowd starting of strong with “Viinamäen mies” from their latest album Noita and the insanely catchy “Journey Man”. One after another the band threw out fun and catchy songs that pleased the crowd and most importantly kept them dancing the whole night. There were some occasional slowdowns for some tracks such as the dark and heavy “Sumussa hämärän aamun” but that never stopped the crowd and if anything it only serves to cement their live presence.
The instrumental track “Vaarinpolkka” put emphasis on the accordion and fiddle; elsewhere “Kylästä keväinen kehto” saw the more metal side of the band with its thrash like speed and intensity. Of course many people know of Korpiklaani for their more playful songs about any number of forms of alcohol, knowing this they piled them all together at the end for what was an entertaining end of the evening. “Wooden Pints” kicked it all off, encouraging many concert-goers to come bunching up to the band singing along. After a short break they returned to the stage with their now infamous “Vodka” and closer simply titled “Beer Beer” which featured a sneaky appearance of Moonsorrow’s Ville Sorvali and Marko Tarvonen for additional drums which they gladly pummelled with cheeky grins plastered across their faces.
Pilli on pajusta tehty
Sumussa hämärän aamun
Minä näin vedessä neidon
Kylästä keväinen kehto
Tonight two very different bands played together but by the end of the night it was clear that they complemented each other very well covering anything and everything that folk metal that can entail in a hugely entertaining night.